Cake Wreck had me laughing so hard I had to stop reading. Joebob was also threatening to call my friends in the white coats.
Just do not say I did not warn you. Please do not drink and read this blog, it will be hazardous to your computers health.
Enjoy the belly laugh!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Cake Wreck had me laughing so hard I had to stop reading. Joebob was also threatening to call my friends in the white coats.
Okay, now I am going to bring up a topic that is the mine field of the mommy wars. BREASTFEEDING! Let me start by saying that I was not breastfed, and believe with all my heart that I was in no way negatively affected. Being that I research everything about babies and what is best for them, I have read a lot on the subject. Since I am not giving birth there are a few options open.
1. Let surro-mom breastfeed for the first couple of days.
Pros: Baby get some benefit. Might make surrogate feel better.
Cons: Baby not getting full benefit.
More bonding between surrogate and baby (the whole one more thing I can not do for my child, completely my own issue).
Logistics if baby or surrogate is released from the hospital. Surrogate may not want to do this.
2. Take drugs to induce lactation so I can feed baby.
Pros: Good for baby.
Good for waist line.
Cons: Creeps me out more than Alfred Hitchcock.
Have to take a bunch of drugs.
Still have to use bottle and formula.
Still creeping me out and now is making me doubt mothering ability.
3. Let the surrogate pump and ship to us so we can feed with bottle.
Pros: Great for baby.
Great for surrogates waist line.
Easy for me and not creepy.
Cons: Expense (it will either be cheaper or more expensive than formula).
Still have to use formula if something happens to shipment.
I know that this issue is controversial, and that I am putting the cart miles in front of the horse, but this is what you think about waiting around. What brought all this up is another blogger, which I should have bookmarked and did not, who is breast feeding her baby who was carried by her sister. Along with beautiful stories of her daughter, she also talks about breastfeeding. Before reading this, I had done some of my own research on the issue.
The more that I think about induced lactation, the more it just freaks me out, and the more freaked out I get the more I worry that I will not bond with the child. I know that this is crazy, but that is the way my mind works. If I am really going to feel that this is my child then feeding them from my body should be a no brainier, and it is not. See I told you it is not good to have so much time to think about this stuff.
Seriously, I think that having the surrogate pump. To me this makes the most sense.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
While I was writing our profile, I had to go back through our entire history of infertility. Of course this was painful, but it was also a great learning experience. So I thought today I would chronicle what infertility has taught me.
1. Sitting in the floor and crying gets you nowhere.
2. It is better to hug your friend in pain than give them "advice", the hug can help to heal, the "advice" not so helpful.
3. I am sooo much stronger than I ever believed.
4. Wanting something, even deserving something, does not mean that you are going to get that thing.
5. Broken hearts do not stop beating.
6. Making dreams come true, sometimes means redefining the dream.
7. I should have payed much more attention in biology.
8. I know my body better than anyone, and no doctor can ever tell me any differently.
9. Murphy's Law is real and should be respected.
10. The moment you give up, you end all hope.
11. It can always get worse.
12. It will get better.
13. Puppies, while amazing and having wonderful puppy breath, ARE NOT a substitute for children.
14. Deciding to change course is not the same as giving up.
15. Carrying and giving birth to a child does not make you a woman, and not being able to do so does not make you less of a woman.
16. Armadillos have the right idea, grow a tough skin.
17. True happiness is found in the moment, not in those things yet to be attained.
18. Never underestimate the capacity of the human heart.
19. You are the only person who will look out for your own best interest.
20. Life does not stop just because I am running down a dream.
21. Men experience this just as much as women.
22. Modesty and embarrassment go away very quickly.
23. Every bit of happiness is precious.
24. Finding the humor in the situation is essential for dealing with the pain.
25. Laying in bed gets you nowhere.
26. Sometimes just putting your feet on the ground and one in front of the other, is enough.
27. There are times when rolling up the windows and screaming over the radio, really does make you feel better.
28. Stepping outside my own life and doing for others helps more than I ever thought it would.
29. Bring your own book to the doctor's office, they never have anything to read.
30. Fear is an emotion that will stop all progress.
31. Nothing is as scary as I think it will be.
32. My limit is never where I thought it was.
33. There will always be someone who has been through more than me.
34. At times I just need a break and taking that break can make all the difference.
35. Plans rarely work out the way I think they will.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Women who are super model thin should have to work out in their own gym. My big struggling butt should not have to sweat next to the glistening sticks. I am happy they are sticks, great for them, but they should not be allowed to work out in front of me. I am sure that they think that I should have my own sty to work out in, so I do not feel bad for saying this. It is just going to be one of those days. My struggle with the weight is moving forward. I am staying off the scale for now, but my jeans are fitting a bit better. The biggest struggle at this point is not being a raving lunatic b/c I am sick of eating rabbit food. I just keep telling myself I am going to feel better, I am going to feel better.
I was talking about surrogacy last night to a bunch of people in my social work class, it was a primer course as they had no idea what the word meant. So once again I was answering all the questions that get on my nerves. I am working really hard at just making these answers automatic and not letting it bother me. Though it is starting to get to the point where I just want to keep my mouth shut. This time it was in the context of what I wanted to do with my degree, it had nothing to do with my personal situation. Part of the problem is that most of these "kids" still think that they are going to save the world. I lost that illusion a loooong time ago. At this point I will be happy if I can work in the social work field for ten years before I am completely burned out. We will see what happens. At this point I think I will end up in academia.
While I was thinking about all this on the treadmill, something else occurred to me. I am making plans that have nothing to do with my personal infertility. I am finally to a point where I can plan other things. This is HUGE, ENORMOUS. Finally this pity party is over, at least for a minute. There are finally times when I can see days when this will not be what consumes me, that there will be a time when all this will be a distant memory.
I have know this intellectually for a long time, but today my heart finally believed that there will not be a day when infertility was my whole world. Today is a day that makes me believe that I will heal from this, that these wounds will not infect my child.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Until this weekend when all the comments started coming, I did not realize how much they meant. I am a chronic blog lurker who rarely leave comments. Knowing that my mother is not the only one reading this, HI MOM!!!, is an amazing feeling. So thank you all who have commented, it means the world to me. I will try and write something more worthy tomorrow.
Posted by Jaymee at 9:24 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"Do you feel like you are apart of this whole process. I mean you really are just following me around."
"Of course I am part of it. This is like the wedding, make the plans and tell me when to show up and what to do."
"We are creating a child not throwing a party. Don't you want more input."
"I trust you. Just do what you think is right."
"I know you trust me, but I don't want you to feel left out. You don't get excited or upset, you just follow along."
"My life is just really busy right now. I am excited, you are just going to have to wait a bit for me to break out the pom-poms." He is getting a PhD and works insane hours.
"Okay, I just wanted to make sure you were in this with me."
that was the end of the conversation. ten minutes later.
"You have been in so much pain for so many years, and now you are in a position that your heart can be shattered. If I get in there with you, who is going to piece you back together? I need to stay detached for you."
he never ceases to amaze me.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I have been working my way through a lot of blogs over the past few days, it being ILCW and all. A lot of people have been leaving comments here which I LOVE. In leaving comments I have been reading a lot of comments and I noticed something. I am getting a lot of comments about how brave and courageous I am. This is not true. I have written another post about this, but I want to make this really clear.
Surrogacy is the right way for me to make my family, it is the only way that I can have my family. Not that I would not adopt a child in a second. What makes this right for me is that I want my husband to have a chance at having his biological children, not that he says this is important to him. Being the one with the fertility problem makes me feel responsible and makes me want to do all the rest of it the best I can. Surrogacy was the answer. I could have tried to carry our child, but at some point I decided that I wanted to be a mother not a pregnant woman. This was not a brave, courageous, or noble move on my part, it was an answer to a horrible problem.
I started this blog because there was a dearth of straight intended parents' voices in the world of surrogacy. I began to feel like there was some secret hand shake that I did not know. Our journey was becoming very complicated and I needed to know that others had been in my shoes and come out the other side. My insecurity and fear started this blog, and now that some of that has subsided my need to keep others from ever feeling that alone keeps me here.
Surrogacy is the third rail of infertility. Many in the IF world see it as a last resort and the general public have all kinds of weird ideas about what the process. I have had people ask how I could allow my husband to have sex with another woman. Been told that I was exploiting some disadvantaged women who could not possibly know better. Worried myself that I was not really going to be able to be a mother and still have a relationship with our surrogate. I have heard people tell me that anyone who would buy a baby should not be a mother. All of these statements are completely false. In reality none of this is happening, and if I thought for one second that it would I would have quit.
One day my child may have to tell the story about how they came to be and I do not want them ever to be ashamed. Not that I am going to make them wear a shirt saying they were a product of surrogacy, nor am I going to make it a big part of their life. We have decided that we are going to be honest about their beginnings, and yes there was a time we were not sure we wanted them to know. There was a time when I wanted to move to a cabin deep in the woods with my newborn and husband and stay forever, a little family of hermits. I was so angry that all these people were in our reproductive life, so raw from all the comments, and so tiered of feeling the pain. One day it dawned on me that the reason for all this was so that I could be a mother, and if I was just going to runaway I was not going to be a very good mother. A good mother advocates for their child and tries to make the world a better place. So here I am educating a few people about the incredible process that will make my dreams a reality.
Motherhood may still be years away for me and that fact breaks my heart some days. Those are the days that I come here and hope to teach someone a little bit about this process. One of the blessings of infertility is that you have time to research and think about everything. From highchairs to cloth vs. disposable diapers, I have read everything and then some. It was just natural that if I was going to put so much time and effort into those things, I should put at least the same amount of effort into educating as many people about how this whole thing works, so maybe when my child tells someone about surrogacy they do not have to hear a rude and hurtful comment.
There is no courage or bravery here, just a woman white knuckling her way through life.
Friday, August 22, 2008
some people have asked why we are using an agency rather than doing this independently. trust me there were many conversations over these issues. especially after our first experience with an agency. in the end it came down to wanting to be able to enjoy the experience without worrying so much about the details.
with our agency there is someone who looks into the insurance. someone who our surrogate will call if she needs money. someone who will make sure that she is getting the appropriate medical care, compensation and whatever else. someone who will help us with issues at the hospital, hiring lawyers, doing the psychological evaluations, and whatever else i have forgotten.
this whole process is a lot more complicated than finding a wonderful woman who is willing to carry a child for us. going to the fertility clinic to get her pregnant. then waiting 9 months to take the baby home.
for us, the agency provides us with the luxury of being able to really enjoy waiting for our child to make their appearance. instead of working out very complicated issues, in which we have no experience.
many years ago there was a phrase used in the adoption world, "as if families". parents were matched with families who could act "as if" they were born to the parents. elaborate steps were taken to try and ensure that no adopted child ever had to be told that they were adopted. agencies tried very hard to make sure that the child and parents looked a like, and that the child went home with them as soon as possible. this practice has since gone the way of the milk man. what really matters now is that the child goes to the best home possible, regardless of who looks like who, which is what really matters.
i want this experience to be as much of an "as if" pregnancy as possible. not that i am going to wear around a pregnancy suit or anything crazy like that. it is way to late for me to act like i had the baby all by myself *kicks self for starting blog*. i am not a crazy lady who thinks that we are getting pregnant. in fact hearing couples who say "we are pregnant" turns my stomach. while i think it is wonderful that men are more involved in pregnancy, let's be honest if it does not have to get out of your body you are not pregnant.
i am not sure what my role will ultimately be in this journey. what i want my role to be is head cheerleader and close friend. the day that i signed the consent for surgery i gave up ever being pregnant and knowing first hand what that experience felt like. deciding to create my family means that i am giving up the possibility that i might not be in the room when my child is born. i know that if a c-section is necessary that our surrogate will most likely choose to have her husband in the room with her, and i would not have it any other way. i know first hand that just having your husband or other significant person next to you can be a major relief of physical pain.
some surrogates have said that they felt the IM was distant and was not involved in the process. while i am really going to try not to be that way, i am very aware that this could happen. for me the reason is not jealousy or wanting to stay distant from a person with whom i do not want to develop a relationship. for me it is not wanting to step on toes or make her feel like she is being micro managed.
the fastest way to get me mad, is to not respect the fact that i know my body and mind better than you do and when i say something is okay or not i am right. what our surrogate will be going through is something i know nothing about, so i do not feel qualified to impose my opinion. i want to be a support for her, i will get her ice chips, rub her feet or whatever it is women having babies want. i want to know that she hates feeling crappy or that all food smells like mule farts, or whatever else. i want to know when the baby kicks or when it decides to punch her in the side. i want to know everything, but i do not want to burden her with my tears. because as much as i want to be there and know everything, i am scared that i will be jealous and that i will have to grieve the fact that i am never going to know these things. right now i think that i am past all this, but when faced with the situation who knows.
fact is that if we were trying to do this all on our own i do not think i would have the luxury to even worry about these things. for all the people who do manage to go indy, i think that is hugely brave. i am not one of those people. paperwork is my biggest nemesis, just filling out this paperwork has nearly sent me over the edge. trying to get through the rest of that swamp makes me want to find a cave to hide inside.
in the end, having an agency just gives me peace of mind. it will allow me to be able to enjoy what is important.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
With this view of the Oregon Coast
This as my back yard
Then I would use my teleporter to go to my other home
My own private island
In this house
it is always nice to get outside of myself and dream. sometimes you spend so much time chasing the attainable dreams, you forget you are allowed to have the big ones.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
this post is inspired by IVF Land on Surrogacy World, who is just plain inspiring because he is a man blogging about an experience that most men have a hard time finding the words to explain.
if you google surrogacy and then go look at the blog results, you will receive all kinds of information. what will be missing, or at least very limited, is the intended parent's perspective. as i have said before, there are gay parents, surrogates, lawyers and agencies galore, but few anxiously awaiting parents. in no way am i the typical intended mother, if such a person even exists.
our journey to surrogacy did not come with most of the baggage the accompanies so many couples. there were no countless visits to the doctor, and no years of failed transfer after failed transfer. our decision was made because i had to do what was right for my health.
as an adopted child it was not that much of a stretch for me to understand that biology does not make a parent. it was not important to me that my child look like me, share my blood, or come from me in any way. what is important to me is that i get to have the experience of being a mother from day one.
this does not mean that i did not go through the grieving for not being able to do this on my own. i questioned who i was as a woman. got upset that all these people were poking around in my life. got down right angry that others were having children at the drop of a hat. i wish that this was not the process that we had to go through, but i am grateful that we have the choice.
sometimes it is hard for me to talk about these things. i feel that i am supposed to shut up and be grateful that this path is open to me. the biggest thing that i have always felt bad about feeling, let alone saying, is that i hate the fact that i am not going to be able to have a child who i can take home and never have to share with anyone. i would of course never dream of cutting our surrogate out of my child's life, i do have to look at myself in the mirror after all. honestly, i think it is awful that people think that it is acceptable to take the child and run, but some small part of me understands the urge. of course reading Bump Fairy's post about giving D&G to their daddy how could i even begin to think that it would be at all appropriate to cut off our surrogate. she is not going to make any decisions, she will not be their mother, she will just be another person in their life who loves them (and we all need as many of those as we can get).
our child will have a ton of people like that in their lives, the only difference is that this person will have a unique relationship with them. there is of course this small part of me that is jealous of this relationship, i am human after all. fact is though, it is not a relationship my child will ever remember, and one that i am making so much bigger than any surrogate i have ever met would see as their relationship with my family.
the biggest lesson that i have learned through all of this, is that surrogacy is way too dramatized. a couple of cases have gone horribly wrong, and that is tragic, but thousands more create beautiful families. the difference is often simply being honest from the beginning.
i am one of those people who is constantly trying to be perfect and falling short at every turn. to get through this process has taught me that perfect does not exist in this world. of course i still have my dreams about the perfect relationship that i want with my surrogate, dreams of what will make this whole experience perfect. perfection is now defined as going through this highly emotional and trying process and coming out the other side with everyone feeling like it was a good experience and that we all got what we wanted, whatever that may be. for me that is of course a baby, but also that i have treated everyone involved with the utmost respect and have had that respect returned.
some people think that i am insane for putting this out for the world to see. fact is that maybe 20 people a day see this, so that is hardly the world. plus i am not doing this for anyone other than myself and my family. for my family it is a way that they can know what is happening without having to ask. this can be a tough thing to ask about and answers often just lead to more questions. letting them be able to read how i feel about this day to day, gives them a unique insight into what is happening and what i am willing to discuss. i hope that they know it is everything, as long as they are not telling me to give up and get a dog. for myself this is a way to keep myself from going insane through this process. keeping all these feelings inside would probably land me in the loony bin. there are so many huge emotions and they have to go somewhere, and mine are going here.
another really important reason that i am blogging this, is one day i want my child to know just how much they were wanted. it took me going through this ordeal to fully appreciate just how much my parents wanted a child. opening your life and heart up this much is not something you do lightly. it is something that you do because nothing else in the world could hurt you more than never being a parent. i hope that my child will only have to read this to fully understand what that longing feels like. i know that it is not something that can be verbalized, i can only hope that it is something that will come across in writing. in the end i want a record of what now feels like it will last forever, though in reality i know it is something that will last only for a moment. i never want to forget what this process was like. i want every moment to be forever preserved.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
32 years ago today my husband was born. i have been fortunate enough to have known him for the past 16 of those years. we celebrated tonight with a dinner and just some time together. in these moments of celebration i feel so inadequate, there are all these feelings that i want to express that never leave my head.
he is my heart and soul, without US, i do not make sense. this is not to say that i need him to define me, only that i need him to share with me all that each of us brings to this relationship. over the past year our lives have become masses of nerves and stress. through it all i have been able to depend on him to prop me up when i could not even fathom standing on my own. over this year i have been driven to make our child a reality, to the point that i have pushed him to the side. not once has he yelled and screamed, he simply taps me on the shoulder hugs me tight and lets me know that he is still here.
i could not have custom ordered a better person to go through all this with. in my quest to keep my head through this mess, he has been the one patiently placing back on my shoulders. i can only hope that he knows how much i love, admire, cherish, and adore him. he is the most amazing man in the world and deserves so much more than i give him.
happy birthday hun. all my love now and forever.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
i didn't want to have to do this, but here it goes. Jimbob and I decided 6 years ago what we would name our children. in light of a recent celebrities naming their daughter the same name, i feel the need to go on record. our first pick for a girl's name is Stella Blue. since we are both deadheads (no comments needed, we've heard them all) we wanted a good dead name. Cassidy is way too over used and we just didn't like it anyways. so this beautiful ballad was chosen.
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia
All the years combine
They melt into a dream
A broken angel sings
From a guitar
In the end there's just a song
Comes crying up the night
Through all the broken dreams
And vanished years
Stella Blue Stella Blue
When all the cards are down
There's nothing left to see
There's just the pavement left
And broken dreams
In the end there's still that song
Comes crying like the wind
Down every lonely street
That's ever been
Stella Blue Stella Blue
I've stayed in every blue light cheap hotel
Can't win for trying
Dust off those rusty strings just one more time
Gonna make them shine
It all rolls into one
And nothing comes for free
There's nothing you can hold
For very long
And when you hear that song
Come crying like the wind
It seems like all this life
Was just a dream
Stella Blue Stella Blue
so there you have it, we are not jumping on some bandwagon. this was a decision made years ago. in light of all we have had to and will have to endure to make this dream a reality i find it appropriate that we name our daughter after this song. i just wish i did not feel the need to prove that we are not following a trend. of course anyone who really knows us would never think that. we are the people who got a microwave a mere five years ago, and were forced to carry cell phones when all the pay phones disappeared.
The rest of our names are top secret so do not ask.
Posted by Jaymee at 3:53 PM
Thursday, August 7, 2008
i conquered the first really terrifying parts of this process. i finished my part of the profile. since i am not really that good at conveying who i am to others, i thought this was going to be a miserable experience. in reality once i started writing it all just fell into place.
what was easiest for me was to start writing about the easy part for me. in my case this was the medical history. after repeating it a thousand times to doctor after doctor, it was easy. funnily, in writing what i thought would be a dry piece of work it became really personal.
there was such a natural flow, in talking about the technical the personal heartache was not so difficult. the last thing that i want is for some woman to pick us out of pity. i can feel sorry for myself and wallow in it all i want, but i will not accept pity. it was not until i started sharing my medical difficulties with others that i realized just how awful the whole thing was. i knew it was not the ideal situation, but it was my situation and had become my normal. in the end i made a choice between being pregnant and being a mother, and i do not regret my choice.
making myself sit down and just start writing was the most difficult part. working through all the anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and getting it through my own thick skull that i am worthy of this amazing gift, was one of the biggest learning lessons of my life.
i know that i am a decent person, a good friend, an okay daughter and sister, and a fantastic wife (jimbob does read this). still, it is hard to imagine that i will ever do anything in my life to be worthy of this amazing gift. i know that you all are probably sick of me talking about surrogates like they are deities, but to me they are. without some incredible woman who is a stranger to me, making the decision to give up her body, parts of her life, and her waistline, i would not be able to hold my child in my arms just moments after he/she sucks air for the first time. there is no way that i could ensure that my child got every chance at the healthiest start in life. in my way of thinking there will never be anything that i will ever do in this life to match that kind of altruism.
i am however one giant step closer to making this all a reality.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
here we go again, strapping ourselves in for the Project Babies' Wild Ride. back to writing profiles, sifting through information, and nervous anticipation. there is a mix of excitement and scared to death floating around the house these days. both of which are great feelings because something is happening, we are moving closer to the dream.
Posted by Jaymee at 9:10 PM
Friday, August 1, 2008
"you have so much. i just do not understand why you have to want more. i mean your life looks just fine to me."
today these words were spoken to my face. someone spoke these words that cut deep into the bone. my life is great. i have a husband who adores me, a roof over my head, plenty in the fridge, bills paid, ect. ect. my life is perfect except for that one thing, i am childless.
guilt invades my life at every level. i fall short at every turn. here i am in my thirties and i still feel as competent as a kindergartner. i can't even be content and grateful for what i have without wanting more. this life should be enough. i should be happy with all that i have instead of pushing so hard to get the one thing that has eluded me. i am spending so much time chasing after something that may never happen. something that i might be really bad at once it does happen.
everyone says that i am a natural mother and that i always have been. problem is that i am good at this with people who can take care of their own basic needs. someone who depends on me for everything is a completely different story. i have to ask myself if all this heartache is worth it for something i might totally fail at.
failure here would not only effect me, it would also effect an innocent being that did not ask for this life. worse still i worry that all the pain that has built over all these years will ruin my ability to be a good mother. the urgent feeling that this one must go right because there will be no more. the fear that failure can never be corrected. as the oldest i was always told i was the guinea pig, and that my parents corrected their mistakes with my sister. there will be no other child if i am not perfect the first time i will never get a chance to correct my mistakes. what if i am not able to be a good mother because the fear that will paralyze me. at the end of this day i will get over this and do it anyways, i have come too far to turn back now.
still i question whether parenthood is what i am meant for. maybe there is a reason that i can not have children. it is possible that my body knows something i do not. i do have other talents, and maybe these are what i should focus on, i should be learning to just be content with what i have. i have so much, while others have so little.
i hate it when people say things that are so hurtful and so true. i am an ungrateful bitch for not being able to accept that i made this choice. two years ago i sat in a room with my doctor and said," i am ready to give up my uterus, because this is all to inconvenient. i do not want to bleed for months on end anymore." i willingly laid on the table and had 200 degree water run through my uterus and let them tie my tubes. on that day i understood that i would never have my own child. to become a mother i would have to travel half way around the world or pay someone else to have a child. so i should just accept my decision, buy another pet and be done with this.
problem is i want this more than anything. i want to pace the hall at 3 in the morning, when they are newborns and when they are on their first date (or whatever it will be then). i want all the really horrible moments, the hard work, the screaming, the tears, and whatever hell parenthood can be. i want all of this so that i can have this one moment, "mommy, i love you." to just hear those words once.