This is different.
For each of my prior three journeys, attempting surrogacy was a middle step and not the final resort. There were other possible options ahead — Plans B and C — just in case.
In retrospect, I didn't realize the level of comfort I took in the knowledge of the implied if-thens: If this doesn't work, then at least there's still a chance for them. If this doesn't work, then I just want them to become parents whether or not I am their surrogate. I will see them through that.
But, this is different.
For the if of the next cycle not working, there is no then other than this is the end.
How do you reconcile your heart with the idea that all there ever will be is all there ever was?
If there was an answer to that, then we wouldn't all be here throwing such rhetoric out into the Universe, pleading for understanding.