a complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, form, etc.
The day baby James was born, I was transformed into a Surrogate.
It was a life-enriching and changing experience.
Six whole months. That seems so strange! In one sense I feel as though my body didn’t give birth so recently and at the same time there are little lingering tell-tale signs of the life that I held and cared for all those months.
Surro baby James’ parents and I still talk about once a month for updates, pictures, and video. He is growing big and strong and absolutely adorable!
I had a necklace made by The Dainty Doe that represents both of my girls and baby James (as we refer to him in our household). It is very special to me and I appreciate having something that reminds me of that amazing experience without it being obvious.
Would I do anything differently?
I would not relocate my family for the third trimester and delivery.
It seemed like the ideal situation for us with how many things lined up. My husband’s company was there, we had family and friends there, we knew our way around, my brother was able to house sit… but we essentially were on a 4 month vacation. And that is exhausting. Vacation is fun but only for a week or two then the novelty starts to wear off and the expenses start to pile up and all you want is to sleep in your own bed.
We also had to change our living arrangement and rental vehicle while there and encountered several other unforeseen hurdles. Now that I am able to reflect on all of the details of the entire journey, it isn’t a big surprise that I ended up with PPD. Not because of the surrogacy or giving the baby to his parents, but everything else that went along with the process. Having to face many high stress situations with minimal support from the team I had expected to use as a resource was a big mental blow. Traveling home with so many of our belongings after a major holiday, two weeks (to the day) postpartum, and pumping, was one of those very stressful situations.
Several people have asked if I would consider carrying as a surrogate again. So many of the negativities surrounding my first journey were avoidable and not due to the actual parents, pregnancy, or placing James in his mother’s arms. The actual surrogacy was a very positive experience. Which leads me to my answer. Yes.
As a matter of fact I have been working hard to lose weight to bring my BMI down. I am thankfully below my pre-pregnancy weight and only have another 15 or so to go, hopefully by the beginning of September, in order to be medically cleared for a second journey.
Yes, a second journey.
If all goes well, and I dearly hope it does, this would be a very different experience from my first journey. It already is such a different process and full of better communication. This journey would be for a friend and not through an agency. We will still go through all the same steps (Medical and Psychological clearance, Legal Contract, and a Reproductive Endocrinologist) but we have been, and would be, communicating directly with each other instead of primarily through a coordinator.
There has already been a phone interview with their RE during which I was able to cover a list of my questions and concerns. And my sister, who is a RDN, has been monitoring my weight loss to help me ensure that I am losing weight at a healthy pace and being realistic. No fad diets here! Just good hard work, tracking my activity with Fitbit, and tracking my intake on My Fitness Pal app. Weight loss should be done with the goal of creating a healthy lifestyle you can maintain.
As I continue to bypass goals and the hot summer months creep by it is making the reality of the second journey timeline that much more realistic. And we are all very excited!