MicroblogMondays: Assumptions

A person posted a question on a parenting group I am a part of on Fac.ebook.  It said, “If you could/do get to do pregnancy again what would you do differently?”

Scrolling down, I saw someone’s response, and immediately felt almost revolted by it.  She wrote, “Hire a surrogate!”  Many people liked or even clicked on the laughing emoji on that response.  My negative reaction probably came from my assumption of the the commenter being flippant and insensitive to those who truly need help with carrying a pregnancy.  I was offended by how easily people think surrogacy would be.  If I had a chance to experience pregnancy, I would.

While brushing my teeth that morning, I was thinking about that response, and it really bugged me.  Afterwards, I decided to respond to that.  I reworded and revised my response several times, but ultimately chose to say this: “For those who were/are infertile and need/needed to have a gestational carrier to build their families (like myself), it is often a long, expensive, and painful process. I hope others don’t take it lightly.”

I went on my day.  Then that commenter responded: “I do not, and did not mean to be glib. But were I, at (very nearly) 40 addressing having another child, I would very seriously be considering surrogacy because we all understand the rigors of bringing a human into the world and even if I could (unknown), I’m not for putting my body through that again.”

I don’t know what she went through with her pregnancy, but it sounded traumatic.  I am glad I responded to get clarity on her initial short answer.  If I had not, then I would have carried this grudge secretly against this stranger just because I assumed that she was thoughtless in her answer.  I am also glad that I took this chance to speak up about this topic.  It doesn’t hurt to educate the public and share our points of view from the perspective of parents who have children via gestational surrogacy, even if it’s just one person at a time.

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6 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: Assumptions

  1. It certainly did sound flippant, even if she didn’t mean it that way. It’s hard to get the right tone with words sometimes. I absolutely loved being pregnant and I dream and pray about having that experience again. However I have friends who had horrible pregnancies, severe morning sickness for some, severe pain for others, and traumatizing deliveries (most recently, a uterine rupture!) I wouldn’t blame any of them for choosing a surrogate. But most people have no idea what difficulties there are. I would be equally oblivious if it weren’t for following your blog.

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  2. I’m so glad you said something, that took courage! While she may not have been flippant (or upon thinking on your comments, decided she was less flippant than the comment sounded initially), the emoji responders definitely were and added to the tone that made you feel frustrated. I think your response wasn’t judgy but illuminated why that comment could be seen as hurtful or making light of a process that is very costly and difficult (and not even universally available, technically it’s illegal in NY where I live). It allowed that lady to explain her thinking, which sounded reasonable, but more importantly to put it out there that surrogacy/gestational carrier is not just a “womb for hire” punchline for the other commenters and people who read and don’t comment. Sigh. Go you for being an advocate!

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  3. Good for you for speaking up – and for being polite and tactful and honest. And in particular, for pointing out here the need for thoughtfulness on all sides of the issue.

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  4. Her comment was flippant…and hurtful and rude. I don’t care what her response was…does not matter. She posted that…to get the responses and comments that she did. I was forced into using a gestational surrogate to bring my child into this world(you know, but some reading may not.) I understand what we both had to go through with surrogacy and I would not “wish” that on anyone. And if she did one ounce of research about surrogacy…she would probably change her mind about “hiring” one….like it’s so easy to do……financially, emotionally, etc. Ignorance about infertility in general is my biggest pet peeve. I’m glad many are bringing it to the forefront…and I appreciate you for standing up for those that had no choice to use a surrogate because our bodies failed us. xoxo

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