MicroblogMondays: Things Change Every Week

Microblog_Mondays

The nature of infertility: things change all the time.

Last week Bob and I were both excited about the potential surrogate that we interviewed on the phone.  The agency owner emailed me on Tuesday to check in with me.  I immediately returned her email telling her that I was swamped with a presentation and couldn’t send her the additional questions we had for our potential surrogate.  I said I’d send her the questions in the next couple of days.  I also asked the agency owner several other questions regarding the process.  After that, radio silence.  I didn’t hear back from the agency owner at all the next couple of days.  I didn’t know why but my mind was going 100 miles a minute, thinking that the agency owner’s lack of response meant that the surrogate was no longer available.  Don’t ask me why I had that fear.  I was just very anxious about it.  I prayed and prayed about it.  I was better then worse then better then worse.  So finally on the day of my presentation, I was determined to speak with the agency owner.  Fortunately she returned my call promptly and before my presentation.  I guess she didn’t realize that she needed to return my email.  The potential surrogate was still available.  What a relief.

Even if we really liked the surrogate, we didn’t want to move forward until we asked all the questions that we didn’t get to ask during our phone call.  I looked through two very detailed questionnaires given to me by two different intended mothers and came up with the questions that I wanted to ask.  I finally sent the questions over this weekend and received an answer from the potential surrogate on the same day.  One thing I really like about her is transparency as she answered all the questions honestly.  One of the questions I asked was about smoking.  On her profile, she said that she didn’t smoke.  So I asked about smoking in the household.  She said that she had smoked on and off but recently quit.   She never smoked during her pregnancy.  And her husband does smoke but not inside.  I read the email in the car with Bob next to me.  I didn’t tell him right away that she responded and my reaction to her response.  I wanted to process my feelings for a little before telling him.  The more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I was with it.  I really appreciate the surrogate’s honesty.  She could’ve lied about it.  However, in this process, I am already giving up a lot of control.  Even if the surrogate sticks to her word and not smoke during her pregnancy, I just don’t know how I could deal with the potential risk of second hand smoking.  I also asked questions about her and her husband’s contact with the law and she answered those questions honestly.  Those don’t bug me because things happened a long time ago, but the smoking one felt like the bigger issue.

Bob was wise.  He told me to sleep on and pray about it to see how I felt the next day.  I still felt uncomfortable the next day despite some online forum people and friends telling me that their parents smoked when they were growing up and nothing was wrong with them.  I consulted with Dr. E about it.  She said that she has had carriers with partners that smoke outside and the carrier smells like an ash tray.  She said if she does a medical screening on a carrier and she smells like cigarettes, she is out.  She said that the “off and on” really depends on what it means.  To her, second hand smoking can lead to intrauterine growth restriction.  I thought long and hard about it.  We are spending so much money on this process and I don’t want to have one more thing to worry about.  

This process is so hard on my emotions.  One minute things look good.  Another minute things go down hill.  So many decisions to make.  And we want to feel at peace every step of the way.  I am still going to take some time to think about this surrogate, but the smoking part and the second hand smoking part is a pretty huge deal.  I am not discouraged just yet, but we really thought that we had found the right surrogate for us.  Things are never that simple, are they?  So onward we go, and hopefully this agency or another agency in the same state will have additional surrogates that we could choose from.  Although I am still tense, I am trying very hard to take it one day at a time, and also focus on the end goal of having a baby.

Deep breaths.

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14 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: Things Change Every Week

  1. I know it is a big disappointment but I am very glad you asked the questions you needed answered and made the choice that felt right to you. You’re right – there is no space here for avoidable and unnecessary worries that you *can* control.

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  2. I’m so glad the surrogate was honest. Even if it’s not what you want it shows that we can have faith in humanity to be honest. I hope you’re able to quickly find another surrogate that meets your requirements. This is a huge investment and you are right to want to feel comfortable with who you choose.

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  3. As a former smoker (so was Mr. MLACS) and a person who grew up around a smoker, I personally would not use a surrogate who smokes. My reasoning is that 1. Second hand smoke is bad but third hand smoke may be worse–Mr. MLACS quit 2 years ago and he *still* smells like smoke when he rides in his truck (I won’t let BG ride in the truck and we are replacing it soon). Also, when I wanted to quit but *couldn’t* I would tell people that I was an “occassional smoker”. That was a lie, but I might have convinced myself it was true. Also, I quit but then started back up because Mr. MLACS smoked–maybe 1 cigarrette per day–so living with a smoker means you are far more likely to smoke. So I wouldn’t trust a former/occassional smoker who lives with a smoker, given that I was in that position myself. XOXO

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    • Oh thank you so much for chiming in. I was wondering about all the things you were talking about: the car, the clothes, and the temptation with living with a smoker. I just don’t want to have added worries about that. It’s very interesting that Mr. MLACS’s truck still smells like smoke. Wow the smell surely lingers. I have never smoked once in my life so I don’t know how it works when it comes to quitting. Thanks for your input!

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  4. Deep breaths as you stay. Go with your gut, and know that the choice is yours. If this one isn’t right you will find others, so don’t worry about that. Sending hugs.

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  5. I also agree that I would stay away from a surrogate who might smoke. My husband still lives to this day with the effects of secondhand smoke. Both he and I were born quite prematurely. I was born to a militant non smoker and despite being 2 months early was home in 4 days, tiny but basically healthy. He was born a couple months early and despite having an actual genius level IQ for the first several years of his life they thought he was disabled because of trouble with his ears (he ended up needing tubes) and an eventual diagnosis of asthma which is still an issue today- all direct results of his mom smoking throughout her pregnancy, his low birthweight (because of the smoking) and so on. You have to be comfortable- that’s what matters but having seen issues first hand that linger a lifetime I would say proceed with caution. Just 2 cents and a few hugs. 🙂

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  6. Good for you for asking in-depth questions. Only you can decide what’s right for you — one of the things with using a surrogate is the level of transparency that you can have throughout the pregnancy, which is “your” pregnancy from the beginning, so if there are things that aren’t comfortable to you you should listen to your gut, research all the possibilities, and make your decision. One reason why we didn’t choose the surrogate route ourselves was because I knew that I would have a hard time with the aspect of control during someone else’s pregnancy that was really my pregnancy, just external. Now, with adopting, there are so many factors no longer within my control (as if any of it really was at any given time), but we have different positives and negatives to the process. I guess my point is that you have to know what you are comfortable with and stick with it, even if everything else looks great, because you will live with the impacts on this pregnancy and your child forever. Better to say no than to have regrets (something I also learned through adoption and saying no to a profile opportunity that just held too much risk for us to feel comfortable with). Best of luck to you as you trudge through this process!

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  7. As someone who never smoked, I simply don’t understand how people can still smoke these days with all of the warnings out there?!? My husband smoked in college and would occasionally smoke when he drank while I was in law school. I was so grossed out by it, but thankfully he hasn’t smoked in years. My freshman roommate in college smoked which was disgusting. I never let her smoke in our room but her clothes smelled like it all the time (we shared a closet so my clothes then smelled like smoke) and when I would pick up the phone I could smell smoke. Yuck.

    This is such a hard decision because I know that you guys want to move forward quickly, but smoking is such a red flag. Good luck with your decision.

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  8. On our potential donor applications they are asked the hair color of their immediate family. One of the potential donors wrote “grey” on her grandparent’s hair color….which is obviously not their original hair color. It was silly and trivial but it made me not want to use her. I started thinking about how she could mess up her medications or read something wrong if she answered a question like that and we ended up not pursuing her at all. Things like this seem trivial at the time but now that we have found THE donor, it all makes sense.

    You have to do what makes you comfortable. This process is already so hard and you are making sacrifices and if it means waiting a little longer to make you more at ease with this process by finding a surro that is a non-smoker, then it will all be worth it.

    Here’s to hoping you find her sooner rather than later. (HUGS)

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  9. It’s so important that you’re comfortable. These are, after all, parenting decisions. You’re deciding on the environment that the baby will grow. So it makes sense to wait for your heart to feel at peace.

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