Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why am I Doing This?

Right now you may be thinking, why the heck would you want to do something like this?  I'm sure there are many reasons that people are drawn to surrogacy.  But as best as I can explain, here is my reason:

The journey began for me last summer, when I was still pregnant with my own child.  Even before I gave birth, I knew I would miss being pregnant.  Now, as family and friends can attest, I was never one of those women who looked forward to pregnancy.  In fact, until a couple of years ago, the very idea of pregnancy was revolting to me.  But, it was a necessary evil that I had to get through to get the end result, a child.

Much to my surprise, I LOVED being pregnant.  I loved everything about it.  Other than some mild queasiness, I never had any morning sickness.  During my first trimester I was exhausted, but I loved being lazy.  My husband is a nurse, so not only was he able to understand the biology behind why I had suddenly turned into such a lazybones, but he was a rockstar when it came to taking care of me.  Seriously, I feel sorry for any woman who has ever had to be pregnant without my husband to take care of them.  Which is really every other mother in the history of the human race, now that I think about it.  But back to the point, I loved being nurtured by my husband.  Then my second trimester came along, and the rest of the pregnancy was super easy.  I loved watching my body grow and feeling the tiny flutterings grow into strong punches and kicks.  I loved how people treated me while I was pregnant - everyone was super nice and went out of their way to do things for me.  Even my labor and delivery were great.  I ended up being induced post-term at 2:30pm, and by 9:45pm I had my baby in my arms.

Then there is being a mother.  Oh my God, I wish I could find the words to describe it.  But there aren't enough words in the English language to put a label on the emotions that a parent feels for their child.  The word "love" doesn't even come close.  I love lots of things - my friends, my car, reading, ice cream.  I can even say I "love" my husband, and I love him a lot.  But what I feel toward my daughter is something else entirely.  "Love" doesn't explain how I can be perfectly content to spend hours on end just watching her play and babble.  How even though I want get a babysitter and enjoy a night out of the house, all I really want to do once I am out is go back home.  How I can struggle to get her down to sleep and then half an hour later I have to fight the urge to go wake her up just so I can cuddle her some more.  How every time I make even the smallest decision, I think first of exactly how it could possibly affect her.  Having my daughter has fundamentally changed me.

My daugther and me
I'm not saying everyone should become a parent.  Some people certainly should not become parents, especially if they do not want to.  But I have several friends and acquaintances who do want to become parents and are struggling or have struggled with infertility.  Chances are you do too - it is estimated that at least 1 in 10 couples are faced with some form of infertility.  My heart breaks for these people.  Having children should be a natural right of passage in the progression of life, and the most intimate and binding expression of love between two people.  But these couples are robbed of that because of their biology.  I wish I could do something to change that, but it is out of my power.  I can't change anyone's fertility or help them get pregnant.  What I can do, however, is help someone get to that ultimate goal - becoming a parent.

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