A Surrogate’s Pregnancy and Birth Story
Having had a very unsupported home to hospital transfer birth in Louisiana (a not very midwifery friendly state) Whitney knew one end of the spectrum of hospital birth, something she would happily never opt to experience again. 4 years later, having a swift, cozy, super-supported home birth in Austin, TX with a 10lb, 4oz boy—she experienced the rosey, ideal, other side of the spectrum.
After two very different births of her own children, Whitney was eager to support another family’s desire for children and experience the excitement and awe of birth again. Through consistent ‘flukes’ her gestational carrier journey resulted in the birth of life-long friends and identical twin boys, born naturally (one footling breech). Whitney knew her gestational carrier journey would automatically fall somewhere in the middle—something, as the birthing goddess title she allowed herself to own, she knew she could face either way.
With the twins, she asked her providers for what she wanted and to know all the possible options throughout the entire pregnancy. As with every birth there are some unpredictable turns (literally in this case) and knowing all the options, allowed for the best experience and smoothest recovery she and the twin’s parents could have hoped for.
Whitney LeBlanc Bio
Whitney LeBlanc is the mother to her little lady, Hazel, age 6 and her big boy, Cypress, age 2. Their birth stories are huge contributors to her decisions and experiences along her journey with the twins, and a balancing reminder of the gift it is to be involved in such an experience. She also owns a retail storefront and online specialty store called Enlightened Baby; the atmosphere of expecting women and small children was the perfect nurturing environment for her journey through another pregnancy. She and her husband trust the process, and welcome what the future holds.
Connect with Whitney on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or via her shop Enlightened Baby.
Surrogates Birth Naturally FB Group
Photography by Austin Birth Photos
This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.
The Journey of A Gestational Carrier Birth with Sarah Tuttle & Kara Ford
Today’s birth story podcast episode features Sarah Tuttle and her gestational carrier, turned great friend, Kara Ford. I had the chance to interview both of them and hear the story of how they found one another, how they made the decision to have Kara carry Sarah’s babies and the birth of Sarah and her husband, Chris’ sweet twin girls.
Sarah Tuttle Bio
After multiple methods and attempts at getting pregnant the best diagnosis doctors could give Sarah was “unexplained infertility.” While her infertility journey has been incredibly frustrating, especially being unexplained, Sarah never gave up her dream of becoming a mom. And after almost 9 years of infertility, a miracle happened; her and her husband were blessed with two beautiful twin baby girls through the amazing gift of a gestational carrier. Because of Kara (Sarah’s gestational carrier), Sarah’s dream of becoming a mom finally came true, and she will forever be grateful for this incredible gift.
The girls are now almost 8 months old and are so much fun! They keep Sarah very busy, not to mention her part time job. Sarah has worked for Dressing Your Truth for almost 10 years where she is a wardrobe stylist, and passionate teacher, helping women rediscover and embrace their true beauty. You can read more about Sarah’s journey to and through motherhood on her blog or on Instagram.
Kara Ford’s Bio
Kara Ford decided to become a gestational carrier because she was so blessed to be able to have children of her own and the love she has for her own children is so immense. She wanted that for everyone! She knew that there were women who were not able to carry a child for whatever reason and had so much compassion for them and wanted to be able to help them in any way she could. Kara felt that carrying a baby for someone was a way that she could show her love for those who have struggled. She met Sarah and knew immediately that she was somebody that was so deserving of being a mother and knew that she was to be the vessel that helped get her little twin girls here. She knows that she and Sarah will forever have a sacred bond.
This episode is sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last. At the end of this episode I’ll be talking to Amanda, about her experience using Babylist.
Surrogate Pregnancy and Birth
When surrogate, Ashley, measured large at her 38 week check, the decision was made to induce her at 39 weeks. Intended parents Nancy and Justin flew from Chicago to Utah, where their surrogate Ashley was set to deliver. Only three days later, they were all together in a labor and delivery room as Ashley was induced with a drip of Pitocin. While labor progressed uneventfully in the beginning, pushing lasted hours as baby Audrey’s head was very large and stuck. Following nearly four hours of pushing, and close to being prepared for a c-section, baby Audrey was born on a strong push at 10:21 pm. Nancy, her intended mother, cut Audrey’s cord and immediately took her into her arms for skin-to-skin bonding as feelings of gratefulness and awe washed over her.
Nancy Rohde Bio
Over three years of infertility treatments and three different doctors told Nancy that she would never be able to conceive a child. Heartbroken, she and her husband turned to surrogacy. Quickly matched with a surrogate, they were further crushed when she experienced a chemical pregnancy and lost the baby before a heartbeat could be detected. Finding it too difficult to move forward, the surrogate abruptly exited their agreement to attempt another transfer.
Feeling hopeless, Nancy and her husband decided to try more IVF attempts on Nancy while searching for another surrogate. Two further IVF transfers resulted in negative pregnancy tests while they were matched with their second surrogate, Ashley. While proceeding with legal and medical clearance for Ashley, Nancy tried one final IVF cycle. To her complete shock, it resulted in her first positive pregnancy test ever. Scared about losing the baby after so many struggles, and thrilled to have finally been matched with Ashley as their surrogate, Nancy and her husband decided to proceed with the surrogate pregnancy as well. Exactly five weeks after Nancy became pregnant, her surrogate Ashley became pregnant as well. Both babies were carried to 39 weeks and were born healthy and happy.
Today Nancy lives in Chicago with her husband and two precious daughters. Lilly is 11 months old, and Audrey is 10 months old. Nancy works in the investment management industry as an equity manager researcher when she isn’t at home doting on her miracle babies. Nancy also blogs under the name “Mrs. Starfish” on the pregnancy and parenting blog Hellobee.com. She has written extensively there about her infertility journey, her amazing surrogacy experience, and her current crazy and wonderful life with multiples! Read more from Nancy at Hellobee.
Ashley Brown Bio
Growing up a Navy brat, Ashley lived several different places; but she calls Washington home. It is there she met and married her husband, Josh. After marrying, they moved to Hawaii to continue their college educations. Ashley graduated from BYU-Hawaii with a Bachelors of Social Work. Just a few months before graduation, Josh and Ashley happily welcomed their first child. Upon completion of her internship and after much discussion they settled in Utah, where they had two more children. During the time after graduation and growing their family, Ashley went back and forth between being a stay-at-home Mom and a working Mom. Once she felt they were done having children of their own, Ashley turned to surrogacy with the support of her husband. Ashley currently works as a teaching assistant at a local elementary school.
Pink & Blue Surrogacy
This episode is sponsored by WavHello. BellyBuds by WavHello are adhesive speakers that gently adhere to mom’s baby bump. BellyBuds help reduce stress, stimulate early development, and promote positive connectivity in the brain through music. Nancy and her husband recorded themselves reading stories for their surrogate to play for their daughter throughout the pregnancy, which helped them bond with their baby, even from states away!
Learn more about BellyBuds at wavhello.com.
A Surrogacy Journey
When Tiffany’s sister-in-law had to have a hysterectomy after a postpartum hemorrhage with her first birth, Tiffany almost immediately offered to be their surrogate for a future child. After some time passed and lots of planning and discussion, they decided to go down the path of surrogacy with Tiffany carrying her brother and sister-in-laws next child. It turned out to be two babies instead of one and soon Tiffany was pregnant with their twin boys! In this episode Tiffany talks about the process of planning for this pregnancy, actually getting pregnant and finally giving birth to her brother’s babies! It’s a story of unconditional love and such a great listen!
Tiffany Burke Bio
Tiffany Burke is a full time photographer, and a mother of two boys, Holland who is 11 years old and Blakey who is 7 years old. She is married to her husband Sean, who works in the film industry. They live in Tacoma, Washington. Read more about her story on her Surrogacy Blog or connect with Tiffany on Instagram and Facebook.
Surrogacy Website Recommended by Tiffany
Successful Surrogacy: An Intended Parents’ Guide to a Rewarding Relationship With Their Surrogate Mother
Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories
The Very Kind Koala: A Surrogacy Story for Children
BabyMoon Retreat – October 25-30, 2016
The Babymoon Retreat exists to bring joy and adventure back to preparing for baby. In this 5-day retreat, expecting couples get their last big hurrah together before baby arrives while also completing comprehensive preparation classes for birth, breastfeeding and baby care. Each day is balanced between classroom time as a group and unstructured evenings for couples to explore and enjoy Enchantment Resort on their own. It’s two birds with one very fabulous stone.
BabyMoon Retreat Giveaway
One VERY LUCKY listener of The Birth Hour will win the full BabyMoon Retreat package valued at $4990—enter the giveaway here before Sept. 5! There is also a special offer code for anyone interested in signing up for the retreat use code: birthhour to get $1000 off the price of the entire retreat! Hope to see some of you in Sedona!