What It's Like To Be A SurrogateRebecca Odes
Jacob is a friend of mine, and the author of the new dad blog “Gaddy Daddy: Confessions of a Stay at Home Gay Daddy“. He and his partner, Stuart, have a baby named Max who just turned six months old. Max was born with the help of a surrogate, an incredible woman named Christie. Christie has a continuing friendship with Jacob and Stuart and is involved with their family, as well as the family of the little girl she carried before Max. (She’s got two kids with her husband as well.) Christie is a traditional surrogate, which means the babies she carried used her own eggs—and she became pregnant via artificial insemination rather than in vitro fertilization. Gestational surrogacy uses IVF to transfer embryos into the surrogate’s uterus. In that situation the eggs (and sperm) can come from both parents or other donors, depending.
Christie just wrote an amazing post on Jacob’s blog that sheds some rare intimate insight into the surrogate experience from the inside. Her story answers so many questions about what it’s like to be a surrogate, at least her version. She talks about why she made the choice, and how her husband took the news (it took four years to convince him!) She talks about her family’s ambivalence, and eventual acceptance of her decision. She tells us what it felt like to be pregnant with a baby she knew she wasn’t going to keep—twice—and once that baby was born, what it was like to say goodbye.
I found her post riveting. I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to carry a baby and not raise the child. What Christie has to say is interesting and sad and funny and so enlightening about the reality of the surrogacy experience. Christie seems like a great person—Jacob and Stuart are lucky to have found her. I feel lucky to have been able to read her story and to share it with you.
Here’s an excerpt about how it feels to say goodbye to a baby after carrying him for 9 months.
“Post pregnancy hormones can turn you into a crying, raving psycho make life a little difficult. That’s true whether or not you keep the baby. For those people around a surrogate, who has just relinquished the baby, it seems as if she is so sad to have the baby gone, like we have regrets or are sorry we did it. Well, it is sad. For nine months you spend literally every single minute of your life with this person, and you get to know them, and you get used to having them around. Pregnancy hormones get a woman ready to be a mother to a child, and there isn’t a baby to care for. Surrogates don’t love these babies less because they aren’t going to be ours. If anything, they often are more careful, because this baby’s parents have entrusted their care to you for the duration of the pregnancy. That’s a big responsibility! It’s important to understand, though, that the sadness isn’t because the baby is gone- that was the whole point, and it feels great when it happens. The sadness is that the journey is over, and it was everything to you for a long time. It does get better- once you recover a little, the hormones settle down, and the body returns to normal, it really is back to your regularly scheduled life again.”
Get the rest of Christie’s story on the Gaddy Daddy Blog.