“Oh goodness, you’re pregnant?!”
Here we go again, I thought. I came here to get out of the house, eat a meal provided to me and allow my child to jump in a bouncy house until he was tired enough to pass out on the way home. My husband deployed two weeks earlier so I’d decided to attend the Deployed Spouses Dinner for a break. I was working full time and had an additional hour trip in the morning and afternoon to pick up my rambunctious two year old from daycare. Dinners were slowly becoming quick frozen or boxed meals. Can’t a girl just eat a warm meal in peace?
So yes, friend of a friend, I am indeed pregnant. Sixteen weeks to be exact.
“Oh really? I’m 20 weeks! Do you know what you’re having yet?”
“I’m carrying a boy, we found out last Saturday”
She had learned during our brief chat that our husbands left the same day so he had obviously not been here the previous Saturday.
“Oh man, your husband just missed the gender scan?”
It was okay, I responded. He Skyped for part of the hour long appointment I had at a local ultrasound center so he was able to participate during the big day.
What’s your due date, she wanted to know next.
“April 6, and it’s my birthday too, so maybe I will get to share it with the baby”
“Oh man! Your husband will miss the birth!”
“Well, it’s not his child so it’s okay…”
Shock and surprise flash across her face until she gains composure. Her cheeks turned red and I could see her fluster while trying to find the right words to respond. A heartbeat later I filled the gap.
“But it’s okay, he totally knows it’s not his child!”
This time she wasn’t able to hold back the utter disgust she held on her face. Disappointing her, I’m sure, I eventually explained that I was actually a surrogate. My cousin had lost her ability to have children the year prior when her uterus ruptured during her first pregnancy. The little boy did not survive and she lost her uterus. The only way for she and her husband to have children biologically was to have a surrogate. Insert me.
My husband had no issue that I was pregnant, technically, by another man and woman. Hell, he was the room over when the procedure took place. He understood well before we began the process that he would miss the birth. Did that change anything? Never. But it always allowed for an entertaining way to meet new friends.
When you’re pregnant, everyone is eager to know about your due date, the gender and all the gooey too much information details. When they find out your husband is deployed they feel particular sympathy for you since you are doing it alone. What they never expect is to hear those words; “The baby isn’t his.. and it’s okay.”
But, that’s a lie.
Being a surrogate has been more than okay; it’s been life changing.