Monday, July 2, 2012

Surrogate Motherhood: Another Career Option

When it comes to career objectives, I admit to being more than a bit capricious. Yesterday I wanted to be a bail bondswoman with an agenda. I haven't entirely given up on that plan in the sixteen or so hours since I hatched it, but I do have another scheme in the works just in case being the bail bondswoman of the people, by the people, and for the people does not pan out for me. I made it a point to get up in time to have breakfast with my dad so I could share my thoughts with him before he went to work. Getting his day off to a nice start seemed like the very least I could do for the man who does so much for me.

My new plan, in case you have not already deduced it, is to become a surrogate mother.  Most of my plans have ways to utilize the law degree I plan to earn in addition to performing the public service that I feel so strongly compelled to provide. I cannot help it. I was born with an altruistic streak, and serving my fellow human beings is akin to breathing for me. Some of us are just inherently good in that regard.

I haven't thoroughly investigated all the laws pertaining to surrogacy. That is another thing I plan to save for law school.  If I learn everything there is to know right now, I'll have to twiddle my thumbs and daydream for my entire three years of law school attendance. Such would be a colossal waste of time.

I am up on one aspect of the law as it pertains to surrogacy in nearly all if not all states of the U. S. Surrogacy contracts, it seems, are null and void if a child is conceived through intercourse. That presents a huge problem for me, as I plan to conceive virtually every one of my surrogacy products through the tried-and-true method, otherwise known as sexual  intercourseTest tubes, petri dishes,  turkey basters, and all the other paraphernalia related to surrogacy whether through artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization just seems somehow wrong to me. In some cases, it seems too sterile. In other cases, it doesn't seem quite sterile enough. In either case, I want no part of it. These little projects of mine are all going to be conceived the way God intended them to be. Even the Holy Roman Catholic Church, of which I am a member, backs me up on this one.

I have a slight problem with natural conception if I want to start any time soon. Inasmuch (Great word, huh? My LDS relatives have difficulty falling asleep at night unless they work it into their conversations at least four times each day) as this falls under the broad category of  too much information, There's no  delicate yet clear way of sharing this, so I'll just come out with it: I have not yet reached the physical developmental milestones that would allow me to conceive offspring naturally. With hormone supplementation, can a female sustain and carry an implanted embryo to term? I certainly hope so, because time is of the essence here. I may not be able to wait until all of this is a physical feasibility for me.

As you can imagine,  my most recetly hatched plans made for some rather fascinating breakfast conversation this morning.  In any discussion of my future plans, my father always starts out breathing slowly and closing his eyes. He's practicing some sort of self-hypnosis technique that he learned a couple of years ago in a blood pressure seminar. It never works. He next opens his mouth and explodes. This morning was no exception.

"Alexis, why must you waste my time with such nonsense?" my dad roared. "I'm working with Bcl11b  tumor suppresor alleles this morning. I don't need to be thinking about  your foolishness!"

"Bcl11b  tumor suppresor alleles! Why didn't you just say so in the first place? Never mind. You  sit there and think about  Bcl11b tumor suppressor alleles.  I'll talk to Uncle Michael." I turned to my Uncle Michael, who was attempting to suppress a grin.

Meanwhile, in wandered  my twin brother,  in his usual persistent vegetative state, awakened by my father's shouting, and motivated to get out of bed by the smell of food. The rest of the world could be fighting over who gets to occupy the limited space in underground shelters designed to protect inhabitants from devastation of the planet by meteors. Matthew would still be more concerned about his next meal. He shoved a handful of bacon into his mouth and sat down at the table.

I turned to Uncle Michael , who is, like my father, an MD. Even if his specialty is far removed from fertility, he must have learned something in medical school. "So, " I asked my uncle, "Is it physiologically possible for a female who has not yet experienced menarche to be successfully implanted with an embryo and to carry the embryo, fetus, or whatever you want to call it, to term?"

"Hmm," he replied, demonstarting the articulacy for which my dad's side of the family is known. (When in doubt, say,  "Hmm.".) He pondered, resting his chin in his hand. "I'm not exactly sure why anyone would want to, but with hormone supplementation,  it can be done."

"Hitler did it," my brother added. For some inexplicable reason, my brother knows more about Adolf Hitler than would normally be considered healthy. Why this is so is anyone's guess, as my brother neither admires nor hates Hitler any more than does the average person.

"Who cares what Hitler did!" my dad shouted. "Alexis, you're not having in vitro fertilization and you're not getting involved in surrogacy. Now shut the hell up!"

"Dad, I don't have to have sex with anyone until I turn eighteen, if that's what you're worried about," I said in my most placating manner.

"That's the least of my concerns," he muttered.

I gave him my biggest, brightest smile. "Thank you, Daddy!"  I exclaimed as my mother entered the kitchen and sat down at the table. My father stared straight ahead, dumbfounded.

"What are you so happy about at this hour?" my mom asked, eyes still half-closed,  as she stuck a piece of raisin bread into the toaster.

"Dad said I don't have to wait until I'm eighteen to have sex!" I answered.

"John!" my mother said reprovingly, suddenly awake.

"That's not what I said," my dad stated flatly, holding his forehead in his hands as he stared at the now-congealed  fried eggs on his plate.

"I wouldn't worry about it anyway," my brother chimed in. "She doesn't even have a boyfriend anymore."
My brother has a way of saying incredibly thoughtless things without the remotest intention of being unkind.
My recent breakup was and continues to be a sensitive issue.

"Thank you so effing much, Matthew," I spat, tossing a grape at him as I got up from the table. Matthew caught the grape and shoved it into his mouth. All roads lead to eating for Matthew.

"I'm going  to type up my contracts now," I announced, walking into the living room. It would have been more climactic to retreat to my bedroom, but I can't make it upstairs on my own yet, and asking for a lift would have killed the dramatic irony of the moment.  Uncle Michael winked at me as I walked past him.

"What contracts? " my mom asked as she spread cream cheese on her toasted raisin bread.

"She wants to be a surrogate mother," my brother told her.

"Alexis, you are so full of  b. s. that it hurts," my mom hollered out to me.

Thanks so much to Ambyland for the career advice.

A note to readers: I was seriously considering making this blog a Mitt Romney-free zone, but there is just so much to be said and so little time in which to say it. After this post, I will endeavor to find a way to include Mitt Romney in every blog, if feasible, until the election. Lest we forget. (In this particular sense, I have no clue what that means, but I really like the way it sounds.)


  1. You made my whole freaking day. I really did laugh out loud. My husband asked what I was laughing at but really, how do you explain all of this. THANK YOU FOR USING MY IDEA.

  2. I don't know if this is true, or if my mom was just saying it to rattle my StepDad, but my mom's twin sister asked her to have a baby for her. Recently. Tracy lost her "equipment" when she was 30, and now that she's remarried, her and my new uncle want to have a baby. But, the thing is, it would be my mom's baby with Bryan... not Tracy's baby with Bryan, because Tracy didn't save any eggs and my mom is the closest genetic match to Tracy. My mom said she'd think about it, but I think I talked her out of it. I said it might sound like a nice thing to do now, until you're actually pregnant and you're all hormonal and stuff. Part of that is to become attached to the baby, you know. Plus-- it is sort of creepy. Ok, not sort of, it's REALLY creepy.

    Surrogacy is a very humanitarian thing to do. I don't know how you'd do it, without becoming extremely attached to the baby/babies. And what if you do have IUI/ IVF and you end up like the next Kate Gosselin or something. Though it's rare and improbable, Ocam's Razor doesn't really apply very often to you. Plus, having stretch-marks from kids that you can't guilt them with. Anyone who is a surrogate is practically the equivalent to Mother Teresa in my book. :)

    Best of luck with your endeavors!

  3. PS: I did get your e-mail, AND I am in the process of replying. My brother's computer crashed while I was writing it, and I lost the majority of what I wrote, so I'm replicating.

  4. Becca, that's interesting. If I recall correctly, your mom hasn't in recent years had a particularly close relationship with her twin. (Wasn't she the one who had the late-night visit with your mom out of the blue where you all basically sat around a table and stared at one another?) It would seem to me to be a bit bold to even ask for surrogacy of any sibling, but even more so when the relationship has been a distant one.

    I'd rank surrogacy as more of a sacrifice than a bone marrow donation (I did that, by the way) but less than giving a kidney. The difference between both of the donation procedures vs. giving one's agg and renting out one's womb free of charge is, of course, that kidney and bone marrow transplants are both life-saving procedures.

    Also, if I recall, your mother's twin already has children. It might be a little different if she were totally childless. If my recollections are correct, and if she really did bring this up to your mom, it seems like quite a bit to ask of anyone else who didn't offer it first.

    And then your mom has the issue, if it bothers her, of the Catholic Church expressing disapproval regarding artificial means of conception. (I'm not taking a stand on it; I just don't know if your mom will. The LDS church is against it, yet Mitt Romney' son and daughter-in-law had two or three kids through a surrogate.) Churches can take whatever stance they want, yet members are free to make up their own minds.