It’s baby month! Well, at least we hope it’s baby month! Hopefully Knox won’t make us wait until March to make his grand entrance. I am now 37 weeks and he’s welcome to come anytime in the next few weeks. =) I had Isaiah at exactly 37 weeks and Olive at almost 41 weeks so we’ll see what little Knox decides to do…maybe somewhere in the middle!?
I can’t believe that my journey as a surrogate has almost come to an end! It has been an amazing thing to experience and I’ve loved it all! As I near the end of this incredible journey I thought it might be helpful to put together a little FAQ about surrogacy to help you better understand the process and how it has affected me. So… here you go!
Q. How did you get matched with your Intended Parents?
A. Sometimes a woman becomes a surrogate because a close friend or family member is unable to carry their own children and so she offers to do it for them. Though I had the desire to be a surrogate I personally did not know anyone who needed one so I applied to an agency to be matched. I feel so blessed to have been matched with the intended parents that I did! The agency that I am going through allows each surrogate to make the decision for themselves who they would like to be matched with. When applying, I filled out a form about what type of parents I would be willing to carry for as well as a profile with details about myself. The intended parents did this also. After reviewing each other’s profiles you can choose to meet (usually via skype since most matches are long distance) and see if you feel comfortable with each other and want to move forward or if it doesn’t seem like it would be a good match. My agency was very great during this process and didn’t pressure me at all to match with anyone I didn’t feel comfortable with. I almost matched with a different family before Ben and Kristen and I’m so glad it fell through! I got blessed with really great IP’s!
Q. What kind of relationship do you have with your intended parents?
A. Although we didn’t know Ben and Kristen at all before this process started we have now become friends and I am so thankful we have a close relationship. Surrogates and intended parents all desire different levels of communication and closeness during the process. Some develop amazingly close relationships and some treat the process more as a “business transaction.” I was definitely hoping for a close relationship with my IP’s! I was so grateful to be matched with a great Christian couple who we have a lot in common with! They live in a different state but are not too far away so it has made travel to and from Florida relatively easy. We talk regularly and they have been able to make it to many appointments. They will also, hopefully, be here for Knox’s birth! I love knowing that baby Knox is going to a great home with great parents!
Q. How can you carry a baby for 9 months and then give up “your” baby?
A. This is a pretty easy answer – Knox is not my baby! I’m not genetically related to him in any way and so he was never mine to begin with. Since the very beginning both Drew and I have been very cautious not to bond with this baby. It is a delicate balance because while I’m pregnant I, of course, need to protect and love on this life inside of me yet still remain distant. I think I have done a really good job of that! Honestly, I do not feel sad at all to think about giving Knox to his parents in just a few weeks – this has been the goal all along! I started this journey to help make the dreams of a couple come true by being able to carry a biological child for them when they were unable. I am so excited for Ben and Kristen and the joy that they are going to be experiencing very soon and that is what makes the journey worth it. Also, I do not want a newborn and all the work that comes with one right now so that is very helpful. I am very content in knowing that I am not the one bringing a baby home this time. 😉
Q. Wait, what do you mean it’s not “your” baby? How does another couple’s baby get inside you?
A. Most surrogates get pregnant using IVF. The process and procedures are generally the same for any woman undergoing IVF – weeks of meds, blood draws, injections, ultrasounds, etc – it’s just that when it comes time for the transfer the doctor transfers the intended parents’ embryos and not the surrogates. The embryo transfer itself is a quick and painless procedure in which the IVF doctor uses a small catheter to insert the embryo(s) into your uterus. Some doctors require a few days of moderate bed rest afterwards or some, like mine, actually tell you to get out and walk around to get the blood flowing and increase the chances of a successful transfer. Many women (surrogates or not) undergoing IVF experience many failed transfers and often transfer more than one in hopes of at least one sticking. We were blessed that we only went through one transfer and only transferred one embryo – and it was successful! Baby Knox is on the way!
Q. But won’t Knox think you are his mom?
A. It is true that babies born via a surrogate do not know at birth that the woman carrying them is not their mom, which may result in feelings and struggles similar to those of an adopted child. However, Knox (unlike many adopted children) has the advantage of growing up knowing that his parents went to such extents as using a surrogate to bring him into this world because he was SO wanted and SO loved. I doubt he will have any trouble knowing exactly who is mom is and how much she loves and wants him! ❤
Q. How do you explain surrogacy to your children?
A. Our children have done amazingly well with me being a surrogate. This is the way that we explain it to them in terms that they can understand: We tell them that Ms. Kristen’s tummy is broken and she can’t grow her baby in her own tummy so I offered to keep Mr. Ben and Ms. Kristen’s baby safe in my tummy until he is big enough to go home with his Mommy and Daddy. Of course that’s not quite accurate and is such a simplified version of what surrogacy is but it has made sense to them and they have not questioned it. We talk regularly about how Knox is not their brother and how we would never “give away” our own baby. We are planning on the kids coming to the hospital after Knox is born to see him with his parents to help them understand that he went to be with his loving Mommy and Daddy. We will see what questions arise afterwards but we have been very open and honest the whole time with them and think that the adjustment afterwards will go smoothly.
Do you have any questions you’d like to ask me about surrogacy? E-mail me via FaceBook or at drewamhutch @ gmail.com and I’d LOVE to share more info with you! =)