Yesterday, I met another woman who was a surrogate. She has a son who happens to be friends with Silas’ best friend. Kind of crazy that we hadn’t met, actually. We have all sorts of friends in common. In her house, she has three of my friend Zac’s stained glass pieces, which felt so reassuring to see, as two of his other windows have been a big part of my journey so far. She is friends with my midwife, which is how I found her.
She just gave birth two weeks ago, and she is doing really well. She was great to talk to, and so reassuring. She gave me all kinds of information about the legal and financial aspects of it, and the logistics generally. She was very frank with all of my questions and gave me all kinds of information about the process and how it went for her. I’m so grateful to have met her.
The thing she said was the hardest about it was that she had to give up a lot of her own autonomy. She said, “I’m used to advocating for myself and for my own health, and then there were these other people whose opinions about what I did with my body mattered.” She had originally planned to give birth at the hospital with the nurse midwives, but about halfway through the pregnancy, the intended parents were nervous and asked her to switch to a doctor. Although her contract specified that she’d be able to go with the midwives, she felt pressured to do what they asked, and she did it. The intended parents had experienced many painful pregnancy losses, and Lisa understood their nervousness. Lisa said, “You should be sure to ask them about their conflict style. Like, ask them to tell you about a time they had a disagreement with someone and how they resolved it. Ask them if they’ve ever had a disagreement that they ended a relationship over.” I wouldn’t have thought to ask about that, so that’s very useful.
Except for the fact that this family was someone she met on a message board, and not a relative, our situations are quite similar. She also felt like Harrisonburg cared for her through her pregnancy, and she didn’t think she could have done it anywhere else. She also had to travel to the west coast (Seattle) for the transfer and deal with the logistics of a long-distance interstate situation. I’m so grateful that I met her! What an amazing person.