Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ah, Let the Judgment Begin

I have received two comments recently from anonymous posters not only questioning but openly criticizing us for having Daniel circumcised. When I read the first one, I simply gritted my teeth and deleted it. The second one, however, I feel compelled to leave up and to respond to, especially since there were a few personal attacks involved. It's probably not the best idea; I should probably turn the other cheek and let sleeping dogs lie and all that, but I'm up and reasonably coherent. Of course, I'm sure this post will fall on deaf ears or blind eyes since I doubt the two posters will ever return to read it, but maybe I'll be surprised.

First of all, my husband and I chose to circumcise our son for our own reasons. We researched it and talked to other parents of boys, both those who had and hadn't circumcised theirs. We are well-versed in the arguments for and against; I am confident we made a well-reasoned decision. It was our choice to make, and we made it. Therefore, I'd appreciate no further comments on the matter. If you chose not to circumcise your son and/or believe that it is equivalent to female genital mutilation, that is your prerogative. We do not. I am sure that there are choices you make in your life that I would consider horrific. The circumcision discussion is closed.

Now, as for you, dear Anonymous (how clever of you not to use any sort of identity. How brave of you! Or more truthfully, how cowardly), never question my desire for my son and my happiness, nay, elation and exhilaration to have him with me. At last. After four horrible, dark years. I love him more than I ever knew was possible.

If my post on the hospital experience came off as whiny, that was not the intent. Perhaps you, dear Anonymous, have never been through a surrogacy journey. There are many, many complex emotions involved as well as many hoops to jump through. As an Intended Mother, I had to give up carrying my own child and get over any issues with watching another women carry my child, worrying constantly whether she was taking care of herself (needlessly but that's just how it goes). I had to deal with everyone always asking if the baby was biologically ours before they sighed with relief and sort of gave their blessing to what we were doing. No matter how wonderful your surrogate is and how close the relationship, there is no getting past the fact that one of the seminal events of your life--having a baby--doesn't involve only you and your spouse but includes at least one other person as well. It is stressful.

In order to pursue and navigate our surrogacy journey, Husband and I pretty much had to project manage it. Find out the tests both we and F needed, deal with the attorney, etc. In short, we had to get a lot of ducks in a row. Imagine our distress to get to the hospital and find out that all of the organization and plans we were told we had to make were moot because the hospital apparently didn't know anything. We felt like we did our part. We got our documentation together. We had called people to check and re-check needs and procedures. And then we were still met with confusion.

Honestly, the confusion over our surrogacy situation didn't bother us as much as the other stuff; we're used to confusion about surrogacy after all ;-) What really bothered us was the level of incompetence and overall befuddlement the nurses displayed about seemingly routine matters. F picked the hospital--a large hospital with a nice birthing center--because she had given birth there four times before and recommended it. Even F's husband was commenting on how off the hospital was this time.

It's not about the room we were in. I don't expect luxury from a freaking hospital (though one of the birth center rooms would have been a LOT nicer). I do, however, expect competence from people whose job it is to take care of you and get you what you need. THAT is what seemed to be lacking, and THAT is what made the hospital experience less than optimal.

Maybe this post is for nothing and it likely won't change your impression of me as a whiney brat who chooses to bitch about "trivial" matters instead of somehow proving she loves her new baby. I at least feel better. The bottom line is that you, dear Anonymous, were not in the hospital with us, did not experience the ups and downs of the last 9 months or the last 4 years. You can believe me that the hospital wasn't the greatest experience or you can continue to think that I am whining. Oh well.

If you'd like to continue this conversation, feel free to email me.

I'm off to cuddle my baby and feed him his bottle (oh yeah. I didn't induce lactation either but rest assured that he will be starting breast milk next week once F has a good supply build up. Care to chastise me for my failings there as well?).

I don't mind dissent, but there is a difference between dissent and out-and-out meanness, especially when you haven't walked in my shoes.


Carrie Jo said...

Elizabeth, someone who can't be bothered to sign his/her name to a post isn't worth it. We're circumcising our son (if the baby's a boy) too. How ridiculous people are.

Sarah said...

What is wrong with people? Your blog - your opinion. If they don't like it - MOVE ON TO THE NEXT! This is a time where you just need to enjoy Daniel. Your account of his birth was entirely accurate and THANK you for being so honest about it. Circ is a choice and I would have made the same one. Your baby - your choice.

A simple being said...

well im too a lurker, but i was very understadning of you and your expierence, we had twin 3 years ago and one of our babies was very ill and did die 14 days later and they treated us like we were the first ot have a healthy baby and a sick baby, like the whole "not normal" isn't hard enough, i was like son't you think i wanted to get pregnant, water break blissfully arrive all giggly and birth my babies, cringe and crawl out of bed to come home to a whole house of family who was to embrace both of my babies? made feel like we were a burden...but one word of advice, nobody gave a crap what i did before i had my children no strangers at walmart are all "i would....or i wouldn't,,,he is oyur son do it your way, your life is or will be too busy and fly by too fast to waste a minute on people who truely feel they're lives are more superior.

niobe said...

People (not all, but far too many of them) are idiots. Having a baby is a stressful experience. Participating in a surrogacy as an IM is an incredibly stressful experience. I didn't blog about it, but our hospital stay was an absolute nightmare. So, I completely sympathize with you and understand where you're coming from.

ASquared said...

It's always people who don't have the guts to sign their name that are the most opinionated - funny how that is.
I too appreciate the truthful account of your experience and am in the process still of writing our own story and don't like to think that I have to leave things out to avoid being judged.
We made the same decision you did - times two - and why other people think it's any of their business is beyond me.
Enjoy your little guy!!

FET Accompli said...


You successfully navigated through a surrogacy and have a beautiful baby boy. I say don't waste another moment's thought on those critics who don't even have the guts to sign their name. Most of us know what you have gone through to get to where you are, and are proud and happy for you. This is a joyous time - forget those naysayers!!

Infertile In the City said...

Enjoy your sun and the hell with everyone else, some people are rude, they are ignorant, and truthfully, they are just unhappy people, who see you being happy and want to hurt you because they are such misserable people theirselves.
Navigating surrogacy is hard, and you have done it with grace, and strength.

KLTTX said...

I imagine Anonymous has never struggled with IF or at the least never had an "unusual" birth experience. Our hospital experience with our adoption was a nightmare. They wouldn't even let me see our son through the glass nursery wall. You are more than entitled to your opinion.

On the circumcision issue, like any medical procedure, its your choice as the parent. BTW, both my boys are circumcised.

JJ said...

I had no doubt about circumcising the O-man, BUT, regardless: dude, its UP TO YOU--your son, your opinions. And I agree with others--just kick the nay-sayers to the curb and enjoy your beeeauutiful son!

Wewurtskihit said...

nothing wrong with circumzition. My people do it all the time!!
(ok I am jewish but who cares - or does anonymous has a problem with me being Jewish?!! just say so and we will have it out...LOL - on MY blog of course!!)

Your entry did NOT come across as whiny but as a true reflection of your feelings and REALITY! (again -anonymous - REALITY!!!)

NEVER get bothered by ignorant morons like anonymous and his/her brethren. They are NOT worth it and you DONT want to give them the satisfaction that they believe they ARE worth it!!!


sara said...

People are idiots. First of all - I want to give you a big ole congrats on your new addition! I've been on vacation and missed your big day! I'm so happy for your family - what a great ending to such a long journey. Enjoy every moment - and anyone who is raining on your parade doesn't deserve a moment of your time. You are such a beautiful person who has gone down such a beautiful path of surrogacy and those others make me sick! ((hugs))

Ellen K. said...

Some people suck.

Other people rock, esp. new babies named Daniel. : )

We too would have circumcised our son(s) if we had had boys, BTW.

nutmeg96 said...

I've been there. I recently removed the ability to make anonymous comments on my blog. If people can't stand behind their comments with a name, then they don't deserve to have a voice in my comments. I'm sorry you had to go through this BS.

kate said...

Dude, I want to punch Anonymous in the kidneys.

You rock- I cannot begin to imagine how incredibly unsure and awkward that must've felt. I mean, duh! You are just like any other first-time parents but with the addition of the fact that there was a whole other person involved in the process- how the hell are you supposed to know how to deal with that situation? And then to just have the hospital make things even more awkward? MAN. I totally understand your rant. I would have been really upset at the hospital, too, for not giving you and F the consideration of a birthing suite that other laboring/new moms get. Once again, infertility makes second class citizens of us all.

But. BUT!

On to better things! Daniel is GORGEOUS, perfect, sweet, lovely. Congrats to the new parents. I am so very happy for both of you!

Lea said...

Screw anyone who judges you or your decisions. You are amazing and have been through a journey like none other. I applaude you and your ability to remain calm through such insantity. As you know, we have a son and had to make the big C decision much later than most and it is not a decision made lightly. I am often asked about it and have to defend our choice. I don't understand why people put feel their opinions need to be forced, especially so cowardly as your anynomous poster. I hope to meet Daniel soon.
Be well and enjoy this blissful, tired, teary, fun, joyous time of your life.

FET Accompli said...

Haven't heard from you in a bit and just wanted to see how things are going! You must be exhausted...

sacredandscarred said...

Ugh, I wonder if it's the same anon commenter I've had? I've simply not published the comments and refused to "feed the troll" by responding in any way, shape or form.

You and I no doubt disagree heartily on many topics, circ being one, but seriously do people have to go out of their way to be nasty? Esp when they hide behind the "anon" name tag. Try not to let it get to you.