To go along with K's entry, and her comment about answering questions - I thought I'd add a little of my own perspective. Specifically answering how surrogates do what they do and how it makes us feel. There have been several similar posts in the surro blog-world as of late, I even shared one here not too long ago. Of course my post is based on my own personal experience but, I think it's safe to say that many of the other surrogates out there feel the same way. So here it goes and sorry in advance as I know this will be kinda long.
A quick little history to answer the "Why?". I gave birth to our fourth daughter when I was in my late 20's and my husband and I are very happy with our family, it felt complete. Although I had no desire to have more children, I didn't feel like I was done with the child bearing years of my life, especially since many of my close friends were just starting their families. Was I ever excited to learn that I could help another couple have the family they so much desired through surrogacy. So, with my husband’s blessing, I decided to pursue surrogacy and it soon became my passion.
So how does one emotionally prepare themselves for surrogacy? Of course the goal of the journey is a baby but that is not the entire journey. The journey becomes about the parents-to-be and their wish to have that baby.
My experience was like that of most gestational carriers, I was never attached to Baby G however, I was attached to my IPs and their dream. It’s the same this time around. I feel these two babies move inside of me and my mind instantly drifts to K&S and how very excited they are to welcome these lil guys. My thoughts are consumed with their future as a family and never for a second what my future would be like if they were mine.
Even after delivery with all the hormones and such I never had a sad emotional moment, even in private - the only tears I had were those of joy. The surros that I do know that have struggled a bit afterwards always say, it's not about the baby going home but more about the dramatic journey climax of birth - to then being done. Like the feeling you get on your wedding day, all that planning and preparation and then BAM it's over! I think the fact that I had the honor of providing breast milk for Giovanni for 16 weeks was a big factor in me not experiencing that "low". It helped me continue to feel needed, to feel useful and still have a purpose. By the time I stopped pumping I was four months postpartum and ready to refresh and renew myself and refocus my full attention and energy on my own family. Of course that was somewhat short lived since I was matched with K&S just a couple of months later. Surrogacy is addicting and you don't see too many GSx1 - many go on to have another journey or two.
When people question how it must feel to "give back" (not give away) a baby you've carried for 9 months I compare the experience to one that many parents can identify with - the role of the childcare provider which, I seem to know a thing or two about. ;) I love, nurture and care for my daycare kiddos in their parents absence. I focus hours of attention on them each week, they are very special to me BUT I am more than happy to have their parents come get them at the end of the day!!!! I have never for a second thought to myself, "Oh I just wish I could keep my daycare child, it's going to be so hard when their parents pick them up". NEVER! I have four already, I. do. not. want. more!
I'll admit too, I love the attention of pregnancy and surrogacy. I love sharing it with anyone who will listen to me ramble on - it makes me feel fulfilled and happy with who I am. It benefits me emotionally and my family's financial future has benefited from it as well.
Another thing that makes the experience of carrying another's child special and rewarding - having wonderful IPs. K mentioned how lucky she is to have found me but I am just as lucky to have found her and S and for that matter A&T as well. I've been so fortunate to have amazing couples that value me and my family and who trust me and respect me. Not every surro has that close relationship with their IPs, I see it all the time in the surrogacy community and, I never want to take for granted how very lucky I've been. It's that closeness that makes the experience of being a surrogate so special. Just this weekend A&T came for a visit and as much as I love seeing Giovanni, what I love even more is seeing them as a family. It makes my heart full. I do like a hug and a cuddle now and then but the real joy comes from knowing not only did I have a part in bringing that lil guy into this world, I had a part in creating their happiness.
It's an incredible experience that not everyone could do and I feel so very blessed that I have this special "gift" that I can pass along.