Ever since we found out that I’m carrying twins, the question people ask the most (once they get past the, “Holy crap,” comment) is whether it’s different than carrying one. Up until now, this surrogacy has been very much the same as my first two pregnancies. It’s been straightforward, easy, and has come with relatively few discomforts or complications. I do not overlook my good fortune here.
Now, at nearly 33 weeks, I can safely say that it’s feeling a little different- in more ways than one. There’s the obvious physical difference. At 33 weeks with twins you apparently are as large as someone who is 39 weeks with a singleton. By my calculations (and I am admittedly not so good at math), when I get to 36 weeks I will feel as though I have carried one baby about a month past due. Not surprisingly, it’s a little harder to get my shoes on, I prefer to drive the bigger car, and I’m spending a lot of time elevating my feet, now a size and a half larger than before.
The physical differences, though, are only one side of the story. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is emotional, and maybe not in the way one would assume. I feel like I should stress how much I adore my children. While they certainly have their moments (I would worry if they didn’t), watching their personalities develop and their creativity flourish more every day is truly priceless. That said, it has been a long time since I held a newborn and had that, “I really want another baby,” feeling. In this, my third pregnancy – first with twins, first for someone else – I feel a sense of peace that, to me, is a little surprising. I would imagine that many women pregnant with twins, or with their third child, feel a little anxious around this 33-week mark. I know I would – if I were pregnant with my own.
Knowing these sweet boys are headed home with their parents at the end of this journey brings a wave of peace. There’s peace in knowing that we’ve played such an important role in expanding their family. There’s also peace in knowing that I’ll come home at the end of the journey to continue watching my own two boys grow. They and my husband have made some sacrifices this year, given that my time and energy have become precious. There’s beginning to be a balance amidst the chaos in our house these days and, therefore, a sense of peace in knowing that this journey isn’t about adding another log to the fire.
This sense of peace makes it easier to overlook the physical discomfort. It helps me find the motivation to take better care of myself than I remember doing the first two times. More importantly, I believe it translates to my own kids – and hopefully to theirs. I’m able to stay optimistic and I don’t feel the need to complain (much). Hopefully my excitement about this experience is reflected in my children, who I’m sure will be perfectly happy to have Mommy’s lap back at the end of this journey. Nothing has really brought greater excitement about surrogacy than seeing the two of them invest in taking care of the babies and me. From telling my belly stories and drawing pictures to give the babies to picking up just about anything I drop on the floor and understanding that I participate less in their activities, my kids have proven to be truly remarkable in their acceptance of and enthusiasm for my choice to be a surrogate. As I think about what’s different now, I can honestly say that their worldview has changed in a way that truly makes any sacrifice seem quite small.