Becoming an Intended Parent
Deciding on gestational surrogacy and navigating the complex process involves listening to your heart and your brain at the right times.
There is one thing I have wanted since I was very young--a family. For seven years I have been married to the most wonderful man in the world. He has the ability to drive me crazy like no other human being, and to make me happier than any other person on the planet. All that's missing is a child. And for many of those seven years, we have been debating how to start our family.
As I write this, we are starting to work with a surrogacy agency, which is only slightly less terrifying than a Brazilian wax (not that I have ever had one--I am too much of a chicken). How did we get here?
I have a medical condition that causes me to have marathon periods (six months of straight bleeding being my record). I also have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), so getting pregnant would have to involve fertility treatments. At first, my husband and I discussed my carrying, but two years ago that became impossible. My medical problems had gotten so bad that, in order to preserve my sanity and quality of life, I had a uterine ablation, giving up the chance to carry my own child.
We then toyed with adoption. We've always known that it was an option, since I myself was adopted, but I knew I couldn't stand the heartbreak if it did not work out. I also wanted my husband to be able to pass on his--in my opinion--super genetics. Another reason that surrogacy was right for us is that I want to be my child's mother from his or her first breath. I can't explain why this is so important to me. Much of this decision-making process is emotional, rather than intellectual.
This is difficult because, once you choose surrogacy, you have to prioritize and make many legal decisions that emotions should be kept out of. As you go through choosing an egg donor, choosing a surrogate, and trusting people to do their jobs, you'll have days when seeing a diaper commercial can lead to hours of tears, yet you have to listen steadily to your brain, not your heart. Luckily, I have parents and a husband who seem to be able to think straight when I cannot.
At the same time, you can't cut off communication between your heart and your brain, because your heart is what keeps you going by telling your skeptical brain that this will all work out.
Jaymee Giddings is the proud mother of a two-year-old son, born to a gestational surrogate. She blogs at babygiddings.blogspot.com.
REASONS NOT TO CHOOSE
Wondering if you're ready to adopt or pursue a specific method of third-party reproduction and be a parent? Examine your motives. If you recognize yourself in any of the following statements, you probably need more time to contemplate this life-changing step.
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