Surrogacy ‘unicorn’ is pregnant with child No. 11 and would do it once more ‘in a heartbeat’

Surrogacy ‘unicorn’ is pregnant with child No. 11 and would do it once more ‘in a heartbeat’

April 21-27 is Nationwide Infertility Consciousness Week. All week, TODAY shall be sharing tales to lift consciousness of what it’s prefer to expertise infertility.

Within the final 13 years, 37-year-old Emily Westerfield has delivered 10 wholesome infants. Three have been her personal organic kids. She acted as a gestational provider for households of the others. Twice, she carried twins.

She is now 28 weeks pregnant with child No. 11.

“I’m most likely the unicorn on this trade,” Westerfield tells

Her unimaginable success in navigating the surrogacy expertise led her to present start to Carrying Dreams, her personal full-service company designed to assist egg donors, surrogates and meant mother and father on their parenting journeys in a manner that works greatest for them.

So, would Westerfield take into account having child No. 12?

“In a heartbeat,” she says.

Planting the seed for surrogacy

Westerfield and her husband, Max, reside in Celina, Ohio, with their three organic kids: Mckenna, 13, Jack, 11, and Charlie, 10.

In 2010, Westerfield spent a variety of time bonding with Max’s cousin, who had been having hassle sustaining a being pregnant for years. She was affected by secondary infertility and struggled to carry a being pregnant to time period.

“She simply constantly stored having loss after loss, and it was heartbreaking,” she says.

Westerfield was in a position to conceive and ship her three organic kids with relative ease, making her really feel “responsible” each time she shared the information together with her husband’s cousin. With out figuring out a lot in regards to the means of surrogacy, Westerfield provided to be a gestational provider for the cousin’s embryo.

Surrogacy ‘unicorn’ is pregnant with child No. 11 and would do it once more ‘in a heartbeat’Surrogacy ‘unicorn’ is pregnant with child No. 11 and would do it once more ‘in a heartbeat’

The Westfield household: Emily, her husband Max, their daughter Mckenna and sons Jack (proper) and Charlie (left). (Courtesy Emily Westerfield)

“They didn’t really feel that surrogacy was the trail that they wished to take,” she explains, “however I knew that there have been most likely so many different folks on the planet who wanted assist in a really comparable manner. Possibly I might assist.”

Even whereas she was pregnant together with her third (and final) organic little one, Westerfield talked about to her husband that she was excited about changing into a gestational provider.

“I used to be shot down by him so many occasions,” Westerfield says with amusing. “The increasingly I shared to coach him, I feel the increasingly he felt snug with it. Or he simply bought sick of me nagging.”

The primary surrogacy journey

After her son Charlie accomplished their household, Westerfield activated her search to seek out one other household to help by way of surrogacy in earnest. She joined a web-based discussion board that not exists. “It was virtually like a Craigslist of everyone within the infertility group,” she says. Surrogates, egg donors, sperm donors and meant mother and father used the location to assist create households.

“I created a profile and simply put myself on the market,” says Westerfield. “I used to be overwhelmed with the response and simply inundated with emails and queries. The increasingly that I bought into this, the extra I spotted there’s so many extra folks on the market that want the assistance than the folks which might be prepared to assist.”

Westerfield had preliminary conversations with a handful of hopeful mother and father and in the end selected a pair that appeared like an excellent match by way of character, age and placement. They have been a straightforward three-hour drive away.

However the resolution wasn’t simple. Every story was extra heartbreaking than the one earlier than. The household that Westerfield in the end determined to assist already had two kids. In the course of the second start, the mom wanted an emergency hysterectomy, leaving her unable to finish their household with the third little one they so desperately wished.

Calling to inform the couple the excellent news “was so emotionally overwhelming and thrilling and nerve-wracking, all on the similar time.” Utilizing the embryos the couple had already created, Westerfield delivered their third little one, a woman, in December 2015.

“And that’s when every little thing began,” Westerfield says.

Emily Westerfield (Courtesy Emily Westerfield)Emily Westerfield (Courtesy Emily Westerfield)

Emily Westerfield (Courtesy Emily Westerfield)

Westerfield has had three miscarriages and 11 reside births. She was induced and had vaginal deliveries every time.Courtesy Emily Westerfield

Rising households

Westerfield says, “I seen that as quickly as I had the primary one, I wished to do that once more. It was virtually similar to, ‘Now who else can I assist?’”

She delivered wholesome infants in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022. She is at the moment pregnant and due in July.

“I’ve been in a position to utterly simply have fantastic pregnancies,” she says. Even so, at age 37, she is aware of that she might have a restricted window wherein to proceed.

In December 2022, Westerfield was on her technique to her son’s basketball recreation when she needed to head to the hospital to present start for the tenth time.Courtesy Emily Westerfield

The method of being a gestational provider is markedly totally different than being pregnant with your personal little one, in response to Westerfield. As an illustration, there are screenings and contracts and psychological evaluations. Her husband didn’t accompany her to appointments. She retains in thoughts that the tip aim is to ship a wholesome little one in order that one other couple can “begin, construct or full their household.”

Questioning if it’s ever arduous to let go of a child you might have bodily carried for 9 months? Westerfield says it’s not.

“I get connected like a loving aunt,” she explains. Realizing the heartbreak that the couple has gone via previously, “you need handy that child over while you get to the tip of this.”

Westerfield began her personal surrogacy company in August 2023 partly to assist educate and supply assets for each potential surrogates and meant households.

“I really feel like there’s a lot info on the market that it’s overwhelming,” Westerfield says. “And a variety of it’s outdated or incorrect, and I would like to have the ability to communicate from private expertise going via this course of.”

Emily Westerfield (Courtesy Emily Westerfield)Emily Westerfield (Courtesy Emily Westerfield)

Emily Westerfield (Courtesy Emily Westerfield)

She additionally helps match households with gestational carriers and helps maintain their hand via a demanding course of, ensuring they’re on the identical web page for vital subjects like bodily or chromosomal abnormalities, geographic location, contact preferences after start and even vaccination standing.

It’s tough to seek out gestational carriers who’re prepared and match all the {qualifications}. Westerfield additionally thinks it’s important for gestational carriers to have accomplished their very own households earlier than serving to others develop theirs. She has about six potential {couples} for each one potential surrogate.

Westerfield takes a variety of satisfaction in serving to households develop, particularly these she has carried kids for. She stays in contact with every household in some capability by way of textual content or social media, and he or she tries to recollect to ship birthday presents.

Westerfield gave start to a child woman for this mom in 2018. After which she carried twin boys for a similar household the following 12 months.Courtesy Emily Westerfield

“I’m so proud to have the ability to do that for different folks. I do know my time may be very restricted as we’re getting nearer and nearer to how many individuals I’m in a position to assist, however nonetheless I’m younger sufficient and I’m wholesome sufficient to have the ability to accomplish that,” Westerfield says. “And I’ll proceed to assist so long as my physique and my household permits me to.”

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