Over the months I have received a lot of curious questions from friends and family, which is only natural, and I fully encourage. Several of the questions have been pretty similar so I thought it would be a good idea to anonymously list some of those questions with my answers. If I missed any, please submit them to me and I’ll add them to this post.
Q: I don’t think I could ever do it, how are you able to keep from becoming attached? Won’t it be hard to give away a baby that you’ve carried and birthed?
A: I am a fairly strong willed person, and once I set my mind to a task or a goal I am fully committed. Not to compare humans to animals, but I have fostered in the past. Going into each experience knowing that I was only there to improve the animal and ultimately find them the best forever home I could, helped me keep from becoming emotionally attached. Yes there was some emotion when I handed them over to their new family but I had the added comfort that they were in wonderful hands. This line of thinking is where I mentally put myself when I began the surrogacy process. Granted, I did have eight months to prepare before the embryo transfer took place which only solidified my mindset further. But I did also go through psychological testing and clearance and continue to have monthly phone appointments with a psychologist. I am happy to have the opportunity to help a family grow and live vicariously through their happiness and excitement but I am clear that this is for them, not for me. Seeing their joy upon holding their baby for the first time will be my ultimate reward.
Q: How has the surrogacy affected your marriage so far, if at all?
A: We entered into this journey as a team and it hasn’t affected our marriage. But we’ve also been married for over 10 years so that may be a big contributing factor.
Q: What are you telling your children? How are you explaining the surrogacy to them? Do they understand?
A: I have a post about some wonderful books here. The books really helped us open dialog with our children on their level about what is happening and what to expect. The younger of our two doesn’t really understand what is happening, but she just turned two. Our older daughter is three and a half and has a better grasp on things. When I ask her about the surro baby this is what she says, “You’re growing a baby for the people because the mommy’s tummy is broken.” I think that is a great answer for her age.
Q: Congratulations on the pregnancy! Are you excited/happy?
A: This question caught me a little off guard. I am happy for the IP’s but there was no jumping up and down excitement on my part upon finding out the tests all came back positive, or even when the heartbeat confirmation happened. There was, however, an overwhelming sense of relief that all was well and progressing.
Q: How does this pregnancy compare to your two biological ones?
A: This pregnancy’s first trimester was much more trying than my two biological ones with extreme exhaustion and nausea. But I think the attributing factor on those was the added hormones I was taking leading up to the transfer and through 10 weeks pregnant. Otherwise the rest of it seems like pretty familiar territory.
Q: How did you first learn about surrogacy? What made you want to become a gestational surrogate?
A: When I was 16 and taking a college course at my local community college the conversation of family came up with a classmate during a break. I learned that she was a two time surrogate in addition to her three biological children. It was the first time I had ever met a surrogate and it blew my mind. I wanted to learn more about it and made the goal of someday becoming an egg donor and/or surrogate. Fast forward several years and I made friends with another surrogate who joined an agency once she was done with surrogacy as a carrier. She confirmed that I would be an ideal surrogate and encouraged me to submit an application when I was ready to do so.
Q: You have/had to do injections how long?! Who gave them to you? Does it hurt?
A: I started Pregesterone in Oil (PIO) intramuscular injections on the day of the embryo transfer and continued through 10 weeks gestation. My cousin who traveled with me for the transfer administered my first two injections and my husband administered the majority of the rest. I did give myself a few injections. It was a little tricky to twist around and get to the right spot but overall not too bad. One injection I tried in my thigh and that was pretty rough so I kept it in the upper outer quadrant of my gluts.
Q: Do you know the parents / IP’s?
A: Because this surrogacy was through an agency I first met the IP’s via a Skype session when we were interviewing each other to see if we were a good match. We do talk weekly through a chat app but I don’t personally know them.
Q: How is your husband handling you carrying somebody else’s child?
A: I am a gestational surrogate which means the baby doesn’t have my DNA. He is extremely supportive but doesn’t act the same way he did when we were expecting our children because we aren’t planning for the future of our expanding family.
Q: Would you have done anything differently?
A: I have certainly learned a lot through this process and would encourage more communication through each phase. But other than waiting there haven’t been any severely negative situations or experiences.
Q: What are some of the memorable things you’ve heard so far?
A: One of my favorites came from a young neighbor. “If you don’t find a home for the baby boy, can you give it to our family? I’d really like another brother.” I think this young one was under the impression that we would find a family after achieving pregnancy.