Taking a deep breath, I clasped my hands tightly in my lap. My boss, Van, gave me a quizzical look as I hesitated. It was a rare occasion for me […]
Taking a deep breath, I clasped my hands tightly in my lap. My boss, Van, gave me a quizzical look as I hesitated. It was a rare occasion for me to appear so nervous in our weekly meetings. I was beginning my IVF shots and meds that week and I wanted to be as upfront as possible with him about the surrogacy and pregnancy.
Being a working female in her childbearing years can lead to sticky situations. Luckily, my boss has three children and family is important to him. He also spent half of his life living in Europe, and I hoped this would make him very open-minded and accepting of the brick I was about to toss him. But I have worked with him for years and also know that he has no filter and often says whatever pops into his mind with no regard for the offense it may cause.
“So, I’ve decided to be a surrogate and I’m going to have a baby for a Swedish family. If everything goes as planned, I would give birth in the fall.”
His eyebrows shot up. He remained silent but the look in his eyes said “Oh crap.”
I continued before had the chance to comment. “It should actually work out really well for everyone. I’ll have the baby and as long as my doctor clears me, I will only be off work about 3 weeks, not the usual 12 weeks a new mother with a newborn needs. And I can do most of my work from home anyways, so really I’ll just miss a week or so of actual work.”
I need to justify this some more.
Launching into the story about my friend Lacey and her challenges conceiving a child as my motivation, I laid the groundwork for my decision. The screening, the Swedes, the medications, the egg donor and the scientific process…
Take a breath!
“Well, it’s a very noble undertaking. I think you’re absolutely crazy for doing it, but that’s fine. You’re one of the strongest women I’ve ever worked with.” Wow! Go me! My boss used to coach national and Olympic athletes in Europe, so that was huge compliment.
“But aren’t you concerned about becoming attached to the baby? I know how high my wife’s emotions ran after birth and that would be my biggest concern for you.”
Relief washed over me. The conversation changed from my well-planned timeline and story to a casual, honest discussion. I left the meeting promising to keep him informed and that this would impact the company as little as possible.
A few weeks later, the accounts receivable clerk and I were the only two in the office when she spoke up. “Check this out. This invoice from our employment lawyer shows Van talked to her for 15 minutes the other week about an employee that wants to be a surrogate! What in the world do you think that’s about?!”
Smiling, I shrugged and murmured “who knows?”. It was reassuring to know he’d done his research, too. Everyone around me was learning so much in this process. This journey is definitely bigger than just me! It takes a village to raise a child.
And sometimes it takes a village to have one, too!