“I could never carry a baby for nine months and then just give it away.”
That’s what I have heard over and over again from the time I first expressed interest in becoming a gestational surrogate, and continue to hear today when I share that I am one month postpartum from delivering a baby via surrogacy. I am a 26-year-old married woman, mother of two beautiful children, and follower of Jesus. I carried a child in my body for 40 weeks one day, and I gave him back to his parents with nothing but absolutely joy in my heart.
There is still so much that others don’t really understand about surrogacy, so many misconceptions, and even laws in some states that would have you believing it’s something that it’s not. I’m here to give you a real look at surrogacy that watching Baby Mama or reading sensational headlines about surrogates kidnapping babies can’t give you. I’m here to give you the truth.
1. I didn’t give away my baby.
He was not mine to give. He always belonged to the man and woman who took him home to be loved and raised for the rest of his life, I was simply a “pre birth babysitter”.
2. I didn’t do it for the money.
As if it’s easier to go through months of hormonal injections, weight gain, legal procedures, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and recovery than to get a job if I needed cash. I was in this for the outcome, not the income.
3. There was never any attachment to the baby, and I don’t miss him.
Now, people either think when I say this that I am lying or I’m heartless. It can be hard to understand if you don’t have the heart and mind of a surrogate. Not everyone is meant to be a surrogate or could go through this process emotionally or mentally, and that’s OK. But that doesn’t make me wrong. I respect the gift of life and am thankful to God for it, and I treated the pregnancy as if I were carrying my own child. I loved him because I love people, but I did not feel any sort of bond or sadness.
4. Parents who use surrogates are not wealthy or vain.
Look to your left and look to your right, you probably see someone you know who has or is suffering from infertility. Surrogacy is no one’s first choice, and money doesn’t grow on trees for most of the men and women who have to turn to it. These are people who might end up in debt, borrowing from their retirements funds, taking second or third jobs each, just so they can afford to have their baby. They want to have a child so badly and they are willing to do whatever they can to make it happen, knowing that becoming parents still may never become a reality. They’ve often already tried to have babies the old-fashioned way AND every medical way possible, finding it impossible.
5. I would do it all over again.
When I met the wonderful couple I became a surrogate for, they’d been struggling for years to become parents; I just knew they were the ones. We had an instant connection and a bond that formed over the entire process from beginning the paperwork with our agency, getting cleared medically and psychologically, taking hormones and medications, the embryo transfer, all the way through the pregnancy and to the day their son was born and placed in their arms. The look on the baby’s mother’s face when she saw her son entering the world on this side of the womb was unforgettable. The tears both parents cried in joy after years of grief was overwhelming. Every shot in my backside, every nauseous day, every morning I couldn’t roll myself out of bed, every pound I gained, every labor contraction I screamed through. It was all worth it, it was all worth him.