Gestational surrogacy is where the surrogate falls pregnant by having an embryo transfer. More commonly it’s a frozen transfer as the embryos are usually already created, however sometimes it can be a fresh transfer, but that has no difference on the outcome. The surrogate once matched will then have their first consultation at the clinic wherever the couple are already storing there embryos or registered. There’s 2 types of cycle, medicated or unmedicated, that varies depending on the clinic and the possibly age of the surrogate, medical history and the clinics preference. Medicated means the clinic are more in control of the surrogates cycle, and can be a bit more predictable in planning the transfer, and will be supported by the medication the clinic chooses and how the surrogate responds. It can possibly help in delaying a transfer however it’s very hard to explain in full as we are not licensed to give specific medical advice or guidance I’m only explaining from my experience. After the first couple of appointments which usually include scans and blood tests as well as individual and joint counselling sessions they then prepare for the actual transfer by monitoring the lining of the womb and ensuring progesterone levels are correct etc. Once they are happy with everything they proceed with the transfer which is totally painless and the actual procedure itself takes minutes. It’s done by ensuring the surrogate has a full bladder and while one nurse is scanning by an abdominal ultrasound the Dr prepares the surrogate by inserting a catheter directly into the uterus for the actual transfer. Once that’s done the embryologist then brings in the embryo, either one or two will be put back again depending on individual circumstances. It is bought into the room in a syringe and placed at the end of the catheter and then the embryo or embryos are placed directly into the uterus which can be watched on the ultrasound screen and is truly amazing to see. The procedure is painless, maybe very very slight cramping can be felt and once the procedure is done then the surrogate can empty her bladder and resume her normal day however any heavy lifting is not recommend and some people prefer to take things a bit easy. A pregnancy test is then done 10-14 day’s after, normally by a blood test measuring the HCG levels to see whether it’s been successful. After the transfer the surrogate will continue to take progesterone as that’s what supports the pregnancy until usually 12 weeks when the placenta takes over which is taken in many different ways depending on what the clinics decided. The embryos are usually genetically the Intended Parents or depending on each individual case sometimes either egg or sperm donors will have been used to create the embryos, however it’s never biologically linked to the surrogate she merely carries it.
Please note this is from Rachels personal experience, but clinics may vary their methods depending on each individual.
- Intended Parent -
"My husband and I joined Nappy Endings when they were in the early days of starting up so we have got to know Rachel very well.
Both Ursula and Rachel are welcoming, caring and supportive which is really important when going through something which can be an emotional journey at times. Rachel has a policy of being able to contact her 24/7 (both surrogate and parents) which is really reassuring when you need someone to reassure, or advise you on what to do and when. I think the reason Rachel is so good at what she does is because she has been a surrogate and so knows the medical, legal and emotional side of it all.
We have been lucky to have been matched with a surrogate through Nappy Endings and are in the early stages of pregnancy. You don’t realise how much you feel a bond for your baby even though someone else is carrying it. So a massive thank you for making our wish come true Nappy Endings."
- Intended Parent -
"I'm extremely happy with the service I've received from Nappy Endings. Having explored the journey with other surrogacy agencies, I concluded that Rachel and Ursula offer a unique personalised approach which instinctively felt the right fit for me.
Rachel's extensive personal experience with surrogacy combined with her insightful, empathetic, compassionate, problem-solving approach has made a material difference to my pathway to parenthood.
She is always responsive and generous with her time, sharing her wealth of knowledge and proactively looking at ways to support you. She manages to maintain the perfect balance of professionalism and kindness; consistently demonstrating that she is personally invested in helping you fulfil your dream.
Surrogacy has changed my life and having Rachel alongside me has enhanced the journey immensely; I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Nappy Endings."
- Surrogate -
"Nappy endings are the first and only agency I went with as a first-time surrogate .. Rachel and Ursula were amazing from day one but they really proved themselves when things went unexpected (finding out I was carrying triplets) had a lot of complications through the pregnancy. Premature labour, early bleeding etc and they were literally there day and night to answer my calls or texts when I was worried or upset. They are now both friends for life and I couldn’t recommend them enough. I look forward to my next journey xx a w surrogate"
- Surrogate -
"Having been a surrogate with nappy endings from the beginning, I love the fact that Rachel is experienced, has empathy and is always available at the end of the phone 24 hours a day. I always feel in safe hands as her knowledge and expertise is limitless. I really do have great admiration and respect for the team at nappy endings and class Rachel and Ursula as friends (surrogate Kelly)."