Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Awe Inspiring Moment

   I met a man the other night, probably in his 60's, who, through some trials of his own and struggling to deal with them, found some words of solace that he chose to share with me. He said that the best advice he had read was to really truly feel each emotion to it's fullest, and deepest extent. It's so that when something really bad or frightening happens, you already know that feeling, it is familiar, and each new experience is easier to deal with. Also, that way, when you are done feeling it to it's fullest, you are then done with that emotion, and are able to move on and leave that entire experience behind you.
   I have always agreed with this. I am an emotional person and I really love being able to express myself, even when others don't seem to understand why I am so sad, or happy. It was really moving hearing this come from someone who has probably lived most of their life masking their emotions, being that he was a man, and that is what most men do. He said that he had pictured his retirement a certain way, but when life handed him a deck of cards that didn't allow for him to follow that dream, he had to reevaluate a lot of things. That made me feel really sad for him, as he seemed to be sad when he spoke about it. But in his next breath, he spoke of how he really tries to be joyous as much as he can now. He has a new appreciation for life, mostly his own I think. I could tell he was taken aback by the conversation when it first begun, that he was a little uncomfortable talking about some of the things that were coming up...but by the end of the conversation (which was only about 5 minutes long) we had hugged, and formed a bond where even if I never see him again, I will think of him often.
   Even though I get sad thinking about some of the cards my deck has in it, I wouldn't change them for the world. I am so grateful that I have the ability to acknowledge, understand and appreciate both the wonderful things, and the not so wonderful things that life has given me. I know that I have an expectation for my future, just as that man did. I have hopes and dreams and I cannot imagine what my life will be like if they do not come true. But as he said, he is more joyous now than ever before. So all I can really hope for, is that whatever cards I get next, I too, will be able to find joy and peace no matter what.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

5 years strong...

   5 years ago today a young guy asked a young lady to be his girlfriend. That guy has now grown into a wonderful, loving, responsible man, and that lady is me. It's pretty crazy to think about the past 5 years, all that has happened and how far we have come. When Ryan and I met we were so young, so jaded, and so insecure within our own selves. He had been burned by love before me, as I had before him. We both came into this relationship with our guards up, thinking to ourselves that the other will fit our perfect profile, or to hell with them. I am so grateful that we both had our wits about us enough to be able to compromise at the right times, yet stand true to ourselves at the right times. We learned so much about each other in the first few years, but the best part is that we are still learning about each other. We have come to grow together, and support each other in each persons individual growth.
   Ryan has become my number one supporter, and fan. He will always let me know when I am overreacting or somehow being ridiculous though. I do the same for him. When I met Ryan, I thought I knew who I was, and to some extent, I did. But, I had lost sight of a lot of things that I hold dear, and still had a lot to learn. Over the years I have had a lot of guilt over not being as good of a friend to some, while being too good of a friend to others. Being with Ryan has helped me to really feel comfortable in my own skin, and to accept the fact that I am not perfect, but I am good enough. The best part, is that I have helped him to feel the same way about himself, which is why we're such a great match.
   I can't imagine my life without him, and I wouldn't want to take this journey with anyone else.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Do we choose her, or does she choose us?

   It breaks my heart to think of someone else carrying my baby inside of them. All kinds of worries float through my head. I worry about what they would eat, or drink, or if they would smoke, or be around others who are smoking. I worry that they would just make bad decisions, maybe thinking that since it’s not their baby, what would it matter?
   My biggest worry, however, is the bonding. I am terrified of how the baby would bond with the surrogate mom, and how the surrogate would bond with the baby… and not only that, but I also wonder how the baby will bond with me? Will it know I’m its mother? Will it think she’s its mother? So many questions, and fears, surround the world of surrogacy and I just don’t have the answers.
   But one thing has kept me calm about it all. That is that when you use a surrogate, you are able to choose who you want. If you go through an agency, it will help you to make the decision. And anyone they recommend for you will have gone through psychological evaluations as well as health checks to ensure they are not only going to be able to carry a healthy pregnancy to term, but also that they are not going to be making stupid decisions throughout. But, you don’t HAVE to choose an agency, or a surrogate through an agency.
   You can use whoever is ready and willing to surrogate for you, and although I have actually had quite a few offers, only a few are what I believe to be serious. And a couple of those are family members, whom I love dearly and would trust with my life (or my baby’s life), but because they are family, the bonding thing really freaks me out and seems to overrule other considerations.
   The other person is not family by marriage or blood but she feels like family because she has really brought me to where I am today in my life, and I already owe her a tonne. I would also trust her with my baby’s life and Ryan would too! She is adamant that she wants to do this for us, is ready, willing and able. 
   We saw my cardiologist last week regarding the referral to the fertility clinic, and he really helped us realize that this could be an easier, quicker process than we expected. He is referring us to a Dr. at the hospital instead of to the fertility clinic, and we will meet with her in a month or two.
   So here we are. We have basically chosen a surrogate. We have the information about what steps to take and what needs to happen for this baby dream to become a reality. We know what it is going to cost us, and we have a general time line that we are looking at. Many road blocks still stand in our way and we are all too aware of most of them, particularly the money issue. But, things are beginning to look up and I am more hopeful today than I have ever been that this is going to come to fruition for us.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What's next?

   A year ago my husband and I were not yet married, but were getting ready for our wedding social. For those of you reading this who are not from Manitoba, a 'social' is a fundraising event with a silent auction, drinks and dancing. Not everyone has one for their wedding, while some people have them for other reasons. Ryan and I have considered having one of these to raise money to help us pay for the costs involved with surrogacy. We aren't sure if we are going to do this, or when if we do. But it is definitely a thought and a possibility, which is exciting since our wedding social was so much fun and a huge success!
   Although I have stated many times already how not ready we are, there have been a few new developments in our little life concerning a baby. There is only one infertility clinic in all of Manitoba, and though I was confused when I first started researching surrogacy, I have realized that I am going to need their help in many ways.  To get an appointment with someone at the clinic, you must first be referred by either your family doctor, or a specialist. Once you get a referral, it generally takes 3-6 months before your very first appointment. From there, it can be a short time or a long time until a baby is created, depending on many factors individual to each family.
   I met with my family doctor to discuss this. We had a great talk, and she gave me a lot of good information. But because she doesn't know all the ins and outs about my heart condition, she recommended I get the referral from my cardiologist.
   My appointment with him is coming up soon, and I am excited....but very nervous.