I have mentioned the fact that I have been thinking about surrogacy for some time and some of the background to that.
I discussed it with Kennith. In reality he would prefer it if I did not pursue it. However he accepts that if the need/want in me is so strong (I realise I sound like the short balding guy from Star Wars), he will support me. However he wants to be sure that I proceed with caution and as little risk to me as possible.
Kennith feels I will fail the psychological analysis. Sadly I agree with him. That is probably where I will tick all the wrong blocks, and be overwhelmed with all the what if’s and starting blabbing on uncontrollably and crying and they will write “unsatisfactory” on their form.
I contacted some agencies. I have been turned down due to the fact that I have had three c-sections, which puts me into a high/higher risk according to their “tick a block” list (sorry to sound a bit bitter, I’m also not feeling very well and struggling with insomnia, so I am not such a happy camper today).
Someone I met through a forum contacted me and said that she was dealing with a set of intended parents who were Johannesburg based. They had a Cape Town based egg donor and would I be interested in speaking to them about the possibility of acting as a surrogate.
I was meant to meet with a couple this Friday, as they were going to be in Cape Town. It was really just a meet and greet, and to see what their expectations were and whether it aligned with what mine were – and maybe whether we potentially could see us working together.
I was really excited that finally there was some “progress” and someone wanted to talk about my uterus. Go little uterus!!
Unfortunately they have not confirmed the appointment. So I take it to mean that either they have cooled to me, or cooled to the idea, or there is possibly something else happening which they have not made me aware of. I am quite disappointed actually.
Yesterday a private social worker contacted me – she was referred to me by a contact through my blog, who had acted as a surrogate before.
I spoke to the social worker and she was really great. We had a lengthy discussion and I explained that I appear to be an “untouchable” based on my three c-sections – I wanted to blurt that out right at the start, so she knew what she was dealing with before she got too excited.
I also explained that I had gone to my OBGYN on Tuesday and he had confirmed that there was no pre-existing condition to exclude me from embarking on a 4th or even a 5th pregnancy. He is a very cautious (and very experienced) OBGYN, so counseled me at length on the potential risks that I may face and we discussed the idea of surrogacy at length.
Strangely his comments were “Why do it? You have nothing to prove. It is not like you are doing it for a friend/sister/cousin – it would be for a stranger. Why would you want to do it?”
I really can’t argue with him – I do not know what my motivation is, so it is difficult to quantify or qualify it to someone else, let alone myself. I just want to – and really that is it in a nutshell.
Maybe it is the simple act of charity. Maybe it is the liberal ingestion of too much wine.
What if I get to do this, and for me it does not seem that huge in comparison to what other people have to endure to have a baby.
I am not naive enough to not comprehend that there are inherent risks. I think I am fairly well read and well informed even for a novice. I am not saying any pregnancy is easy. Any pregnancy or procedure does carry a certain measure of risk – I do get that, I know stuff about this and do comprehend the risks.
Sure I prefer not to think of myself as dead, or with a ruptured uterus, but I understand that this is a possible outcome – which cannot be ascertained at the outset (as with any pregnancy).
I also grasp that there are potentially huge psychological costs and other factors at play here that may affect me, my family and my children in ways I cannot begin to comprehend – I hear and understand that too.
That being said, if pregnancy is (relatively) easy for me and I am able to make peace with the baby I am carrying not being mine genetically, and I am willing to go through this to give a couple something they cannot have any other way, then why would I not consider it.
Imagine the power of that play it forward?
At least let me go through the process to see if it is something I can do. I think I am a bit puzzled at people’s reaction. They almost have a look of revulsion on their faces that I would consider this. They start edging away from me in a she-has-leprosy sort of manner.
Is this not what charity is about, the showing generosity of spirit to your fellow man/woman?
If you can do something to assist someone, why should you not? And what is more generous that giving someone something that they yearn for more than life itself?
Why must we agree to nod and go “ag shame” but then walk away, why can’t we assist if we can and we feel strongly about it?
Last night the subject came up in book/wine club – obviously I brought it up, it is not something that comes up by accident.
I realise that maybe I skate on the thin ice where angels fear to tread. But my thinking is that everyone in bookclub is a mom, and must understand the fierce love they have for their child and thus be able to make the leap of who it must feel to be that someone who is desperate for a child of their own, and who has literally moved heaven and earth to try to get there.
Maybe if they comprehend that, maybe they can empathise with how desperate it must be for someone not to experience that – through no fault of their own.
Being denied that basic human right and need – the right to procreate because of a stupid roll of the stupid dice. Having the odds stacked against them which really seems so unfair beyond any measure of my comprehension.
At the same time I am not seeking approval from others. I welcome healthy debate and am open to the idea that someone may have an opinion that makes me go, “shewie, never thought of that.”
I nearly sh*t in my pants when one of the girls made a statement first basically saying that infertiles need to “just relax” things will happen.
Listen, I am not an infertile, but even I took offense to that.
I nearly pooped a bit in my beige knickers right there!!
Of course years of fertility treatment, injection in the arse, the abdomen, being probed and proded, miscarriages, BFN and all the tears, clearly were in vain – they should have just relaxed. I wish someone had told them before – wow, sometimes the answer is the simple one (insert sarcastic smiley face here!)
Then there was another comment basically saying that well if it is not meant to be, there must be a reason that God does not mean it to be (insert WTF smiley face here!)
If I had not actually had bits of poo escape from my anus before that, I think some did now!
I sat looking across the room at someone who has three healthy children, who knows how that feels to have your own children.
Who for all intense purposes is a lovely, warm, caring, loving person who lives what I would assume to be a good life and cares for others in the world. But here she sits and actually thinks that if you have unfortunate ovaries, or a uterus that just is not playing along, or your partner has unlucky sperm, you should just sit back and go “Oh well, God meant this to be, so there you are!”
Then does that mean God means it to be when a 12 year old girl is gang raped in a township on her way home from school, falls pregnant and decides to go into labour in the toilet and throw the baby in the dustbin, because she is so terrified and does not know what other choices she has?
Because if God meant that to be, then I think we all need to sit down and have a little talk.
People are so quick to use this blanket phrase of “things happen for a reason” and “it is God’s will” – I am not denying that many people love a bit of cliché to get then through troubled times, but seriously!
But I digress as my adrenaline level climbs.
The bottom line is, for now I think surrogacy is huge. If I can I would like to act as a surrogate.
I spoke to the social worker and she said she would take my case to the Ethics Committee that meet in the first week of August. They, it appears, have the final say.
If they say no, then well that is that, and I should just happily skip off in to the sunset and say something profound. Odds are I won’t and I will be upset, but there is not much more I can do than I have done.
If they say yes, then I would have to first go to a nominated doctor who would do an exam and make a decision as to physically whether I would be approved to be considered to be a possible surrogate. Of course at that point I would still have to go through the interviews and psychological screening and anything could happen there.
On the other hand, the ethics committee (I actually have no idea who they are – I am just saying it like I am familiar with them) really makes the decision as to whether I am a possible/potential/maybe candidate.
So there we are, now you know!