Ever hear of the bible story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar? Sarah and Abraham were promised by God to have many children. After decades of a barren womb and the loud tick tock of the baby clock starting to chime towards menopause Sarah offered her servant, Hagar, to Abraham to conceive a child. It is no surprise that Abraham did not put forth much of an argument with Sarah to sleep with another woman; for the sake of procreation of course. I can imagine the conversation going a little like this.
Sarah- “Hey hunny, I really want a baby and will do whatever it takes. Will you sleep with Hagar so we can have child?”
Abraham- “Heck yeah I will!! Is today my birthday or something?”
OK so maybe it did not go quite like that, but the story goes on to describe that Sarah started to resent Hagar’s ability to get pregnant so easily, with her husband and give birth to a son. Sarah became overwhelmed with her own grief of her inability to carry her husband’s child that her jealously clouded her best judgment. Sarah did something rash, she expelled Hagar and her son to the desert. The pain of infertility is real and it is ugly. Hell hath no fury like an infertile jealous woman? Now, don’t worry Hagar and her son ended up being ok and Abraham and Sarah went on to finally conceive.
There is a reason for this bit of a history lesson folks, so stick with me. One question I get asked the most as of late is, if we are still in contact with our wonder surro. In some of these conversations we have had with good intentioned, yet misunderstood individuals assume that a surrogacy would consist of Chris having a quick and dirty tussle in the sack for procreation purposes with a surrogate, just like Abraham did with Hagar in the bible. So that Sarah or me in this case, would have a child. Although, biblical history can connect the infertile-triangle of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar as the first documented surrogacy this is not the case for modern day surrogacy. Sorry for those Big Love fans, Chris remains a one lady man.
Other people closely relate and have mistaken surrogacy for an outright adoption. I would stretch to say that surrogacy stands right in the middle of IVF and Adoption. Actually, we “technically” in the eyes of the law here in VA adopted our biological daughter. The difference with surrogacy and adoption is the “birth mom” as referred to in adoption, places her biological child with another couple. In a surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate in most circumstances does not have a biological tie to the baby. Some do but that is another blog altogether.
So to answer the question if we are still in contact with our surrogate, the answer is of course! Once someone asked if she has visitation rights. I mentally rolled my eyes, and just answered that we text back and forth ever so often and I make it a point to get together once a month. It is a personal decision to keep in contact with our wonder surro. I think once you go into a journey like this with someone, you will have a bond. I also think it is important for Jellybean to know her story and not keep this as a guarded secret. It is the best decision for us but obviously not for all surrogacy cases.
I had fears though just like many intended parents have and may not want to admit. I feared that the moment Jellybean heard, smelled, met our wonder surro I would be chopped liver. I feared that I would disrupt the bonding process if I brought Jellybean around our wonder surro early on after birth. I envisioned that one fleeting moment that our surrogate held our daughter she would no longer want me as her mom. Silly I know. I also feared that I may have bouts of jealously like that of Sarah. There were times that I would see my wonder surros lovely surro bump and my precious cargo move around and have a moment of jealously. I wouldn’t be human if I did not. Those moments of IF-ladden weakness did not last long thankfully. They were passing thoughts that would be overrun with the fact that an amazing woman was carrying my baby! I was going to be a mother because of the selfless act of surrogacy. It took a little mental volleying but I replaced those thoughts of woe is me with WHOA is me the soon to be momma.
Now, when I see my wonder surro hold our Jellybean, it brings me joy to see the look in her face. You know, I equate our surrogate’s interactions with Jellybean much like Christmas. You are always excited to unwrap a present, but the real magic, the real moment is the look on the other person’s face when they unwrap the gift you have given. I know for certain she is proud to be a surrogate. The ultimate gift giver if you will. So, sorry folks, I have received some thoughtful and perfectly surprising gifts in my lifetime. But the gift of life, of having a family that Chris and I worked so long for, is the most precious gift I have ever received.