My First Surrogate Pregnancy

Today I am 7 weeks pregnant.

Ultrasound pictures are held up with letter magnets on my fridge. My calendar is splattered with OB appointment reminders every week.

But this baby isn’t mine. This baby belongs to an AMAZING couple that I couldn’t love more.

I am a Gestational Carrier, a Surrogate Mom.

There is a good chance that all you know of surrogates either came from the movie “Baby Mama” or from the recent “surrogate” scandal. What I want you to know most about surrogates is that we are real people: we’re moms, we work normal jobs, lead normal lives. There are a lot of different stories that pull women to surrogacy. For me, it was a best friend in high school who came out to me after we graduated. He was happy, but realized his orientation meant he would never have biological children. Without even thinking, my 17 year old self proclaimed “I’ll have babies for you!”
11 years later, I made the leap and joined a surrogacy agency that embodied all I wanted and needed to make this a positive experience for all involved. The agency matched me with a fantastic couple that will become parents in the Spring of 2012.

It sounds easy when I say it that way, sounds like a piece of cake. There is so much more that goes into it. There is the typical question everyone asks, “How can you just give your baby up?” First, this baby is in NO WAY my child. It will look drastically different than me and my family. It will not have my blood type, it was not made with any of my genetics. The process has been compared to long term babysitting. If your best friend asked you to watch their child for 9 months, you’d do it. You’d love that child for 9 months, tuck them into bed at night and kiss them on the head. You’d feed them and take care of them. When your friend came back you’d be SO happy to reunite them. Would you miss that child after you cared for them? YES, you would, but your heart would be so happy. I CANNOT wait to reunite this baby with its parents. I dream of it at night. I get teary eyed thinking about it. It’ll be the moment I’ve been waiting for.

The embryos

Second most asked question, “Will you be sad afterwards?” I have no idea. But, yes, I assume there will be a little bit of sadness, or maybe not sadness, per say. There is yet another perfect analogy for this situation. Have you ever planned a wedding? You spend months or years planning the perfect wedding. You lived and breathed wedding planning. Then the wedding is over and you feel almost lost, like you don’t know what to do with your time now. I don’t know what it’ll be like when I don’t have daily contact with the parents because they are now busy with a newborn. I don’t know what it’ll be like when I don’t have people taking care of me and thinking about me every second. But I do know how full my heart will be.

I have a very strong relationship with the parents of this baby. We talk daily. They take amazing care of me and are so worried about everything. They are such a blessing in my life. Sometimes I am taken back when I realize 3 months ago I had no idea who they were, and now I would do anything for them.

I may only be 7 weeks into this pregnancy, but I already know this baby is loved so much by so many people. My dreams are being fulfilled while I fulfill the parents dream. This is right where I belong.

I am a 7 weeks along in my first surrogate pregnancy and I couldn’t be happier.

Guest blogger Ryley strives to be the best mother she can to her little boy, while being the best surrogate she can to the most loving family. While she’s not busy parenting and gestating she’s often elbow deep in frosting and fondant creating with That’s My Cake! You can catch up with her at That’s My Family.

If you have any questions regarding surrogacy please contact Ryley at that’s my family at gmail dot com and she will be happy to answer any questions.

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Comments (25)

  1. Heather S 03/16/2016 at 10:36 am

    While my situation was a bit different than a normal surrogacy, I recently was the mother for a sweet couple. I was so so happy I could do something so amazing for someone. it was a wonderfully different experience and they were so greatful.

  2. Emily 03/15/2016 at 2:25 pm

    Beautiful article! I am the proud mom to a daughter born via our angel of a surrogate! Yes, surrogates are angels! Thank you for sharing your story. We are also very close with our surrogate and talk all the time and get together. My daughter will always know how she came into the world!

  3. Jatanna 03/08/2016 at 5:33 am

    I did something similar. My best friend could not have children due to a birth defect. I had artificial insemination so that she could have a baby. I say similar because the baby did have my genetics. I never thought of the baby as mine though. She was always and will always be hers. My husband’s work had since transferred us out of the state, but we still get together every Christmas when we go home. Every time I see them together I know I made the right decision. She is a wonderful mom and the three of them are a perfect family. Every moment of hardship while pregnant and in labor were completely worth it to see her and her husband with a complete family. I never held the baby until she was 8 months old though since I pumped so she could have breast milk. The parents were both there and got to do the initial bonding which I felt was important. In all it was a great experience.

  4. Ashley 03/07/2016 at 11:25 pm

    Riley I hope this some how finds u . It’s been five years since ur incredible journey, can u tell me how u dealt with the emotions after having seen the baby be born? I have a friend who has lost three pregnancies and I can’t imagine if I didn’t have my daughters how she feels and have thought about surrogancie but I’m afraid that even knowing in no way shape or form that baby is mine, after delivery obviously will be filled love for that baby and family but also I’ll also be completely heartbroken I’m an emotional woman I cry at the sight of my children sleeping or loving each other. How did u handle it ? How did your children handle it? Are u in contact with the family still?

  5. Brenda 04/24/2015 at 12:26 pm

    Hello Riley, I was just reading the posts here and it is a wonderful thing to do, but I still have my questions about the detachment of the baby that’s not yours. I’ve had 3 kids already. A girl and 2 boys. If you could email me, I’d appreciate it. I’m really thinking and considering the possibility, but I’m still unsure of my emotions, (as I’m a very emotional woman). Thanks again. :”) :”).

    • Amy 03/15/2016 at 12:35 am

      I’m in your same situation, I absolutely love being pregnant, but cannot have another child. I would love to give this blessing to any willing family

      • Emily 03/15/2016 at 2:39 pm

        Just wanted to say that as a women who struggled for years to conceive and ultimately had a baby via a surrogate, thank you for your interest! Surrogates are amazing women!

    • Emily 03/15/2016 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Brenda! I’m an intended mom and would be happy to speak with you from the parents perspective. Also, our surrogate is incredible and I’m sure she would be happy to speak with you too!

  6. Molly 04/03/2015 at 12:37 pm

    What about the unwanted embryo’s. What about the way babies purchased in this way could get into the wrong hands!

    • Brittany Hall 04/03/2015 at 1:43 pm

      There is no such things as unwanted embryos in these cases. The biological parents are spending a lot of money on IVF treatments. They also aren’t purchasing babies they are paying for infertility treatment and then have the fertilized eggs put in someone else.

      • jay 03/07/2016 at 11:29 pm

        they are not paying for infertility treatments, they are paying for embryo implantation.

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  9. India Surrogacy 05/15/2013 at 2:15 am

    Very good post, Surrogacy in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple.

    Thanks for sharing informational post to everyone.

  10. Amber 04/27/2013 at 11:56 am

    I am 6 weeks pregnant with my first surrogate baby. It’s like you stole the thoughts right out of my head. Thank you for posting.

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  12. Sisifo 09/07/2011 at 8:29 am

    This might be a silly question, but are there songs or books that the parents ask you to sing or read to the baby? Or maybe even recordings they ask you to play?

    • Ryley 09/12/2011 at 12:25 pm

      Not a silly question AT ALL!
      I didnt mention this in the article, but my IP’s are international and while they speak FANTASTIC English, it isnt the language spoken in their home. I have already purchased a product called Belly Buds that will allow me to play ANYTHING the parents want directly on my tummy. I hope they will record themselves reading childrens books or send me a collection of music they listen to.
      But yes, it is VERY common for IP’s to send itunes playlists to surrogates to have them played for their baby, but in NO WAY a requirement. Just something we do for fun! 🙂

  13. ~j. 09/02/2011 at 5:52 pm

    Ryley, you have been so generous in sharing the details of your journey. Bless you through this process, and beyond.

    • Ryley 09/05/2011 at 6:08 pm

      In the name of education. 🙂
      It shouldn’t be taboo. Its not some freakish thing to do, and I’m NOT giving up my baby. 🙂
      Hoping that talking openly will open minds and hearts.
      Thanks J! 🙂

  14. Kelly Rummelhart 09/01/2011 at 7:17 pm

    I am so excited for your journey Ryley. Surrogacy is amazing and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.


  15. Amy Allen Johnson 09/01/2011 at 11:37 am

    I was just pondering this topic, actually. My sis-in-law told us last week she was expecting. We’re thrilled, new cousin on the way.. but.. I know what a hard time she has during her pregnancy.. sick, swollen, bed rest.. I told her I wished I could carry the baby for her. Not exactly the same as actually doing it, but I certainly feel her struggle and admire her for her “long suffering”. Good luck to you.

    • Ryley 09/01/2011 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Amy! And YES, a lot of people that ultimately choose Surrogacy start with those kind of feelings.
      Wouldn’t it be nice if it was just as easy as helping her carry that baby?? What a sweet heart you have!
      Hopefully she’ll be ok this time.
      Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  16. Judy 09/01/2011 at 8:56 am

    I was one of those women that cried herself to sleep every night for years because I couldn’t conceive. What you are doing is a beautiful thing. Blessings to you and the new family! By the grace of God, I was blessed with 3 miracle babies after years of trying.

    • Ryley 09/01/2011 at 9:47 am

      Thank you Julie!
      I feel SOOO blessed to being doing this for the family. It doesn’t feel like I am the one who should be praised. I love them so much for picking me and trusting me. I cant imagine the struggle it would be to trust someone to carry your child. I am so thankful for the parents of this baby and their love.
      I’m so sorry you had to struggle but what a miracle that you have 3 now!!!
      Thank you for sharing with me.. 🙂