What is it like to be a surrogate mother and how will your emotions play into the experience?
We asked our surrogates to complete the following statement: “The first time I heard your baby’s heartbeat…” Here’s what our courageous surrogates, whose hearts are so big and so giving, had to say:
You’ve been waiting for this day now for what seems like forever. Marking the days on the calendar with anticipation and some anxiety, you contemplate the good and bad. After all, a couple has trusted you with their most prized possession, a precious life to nurture and bring into this world. The intimacy and divinity in that alone can bring some nervousness. Our bodies, created to share in the complexities of birth, is truly a miraculous site to behold, and empowering as a woman. However, not everyone’s purpose is the same, and it’s through surrogacy that we give the gift of life to those who can’t.
The weeks have passed, and finally, the day has arrived for you and the intended parents to share in an incredible and magical moment, hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the very first time.
Arriving at the doctor’s office, signing in, and sitting patiently in a waiting room with other expecting women, you hear your name called. It’s really about to happen and your hopes are that everything is just fine.
“I was giddy with excitement for your future.” -S.K.
Some intended parents plan to be at every doctor’s appointment, some none, and some as many as their schedule permits. It really just depends on what was agreed upon at the beginning of the process. The excitement for both parties can be overwhelming regardless of whether the intended parents are present or not. As parents, we begin to worry about our children at conception, not just when we hold them in our arms for the first time.
You undress, put on your gown and lie down on the bed as instructed by one of the nurses. The doctor comes in, greeting you with a big smile before squirting the warm gooey gel on your belly (I’m sure there’s a technical term for it). She begins rubbing it all around in a circular motion with the ultrasound, gently presses into your belly to get closer to the baby, and there it is! It’s loud and rhythmic like the sound of music…in fact, it is indeed music to your ears. The presence of a heartbeat represents the presence of life. Knowing that the intended parents were a step closer, was very calming.
“My heart was so full of joy and gratitude because I knew you’d been waiting so long for this.” says Surrogate G.M.
Many people find themselves at a loss of words to hear the heart beating so loud and strong.
“I was ecstatic and so very excited to know you were strong and healthy!” says Surrogate R.H.
Not only does a heartbeat represent life, to many people, it represents a strong and healthy baby. And to some, the meaning of life is love, and couples create an even stronger bond throughout the process of surrogacy. At the center of it all, lies the love of making a difference in the lives of others who, without a surrogate, would be unable to have their own biological child to love and hold.
“I knew your life just changed for the better!” said Surrogate J.A.
No matter how much intended parents try to prepare, hearing the heartbeat of their future child can create a new reality, perhaps intimidating as well. The journey into parenthood can be uncertain, but planning for a new life with a child is a joyous occasion that both the intended parents and surrogates can celebrate together. It’s amazing how a tiny heartbeat reminds us to embrace the now, to bask in the love around us, and show up fully.
“I was relieved and excited.” – M.D.