Thursday, August 18, 2011

Do you miss the baby?

Do you miss the baby? That is by far one of the most frequent questions I, as a surrogate, encounter from others. I can remember being a first time surrogate and having people ask me, while I was still pregnant, if I would miss the babies. I didn’t know the answer to that question at the time. As I sit here now, having completed three surrogacies and having delivered five full term, healthy surrogate babies, I finally have an answer to that question. Do I miss the baby? Yes. And no.

Yes, I miss the baby. Or rather I miss the idea of the baby. The smell of a newborn fresh from the bath. The feeling I get when a baby smiles at me for the first time. The feeling of utter peace that settles over me when I nurse a baby in the still of the night.

No, I don’t miss the baby. The utter exhaustion. The not being able to go anywhere without two bags, four totes and a plan of action. The utter lack of spontaneity in my life. My children are teenagers and the thought of starting over with a newborn causes me to experience something akin to a seizure.

For the first few weeks after I deliver a surrogate baby, my emotions run the gamut as I’m sure all surrogates emotions do. Hormones need to level out and readjust. My body needs to heal. All of the sudden I have gone from being a major player in an exciting, dramatic project to a bit player, and that takes a major adjustment. Because there is no baby at home, I find myself forgetting sometimes that I’m not pregnant. Once the hormones equalize and settle down, I can honestly say that I don’t miss the baby and I think most other surrogates feel the same way. What I do miss is the relationship with the parents. I have been incredibly lucky in that both sets of parents that I have carried for maintain a degree of contact with me. I get the pictures and emails and updates that make my heart swell with pride and love. But the relationship is different than when I was pregnant and I miss the degree of closeness we had. Lives move forward and I find that the surrogate pregnancy was just a moment in time.

So do I miss the baby? No. Do I miss that moment in time when I was pregnant with the baby? Yes. Do I miss the parents? Yes. Over time, those feelings subside and when I get pictures that are small outtakes of the life that I in a small way helped to create, the hole that is left by the ending of the surrogacy is more than filled. For when the surrogacy ends and the baby is passed from my arms to the arms of the parents that longed for him, a family is born.

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