"You're going to carry someone else's baby?? Isn't it going to be difficult to give up the baby?"
"WHY would you be willing to carry a baby for a gay couple when there are plenty of deserving straight couples??"
"Why don't they just adopt?"
"If infertile people can't have babies, maybe it's because God didn't want them to have a child."
Ok.... Now that your blood is boiling...take a minute to breathe. Let it out slowly. If you are a surrogate mother, or planning on becoming one, or even thinking about becoming a surrogate and have talked to people about it, you may have heard any of the above comments in some way shape or form.
Its upsetting. It hurts. You stand there for a minute with your mouth agape and your brain says "Did they REALLY just say that?" If you're anything like me, your first instinct is to try and dismiss what they said. Maybe they didn't mean it to come out as offensive as it did. Perhaps their thoughts were like word-vomit and they just couldn't stop it before they had a chance to think about it's effect on me. Or worse..maybe they did, and they don't care.
I've had a lot of emails from women asking me how I handle these types of comments. I have had time to analyze people and the comments made to me about my upcoming surrogacy and the one thing I have found to be a common factor is that the person with the strongest opinions generally have the least amount of knowledge regarding surrogacy. Part of why I am keeping this blog is to educate those around me as to the process of surrogacy both the medical aspects and the emotional aspects because there is not a lot of literature out there about it. At least not from the intimacy of the woman going through the surrogacy.
The first time someone said to me "I could never give up a baby after carrying it for 9 months..I don't know how you're going to be able to do it." my first thought internally was "Well it's a good thing it's me doing this then, and not you." Obviously I didn't say that out loud because I realized a split second later, that they were just NOW forming their opinion about surrogacy where as I had spent years thinking about it and deciding if I wanted to do it. There was one occasion where I did actually get angry and say something similar to that, but that was after giving this person several chances to redeem themselves. :/ I am no longer friends with that individual, and am happier for it. My advice to the mothers reading this blog who are in surrogacy, or considering it is this... "Opinions change with new information." Take an internal moment after that initial statement to breathe, then educate. Say as much about the process as you are comfortable baring, and your reasons why you want to be a surrogate. Often times the person listening will be taken aback and feel a change in their opinion. They may say "Wow..that's really incredible of you." or...they may not. If they choose either to not listen to you or to not care, distance yourself from that situation. Lord knows if you are already pregnant your hormones are going crazy anyways. Choose love. Love them and allow them to disagree, but that doesn't mean you need to subject yourself to it constantly. I always settle for a pleasant smile and "Ok..thank you for your opinion." and then walk away. Followed by maybe a little zen meditation, or a quick call to my mom to vent. HAHA!
The world is filled with people, each person going through their own struggles, coming from their own upbringing and exposures to life. Social media has given each one of those person's a microphone with which to shout their opinions at the world. Sometimes it is best to put your speakers on mute, and just let it be.
As a small update on my personal surrogacy, I am still waiting for my contract to be finalized for me to review and sign. :) Love to all of you!