Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hate made pretty

When I was pregnant with Elle I had brieflt considered finding a doula to assist me with my labor and delivery. This idea kind of fell away after I decided that I would rather have my mom there with me during the whole thing. I figured that between her and Jesse I would have all the support I needed. And I was right, they were awesome. Then, when I started to consider a surrogate pregnancy I thought how nice it would be to have someone in the room during the birth who was really there just to focus on me. Since I knew I woulld not be comfortable asking my mom to be at the birth of someone else's baby I started thinking about finding a doula.

I did a little searching online and I met a woman with 25 years of birthing experience. She seemed really great. I exchanged probably a dozen emails with her. We discussed all the aspects of my last pregnancy/birth, what problems I had, how I would hope for this labor/delivery to go, on and on and on. Then I told here that nothing was set in stone regarding the surrogacy yet and once it was I would get in touch with her again.

A couple of months pass and then just a couple of days ago I get an email from her just checking in. I respond that there has been no change in my situation yet but that I had done some more research and I was really certain that I would like to have a doula at the birth. I said that I just needed to a) get pregnant and b) run it past the IFs first. Not 5 mintues later she responds asking me if this is a surrogacy for 2 gay men. A little alarm in my brain went "uh oh" but I ignored it. Up until now this woman had been very sweet and kind and very open. So I responded yes, it was for a gay couple.

Then I got her response. She told me that what I was doing was wrong. That she could have no part in bringing a child into that enviroment. That anyone who chooses to engage in that lifestyle should not be having children. That she could not condone what I and the IFs were doing and in fact, thought it was a sin. The topper was that she closed the letter by saying that when I became pregnant she would have no choice but to refer me to another doula.

Bitch, please. The only response she got from me was that I would not be needing her referal or anything else from her in the future. She emails again. This time it's to tell me that it's nothing personal but her faith tells her that being gay is wrong and that I'm wrong for helping them to have a child.

Oh, how very nice for her. Her faith tells her that. I know several religious people (who I'm sure read the same bible as this woman) who have said what a geat thing this is. How is it that their faith says "rock on" and her faith says "ack! The gays are evil!"? And when did "faith" become a valid reason for hate?

Because that's what I feel like this is about. You can dress it up with whatever you want to but hate, ignorance and intolerance are still hate, ignorance and intolerance. You can hide behind faith or morals or ethics or "family values" but it all comes down to being uncomfortable with a way of life that's different from your own. (And just so it's clear that I'm not a hypocrite, I don't hate religious people. I just don't like it when someone's personal faith is used as a weapon.)

Now maybe all of this is just really easy for me to say. I'm not a religious person. I've never had to wrestle with the issue of "love the sinner, hate the sin". All i know is this: If this surrogacy every gets rolling (and that's a whole nother can of worms) I'll be proud of my part in it. I'll be happy that I helped bring a child to two parents who loved and wanted it so very much. And I'll most likely be doing it sans doula as this woman has made me a little gun shy. I admit, I somewhat naievly thought that since most people seem to be ok with the whole deal everyone would be.

Oh well, lesson learned. On to the next day.


shyestviolet said...

oh, I'm so sorry you ran into such an awful roadblock. keep on keepin' on, and you're doing good things for the world! I love the idea of a doula...

StickyKeys said...

Speaking as a Christian ;p, I know it's hard to balance the teachings of the Bible with what you deal with on a day to day basis. I don't know that it was her place to do anything but tell you her opinions, but at least it's out of the way and you can focus on the positive.

I didn't know what a doula was before coming here, I'm sure you'll find someone who is lovely.

Judy said...

Jen, sorry to say, but there are many narrow minded people in the world. Jesus's main teaching was love. The child you are helping come into the world is being delivered to a loving couple. There are plenty of children born to heterosexual couples that don't have that environment. You are right, no matter how you dress it up, hate and bias, are still hate and bias. I'm so sorry that you had to experience it once again. You did the right thing. The most important thing is that a child be raised with love and respect, and from you tell me of the IF's they are already doing that with the child they have. Hang in there. I will pray to her "god" and see how it all turns out! (wicked smile)I, too, like the idea of a doula. Keep searching! I'd like to help.... just let me know what I can do.

Love and blessings........ Grma Judy

Melissa R. Garrett said...

Well poo-poo on her (sticking out my tongue). I think what you are trying to do is very admirable . . .

Sarah said...

I got to this post from your Feb. 8th 2010 so you may not read this, but I just had to say, THANK YOU! I love you for this post. I have dealt with some pretty narrow minded folks, and this is just what I want them all to hear!