“She’s a beast,”  a mutual friend commented, when we got word that the baby had been born.  I agree.  She has the strength of 100 oxen.  She has the stamina of a long-distance runner.  If her heart was any bigger, it would explode out of her chest and splatter everyone around her with the joy and the sorrow she feels for others.  When you feel so deeply called and you answer that call, it is a miraculous thing.  TRULY MIRACULOUS, in this case.


Even though Natalie has three children of her own, I never knew her while she was pregnant.  This summer was the first time I saw her this way.


My friend Natalie, who was my very first friend in Texas, confided in me years ago, that she wanted to be a surrogate mother.  She always felt like that would be a fantastic thing to do for someone.  She is a beast, as our friend said, not because she is cruel or scary though.  She meant this dictionary definition of a beast:

“a person or thing of a particular kind”

Natalie is of a particular kind.  She is of the kind that knows their own strength, sees a way to use that strength to give strength to another human being, and uses it.  She is of the kind that knows what being a mother is like.  She knows how to give birth well.  She likes being pregnant.  She can love a stranger so much that she sees their broken heart and volunteers to be a part of its healing.

Some people might say that women who do this are just doing it for the money. I highly doubt that any woman just nonchalantly decides to submit her body to treacherous conditions for a stranger, over the course of 2 years, for some extra cash!  I’ve never given birth to a baby-and never want to.  My best friend could offer 4 million dollars to me to have her baby and I would say no.  I am not this kind of beast.

As her friends, we have lived vicariously through her as she embarked on this journey.  We’ve seen everything from initial psychological exams and finding the right mother to a multitude of doctor’s visits, hormones and disappointments.  All of those hardships and hoops along the way, and yet she kept going.  It’s one thing to have a baby of your own; it’s quite another to carry someone else’s.  You are more careful with everything-what you eat, where you go, what you do…Every choice revolves around this child.  You are of the particular kind that has chosen to carry and grow a life for nine months for another hopeful couple.  That is a miracle.  I  love miracles!

We are all beasts in our own right. There are numerous categories that we all fall into according to our own “particular kind.”  She happens to be of the surrogate mother variety.  Natalie and I have had conversations where she has said to me, “I could never do that.  You are a nicer person that I.”  Of course that’s not true; my kind of particular is different from her kind.  Neither is better.  That is the beauty of life.


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