Finding the ‘Sacred’ during the suck

Pain and joy in surrogacy is often interconnected

Leia Swanberg our CEO shares the joy, pain, and profound understanding that motherhood, pregnancy, and surrogacies are all sacred.

Surrogacy is a truly unique process and one that we value as sacred. I’m often asked if sacred means religious, or if it means staying positive, or I’ve even been asked if sacred is just a sales pitch. Here’s what I know after watching thousands of journeys unfold: I know that just because surrogacy is sacred, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck sometimes. Pregnancy is pregnancy whether you are carrying for yourself, or as a surrogate. So yes, we embrace each pregnancy as sacred.

Now let’s get to the ‘suck’

During surrogacy, there are many opportunities to notice or to even get curious about how we exist in intimate experiences. During my own journeys, I learned so much about myself. Surrogacy truly was one of my greatest teachers.

What I learned, and why it sucked

I learned that the wounds I had not healed with my own mother were also present in my intimate relationships with women (aka my intended moms). I learned that people-pleasing or connection-seeking were present, and causing some harm to the relationships I desperately wanted to grow, with the intended moms I carried for during my own surrogacy journeys.

There was work to do

I also learned that not being in control of my body during pregnancy was hard for me; it brought up some childhood pain that required some reflection and eventually—long after my surrogacy journeys—somatic healing. Pain has often been my guide, as has joy, and while the above notes the pain, I hope that I can capture the deep joy experienced, below.

Finding the Sacred

Watching women—who so deeply longed to be mothers—become mothers before my eyes was truly beautiful. It healed so many pieces around my past births and the guilt I carried for many years around the circumstances of unplanned pregnancies. It was in those moments: seeing a baby, or babies (I carried twins) be born, watching mothers be born; after the deepest pain of infertility, these birthed the most beautiful joy I had ever experienced. 

Joy, pain, deep knowing that motherhood, that pregnancy, that surrogacy is sacred. This has been life’s greatest teaching.

– Leia Swanberg