Mental Prep for Separation
All journeys come to an end. There’s a purpose to the pregnancy that we as surrogates understand is different than just conceiving our own child and taking it home one day after he or she is born. We go into this process fully aware and understanding that the life we carry within us for 10 months will one day exit us and go on to live an incredible life with his or her parents.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. There’s still some mental preparation that goes into it. From the moment this little embryo was implanted inside of me, I knew that sooner rather than later my surrogacy journey would be a distant memory, yes, but one that I would be able to reflect on. One that I could look back and be so proud of my body for being able to grow a little human for another family.
I have grown to love this child in a very different way than my own children. It’s truly incredible how your mind and body seem to instantly know that this child isn’t yours. I didn’t become attached to it in the way I immediately did when I became pregnant with my four babies. I’m not planning a future for this child nor am I getting ready to make room in our home for another family member. I’m not the one who has hopes and dreams for this child — that’s all for his or her parents to relish in. I have no doubt this child will live an incredible life, and be overly loved and taken care of. My job is temporary, and I’ve always been so honored to be a part of their story.
I will, however, miss the pregnancy. Like me, many surrogates take on this role because they loved being pregnant. All five times now I have loved watching my belly grow and feeling the baby kick and roll around. I love the way I look and how I feel, and I even love going for check-ups. It was even more fun this time being able to report back to the parents and see how incredibly happy they were to see their precious baby growing and thriving inside of me.
My kids also loved watching my belly grow and it was a nightly ritual for them to cuddle with me, hand on my belly feeling the baby moving around. I’ll miss those moments as much as they will. My girls constantly loved on the growing baby in my belly, giving him or her lots of hugs and kisses and saying sweet words about how much he or she will be loved by their family. All my kids understood that this baby isn’t ours and would be going home to the family who was so excited for their child as much as we were excited to bring each one of them into our family.
We frequently spoke about the baby’s family. We looked at pictures as a gentle reminder that stayed in the back of my kid’s minds that this would all soon come to an end. A reminder that following the birth, we would have to find a new normalcy again within our family. After this baby is born, I plan to snuggle my kids more than ever, and they can still feel my empty belly and be reminded of a beautiful thing that mommy did for a family. We’ll see pictures of the child growing up and I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to help bring him or her into this world.
As my journey is just days away from ending, we have all been saying our “goodbyes” in our own way. My kids have been getting their last hugs and kisses in. I have been talking to this baby and letting him/her know how much I’ll miss those little kicks and how much fun I’ve had growing them. I’ll miss rubbing my belly full of life. These are normal things to mourn through the immediate postpartum period but I know after hormones settle I’ll be just fine. As I explain to my friends who may not understand, it’s not the baby I’ll be sad over but the pregnancy that has come to an end, the emptiness inside, in the same way, I felt after each of my own children were born. I have other things to look forward to now as I get my body back into shape and prepare for the next chapter of my life. I’m excited to see what lies ahead and what new opportunities will arise for me as I navigate the next few months and years of my life!