Wednesday, March 24, 2010

parenthood through surrogacy part 2

Where my thought process has evolved the most is how I see the relationship I wanted with our surrogate. When we first started looking into surrogacy I was terrified of this part because I had no idea how to handle my relationship with the woman that was carrying our child. There is no comparable relationship that I have found.

I wanted her to be open to meeting our child if the child wanted to, but I was worried about having a close relationship between the her and us. My biggest worry was that my mommy toes would get stepped on if we were too close. It did not take me long to realize that I could not carry all of my infertility baggage into this relationship. There are wounds that will never heal, but they do not have to control my life or affect my relationships with others. Some part of me will forever be sad that I cannot carry our child, but that is a very small part that I give little attention to these days. Once I got to the point that I KNEW that I was our child's mother, no matter how many other people helped us get Cletus here, I am the mother.

Coming from a family that is very blended made it easier for me the know that biology is the smallest part of creating a family, but there were still many concerns and fears that I had. Adoption is often the nearest reference point that most people have when it comes to surrogacy, but surrogacy is a completely different situation. Our child is coming into this world with the help of an egg donor, gestational surrogate, and my husband. There was a lot of new territory for me to work through. I struggled with feelings of being completely left out of the process and a lot of guilt that I could not just be grateful that all these people were willing to go through all of this to make my dreams come true. Giving myself time to heal and work through these feelings also gave me the ability to have a trusting and honest relationship with our surrogate.

I will be the first to admit that we are extremely fortunate to have Sabrina, there is no one else I can imagine going through this with. She is an incredible woman with a wonderful husband and children. While Sabrina is doing the physical part of this, it is really her entire family that is involved in this. Her husband moved their house while she was away at our first transfer. There are going to be things she is not able to do with the kids in the coming months and she has been away from them because of transfers. Knowing that they are all doing this because Sabrina wants to make us parents is an overwhelming feeling.

I have spent many a social psychology class arguing the existence of true altruism. You have never experienced drama until you have told a good ole southern boy that his mama does not love him for purely unselfish reasons, I highly recommend this if you ever get the chance. Creating a family is the closest, I believe, that I will ever come to experiencing true altruism. Yes, there is compensation, but I will always believe that it is a small token amount of appreciation. Really, how do you put a price on completing your family?

So, the question becomes how do you not have a lifelong relationship with someone who has literally given birth to your dreams? For me the answer is that there is no way that I can imagine not having Sabrina being part of our lives. My own selfish reason is that I adore Sabrina and want to be friends with her forever. Even if this were not true, I would feel the need to have a relationship where there was communication about how the munchkin was doing. In my opinion, denying that relationship is disrespecting your child's story. I cannot deny how my child came into the world. We have always been committed to telling our child everything about their background from the time they start asking questions, this story belongs to them and it is not our place to deny them that. Again selfishly, it is much easier to explain who someone is when they are a part of your life, children are not very good with the abstract. Of course this all goes back to being comfortable with my place in my child's life.


Krissi said...

So happy for you that you have such a wonderful surrogate! Wishing you the best for the future! Happy ICLW!

pamela macphee said...

You have such a wonderful perspective! I admire you for your acceptance of surrogacy and your embrace of your surrogate. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship and that makes the surrogacy, despite its challenges, an amazing, fufilling adventure for everyone! Best wishes to all of you and your little miracle.

Egg Donors said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Expectant Duck said...

I totally agree and feel the same way about M (but I do know other IPs who are not so lucky and don't have a great relationship with their GS's).

Crossed Fingers said...

What a great post and an eye opener/learning lesson for those of us who don't "understand" the whole process you're going through. I am in awe of you and this journey, I truly am. I am excited to read along as it unfolds!

Saige said...

The mere thought of someone so selflessly donating to surrogate blows my mind. Would I do it for my good friends if I could? ABOSLUTELY! But to have someone do it for ME is gobsmacking. How do you ever repay that? As my friend says, it is the ultimate humanitarian act. I have only thought briefly about telling our child that my best friend carried the pregnancy. Of course I would tell my child she did that for us. That I wanted my child so much I did whatever I could to get them here, and that God put my best friend in my path to make that possible.

I can't imagine NOT having a relationship with your surrogate. This isn't an adoption. This is a woman carrying offspring that has been created just for you.

I am glad you are here, telling this story.

MyLifeMyWorld & Growing Families said...

WOW, that's so very profound. I hope that other IPs and surrogates have the opportunity to read this post.

It touched me the way you wrote about it, sometime IPs dont' understand that once all is said and done, they have all the control back, they are the parents afterall. And many surrogates just sit back and hope to be included, even in some small way.

This hit home for me in a very real way...thanks for sharing it.

Louise-in-the-middle said...

Your story is just as wonderful as it is horrifying - horrifying because of all that you have been through and wonderful because of your personal growth and that your hard work to get yourself ready for motherhood is paying off!
Thanks for sharing and giving me a point of reference for my own life!

Holly said...

wow what an amazing journey! I am so glad to have found your blog and been able to read such an honest 1st hand account of creating your family through surrogacy and learn more about the process! Wishing you all the best on your continued journey to motherhood! :)

ICLW #134

BrownSkin said...

I am so happy that "we" have Sabrina! Im praying for nothing but the best for all of you! I love you...Im keeping up even when you dont know it! Love you, Nacole