Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh surrogate, surrogate, wherefore art thou surrogate?

I am perched on my balcony looking out into the world hoping for her arrival. It's going to be a love story like no other. Who will you be? Where will you live? When will you appear through the trees bringing your light into this shadowed room? I am waiting again.

In our search for true love, there are always the false starts that are disappointing. We came close. A lovely woman from Iowa seemed like a great possibility but with further research we found out that Iowa would most likely require a step parent adoption. After everything I have been through I just don't think I can deal with the hassle of adopting my own child after I finally have the baby in my arms. Aren't I entitled to an end to this madness once I take a baby home? Do I really need to be subjected to a court hearing and a social worker home visit to allow me to adopt my own child when any maniac out there is allowed to have a kid naturally with no approval system? It's just absurd. So we are waiting to work with a surrogate from a state that our names can be put on the birth certificate without having to do any more legal crap to be officially "mother." 

It's hitting me these days how strange this whole thing is. This is truly online fertility dating. I study profiles of women with my requirements in my head but ultimately it comes down to a connection. Of course we want her to be healthy and fertile and honest, but there also has to be that je ne sais quoi about her that will win my complete trust. Everything can look great on paper but until you meet someone face to face you can't feel that chemistry. So as my mind runs away with dreams of Princess Charming, I know that anything and everything can happen with this new relationship. My heart beats a little faster every time I think that soon I will meet her. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Good-Bye Family Tree

As I walked down my apartment hallway last week trying to keep the pain of this recent loss from spilling over my entire body and collapsing, I noticed the walls covered by family photos. One side of the hallway is dedicated to my family history and the opposite wall is a portrait of my husband's family. I had made this collage of family photos so long ago because I had this sense of pride about my family and wanted them all close by me. It's like a gallery of darling candid shots of my nieces and nephews, old pictures of my parents as dashing lovebirds, and me and my siblings as cute toddlers. I particularly love the old photos of my grandparents. I never even met my paternal grandparents but I like to look at that old black and white dusty photo of them and imagine who they were in a country so far away. What were they thinking when they stood there staring blankly at the camera? Did those two fresh faces ever expect to die young and have their children eventually immigrate to America to spawn us spoiled brats stuffing our faces with cheetos and watching Brady Bunch? A rush of sadness came over me as a flash of this family history spun out of control in front of me. It all stops here. My husband and I may not continue this family tree. We could be that branch on the genealogy chart that's the dead end. 

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to have a biological child. I've already given up the idea of carrying a child myself and now I've been trying to rethink what my own family could mean. I've been so locked into my past, my own childhood, and my own blood. To top it off my husband is the last male of his family so if we don't have a child, let alone a son, it's the true end of his family name. We all know that in earlier times I would have already been shown the door and 2nd or 3rd wife would be taking over the procreating. So I know why it pains my husband when I mention adoption. I know he doesn't want to really face that he may not be able to continue his blood lines or his great smile. It pains me too. 

It may seem premature for me to give up hope of a genetic child since maybe the surrogacy road will work for us. But I can't help feel that something is probably wrong with my eggs. I've had 4 pregnancies and none of them survived. They don't really know if it's my uterus or my eggs. But I'm not willing to spend another two years trying with bad eggs. I've thought about if I could really handle donor eggs. At least if our child is part of my husband then can I be happy? I think I can. I need this journey to end. I can't do this much longer. 

I've thought about all these options a billion times through the years. But now they are quite real. They aren't in that space in my brain called "last resort." These are my options now. I know it's pointless to keep asking why bad things are happening to me. Every time I get pregnant and I am faced with the limbo of "it could be good or it could be awful," I manage to find an online buddy whose in the same boat. It's always a brief encounter where we find each other in our moment of desperation with similar threats and then sure enough things go well for her and my pregnancy tanks. These women are just blinks. For a split second we have the same prospects of good things and then we quickly diverge. It's weird. Could I really be that cursed? But when I get into the space of feeling like I am being denied, victimized, and deprived of what others get immediately (or eventually) then I fall into deep down basement darkness.

So take the photos off the walls! Reinvent what your future will be. Give up this notion of what family is suppose to be. I'm not going to have a conventional family, period. I won't be able to get pregnant with IVF and then practically be like everyone else (at least from the outside). I am going to have a baby with either surrogacy, egg donor, or adoption. I'll have a couple extra people in the mix who helped give my child life. I know I have a higher chance now of not having a biological child. I will have to get special books and join support parenting groups to make sure my kid doesn't grow up scarred or emotionally freaked out by their birth story. This is more real to me now than ever. I close my eyes and see a couple cute kids running around the apartment that pretty much look like me and my husband. I am trying to get use to them not being biologically connected to me. I am trying to understand the greater love that goes beyond narcissistic pleasure. 

So I painted the hallway walls a light gray. A true blank slate.