8 things I learned from being a gestational carrier

Yeah.  I know. Eight does seem like a weird number, but 5 wasn’t enough and 10 seemed like too many.  I learned so much from being a surrogate that it’s hard to break it down into a few bullet points on a page, but I’ll give it a shot.  One piece that is missing is how this journey has changed my heart.  It’s impossible to put into words.   Just imagine that feeling when you saw your baby’s face for the very first time, and you heard them cry and counted all of the fingers and toes over and over.  It’s kind of like that, tied up with a bow and handed to someone else who has been waiting and hoping and praying for this gift. So let me put my tissues away and make my list.

  1. I became even more grateful for the extraordinary gift of being able to have my own children.
    • We all recognize how fortunate we are to be able to carry our own children and create the family we’ve always dreamed of, but when you meet people who have been struggling with infertility for years, and all they want in the world is exactly what came to you so easily, it’s incredibly humbling.  You wonder why you’re so lucky, and these people have to endure so much pain and sadness. If it’s possible, the process made me even more appreciative of my body’s ability to bring life into the world.
  2. I am stronger than I thought I was.
    • So, this surrogacy process isn’t for the faint hearted.  The screening piece can be lengthy…medical records, psych and background checks…and the matching with intended parent(s) can be nerve wracking. You hope they’ll like you, and you hope you’ll like if you them.  Sharing your profile and reading about someone you might carry a child for can be fun if you relax and know that the right match will happen at the right time. I didn’t know I had it in me to get through all of that, and then here came the shots.  I had lists and calendars and bags of drugs. I felt like a pro and a pin cushion by the time embryo transfer time came around.  The babies hopped on board, and there were still more medications for weeks to come.  It’s a lot to stay on top of, but when you consider there’s a tiny life depending on you, a few shots are no big deal.
  3. I wasn’t attached to the baby I was carrying like my own.
    • This is the question I was asked most often as a gestational carrier…Won’t you get attached to the baby?  Since I met the parents I would be carrying for a few months before I even became pregnant, we built a relationship, and I was so excited for them to have a baby, not me.  You know well ahead of time that this is not your child, so it’s a very different feeling. I knew then entire time that I was growing these babies for a very sweet couple who couldn’t wait for the arrival of their children.
  4. My family and friends were an amazing support system. 
    • I absolutely love my family and have the coolest friends ever.  Everyone was supportive and excited for us, but I had no idea how they would be cheering us on and offering to help out constantly. From my boss letting me take little break time naps to my ex-husband helping out with the kids, so I could rest and focus on my growing twin belly.
  5. It was a life changing lesson in selflessness for my children.
    • The surrogacy process was a family affair in our house. It was always “we” are carrying these babies for someone else, not “I”. We worked together to grow them and the kids were all able to hold them and say goodbye at the hospital.  Then as a family, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to Disney World after the birth. My children, even as adults, are still proud of the part we played in helping another family.
  6. It’s not a journey meant for everyone.
    • There are nay-sayers and negative Nancies in every crowd, and there will always be people who criticize surrogacy. The fact is that it’s an option when considering your options as far as starting a family. Every once in a while, someone had to throw in their two cents, even if it was narrow minded or uneducated.  It provides a great opportunity to share information about what a beautiful journey surrogacy is. I considered that this may occur before I even started the process, so I was prepared.  I think you find that the positive support so far outweighs the negative, it’s almost not worth mentioning.
  7. It only takes that one moment to make it all worth it.
    • Let’s face it, pregnancy can be difficult sometimes, and by the end, you feel like a giant stuffed chair. When you see a brand new family that you helped to create, it’s an amazing feeling, and right then you can’t imagine not being part of such a beautiful moment.
  8. It was a great way to help my family financially.
    • I feel like it was a great way to use a natural gift I had, along with my love of being pregnant to help raise my family well. As a single mom with a full time job, it worked out great. We were able to do some things that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

As I type this list, I have a really hard time remembering any negatives. We learned valuable life lessons and helped to bring the absolute joy of having a family to someone else. I wouldn’t change a thing. If you are interested in learning more about how you can experience the life changing journey of being a gestational carrier, give us a call at 720-709-4677 or visit our Welcome Surrogates page for more information.