Easy. Not mine.
The baby growing inside of me is not, never was and never will be mine. Check this out; If your friend asked you to dog-sit for them, would you grow an attachment to your friend’s dog and then want to keep it? My guess is no. You would care for that dog, feed it, love on it and make sure it was well taken care of while in your care, but then you’d be kind of glad to hand it back once your friend returned from vacation. Amiright?!
Now, don’t go around spreading rumors that I’m comparing babies born via gestational surrogate to dogs, because that’s not cool… nor is it true. But do you understand a bit better now? If you need a little more help, let’s get to the scienc-ey stuff…
I say it’s not mine because it’s genetically not. Not one bit. Where I live at least, in California, it is illegal to perform a surrogacy where the carrier is genetically linked to the baby. That way would be called “Traditional Surrogacy” - when a woman gets pregnant via artificial insemination. That would mean it’s her own egg that was fertilized and she’s technically the biological mother. California (and a handful of other states) only allow “Gestational Surrogacy” where a woman is implanted with an embryo that is already created so she is just a carrier of the pregnancy.
Let’s break that down because, believe it or not, when I have tried to explain this to people, some still thought I was related to the baby because my “blood was passing through the baby in utero”. I’m gonna take this down to a level 2, just so we’re all on the same page.
Let’s go back to 5th grade sex ed, shall we? In order to make a baby, it requires an egg from a female and sperm from a male. The sperm implants itself into the egg and forms an embryo. In a “natural” conception, this would of course be the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm. Since a Gestational Surrogate is being implanted with an embryo that is already created, this egg either comes from the Intended Mother or an egg donor - either of which have previously gone through an egg retrieval process. The IVF doctor will take the egg and some sperm from the Intended Father and create the embryo in the lab. They wait until the embryo is about 3-5 days old before they even transfer it to the surrogate. They like to make sure it’s developing as it should.
Because of this, I know that the baby was never mine to begin with. It has grown in the parent’s hearts, not mine.
Was that a bit more helpful? This is why I always say that I do not get attached when I am carrying a surrogate baby because I feel like a babysitter. I care about the child and take care of myself so that the baby gets the best care, but I’m just holding it for 9 months. I look forward to seeing the look on the parent’s faces when the doctor hands them a baby that they have waited so very long for.