Yep that is me. That 6 month old baby bump is mine… but the baby boy rolling around inside is not. I am simply his very first babysitter. I am a surrogate mother. A very proud surrogate mother at that.
For as long as I can remember becoming a surrogate has been a dream of mine. Hearing about it on talk shows or in books I was always drawn to the idea. After the easy pregnancies of M and M… and the clear decision that our family of 4 was complete… I began to realize that this dream might just become a reality. A little over 2 years ago I started talking about it, I wanted to let it settle in for those it would affect. My husband (of course), my sisters and my Mom would play a big roll in making this journey not only possible but also extremely positive.
Hubby said what he always does. “Whatever you want to do Babe.” He meant it too. Although he may not feel as connected to the process as I am, this is a gift from him as well. He’s been supportive (listening to me complain about meds and appointment, dealing with me while I crashed off coffee and being just as excited as I am over the silly prego stuff). Gosh am I a lucky girl!
I found an agency and got started. The process began in November of 2010 when I filled out the very long profile. I spent the next year working with an amazing couple. After 2 failed transfers. 🙁 They decided to take a break from their surrogacy journey in January of 2012. I was paired with a new couple shortly after and took a nice little bed rest vacation for my first successful transfer. I found out I was pregnant the same week my eBook was released. How’s that for timing??? I was exhausted and my head was spinning with excitement.
So here we are more than half way through the pregnancy, me tossing clothes that no longer fit out of my closet at an alarmingly quick rate … the couple planning for an early 2013 arrival. Everyone happy, excited and waiting patiently.
I was right about this being a dream. It feels so right. Surrogacy has turned out to mean so much more than helping a family grow. For the IPs (intended parents) the surrogacy journey means giving up a lot of control and putting a lot of trust into the hands of someone else. That means that being a good little pregnant girl and following all the doctor’s orders isn’t my only job. I’ve been able to offer support, confidence and even a little advice. This “job” is perfect for me. I will soak up every drop of it while I can and enjoy the memories later. Becoming a surrogate was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made… and I am so grateful for the opportunity to make this dream come true!
Surrogacy Questions I’ve been asked
Feel free to ask anything you’d like in the comment section or email me if you would rather.
Did you already know the couple? Nope. When the decision was made I started the search for an agency. It didn’t take long before I came across Creative Conceptions, Inc. Kellie is the founder/ owner/ surrogacy genius and she won me over right away. She is a pro at matching couples to surrogates and getting them connected. She is also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to all things IVF. Anyway… gush gush.. if you are interested in surrogacy from either end… CALL HER! (She works with couples and surrogates all over the place.)
Starting out with the first couple was scary, nerve wracking and amazing. I worked closely with the IM (intended mother) for about a year until they decided to move on. We talked often and became really close. The second IM (the one I’m paired with now) and I hit it off right away. We are both crazy planners so you know, we pretty much drive everyone else crazy but you can bet everything is done on time!
I kind of like that we don’t know every little detail about each other. That would probably make the process a lot different.
Do you have to take meds? Oh yeah… you have to take meds. Lots of them. They weren’t more than just a pain in the butt (literally) because I don’t have huge reactions to stuff like that. For some women though I know they can cause headaches and mood swings. They don’t last that long though… and I found them to be well worth the trouble. 😉 (PS add “can give herself a shot with a BIG needle” to my list of accomplishments.)
How are the kids handling it? If you’ve been here before you know my kids are pretty much awesome… and independent… and smart… and kind… and well you get the idea. They are handling it better than I ever expected. I think this may be a post of it’s own… stay tuned.
Does it pay well? It does pay….and it has certainly helped us out. It gives us the extra we need to make it possible for me to be at home with the kids. If you can’t tell, by this blog that is just now starting to bring in a little bit of money, I’m not really driven by a paycheck. So the pay is fair, but not something you can live off of. DON’T DO IT FOR THE MONEY!!!
Don’t you think it will be hard to give away a baby you’ve carried. This one is the easiest for me to answer. It’s really no different than any other babysitting or teaching job I’ve ever had. I love those kids, take the very best possible care of them, cry a little when we part, remember them fondly and wish them well. Of course it’s hard to say good bye. But everyone goes to Kindergarten eventually and you make room for a new group to love.
What’s the hardest part of being a surrogate? No beer! Ha, bet you didn’t expect me to say that. 🙂 Well I’m kidding (sort of). When I say I don’t even feel pregnant I am serious. (Aside from being winded a little quicker than usual this little guy is not slowing me down.) The meds and amount of appointments in the beginning were tough, but they were short lived. I managed just fine. There was about 2 weeks of nausea and sheer exhaustion… other than that I feel FANTASTIC!
Of course how I feel physically is not really what this question is about. Emotionally the hardest part is the moving baby. For me, feeling a baby move is the very best part of pregnancy. When I was pregnant with M and M I would just sit, enjoying the movement… knowing that was a special time that only I had with them. Imagining what those movements would look like in a few short months. I have always felt a tinge of sadness that men (and some women) won’t know the feeling. Big M summed it up when he said “I wish I could be you for a few minutes so I could feel the baby move, then go back to being me so I didn’t have to do all the yucky stuff.” Ahh 7 year old wisdom.
It is hard that his mama isn’t getting this part… I try to enjoy it enough for the both of us.
Would you do it again? A good question and one I’m sure you will understand involves a lot of “ifs”. IF everything continues to go as well as it is. IF Hubs is still on board (Whatever you want Babe.) IF the doctor clears me again. IF the kids are okay after it’s all said and done.
Yeah I’d do it again, but I think I’ll stick with the two couples I’ve already gotten to know. Although changing couples wasn’t traumatic by any means, it was emotional. There is a lot invested in these families and IF they want me to try again for them I will probably say yes. Otherwise I will happily check SURROGACY off my life list and move on to the next big thing.
So there you have it… my surrogacy story. Did I shock you? Do you have a ton of questions? I’m not shy… ask away.