~ by Kim
It's funny how different men can be.
Early in the pregnancy, I asked my husband Carl when he thought we should say anything at work about being a surrogate. He thought we shouldn't say anything at all. Maybe he thought no one would notice my changing physique, or the fact that we wouldn't have a baby afterwards. (Hey, where'd your third kid go? ...What kid???) We both work at the hospital, and though in different areas, we occasionally work together so we know the same people, so I'm not sure what he was thinking.
Not too long ago at work, he had a bit of fun for the first time regarding the surrogacy. One of the security guards was on his ward, and offered his congratulations after seeing that I was expecting again. Carl thanked him, and then in a calm and serious voice, replied that the baby wasn't his. (Silence) I wasn't there at the time, but heard from several co-workers how they'd had a good laugh watching this poor guy's jaw drop to the floor in shock. After they filled him in, they all had a good laugh.
This month Carl and I celebrated our anniversary, and went out for dinner on our own without the kids. As we were leaving the restaurant, our server said goodbye, and then said "Congratulations!" as we left. Walking to the car, Carl looked at me and asked, "Congratulations for what?!?" He didn't clue in, and I had to tell him that the server thought we were having a baby. The thought had never even occurred to him.
Some things my husband does still surprise me. It's amazing at how well we work together, despite how different we are. He's usually the calm, level-headed and rational one, whereas I'm usually more high-strung, impulsive and impatient. (Usually being the key word)
I often get asked how he feels about the surrogacy and what he thinks about me doing this. I think that he has has his moments, just as I do, where some times are easier and other moments more challenging. It's easy to forget what a big undertaking pregnancy is until you're right in it, and how it affects the entire family. Even though Carl is not the one going through the physical toll of a pregnancy, it still has a major impact on him and affects him in so many other ways. He's the one who's had to pick up all of the slack at home and with the kids when I haven't been feeling 100%. He's had to do more laundry, housework, cooking and childcare, as well as tolerate my not always sunny disposition throughout the different stages of this process. Hard to believe, but I'm not always a peach. (Note sarcastic undertone)
One evening after the girls had gone to bed, we were watching TV when I noticed my belly start moving up and down as the baby started kicking. I showed him and asked if he wanted to come and feel it. He said no. This caught me off guard, and when I asked him about it, he told me that this was different for him, that it wasn't his baby. He said that he didn't have a connection to the baby like he did with our own kids. It's different for me, being the one to carry this baby. I think it's impossible not to feel connected to the baby even though it's in such a different capacity from my own kids. As I thought about it more, I understood where he was coming from a bit more. If I'd had a friend visiting who was pregnant, and the baby started moving, he wouldn't be running over to feel that baby move either. I don't think that men have the same urge to feel a pregnant tummy that women do.
That moment really made me stop and think, about what this must really be like for him. It also made me appreciate how supportive he has been, and how doing this would be absolutely impossible without him on board. People tell me what a special thing I am doing. I think of what a special thing that he is doing; standing by me as we do this together.
I know how lucky I am.