Surrogacy – a different journey

Posted on: December 2, 2013

Blimey what a long time is passed since I last wrote on here,as I sit here at home on this cold December evening I thought I would like to you. This post has taken me weeks to write , I have found this one so hard to capture. I hope it makes sense to you when you read it back.

My last post was about adoption on about our journey has ended, I promised to write about surrogacy and the challenges that this can present. It has been important for me to leave some time before I wrote to you about this subject and I hope this will become apparent why.

Little over a year ago very very very beautiful friend sat opposite me at my dining table looked at me and said “Liz we would like a baby for you”

It took me by surprise I wasn’t really sure what I was hearing was really what was being said, after all I was just sat there eating my breakfast a bowl of porridge …… I was really shocked.

My initial response was one of the shock disbelief and confusion, I did what every English person does when in shock and offered to make everyone a pot of tea. We were on our own and I wasnt sure she understood what she was saying.

My friend told me that herself and her husband had discussed this at great length and it was something they very much wanted to offer. We agreed that we would speak with our husbands.

I remember being incredibly excited and perhaps looking back maybe it was cruel because it opened up some thoughts and feelings that we have been unable to experience. I found myself daydreaming what would my baby…. Our baby actually look like, how would I feel to see a beautiful bundle that was ours…..

I told myself that when the time was right, I would approach the subject with my husband. Only seeing the positives of what had just been offered.

Of course when it came to it I just blurted it out …… You will never guess what ‘xxxxxxx’ wants to have a baby for us……..

Duncan being the level headed person he is, initially shared my joy, until we both sat down and looked together at the practicalities.

There are many hurdles to overcome with surrogacy, one of the biggies was that my friend didnt want to use her eggs, a decision that I completely totally understand. So we had a womb , all we needed were some eggs. Private IVF and egg harvesting is incredibly expensive, so I decided to pay a visit to my GP, and we applied to our local health trust for funding, after all we had been offered IVF when I still had a womb but had been unable to use it…. Surely there would be no difference, I had a womb to use just not mine !

In addition I discovered that not all employers see the non birth mother as the ‘mother’ therefore absolving any maternity rights.

I don’t want to go in to the finer points of this story, because it’s not just my story and involves many twists and turns. What matters is that we were unable to follow this dream any further.

Due to my age, and our surrogate’s age we weren’t eligible for IVF on the NHS. The cut off is 35 and I was months the wrong side. Let’s not debate the rights and wrongs of that- it is what it is.

With stats around 1 in 4 it’s a big gamble anyway…… With any insemination I would be left feeling if it failed like I had miscarried all over again- and when do you stop? How many attempts would we have? Could we consider funding it ourselves?

The average cost of Surrogacy is 15k ….. is that fair to invest so heavily even more in a dream that might not happen?What makes me so angry is that we have spent so long chasing a dream, so much money, and still we have empty arms, empty hearts, and a seriously dented bank account.

I am not sorry that my beautiful friend offered us this chance. It was a beautiful but painful experience, it challenged me and our marriage, because I felt so strongly that no matter what the hurdles surely there would be a way – surely we should fight for it because we wanted it so much.

Ultimately some times , sadly, you have to walk way from that fight – walking away sometimes is the only thing that can preserve that ounce of dignity you have left.

It hasn’t ceased my yearning got be a mother, that will be with me till I take my last breath.

It makes me sad that a high percentage of women / couples who opt for surrogacy do so largely because of endometriosis …… Why is this part so hard?

Haven’t we done enough fighting?

Haven’t we hurt enough?

Haven’t we shed enough tears?

I can’t talk about our surrogacy journey to many, for fear of looking or being accused of looking at my friends and family as ‘walking wombs’ – this comment was actually said to me when I raised the topic of surrogacy with someone I thought was a friend……… My response was what would you do if faced with my situation , their lack of insight led them to saying ‘I would not have given in to the fight like you did’ 

Who walked away? my body was broken, beyond fixing for the role I had been born to do.

One day I hope there will be more acceptance around the never ending journey that is endometriosis and the pain of infertility…….. One day

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Roses of Endometriosis

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