Monday, July 28, 2008

surrogacy update and lessons learned

due to my problems with my liver, we are putting the surrogacy thing on pause until we figure out what is wrong. not that it is anything serious, but we want to know what we are dealing with before we have a child. that is one of the privileges we get out of this whole mess, we get to plan more than most people, this is also a curse.

when you have years to think about having your child, and you are forced to plan every minuet detail, eventually you start going way overboard. add in a few class on child and adolescent abnormal psychology, and you have the recipe for disaster. there are a million things that can and do go wrong in pregnancy, and i have thought through every one of them a thousand times. as you can imagine this leads to nothing but absolute terror.

we get one shot at this, and we want it to go perfectly, which makes us a tiny bit psycho about doing everything right. i feel like there is no margin of error, there is no room for failure. the only problem with this, we are making a baby and things go wrong or at least not as planned even if we cross every t and dot every i. the other problem is that not only are we dealing with the baby's schedule, we are dealing with a surrogate who needs to be treated with all the love and respect that we have.

in communicating with surrogates, i have learned a really important lesson, well actually many, but this one is worthy of a post. at some point we are all going to hire lawyers and hash out all the nitty gritty of our contract. this is going to include everything from compensation for bed rest, to life support and other crappy things that no one really wants to discuss. one of the issues that will come up is selective reduction and termination of the pregnancy, this sucks but it must be discussed.

one thing that i have found out listening to surrogates, is that people do not always specify what testing they want done, for example amniocentesis. in a conventional pregnancy these things can be decided when the need arises, in a surrogacy these decisions need to be made before the pregnancy ever happens. it is not fair to the surrogate to say yes we want to terminate if there is something wrong with the fetus, and then not specify how you are going to determine if there is something wrong. there are many different tests that can be done, with various levels of risk to the carrier and the fetus.

i know that i can not be alone in this obsessive quest for information about what is going to happen. part of this education needs to include what tests are available, how precise they are, all the pros and cons, and when they do and do not need to be done. i am not a medical professional, (even though i have spent so much time in doctors offices that i probably could fake it pretty well) but i feel an obligation to my future surrogate, myself and my child to be as educated as possible.

surrogates, like every other person on earth, deserve to be told the truth about your intentions. when i get to the contract table i plan on knowing what i do and do not want, and the reasoning for each of these things. i have had plenty of time to consider everything a thousand times. there are going to be a lot of events in this pregnancy that i will be left out of, and i hate, get angry, and want to scream about that, but i also can not change that fact. what i can do is make sure that everyone goes into this with their eyes open and that no one leaves this feeling deceived or taken advantage of by me.

nothing has made me sadder, than hearing a surrogate say that she felt she was being treated like a commodity, and then having many others confirm that they too felt this way. a commodity is a good that people trade. these women are the farthest thing from a commodity. first, humans are not commodities they are people who deserve respect. second, i will owe one of them a debt that i will never be able to repay. i just do not understand how anyone thinks that this is acceptable. this journey is not only about us, parents, it is about everyone who is coming together to make a dream come true. a woman who does not even know me is willing to give up her body, dignity, time, and possibly her life to make my dream of being a mother a reality. how beautiful i think that is, i have no words for, all i have are tears of joy, awe, and a woefully inadequate thank you.


Kymberli said...

Jaymee, you brought tears to my eyes with this post. You are going to be a wonderful intended mother. There would be less broken hearts if more surrogates were as empathetic as you are.

I will be thinking of you as you continue to examine the aspects of your future journey and I hope that your liver problems are not serious.

TABI said...

I hope your liver issues get resolved. I know exactly what you mean in terms of wanting to get everything right since going through a surrogacy process is so extensive that I can't bear to think of it not working. I am also in awe of women who are willing to give this amazing gift. I am hoping we find a wonderful match and I don't plan on treating her as anything but an amazing miracle giver. I just can't wait to get started!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I hope that things get resolved quickly so you can get back on the path!

tinamati said...

good points about your future surro, I truly believe it all comes down to trust in the end, I know you will find the right woman you can trust 100% so you will never worry! Hope things are ok with your liver!