Deciding To Become a Surrogate
You know those annoying pop up advertisements on the internet? Well, one day as I was scrolling online, one popped up. “Become a surrogate,” it said. “It’ll be fun,” it said. Well, that was the first day of a journey that changed my life. It peaked my interest. I have four children and I have always loved being pregnant. I knew I was done having children of my own, but maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t done having children.
After an extensive search, researching companies, reading testimonials and understanding the different types of surrogacy, I realized this might actually be for me. I gave myself a few weeks. I spoke of it to no one. I thought about the good, bad and the ugly. I decided that this was something I needed to do. The conversation with my husband went perfectly. But that’s to be expected… he always supports my crazy ideas. So, I reached out to Dory at Family Formation and the adventure began.
The beginning is boring: fax medical records, fill out application, get a psych evaluation to make sure you’re not a lunatic… you know, the basics. But eventually, you meet your people.
Meeting the Intended Parents
M&M. That’s how they always signed their names. But let’s rewind to the “first date”. I was nervous, but excited. We met on a Saturday afternoon in August. My husband and I arrived first, and waited at the table. Immediately when I met them, we greeted each other with a hug. I had no idea who these men were, but I knew we already shared a bond. We started with small talk and the conversation took a natural progression to much deeper topics. I loved them. They were everything I needed from IP’s: kind, compassionate, considerate and a bit sarcastic. I couldn’t wait to tell Dory that I was 100% in.
The Embryo Transfer and the Pregnancy
Fast forward to January… everything was set to go. I knew before the transfer that I would be carrying a little girl. I had an instant bond with her; but not the same bond I’d had with my own. This one was different. I loved her from day one, sort of like an aunt loves her niece. She was special to me and I did everything in my power to make sure I provided her everything she needed to thrive. The name they kept secret. Not even I knew it. So, to me, she was Baby Girl.
Baby Girl was my buddy. She was by far the easiest pregnancy I’d had. Maybe it was because no planning had to be done on my part. I didn’t have to decorate a nursery or research the best car seat. I didn’t have to buy an endless supply of diapers or make sure the dresser was stocked with clean onesies. I just got to experience the pregnancy. She came everywhere with me; softball games, baseball games, football games, volleyball games. She heard me cheering for my own kids in the stands. She heard me singing off-key in the car. She hung out with me every workday. She was with me for nine months and I loved every minute of it. It was at the month eight mark that I started to feel like I was going to miss her, and I knew our time together was coming to an end.
My doctor gave me some advice that stayed with me through the delivery. Let yourself feel however you feel. If you feel sad, let yourself feel sad. If you feel lonely, let yourself feel lonely. Don’t try to mask your emotions. I promised myself I would take her advice.
The delivery was a scheduled induction. I was nervous, but excited… sort of like the “first date”. M&M were there, along with my husband who had been by my side throughout this pregnancy. Labor was uneventful, in the best way possible. I delivered a healthy baby girl, named Alice. She was beautiful; like a perfect porcelain doll. As the nurse took Alice to be weighed and cleaned up, I cried. Not because I was sad or lonely. I felt proud. I was overwhelmingly proud of myself. I was overjoyed to have been a part of this family’s story. I held her in my arms after her daddies got their chance and I was in awe. At one point, she turned her head towards my husband when he spoke and I realized then, that we were a part of her life just as much as she had been a part of ours.
As we separated hours later, I worried that I would feel empty. I was heading up to my recovery room and she was heading to the nursery, with her dads. I fell asleep quickly after I ate dinner. I was exhausted. I was woken up in the middle of night to newborn cries. It was then that I was extremely grateful that I didn’t have a newborn to care for, so I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. That was the moment I knew I’d be okay. I stopped by the nursery on my way out of the hospital to hold her one more time and say goodbye.
Our Continued Relationship
M&M&A is how they sign their names now. Alice is almost 2 years old. I am so grateful to have a continued relationship with them and that they welcome me into their home anytime I’m in their area. I love watching her grow and the adventures she gets to experience. The kid has more stamps on her passport than I do. She is still very special to me and I still love her in a way I can’t explain.
There is nothing I regret about my experience. There is nothing I would change. Remembering that time in my life where I carried a child for a couple who were unable to, makes me feel like I changed the world. And I did. For that family, I did.