9.18.2009

FAQ - Part One

I've been asked quite a few questions about surrogacy over the past few years. Like I tell anyone who has questions, ask! Ask me whatever you like, I will do my best to answer them or refer you on to someone that will know. I'd much rather people ask and know the truth vs. assuming or going based off of what the media puts out there.

So, with that.. some questions I've been asked.

How can you giveaway your own child?
My TS babies are not my own. Now people stop and look at me as if I am insane when I say this but listen! From before the moment of conception, it is in my head and heart that any baby conceived with the sperm of the IF or SD (sperm donor) is for this surrogacy. This baby is created for the parents whom are trusting me to carry their child and do my best to help them have what they otherwise could not. So while the egg is mine, being as I am a TS, the child is not. Biologically I am the mother, but otherwise? No. I will not raise this child, I will not diaper them, feed them, teach them many things in life, read them books before bed, etc. I am not their parent. I carry them for many months before their birth, but after that? My job, if you want to call it that, is done.

When my surro son was born, I sat there in the hospital bed, holding him and trying to see him as my own child. And while I cared a great deal for him, my love for him was a love I would have for a good friend's child or a nephew or niece. It was not the love I felt for my own three children. And  I enjoyed holding him, and breastfeeding him and just loving on him. But when his parents arrived? It was like I was done babysitting, I handed him off to the parents that had waited for over ten years for this little soul.

I didn't know surrogates breastfed their surrogate babies. Doesn't this make you want to keep them?
Yes, some surrogates breastfeed their surrogate babies at birth, and no, this does not make most if not all of us want to keep the babies. ;) Many surrogates do not BF at birth, either because they do not want to do it and/or because the IPs don't want them to do it. But many surrogates do want to do this and many IPs understand the benefits to not only the baby but the woman who has just given birth. As long as both parties are on the same page if the surro BFs, then it's a great thing to be able to do, even temporarily.

I breastfed my surro son at birth with the permission of his parents. It didn't strengthen the bond I felt for him anymore than I already had from carrying him for many months. It was a gift to him and also one for myself and my healing postpartum body. I pumped and donated milk for weeks after his birth. Some surrogates pump and send the milk to their surro babies, others pump and donate it locally, etc. My FIPs chose not to have me send milk, so I instead pumped and donated to a few families who were in need for various reasons. It was a gift that I could give them, but one I wouldn't have been able to provide had it not been for my surro son! I feel blessed to have done that, to have BFd him at birth and then donated the milk. It's something I hope to do this journey as well. :)

How do you get the sperm inside of you? Do you do it by yourself or do the doctors put it in?
It can be done either way. What I am using are ICI vials or intracervical insem vials - meaning they are not washed of the semen. So they can ONLY be used for home inseminations (no turkey baster, but yes, a syringe).

There are IUI vials that are washed of the semen and those are what doctors use to inseminate women in their office.

Where do you keep the sperm prior to using it?
This journey my IPs opted to use a SD (sperm donor). I receive sperm from a bank in Washington, and it comes in a tank with liquid nitrogen to keep it frozen until it's to be used. When I am ready to use a vial of sperm, I remove it from the tank, warm it appropriately and inseminate myself.

Does it hurt when you inject the sperm?
No, it does not hurt. I use a needle-less syringe, insert it into my vagina and slowly press the plunger down, coating my cervix with the sperm. It's a simple process and if done correctly, it should not hurt.

Has the sperm been tested for diseases?
Yes! All sperm banks in the US must test the sperm due to many FDA regulations. They have quite the process of having to test the donors! And upon receiving the tank with the vials of sperm inside, I receive another paper which assures me this donor is negative of every STD, it tells me if they are pos or neg for CMV, etc.

Well, I have the flu (yes, the real flu!). So I will come back soon to post more FAQs! If you have any questions, please email me or post a comment. :)

ali.

1 comments:

Amanda said...

My goodness!! I hope you are feeling better soon... the flu is NOT fun.

I think you are really special. Not short bus special, but giving parents a chance to fulfill lifelong dreams kinda special.

:)

Blessings-
AManda

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