I have been a gestational surrogate twice now! I love being pregnant, and as soon as my husband and I decided that our family was complete I knew that I would become a surrogate so that I could be pregnant again and share the gift of becoming a parent with others!
It’s an incredible privilege to be chosen to carry someone’s child. I have been honored to carry and birth the children of my Intended Parents. The incredible amount of trust that is required is not lost on me.
What always surprises me if the odd misconceptions people have about surrogacy and their willingness to ask incredibly personal questions! People almost always start asking questions about my pregnancy and family they learn that the baby I am carrying is not my own. With some people, you’d think I suddenly turned on a flashing sign that reads “Ask Me Anything.”
So, if you’ve ever wondered what sort of things people are going to be asking you when you’re pregnant with your Intended Parent’s baby, these are the top 5 weird or just plain invasive questions people have asked me about surrogacy:
Does it pay well to be a surrogate?
My internal response: How big was your last paycheck? How much did you pay in taxes last year? How are your RRSPs doing?
What I say: It doesn’t pay financially to be a surrogate mother in Canada. Surrogacy in Canada is altruistic meaning a gestational carrier cannot be financially compensated for the pregnancy. She is however reimbursed for expenses related to the pregnancy, lost wages, etc. Being a gestational surrogate pays in something so much more valuable than cash. It’s an incredible feeling to see your Intended Parents meet their new baby in the delivery room! There are no words to describe the feeling of being a part of creating a family.
What if you get attached to the baby and want to keep it?
My internal response: Then I guess I will just have to buy a mini-van so I have enough room to bring another child to the grocery store.
What I say: The baby isn’t mine. I have no genetic link to the child; I am merely a host for the baby to grow! My family is complete, and I am reveling in my ability to carry a child for someone else who wants one.
Must be nice to be rich and pay someone else to ruin their body so you can have a child.
My internal response: Yeah, I’m going to keep it to myself. This misconception infuriates me and all of my initial internal thoughts are probably not appropriate for the Proud Fertility blog.
What I say: Vanity surrogacy is pretty rare and not something I would be interested in supporting. Most Intended Parents cannot have a child without the help of a surrogate and may have struggled through years of infertility and heartbreak.
What if you get pregnant with like eight babies?!
My internal response: Then I’ll be the next Nadya Suleman AKA Octo-mom, only for someone else…?
What I say: My Intended Parents and I have chosen to do single embryo transfers. Only one embryo will be transferred at a time, thus only one baby. There’s 3 in 1000 chance that I could end up carrying twins, but that’s a risk I am willing to take.
And the most ridiculous question (or rather a series of questions) I get asked when people find out I am a gestation surrogate is…
How does your husband feel about you carrying someone else’s baby? OR How do you and your husband go without having sex for so long? OR Doesn’t it upset your husband that you… (insert misconception here)?
My internal response: Actually, he just loves that my boobs get really big when I’m pregnant. (I cannot believe how personal people will get when asking me questions about my husband and our sex life in relation to my surrogacy journey.)
What I say: This one depends on the person and the specifics of the statement or question. For inquiring minds, my husband and I practice safe sex to protect the baby. My husband loves me and fully supports me in doing anything that I believe in and feel passionate about. As a gestational carrier, I become pregnant in a medical office setting with a doctor and nurse present. My body and my privacy are not violated. The embryo is simply transferred into my uterus.
If you’re considering becoming a surrogate mother, you’ll require a thick skin and the ability to think on your feet. You just never know where the next awkward question will come from!
Guest blogger Shayna Martin is a two-time gestational carrier and doula who loves birth, pregnancy, and everything motherhood. She has completed her finally surrogacy journey and now dedicates her time to advocating for surrogacy in Canada and supporting other gestational surrogates.