Today I am 7 weeks pregnant.
Ultrasound pictures are held up with letter magnets on my fridge. My calendar is splattered with OB appointment reminders every week.
But this baby isn’t mine. This baby belongs to an AMAZING couple that I couldn’t love more.
I am a Gestational Carrier, a Surrogate Mom.
There is a good chance that all you know of surrogates either came from the movie “Baby Mama” or from the recent “surrogate” scandal. What I want you to know most about surrogates is that we are real people: we're moms, we work normal jobs, lead normal lives. There are a lot of different stories that pull women to surrogacy. For me, it was a best friend in high school who came out to me after we graduated. He was happy, but realized his orientation meant he would never have biological children. Without even thinking, my 17 year old self proclaimed “I’ll have babies for you!”
11 years later, I made the leap and joined a surrogacy agency that embodied all I wanted and needed to make this a positive experience for all involved. The agency matched me with a fantastic couple that will become parents in the Spring of 2012.
It sounds easy when I say it that way, sounds like a piece of cake. There is so much more that goes into it. There is the typical question everyone asks, “How can you just give your baby up?” First, this baby is in NO WAY my child. It will look drastically different than me and my family. It will not have my blood type, it was not made with any of my genetics. The process has been compared to long term babysitting. If your best friend asked you to watch their child for 9 months, you’d do it. You’d love that child for 9 months, tuck them into bed at night and kiss them on the head. You’d feed them and take care of them. When your friend came back you’d be SO happy to reunite them. Would you miss that child after you cared for them? YES, you would, but your heart would be so happy. I CANNOT wait to reunite this baby with its parents. I dream of it at night. I get teary eyed thinking about it. It’ll be the moment I’ve been waiting for.
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Second most asked question, “Will you be sad afterwards?” I have no idea. But, yes, I assume there will be a little bit of sadness, or maybe not sadness, per say. There is yet another perfect analogy for this situation. Have you ever planned a wedding? You spend months or years planning the perfect wedding. You lived and breathed wedding planning. Then the wedding is over and you feel almost lost, like you don’t know what to do with your time now. I don’t know what it’ll be like when I don’t have daily contact with the parents because they are now busy with a newborn. I don’t know what it’ll be like when I don’t have people taking care of me and thinking about me every second. But I do know how full my heart will be.
I have a very strong relationship with the parents of this baby. We talk daily. They take amazing care of me and are so worried about everything. They are such a blessing in my life. Sometimes I am taken back when I realize 3 months ago I had no idea who they were, and now I would do anything for them.
I may only be 7 weeks into this pregnancy, but I already know this baby is loved so much by so many people. My dreams are being fulfilled while I fulfill the parents dream. This is right where I belong.
I am a 7 weeks along in my first surrogate pregnancy and I couldn’t be happier.
Guest blogger Ryley strives to be the best mother she can to her little boy, while being the best surrogate she can to the most loving family. While she's not busy parenting and gestating she's often elbow deep in frosting and fondant creating with That's My Cake! You can catch up with her at That's My Family.
If you have any questions regarding surrogacy please contact Ryley at that's my family at gmail dot com and she will be happy to answer any questions.