The Surrogacy Experience: Adjusting to New Life (Part 3 of 3)
"It took us a few days before we really got to hold them," says Kelly of her babies. "The NICU was very, very hard for me, because it brought back a lot about having the first baby in the NICU." The Russells' first son, Dege, was born severely prematurely at 29 weeks gestation and lived just over a week.
"I was sick to my stomach. I couldn't go in there—hearing the babies, seeing them on the breathing machines," shares Kelly. Two days later, Kelly and her husband Dege finally got to hold their babies. "It was an amazing moment," says Kelly.
The delivery and recovery for Karen went well. When Karen first saw Callie and Talen (when they were placed on her belly immediately after being born) she was amazed that they had actually been in her body.
Karen reports that, as a gestational surrogate mother, she didn't have the bond right away that people thought she would have and as she'd had with her own three children. "I was so happy to see Kelly and Dege with the babies," says Karen, who had volunteered to carry the Russells' twins to term after Kelly was unable to maintain a pregnancy.
Some states have what is called a parentage order, explains Melissa Brisman, a New York reproductive lawyer. "It is presented to the hospital and then declared to vital records so that the birth certificate is issued with the intended parents' names on it," says Brisman. This way, adoption isn't necessary. Surrogates and intended parents in other states don't have that option.