Motherhood. It’s a journey, and just like every journey, there is always a beginning. My journey started a little rougher than most. Belle’s father and I had been trying for quite some time. (Oh yeah, y’all, I named her Belle. Originally, I was going to name her Marilyn because his last name is Monroe, but he fought me on that. So I demanded a Disney name, HA!) Two years. Two years of trying, waiting, thinking you’re pregnant, only to take a test and welp…there go all your hopes and dreams in two words: NOT PREGNANT. I never thought I could be triggered by such a small phrase, yet here I am.
Fast-forward and my little sister gets pregnant, I pitch a fit and go a little psycho only to find out three days later that I’m pregnant too. It was such a blessing to be pregnant at the same time as my sister. We were due five days apart, had cravings together, shared fears and baby showers, and did late-night Krispy Kreme and Krystals runs together. I remember holding my niece, still pregnant with Belle and my little Bee kicking at the weight of Mariah on my big ole belly…
I remember the moment Belle was placed in my arms. I sobbed openly and as the adrenaline wore off and I calmed down, I remember staring at my little girl and thinking, “There are some people who dream of this moment and will never get it…”
Even through the rough nights, this thought weighed heavily on my heart, so I looked into egg donation. I remembered thinking, “Holy sugar honey iced tea…what if one day I’m at the mall or in England and I see someone IDENTICAL to Belle!?” So I couldn’t, but as I was poking around on the website, I came across surrogacy and thought: I had a picture-perfect textbook pregnancy up until the very end, so why not? I spoke with the agency for an hour and decided to start the process.
I was matched almost immediately with the most perfect gay couple from Germany. We had our first Skype date, fell in love, agreed on the hot button topics of surrogacy (abortion, what to do after the babies were born, and my involvement), and decided to move forward.
People always ask, “How could you have done such a thing? You were giving up your baby!” Uhmmm, actually Janet, NO. They were not my babies. The couple had an egg donor and their own sperm. I was simply an oven for their bun. I was also extremely fortunate that the fathers and I were able to bond so deeply before implantation of embryos. I felt like their fairy godmother and I was honored to help them on their journey to parenthood.
In surrogacy, the woman’s body is synced up with the egg donor’s body, so that the cycles align. In my case, while the egg donor’s follicles were being checked for eggs, my uterine lining was being checked for thickness and fluffiness (aka the best bed for babies). My end included consistent checks at the fertility clinic, while I was being pumped full of hormones such as Lupron, estrogen, progesterone, female Viagra — woo, hormone central!
Once everything was synced up and good to go, my happy little uterus was implanted with embryos! I received two, hopeful for twins. Meeting the dads in person was like a dream come true. We just CLICKED. We laughed. We talked about life and love and joked about the language differences. We ate amazing food together and toured an Ivy League college and went to movies. They held my hands as the embryos were put in me and we cried together, hopeful for their journey.
As I look back on our years together, I’m so grateful for the journey. I learned about selfless love. I learned about sacrifice and friendship. And I learned way too much about fertility and how it all goes down and the scientific methods used to manipulate a body to do just what it needs to do. It was fascinating.
During my journey as a surrogate, I learned that at the end, I would no longer be able to have children of my own. I knew it was a possibility from the beginning, but it actually happening hit me like a ton of bricks. I was devastated and wondered how it would affect Belle. But, four years later, I’m good. We’re good. Belle’s good. And those dads are doing perfectly with their little family. But honestly, even knowing the fate of my fertility, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.