Thursday, July 10, 2008

a bad day in surrogacy - land

today is going to be one of those days, my nerves are so close to the surface. pampers commercials are sending me over the edge, and forget anything about a family on vacation. on these days i hate the person that i am, it angers me that i can not be grateful that my life is so full and wonderful. for some reason there just is not that amount of gratitude in me. i am angry that my body has betrayed me and is denying me the one thing i want more than anything in this world.
infertility has been like this for me, there are times when i am fine and think that i have come out of this rather unscathed. unlike so many people i know, i have not spent years injecting myself, sitting in waiting rooms, crying over home pregnancy tests, and documenting every movement. my body just never functioned properly and i finally just could not take it anymore, so i decided that i would avail myself of the many options for creating a family and improve my quality of life. we never tried to prevent pregnancy and it just never happened for us, so we were going to have to go through all those steps.
i knew myself well enough to know what was the right decision, and i am so grateful that i have that insight. still there are these days, when i am angry and i want to beat my fists on the floor. THIS ISN'T FAIR, I DON'T DESERVE THIS. i should have never had to make the decision between being able to be a good mother and being able to give birth to my child.
over the past month i have found this amazing group of women and men who have been a huge source of support. i finally do not feel that i am the only person in the world going through this. it has meant the world to me to not be alone in this, and not be judged for what i am doing, but don't even get me started on the judgemental idiots of the world.

i just want to crawl back in bed and hide.
oprah is having the show on surrogacy in india today, which means there is going to be all these people commenting on a subject they know very little about. whenever the media gets hold of this story, they seem to suck all that is good and beautiful out of the process.
so before you start judging me, I DID NOT CHOOSE THIS, MY BODY BETRAYED ME, AND I HAVE SUFFERED GREATLY FOR IT, I DON'T SIT AND JUDGE YOU, SO YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO JUDGE ME!!!! this whole thing upsets me so much because people are unwilling to really educate themselves before they call people in our situation "opportunistic white people with too much money". this is not the situation, not even close.
my main goal in all of this, besides having a family, is to make sure everyone walks away from this feeling good about the experience. i am NOT buying someone's baby, and i am NOT engaging in any action close to prostitution.
what i am doing is engaging a woman in a contract to carry a child for me. we both know that upon the birth, the child will legally be my child. under no circumstances is she being coerced or bribed. she will be compensated financially, but i guarantee you that there are much easier ways to earn money.
i know that it is hard to believe that there really are people in this world who are willing to give so much of themselves to a perfect stranger, but these people really do exist. this is a practice as old as time, it is talked about in the old testament (sarah, hagar, and abraham). we have just moved so far away from community, become so distrusting, locked ourselves away from our neighbors for fear they will take advantage of us, that the idea someone would sacrifice for another has become a foreign concept. truly it is sad that we have become such a cynical society, that we can not even imagine a world where people want to help others. we have learned to worship the almighty dollar so much, that we can not conceive that someone would help without being primarily motivated by money.
in the past few weeks i have had the privilege to get to know many of these women. if you want to really offend them, tell them that the money is their main motivation. let me warn you, you do this at your own risk, these are some fierce women, who you anger at your own peril. the truth is that these women are beautiful people, who want nothing more than to help someone in need. while some women give their time and energy to particular causes, such as breast cancer charities, these women give of themselves to help people realize their dreams of becoming parents.
personally, there is nothing that i could ever do to repay the woman who will help make my dreams come true. even though i have yet to meet her, i know that she would say knowing that she had helped me bring a child into the world would be enough.
people have the right to their opinions, and i would never deny anyone the freedom to express themselves. along with rights come responsibilities, and the responsible thing to do before spouting hurtful speech, is to educate yourself. surrogacy is extremely complicated, and no two situations are ever the same. i can only speak for myself, for me this is just one of the many ways people create families. this is the way that we have chosen. other choose different methods. if i had the chance to have my own child, i would. i can not do that, so i had to come up with a different option. in choosing this option, we made a conscious decision to involve a lot of people in making our family. from the beginning we decided that each of these people would be treated with all the respect that they deserved, this is the way we live our life. it is important to us that our child be created in an environment of love and respect, just as they would have if we could have done it the old fashioned way.
just remember that you do have the right to your opinion, you do not have the right to hurt others. couples who have their children through surrogacy, are not doing it to avoid the stretch marks, they are doing it because they are for whatever reason, out of options.


Pamela said...

I have days like this too. They just flat out hurt. It always seems like when I'm having one of those days, I inevitably get an email or a phone from any of my friends saying "Congratulate me, I'm going to be a mom/grandmom/aunt/sister or whatever." Or one saying so-n-so is pregnant again and doesn't need another kid. Ugggg!!!

Anyway...stay strong. I feel that if this is meant to be for women like us, then it WILL happen but not in any set schedule that we can control.

Amanda said...

youre right. its not fair, and you dont deserve it. but you are handling this with such grace and intelligence and empathy. its ok to be angry; there are some really crazy folks out there who just loooove scandal and will turn any uncommon situation that they dont understand into something salacious. ugh.
as for the women who do the fetus carrying, im amazed. they really are models of selflessness, and should be honored.
you too, mama.
every time i read your blog i think about your future child reading it and think about how lucky he/she will be to have this record of your love and sacrifice.

* said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts and creating you blog- it will help women make the right choices by giving them insights into your experience.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Jaymee,
My husband and I are pursuing surrogacy too. We are matched and hope to cycle next month.

I completely agree that it's ok to be angry. Sometimes I think I need the anger to get me through the rough days.

Franay said...

A truly kick-ass post!

As someone who has experienced infertility I can honestly say that there is good value to allowing yourself to feel any emotions that pop up. If you are angry, then be angry. If you feel the need to be alone, then do that. Nothing is served by feeling guilty about your emotional state. You are entitled to some patience with yourself, just as you are entitled to your own unique emotional life.

It's been a while since I had my last baby and all the shit we had to do to get there still pisses me off sometimes.

So. This is me telling you that you are allowed to be pissed, depressed, irritated, scared, jubilant, incontinent and gassy. Anytime, for any reason. You may feel free to take time for yourself, smother your emotions with ice cream and old movies, or shop till you drop. You are allowed these things as a woman, a mother (which you are, you know) and a human. So there.

Kymberli said...

I found your blog from a comment you made on BlogHer answering why you keep a blog.

I am a GS who has also suffered through a minor degree of infertility, so I can understand how you are feeling on many different levels.

I will be reading more and thinking of you often as you continue on your surrogacy journey.

corine said...

A subject dear to my heart. I have heard enough nonsense coming from people who have no idea what infertility is like and commented on 'the things I did' to become a parent to write a frigging book! Everybody's a critic, he?

You're doing a beautiful thing.

The good news is that I thought infertility was so traumatic that I would never recover from it, but then your baby arrive and magically you forget, you really forget.

You even forgive the ignoramuses, but that takes a bit longer.