Monday, November 3, 2008

Walking the tightrope

Every step gets a little more treacherous. How much am I willing to compromise at each step? All I can think of when trying to keep my balance is "Don't look down." But inevitably I always look down. Your legs shake. The fear starts boiling up, and you feel like you are about to fall to your death. As reckless as it looks, in my mind it make perfect sense to keep walking forward. The logic is clear- there's only two other choices. You either plummet down below (and there is no safety net) or try to walk backwards to get off the rope. Both leave me with nothing. So as I find myself intensely focused on my own feet, trying to walk on this tiny thin rope, I forget who might be watching me. What on earth is my audience thinking?

I got a reminder of that yesterday when a friend said something irritating. Instead of cheering me on, it was liking hearing gasps and cries from the audience which only makes you more nervous. I had just explained how I might have a new surrogate prospect and how sick as a dog I have been the past 2 weeks and how my body just feels so worn out. She said, "Are you sure you want to do this and not adoption?" I felt the irritation well up in me, but I just quickly said "No, it's anyway too late to turn back now." I know she meant well. They always do. I know everyone who is spared the infertility hell always thinks adoption is easier. It is so easy when you are in a position of gain and good luck to think - "I would never do that!" 

For the first time in a long time I started to feel like a freak show. Have I reached sensationalist talk show guest status? In this IVF circus, am I the lady with the special tent with the sign saying "Using a surrogate"? I felt like my friend was secretly shaking her head wishing she could say to me, "Stop." She's watching me walk the tight rope seeing how much I am wobbling, fumbling and crying along the way and for what? - Just to get to the other side. 

This is where it becomes so hard to share with friends your extreme fertility planning. It's one thing to do IVF and get support, but it's a whole other ball game when you let people in on the secrets of more alternative baby-making. I realize that even the closest of my friends might pass judgement on me. I realize that my decisions about disclosure are very important now. I need to be careful about who knows our secret life. I am walking this tight rope and the rope seems to be getting thinner and thinner, more dangerous, more frightening, more death defying. Shouldn't I be getting some respect instead of the "You are crazy" innuendos? 

P.S. I know I am suppose to be creating my own art on this blog, but I am borrowing these days since I've been just too tired to be creative. I hope for a new surge of inspiration soon. 


Elizabeth said...

I hope that you will have more support than your friend showed. I, too, was worried (am still am actually) about being perceived as crazy for pursuing surrogacy. I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions of my friends and family, though. Frankly, they aren't known for their support, so I think their reactions were genuine. Maybe they were thinking we were crazy, but for once, they kept it to themselves and said the right thing.

Shinejil said...

I hope you feel better soon, physically. I know it's rough to be doing things that most people don't understand.

If I personally hear the "just adopt" line again, I'm going to explode.

Jaymee said...

the whole adoption question has been a huge issue for me because i am adopted. it is really hard for people to understand why we did not just adopt. what these people do not understand, and never will, is the need my heart to have a child that is mine, even if we are using an egg donor. yes, an adopted child would still be mine, but the fact is that there would always be another woman who, in my mind, would have claim to my child. surrogacy just seems to be the easier road for me.

i am sorry that you feel that you are not supported. i wish i could tell you that it was going to get better. i do feel that it is our responsibility to our children to educate as many people as possible about the process. one day they will tell their story.

alicia said...

I enjoy whatever art you put up, made or borrowed :)

IF would be so much easier if ppl in our lives would support instead of critize. If they just took some time to understand instead of judge. But that is just not the world we live in hey?

I am sorry your rope is getting thinner and thinner, I can't imagine how hard this is on you.

thinking of you!

N said...

We chose to tell very few people we were trying surrogacy because it IS so hard to explain. AFTER it worked, we told everyone everything through an email announcement and no one was negative...we preempted the negative by answering every possible question in the email. But, people will always have weird things to say anyway. Just remember, it's only a few months and then you will be a mom just like any other mom and won't have to deal with the weirdness anymore.

Alicia said...

I wish you all the support in the world! I understand what you are going through at least from the surrogate side of things. People think I'm nuts for wanting to carry a child for someone. There will always be people with negative opinions. Hold fast! It is worth the roller coaster!

bleu said...

I think whatever you do is brave and am cheering you on always. I also know the moving forward thing, I really liked your analogy.

I came to a point where I had to stop talking to a few friends about anything but the shallowest of conversations because all I got was those kinds of comments. I know they love me and didn't like seeing my loss after loss and my stress but ya know sometimes I want to bitch about the pain and how I feel and it doesn't mean I don't want to keep moving forward.
For me it meant not sharing that stuff with many irl people sadly.
I get being weary but going forward, I get being terrified and tired and worn out and at the end of the rope even while still in the middle and I just want you to know I soooo support you.

Much love.

Intending To Be Parents said...

Adoption is difficult too and it just amazes me how people don't understand that - none of this is easy! But I don't think people like us are a freak show - I think that we are very strong for going after our dreams and not just walking backwards to get off the rope. So stay on that rope and keep going because it will be well worth it when you bring home your baby! And I hope that once you do share this with more people they are as supportive and excited as the people in my life have been. There will always be someone who says the wrong thing, but you know you are doing what is right for you and that is all that matters.

JourneyofHope said...

You are in the tough part of your journey right now. It's hard to know the how and the in's and out's when you haven't found that special person to help you through this. Each day that passes brings you a step closer although some days it may not feel like that's the case. Your friends will jump on board - they are just scared for you right now. I can personally tell you that I think that surrogacy is not out there and is a perfectly normal way to build your family! :O) Hugs!

Lisa said...

I'm sure you've heard the saying that there's a thin line between falling and flying . . . when others fail to support or step up to judge on this journey, all that means is that they don't think *they* could risk the fall by walking that tightrope. So they're uncomfortable seeing others do it. Oh, yeah, and it also means they don't think. Period.

You are doing great, getting closer to your dream!

Feel better. :)

Lisa from infertileground

luna said...

I had a really hard time sharing anything about treatment with friends and even most family. I didn't want to subject myself to judgment or any of it. I just wanted to get to the other side.

with adoption, we are forced to open our lives up in a way that we never imagined in the relative privacy of our own petri dish. the idea that you now rely on other people -- on top of the docs and nurses and lab techs -- to make your dream come true is just too much sometimes.

wish this were all just a little easier. all of it.

Duck said...

Yup surrogacy breaks the mold, it's on the edge, and even those who consider/do IVF even run away from surrogacy.
The whole adoption thing is brutal, like that is so much easier, all that looking for an unwanted pregnancy, hoping/ waiting, and then they can change their minds and keep the baby. Adoption is not an easier path...
I'm here right along with you, and now I'm totally excited about the whole surrogacy, i feel great about it, and can't wait to read along with you.
Take care