Mum of twins and her surrogate reveal what it’s REALLY like as a pregnancy ‘team’

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  • The idea of another woman carrying your child for nine months can be uncomfortable for some.

    When conception problems arise, and everything from hormone injections to IVF treatment have been tried, considering a surrogate is often one of the final steps – and it’s not easy on the surrogate’s end either.

    Having to give up a baby to their biological parents seems painful – but for many people who do make the commitment, surrogacy becomes a wonderful and amazing experience for both parties.

    Wendy, a mum of three boys, became a surrogate for Angela and her husband Tony after meeting through Surrogacy UK, and successfully carried their twin daughters, Ella and Mia.

    Here, they both share their incredible stories, as well as advice to anyone who might be considering surrogacy or wants to become a surrogate themselves.

    Angela’s story

    My husband and I tried for a baby naturally for a couple of years, and nothing was happening. I was referred by a doctor to have fertility checks, and discovered that I have blocked fallopian tubes.

    We started on the IVF route, with each cycle initially working well and producing enough good quality embryos – only for them to stop developing once they were implanted into my womb.

    We did 10 cycles of IVF in total, trying different medication or tweaking my hormone treatment to see if anything made a difference, but unfortunately it never did.

    After our last failed cycle, our consultant suggested surrogacy, and gave us the link to Surrogacy UK. We hadn’t really considered it as an option before, mainly because we were naive to the process and didn’t know really where we would start!

    Luckily, on my first visit to Surrogacy UK, I saw they were holding an annual conference the following weekend, so I booked tickets. We were blown away by the support and professionalism they gave us. It gave us a surge of hope, and we became members right away. We attended regular socials and conferences, meeting more and more people and making good friends – and then we met Wendy, and got along brilliantly.

    Tony, Wendy (surrogate) and Angela

    The whole pregnancy experience was amazing! We attended every scan, midwife and hospital visit. Wendy included us in everything, we felt the babies kicking, wiggling, and even hiccuping. We felt like we knew them very well. The scans were such an emotional and happy experience for us all.

    Wendy took the best care of the babies, and always did the right thing for them, us and her own family. The labour was the most exciting, wonderful and scary experience of our lives. It’s so difficult to put all of the range of emotions into words. Wendy and her husband were amazing, and we all got through it together. It’s so hard to see someone you care about so much in any type of pain, especially knowing it was due to them doing us such a beautiful favour.

    Angela and her twins soon after their birth

    We never had any doubts throughout the entire experience – it worked for us all so well and we have made lifelong friends. We’ve collected so many happy moments; we spent a lot of time together at hospital appointments, days out and holidays, and we loved spending time with Wendy, James and their boys. My happiest moment has to be when the twins were delivered safe and sound, and then seeing them both for the first time.

    Tony with his daughters Ella and Mia

    If you need a surrogate then make sure you do your research. It’s a long and emotional journey, and you need to ensure you have a strong and honest relationship with your surrogate. You go through so much together, that I feel it’s vital to have a friendship there too.

    Wendy’s story

    A few of my family members and close friends had struggled with infertility, so I had witnessed how utterly heartbreaking it was. I enjoy being pregnant, and my body handles it well – so I thought that if I’m able to help someone, then why not? I waited until my third son was born, and then contacted Surrogacy UK.

    I attended one of their conferences with my eldest son, and we first met Angela and Tony at an icebreaker session. We immediately clicked, and the conversation seemed to flow effortlessly.

    Throughout that day, we kept bumping in to each other, and my son Jack got on so well with their son, Tony. I always felt strongly that whoever I chose to help would have to have the seal of approval from my children, as these people would be in our lives for a long time!

    Afterwards, I decided that they would be the couple. On Christmas Eve, Surrogacy UK called Angela and Tony with the happy news that I wanted to help them! We then got to know each other for the next three months, the minimum period required by Surrogacy UK. I’m glad we did this, as it’s such a fantastic way of making sure you all gel well before going ahead with such an important decision.

    Soon enough, I was pregnant – with twins!

    Mia and Ella

    Carrying the two of them was a totally different experience compared to carrying my own children. It seemed to progress much faster than my own pregnancies.

    I kept Angela and Tony involved throughout the entire process; they came to every appointment. I sent them videos of the babies kicking, and they felt the kicks themselves. They recorded themselves reading stories to play back to my tummy, and we played them through the bump with special bump buds. It was so special to share it all with them.

    I never questioned my decision. The babies were never mine, they were fully and genetically theirs – I was just helping to look after them for a little while. From the beginning you know they don’t belong to you.

    Angela, Wendy and Tony with newborns Mia and Ella

    It felt absolutely amazing to carry the twins for months, and then give them to their parents who’ve been waiting so long to finally meet them. You cannot put into words what it’s like to see their faces at the moment they become parents, to share their excitement during the entire nine months, and then watch them grow as a family!

    Angela and Tony with Mia and Ella

    It’s truly a privilege and I was so honored to do it and for them to trust me to look after their little girls.

    If you’re considering being a surrogate, then do your research, and make sure you have a good support network. Organisations like Surrogacy UK offer so much help, info and support for surrogates and intended parents – they’ve been invaluable to us.

    Being a surrogate is one of the most amazing things I have ever done – if you are thinking about it, do it!

    For more information about everything to do with surrogacy, please visit Surrogacy UK. We’ve answered some of the most common questions around surrogacy below:

    What is surrogacy?

    Surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby for a person or couple who can’t conceive or carry a baby themselves.

    Are there different types of surrogacy?

    There are two types of surrogacy: straight and host, or traditional and gestational. Straight/traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate inseminating herself with the intended father’s semen, whereas host/gestational surrogacy is when IVF is used to implant the intended parents’ embryo into the surrogate.

    Is surrogacy legal in the UK?

    It is, but no third parties are allowed – so anyone looking to receive fees for arranging a surrogate team is breaking the law. Also, advertising for or to be a surrogate is not allowed.

    Are surrogates paid?

    A surrogate can only receive expenses to cover the cost of her being pregnant, such as the cost of maternity clothes, a loss of earnings, and travel costs.

    Are surrogates allowed to keep the baby?

    Legally, the government recognises the woman giving birth as the child’s mother, even if they’re not genetically related. If a surrogate chooses to keep a baby, then she’s in her legal right to. Surrogacy contracts aren’t enforced by UK law, even if it’s been signed by all parties and the intended parents have paid for expenses.

    Who can become a surrogate?

    Anyone! The preferred surrogacy candidates are women who have already given birth once, and have completed their own families. The reason for this is because more illnesses and complications tend to happen during a woman’s first pregnancy, and it’s safer to make sure that you’re able to give birth safely.