MY NEXT GUEST ASKED THAT WE ONLY USE HER FIRST NAME, BECAUSE SHE REALIZES IT’S A SENSITIVE SUBJECT. SHE SAYS SHE FEELS GOOD ABOUT HELPING OTHERS TO START FAMILIES AND ABOUT MAKING A LIFE-CHANGING AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR HER OWN FAMILY.
BREANA, WELCOME TO EASY MONEY.
LET’S BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING. WHY AND HOW DID YOU FIRST GET THE IDEA TO BECOME A SURROGATE?
A friend of mine had done it, so I saw the process firsthand and became interested in trying it myself. I then Googled surrogacy agencies and looked at websites and applied with Extraordinary Conceptions. Did my profile and became available and got matched fairly quickly with my first couple. Match took less than a month. Pregnant on the first try. It was very easy. Didn’t have a very close relationship with that first couple. They live in AZ. They came to the birth and visited for major ultrasounds.
WAS THIS BABY BIOLOGICALLY YOURS OR DID YOU JUST CARRY IT?
There was an egg donor and father’s sperm so biologically the baby was his and another woman’s. I just carried it. The baby was not related to me.
THAT WAS 4 YEARS AGO. AND THEN YOU SERVED AS A SURROGATE A SECOND TIME AND GAVE BIRTH LAST YEAR. HOW WAS THAT DIFFERENT?
Last year I bonded more with the couple and the baby. It was a lot harder because we bonded. Seeing her leave. This was another case with an egg donor and the father’s sperm. When I delivered the baby, they stayed with us in our house for a few months. They were from China and had to get birth certificate, passport, immunizations and they didn’t speak English. I offered to let them stay with us and she was extremely nervous to take care of a baby herself. It was hard for her in the beginning. They stayed 2 ½ months. I didn’t charge them for that. I helped feed and change the baby so there was a bigger bond when they left. I was fine after a week. It’s harder when you bond more.
MY SHOW IS CALLED EASY MONEY, SO I HAVE TO ASK, WAS IT EASY? SOMEHOW, I THINK NOT.
Hard. It is hard emotionally and physically getting pregnant. Your back hurting. But everything at the end makes it worth it. Seeing them have their baby. It makes you forget everything you went through. For me, though, now I barely remember the hard stuff. Just the good stuff. The birth and seeing the babies.
Injections are the hardest part. Preparing your body for the embryo cycle. It’s just soreness every day of your cycle. The injection is on your upper butt check. You do it every day for 30 days. Sitting down and laying on my side was painful. And the c-sections were hard. I have had 4.
AND WHAT ABOUT EMOTIONALLY? THAT HAS TO BE HARD TOO.
For me I always felt a connection and bond but it wasn’t very emotional the first time when they left. You mentally prepare yourself that you will give birth and they will take baby away. But when you go home without the baby your body has emotions. It was one to two days and then I was fine. Having my own children helped.
YOU HAVE 2 CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN. HOW DID YOU EXPLAIN YOUR PREGNANCY TO THEM?
Both my children have always been very interested in it and they have been understanding. People would say “you are going to have a sister” and they would say “no, that is Connie and Matt’s baby.” They understood, but people would get very confused. They are super understanding that she wasn’t their sister. But at birth they were so excited to hold her. Normally parents are very understanding. They allowed my sons to do that and it was good for them.
DO YOU STILL HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COUPLES YOU SERVED AS A SURROGATE FOR?
I text the first couple on the birth date. It’s a loose tie. But the second couple have visited us since those first months and my husband and I are going to visit them in their country this summer.
THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARY, PERSONAL WAY TO MAKE MONEY. DID IT MAKE YOU VALUE THE MONEY YOU EARNED EVEN MORE?
It’s made me super money conscious of how I spend my money and where it goes. I check my account and credit score. Paying stuff off made me independent and don’t want to go back so we are very organized now with spreadsheets and automatic payments. Made us a lot more cautious with where our money goes.
SOME PEOPLE LISTENING ARE THINKING, I COULD NEVER GIVE BIRTH TO SOMEBODY ELSE’S BABY, NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY I MADE. EXPLAIN HOW THE MONEY HAS HELPED YOUR OWN FAMILY.
It has changed everything. I am 25 and we own a house. We would never be able to buy a house if I hadn’t done that. It made us very stable financially. With debt and being able to afford things and set up future for our kids and us. That was my main reason for doing it in the end.
ALRIGHT, NOW THE BIG QUESTION EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW: HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU MAKE AS A SURROGATE?
When I did the first time it was $35,000 as a base rate and the second time it was $50,000. You then earn extra money above and beyond that for certain things, such as having a C-section, if needed.
THAT’S REAL MONEY AND THAT’LL HAVE PEOPLE PAYING ATTENTION. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO WOMEN WHO MIGHT CONSIDER THIS?
It is a big commitment. A lot of girls think ‘I will make $40,000’ but there are a lot of medical appointments. You have to do lots of work. Legal contracts. It is a lot of work to get pregnant. It is a big commitment for a year so make sure your family is on board. And make sure your kids know what is going on. When they are more involved it makes it easier so you don’t have to explain it later on.
AND, HAVING DONE IT BOTH WAYS, WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE CLOSER OR THE MORE ARMS-LENGTH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PARENTS WHO HAVE HIRED YOU?
I enjoyed the closer relationship more, but I respect the fact that some women like to keep the relationship more arms-length.
BREANA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US HERE ON EASY MONEY. BREANA FOUND SURROGACY SO REWARDING THAT SHE NOW WORKS FOR A FIRM CALLED EXTRAORDINARY CONCEPTIONS THAT MATCHES PROSPECTIVE PARENTS WITH SURROGATES. SHE PROVIDED THE FIRM’S LIST OF REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A SURROGATE AND THAT IS OUR GUEST BLOG POST THIS WEEK.