After our normal and uneventful anatomy scan on Thursday, Bob and I felt safe to announce our pregnancy the next day. I had thought out the wording quite a while ago. I wanted it to be simple but also to the point. The first decision was that ultrasound or bump photographs were never going to be part of the plan as I myself would not have wanted the trigger either. I am not going to lie. I was a little nervous Friday morning. Once the cat is out of the bag, there is no turning back. But with the normal development of the babies and healthy surrogate, we have more confidence that the twins are going to join us in September. So bright and early Friday morning, I posted the following:
“After years of waiting, prayers, and heartaches, Bob and I are so blessed to announce that we are expecting twins via the wonderful and selfless gift of surrogacy. Baby A [Last Name] and Baby B [Last Name] are due to be born in September. I do not get to carry them, but my heart is full. Bob and I are very excited and cannot wait to meet them face-to-face.”
With this picture:
Another less formal, even simpler announcement was sent to everyone at work (about 35 people): “I would like to share some wonderful news with you. My husband and I are excited to let you all know that a surrogate is carrying twins for us, and they are due to be born in September. I thought I would share the joy with you all, my work family. “
The response has been overwhelming.
My Fac.ebook post exploded. Everyone has been so happy for us. The love that everyone shows us has been overwhelming. Some of them commented and said that the announcement made them tear up, which was super heartwarming. After I posted, my oldest cousin in Asia made a screenshot of my announcement and posted on our family group on Whatsapp so every single one of my relatives in Asia knows as well. She saves me the trouble of telling everyone myself.
At work people came by to say congratulations and gave me hugs. People’s reaction was that Wow you’ll have your babies very soon, because September is right around the corner. We have known about it since January so we have had a lot of time to process it. To them, it’s such a brand new thing that they feel that I don’t have a lot of time. It’s all perspective, yeah?
There was one particular coworker with whom I considered sharing the news prior to the announcement but there wasn’t a good time to do it. So when she saw me in the morning, she asked me “What’s up?” From the look of her face, I knew that she hadn’t read the FB announcement or the work email. So I said, “Ahh, you haven’t read my announcement.” She looked very alarmed and was probably thinking that I was going to quit this job or something. When I told her, she burst into tears and gave me a bear hug. She just couldn’t stop crying. It was two minutes prior to my next client so I told her to stop, otherwise I’d cry too! I totally shocked her and caught her off guard as I know she didn’t expect something like this in a million years. An hour later, I went to apologize for shocking her. My boss happened to be in her office. I’d imagine my boss to be the person that was the happiest on that day because she didn’t have to keep a secret any longer! She had learned about the pregnancy at 12 weeks and had been so good at keeping it to herself for the next 8 weeks. She in fact also burst into tears herself and was so happy for us. Anyways, so my coworker whom I shocked kept on asking questions while crying a second time for us. She told me how much we deserved to be parents. I said I couldn’t wait until I see what the babies look like. Then this coworker started asking if it was my egg. I don’t think she meant any harm or anything. When people hear the word “surrogacy”, they are little bit confused of what it all means. I thought about writing gestational surrogacy on my FB announcement but decided against it because I wanted to make it even simpler. Plus, I don’t owe anyone any explanations. So somehow, with my boss and my coworker there, I decided to tell the truth. For other people, I’d usually say something like, our surrogate is just carrying for us, and it is our embryo. But with the way she asked the question, I had to answer that it wasn’t my eggs but our donor’s. It was a quick decision, but one that I don’t regret. My honesty didn’t faze them. But I told them two times to keep it to themselves and explained that I would tell the twins early on about it but I want me and Bob to the ones disclosing this to them, not anyone else. They swore that they wouldn’t tell and that it was a personal thing. Later on, I told Bob, and he supported my decision to tell them. He was happy that I was able to be honest about it.
That evening happened to be a huge event for my work’s anniversary. I didn’t plan the announcement so that I could tell many people, but the timing just worked out. So at the event, I saw many former coworkers and I was able to share with them one by one. It was just so touching to receive such warm and joyful responses from everybody. There is a certain vulnerability in sharing with the world as it points to our struggles in the last few years. But the reward is also big.
The most surprising revelation was my best friend from my 20s. We used to hang out all the time, meaning every single weekend, for years. Her then boyfriend was best friend with my then boyfriend. After we were no longer dating our boyfriends, she and my ex-boyfriend started dating, and that put a strain in our relationship. After they got married, we grew apart. I knew that she didn’t have children until I saw her pictures with a little girl this year. She wrote me some private messages after she saw my announcement, telling me that she was very happy for us, and that it was the greatest news in her 2017. We exchanged a few messages. She said that she understood how I felt as she went through infertility for 13 years, having miscarriages and having suffered from many treatments that didn’t work. I didn’t ask if she finally gave birth to her baby or if she adopted. I said that I was sorry for what she had gone through, because it is truly a lonely journey if not for the support of people around us. She told me that she wasn’t as lucky to have support from peers, but God is full of grace as He carried her through all those years. I just feel for many of the people that I know who are very private and not as open about their journey, and they often suffer silently. I am so happy for her that she is parenting a precious little girl, but I can’t imagine 13 years of going through this alone (and with her husband).
Mother’s day at church was good and interesting. I was a greeter at service as usual on Mother’s day, since we always greet on second Sunday of the month. Last year it was tough and we didn’t go to church as we just returned from Hawaii after we were told that I needed a surrogate. It was just too much and I couldn’t handle going to church witnessing baby dedication. This year I was feeling good. Not overly joyful that I’d soon have my children in my arms, but also not sad at all that I am not the one carrying them. Since many people learned about our twins on FB, many came up to me to hug me and say how happy they were for us and to congratulate us. Baby dedication was okay too. I didn’t feel jealous or negative about it. Some of my friends also privately messaged me or wrote me on FB wishing me Happy Mother’s Day. It was just a little strange to hear people tell me Happy Mother’s Day as it is a brand new experience.
Now that we have made an announcement, I can talk about our babies more freely at work and at church. I am just so grateful that we have reached this milestone.