As you know, Surrogacy is something that I have had in my heart and on my mind for quite some time now. When it first came up years ago, you were on board. Years have passed since then and it is something that keeps coming up for me. We have had a few conversations about it, and I never feel quite like you understand where I am coming from. So I thought maybe if I write it out, I can better get my point across.
I first thought about being a surrogate, wow, over 8 years ago. We were a young married couple, so lucky to have our first child of our own. My sister, who desperately wanted to be a mama too, was struggling with infertility. I think they were still in early stages, trying to figure out the cause, when I had the thought: I would carry a baby for my sister in a heartbeat. I knew how much she loved children and longed to be a mother. I love her deeply and would do anything I could to help make her dream come true. They weren’t even at the point of surrogacy, however I let her know I would totally do it for her. I felt like the only person I could do that for was her. And you supported that, you were completely on board with the idea of me carrying a baby for my sister.
Months went by and they proceeded with their journey to conceive, as did we. We decided it was time to expand our family and got pregnant with Pickle. Joyfully, my sister was able to conceive through IFV and 9 months after Pickle was born, our nephew was born. Long tucked away were my thoughts of surrogacy.
Many years later, we have our 3 boys and my sister has a boy and a girl. 3 years ago we agreed we were done having children and you had a vasectomy. I have not regretted that choice once. I still am, and always will be, happy with our 3.
I have been feeling a pull to surrogacy again. I know 3 women who have done it and all 3 said it was one of the best experiences and they would do it again. I used to think being a surrogate was only something I could do for my sister. But honestly, I now feel that I could do it for a stranger. For a stranger who longs to experience the joy that we have, the joy of having children.
Think about that joy. Everyday we get to wake up (usually earlier than we would like) to those handsome faces that we created, that are us. Everyday we get to hear their laughter echoing down the hall. We get to hear about their day at school. We get to beam with pride when they get an awesome hit or score a goal. We get to kiss away their tears when they fall down. We get to hear about their dreams for the future and what they want to be when they grow up. Now imagine if we didn’t have them. Imagine if we were unable to have children on our own. Imagine the emptiness we would feel inside, the yearn we would have for a family. What if we needed to turn to a stranger to help us build our family?
I could be that for someone, we could be that for someone. Now I know you have your concerns, we have discussed them before. They are not without merit, but lets talk about them. In pregnancy, as in anything, there is a risk of death and that is your biggest concern. I could potentially be risking my own life for strangers. But there is risk in everyday life. You or I could be involved in a traffic accident; you drive hundreds of mile everyday for your job so your risk is high. We could choke on our food. We could contract an illness and die. I am not trying to sound morbid here, but really, death is potentially everywhere.
- 18.5 in 100,000 women died from childbirth related causes in 2013 .000185%
- 10.3 in 100,000 people in the US died in a traffic related accident in 2013 .000103 %
Yes, pregnancy and childbirth is slightly more risky, but not by much. If you want to be in fear of something happening, you can’t be. I have had 3 very successful pregnancies without any complications. Yes, every one is different, but my track record is a pretty good indicator that I will be fine.
Another of your concerns is our boys, how will they take to mommy being pregnant with a baby that isn’t ours and will they understand? In short, I think they will be fine and will understand. More in depth…Our boys are very intelligent creatures. They understand life, death, and are very understanding. I know if we set them down and explain surrogacy to them, they will get it. Monkey too, even though he is 4. We put it into terms he will get: Mommy is babysitting the baby in her belly for someone else, and when the baby is born it will go live with his or her parents. If they know from the beginning that this baby is not their sibling, I don’t believe we will have any problems with them.
Surrogacy is becoming more common in the US. About 750 babies are born each year via surrogate. I have done research on it, checked out a couple of different agencies. I know the requirements, the process, the support available…I have gone over it time and time again. And like I said before, this is something I keep coming back to over and over again. Not because I have a void to fill: I am not looking to be a surrogate because I miss being pregnant or am sad at the fact that we are done having children. That is not it. I used to think I could only do it for my sister. She has been fortunate enough to have 2 beautiful children. And I think, no I couldn’t just do it for her, I could do it for anyone. Someone who has dreamt of having their own child but can’t, someone who has a hole to fill in their heart, someone who wants and deserves to feel the love that we have with our children.
It is not about money, it is not about wanting more children, it is simply something that I feel pulled to do. I don’t know how to explain it other than that. And I get that it may be hard to understand, that maybe you don’t know where I am coming from. But I would like to help you understand. I would never and could never do it without your support. So, let’s talk about it…