Some of my favorite things in life cannot be enjoyed while pregnant. So as the date of my surrogacy embryo transfer approached, I made sure to run as often as […]
Some of my favorite things in life cannot be enjoyed while pregnant. So as the date of my surrogacy embryo transfer approached, I made sure to run as often as possible, eat sushi, drink my favorite coffees and wrestle around with my little guy. Indulgence was definitely fun but I was more so looking forward to finally being pregnant and to helping Johan and Anders have their sweet baby.
The transfer date was set for December. I’d been on a cocktail of birth control pills, IVF hormone injections, oral medications and suppositories for about a month. I was on a first name basis with the phlebotomy staff at the hospital, as nearly weekly blood draws were required to monitor my various hormone levels. I’d also had ultrasounds to examine the lining of my uterus and everything was progressing as hoped. Every test showed positive results as my body was fooled into suppressing my own personal egg release while preparing it for the 5-day old fertilized Swedish embryo.
Thanksgiving conversation was more interesting than usual this year. This was the first time I’d seen my family since telling them about the surrogacy journey and the questions were rapid-fire. My son Tad was still unaware of the surrogacy, so the questions were piled on while he was napping or otherwise amused.
My grandparents, both in their mid-80s, were deeply fascinated by the science of surrogacy and in vitro fertilization. I’d worried they might be opposed to the entire process, but was pleasantly surprised at their curiosity and openness to every aspect of the journey. My grandfather had been a pharmacist, so his questions focused on the science behind the process, while my grandmother’s career had been in education and counseling, leading her to ask about the various laws in Oregon, the US and Sweden.
My mom’s main concerns were my ability to not form an attachment to the baby along with my personal safety and health. At one point I could see her hesitate as she carefully chose her words regarding another concern.
“Honey, I have one other thought. What if people hear you’re doing this and think you’re…. loose?”
“What if one of Tad’s friends comes to school and says to him ‘My mommy says your mommy is loose’?”
Oh! That was certainly not an angle I’d ever once considered.
“Well, that’s not really how it works. It’s an egg donor and there’s no sex involved, so….”
Trailing off, I didn’t know what else to say. Of course, my mom understood all of this and she was just making sure I’d considered all aspects, but the thought made me laugh. If anyone considered me ‘loose’ for doing this, they simply needed to be educated on the IVF and surrogacy process.
Besides that, everyone had questions about Johan and Anders, their son and their life in Sweden. Some questions were funny, while others were very serious and thoughtful. They were invested in learning more about the family I would be forever connected to and I loved that so many people were woven into this experience.