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I'm about halfway through my surrogate pregnancy and the belly is popping. I'm starting to get comments from people asking how I'm feeling and wondering if I'm carrying a boy or a girl. If it's a random stranger I will usually politely answer their questions without going into detail and move on with my day. I don't see any reason why the clerk at the store or the older lady at the post office needs to know everything about my life. It just makes things easier to not mention the whole surrogacy thing.
But there are other people who I see on a regular basis, mostly those who work at my kids' school or work with my husband, that I feel need to know the truth. It's probably less awkward to explain that I'm a surrogate now rather than have them see me after I give birth with no baby in my arms.
It's always interesting seeing how people react when I tell them I'm actually a surrogate. The conversation will usually start off with them congratulating me while eyeing my belly. It can feel weird receiving congratulations for a baby that isn't mine which is why I feel the need to deflect. But explaining the circumstances of my pregnancy is unavoidable. I will say thank you and if they persist in asking questions that's when I have to stop them and say, "I'm a surrogate actually, so this isn't really my baby." The usual response is, "Ohhh…"
I don't mind the questions really. I am glad to give people a glimpse into the world of surrogacy. So far everyone I meet says I am the first surrogate they have ever known. I'm glad to explain how the process works and bust up any misconceptions they may have. Surrogacy is just starting to become less taboo these days and I am glad to help other people understand why someone would choose this route to having a family and why I have chosen to become a surrogate.
Yes, sometimes the conversations get awkward and sometimes no matter what I say the person I'm conversing with just can't wrap their heads around the concept. They look at me incredulously and say what I'm doing is amazing. I appreciate the compliment but I also make it clear that I'm no Mother Teresa.
Thankfully, I have easy pregnancies and quick labors. Thankfully I have a supportive spouse and understanding children. Thankfully, I'm being compensated for this experience. Thankfully, I just fit the qualifications for an ideal surrogate. This is something that's been in my heart for many years to do and I really feel lucky that I'm able to help a wonderful couple add a much-wanted and loved baby to their family.
So yeah, I will take that congratulations. It really is awesome to be a part of this journey and we will take all the well-wishes we can.