By Rebecca Drew
THIS SELFLESS mum decided to become a surrogate after she witnessed the pain of her friend’s miscarriage whilst she was expecting twins herself so she can enable couples the ultimate joy of becoming parents – something she calls the “greatest honour” of her life.
Homemaker, Tierra Nelson (23) from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, USA, first met her fiancé, Marty, in October 2016. The pair always knew that they wanted to be parents when the time was right and after six-months of trying to conceive were delighted to find out they were expecting twins, Isabella and Claire, who were born in October 2016, weighing 6lb 11oz and 6lb 12oz at 37-weeks.
Soon after discovering she was pregnant, Tierra found out that one of her closest friends was also expecting and they were both delighted. But this delight soon turned into heartbreak as Tierra’s friend sadly suffered a miscarriage just before Tierra and Marty found out they were going to be welcoming two bundles of joy into the world.
After giving birth via c-section, Tierra finally felt complete as if becoming a mum was her life’s true calling but at the same time her heart was breaking for her friends and family members who had struggled with fertility over the years, so in that moment decided to become a surrogate.
Three-months after bringing her girls home, Tierra put the wheels in motion to become a gestational surrogate. After extensive research and with Marty’s support, she applied at an agency and following intensive background, medical and psychological screening, she was matched with her intended fathers, known only as ‘R’ (39) and ‘I’ (40) who live in Germany.
After taking progesterone, oestradiol, Lupron, prednisone medication to prepare her body for IVF, Tierra underwent the embryo transfer to have two of her intended fathers’ embryos placed in her uterus. At her first ultrasound scan in April 2018, Tierra found out she was pregnant with one baby.
Throughout her surrogacy, Tierra and her intended parents kept in touch over video chat, WhatsApp and Facebook, sending each other daily updates. Thanks to special speakers that can stick to the bump, ‘R’ and ‘I’ were able to talk to their child every day which meant that they had an instant bond.
A few weeks before the due date, ‘R’ and ‘I’ flew to America to wait for the birth. The two families were instantly connected. In November 2018, Tierra gave birth to their son, ‘L’, weighing 8lb 8oz, something she describes as a huge honour and the two families now have an unbreakable bond.
“My pregnancy with my twins was unique in so many ways. It was unique and special to feel two sets of hands and feet moving/growing inside me. I loved every moment,” said Tierra.
“It was understandably hard towards the end, I was on bed rest from 31 weeks to 37 weeks when I delivered. I developed gestational diabetes, major swelling and extreme exhaustion but the moment my girls were born made it all worth it.
“When I welcomed my twins into the world, I felt complete. It felt like my entire life was leading to the moment I became a mum. It was the happiest, most profound moment of my life.
“My twin girls are the light of my life and I could never imagine life without them. So, when many of my close family and friends experienced miscarriage or infant loss, it completely broke my heart. I knew in that very moment, that I needed to do something. So, I decided to become a surrogate.
“I began researching using the internet, social media and YouTube. I googled many of my questions, found other surrogates and surrogate communities on social media and watched hours of video on YouTube explaining the process.
“I familiarised myself with the surrogacy laws, the IVF process and the experience from other surrogates.
“I choose to find an agency to protect my interests and to facilitate each step of the process from start to finish. The surrogacy process is a long and emotional journey so I wanted to be able to enjoy it. I found my surrogacy agency, IARC, after reading many reviews online about how dedicated and passionate they are in the surrogacy field.
“My partner was a huge support throughout the whole surrogacy journey. He went through screening and the physiological evaluation with me. He was there on transfer day to hold my hand and bring me items when I was on bed rest.
“He was the one to do a majority of my injections. In addition, he was the one to rub my feet when they ached and to fetch my late night cravings. I began my surrogacy journey when my twins were only three months old so they have not had an “opinion” or emotions about it.
“All they understand is that baby went home to his family and that we will always be friends. Whenever they see a picture of baby and his family they shout; “friends, friends!”
Tierra shares her family life and surrogacy journey on Instagram, under the handle @sharingmynest. She is already looking forward to becoming a surrogate for a second time and blessing another couple with the opportunity to become a family.
She spoke about how she stayed in touch with her intended fathers throughout the pregnancy and described the magical moment of meeting them for the first time.
“My intended fathers were overjoyed and extremely excited when they found out we were pregnant. Throughout the pregnancy, I spoke with our intended parents daily,” she said.
“We were able to message on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. In addition, we were able to send tons of photos and videos. Plus, they were able to video chat into all my prenatal appointments. Through the power of modern technology, they never missed a single minute.
“After a long 14-hour flight, my partner and I surprised our intended parents at the airport. We were waiting by baggage claim with a big sign. The moment they finally walked through the doors we all burst into tear and hugged each other.
“They were finally able to feel my belly moving and to enjoy all of the beauty that comes with pregnancy. In that moment, we all felt like family. They enveloped me with their love and I embraced their kind souls.
“As the saying goes, babies come when they want. So even though we had a scheduled c-section planned for Black Friday. Baby decided to arrive on Sunday at 38 weeks and four days.
“So as the nurses prepped me, my significant other and one of my intended fathers suited up so they could be with me in the OR. The other intended father, their daughter and one of my intended parents’ brothers, were escorted to their postpartum room to wait for baby.
“The delivery was perfect and exactly what I had imagined. I had a c-section and baby was escorted right to his dads.
“My significant other stayed with me in the OR and into recovery and once I was stable, I was ushered to the room, which was right next to my intended parents. At that point, my intended parents came in with their son, so I could meet the precious baby boy that I had carried for the last nine months.
“After giving birth and realising that I made my intended parents dreams come true, I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and love. Being a surrogate, has truly been the greatest honour of my life. You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
“We are still in touch with baby and his family. We talk several times a week and his dads share how much joy their new son has brought into their life. Throughout our journey, they have all become part of our extended family. We will always be connected in the heart.”
Finally, Tierra shared her words of advice to other women wanting to do the same selfless act.
“I am planning to become a surrogate again in the future. I am currently in the beginning process for journey number two and I could not be happier. Surrogacy has changed my life in so many ways and I am forever grateful,” she said.
“I would tell other women who are considering surrogacy themselves to follow their heart and do a lot of research. Surrogates have to meet a lot of requirements and go through intensive screening.
“In addition, the surrogacy laws around the world are completely different. So even if they wanted to be a surrogate, it may be illegal in their country or state.
“There are a lot of hoops to jump through but at the end of the journey when you see your intended parents meet their baby for the first time, it makes it all worth it.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/sharingmynest