The first time I encountered surrogacy was in a story arc on "Friends." You remember, don't you? Phoebe finds her long-lost brother, he gets married to an older lady and they have trouble conceiving. They ask Phoebe to carry a baby for them and she shockingly agrees. She ends up being pregnant with triplets and the episode where she gives birth to them is one of the most beautiful, hilarious and heartrending television episodes I've ever seen. I think a lot of people thought it was weird. I mean, she was carrying her brother's babies, but I thought it was sweet.
Of course I was just a teenager when it aired so I didn't give it too much thought. But it was my first glimpse into the world of surrogacy and it was a positive one.
Years later I heard something about Giuliana and Bill Rancic using a gestational carrier for their baby. So I tuned into their reality show to see how it all unfolded. I think this is the first time I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to be a surrogate. He probably thought I was kidding, but the desire wouldn't leave me.
But I'm hopeful that this year will be the year that I give a couple the gift of a new baby.
Over the years, I've had two children of my own. I love them dearly and they're my world. My husband and I are pretty set on not having any more kids. Two is enough for us. I wouldn't mind experiencing pregnancy one more time though. For me, pregnancy was a joy. There were definitely hardships (I get back pain like you wouldn't believe), but the pros outweigh the cons in my case. I've never had severe morning sickness or health complications. I love seeing my belly get round and feeling the baby kick and jab. I've even loved giving birth. Each time I gave birth I experienced an incredible high and feeling of empowerment. It's true. I'm one of those annoying women who loves being pregnant.
Recently my husband and I have had some serious talks about surrogacy and we've decided that the time is right. If we're really going to pursue this we need to do it now. I'm still pretty young and would like to accomplish this goal before I get too much older. Also, I'm a work-at-home mom with a very flexible schedule. My kids are still young, but not as needy as they were when they were babies. We have a lot of support from family and friends. It's just the right time for us, so we're going to go for it.
As for a timeline of events—it's not very predictable. I have to find the right match and go through screenings and testing. But I'm hopeful that this year will be the year that I give a couple the gift of a new baby.