Oh friends. It seems like all we do around here is wait. The Electrician and I have been through more setbacks than I can count, some tiny, some crushing, on our nearly three-year (so far) road to a baby. Most of the time we get close enough to almost imagine bringing home our child, and there is another setback that pushes his or her arrival further into the future. It seems at this point that gestational surrogacy breaks down like this:
I have filled out form after form after form. So has The Electrician, and Auntie Stork has started now too. I suppose we’re getting somewhere, slowly, now that even our marvellous carrier has to complete questionnaires.
We’ve also started the time-consuming–stingingly expensive–legal paperwork, which includes questions you never thought to ask and questions you never wanted to think about. For example, what happens if our baby is pleasantly gestating away and The Electrician and I die? Shudder.
We’ve had a heap of meetings already, first with Dr. Miracle, and now with our new reproductive endocrinologist. Since she’s leaving to have her own baby right away, we’ll be meeting our new, new RE next month.
The IVF process also came with its own long string of appointments; I had more blood work, invasive ultrasounds, and general inspections in that month than I can really quantify. Although the process went beautifully except for retrieval day, it was exhausting.
If I get asked one more time what the date of my last period was by a careless assistant, nurse, or (yes) doctor, I may lose my nut. It happens at every single appointment. I usually crack a joke about 2009 and how not one molecule of me misses having periods. The truth is that it’s really insensitive to ask someone who’s had a hysterectomy where she’s at in her cycle when you should have at least glanced at her file before opening your face.
This is the big one. We wait and wait and wait. For appointments, for procedures, for call backs, for cycles to be in the right spot, for prescriptions to be filled, for stuff to be approved, for tests, for embryos to grow, for those same little snowflakes to be moved to the new clinic, and for paperwork to arrive.
We are waiting now for Auntie Stork to be declared Zika Virus free, among other things. We are waiting for a meeting with the three of us and the new, new doctor. We are waiting for the lawyer to schedule a long phone appointment to draw up final contracts. We are waiting for a meeting with the counsellor to be certain we all have the same expectations of this process. We are waiting for final clearance of our gestational surrogate, for Auntie Stork to get the official green light. She’s currently tentatively approved, after the slowdown with changing clinics.
Most of all, we are waiting to meet our baby. One of those frozen little embryos is going to eventually live in our back bedroom, for which I’ve bought paint and the cotton to make bed linens. This wait is the one that makes my ribs tighten. Downtown, suspended in time and liquid nitrogen, is the blastocyst we’re waiting for to grow our family. It has has existed on this planet for only 5 days of growth, but I think about it every single day.
So we wait. No one is knocked up yet, despite me being asked before my dental x-rays yesterday if there was any chance I could be pregnant. (Don’t get me started on the insensitive requirement of asking.) We are expecting to be expecting sometime in the next six months, if all goes well.
I am a patient woman, but all this waiting is wringing me out one day at a time. During the long pauses, I’m launching myself into fitness and into work. I’m also steadily quilting to keep my mind occupied so it doesn’t run off with itself.
I’m trying not to get too disappointed every time we have a setback, but like my husband pointed out the other day, I do best when I have a countdown. It will be better when I actually have a date circled on the calendar to transfer the first embryo and hope like hell it sticks. Things will be really exciting when we are actually pregnant and counting down to meeting our baby. I can’t even imagine the anticipation in the last few weeks of gestation.
Right now, we are still just waiting.