Being a surrogate is something I have always known I could do and am now 6 months pregnant with Nat and Ash’s baby girl.
For me, my journey this far started 12 years ago when I was working for a nursing agency. During a shift I was reading a magazine in my tea break. The magazine gave couples a chance to advertise for egg and sperm donors. After reading several ads I decided to look into it further as my husband and I were not wanting any more children. I thought I still have a uterus and eggs that were viable, they were just not being used so I may as well.
I had spoken to my hubby about being a surrogate or an egg donor and he didn’t have a problem with it. After some good hard thinking I decided that a much safer option mentally was to donate my eggs to start with. Several years later and having met two amazing couples and completing six cycles of IVF, three beautiful children were born. It was after these cycles I knew without a doubt I could be a surrogate for a couple who couldn’t have the experience of being parents in the usual way.
For some years I had been part of a surrogacy support group for couples wanting children or past surrogates, it was during this time I met Nat and Ash. Nat and Ash couldn’t carry a baby due to Nat’s medical status however they could create their own embryos. We met up one evening and hit it off straight away. We decided then that this unique relationship between our two families was destiny!
After several months of attending counselling, legal, specialist and fertility appointments the first appointment day for embryo transfer was scheduled. We were very lucky that it all worked the first time around and now as I write this, I am 24 weeks pregnant.
It really is unlike any other experience I have had in life. I don’t feel maternal in any way and don’t feel I would want the child at the end (not that I would even contemplate this).
My husband and I have two great kids aged 18 and 13 years of age and there simply isn’t any room in our lives for a baby. I feel more like an Aunty to the unborn child.
People would say to me that once the baby starts kicking maybe I will feel different. Well, she has been kicking for a few weeks now and I certainly don’t feel any different; just relieved that she has a good set of arms and legs and is very active!
Our children have been very accepting of me being an egg donor and a surrogate and we are truly blessed to have understanding children. Having said all this, our 13 year old son was a little confused at the start as he thought that his father and I would have sex and than hand the baby over to Nat and Ash 9 months later. I remember him asking us if we could we give him $5 so that he could ride his bike to the corner shop and purchase a frozen coke while his father and I made the baby. We explained to him that in no way was this baby going to be related to us and that the embryo that grows into a baby was waiting for us at a fertility clinic and that this was made by Nat and Ash.
Another funny time was when our son heard that Nat couldn’t carry a child and he asked me what was wrong with her arms!
We don’t talk about the baby I am carrying at home a great deal unless of course the family want to. However, given I have started to show it is more obvious and they are now fully aware of what will happen. We have chosen to be low key about the baby mainly to protect our children at the end when the baby goes home with Nat and Ash.
We have agreed to see the baby a few times a year which I think is more than sufficient. Our friends, families and work colleagues have been very supportive in the main and they are fully aware of what we are doing. My boss actually makes me a fresh fruit drink most days and states that this is his contribution to the baby’s good health!I do think sometimes that people struggle with the concept of how someone can have a baby then just hand it over at the end and these are the very reasons why some people can be surrogates and others should never become one. Unless you are fully aware of what you are about to embark on and accept the consequences at the end you should never be a surrogate; it just isnt fair to all parties involved.
I totally accept that the day when Nat and Ash’s baby comes into the world and leaves the hospital it will be difficult. But I believe that you can be as mentally strong as you want to be; although having said that post birth hormones may raise their ugly head. However you can either choose to allow these feelings to consume your life or be content with the joy that you have given a couple and simply move on with your own life with your own family. Working as an adolescent and family counsellor I would not hesitate to seek professional assistance if I felt I, or our family, needed it.
I think for me the hardest thing about being a surrogate is feeling sad for Nat. Each time her baby kicks I often think “I wish she could feel this” but then I know that before too long she will be a Mum and experience all that motherhood has to offer.
For any women considering becoming a surrogate think it through thoroughly and be very aware of your own limitations; this certainly isn’t for everyone.
MamaBake would like to thank Kerri-ann for her candid and honest insight in to her experience of surrogacy.
For more about the back story of Natalia, Ash and Kerri-ann’s story, start here