I’ve been with the same bunco group since 2007. Bunco is a parlor game that involves rolling dice, hanging with friends, maybe winning $20 and absolutely NO skill. Our games […]
I’ve been with the same bunco group since 2007. Bunco is a parlor game that involves rolling dice, hanging with friends, maybe winning $20 and absolutely NO skill. Our games are one of the highlights of my month and it’s a joy to celebrate life milestones with the girls in the group. New jobs, marriages, buying homes and having babies…. and so many babies lately. With a full gamut of personalities, the girls are reliable for support, humor and reality checks.
Six of us stuck around to catch up after the festivities ended one evening and my courage was high. Here goes!
“So I’m thinking about becoming a surrogate for a family that can’t have a baby. What do you guys think?” I just blurted it out, not wanting to get tripped up on my words.
Of my five friends there, four were already moms. They all immediately voiced their support while peppering me with questions about the process. The more answers I gave them, the more intrigued and supportive they were. My friend Sun was the only one who had not yet had a baby and she was notably more reserved about it. Looking back, this was a reoccurring theme throughout the surrogacy – there was a marked and common difference in the reactions from people who had or had not yet had children.
A few shared stories of other acquaintances who had experienced surrogacy, from the surrogate and intended parent side, and a few other stories of successful IVF procedures. Yes! This is more common than I though. Whew.
I left feeling even more confident in my decision to move forward with the surrogacy process.
A few days later, Aaron, Tad and I drove to the Northwest Surrogacy Center office in Portland. We were greeted by Heidi, a surrogate coordinator, and she was one of the friendliest, warmest people I’d met in a long time… one of those personalities that could light up the darkest of rooms. And they had an excellent selection of hot teas on hand, which I definitely indulged in. Score! I felt at ease right away. The four of us talked in a private conference room. Heidi and I were at one end of the table, while Aaron amused Tad with some toys at the other end.
I had a million questions —
– What was I allowed and not allowed to do while pregnant?
– How did health insurance work with surrogacy, and what about all of the legal paperwork to ensure I was not the legal guardian of the baby?
-What if something happened to the intended parents while I was pregnant?
Random scenarios whirled through my head but Heidi responded to each one thoughtfully and calmly. She spoke to Aaron and watched how the three of us interacted as a family. Luckily, as a three year old, Tad had no idea what we were discussing. I was not prepared to tell him about it yet and was thankful for the large basket of toys the agency provided him.
I completed additional paperwork and Heidi asked me to compile a variety of photos they could show to potential intended parents. Eek! This is happening! Aaron, who was playing with Tad, didn’t say much throughout the meeting but did voice his support.
We grabbed lunch at the Lucky Labrador afterward to enjoy some rare Portland sunshine and Aaron needed to get some thoughts off his chest.
“You’re really sure about this? I mean, it’s having a baby for someone else. That’s not a small thing. You want to put your body through that, your boss through that, and us through that? Do you really get this? What will your parents think?” His questions were rapid fire.
Don’t. Get. Defensive. Stay level-headed. I answered him the best I could. But honestly, yes, there were so many unknowns. How would my body respond? What if the IVF didn’t work? How would I feel toward the baby? Maybe the intended parents and I wouldn’t mesh well. What if people didn’t like my decision to do surrogacy?
I just didn’t know all the answers. But if I only embraced situations where I was 100% confident of the outcome, my life would have been incredibly dull. Think of the interesting story I’ll have, at the very least! I’ll have to blog about this.