Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Title

Over the years Meredith Olafson has given birth to 15 babies – but only four of them are hers. She’s carried two sets of triplets, one set of twins and three singles for people who can’t have their own. She’s what you might call the mother of all gestational surrogates.
Olafson, who lives in Fargo, N.D., was so happy with her own kids, she says she couldn’t bear to watch others be deprived of the experience. So, over the years, when couples have approached her with a request to carry their babies, Olafson just couldn’t find it in her heart to say no.
“When you see those parents’ faces when they see that ultrasound for the first time and they see that heart beat beating – or they get to hear that heartbeat – that’s priceless right there,” Olafson, 47, told TODAY.
And those happy faces constitute most of Olafson’s payment for lending her womb for nine months.  Though some gestational surrogates make as much as $250,000 for one pregnancy, Olafson says she earns just a tiny fraction of that.
What makes it all possible is the ease of Olafson’s pregnancies. She’s never had morning sickness. She hardly gains any extra weight. And she’s usually able to work right up till the day she delivers.
And then there are those enviably short deliveries.
“My longest was my oldest daughter,” Olafson said. “She took me an hour and 15 minutes to deliver. My second daughter took me 30 minutes and the last two took me 20 minutes.”
Olafson contributes only her womb to the pregnancies, not any DNA. The future parents supply the embryo, or embryos.
“Those parents are the actual mother and father and so the mindset for you at that time is you know you’re handing  them their child,” Olafson said. “It has nothing to do with you whatsoever. It does make it a lot easier.”
One of the couples to benefit from Olafson's talent for growing babies is the Wegges.
Dan and Jody wanted a second child, but had been told that it would be dangerous for Jody to try to carry another baby after the harrowing birth of their first. They heard about Olafson by word of mouth in 1998, and once again she signed on to help a family in need.
Olafson agreed to have their embryos implanted in her uterus – and delivered in a big way. The Wegges have triplets that are now 12 years old.
“I love her,” Jody Wegge said.  “I just …  there’s not words to express how I feel about her.”
Olafson was working on her 6th pregnancy for another family when TODAY caught up with her.  She said this baby for a couple from South Dakota would be her last. “I am officially retiring the uterus,” she said.
Her last, as it turns out, is a healthy baby girl born on March 29.

Let's collectively move past the $250K remark.  Please.  *rolling eyes

Does Meredith deserve the title "Super Surrogate"?  You betcha!  11 surrobabies?  TWO sets of triplets?  She's earned her stripes.  Most likely those stripes are being displayed on the skin of her belly.  Wear them with pride, my friend.

I'm jealous.  Yes, I've only had one surrogacy journey and 2 surrobabies (so far), but darn it, I want a title!   I didn't realize a title was part of the deal!  Seeing as how most titles are self-created, I decided I'd do a little research.  I was leaning towards "Absolute Surrogate", so I searched for a more exciting word than absolute.

As I typed absolute into the search box, I was briefly distracted by a little trivia featured on the site.  
Did you know that hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is a REAL word?
Part of speech:  noun
Definition:  fear of long words
Hmph.  Interesting.

synonyms:  categorical, excellent, perfect, flawless, ideal, impeccable

How is one to choose?  So many terrific options.  I scratched my head, thought long and hard.  There really is only one good option.
It's only an option because I do not suffer from hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.  Ladies and Gents, my new title is:

Jeni Denhof
Categoricalexcellentperfectflawlessidealimpeccable Surrogate

I'm happy.


  1. It's PERFECT!
    I wish everyone would get past that money comment as quickly as you did there. I had a very positive opinion about the article and this surrogate as well - can't believe how many surrogates I have seen making negative comments. She's doing the same thing we all are - and a damn good job of it!

  2. Wow-what an amazing story!

    And I think your name (Categoricalexcellentperfectflawlessidealimpeccable) is missing something...

    ...perhaps throw in a bomb diggity in there?


  3. BOMB DIGGITY yes, I agree with Jesse! AND ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!

  4. HA!! :D I LOVE your new title - it is perfect. I think you need to make up business cards. :D

  5. I don't have any words to appreciate this post.....I am really impressed ....the person who created this post surely knew the subject well..thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. I love your title, Jeni. And one more thing I'd like to say. I can't come up with a word for this, but I feel like you link up a lot of us. You're like the glue of my surrogacy/IP world since you're always referencing other people's blogs and talking about what's going on with everyone. I love that you connect us all.


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