The girl who knew too much

The thought of surrogacy fleetingly crossed my mind a time or two before Frank and I ever attempted pregnancy for ourselves. Then we battled against IF and I learned about fear. If not for that struggle I might still be here today as a surrogate, but I know that my mental position would not be the same.

Dare I say that infertility has become almost a cursed blessing of sorts? Infertility is a curse no matter how you look at it, but I have come far enough past my personal strife that I can recognize the ways in which my character has been shifted for the better. I love stronger. I try harder. I empathize deeper, and therein lies the curse. Empathy is funny like that; it is an attractive personality trait to have, but at the same time, when you’re that close to the root of what empathically connects you to another’s struggle, you can wake up and find yourself in a very dark place.

I think the fact that I have walked somewhat of an infertility path of my own is what makes me a good surrogate, but I also think this depth of empathy is what separates me from other surrogates. This is not to say that other surrogates lack empathy; vast majority of surrogates do have huge amounts of it, and that is what makes them good surrogates. But it’s different for me. I can’t go into a cycle and not see all of the infertility-minded angles of things, the things you would see if only you’ve fought those demons yourself.

Sometimes, a lot of the time, actually, I feel stuck between two worlds. I identify more closely with the infertility community, but I have four beautiful children. Four. The abundance and life that are they is what it makes it possible for me to feel comfortable, if not somewhat unbalanced, in the fertile Land of Good and Plenty. I feel like they are my passport into that world. I am allowed to be there, but I am not from there. I can speak the language and know the culture, but it’s not in my blood. I sometimes feel like I am a traveller in a foreign land. At child-focused venues such as birthday parties, playgrounds, and school functions, I can’t help but wonder how many of those children are also passports, and if they are, I wonder if their parents feel as out of place – as lonely – as I do.

*****

A few weeks back, when Dr. Sleepy gave the statistics for chance of success with Mia’s eggs, he explained that there is a 20-25% chance for a live birth. Not for pregnancy, a live birth. My infertile mind saw the implication immediately: even if I get pregnant, have good betas, and see a heartbeat, there is still an above-average chance that Mia and Urs will lose their baby.

My cup runneth over. Theirs is three-quarters empty. Try as I might, I can’t see it as one-quarter full.

7 Comments

  1. luna on April 23, 2008 at 11:37 am

    kym, this is a beautiful post. since I began reading you I knew you had a special quality that set you apart as a surrogate.
    it sucks to be on the other end of those odds. the truth is statistics don’t matter until you fall on one side or the other. I know women who were given 50% chance of success with IVF that failed, and others given 30% chance who had healthy babies.
    I’ve always felt my cup was actually empty in the baby sense, and I was given a 35% chance of filling it. those odds sounded crappy to me, until I realized my chance of getting pg without it could be next to zero…
    it sucks to face those numbers. you have an immensely huge heart for doing what you do. ~luna



  2. girlh on April 23, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    kym very moving words. your story blew me away from the first post i read. you are a very special woman. your light shines so brightly. i too have my “passport” but will always be an infertile. i will always fight that darkness that only infertiles know. i also believe that i love stronger and empathize deeper now. honestly i want every story to have a happy ending. even when sadness and darkness and pure grief are always so close and, in a weird way, so comfortable to me.
    it’s hard to be positive with those odds. especially because it’s so effing hard to hope, to believe.
    just know i’m sending you and mia love and strength to carry on.
    and hoping and believing for you.



  3. kymberli on April 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks, luna and girlh. It really does help a lot to know that we have people like you pulling for us.



  4. niobe on April 24, 2008 at 3:20 am

    I love this post so much, I’m not even sure what to say….



  5. sara on April 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I think you just summerized why I feel drawn to read your posts all the time. It is the way that you have shown empathy both as a surrogate and just as a person. I don’t know if it’s something people can do easily unless they’ve been there, like you have been there. Mia and her husband are lucky to have you.



  6. Becoming Whole on July 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Ah, Moxie, you so often blow me away.
    This blew me away.
    You are an immigrant in the land of fertility. You speak the language, and fluently, but always remembering it is not your native tongue.
    You blow me away.



  7. […] April of 2008, I wrote this in a post titled “The Girl Who Knew Too Much:” Sometimes, a lot of the time, actually, I feel stuck between two worlds. I identify more […]