Saturday, August 23, 2008

a family through surrogacy

I have been working my way through a lot of blogs over the past few days, it being ILCW and all. A lot of people have been leaving comments here which I LOVE. In leaving comments I have been reading a lot of comments and I noticed something. I am getting a lot of comments about how brave and courageous I am. This is not true. I have written another post about this, but I want to make this really clear.

Surrogacy is the right way for me to make my family, it is the only way that I can have my family. Not that I would not adopt a child in a second. What makes this right for me is that I want my husband to have a chance at having his biological children, not that he says this is important to him. Being the one with the fertility problem makes me feel responsible and makes me want to do all the rest of it the best I can. Surrogacy was the answer. I could have tried to carry our child, but at some point I decided that I wanted to be a mother not a pregnant woman. This was not a brave, courageous, or noble move on my part, it was an answer to a horrible problem.

I started this blog because there was a dearth of straight intended parents' voices in the world of surrogacy. I began to feel like there was some secret hand shake that I did not know. Our journey was becoming very complicated and I needed to know that others had been in my shoes and come out the other side. My insecurity and fear started this blog, and now that some of that has subsided my need to keep others from ever feeling that alone keeps me here.

Surrogacy is the third rail of infertility. Many in the IF world see it as a last resort and the general public have all kinds of weird ideas about what the process. I have had people ask how I could allow my husband to have sex with another woman. Been told that I was exploiting some disadvantaged women who could not possibly know better. Worried myself that I was not really going to be able to be a mother and still have a relationship with our surrogate. I have heard people tell me that anyone who would buy a baby should not be a mother. All of these statements are completely false. In reality none of this is happening, and if I thought for one second that it would I would have quit.

One day my child may have to tell the story about how they came to be and I do not want them ever to be ashamed. Not that I am going to make them wear a shirt saying they were a product of surrogacy, nor am I going to make it a big part of their life. We have decided that we are going to be honest about their beginnings, and yes there was a time we were not sure we wanted them to know. There was a time when I wanted to move to a cabin deep in the woods with my newborn and husband and stay forever, a little family of hermits. I was so angry that all these people were in our reproductive life, so raw from all the comments, and so tiered of feeling the pain. One day it dawned on me that the reason for all this was so that I could be a mother, and if I was just going to runaway I was not going to be a very good mother. A good mother advocates for their child and tries to make the world a better place. So here I am educating a few people about the incredible process that will make my dreams a reality.

Motherhood may still be years away for me and that fact breaks my heart some days. Those are the days that I come here and hope to teach someone a little bit about this process. One of the blessings of infertility is that you have time to research and think about everything. From highchairs to cloth vs. disposable diapers, I have read everything and then some. It was just natural that if I was going to put so much time and effort into those things, I should put at least the same amount of effort into educating as many people about how this whole thing works, so maybe when my child tells someone about surrogacy they do not have to hear a rude and hurtful comment.

There is no courage or bravery here, just a woman white knuckling her way through life.


flickrlovr said...

I applaud you for being honest and real about your feelings. I know that sounds lame, but I'm serious. I'm sure that you and your husband will end up, at the end of this long road, with your sweet and precious little one. YOUR little one. And having a child, no matter how it comes about, is going to be an amazing experience for you.

You ARE courageous. No matter what you say :)

Here from ICLW.

Dawn said...

I do applaud you. Putting your faith and trust in another always deserves praise.

I tried to be a surrogate just a few months ago. We did everything including the implantation but the embryos failed. And since the biological parent had to have a hysterectomy due to cancer they had no more embryos. It was a very sad day.

I do agree with your decision for an agency. It just takes any uneasiness off the parents (biological and surrogate) as money and insurance issues are never easy to deal with.

And whenever I told people what I was doing their reactions always amazed me. The ignorance of some people amaze me. But the support and praise others had was oustanding. I hope for the latter for you and your surrogate and wish you both the best.

Do plan on checking back in...

Millie said...

Good post Jaymee. I think that you ARE brave because you are willing to come on here and tell us your feelings. Not just blow smoke in our...uh, direction. Your braveness helps me to be brave too so I very much appreciate that.

Stacie said...

You know, I think that white knuckling you refer to is the bravery. It takes courage and strength to rise above a challenge (infertility) and strive for your goal (a baby) any way you chose to do so, whether that is repeated ivfs/medical intervention, surrogacy, or adoption.

It is brave to be honest and open yourself up to the insensitive people and their comments.

It is brave to continue struggling.

You are much more brave than you give yourself credit for being.

Here from ICLW.

Elize said...

Hi! Here from ICLW. I love this post. You are very humble about your courage, but let me tell you. You are very brave. There are a lot of people who would give up their journeys when it's the end of the line for them. It's also the 1st time I ever read that someone calls IF a blessing in terms of having the time to research and think things through. I have never thought about it that way, and yes, from know on I will embrace that whenever I browse the internet aimlessly. I've already decided that I will be using glass baby bottles because of the whole Biselphon-A scare because of all the time I spent researching. Your post really meant a lot to me!

eggorchicken said...

What a lovely post.
You are brave and courageous, whatever you may think. Anyone that is willing to go to the ends of the earth to fulfil their dreams must have incredible strength of character.
I really hope your little baby comes to you really soon.

Carbon said...

Thank you for sharing your journey. I am sure someone at the very beginning of surrogacy consideration will find your words immensely valuable.

That is wonderful that you intend to be so open and honest with your child about their beginnings. It truly is nothing to be ashamed of!

An ICLW wanderer

Lost in Space said...

What a great post!! Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Bravery is the ability to confront fear/pain/uncertainty. You qualify by all meanings of this definition. Even with the goal in mind, many are paralyzed by the fear and cannot move forward. You are moving and you are getting there and you are educating along the way.

All my best on your journey. Hugs.

Kate said...

Here form ICLW. I think you are right - there aren't a lot of voices for surrogacy out there. Thank you for sharing!

Andrea said...


We will probably pursue donor eggs at the end of this year, so I can relate to a lot of what you were saying about wanting your child to know how they came to be, yet not making it a huge factor in their life. All that matters is that they have a mom and dad who love them immensely. You will always be your child's mother and they will be so lucky to have you. Good luck in your journey to motherhood.

My name is Andy. said...

Thank you for this part:
"We have decided that we are going to be honest about their beginnings"

as an adoptee, that is the most importan thing that ANY parent can do, regardless of what that begining may be.

Amber said...

What a beautiful post. Opening the doors on "taboo" subjects (which IF and surrogacy seem to have become) is such an important task and I'm so glad that we have intelligent and strong women like you to do it.

(Here from ICLW)

Cece said...

IT's funny - you may not think you are brave, but you are. It's seems like there are SO many of us going through such lengths to have childern - we forget that a huge percentage of the world never has to think of these options or make these difficult decisions. You are brave. You are couragous. Many people would have given up - and you continue to work hard towards your dream of motherhood.

That is awesome. Here from ICLM.

Silver said...

I agree with some of the others, you are brave. What you have been through and where you are going in your journey take courage and bravery.

Thanks for sharing (ICLM)

Karen said...

I think all of us who face infertility are brave in some way. After one of my failed IVFs, a good friend sent me a print with the quote: Perhaps strength doesn't reside in having never been broken, but in having the courage to grow strong in the broken places. Infertility breaks you in so many ways, but you are growing strong in the broken places, and trying through your honest words to help others do the same.

(dropping by from ICLW)

tripmom827 said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly in your blog. I have a good friend who has been a surrogate twice. She is not desperate or hard up for cash or anything like that and has wonderful relationships with her two families. I am so thankful that when you do get the family you desire, you will (are already are) be a positive voice for something that can be so beautiful.

I have triplets and I can tell you that my children hear weired and rude comments all of the time about my taking fertility drugs. YuK! I don't want my kids feeling badly about that. So, we've had to have some conversations about how badly I wanted them and what we went through (they're 11). People are basically rude no matter what, unfortunately.


Arpee said...

This, my dear, is still being brave and courageous. For you could have chosen to stand still and withdraw, but yet you go forward.

Wishing you the best of hope and faith in this process!

Stephanie, Phil, Kayla, Logan & Alex said...

I still think you are brave and courageous. I think about all those that bring children into the world and not want them it's clear that you and your wonderfully supportive husband do. I wish you the best and thanks for sharing your journey. (Here from ICLW)