How Having a Surrogate Carry My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go

In the summer of 2018, I became a mom for the first time - and, like most new moms, I had so many questions. But besides the best car seat and stroller combo to choose for my daughter, I found myself having deep philosophical thoughts about how to raise her.

I had already relinquished the control I anticipated having when I decided to let her be carried by a surrogate. If it were up to me, I would have been the mom who ate nothing but organic food, exercised daily (but not too intensely), and played Bach through headphones attached to my baby belly, but that's not how things played out. And while I trusted my surrogate was doing well by my daughter, I didn't know exactly what that meant. As the pregnancy developed, I realized I had to work at letting go of that control since it was simply not an option.

The more time passed, the more I truly felt that being forced to let go was going to benefit me as my daughter's mom. I had an extremely controlling mother who made me so dependent upon her that I was afraid to make decisions on my own. While we often fiercely commit to the idea that we will never be like our parents, I can see how much of that need to control I got from her. And yet I found myself giving up the control I might naturally feel over my daughter because I knew that was not what was best for her.

She experienced a different kind of love - not one fraught with anxiety over every little thing being perfect for her in the womb, which is the type of love I would have imparted to her.

Being forced to let go so early, during pregnancy instead of after my baby daughter was born, has proven itself to be beneficial for me and, I can only assume, her as well. She experienced a different kind of love - not one fraught with anxiety over every little thing being perfect for her in the womb, which is the type of love I would have imparted to her. Instead, she was with her surrogate, a mother of four young girls and several small pets, and someone who knows how to roll with the punches. She is a lovely spirit, and I can only hope my daughter can benefit from some of the mothering my surrogate gave her before we brought her home and helped her begin the second chapter of her life.

In light of so much helicopter parenting nowadays, which seems to stem from a need for control in an increasingly out of control world, I'm going to work toward doing my daughter the service of always taking that step back and giving her a wide berth to become who she wants to be.

More From

  • People on TikTok Are Mind-Blown Over These Mashups of Taylor Swift's Old and New Songs

    Taylor Swift's Folklore album has taken a nostalgic turn - as if we weren't already deep in our feelings over it. Shortly after the singer dropped her surprise collection on July 24, fans began to notice some opportunities to combine new tracks with old favorites. For instance, TikTok user @eeeeelah created a mashup of "Betty" and "All Too Well" from Swift's Red album, and well, the bridge speaks for itself. It's like these songs were made to be played together! Swift's fans are just as excited about the combo, and have even started recording themselves listening to the remixes for the first time. The song has also inspired some other Folklore mashups with songs like "Illicit Affairs" and "Fearless," and "Exile" and "Back to December." Sigh. We really do love to see it. Although you can't find these fan-made mashups on Spotify, you can take a listen to a few of our favorites ahead. Related: If You Loved Taylor Swift's Folklore, Check Out These 10 Albums Next

  • How Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev's Love Story Started on Live TV

    Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev are officially parents! They welcomed their first son on July 31 (incidentally, only a day before her twin sister also had a son!).

  • Nordstrom's Biggest Sale of the Year Is Here, and These Are the 60+ Things You Won't Want to Miss

    Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale is one of the biggest shopping events of the year. It's finally back, and we think the prices are better than they've ever been. There are over 10,000 amazing pieces majorly discounted, and we can't wait to shop. Whether it's half off those sneakers you've been seeing everywhere or scoring new Fall pieces for a fraction of the price, you won't want to skip out on these steals. Not sure where to start? No problem: as shopping editors, we know a good deal when we see one. So, we shopped for you and curated a list of the 65 best picks we can't stop thinking about. The sale officially starts on Aug. 19 and lasts to the 30th, but Nordstrom card holders can start shopping between Aug. 4 and 13, depending on their cardholder status. Until you're able to shop, you can still preview the deals ahead. Whether your wish list entails a new pair of shoes for the upcoming season, cozy loungewear, or even new workout clothes for the gym, you'll have a hard time leaving empty handed. Like most good sales, good things are bound to sell out, so keep reading to pick your favorite things and add them to your wish list. Related: Out of the 4,900 Sandals at Nordstrom, These Are the 17 Picks to Shop