‘You’re stuck with me now!’ The dads and I got closer than I thought possible. ‘Soon, this will be your reality.’: Surrogate births baby for same-sex couple, ‘I’m so blessed to provide joy for families’

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“My husband, Miguel, and I have two amazing boys. Starlin, age four, and Aliyas, age three. After having our second baby, I knew our family was complete. I still wanted to experience pregnancy again, though. I love the feeling of having another little life inside of me.

Being from the Dominican Republic, Miguel didn’t know what surrogacy entailed. After explaining the process, procedures, and specifics of surrogacy, he was on board. Both of our hearts come from a place of giving.

Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella

In February 2018, we were matched with our first family. The process went fairly quickly, and on Dec 31, 2018, I gave birth to a baby girl. My first surrogacy journey had just come to an end, and as I sat in the delivery room I immediately knew I wanted to do another surrogacy. More specifically, a surrogacy for a same-sex couple.

Six months later, I was matched with a same-sex couple from Miami. Reading over their profile, I was instantly drawn to them. A few days later, we had a Skype call to meet and get to know each other further. During the Skype call, my oldest was pulling dirty clothes out of the laundry bin and playing around in them, as though they were freshly fallen autumn leaves. I remember being so embarrassed, but the guys laughed and I told them, ‘Soon, this will be your reality.’

Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella

On August 30, 2019, I was scheduled to go to the fertility clinic for a medical screening. However, the night of August 29th, my Dad passed away. Our journey was put on hold for a bit as I rode the waves of fresh grief. In October 2019, things started moving along, and then by January 2020 we were ready for an embryo transfer. During these months, the Intended Fathers and I didn’t have much communication, but I knew their excitement was mixed with anxiety. Their past of trying to have a family was not an easy one, so I wanted to do everything in my power to ease their minds and become pregnant with a sweet baby for them to hold nine months later.

Three months of daily injections (sometimes twice a day), suppositories, and other medications were taking a toll on me this time. After one of the injections I just started cryingout of pain, out of exhaustion, out of nausea, out of pure, hormonal emotions. My husband, holding the syringe, looked at me and said, ‘You’re so much stronger than most people. I wouldn’t be able to go through all these shots. You’re strong.’ I felt those words so deeply from my husband. Surrogacy isn’t for everybody for a reason. You share your mind, body, and time with this process. You give up time with your family. Your body is pumped with hormones to prep and withstand a pregnancy, so your emotions are all over the place. With all of that, though, it is 100% worth it.

On January 30, 2020, we transferred one boy embryo. I went home, and five days later I took a home pregnancy test…IT WAS POSITIVE! I kept testing everyday until I got a digital that said PREGNANT! I immediately called one of the Intended Fathers and said, ‘I have some bad news for you.’ He said, ‘It’s okay,’ with such a sad tone, and I replied, ‘You guys are stuck with me for the next nine months!’ They couldn’t be happier and neither could I. As a surrogate, you join in on the couple’s excitement and anticipation of a baby.

Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella

The next eight months would be a roller coaster. We navigated through OB appointments, new pregnancy terms for the guys, my husband moving away for work, and a pandemic. With COVID, the Intended Fathers could only join two ultrasounds. It wasn’t how we wanted the journey to go. We planned to see each other more and have them join most appointments.

Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella

Every Sunday, I’d send them the pregnancy update of what fruit or vegetable baby boy was, and we would laugh at the random fruit chosen. I remember one of the Intended Fathers asking when I thought baby boy would come, and I said, ‘October 1st or early October,’ which would be about 37/38 weeks. With my birth history, I tend to deliver around 38 weeks. However, this little man had other plans.

Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella

With my husband away in Tennessee and the hospital only allowing one support person for baby and one support person for me, I chose my best friend. If she wasn’t available, my other best friend would attend to support me. However, COVID had other ideas. Both tested positive for COVID around the time of my induction. With my Mom watching the boys while I’d delivered, I would have no support person.

Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella

On Oct 14, 2020, at 5:54 p.m., surro-baby boy made his appearance. I was scheduled for an induction at 6 a.m. Entering the labor suite, I was already at 4cm dilated. The midwife immediately broke my water at 7 a.m. I texted the Dads who were at a hotel around the corner to come, just in case things progressed quickly. After having two epidurals inserted because one failed, pushing for over three hours, crying, repeating, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ wanting to give up, and asking for my husband, little man was born sunny-side up to his Daddies that evening.

I remember wanting to give up, and repeatedly asking my Dad in Heaven to help me and give me strength, because I couldn’t push anymore. Not having a personal support person to hold your hand, encourage you, or feed you love when you’re in some of the worst pain ever is very difficult. However, those two days in the hospital have brought my Intended Fathers and I so close. So much closer than I have ever dreamed of. They send me daily pictures and videos of the sweet boy I delivered.

I’m so absolutely grateful to be a two-time surrogate. I’ve provided joy to two different families, and I’m blessed to have been able to do that.”

Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella
Courtesy of Crystal LaTorella

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Crystal LaTorella . You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more beautiful stories about surrogacy here:

‘When we saw the ultrasound, I almost fainted. ‘We need to hire some staff!’ It was an enormous gift.’: Gay dads welcome triplets through surrogacy, ‘We’re surrounded by love’

‘YES! Could this actually be true? One sister the surrogate, the other sister an egg donor!’: Gay dads reveal ‘blessed’ surrogacy journey with sisters, the ‘most fabulous aunties imaginable’ to their son

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