Getting to know BB: Tracey Sims, Surrogate Manager
Getting to know BB: Tracey Sims, Surrogate Manager
Continuing our series of getting to know the BB team a little better, Tracey has written about her busy life, being an egg donor and a surrogate, and working with other surrogates at Brilliant Beginnings.
Getting to know Tracey
I lead a very busy life, and am someone who always seems to be volunteering to do things even though we already have a jam-packed lifestyle. That’s how we as a family like it, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
I have been married to Ben for nearly 14 years. We have 4 daughters together (12, 11, 9 & 7 years old), 3 dogs, 5 chickens (soon to be 8, as we have 3 rescue chickens coming this weekend), 5 guinea pigs, and some goldfish for good measure. I find if you read it quickly it sounds better!
Ben and I are both pretty laid back and tend to take things in our stride, which has worked well for us so far. We both love doing things to help others, whether that is people or animals, and if we are in a position to help then we generally will.
I joined the Army as a chef at 16 years old, and from this baking has always been a passion of mine. I now help a small charity to provide birthday cakes to children in care, or refuges locally who otherwise wouldn’t be getting a birthday cake. The charity works with Social Services to help make this happen for the children.
Our 3 dogs (Gemma, Carlos & Evie) are all rescues. We took them on from completely different situations, and although they are all different breeds, they all seem to match together well. Evie was our latest edition – I promised Ben we would only be fostering her over Christmas, and he keeps reminding me of that 4 years on. Ben and I met through our first two dogs so have always joked that the dogs have got a lot to answer for!
I loved my time in the Army, with my first tour being a six months peacekeeping tour to Bosnia. I was stationed at Gornji Vakuf, and at that time I was the youngest serving soldier deployed there. During other deployments I got to travel to many countries carrying out my duties in a variety of difficult conditions and situations. Ben and I were lucky enough to continue travelling BK (before kids), enjoying two great trips to Australia and another to Canada. I must say holidaying with 4 kids definitely puts a different spin on things.
I left the army and took a role as a prisoner custody officer for a private company which transported prisoners around the country. I later joined Hampshire Police as a shift response officer which I enjoyed immensely, never knowing what I was going to be faced with or who I was going to meet next.
When I became pregnant with my eldest child, I moved into the vulnerable adult team before leaving to go on my maternity leave. Whilst on my maternity leave I found out I was expecting my second daughter so decided to take a career break. We went on to have our two younger daughters, and I became a full time mum to my four girls which I feel very lucky to have been able to do.
After having my children, I had a conversation with a very close friend going through IVF who explained to me the need for egg donors. After initially offering to be her egg donor (which didn’t happen in the end), I realised that I could donate for someone else in a similar situation, and decided to become an egg donor. I went on to do two rounds of egg donation which resulted in the birth of a baby boy.
It was actually the clinic where I did the egg donation that initially mentioned surrogacy to me. I looked into the different options available, and decided that having the support of an agency was definitely the way I wanted to go. The way Brilliant Beginnings match surrogates to intended parents really stood out to me so I decided to come to Brilliant Beginnings for my surrogacy journey.
Since then I have had two surrogate journeys with Brilliant Beginnings. Sadly the first did not result in a baby and my intended parents decided not to try again, but in 2018 I gave birth to a surrogate baby girl for my second couple.
I have made lifelong friends with both sets of my intended parents and found this to be one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. The feeling of seeing how life-changing it has been for my intended parents and their families is hard to describe. Now in my role here as a surrogate manager I am able to help other like-minded ladies do the same thing for other couples.
Whether I can put a smile on someone’s face by making them a birthday cake, or handing them their baby that I have been intensively babysitting for the past 9 months then I will. Why? “Because I can”. I want to bring my girls up with the ethos that a kind gesture goes a long way, and they have been able to see first-hand, through our ongoing contact with our Intended Parents and their daughter, how we have changed their lives.
Would I recommend becoming a surrogate? Definitely!
It gives the chance of meeting new friends through your intended parents and their wider families as well as meeting other like-minded surrogates. And you have the opportunity to change someone’s life for the better.
I love supporting women to do this, and am always happy to talk to surrogates and potential surrogates. Please feel free to reach out to me.
An intended parents story
One of our wonderful intended parents, Paul has written a blog about his surrogacy journey. From the initial conversations on surrogacy to the birth of his twins!