Becoming Mothers: A Surrogate Mom’s Journey
On “Black Friday,” I went in to my OB to be checked and to see if the twins had decided to turn head down yet. Of course, they hadn’t; it would be a c-section for me. The doctor told me to go home, get bags packed, gather my party and come back at 5:30 p.m. to get prepped. I did as he instructed, my mom drove me back to the hospital that evening and my husband and our friends met us there. They wheeled me into the surgical room and three familiar faces met me there, people whom I love and adore, friends I considered family at this point. Smiling, reassuring me, holding my hand and making sure I was comfortable.
Sounds pretty standard, right? It was anything but.
You see, my husband was there, but alongside of him were the parents of the twin girls who were about to enter the world. I am a gestational surrogate, not the proud mother of these babies but their proud carrier. The people around me had been close to me for my 36 weeks of pregnancy and a couple of months before, but prior to that we had never met. Those 36 weeks changed us from getting to know each other to loving each other like family. We had spent time talking almost daily and they had visited a few times too.
A few minutes after entering that room, something happened, something they weren’t sure ever would. They became parents–parents of twins at that! What a magical moment it was for me! The look on their faces can never be described, but it changed who I am. It was incredibly humbling and it was a blessing to be a part of something so big.
My surrogacy journey had actually stated many years earlier; I had seen a surrogate on television as a teenager and I told my mom if I could ever have babies I would have one for someone who couldn’t. After having our second son we had that feeling that we were done with our own family, but I didn’t feel like I was done with being pregnant. I started researching, having forgotten surrogacy completely, and came across a support site for surrogates. I started researching and after a month or two of deep investigation I applied with an agency.
Surrogacy matching is like a first date–you want to make sure you have the same ideas about pregnancy, delivery, how many babies you would like to carry, etc. and you have to make sure you have a connection with the couple for whom you will carry. I loved my couple from the first moment I talked to them on the phone; I knew they were just the right fit for me.
They stayed in Denver for a month before heading home and we saw each other almost every day, I cherish those moments, it was lovely to see them as parents–they rocked at it! When they left we all cried, it was so sad to see them go; the part you might find odd is I was crying because my friends were leaving, not the babies.
Most people have plenty of questions about surrogacy, so let me touch on the main ones.
1.) Do I miss the babies? That’s a tough one, because I miss them in the way I miss my best friends’ kids, like you would miss a niece or nephew (not like your own child). They are nothing like my own children, I didn’t bond with them in the same way I did with my boys.
2.) How did it feel to “give them up”? I knew from the first moment they weren’t mine to keep, I knew I would be giving them to their parents at the end of the pregnancy–that is something you have to know you can do from the second you decide to be a surrogate, if you are unsure, you shouldn’t do it. I was sure. I tell people it is like babysitting; you can watch someone’s kid for them, but you can’t keep them, right? Same thing with surrogacy, you are their nanny (of sorts) for 9 months.
3.) Did I make a ton of money being a surrogate? Being a surrogate didn’t make me rich, although the media might like you to think it did. It did, however, make us feel overwhelmingly blessed.
When I think about our journey it brings tears to my eyes, it was such an amazing, humbling experience. We truly built a friendship that will last a lifetime and makes me feel richer than any stack of cash ever could.
Sarah is a happily married, homeschooling mom of two young boys; their nicknames are Moose and Tater, so as you can probably guess…. She writes the blog Moose Tracks and Tater Stacks. She and her husband were foster parents for seven years and now she is a birth Doula who is obsessed with all things pregnancy, labor and delivery.