Two years ago if you would have asked me how life was, I would have probably said, its fine. And it was. I was happy with my job, the kids were both young and we were a pretty normal, happy family. I was pregnant two years ago. Not carrying my third child. But carrying the life for someone who physically was unable. The journey was going smoothly. There were times I was sad that they were unable, due to distance and time, to come to any dr appts. I had not grown close to the pregnancy like so many people thought I would. But I kept my hopes high thinking that maybe after the baby was born, the IP's would open up a bit more to the journey, maybe just worrying right now that I may change my mind.
Let me start new for those who are confused. I am a surrogate mother. I was medically inseminated with the sperm from the Intended Father (IF) with hopes to become pregnant for him and his wife, the Intended Mother (IM). They are called, Intended Parents (IP's). The couple that I chose to help back in 2007 already had three children, but always dreamed of a fourth. I knew that after raising three children, they would make great parents. It only took one shot. One try and we were pregnant.
Kyle was born on October 12th, 2007 in Sioux City. For the life of me, I can't remember the time. I know he weighed 7lbs and I can't remember the ounces. My head is full of so many numbers its hard to keep them all straight. Plus, it really didn't stick with me. I never bonded with Kyle. Not in the way that most people bond with pregnancy and new babies. He was a beautiful, healthy little boy....and from day one, he was never mine. Even if biologically he has my genes, he is not my son. He is their son. Always will be.
Two years ago it has been since we went to the hospital. Two entire years have gone by and the only way I have heard his voice is through a short video clip downloaded on YouTube. I don't know what his first word was. I don't know if he likes bananas or apples. His birthday party will most likely be held this weekend. I will never know what kind of cake he had or how he opened his presents.
His parents have been great about sending pictures via email once a month. Normally it is around the day of his birth, the 12th of every month. I cherish the pictures. Save them in a folder and once every four months I print them out and put them in an album at home. I don't ever sit and look at the pictures. They are there for showing family and friends who ask. I was blessed to get hard copy pictures from the studio for his birthday and christmas the last 2 years. Those are also put away, not displayed in the house. Not out of shame or pain, but out of respect for them. They are not a part of our lives like I had wanted. To them, surrogacy was a buisness journey, meant for having a child, not making friends.
I was very naive thinking that after the birth it would change. I thought maybe there was issues with a fear of me not wanting to give him up. Maybe there was a bond issue they were worried about. But I have never wanted to keep him. Never had issues letting him go. I miss the journey. I miss emailing them back and forth talking about everything. To be completely honest, there are days where I miss just being needed.
I know my kids need me as does hubby and friends and work and school. But to be needed and trusted with something as special as a child, is something that can't be replaced with school or work.
I am about to emark on journey #2, this time, not my child. I know what to expect going in and have made it clear I am not in this for a business deal. I want friendship. I want love and respect. I will give it and I expect it in return. I want to be a part of this child's life. I want to be there for milestones, not physically there, but an email or picture or video.
I sent Kyle's birthday present and it arrived at the house today. Before I left for work I checked my email and nothing. I am not sure if they were home when it arrived. I hope to go home and see an email. I hope he loves the trucks. I will post a picture if one comes. I hope that there are pictures or video of the party. I would love to see him enjoying the day he came into our lives. To see him open presents or eat his cake. I do not get my hopes up because, well honestly I don't know if I will get anything or not.
I know there are IP's out there reading this thinking to themselves that they feel bad for the actions they have to do for their surrogate. I want to remind those IP's that surrogates who deserve to be in your life, deserve the updates and the pictures. The surrogates who hurt and cause anger and pain do not deserve the right to be in the children's lives. It should be the responsibility of the IP to make sure that their children is around those who mean well, and do not cause pain.
I am proud to be a surrogate. I would never take back the journey that produced Kyle because they are wonderful parents. He is in a loving and caring home and he is going to grow up with opportunities with the possiblity to be what ever he wants to be. I couldn't be happier that is he taken care of.
I have thought about the future. What would happen if finds out about the surrogacy and comes to look for me when he is 18. I would welcome him with open arms. But I would always remind him that a mother is not one who biologically carries a child. A mother is someone who loves unconditionally. A mother is someone who cares when others do not. A mother is someone who looks at their child and doesn't question regret. A mother is someone whose heart is so full of love, they sometimes go overboard with the caring.
I have never wished that I could take back surrogacy. In fact, I praise it to anyone who will listen. I think it is the most amazing way for couples to become parents when they physically are unable. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for same-sex couples to become parents, without having to go through the mess of the adoption system which can frown on gay couples. I will never regret my choice to have child for someone else.
To the surrogates who are not in touch with the families they helped create, I say this. Know that no matter what, you helped create a life for someone who was not able to. That in itself is an amazing thing. But know that even if the parents do not appreciate or do not understand your need to be involved, you are still connected. Even in the GS world where the carrier is not the biological parent. You carried the child for 9 months and struggled through how many months of cycling and post-birth. You were there for someone when they needed you most. Be proud, not sad. Accept that the parents have moved past the surrogacy and onto parenting. Accept that they may not understand your need to continue the contact. And I can't stress this more.......find out everything before you sign anything! Make sure your IP's know that you want post birth contact and how much you expect or want. It may surprise you find that they want more or less than you. If that is the case, compromise or move on. You don't have to stay with a couple or surrogate for that matter just because you are matched at the beginning. It is better to have a great match, than one that will leave you in pain and misery for a long time.
I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I really hope you enjoy the gifts that were sent. I hope to get pictures and maybe even a video. Maybe some day I will be blessed to say that in person. You are a special little boy and I hope you know that you were brought into this world to make your mommies dream come true. My love for you is special and something that nobody can replace.
I know in my heart he is happy. I don't need the pictures to show me that. I need the pictures more to prove to myself that they still care. Really, honestly, it is more of an ego thing than anything. I know he is loved and well taken care of. I know how children grow and change and can be so different from year to year. I love watching the changes. But I don't need them to know he is okay. I don't need them to satisfy a void in my heart. I have thought so much about this and honestly part of me wishes they would include me more. But they are happy. I am happy. Why change something that isn't broken. Would it be great if they called or sent more videos/pictures than they currently do? well YEA. Who wouldn't want more? But the thing I have realized is that I don't need the pictures to be okay. I don't need them to have okay feelings about the journey. Knowing that he fulfilled the dream of my IM is all the thanks I ever need. They don't have to continue contact, knowing that I get something, is so much better than nothing.
I am about to go through the entire process again. This time, the choosing of the IP's was not something that I took lightly. The first time, I went with the first offered by the agency. I didn't discuss, we never really went over things we wanted to, we just accepted what was already there. This time, I chose from my heart, from the soul. Helping a couple who truly was not just in this for the baby. Who truly was in this to become a part of something amazing. Of course they want the end result. They want to have a child of their own. But they are not worried about getting the final result. They care about the journey to get there. And that means a lot because I know that they will be there. I know that they care. I don't have to ask. I don't need validation. I think with the TS couple, I needed the validation. Notice I put needed. I no longer need it. It has been two years. Things are good, not perfect, but good. And I will take good over awful any day of the week.
Surrogacy can be the most amazing, complicated thing that a couple and a women embark on. You can have the most amazing journey until birth. You can have the crappiest journey until birth. Sometimes half way throught the pregnancy things change. You can't know how things are going to turn out. You have to just have faith in yourself and know what you want. If you have a positive outlook, positive things will happen. Sometimes bad things happen to those who do not deserve it. But you have to know that even though things with a relationship with a surrogate or with a set of IP's is bad, there are others in your life who care so much for you that they are willing to give you the world. Those are the people that matter. The ones who treat you like garbage should have to deal with getting garbage in return. If they can't be respectful, they don't deserve respect. They need to earn the love and attention. If they truly care, one day they will be there when you least expect it. They choose not to understand the issues they have. Many should have some sort of therapy, they need it to become sane, but refuse it because they don't realize they are insane. Their lives are chaotic, but they are so used to it, to them its normal. Change is not normal and they fear change.
So accept that they can't or won't change. Accept that they don't understand the pain they cause and realize that one day, maybe they will. But maybe they won't. They may never change. So to include them in your life, whether it be IP or surrogate, is something that is not to be taken lightly. The trust has to be there, as do the boundaries. Maybe start small, one step at a time, not too much, but enough to satisfy the feeling of empty or guilt in your heart.
My advice for tonight:
Allow those who are worthy to accept your love and friendship. Accept that there are those who are supposed to be close, who won't be. It is not something you can change or fix. Let it run the course it is supposed to run and you will see why it was meant to be the way it is.
Happy Birthday Kyle....you will always hold a very special piece of my heart, never forget that my love is there and never left, but you were meant to be with your mom and dad. You were intended for them. They were intended for you. You were always meant to be theirs.