Surrogacy – how it all began for me.

Surrogacy – how it all began for me.

Who goes through life thinking that one day they will become a surrogate for a couple that they hardly know? That you would carry a baby for them because for some medical reason they cant fall pregnant themselves and need help of someone like me. Well I am one of those people who just knew, that one day I would become a surrogate. Deep down I knew this was something I could do and probably would do.

I was about 18 years old and at home affairs Wynberg Cape Town one day in the queue, you know how long those can be and I was seated next to a lady who was a social worker. We got chatting and some how the subject of becoming a surrogate came up. I told her that I would easily be a surrogate one day as its something I could see myself doing. She gave me her card and told me that when I do decide to do it that I must call her.

Who knew, 22yrs later this would come true!

I dont remember what I did with her card. All I remember was she had long light brown hair down her back, was slim and probably about in her late 30’s at the time.

At the age of 20yrs old I went to Switzerland to be a home carer for an elderly lady Frida. One of her sons Peter and his wife could not have children. They asked me often if I knew or had friends who if they fell pregnant and didn’t want the child to please consider them. They were desperate and I totally understand that. I so badly wanted to offer myself, to become a surrogate for them and give them the family they always dreamed of but something deep down inside me made me not offer it. I don’t know what or why but my gut said Not to do it.

Eventually they adopted two children but eventually got divorced and practically hate each other now. I don’t know why or the reasons behind it because Peter and myself also had a bit of a falling out but for the life of me I cant remember why either. It just showed me to always trust my gut and that things happen for a reason.

I met Tash and Wayne 18 odd years later. Shaun (my husband) knew Wayne from his younger days.  My catering business (The Business of Catering) had a launch with our new menu’s and they were invited. That night was the first night I met them both but more in passing and we didn’t really get to chat as it was a busy night.

Tasha then used The Business of Catering  to cater for her beauty spa launch called Fake-It and I personally did the launch. Basically from there on I became one of her clients and started going to her for waxing, massages, spray tans, mani’s and pedi’s etc.

Of course as you sit/lay there during treatments you start chatting about arb stuff at first but then as the months and years go by you start getting more comfortable with each other and so her story of how they have struggled to become parents come out.

Her story is crazy heart breaking and I wont go into huge detail about it all as I don’t want to get it wrong but basically when she was a baby a irresponsible doctor put the wrong thermometer up her bum and pierced her rectum and bowels. Since then it has been one messed up operation after another, all done by doctors who think they know better but didn’t, which has led her to not be able to carry her own children.

Tasha’s eggs are also not the best of quality so even though they spent thousands (I think the last tally was half a million rand, I shit you not!) trying to fall pregnant themselves because when you want kids, its your dream to be able to carry your own. I cant blame her, no one can. You want something so bad you will do anything and everything to try and get it but from the start the doctors said they should consider Surrogacy. The problem is, who do you get? Its not like there are 1000 quality ladies standing and waiting for you to pick them to become their surrogate. Well not in SA at least.

The stories you hear about surrogates is quite scary actually. Before it was illegal to get paid to be a surrogate, a lot of woman would come from over the border to do this to earn money. However their main goal was money and not to really help someone to have a family because a lot of these woman would still drink alcohol, do drugs, smoke and sleep around which then resulted in gets Aids.  A lot of these babies then landed up in the system as no one wanted them, not their blood parents as they signed up for a healthy baby and not one with Fetal Alcohol syndrome and definitely not the surrogate because kids cost money especially sick and disabled ones.

So since 2010 the laws changed and you cant get paid to become a surrogate and so therefore the available surrogates are few and far between.

I never wanted to be a surrogate for the money. Even though lets not kid ourselves money is always welcome but because I wanted to be a surrogate to help someone full fill their dreams of having a family. I personally believe I have the personality as well for becoming a surrogate and with Tasha it just felt right.

So when she started to tell me that a surrogate is their only option, I offered. I remember the day so clearly. I was actually about 5 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child but I didn’t want to tell her because I knew her story. I just told her that once I am finished having children then I will become a surrogate for her and I jokingly said she can pay a years school fee’s for Connor for me doing it instead of them wasting their money at the doctors.

Time went by and of course eventually I had to tell her that I was pregnant BUT that once I am done having my 2nd one I would be a surrogate. I even told my gynecologist that once I have had my baby that I will become a surrogate for someone. He told me to wait at least 6 months after giving birth so that my body could heal.

I told Tasha this….. of course she just laughed and carried on with what ever treatment she was busy with me and I kept telling her that I am being serious. I will be her surrogate. People say they will do things but then when it comes to the crunch and time of doing it they back out with 101 excuses. However I was serious and meant it and told her this…..with her smiling and laughing and joking about it.

Then one day I got a inbox message from Wayne, her husband asking me for the contact details of a charity I help support called Miracle Kidz Safe House because they don’t know what do do anymore and maybe they should adopt. I sent a message back reminding him that I was being serious about being their surrogate and I was not joking. However if they want to adopt and feel that this is their path then its a great idea but if they are wanting a surrogate then I am here for them.

I personally think that he sent me the message to see what my response was and to see if I was actually being serious about being a surrogate as I had only really told Tasha that I would be and never to Wayne himself.

So the seed was planted. I spoke to Shaun about it all and he was 100% on board. I remember him saying….. “Babes, you are going to do what you want to do anyway, so I might as well just support you”. However I do have the most supportive husband in the world and if he didn’t think it was a good idea he would of said so in the beginning from the start but he never once raised a concern or questioned why i wanted to do this. He was on board and understood me from the word go. I can be very lucky and grateful for Shaun, he truly is one in a million.

Eventually Wayne and Tasha invited us out for dinner to chat about things…..or how we called it “The big white Elephant in the room”. Wayne and I are very similar, he is basically just a male version of me and very open and honest and like to get things out on the table and in the open, sorted out. So we quickly got it out and spoke it through. Tasha explained some of the legalities and I explained why I am doing this and what we expect and don’t expect out of it. We came to an agreement and Wayne seemed very relieved I wasn’t expecting a million rand for doing this and all was well…..

This was my destiny and theirs, I could just feel it. I don’t know why or what or how but I knew that this was meant to be. How they felt, I don’t know. Maybe one day I will read their version of the story and find out.

My boys
The Laufs Family – Always Laughing.
Tasha and Me at Connor’s 4th birthday party. My doctor gave the go ahead physically here to start the surrogate process.
The McKenzie and Laufs Family – The Beginning of our Surrogacy Journey.

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