Candace- Does anyone have a “pile” of things to get to? I do. It currently resides on my kitchen counter, ready to be quickly stashed away out of sight were there to be any sign of company dropping by. I mean it is not hoarders worthy, but it is starting to grow exponentially. In this pile is a mixing bowl of randomness such as coupons I’ve set aside that without fail, will forget to use, a few of Jellybean’s tod-casssos that I’ll file away in my keepsakes stash, and a white envelope.
I am haunted by that white envelope that I’m acutely aware is buried among the growing stack of paper. Every single time I walk past the counter it silently screams at me. I try to ignore it, I want to ignore it, but I just can’t ignore it’s existence. This little white envelope holds a bill. A stupidly expensive one from our fertility clinic. I just can’t seem to bring myself to open it and deal with it. Cowardly, maybe, I’m calling it “self preservation” for the time being. It just feels like once I tear open that sealed envelope, I will be ripping open a wound that has just started to jaggedly heal. I want to hold on to the blind ignorance that this never happened. That our once hopeful surrogacy didn’t just end without warning, and that the $20k+ we invested and what I put my body through wasn’t just for some hormone party of nothing.
That envelop resembles something I want to forget, but I can’t. It’s not about what we owe. Well that part still stings hard, really, it is the fact that we are now married to this envelope. Since there are now 3 epically perfect embryos whose fate is in our hands, that envelope will not go away. It will keep coming month after month, year after year.
The increasing sleepless nights where I lay in bed replaying every scenario of what I could have done differently are keeping me from opening it. It’s my personal bubble I am in right now. With no hope of another surrogate (seriously, surrogates are majestic purple unicorns; they are both amazing and incredibly rare), a bank account that has been hemorrhaged dry through years of infertility pursuits, we must start to face some difficult decisions.
It begins with getting uncomfortable. Popping my protective bubble I have been hiding in, and taking in a new breath of hope. Not the kind of hope that I will miraculously defy modern medicine and grow a uterus. Hope, in that by opening that white envelope, it will give me the courage to move forward in the direction that is meant for us.
Chris- Somewhat contradictory to Candace, which is rare and is the topic of a future post, I WANT to open that envelope. I want to move forward and take those next steps. Although at first glance this may seem that I have somehow managed to overcome the gut-wrenching loss of our surrogate or that I have reconciled the uncertainty in finding a new one, reality is that it is neither of those. The feeling compelling me to the symbolic opening of that envelope is fear. Fear that, as more time passes between where we were with our gung-ho attitude of having our second child and where we would be in the future with another surrogate, my desire and our ability/capability to have a second child will diminish. Don’t get me wrong, I am still about 6000% sure that I want a second child, but I am also enjoying watching our Jellybean continue to grow, mature, and become more expressive. With each passing moment, not only does the feeling that we even CAN have another child wane, but so too does the detail of memories and the joy we experienced with our infant Jellybean. As the grip on those cherished moments diminishes, the focus on the here and now activities of our Jellybean sharpens. My fear is that, at some point, the hill of motivation to overcome this mental/emotional shift will be so great, we will no longer wish to pursue a second child. Where would that leave us? Would that leave us regretting a decision to remain a family of 3 when we are 50, 60, 70? Would we look back and say, “Man, why the eff were we so lazy and self-centered?” Would we feel heart pangs every time our Jellybean discussed the siblings she never had? Never mind the fact that we have those 3 embryos just waiting for their opportunity to make this world better.
As much as I hope that Candace and I will get to the same point in our struggle to recuperate after the loss of our surrogate, I am beginning to wonder if our points of resolution will even be the same. I want a second child, I want a miraculous opportunity to swoop in and leave a surrogate on our doorstep. But, I want it now before the path to that reality seems too difficult or too long to follow.
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