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.