CSP works with surrogate mothers throughout the United States; each has a unique story about their desire to help Intended Parents (IPs) achieve their dreams of having a family. Holly, a first-time Maryland surrogate, was drawn to the idea following the emotional and diverse journey she and her husband took creating their own family. How Holly’s Journey through Infertility Brought Her to Surrogacy “The road that lead me to surrogacy was a long one. It started before I even had children of my own. I remember on my wedding day, standing next to Scott in my wedding dress and someone said: ‘You two are going to make cute kids!’ At that moment I had a gut feeling that we were going to have a struggle in front of us and that starting our family wasn’t going to be so easy. It wasn’t a bad feeling, more like just a matter of fact. At that moment I doubted whether we would even be able to have biological children. That gut feeling I had on my wedding day proved to be correct. After over a year of trying to conceive without success, we had testing done. We were told that due to male infertility factors it would not be impossible, but it was very unlikely that we would ever conceive without IVF with ICSI. I am a very proactive person. I researched every option available to us from fertility treatments to foster care, to international adoption, and domestic infant adoption. I believed that if I started out following all paths, eventually the path that would lead us to each of our children would become clear. Our Struggle to Create a Family For our first child, it became clear pretty quickly that the path was domestic adoption. We welcomed Noah in 2009. With our second it wasn’t as clear to me. We endured the sadness and disappointment of a failed IVF cycle then were led almost immediately back to domestic adoption. We adopted our son Daniel just months after our failed IVF cycle. Although we have a deep love for adoption, the difficulty of having our baby that first month while their biological parents still had the option of changing their mind was not something I was prepared to go through again, and so we sought out another option. At the time we were concerned that if we had biological children the others might question how we felt for them. We never wanted our kids to wonder if we loved them all equally. It was around this time that I learned about embryo adoption, where couples who have previously gone through IVF can donate their remaining embryos to couples eager to grow their own families. IVF and Embryo Donation Soon after, I became pregnant with our daughter Maya through a frozen embryo IVF cycle with a donated embryo. We are very fortunate to have close relationships with all of our children’s biological families. While I was pregnant with Maya her biological mother shared her disappointment with me that she wasn’t able to carry more children due to a very high-risk pregnancy with her twins. I talked to my husband and we agreed to offer to carry one of her remaining embryos for her after Maya was born. Unfortunately, by then she felt the time had passed for her, but at that moment the seed was planted in my heart to become a surrogate. After the wonderful, emotional journey we had been on to create our beautiful family, it was an incredible surprise when I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, Adelyn in 2013. By then I was so busy that surrogacy was far from my mind. As Adelyn got older and things got easier with the kids, surrogacy crept back into my mind. Having gone through all the heartache during our own fertility struggles, and then all of the joy that we experienced as our family grew each time; the idea of being a surrogate mother felt like everything coming full circle to help in another family’s realization of their desire for a child. The Gift of Surrogacy I was blessed to be at the birth of all of my children. I have a picture that I treasure of the moment I saw Noah for the first time and his biological mother is looking up at me. This is a moment that I hope to have for myself, being able to see this baby’s parents hold him for the first time and knowing that I played a part in their family story coming together just as so many wonderful people are a part of our family’s story. ” CSP is honored and privileged to work with the incredible women that apply to our program, they truly are some of the most selfless and giving individuals. If you are interested in sharing your surrogacy story and your CSP experiences, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us.