A Womb At The Inn

laying in bed thinking
August 17, 2011, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One thing about being pregnant is how each trimester has something special about it that can keep you up tossing and turning or maybe just laying there waiting for sleep.  Either way it leaves this open space for your brain to just keep running through things that are going on in your life.  For me there are several things my mind has picked to dwell on…the recent passing of my step-Mom and topic of inducing labor/delivery are the top two last night.  Since one of those topics is clearly not surrogacy related I will try to stay clear of it in this blog, outside of that my step-Mom supported me in my decision to be a surrogate in any way she could.  I could talk about her for a long time so like I said..I’ll stop myself here and move on to what this blog is all about: the dynamics of surrogacy.

One of my biggest problems is that I have this innocent until proven guilty way of thinking in that I assume people will be of a  similar way of thinking.  That for the most part I will share the same basic assumptions as the people I form relationships with (not necessarily long-term or intimate, depending on how you define intimate I assume..this is and is not an intimate process).  One common theme people seem to have (husbands, family, childbirth classes, doula’s) is that a woman should feel supported during childbirth and know that the people around her are concerned with her comfort, wanting to remove any stressors possible.  This is one of the basic assumptions I thought I shared with the general population, including the baby’s parents. I assumed this to be true since baby’s mom had talked about how she wanted this to be more like family than business, she plans on taking a doula class and other smaller things that showed she was interested in understanding how to make me feel supported, cared for, and comfortable throughout the the process of birthing her child.  *sigh* At that point things were looking up.  I felt like I could depend on all the people around me (I have no doubt in my ability to depend on my husband) to keep my interests in mind.  So going back to the concept of keeping a laboring woman comfortable…one thing you surely want to try to decrease as much as possible is the presence of stress in a labor room.  That is, of course, only if you are at all concerned with the well-being/interests of the woman and child going through labor.  Negative stress during such a high intensity event will do nothing but make the situation more tense..to me this means taking away from the laboring woman’s ability to focus on what is important, making the process more difficult, not something you want for someone who is pushing a child out…that is already difficult enough of it’s own accord, doesn’t need anyone to help make it worse.  Or at least that was a basic assumption I had…”people involved will want to remove as much unnecessary stressors from the laboring room”.  *another sigh*  I didn’t realize I was so wrong or I wouldn’t be so surprised right now.  It seems I am not only wrong about assuming the intended parents would want to make sure I was as comfortable and stress free as is possible but it seems I should have been bracing myself for them to be intent on adding stressors and neglecting the idea of my comfort/interests all together during the childbirth process.  Possibly even wanting to force added stressors on me even when I’m making it clear I want to avoid them.  For example, if a woman who is carrying your child tells you that after thinking something through she is very uncomfortable with the idea of medical intervention that is not medically necessary, why would you even consider pushing it on her?  My basic assumption that I thought was shared here is something along the lines of “you are having my baby for me, I will support you through childbirth by not trying to force you into doing something you are uncomfortable with-granted it is medically sound”.  Wrong.  The topic was even brought up of bringing lawyers into the conversation of will we/wont we induce labor as well as the intended parents “right” to decide what social (for convenience, not medical necessity) medical intervention I will have.  Those of you who are reading this already know that I had both of my children naturally and that natural childbirth is very important to me as long granted I am having a healthy pregnancy/childbirth.  This is something I had made clear very early on in the surrogacy arrangement.  To me it simply doesn’t make sense that you would want to put your child and surrogate ( a woman who has decided to carry and deliver  someone else’s child so they could enjoy the journey of parenthood) at risk by adding unnecessary stress or to make the surrogate feel uncared for (to put it lightly because it borders more on disrespected and, oh I wish I had the right words but it feels just like…maybe a good way to explain it is as if I’m being looked at as less than a person even) by suggesting your “rights” as parents is to force anything she doesn’t want on her.  It had just never crossed my mind that someone would want to do that..say “Hey I know you are having my kid for me but I don’t care if you don’t want us to force your body into labor to fit before it’s saying it’s ready because our schedule matters more than your health and wishes. We are willing to risk your health, fetal distress, and at the best just spit in the face of your gift.  And no it isn’t because it is medically necessary, it’s because we aren’t comfortable with the idea of not having an exact date of childbirth.”  And you know what the funny thing is?! I thought about this after my last doctor’s appointment.  The flight (quickest way from their home to the hospital we chose) is ~50minutes long.  Add in another 30-60 minutes for driving depending on traffic and it’s barely longer than it takes me to actually drive to the hospital!  My drive will take between 45m-1 1/2 hrs to get to the hospital.  So if to-go bags are already packed and ready, anyone flying in should be able to get to the hospital shortly after I got there.  And granted that we already know the date of conception, the timeline for when the baby is born is drastically more specific than it is for any other person who conceived naturally…so it seems a little much to expect (or desire) to control something that is naturally unpredictable anymore than it already has been.  It leads me to wonder how concerned baby’s parents would be with the timing if she were having this baby, would they still be so eager to narrow down the timing that they would use medical intervention to force labor..would they opt for a c-section to be sure of timing? 

Here is a quick snip-it from World Health Organization: “Induction of labour should be performed only when there is a clear medical indication for it and the expected benefits outweigh its potential harms…Although currently available guidelines do not recommend this, induction of labour is being used more and more at the request of pregnant women to shorten the duration of pregnancy or to time the birth of the baby according to the convenience of the mother and/or health-care workers(6, 7).  During induction of labour, the woman has restricted mobility and the procedure itself can cause discomfort to her. To avoid potential risks associated with the procedure, the woman and her baby need to be monitored closely. This can strain the limited health-care resources in under-resourced settings. In addition, the intervention affects the natural process of pregnancy and labour and may be associated with increased risks of complications, especially bleeding, caesarean section, uterine hyperstimulation and rupture and other adverse outcomes(2, 8).” 

When you are aware that there are recommendations, like the one above, against using induction of labor that is not medically necessary…why be so selfish and uncaring as to try to push it on someone who is doing something so amazingly wonderful for you.  Push it on someone who is used to and comfortable with natural delivery knowing that being induced will wash all chance of that way given there will be restricted mobility, constant monitoring, increased (can you imagine increased from the norm?!) pain, and so on.  And it isn’t even just a comfort thing..there are medical communities recommending against it for health reasons for the woman giving birth and the child…so really?  Really?  It makes sense to still try to force it given there are possible adverse outcomes?  Isn’t that completely against the best interests of the surrogate and the baby? 

Overall…as I sit and write my thoughts down the one thing that overrides everything else is how thankful I am for my husband and the support he gives me.  I know a lot of women who decide to be a surrogate are single women and I’m so very thankful that through this I have my husband by my side, to know that I have at least one person who is truly sees the sacrifice I am making to help someone else have their dream, to know that I have at least one other person who cares about how I am going through all of this.


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