Why we do what we do
By: Julie Allgood
Abundant Beginnings Co. is the surrogacy agency my partner, Nicole Lawson and I started many years ago. Having worked previously for fertility doctors heading up their surrogacy department, we gained a positive reputation with our compassion and professionalism, while learning from some of the best fertility doctors in the world! Our intention was to continue the work we were already doing — helping people become parents by providing them with an option to use their own biology or an egg donor, when their own bodies were not able to carry a baby. We have assisted hundreds of clients at this point, women who had experienced cancer or had a heart condition making pregnancy a risk to their own lives, gay men longing to be fathers, women with unexplained infertility, and people of all ages and ethnicities and cultures.
Over the years, my love of this process has continued to unfold. The women who apply to be surrogates are absolutely amazing. At our agency, we respect each applicant, even if they do not qualify to be a surrogate. I have been humbled by these women who give so freely, sharing intimate details of their lives, which is a necessary part of the application process. I’ve watched them walk through challenging experiences, such as miscarriages or failed embryo transfers with dignity. They’ve felt their feelings – sometimes stronger feelings than they anticipated – and learned how to speak up and ask for what they need. They’ve learned to negotiate for themselves with the assistance of our fabulous case managers and attorneys, how to compromise and how to care for themselves and listen to and trust their bodies.
And, to watch people, committed to their dream of becoming parents, place their trust in us is not something we take lightly. It is an honor to assist them through this process, as they go through the ups of downs of waiting and wanting – how many times they have anxiously waited for a surrogate to start her period, so an appointment can be scheduled. It’s a little like watching paint dry – it takes as long as it takes, and never comes fast enough! They want that baby now!! We inform our Intended Parents that it takes approximately 3 months from match to embryo transfer – if all goes according to plan, factoring in that we are dealing with human beings and nature takes its course when nature is ready. Flexibility is key.
And, there is no guarantee that this process will result in pregnancy or birth. How I wish we could promise that. We offer hope, we offer opportunities, and we offer support, all without a guarantee of their most desired outcome. It continues to be an honor to walk people through these vulnerable moments.
Here are some thoughts from our amazing Abundant Beginnings’ staff on why they love working in surrogacy:
“I absolutely love being a part of something bigger than myself, and to watch peoples’ dreams come true!” (Amanda)
“Knowing the struggles that so many people have with infertility, it is incredibly rewarding to share in their journeys to becoming parents. This is the most heart warming job anyone could ever have.” (Stacie)
“I feel so honored to be a part of the journey to help create and or expand a family. Being trusted in something so personal and precious is so extremely meaningful to me. I truly can’t imagine doing anything else.” (Emily)
“I love being a part of a family coming together in a non-traditional way. Each case I manage is so unique and it is an honor to share this important part of others’ lives.” (Jenny)
“My children are everything to me. To be able to help someone struggling to experience this is such an incredible blessing. It’s all about the beautiful moment they first hold their baby, that is why I love what I do!” (Julie S.)