Monday, December 14, 2009

Giving Up To Gain

I should be writing here, I know that when I am avoiding this space that it is when I need to be here most. Last week the failed transfer just hit me. Life had finally calmed down enough that I was able to catch my breath and that first deep breath was filled with all the crap that we have gone through this past month.

What surprised me most is that there was very little sadness. The guilt is just overwhelming, a guilt that I truly believed I was over. Over the many years I have had to process what it really means to me to be infertile, it was always the guilt that made me feel the worst. A guilt that came from being a burden. My body would not work right, which meant denying myself and others another child to love. It was/is costing us a small (HUGE) fortune to make this child come to fruition, money that could be used for other purposes. My emotional baggage from all of this turned me into a miserable person to be around, either the tears or the rage kept me from being a person who was pleasant. `

In the middle of my big pity party, the husband said something. He said that without all of this I would not be the person I am. Which got me thinking. Yes, this has changed me in ways that are both good and bad. More importantly though, without all of this we would not be creating our family in such a beautiful and amazing way.

Surrogacy would never be the first choice of anyone to create a family. Being able to give up so much to gain something so huge is not easy. At times it feels like walking through a minefield, the other side is amazing but every step is filled with anxiety and fear. Having another family come into your life forever is not always easy, for all the same reasons that no relationship is ever easy. I am so grateful that we found someone who is so easy for us to work with, someone who just fits so perfectly into our lives. Like all relationships you have to be ready to fully let someone into your life. I had to really look at what was important to me in creating our family.

Giving up control. Giving up so many moments. Fearing that all the worst would happen. It is easy to say that you would do anything to have a child, but walking into the world of surrogacy really challenges that idea. Going into this process carrying all the pain, hurt, anger, and fear increases the chances of having a very miserable journey. I am not saying that it is ever possible to rid yourself of all this, but having these be the primary emotions of your life is just going to serve to make everyone miserable.

I will be the first to admit that I am so lucky, blessed, glitter covered, or whatever you want to call it to have Sabrina. It is easy to trust someone who is as open, confident, and sure of herself. I am able to trust her with such ease and for that I am truly grateful. Yes, this is not the first way that I would have chosen to create our family. Now that I am here I cannot imagine not creating our family through surrogacy. For all that we have given up, we have gained so much. We are on the receiving end of the closest thing to true altruism that many people will ever experience, and that is a beautiful and amazing way to bring a child into the world.

Monday, November 30, 2009

holidays, again

Wanting a child that is not here has always been hard. So, I am not sure why I really thought this year would be different. Being closer than I have ever been to becoming a mother has made this holiday season almost unbearable. Really, I just did not expect this.

When the transfer did not work, I was really okay. Other people were way more upset than I was and really that bothered me. Not because I was upset with them, but because it really made me realize just how many people want this for me and for themselves. I have always known that my parents and sister want a new addition to our family, and I carry an extreme amount of guilt for not being able to just give this to them. It was all the other people in my life that I had just never really thought about. I am so thankful that there are so many people who are going to love this child, I just wish that there was not the disappointment.

Over Thanksgiving, we just stayed home. Part of the reason was that the husband was a bit sick, but the biggest reason was that I could just not face being around people who felt badly for me. I hate the pity more than I hate the infertility. Yes, it sucks there is nothing about this that is fun, but it is the hand we have been dealt and we are dealing with it. Failure is just a part of this, and having everyone know about the failure is a horrible part. The comfort is wonderful but for me it always seems to come along with pity, and it is very possible that I am just reading it that way.

Maybe this will be the last holiday season that I feel this way, and maybe I still have many more ahead of me. You just never know, but whatever happens I am going to be okay because I have no other choice. A very long time ago I decided that infertility was never going to get the best of me. Parts of me are forever changed and not all those changes are for the better, but in the end I refuse to be beaten by this. I refuse to have the fact that I am infertile forever define my life. If I end up with a child or not, I refuse to be the person who lost herself to a medical diagnosis. Right now, I am not sure that I am doing a very good job of this, but I am doing the best that I can. My life is still happening and I am still standing and for today I will call that a victory.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


a dear and wonderful friend of mine is in more pain than i can possibly comprehend. her 2 year old son, lincoln, choked to death yesterday while at daycare. no parents should ever outlive their child, and i am unable to even imagine the amount of pain that she and her family are experiencing at the moment.

to make the situation even worse, they were between health insurance coverage. the costs are piling up quickly. we are organizing a relief fund for the family, if you would like to assist Frances and Brandon please contact me at

frances has been a huge support for me in my pursuit of parenthood, and this is just one small way that i can assist her in a time of great sorrow.

please keep Frances and Brandon, and Corbin who lost his little brother in your prayer and thoughts. they need as much healing and support as we can give them.

here is a link to the news story. Lincoln Weathers

Monday, November 16, 2009

back to the drawingboard

the second beta confirmed that sabrina is not pregnant. the number was 8.6, so we doubled backwards which is about par for course with my life.

i really thought that i would be very upset by this news, but really it has not been difficult at all. i am more concerned about sabrina and how she is feeling than about myself. this is really one of the nice parts about surrogacy, i have someone other than myself to focus on when bad things happen.
the plan right now is that we will cycle again in january, with one of our 9 totsicles. the reason for the delay is that our clinic does not do cycles in december for the obvious reasons. no one from the clinic has contacted me yet, i heard the news from sabrina, so i am not exactly sure of the details yet. she is supposed to speak with the doctor tomorrow so i will update when i know more.

the update may be a little late, as i will be attending the funeral of my great aunt. she passed away on sunday.

thank you all for the positive thoughts, prayers, and encouragement, it means so much to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Sorry that this post is coming so late, but I just found out myself. Apparently, everyone at the clinic has their heads up their butts today. The number is not great, but we all know that not great still makes it just fine. They want to see anything over 5 and we have 19.5, so not great but good. I think that we just have a very slow grower. The pregnancy tests, regular and digital, are all saying positive so who knows at this point.

I am super emotional because I am sick and I just want something to go right.

sorry i forgot to add that we are 9dp5dt. next beta is monday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

bad blogger!!

i know i have been horrid at updating! i just got home from dallas on tuesday night and now i have pneumonia! everything went wonderfully. we had a great time with the family and a perfect transfer of a perfect single embryo, plus we have 9 to freeze. BETA is tomorrow and i promise to be better about letting you know that number.

here are some pictures from the transfer to hold you over. in the spirit of not taking this whole thing so seriously we decided to dress a little crazy. i tried to get a pink wig, but waited too late and could not find one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This is a day that I have been waiting for, 12 long years of waiting, tears, sadness, anger, pain, fear, all culminating in this one day. Not that I really believe that this is it and after today everything will magically go back to normal, because after IF nothing is ever normal again.

On the day that I went in to give up my uterus, somewhere in the back of my head I just knew that all my hopes of ever being a mother was dying in the operating room. At that point I as at peace with that, my health was so horrible that I had to make that decision. Today, really the first time that I have felt any glimmer of hope that I may be a mother. Not a lot of hope, I have not lost my mind to that extent, but the tiniest little sliver.

I spoke to the embryologist yesterday, he thinks I am crazy, but that craziness has a purpose. We have 12 healthy embryos. PGD was done on 16 and 12 are as healthy as they can be. Our preference is for the healthiest first and then a girl over a boy. Now here is where he thinks I am insane, I do not want to know the sex of the embryo we are transferring. Knowing would make a loss a million times harder for me, because it will go from a collection of cells to a baby once i know the sex. To me, being able to detach from the embryos in this way has been the best part of using donated eggs, I have zero connection to them at this point. Living in my head is what I do best in stressful situations and I have been able to do this.

At 3, Central Standard Time, Sabrina and I are going to the clinic. Dressed in our crazy shoes, her insane socks and my insane fingerless gloves!! I just cannot take this too seriously! I promise to get plenty of pictures up ASAP.

I just want to thank all of you for getting me this far, your love and support have been my solace.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


egg retrieval FRIDAY!

transfer WEDNESDAY!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

For The News Junkies!

sabrina has perfect lining, 10.7!!!

the egg donor has 19 follicles ranging from 19mm to 13mm. they are still waiting for her hormone levels to come back, but are thinking that retrieval will be thursday or friday!

transfer will be 5 days after retrieval!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Joining the Tribe

We infertiles often talk about the people who give us the stupid comments or insensitive remarks because those hurt. The people who go through this journey right beside us, we often overlooked. Without two women being willing to go through infertility treatments for me I would not be becoming a mother. Neither of these women need to do this, they both have children of their own. It is easy to dismiss their willingness to go through all of this with thinking that they are just in this for the money, but anyone who has gone through this will tell you that no amount of money in the world would be worth volunteering to play the role of an infertile. These women join our tribe for a myriad of different reasons, what really matters though is that they are there. They show up and take on our pain as if it was there own, carry our hopes and dreams, and they do it voluntarily. For all the stupid comments we get, they get just as many. No matter how many times I see this happen I will always stand in awe that these women show up and voluntarily join our tribe.

In May of this year, a voluntary member of our tribe was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was carrying a beautiful little girl for an infertile couple. At that moment, she became part of a tribe no one wants to join. Nikki was a month away from her 32nd birthday when she found the lump that would forever change her life. Over the past five months, she has gone through a double mastectomy and chemo with an amazing amount of grace that often leaves me breathless.

I have lost people I loved to cancer, watched others battle and win. All the time I knew that anyone could get cancer, but it had never happened to anyone my age. Nikki's diagnosis was a real wake up call for me. I have always done self exams, but it was just something that I never thought about happening, it was more of a baseline thing. Sadly, breast cancer does not care how old you are it comes whenever it feels like it and the destruction is horrifying.

Please join me in joining Nikki's tribe. She willingly joined ours, the one that we were dragged into kicking and screaming. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others in your corner can heal more than any medicine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Welcome,welcome! This is by far my favorite time of the month!

What is happening here:

October 28th: First possible egg retrieval for our egg donor
Wait for PGD results to come back. We are doing PGD to avoid testing once pregnant.
November 2nd: First possible transfer date for our amazing surrogate and single superstar embryo!

Basically, just in a holding pattern and waiting for all those medications to kick in. As I said in my last post I am pretty much shut off emotionally from the whole process, and I am really okay with that. This baby making has been many, many years in the making and I see no reason to get my hopes up now.

If you want to read story of how we got to this point it lives here!

Thank you for stopping by. I promise to get a better post up soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

So far away

Over the course of my life, I have been used to things being far away, out of my reach, and completely unattainable. This is a space I know exactly how to occupy, and yet in this situation it all just feels so horribly wrong. In about 2 and half weeks we are going to be transferring, we are going to be going into the clinic and transferring an embryo that could turn out to be my child and yet I feel nothing. I have these fluttering moments of fear of it all falling apart, but other than that nothing. Half the time I do not even think about it, really this has snuck up on me. This is not supposed to feel like this, at least in my fantasy world this is not supposed to feel like this. Maybe it will be different tomorrow at least that is what I keep telling myself. The reality is that it never does, I am not depressed my mental state is just fine, I just cannot get excited about this transfer.

I know that some of this is just natural. I have nothing to do with any of this right now. Everyone else is involved and I am just standing here watching it all happen. No one is excluding me from the process; in fact, everyone has been wonderful about trying to make me feel as much of this process as they can. Some part of me does not want to get my hopes up in fear of the let down and for me that is really a good thing. At the same time it just feels crappy. It makes we worry that maybe I do not really want this as much as I thought, which I know is just a stupid thought because we would have never made it this far without the desire to be parents.

Right now this whole thing just feels so very far away for my reality. There is nothing that I can do to change these feelings. In many ways, this feels like what women describe as their husband's reactions to pregnancy, it just is not real until the baby is born. I really hope that this will not happen, I want to be more involved than that, but if it does, there is really very little I can do to change my feelings. I know that I want this child more than anything in the world. No one goes through everything that I have to become a mother because they do not want a child. I will get there; it might just take me some time. So, in about 2 and half weeks we will be heading off for the transfer. Sabrina is doing wonderfully on her meds and everything looks perfect, but I would expect no less. We are very fortunate to have her on this adventure with us, I could not ask for a better friend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

awards, awards, and more awards!!

I have been a total slacker about this, so I am going to combine them all in one post.

Thank You Circus Princess
Here are the rules that accompany this esteemed honor:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award - check
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. - check
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. - check
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

And here's another seven things you don't yet (but are about to) know about me:

1. I have a current obsession with Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, it is really becoming a sickness.
2. My dream cars, because I could never pick just one, is a VW Bus or a wooden paneled stations wagon. Dreaming really big here.
3. When I build a house one day I want a living room with a huge glass garage door and furniture that can be pushed out of the way so that we can roller skate and ride bikes in the living room. I also want a trampoline room!
4. I will not eat avocados, they are just yucky!
5. My dream vacation is to go to Hobox Island and dive with the whale sharks.
6. The first trip I took that required a passport was to Kenya, skipped Europe all together.
7. I love the fact that my parents video taped my entire life, but don't tell them that.

The criteria of this award is that I have to list 7 things I love and then 7 bloggers I love to pass this award on to.
7 Things I Love:

1. My husband for a million different reasons!
2. My hot tub, hands down the best money I ever spent!
3. The two furry rugs that live with me, otherwise known as my cats. They can be pains but they make me very happy.
4. SABRINA! Go check out the pictures she posted the other day and you will understand why.
5. All of my friends, of the real life and bloggy kind. I could have never come this far without you.
6. My camera, because it gives me room to live in the world without being petrified.
7. All my music, it gives me peace and room to figure out the world.

1. You Can Only Use One Word
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part
1. Where is your cell phone? Car
2. Your hair? Wet
3. Your mother? Wonderful
4. Your father? Amazing
5. Your favorite food? Any
6. Your dream last night? Crazy
7. Your favorite drink? Diet DP
8. Your dream/goal? Parenthood
9. What room are you in? Living
10. Your hobby? Photography
11. Your fear? Darkness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Unhappy
15. Muffins? Tops
16. Wish list item? Baby
17. Where did you grow up? Texas
18. Last thing you did? Shower
19. What are you wearing? Towel on my head
20. Your TV? On
21. Your pets? Furry
22. Friends? Too far
23. Your life? Fun
24. Your mood? Happy
25. Missing someone? Friends
26. Vehicle? Passat
27. Something you’re not wearing? Ballgown
28. Your favorite store? Williams-Sonoma
29. Your favorite color? All
30. When was the last time you laughed? Last Night
31. Last time you cried? Two Weeks and 6 days
32. Your best friend? Lacy/Sam/Hubs
33. One place that I go to over and over? Kenya
34. One person who emails me regularly? Emily
35. Favorite place to eat? Flemmings

Okay, so now that I have slacked I need to pick a million people to pass these onto, but I am not that good at blog reading so I am just going to break the rules a bit. I am going to nominate a few and then if you want one feel free to have it. I love all of you who read here and I could never pick a favorite.

Life Happens
Blonde Dawn

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Someone that I know very well stole our daughter's name yesterday. I am crushed, the betrayal is unbearable. Being in a place where I want to destroy someone's life over a name is not something that I am used to and not a place I want to be. Every tear that I cry feels wasted. Yes, I do not own the name I get that. It is most likely my entire fault for even opening my mouth. I asked that they not do this; I was told that they understood and I trusted that this would not happen. Worst of all I cannot even bring myself to look at the child, because for now all I can think of is that she has a name that should not belong to her. I know this sounds insane, but bear with me because I think that by the end of this it may make at least a bit of logical sense.

Like every situation that makes me react so strongly I feel the need to over analyze every aspect of the situation, blame it on all the therapy. Going over and over this, putting it through the blender and sieve, rinsing and repeating, and turning the whole situation into unrecognizable mush has made me see things very clearly. Infertility is just one huge thief and for that, I am irate. This situation was my tipping point, sending me flying back to a place I fought so hard to escape. The difference being that it has really given me a chance to look at my feelings in a different way and uncover pain that I did not know I was carrying around.

All the things that infertility has stolen:

My dignity got up and walked out after the umpteenth test and doctor.

Any sense of being a woman ran off a long time ago, because my body refused to perform a very basic function.

Friends have been left by the wayside, for a lack of understanding or the inability to deal with all the pain and sorrow that surrounds my life.

Tons of bodily fluids, tears, blood, bile, urine, and whatever else I have sacrificed to the reproductive endocrinologist.

Happiness has been so hard to find in so many situations and fighting the soul crushing depression delivered the final blow.

Romance, it is hard to feel desirable when you do not feel worthy or even human, even harder to make someone else feel that way.

Brain cells, all of the information and knowledge that is required to comprehend what is happening to me made my head hurt and I know that some of my brain cells just gave up.

Trust, faith, and hope took compassion and empathy and moved to the Bahamas, where they send postcards from time to time, between sips of frozen drinks, to the black piece of my soul that they left.

Worst of all infertility has stolen time. In the waiting, I have lost moments, months and years to be with my child. This is not something that I ever want to talk about because the reality is so heartbreaking. For every extra year it has taken for our child to arrive, I have grown older, moving closer to death. All this time I could have spent with the child that I am waiting to come into my life. Just typing those words bring tears to my eyes and nausea to my insides. No one wants to face their mortality, even more no one wants to think that there will come a time when their child will not have a parent. Spending so much time focused on an infant tends to blur the road ahead. Of course, this time is stolen from everyone that will love our child. Our grandmothers will have precious few moments as great-grandmothers and our grandfathers will never have those moments. This child will lose grandparents years before they would have if we could have just gotten pregnant. Words are not capable of conveying the hurt and pain this reality brings. Nothing about our infertility comes close to the grief that stolen time causes. I did not let myself even think about this until now.

My anger at the taking of the name is really all about the anger of stolen time. This baby who has that name may have more time, her parents may get those precious moments that I will not. Like everything in life, there is no guarantee that this will happen, but the possibility is agonizing. I do not know how to grieve this loss and finding a way to live with the pain just does not seem possible. Maybe I will learn, but this is not a lesson that I ever wanted to learn. I am okay with this path to parenthood and even grateful that I was having this amazing experience. Lost time is something that I will never embrace and something that I will never get over, because it is a loss to great and a price much higher than I am ever willing to pay. If we are to have a daughter her name will be the same, it is the name we chose for her many years ago, and nothing will change that.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

and we're off!

Bright and early this morning the fabulous Sabrina Skyped with me, she went to all that trouble for one very special reason. I was there when she gave herself the first of many Lupron shots. She is such a trooper, what would have taken me hours, took her all of five seconds. This is really happening, we are one our way!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

and then i cried

Now I just feel stupid about my last post. Today is just a simply amazing day. I never thought that seeing TONS of medication and needles not meant for me would bring me to tears, but you learn really fast in this process that anything is possible. Sabrina has her medication, a lot of medication. This is really happening, for real, like in reality, where I live part of the time. Seeing the pictures brought me to tears. Never did I think this was going to happen. Through countless phone calls and tons of logistics, it all just seemed like I was watching a movie of someone else. Now it is real, we are really going to do this.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In The Bog

I found myself in the bog yesterday, one that I have witnessed others sunk in but one that I have never visited. I pulled myself out, with the support of the man who has always stood there and pulled me from the edge. His love and willingness to sit with me through the worst moments will always amaze me, always. This is our relationship, we have seen the worst in each other, we embrace the ugliness, and move through it together. Without our ability to maintain our love for each other through all the dark and frightening places my life with him would not be possible.

Yesterday was the first time that I was terrified of letting him see me in the place where I was sitting. In some way this has all been building over all these years of trying to become a mother, but I ignored the fact that there was the possibility that I could fall. Each turn that we have taken on this road has just been taken. I would feel the pain, mourn the loss of the moments that we would not share and then move to the next step. At times getting to the next step took a long time, but I always found my footing. Every email and every phone conversation felt like it was all part of the universe telling me to just stop, just give up on this silly dream of being a mother and go get a life worth living. Never had I questioned that I was going to become a mother, some way some how I was going to have a child all I had to do is just keep trying and one day I would have the honor of becoming someone's mother.

The bumps were so minor yesterday, miniscule compared to everything that we have gone through to get this close. Our donor had a very low level of nicotine in her urine. The pharmacy and the clinic had a minor bit of miscommunication. The clinic was having miscommunication with Sabrina and I. My husband will be on the other side of the country around our expected due date, if this works the first time. All these things have one common thread, every single one of these is completely out of my control. This is my dream, the one thing that I want more than I can ever begin to describe and it is all in the hands of others. This is something that I have never worried about, I trust Sabrina completely, and I trust our clinic.

Having to stand outside of all this has been bothering me for a while. Not because I have a problem with not being able to just do this on my own. Not having a role at the moment just feels weird. Having a woman willing to give up her body, time and ability to always be with and do things with her own children so that I can become a mother is always going to just be strange. Knowing that a woman is willing to hand over her eggs to us will always be amazing. It is easy to diminish what is happening by saying that monetary compensation is involved, which they are. In the case of the donor I believe that this is a bigger motivation, but in no way is it the only motivation. When it comes to Sabrina I know that the compensation is the smallest part of her motivation. Part of feeling strange about this is my inability to accept that other people are willing to give to me, I am horrible at this. Another part, possibly the bigger part, is that I need to feel a sense of control over what is happening in my life. Handing over the biggest dream in my life is simply terrifying.

Add all of this together and you get a perfect combination for a lot of self doubt. Yesterday, all of it just came to a head. I feel so guilty about even entertaining the idea that I should not be a mother. I have wanted a child since I was a small child myself. Friends in high school called me mom, because I spent a great deal of time mothering them. There is nothing else in my life that had been a more stable character trait. Through all the changes that have occurred at the center of me is my desire to be a mother. Doubting that I should continue to pursue this, even for the briefest of moments, was crushing.

I am much better now. We are going to retest the donor, but our doctor does not believe that such a small amount of nicotine should be a problem. The pharmacy mess up was fixed in 13 minutes. I believe that the communication problem with the clinic has been worked out. If the husband has to be gone, then there is nothing that I can do about it, he has to do what is best for his career. Missing the birth would be sad, but there are years and years of moments that he will be there for and that one moment is really small in the big picture. I no longer believe that there is a vast conspiracy to keep me from motherhood. I just hope that I never go back to that place, because it scared me in a way that I have never been scared.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Pollyanna Here

Thank you all for the wonderful comments I just adore ILCW!

I want to make something very clear I am no Pollyanna. I have gotten many comments about how positive I am, and thank you for thinking so, but the truth is that it has taken me a very long time to get to this place. Reading posts about the hurtful comments, the wading through the muck and the just general despair is all so familiar. I go to these places all the time, but I have also learned so much from being there.

Hearing people say something just stupid because they have no other words was the first thing that I really had to work on. It was either lock myself in the house or learn to deal with the platitudes. We were at a party a year or so ago and someone asked if we had kids, a person that I had met ten minutes before. The poor unsuspecting woman, who was just trying to start a conversation, got the meanest and nastiest response I could muster. She obviously was embarrassed and for a moment, I took so much pleasure in watching her just squirm. Then I just felt horrible, it was not her fault, she really had done nothing wrong. It was in that interaction that I knew I had to find another way to cope with the questions and comments, because I did not want to be that mean person that took pleasure in others' pain, and I was not going to let my infertility take my humanity, that was a price I was not willing to pay. Intellectually I had known for years that all those comments, from "Just relax" to "A dog is just as good" were never meant to be hurtful, they came from people who loved me, from people who did not want to see me hurt anymore, or from people who were just at a loss for words. In a very bizarre way, they were all telling me that I was loved, in the same way that my husband tells me he loves me when he takes out the trash or cleans the dishes. It may not be the way that I want or need to hear it, but it is still all about love and concern. It is the same way that I instinctively tell those who lose a loved one that I am sorry or a friend with a horrible disease that it will be okay, I have no idea what to say so I pull out the safe platitudes that do nothing. I just had to learn and constantly remind myself that this was love, it was not meant to be hurtful it was meant to make the hurt go away.

In May of 2007 I had my first major baby boom, it seemed like everyone was pregnant and they all announced it at the same time. Every announcement ripped my heart out. I had dealt with those announcements before, but they had always been spread out. Two of the announcements came at the same party; a party that I could not just walk out of and trust me all I wanted to do was run. I was happy for them, I really wanted to share in the joy but I just could not muster the strength. My pain and hurt, my firm belief that I was never going to be a mother stood in my way. I missed the baby showers, I sent a gift and made an excuse and everyone kindly pretended that it was not about the pain even through they knew. I missed the first birthday parties for the same reason. Really, who wants a crying person sitting in the middle of the floor at such happy occasions, no one wants that and no one wants to be that person. Then a friend of mine, a woman who is so amazingly wonderful and who has stood beside me for so long, was having trouble conceiving her third child. Instead of picking up the phone and calling the one person who understood right where she was, she sat with the pain because she felt guilty complaining because she already had two children. Being stuck in the muck of infertility had caused someone I cared about to suffer the same pain without my support, and that ripped my heart out more than any pregnancy announcement or party invitation ever could have. I had to pull myself out of my world and help her deal with her world; I had to find a way to support her through her misery and fear. In order to help her I had to get out of my pain and myself. As difficult as that was, being able to help her was the best thing that could have happened. Her daughter was born two months ago and for the first time, in a very long time, I was able to be happy because a new life came into this world. For those few months I was able to remember, what it was like to not sit in that misery.

As a teen and part of my young adulthood, I was clinically depressed. During that time I believed that it was easier to be miserable, being in that place where all I had to focus on was how unfair the world was and how everything was nothing but a conspiracy to keep me feeling like the dirt on the scum of someone's tennis shoes. Then at some point, and I really have no idea when, it lifted and I felt so much better. I remembered how to laugh and have fun, and that place was so wonderful and amazing. Somewhere along the road that pain seeped back in, and it came so slowly that I had not recognized that it was back. Knowing that someone I loved felt like she could not come to me with her infertility struggle made me realize that I was back in the muck. My misery was so apparent to everyone else that they were afraid to upset me. I knew that being miserable was so much harder than being happy and I knew that if I did not find a way to get out that I was headed back to a place I had fought so hard to get out of. Yes, my infertility hurts and yes, it is unfair, but it is not the only thing in my life. I have so many other things that matter; most importantly, I have amazing people who need me as much as I need them.

The only way that I knew to get out of the despair was to face the worst-case scenario. What would really happen if I were never to be a mother? As terrified, as I was to look at that possibility I knew that without doing so I was just doomed to live in a space that I hated. I would still have amazing people around me, I would still have my husband, and I would still have all the children in my life that I love with all my heart. Childless I would still have a purpose in this world, I would still be a social worker and I would still find ways to have a positive impact on some area of the world. Yes, it would be heartbreaking, but I would still go on. I did not have to be a mother to justify my existence as a woman, being a mother would make me no more of a woman than I already am. The worst thing that could possibly happen would be a deep sadness, and I knew how to deal with that, I knew that there was help and that I was capable to accepting that help. I also knew that there is another side of that pain and that I was capable of making it there. Knowing all of this gave me the power to not always be in that pain. Yes, I want to be a mother more than I want to breathe, otherwise I would not be where I am at the moment. I also know that if this never works my life will still have meaning and purpose I will still have worth.

The weirdest part of being infertile and trying to conceive is that you become a parent to a person who does not exist. You live your life for someone who is not real. Every decision and every action becomes about them, and it is so easy to lose yourself in the process. When I was going through all of this I felt an immense amount of guilt, I felt like even considering the possibility of failure made me a horrible person. What I learned is that it did not. Being able to see the reality of the situation gave me the freedom to heal some wounds and really become a better person. I am in no way saying that every infertile person needs to work through these issues, I would never dare place that on others. I just know that this helped me get to the place where I am able to not always fear the future, and where I am able to enjoy parts of my life that I was unable to before. It has given me the power to control the parts of my life that I am able to and not to constantly worry about the parts that I cannot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome and the Cliff Notes

Welcome to ILCW!! My favorite time of the month, when I have enough time to participate. It has been a while since I have given a quick rundown of me and how we ended up in the amazing world of surrogacy, so I thought I would do this for all of you who are new, and those of you who just may not know.

The problems really began when I was 12, and started having very irregular periods that would last for months when they finally showed up. This landed me in the hospital getting a blood transfusion because my blood pressure was 60/40. It was at this time that I first started taking birth control pills, and more birth control pills, and finally moved onto estrogen and progestin because there was not a high enough dosage to keep me from having breakthrough bleeding. I was diagnosed with von Willebrand disease shortly after my first major episode of severe bleeding. When the hormone therapies were not working, the best option was to do a D&C, the first of which I had at the age of 13. At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with PCOS. After years of buckets of hormones and countless D&Cs, I decided that having an endometrial ablation was the best course of action, so in March of 2007 I went into the hospital and effectively killed my uterus. This is a decision that I have never regretted for a moment. Having periods that lasted for months on end, six months being the longest, I was ready to have a "normal" life. I was tired and drained all of the time and the hormones had just stopped working. We were ready to start a family and there was no way that I could be the mother that I wanted to be feeling the way that I did most of the time. The greatest gift of being an adopted child has been that I knew having a child that was biologically related to me was not the most important thing in the world, being a mother has nothing to do with seeing your eyes looking back at you.

In March of 2008, we met with a surrogacy agency. It was a wonderful and awful experience at the same time. We had some major issues with their contracts, were never able to work those issues out, so we decided that they were not the agency for us, and moved on. When I started this blog one of the first posts that I wrote was about being so alone in this process. It was then that I got an e-mail from a woman whose blog I had been reading for about a week or so. She was an amazing surrogate, we emailed back and forth and I watched as she had two perfect little girls for an amazing man. I just knew that she was the only person in the world that I would want to go through this journey with, so I became a bit of a stalker in a perfectly nice way. We were worried about doing this journey without an agency because this is all a bit overwhelming when you start to go it alone. On February 4th of 2009, I got an email with her phone number; I was so excited that I totally forgot to read the rest of the message. I called and we talked for a good 2 hours. We talked about everything, but her offer to be our surrogate, because I never read that part, and even though I wanted to call and beg her, I was trying to come off a little bit less insane than I actually am. A week went by and I was cleaning out the in-box, and finally read the part where she had offered to carry our baby. Words cannot express the embarrassment and stupidity that I felt, while I was also feeling amazing. With my stomach turning back flips, I called her back, and was just crossing everything that she had not changed her mind because I was an airhead that cannot finish reading an email. Thankfully, she did not change her mind, in fact she found the whole thing very amusing.

We had always intended to use an egg donor, because I did not want to pass on my bleeding disorder. Then we learned that there was a possibility that we could do genetic testing and just implant the embryos that were free of the disorder. Well, when you are given a chance like this you take it. While we were working on our contracts and getting the details hammered out, my blood was in a lab being tested. True to form, my body never does anything the normal way, instead of having a genetic mutation like most people, I have a whole series of genes that are missing. In order to do PGD we would need to send the blood to England and then have the test verified here, and it all boiled down to a whole lot of waiting for something that was just not that important. We went back to the drawing board on the egg donors.

At this moment we have our donor, we have the world's most amazing woman willing to put herself through a pregnancy, and we are just waiting for the planets to align so that this family of ours can grow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

From Wounds to Scars

A week or so ago a dear blog friend of mine, emilythehopeless, came under attack by a group of adult adoptees. The attacks were so ruthless and horrid that she decided to move out of her blog home, and the world of infertility blogs lost an amazing voice. Part of the blogging experience is dealing with negative comments it is just something that comes with the territory. This went way beyond hurtful comments; these people took it upon themselves to contact the adoption attorney that she is using and inform the attorney that they believed that she was an unsuitable candidate for adoption. This is taking the whole thing to a level of insanity that I just cannot wrap my head around.

I have thought a lot about this situation and have tried, as an adult adoptee, to understand where these people were coming from. In the end, I cannot. In my teen years, like most teens, I was angry at the world. Adoption was my ammunition because that is what I had to work with and it would have been some other issue if I had one as powerful. Anger at the world is just part of the growing up experience for most of us. Adoption is not an easy issue for anyone involved in the process. As an adoptee I felt abandoned, unloved, unwanted, and lived in constant fear of abandonment. Living in that space becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, you become the person that no one wants to be around and every person that tries to get close to you had to wade through the swamp of misery to do so, and who wants to put that much time and energy to a black hole of misery. I found myself caught in this vicious cycle that was difficult to free myself from.

At some point, I realized that it was so much easier to live my life in a state of happiness instead of the misery I had wallowed in for years. Of course, people had been telling me this all along, but it is not something that you learn until you are able to experience it for yourself. Misery was comfortable I knew how to function in that world. Learning to be happy was a long process, but life was so much easier once I got to that place.

As an adult I am grateful that I was adopted. I am grateful that my parents wanted me so badly that they were willing to jump through countless hoops to become my parents. I am grateful that my birth-mother wanted me to have a better life than what she could provide, and made the difficult decision to place me in the care of others. Most of all I am grateful that I have been able to learn and grow in ways that I would have never been able to. Seeing these adults, and I use that term very loosely, have the need to attack others because they are unable to move on from this pain, has given me a new perspective of where I could have ended up. Without being able to recognize that I have my own issues, and that these issues are my responsibility, I could have been these people who need to focus on others rather than dealing with themselves.

No one has the perfect life. We all live with deep wounds, some more traumatic than others, but just as horrible to us personally. Given the chance, all of us would change some parts of our lives; it is part of being human. What makes us adults is the ability to let the wounds grow scabs and become scars. The ability to recognize that we are not defined by our pasts is so incredibly freeing. For me to know that I have survived the pain of so many parts of my life has made me a stronger person.

Knowing that one day I am going to have to tell our child that I am not biologically their mother is not something that I am looking forward to, but it is something that I know I can handle. All my experiences have taught me that there is very little I can deal with in this life. Those experiences have also taught me that no matter the reaction the child has, that one day they will understand that all the decisions we have made and all we have done was because we love them more than words can convey. Every twist and turn that occurred in making our child a reality was done because we have loved him or her for years before they were a reality.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Debates, Labs, Decisions and Love

There has been a major debate raging in my head for the past week, well actually more than one debate, but I will start with the first and see where it goes from there. In writing this blog, I have been very open about who I am and what has gone on during this journey. At the genesis of this little space in the world, I was a dark place where I felt completely alone and there were very few people who were blogging about beginning a surrogacy from the intended parent perspective. At that point this was my story, the end goal was to have another person walking around in the world, but a year and a bit ago that person felt so far away. So distant in fact that I never really let myself think that this was really the story of creating a new life, instead I saw this as a story of creating a mother. I know that this does not make a ton of sense, but little that goes on in my head ever really does. The closer that we get to making this dream of a person a reality, the more I feel that I have less of a right to tell the story to the world.

There is no easy conclusion to this debate. This story belongs to another person just as much as it belongs to me, but the other owner cannot give consent to have the story out in the world. Other bloggers write about their children all the time, and write about parts of their child's life that the child may not want everyone knowing when they are older. The main reason that I came to have this space in the world was that I wanted others to not feel like they were to only ones, to pull the curtain back from surrogacy, and hopefully change at least one person's mind about what this incredible journey was all about. Part of this process is giving information to complete strangers that one day my child may be angry about, but at this point I can say that I am okay with this. Not because I am a cold and heartless person, but because I hope that in telling this story, I am in some small way normalizing surrogacy so that the child may run into one less cruel comment. I know you are reading this and thinking that I have some really high opinion of myself, which could not be farther from the truth. What I do have a high opinion of is people's ability to talk about issues to others and helping others look at a situation from a different side. It is easy to sit in judgment when there is no human face on the other side, it is much harder when a real person is able to tell you what the experience was like for them.

Really, all of this is just a roundabout way of saying that I have some very big news, and have known for about a week, but I have been unable to find the right words to share the information. The clinic in England finally got back to us, saying that they could do the test. We received a timeline of 2 months, which is not great but something that we could live with. Call the clinic and let them know, and this is where the bomb drops, wait for it cause here it comes. Using a lab in another country would require that a lab in the US verify the results. The whole reason that we were going out of the country was because there was no lab that could do the test here! Verification could take anywhere from one to six months. To say that my heart sank into my stomach is an understatement; it dropped clear to my feet.

When we began this process, it was always our intention to use an egg donor. My main priority has always been to ensure that we had the healthiest child possible, and passing on von Willibrand's Disease would not accomplish this goal. Not that using an egg donor guarantees that our child will be the picture of health, but it does increase the odds. The other part of the egg donor decision, is that we have waited and waited for this to happen, put our lives on hold and we were ready to move on. Becoming a mother is way more important to me than seeing my own eyes rolled at me when I embarrass the kid. Yes, I was excited about the possibility of being able to use my eggs, but it was something that I have come to realize that other people wanted more for me than I ever wanted for myself.

The one aspect that has bothered me most in using an egg donor is how to tell the kid. To me, it is a much more difficult conversation than the surrogacy conversation. Children can grasp the "you grew in someone else's tummy" concept much easier than the whole egg donor concept, if for no other reason than having the intellectual capacity to understand the associated concepts. In other words, I do not want to have the BIG talk with a 3 year old. At the same time there is a very limited window of time when they are old enough to understand and when you have waited to the point that they will feel as if we lied or tried to hide something from them. Yes, I know that they are going to feel this way about a million things, but to me this is too big to let them feel this way about. So I am sure that this will be something that will take a lot of debate and cause a lot of worry, but it is also something that I know we will be able to handle.

So, we are moving on and creating our family with the help of 2 extraordinary women. I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to be on the receiving end of such an overwhelming amount of love. Sabrina has been such an amazing woman through all of this, taking on the role of sounding board, cheerleader, comedian, and the definition of patient. The gratitude that I have for her can never fully be expressed, but I will keep trying.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tick Tock

I have no new news on the genetic testing front. I hope to hear something by Tuesday at the latest. Right now the plan it to wait until then and move on from there.

I just want to thank all of you for the love and support, it has been very overwhelming. I cannot imagine going through all of this without all of you standing behind me. Over the past couple of days, I have been able to really see what is important to me in this whole journey. Yes, the end goal is to have a baby, but there is so much more in this situation. When we first started to look into surrogacy, I had a vision of what this would all look like. We would find a surrogate, do what we needed to do, have a baby, and then there would be a few letters and pictures, but that would be the end of the relationship.

There is no way that I can imagine having that type of relationship now. Not just because Sabrina is someone that I would want to be friends with no matter what, but also because I have realized just how personal this relationship needs to be. Sure, this is my husband and I's child but Sabrina's whole family is involved in this situation. We are the ones waiting, but they are the ones giving up so much to help us end the wait. When I first got the news that we would have to wait to do the transfer, Sabrina was the first person that I called, and I cannot even begin to put into words how much easier she made the whole situation. I was able to see the forest for the trees after talking to her. We are in this together, and this is a partnership like no other. We are all going to make it to the end together, so how could I possibly just walk away after all of this. The answer is that there is no way that I could ever do such a thing.

She does not want to be the mother of our child, she just wants to be a part of our lives as a family, and there is nothing wrong with that. When I got the horrible call, I realized that there are so many people who want to be part of our life as a family, so I can always welcome one more. Just like each person who reads this blog, we are all a part of each other's families. It is an amazing thing to know that as we wait for our child and while we are raising our child, that we will have this amazing support. So thank you all for giving me a safe place to fall, it means more than any of you could ever know. This goes for all my real life friends and family and my blogsphere friends. I only hope that I can be as supportive of all of you as you are of me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who Pressed the Delete Key?

Apparently, my body was not weird enough. We finally got the results back from the genetic testing. Instead of just having a simple gene mutation that causes most von Willebrand's disease, mine is caused by multiple gene deletions. There is no lab in the United States that is able to produce a PGD probe for genetic deletions. A lab in England will have to do this.

So what does this all mean? The first thing that it means is that we will not be transferring in September. I have no idea when we will be transferring. The second thing that it means is that I have had a hard fall today. As much as I tried not to get my hopes up, as much as I tried to stay detached from this transfer, this news has hit me like a ton of bricks falling on my head.

All of my energy has been focused on this transfer. I guess it was just inevitable that anything going wrong was going to feel this way. At the moment when I was finally able to let myself feel like this was going to happen, that this transfer was a real thing, this news hits. Part of me is angry at myself, because if this could happen to anyone it is me. Medically nothing has ever been easy for me, I should have know that something major was going to go wrong. Of course, I also know that if this had not happened I would have never given it a second thought. Right now I just feel beaten, what seemed so close this morning seems so incredibly far away now.
I am trying to find the good in this situation. There is the upside that now I have more time to work on my physical self. There will be more time to get myself centered before I become a mother. Something that I feel incapable of doing at the moment, but I am willing to try and that has got to count for something.

I should hear back from the genetics people tomorrow or Monday. I will know more then.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lupron and Injections

Okay, I am a month out from the part of this process that scares me most. To say that I am just a little on the nervous side would be like showing up to breakfast in a ballgown (that you did not wear the night before), a tad bit on the crazy side. As is the needle was not bad enough they are filled with something lovingly called Loopy Lupron. I have read a lot of stories from fellow bloggers, but I need more information. I must know the non-sugar coated version. So give me the honest truth.

What is your best injection advise?
Do I need to send the husband away for the sake of our marriage?
Should I buy a roll of duct tape for my big mouth?
How much extra migraine medicine am I really going to need?
Are my dishes safe, or should I pack them away so that I have dishes left?
Do I need to book myself a padded cell?
What am I really getting myself into?

Friendship and Lessons

I have been a really bad blogger and a really bad blog reader, forgive me.

Things are going well and I have made my peace with the school situation. For those of you who asked, I went as far up as I could and there was just no changing anything. I will be working on changing the policy and will have some considerable help doing so. Thank you all so much for encouraging me and standing behind me as I went through all this, it helped more than you could know.

Please take note of the ticker in the right hand corner, more on the title in a moment. We are getting close to the transfer and I am freaking out just a HUGE tiny bit, but I will get over that, you know after I knock myself over the head and wake up after it is all over.

While I was finishing up with school, I got a blog award from my darling Emily. Since I hate to admit that I have not read one new blog all summer, I am going to change the rules a bit, cause I am a rebel like that.

I have decided that I am going to tell you a little bit about Emily and why getting this recognition from her really makes it that much more special. I found Emily through ILCW and I hooked. When I first came upon her little space in the blogsphere she was in the process of doing IVF (#2?) and I have never wished harder for anyone to be successful, her tattoos alone would have been enough to make me want this for her. Though what really struck me was all her tickers, and one in particular, the ticker she had for Darby. Her precious pup had not been gone long, and every time she wrote about Darby I cried like I had lost my pup. The sincerity and emotion reached through the screen and tugged at my heart. Then of course, there were her wedding pictures, you are hitched in custom Converse and well that is just about the coolest thing EVER.

Over the past year or so, I have watched Emily and Steve make some very major life transitions, and Emily has been gracious enough to let us all share in every moment. With the moving, heartache, and questioning, I have been privy to an amazing transformation. Their transition from attempting to conceive to waiting to adopt was really a magical thing to watch, because they got there without bitterness and hate. Yes, she mourned the loss of having a biological child, but she embraced having an adopted child with such beauty and fervor it astounds me every day.

I have met a lot of really amazing women through this blog, more than I could have ever imagined. There is just something special about Emily. She has given me something that I did not even know I was missing. In her story I have found the strength to feel the anger and unfairness, but not to let these feelings be roadblocks. Those feelings are just that feelings, and you have a choice to be paralyzed by them or to use them to propel you to the next step. If I could make her and Steve parents tomorrow I would, but I cannot. I would have a baby for her in an instant, but that will not work either. What I can do is beg and plead with all of you to go buy a bracelet. I know I have asked before, but I am just going to keep asking until you do it.

Emily, you are an awesome person and your child will be so lucky to have you as their mother.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Infertility stole my sense of being a woman and at times my sense of belonging to the human race. All of this happened in a matter of moments and required a huge shift in my sense of self, because at some point my life had to go on and I had to get up out of the floor. One of my greatest lessons was learning that I was so much more than my body, my ability to reproduce did not define me, my body's lack of cooperation was not my fault, and eventually I had made it back to being able to function. There was one problem I ignored my entire body, I forgot that part of taking of me was taking care of the body that I was walking around in.

Weight and body image has been a problem since I hit puberty. Standing next to my mother, at the house of her friend, in the afternoon. Her friend was getting something for them to drink and she looked up. The words that she said to me were not meant to hurt, because she was one of the sweetest women in the world. She said it looked like I had put on some weight. I was 10 at the time and 23 years later, the memory of those words can bring tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. This was in no way the beginning of my poor body image; it is just the first memory I have of someone making a comment about my weight, someone validating what I believed about myself. The fact was that I was going through puberty just a little bit earlier than most of my peers made me feel out of place. Looking back on the photographs I was not even close to being mildly overweight, I was just a girl going through puberty.

Now the body that I have ignored is screaming for me to pay attention. I know that I need to get this under control and I am sick of being the fat chick. There is only one problem is that I find myself caught in this vicious cycle and the mere idea of escaping is completely overwhelming. I hate the way I look, I eat, I am sad, I eat, I am happy, I eat, I feel bad about something, I eat, I am stressed, I eat. I eat because food is constant and comfortable.

Part of my healing the deep wounds of infertility is integrating myself back into myself. No matter how angry I am at this body for failing me, it is my body and I deserve better than what I am giving myself. In no way would I let someone else treat me the way I have treated myself. It all stops, the abuse that I have inflicted on myself stops today. Just as the misery was comfortable in the depression, the fat became my friend it has kept me safe and warm. I do not need this anymore, what I do need is to integrate my body back into my identity and begin to take care of myself again. I have a hard road ahead of me and I know that I will stumble and fall flat on my face at times, but the time has come for me to really respect myself.

Monday, July 13, 2009

emily the hopeless

Over the weekend, I went to Atlanta to meet Emily and her husband. Let me start by saying that they are the first people that I have met from the internets, thankfully they are who they say they are and are very wonderful people who I completely ADORE!!! Talking with them was just like talking to people I have known my whole life and plan on knowing for the rest of it. We went to a vegan restaurant, which for my carnivore self was a stretch, and it was soooo yummy. I had some of the best mac and cheese I have ever had in my life, and if you do not know I am a mac and cheese connoisseur. Mac and cheese is the best food in the whole world, sadly it all likes to live on my hips.

Meeting someone whose life I have been following for a while is a surreal experience, albeit a wonderful experience. You are sitting with someone that knows so much about you already that the conversation is just natural, and yet this is the first time that you have ever been in his or her presence. I really gained a new perspective on this whole blogging thing and how I relate to the people on the other side of the computer screen. Not that I was unaware that real people were on the other side, it just framed the whole thing in a different way for me.

Emily and Steve are just beginning the adoption process. As someone who is involved in the adoption process, I can say that they are some of the most prepared people I have ever met. We are all researchers in our path to parenthood, but they are reaching the level of experts. I would do anything to make them parents, if it was possible for me to have a baby I would be having one for them, and this is not something I can say for the vast majority of people. There is one thing that I can do to help them. We all know how expensive this baby making stuff can get, and adoption adds up the same way. Emily and Steve are selling the cutest bracelets to help them fund their adventure in adoption land. To help get the word out Steve designed a button for your blog that takes people to the place where they can get their very own bracelet. Come on you know you need more jewelry, one can never have enough accessories! Plus, you get to help a wonderful couple become parents, with the added benefit of helping our future child have a friend and that kid is going to need all the help they can get with parents like us ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Eight years ago today, under an overcast sky with a smattering of raindrops, I married the love of my life. We did not get to that day easily, our relationship evolved out of a lot of stops and starts. Stops that were so painful I was sure that I was going to die and starts that were so amazingly high that I never wanted them to end even though I was always waiting for the fall. Yes, we have a bi-polar relationship. When I was seventeen my therapist said that our relationship was symbiotic, and she was right but it works for us. We are better together than we are apart. Together we are invincible we may stumble and fall but we do so together. Our relationship is insular, no hurt is so deep that our little sphere cannot protect or heal. I love this relationship just as it is with all the dents and faults, with all the shininess worn off, and with all the other things that outsiders think is wrong, it suits me.
When I was seventeen he was just my best friend, he was the one who I needed to make my life better, and more importantly he one of two people that made a horrific time in my life tolerable. Something beautiful and tragic happens when a relationship is formed in a dark time in both the people’s life, and being able to maintain and grow that relationship outside that space is frightening at times. Knowing just how far the love of your life is capable of falling is scary and comforting at the same time, and it lets you know just how far they are capable of flying.
I am a better person because of him. I have taken risks I never would have dreamed of because I knew he was standing beside me. For seventeen years I have loved him, and still to this day I catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye and he takes my breath away. What I did to deserve this amazing man in my life, I will never know, but I am all too aware of just how lucky I am to have this amazing love in my life. A love that has given me more than I could ever return. Honey, I love you more than these simple words could ever express.

Monday, July 6, 2009


The depression is getting better, I am still taking Chantix but it is working so I am okay with feeling a little down from time to time. I finally finished painting the kitchen and got my awesome retro table moved in so now we can actually have people over to eat. My next challenge is getting all the junk in our guest room organized, but I think that may take a crew of people to get done. Are we the only people whose stuff seems to multiply all by itself? I swear we have bought very little since we moved and we are outgrowing this house already. Thankfully, there is a huge attic and most of this stuff will be going up there to live.

Of course, once you get one problem under control another one pops up. Yes, my life really is a game of Whack-A-Mole. I may have found myself in a situation where the answer is obvious, but not at all easy. Since we are scheduled to cycle in September (doing back flips) I am going to have a major problem with school. While we are cycling I have to be in Dallas for monitoring, but school is in Alabama. Monitoring could take up to and most likely will be two plus weeks, thank you PCOS. Then there is being there for the transfer, another three to four days. The nurse coordinator actually asked if I was going to be there for the transfer. First, it never occurred to me that it was optional. Second, nothing in this world could keep me away. I may not be the one carrying or giving birth, but I am going to be there for the conception or at least the part they will let me be there for. Are there really people who are not there for the transfer? That question just really bothered me for some reason.

As you can imagine this is not going to go over well with the graduate school thing. In one way this is the easiest decision ever, in another it is difficult to make the only choice that I have. Baby making beats out school every time. I know that school will still be there and I can always go back, but I do not know that I will. It took me sixteen years to finish college and that was not the experience that I wanted in graduate school. Part of getting this degree is having something to keep me busy while we are waiting to be parents, but another part of this, the bigger part, is completing a degree that means a lot to me. Granted, I do not intend to use this degree for a couple of years after the baby is born, but that is not the point. This is not a degree that will be easy for me to attain, doing it as a mother is going to mean a lot more sacrifice than I feel prepared for at this point. Maybe this will all be for naught, it is still possible that I can work something out, but I am really thinking that it will not.

On another note, thank you all so much for the support after my last post. It really meant the world to me, and helped more than I can ever express.

Monday, June 22, 2009

sliding away

There is a lot that is going on in my life right now. Since, no one wants to read a novel I am going to take this one thing at a time.
I am depressed, seriously having problems sleeping even though I am exhausted, I care about very little, and for right now this is a comfortable place for me to be. A medication that I am taking is causing this current bout of depression and I knew that this would happen when I started the medication. Why would I volunteer to take a medication that I knew was going to do this to me? I am quitting smoking, which I have been quitting and starting for a little over a year now.
Sadly, without the Chantix I am incapable of putting down my companions. I hate admitting that I am so attached to these things that I know are killing me, but I am. When I am smoking I have to know where they are all the time, they come with me everywhere, and they make me feel better. Most people think that it is disgusting, and it is, but at the same time, these companions of mine have seen me through a lot over the sixteen years that we have been together. Our relationship has just runs its course and it is time for me to finally get rid of them.
The depression is also coming from another place. I am under a lot of stress and pressure, and the way to cope with that for me is to just lay down until it passes. Well, there is no way that I can do this now. I have to actively get myself out of this, but it is a struggle. Graduate school is just overwhelming, it is not difficult the actual work is simple, it is just the pace and the massive change to my routine. I commute an hour each way three days a week and I cry most of the way home, I know that it is simply cathartic, but I am getting sick of this.
The other component, the nastiest, most appalling component, yes worse than the smoking. I am scared of being a mother, in fact I am terrified of that overwhelming responsibility. To think that someone would work so hard to attain something and then be terrified of actually getting there, I feel horrible for even thinking that this is true. It is true though. I know that people say I will be a great mother, and I am sure that they think they are helping, but it does not help. Those reassurances only make me feel that the bar has been raised that much higher. To me this is the dirty little secret of my infertility; I feel that I have to be a better mother than any other mother on the face of the earth, and I know me well enough to know that there is no way that that is ever going to happen. I do not think that I am going to be a horrible mother, but I know that there is no way that I am going to win any mother of the year awards. This idea has been floating around in my head very long time, but the closer we get to the reality of parenthood with a child the more that this weight is laying on my chest.
I spent much of my pre-teen and all of my teen years in a deep clinical depression. I remember someone asking me why I was so miserable, and of course I had no idea why, what I did know was that it was comfortable there. I knew miserable and it was easy for me. Years were wasted in that state, years that I will never get back and years that I would never trade. I learned to many valuable lessons, most importantly I learned that true happiness is the best thing in the world.
I will come out of this place. A couple more months on this medication and it will be over, and I will come out the other side happier and healthier. I just wish there was an easier road.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Adoption- I was adopted when I was 12 days olds, I am thinking about working in the field of adoption, and we seriously considered adopting before we started down this road
Bella- what my mother’s grandchildren will call her, because any incarnation of grandmother (makes her feel old) just is not good enough for her. she is going to be a great grandma.
Crying- something that I have been doing a lot of lately, and I have no idea why, more of that in the coming days
Daisy- my favorite flower and my insane kitty
Exhaustion- what I have been feeling since starting graduate school, I am going to beat it before it kills me
Fat-what I am, what I have always been or at least felt like I was, and what I am determined to not be for the next chapter of my life. of course, I am failing miserably, but at least I am determined.
Gasping- what I have been doing for air these days. Not only am I running around like crazy, but it is so hot and humid that it is hard to breath. I hate the south this time of year
Happiness- something that is at least coming and going at this point, it has taken me a very long time to get here
Igloo- what I want to live in at the moment, have I mentioned it is HOT
Jaymee Joy- my name. I was named after my mother’s parents. I spent every weekend with them and those are some of the best memories of my childhood. I am so fortunate to have my nana still here. my papa died when I was 17 and I will always miss him.
Kenya- where the husband was born and one of my favorite places
Laughter- what I desperately need more of in my life at the moment
M- the husband, who wanted a stupid blog name that I am currently refusing to use, well not currently, I am never using it again. He is the love of my life and I could never imagine having to face the world without him.
Never- when I truly believed that I was going to be a mother
Octopus- my favorite sea creature, they are just so damn cute
PCOS- my first fertility issue
Quest- what my life has been for way too long, a quest to motherhood, a quest to the undergraduate degree, a quest to the master’s degree
Rage- something that I think I am finally getting over. The anger that came with the infertility has been the part that has bothered me the most, I am just not a good angry person.
Sabrina- the most amazing woman I have ever met, I could not have custom made a better person to carry our child.
Time- something that I have wasted too much of and never have enough of, and that makes me sad.
Understanding- something that I have a lot of for other people and very little for myself
Von Willebrand’s- a bleeding disorder that has made my life crappy and my second fertility problem because it is just not good friends with the PCOS
Water- something that I have always loved in all it’s forms except to drink, which is really bad
X- really you expected me to come up with a x word, yeah I am just not that talented
Yesterday- when everything that I need to get done was supposed to get done
Zoos- I love them, I have no idea why but I just have the most fun.

so that is a bit about me. i have a lot going on at the moment and i will tell you all a bit more about that later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

You know when you have that one subject that keeps coming up in your life, where every thing you seem to do seems to turn around that issue. Well, this has happened to me, and I feel that I have to talk about it now, not that it will make the issue go away but because it is so important in the world of surrogacy and infertility. For me the focus has always been on getting the child here, all the rest of it could be dealt with once that precious gift was in my arms. Only problem is that every choice that I make now affects my child's future. There is such a huge burden, and one that many people who have babies the "old fashioned" way never has to grapple with. Often, way too often, when things scare me I just want to hide, and this time I cannot.

The issue of how we are going to tell our child about their very special beginnings and all the amazing people who were involved is frightening. After years of questioning my place in the world as a women, and something that I still have trouble looking at some days, my immediate reaction was to say that there was no need for my child to ever to know if they were the product of donor egg or sperm. This is not about all my insecurities, this is about a child that has no say in how they came to be, but have every right to know where they came from.

When we thought that we would need a donated egg, we put a lot of thought into everything that we were going to use as selection criteria. I have written about how weird that whole process was, and how at times it was just down right creepy. The part that was the most difficult was deciding if we could choose a donor who was not willing to meet the child later in life. After all the debate and putting the whole thing under a high powered microscope, we decided that we had to make sure that the child had as many options as possible and it was not our right to take any option away from our child.

Yes, in some way it is awful. I want to believe that I will be enough for them. As a child of adoption, I know in my heart and my head that it has nothing to do with me or the husband being good or bad parents, in fact it has absolutely nothing to do with us except for the fact that we made the decisions from the start. This issue is about our child having the right to know whose nose they have, if they are at a risk for disease, or any other fact that they want to know. Yes, I believe that there is a difference between being the child of donor sperm or eggs and adoption. I am not really sure exactly what all these differences are, or if this is just something that I tell myself. In the end, at some point in time I am going to have to do a thousand things that make me uncomfortable and upset because it is best for my child. I just thought that we would be able to hold that off until preschool.

We still have every reason to believe that we will be able to use my eggs. This is just an issue that keeps coming up in various aspects of my life.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Moving Along

On Thursday of last week, yes, I am very late in posting; we had a very good appointment at the clinic. Everything is right on track and we should be doing our transfer in September. Sabrina has a calendar of all the medications and blood draws that she will be doing leading up to the transfer. Let me just stop and say that all that is completely overwhelming. Those needles are HUGE!!! All the awe that I have for what she is doing for us grew by a thousand when the nurse took out that needle, not to mention the oil suspended medication. I know that most intended mothers have been through all this before themselves, but I am the exception. This is the first of many things that I am sure where I think I am totally prepared and understand what is going on, only to be knocked on my butt by the reality. Just wait till we get to the actual birth, I am still advocating for an epidural for myself.

We were with my parents over this time, because the doctor is within walking distance of their house. I learned a very important lesson in telling them about our plans. As excited as we all are about getting ready to start this process, we need to guard ourselves at the same time. The need to make sure that we have not set ourselves up for an emotional train wreck also has to be balanced with our want to just be happy and excited. Things go wrong, no matter how tempting it is to act like an ostrich in this situation, it is important for me to stay aware of how attached I am getting to this date. It is after all just another date on the calendar.

My main job at this point is to be a support system for Sabrina. Yes, this is our child and the genesis of our family. It is just the start though, and she is the one that is really going through all of the physical process. The most physical thing that I am going to do is a few minor injections (please remind me of this later) and an egg retrieval that will be finished in a matter of a few weeks. I have been reassured a thousand times that she knows what she signed up for and that she really wants to do this for us, and I believe her but I also feel bad for her butt (cause it is going to HURT.) Once our child is born, then I will start to worry about them. I have the luxury of being able to just worry about Sabrina, because I trust her implicitly. I have no doubt that she will do everything in her power to make sure that we have the healthiest child possible.

When we first started this process, I was most afraid of losing the control of how the baby was gestated. Now I am just worried about making sure that Sabrina is treated with the upmost respect, is as comfortable as possible, and has the best pregnancy possible for her. Over the past few years, I have read the same horror stories that everyone else has about surrogacy. I have seen relationships go horribly bad, and I have learned from each of these experiences. We want this amazing relationship to continue, and I feel confident that even the pitfalls that I am not aware of can be overcome. My confidence comes from knowing that we already have a relationship that was strong enough to survive the contracts, and that there is nothing that I do not feel comfortable discussing with her.

We are moving forward!! I never thought that this would happen. During all those months and years that we spent researching and working towards this day are finally paying off.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Due Date

We have a due date!!!

Okay, not that kind of due date, but a date none the less. On August 7th we will know if we will be able to use my eggs! The genetic results will be back on that date. There was a mess up in the insurance and the clinic that delayed the results, we should have had them weeks ago. I was furious when I found this out, and really got to the point where I just wanted to go ahead and get a donor. It was the plan in the beginning so why not?

Why not, becomes a very loaded question where you asurrogacy re talking about the genetics of the child that we are creating. In the beginning, and now, my first priority has been to make sure that my child does not have the bleeding disorder that has made my life so difficult. While I know that there are so many other things, like my huge hips or my learning disability, that I could possibly pass on, but this is something that I can prevent. Sometimes, I believe that part of this is just a need to control the one thing that I have control over in this situation. Then on the days that I am able to actually think clearly I know that this is really about a quality of life issue. Just as we plan to provide the best educational opportunities and medical care that we can, we also want to make sure that our child is in the best health that we can make them from the start.

If we are able to find the fault in my DNA that is causing the von Willebrand disease. We will then be able to move onto Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis of our embryos. This is a process that I am still learning about, and there is a lot to learn. I of course will update you all as I begin to know more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not Again, Never Again

As some of you will remember, a very good friend of mine almost lost her daughter Hazel almost six months ago. Hazel swallowed a battery, which lodged in her throat for a number of days. Thankfully, Hazel is now an active little girl and doing just fine. Sadly, Elaina Redding and her family do not have a happy ending to their story. My heart is breaking for the Redding family and all families that are affected by this tragedy.

Please help us get the word out about these batteries. Children are dying. Taking the time to pass this one could save a life. Pass this story along, and hug the children that you love just a little tighter.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blogging About Surrogacy

Over the past few weeks, a couple of blogs that I really love have gone private. This is something that I just cannot seem to wrap my head around. Not so much that they would go private, but that they would do so without telling anyone. To tell you the truth, I feel a little hurt that I was not given the opportunity to express my good wishes in the future, or asked to be invited. This feels like a high school clique thing, and I hate that. The world of surrogacy is bigger than most people think, but when it comes to intended parents who are willing to share the world gets much smaller.

Surrogacy is a touchy subject and blogging about it opens you up to a lot of nasty comments, I get that. I keep my personal e-mail address on the side of my blog, so most of the hate comments that I get tend to go through there, so I get these long e-mails about what a horrible person I am and how my child is just going to drain the world of resources and how I am exploiting this poor pitiful woman who has no other options in her life. I write back to every one of these people because I hope that in some small way I can educate them. No matter how bad these comments hurt me, they are going to hurt our child even more. Educating people may just make my child’s life a little easier.

I want to take a moment to answer some of the comments that I have received.

- Adoption, is a wonderful thing and I am a strong advocate for adoption. I am an adopted child, I have worked in the adoption field, and it is something that I believe very strongly in. That said, it is not something that is right for my family. I believe that it is important to know your limits and work within them.

- The world’s resources, yes this is a concern for me. My only question here has always been, what is the difference between having a child that I carry and one that is carried by a surrogate? Does a child carried by another woman use up more resources? No not really. We would still have used IVF resources if I was carrying the child.

- “You will never be the mother of this child.” This one really got to me on so many different levels. First, it came from a woman who has two adopted children. Second, I will always be this child’s mother, I may not have carried them or given birth, but I have literally willed them into being. Third, a mother is not someone who gives birth, yes that can be part of it, but the much larger part is being there for every moment of the child’s life and loving them through all of the good and bad.

When I began this blog my intention was to give myself a place to get all this out because carrying it around was so painful. Over the past year, my goal has shifted, now I want all of this story out there so that one person may not have to feel so alone anymore. When I first started talking about surrogacy to the people in my life it was very difficult. Not because they were unsupportive, but because there were so many questions and so many suspicions. They were trying to protect me, which translates to they love me.

Back when we started this process all I wanted was someone who had been there to tell me that this would work out and that there were people out there who had come through the other side. What I found were horror stories of surrogacy relationships that had gone horribly wrong. I learned from these stories, I read them all and they helped me decide what was and was not right for us. While I was learning from them, I was also being scared away from making our family through surrogacy.

For those of you who have found it necessary to take your blogs private, I will miss you. I am sorry that you feel that you can no longer share your story with the world. For those of you who find the need to berate and be rude to people who are just telling their story, try for a second to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you say something hurtful.