Nothing about infertility is ever going to be described as "easy" for us. It just seems written in the cards that every twist and turn imaginable, both good and bad, lays in wait for us to make the next call in our journey. When we found out that the frozen transfer was a no-go for Harris and I, we really struggled to not only get over the negative, but also to make a decision as to how to move forward. Should we stop with surrogacy? Should we do another frozen transfer with only 2 more embryos to use? Would another fresh cycle be worth the time and investment of the last of our savings from the baby fund? Or, should we move ahead with adoption where we know that we'd end up with a child?
The real question that ended our discussions and decided our course of action was this: If we stopped right now and went with adoption, could we be okay with giving up on ever having a person on the planet who looked like us and shared our combined genetic material? The answer, for us, was no. We couldn't do less than give everything we had to try and make this happen. That was the bottom line for us.
So, it looks like I will spend yet another June in India. But, in the true style that is our twist-and-turn journey, I won't be going alone. My sister will be coming with me...to act as a second surrogate for us. We made the decision to be "all in" this time and tell my sister about what we've been through. Other than my mother, nobody in my family or Harris' family knows anything about our situation. Knowing that the money will be totally gone, and that we might have to come to terms with never ever ever having people on the planet that look like us as children, we made the decision to tell my little (7 years younger) sister and ask her about being our second surrogate. We went to my mom's house last week when Carrie and her fiance Mike were both there. We all sat in the living room, mom included, and Harris started at the beginning with them. He talked while I cried silently and just tried to keep from sobbing while he told them about the years of treatments, the 1st and 2nd miscarriages, and our last miscarriage of the twins this Fall. My sister was shocked at what we were telling her - largely in part because she has very firm ideas of who we are and the information she was receiving didn't match with her who she thought we were. She cried, and then she told us that she had known something was wrong but hadn't felt comfortable asking. With no hesitation at all she said she absolutely would go and try for us. Her fiance said he was all about trying to help people, and wanted this to happen for us. We appreciated that but told them both to take some time to try and live in that possibility for a few days before totally committing. They are planning to get married in October and, hoping this would work, she'd be almost 4 months months pregnant with her sister and brother-in-law's child. For Mike's Catholic family, this might be a bit um, well, hinky.
Carrie did ask me what she needed to start doing because she wanted to get moving. I gave her a list that had "stop smoking" at the top of the page, and she quit cold-turkey the next day. It was a rough week for her, but she's also committed to eating better, and moving more over the next few months. She has gone and been tested for HIV, STDs, Hep A, Hep C, and started getting the necessary shots for the trip. She had an appointment with the health department for a pap smear and syphilis testing so that they would prescribe the necessary birth control pills for her cycle to line up with mine. An application for her passport was mailed out on Tuesday after we told her on Sunday. So, all in all, it looks like she is really serious and willing to do this. I can't believe it - I don't understand it - and I am totally humbled beyond belief that she'd even consider what we've asked of her.
Nonetheless, I continue moving forward with the plans, hoping that this will happen for us this time. Oh, and since I'm going back to cycle, I have to go off my anxiety medicine in February. I'm not thrilled about that, and worry that the chronic insomnia and anxiety attacks will come back. I'm going to the doctor on Tuesday to see if there's something that's safe for me to take during the process. If not, I'll find a way to cope. So, that's where we are. For those of you who have prayed for us in the past, please continue to keep us in your prayers. Specifically I would ask that you pray our surrogates will become pregnant with our child(ren), have a boring and routine pregnancy, and deliver a healthy normal child(ren) next February or March.