Angel is now into the third trimester of her surrogate pregnancy with a baby girl. Throughout the process her husband Travis has been one of her biggest supporters, and he's sharing his perspective on the surrogacy process - plus his answers to the many questions people have for the "surrogate dad."
To be honest, I never thought that I would be doing something so awesome for another set of parents. I knew Angel loved being pregnant, but when she came to me one day, over 1 1/2 years ago, about being a surrogate, I was slightly stunned. I really did not know anything about surrogacy at the time, but I am an open person and just told her that whatever she wants to do I support her. This was of course with some, but not many stipulations: it just could not be her egg and no biological ties to us. Those were my only rules regarding my thoughts of the process.
I remember asking her why she wanted to do this and she said she wanted to give a family the happiness we experience with our daughter. It also took a long time to conceive her and we wanted to help a couple out that was experiencing similar barriers in their lives, no matter if the barrier were genetics or social. As Angel began researching more, I felt this would be a great experience for the two of us as a couple. I just wanted to learn and understand all the risks.
Meeting the parents via Skype for the first time was a nervous and exciting experience. I could tell right away that they would be the couple we would like to work with. You just know when you are comfortable talking to someone and understand their needs. It was a connection that is a one of a kind experience. They are an awesome couple.
I get a lot of questions, like: Is it weird seeing your wife pregnant with another couple's baby? My answer is no. It really doesn't phase me much because I just treat this pregnancy as if the little girl was going to be ours, but still knowing in my mind that she isn't. I can't say I feel attached, but I definitely have a different type of love for this little girl. It is easier detaching yourself when you know from the start that the child has no ties to you what-so-ever. I find Angel more attractive knowing that she is doing something so great that not just anyone would do.
Another question that I get is: Are you worried that Angel will become attached to the baby? At first I was worried a little because she is such a caring person, especially as a mother. Discussing it with her and both of us knowing going into this adventure that the baby is not ours makes it a lot easier. I am sure we will both have an emotional time seeing the baby off to her home in Spain, but it will be happy tears.
I believe some people find it odd that I have no problem with the parents being in the room when Angel gives birth. It is their child. They should to be able to experience her birth and happiness from the moment she enters this world. I remember the first moment my daughter opened her eyes and I would not want the parents to miss that.
Advice for other future surrogate dads? The key to this entire experience is PATIENCE. You must be patient with your wife, your own child, and your family's schedule. If you do not have patience, I do not recommend it. I am a naturally patient person and between the shots, appointments and busy work schedule it is a lot to handle - but easily manageable, in my opinion. Treat your wife with care, patience, love and understanding, as this is scary for both and you can't be selfish. Just remember the happiness the couple will experience when your wife gives birth to their baby. That is what I keep thinking of and can't wait to see their reaction and excitement on the day their daughter arrives.
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.