A close friend of mine recently became a surrogate. I think that this is absolutely amazing of her, and I follow her journey on Facebook and on her personal blog with great interest.
So far, she’s had one unfortunate failed pregnancy with her first surrogacy couple match. She moved on to a second couple through the surrogacy agency and is now pregnant. Yippee! She has had to do quite a bit of traveling for doctors’ visits as a surrogate. From what she describes, she’s also experiencing typical first trimester pregnancy symptoms that make surrogacy a little taxing at the moment.
In her latest blog update, she was 12 weeks pregnant and ready to visit her doctor in her home state. She scheduled her first prenatal appointment through her regular OB office, which I assume is the doctor she used with both of her previous pregnancies. From the get-go, even booking the appointment was slightly awkward as she explained her surrogacy situation.
But when she got to the appointment to see her doctor, she wasn’t prepared for the surrogacy judgment that awaited her:
The subject of my next appointment came up, and the nurse mentioned that I would need a pap smear at my next appointment, and I said: “oh okay, I guess Dr. Snider can do that when I see him next week.” Then I knew why I had been so nervous! The nurse clasped her hands, sat down in front of me, and said: “Actually, Dr. Snider won’t be seeing you for this pregnancy.” Umm, what?!?!? She continues with: “He is Catholic, and doesn’t agree with what you are doing. He doesn’t prescribe birth control to his patients either, haha.” Slowly, but surely, my eyes started filling with tears, and while the nurse continued with whatever excuse he had told her to say, I was trying to control the outburst of emotion that was hitting me. The tears were flowing at this point, and I say in the middle of gulps (thanks hormones).
Whoa, hold the phone! I really didn’t see this one coming. In my personal opinion, the situation was handled poorly when my pregnant friend was given a rude awakening about her doctor’s refusal at her appointment. She wasn’t given the time to prepare in advance or research other doctors or consider secondary options. Fortunately, her OB office was able to recommend a backup doctor choice.
I always thought being a surrogate mother was a wonderful gift, and I admire my friend so much for doing this. I was curious about why Catholics are anti-surrogacy, enough to refuse medical services, and I came upon this statement via the Archdiocese of Washington:
And so, having set forth a kind of sacred trilogy that the human person, human sexual intercourse, and marriage are all sacred, we now observe the God has united these three sacred realities and intends them to be together. The human person, who is sacred, is intended to be conceived in the loving and sacred embrace of sexual intercourse, between a man and woman in the sacred union of holy matrimony.
Human life, sex, and marriage are sacred, and surrogacy is not, from what I understand from the Catholic Church. I believe in God, but I cannot get behind this Catholic philosophy. Surrogacy is a wonderful, selfless gift that should be celebrated.
(Image: Somchai Buddha/Shutterstock)