Aloha, meet Cat!
Cat is a mom of four, an in-home daycare provider, a military spouse, and a two-time surrogate. She and her family are currently stationed on Oahu, but the family has lived all over, stating, “I’ve had children all across the United States.”
We sat down with Cat and asked her to share her experiences serving as a surrogate. Cat, like many gestational carriers, felt called to help others build their families and was happy to share what it was like and what she learned throughout her most recent surrogacy journey.
“What spark led you to want to explore becoming a surrogate?”
“Being a daycare provider, you hear many stories about children from all walks of life. A lot of my friends have had very rough journeys to having children, and that’s what made me want to look into surrogacy.” It wasn’t a quick or easy decision for Cat. She conducted a lot of research (emphasis on “a lot”) to determine if surrogacy was the right thing for her.
Friends of hers had failed IVF and IUI cycles, and she didn’t know what to say to them, having traditionally conceived and delivered four children of her own. Cat felt called to help others who could not build their families on their own.
“What led you to our agency?”
Amidst all her research, she took it as a sign that her neighbor worked for Hawaii Surrogacy. When Cat said she was looking into becoming a gestational carrier, her neighbor shared that she worked for a surrogacy agency. Cat smiles as she recalls saying, “YES! This is my sign that I was meant to do this.”
“What about your intended parents made you want to match with them and help build their family?”
Cat was drawn to all the family photos and gatherings the intended parents included in their match profile. She also didn’t want to feel like she was simply providing the service of carrying their child. It was important that she would be viewed as an extension of their family. After reading their profile letter, she felt that she knew them. “I wanted to give them that missing piece to their puzzle.”
“What has it been like to work with Hawaii Surrogacy throughout your surrogacy journey?”
“The support I got from Hawaii Surrogacy has been absolutely amazing. They are literally like your family.” Cat laughs as she says, “You can pick up the phone and give them a call. Yes, maybe they’re sleeping… or eating with their family, but they’ll always take five seconds to answer your question, talk you down, or even tell you you’re doing a good job because we need to hear that. I’ve absolutely loved my Coordinator!”
“What has been your favorite moment in your surrogacy journey thus far?”
One memory immediately rises above the rest for Cat. “We went into the 20-week ultrasound, and the tech said, ‘You can bring everyone in the room.’” Cat’s mom, intended parents, and her coordinator from Hawaii Surrogacy were there. As they all gathered in the room, the ultrasound tech brought the baby up on the screen, and the baby gave the room the shaka.
“This was amazing, knowing that this was a Hawaiian baby that would be born in Hawaii. The fact that we got it on video and they gave us still images we can always look back on.”
“What has been the most challenging aspect of your surrogacy journey?”
Cat mentions boundaries being a challenge for her, stating, “Some intended parents want to be very involved in everything, so it’s important to establish what you’re comfortable with.” These boundaries can and should be established before the surrogacy journey begins. When partnering with an agency, surrogates, and intended parents will collaborate on a gestational carrier agreement, and it’s the perfect place to establish those boundaries in writing.
“How was your surrogacy pregnancy different than you expected?”
“You always have to discuss EVERYTHING with the intended parents. Sometimes the difference between having someone else’s baby and your own is that they want all the testing and all the ultrasounds, and maybe that’s not something I would’ve done with my own pregnancies.” While no two pregnancies or surrogacy journeys are the same, those extra checks and tests provide peace of mind to the intended parents.
“What advice would you give someone considering becoming a surrogate?”
“Don’t jump on the first profile you receive just because you’re excited. Make sure you take the time to read through everything and make sure you and the intended parents are on the same wavelength.” Cat mentions how important it is to evaluate whether or not you feel you can communicate well with the intended parents to ensure a successful surrogacy journey.
“What was your relationship like with your intended parents during your journey, and has it changed since delivering their baby? “
“Pretty amazing. During the pregnancy, they made me feel like a part of their family. I was very involved in the things that they were doing. I was even invited to their baby showers.” Since delivering, that relationship has continued. Cat says that she and her husband are “Auntie Cat and Uncle Josh,” and they love on the baby as if he were one of their own (“even though he is not!”) anytime the intended parents open their doors for her.
Why our agency may make sense
Cat’s experience with our agency is not the exception; it’s the rule. At Hawaii Surrogacy, surrogates are not just a womb. As Cat stated, we treat you like family. For many, becoming a surrogate can feel like a calling. It’s a profoundly personal decision, and we consider it a privilege to inform, partner, and protect surrogates every step of the way.
If you’re considering becoming a gestational carrier, reach out. We’d love to walk beside you on your surrogacy journey.