The last time I wrote, I shared that PiP (Person in Progress), died during gestation. While I like to plan for potential outcomes, thinking ahead about miscarriage beyond a superficial level was too scary to manage. Certainly, creating an outline for how we might handle losing our potential child was a possibility we avoided, probably out of sense of self-preservation.
And then it happened. Our baby died. Our hearts broke.
Maybe The Electrician and I were caught off-guard because we struggled so much to bring our gestational surrogacy to the point of actual pregnancy. I think I believed the universe couldn’t possibly be so cruel as to give us a due date, only to take our baby back.
While we mourned PiP, it was also clear that our much-loved gestational carrier, Auntie Stork, was unable to continue treatment. There could be no second try.
Auntie Stork is an incredible woman who stuck with us for years, through the hellscape of fertility treatments and government legislation. She endured undignified procedures and horrible medications to give us a chance at parenthood. When PiP died, she felt both our grief and her own for that baby we would never meet.
We feel so much gratitude to Auntie Stork for everything she did so selflessly and with an open, loving heart for our family. Only a rare, remarkable human being could go through what she did for us, simply because she believed it was the right thing to do.
The Electrician and I sat with our sorrow and loss because it was our only option. Actually, “sat with” sounds more like we were squished into uncomfortable airline seats beside someone unpleasant. It felt more like tumbling into a bog, an indescribable place where we could easily sink beneath the surface and disappear into the muck.
I repeated the Serenity Prayer to myself, hearing it in my Grandpa’s voice. I really focused on the last line, requesting wisdom to know the difference between what I could change and what was beyond my control. I made acceptance mission and peace my goal.
I wrapped up and boxed all the tiny clothes and other cute things we collected over the years for the baby that was no longer coming home to us. It hurt in the way draining an abscess might, searing at first so it could hurt less in time, and heal in time.
While we coped with the loss of our beloved, expected child who was so real to us, The Electrician and I began to make the first, necessary plans toward a life where we were not parents. We prepared to be a family of two and started to draw blueprints for how we might move successfully forward.
A friend met me at the local nail salon when I was probably in my lowest valley for emotion and energy and decided a little pampering would be good self-care. We visited a little across the aisle between the manicure tables and the pedicure chairs. She finished first and sat with me while my toes set up under the dryer.
The first miracle on this crazy ride happened in a Cheesecake Cafe, where Auntie Stork confirmed that she would become our surrogate. Statistically and realistically speaking, we didn’t ever expect lightning to strike twice.
The second miracle happened in a stereotypical nail salon not far from our house.
My friend, with the full support of her husband, offered to carry our baby.
She said it had been on her mind for quite a while, so much so that she had begun taking prenatal vitamins so she could be ready if we wanted to go ahead.
I can’t tell you how it feels to know that twice now, someone has offered with the utmost sincerity to help us become parents. At a time when the evil in the world seems to be all we hear about, knowing this goodness and love also exists is astonishing. We are so humbled and so deeply grateful.
After what we’ve travelled through so far, The Electrician and I needed to take an inventory of what we had left emotionally and financially before deciding if we were able to start the gestational surrogacy process over. Baby making for infertile people is draining in every sense. Our bank account had enough left to support a pregnant surrogate, but we were short the six to seven thousand it would cost to go back to square one with a new carrier.
As I have done for years, I literally threw my arms upward, tipped my face to the sky, and asked for a sign from the powers that be. I needed to see a clear way forward.
The next day the money we needed arrived unexpectedly and with no strings attached. Yup. Seriously. We had not told a soul about what we were considering. We took that as our sign.
Our new surrogate is henceforth known as “Auntie Pelican.” I’ll write more about her and her amazing husband moving forward. Look up the symbolism around Pelicans, and you’ll understand why the name is so fitting.
We received final medical clearance to proceed very recently. This morning, Auntie Pelican’s uterus got the green light (and a pretty serious compliment) from the Reproductive Endocrinologist. Our medical team walked us through what will happen when the transfer cycle begins and we signed the medical consents. This afternoon, The Electrician and I attended our psychological clearance appointment and The Pelicans did the same. All that’s left is to complete the legal agreement.
It’s not that our grief for PiP has disappeared; that sorrow has only just begun to soften. All I know today is that coping with loss is so much easier when hope also exists.