How is motherhood defined?
I think we can all agree that physically bearing a child after having grown them under your heart is not an accurate definition. For some motherhood is stumbled upon after working in a NICU and caring for the abandoned, drug addicted newborn, unable to forget him after her shift and ultimately bringing him home. For others it is fought for, hard. I have been lucky enough to hold 3 biological children within me, birthing them into our great world as well as mother one who joined my heart from another mommy. I look into their eyes and know each and every one of these beautiful souls came into my life at the perfect time, exactly as God intended them to. I started my journey of motherhood at the early age of 18, however I knew long before then I wanted to be a mom and I felt a pull to see that dream come true for more than just me.
Imagine if you were told you couldn't bear your own children. Infertility continues to be such a taboo subject that people fear to discuss. Why? Why not open up our hearts and let the emotions of this heartbreak free? I picture infertility as a long dark path, twisting and turning with huge trees taking over the sunlight and making it harder and harder to breathe. I have been granted the serenity to not experience the struggles of losing my child before we even met or seeing the little second line on my home pregnancy test stay hidden. Every woman who desires to have a child of their own (biological or not) should also be granted that.
When I was much younger, I knew I wanted to help make families for those who needed a little extra help. I didn't know how I would do that but the drive to help never left. At 29, I entered into my first journey as a surrogate. I was a traditional surrogate, meaning I would be using my own egg to give this beautiful couple the family they always wanted. People often ask me how hard it was to grow this baby for 9 months and hand him over. It was beautiful, heart wrenching, complicated- but never hard. Those jabs and pokes and my swelling belly reminded me daily of the gift I was getting to share. A gift that was bigger than myself. A gift that would go on forever and one that could change the world. I had left my mark, and if nothing else I had done what I had always known was God's plan for me. I think back to July 2013 and clearly remember watching his mom hold him for the first time. If only everyone could feel that joy, we might have a much happier world.
About 3 years later, after we added another biological child to our own family, I was approached to consider another surrogacy journey.
That phone call from the most beautiful and deserving woman came in, while I was pacing my bedroom and hallway, bouncing my 4 month old on my hip. That call will forever be ingrained in my mind. Her story like so many others- of years of trying, losses and tears- grounded me. God has a funny way of literally putting right into your lap what you never knew you needed. The question was asked of me “Would I consider a second surrogacy journey?” My initial reaction was disbelief that God thought I was ready, again. “Why else would He have this beautiful couple become members of my church, and sit unbeknownst to me directly across from my family if he had not wanted to bring us together?”, I thought to myself. It was clearly all His plan. I prayed, and sought the council of close friends who also prayed, and discussed with my husband his thoughts on a second time. He felt the same way- it was meant to be. And so, it began.
Now, the glow on her face is incredible. Everyone can see it. They all comment. She is ready to hold her baby. She is ready to be a mom. Her baby grows inside of my swelling belly. Baby girl’s jabs and pokes have me visiting the bathroom more often than not.
The anticipation of seeing this sweet baby girl’s mommy and daddy meet her for the first time is overwhelming. I imagine the day as if it were tomorrow- not 3 1/2 months from now. They will be the greatest parents and their baby girl will be the most loved. I have been entrusted to grow her under my heart for 9 months, but handing her over when we welcome her into the world will be my greatest accomplishment to date.
Kimberly La Spina Ferguson is a 36 year old pediatric nurse and mother of 4. She lives in the same town she grew up in and is married to her high school sweetheart. She has a passion for everything breastfeeding and photography.
“I love to spend to spend my free time hanging out by the pool in the summers, watching my kids play and love on each other, Sunday dinners with my parents, and yearly trips to the beach! My happy place is Target and a good cup of Starbucks coffee can make my day better.”
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