The title here might sound strange or angry or something negative, but it really isn't. I worry sometimes that people read this blog and think that I'm so negative and so focused on infertility that I don't enjoy my life, which simply isn't true. This just happens to be my "safe" place to discuss the things that infertility has taught me or is teaching me. Oftentimes subjects that come up are from a discussion I have had with another infertile friend or someone who is not, but it brings up an idea. I assure you I am very happy and enjoy my blessings daily, my Facebook, Instagram, and private blog are for that!! I always want this to be a safe place for infertiles to read!
So the subject that I wanted to touch on today is that of offering something that you really cannot give. I cannot tell you, because I did not keep track, how many people offered to be a surrogate for me. While I typically appreciated the somewhat selfless offer, I was also no where near the point of considering that, nor would I have any idea how to approach it. The thing about surrogacy that I've learned recently is that (at least in Louisiana) the egg donor, or biological mother has little to no rights. A surrogate could carry a baby that has no biological connection to her, aside from being baked in her belly (not making light of that its HUGE) and can decide to keep the baby because she has become "attached". This horrified me! Most people who offer to be surrogates have been pregnant before and did not mind the process (some people do not enjoy pregnancy, even ones who fought tooth and nail to be pregnant--I'm one of them), and therefore think they could do this as a gift to someone else. I like to believe that the world is full of wonderful selfless people and that this would never happen in real life. Lets be real people are people and we are all flawed, hence my husband and I being scammed by a crook who acted for six months as if she were going to give us a baby only to swindle money out of us (she had done it before and will probably do it again)! You just do not know how you would respond in such a situation if you nurtured and loved and cared for a baby for 9 months and then had to turn around and give him/her to someone else.
For me personally, having been through two miscarriages, I couldn't imagine if I had put my embryos in someone else and then she miscarried. The level of hurt and blame there is hard to comprehend.
Now before someone thinks I'm dogging surrogacy, please know that I'm not at all, what I am saying is please please please do not offer such a service to a friend who is fighting infertility unless you have honestly and thoroughly considered the full scale of what that means. While you may have just been making a polite gesture, they may be seriously considering needing a surrogate and to come back and request it of you and be denied is another type of pain that no one needs to endure.
What can you do then? What can you say? Say you care, say you do NOT understand (I promise we don't want you to understand), say you will listen even if you don't get it, say you are honestly praying for them, for guidance, for miracles, for peace. Feel free to tell us you don't get it, you don't want to, it makes you uncomfortable, but that you will go to a fun movie and laugh with us or a sad movie and cry with us. Let us take your kids to the park, the book store, the movies, something that lets us pretend for just one minute that we could be great parents! One of the most fun days I had was picking up my friend's daughter from daycare, taking her to the park, and to the book store. I got to spoil her, no I didn't tell people she was mine, but I got to enjoy the things they got to enjoy daily!
If you are honestly up to it (and it would take guts) say you will go to a support group meeting with them. Read infertility blogs so you can understand more. I've had a few sweet sweet friends contact me and say, I don't know what to do but my friend just lost a baby, can you give me some ideas? Or should I tell my infertile friend I'm pregnant and how? Just the idea that you cared enough to ask someone else would warm their hearts more than you know!
I could go on and on about what to do and what not to do, but I will stop here for today! I'm always willing to answer questions though, so post them in comments or email me!
National Infertility Awareness Week--speak up!
Boulder Ridge Zoo
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