Two Friends For Life
In investigating the pros
and cons of becoming a surrogate mother, I came across OPTS. I got a lot of
helpful information and it helped me make up my mind to be a surrogate.
by: Shirley Bradbury and her couple
I signed up with a surrogacy program in Indianapolis run by the late Noel Keane.
I'm truly sorry for his loss, which was felt by many. I went through testing and
did fine. I was then put on a list, which was given to couples. A couple in New
Jersey called me and after a nice conversation, we set up a time for me to fly
to New York to meet in Keane's N.Y. office. After the scariest taxi ride I have
ever taken, I arrived at his office. I met the couple. They seemed like really
nice people. I shared a photos of my family with them. They we went out to eat
and talk about our expectations. I found out that the couple wanted it to be
just a business deal, with no direct communication. I explained that I couldn't
handle that. I wanted to share everything with the woman I would be having the
baby for. I wanted her to feel as much a part of things as possible. We finally
agreed that we would communicate. All the paper work was done and we got down to
After six inseminations, we finally got pregnant! I was so happy, not just for
myself but for the couple who had longed for a child for so long. They flew in
to see the ultrasound pictures. That's when we learned the baby was a boy. It
was great! For the next few months, we kept in touch. I asked for a tape of the
mother singing or reading out loud. I put it on my belly every night so the baby
could hear his mother's voice. I shared a lot with my couple, the sickness,
cravings, movements, just everything I could.
About two weeks before the baby was due, the couple arrived in town. The father,
who is a doctor, had to fly home to perform surgery but had planned to come
right back. Well guess what! The baby wouldn't wait! The Mom and I went to the
hospital to have the baby. The Mom called the Dad and we kept him on the phone
during the labor. My attorney doubled as my labor coach....she was wonderful!
When the baby was delivered, I took him from the nurse and handed him to the
Mom. He was, after all, my gift to her. She took the baby and looked into his
eyes and he stared right back. By the look on both their faces, I knew this was
meant to be. It was the greatest feeling and, by the way, I think the baby knew
her voice. He sure got quiet when she spoke. The child is now six and we see him
about once a year. It is the neatest thing! He thinks of us as friends. That's
fine because the Mom and Dad turned out to be the best friends I have ever had.
I now have a son of my own, who is four, and two grandsons who are one and
three. God works in mysterious ways! If you are thinking of becoming a
surrogate, fine! Just make sure you can detach from the baby once born. I will
always stand up for the rights of surrogates and couples who choose surrogacy to
have a family...for as long as I live. I am sure you are asking how my children
took all this. My oldest daughter, who is now grown up, has stated that she
would like to be a surrogate herself some day. I believe she could do it. It is
so wonderful when the parents bring their little boy to see my family. We
appreciate all the support we got from OPTS and all of our friends and family.
Thank you for everything!
And from Shirley's couple:
January 8, 1993
I'd like to tell you about a very special, wonderful person named Shirley. We
met her in June of 1991 through the Infertility Center of New York (now out of
business). Shirley wanted to be a surrogate mother and we wanted a child. The
three of us hit it off right away and we were touched by how motivated Shirley
was and how comfortable she made this difficult time for us. Shirley brought us
pictures of her daughters, as well as herself as a child for us to see. We were
moved by what a loving mother she is. Shirley never became discouraged during
the six months of inseminations and she helped us get through our own
discouragement. She brought her two year old child with her on her trip from
Florida to New York for the inseminations. That went a long way to remind us how
wonderful a child is and to keep on trying. One night we got a phone call from
Shirley telling us she was pregnant. It was hard to believe this was really
happening...and it took a while for us to believe that nothing would go wrong.
No false alarm...no miscarriage....no medical problems for Shirley. She was
often uncomfortable during her pregnancy but never complained. She kept us
informed at every step of the way and we truly felt it was "our" pregnancy and
"our" baby. We all became very close.
On September 30, 1992, our miracle baby was born. He is beautiful, healthy and
happy...just perfect! Our lives have been enriched forever because of Shirley's
unselfishness. People can learn a lot from her about caring and giving. We truly
hope our baby will "inherit" many of the traits of his biological mother. We
have come to know and love this wonderful, generous woman, who has changed our
lives. Some day, we may get together for a second child.
Two Friends for Life