Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SMA- The Man Behind the Belly Part 1

This is Part 1 of a (who knows how many) Part Series.

One of the questions I get asked a lot about being a Surrogate Mom is how my husband feels about it. It's funny, sometimes the way people deliver their question, it's almost as if they think I "got one past him". Like one night at dinner, I bring up, "Hey honey, I'm pregnant and it's not yours . . . You were wondering where I was for several days a week ago . . . Yeah, that was me getting knocked up in LA without you."

I assure you, if you go through a legitimate agency, the husband/partner of the Surrogate knows. Yes, I had to fill out the (long) application online but both of us were put through a credit check, both of us were medically screened and both of us had to meet with a psychologist before being approved. There are numerous pages of legal paperwork that need to be completed before you start medication and transfer, all of which, both of us had to sign.

Surro-dad isn't really the correct term for it, he isn't a Surrogate Father, more like a Surrogate Mom's Assistant, or SMA. An SMA needs to be Financially Secure, Physically and Psychologically Healthy and Flexible. My SMA, Rick, received such high marks from me on his performance evaluations that I rehired him as my SMA for my second journey.

Some duties future SMA's need to know about:

* Injection Engineer- A lot of surrogate moms I know can't do their own injections, so the SMA, may need to jump in and give 1-2 shots a day for roughly 14 weeks . . . longer if you have a cancelled or failed transfer.

* Nurse at the Crazy Ward- Easier said than done . . . the shots I mention above can make the Surrogate Mom "a little Crazy" or more accurate, "a little hormonal" or in my case "a lot hormonal". I would assume the SMA has seen their partner through other pregnancies and periods, so they should already have some experience with short fuses and crying for no reason.

* Abstinence Club President- During the surrogacy process there are times where sex is a "no no". Of course you want to make sure the baby she's carrying isn't yours (sounds funny to say that, huh?). In our first journey my SMA's abstinence duty, besides before before/right after embryo transfer, started at around 26 weeks of pregnancy when our OB's Iron Fist of No Sex Came Down and continued until birth. Not an easy task for most men I know.

* Kid Wrangler- Of course they have experience with their own children but they may need to take a bigger part in daily tasks when the Surrogate Mom is out of town for the Embryo Transfer, down with Morning Sickness or Extreme Fatigue in the first trimester and when they're gone for a few days for the birth. Some other times where the SMA may need to do some extra duty . . . helping with the kids when she's gone for doctor's appointments, ultrasounds, or if she is put on bed rest.

* CRAVE-n-ator- the baby/babies may not be his but the cravings are still hers. An SMA may need to drive to the store for Ice Cream, Burritos, Pickles, you name it, at a time when other husbands/partners are fast asleep (or having sex) LOL. Don't mean to rub it in, just saying.

There will be several Surrogate Mom Supporters (SMS) through your journey . . . friends, family, co-workers, etc. but only one SMA, so if you haven't thanked them in a while, now may be a good time because not too many men would even attempt a journey like this. Heck, when George and Sanj threw the BBQ for us, one of the attendants told us the main reason he came was to meet Rick . . . the man behind my belly.


Christina said...

So true! I can't wait for my SMA to read this later! He's going in for a blood test tomorrow and I can say "See, that's nothing, other SMA's have to give shots."

Heather said...

I will be sharing this with *my* SMA! Thanks Kelly. :) ...and thank you Rick for being such a wonderful supporter. My SMA and I met 3 weeks before I started my journey with surro #2, if he knew what he was getting into he probably would have taken my advice and ran away quick! Seven years later, one surro birth and 2 of our own kids he has signed all the paperwork, consented to all the tests and backgrounds and were going for another one. He must be as crazy and I am!

Mickey said...

How wonderful that he tags along for the adventure. Our surrogate is also married and we are still good friends and plan to meet up when we're next in Canada.

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Anonymous said...

I shared this post with my SMA and he agreed with the entire list. He had to give me every shot (the only one I was able to give myself after freaking out for about 2 hours gave me the biggest bruise I've ever had), went through my "crazy" hormones, etc, etc. He was absolutely amazing!! I couldn't have done it without him by my side. I love your blogs and am considering another surrogacy adventure because the first was amazing.

Ashley said...

Can't wait for Tyler to read this! I know he'll be an awesome SMA! Great post, by the way.