Chapter: Closed

Several weeks ago, I hit a lull in writing inspiration and I opened up the floor for you all to ask questions for me to answer. Then I got slammed with all of the busyness that comes with the end of a school year (and moving schools, to boot), and never got around to it. I need to get on that already. I’m going to start with a question that theoretically seems simple, but is actually a heavy question for me to answer:

How’s Baby M? (asked by Baby Smiling). 

A bit of back story for those of you who are relatively new here: I was a gestational surrogate and in 2007, I delivered a baby boy named Baby M to his intended parents. He recently celebrated his 5th birthday. Last year just before Thanksgiving, he was diagnosed with Leukemia.

The short answer is that as far as I know, Baby M seems to be doing as well as can be expected. Treatment will last for around three years, and so far his body has done everything that his oncologists have wanted it to. Emotionally, he seems to be handling everything well, so that is a blessing.

The longer answer, or rather, an addendum to that answer, is that after this post, I will no longer post anything related to Baby M or his progress. When I discuss surrogacy, I might reference my journey with him and my former Intended Parents, but it will only be about the technical aspects of a surrogacy journey, and not the emotional aspects of my relationship with his parents. It was a good one while it lasted and I will always fondly remember those moments, but I just don’t feel comfortable discussing those details anymore.

Things have changed, and they’ve changed in such a way that I’ve had to redraw the lines in our relationship. One of the tricky things of writing about surrogacy is that it’s an intensely personal journey in which feelings and emotions are intertwined, but the whole story isn’t just the surrogate’s or the Intended Parents’ to tell. I know this is incredibly vague, but the best way I can explain it is that the depth of the connection that existed in that relationship just can’t be there anymore. While I’m affected by it personally, the details of how and why that came to be just isn’t my story to tell.

It was the last thing that I ever expected to happen, and it crash landed just at the moment when I was truly coming to terms with the failure of all of my attempts to have a successful second journey with other couples. There was never any easy way to communicate the breakdown of that relationship here,  but I knew that for my own sense of closure, I would have to one way or another eventually. It’s about time that I ripped that bandage off so that I can close that chapter once and for all. That much, at least, is my story to tell.

Sometimes things happen and we have to re-frame our positions in relationships that we held dear to us. It does hurt, but that’s life, isn’t it?

And it goes on…


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47 thoughts on “Chapter: Closed”

    1. Thanks, Kari. I am always happy to read his dad’s updates on CaringBridge. There is reassurance in knowing that his body is responding to the chemo.

  1. Many hugs to you sweets! I know how a relationship can turn out to be not what we expected. Thank you for sharing thus far!

    1. I know you know what it’s like. I remember when you went through your stuff all those years ago. It never gets any easier, does it? xoxo

  2. I have sometimes wondered about him, but assumed that for privacy reasons there were no updates. I am sorry that that chapter has to close, but I can sympathize–relationships come and go and we cannot do anything but move on.

  3. I am so sorry to hear that the relationship changed, but I am glad Baby M seems to be handling the treatment well. I hope you are okay.

          1. WORD UP. I just got caught up on your blog (and resolved the fact that you weren’t in my reader). I am SO glad that you’re back and finally cycling!

            How much do I LOVE that you still have the Vet Mafia Bloggers button in your sidebar?

  4. Thank you for sharing Kym, and I just want to say that I’m sorry that you have had to go through that. It is very difficult when a chapter closes unexpectedly and you are in my thoughts.

    1. Thanks for always being there, Soapchick. I know that you understand the special intricacies of a surrogacy relationship, especially when things go awry.

  5. Oh Kym. My heart hurts so much reading this post. I am so sorry the relationship has changed apparently. I identify with you doubly as a fellow IFer & someone who has participated in surrogacy. I…I’m just so sorry. You are grace personified.

  6. You know my thoughts…I can only say that I am, as ever, impressed and awed by your grace, by your love, and your understanding. I know that relationships are hard, that Baby M’s family has so, so much on their plates right now. My prayer is that one day, when things are calm again, you can all come back together and the relationship can become even stronger. For now (and of course even then) you have my love and support.

    1. Maybe someday…but I’m honestly not holding an expectations one way or the other. It just is. *shrugs shoulders*

      No matter what happens, I’m always comforted in knowing that you always have my back. (((hugs)))

  7. Wow. That’s a lot to throw at one gangsta, and I will just say you seem to be handling it with grace. Props to you, my friend. And big, big hugs.

    1. Thanks, Molly. I had to let time pass by before I could trust myself enough to handle it with grace. Even today, I had to choose my words carefully.

  8. Alexicographer

    Oh Kym, I’m sorry. I’m glad Baby M is doing well and hope that will continue and that he’ll recover completely and thrive.

  9. See, that’s the thing about surrogacy that I can’t quite process – how do you let go? Relationships are so complex, even when they’re supposed to be simple. Toss in a complex relationship, and my head explodes. I always wonder what it says about me that I can’t even imagine how it would be possible to do what you have done without hanging on like a crazy person.

    At any rate, I’m sorry that things have changed.

    1. It’s not easy, A. Even when everything is going well, you’re still performing a delicate two-step dance, and on a balance beam, no less. The truth of the matter is that it’s important for both sides — especially the surrogate — to remember that the primary goal of any surrogacy journey is to bring a healthy baby into the world. Everything else is secondary and is a bonus. Going into it, if building a solid friendship is something that you hope to develop through and beyond the journey, then the best you can do is hope that it comes to fruition. If it doesn’t, it undoubtedly hurts. But you don’t really go into surrogacy to make friends; you do it to build families. I did always use the establishment of a friendship as a basis for deciding whether I was a match with someone or not, and I credit that to the success that I’ve had making good matches. Still, in order to stay level-headed about the relationships formed through surrogacy, you just have to remember what that ultimate goal is. Sure, there has been a breakdown of the relationship between my former IPs and me. But a child was born and parents were made…that is what I hang onto, even if I no longer have a grip on the friendship.

  10. I’m sorry that my question turned out to be a tough one, and even more sorry that the relationship has taken a difficult turn. No matter what you are one of the most important people ever to have come into their lives, and, I suspect, vice versa.

    1. Yes. You are right on both fronts about the importance we have in each others’ lives.

      Don’t apologize for your question being a tough one. Whether you asked it or not, it was one that I would have had to answer eventually, because I was begging my own question.

  11. Oh, Moxie. I am sending many hugs your way. It is clear that the change in your relationship has deeply hurt you. Much love to you.

    I am glad that Baby M is responding in a positive way to his treatment. I hope his health continues to improve until he can kick his illness to the curb forever.

    1. Surrogacy isn’t supposed to be synonymous with pain, but y’know – I have to roll with the punches and keep the good things that happened at the forefront of my mind. Baby M is a good thing. He always will be. 🙂

    1. Maybe. But I’m under the impression that if it ever happens, it won’t be any time soon.

      I’m not holding my breath, or any other expectations.

  12. I’m happy for Baby M that he is doing well as can be expected, but I’m sad for you. I’m so sorry to hear that your relationship has soured and that it has caused you pain. Thinking of both you and Baby M.

  13. Oh, Kym… I am so sorry to hear this relationship has changed (come apart?) so much. It must hurt like hell. But as others above have said, even here you show this incredible grace and love. And, of course, I am glad that Baby M is doing as well as can possibly be hoped for….

  14. You’re response to A above was so poignant. In addition, it’s sometimes hard when there is a shared story to tease out what part is yours to tell (and then how to tell it without betraying confidences or the relationship — or worse when someone else feels betrayal where you thought none exist).

    I’m so sorry that this chapter isn’t closing on a more positive note. Hugs.

  15. I’m glad to hear he is responding well.
    but so sad to hear about your relationship. that must be so hard, I’m so sorry. <3

  16. Sorry, hon. These relationships are complicated and so very hard sometimes. I worry sometimes for my daughter with regard to this, but all I can do is roll with the punches. Huge hug!

  17. Life does go on, but it’s okay to stop and sit down and grieve. Losses are losses even when they are expected. I’m so sorry you’re hurting and I’m always so impressed by how you share it.

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