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.