We have several frozen embryos left from my second IVF attempt. When I was pregnant with Abby, I looked at that pile of embryos and actually worried that we had too many. We didn’t lightly decide to do IVF and I don’t believe in destroying any embryos that are viable/created (personally… I know others feel differently and that’s ok, too). So I was actually worried about needing to transfer all those embryos for future pregnancies- would I really have to do that many more frozen transfers and possible pregnancies? (Silly me, look what happens when I worry about things like that) Then I lost Abby and my uterus’s ability to carry a pregnancy and now I look at that tiny batch of embryos and worry if they will be enough. Will I have even one child more from that set of embryos?
I think almost every infertile woman who has a blog has some sort of blog post about adoption. I would wager every single one of us has heard the ‘why don’t you just adopt?’ question from a friend or family member. As if it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. The reality most of us find is that adoption is a very, very difficult path that is full of rules, hoops, and few guarantees. I looked into adoption for us after our first few miscarriages. I was shut out immediately by several agencies- we hadn’t been married long enough, we weren’t religious enough, age was a factor, etc. I was told by others that they had huge waiting lists and were not accepting any new couples at the time.
Biology is not what’s most important to me (in fact, with my family history of cancer and depression and endless other health issues, I wonder sometimes if an egg donor wouldn’t have been a better choice for future children than using my genetic material… but I digress). Biology does matter to my husband, and I respect his opinion. So honestly, adoption is just not the best decision for our family. And we turn to surrogacy. We have the biology (our embryos) and we have the ‘guarantee’ that no one is allowed to change their mind and parent our child.
I do feel that our embryos that we created should have a chance, I can’t just decide to destroy our little frozen embabies. It was going to be a chance in my uterus, but now that this is not an option I’m certain that they will have better odds in a gestational carrier’s uterus. And face it, I feel like I deserve the odds being just a little bit in my favor now, right?
I don’t expect surrogacy to be an easy road. I don’t know how it will feel having another woman carry my baby. I have to give up a ton of control (even more than you give up when you are dealing with infertility and RPL). I don’t get to feel my baby moving inside me, which was my favorite part of pregnancy. I don’t get to give birth, which was my second favorite part of pregnancy. But when I worry about missing those things, I know that what’s important is having the baby and raising the baby. For me, pregnancy is just a means to accomplish that, nothing more and nothing less. Maybe I would feel differently if I had never carried a baby to term, I guess it’s just not something I feel I have to do anymore. I know I don’t watch Sweetie run around like a crazy toddler and immediately think back to being pregnant with her. I’m not any less of a mother because I didn’t do the pregnancy piece. So while there will be a small hole of time missed by not carrying my future baby, it’s a sacrifice that makes sense.
I will still get to participate in appointments and ultrasounds (as much as travel allows). I want to try to induce lactation (and given that I nursed Sweetie for over a year and my milk came in after my 16w loss, it’s highly likely I can do this) so I can hopefully breastfeed my future child. It won’t be the ‘same’, but honestly, I’m so burnt out on the ‘same’ that this isn’t the worst thing.
I will get some piece of mind and hopefully a little healing. It feels so relieving to think that the success or failure of a pregnancy will no longer have anything to do with my body. That alone is worth going through the process of surrogacy. I think. (I guess I’ll evaluate when/if we come out on the other end, right?)