Behind every surrogacy journey lies a story of selflessness and compassion. Oftentimes stories are told of couples who desire to be parents and their journey to find a surrogate. However, the realities of the person carrying the baby are just as important as they go through their own profound personal transformation. Aria Briana, a mother of two and a surrogate with a mission, explains that her journey was drastically different than when she gave birth to her own children.

“Not only did I have to make changes to prepare my husband and two children,” she recalled. “I also had to decide what changes I was going to make for the surrogate baby and the Intended Parents.”

The commercial surrogacy business has been increasing in recent years. Global Market Insights predicts that by 2032, the industry will have grown to $129 billion, up from $14 billion in 2022. The demand for babies continues to grow and mothers like Briana are taking on the challenge but it doesn’t come without making adjustments.

The Surrogacy Journey

For Briana, the journey began with a resolute decision to become a vessel of hope and fulfillment for others. With her husband Mario by her side, Briana navigated medical and legal preparations. This included traversing a landscape of appointments, tests, and contractual agreements. Together, they grappled with the emotional nuances of setting boundaries and creating connections with the intended parents.

Yet, amidst the logistical preparations, Briana and her husband grappled with the emotional complexities of surrogacy. Romantic upkeep was a unique challenge for them.

“It’s uncomfortable to be intimate with each other knowing you’re carrying someone else’s child,” she shared, admitting that intimacy was a struggle. “Legally, we were not allowed to have sex during certain parts of my journey.”

Eventually, once they were able to confirm that the embryo transfer was successful, the couple was able to again focus on their connection. However, Mario was not as hands off as some would think for a child that isn’t his.

“My husband had a big involvement in my surrogacy journey. He had to get tested (std screenings) along with me, he was included in my legal contract,” she shared. “He took me to my appointments, rubbed and massaged the lumps in my hips caused by injections, made sure I ate and took my medication on time.”

Mentally Preparing for the Baby

Despite the challenges, Briana’s unwavering dedication to her role as a surrogate remained steadfast.

“The biggest battle was ensuring I did everything possible to make sure the transfer was successful,” she recalled. “I didn’t want to let the intended parents down. I wanted to make their dreams of becoming parents possible.”

The most defining aspect of her journey was finding a balance between compassion and detachment from the baby she was carrying.

“I came into the journey with a sense of detachment,” she explained. “I knew I had to compartmentalize the idea of carrying a child that had no biological connection to me.”

She explained that she had to accept that she was simply the vessel for the baby to arrive healthy. Once she fulfilled her purpose, she knew she would be able to go back to being a mother to her two boys.

“To embark on a surrogacy journey with clarity, resilience, and compassion,” she advised those interested in surrogacy. “You will need to educate yourself on the full surrogacy journey process, clarify your motives, establish healthy boundaries, seek support when needed and practice self-care!”