A Saturday story about life for those who need a little hand up.
This week was filled with a very unusually close to home passenger. You see this passenger not only was from the Midwest but had a mission to help families in her own way too.
Now the name of this passenger will be completely anonymous as I do not feel it's my right to speak about her personal affairs really. The journey that we went on was more than just a ride. It was a personal journey.
When I arrived at the hotel to pick up said passenger, the profile that greeted me was a picture of two very young children. Her destination was a fertility clinic in Westwood. I didn't know what exactly to say to this woman as I was trying to be entirely respectful. All I felt I could do was to tell her how beautiful the children in the photo looked.
"Oh thank you! There's actually three of them. The youngest one there is three now."
We exchanged stories as mothers. We talked about the joy of motherhood. I didn't want to pry at all. But then she decided to open the door.
"I'm really glad I was able to naturally have children. I'm hoping that I can help out this family have some of that joy too. They are really wonderful and I've been curious about doing something like this for a long time. It's always fascinated me."
This woman in my car told me about how she had flown from the Midwest to meet this family from the east coast who was going through a process. Surrogacy is a massive endeavor for all those that are involved. There are several layers to it.
"First you have to go through an intensive screening process- you have to have had another labor successfully without a c-section so you know what's involved with things. This helps you decide and know if you'd be a good candidate for it due to all the emotional as well as physical things involved with having a child."
I'd told her that I had recently come across the ads on my Facebook requesting to do it and had watched a few videos on Youtube. She was happy to tell me as much as she knew about the process.
"The desired parents have to go through a major series of screening as well. If they don't pass them they can't go through with it either. They have to pass before we'd ever even hear from them. If they don't, there's even less options if they can't do it themselves. It's a very expensive process emotionally and financially for the parents on the other end. The legal portion of the contract before things can even start generally states that they are responsible for up to three attempts as it could still fail... regardless if they fail or not. This is potentially after a parent has tried fertility options to have the child themselves which are very very expensive too."
I told her about how I learned recently about someone whom had fertility issues and felt incredibly bad for her path.
"I feel bad about having been fortunate enough to be born into a body that just is able to have children easily. I don't know how terrible it would be not to be able to have my children. I'm so so thankful to be able to complain about it."
The woman in my car shared the same sentiments.
"That's a big reason why I'm doing it. My husband and I are happy with the three children we have already. It has been discussed with the kids as well that when I get pregnant that that won't be a new sibling to them and they're all very content with it."
And then the conversation changed towards the finances of the other side. She told me that this was not as profitable as one might think from the ads.
"I'm still going to work throughout the pregnancy. I can't afford not to. I don't see how anyone could afford not to. It's not something that a surrogate mother would ever be able to just do to make money even though I know from others that there are some surrogates who seem to have a lot of things come up where they ask the other family for money and it's like they're trying to squeeze them for a lot more. Those ads are really deceptive. This isn't something to make money doing. This is something to help someone with. I realize there are not a lot of people willing to do this and that's probably why the ads but this is more than that. This is about helping a family complete their dream in a very beautiful way."
As we were coming close to the end of our ride I asked her where would be the best place to drop her off at as it was going to be on the other side of the street and I had no idea what her day was going to be like with her process. There are several layers and when it gets to the medical portion apparently it is very very delicate as well as one might expect.
"Well I'm not pregnant yet and this isn't that visit but I greatly appreciate you trying to help. You can just drop me here and I'll cross the street. Maybe next time you pick me up however I'll be getting the parts where I might need you to help further. I'll be happy then though regardless as a family will be in the works then."
And with that, I pulled over to the curb to let her continue her journey.
"Have a great day fellow mom! Here's something for you." she said as she handed me a five dollar bill.
"Thank you fellow hero mom. You have a great day. Thank you for being a part of the good!" I said back to her.
And there is your Saturday #rideshare story of the week. I have another one coming for you on Monday. It was going to be published this past Monday but I'd gotten a little sniffleupagus. I hope that you tune in this week and maybe even catch a ride with me in story format here or maybe even on the road this weekend. Be safe and be kind to eachother.