I’m in a sort of limbo. I’m waiting to move to the next level in the surrogacy process but it’s all “hurry up and wait” which is driving me a bit loony. The hard part, if I think about it, is that I am super anxious. Not so anxious I want to back out or anything… there’s no going back for me. I WANT to do this. But I don’t respond well to the not knowing part.
I know how to be pregnant. I know how to handle labor. I know how to have a baby. That’s essentially what I signed up to do… the stuff I KNOW how to do.
But surrogacy has a lot of checkpoints (as it should!) and those… those I don’t know anything about. The control freak in me is… well.. freaking. I like to have things all mapped out and be able to see what’s in front of me, but right now I can’t. I do not know what’s past the dense fog of the unknown.
For instance, I’ve never filled out an online profile (call me lucky, but my husband and I met in high school and I never had to do the online dating thing) so that was a first. I admit that I probably over thought it, but I wanted to make sure I sounded like a reliable mom and person. I mean, these people are trusting me to grow their baby for them! I struggled to let my newborn son stay with his grandmother during the day when I had to return to work! I cried for days leading up to it and a few hours after I dropped him off. I can’t imagine having to trust someone the way these intended parents will have to! Anyway… there was a lot of pressure there!
Another first- I’ve never skyped with people who want me to carry their baby for them. I angst-ed about it for DAYS! Would they like me? Does it matter what I wear? What the hell do we talk about?! How will it start- I mean, do we dive straight in to talking babies and pregnancy or do we have some warm up stuff? Again, so much pressure. And not knowing how to prepare myself made me a bit nuts. In most circumstances you can imagine, roughly, how it will go and prepare yourself mentally for it. Like for interviews. Once you’ve done one, you can imagine how any interview you might attend will go and prepare yourself for the types of questions you might face and how you should respond. This surrogacy business, though, is all uncharted territory for me so when I tried to prepare myself, I kept seeing… black. I had NO CLUE how it would go and was anxious as hell.
Ultimately, the conversation was like any other “Hi, it’s so nice to meet you” introduction and eventually it segued smoothly into the more formal “surrogacy talk” without a hitch. It was a bit of a struggle having 5 people chatting with a slight time delay- the connection made it difficult to just pick up or add in naturally to the conversation so I ended up biting my tongue a bit for the sake of ease. I felt much more awkward and ridiculous than I hope I came off, but there were parts of the conversation that kept me awake that night, afterward, that I completely over-analyzed. Of all the things I could have said, why the HELL did I say that?! Oh my goodness, did she know what I meant when I said _____. Oh dear, did I offend them when I _______. And, even though the agency rep confirmed that we would email on Monday after the weekend, I checked my email about 453 times over the next two days hoping that my husband and I made a good enough impression that these people would want to pick us. I mean, come on… NO ONE likes rejection!
They did pick us, by the way!!! We are officially matched! Which has sent my control-freak-self into a whole new level of hell. SO MANY UNKNOWNS HEADED MY WAY!
Legal paperwork: I’ve signed some contracts in my time, but it was all…skim… skim… skim… yep, okay. Sign. There was never anything serious on the line, hence the skimming. This time, two loving parents who have been working very hard for years to have kids… their hearts are on the line. An infant life is on the line. Hell, my life is on the line (though that’s pretty extreme, really, but my husband does worry. Understandably). Ultimately there are a LOT of things that this document will have on the line and the weight of that is not lost on me. In fact, when I really think about it, it knocks the air right out of my chest.
Medical Testing: I’ve successfully gotten pregnant twice with no issues. But I was chatting with a dear friend who is currently using a surrogate and she explained why their process was taking so long. Essentially the surrogate mom (who has 4 kids of her own: 2 vaginally and 2 by c-section) got all set to go for the transfer twice only to be told that her lining “wasn’t optimal” both times. She was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (a thyroid issue) and that caused other delays. Neither of these were things the surrogate ever had to worry about- hell, she had 4 babies! Knowing this is probably a good thing- I can mentally prepare myself for the long haul. But, goodness! I now have a whole new set of “what if’s” to keep my mind reeling. What if I don’t have “optimal lining?!?!” What if I have some undiscovered thyroid issues?! What if it was a fluke that I got pregnant so easily?! What if I cause even more heartbreak for this couple?! Ugh… the unknown… yuck.
Oh! And then, there’s the psych evaluation that precedes my medical screening. LOL! What if my mental angst for the unknown is picked up on by the person evaluating me and I am diagnosed as bat shit CRAZY?!?!? How ironic! The process of surrogacy has made me too crazy to be a surrogate. Wait… that’s actually not funny.
See… this is what happens when you leave a control freak without anything to control.
I digress… obviously.
But, that’s where I currently am. Just waiting. And checking my email. And then waiting some more. And refreshing my inbox, again. And then waiting some more. Oh, and also trying to teach my classes… and then checking my email. Driving home. Checking my email. Then playing, feeding, bathing, clothing, tickling, and reading to my babies. Then checking my email.
You get where I am going with this. In fact, I gotta go. I need to check my email.
(PS- the friend and her surrogate are pregnant now! Yay! They just had the anatomy scan and their little girl is healthy and progressing nicely! 20 weeks! halfway!)