What It Was Like To Meet Our Surrogate

A year and a half ago my husband and I drove through Wisconsin on a mission. We were headed to our Match Meeting. We were driving to meet the woman who might carry our baby. I sit here now remembering what it was like to meet our surrogate.  We had already gone through so much by that point. We had a feeling that the Match Meeting would change everything for our family, but we didn’t know then just how right we were.

A few weeks before our meeting Mary emailed us.

“Hi guys,” she wrote. “Do you have time to chat today about a potential surrogate? I would love to talk to you before the weekend and send you her profile. Looking forward to hearing from you!”

“Oh my god,” my husband wrote back, stunned that the moment was already here. “I’m trying to get a hold of Brent. I’m shaking right now!”

“You are going to love her!” Mary wrote.

What We Saw In Our Surrogate’s Profile

My husband and Mary talked that Friday, and Mary sent over our surrogate’s profile, a document similar to the one our surrogate would receive with profile information about my husband and me – info about our family, what we do for work, and our answers to questions about why we were pursuing surrogacy.

Our surrogate’s profile included a letter she wrote to us. In it, she told us about her career as a scientist and how she studied cancer cells to help in early cancer detection. She wrote about her side hustle as a photographer and her husband’s baseball league. She shared that she and the kids attend his games, cheering him on and making sweet summer memories for their kids to carry on.

Then she wrote the part that hit me straight in the heart –

“My children are the light of my life. If I can offer to help someone or a family that is very well deserving to experience the joy I get to experience on a daily basis, then [becoming a surrogate] is a very easy decision for me.”

We were so nervous on the day of our Match Meeting!

Weeks later, I was in the hotel room in Madison, laying out the three shirts I’d brought for the Match Meeting. The appointment had all the feelings of a blind date, and the morning of the meeting I still hadn’t picked my outfit.  I wanted them to like us so much!

We got coffee at Colectivo before heading to the agency, and when we pulled into the office parking lot, I remember scanning every car, looking for a couple that matched the photos Mary had emailed us. “Babe,” I said, “What if we meet them in the parking lot!?!” I was terrified and thrilled. My heart was already pounding, and we hadn’t even seen Mary yet.

It was chilly. November. We left our coats at the front of the office. Mary heard us come in. “This is it!” she cheered, walking us back to a room at the end of the hallway. “Can you believe it!? You’re here!”

We couldn’t believe it, and yet there we were in the room set up for Match Meetings – kids’ toys in the corner, comfy couches, side tables to hold the coffee they offered us. I already had a double espresso. I was a live wire.  

The Minutes Before Our Match Meeting

Our surrogate and her husband hadn’t arrived yet. “We’ll walk them back as soon as they get here,” Mary said. She headed to the front of the office to wait for them to arrive.

After she left, I couldn’t sit down on the couch. My heart was in my throat. She was almost here. This was a person I knew could help us realize the biggest dream we’d ever had. This was someone who was considering helping us, my husband and me, by holding our child in her womb for nine months. I talked nervously with my husband.

“Do you think they’re here yet? Do you think they’re sitting in another room? Do you think they’re as nervous as we are? Should I hug her when I see her? I feel like I want to hug her, and I haven’t even met her yet. How’s my hair? Is there anything in my teeth?”

The Moment We Met Our Surrogate

And the, from the front of the office, cascading down the hallway to the room we were in, we heard Mary and Amy’s joy-filled “Hello!” as the front doors opened.

“Oh my god, babe!” I whisper-shouted. “It’s them.”

Seconds later, walking through the door, there she was. She wore a white lace shirt over a black top. Jet black hair. A big beautiful smile. And I went straight for it.

“Hi!” I nearly yelled, jumping up from the arm of the couch. I leaned in for a hug, tears already welling up and spilling down my cheeks. I hugged her so tight. I couldn’t help it. I hugged her like she might already be our surrogate, but, also, I hugged her with love and admiration, in awe that she was even considering giving this incredible gift to someone like us.

The very first picture with our incredible surrogate!

Looking back, those first hours of the Match Meeting are a blur of questions and giddy, nervous glances from our couch to theirs. Mary and Amy talked to the four of us about our dreams for surrogacy and what we thought we would do if faced with the hardest decisions of pregnancy. My heart filled up just listening to our surrogate’s story of how she had been inspired to help a family have a baby. I felt so much comfort hearing the love in her husband’s voice as he described how he was ready to support her through everything to come. I sat in wonder of the entire journey that brought us together in that room, matched and moving forward.

That’s When We Knew

After the meeting, our surrogate and her husband invited us out to a local brewery. We ordered burgers and beers, and minutes in we were all smiling ear to ear. We talked about our families, our jobs, our favorite TV shows, where we went to college. We giggled at each other’s jokes, stretching out our time together until they finally had to leave to pick up their kids at daycare.

That’s when I knew – sitting there over beers, the four of us nervously and happily looking at each other like kids about to take on a great adventure. I knew then that we were really doing this. We were headed down the surrogacy journey together.

On the way back to Minnesota, I cried.

“It’s happening,” I said to my husband, looking out over the rolling green hills, driving on the same road that brought us to our surrogate. “Babe. We’re going to be parents.”

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