By: Kelly Rummelhart
This year marks my 10th year celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother, 11th if you count just being pregnant. I have celebrated Mother’s Day with my kids since I gave birth to my first child, Ruby. This year, I will not be with my kids on “my day”; instead, I will be celebrating with my own mother. Even though I won’t even be in the same state, I know I can count on a phone call from my kiddos and husband, and, when I return, I’m sure I’ll get a card from Rick and handmade cards from my little sweeties.
The one thing you can’t count on as a Surrogate Mother is whether or not you will hear from your Intended Parents on Mother’s Day. Now, don’t get me wrong, personally, I don’t expect to hear from any of my IPs. I am not Natasha’s, Anjali’s, Gideon’s or Harper’s mother, so I don’t feel the need to hear from them on Mother’s Day. Is it nice to hear from them? Of course! I hadn’t really thought about this until a friend of mine, who has also been a surrogate, shared with me that she really hopes to hear from her IPs this Mother’s Day. It made me think, do other surrogates expect or wish to hear from their IPs on Mother’s Day too?
I am the administrator of a Facebook group of almost 40 surrogates. They have become my covenience sample for research of all things surrogacy. Several are from Canada, but most are located in the United States. Most of us are with agencies but there are a few who are independent. We vary in age from mid twenties to early forties and several have been surrogates more than twice. Some of them carry for straight couples, but the majority carries for two dads. They are always great at answering questions and providing feedback when asked. So, just like always, when I asked them about hearing from their IPs on Mother’s Day, I got various answers.
Most of the women feel the way I do: since they aren’t the mother, they didn’t expect to hear from their Intended Parents on Mother’s Day. Most shared that, while they would love a call, card, flowers, or gift, they didn’t expect it. One surrogate said, “I don’t expect anything but I do think it would be nice that they remember me on that day -only because they think I am a good mother to my own kids!”
Now, I do think that the sexual orientation of your IPs might make a difference. If you carried for two women or a straight couple, there is already at least one mom, so the focus would obviously be on her/them. (Although, just as I’m writing this I got a message from one of my surro-friends that the mother of her surro twins sent her a framed picture of the babies for Mother’s Day . . . so again, who knows?) I think that two dads might be ore quick to associate their surrogate with Mother’s Day, even though the surrogate isn’t the biological mother. There is no well-known Surrogate Mother/ Gestational Surrogate’s Day to celebrate, but World Surrogacy Day is set for November 4th.
When I think of a day more like a Mother’s Day for surrogates, I think of the surro-baby’s/babies’ birthday, or maybe even the day the embryos were transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. That just makes more sense, a day to celebrate your journey together, a day that is special only to the surrogate and the IPs. I think it would also help to remind the babies/children that the surrogate isn’t really the mother, even though she gave birth to them.
When I asked my “sample” if anything was done for them last Mother’s Day by their surrogacy families, several said yes –cards, flowers, jewelry, phone calls, pictures and the like. My favorite response came from a friend who delivered a set of twins for two Florida men who sent her a Tiffany’s bracelet with a gift charm on it –symbolizing the gift that she gave them. How sweet was that?