Mother’s Day is a day to honor all moms and moms-to-be. However, have we ever remembered surrogate mothers who offered many women the opportunity and joy of motherhood? The majority of surrogate mothers belong to a low income group who take on the task for their financial needs. Although it is widely considered that the transaction is simply business, people develop affections for the child they are carrying for another.
Malarvizhi*, wife of a rickshaw driver in Chennai and mother of three sons, recounted her surrogacy experience and the anguish of giving the child away. “My husband is a car driver who works 24 hours a day but is unable to support the family financially or educate their children. They were introduced to surrogacy through an NGO,” she recalls. They were educated on how surrogacy works; they initially expressed reservations due to their uncertainty about the family’s reaction. “While my two eldest sons accepted, we still didn’t have the courage to inform our parents of our decision. My youngest son is 2.5 years old; we left him with his grandparents and stayed in hostel,” says Malarvizhi.
Image: ShutterstockMalarvizhi and her husband stayed at the hostel and religiously went for all checkups and received all medicine provided by the doctor. She was more cautious about this pregnancy than hers. “We never wanted to take any chances because we know this baby is going to bring all the joy and blessings to another family who have placed all their hopes on this child. I have had regular follow-up and checkups which I didn’t even do for my own pregnancy,” explains Malarvizhi, who had a normal delivery.
Malarvizhi and her husband stayed at the hostel and went for all the examinations and prescriptions prescribed by the doctor. She was more careful with this pregnancy than her own. “We never wanted to take any risks because we know that this child is a hope and a happiness for another family who have placed all their expectations in this child. I had regular check-ups and follow-ups, which I didn’t even do for my own pregnancy,” recalls Malarvizhi, who had a normal delivery.
“I was not shown the baby’s face, nor did the doctors reveal the gender. My boys who came to see me at the hospital asked me if it was a thambi or a pappa, but I had no answers for them,” sighs Malarvizhi, who celebrates the birthday of the child with a cake and sweets with her children. “I was well aware that I had to let go of the child, but as a mother myself, I find it difficult to accept the reality because motherhood is an emotion and continues to be,” concludes Malarvizhi.
* Identity changed as requested
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