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One Month

One month ago, my incredible journey as a surrogate ended when I gave birth to little Zachary.  It was the most beautiful night, filled with smiles and laughter as a special little boy was getting ready to enter this world.  As many times as I rehearsed it all out in my head, there was no way I could have predicted the miracle that happened that night.

surrogacy

It’s hard to believe, it’s already been a month.

I’m not sure if any of this will make sense because only a few short sentences in and the tears are already falling.  Not because I’m sad but because I’m simply overwhelmed with emotion.

It was eight years ago that I first talked to my husband and mother about being surrogate.  I felt called to take on this extraordinary task and I have such a feeling of accomplishment for finally completing it.  We are all called to do things in life — some easy, some hard — and while this was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, I’d do it all over again.

The night of Zachary’s birth was something I’ll never forget.  Having already given birth to my three children, I knew exactly what to expect.  Only I wasn’t calling the shots.  Little Zachary had it all under control and he made sure to let us know.

I had been experiencing contractions for three weeks leading up to actual labor.  I felt like I was constantly tracking them on my iPhone and they were almost consistent – every ten minutes – for three weeks.  Most of them weren’t painful, just annoying and by the time it was actually happening, I was still questioning if it was really labor.

My biggest fear throughout the entire pregnancy was giving birth without his parents making it to the hospital in time.  They live about six hours away and with my longest labor only lasting about six hours, it was a justified fear.

If I learned anything during this entire pregnancy, it was that as much as I love control, I’m not in control.  The One who put this whole journey in motion, The One who brought us together, The One who gives life — He had it all under control.

I look back now and see how everything all fell in place.  Zachary’s parents were planning on coming in Saturday (the day after I gave birth) but for some reason decided to come in on Friday (his birth day).  They were already on their way when I started having more frequent contractions.

My family and I were all at the salon getting our hair cut when I started to notice the contractions were getting a bit uncomfortable.  After we were done with all our haircuts, we decided to head to my husbands favorite Mexican restaurant to get dinner.  It was there that I realized that they were coming more frequently than before.  When I first started tracking them, they were eight minutes apart.  Then seven minutes. Then six minutes.

I decided to call my mother and to leave the restaurant to run by our house to finish packing my bag for the hospital.  I put Zachary’s parents on alert and advised them it was probably time to drive a little bit faster because the contractions had picked up.

crystal in labor

We arrived at the hospital, got checked in to the triage room and learned that I was already 6-7cm dilated at about 8pm.  Talk about being surprised.  While the contractions were uncomfortable at times, I wasn’t really experiencing much pain.

Then of course, my contractions pretty much stopped.  The parents hadn’t arrived at the hospital yet and were still an hour or so away, so while I was a bit bummed that they stopped, I knew it would give them time to arrive for his birth.

watching monitor during labor

I wish we could have recorded everything about that night.  I’m sure my labor and delivery nurse thought we were all crazy and I fully admit that we are, but birth is something to be celebrated.  It didn’t matter that is wasn’t my child, it was a child, a miracle, and we were going to celebrate his pending arrival.

labor with labor ball

When Zachary’s parents finally arrived, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and I knew it was time to get the show on the road.  The on-call doctor wanted to start Pitocin, but since I was doing this au naturel, I politely declined and just asked if they could break the bag of water.  He happy obliged at about 10:15pm, and minutes later the contractions started again.  Nothing too terrible just yet because as you can see I was checking Facebook on my iPhone.

crystal in labor

Shortly after though, things started picking up and the contractions started to kick in overdrive.  Since the water had already been broken, I definitely noticed a difference in the contractions and they started to hurt a little.  It didn’t seem like long at all until they started to get more intense and much more frequent.  At times it felt like a never-ending contraction.

crystal in labor

That night, my husband was simply unbelievable.  He was there and amazing during the birth of each of our own children, but that night, he showed me just how special he is.  He rubbed my back, he held my hand, he put chapstick on my lips, he gave me ice, he told me that he knew I could it.  I don’t know how I ended up with this sweet soul, but I’m so thankful I get to spend my life with him.

At 11pm the contractions were one right after the other and I could tell things were getting close.  They checked my cervix and I was 9cm dilated.  The next 52 minutes tested my character (as I tried not to yell at people talking to me and telling me what to do), tested the trust in myself and tested my determination to push through.

crystal in labor

Those last several minutes before giving birth have always been the hardest for me.  Each time I felt like giving up, like a failure for wanting to give up, but it’s then I know that I don’t have to do it much longer.  The agony of those last few minutes quickly fade once baby enters the world.  This makes it all worth it.

birth of zachary

After a few hours of bonding with his mother and father, they brought him in to my room and I got to spend a few minutes with him.

crystal and zachary

I am so thankful for those few minutes with him.  I got to hold him, look at his little feet and hopefully he felt how much I absolutely adored him.  Most of the surrogacy I was worried about how he would feel, after hearing my voice, my heartbeat, to have all that taken away and replaced with his mothers.  In those few minutes, I hope he knew that I wasn’t saying goodbye, but instead, I’ll see you later.

During the past month, I can’t say it’s been easy, but I can say that I don’t regret my decision in the slightest.  Every time his mother sends me a picture I see how content he is.  Little Zachary is loved by so many and will have a life that many people only dream of.  He’s an answer to prayer, a blessing, a miracle…and I’m honored to be a small part of his story.

About Crystal

Crystal Reagan, the owner and founder of SimplyBeingMommy.com lives in Small Town, Texas with her husband and 3 children. Crystal and her website have been featured on local and national news stations including Channel 2 Houston and ABC News. She has also appeared on BetterTV as a Mommy Expert for VTech.

Comments

  1. 1

    Crystal, you are so amazing and inspiring. I am here in tears reading this. God bless your heart!!

  2. 3

    Oh Crystal, Zachary is so perfect! I know you did a wonderful thing, but really, I think I would not have been able to give him away, lol…he is sooo cute! I’d smuggle him into my luggage and take him home with me 🙂

    • 4

      He is perfect, isn’t he? It was hard walking away, but I know that little boy is being loved to pieces by his parents. It brings me peace.

  3. 5

    What an amazing post and an even more extraordinary act of selflessness and kindness. You are a true angel Crystal! Thank you for sharing your surrogacy delivery with us.

  4. 7

    What a beautiful journey. Thank you so much for sharing the birth story, you are simply amazing.

  5. 9

    Thank you for sharing your story with us- and thank you for giving someone who couldnt on their own be parents have the special joy!

  6. 11

    Absolutely beautiful- this post, you, the entire journey, and little Zachary. Thank you for sharing!

  7. 13

    In tears. So so proud of you xo

  8. 15

    In. Tears.

    Beautiful, Crystal. … just beautiful.

  9. 17

    You are simply amazing in so many ways! What a beautiful gift you gave. <3

  10. 19

    You are blessed and have passed a blessing along. So special! <3

  11. 21

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. You are amazing!!!

  12. 23

    I’m in tears too. Simply incredible. You should feel so proud of your journey and the gift you made possible. The greatest gift. Thinking of you. xoxo

  13. 25

    I officially cried reading this. You did such an amazing thing and he is such a beautiful boy.

  14. 27

    I am just in awe at the most perfect gift one human could give to another. Thank you for helping these parents.

  15. 29

    I’m sitting here in tears as well. Very touching! You have given the most precious gift of all — life. What an amazing woman!

  16. 31

    What an amazing story Crystal and such an amazing gift. Thank you for sharing and congrats on such a wonderful accomplishment.

  17. 33

    What an absolutely beautiful and touching post. What you did was absolutely amazing. I can say what you did took so much strength.. I don’t think it would be something I can do emotionally until I knew I had my family full – it is definitely a blessing!

  18. 35

    Congratulations Crystal. You done good 🙂

  19. 37

    Congratulations Crystal. I’m sure his parents will forever hold you in a special place in their hearts. You gave them an unimaginable gift.

  20. 39

    Crystal – I adore you for so many reasons. You are an incredible person. You are obedient in His word and you are a reminder of what it means to be selfless. I am grateful for your inspiration to others and feel blessed to call you a friend. I love you and look forward to sharing your story. xo

  21. 41

    Such an amazing story! He is so precious and that is such a beautiful thing you did. This whole post was super emotional, your husband – he’s a keeper. Thank you for sharing.

  22. 43

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  23. 45

    What a beautiful story. Such an amazing gift of life.

  24. 47

    Do you mind if I share this with the support group? You did such an amazing job and I am so proud of you!

  25. 49

    Beautifully written, thank you for sharing your story with the world!!!

  26. 51

    What a very special and beautiful post! I think you are amazing and one of the kindest people I know. I was hoping you would have him on the 9th though, almost…

    • 52

      Aww, thank you Stefani. I really appreciate your kind words.

      I tried to hold off, but he wasn’t having it. He was ready to meet his parents.

  27. 53
    Emily @FamilyNLifeLV says:

    You have been on my mind and in my thoughts a lot this past month. I prayed your journey would end happily and you would still have the peace that you had prior to getting pregnant for them. I’m glad to read you do. He’s perfect. What an amazing gift! PS – totally crying.

  28. 55

    You are amazing. I find it so admirable that you were a surrogate. I’d love to be able to help out a family some day and do that.

  29. 57

    You are incredible.

  30. 59

    Crystal,
    There is a special place in heaven for you and all the surrogates and birth moms if the world.
    I thank God everyday for my amazing baby girl who I have been blessed to mother for 14 years. Her birth mother gave me the gift of motherhood due to her selfless act of putting her baby up for adoption.

  31. 61

    thank you for sharing this incredible story. What a gift you have given them

  32. 63
    Wendy GC says:

    I love your story!! I’ve also been a surrogate mother and reading your story brought back all those special memories, and most of all is the moment the parents hold their baby for the first time. You are a very special person to have done this, keep that inside you always <3

    • 64

      It’s great to hear from another surrogate mother. That first time seeing them together is absolutely priceless. Thank you for stopping by!

  33. 65

    Beautiful!!!

  34. 67

    This is beautiful and such an amazingly wonderful thing that you did. I am so crying right now.

  35. 69

    Crystal, what a blessing you have given to this family. I learned the same lesson during pregnancy – that I could not control a thing and it drove me nuts, lol.

  36. 71

    Loved hearing the whole story. He is just precious and you did great. My surrogacy journey was by far the greatest thing I have ever done, aside from giving birth to my own boys of course.

  37. 73

    You did amazing! I loved reading this. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  38. 75

    That’s such a beautiful story. You’re such a strong & generous person for doing that, and it’s a wonderful thing that you did.

  39. 77

    Beautiful post!

  40. 79

    Crying over this but also laughing because my husband still loves to point out that I was on Twitter during my 2nd labor. lol.

    This journey has been so inspiring beyond words. You are an amazing woman.

  41. 81

    So lovely. I was blessed with my daughter later in life, after many years of trying. You have given Zachary’s parents the most wonderful gift of all.

  42. 83

    What an amazing gift you just gave.

    What an understatement I just made.

    I think God has a special place just for you. Beautiful.

  43. 85

    That is amazing. I don’t think I could do it.

  44. 87

    What a beautiful story and gift you gave another couple. You are a very special person, Crystal! Zachery is beautiful!

  45. 89

    I could SO feel your emotions in this post. This is an absolutely beautiful story of your wonderful gift. Hugs and love, sweetie!

  46. 91

    Wow! What a journey. I think being a surrogate is such an amazing gift. I can’t imagine the mix of emotions you must have experienced and are still experiencing but I am pretty sure that the number of prayers said over your journey and in praise for your sacrifice have made a very special place in Heaven for you.

    I wish you well as you continue on the path with your three and whatever new adventures on which you embark. I look forward to following your path (and getting to know you via Wildside!)
    🙂
    Traci

    • 92

      Thank you, Traci! It’s been an emotional journey, for sure, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

      I take great comfort in knowing I pleased Him and did what He asked me to do. As hard as it is, He’ll take care of me.

  47. 93

    WOW! What an incredible journey.

  48. 95

    What a great story! You are so selfless.

  49. 97

    I am shedding tears, beautiful post Crystal! You are truly an inspiration. Doing this amazing journey for a family. My heart is so happy for all that was part of this!

    • 98

      I didn’t mean to make you cry. Thank you for your kind words. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. It was truly an honor to be Zachary’s surrogate mother.

  50. 99

    Just amazing. Nothing short of it.

    I LOVE birth stories but this one is so so special. You’re such a strong woman and what a gift! What. a. gift.

    • 100

      Thank you Jamie! I keep reading it over and over again because I don’t want to ever forget, not even one small detail. It was such a special night.

  51. 101

    What a great story. Isn’t life grand! Especially new life.
    Bless you both.

  52. 103

    Oh Crystal sweetie, you did such an amazing job writing this post. I am so proud of you. I know it must have been so hard, yet rewarding all at once. You really are a “new kinda hero” to me and I don’t say that lightly. There is a VERY special crown awaiting you in heaven and I hope I’m nearby when you receive it so I can cheer – “yeah, that’s my friend”. Thank you for being obedient to a very unique and important call God had on your life. He equipped you; He provided family and friends to support you, a strong healthy body to endure it, and the spirit of joy and love to see you through! You are Simply Amazing!

  53. 105

    Great birth story. I’m so amazed at your strength. We need more people like you in the world and I’m sure Zachary will grow to love you just as much as we do.

  54. 107

    Thank you so much for making someone’s dreams come true! Your karma is amazing.

  55. 109

    What an amazing gift you gave!

  56. 111

    It’s so wonderful what you did!!

  57. 113

    Wow! Thanks for sharing, this is a wonderfully inspiring story. Thanks for acknowledging Him in it all. I’m sure you will be blessed for doing such a beautiful thing for someone else.

  58. 115

    You are an amazing person! He is precious.

  59. 117

    You know I adore you! Thank you for sharing such a raw post. xo

  60. 119

    What a beautiful story and a beautiful baby boy! He is precious and I’m sure his family is enjoying every minute of it. A family you helped create – how awesome it that?! So proud of you! 🙂

  61. 121

    Crystal, you are an amazing woman!

  62. 123

    It takes a very special person to be a surrogate! Thank you for sharing your birth story! You are amazing for giving Zachary’s parents a chance at parenthood!

  63. 125

    such a beautiful memory and a much blessed story I hope his parents print this post and save it to share with him one day. Blessing to you Crystal and your big heart

  64. 127

    What a truly special person you are! That little guy is part of a great family thanks to all of your help and sacrifice. I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching him grow up.

  65. 129

    you still doing well?

  66. 131

    Wow. Congratulations! This reminds me of how quickly time passes and our babies grow up. 🙂

  67. 133

    What an amazing person you are for doing all that so another couple can have a child.

  68. 135

    Having just become a mother to a gorgeous boy myself, I can understand the magnitude of what you have done. It’s an amazing story, he is a beautiful boy and you are a very special human being. X

  69. 137

    I can only imagine the overwhelming emotions you must be feeling. You have given such an amazing gift. I hope that by sharing your story, more women will make the decision to be surrogates.

  70. 139
    J Daniels says:

    What a touching, moving story. Thanks for sharing. Jane

  71. 141

    Oh Crystal, what an incredible journey you were called for. I can’t imagine all of the emotions you must be going through right now but it’s so unbelievably selfish and amazing of you to be a surrogate. My thoughts and prayers are with you right now as you go through this time.

  72. 143

    Crystal you are such an amazing woman! You have done something so incredible and not many people can say that.

  73. 145

    Maybe it’s my own pregnancy hormones, but I am FINALLY reading this… and now you’ve got me all teared up! SO well written, and such an amazing thing you did. Proud to know you ma’am.

    • 146

      Totally didn’t mean to make you tear up, especially since your pregnant 😉 And thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.

  74. 147
    Alison Johnson says:

    A truly selfless act by an extraordinary woman – there is a special place reserved in heaven for such people! Bearing a child is an incredibly arduous process, the hardest thing in the world – doing it for someone else is the ultimate act of kindness and compassion!

  75. 149

    what an amazing woman you are! you brought me to tears. your husband was awesome!

  76. 151

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think you’re amazing and that little guy is truly blessed.

  77. 153

    Incredible story! Wow! That was amazing of you to do!

  78. 155

    Wow girl – you are simply an amazing mommy and woman. Your post had me in tears and I’m sure that Zachary will know some day just how blessed and lucky he is. Way to go girl! We’re proud of you!!!

    • 156

      Thank you Shannon. All these comments truly mean so much to me right now. Zachary is incredibly blessed and I’m thrilled to still be a small part of his life. His family is great at updating me and sending pictures. I couldn’t be any happier to have been able to make their dream come true.

  79. 157

    I cried when I read this. You are just amazing and I would love to be able to give this gift to someone one day…when I know I would be strong enough 🙂

  80. 159

    What a beautiful baby, and a wonderful birth story. Pregnancy was always easy for me, and I’ve thought about being a surrogate, but I’m just afraid of how I would handle it emotionally. What a blessing you are to his family!

  81. 161

    Awwww what a great birth story! What an amazing gift you’ve given. One not many can give. As someone who has struggled with years of infertility I know this meant the world to those parents. 🙂

  82. 163

    What a beautiful gift you’ve given. I’ve often thought about becoming a surrogate, but wonder how I’d feel after – sad, depressed, happy etc.

  83. 165

    How very sweet. What a gift. Totally in tears reading this.

  84. 167

    What a beautiful story, you are such an amazing person to give those parents such a beautiful blessing.

    • 168

      Thank you, Jenn! I hope I never forget one single detail about this journey! I’m still in awe that I was a part of this miracle.

  85. 169

    This brought tears to my eyes.
    I think you are simply amazing. The gift you have given to Zachary and his IPs is priceless.
    You truly are a blessing

  86. 171

    I have so much admiration for you, what a wonderful thing to do! I want to cry just thinking about it, and not because I am imagining how sad I would be because you couldn’t be completely sad knowing that child was such a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing this. He is adorable, too! 🙂

  87. 173

    I know I read this a few months ago but I just stopped by and re-read it and I’m in tears. You are such a strong, amazing woman! Zachary and his parents are so blessed!

  88. 175

    It truly requires vast amount of strength for a woman to do what you did for Zachary and his family. As I read your story I asked myself if I would be able to do what you did. Could I be a surrogate? And I honestly do not know if I could.

    Kudos to you!

  89. 177

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am about to embark on the journey that is being a surrogate mom. I’m reading everything I can find. I do have a question though. How did you tell your children that you were going to be a surrogate? Did they understand and support the decision?

    • 178

      Hi Dana and congratulations! It’s such an exciting and rewarding journey.

      I have a book called “Surrogacy Helps Make a Family Grow” by Sharon LaMothe and Tina Rella that I read my to my children. We asked their thoughts, we asked if it was okay with them, we made them a part of the decision process. We made them feel a part of the whole process and they understood as much as their young minds would allow. They supported the whole process and they think of little Zachary all the time. Not in a sad way, but in a happy way. We are still very much involved with the IP’s and they send pictures and updates all the time.

      Good luck with your journey! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  90. 179
    C.A. Martin says:

    Oh my gosh, I had to get the Kleenex!
    Hi! Bless you for your generosity. What a gift! I hope you are doing well.

    My name is Chris, and I’m helping my son and daughter-in-law find an “oven” for one of the embryos they were so fortunate to create. 😉

    She had a partial hysterectomy some years back. She married my son last year, and they would like to have a child. We would love to have a grand baby, and we would be so happy with just one if so blessed. If I was younger and healthy, I would consider as carrier, but that’s not an option for me at 61 and a leukemia survivor with some health issues who had a 3% chance. I’m very blessed to be alive.

    We live in SC. Our state is not surrogate friendly with insurance, but I understand there are about 20 states that are. Thank you for any leads you can recommend or know of anyone who you might consider being a surrogate. I see that you would do it again; some people just have a calling. I heard that last week when my husband had back surgery. There was a large group of people in pre-op registration…a young woman donated her kidney to a stranger! 😉 I’m about breathless for your acts of kindness. Ahh… Sincerely, Chris

    • 180

      Hi Chris! Thank you so much for your comment.

      Surrogacy definitely changed my life, for the better, and has made me more aware of the needs around me.

      I’m sorry to hear that SC is not a surrogate-friendly state. I just don’t understand that at all…it’s so sad. I used Prime Genetics here in Texas. I know they work with families all across the world so that may be an option.

      If you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly at crystal (@) simplybeingmommy (.) com.

  91. 181

    Thanks for sharing your story. What a strong woman you are! I am starting this process soon and the only thing I’m bot sure about is the emotions after of course. I’m glad to hear you would do it again.

    • 182
      C A Martin says:

      Crystal and Jessica, you are two very strong, special women to help women who would otherwise not be able to have a child. Bless you both. If I was only younger I could help my kids in this way. 🙁
      I look forward to following your journey, Jessica. And thanks for your follow up Crystal.

  92. 183
    Katie Marks says:

    Crystal,

    Thank you for sharing your story! I also feel called to be a surrogate mother, but unfortunately it’s not possible here in Michigan. Our friends struggled with infertility for years and I would have loved nothing more than to carry their child, but with the unfortunate laws here, it’s not possible. God bless you for your selfless gift. I would love to hear an update on you and the baby!

  93. 185

    Wow! Such a neat yet sad story. I am so glad that you’re still in touch with his parents and they let you see pictures of him. How neat 🙂

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