Jennifer wrote: “I think it would be interesting to know what type of contact(if any) you have with the parents once the baby is delivered, and living with them.”
As you may have read in yesterday’s post, my first intended parents thought of the surrogacy as more of a business deal than a personal relationship. Honestly, I think they want to believe that the intended mother gave birth to their daughter and no surrogate was ever needed. It’s like they want to believe that the surrogacy never even happened. We had some contact when they got back home with the baby, but not much. They sent a Christmas card that year which included a photo of the baby. One other time I’ve received an email from them with a photo of her taken in Italy, when they had her baptized. This couple used an egg donor due to the intended mother’s age and they absolutely swore me to secrecy that I would never tell their families that the baby isn’t genetically hers. They feel that it would disappoint their families and they would feel differently about the baby than if she were from her mother’s egg. Anyone who has children, either biological, adopted, or from donor egg or sperm, knows that this is ridiculous. I guarantee there is no one that would love her less if they knew she wasn’t genetically related to her mother. They told me when I gave birth to her that they will likely tell their daughter that she was born via surrogate (but have no intention of telling her about the egg donor) when she is 12 and on a family vacation (odd timing I think, but oh well). Honestly I just feel like they are living a huge lie about how their daughter came to be. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have no bond with this little girl, so not seeing photos of her regularly doesn’t bother me one little bit. Do I wish it was different? Yes, but if they feel like they have to distance themselves to keep their secret a secret, I guess thats on them, not me. Eventually if they do tell her about being born via surrogate, I’m assuming she will have a natural curiosity about me. I personally think it would be better for her if they were honest from the beginning, but thats for them to decide.
With the twins, we had a lot of contact when they first got back to Australia. We also had a ton of email contact throughout the pregnancy, sometimes exchanging no less than 10 emails a day. Oddly enough, other than the night of the birth, we had only spoken on the phone one time and that was when we first got in contact, months prior to the embryo transfer. Other than that it was all email contact. In another post, I mentioned that I would share some details about this surrogacy and I guess I can’t properly answer Jennifer’s question if I don’t share a bit of that now. There were TONS of medical bills associated with this birth (c-section) and the twins 3 week stay in the NICU. Since the parents were not here to sign any of the paperwork when they were born, my name went on ALL of their bills by default. There is a contract stating that they have to pay all medical bills associated with the surrogacy, however, my name is on them and they say they don’t have the money to pay them all. Want to talk about a HUGE frustration?! This is still an ongoing headache, so naturally I’ve kept our contact to the bare minimum. They do email photos of the babies here and there, but like my other surrogacy, I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to know about them. Honestly, I want this situation done and behind me, so the less contact I can have with them the better it makes me feel.
For my current surrogacy, the intended parents have asked me to decide on how much contact I want with them when its over. They prefer regular contact and plan on making the surrogacy known to their son from the beginning. I’m planning on having periodic contact with them after the birth, but again, I don’t feel like I need continual contact. Maybe a Christmas card or a note with a photo here and there and that would be enough for me. I want to respect and honor their desire for ongoing contact and also to quench their son’s curiosity about me when the time comes. These IP’s would love to visit with us in the future and that may be a possibility down the road. We’ll just have to wait and see.
I hope I don’t come across as completely insensitive because I do care deeply about the babies I’ve carried. I feel I have a healthy and necessary distance from them too though. They are not my childen in any way, shape or form and I don’t feel the ongoing need to foster those relationships. While I will always fondly remember my pregnancies and births with each of them, they are a part of my past and I prefer to let it be just that.