In 2009, I learned that there was no realistic way my best friend would ever be able to become a father -- his greatest desire in life. I decided then that I would offer to be a surrogate for him (which didn’t sound realistic at the time). A year later, I made that offer. He accepted, and in Nov. 2011 I got pregnant.

I’m writing this blog because I’m not the typical surrogate. For one, in the terms of the trade, I’m an altruistic traditional surrogate (I’m unpaid and the egg is mine) with a totally open arrangement with the dads. Most importantly, though, this is my first pregnancy (NO ONE thinks this is a good idea; most surrogates already have their own kids).

Also, we’re all gay, so this is going to be the gayest baby ever.*

- The Deputy

*Except for the children of those many, many other sets of three or more gays who decided to combine their powers to procreate...

February 29, 2012

Shit people say when I tell them I'm a surrogate

The title of this post, borrowed from the popular internet meme, is misleading. The shit people say when I tell them I'm a surrogate isn't interesting - it's almost always something like, "What a wonderful thing you're doing!" "Wow! That's really amazing!" or "I can't even imagine! You're so impressive!"

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being showered in praise. I've had some seriously superlative sentiments expressed to me: that I'm the nicest person the speaker knows, that I have fulfilled my good-deed quota for life, and once even that I could now commit murder and still be a morally superior person. And to this I say, "Thank you. Indeed, I am awesome."

But this is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the friend or acquaintance who hears what I'm doing, looks at me and says, "Wow that's so great!" while their eyes tell a completely different story.

And what do I expect them to do?? Nothing else. For many of them it's the first time they've had any encounter with surrogacy, and there's simply no way for them to process their thoughts fast enough to give me an honest reaction.

February 28, 2012

What belly??

So, I intended to post this:

I'm at that unfortunate stage of development where people have begun to expect that I'll be showing, though I haven't actually started to show. This results in people exclaiming "OH! Look! You're getting a belly!!" and me begrudgingly responding with "oh... no... that's always been there..." 

But now enough people have said this that I'm beginning to doubt myself. Shouldn't I know my belly best?!?! I guess I know which of my friends pay too much attention to my body!

February 20, 2012

Miscarriage Shmiscarriage

I hit the second trimester mark this week (on the day before Winchester’s birthday, so he’s been saying for weeks that he gets the second trimester as a present!). Traditionally, this is also the point at which people start to talk openly about their pregnancy, as chances of a miscarriage drop significantly in the second trimester.

I think this tradition is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever heard of. Here’s my reasoning, feel free to tell me that I’M a load of bullshit*:

Until relatively recently in history, miscarriages were blamed on the woman. Sooo… if you were a 19th century broad, you’d do well to hide any miscarriages you had, for fear of retribution. These days, we know better, but the stigma still exists.  Modern-day chick isn’t really conscious of the history, and says “OH! But it’s not because we blame the woman! It’s just that it’s awkward. We don’t want to draw attention.” You know why it’s awkward??? Because your average joe has NO idea how common miscarriages are. And why does he not know how common they are? Because we actively hide the fact that they happen.

February 14, 2012

Ode to my belly

Oh dearly loved nearly flat abdomen,
I am counting the days till I see you again.
They say you are leaving,
Oh how I am grieving!
If you don't come back I'll hit a bitch.

February 13, 2012

Coming Out

It’s not a secret that I’m a surrogate. I mean, I’m not going to tell my very conservative grandparents who live in a far off land, but other than that it’ll be pretty hard to hide that I’m going to have a big pregnant belly followed by no kid. 

There are, however, some people I’ve been more hesitant to tell than others. I’m currently getting WIC  food stamps*, and I decided not to tell the nice employees at the WIC office in case it would somehow disqualify me or they would ask for Wolfram’s financial info. I’m not a very good liar, though, so I fed them a series of half truths until I found myself in a contorted pretzel of a story:

WIC Employee: Are you planning to breastfeed? 

The deputy: Um, I’m not sure yet. 

WIC Employee: Why not?

The deputy: Well, the baby’s going to go live with its dad in Western Home State

WIC Employee: Oh my god! Oh no, why???

The deputy: Well... I’m kind of busy here and wouldn’t really be able to support it… and he’s got a good support system there… so it just makes more sense…

WIC Employee (looking heartbroken for me): Oh no! And there’s no way he could live here???

The deputy: Um… well, you see, it’s ok… the dad’s actually going to raise the kid… I don’t really want a kid right now… 

WIC Employee: And he’s ok with that?? 

The deputy: OH yeah… 

February 12, 2012

"Side effects"

My nipples have been itchy, and I've decided to claim this as my first pregnancy side effect instead of correlating it with my generally dry winter skin.

February 9, 2012

“I hate to tell you this, but I think it’s peeing inside you now.”

Winchester always knows what to say to creep me the fuck out. My relationship to the fetus is obviously different from other expectant mothers. It’s really hard to tell how much of my attitude towards the creature is a result of the simple fact that I have no desire to raise it and how much of it is a carefully constructed defense mechanism. I like to think of it as a little, harmless parasite* growing inside me. Whenever Winchester attributes too much autonomy to it, though, I get uncomfortable. So when he turned to me while I was driving and said “it’s the size of a fig† and it’s flailing constantly, though you won’t be able to feel it for weeks. It’s a wiggling figgling” I almost drove off the road. Ok, not really, but I squealed and squirmed and flailed my arms a little. The thing is, I don’t FEEL pregnant - I haven’t had any ‘symptoms’ and my belly’s still flat -- I just haven’t had my period in a few months (AMAZING). So it’s really hard to conceive of a semi-autonomous fig dancing in my abdomen, and it’s really creepy.

Getting Pregnant

I LOVE the look that people give me when they want to ask if Wolfram and I had sex to conceive. They tilt their head down a little, look up at me through their brow, and start with some variant of “Um, I don’t know if I can ask this… but…” No one’s ever had to finish the question - I’m a super merciful conversationalist. Depending on the friend or the context, I cut them off with “GROSS!!!” or “HAHAHAHA NOOOOO” or, more formally, “Oh, we relied on the turkey baster method.”

I’m continually shocked by how little people understand reproduction. I’m a grad student working on a social-science PhD, so I hang out with a lot of overeducated people. So many of them think that you can only get knocked up by sticking a penis in a vagina or spending thousands of dollars at a fertility clinic. 

We did neither of those. Our first attempt was throughout the week after Wolfram and Winchester’s legal wedding in New York (they had their real, but unofficial wedding in Western Home State). I bought myself a clergy membership online in order to officiate the wedding. I encourage people to call me Clergy Member Deputy, but no one ever does. 

The operation is simple. Wolfram went into a room to procure his semen in privacy, where he then got it into an oral syringe. I think a plastic baggie was used in the process, but you’d have to ask him for the details. He then gave me the loaded up syringe, and I started my part. They say that one should let gravity help in the process -- but I probably took this to an extreme. I would get myself into a shoulder stand with most of my body perpendicular to my bed before inserting the sperm into me. Really, this was more about fun for me than about gravity. I’m not a flexible person, so I felt like a fucking acrobat hanging out in this position for, like, up to twenty minutes. EVEN BETTER: orgasms are supposed to be important for conception, so I also managed to masturbate upside down! I did need help from a vibrator though, as neither the position nor the context was particularly sexy. 

The first attempt didn’t work. Well, I got my period about 10 days early, so I suspect I had a chemical pregnancy (like a really really early miscarriage) but I don’t have any proof of that. After the honeymoon, Wolfram went back to Western Home State and Winchester stayed in New York, where he’s also a grad student in my program. Since they had decided that Wolfram would be the bio dad, I got shipped off to Western Home State for attempt #2 over Thanksgiving. 

Attempt #2 stuck.