My husband has read both of my blog posts so far and said to me the other night, “So you’ve made up your mind then, we’re going to do it, right?” I guess it could read like that, since I’ve really only posted about the good things about surrogacy. But there are a lot of not so good things to consider as well.
First and foremost is my own family. While my pregnancies have been pretty uneventful (aside from the twin surprise), they still take a toll. I wasn’t near as energetic, I had some morning sickness, and there were some physical limitations towards the end. Plus, what if something happens this time? What if I end up on bed rest and can’t help out at home? With two 14 month olds and a 5 year old who is about to start Kindergarten, rugby, and dance, you can imagine that things can get pretty hectic, and when I get tired or sick and we lose organization, things get even more crazy and overwhelming. Is medical testing, IVF, a potential pregnancy, and recovery really something that our family can handle right now? Recovery is something I’m really worried about, especially if I end up having another C-section. My recover from the twins’ birth was not great, especially compared to my first delivery. Everything healed up well, but it took a while for me to exercise without pain and feel “normal” again. I’m really hoping that if I go through with everything that I’ll be able to have a VBAC, because C-section recoveries are no joke. And then there’s the whole twins thing. A lot of people who go through surrogacy and IVF like to transfer two embryos at a time to increase their chances, which can then lead to both sticking. I’m not sure I’m ready to go through a twin pregnancy again.
Another major consideration is my mental health. I had post partum depression (PPD) with the twins, and possibly late-onset PPD with my first as well. With a bit of counseling, medication, lifestyle changes and support from family, I was able to get things under control fairly quickly, but I am at a high risk of getting it again. When I have brought up surrogacy with my sister, she says that this is one of the things that worries her the most. I completely understand her worry, because PPD is awful and something that I would have to be really careful about.
Speaking of my sister, she is one of the few people I have brought surrogacy up to, and the reception was not great. She expressed some things she was worried about, including PPD and the rough first year we had with the twins. She basically said that I am obviously free to do whatever I want, but it’s not something she would support. I would imagine that some of it is ignorance about the surrogacy process in general, but I realize that she has some legitimate concerns. She did eventually say that she was also being selfish. She lives about a 9 hour drive away, has a 5 month old of her own, and is getting married in less than two years. I’m supposed to be her maid of honour, and she worries that I won’t be there for her like she was for me at my wedding. So yah, a bit selfish, but I do understand. I am guessing that I would feel the same way. I’m also supposed to be a bridesmaid in another wedding next spring, so there are timing considerations I would have to make.
I was not surprised by my sister’s reaction, to be honest. I’m guessing my mom’s will be along the same lines, and I have no idea where my dad will stand. I know that at the end of the day their biggest fear will be my health and my family, but sometimes when they try to express their fears it comes across instead as passive-aggressive and unsupportive. I have thought about talking to my mom about surrogacy, but I think I’m going to wait until we’ve made a decision to go ahead. I want this to be our (mine and my husband’s) decision, but I also need to prepare myself for a negative response. Who knows, maybe in the end they’ll surprise me.
Aside from my family I also wonder about other peoples’ reactions. I know that a lot of people out there think that surrogacy is a wonderful thing, but there is still some stigma attached to it. I try not to let what other people think bother me too much, especially when it comes to the choices I make for myself and my family. But it’s hard not to sometimes. When researching surrogacy and what it’s like to explain it to other people, most who have gone through it say to stick to science and the facts. Someone couldn’t have a baby on their own so I am simply carrying one for them. It’s not mine, it’s theirs. The end.
So now you know some of my fears about surrogacy. Of course there’s all the other worries that go with trying to conceive and pregnancy, like actually getting pregnant, miscarriage, abnormalities, etc. My plan right now is to keep reading and researching, keep an open mind, and hopefully come to a decision soon.