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My Journey to Surrogacy

Brandee knew as a teenager that she wanted to be a gestational surrogate for an infertile couple unable to carry a child to term. In many ways, she knew this long before she was a parent. So she was devastated when she heard she wasn’t a great candidate for surrogacy.

Brandee’s journey as a surrogate started in 2009, and she matched with her first couple a year later. The first couple had a difficult journey. The first year and a half, the couple couldn’t get any viable embryos. With a different doctor, they were able to produce three viable embryos—but the transfer to Brandee failed.

The doctor said that Brandee had a misshapen uterus and wasn’t a viable candidate for surrogacy. The couple moved on to a new surrogate.

“It was pretty emotional for me because we had been through so much already,” she said. “I felt like I was dumped and took some time off. I didn’t get a second opinion, and assumed that what the doctor said was true and that I couldn’t be a surrogate.”

Brandee instead focused on her life and her own kids until she was invited back to a surrogacy support group. One of the counselors asked if she was still interested in being a surrogate, and Brandee explained her situation.

The counselor was not dissuaded, and suggested that Brandee see Dr. Frederick to be re-evaluated as a candidate for gestational surrogacy.

“I didn’t think it was possible,” she remembers. I thought I was at a point in my life where I had let it go, and was content to live vicariously with the women I'd become friends with through the process. But when I went home and told my husband, he said, ‘I think you should do it.’”

In March 2014, Brandee had a second consultation with Dr. Frederick. Dr. Frederick ordered a hysterosalpingography, using a camera to x-ray Brandee’s uterus and fallopian tubes. She discovered nothing that indicated Brandee wouldn’t be a good candidate for surrogacy, and said she’d be willing to work with her.

“I got back in the program and was matched with my couple in April,” she said. “It was quite an emotional journey.”

Her new couple traveled from Australia to California last September. They were using their own embryos, and wanted to do a fresh cycle. That trip, they got three viable embryos. The first transfer failed, but the remaining two embryos were transferred in January—and Brandee is now pregnant with twin girls.

Not everyone has what it takes to make the sacrifice needed to help another couple suffering from infertility. Brandee, however, knew from an early age that she wanted to help a couple, and today she is making that couple’s dream a reality .

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