Prayers for Jake | A Story of Surrogacy & Faith

It’s with a heavy heart that I begin typing today. You see, since August I’ve been praying on the sidelines of a dear friend’s surrogacy journey. But, this story is unlike many you hear – this story is from Sarah’s* perspective. The beautiful mama who opened up her heart and her womb to help another family bring a baby into their home.

I’ve known Sarah for four years now, our friendship grew when I was pregnant with Jemma and even more when she was expecting her son. Experiencing mamahood seems to take relationships to a whole new level. Talking pregnancy aches, poo, first foods and the like will just do that, I guess. Since I moved last June she has been super intentional about continuing our relationship even though it is less convenient now. I can’t even begin to express how meaningful that is to me. Sarah has a heart of gold and a strong shoulder to cry on. She is a constant source of encouragement and the way she sees the world is nothing short of beautiful. I’m blessed to have her in my fold of dearest friends.

Knowing Sarah as I do, it made perfect sense when she told me she was exploring surrogacy. Not for herself, but as a gift to another family. Before she ever applied to become a surrogate, before she had one shot or medical exam, before she met the family – Sarah was fervently praying for the right opportunity. She knew she had a great gift to give months before baby Jacob entered her womb – that of a previous healthy pregnancy and a God-given willingness to share her heart, soul, and body with another family for 9+ months. With much research and and calculated steps, Sarah moved forward in her plans to become a surrogate mama.


With only a few bumps, Sarah and the baby she carried, whom we now know as Jake, soared through the first trimester and into the second. Christmas was spent in joyous celebration as Jake’s pending arrival was announced. But now, there is worry of Jake arriving too early, much too early. Sarah has shared the rest of her story below. Please join me in praying for Sarah, baby Jake, and Jake’s mom and dad. If you have words of encouragement or a similar experience of a micro preemie to share don’t hesitate to comment or email me (thatmamagretchen@gmail.com). I would be honored to pass on your message.

I want to thank Gretchen for allowing me to guest post on her blog for purely selfish reasons.  I hope this post serves two purposes.  One is that I really want people to join me in fervent prayer.  The second is that, if there is anyone out there with a similar story or any advice, I’d love to hear it all!

I’m currently 21 weeks and 4 days along with a surrogate child.  I was admitted to the hospital last Friday, December 28th, because I am leaking amniotic fluid. The doctors told me that it did not look promising, but we have never given up hope. A healthy level of amniotic fluid is 10 cm which is measured an ultrasound scan.  Friday night I had 13.  However, by Saturday morning I only had 4.  I knew it would be bad, but I never thought it could be such a drastic difference.  It scared me so badly!  Sunday morning the levels were up to 7.5 and hope was soaring.  By Monday, I was back down to 5.5.  There was still enough amniotic fluid for the baby to survive, so the best possible scenario is that I’ll be on bed rest until the baby can be delivered. They sent me home, knowing that I was a reliable enough person to stay hydrated and on bed rest.  They couldn’t do any more for me at the hospital.

As you can imagine there are a number of complications that could happen:

  • If the baby survives, he could have multiple problems ranging from under developed organs to rigid muscles from not being able to move as much. 
  • I could get an infection in my uterus that would necessitate inducing labor in order to start me on extreme antibiotics.  (I am on antibiotics right now to decrease the risk, but it could still happen.)
  • If the baby stays in with minimal fluid levels, his lungs could be under developed because he didn’t have enough fluid around him. 

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I have doctors appointments every other day to check fluid levels.  On Wednesday, the fluid levels were down to 3.  Today I have another check up and I’m hoping the levels are up again.  I’m drinking about 170 – 200 ounces of water a day and mainly laying on my left side … although sometimes I have to lay on my right side or back.  My hips hurt so bad but that is insignificant to me in the long run.  I’m eating a lot of juicy fruits such as apples, grapes and oranges.  I’ve asked the doctor if there is anything more I can be doing and he says there isn’t.  It’s such a hard pill to swallow.  I wish with all my heart that there was a “cure” or recipe or instructions to follow!  I’d do anything necessary to keep this baby healthy and in my uterus as long as possible.

Like I previously said, this post serves two purposes.  Does anyone have any advice?  I’d love to hear if you’ve been through a similar situation and something seemed to work for you.  Even if it’s an old wives tale.  I’m willing to try just about anything.  And more than anything, I’d love for anyone out there who believes in God’s healing power to join me in fervent prayer for the healthy and well being of little baby Jake as well as his parents and me as we walk this very rough road!

Thank you so much,
Worried Surrogate Mom

*Sarah is a pretend name as this story isn’t totally public among everyone in Sarah’s life. But, Jacob is this sweet baby’s real name. When Sarah and I were chatting about my sharing her story she said, “ I don’t want to change his name because I feel that there is power in proclaiming his name! Jacob means “may God protect.” May God protect this little boy.” I couldn’t agree more!

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Comments

  1. says

    Def. praying for everyone! I just googled it and came up with transabdominal amnioinfusion. Used to alter the levels of your amniotic fluid. Most things are saying during labor, but a few have said beforehand. I don't see why you would have to be in labor, but def. something to bring up with the doctor if they haven't ruled out that avenue. Blessings!! I've asked the angels around them to keep them safe, and help them however they can.

  2. Jennifer says

    On the birth blog I maintain, my sister in law shared the story of her nephews birth. He was born at 27 or 28 weeks the story is posted here: http://fuckyeahbirth.tumblr.com/post/18539637386/… I hope the tumlr name doesn't offend, and he is a happy healthy one year old now. So, good luck, sarah on your pregnancy. Keep him in there as long as possible but know SOMETIMES there are happy endings for babies who come too early.

  3. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thank you so much! I mentioned the transfusion option and right now the doctors are concerned that that may introduce infection :( But, it brought up a good point! Thank you for sharing! And for your prayers!

  4. Heyy says

    I was in labor from 24 weeks on with my twins- who eventually ended up arriving at 32 weeks 3 days- please pass on to Sarah to keep her head up- to stay strong and calm and positive because it really does affect the outcome! Juicy fruits etc are important- as is every bite of everything she puts in her mouth! Make her calories count towards her fluids- broth, Popsicles, canned fruit, jello, liquid protein shakes suck as Special K – and shoe as much protein in as possible, it will help Jacob grow and develop faster! I know a few women who had this issue and they were able to carry their babies to past 28 weeks :) Also- tell her to reach out to online communities out there- they really save your sanity while on bed rest! I was a member of Baby and Bump at that time and have seriously made lifelong friends there- I believe they even have a support group for low fluid levels- There is a site called Keep 'Em Cooking that has some great advice and a lot of mamas on bed rest- Also, i moderate a new parenting forum called "The "B" Word" – we're not super active yet (New site) but I'm on every day and Sarah is more than welcome to come join us and look me up! http://thebword.forumotion.co.uk/

  5. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Sarah had an appointment on Friday and fluid levels were at 4.5. Jake has turned head down and Sarah continues to be on bed rest. She is SO THANKFUL for everyone's love and support! Every day baby Jake stays inside with an adequate amount of fluid he is in good shape! Continue to keep them in your prayers :)

  6. Heidi Amavisca says

    please tell her to make every bit of nutrients she puts in her body to count towards her fluids- broth, jello, smoothies, and especially high protein drinks such as Special K- the protein is essential for getting him BIG so if he comes out early he has even better odds! Hugs to her, please!

    • ThatMamaGretchen says

      Everything turned out wonderful! Jake is a happy, healthy toddler now and the surrogate mama has gone on to have another biological child of her own.

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