Today on facebook, I "liked" the page for the blog over at A Belly For Me, A Baby For You. They were recently featured on CNN. The basic story is that they are filming a documentary of a surrogate pregnancy. The surrogate happens to be the sister of the intended father. The twins she is carrying are biologically those of her brother and sister-in-law. They've had a lot of controversial, and uncalled for, comments.
This afternoon she asked: Let's reverse the question, would you be able to let another woman carry your baby/babies via surrogacy? Do you already have someone in mind? What do you think the hardest part about it would be?
Being that I have and am again let another woman carry my baby, this question peaked my interest and reading the comments really got me thinking. It's something friends and family have asked me in a round about way. It's usually something like "How are you doing? Is it strange having someone else pregnant with your baby?" The short answer to this is, yes, it is strange. As a woman, it is not a natural thing to have another woman pregnant with your child. The comments on this particular question were mostly positive. There were a few that said they could not do it or the answer I can't stand...if you can't have children, then you aren't meant to *gag*. But most said they would if they were in a position to do it financially and had a need.
The recurring answer to the hardest part was a lack of control and giving up feeling your child grow inside of you. Of course, giving up all that is involved in pregnancy is hard. I have been blessed to have experienced pregnancy and birth twice with Aubrey and Blaine. Although I was not the glowy, happy pregnant woman and was pretty much miserable 6 months out of 9, I would still love to be able to experience it again. It's the way it's supposed to be. I can't explain what it's like to wait for another woman to find out she's pregnant and tell you that you will be a mother. I can't explain what it's like to listen to her talk about your baby in a way only she knows him or have others come up and congratulate her on her pregnancy while you're together and want with every fiber of your being to shout out that it's your baby. It is just hard. And even thought it's hard, you are so grateful for every detail she's willing to share and every moment you are expecting, even if no one can see the physical signs. As an intended mother, you have to be able to tell those feelings of hurt, grief, and, yes, even resentment where to go. They don't belong in a surrogacy journey. You have to be able to focus on the miracle it is that another woman can and would do be willing to experience those things for you and share those things with you. Sure, there are times those feelings have and I'm sure will again get away from me and I retreat to my room to cry. I think that's natural. You don't all of a sudden stop hurting for what you've lost because someone is kind enough to give it to you another way.
There were also lots of "only if my sister did it" or "yes, my best friend would". That is a beautiful sentiment and amazing when it works. My first thoughts of surrogacy (way back in 2005) included a family member doing it for us. The truth is that when the rubber meets the road, not everyone is cut out to do this and that is perfectly okay. I don't want anyone who is not comfortable with it to do it for me! I like to think I would do it for any one of my family members that needed, if I were able. Truth is, that's something I will never know for sure. It's much easier having been the recipient of such an extraordinary gift to think I could give it if the roles were reversed.
As for the control aspect, that is what makes it of paramount importance to chose someone you trust with...well, your child's life. No one will be happy in a surrogacy relationship where a pregnancy is being micromanaged. It just doesn't work. I needed someone who I felt would treat my baby the way I would. I have been blessed with two of those women.