On today’s episode, Elle and Taylor sit down with Kelila Green, who shares her surrogacy birth story. As an Orthodox Jewish woman, her journey started by making sure her religious beliefs would support and affirm her desire to help another family have a baby, and led to two families who are now friends (and family) through the birth of that beautiful baby.
Kelila talks about her journey into parenthood, and how she knew – even before having children of her own – that she wanted to be a surrogate and help another family grow. She discusses the religious aspects of surrogacy that she had to consider before even traveling down the path to surrogacy.
Kelila delves deep into the process of surrogacy with Elle and Taylor – what to expect, what it’s like, things to think about, things to know – things that you might not expect or think about if you haven’t gone through the process yourself. From making sure that the principles and morals of both surrogate and intended parents align, to keeping the intended parents informed on medical and pregnancy-related concerns, to all of the medications the surrogate has to go on to start the pregnancy, to how the media has portrayed surrogacy, to the differences between someone using a friend or family member as a surrogate as opposed to searching for the right surrogate, to the differences between first trimester with a natural pregnancy vs an IVF pregnancy.
She talks about the surreal quality of giving birth and not having a baby in your arms. She talks about how each step of the journey after birth was a step along the journey of closure for her, as the intended/genetic parents bonded and took over as guardians for the baby. She also talks about how her kids got closure after her surrogacy birth.
Quotes from this Episode:
“We went towards with just a wholeheartedness of saying ‘okay, let’s just find the right couple.’” – Kelila Green
“You need to make sure that your principles and morals align with the person that you’re asking to carry your child.” – Elle Kennedy
“Everyone always asked me ‘Isn’t it going to be difficult to give the child up when it’s time to give birth?’ And I kept saying ‘But this isn’t my child to give up. It’s not my child.’” – Kelila Green
“Even though the birth is such, obviously, an important part of bringing this life into the world, it’s such a small part of the whole life.” – Kelila Green
“The birth itself is integral. It’s important. It’s intimate. It is a transitional thing. It’s a transformative experience. But in the life of the child, it’s a blip… What happens afterward: that’s what they’re gunna remember. That’s what they’re gunna know.” – Elle Kennedy
“One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten is to ask ‘If you were in my position, what would you do?’” – Elle Kennedy
“My best piece of advice for people who are looking to navigate it is to not be afraid to ask questions, to not be afraid to really delve deep within yourself to really think about what you want.” – Kelila Green
“My dream for the birth community is that people are empowered to see what their bodies can do.” – Kelila Green
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Kelila Green has spent most of her life working with babies and children. She started as a mother’s helper at age 11 and continuously garnered knowledge from the parents she helped not only in how in to be a role model to their children but in learning everything she could about pregnancy, parenting, and all things family oriented.
When the time came for Kelila and her husband to embark on becoming parents to their own children, Kelila knew how fortunate she was to get pregnant easily and thoroughly enjoyed each of her three pregnancies. From all of the experience Kelila had, she had confidence that being a mother was the path she was meant to take and Kelila and her husband decided she would be a stay at home mother as well as a homeschool mom when their children were ready to start school.
A few years ago, Kelila realized that because she enjoyed her own pregnancies and becoming a mother so much that, if possible, it would be a dream come to true to be a surrogate and help another family do the same. Through a fateful connection, Kelila met with the intended parents and carried their child to full term and is looking to help expand their beautiful family this coming year.
Resources related to today’s episode:
Who are Elle and Taylor?
Elle Kennedy is a maternity, birth, and family photographer and doula based in Orange County, California. She’s a mother of two, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and an advocate for consent and respect for personal preferences during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. She homeschools, is polyamorous, loves tea and scones, and loves using her free time to create and bake.
Dr. Taylor Garcia is a Webster Certified Chiropractor located in the Orange County, California area, with a family practice that focuses on pregnant persons and babies. She is currently going through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s certification program and plans to have that completes by 2021. While not a mama yet, she is the consummate “mom friend,” and hopes to adopt with her partners in about 5 years. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and polyamorous. She believes in focusing on health and wellness from before birth, and using that as a firm foundation for health and wellness throughout life. She believes in the importance of connection and consent in all aspects of life. She is a dancer, a writer, a bookworm, and a fan of music and musicals.
Facebook: Elle Kennedy Photography
Facebook: Dr. Taylor Garcia, DC