*This post is written by Heather, from her point of view as a Gestational Carrier
My wife and I started talking about the idea of carrying Chrissy and Lee’s baby as soon as we found out they were going to need a surrogate. That was probably right before we became pregnant with our son. I even said something about it to Chrissy when I was about 3 months pregnant at a friend’s birthday party. I’m also sure many people said in passing to Chrissy that they would love to carry for her, “but….”so I didn’t blame her if she didn’t think much of it.
When I first started looking online to read about surrogacy, I read a few places that asked “Do you love being pregnant, but are done having your own children?” Yeah, that wasn’t exactly me. My pregnancy with our son was good, but I didn’t “love” being pregnant. I also wasn’t the little girl who always just knew I would have no problem getting pregnant. In fact, during my college years I had this nagging thought in the back of my head that I would have problems getting pregnant. There was nothing going on with me to make me think this, but I just always worried. Getting pregnant with our son was pretty easy, as it turns out, and worked the second time we did an IUI.
Another reason we were so sure we wanted to carry for Chrissy and Lee was that we weren’t sure that we were exactly done having children, but my wife wanted to carry our next child. Sometimes after seeing Chrissy and Lee and hanging out, we would leave feeling so emotional about how awesome parents they would be….and they had no idea we were even thinking about offering to carry for them. I waited until my son was about 3 months old to talk to Chrissy about it, just to make sure I was emotionally okay after his birth.
Even with all the reading we had done on surrogacy, we were not experts and didn’t have a full idea of how the process would work. Luckily Chrissy had years to prepare and become the expert…and she was super organized, which helped a lot! All we really had to do was follow her guidance.
It seemed that all the testing and such before the actual transfer went so smoothly, we actually were doubtful that the transfer would work the first time. We decided to wait to test for pregnancy until we were with Chrissy and Lee….which was SO nerve-wrecking…even though I knew there really wasn’t anything I could do to make it work or not work, I worried so much about disappointing them. Nevertheless, it worked the first time!
This pregnancy has been relatively uneventful and I often worry that I’m the most boring pregnant person ever and provide no interesting stories for Chrissy and Lee! I feel so lucky that they have been so involved with coming to every appointment, really caring about hearing how I’m feeling and also feeding my cravings! And did I mention the amazing bagels- pregnant lady heaven!
Up until I started showing, I really didn’t talk about being pregnant…and it wasn’t that I was ashamed or wanted to hide it, but I worried about the types of questions I would get. I’m also pretty shy when it comes to getting a lot of attention and didn’t know how to respond. I have received nothing but amazing responses from everyone who finds out I’m carrying for a friend. So many people tell me what a gift this is and thank me- I think that’s what makes me the most uncomfortable….because I know what they mean, except to me it’s not a gift to them—I feel so lucky to be able to do this. It continues to amaze me the things that our bodies can do- that my body would accept a baby that wasn’t mine and grow it for 9-10 months. I don’t know many other surrogates, but I feel that I must have the best relationship you could have with intended parents.
When people ask me how I could do this, I usually have a short response like, "why not?" In my head, I’m thinking- if your situation was ideal to help out an amazing person in your life, why wouldn’t you do it? Yeah, it’s a lot of work and sacrifice to be pregnant for 9 long months, but it’s also very temporary in comparison to the joy that we know you get from having your child. The one statement that I find the strangest is that people keep saying, “I don’t think you’re going to be able to give up the baby” or “You’re gonna have post-partum depression when you give that baby over.” Granted, these are people who don’t know me very well. I love my son to death, but my connection with him didn’t magically happen while he was in my belly—it happened when I held him, when we took him home, when my wife looked at him in our bed and talked about how we imagined his life would be and what we wanted for him. I feel love for this baby, but I don’t feel some supernatural connection with him just because I am carrying him. AND- he’s not my baby!
We are getting closer to the end of our pregnancy, and though I am not normally an emotional person, I can’t help but have mixed emotions. I am beyond excited for Chrissy and Lee….but as their journey with their baby begins, my journey is ending. Not in the sense that we won’t be in each other’s lives, because when you have an experience like this, you are bound to have a lifelong connection. But there is really nothing that can compare to this experience.
This entire pregnancy seemed to go by so quickly—up until now! The last 5 weeks of being pregnant are the longest weeks ever. Even though this baby isn’t mine, I’m still a pregnant lady with pregnant hormones that want me to nest….and no baby to nest for! With the support of my wife, I end up moving and organizing ridiculous things in our house. This has become increasingly difficult with the size of this baby!
So here’s to the next few weeks of waiting and holding our breath during every twinge and feeling I get…..and to that bottle of wine I’m so looking forward to!
Bram's Birth Story
Ways to Save Money
Things not to say to IPs
Tips for newly diagnosed
Mothers with MRKH
Our Gender Reveal
2000- Chrissy dx w/ MRKH
2002- Chrissy & Lee meet
2007- Chrissy & Lee Marry
2009- Chrissy 'hysterectomy'
2013- Awarded Cade Grant
7/3/14- IVF egg retrieval (5)
1/18/15- Embryo Transfer (1)
9/29/15 - Bram born!