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Arriving at the Surrogacy Decision
Kelly Russell was thrilled to be pregnant. She and husband Dege were 28 weeks along with a boy when Kelly noticed that she hadn't felt the baby move for a while. After examining her, Kelly's obstetrician sent her in for an emergency C-section; her son, "Baby Dege," lived only nine days in the neonatal intensive care unit.
"We were told it was a fluke thing, that it shouldn't happen again," says Kelly, now 30 years old.
It wasn't until they had their second baby stillborn at 24-weeks gestation that the hospital released earlier tests showing that Kelly has a blood-clotting disorder that made it dangerous to try for another pregnancy. "There was a really high chance that it would happen again," says Kelly.
Kelly and Dege started to consider their options. "We talked about adopting, but we decided that we're young now and had scraped up the money, so we'd rather try to have our own biological children," she says. Then, if things didn't work out or they wanted more children later, they could adopt.
Kelly's obstetrician asked if Kelly and Dege would consider using a surrogate. Surrogacy (which comes from the Latin word meaning "substitute") is a method of assisted reproduction. A surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to get pregnant and carry a baby through gestation for someone who is unable to have her own pregnancy.