I have officially entered the third trimester of this surrogacy pregnancy. My growing belly is obvious to anyone who sees me which makes it all the more real. Even for people who were aware of my surrogacy journey it is almost shocking to see the roundness of my belly and feel the kicks of the baby within. I'm starting to get incredulous stares and the question I most often receive is, "But how does it feel carrying someone else's baby?"
I can understand the question because usually, by this stage of the pregnancy, expectant mothers are presumed to be really bonding with their unborn baby. Every kick is a reminder of the life within and the tiny human that will soon be joining the excited family.
Except in my case, there is no new member of our family.
The day will come when I will go into labor, push a new life into this world and then promptly hand that life off to another woman. Most people can't imagine having to do something like that.
So how does it really feel? Am I sad? Am I overcome with emotion? Am I dreading the day I give birth? The honest answer is, I'm fine. I really am looking forward to meeting this baby face-to-face and then watching as she meets her parents face-to-face.
I knew going into this surrogacy that I would not be receiving a baby at the end. The goal was always to help another family complete their family because mine is already complete. My husband and I are perfectly content with our two beautiful children and there isn't an ounce of baby fever in either one of us.
While there is some sort of special bond between me and the baby, it really is nothing like the bond I have with my own children.
Truthfully I'm anticipating being done with this phase of my life and moving on. I feel as though between my own pregnancies and this one that I've been pregnant forever. I'm ready to experience a life that doesn't revolve around dressing a baby bump and pregnancy cravings and prenatal vitamins.
I also think about the joy I experienced when each of my babies were born and I can't wait for the intended parents of this baby girl to experience that as well. Just think about how good you feel when you give someone a gift they really wanted. Think about the smile that spreads across their face. Think of the hug they give you upon opening their gift. Think of all the warm fuzzies you feel inside. I imagine that's how it's going to feel when this baby is born, but better.
So how does it feel carrying someone else's baby? It feels like a great joy and a great responsibility. I'm honored to be a part of this family's story. It's a great privilege to be entrusted with carrying someone's child for nine months. While there is some sort of special bond between me and the baby, it really is nothing like the bond I have with my own children. It's different and unique. I often describe it as the bond I feel with my nieces and nephews. Yes, I love them, but I don't have any desire to take them home with me.
At the end of the day, they're not my kids and that's fine with me. I'm sure there will be the usual surge of hormones and baby blues that one experiences in the postpartum period, but I am thankful and blessed to have a supportive husband by my side. I know I can count on him to be my rock in those sensitive first few days. And, of course, I'll have my son and daughter waiting for me at home with hugs and kisses.