After explaining how she became a gestational carrier in Part One, A.M. describes her pregnancy and answers the big WHY? question everyone seems to want to ask. – Stephanie
After an excruciatingly long week, I finally got the faintest of faint positives on a home pregnancy test. Two days later, a digital test confirmed it with the beautiful word, “Pregnant.” We weren’t out of the woods yet of course, and the following weeks were filled with more daily hormone injections in the hopes that things would “stick” and I wouldn’t miscarry.
At 7 weeks pregnant, I had my first ultrasound and it was confirmed that I was carrying just one tiny baby with a strong beating heart. We were all a little shocked that the 27 harvested eggs had dropped to only three viable embryos, and only one of those had managed to cling on for dear life. But one is all it takes, and we were overjoyed and ecstatic.
Today, I’m almost half way through my pregnancy. It has been totally uneventful, just like my others. In a few days we’ll find out whether the intended parents are expecting a son or a daughter. They and their families are excited beyond words for this new life and I feel honored and blessed beyond measure that they chose me and trust me to take care of something so precious to them. It is really just the most rad, indescribable feeling.
I am asked the “Why?” question a lot. Sometimes, if the asker is respectful and genuinely wants to know more, I go into detail. After all, I totally love spreading the awesomeness of surrogacy whenever I can.
When people find out I’m a surrogate, they are usually one of two things: either utterly confused, or overtaken with a mix of morbid curiosity and fascination. Very few people really understand what it means or why I would choose to do something so intimate for a complete stranger.
I am asked the “Why?” question a lot. Sometimes, if the asker is respectful and genuinely wants to know more, I go into detail. After all, I totally love spreading the awesomeness of surrogacy whenever I can. But often people will pry and ask far too personal questions so I keep it short.
I won’t lie, the comments can be hurtful. The vast majority of women who find out I’m carrying someone else’s baby will contort their face in horror while exclaiming, “Oh, I could NEVER do that. I could never give my child up,” … as if I’m less of a mother and must lack some special maternal instinct because I CAN do it. The answer I give in my head is, “Well, neither could I. Good thing it’s not MY baby!” What I actually say is usually accompanied by a smile and something along the lines of, “I know, not many people could! That’s why surrogates are so special.”
People also often want to know if I think it will be hard to “give the baby up.” In short: no. Not at all. Because I’m not giving it up — I’m simply giving it BACK. The baby is not mine, it was never mine and I don’t think of it that way. The hands-down best moment in this whole journey will be giving birth and watching my IPs become a family. That’s what my goal was in the first place and I won’t be sad about that, I will be overjoyed to have experienced it.
But even more important to note is that surrogacy is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It is a long, drawn out process that requires a much more heartfelt commitment than just wanting the money.
While I welcome most questions from strangers, the single one I absolutely cannot stand is, “WOW, I bet you get paid a ton of money, huh? How much is it?” Not only is this incredibly rude (do you go around asking anyone else their salary?) but it also is so far away from the true reason most women do surrogacy.
Yes, we are compensated. We deserve every bit of that compensation, too. Even the easiest pregnancy is extremely hard work and is a risk. It is, essentially, a job that we are doing. No one else goes to work for free! But even more important to note is that surrogacy is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It is a long, drawn out process that requires a much more heartfelt commitment than just wanting the money. It can take years to complete and there is no guarantee you will ever actually get pregnant. So while the money is much appreciated, it is definitely not the driving force behind a surrogate.
Really though, most people mean no offense and are truly interested and want to learn more. And for that, I get excited to share. The most awesome in my book are those who offer a simple “Wow, you are amazing. Thank you for doing that.”
Recently, there has been a buzz about surrogacy in the media thanks to Elton John, Nicole Kidman, and the many other celebrities who have been brave enough to share their stories. My hope is that we as a society are moving towards a better understanding of the process and an appreciation for the women who risk their lives and put everything on hold to help others.
I want people to know that surrogates are really not much different from anyone else. We are not money-hungry, emotionless automatons. We are not attempting to fill an emotional void and we do not have secret desires to keep the baby. We are normal moms who love our kids and want others to experience that love too. We see a need and we fulfill it, and it ends up being one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. Simple as that.