1. "How will you give up the baby?"
- Simply stated, it's not my baby. That baby belongs in the longing and loving arms of its intended parents. Of course there will be a strong connection with the child, but that is because of the strong connection I have built with its parents.
2. "How did you come to this decision?"
- It's been in the back of my mind for a while. I seriously considered it shortly after I had my own child, but Justin wasn't ready for it yet. It took some convincing, but all I really had to say was, "Look at our baby. Imagine if we couldn't have that. How empty would we feel if we couldn't hear that awesome little giggle." He was pretty much mush after that.
I suppose that still doesn't answer the why. The further i am into this process, the more I will be able to answer that question. To be continued...
3. "How much money are you getting?"
- I am amazed how many people are comfortable to rudely ask this question without their brain filter catching it. I'm a pretty open person, and I really wouldn't care to tell an acquaintance my weight or how much I make at my job, but this one irritates me. A lot. Maybe because this process is about completing a family. There is a little person at stake. There is a family at stake. Surrogacy is usually a last resort and I've put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver some awesome results. And the best question these bystanders can come up with is, "How much?"
My first instinct is to bark, "It's none of your G D business." After I calm that instinct, I will tell you that all of that information is readily available on pretty much every surrogacy agency website. Put in a little effort and Google it.
4. "How does that all work?"
- In my case, there is an egg donor. Her egg and one of my IP's genetic material created an embryo that is waiting for my baby tank to make a nice comfortable home. Soon, little baby embryo, soon.
1. How well will my family handle it?
- It's now a part of the conversation. My mom keeps getting more and more comfortable with the task at hand, although she hasn't told any of her siblings.
- I didn't like the attention my own pregnancy garnered. I imagine I will like this attention even less, because I will have to address certain reactions. It's hard to think that the IPs can't experience that attention. To look at them, it won't be obvious to any stranger that they are expecting. I on the other hand with be having a Q&A session in the grocery store when I just wanted to pop in for a gallon of milk. I think I may invest in one of those surrogacy T-shirts, in black of course. This lady doesn't wear white when pregnant, especially if there is a camera any where within the vicinity.
- Need I say more? As difficult as it is for me, I can't imagine the agony the IPs would be experiencing. I'm trying to stay positive, but the statistics are a 50% chance of success with one embryo and around 80% with a two-embryo transfer (with standard margin of error, I'm hoping). Glass half full? The odds are just as likely to be successful so let's stay positive.
- Baby blues aren't very fun. The great thing about being a surrogate is that you don't have to stay home a feed a baby every couple hours, although I will be pumping, so it's still fairly taxing... I wonder if it is easier to dull the hormones with an anti depressant, or just leave town for a refresher. The real plan is probably keeping my baby boy home with me to keep me company and keep my mind focused.
- I think every surrogate has the fear in the back of her mind that the Intended Parents just might change their minds. That the relationship they desire isn't the same as the one you desire. From their point of view it must be terrifying; they've put an amazing trust in a woman they barely know and she is carrying their child. She could go crazy and skip town with their precious cargo or a variety of other scenarios. I hope that my family becomes an extension of their family.
6. Hero Award
- Let me be very clear. I don't think I'm special. I don't think I'm great. I think I am one person trying to put some good juju out in the world. I've already been told that I am, "amazing" and "selfless." That makes me uncomfortable. I don't think of myself that way, so it is hard to give an un-awkward response when it happens. I am excited that I get to be a part of Jason and Michael's adventure. I am the lucky one that gets to get to share their experience (yes, I know, they do get a baby out of the deal, and that is pretty lucky/special/awesome).
I think, especially as Americans, we forget how big the world is. I am not well traveled, I don't have a passport (YET!!) and I get really excited when I speak to someone with a "foreign" accent. Getting the opportunity to work with international intended parents let's me link to the "outside world."
I also want to set an example for Dempsey. He is much too little to understand now, but I hope one day he will be able to appreciate the idea of "paying it forward" and maybe model that behavior.
So really, I'm being pretty selfish. I hope Michael and Jason are okay with that - as long as they get their little honey bee, I think they will be.