Does a surrogate pregnancy differ from a personal pregnancy?

Personal Pregnancy vs. Surrogate Pregnancy

Heartburn. Check.
Waddle. Check, check.
Frequent trips to the ladies’ room. Check, check, check.

My surrogate pregnancy was similar to my personal pregnancies. However, there were definitely a few (rather large) ways that it differed from the pregnancies I’d had with my own children.

In Vitro Fertilization
In the weeks leading up to the scheduled embryo transfer, my body was prepared to become pregnant thanks to the medications commonly used in IVF. I attended monitoring appointments at an IVF clinic to make sure that my body was responding properly to the various medications. A short time later, during a quick and painless procedure, the embryo transfer took place with the intended parents at my side. I continued with my medications and monitoring appointments until we were about 10 weeks pregnant, at which time I was weaned from the medication and released to my own OBGYN. The IVF process was by far the greatest physical difference that existed between my personal pregnancies and surrogate pregnancy.

Shared Pregnancy
One of the best parts of my surrogacy was that I  shared the pregnancy with the intended parents. Experiencing important milestones and special moments of the pregnancy was something I really looked forward to sharing with the intended parents. Having the intended parents attend appointments with me and be there for the birth of their twins was a special and memorable time for us all.

Intended parents

Intended parents anxiously await the birth of their babies.

Mental
The most obvious way my surrogate pregnancy differed from my personal pregnancies was that although I was pregnant, I was not getting ready to become a mom. I didn’t need to scour through paint color choices for the nursery. There was no need to begin stocking up on diapers, and I didn’t have the difficult job of choosing names for the babies. I did not need to be mentally preparing for motherhood.

Although I wasn’t preparing to bring a baby home, I did very much enjoy some of the most memorable parts of pregnancy. Getting to see the babies wiggle and squirm on the ultrasound monitor was always such a joy. I had the pleasure of feeling the kicks and nudges of the babies as they grew in my belly. Most important, I had the honor of being present as two babies were born and a new family was created.

Recovery
I found that recovering from my surrogate pregnancy was far easier than it was with the birth of my own kids. This was because I could focus my time and attention on recovery rather than caring for an infant. Getting a full night’s sleep (for the first time in months) was a luxury for which I felt extremely grateful. In addition to rest and relaxation, knowing that I had just given the gift of family was the perfect recipe for recovery for me.

A surrogate pregnancy is an incredible experience. And although many of the physical factors were the same (or very similar to) what I had experienced in my personal pregnancies, it was the differences that made the experience such an unforgettable one.

Becoming a surrogate mother