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Thursday, May 21, 2009

IComLeavWe and Thoughts on Surrogacy

Hey ... I haven't done ICLW for a while, so I figured I would jump in again this month! Here's what it means (from Stirrup Queens): ICLW stands for International Comment Leaving Week, but if you say it aloud, doesn't it sounds like "I come; [but] leave [as a] we"? And that's sort of the point. Blogging is a conversation and comments should be honoured and encouraged. I like to say that comments are the new hug--a way of saying hello, giving comfort, leaving congratulations."

So, welcome to my blog, any new readers that have come for ICLW! A quick history of me ... I have 2 year old b/g twins born on April 5th, 2007, the beautiful products of love and IVF/ICSI. They are the light of my life, and the beloved thorns in my side!

I am also currently the gestational carrier of b/g twins for my amazing wonderful sister and her husband. My sister was diagnosed last summer with breast cancer, and just ended all her treatments! The twins are due Aug 22nd. We are super excited about their arrival, and I am honored to have been giving the opportunity to help make their dreams of having a family come true!


Now, on the to the non-ICLW stuff. I've been thinking so much lately about this whole surrogacy thing. What an amazing journey it's been. It's been WAY harder than I anticipated ... probably because my only experience in pregnancy was WITHOUT any other children at home, so I think I anticipated it being easier than it is. It certainly does not help that my kids are fully engaged in the terrible twos, trying to kill each other, kill me, kill my husband, kill themselves, and kill any stuffed animals, toys, or books within their reach.

But on the days when I'm tired, or uncomfortable, I think about what it all means. Sometimes this whole situation just floors me! I am carrying my niece and nephew. Is there anyway that I could be closer to these kids? I am just so honored that I get to play this role in their lives. They are going to be blessed beyond belief with two parents that I personally believe are two of the most amazing people in the world.

Ya know, you hear a lot of crap in the media about surrogacy. And me and my sister joke that it's outsourcing at it's finest, and how she will look thin at her shower, and she can drink at her shower, and blah blah blah. But I would give anything to put these babies in her belly. And I'm guessing that every single mom who used a surrogate would have preferred to carry the babies herself. So I get so pissed when people talk about all the money that "these IPs (intended parents)" spend so that the mom doesn't have to get fat or get streth marks. I honestly never thought much about surrogacy before we were in this situation. Not that I ever had a problem with it, I think people should use whatever means they can to create the family they want. But it just wasn't something I thought would touch my life. I guess most of us don't think much about it when we start trying to get pregnant. Surrogacy just seems so far down the IF road ... ya know, maybe you try a little Chlomid. Move to IUI, and then IVI. But surrogacy? That's SO far away.

And then it wasn't. It was the ONLY option. And it's such a wonderful one. Maybe surrogates will disagree with me, and that's their right, but to me, the REAL heros in this journey are the IMs (intended moms). The women who give up the dream of carrying their baby so that they can HAVE a baby. I don't mean to take anything away from the Dads, they rock too, but they NEVER expected to carry a pregnancy. But the moms, well, we all DO expect to carry our babies. And to give it up, to put your trust in another person, with THE single most important thing in your life, well, that takes guts. And faith. And complete trust. Sure, the surrogate might deal with more of the day to day aches and pains, the physical ailments, but I don't think it can come close to what an IM deals with.

So, I would like to honor all your IMs today. YOU are my heros. You, who have given up so much, to gain so much. My sister, who is one of the strongest, most beautiful, most amazing women I know. Who faced her cancer treatment head on, with such a strong positive outlook. If only she could see herself as the same women that I see. My sister, who is going to be the most amazing mom to these two precious babies.

I think in this journey, too much focus has been put on me, and what a wonderful thing I've done, but really, I'm just being a sister. Not enough focus is put on what the IM has give up, what faith she has to hold on to, what trust she has to find, and what strength this entire journey takes. Surrogates are awesome, but it's the IMs that are getting my pat on the back today. You ladies are my heros. My sister is my hero.



Anita said...

What a wonderful thing to do for your sis! Good luck to all of you & especially dealing with those terrible twos! :)


Katie said...

Wow! How amazing that you are getting to experience this for your sister. What a gift that y'all have each other. I too commend IMs, I don't think it is something I could do, watching another woman experience MY pregnancy.

I'm glad I found you on ICLW! I'm expecting twins, and I can't wait to hear your stories :)

looking4#3 said...

First time ICLWer here. I had no idea reading this would put me in tears!!! What a fantastic post. What an incredible honor to think of the IMs in this fashion and to honor your sister. It truly is an amazing bond you have with her, she has with you and you now how with your niece and nephew. I think your whole family deserves the honor!!!!

CappyPrincess said...

How cool that you are able to do this for your sister! I wish you and the rest of the fam the very best through this journey.


theworms said...

You and your sister are both amazing, what an amazing gift to be able to give.

I'm so glad your sister has finished her treatment and I'm wishing both of your families nothing but the best.


tireegal68 said...

what an amazing story and what a coincidence that you are carrying b/ g twins and you have b/g twins too.
I don't think anyone who has been through IF could be judgmental about surrogacy - it's probably those who have no clue what it is like that like to make those ridiculous comments ( or one would hope that!)
It's kind of my dream to have b/g twins!
Good luck and I hope you get some rest!
Happy ICLW!

FET Accompli said...

Such a nice post - sort of feel a bit honoured!

Kristin said...

What a beautiful post. I think the way you look at it is an amazing example of what a wonderful person you are.


Chrissy (the sister) said...

I'm speechless...between crying and blowing my nose, I don't know what to say except...THANK YOU. Thank you for being my sister and always supporting me and for providing me with the greatest gift that one person could possibly give to another. I can't wait to share this story with our kids as they get older so they can understand how lucky they are to have such a wonderful Aunt and Uncle in their lives and the roles that you guys played. I love you so much!! All this crying just made my headache worse. LOL!

BB said...

Wow... I am awestruck! Thanks for sharing your journey! I wish you all - all the very best!


Rhea@mommy23monkeys said...

That was really well said. And I completely agree. :) Hope you are feeling well!

Arjun and Indira said...

Erica, your post brought me to tears. Good tears. That is just amazing how you acknowlede the other parties involved in surrogacy. It is true we all feel that we will grow up and have babies...our own babies in our own bellies. Infertility really hurts that theory on many different levels. Thankfully technology and surrogates are around, without them their wouldn't be the babies we have today! Thanks for this post it was inspiring.

Danifred said...

What an amazing gift you are able to give! So very cool ;)

Jaymee said...

wow, wait a moment while i pick myself up off the floor.

yes, surrogacy always seems to be the end of the IF road. for me though, getting to the end of that road has already given me so much, and we have not transferred yet. being able to receive the closest act to true altruism is something that can never be put into words.

you and your sister are both amazing women, and i wish you the best from here forward. so happy that she is finishing her treatments.


Erika said...

Wow, what an amazing sister you are! Good luck to all of you!


•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

hi, I am visiting from ICLW...No. 126 to say hello and to check out your blog.

What a beautiful heartfelt post... you are my hero too what a beautiufl thing to do for you sister.

On a side issue ...I understand the terrible two's ...LOL (not too much) with a dynamic destruction duo (boys) = can't imagine being pregnant with twins at the same time.

My Little Drummer Boys

dawn said...

what a great thing to do for your sister!!!! i am in awe of the process of surrogacy - what a wonderful relationship to be involved with and what a gift you are giving to your sister and her husband. best of luck to all of you!

Rebecca said...

Beautiful tribute to your sister. I do agree though, that it's an amazing thing that you are doing, but the IM's are amazing too. It's a beautiful relationship.