Gestational Carrier Spotlight: Sarah M.
"Gestational Carrier Spotlight" is a recognition yield blog series meant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our family development platform. Every month, we’ll get to the heart our gestational carriers so you can get to know them a little bit better and find out what makes them truly remarkable.
Our spotlight this month is Sarah M. From the moment we had our first phone interview with Sarah, we had all the right feels! She is a 2x gestational carrier who chose to do both journeys for all the right reasons. Sarah is a very compassionate and caring individual who prayed about helping families. As a loving wife, mother of two and a registered nurse, by nature she is a nurturer. She genuinely wants to help others in any and every way that she can.
Sarah is currently 27 weeks in her gestational carrier journey and her intended parents couldn't be any happier! As we all anticipate the birth of a beautiful baby boy, we asked Sarah a few questions about her journey and experiences so far.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Sarah Mullins. I am a 33-year-old mother of two biological children with my spouse of 14 years. I work as a nurse at a local hospital and at an outpatient surgery center. I am currently in my 2nd journey as a gestational carrier.
What made you decide to be a gestational carrier?
My husband and I struggled for 13 months to get pregnant with our daughter and 8 months to get pregnant with our son. Even though we did not experience a miscarriage, the constant anxiety and disappointment of so many failed attempts gave us a small idea of how infertility can affect potential parents. Once successful, I enjoyed both of my biological children’s pregnancies. After our second child, my husband and I decided we were fully content with our family and he received a vasectomy. During the years after my children were born, my brother and his wife struggled with infertility. They had two miscarriages before the birth of their son. A few close friends also struggled with infertility. Having been through the scares of infertility myself along with close family and friends, I felt that I could help others achieve their dreams of a completed family. I threw around the idea over a period of three years with my husband and children before we decided to reach out to an agency to help others.
What was the best part of your gestational carrier journey?
The best part of my gestational journey (currently in journey number 2) was the first moments after birth. The couple we were matched with were amazing. We first met them through our skype interview as a potential match. We live in Arizona and at the time, the intended parents lived in Kentucky. Going from strangers to close friends throughout the journey was amazing. The intended parents and the intended father’s parents were present along with my husband for the induced labor and delivery. I can still see the first moments after birth, clear as day in my mind. I had just delivered a healthy baby boy and was looking at the ceiling. As I looked upon the intended mother and father, they were in awe and emotional as they gazed upon their son. I then looked at the intended grandparents and identical reactions were on their faces. I then looked at my husband who was also overcome with emotion as his gaze was focused on the reactions of the parents and grandparents. His support and complete understanding of why I wanted to be a gestational carrier were very visibly clear in that moment. No matter how much we discussed things before and during the journey, I knew at that moment, he was in the same mindset as I was. The couple was very inviting and involved all of us (our children included) at the hospital after birth and with his naming ceremony. It was a touching experience to be involved in significant moment in a different culture.
Did you have any cravings during your gestational pregnancy?
The first gestational pregnancy, I craved pickles and salads with ranch dressing. So far in this 2nd journey, it has been salads with ranch dressing and shrimp cocktails (not necessarily at the same time).
Describe the moment you heard the baby’s first fetal heartbeat.
In both gestational pregnancies, hearing the heartbeat for the first time was such a relief to be able to inform the intended parents of joyful news. Both intended parents had their share of bad new regarding fertility and it was so great to be able to give them hope.
What encouraged you to be a 2x gestational carrier?
My first experience was so wonderful, we (myself, my husband, and both children) were excited to help another couple when the timing was right.
Describe the positive support you received throughout the journey.
My husband and children were and are 100% on board and supportive of both my 1st and 2nd (current) journey. My kids would tell anyone and everyone that their mom was “helping grow a baby for a family that couldn’t.” My work “families” were amazing and helped cover shifts when I had out of state appointments. I felt supported with nearly everyone that we knew.
Do you have any tips for women who are thinking to be a gestational carrier?
Tips… well, the decision to become a gestational carrier should not be taken lightly. You can look up the negative experiences of others online obviously, but it is a blessing to be apart of as long as you and your immediate support system is completely on board with every aspect. I feel that a long internal and external conversation with your immediate support team are a must along with significant research. It took me three years of considering being a gestational carrier as an abstract thought to really considering the possibility as a reality. I do not think that a certain amount of time to research and discuss within yourself and with your immediate support system is logical to pinpoint yet, I strongly believe a potential carrier should take whatever amount of time personally needed to seriously research the process and make sure she is in the right mindset along with her immediate support system.
How has your experience been working with an agency?
Having a supporting agent to assist with the numerous steps throughout the process was essential to facilitate the journey smoothly for me. Even though I now have the experience of two journeys, I cannot imagine doing the whole process independently. I thoroughly enjoyed having someone to navigate the whole process for me and let me know what, when, and where I was needed.