I am a mother and then some.
Since 2001, I have given birth to eight healthy babies. I don’t actually have eight kids running around my house, but eight healthy embryos have flourished in my uterus over the years. Three of those were my own children and the other five grew into babies for three other families. You see, I am not just a mother but I am a Gestational Surrogate and even though I’m not the mother of my surrogate babies, with every hope their parents had, every pregnancy, every birth, every experience of placing a newborn in their parent’s arms, I relived my own journey to motherhood. As I helped others realize their dreams of becoming parents, I was continually reminded how truly amazing being a mother can be. Not just in the delivery room when your child takes their first breath but how every day you have with your child is an adventure and a blessing.
I was lucky that I had a very easy time conceiving, very easy pregnancies and very easy deliveries. I loved, and continue to love being a mom. I also loved being pregnant. I learned about the concept of surrogacy pretty early on and thought, even before I had my own children, that it was something that I would like to do. How amazing must it be to help people who can’t have children (for one reason or another) become parents? Little did I know that it would be one of the most amazing things I’d ever do in my lifetime. Who knew my uterus could be so marvelous? And I am not alone. Across the country there are women, who already know the joys motherhood brings, who are ready to help give something great to others.
Surrogates are amazing. I think we are a lot like unicorns . . . you’ve heard about them but have never seen one in person. When I meet people, most are intrigued and have a million questions. Lucky for them, I have a million answers. When women say, “I could never do that,” I simply reply, “Then don’t.” It takes a very special woman to become a surrogate. Actually, it takes a very special mom to become a surrogate. For only mothers, truly understand the gift they are giving and the amazing lessons of love and family their own children are about to learn. These surrogates are teachers, nurses, day care providers, etc. but above all, they are mothers.
Every year, when Mother’s Day arrives, I celebrate the fact that I am a mother to my own three. I do not celebrate the births of surro-babies that day, that’s what their birthdays are for. I do, however, think of the many surrogates I know, that have bestowed one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone. Regardless of compensation, there is a certain amount of altruism that surrogates have. I also think about all women who celebrate their own motherhood, regardless of how they got there. Alternative Insemination? IVF? Adoption? Surrogacy? There are so many ways to arrive at motherhood, not one better than the other.
I will always be a mother. It’s part of who I am. I will always be a Surrogate. It, too, is part of who I am. Years from now I will look back at my experiences and will swell with pride when I think of the families I helped create. Not just my own, but six other parents who have been able to live the dream. Yes, I am a mother, and then some.