The Time I Felt Selfish As A Surrogate
My journey as a gestational surrogate was, overall, amazing, and I would not change one thing about it. If you talk to anyone who has been a surrogate, they will tell you that it is a journey. It’s also a roller coaster of emotions. There is so much “hurry up and wait” and so much unknowns until tests come back. I really thought I was done with all of that part because I was 29 weeks pregnant with twins – things were going great as far as I could tell! At that point, I was over halfway and my goal was just going to be to get bigger and eat more and try to catch up on some Netflix . Don’t judge me! I was eating for three at this point and had two bowling balls attached to me. That was still my plan that day I went to my routine doctor’s appointment with my intended parents. I did my normal mom routine that morning—grabbed my purse, dropped off my kids at school and went to the doctor’s appointment. We had an ultrasound, and the babies were doing great. Then they checked my cervix and it sure looked like my body was ready to have a baby or babies—right away. Remember a few sentences ago where I said I was 29 weeks pregnant? These babies were not ready to be born yet! I was told I was potentially going into pre-term labor.
My first thought was: “No, not me. I had both of my babies full term over 40 weeks.” There was no way. The doctor looked at me and told me that the next step was that we were going to the hospital. So, I said “Ok, I can go pick up my kids from school and wait for my husband to come with me and we’ll get them all figured out before going to be monitored at the hospital?” NOPE! The doctor looked at me with the nicest (but sternest) smile and said in no uncertain terms that I was going right now and driving a bit further than expected to the only hospital that will take babies under 30 weeks. Again, I was 29 weeks pregnant with twins so my emotions were all over. I kindly looked at my IPs and said I needed to take a step out and call my husband. I called my husband and he answered so excited that I called him so soon thinking that everything went great (surrogacy really is a family journey – he was as excited for our IPs as I was!). The first words out of my mouth were, “ I am so sorry, but I have to go to the hospital now.” Oh, and because life likes to get complicated, my husband was out of town for work. That means I was kicking it as a single mom for a few days.
Everything worked out because I had the support of my family who stepped in and helped me with my everyday life with my kids. After a few days in the hospital, I was mad. Here’s where the selfish thoughts crept in. I had everyone there to visit me. Everyone thanking me for carrying these babies for someone else. But I still was so upset. This huge anger came over me because, I had to stay in this hospital. I could not go home with my family. I could not see my little girls off to school every day. I would FaceTime my kids at night, and they would just cry because they missed me at bedtime. Of course, I sound like a huge baby right now, but in the moment, I was angry and jealous because everyone, but me, got to go home. My intended parents got to go home and lay in their own bed with each other, and I was truly mad at them for that. I have never felt so selfish in my life—all while doing something so big for someone else.
After taking a moment and stepping back, I knew my intended mother would have switched places with me any day. I know she would do anything to be pregnant with her own child. I reminded myself that this is only temporary. In the end, I only had to spend a few nights in the hospital for someone else to have a lifetime of happiness. In the end, I carried both babies to 37 weeks, and they were happy, healthy and beautiful—and I would have spent the entire rest of the pregnancy in the hospital to see the looks of joy on their parents’ faces the moments they arrived.
I learned that I am allow to cry and be upset. We’re humans with emotions, not robots. But I did get the benefit of the lesson of humility: there is always someone else out there that would trade places with me any day.
Interested in learning more about the good and sometimes not so good parts of being a gestational carrier?