Not Happily Ever After

You may wonder how an intended mother may feel once she is expecting via gestational surrogacy.  The answer is, it changes all the time, and you don’t know when and how frequently your feelings may change.

The other night Bob and I were chatting in bed about how we’d turn 15 weeks the next day.  Suddenly, this sadness overcame me.  It just hit me like a ton of bricks without warning.  I lay there and started tearing up.  What went through my mind was how Annie will start feeling the babies’ movements in a few weeks and I will feel nothing inside of me.  That loss on that particular day at that particular moment was so unbearable.  My babies are growing in another person’s body, and I am 100% grateful for that.  However, this same fact also reminded of my missing out on this experience and it was very difficult to bear.  I knew all of this going in, and I knew that these feelings are going to surface once in a while.  I do think that it is important to acknowledge them and cry when I need to cry.

These complicated feelings made the next day even more difficult.  A close friend of mine who had been banking day 5 and then day 3 embryos for the last two years (because of diminished ovarian reserve) just received her positive beta after failing her first transfer a month ago.  She started banking after she turned 40 and she had been quite adamant about not using donor eggs.  I totally respect what she’s been doing and support her in her endeavor.  It has not been easy for her and I want her to be successful.  At the same time, I didn’t know how I’d feel if/when she eventually gets her BFP.  I found out on Wednesday that her BFP has hit me hard.  I was super jealous of two things: 1) she does not have to consider the need of donor eggs, and 2) she gets to experience a pregnancy.  I know that this jealousy and these thoughts are not rational.  As a close friend, I *should* be very excited for her.  But I was just super super jealous.  There is no rhyme or reason.  Like I said, I would not have known how I’d feel about a particular person’s pregnancy until it happens.  There have been many times I am immediately very happy for someone and do not feel an ounce of jealously.  Unfortunately this time my primary feeling has been jealousy rather than anything else.  I felt a little bad for not being able to fully celebrate with my friend, but I was told by another co-sister on this journey (and she’s a therapist herself) that I don’t have to feel bad.  I am not going to analyze myself too much, but I believe this stems from both my need to use donor eggs and my necessity to use a gestational carrier.  I knew that I was still sorting through my feelings about not being able to carry, but I was surprised by my feelings regarding donor eggs.  I thought I have completely worked through those emotions, but I guess the grief for foregoing my own eggs lingers for longer than I thought.  I knew and still know that I was completely done with my own eggs at the time we moved forward to donor eggs and am very grateful for having the twins using this method, but it’s still tough when someone else achieves what I can’t.

Today was tough for me.  My friend was of course still super excited and sent me two pee stick photos.  It was hard for me to see pee sticks without prior warning.  Pee sticks, bump photos, and ultrasound photos still serve as such a trigger for me.  She also mentioned about other pregnancy related things that were too much for me at this point.   After a few moments, she asked me if it was okay for her to show me these photos.  I was silent for a little while then decided to tell her that I was okay with them because as a good friend, I don’t want to dampen her joy.  However, my friend A. wanted to make sure that I don’t get ambushed by this friend in the future so it might be wise to establish some boundaries.  I decided to be honest with my friend so I made this suggestion: “I support you and love you and am very happy for you for getting to this point.  Just for me, you may need to be a bit less specific about your pregnancy symptoms and things in the future.  I’m not saying that you are overdoing anything right now because you are not, but this is to protect myself because I don’t get to experience what you will experience.  I don’t know how I’d react.”  My friend took it very well and thanked me for being open with her.  I wish I could be there for her 100% but as of now, I am not quite there yet.

So it goes to tell you that even when we are 15 weeks into this pregnancy, we don’t live happily ever after.  We still have all sorts of feelings to process.  And sadness and jealousy hit whenever they want to.  We’ll have to be honest with ourselves and handle these feelings as they come.  Hopefully, like what A. said, that by the time the twins come, I will be so busy mothering that this stuff will have less opportunity to fill the space in my head.

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32 thoughts on “Not Happily Ever After

  1. You will always have lingering feelings. I hope they diminish with time. When I first entered the infertility world, I went to a small conference for adoption and fertility specialists. One woman was there promoting donor eggs. All I remember is her sadness and pain. She spoke briefly about her two year old daughter but at length about her pain. I just feel sad for her because I got the impression she is more focused on her journey than her ending, her beautiful child. I know you won’t let that happen. You have the intelligence to seek help when you need it. I also think you’ll be overjoyed when you fly home with your two beautiful babies. They are 100% yours, and you are their mama. Annie may feel their kicks but you’ll kiss their boo boos and calm their fears. This is a hard phase for you so just hang in there until it’s over. I’ll keep praying for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I will try my best to focus on the good things and on the babies. Thank you for the support. Sometimes it is hard, but most of the time I am super happy and grateful. And I am so grateful for your prayer support as always. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t feel the overwhelming love that everyone talks about when my babies were born but I felt some very powerful emotions I can’t quite describe, along with an amazing wholeness and healing. I will pray that for you but I have a feeling you’ll be the same way.

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  2. I just wanted to share my reaction, as someone currently pregnant with a donor egg baby, to hearing of your pregnant friend… my stomach dropped and I immediately felt anxious for her. My first thought was Oh God, I hope those eggs were decent quality and that she doesn’t miscarry. My greatest joy in having a donor egg baby has been the capacity to feel more confident in the health of this pregnancy. The loss you’re feeling now is so understandable though and I’m so glad that you can acknowledge it and process it.

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    • I know exactly what you are saying. I have been anxious for her too. I just hope and pray that everything goes well for her from this point on. I know that testing the embryos is not everything, but going in not knowing is going to be very hard for her. Every step of the way you can’t help but wonder if the embryo that implanted has normal chromosomes. I hope that your pregnancy is everything you have hoped for. ❤

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  3. I can’t begin to imagine the pain and longing you feel at times. I think the way society treats a pregnancy makes it even harder. The real joy truly starts with babies in your arms but it doesn’t take away the pain now. Hugs.

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  4. As someone just beginning my journey as a surrogate, I appreciate your frankness. I have read a lot of blogs from surrogate moms but it’s harder to find the perspective of the IP’s (particularly the IM). It’s nice to be able to consider things from their point of view to help me better navigate and be sensitive to their needs and emotions. Thank you.

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    • Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It’s so refreshing to see someone like you with a big heart to help others achieve their dream of being a mother and at the same time so mindful of what intended mothers go through. Your intended mother will be/is very blessed. ❤

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  5. I can’t begin to imagine what you must be feeling, but I know when I read what you write, it all makes sense in my mind. Like, of course, this is what she would be feeling. And you relate it all with such grace and patience! You made a huge sacrifice for your babies by making sure they would be carried by a healthy uterus. That’s such a gift you gave them! I guess there’s really nothing I can say, but please keep writing!

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    • Thank you friend. I just have a need to say what’s on my mind, and to share so that people on the same boat know that I have these feelings. And thank you so much for saying that I made a sacrifice for my babies. That was exactly what I wanted for them: to grow in a healthy uterus for the best chance of being healthy. So yeah, don’t you worry, I’ll keep on writing! ❤

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  6. First of all, I’m so glad that you asked for what you needed from your friend! That’s wonderful!! And, as for the rest of it, there will always (I think) be a little emotion around pregnancy. There is for me, and I was never pregnant. But, that little twinge of jealousy or “what if” slowly fades, as you grow into your new role as mom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you for sharing your perspective. I surely hope that when I am busy caring for my children, I would feel nothing but love for them, and these jealous or sad feelings will diminish. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You have described your feelings so eloquently and I cannot begin to imagine what you are feeling. I’m glad you have asked for what you needed from your friend. That is so hard to do sometimes. Thank you for sharing.

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    • Thank you friend. Just needed to get things off my chest. Yeah it was very hard to tell my friend in a nice gentle way about the boundaries I wanted to set. But it was really necessary if I wanted a healthy relationship with her. ❤

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  8. Hugs to you my friend! Your feelings are totally understandable.

    I’m sorry I haven’t commented in a long time, but I’ve been following along and celebrating your victories and mourning your losses along with you. ❤

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  9. Thank you for sharing these vulnerable moments. I too am glad you set some boundaries for your own needs and that your friend accepted them. In my experience no matter how vast the joy and how busy the day, the longing and knowledge of what we’ve lost doesn’t go away. It does change but the pain remains real. And persistent, if muted.

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  10. I forget where I read it, or where it’s from, but somewhere along the 9+ years of infertility I read something that said, “We need to quit worrying about things being an act of selfishness and focus more on self preservation.” For some reason this totally clicked with me. While I have done my best to be supportive for my friends, at the end of the day, I worry about me and my feelings when it comes to pregnancy, baby showers, birthday parties, etc. Most of my friends have come to know that I do the best I can and they are super kind and considerate.

    Sometimes, no matter what we do, there is still going to be pain, there is still going to be grief over things we have sacrificed, and we will never know what it feels like to have a “normal” pregnancy. But, I’d like to think that years from now, we will be that much stronger, braver, and resilient for what we’ve endured as “infertiles”. We will cherish life and the children in it because we know that it is something not promised to everyone.

    Hugs and Love to you and Bob as you continue down this journey! I keep you close in my prayers ❤

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  11. What a wonderfully honest and raw post. Feeling for you! I bet my own feelings are yet to come…I don’t think or feel much about DE these past 2-3 years other than gratitude, but I realize that once I begin explaining things to S, everything will become much more complicated

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  12. Pingback: MicroblogMondays: Ups and Downs of an Early Pregnancy | In Quest of a Binky Moongee

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