Friday, September 21, 2012

Opening Up

I debated a lot about whether to share anything about my path to motherhood on this blog. I share so much about my health that you might think it is an odd internal debate for me to have, but I debated nevertheless. While it is true that I talk about my date nights or DIYs and cooking with Ash, I like to keep my marriage and my family life pretty close to the vest. After all, this isn’t a marriage blog. It’s just a blog about my life. I decided today to lift the veil a little.

Over the last few months, I’ve been knee deep in the world of reproduction. I was diagnosed with PAH in February of this year. Ever since the doctor explained that I would be on medication that caused birth defects and noted that women with PAH have a hard time carrying anyway, I have been obsessed. Right before the diagnosis, Ash and I were at a point in our marriage where I was seemingly healthy (after years of trying to get my Lupus into remission) and we were both ready to have children. We talked about it non-stop and every baby that I saw sent my biological clock into a tailspin. Then, everything stopped. It was like being suspended in time surrounded by questions of what this new diagnosis would mean for my dreams of being a mother, for my marriage and for my body.

Sometime in March, I dusted my spirit off, put my disappointments into my baggage and moved on down the road of my life’s journey. I didn’t give up though. I immediately started researching egg extraction, gestational surrogacy and adoption. The expenses associated with each process blow my mind. I know the experience of being a mother is priceless but when we’re talking over $100,000 to get there…well, it’s quite sobering.

I am lucky enough to have a sister and a friend who've offered to carry for me but there is guilt and anxiety associated with that. First, I don't live in the same state as either of them so I wouldn't really feel like a part of the pregnancy. I'd constantly be worried about their health and choices. That's the anxiety. Second, I'd feel terrible about taking over their lives for a year or more (once you factor in hormone treatments, implantation, pregnancy, birth, healing, weight loss, etc.). My desire to have my own biological child is enough to make me get over all of that (if they can, i can) but the feelings are still there. If that doesn't work, there's always adoption though we've talked about doing that even if we can have a biological child. 

In short, wading into this territory is creating a huge ball of emotion in my life but short of a miracle (and trust me I'm praying for one), it is territory that I can't avoid at the moment. Some would say, leave it alone. If God meant for you to have children, none of this would be happening. I couldn't disagree more. There are different paths to parenthood. At the end of the day, my journey may not be traditional, but it will be mine and I am faithful that it will end with someone calling me mama.

The first stage of the journey will be meeting with a fertility specialist to discuss egg extraction and freezing. I still haven't firmly decided on who the surrogate will be (stranger or family/friend) but at 34, I can't just sit on my laurels and wait until I decide to extract and freeze eggs. We're still gathering recommendations from friends who've gone through similar issues. I'll keep you posted.


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