Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dropping A Bomb ............ An Awkward Question

Today, I stopped by my sister-in-law's (Babe's sister) to drop something off.  I stayed a few minutes to chat and she dropped this question, prefacing with something to the fact of (I don't remember her exact words), I don't want to intrude or be totally off .... but.....:

"Do you guys need a surrogate?"

I was like.... What the..... huh??

Where did that come from? I don't really even remember what I said exactly as I was too shocked.  I asked her why she would say something like that.

SIL said that well, we (Babe and I) have been married for quite a few years now, what is it, 8? (it will be 10), and most people either want kids or don't.  And since we are so good with kids, she assumed that we did (of course we do).  She and her other sister thought that maybe we were having issues (so, they have discussed us already?).  She offered that if we need a surrogate she would be willing to do it (she has 2 kids already).  She also said she is now 38 (same age as me) and is getting older, and can't be too old if she were to do it.

This is interesting.  I wonder what her definition of surrogacy is, or how much she knows about it.  I wonder if she meant gestational surrogate/carrier.  A friend once explained to me that a traditional surrogate is one that the surrogate (pregnant woman), is the biological mother, meaning that the sperm is from the couple, but the egg is from the woman carrying the baby.  A gestational surrogate/carrier does not have any genetic ties to the baby, i.e. the baby is not conceived with eggs of the woman carrying the baby.

I'm assuming that she meant gestational surrogacy.  We sure don't want babies created with the egg and sperm from a brother and sister!

Anyway, I don't really remember what my reply was because I was struggling to some up with a response.  I think I said something like no we won't be going down that route.  I didn't want to discuss the details of our infertility journey, at least not right now.

I doubt she knows that we have gone through multiple IVFs, or that the issue is with my eggs.  She may just be guessing that the issue is with me (which it is) and not Babe (i.e. her brother), but offered to help.  In the end I just said that we will be making some decisions fairly quickly and left it at that.  I didn't want to share what we have gone through or what our next steps are since we don't really know.

After I left, I felt kind of bad because I don't think I even thanked her for her offer.  And it is a very generous offer.  It was hard to respond on the spot when such a question was thrown at me.  I think I may have to thank her for her offer later, when I put more thought about what to say, and when we know more about what our next steps are.

It also made me think if she or my other SIL may have ran across my blog and guessed it is me?  As I was writing this post, Babe came into the room and read the first part of the blog.  He cautioned me that one day, she may read this post.  I thought about it too, but what this heck, this is my blog after all, and it is a way for me to express myself.  I am writing it anonymously (and hope to keep it that way).  I can't be too worried about who reads it, or it will defeat the purpose of blogging.  Plus this post is not a negative one.

Anyway, if my SIL is reading this and figures out this is me..... well hello.  And thanks for the offer.

Wow..... makes me wonder what types of discussions about Babe and I go on in the family.


  1. I'm so sorry this happened to you. Yes, it is akward and yes it may feel as if your SIL has been chatting behind your back, but I do believe all was in good faith. I can tell you having been on the side you are on, I understand how you would feel....yet, now that I have a child of my own I can understand where your sister in law is coming from. She obviously loves her children and wants very much for you all to experience the same. It's a very hard conversation for someone to have and they often don't convey their thoughts in the best way, as nervousness and akwardness take over, but they do mean well. My SIL offered the same and I thought it was very sweet, but my mother found it odd. My SIL had no idea what we had been through, but just saw how I was hurting and wanted to as she said "get my happy back". Sorry for rambling, I see the akwardness, but also see the want to help. More than anything, I pray for your miracle, as you deserve the world and then some.

    Big Hugs,

  2. Wow - that is a very generous offer even if it’s out of left field. I would probably email her a thank you with some vague details and leave it at that. I have had friend offer the same thing even though they didn’t know what we were going through. I always took it as a huge compliment that they would care enough to do that for me.

  3. Hmm, I guess I'm of a slightly different mind - why would your two SILs talk about your situation behind your back, without knowing what you want or have/have not done? I also agree that that is generous, but odd to say the least. I would perhaps have your husband speak to his sisters if he feels comfortable, or you could write her a short yet vague is an awkward situation, and I don't know what you think about it, but if I were EVER to consider a surrogate, I would not want anyone from my own family. That could create some weird and tense situations in the future, should it work. I'm with you...and this is your blog, so feel free to vent how you wish - and should anyone come across it, oh well, then they will know what you really feel. Hugs!!

  4. It's normal for family members to talk. I wouldn't take it as them talking behind your back. It sounds more to me as if they are concerned and already have that feeling that something is going on. I could be totally off base here, but it sounds like your SIL is genuinely concerned and loves you both. Sometimes we think we may be hiding our feelings and struggles well, but no one knows us like our family! If and when you do decide to open up to your families, remember that it's ok to set boundaries as well. For example, when I told my family, I explained our situation and made it clear that we researched and explored all options that were good for us. I also said that I would tell them more when I was comfortable with it, but until then I didn't want anyone to bug me about it (I put it in a nice way of course!). You shouldn't feel bad either if they ever do figure out it's you on your blog. We all need an outlet. IF is a tough road that only the people that have traveled it can understand. You have every right to your feelings and opinions, and how you choose to express them. People read this for your honesty and openness, and it reminds them that they aren't alone. Good luck to you however you choose to handle this situation.

  5. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh wow....I don't blame you for being a little shocked. And yes, I'm sure she and the other SIL meant well. I get, though, how hard it is to feel like people are talking about you and guessing what is going on. If it makes you feel better, here's my story:

    I got this same offer once, from a woman with whom we are friends (with her and her husband). She has 2 kids and told me over wine one night (without knowing many details of our situation) that she is so fertile you just have to blink at her and she's pregnant (even though, like I said, she only has two kids and the youngest was, like, 10 years old at the time, so how she thinks she is still super fertile a decade later, I have no idea). And she LOVES being pregnant. And she would be willing to be a surrogate for her good friends.

    I, too, was caught off-guard. And I pretended not to hear her, or understand that she was offering to be OUR surrogate.

    Because (and this is just me - and obviously, she is not a family member), to be honest, the thought of her egg being inseminated by my husband's sperm and then carrying "their" baby around for 9 months would KILL ME.

    I think there's a reason most surrogates are pure business arrangements.

    Sending you hugs.


  6. Oh my.... I just had a coworker as me today if I had thought about using a surrogate.... ummmm.... weird... What do any of these people know? Cause.... as far as I know thats not the reason for our infertility...

    Thinking of you....