Friday, December 9, 2011

So Much for "For the People, By the People..."

I'm in serious need of a pep talk.

Shit is getting me down, people. Not so much Life, I can manage that. It's the work part. Not my work as in office, office mates, tasks, etc, It's the usual brand of well-meaning loony there and I can easily handle that. It's - how do I explain this - it's the realization that you are coming up against people in power that are saying pretty bluntly, "oh, you're concerned? Oh ok. Hmm, you're worried that this and this will create irreparable harm to that and these people? Oh, that's interesting and all but WE DON'T REALLY GIVE A SHIT. This is our plan and we're sticking to it. And by the way this is all for your own good. I would say this hurts me more than it hurts you, but I'd be wrong [insert maniacal laugh here]"

And this sentiment appears to be endorsed at the highest levels. Except for the maniacal laugh. I added that.

I've been in several meetings this week that have made me feel helpless, useless, ineffectual, victimized, close to tears. And I was not alone. I looked around the rooms and saw my feelings echoed in faces representing other interests, other people in need. And we looked at each other and our eyes said, "Fucked. We are all totally fucked."

I keep waiting for one of my colleagues to talk me down off the ledge. To tell me, "dude, you are overreacting and being dramatic. Knock it off." But no. They are telling me to scooch over and make some room for them.

And I'm not used to this. In my profession, there is always a push and pull, a give an take. Sometimes you succeed; many times you don't. For the most part, there is at least a little, if even the tiniest, place for reason. Rational thought. Logical arguments. And when those fail, appeals to humanity.

I am finding myself in a place where it feels like there is no fucking humanity and I am feeling too angry and hurt to be effectual. Too stunned to react. I'm not used to being this much of an underdog.

Oh, except in that one other arena:

Our friend and volunteer potential maybe hopeful GC requested her medical records and we're waiting around for that process. Meanwhile, that other iron in the fire has gone cold.

I checked in with our agency this week thinking that our last conversation would have opened up all kinds of options for us. Turns out, no. they can think of NO ONE who might want to be our baby mama.

And now I am at the point where I'm like, you know what? I'm pretty sure it's not me. It's you.

I'm not going to break into a Morrissey croon here, because I know that I am NOT unlovable so you can just stop trying to tell me. If we were, why would three women that know us well have already tried to sign up for this gig? if we were so flipping incompatible with other humans, one would guess the whole damn world would want to walk wide circles around us. But they don't. So....

On to the next one.

Some of you who have used surrogates and gestational carriers have shared your agencies and recommendations with us. Thank you. We will be setting up some exploratory conversations with one or two of these. I jokingly brought up the suggestion to head to Canada to M last night and he was ready to pack our bags. I'm guessing international surrogacy brings about a whole different batch of issues, but I'm not opposed to learning more. So, holla at us any one reading who has crossed national borders in your baby making journey. I would love to know your story.

We joked about creating a FB or webpage last night. Only it's not funny. It's sounding kind of like not that horrible of an idea. I know at least one or two of you have (successfully) taken this route for adoption. Would you be willing to share your experiences with us? Legal ramifications? Not necessarily here if you don't want to, but via email or even (gasp) offline?

And meanwhile, we're finding time to sit down and talk with our friend and hopeful GC to put some meat on the bones of that plan. That is our #1 choice, but we just want to be ready if it seems as if it's not going to work out.

I'm not mad at our agency. It's been a learning experience. And I'm hoping we can take what we've learned and move forward towards a family. At least until some batshit crazy senator decides that third party reproduction should be restricted....

Oh you think that can't happen? Go take a look at your elected officials, friends. Things are getting very, very strange out there.

See? Bitter. I'm getting bitter. Pep talk needed in aisle three! Stat!


duck said...

Sorry about the work suckage, it is my opinion that huge aspects of our society are going promptly down the toilet, driven by those people and their greed for more more more! Just look at all those conservative governments.

I vote CANADA! But, of course, I'm totally biased. There are some fantastic things about working with a Canadian Surrogate

1. No health insurance (I'm always in total shock/horror/dismay that Americans have to pay for health care, the thought that you can be sick and not afford treatment is so totally insane). The surrogate and baby/babies would be covered under our health care. We're loving socialists, come for the surrogates, stay for life.

2. The law, Ontario has the law on your side! Gestational surrogates in Ontario have never kept a baby, I'm told it's a lot like california, in the sense that the person who intends to be the parent is declared the parent. And there is huge comfort in that fact.

3. Hospitals, our experience was that they totally respected that we were the parents, and marched the fine line with great respect.

4. Money, in Canada, you can only pay expenses, in the states I know surrogates who receive large sums of money, husband receives money etc. It can get pricey/crazy.

5. Birth Certificate, my name and my husband's is on the birth certificate, matter of fact, I know of 2 men who are on the birth certificate, and no woman on the certificate.

So, I don't know about the legal stuff, but can recommend 2 lawyers you can talk with, ye know how to reach me.

I know for us, not having a plan was so soul sucking, it was crushing, and we did reach that point of desperation, and it's not a happy place. Your agency doesn't sound so great, have you looked independently? I ask, because many surrogates prefer to be "independent" as they see theirselves as "experts" and don't need any agency. Some of them are right,and many of them are willing to work with an agency if they feel it's the right match.

niobe said...

Hmmm...Canada does have a lot of things going for it. The downside is fewer surrogates available because of the laws barring compensation other than expenses (also because, compared to the US, Canada has a very small population). So, you'd be looking at a much smaller pool.

I dunno -- do you have any sense why your agency is having so much trouble finding potential matches for you? It seems that, for many surrogates, you'd be pretty much the ideal IPs since you already have (if I remember correctly) high quality frozen embryos and are serious about going forward.

I've probably already given you our agency name, but if not, email me. They were great (though, of course, very expensive).

Anonymous said...

Try contacting Sherry Levitan, an excellent 3rd party reproductive lawyer who is essentially the Canadian expert in fertility law, and her expertise is facilitating international surrogacy...while I am Canadian, and she facilitated our surrogate arrangement (a friend is carrying for us currently, I know she has facilitated many many international situations (Europe, USA , etc)
She is absolutely excellent.

Anonymous said...

Sorry...anonymous here again...Sherry Levitan can be googled...she is in Toronto, in Yorkdale...her email contact is on her website, and she is also on FB.

m said...

You people rock. I knew I could count on you.

I love this:
"We're loving socialists, come for the surrogates, stay for life."

Thank you for the excellent thoughts and suggestions. So, it seems Canada really isn't that far fetched and worth a gander, as is exploring independently. At this point, I kind of feel we are experts on some of this as well. I don't need to pay someone $$ an hour to tell me how the whole GC thing works. I got it, dude. Thanks.

First step will be seeing how real and possible our friend will be. It feels SO GOOD to have some back up plans on the ready. THANK YOU!

Smiling said...

I have nothing to off on the GC side.. but I totally know that feeling of looking around a table thinking, seriously SERIOUSLY you aren't even going to pretend to care about the people I represent.

Yes, I get that many of my students couldn't vote or write their name or sometimes even physically speak, but SERIOUSLY #$%)@(#$*!!!!!.. yeah.. I hear you. I really really hear you. But I do believe, that the words and stories that you share today, will plant a seed. It might not take this meeting, or the next, nor this year.. maybe not even for a few more budget rounds and campaign sessions. But the seeds of truth can hibernate for awhile. A long while. And then something changes in that person's life. The powerful person's life (a niece is born, a second marriage comes with a kid with a disability, a grandchild has autism) and suddenly this idea that money doesn't solve everything. No matter how rich and powerful a person is, they often see that without a society that supports all people, regardless of ability, that there isn't a true place for the one they love.

So hang in there. I wish it wasn't so.. but it is. I wish I could take you out for a drink and support you in fighting the good fight.

Plus if no one was fighting.. I think it would get bad even faster. And sometimes change happens in a flash. Just after a really bad spell, where it gets bad enough for enough people, that change has to happen.

This is how I stay sane. It might me lalala land, but hey, what can you do that you aren't already doing... Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

I've thought all along your GC agency might be an issue, I don't think they should be making you doubt yourselves as much as they have.

Come to Africa. Our politicians can't even spell third party reproduction, they are far too busy lining their own pockets with our tax payer's money.

Am having a little bitterness issue of my own at the moment, seems to be in the air. Little momentary lapse of loving thoughts towards my pain causing, social life destroying, permanently empty uterus.

Anonymous said...

I'm a nurse in L&D in the midwest and we just recently delivered a patient who was acting as a surrogate for a second couple. The first journey was twins to a couple in France, and the second was a surviving twin to a gay couple in California. Both were flawless in terms of inside and outside of the country.

Heather said...

I'm late to the last few posts, but I'm hesitatingly feeling optimistic about your friend. And if that doesn't work out I'm glad you have gotten so much great information here. I just don't see how you could be un-matchable. If I could be a surrogate, you would be the exact kind of couple I'd be looking for.