After tucking in her two children, Jack, six, and Andrea, four, Beth Goodman* settles in for another bedtime routine: saying good night to the baby girl she’ll give birth to in a few weeks. Sitting on her bed, Goodman opens a children’s picture book, releasing a tinny home recording of another woman’s softly accented voice: “I love you softer than a cloud.” Goodman listens, strokes her belly and says, “I do this every night, because I want the baby to hear the sound of her real mother.” Goodman, 30, is a commercial surrogate, meaning she is being paid to carry a baby for someone else. For her, taking the job was an emotional decision, born of a desire to help an infertile couple start a family. But it also made financial sense. When Goodman signed up for surrogacy in 2007, her husband, John, 31, was earning about $26,000 a year working for the United States military in Florida; she made more as a bank teller, but the $26,000 Goodman will receive for carrying the baby to term will be a godsend, enough to start a college fund for their children.

more from Habiba Nosheen and 3QD friend Hilke Schellmann at Glamour here.