Through accidentally synced cycles, a last-minute cancelation, and unbelievably perfect timing, first-time surrogates Danielle and Mallory both became pregnant for the same intended parents at the same time…with the exact same due dates!
They had just begun their sibling surrogacy journey together, a life-changing, year-long process that not only gave them an unparalleled level of support but also created a life-long, sisterly bond between the two. We asked them if they’d be willing to share the ups and downs of their sibling journey and tell us in their own words what inspired them to become surrogates and how it has changed their lives forever.
What inspired you both to become surrogates?
Danielle: I have always been fascinated by adoption and surrogacy and immersed myself in the topics purely out of curiosity. So, I was really knowledgeable about the subject, but after 7 years of trying to get pregnant, I started to believe that I would never be a mom.
However, after a few major improvements to my health, I gave birth to two beautiful children! Pregnancy completely changed my world, and because I had already done so much research on surrogacy, I was inspired to reach out to GSHC to begin my surrogacy journey.
Mallory: I really love being pregnant! It’s just really exciting, and there’s always something new to look forward to. And my fianci and I have two young sons and we feel like our family is complete. But because I really enjoyed being pregnant, through surrogacy, I’m able to fulfill that joy of being pregnant while also being able to give the gift of a child to someone else who might have a harder time.
How were you matched on your sibling journey?
D: I was already a few months into my journey and was originally matched with another surrogate sister, who backed out at the last minute. I then went ahead with my first transfer, but unfortunately miscarried at 5 weeks and took some time to rest before the 2nd transfer.
M: Meanwhile, GSHC matched me with the same sweet couple from China, and by some stroke of luck, my cycle was completely synced with Danielle’s. So, we both became pregnant at the same time and even had the same due dates!
How were you matched with your IP’s?
D: I was originally matched with different intended parents, but they delayed surrogacy so I got switched to a new couple. I spoke with them on WeChat and they decided that I was a good fit for what they were looking for.
M: I got to meet the father on video a while after. GSHC put up a profile online of me and my family, my preferences, what I’d want after my journey, etc. Usually, the process takes a long time. I hadn’t even started the medical process yet, but GSHC felt like this couple would be a perfect fit, and matched us right away.
D: It was pretty hard to communicate at first because of the language barrier and time difference, but the IP’s seemed so sweet and excited to become parents. We kept in touch with them weekly to update them about our appointments, and share photos and videos of the babies moving.
M: When I spoke to the father, he was so sweet and grateful. I could tell instantly that he and his wife wanted this so badly. And I knew that I wanted to give them this gift. The mom was a little shyer, but Danielle asked her more direct questions to get her to open up. I think that all she needed was that ice breaker, and then our communication was much more relaxed. I really hope that we get to stay in touch with them for years to come.
What was your experience like being surrogates at the same time?
D: Once we matched on our sibling surrogacy journey, we kept in touch almost every day. We would exchange updates about our appointments, share our challenges, give encouragement or advice, and wish each other “Happy 27 Weeks” with each corresponding week of our pregnancy. We became really close.
M: It felt so amazing to have someone going through the exact same experience, at the exact same time, with the same intended parents. And even though we both had lots of support from friends, family, and GSHC, there’s nobody that can quite understand the process as intimately as we do, not even other surrogates. Our relationship feels like more than a friendship. There’s a reason they call us surrogate “sisters.” We consider each other family now.
What was the most challenging part of the journey? Would you do it again?
D: My pregnancy was considered high risk. Although it’s different for every surrogate, I was required to go to a lot of doctor appointments many days per week. I gained some weight from the hormones, which meant that complications were more likely. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom, but now that the surrogacy journey is over, it does feel like something’s missing. The pandemic also made the experience harder, especially since the intended parents weren’t able to make it to the birth. But, I think eventually I will want to do it again because it’s just so rewarding in the end.
M: My pregnancy was fairly easy, but I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension near the end of my pregnancy, which means that my blood pressure was spiking. It was really scary, and I lost a lot of blood while giving birth. But even with all the complications, I would consider doing it again as long as Danielle and I could go through another sibling journey together. I agree with Danielle that sometimes it can feel like something’s missing. I’m on maternity leave, and my hormones are all over the place, but there’s a feeling of “now what”? But currently, I’m looking into egg donation as another way to help out people who can’t conceive on their own.
How does being a surrogate differ from carrying your own child(ren)?
D: A lot of people ask me “how did you give away that baby?” So I made sure to prepare very far in advance for all the emotions I might feel. But throughout the pregnancy, I never felt like it was MY baby. It’s more of a feeling that you’re taking care of someone else’s child. You still have a love for the baby, but there was no sadness when it came time to let her go.
M: From the start of the journey, I knew that this was a gift that I wanted to give to the intended parents. There’s definitely a sense that you’re caring for someone else. And, when the baby is born, they look nothing like you.
D: The parents also wanted us to have skin-to-skin contact with the babies, so I got to hold her for a while after giving birth. The only thing that broke my heart was hearing her cry because she didn’t get a bottle fast enough.
M: I wish I could have held him a little longer, but I was losing so much blood right after the baby was born. The nurse had to take him, but he stayed in the room next to me, so I got to see him a lot afterward. I definitely feel a connection, and you can tell that the babies know who we are. They stare and coo at us when they hear our voices.
What has been the most rewarding part of the journey so far?
D: There are so many, I can’t choose just one. The first is that I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to help create a human for someone else. The second is that I got to have Mallory as a part of my journey. We also had a lot of agency support, but it was nothing like having each other. It made the journey so amazing, even more so than family or another surrogate.
M: I feel so honored to be able to give someone the gift of life, and during that process, I now have a forever long friendship with Danielle. It’s like we knew exactly how each other were feeling the whole way through, which is really special. Even now that our journey is over, we still talk at least once a week.
D: I also gave birth on our actual due date to a baby girl. Our intended parents even let us name the babies!
M: I gave birth a couple of weeks before the due date and had a boy. I was honored to be able to name him. I thought of a name that starts with an A, and then later found out that Danielle chose an A name, too. We were really on the same wavelength throughout the whole process.
What advice would you give to women considering surrogacy? How has surrogacy changed your life?
M: Go for it! If you’re happy with your life and done having kids, just jump in. You feel like a whole different person, and that’s something I will carry for the rest of my life. I even started a YouTube channel on why I chose to become a surrogate at 24 years old. And since then, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me who are interested in becoming a surrogate. I have absolutely no regrets. Hands down, surrogacy has made me a better, more selfless person in so many different ways.
D: I would encourage people to do it. At first, I didn’t feel like sharing with a bunch of people that I was a surrogate because I thought that I might be judged. I thought that I would get negative comments, but I did one post on my birthday to share about my experience. I got A LOT of amazing messages and comments. It’s an amazing, beautiful experience. My boyfriend even told me how proud he was of me for doing something so selfless. I highly recommend it if you have the chance.
If you are ready to become a surrogate with GSHC Surrogacy Agency, please complete our Surrogate Intake Form.