My stepbrother (Logan), who I don’t know well, and his wife (Natalie), who I have met twice, have asked me if I would be a gestational surrogate for them.
I. Don’t. Know.
They live in Arizona (!). I would have to travel to Arizona, I guess? While jacked up on hormones? I don’t know why they asked me. Of all the hundreds of people they know, why me?
I have so many feelings about this, I don’t know where to start.
My gut reaction was to say no. I’m pretty happy to be done with babies and pregnancy and that whole rollercoaster. My life is finally going really well. I’m getting some great gigs. I’m having fun with my kids who can talk and negotiate and create. This is not a thing I need right now.
But I *could* do it. Right? Like if the vasectomy failed and I got pregnant tomorrow, I wouldn’t have an abortion, I would figure out how to do what needed to be done and we’d have another child and my life would be different, but we’d deal.
And..I *would* do it under the right circumstances. I actually had forgotten about this, until this recent thing brought it up again, but I once was *thisclose* to offering to carry a baby for one of my best friends. JC and I had talked about it and agreed that we’d offer in a year, if she still felt that she wanted another baby but (for a bunch of really good reasons) not another pregnancy. She ended up telling me six months later that she had decided to go for it, and by the time that one-year mark rolled around, she and I were both pregnant again.
If there’s something that I could do and would do…should I do it?
I worry that after the birth, I would feel like I’d had a child who died. Like my body would want the baby too much. Would it be weird to see pictures of it with them? Also, they’re in Arizona. Even if they got here as fast as possible, I’d be caring for that baby for at least 48 hours. Which is a long time in hormonal imprinting years.
I worry about the hormones that you have to be on to do this; birth control pills made me feel crazy.
I worry about all the risks of pregnancy and birth–I feel incredibly lucky to have had the healthy births that I did.
I worry about a repeat of the post-partum anxiety I had (with Silas) or the pregnancy anxiety I had (with Petra).
I worry about the debilitating hip pain that made it so I could barely walk at the end of my second pregnancy, and the anemia that made me feel like I might literally die of exhaustion.
But I *would* risk all those things, for my best friend, and I wouldn’t think twice.
If someone asks you for help, and it’s something you *can* do and that you *would* do for someone else, isn’t it the right thing to say yes? Don’t we all want to be the kind of people who help each other?
But this is someone I barely know. And the conversation we had where she asked me showed how little she knows me. She kept saying that she knew I’m religious and that I might have concerns about how my community would respond to this sort of thing–but *my* particular branch of Christianity doesn’t have hangups about that kind of thing, and, if anything, is what prompts me to consider carefully whether it is a wrong act to refuse them.
There’s also the fact that I TRY to be open to new ideas, new experiences, new adventures. What could I learn from this? Maybe it’s a thing I’m really meant to do. Or not. But I rarely say no, and it’s not (entirely) because I’m an obliger. It’s mostly because I want to be open.
A big part of me feels like, “What the hell, why not?” I mean, I could keep working, parenting, all the things I did through my last pregnancy. There are parts that would suck, but I’ve done it before.
I keep thinking I’m at a solid no. And then I think about it more and I think, well. Maybe. This would be such a big good act. Why save those for only our best friends?
I’m going to talk to three of my closest friends (one of whom has done IVF), a friend-of-a-friend who was a surrogate, my pastor. I hope someone says something that unlocks an answer for me. I have just been crying constantly because I’m so completely at a loss.