Q: How are you able to keep from becoming attached? Won’t it be hard to give away the baby?
A: From the very beginning it is clear, to me and everybody involved, that I am carrying for another family. I don’t think up names, or plan out a nursery, or make cute announcements to family members. This is not my child. That doesn’t mean I’m cold hearted and have no feelings at all, it just means that my feelings do not include a claim or a motherly bond. Rather, I feel more like the cool aunt sharing updates.
Q: How has surrogacy affected your marriage, if at all?
A: If anything it has only continued to draw us closer as we experience these miracles together. My husband is my biggest support, especially during the black hole of no energy in the first trimester, he really is amazing.
Q: How are you handling the pregnancy with your children?
A: We are pretty direct with them about the whole process. Words have grown up a little bit between the first surrogacy and this one but the concept remains the same. Our 5 year old told her Kinder teach toward the end of school that “A doctor put a baby in my mommy’s belly for another family!” They are both very attentive and seem to grasp the situation better than most adults. Another wonderful resource are some of the books we own, see this post for more on that.
Q: How did you first learn about surrogacy? What made you want to become a gestational carrier?
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 suggested that I would be an ideal surrogate and encouraged me to submit an application when I was ready to do so.
When my husband and I were ready to grow into a family we experienced some fertility issues for over three years. Compared to many it wasn’t long, but it felt like an eternity. After having our own two children it only made me want to help grow other families that much more.
Q: You had to do injections how long?! Who gave them to you? Does it hurt?
A: I started Progesterone in Oil (PIO) intramuscular injections on the day the eggs were thawed and continued through 15 weeks gestation. My husband has lovingly administered all of my injections this time. The majority of them were relatively painless, the actual medication is a little thick so if it is pushed too fast it can burn but as soon as the injection is done, the pain stops.
Q: Do you get paid a lot?
A: This is my least favorite question. While I can certainly appreciate that it is an investment for the IP’s to use a surrogate, as there are many costs involved, carrying as a surrogate is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a benefit to receive compensation but it is not the driving source for why I pursued this method of helping other families. And I wish people would stop asking about the financial side of things (unless they are potential IP’s doing research).
Q: Do you know the parents / IP’s?
A: We were referred to each other by a mutual connection. But we have since enjoyed getting to know each other through visits and regular group chats between all four of us.
Q: Would you have done anything differently?
A: No! Even with the bumps that we have experienced this has been an amazing journey so far. There have been wonderful staff and doctors involved throughout, I have continued to see my therapist every six weeks, there has been clear and constant communication, and we have grown a bond between the four of us that will last for many years to come.