I’m VERY happy to be an aunt. I just love my little nephew with all my heart. I’m excited that my sister is now a mom (it’s changed her for the better) and that she wants me to be so involved in his life. When I look in his face I experience sheer joy.
However, I also feel something else. I feel sad. Sad for me, my husband, and the baby I don’t get to carry. Yes, I know I can still be a mom (hopefully), but I want so much to experience carrying my child in my womb. I want to feel the flicker of movement, to rub my belly and know my child is resting comfortably, and I’d even take the nausia, swollen feet, back aches, and labor pains. I tell people that I want to use a surrogate because it is the only way I get to be selfish. Technically, I could attempt to become pregnant myself and put my family and friends (not to mention doctors) through the agony of not knowing how my heart will handle it. I could be stubborn and say “to heck with the statistics” and try anyway. But I can’t be THAT kind of selfish. It would kill me to put my family through the pain. Especially if I didn’t make it. So I’m turning to the only selfishness I am allowed. To be there for everything. To hold my baby in my arms the moment he/she takes her first breath. I may not get to be the one to push him/her into the world, but I sure would like to be there to catch him/her.
This past weekend was an emotional mess for me. On Friday I started noticing that the site around my ICD was sore. Especially when I would hold my nephew. Rather than worry about why the site would be sore and swollen, I started focusing on how my ICD and other surgeries will get in the way of my taking care of a child when (if) the time comes. I know I will continue to have more and more surgeries. That is inevitable, if only to replace my ICD as the battery wears down. So how am I supposed to pick up a child and hold it or comfort it if I’ve just been sliced open again? Am I really equiped to be a good mother?
My sister and a friend of hers also were talking about babies and childbirth. I do not expect other people to censor their conversations about babies just because I am in the room. Especially since I’ve never really shared my feelings with most people (my husband and mom are the exeption). So in no way do I blame my sister or her friend (who didn’t even know I’m not able to carry my own child) for the conversation I had to listen to. They spoke of “deciding to start trying” and how easy it is. Her friend went on to say “I feel like I should call up my mom and ask for permission. But I don’t have to. We can just start.” Not me. I have to get clearance from my doctors, meet someone willing to be our carrier, get lawyers to draw up contracts, use an RE to retrieve my eggs, make our baby, and implant it into our SM, and then watch someone else experience it all… It sucks.
Then my sister talked about how much of a miracle it is that a woman’s body is equipped to grow a baby, give it nourishment, and bring it into the world, then even be able to provide food for the baby after it is born. Again, a “not me” moment. I won’t be the one providing for my baby. I have to depend on someone else for all of it. I don’t even think I could attempt inducing lactation, since I’m pretty sure my meds would pass through breast milk and harm the baby. Nope. I might as well be a baby sitter or aunt. Sure, I can love the baby with all my heart, but what can I give him/her?
Yes, I know these are irrational thoughts. No one ever said emotions were rational. But it’s the roller coaster I seem to ride.
I have highs when I think it will be great to just get to be a mom some day, not have to go through the hard parts of pregnancy, have the option of letting my husband get up for the 3 AM feeding, and invite a wonderfully giving woman and her family into our lives and the life of our unborn child. I have met wonderful women I never would have met if it weren’t for my research into surrogacy. And just like my heart has shaped the person I’ve become, the road we take towards our child will shape the kind of parents we will be. However, when the lows come, they seem to come with a vengence. I try not to let on. I’m not looking for sympathy. But it hurts so much sometimes and the tears just flow. I can’t wait for the day when it won’t hurt so bad. But I don’t think that day will come until I’m holding my very own baby in my arms.
In the mean time, I’ll carry on the best I can. It’s all a person can do, and all I’ve ever known.