Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Womb for rent - the matter of bonding

So here it is, the absolute number one question I am asked by people about my surrogacy: Will it be hard to give up the baby?

My standard answer is pretty much that I can't give up something that's not mine to begin with. I explain to people that a) I have no biological link to the baby and b) this baby was planned, created and conceived entirely for someone else. I never had to make the choice to "give the baby up" (as one would have to with an adoption) because this was never my baby to start with.

Most people seem to get it after that but I do get a lot of "I could never do that! I would bond with the baby and it would be to hard!" I get that. I do. I understand that a lot of people would (or at least feel they would) bond too much during the pregnancy to be able to hand the baby over and say goodbye at the end of it all.

I'm not one of those people. I haven't bonded with this baby at all during this pregnancy. I have no maternal feelings whatsoever for the baby. I feel sort of like a caretaker, a babysitter. I'm doing a job and I want to do the very best at it that I can but for me loving and bonding has not been part of the job.

So am I cold? Particularly good at shutting of my emotions? In denial? I don't think any of those are the case. I just think that I'm wired in a way that allows me to maintain the emotional distance required for something like this. I don't feel like it's something I have to work at, it just comes naturally to me. If someone said to me "You have to love this baby! You have to bond with it!" then that would be hard for me. That wouldn't feel natural at all.

Will I be sad when all this is done? I'm sure I will be. I've enjoyed most aspects of the surrogacy. It will be strange to be so emeshed in something like this and then just have it be done all of the sudden. Saying goodbye to the baby won't be the hard part. The hard part will be saying goodbye to this whole crazy, amazing process. I'll just have to remind myself that after some recovery time I can go ahead and do it all again.

So, to sum up: Handing over the baby is not going to be hard. It's not the result of a heartbreaking choice that I had to make. It was the goal and the aim from the very start. I got into this knowing what the final result was and if there's one thing about me that's true it's that I know myself very well. If I say "No, it won't be hard for me" then it's a pretty good bet that it won't be hard for me.

1 comment:

wheelsonthebus said...

That is a question I have had, and thank you for answering it so honestly and clearly.