We are 27 weeks today. Woohoo!
In order to best prepare for my maternity leave, I have started to tell the parents of the kiddos that I work with about the gestational surrogacy and the twins’ scheduled arrival in September. Majority of the kids on my caseload are Chinese, so majority of the parents with whom I share the news are Chinese. The dads are more practical. Most of them didn’t say congratulations and just took whatever I said as facts. They were more concerned about the schedules in my absence and whether their kiddos can be seen by me again when I return from maternity leave. One of the dads has boy/girl twins. With a nervous smile on his face (I don’t know why), he just said, “You will be super busy”. I just have to take his word for it because he is the one with the experience of twins (and one with disability). Most Chinese moms were more typical. They were a little surprised at first, and they usually congratulated me, especially after I confirmed that we are indeed expecting a boy and a girl. They all said, “You are so lucky!” I get bugged at times by this reaction. To me, a person who has been longing for a baby, I would feel blessed if God gives me a boy, a girl, two boys, or two girls. I just want a baby. It really doesn’t matter to me if it’s a boy or a girl. But I can understand why many people feel that this is a lucky thing because I will have an “instant” family in one shot.
And then there were these two Chinese moms. Chinese Mom Number One’s reaction was the most peculiar. This is how it went down:
Me: [My blurb about having a surrogate carrying twins for us]
Mom: Have you given birth before?
Me: No. These are going to be my first children.
Mom: Beware of breast cancer.
Who in the world would respond to another person sharing baby news by warning that person of the risks of breast cancer??!?
She went on and on about her sister who had never given birth and got breast cancer. She truly believes that her sister’s sickness was due to never having given birth. I mean, I had heard that before, and it could be true(??), but this is not a normal reaction to another person announcing baby news. What about a simple congratulations? And how can someone be “careful” about getting breast cancer? Regardless of me telling her about my annual checkup and mammogram, this mom still insisted that my chances are higher as her sister also did annual check up and still got it. And if I said that I don’t have family history, she responded by saying you don’t have to have family history to get breast cancer. At that point, I gave up.
Chinese Mom Number Two was a bit more normal. After I told her the news, she congratulated me. However, as we discussed the schedule, she blurted out, “How nice for you that you don’t have to carry the babies!” Wow. Just wow. I was speechless for a few seconds. Who in the right mind would say such a thing? How could she not think even for one second the reason why we needed to pursue surrogacy for a baby? Who would go to this extreme measure to have a baby just so that she doesn’t have to carry the babies? She didn’t consider for one second that I would feel that it’s my loss not to be able to carry my own children. It just blows my mind. I simply answered, “If I could carry, I would, but since I can’t, this is the path we have taken” and left it at that.
The parents’ reactions have been my entertainment/drama for the past few days. I haven’t told all the parents yet, so we will see what else I will be told. But I guess I won’t be surprised by what anyone says anymore. Who can top these two Chinese moms, right?