having someone else's baby

In case you didn’t get the big ol’ hint on my latest post for mom.me, I am currently pregnant. And nope, it’s not my baby. 

You may recall that I have been preparing to be a surrogate. It’s funny when I tell people about my surrogacy plans I get all kinds of reactions from, “Wow, that’s so dangerous though,” to, “how incredibly selfless of you,” to, “how much do you get paid for that?” 

All of these comments make me uncomfortable to a certain degree. I understand that most people are mystified by the surrogacy world. They simply do not understand it or have never met a surrogate. Some people have had bad pregnancy experiences and can’t imagine going through that whole ordeal again, no matter how much they get paid! Other can’t comprehend how they would be able to “give up” the baby after bonding with it for nine months. 

I try to be an open book and patient with everyone’s questions. I understand that surrogacy is a difficult concept for most people. I do my best to not get offended by people’s questions and try to keep a straight face and steady tone when answering the same question for the tenth time. But truth be told, it's not always easy. 

Let’s start with the first comment. Is being a surrogate really all that dangerous? In my humble opinion, it is not. Yes, all pregnancies can come with certain risks. It’s not easy carrying a baby. Most women experience symptoms such as morning sickness, back pain, swollen ankles, food aversions. Some women experience serious complications which require special care under the supervision of an OB. I have been blessed to have had two very easy-going pregnancies. I definitely had my hard moments (horrible back and hip pain!), but for the most part I actually enjoy being pregnant. And I don’t believe pregnancy is a dangerous condition. I believe it’s natural. God created women with the ability to carry and birth babies. I can do this. My body can handle this. And even if I do experience complications along the way I have faith that God will bring me through it and that the skilled doctors will know how to take care of my situation.

The second comment seems kind, and it is! Most people I meet say they are in awe of my selflessness and this giving act. I get it, having a baby isn’t easy and not just anyone can carry a baby, birth it, and then hand it off to its parents like it’s not big thing - but I am that person. I honestly don’t see this surrogacy as some amazing selfless act. The way I see it, I’m pretty good at being pregnant and I’m an efficient birther (hello, two hour labor with Isabel from start to finish!). I no longer have a need for my uterus since I don’t want to have any more babies of my own. If I can help out another couple complete their family with the use of my empty uterus, then why not? And to clarify, I have absolutely no genetic connection to this child I’m carrying. I’m not “giving up” anything, because it’s not mine to begin with. I’m simply returning the baby to his or her parents after an extended babysitting gig. I cannot wait to see the joy on their faces when they see their baby for the first time!

The last comment is the most irritating one of all. When did it become okay to ask people how much money they make? The few times I have told people my exact comp amount I have had an array of reactions from, “That’s not enough,” to, “wow, that’s a lot!” It’s all relative. The compensation I am receiving is enough for me and I’m not doing it for the money anyway. Believe me, no one would do this solely for the money! There’s so much more to it than that. 

So this is it. After months of planning and praying and hoping and wishing and more praying and more planning, I am with child. Not my child, but a child who is very loved and wanted and blessed beyond belief. I feel honored to take care of this little baby and nourish it for the next nine months. I’m already looking forward to birthing this baby and seeing its face for the first time. I can’t wait to see this baby being held and doted on by its parents. It’s going to be an incredible journey and I pray that it would be fruitful in many ways. I am sure the Lord will teach me so many amazing loving lessons over the next several months and I covet your prayers and support. 

Thanks, friends!