The top 5 things I had to overcome to become a surrogate (in no particular order). The questions I had and their answers.
Telling my kids.
It terrified me to tell my kids that I had signed up to be a surrogate mother. I worried that they would say “but I want a brother or sister” or that they would remind me that “people die during childbirth” – really, I had every imaginable thought pass through my mind. Thankfully I was wrong, and once I mustered up the courage to tell my kids, I realized just how crazy I was being.
My kids looked at me, and basically said, “Oh so it won’t be my brother or sister, and you are carrying for a mom with a broken belly, okay, cool,” and that was that. Of course, along the way there were questions. They were curious about the needles I was taking, and whether I was having the baby at home or in the hospital, and all the little details in between, but otherwise it was pretty low-key.
I had decided that I was only comfortable terminating the pregnancy if the doctor said that there was something wrong with the baby. I gave this information at the intake call, and luckily they met it with complete ease. “It was up to me,” they said. It’s the agency’s job to find intended parents who have the same values. They did, and we luckily never had to consider terminating as baby was healthy the whole way through.
Talking to your partner.
At the time, I was married to a wonderful but very conservative man, and so wasn’t sure what he would think about surrogacy. However, he truly surprised me. He said, “I may not agree, but I love you and support you and any of your hair-brain schemes.” So, I took that as a yes. I didn’t realize how much of his support I would need along the way.
He came to the screening appointment, got blood work, met with the doctor, talked to the psychologist with me, and while we opted for him to stay home with the kids while I was in the hospital, he took great care of me when I got home.
Money is tricky and important. In Canada surrogates aren’t paid, and I knew that the type of pregnancy support I’d need cost money, so I was concerned. So, what that meant for me was the following:
Anything pregnancy related, including pregnancy cravings, massages, medication, and lots in between, was covered in our legal contract. After I sent in all my receipts, the agency refunded me. It really was easy once I got the hang of it!
Choosing intended parents.
I had no idea how specific I could get, and that it was my choice, not theirs. When I learned I was in the driver’s seat, I was so happy. I knew that my church (at the time) wouldn’t be comfortable with me carrying for a gay couple. I respected that, so I chose an amazing heterosexual couple. They are a perfect fit for me, and have been since day 1.