For Shayna

A couple of weeks ago I was struck to my core by an entry Shayna wrote called The Ultimate Challenge.  In it, she questions whether or not she could ever be a surrogate either before or after she is able to achieve motherhood for herself. It was an honest, heartfelt post. She identifies with the heartache intended parents feel because being infertile, she feels it also herself. She speaks of being a surrogate with infertility as being a double-edge sword of sorts. Out of empathy she could be a surrogate – because that would be one less infertile couple out there in the struggle – but also like she couldn’t be a surrogate – because how could she ever endure a pregnancy and not bring a baby home to show for it? She concludes by determining that right now while still in the trenches, surrogacy is impossible. But maybe after she is able to have a family of her own, she might be able to proceed with a surrogacy journey.

Either way, she feels that surrogacy would be the biggest challenge of her life. She said,

To anyone who has been or is a surrogate, I absolutely salute you. To anyone who has/had IF and was/is a surrogate….I literally bow at your feet. At this moment in time, I could never be one and I think if I tried, my heart would probably give out on me.

I don’t think that what I do as a surrogate is worthy of kowtow. In fact, it humbles me. But I understand the element of disbelief. I have always been fascinated with pregnancy and parenthood. Before trying to conceive, the concept of surrogacy was intriguing, but was never something that I thought about at great length. It was never more than a fleeting thought that left as quickly as it entered my mind. I often thought at length though, about having a family of my own. Of imagining all the ways my body would change as life grew within me. The closer I got in age to a time where a pregnancy would make good sense, I thought about it more. And once we were actually trying to conceive, I was elated that finally – finally – I would not just imagine pregnancy, but would actually get to live it. Or so I thought. Of course I never imagined that it would take 2.5 years, floods of tears, a few fights with Frank, way too many "oops" pregnancies to watch, charting, basals, Taking Charge of Your [Fucked Up] Fertility (HA!), negatives, stacks of opk’s, probing, shots, and pills to accomplish that. In the midst of that 2.5 years, could I have been a surrogate, or even thought about being a surrogate for someone else? Not no, but hell no. My heart would have given out on me, too.

Shayna said, "I couldn’t be a surrogate because honestly, I have other selfish reasons." Shayna lists the reasons, but what it boils down to is the damned infertility. Shayna, honey, infertility is not selfish. Selfishness is focusing so much on your own interests that it is at the expense of and is hurtful to others. Infertility is a circular pain where you focus greatly on your own interests, but it is hurtful to you as the sufferer. Selfishness is something to be ashamed of, though in my experience truly selfish people rarely feel ashamed of it. Infertility and the trick-bag of complex and often conflicting emotions that come with it are nothing to be ashamed of.

I am a surrogate because I am infertile. I struggled, but not to the degree that I know others struggle. I cried, but not as much as I know others have cried. It was a long road, but not as long as the road that others are on. My heart was broken, but not shattered. It could have been, but it wasn’t. Had my struggle been as hard, my tears as plentiful, my road as long, and my heart as shattered, I could only hope that someone would want to help me in the way that I am helping others. This is my way of paying it forward. My way of remembering. My way of still being in the battle to beat down that bitch called Infertility. I do this for you, Shayna, and for the rest of you who are still fighting.

10 Comments

  1. Shayna on February 25, 2008 at 8:41 am

    This post literally brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could come through the computer and give you the biggest hug, but for now, I’ll give you my endless thank you’s and one gigantic virtual (((HUG))).
    This really touched my heart like nothing ever has. You really are a wonderful, wonderful person!!



  2. Moxie on February 25, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Remember: everyday is one day closer.
    (((HUGS)))



  3. k77 on February 25, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Tears in my eyes also.
    And I love the description of IF as “circular pain”.



  4. Maranda aka Mama2BandT on February 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Great post…I just discovered your blog and have caught up on your journey and wanted to wish you the best of luck!
    I am also a GS (just got my first ghost of a line x 3)and mom of two boys…I also believe we live in the same state! What a small world!



  5. Moxie on February 25, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Congratulations, Maranda! I think that we ARE in the same state! I’ll have to see about organizing another Peach Meet soon. Folks who actually stick around long enough to read the comments can deduce where we are, now!
    Anyway, Peach Meets are when area surrogates and IPs get together and just hang out. We’ll have to keep in contact! There aren’t quite as many of us here as there are in other states, but there are enough!
    I do hope that you’ll keep me posted! When is your beta?



  6. Moxie on February 25, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    k77, my thoughts are with you.



  7. Maranda aka Mama2BandT on February 26, 2008 at 9:23 am

    WELL my official beta is Friday at 0730 and we’ll get the call by noon BUT my partner and I are both ER nurses so a friend is coming by to draw my blood Wed night and will call me w/ the results…would love to get together w/ the Peach Meets but it’ll probably be on the weekend and that’s when I work :(…email me at the address I listed I would love to chat w/ you more!



  8. Nancy on February 26, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I think that’s awesome. I probably wouldn’t consider being a surrogate if I hadn’t gone through this horrible IFness either. I’m about to go through my own IVF cycle and seriously putting some thought into donating embryos. Nothing I’d ever of thought of if I didn’t know how others have suffered.
    I see the “giving back” thing happen a lot in life. Whenever we succeed at something tough, we have that perspective and try to give back. I think it’s all glorious.



  9. Moxie on February 26, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Nancy, even if in the long run you choose not to donate embryos, it’s wonderful that you’re even considering it. I look forward to following your journey!



  10. DP on December 13, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Wow. You are awesome. May God strengthen you as you do all these selfless things!
    I have a 2 year old daughter and have been trying to get pregnant again since she turned 1. It has been VERY hard going thru month after month of neg pregnancy tests when it took about 6 months the first time.
    There are times when I feel so selfish because I know there are women out there with no babies.
    Your post really encouraged me to seek medical attention, just in case.
    Thank you for your wonderful posts- I’ll be adding you to my reader! 🙂