Things are going great – I’m getting more energy back, I haven’t had any nausea for the last few weeks - I’ve actually eaten chicken again - and I’m starting to form the tiniest baby bump. I can tell co-workers who don’t know about what I’m doing yet are glancing down at my belly from time to time when we are talking but are too scared to ask if I’m pregnant because let’s be honest, this early in the game, baby bumps mostly resemble “food babies.”
I told my daughter, who just turned 2 in January, that mommy has a baby in her belly. She obviously doesn’t quite “get” it yet so there’s no need to try to explain that we aren’t keeping it, but ever since then, she will randomly say “Mommy, baby in belly!” It’s pretty cute. My 4 ½ year old niece knows about my pregnancy and that the baby isn’t mine, and she has been such a supporter. Just last week, she was playing with one of her friends at home while my twin sister and I chatted next to them, and she turned to her friend and said “My Aunt Angel has a baby in her belly but it’s for another family.” Cue the tears. I mean, really. I was so proud in that moment. I can never imagine myself hiding information from friends or family about what we are doing. I will always be honest with her and anyone else who asks about the pregnancy because it is a great thing.
This leads to me to my next thought: support. I know I get a lot of credit in this whole journey but honestly, I don’t know that I could’ve made the decision to be a gestational surrogate without the support of my friends and family. Just yesterday, I got the following message out of the blue from a dear friend of mine:
I haven’t seen you since you announced you are pregnant. I’ve been thinking about you and praying that everything is going great. I am just in awe of what you’re doing. I’m so proud of you. You are so selfless for giving those men a beautiful little baby. Having a baby is physically and mentally exhausting but you’re doing it in order to complete a family. I brag to other people about you and your husband. It’s not very often you meet people who go above and beyond for others but you both are those people. You two have such big hearts. Your daughter is one lucky little girl to have you two as parents. She will do great things because she has you as role models. I know how strong you are but I’m sure you’re a ball of emotions some days; you’re pregnant so it’s inevitable! Just remember that you are cooking up a miracle. It may not be your sperm and egg, but your body is the host of something beautiful!
That message really touched me and made me realize how easy this journey has been for me since I have such amazing support. I don’t realize the bigger impact some of my actions might have on others. My husband has been by my side from the time I submitted my application to be a surrogate with ConceiveAbilities and has been so amazingly supportive of every step. He has given me my injections, allowed me to rest when I couldn’t stay awake any longer in the first few weeks of pregnancy, takes care of our daughter, takes on extra cleaning duties and went out to get me cheesecake because it’s all I wanted - and then I didn’t even eat it all. My sisters have taken care of our house, daughter and animals while we were gone for the mental health tests, medical screen and transfer. They didn’t complain once and were always willing to help. My friends have showered me with positive thoughts, incredibly sweet and thoughtful messages like the one above and a whole lot of praise. I’ve been able to interact with other ConceiveAbilities surrogates through a special Facebook page, and they have always been so supportive, providing reassurance when I’m panicking about something and always seem to have each other’s backs whether it be after a negative beta test or celebrating the birth of a new baby(ies)!
Having a strong support system has definitely made this process easier and ConceiveAbilities has been wonderful in that aspect as well. My case manager checks in often and is always there if I need to talk. I can’t say enough about having good support in this journey.
I don’t know if any of the people I’ve mentioned will read this – but I thank you all. Thank you, husband, for being supportive of my desire carry a baby that isn’t ours because I wanted to experience pregnancy again and build a family. Thank you, sisters, for being there for our family when we needed to be away. Thank you, family, who are just always there and asking about how everything is going. Thank you, friends, for your positive words and thoughts. Thank you, fellow surrogates, for your “surro-sisterhood.” Thank you, intended fathers, for choosing me for the special task of carrying your child. Last but not least, thank you ConceiveAbilities for allowing me the opportunity to fulfill this desire to help build a family. I am truly grateful and indebted to you all.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.