There are two types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional.

A gestational surrogate is a woman who undergoes IVF with an embryo that is not hers. She typically thickens her uterine lining and suppresses her ovaries using a combination of shots and pills, but the baby that is implanted in her womb does not share her DNA. The egg and sperm either belong to the baby’s parents, or they belong to an egg or sperm donor. It’s like bringing the ingredients for your grandmother’s homemade pumpkin bread over to your friend’s house. You might bake it in her oven, but it was your idea to bake and you brought all the ingredients, so it’s your bread.

The other type of surrogate is a traditional surrogate, where a woman inseminated with sperm from the baby’s intended father or a sperm donor. A traditional surrogate is genetically linked to the baby since she uses her own egg, but she differs from a birth mother who gives her baby up for adoption in that the surrogate baby’s conception was completely planned with the understanding that she will never be the mother.

I was a gestational surrogate, which means I transferred an embryo that was made from the sperm from her father and an egg from a donor. The baby’s mother was unable to get pregnant because of her battle with cancer. I was just part of the medical team who helped bring her baby earthside.

Before we even transferred the embryo, we signed a pre-birth order before a judge stating that any baby that was implanted in my body through IVF was going home with them. I never went on the birth certificate as the mother because as far as the legal system was concerned I was just a walking, talking fabulous incubator. That baby was their baby from conception.

 

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