*This is the sixth piece in my surrogacy story. Thanks for following along!
I distinctly remember several of the reactions we received from people as we shared our happy news. Some thought it was strange, some thought it was “interesting,” but the majority thought it was just as wonderful as we did. (Those are my favorite to remember!)
I know surrogacy is hard to comprehend for some people. And I know there are a million questions that come to mind when the topic arises. I never minded (and still don’t mind) talking about it and helping others understand why I chose to do this.
As we would tell others about the pregnancy, a common remark was, “I’d never do that,” or “I could never do that.” And I’d always say, “That’s OK. You don’t have to. You do what you can and I’ll do what I can.”
It’s one of those situations that reminds you that you don’t have to want to do everything others do. We’re all different; we all give differently; we all have different goals and bucket lists. And that’s OK.
For those who questioned how I could “give away” a baby I’d carried, I always told them to imagine if you were a surrogate for your sister or best friend. You’d never want to keep their baby. You’d be so excited to finally give them that precious bundle they’d longed for … especially after going through this process together. That moment when the doctor hands their baby to them is what you’ve imagined in your head a thousand times during the journey. You sign up for this knowing another couple’s baby is going to be in your womb, you’re going to take care of him and bring him into this world, and then be a part of a magical moment when he meets his parents for the first time … and they meet him.
I did it for that moment. Never once feeling like he was mine to keep. Never once feeling sad that he wasn’t going home with me. I helped grow him, for them. To me, it was never me giving him away, it was me bringing him home to them.
We waited several weeks into the pregnancy to announce it on Facebook (after I’d had several ultrasounds and multiple weeks of bloodwork that showed the hormone levels climbing). I didn’t know what kind of response I’d get after telling the Facebook “world.” I just wanted to fill everyone in so they’d know what was going on when they saw my growing belly. And I was so happy about this experience, I wanted to finally share the excitement that was bursting out of me.
The outpouring of positive support and love was overwhelming. I remember my phone buzzing all day from the Facebook replies to the announcement. I cried several times (surprise! haha!) reading the sweet, loving, encouraging words from friends, family and even acquaintances. Not ONE negative comment. It filled me up so completely and buried any icky remarks that had come from a few conversations.
Telling our boys was actually pretty easy. We went to one of our favorite local restaurants and while we were all talking I told them we had some happy news. I explained that Mommy was going to help a friend who couldn’t have a baby. I told them it was the other family’s baby, that they created, but now Mommy was going to carry it for them. My belly would get big just like it had with Finley, and then the baby would be born and go home with his or her family. Of course, Finley, our youngest, didn’t understand anything being discussed … he just wanted to get down and run around the garden patio. Sawyer (4 at the time) was inquisitive and asked several great questions.
“Is the baby going to look like us?” “Do we get to name the baby?” “Will we get to go visit the baby?”
Our two oldest boys listened, took it all in and thought it was pretty neat. I remember Miles, our oldest, asking if the baby was already in there. I said yes, and he shrugged and said, “Wow. That’s pretty crazy. And weird. But cool.”
They were actually very mature about the whole thing, telling their friends about it, and then their new teachers when school started a few months later (before I had the chance to tell them). We just had to work on some vocabulary. Carson’s teacher sent me an email explaining the conversation they’d had when Carson was trying to share with her that his mom was a “cigarette” for another mommy who couldn’t have a baby. She figured out he meant to say “surrogate” and he said, “Ohh yeaaa … surrogate, you’re right, that’s what she is!” 🙂
*Blurry pic of a memorable night! 🙂
I was so glad when everyone knew about the surrogacy and we could go about our lives as usual. Although, our lives “as usual” ended when I was 19 weeks and 4 days along. Whew … this part of the story might take a while.
Love (and celebrate good news) more,