I promised I would keep the interested updated on this whole process, and let me tell you this week did not disappoint in the weird, awkward but also amazing department. Surrogacy, as my one young friend put it, is weird and cool. Actually it's a whole lot of both as evidenced by our adventures this week.
This week started with the typical early pregnancy nausea and other fun. I would take a bite or two of food and suddenly feel like gagging. I took this as a sign of good news to come, and since the hormone meds had helped me pack on ten pounds, I felt okay with eating small portions. The baby and I would definitely be fine. Speaking of hormones, my mind was filling with crazy and my hips were filling with oil. I was paranoid and weepy all weekend. The injection sights on my hips were turning into large swollen lumps of unabsorbed oil, that burned like a new tattoo. All of which was frustrating, but to be expected after 88 injections. People keep asking me if it feels real, yes, it is very physically real, and has been for some time. My body has been highly involved in this since the beginning of December. The multiple pregnancy blood tests don't make it feel more real; they just give me hope that the meds will be over soon, and we won't have to repeat the process. Admittedly it all gets frustrating and overwhelming at times. I don't want it to affect my family or my work. I feel like if I am too tired, or fragile feeling to do something I will have failed. I dread the "I told you so's" from those that didn't think I could do this, and I don't want to see that knowing look of "yep, I knew this was coming". Luckily those voices and those looks are few and far between.
It's not really about me though, it's about loving my neighbor and sometimes that is uncomfortable, hard, involves failing, requires you to lay down your ego, and it get's awkward. It got real awkward. We have been talking to the Hitchhiker's parents a lot, skyping, texting emailing etc. We have only seen them once though in person. This is awkward for a lot of people. They think surrogacy is cool until you tell them you didn't know the people before, they weren't friends, then it's awkward. As one person said "is this for a friend or for a paycheck", as if they are mutually exclusive. People don't understand why you would do this for someone you don't know, and their incomprehension often leads to judgement and big fat, false assumptions. When I started calling the OB office this week, I just said I was carrying the baby for friends. It's easier that way. Truth be told, they now are friends. After all, you don't get half naked and hang out with a paper table cloth on your lap for strangers, at least I haven't. There I was though, undressed and with my feet up in stirrups for a very invasive ultrasound with the Hitchhiker's parents sitting next to me. It was bizarre, it was weird, it was so socially strange, but love looks and feels like that often.
It was in the next moments that we moved from awkward to amazing in this neighbor loving process. The doctor quickly located the teeny tiny, Hitchhiker, and you could see and hear his heartbeat. His teary eyed mom videoed the screen while his dad sat with tears in his eyes. There were whispers of thanks yous, and questions for the doctor, but it was the incredible moment. We all realized that they would most likely be parents again. There is still some risk, being so early, that the baby will stop developing, but for that moment there was hope, and redemption and love. I was still half naked with my feet in stirrups, but it didn't matter so much anymore, because we were watching a miracle of God and science, and they will soon be parents again.
Love is hard. I think that is why Paul spelled it out so much in 1 Corinthians 13. None of these qualities he mentions are easy to maintain. These are hard things to do.