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The call came at 2:30am from our surrogate, who quietly informed me, “Are you ready to be parents tomorrow?”
Our son, who was being carried by a gestational surrogate, was about to make his entrance into the world…3 weeks before the induction date, and over 1,000 miles away.
So there we were, throwing last-minute items into a suitcase that had been packed for 2 months, wide-eyed and incredulous. Our son was coming…now. And while I had been preparing for this very moment for the last 9 months, it didn’t feel real.
We hopped on the first plane out and arrived at the hospital in the early afternoon. Our surrogate was propped up in bed, patiently waiting for our arrival. And, apparently, so were the nurses who exclaimed to us, “You’re finally here!” when we walked onto the labor and delivery floor.
In the hours that led up to our son’s birth, we spoke with the hospital staff about the moments just after he would be delivered. Once he arrived, the nurses would take him and us to the hospital room next door, giving us private moments with our new baby. I was dressed in hospital gowns, ready for the skin-to-skin contact.
We were right by our surrogate’s side during the delivery (I’ll admit, I faced the corner the entire time, I was afraid my stomach would betray me!), and the moment I heard his very first little baby bleat, I let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding for the last 6 years. He was here. He was finally here.
When I settled his little body against my bare skin, he instantly fell asleep. He was warm and soft and so small! “I’ve got you,” I whispered into his ear.
In the weeks following our return home, I spent every minute of the day with our new son. And even though I didn’t give birth to him, at no point did I ever not consider him “mine”. I did all of the same things any new parent would do: I held him as much as possible, I sang and whispered to him, I looked into his eyes and told him I loved him. He slept in a bassinet next to our bed, close enough that I could reach my hand in and rest it on his warm little body during the night to soothe him. I carried him against me in an infant carrier that I wore around the house during the day.
For me, the only difference in having a baby through surrogacy vs giving birth myself, was that I didn’t need to recover physically. (Understandably, I was not experiencing my hormones trying to find their new normal, either.) Emotionally, I was dealing with the same doubts and fears that every new parent goes through: “Am I doing this right?” and “Am I a good mother?” and “What if I mess this up?” Mentally, I was just as tired as anyone else who was getting up every 4 hours to feed an infant!
And even though I didn’t carry him for 9 months, he would turn his head when he heard my voice. When family and friends came over to meet him, and he’d get fussy, he’d instantly calm down once he was in my arms. He would stare at me in wonder (and I was staring at him in wonder, too!) He knew I was his mother, and that I loved him unconditionally, no matter how he came into the world.
Kristin Marsoli is a cancer survivor and parent through surrogacy. She’s lucky enough to be the Marketing Director at Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, helping others achieve their dreams of parenthood. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys spending time with her husband and son, cooking and writing her blog, and sneaking off to Target.
Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation is the most successful surrogacy agency in the world, making parenthood possible for singles and couples around the world for 25 years. Circle works with those who desire to be parents, and the gestational surrogates and egg donors who help them achieve those dreams. Circle has helped to bring over 2,000 babies into this world…and counting!