Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Wife Was A Surrogate

The husband of a surrogate is a very special person.  He plays a very important supportive role in a surrogacy journey.  He is undoubtedly a kind, compassionate human being who loves and respects his wife enough to support her desire to help another family have children.

"My Wife Was a Surrogate"

Any guy who supports his wife through a pregnancy can expect a major reward: a baby. His baby. But what happens when that child actually belongs to someone else? One man shares his family's journey to help another couple have a baby and his wife's brave choice to become a surrogate mother.

Read more: My Wife Was A Surrogate Mother - Choosing To Be A Surrogate Mom - Redbook 

I'm always thrilled to run across any type of press that includes surrogacy, so as you can imagine, to see that there was a surrogacy article featured in this month's edition of Redbook Magazine made me a very happy girl.  I was, however, disappointed to see the cover of the magazine's promotion of the article.

"LET my wife".  Those words never sit well with me.  A marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship.  Important decisions should be made together, as a family.  To state that you "let" your wife, who should be your equal, do something that is a dream of hers, does not indicate a partnership in any way. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there are not many men who approach their wife with a dream or goal that they have, in the hopes that their wife will "let" them attempt to achieve that dream.  

It is quite possible that I was already feeling annoyed at the choice of words on the cover, but the first few things this husband said regarding his initial thoughts about his wife being a surrogate certainly didn't improve my mood.

"I would have to care for her and do all the stuff for her as if this baby were mine, and it's not,"

"I would be the one dealing with the hormonal aspect of it: the cravings, the moods, her getting really--excuse the word--bitchy. I thought about that too."

Yes, this husband is just being honest, and I can appreciate his honesty. However, it saddens me a bit to hear a husband place such an emphasis on how a surrogate pregnancy will effect HIM.  You see, above all, surrogacy is a selfless act. Pregnancy itself is a beautiful, meaningful, miraculous part of life. It can also be one of the more stressful, uncomfortable, intense moments of a woman's life.  A surrogate recognizes this, and assumes ALL of the risks that accompany pregnancy...for the sake of someone else. It's about doing something for SOMEONE ELSE.  Enduring your wife's--excuse the word--bitchy moments shouldn't be so big of a price to pay for being able to provide another family with the gift of children.

Now, lest you think I am just an angry, scorned woman, the article is actually a very positive one, telling the touching story of a wonderful family, Jeremy and Dawn Wallace and their 3 children, who help  a gay couple from Israel expand their family.  Jeremy IS a good man, who supports his wife and the surrogacy process throughout their sometimes rocky journey.  Upon meeting the men they had been matched with for the first time, Jeremy's eyes are opened to the beauty of surrogacy.

"I got to see how [Avishay and Avinoam] were as a family, to get a better look at their values and thoughts on raising a child," he says. "I got to see how badly they wanted another kid." Jeremy remembers watching the couple's son play with his daughters in their three-bedroom home and thinking how the two families really weren't any different. "At that point I said to Dawn, 'We have two people here who really want a baby, and we can give it to them. Let's do it.'"

When Dawn develops pre-eclampsia and has an emergency cesarean at 31 weeks, Jeremy helps to support Dawn and the babies until the parents arrive in Texas.

Jeremy and Dawn were the twins' legal guardians while they waited for Avishay and Avinoam to arrive. During that time, Jeremy took a central role in caring for the babies. "It was a lot of checking in on them, signing papers, and transporting breast milk back and forth," he says.

The Israeli fathers finally made it to San Antonio 48 hours after Dawn gave birth. "Jeremy was the first person we saw," recalls Avishay. "He ran up to us and welcomed us, and then led us in to see the babies."

Babies spent a month in the NICU but the story of course has a happy ending with 2 men who are finally able to take their babies home to Israel.

The Wallaces, who had never needed passports before, found themselves in Israel speaking about their surrogacy experience to a room full of gay couples. "It was the neatest thing ever," Jeremy says. They also got to spend time with the kids. "The last time we had seen them, they were so small," says Jeremy. "Going from that to these chunky little babies, rolls all over, it was awesome. I felt like they were my niece and nephew."

In the end, Jeremy proceeds to melt my heart when he reveals how he views his journey.

He discovered "a new level of selflessness in Dawn after watching her go through a pregnancy for someone else. It speaks a different volume." In the end, Jeremy was right about never being able to think of his wife in the same way after surrogacy: He now sees her as stronger, more generous, and braver than ever before.

I'd love to wrap up this post by encouraging all of you, many of whom have been a part of surrogacy in one way or another, to leave a comment sharing positive words or stories about the person who played or is currently playing the supportive role in your journey.  Let's celebrate our support systems.  They play an incredibly important role in a surrogacy journey.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I appreciate all of the support!

  2. My friend gets this magazine and she gave it to me after reading the article. When I saw the cover, I was afraid the article would really piss me off. By the end I was ok with it, and like you, appreciated the honesty from thousand. I'm glad his mind was changed and he came to focus on the new family more than his wife's mood.

  3. I would agree that there were some comments in there that made me a little iffy, but overall I really enjoyed reading the artical, and I think that the husband who wasn't too thrilled about the idea was her biggest supporting after giving him the time to realize that his wife wanted to do something amazing! I cried :)

  4. I got to meet some of my surrogate's family during the process. I saw her mother and her sister a few times and later I met a cousin too. They were awesome. They were so supportive of my surrogate and they also seemed genuinely happy for my partner and me. It was a very welcomed surprise that the family was so excited for this process. We loved them all and hope that not only our surrogate will see our kids from time to time, but that her family will continue to see their pictures and see them too.


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