December 9, 2022

A surrogate mother has revealed how traveling in a motorhome with her family helps combat the baby blues.

Samantha Matthews, 31, from Springfield, Massachusetts, lives with her husband Dan Matthews, 34, a podcast host, and their two children, Canyon, six, and Ember, four.

They are currently touring the US in a giant camper following the birth of Sam’s first surrogate baby, also known as a ‘surro’ baby.

Speaking to FEMAIL, she said: ‘To beat the post partum blues we decided to go full-time campervan life to travel and spend time as a family and enjoy time with our children rather than thinking about having a baby who doesn’t come home with us.

Samantha Matthews, 31, from Springfield, Massachusetts, lives with her husband Dan Matthews, 34, a podcast host, and their two children, Canyon, six, and Ember, four. They are currently touring the US in an RV following the birth of Sam’s first surrogate baby, also known as a ‘surro’ baby

On Instagram and Facebook, Sam, pictured while pregnant, shares her experiences and recommendations for others curious about surrogacy, saying women can go independent or with an agency

‘I’m happy to say that I’m doing really well emotionally and mentally since the birth so far.’

The couple began researching surrogacy four years ago, starting with an agency that connected potential mothers with intended parents.

It was not without concerns, as they already had children of their own, and Dan in particular was worried about his wife’s mental health after the birth of the child.

She told FEMAIL: ‘We just had our second child, Ember. Dan and I had a boy and a girl, and we felt done having children of our own, but I didn’t feel done being pregnant and working.

‘I mentioned it to Dan, we asked about it and decided to go ahead with the process.

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‘Dan’s biggest reservation was how will I handle it after the birth and mine was how would the kids handle the journey, would everything medically go okay, but we felt a peace in doing it so we started our journey towards surrogacy.’

Sam with her husband Dan Matthews. They have shared their surrogacy journey on Instagram with thousands of followers after Sam decided four years ago that she wasn’t ‘done with birth and pregnancy’

Sam Matthews shows off her blooming baby bump in the third trimester of her surrogate pregnancy

The Matthews now live the RV life full time as they travel the states. Dan and Sam are pictured with their son Canyon, six, and daughter Ember, four, on a trip to the beach

She continued: ‘We did a lot of prayer, research and preparation for my emotional and mental state after the birth.

“We knew from the beginning that this was not our baby, so at birth there was no ‘second guessing’.

‘The baby had his parents there and that was never my role to play and it’s something I’ve made peace with.

‘We feel so honored to have been on this journey and humbled that God chose us to play that role in helping create a family for someone.

‘It is such a rewarding feeling the moment the child is born and the parents get hold of the child they have waited so many years for. It was a moment we will never forget.

Sam during her pregnancy said she donated the milk after giving birth to another intended parent who was expecting a surrogate baby

Sam and Dan have been documenting the whole process on their Instagram page @wearesamanddan and are now sharing their post-birth and on-the-go lives.

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During her pregnancy, Sam shared birth, birth tips and how she coped with third trimester fatigue.

The mum-of-two also gave tips on surrogacy and the routes people could go down if they were interested themselves.

She said: ‘You can go independent or with an agency and not everyone’s journey is the same.

The disadvantages of going independent are less support throughout your pregnancy, but it can be more expensive for the intended parents. I share my experience with both on my page. I didn’t have a good experience with the very first agency I had.’

Sam is asked a lot on her Instagram page how she explained the surrogacy situation to her children and she said on her Instagram Stories: ‘It’s been suggested that a big family trip like we’re doing and a gift “from the baby” helps they understand, both children were excited about the birth.’

Sam at the hospital after giving birth. She said: ‘To begin with, knowing the baby wasn’t our genetic made a huge difference. This little one has a mother and father who love them deeply. Seeing the joy on their faces from the moment baby entered this world was what this journey was all about’

When asked what happens to the unused milk, Sam reveals that she has pumped out the milk, as she did with her own children, and donated it to other surrogate parents, since the parents of the baby she gave birth to did not need the milk.

She said: ‘I was amazed at what my body could produce and we decided to donate the pumped milk to a family expecting a surrobaby who needed it – which ours told us they didn’t have.’

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Sam and Dan are currently not in contact with their intended parents, who were present at the birth of the baby boy Sam was carrying, and ‘respect’ that decision.

They said: ‘It depends on the wishes of both parties.

‘We wanted to have a close relationship with our intended parents after the birth as this process was such a big part of our lives, but we know that surrogacy is very emotional for the parents to take on and we understand that wishes can change.

Sam and Dan, pictured, are currently not in contact with their intended parents, who were present at the birth of the baby boy Sam was carrying, and ‘respect’ that decision. Currently, they are focusing on their own family and exploring the world.

‘At this stage, we do not believe that the parents wish to maintain contact and we wish to respect that decision.’

Sam has taken the step to be a surrogate mother and is ‘frustrated’ by some myths about the process.

She told FEMAIL: ‘People assume a surrogate can’t deliver the baby.

‘To be a surrogate you have to be emotionally ready. Parents should want their surrogate to be emotionally invested in their baby, in their journey. This is how the surrogate can best take care of the child. There is a reason not everyone is a surrogate.

“At the end of the day, we know this baby is not ours, and that’s why we are able to ‘hand over baby.’

“It’s strange how you can compartmentalize emotions, but we know that baby was and always will be the intended parents, we just helped him grow and keep him safe for them.”