We husbands can add a few details perhaps left unsaid by the surrogates. Thankfully, all I have to say is positive and should be fun.
My wife might tell you that we learned about surrogacy through a friend who had been a surrogate twice in the past. She might also then say, since her pregnancies were so smooth and easy, that providing the gift of children by acting as a vessel felt like an enriching experience. She would be completely right to say that. What she might not mention is, that after toying with the idea off and on for a couple of years–at one point she considered offering to carry her cousin’s child, but their adoption went through–she really didn’t start seriously thinking about it until around 10pm on December 20, 2011.
Now, it’s not that I’m good with dates or anything…okay, I am…but I have a secret I’ll divulge: Google. I had to look up the Season 1 Premiere of HBO’s Hung. The missus and I gave it our obligatory chance (it’s HBO so it must be good) and during one the main character’s epiphany moments of what his special talent might be, my wife turned to me and said she was thinking she might want to seriously look into being a surrogate. Being well aware of her special talents, I took the high road and knew what she meant: she didn’t have a problem being pregnant; it would be equivalent to her getting a part-time job (but without leaving home); and she would make another couple extremely happy.
It didn’t take very long for me to consider it. If she wanted to go through the whole experience, I would support her. I was amazed at her ability to cope with her body changes with such grace the first two times around. Thankfully, my wife handles discomfort and pain well. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable with the idea. It’s not that she internalizes it; she’s just good at gritting, bearing it, and taking frequent naps. If she felt she could do it, so could I.
What I didn’t say up front was that I was really looking forward to her pregnant body as she fills out quite nicely. I didn’t have any hang ups in relation to her carrying another person’s child. It’s her body, not mine; and she could make whatever decision she wanted in regards to it. Granted, I would have to live with those decisions. This was a part that served well. She bounced back smoothly from the past two pregnancies and had limited signs to show for it.
What I didn’t realize until we were well into the process was how much fun it would be to mess with friends and family. Telling them Mary’s pregnant and then watching the sideways glance since they all knew I had a vasectomy 5 years ago. We’d let them hang on that for a little while, let the room get a little uncomfortable and then delve in for the laugh. But what turned out to be the most fun and satisfying part of the whole experience was seeing the happiness on the Intended Parent’s (IP’s) faces. They were just so delighted, which in turn, made me delighted. I remember the inexplicable happiness of holding both my girls when they were first born. It was similar to watching a really good, heart-touching movie. I got all the warm and fuzzies and then got to go home and have a good night’s sleep.
We’re working on our next surrogacy now since the first one went so well. This time, like last, we’re partnered with a same sex couple that is more local that the last. This experience, so far, has been much more enriching. I remember the excitement of witnessing the beginning of the process, the joy of knowing my child was growing, the adventure of seeing nature mature right in front of me…and most of all, the anticipation of seeing my child for the first time. These guys are going through all the same experiences I went through before. I get to live vicariously through them and relive the whole experience, but this time, do it with the idea of giving the priceless gift of surrogacy as well.