Delivering Hope: Pregnancy Through Surrogacy
An Interview with Mary Kennerly and Cat Dobbs, the founders of Delivering Hope.
Like so many women today, Mary Kennerly launched her career in finance and investor relations before starting a family. When she met Wes and got married, they wanted to spend a few years enjoying life as a couple before having children. When they did start trying, however, they discovered that Mary’s egg count was low. She also had the autoimmune disease Lupus, which contributed to multiple miscarriages after going through IVF. I finally told them that surrogacy would be their best option to have biological children. I reassured Mary that even if she couldn’t carry a pregnancy, the minute she held her baby in her arms; she would feel the same deep bond of any new mother.
“We want to honor the mountain that the family has climbed, and if they are tired and don’t have as much hope as they did in the beginning, we want to be that hope for them because we know exactly where they’ve been.” — Mary Kennerly, Founder of Delivering Hope.
She met Cat Dobbs through an agency, and within a few months, Cat became pregnant with Wes and Mary’s twins. Cat and Mary, and their husbands, formed a strong emotional bond throughout the pregnancy rooted in trust, vulnerability, and empathy. After Vivian and Reed were born, they remained close family friends. This life-changing connection inspired both Mary and Cat to want to help women who had endured infertility and surrogates give each other the same level of emotional support that they had shared. Delivering Hope is the result of their dedication to shifting the thinking about what the surrogacy process can be, and what the relationship between a surrogate and an intended mother can be.
Most surrogacy agencies provide matching, medical support and necessary legal resources. Cat and Mary recognized that a surrogacy agency could better support the surrogate and intended family members to stayed connected and support one another throughout the pregnancy. This desire lead them to launch Delivering Hope, a first of its kind agency that focuses on matching as well as facilitating a strong bond that is led from the heart in creating clear, open lines of communication, fostering group support and community-building, providing access to healing resources for both the surrogate and the intended mother, as well as practical resources— e.g., lactation consulting/coaching and spouse services, while serving as fellow travelers throughout.
“There’s so much that we can learn from each other if we share ourselves,” says Kennerly. “It facilitates that bond.”
A strong bond can also contribute to a healthier pregnancy. Cat and Mary recently joined me on The Egg Whisperer Show to tell their story.