Being a gestational carrier, or surrogate, requires a leap of faith – not only in the agency and other professionals you’ll be working with, but certainly also trust in the intended parents. It also takes faith in your loved ones’ support and in your own ability to quite possibly be seen in the community as doing something very unusual.
Most people in the general public do not realize the differences between “traditional” and “gestational” surrogacy. So it’s not uncommon to hear questions from acquaintances – or even strangers – about your connection to the baby in utero. They often don’t realize that gestational surrogacy removes many of the legal and ethical issues from this solution to infertility. I’ve never had infertility issues myself. I do have children of my own; 4 to be exact. However, I do know many people who do suffer from infertility.
I got into the infertility world by choice. I decided to become an egg donor years ago. Back when it was not very common, especially for an African American woman. I then decided to become a gestational surrogate and successfully completed 3 journeys.
When I first approached the subject with my family that I wanted to be a surrogate, it was not taken very well. Naturally, there were a lot of concerns but eventually my family did support me. And you must have support throughout the entire surrogacy journey.
I also shared my thoughts with friends and colleagues. Some didn’t understand in the beginning either and some of them were clueless as to the process. I was asked by someone did my husband approve of me sleeping with another man in order to get pregnant. Clearly that isn’t how it works but so many people are not educated and misinformed about surrogacy and what is involved.
To be a surrogate you must have a passion to be pregnant. You must have a generous heart.
This cannot be just about the money. There are numerous physical, emotional and legal aspects involved. You are not getting compensated for a baby. You are getting compensated for your time, pain and suffering.
Pregnancy is hard regardless if you’re carrying for yourself or someone else. It is especially more difficult when you know at the end of it all you don’t get to keep the prize. Being a gestational surrogate requires a lengthy time commitment, putting your life on hold essentially. You must be willing to endure daily injections before and after the transfer. Then of course once you’re pregnant and all that comes with being pregnant. Luckily for me, I enjoy being pregnant and I have easy pregnancies.
I read an article quite some time ago on the Daily Beast that asked “But what kind of woman would carry a child to term, only to hand him over moments after birth? Surrogates challenge our most basic ideas about motherhood, and call into question what we’ve always thought of as an unbreakable bond between mother and child.” The Curious Lives of Surrogates
There are no words to express the emotions you will ultimately go through. Throughout each journey I witnessed the devastations, tears, anger, hurt, and frustrations from each of the couples I helped. But the best part is I witnessed excitements, elations, and gratefulness. With every emotion they felt, I felt it as well. The feeling is indescribable. It is difficult to put into words. You have completely changed a family’s life forever.
Many people ask how can you carry a child and then give the child away. It was never my child. I was the incubator and I am handing him or her or they back to the parents they were destined to be with.