A colleague and his partner recently had twins, a beautiful baby boy and girl. Having just had my daughter 6 months ago I have enjoyed being apart of his “pregnancy story”.
Listening to the journey from egg donor to surrogate implantation I quickly learned that although I have two children I (apparently) know very little about how babies are made (hint: it doesn’t always involve tequila).
First, he described the egg selection- it sounded a bit like online dating: profile pic, background, physical stats and key accomplishments. I imagine that although they were choosing their children’s mother from a catalog, natural instincts still kick in. As humans we are naturally drawn to the strongest in the pack- tall, healthy, good teeth and a higher education. This particular couples goal was twins so they had to buy double the eggs and extra in case the first few rounds of transfer didn’t work. All in all it was about 20k for a dozen eggs.
There was lots of genetic testing done etc…etc…but I will skip to the next stage which fascinated me- the surrogate.
From what I understand, this woman (different from the egg donor) had children of her own and wasn’t interested in growing her family more. She has a brother who is gay, making carrying these babies not just about the money but also the opportunity to help a gay couple conceive.
The compensation package was, as it should be, lucrative (6 figures for twins) and also included a fund for maternity clothing, a baby sitter for doctors appointments and even a housekeeper in the third trimester.
As delivery day drew near, I thought more and more about the surrogate- how did she feel? Was she emotionally prepared to deliver the babies? It wasn’t ever her baby, so was she able to mentally separate it?
What a gift this woman gave (I mean it wasn’t free, but still). To carry two babies for 40 weeks, feel their kicks, flips and hiccups then to hand them over to give someone their dream of a family. Wow!
Learning about the surrogacy experience peaked my curiosity and made me realize that this is a topic that many are deeply divided on.
I myself am torn on the topic, but one thing I am not torn on is my absolute admiration for any woman willing to carry life and give the gift of family.