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I agreed to become a surrogate mother, and it changed my life for the better. I urge any woman who wants to help others build a family to do the same, and it’s a lot easier and less emotionally stressful than you might think.

I first became a surrogate about 5 years ago, and I did so for a variety of reasons. There was the desire to help those who cannot have children, but desperately want to raise them – that was a huge motivating factor. However, I have three children of my own, and I had the desire to become pregnant again. I didn’t want to add to my family, so I donated my fertility for another couple.

At first, I felt uneasy. I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone. After all, you will be a mother who cannot raise her child, despite experiencing the highs and lows of pregnancy. For me, the positives outweighed the negatives. I wanted to help. I had friends who couldn’t conceive, so I knew their pain, and I had the capacity to assist, so I did.

Before starting, I was assessed by a mental health expert and placed on the national surrogate database, and in no time a couple of intended parents had chosen me to be the mother of their child.

We had a conference call, and then we met in person. Luckily, we instantly hit it off. I’m a friendly person, and like to think I have a maternal character. The intended parents were younger, optimistic and determined, and we got along really well from the start. They showed confidence in me, and I knew they would care for the baby – which made the whole process so much easier.

Then, came the hard part – getting pregnant. For a few months, me and the intended mother had to synchronize our fertility cycle so that one of her eggs could be ready to implant at the right time. For some people, the hormone drugs required to do so can be a problem, but I managed to handle them well.

Next came implantation. We were in luck. Our embryo implanted without any problems, and we were on our way. It was all done in minutes.

During the pregnancy, I was in regular contact with the intended parents. They weren’t pushy, and respected my boundaries, but we had a good social relationship based upon the needs of the baby. They came to doctor’s appointments, and we looked at ultrasounds together. It was a genuinely shared experience, that gave the mother an emotional bond with the baby from the start.

Whenever we had any issues – and there are always small problems – the firm who coordinated the process provided support. Right at the start of the pregnancy, they made it clear what to expect, and cleared up details about legal issues, costs – the sort of thing that makes the process run smoothly.

Eventually, we came to delivery. It was a relatively easy birth, right on time, with no physical problems. The baby was beautiful and healthy, and the intended parents were there immediately to start bringing up the child.

At first I thought that I would be sad. In other circumstances, having a child taken away like that would be awful, but because of the process, and my role as a giver, it wasn’t sad at all. In fact, it was uplifting and amazing. My own children supported me, as did my partner and friends – all of them felt impressed by my generosity but for me, it was an enjoyable experience. That’s why I’ve done it again since, and recommend that others do the same.