Friday, August 22, 2008

surrogacy with or without an agency

some people have asked why we are using an agency rather than doing this independently. trust me there were many conversations over these issues. especially after our first experience with an agency. in the end it came down to wanting to be able to enjoy the experience without worrying so much about the details.

with our agency there is someone who looks into the insurance. someone who our surrogate will call if she needs money. someone who will make sure that she is getting the appropriate medical care, compensation and whatever else. someone who will help us with issues at the hospital, hiring lawyers, doing the psychological evaluations, and whatever else i have forgotten.

this whole process is a lot more complicated than finding a wonderful woman who is willing to carry a child for us. going to the fertility clinic to get her pregnant. then waiting 9 months to take the baby home.

for us, the agency provides us with the luxury of being able to really enjoy waiting for our child to make their appearance. instead of working out very complicated issues, in which we have no experience.

many years ago there was a phrase used in the adoption world, "as if families". parents were matched with families who could act "as if" they were born to the parents. elaborate steps were taken to try and ensure that no adopted child ever had to be told that they were adopted. agencies tried very hard to make sure that the child and parents looked a like, and that the child went home with them as soon as possible. this practice has since gone the way of the milk man. what really matters now is that the child goes to the best home possible, regardless of who looks like who, which is what really matters.

i want this experience to be as much of an "as if" pregnancy as possible. not that i am going to wear around a pregnancy suit or anything crazy like that. it is way to late for me to act like i had the baby all by myself *kicks self for starting blog*. i am not a crazy lady who thinks that we are getting pregnant. in fact hearing couples who say "we are pregnant" turns my stomach. while i think it is wonderful that men are more involved in pregnancy, let's be honest if it does not have to get out of your body you are not pregnant.

i am not sure what my role will ultimately be in this journey. what i want my role to be is head cheerleader and close friend. the day that i signed the consent for surgery i gave up ever being pregnant and knowing first hand what that experience felt like. deciding to create my family means that i am giving up the possibility that i might not be in the room when my child is born. i know that if a c-section is necessary that our surrogate will most likely choose to have her husband in the room with her, and i would not have it any other way. i know first hand that just having your husband or other significant person next to you can be a major relief of physical pain.

some surrogates have said that they felt the IM was distant and was not involved in the process. while i am really going to try not to be that way, i am very aware that this could happen. for me the reason is not jealousy or wanting to stay distant from a person with whom i do not want to develop a relationship. for me it is not wanting to step on toes or make her feel like she is being micro managed.

the fastest way to get me mad, is to not respect the fact that i know my body and mind better than you do and when i say something is okay or not i am right. what our surrogate will be going through is something i know nothing about, so i do not feel qualified to impose my opinion. i want to be a support for her, i will get her ice chips, rub her feet or whatever it is women having babies want. i want to know that she hates feeling crappy or that all food smells like mule farts, or whatever else. i want to know when the baby kicks or when it decides to punch her in the side. i want to know everything, but i do not want to burden her with my tears. because as much as i want to be there and know everything, i am scared that i will be jealous and that i will have to grieve the fact that i am never going to know these things. right now i think that i am past all this, but when faced with the situation who knows.

fact is that if we were trying to do this all on our own i do not think i would have the luxury to even worry about these things. for all the people who do manage to go indy, i think that is hugely brave. i am not one of those people. paperwork is my biggest nemesis, just filling out this paperwork has nearly sent me over the edge. trying to get through the rest of that swamp makes me want to find a cave to hide inside.

in the end, having an agency just gives me peace of mind. it will allow me to be able to enjoy what is important.

22 comments:

Yolanda (the callipygian chronicle) said...

I wouldn't even want to manage all the paperwork and legal hassle of buying and selling my own house, forget about managing something like this, with all of the emotional weight that comes with watching your child be nurtured to life by another woman's womb. The experience of being pregnant is often more detached and unreal than I've heard discussed. Nine months go by quickly, but the day-to-day march is long and slow. I can certainly understand how being involved in every living and breathing detail of the pregnancy can be overwhelming for an IM; but were I in the situation, I'd rather have a chance to get overwhelmed by the pregnancy than by paperwork, insurance claims, and legal proceedings. Becoming a mother shouldn't mean you have to turn into a lawyer first.

Carbon said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the "We're pregnant" thing is just fake. Best wishes on your journey, an agency makes a lot of sense!

kateypie35 said...

Here from ICLW.

You are on an incredible exciting journey, and I am pleased to be able to read about it!

Mule farts..heh heh....

Best wishes to you!

Jenn said...

We were offered using a gesational carrier as the best choice of another pregnancy. It's a huge thing to even think about. Adding you to my feed reader :) (ICLW)

Cyn said...

I am a surrogate that uses the phrase "we are pregnant", but I've never once felt non-genuine in saying it. I may be pregnant, but I'm not busy wondering how these babies are going to change my life.
Although proclaiming oneself as pregnant is an actual medical term, so much more is being conveyed when you say that you're pregnant. When announcing a pregnancy to people it generally signifies something greater than 'a baby is growing'. It's the beginning of a life changing event.
Although I never went around saying 'we're pregnant' with my own, to say 'we're pregnant' as a surrogate to me conveys the bigger picture-my IP's are expecting their dream. My next sentence is always "my IP's are so excited".

I also hope that it's an easy way I can help my IM feel involved and connected, perhaps I'm wrong on this thought.

Photogrl said...

Good luck with this new journey that you are taking.

Stopping by from ICLW...

bumpfairy said...

I swear lady, if you're still looking for a surrogate in a year or so.............

;-)

Silver said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I am hoping the agency makes your ride a little easier and you get to just enjoy the good parts. Wishing you the best in the process. Good luck!

Silver said...

p.s. Lovely photographs on Etsy

baby~amore' said...

Here from IComLeavWe...

What a well written post and well thought out plan.
I wish you all the best on this precious journey.

(adoption,pregnancy loss, IVF twins)
My Little Drummer Boys

thanks for visiting me.

Murgdan said...

...an incredible story! I wish you the best of everything...
-*-ICLW-*-

My name is Andy. said...

I'm stopping by from ICLW. It really sounds like you are doing everything the best way that you can and that you are really in touch with your own feelings and on the lookout for others.
Great job!

Tiffanie said...

wow, you are incredibly brave and i can't imagine how strong you must have to be to do what you are doing with such grace. i think you are making a wise decision in going through an agency for surrogacy. i wish you all the luck in the world.

and, thanks for the comment - ICLW.

Jenni said...

Thank you for your comment.... wow, what an adventure you are on. I envy you for this. I would be terrified. It sounds like you have it all taken care of and I look forward to reading about your adventure and I really look forward to pictures of your baby when that time comes. ICLW

sara said...

Your story is truly an amazing one! When we were beginning our IVF cycle - my peri (high risk OB) told us that depending on how much my unicornuate uterus stretched would determine if I could carry a pregnancy. If not, then it would be either surrogacy or adoption. My husband and I both decided that we would pursue surrogacy first if needed. So I am really looking forward to following your journey and I am so excited for all that lays ahead for you. I think you have an amazing attitude and it is just like a breath of fresh air!

BB and MTB said...

Your journey looks to be one filled with some administrative tasks, a few fears and a lot of unknowns. I hope it all goes perfectly and you are holding your baby soon. Good luck!

(Visiting for ICLW)

Beautiful Mess said...

Your words are so genuine and it makes me want to fly out right now and meet you for a cup of coffee. It makes me feel like I wish I could give you the gift your looking for. *I swear I'm not a stalker or crazy* Good luck in your journey. I hope I can follow you through it with your blog. Have a GREAT weekend!
-D *ICLW*

theycallmebobby said...

I completely understand wanting to use an agency for the process. Like the first commenter said, I wouldn't attempt to try to sell or buy a house by myself and I am a "retired" Realtor and that is like a hill of beans compared to the huge process you are going through. I am glad you posted on my site so I can add you to my blog roll and follow you on your wonderful journey.

Cassandra said...

Here from ICLW...
Thanks very much for sharing your thought process. It seems like the same principles would be true with many kinds of family-building like donors and adoption. I'm hoping that IVF will work for us, but if not and we need to move on to another route, I think your post will be very helpful to us. Best wishes to you throughout the journey!

MamaSoon said...

thanks for the comment on my blog. i am glad you've found a system that works for you. After all we go through, doing it the best way for you is what matters most.

Bec said...

Im so glad I read this post. I live in Perth (Australia) and the government is finally about to enact surrogacy laws. We are just starting to think about the 'what if's', and I'm eager to get every bit of information, advice and experience I can.

~ICLW~

Franay said...

That plop you just heard?

My heart, hitting my feet.

I knew I liked you, but now, well girl, I just love you!!

What an awesome IP you will be to your surro, and an awesome mama when the time is right!!