When you are eager to start a family but struggle with infertility or other reproductive issues, there may come a time when you consider using a surrogate. Janae Krell, mother of four, was so moved by the experience of being a mother that she wanted to help another family realize this dream. We spoke to her recently about the experience and she shared her story.

Janae Krell was one of the lucky ones -- she never struggled with infertility. Quite the opposite, she seemed to get pregnant and carry her pregnancies to term easily. She and her husband had four small children in a short span of time, each spaced about two years apart. Knowing how much she loved her family, she felt that everyone who wanted a baby of their own should be able to have one. After discussing the matter with family, she ultimately decided to become a surrogate.

The journey begins

Janae's first step was to sign on with an agency near her home. An interested couple chose her as their surrogate and they started the somewhat lengthy process. There were contracts to sign with terms that all parties involved needed to agree to. With all of the legalities finalized, Janae began the series of injections and medical appointments to prepare her body for pregnancy. When Janae's body was ready, two embryos were implanted in her uterus as her husband and the intended parents looked on. Her journey was about to take a surprising turn.

Three's a crowd

When the embryos were implanted in Janae's uterus, both of them took -- and one of them split. She found herself carrying not just one baby, but three. She says, "I kept telling people that the intended parents were really getting their money's worth!" But the reality of carrying triplets was overwhelming, and her husband was concerned now that her health was on the line. Risks for a pregnant mother increase substantially with each additional baby she carries. Janae had to go on bed rest after 29 weeks, when she experienced preterm labor. She and her husband scrambled to find help with their own children, while she rested to save her unborn triplets. Her own youngest child was only 1 year old at the time.

Focus on the family

I made sure to include the intended parents in everything, because it was their pregnancy.

During her whole experience, Janae kept the intended parents very involved in every step. It was very important to her that they felt this pregnancy was all about them and not her. "I made sure to include the intended parents in everything, because it was their pregnancy," she says. "They were in the room during the actual embryo transfer, as it actually happened. They watched everything happening on the ultrasound machine."

Happy ending

The triplets were born via C-section at 33 weeks. "When their babies were born it was just the most amazing thing to turn around and see tears streaming down their faces," Janae says of the intended parents. Her dream of helping someone else realize their dreams had been fulfilled. While she says the experience was definitely stressful at times, she feels it was worth every minute. She is in touch with the family and they send her pictures of the triplets, who turned 2 years old recently.

Want to learn more about surrogacy? Check out Janae's website at allthingssurrogacy.org.

More on expanding your family

Would you consider using a surrogate?
Before you choose in vitro fertilization
Finding a sperm donor