Monday, May 25, 2009

Blogging About Surrogacy

Over the past few weeks, a couple of blogs that I really love have gone private. This is something that I just cannot seem to wrap my head around. Not so much that they would go private, but that they would do so without telling anyone. To tell you the truth, I feel a little hurt that I was not given the opportunity to express my good wishes in the future, or asked to be invited. This feels like a high school clique thing, and I hate that. The world of surrogacy is bigger than most people think, but when it comes to intended parents who are willing to share the world gets much smaller.

Surrogacy is a touchy subject and blogging about it opens you up to a lot of nasty comments, I get that. I keep my personal e-mail address on the side of my blog, so most of the hate comments that I get tend to go through there, so I get these long e-mails about what a horrible person I am and how my child is just going to drain the world of resources and how I am exploiting this poor pitiful woman who has no other options in her life. I write back to every one of these people because I hope that in some small way I can educate them. No matter how bad these comments hurt me, they are going to hurt our child even more. Educating people may just make my child’s life a little easier.

I want to take a moment to answer some of the comments that I have received.

- Adoption, is a wonderful thing and I am a strong advocate for adoption. I am an adopted child, I have worked in the adoption field, and it is something that I believe very strongly in. That said, it is not something that is right for my family. I believe that it is important to know your limits and work within them.

- The world’s resources, yes this is a concern for me. My only question here has always been, what is the difference between having a child that I carry and one that is carried by a surrogate? Does a child carried by another woman use up more resources? No not really. We would still have used IVF resources if I was carrying the child.

- “You will never be the mother of this child.” This one really got to me on so many different levels. First, it came from a woman who has two adopted children. Second, I will always be this child’s mother, I may not have carried them or given birth, but I have literally willed them into being. Third, a mother is not someone who gives birth, yes that can be part of it, but the much larger part is being there for every moment of the child’s life and loving them through all of the good and bad.

When I began this blog my intention was to give myself a place to get all this out because carrying it around was so painful. Over the past year, my goal has shifted, now I want all of this story out there so that one person may not have to feel so alone anymore. When I first started talking about surrogacy to the people in my life it was very difficult. Not because they were unsupportive, but because there were so many questions and so many suspicions. They were trying to protect me, which translates to they love me.

Back when we started this process all I wanted was someone who had been there to tell me that this would work out and that there were people out there who had come through the other side. What I found were horror stories of surrogacy relationships that had gone horribly wrong. I learned from these stories, I read them all and they helped me decide what was and was not right for us. While I was learning from them, I was also being scared away from making our family through surrogacy.

For those of you who have found it necessary to take your blogs private, I will miss you. I am sorry that you feel that you can no longer share your story with the world. For those of you who find the need to berate and be rude to people who are just telling their story, try for a second to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you say something hurtful.

36 comments:

Cyn said...

I too have been disappointed to see so many blogs no longer available to share in their story. I've often wondered what sort of a horrible thing must've happened to make them need to take such a drastic step.

I'm shocked (although I probably shouldn't be) to hear that you've received negative comments. I can't imagine what makes a person-a virtual stranger-feel the need to seek you out and comment negatively. Why would they not just stop reading your blog? I just don't get it.

I for one, thank you very much for sharing so openly and for continuing to allow a random stranger to wander into your life and thoughts.

Just Caz said...

I find this issue quite interesting.
I understand and respect peoples right to go private, for fears about the backlash that may occur.
I can't imagine the feeling of recieving such emails that are so filled with hate.
Maybe its just me, but my head can't wrap around the idea that surrogacy is at all wrong?

To me, family is family and how a family comes to be is just about the most irrelvant thing in the world.
For you, this is a special journey... but as an outsider I fail to see what all the negative attention is about.

I live in australia and here, commerical surrogacy is illegal and other forms of surrogacy are highly guarded. People in Australia almost have no choice but to go oversea's to become parents.
I think thats so sad.

I applaud you for sharing your journey, all the happiness and the struggles that have and will happen throughout your quest to build you family.

If your story opens the eyes of one narrow minded, and uneducated person then you have done an amazing thing.

Caragh

Lisa RM said...

Jaymee, you do a wonderful thing by being out here and sharing your story. Hopefully, that not only shows people the beauty that is surrogacy, but also teaches how great an IP can be, so others can learn. I'm sorry for all the mean spirited comments, but just think what a strong mo-fo you are! And as usual, you supply the list, I'll supply the butt-whooping. Just throwing that out there. ;-)

twondra said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It means so much sweetie!

This post broke my heart. I'm so sorry people have the nerve to be so rude to you. Like you don't have enough on your plate.

I'm so sorry sweetie. I'm thinking and praying for you! (((HUGS)))

ICLW

Duck said...

I have not gone private but, restricted the reading to just me and my husband, that's it - I will delete - I didn't want to delete it just yet.

It's not really a high school clique thing for me, we have ended our journey wit our surro, and our surrogate and her family friends read my blog, so that is why I have taken it down (and MAYBE others in my situation have also made the same decision????).

I've never had rude comments and i'm sorry to hear that you have been targeted, some people are just cruel.

Allison said...

Jaymee - that sucks that you've received negative comments. I really haven't received any negative feedback from anyone yet, but I'm sure once everyone around us (co-workers, etc) knows about it, some will not be overjoyed. It really sucks for those that can get pregnant with the drop of a hat to judge those of us who have issues and how we start our family. I'm such a big supporter of yours and I so enjoy you allowing me to watch your journey unfold. Thank you for that. Love you and hang in there girl. This show is about to get on the road in a few months. How freaking exciting. :)

nh said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. And I'm so happy to have found your blog as whilst adoption is looking like the most likely option for us, we still haven't put the idea of surrogacy out to rest!

Mama-Beans said...

Oh Jaymee. Mean people suck. And HUGE yay for getting your story proudly out there. We will change the world for the better, one reader at a time. It is so wonderful that blogs like yours exist, and while I hate that you're getting negative feedback, I am just so proud of you for keeping it up!

Michelle said...

I'm sorry people are so rude and closed minded. Just know that you are doing the best thing for you and your husband!

myaruminations said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It amazes me that people voice strong and uneducated comments about family building through surrogacy. It's wonderful that you've put your story out there.

ICLW

theworms said...

Wow, I am shocked at people's rudeness and lack of sensitivity. Why are they so concerned with what you do with your life.

GL on your journey and you have to live your life and make the decisions that make the most sense for your family.

Thank you for blogging about your experience.

ICLW

jon and tracy g said...

I think that it is wonderful that you have put your story out there for others to read. I am sorry that you have to deal with such rude and insensitive comments.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.

*ICLW*

Duck said...

Thanks for the email! I will be following along with you (and you made me think I really need to contact everyone - so thanks for that - I am trying to contact everyone individually and left a message for L & F). Hope great things come for you!

dawn said...

oh jaymee, i don't understand the hate. i am so sorry that these people are directing their unhappiness on you. it's just not right but i applaud your grace and patience.
you will be this child's mother, plain and simple.

sending you hugs my dear.
<3

Anonymous said...

I know you aren't talking about me because you don't know me but thought I might offer a possible reason for going private. I made my blog private because my husband's exwife found my blog, printed it all off, and threatened to spread it around my conservative town. I'm not ashamed of surrogacy but I don't want my kids hurt by my words either. However, after careful thought I have decided that I hate the thought of changing my life based on someone's opinions of me so my blog is going public again as soon as I make sure that all my somewhat rude comments are gone.
susanb573.easyjournal.com

MyLifeMyWorld-SharingADream said...

Wow, I'm so sorry you have had the negative comments...that sucks, why can't people just keep things to themselves. I too as a surrogate have had not so nice comments too, but like you I have turned it around and made it an opportunity to teach because most often those comments come out of ignorance.

I think some people are going private because one of the nice things about blogging is it can be annon. When you are no longer annon, you have to be careful who reads and finds you, not everyone wants everyone to know their inner feelings on such private matters. I agree it's important to get it out there, that's why I think rather than going private, just change the URL and name....wink wink.

It's really great for me to hear from IPs as a surrogate, to try to understand the flip side of the coin, to gain more compassion and understanding and to help support them when I can.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Katie said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. To answer your question, there were two acupuncture places in my area. I contacted both of them and actually had intial consultations with both. That was the best I could do without driving at least 30 min away. One had no clue about IF related issues but the other one was a good fit. Try www.acubaby.com and see what you can find otherwise, google acupuncture in your area and just ask how many people they have seen that have similar issues as you do. Hope that helps.

C Lo said...

I had no idea there was such a stigma with surogacy. I've actually wanted to do it for a long time and have waivered on it.........and I don't think anyone would be taking advantage. My body is able to do what some other mothers's bodies aren't and if I *can* help, part of me feels like I should, that's all. And, as a mother who's had children I'll tell you......I never felt bonded to my children while pregnant. To be honest, I don't even like being pregnant (maybe that's why we don't really bond). RAISING my children makes me their mother.

Anyways........yeah. Thanks for the insight. I never knew.

looking4#3 said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog!!!
I am so glad you wrote about having "hurt feelings" over a blog going private and not getting "invited"!!! I thought I was the only one out there that got "stung" by this. And to be completely honest, I was a little surprised I was hurt and took it kinda personally!!!
As far as the surrogacy goes!! I can not fathom the idea that someone would EVER send you hate mail over it. Sure I realize it is controversial to some people--but, almost everything can be. I think surrogacy is amazing. A true gift for all involved and concerned!!! Cheers to you for following your dream!!!
Can't wait to come back and read more.
ICLW

christopher said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog.
Hopefully the negativity you have received in the past will be outweighed by the huge show of love and support in these comments. :)
I never knew much about surrogacy until I read an article about surrogacy in India in Chatelaine. It was really interesting and really opened my eyes to the world of surrogacy, especially overseas ones.
Good luck with all of your decisions, and know there are lots of people out here with nothing but love and support for you.

ICLW

Billy said...

Can't understand why people find wrongs in the ways other people go about to try and build their families. It should be cheered that there are more than one way to go about it and that people can find what works best for them.
I think it's great how you try and educate by answering those e-mails.

ICLW

Gabby said...

oh sweet Jayme - I am so sorry about these meanies who feel the need to share their rude comments with you! you are such a big person for responding and educating them.

Looks like you may have learned about at least one of the "gone-private" blogs.. I am happy for that.

I love reading your story and Sabrina's - and I have in turn educated some others I know. Thank you for who you are.

Stefanie said...

I'm shocked... I just can't imagine people being so judgemental. I believe that they are quick to judge because they're not impacted. I wonder if they would have been so judgemental if the ball was in their court

~Stopping by for ICLW~

Dawn said...

Blog go private because bloggers just get sick of the hassles and misunderstandings. I'm so glad you're continuing to educate people about surrogacy because it is terribly misunderstood. When we did a radio show on it last year we received almost no questions on air, but it was heavily downloaded, so we know there is an interest. The interest will intensify this summer when SJParker and M Broderick's babies arrive. I just hope the press will report it responsibly rather than sensationally. We're going to do another show on surrogacy in July to try to continue the education. Keep up the good work!

Dawn Davenport
www.CreatingaFamily.com

Kischa said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Wow! It's crazy how people can be so cruel and judgemental on these blogs.

I never considered surrogacy personally, but as the saying goes "different strokes for different folks" I can respect that and I wish you the best. Keep doing what you're doing - I'm a fan of yours already! :)

looking4#3 said...

I just went back and read one of your older posts. I am so glad to hear that someone else in the IF community is scared of multiples!!! I mean, I'm sure there are more of us out there, I just haven't encountered them. Thanks for making me feel less alone. I am scared to death of them too!!! I am hoping and praying we have one bundle of "magic" going on right now!!! More information to follow (hopefully) on Thursday!!!
Thanks again!!!

JD said...

i think surrogacy is a freakin' miracle. i know it has its pros and cons, and it won't solve my particular problems, but what is there negative to say about it?!? total bs.

while blogging helps the blogger sometimes...reading a blog can be a huge help - to find out information, and to find out you're not alone!

thanks for stopping by my blog!

xoxo
~jd

ICLW

corine said...

Ooooo, don't get me started. There are predatory people out there who simply feast on other's pain and mushy heart.

tireegal68 said...

Like the PPs I am sorry you have been at the receiving end of such negativity and glad that you have such a positive attitude despite this.
I think we all know how insensitive people can be about infertility and it seems to me that the more "complicated" it gets, the more insensitive people get. Where do they get off thinking they have a say in how we run our lives?
I applaud you for being open and sharing your story.
Good luck:)

Rhonda and Gerry W said...

Jaymee,

I get it! It hurts when people make hateful comments. We all put ourselves out there, good and bad, happy and sad. Bottom line, if they don't like what you post then they don't have to read it. At least you can respond when they email you. I just get Anonymous posters. I just choose to ignore it, but doesn't make it any less hurtful when you are accused of it, or are reading it.

I know for the most part we all get MUCH more positive then negative comments. I can count on one hand the nasty comments I get vs. the loads of support and lovely ones, as I am sure you do too.

Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to many.

hugs,

Sarah said...

Speaking as someone on the other side of a surrogacy journey, life is amazing. Thank goodness for surrogacy and we had the ultimate journey. I think that the majority of the time, when a blog goes underground it has to do with that person's real life. I had to ship my blog to a different url because someone in my life was reading along and it made me feel uncomfortable sharing. Sorry to hear that you have received those comments and I applaud you for taking the time to educate. Good luck with your journey - your surro is amazing!!!!!!! You two are quite the team! Blog on!

Barefoot said...

I'm so sorry that you're getting nasty notes about your family-building plans. I personally think that surrogacy is a miracle, and am looking forward to following along.

runamokamok said...

Sometimes Husband makes me angry because he's not ready to give up the dream of having his own biological child. And just to make it worse he, without realizing how horrible it sounds, says that he doesn't want someone else's broken child.
I know he doesn't mean it. And I know that because he does want to adopt. We plan on adopting no matter what. In his mind though he just want to exhaust all of our possibilities for a biological child.
I jokingly tell him every time he says these things is that Honey, when you adopt that is your child. It's not like you can give them back.
He understands. But for right now, he wants his baby. Eventually he'll come around. I just think he needs to come to terms with my infertility like I have....its just taking him a little longer.
He's a wonderful man and a great husband and would make a fabulous father...I just wish I could give it to him sooner than later.
*ICLW*

J and D said...

I felt the same way about a few blogs being closed. It is like not finishing an amazing book. I care so much about these IP's and want the best for their journeys to become parents and now I am left wondering.
Thanks for keeping your blog open.

m said...

Thank you for being so open with your journey and for the great set of FAQs in your post. I really appreciate it.

Smated said...

Hey great blog, I've added you to my blog roll and I made an entry about your "Blogging about Surrogacy" post! I still have much more to read but thank you for sharing!