Breaking The Silence
First of all, I want to say thank you for all of the wonderful emails and Facebook messages I have received about my blog posts. Your gentle words of encouragement really do mean so much to me, and give me a constant reminder of just how amazing this journey is. With each message I receive, I take a moment to reflect on my profound gratitude for this amazing opportunity I have been given. Please don’t stop sharing your thoughts with me! Although most of my friends and family have been supportive of this decision, I would be lying if I said everyone was. There have been comments that have left me feeling unsure and even guilty at times. But, the outstanding support from complete strangers and distant acquaintances keeps me grounded, and reminds me daily that I am doing a good thing here. (That, and of course, the unmeasurable amounts of thanks I receive from my intended parents, who by the way, could probably win an award for being the sweetest people on earth! Just sayin’.)
It has dawned on me this week that I am in a unique position. Not many people share this story of conception, soon-to-be pregnancy tests and the first trimester. Most women would never dream of telling their friends or family that they’re trying for a baby, for the pure fear of failure. What if they’re not successful? What if they struggle with infertility, and have to tell everyone about their devastation and heartache, right? I get it. When I was 16, the doctor told me I would likely never conceive on my own due to severe endometriosis. Do you think I broadcasted to the world that my then fiancé and I NEVER used protection for the fear of preventing the one and only baby I might conceive?! Not in a million years! That was top secret, never spoken, lock it in the vault and bring it to your grave kind of information! Instead, I acted like a crazy person taking my basal body temperature with this cheap, cotton candy pink thermometer , and charting my cervical mucous in a secret, leather journal that I hid under the bed, and scoured diligently, day after day, trying to make sense of my cycles and “predict” whether or not we would ever have a baby. After years of “not preventing”, but not “actively trying”, I was convinced my fertility was doomed. We saw fertility doctors and underwent extensive testing. Our relationship suffered, and my emotional state of being was unstable to say the least. I cried…a lot. And, I cried alone. Because let’s face it, you don’t talk about the sh*t. We should keep that sort of talk to the bedroom, and when we step outside, we should put our big girl panties on, force a smile reminiscent of a Stepford Wife, and be thankful to be alive that day. Right?
Wrong! It’s so very wrong. Where’s the support? The community? The women coming together, sharing their stories, holding one another’s hand, and delivering tubs of ice cream and sleazy tabloid magazines when one of her sisters is lying in a heap on the bathroom floor, sobbing because aunt freaking flow is visiting again for the 14th month in a row?!
Dont even get me started on the first trimester secrecy. I mean, how cruel is it that women everywhere are peeing on sticks ( and their hands, and their toilet seats perhaps), alone, behind a closed door in their bathroom, and waiting in solitude for, potentially, the most profound, life changing news they will ever receive?! Where’s the marching band, balloons and chocolate cake?! I mean, come on people, this is the real deal here! These are the moments that should be shared, celebrated and shouted from the roof tops! But, no. That’s not the case. Because, somehow, in this backwards society we live in today, we’ve instilled in our daughters that devastation and heartache should be something you go through alone. Sure, seeing two lines on that pee stick seems like a blessing now, but let’s be realistic, 20% of pregnancies result in a miscarriage, and most of those losses happen in the first 12 weeks. So here’s what we do…we wrap that pee stick up in a wad of toilet paper and bury it in the bottom of the closet (because we can’t throw it away…we will probably look at at 20 more times while we rejoice in solitude), we share the news with our partner, and maybe our mom, sister or close friend, and then we wait. We wait for 8 more agonizing weeks to pass, so that we can FINALLY share our good news! Why do we wait? Because, god forbid, should we lose this baby, that anyone would know about it. Can you imagine the horror? People might send flowers, or drop meals off at our home, or do some other crazy, act of kindness. People would know we’re hurting and mourning, and might try to support is through that. Then, of course, we’d have to “face” our devastating loss every day, right?
Wake up, folks. Parents experiencing a loss are “facing” it every day, whether you know about it, or not. It is their reality, their truth; and it should be honoured. Where are the space holders? The ones who tell us it’s okay to grieve and to be sad? The ones who allow us to curse the world and take a pair of scissors to a down pillow to relieve our anger? Where’s the love?
We also have the lucky 80% who make it through their first trimester, and finally get to share their news with the world. But, in the meantime, she’s been working 60 hours a week, falling asleep at her desk, and unable to tell her boss that she’s completely exhausted and overworked. Or, perhaps, she’s been cancelling dinner plans with her girlfriends or bailing on her sisters graduation, because she’s been singing to the porcelain goddess for the last 6 hours, and in turn, dealing with the backlash and anger of some seriously pissed off friends and family members. Where’s the posse of giddy, empathic, and overly-excited women brining ginger ale, soda crackers and fat pants? Or the good friend who bring an entire season of Gilmore Girls over and snuggles into bed with you, holding your hair back while you dry heave into a bucket beside you? We all know every woman wants to be a part of a new life in the making. We all want to cluck around and dote on a new mom to be; it’s in our genes! So, why not let them?! Why not rally the troops, and spill the beans at 4 weeks so that we can soak up all of that warm and fuzzy love and attention for as long as possible?! Why is it so darn taboo to do so?!!
So, here I am, breaking the silence. I want to share his journey with you. In fact, I can’t WAIT to share this journey with you! I want to post pictures of pregnancy tests so we can squint and try to detect the teensiest, tiniest, faint hint of a second line together. I want to rejoice with you when I get to announce to my intended parents that the transfer was successful, and I’m carrying a baby for them! Or maybe, that test will never develop a second line…in which case I’ll weep, and grieve for them, and invite you to do the same. I’ll seek comfort in all of you, and surround myself with the people who love me most, as we move forward and try again. I’ll share my thoughts, feelings and emotions as often as I can, and I’ll be grateful for an ear to listen and a hand to hold as I do so. I’ll accept your offers for tea dates, or Greys Anatomy marathons, and I will ask for help when I need it.
I’m aware that this journey may not always be easy. I’m aware that I could be faced with challenges along the way. But, I am also aware that my support team, each of you, is what will get my through those times. So today, I ask each of you, to join me on this journey. Send me your thoughts, your wishes, your intentions. Share in my joy and anticipation as we give the gift of a family to some very deserving people. Help me break the silence…share this blog, share my journey and tell women everywhere that they are not alone. There is a village that awaits them…they just need to open the door.
P.S. Many of you asked me how I decided to become a surrogate, and how I began the process. Quite honestly, it is something I first heard about as a teenager, and was instantly hooked. I stored it in the back of my mind until I knew I was done having my own babies, and then took the leap! After I connected with Sally, the owner of my surrogacy agency, it was a smooth and simple process. She is an open book, and guided me through each and every question and concern I had. If you are thinking about it, please do it. In this agency alone, there are 30 couples waiting on a surrogate. It is absolutely heartbreaking! If you would like more information, or would like to pick my brain about it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Amanda@nestinginstinctkw.com