Zach & Leslie’s Story: Becoming Parents Through Surrogacy and Egg Donation

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. But for couples who experience infertility, sometimes it takes a village to create their family. Everyone involved has an important role to play, but no role is more special than that of the egg donors and surrogates who give selflessly of themselves to help intended parents achieve their dream of having a child.

Zach and Leslie are an example of a couple who needed the help of both an egg donor and a surrogate to have their family. This is their incredible story of hope, loss, perseverance and ultimately a happy ending.

The right match
Zach and Leslie, both teachers, met on and were married in 2016. Their fertility journey began a few years later when they learned that surrogacy would be their best option for a healthy pregnancy due to Leslie’s medical history.

Leslie’s first egg retrieval procedure was unsuccessful. The second attempt yielded 10 eggs; however, only four developed into blastocysts, and after genetic testing, they had just one viable embryo. Still, it only takes one, and they were hopeful for their “miracle little embaby.” The next step was to find a surrogate.

Choosing to work with Egg Donor & Surrogate Solutions, Leslie and Zach completed the necessary paperwork to begin the match process. Although the process was expected to take several months, the first surrogate who received their profile wanted to meet them right away. Leslie describes the initial Zoom meeting with her surrogate, Bianca, and Bianca’s husband as “the most high-stakes blind date you could ever imagine.” After a successful meeting, and, most importantly, both couples being aligned in their values and expectations for the surrogacy journey, everyone agreed to move forward.

For Leslie, it was a test of faith to trust in the process. “Being asked to put my trust and most precious embaby in the hands (and literal womb) of a complete stranger was a next-level leap of faith,” she says. “I’m certain God’s hand was on this match. Bianca’s confidence and calm balanced my nervous (and sometimes hardened and protective) excitement. She had my full confidence that she would care for our future little one as if it were her own.”

One step forward, two steps back
While the transfer of Leslie and Zach’s single embaby was successful with Bianca initially having a positive pregnancy test, sadly, she miscarried six weeks later. The roller coaster of emotions that comes with infertility – the hope for what’s to come, followed by profound loss when things don’t work out as expected – is a common theme for many intended parents.

“All the excitement and hope for the future and plans we had made were ripped away,” Leslie says. “We had never experienced that level of sadness or loss.”

Bianca was also grieving. “She put her whole heart into this and wanted to carry a child for us so badly,” Leslie says. “She bore the weight of both an IVF pregnancy and physically miscarrying. The depth of my gratitude for everything she had done for us up to that point was endless.”

Moving forward
Not wanting to risk another failed retrieval or another batch of genetically abnormal embryos, Leslie opted not to do another egg retrieval procedure after the miscarriage. Instead, she and Zach turned to egg donation to create more embryos.

Leslie has documented their story on Instagram to keep friends and family updated throughout their journey. At the time of their decision to pursue egg donation, she posted this update.

“This is our truth and our hopeful journey to parenthood. It is even more unique than we ever could have imagined. We are intended parents through surrogacy while also creating embryos using donor eggs. This means that our future little miracle baby will be genetically and biologically tied to Zach, but not to me. I’ll be relying on a team of two incredible women, one who will likely remain unknown to us but who we may see perhaps in the eyes, the smile, or the curve of our future little one’s nose; the other, our gestational carrier Bianca, who will give that very child life.

Does it make me sad? Of course. Infertility is grief compounded by grief. But I’m still in awe of the possibility. The potential miracle of it all. I accept this with my whole heart. I have no doubt that our child, regardless of genetics or biology, will feel wholly ours.”

Sharing the happy news
Bianca’s second transfer was successful, and once she was past the first trimester, Leslie and Zach shared the exciting news that they were expecting their miracle baby, due in May 2023.

Once Bianca was safely into the second trimester, Leslie and Zach were ready to share the baby’s gender. To mark the special occasion, Leslie ordered gender reveal cake pops and had them shipped to their family and friends. The day after Thanksgiving, they gathered with family and friends in person and via Zoom to announce that they were expecting a baby girl.

“IVF sometimes robs you and your support system of the fun surprises that we commonly think of with pregnancies, like telling your partner that he’ll be a daddy and sharing the news with your family and friends,” Leslie says. “When we chose to do genetic testing of our embryos, we also chose to know the gender, but we kept this little tidbit to ourselves. Our families and friends had been riding this journey along with us for two years, and we wanted to save the gender reveal as a joyful surprise.”

Leslie and Zach spent the remainder of the pregnancy preparing for their daughter’s arrival. Leslie even created a personalized storybook to help explain their daughter’s unique conception story through egg donation and surrogacy.

Welcoming Lily Bea
On May 25, Leslie and Zach welcomed their beautiful daughter, Lily Bea, named after her late great-grandmother and also after Bianca, who is affectionately known as Bibi.

“To give her body, mind and spirit in helping to create our family is the most amazing gift,” Leslie says.  “Bianca is our real-life angel on earth.”

Sharing her experience as a first-time surrogate, Bianca says, ”Never in a million years did I think I would be able to do this and help a couple become parents for the first time. This journey has opened my eyes to the TTC [trying to conceive] community; know that you are not alone in this! To my amazing intended parents, Leslie and Zach, thank you for being there every step of the way, at every appointment and becoming part of our family. To Lily, the little girl I carried for nine months, just know you are going to have an amazing life with so many people who love you unconditionally.”

Leslie recently shared an update on how she, Zach and Lily are doing as a family of three. “Life since Lily’s arrival has been more wonderful than we could have imagined. We love all the cuddles and watching her grow and explore the world around her. It took so much work, energy, worry and scheduling to bring her into the world. It’s so nice to transition into just parenting a newborn (not that it’s easy!). We feel so lucky to be where we are and to have grown our family in this way.”

We need your help!
Now more than ever, our agency is in need of qualified surrogates and egg donors to help intended parents achieve their dream of parenthood. We have MANY intended parents either waiting to be matched with a surrogate or searching for an egg donor (or both!).

If you’ve ever considered becoming an egg donor or surrogate, please visit to learn more about the qualifications for our program and how donors and surrogates are financially compensated for their time and effort in the process.

Even if it’s not something that is right for you at this time, please consider sharing Leslie and Zach’s story with others who may be in a position to help.  For questions, please reach out to our team at

All images photographed by Enchanted Birthing Services.


We help Intended Parents Create Happy Families
via Egg Donation & Surrogacy with the help of caring Egg Donors & Surrogates.

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