A Different Pregnancy Experience
In years past, couples that chose to go the surrogate route sometimes felt like they didn't have the support of friends and family. The Russells and the Holmeses say that they couldn't have felt more supported. "Everyone knew the heartache that Dege and Kelly had been through, and [they] were so happy that they would finally get their family somehow," says Karen. "Everyone was so excited."
There were some concerns from people who "didn't understand how I could 'give up' babies," but for the most part, people were on board, Karen says. It was never a question of giving them up. "They weren't mine to give up," Karen says.
Besides the fact that she was carrying twins, Karen's pregnancy was different from when she was pregnant with her three biological children. "I tried not to get too attached," says Karen. "Of course, some of it was inevitable, but I avoided doing things that intentionally build that bond between mother and baby." For instance, she avoided rubbing her belly and having her husband, Tom, rub her belly, too.
The two friends, one with a burgeoning belly and one without, talked everyday on the phone. It was important that Karen share everything that she was feeling with the mother of the babies in her belly. "I would tell Kelly what I was feeling, what was hurting, who was kicking me. She wasn't able to feel them, so it was important for me to tell her," says Karen. And it wasn't just about sharing the fun of the pregnancy. "If I had heartburn keeping me up at night, I told her. I didn't hold anything back."