Sunday, April 29, 2012

Surrogacy for a different reason

Some of you may know who Guiliana and Bill Rancic are because of their reality T.V. show; some of you may not. I'm a fan, and I've watched their show for a while now. They have struggled with fertility issues for a long time and recently discovered in addition to fertility problems, Guiliana has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She elected to have a double mastectomy. Due to all of her health issues, they decided to use a gestational carrier and have announced that they are indeed, finally, pregnant through a surrogate :) I am sooooo happy for them and so astounded at their very public sharing of these deeply personal struggles. I'm hoping that putting a "celebrity face" on this issue will increase awareness and sensitivity to the fertility issues that so many people deal with on a daily basis.
Watching the implantation on their show brought tears to my eyes, and seeing the reaction of each of them when they found out the gestational carrier was pregnant was incredible. I just received notice that I have been synced up with the egg donor's cycle and that I will be receiving a schedule soon as to how the implantation phase will proceed. I will start on hormones again and very soon, will be going to the fertility clinic for the embryo transfer. Holy crap, I get to (hopefully) help make this couple's dream come true.

Monday, April 9, 2012


So while we are in this holding pattern, waiting for my cycle to be synced up with the egg donor, I thought I would reflect back on some of the questions I've been getting from people about this whole surrogacy thing. Some have been funny, some personal, some I don't know the answer to. These are the ones I've had most frequently.

1. Won't it be hard to give up the baby?
Without a doubt, the most frequently asked question. Also very understandable. And yes, I am sure that there will be sadness when I'm done with a pregnancy and won't bring a baby home from the hospital. However, the absolute joy I will feel at seeing the parents with the child they have struggled for almost 15 years to have will eclipse any wistfulness on my part. There is just no comparison. Also, every step along the way of this process it is very clear and obvious that it is NOT my baby. When I was pregnant with Stella and Roy, every waking moment was occupied with the thought of how Russell and I had created a child that was 1/2 him and 1/2 me. This scenario is totally different. I am carrying a child for someone else, so while of course there will be attachment, it just is not the same.

2. What do your kids think/What have you told your kids?
At their ages, our kids' level of understanding blows me away. We really talk to our kids, have open discussions about everything. We don't use silly words for their genitals, we don't baby talk, we don't lie (Santa and the Easter Bunny being the exceptions :) ) and we try not to avoid questions. They know what is happening and understand that mommy will carry a baby in her belly for another mommy and daddy who can't have kids. Stella has already asked where the baby will come out; and truly empathized when I explained it would come out of my vagina. "No!!!! That will hurt your vagina! I don't want your vagina to hurt!!" Roy is only 2 1/2, so he isn't asking the same questions, but I'm ready for him to do so as the pregnancy progresses.

3. Why??? Why would you "go through" pregnancy for someone else?
First, because I truly believe God put me on this path specifically to meet these parents. I believe that it is a calling for me, that our lives have come together to help them have a child. Also, I don't "go through" pregnancy, I LOVE it :)

4. Do you get paid?
Yep. There is compensation involved, but it is a total secondary reason for being a surrogate. I don't feel like I'm "selling" a child or my body. I feel as though I am blessed to handle pregnancy really well; the intended mom is not. The parents want to help my family for the sacrifices we are making in order to help them, because no matter how much I love growing a life inside me, it is still a sacrifice of time, health, social life, work life, family life.

5. Would you do this again?
I have signed on for three attempts at embryo transfer. If it doesn't work the first time, I will try twice more. Will I do this for another couple? Nope. I'm not getting any younger! Also, as I stated earlier, I really believe I was meant to meet this particular couple. My uterus will officially retire after this one :)

I'm sure there will be lots and lots more questions through the pregnancy, and thats fine with me. I'm not shy, I'm not too reserved, and I like to talk. I'm hoping I can help educate people to the issues of infertility and surrogacy.