“I’m currently six weeks postpartum from a pregnancy that ended with me giving the baby up. Okay, let me rephrase. I gave the baby back. I was a surrogate and it was my greatest honor to place that baby boy in the arms of his mother and father.
It all began a few years ago when I saw a viral Facebook video that documented the pregnancy and delivery of a surrogate baby. My curiosity on the subject was sparked. It was so easy for me to get pregnant and carry my babies and as a result, I had no idea the depths of other people’s infertility struggles. Through a little research, I was astounded and saddened by the statistics of women unable to get pregnant or carry their own babies. My heart broke for them. Being a mother is something I consider my greatest joy, and I couldn’t imagine the person I would be without my children. I kind of just decided right then and there, I would become a gestational carrier.
As it turns out, you can’t just walk into a fertility clinic and get knocked up with someone else’s baby on a whim. I had to work with an agency to gain medical and psychological clearance. This process took months and many doctor’s appointments. Eventually, I got the official stamp of approval and my agency worked to match me with the perfect intended parents.
Next thing I knew, I was getting embryos transferred to my uterus from a couple I had only met on Skype.
I hoped when they hoped for a positive pregnancy test.
I joyed when they joyed over two confirmed heartbeats.
I grieved when they grieved for one of the twins being lost.
All of the highs and lows of pregnancy were worth it the moment I delivered their healthy baby boy.
My intended mother stood at the foot of my hospital bed with one hand over her mouth. I watched her through the chaos of labor. She held her breath as they laid his newborn body on my chest.
When he finally let out that first cry, tears flooded both of our eyes. It was one of the most magical moments of my life.
I didn’t know what to expect from postpartum life as a surrogate. I had read many blogs and personal stories from other surrogates before me but nothing could have really prepared me for the weird mix of emotions.
I can distinctly remember the crash of hormones 3 days after delivering my surrogate baby. I sat in my dark house, pumping for the very first night home from the hospital, streams of tears roll down my face. ‘What is wrong with me?’
The high and endorphins of labor and delivery had passed.
I was no longer at the hospital with the baby to cuddle and admire as he made those newborn grunts in his sleep.
It’s not that I was sad because when I thought about the entire surrogacy process, all I can recall are memories that will forever fill my cup with joy.
But yet it was like I was missing something.
Not a baby, because throughout this process, I never expected a baby to come out those hospital doors with me.
Just a kind of ache in my heart.
I missed his kicks, hiccups, and wiggles I had been feeling for months.
I missed that pregnancy glow— that has now been replaced with postpartum bleeding and engorged, sore breasts.
I missed feeling important, like I was a part of something bigger than myself.
Now, weeks later, I have had time to grieve the end of my surrogacy journey. My grief could never hold a candle to the pain and suffering my intended parents endured in their 12 years of battling infertility. I am grateful to have been a little piece of their journey to parenthood. There is no greater joy than making somebody else a mama.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mackenzie H. from Omaha, Nebraska. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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