Monday, June 23, 2014

She Doesn't Look Pregnant?

Chris-  At least, that is what I feel them saying with their looks.  Whenever we meet someone that doesn’t know what is going on with Candace and I and we happily announce that we will soon be having a baby they do a few things almost every time.  They smile back at us, their eyes meander down to Candace’s stomach in an attempt to gauge just ‘how’ pregnant she is, then in a mixed sense of confusion and feeling like they are being lied to, their eyes slowly meander back to our faces half expecting for us to pose with a ‘Gotcha’ look and half expecting for us to apologize for lying to them. 

And there we stand, the 2, 3, or 4 of us at an impasse.  How much of our story do we divulge?  Do we go into the events of the last seven years that led us to meeting our wonder surro, the frozen blastocyst transfer, the tense 2 week wait, the guarded optimism that we could actually be parents very soon?  Do they care?  Do any of us have enough time for all that?  Do we want them to know all that?  What we typically do is say, or blurt out really, that we have a surrogate that is carrying for us.  But then, a few interesting things happen.  First what goes on outside of my crazy head and then what goes on inside my head.  So, what goes on outside my head is that sometimes people will take a second look down at Candace’s stomach.  It almost seems like there Superman laser vision is looking right through her to where her uterus should be, like it is a ‘just making sure she isn’t really pregnant and playing it off kind of look.’  Weird right? 

What goes on in my head is probably a bit of good ol’ fashioned Chris insecurity shining through.  In that moment, right after we announced how blessed we are to have a surrogate, I start to have these thoughts of “Do they think we are doing this because it is fashionable and we have piles of money or something?”  “Do they realize that were it not for our surrogate we would not be able to have a biological child?”  “Are they judging us for not adopting?”  This fury of thoughts bouncing around in my head ultimately boils down to “Are they happy for us or judging us as some kind of yuppie couple enamored with current trends?” 

Candace-  I walked into a baby boutique recently with a friend that was about a month further along than I, we? ahhh sigh... The lady took note of her appearance and with a huge ear to ear grin began the barrage of questioning. When is the due date? Boy or Girl? And it goes on and on and onnnnnn. For me, her eyes glaze past me unnoticeably and I get asked if I am shopping for my friend. At that exact point I have the Hoover Dam of emotions, thoughts, sarcastic remarks brimming to escape. I selfishly want to be noticed that we are expecting. Is that wrong? For some this maybe an annoyance for us though we are busting at the seams with joy and anticipation of our newest mini-human.

I could just pacify the situation and not tell the clerk that I am shopping for my unborn 37 week bun in another oven. Quietly nod and continue to go about my browsing. Or, take the the bitter infertile approach which consists of going on an irate tyrant on how my uterus is stupid, missing womb, shots, cervical mucus, Mr. Ultrasound Wand blah blah blah… and then an hour later I get to the point that I have a surrogate carrying our baby. Most likely though I could breakout the most shocking response of all (the truth), and smiling proudly say that we are 37 weeks along via surrogacy. What happens after I reveal our situation though, typically is the following response:

1. I get the empathetic look of ultimate pity.

Please do not pity me as I am proud of our journey and the milestones we accomplished to get to this point. Our marriage is stronger. My appreciation for life is sweeter and my will is much tougher now.

2. He/She is utterly surprised it is biologically our baby.


3. I get asked if our surrogate lives with us.

Most surrogates become a surrogate because they know they have a gift, they are people makers. They are selfless women and families who want to truly bless childless couples.  More so, they fully know that it is a gift as many of them are mothers. They are also a wife, and a daughter, a friend to someone. They have other lives than just surrogacy. So no, our wonder surro lives with her husband and kids, in her own home. Shocking, yes?

There is a wide open door opportunity to educate others here. This is a chance to talk about my IF-PTSD and ultimately bring light to a topic that most are ashamed to talk about. Many people know what IVF is, or have an inkling about adoption. The majority of the population do not know about surrogacy. The thing is people are curious by nature. If I can fuel that curiosity and share our story just maybe my words will resonate and they can support someone they know or maybe they are the ones struggling in silence and need that one simple invite to open up.

Chris Again:  Although the looks we get when we say we are expecting soon are awkward, they pale in comparison to the awesome that is the fact that We Are Expecting Soon.  Just like my brain surgeries and many other obstacles in life, it sometimes seems like we can’t get out from under the shadow of IF.  You know what though … I kind of like the shade.  Candace and I plan to tell our Jelly Bean about how amazing it was for her to be conceived (in a fertility clinic), about how amazing it was while she was pregnant (in someone else’s uterus), and how amazing it is to tell others about her (befuddled looks and all).  Will Candace and I ever escape the menacing shadow of infertility? No.  But with so much love, support, shared prayers, shared tears, and shared hopes, why would we want to?   

Kinda like our blog? How about showing us some sweet bloglovin' and follow us? You can subscribe to our blog via email and can receive our posts as soon as we click send! (See right sidebar for how to sign-up) If you REALLY like us, we are also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest


  1. Yep, yep! Exactly. We got many weird looks, too. So excited for you guys. Good luck this week!

  2. I get so excited every time I see your new blog post on your Facebook page. I've been following your journey since last summer when I began my own infertility journey (which is but a blip in comparison to your journey!). I love how you guys handled infertility and how you continue to handle your current surrogate situation - with a sense of humor and honesty. I can't wait for the birth announcement!!

  3. funny that this was today's blog topic. I actually had been thinking and wondering how you handle people in public asking you questions like this. I wondered how much you would get into the topic. I'm thinking of you guys everyday and can't wait to hear of jelly beans arrival!
    Xo lynn

  4. I feel so many of those same things as an expectant adoptive mom. (Is that the right way to say it?) "We are due in a few weeks"... immediately look to stomach... moment of awkward silence. ~ Can't wait for jelly bean!!!

  5. To be totally honest this is something I've never really thought about or have experience with. But I don't blame you at all for wanting to have the bump, that physical sign of pregnancy that is sure to elicit "oohs" and "aahs", Instead you get questioning glances and a story that most people won't appreciate. But at the end of the day, you ARE expecting and that is such a wonderful and exciting thing! I will be following for news when your little miracle arrives!

  6. Excited for you both as the day nears-it would be cool if we shared birthdays (June 29)!

  7. I'm keeping up with your blog as June. 29 comes closer (that's my birthday also) happy for you!

  8. I just wanted to comment - I stumbled across your blog through another one I'm currently reading, and then realized that I had also seen your episode of True Life a few months ago! I cried along with you both at the end when you got a BFN, and I'm tearing up again now - I'm so so excited to hear/read that you have a little one on the way!!