In an emotional essay for HuffPost Personal, Lindsay Curtis writes about her experiences serving as a traditional surrogate in order to help a gay couple start their family. As she notes in her essay, traditional surrogacy, when the surrogate uses her own eggs to help conceive a child rather than use donor eggs, is much less common than gestational surrogacy, when the surrogate is not genetically related to the child.
Of her decision to serve as a traditional surrogate, Curtis writes: "In my early 20s, my maternal instinct went into overdrive and I felt a deep desire to get pregnant. I knew I wasn't ready to become a mother, as I was still in college and working part-time as a nanny. After watching a news segment on surrogacy one evening, I turned to my partner at the time and said, 'I want to do that.'"
As a lesbian, Curtis specifically wanted to help a male same-sex couple become dads. Within days of posting an ad online, she wrote, she heard from a gay couple who lived only three hours away.
"We exchanged a flurry of emails, talked for hours on the phone, met in person weeks later and within two months, I was pregnant with their child ― my biological daughter."
After Curtis gave birth, she says, she "I drove to my own home with empty arms and a broken heart."
The feeling of emptiness even led her to serve as a surrogate yet again. "Defying reason, I became a surrogate once more," she wrote, "giving birth only 15 months later to another healthy baby girl. Any therapist would tell you I was recreating trauma to gain some semblance of control over the situation the second time around.
Eventually, Curtis would give birth to her own daughter, named "Evelyn," which she notes means "wished for child." But she says her experiences as a traditional surrogate has left a lasting impact:
"Surrogacy changed the way I loved ― I became more guarded with my heart. It changed the way I saw mothers with their babies. At times, jealousy would overcome me as I watched mothers play with their toddlers in the park while I looked after the children I nannied. And although I had satiated my desire to experience pregnancy, my maternal instinct never quieted ― it only grew louder."
Read the whole essay here.