My surrogacy journey began with my own struggles with infertility. After years of trying we were finally successful and are proud parents to Landen and Brooklynn. This experience came me some insight to the struggles I know our Couples struggle from today. I recall the many women in the waiting room at the doctor’s office like it was yesterday. This is what prompted me to find a way to make a difference.
I contacted the clinic who helped us have our family and asked the doctor, “If I had needed a Surrogate Mother, who would you have referred me to?”. She didn’t hesitate and said, “There is this local company in Lake Forest called Building Families. If you are sure you want to do this, you must work with them.” Little did I realize then that this one question would lead me to some of the best experiences of my life!
In December 2008, I delivered twins for an amazing Couple. Our relationship had grown very deep not only because of the pregnancy that we shared, but we had some hiccups early on so like many difficulties in life, it only made us stronger and more determined to build this family. Even now, our relationship flourishes as we have become more than surrogacy and surpassed friendship, we are family.
That surrogacy journey was so perfect, I could not imagine doing this again for anyone else. I told Carol I was done and grateful for the experience. She accepted this of course, but now in hindsight, she knew I would come back! She was not surprised when I called her about a year later asking to rejoin the Program. I was blessed with another Couple who truly needed my help. The experience was different than my first journey, as most relationships are, but still rewarding beyond words. It may have been a record as to how quick they joined the program and went home with their baby in May 2011. It was like clockwork! And this time, I not only gifted a Couple with a beautiful and healthy baby girl, but she was welcomed into the world by her big brother!
This time there was no hesitation. I told Carol, “One last time, ok?” I shared how my 40th birthday was coming in the next couple of years and if I was going to do this, obviously, it needed to be soon. So about a year later, I was matched with a new Couple. With two C-Sections under my belt, Carol wanted to be sure I was completely recovered before starting again. So, my third surrogacy began with some bumps in the road, but in the end, in June 2013 a perfect, sweet baby girl was born into this loving family. The end was bittersweet. Obviously, I was thrilled that I had met my goal of building this family, but I also knew it marked the end as my role as a Surrogate Mother and being pregnant. This baby was born 10 years after the birth of my first child, Landen.
Being a Surrogate Mother has changed the trajectory of mine and my family’s life. My kids, my husband, Dennis, and I have met and come to love people outside of our family. We have shared in the sacrifices and blessings and in the end we are so proud of what we have done together. Watching these Couples transform into a completed family, is something I will never forget. The trust they each have given me is humbling. These experiences will always be at the top of my greatest achievements.
Shannon Breckner is a Case Manager for Building Families, Inc. Shannon’s personal attention to her cases is a wonderful example of the care that Building Families, Inc. has provided to every Intended Parent and Surrogate Mother for so many years. Shannon is a three-time Surrogate Mom delivering beautiful twins in December 2008, a sweet, baby girl in May 2011, and another angelic baby girl in June 2013.