I had just mentioned my lack of symptoms. Yeah.
I spoke too soon.
I am constantly hungry, and if I have not eaten within the past 15 minutes, I get SO nauseous. They say that symptoms start between 5-6 weeks. I started right on time.
I am prepared though. I have some sort of healthy snack on hand at all times. I really don't want to gain too much weight in excess of the babies, so I am trying to drink a lot of water too. SO far, water doesn't stave off the nausea, but it helps me feel a little fuller if I am eating too. A good friend of mine also gave me lifesavers mints, peppermints, and goldfish crackers. She said they helped her through her pregnancy. They have been working for me today. I can keep something in my mouth without actually eating all day long. That's nice.
I am also very tired. My brain feels kind of fuzzy a lot of times. I just want to crawl back in bed for another three hours. It's ok though, the mint seems to be helping with that a little bit too.
I can't help but think how this is so worth it though. I know that my IPs are going to get the big family they want and deserve, and I get to help them get there. If this nausea and hunger are what it takes to get to keep both of these babies safe in my belly until they are ready to be born, yes, it is beyond worth it.
I have received a lot of support in the form of likes and comments on my facebook page. I am actually overwhelmed by the supportive response. I thought there might be more people questioning motives (only one has mentioned money) or wondering how I would be able to give up a baby I carried (again, only one). Those are questions I had too when I began considering surrogacy.
First, the money. Yes I get paid to carry these babies. The amount I get paid doesn't really matter. It is actually a very small piece of the overall cost to the IPs for all of the IVF, blood work, ultrasounds, egg donor, etc. I won't say I would do it for free. I couldn't honestly say that unless it were for a close friend or family member. I load up on hormones that change my appetite, weight, and mood constantly. I give myself shots daily or every other day. I go to the clinic for blood draws and ultrasounds once a week. My kids and husband are dealing with me being exhausted and not being able to lift things or complete certain chores. All of this takes place before I get pregnant, and I only get paid once pregnancy is confirmed with a heartbeat (or two).
I am not complaining at all about these things. It is all worth it, and there is nothing I didn't expect before I got into this. I guess I just hate that surrogates are sometimes looked down on for "renting their womb" or something. Some states are even trying to enact laws that make it illegal for a surrogate to be paid. How many struggling couples will be able to find a surrogate then? It is sad. The same state *cough*Louisiana*cough* also wants to restrict these unpaid surrogates to only assisting male/female, married couples. I am glad I live in Ohio, a state that so far has just kind of ignored surrogacy in any way.
As for giving these little China dolls away after carrying them nine months, well, of course that is something I had to come to terms with. I made sure I was fully prepared mentally before ever making the decision to be a surrogate.
1. I have three amazing, entertaining, beautiful daughters. Long before my husband and I considered surrogacy, we already knew we had enough of our own children. I don't have the time or energy to give any more children the attention they deserve. Three is our magic number.
2. These children have absolutely NO genetic link to me. I could never donate embryos. Everyone has a line they just can't cross, and that is mine. I appreciate those women who are so selfless that they are willing to go through the drugs and procedure to have their eggs harvested for hopeful parents. That's just not me. The China dolls are just that, Chinese. Not even of the same heritage to me.
3. The IPs are wonderful, and we plan on staying in touch and visiting after the China dolls are born. Not only am I blessed enough to get to carry them, but I also get to be like an aunt or close family friend. I get to know how they are doing. It is important to me that they live a full and happy life. I know my IPs will give that to them.
4. I get to snuggle the China dolls, then hand them back to their parents if they cry or poo. I also get to NOT have to wake up at 10, 2, 3:30, 4, and 7 am. I like my sleep.
5. I know all of this sounds good in theory, but there is always the question of after the birth and after the IPs have taken their little ones home. The agency and the clinic both offer support in the event that I don't take it quite as calmly. I have no worries about that, but resources are available to me.
These babies will have a wonderful life, and I will get to be a part of it. I might miss them. I will definitely love them. I already do love them. The love I have for them is very different than what I experienced with my girls. It is a little detached as though it were someone else carrying them. In fact, my greatest emotion is happiness for my IPs. When I think of these China dolls, I just imagine their mom and dad holding them, all smiles and pride. It is very interesting being so far removed from something so close to me.
All I know for sure is that I am a part of something bigger than myself. I not only have my own family, but I have become a part of a second family under some extraordinary circumstances. This is their gift to me. They opened their hearts and hopes and dreams to me. That can't have been easy. My gift to them in return is the realization of their hopes. Here's hoping everything goes smoothly.
Wish us luck, and send positive vibes to the China dolls so they grow big and healthy. :)