Surrogate Highlight: Tonia
We are excited to share our newest series, Giving Tree Surrogacy Surrogate Highlight. There is no doubt that gestational surrogates are extremely amazing women for the amount of compassion they hold in their heart. It is only fitting that we take a moment to highlight a few of the women who have made an impact here at Giving Tree Surrogacy.
For this inaugural article, we chatted with surrogate Tonia. She is a 1x surrogate and also an experienced egg donor. Beside her being a phenomenal mother and surrogate, she went above and beyond when the COVID travel ban prevented her intended parents from being able to come to the United States for the birth of their child.
Tonia and her husband opened up their home to this new soul and cared for him while the intended parents were able to make arrangements to get to the US.
Tonia continues to help families as an Egg Donor Intake Coordinator at Giving Tree Surrogacy & Egg Donation .
When did you first consider becoming a surrogate and why?
I was approached by a nurse while I was in the process of completing an Egg Donation cycle, who gave me a pamphlet that included information about surrogacy. This was the first time I was ever approached about surrogacy and the first time I had ever thought about it.
How was your surrogacy pregnancy different from your previous pregnancy with your daughter?
My surrogacy pregnancy was different from my first pregnancy with my daughter in many ways, one being that I had never felt the amount of support and love as I did with my surrogacy pregnancy. I was joyful and proud to welcome my own daughter into this world, but that was for me, bringing forth a child that has been longed for and who is desperately wanted is a different type of fulfillment. I had never experienced a pregnancy loss, while my Intended Parents had experienced many, so the gratitude and appreciation I was shown during my surrogacy pregnancy was unparalleled to any appreciation I had ever been shown before. Also, the weight of preparing your home for the child of course is lifted during a surrogacy pregnancy. One specific area that is more challenging for a surrogacy pregnancy in comparison to my first is the pressure of holding a family's hopes and dreams inside of you. The constant worry of miscarriage and the potential grief of the Intended Parents never escapes your mind.
What was your favorite part about being a surrogate?
My favorite part about being a surrogate was doing something selfless. I knew I wanted to do something life changing for another person and I needed that personal fulfillment in my life. Connecting with the Intended Parents had to be my favorite part of the whole journey. They were so excited throughout the whole pregnancy and even more so when their baby was here. I love getting updates and seeing their beautiful child grow. Knowing what I did for them, brings joy and purpose to my life every single day. We got pregnant with one transfer which was their last embryo, so I have to believe that we were brought to one another to bring their perfect child into this world, I can no longer imagine a world without this child in it.
Did covid have any impact on your journey?
Covid had an enormous impact on my journey. I was due May 2020, so right in the thick of covid and the travel bans. My intended parents were living in China, the borders were closed to them, and they were unable to be here for the delivery of their child. They also had no family in the US, so my husband and I were asked to care for the baby until they could get into the states. We ended up having the baby for over 4 months. Getting his passport was a challenge, taking him to his doctor's appointments was a challenge, everything was a challenge. Towards the end of his stay, his fathers Visa expired, and new ones were not granted at that time, so he was unable to travel at all. The intended mother was fortunate enough to travel here, and even when she left, she was unable to return home with the baby for another 4 months, as she had to fly back home through another country and quarantine on several different occasions. Caring for the newborn was easy, we were happy to do it, adjusting after he left was challenging but I always wanted him to be with his parents and was sad that they were missing these precious months.
What was your support system like? Did your husband have any problems with surrogacy? If so, how did you guys work through it?
My husband was very supportive of my surrogacy journey from the very beginning. He was proud of what I was doing and loved to educate others around him about surrogacy. He was with me during the transfer, he coached me through the delivery, and even helped me take care of the newborn when we had to bring them home. He is an amazing dad through and through.
What was your experience like searching for an agency to work with? Why did you end up choosing Giving Tree Surrogacy & Egg Donation?
I did not seek out any agency other than Giving Tree Surrogacy & Egg Donation. I was approached by a nurse from a fertility clinic when I was completing an Egg Donation cycle. At first, I didn't think it was something that I would pursue, but when the recipient for my eggs was unable to complete her transfer, I was so hurt for her and wanted to do more. If I couldn't help her have a baby, maybe I could ensure that I would be able to help make a baby through surrogacy. When I reached out to the nurse and told her I was interested in Surrogacy, I was kind of ushered into Giving Tree Surrogacy & Egg Donation, that is how I found them and was fortunate enough to work with them.
If you would like to learn more about the egg donation process or have questions about being an egg donor, check out our Egg Donor section for all the answers about requirements and compensation.
If you are ready to become an egg donor, we invite you to apply online.