Traditional Surrogacy: One Surrogate’s Story of Being Linked by DNA, but Not by Parenthood
It's late at night and I am thumbing through text messaged photos on my phone. Pictures of vacationing children. Two boys harnessed for a zip line, proudly displaying smiles. An adorable girl sporting a bun and tutu skirt. She has my eyes. At least, that is what people say.
I carried these three little humans inside my womb. My body voyaged through the labyrinth of birth and nourished them with my milk. They carry my blood inside their bodies. But they aren't my children.
They were conceived with my egg and their Fathers' sperm, via intrauterine insemination (IUI). I, their biological mother, gestated and birthed each of them, as a Traditional Surrogate. They are of my blood, but they are not my own.
So, how can a person biologically help create a child, and have no desire for parental attachments?
I can only speak from my own perspective. Fully understanding, this choice is not for everyone. And perhaps my answer is too simplistic. But this is my intrinsic truth.
How can I not?
My fertility has been a gift. Before I embarked on my surrogacy journey in life, I was blessed with two children of my own. Procreating came with ease. Becoming a parent was the ultimate blessing. My desire for others to experience this was strong. Being a surrogate, helping to complete a family, seemed like a necessary step along my path. Donating my eggs in the process, was merely an extension of this concept.
After many assert they could not do so themselves; I am often asked, how I was able to give these children away.
When you enter into a pregnancy with the intention of creating another person's child; you know in your heart, belonging doesn't come from DNA being passed down from one source to another. It's derived from the place in which you are destined to be. Therefore, a surrogate isn't relinquishing her child to someone else. She is simply returning a child to their intended parents.
Deciding to become a parent, despite the avenue, comes from a desire to love another person unconditionally. Creating these children, also came from a place of love. Their Fathers' love. The love of my family, my Partner, my children, me. The thing about love is; there are countless definitions, illustrations, interpretations.
Love is boundless.
I sift through these photos on my phone often. Not because it saddens me, or that I wish these children were here with me. From time to time, I like to compare our distinctive characteristics. And I am guilty of not visiting as frequently as I should. But mostly, I look at them because it brings me deep gratification.
To witness their family enjoying life is my reward. They are a constant reminder that family is non-binary. It isn't polarizing or limited. Not all families are born of mother and father. Often times, conception requires a third party. Sometimes more.
The hardest choice wasn't whether or not I could do surrogacy. It was in choosing whom I would do this with. I consider myself fortunate because I made an impeccable choice. They say you can't choose your family. But I disagree with this limited construct.
We are simply continuations of each other's existence. Steadily evolving within the chapters of our collective lives. The strands that bind us are innumerable. Our shared experiences go beyond our shared blood.