Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Confessions of an Infertile Mother-to-Be

i'm breaking a rule here by talking about the surrogacy, but i kind of need to get this out of my system before it becomes word vomit that lands on whichever ears happen to be closest.

i'm going to be a mom, but i'm technically still infertile. where does that put me?

clearly, i'm feeling a little displaced these days. i'm not really sure where i fit in, whether it's in the mommy club, the preggo club, or the infertile club. well, i know i can rule out the mommy club for a couple more months, but which of the other two do i belong in? neither. it's sad, but true. i just don't quite fit into either, because i'm not pregnant, but i'm having a baby. it's a grey area that is very confusing.

it's so completely awkward to tell people that we're having a baby then have to explain that i'm not the one who's pregnant. i dread the look people give me when they hear that part, that confused, yet politely pleasant look that says "i think i'm supposed to be happy for you, but i need a moment to process this information."

i'm not at all embarrassed that we've had to go an untraditional route to have our baby, but it can be very difficult emotionally. it's hard to go register for baby gear when you're the only mom-to-be there without a baby bump. things like that kind of make me feel like an imposter at times.

the hardest part of all of this is that i don't get to feel the baby move inside me. i've felt it through her tummy several times, but i don't get that constant reminder that he's there, growing and thriving. i don't get to feel those pregnancy symptoms that can be so uncomfortable, yet so reassuring.

most of you would probably tell me that the pregnancy symptoms are overrated, that having him use your bladder as a soccer ball, the constant back pain, not being able to bend over to tie your own shoes, and all of the extra weight is not worth crying about. maybe you're right, but i still wish i was going through it.

this has been a much more difficult experience than i expected. i never stopped to consider just how emotionally taxing it would all be. i keep telling myself that i just need to focus on the positive and on my gratitude. that said, i really am so grateful that we're going to finally become parents and that someone was willing to do this for us. i love this little boy more than words can say, though i haven't even met him yet, and whether or not i carried him doesn't change the fact that i am his mother.

23 comments:

Just Us & A Miracle Baby too! said...

You may not be carrying him physically but you are his mommy and you belong in the mommy club! You still think and worry about him 24/7 already I'm sure, and that's what makes you his mom already. A huge piece of your heart is always with him :)

I completely understand you feeling that way.. I wonder how I'll feel after my LO is here, as a once infertile, thanks to IVF a mom, but still an infertile ... I think those feelings never really 100% go away.

Baby Hopes said...

Wow - this was such an amazingly honest post and such a true look into the heart of those of us that have our children through routes other than pregnancy.

There are definitely parts of this that spoke so deeply to things I have felt as well. The deep gratitude knowing that a child is on the way, but also a deep longing to be the one to share the amazing experience of pregnancy and to have carried him.

It is perfectly fair to grieve missing that experience and all that you have experienced in the past several months. It's perfectly fair to be annoyed with the looks, comments, and obvious awkward pauses that ignorant and insensitive people can respond with. That doesn't diminish your gratitude for your son in any way.

For the record, I think you're in all three clubs. And I'm so excited for you and B that your son is on his way. Untraditional or not, he is 100% you and 100% yours. Hold your head high --- you are truly an inspiration!!!

mag said...

You are one of the strongest people I know hon. I am really glad you posted about this because I have genuinely been wondering how you are holding up. This is an amazing outcome, yes, but it's definitely not without some emotional cost. I wouldn't try to define yourself with the clubs so much. Any one of us here would consider you to be an expectant mom just like anyone else that was about to deliver a baby. You are an incredible woman - you should be in the incredible woman club if anything!!!

Maria said...

carlia,
this is such a beautiful and truthful post. you are so brave and beautiful. i can't say i completely understand what you're going through, but a lot of what you said, i can relate to. i think it is healthy to feel what you feel and let it out. it's so hard when people tell you, "oh trust me, you don't want to feel this or that"...because, like you said, you do.
it is so trying, not to think about what could have been. i don't think it's being weak or ungrateful...it's real...it's what is programmed into us from the moment we want to become mothers.
you're going to be a truly amazing mother. you and your husband are such an incredible team. your son is so blessed.
i've been dealing with so many emotions. dealing with coming to terms with what i know i need to do to get where we want to be. it isn't easy but in the end i know it will all be worth it.
thank you so much for sharing. <3
lots of love
maria

Sarah said...

I think the last sentence of this post says it all :) I can imagine it's tough not to physically feel the baby grow inside you, but just remember that baby was created by your egg and B's sperm. This is your baby boy :) And if you think about it, so what if the baby is being nurtured in someone else's belly for 9mths. You get 18 yrs to life to nurture him :) Don't feel alone in the baby stores, shopping without the "bump." There are so many other women out there shopping without bumps...lots of other people who use surrogates and/or adopt! :) I have a little bump and I STILL feel out of place!! I know these emotions are something you just have to work through, but I truly believe when you see that handsome lil face...it won't matter whether he grew in your belly or not :)

JustHeather said...

What a beautiful post.
I think I can understand the wanting and wishing to be pregnant to feel the baby inside you. I think that is why is keeping me going in TTC and why I haven't let myself consider alternative options yet.

I agree that you belong to all of the clubs. Just because it doesn't show on the outside (ex. IF), it doesn't mean you don't have something or don't belong.

Oak said...

Wow, you know, I'd never considered most of what you wrote but when I read it I can totally imagine the dichotomy of emotions you must be feeling right now - and totally valid emotions at that.

Once that wee baby boy is here, I bet that all of that turmoil will feel like it never existed because you will finally have your amazing son in your arms and the route that happened will not matter.

polycysticinside said...

I'm so glad you posted this... When you originally said you were absolutely not going to talk about the surrogacy and instead write the blog as if you were the one carrying the baby, I was pretty surprised. There seems to be such a big difference, emotionally, which you have illustrated here so so perfectly. I know you still want the blog to be focused on becoming a mommy and not on how that is achieved, but I hope you no longer have to feel like you're breaking a rule by posting about it. :)

Being a part of three communities at once can be a good thing! Each community can offer different types of support depending on what you are going through and what you need.

Kristen {www.buckupbuttercup.net} said...

Congrats on your little boy! So excited for you!
I'm pregnant right now and I totally understand you wanting to be pregnant and feel everything...that's something I really wanted, too. It's not fair for people to say, "You're lucky you don't have to deal with the hard parts of pregnancy."
My personal opinion is that you absolutely fall in the mommy-to-be category even though there is a surrogate involved.
I understand not knowing where you belong. I still feel like I belong in the IF community even though I am pregnant...and moms-to-be who had no trouble conceiving...I just feel like I'm in a very different situation.
Transitions can be so weird and hard...

NewYearMum2.blogspot.com said...

You are so brave for going down this path... I admire you and think that you're such an amazing mum with so much love for your future child. When you hold your little one in your arms it will feel so real and as though you've been together forever :) Love to you always xoxo

Sheryl said...

Good to know how you're doing. You know I think the world of you and B. That little guy is so blessed to have such awesome parents (you are already his parents). Everyone's "baby story" is different and your first baby story is a long miraculous one--I can't wait to hear the ending!

You don't need to brag about being in every club...geez ;) Love ya!

Rebecca said...

Surrogacy really does put you in an "in between" path that adoption or pregnancy after IF doesn't (those have their own odd "in betweens" as well.)

But, at some point, it won't matter, I think, how it happened. Just the fact that it happened.

babywithatwist said...

Hi, I'm here from the Round-Up. My 2-year-old son was born via gestational surrogacy, and I definitely empathize with what you are feeling. By the time we came to surrogacy, I was ready for him no matter how he got here, but it was hard when well-meaning people would say, "I'm so jealous - you get to drink!" as if that some how made up for everything else that came before. I promise you, though, that once he's here, you'll think less and less about how he got here or who actually carried him. As for where you fit in,if you figure it out, let me know! Even though my son is 2, I still identify more with infertiles than with mommies.

Chickenpig said...

You have every right to mourn not carrying your child. I know that people who point out the negatives of pregnancy are trying to be helpful in their way, and I'm sure there are some women who HATED being pregnant, but there are wonderful things about it too. The time of being pregnant is so short, though, and it fades quickly from memory. The time you spend from the moment you hold your baby in your arms is what makes you a parent :) You are in all three clubs, and always will be.

gemini-girl.com said...

An Infertile is always a infertile- even when we have children.

I have twin daughters via IVF, it was a successful first round, but 2 more iVF's produced one negative and another miscarriage.

The fact that our bodies dont function they way they are supposed to hurts like hell. it will always hurt.

What you are feeling is normal. very normal.

you are his mommy- and you have worried about him from day 1-

and the worry never goes away.

(here from Mel's round up- great blog!)

gemini-girl.com said...

An Infertile is always a infertile- even when we have children.

I have twin daughters via IVF, it was a successful first round, but 2 more iVF's produced one negative and another miscarriage.

The fact that our bodies dont function they way they are supposed to hurts like hell. it will always hurt.

What you are feeling is normal. very normal.

you are his mommy- and you have worried about him from day 1-

and the worry never goes away.

(here from Mel's round up- great blog!)

Miss Mac said...

I believe these feelings will be replaced with such love and joy that we'd all say "whatever it takes" to grow our family. Your route is a little different but the destination is still the same, and it's going to be so worth it!!!

Heather said...

This must be so hard for you. But congratulations on your upcoming baby, that is good news.

infertile-thoughts said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings. I just started reading your blog (it was recommended to me by Mag)because the option of surrogacy has just come up in my life. It is something I am very interested in and would love to learn more about. Again, thanks for sharing and I hope to hear more about your experience. Congratulations to you mom-to-be!!

Bridget said...

You make so many great points here. I can't imagine what you must feel like, but once you have your little one in your arms, you will be complete!

Nate and Lori said...

Let me just say that I love you! I get little glimpses at hard this must be for you when things dont go my way with my fertility planning and I know this must be a very emotional time.

What I do know though is that in 2+ months when you hold your little boy for the first time, all of that is going to wash away. You will be able to connect with him and you wont have to give the awkward eplanations anymore if you dont want to. You ARE a mother already. And I say jump into that club full force...there are so many amazing people out there that love you guys and will accept you into the mother club gladly.

Anyways, just know that we are thinking of you all the time and so excited for y'all. (heh, how'd you like that?)

Shannon said...

I can only imagine how "in limbo" you feel in so many different ways. It's got to be so emotional. I am really so happy for you. I want to know more about this surrogacy business of yours. :) Looks like I get to do some Carlia reading tonight. Chin up sweetheart. You'll be snuggling and kissing that little man in no time and all of this will hopefully be a distant memory in no time.

Dora said...

Here from Creme. This is a beautiful, honest post. I'm sorry you've had to deal with the awkward reactions. Really, the proper response is "Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!" And shame on those who downplay the feeling of a baby moving inside you. My situation was sort of opposite. My daughter is from a donated embryo. So she is not at all genetically related to me, but I carried her. I was in my mid forties, and felt pretty crappy for much of my pregnancy, but that didn't negate the fact that feeling her move was miraculous. I'm sorry you haven't been able to experience that. It is, without a doubt, a loss. And I echo your gratitude for those donors, surrogates, and doctors who help us become moms.

(I see your son will be here soon! YAY!)

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