There’s no shortage of awkward moments in the surrogacy process. Last time I had to sign notarized papers with my hubs I went to his office where one of his co-workers is a notary. My sweet Brett being a very private person has not really told many people at his office we are going through the surrogacy process. (Don’t worry sweetheart I got you covered on that one!) Needless to say this woman was surprised and pleased to notarize these documents for us. When explaining the documents to Brett in front of his co-worker I may have said, “Now initial here stating if we divorce I get the embryos, I mean you’re making baby sauce as we speak.” He gave me the, really- you’re telling me this here? look. That was almost as much fun as going in and getting a full panel of STD testing as a married couple. To me, at this point, it’s all very commonplace and normal. I am a professional hoop-jumper. So you can imagine my shock when I was trying to schedule an appointment with my physician to fill out paperwork and the scheduler said, “Surrogacy? What’s that?”
Me: Radio silence. Does not compute. *deep breaths*
Ask my friends and family, sometimes I can be a little… creative with my speech in times of stress. At that moment after my shock at someone not understanding the word “surrogacy” the first response that came to my mind was are you f*cking kidding me, you work in a doctors office! Lucky for everyone involved (myself and the scheduler) I’m more mature than that, I took a deep breath and said as calmly as possible, “It’s when another woman carries my baby in her uterus for me because I can’t.” On my end I was having this enormous yet silent 14 second temper tantrum while listening to her breathe on the other end. Eventually, she said, “Oooh… right!”
These are small moments but when I think of them all together I try and understand why it’s so surreal. When you look at the flaming hoops to jump through, i’s to dot and t’s to cross, this process is not unlike getting into a competitive nursing program or buying or refinancing a home. The difference is the human factor and the weirdness and oddness attached to that human factor. It’s the most normal thing humans can do, done in the most not normal way. Someone I’ve never met is going to do the biggest, most personal favor I’ve ever asked of anyone, ever. This is not the way humans procreate, this is the way we’ve invented to CO-create. The people, meaning my surrogate and her support system and eventually our baby, tip this process over the edge from adult hoop-jumping and to-do lists to straight-up Fumbletown, an unknown territory east of Whoville. Sure there’s feelings involved when you buy a home but I never stayed up at night doing creative visualization about the sellers or tried to sort out feelings about the unknown future of our relationship. So how does one cope with this sort of unknown?
In many ways I feel the whole of my life has prepared me for this variety of unexpectedness that makes me feel (slightly) more prepared for what the future holds. I’ve gone through the home buying process, I got into the competitive nursing program (and rocked it) and somewhere along the line I picked up this cosmic woo-woo stuff that is helping me through the odd Fumbletown side of things, the human side of things. Modern medicine and human logic absolutely fail to help humans cope with the wishy-washy unknowns in life, it’s all the woo-woo that fills this gap. The singing bowls, meditation, visualization, spirit journeys, prayer and the like. Going through cancer was and is an amazing opportunity to grapple with the unknown, the scary unknown, the surrogacy variety of unknown is much more fun. Is it weird to say I’m glad I have my cancer scary unknowns that pushed me to see the cosmic woo-woo as actual coping mechanisms? Glad I have the scary stuff to compare to this happy unknown? Weird, but true.
The human side of things is an incredibly exciting and odd fumble, in all honesty it’s been fun to explore the possibilities of this soon-to-be relationship. Just think, right now in mid-western America, there is a woman going about her day caring for her child(ren), but in the back of her mind she’s wondering, just like I am, who I will be. We’ve both gone through the exhaustive paperwork, interview, medical exam process and we’re waiting and wondering. Together.
She’s at the forefront of my mind today because recently I got antsy and called the surrogacy agency (first time since July) to see what’s up. They gave me warm tingly feelings right away when the woman who answered said, “Oh hi Kate! How’s Brett?” I love that they know me! After we exchanged pleasantries the woman from the agency jumped right in.
“I know you’re calling to find out the progress so I’ll just tell you, we’re close. We’re really close to matching you, so close actually that… well… that’s all I can really say is we are so close! So don’t be surprised when I call you back soon with a match.”
Ok, me being the slightly jaded realist instantly thought I bet you say that to all the girls. But thankfully my logical nurse brain kicked in and I wondered, how would that help them? If it was their policy to get intended parents riled up and excited that would just create extra phone calls and emails they’d have to respond to, right? Following that logic… THEY ARE CLOSE TO MATCHING US!! I hung up the phone with my heart beating out of my chest. I’m writing this with my heart beating out of my chest!
“match” = finding the woman who matches our surrogacy need and we we match hers
Today she’s out there, she’s really out there! It seems real now! Is she going through junk email? Is she washing grape jelly off her hands? I know she is a person, just like I’m a person, but I wonder if she can feel the huge halo of white light around her. At night I think of her sometimes (here comes the woo-woo). I visualize a tiny spark of light starting in her heart, I visualize her talking to her partner about this little spark, I see them sitting in the agency office and they both have a spark, I see them telling their kid(s) about the spark, I see her signing her name over and over and the spark getting bigger and bigger. I visualize the white light flowing from the spark in her heart through her blood vessels to her saintly womb and there I imagine a disco ball spreading dancing light for a party that’s just about to happen! When our baby is born I see him/her with a little spark right in the middle of his/her forehead, a gift from the saintly woman who hosted our little dance party. It’s these creative visualizations and cosmic woo-woo, if you will, that are helping me cope.
In real life everything is nearly ready, Brett and I need to get physicals and have our docs sign more papers, we have to figure out some weird website that is not cooperating, the local fertility clinic needs more papers, everyone wants more papers! But we’ve paid the transportation company $1200 (thank you again to everyone who’s donated!) and once all the papers get in, the physicals get done and the embryos get moved all we need is our magical lady full of sacred disco light. (Erm.. or saintly cosmic light if she’d rather, or really any variety of magic that is most holy and sacred to her, I know not everyone was raised in the church of Abba) Not sure how this is all going to pan out or what weirdness and magic is in store for us all but I do know I’ve got this healthy cosmic woo-woo ready to help me through it.