first off, if you are lucky to be a fellow resident of NJ, can you email Christie and ask him to sign the Gestational Carrier Agreement Act? although gestational surrogacy is already legal in the state, this legislation provides protections for everyone involved (like requirements for legal representation and medical/psych evaluations for all parties) and allows the biological parents to be the official parents on the original birth certificate.
so we put our facebook announcement up a couple of weeks ago in preparation for our whirlwind trip to upstate new york this past weekend. my family reunion was planned, and it happened to be the same weekend that my sister-in-law and her family we’re coming to NY to introduce people to my 18 month old nephew. that all added up to about 16 hours and about 900 miles over five days. yuck.
but seeing family was nice. even seeing my dad was ok, not as awkward this time as in the past. but omjesus, the babies. at my family get-together, there were six kids under 3. at R’s family event, five under 8. it seemed like 85% of the conversations revolved around: 1) breasfeeding, 2) vasectomies, 3) labor/delivery stories. and really, those weren’t even the people talking directly to us about our pregnancy. even R commented a few days into the trip how much babies dominated the conversations.
we made a point of bringing our ultrasound pictures with us to share, including the shot of the embryos from transfer. we never came right out and announced that we did IVF, but most everyone understood that was how we were able to get that shot. some people asked general questions, while a couple of people asked more detailed questions about the procedures and what had led us there. i was able to mention to quite a few people how lucky we were that NJ was a mandated coverage state (and that if we had stayed in NY, IVF may not have been covered). i explained how expensive it could be to adopt. i even got to throw in a comment about unmonitored clomid use. i think i managed to do all that (mostly to different people) without sounding too preachy.
and i have to give them some major credit: not one person in either of our families (we’re talking probably close to 60 people we saw) made a dumbass comment. and i know for a fact that we both have family members with religious objections to assisted reproductive technologies. but no one spouted any of the popular incorrect myths out there. no one asked whose “fault” it was that we couldn’t get pregnant on our own. no one said that this was in god’s plans for us. i’m not naive enough to expect that there weren’t comments or questions made after we left, but at least they were nice to our faces 🙂
one thing that i was very surprised about, and wish i had known much earlier, was when my aunt pointed out that all the women in my dad’s family (including his cousins) with the exception of one aunt and her daughter had difficulties getting and/or staying pregnant. when she was telling me this, i realized that i pretty much knew about each of the people she mentioned, but i had never put it together that it was almost all the woman in the family. even though no one else had to go through what we did, it was almost a relief to know we hadn’t been the only ones.
there were a few moments where i was painfully reminded of the “once infertile, always infertile” line of thought. (now that we’re “out” to our families, some stuff has been filtered to prevent hurt feelings. email me for the password for the full posts if you are a part of the IF community) as we were leaving one evening, R commented that even though we are pregnant now, it was still weird for him.