Things are looking up slightly around here. I'm trying to not let myself get too optimistic and too far ahead of myself. Mr. W tends to refer to me as a "chicken counter." I view myself more as someone who likes to be as prepared as possible for any eventuality. My mind is like a series of "if-then" statements. I need to work out as early as possible in every situation "If I do x, then y is likely to occur." And I have to have as many variables as possible in mind. Each week that I was pregnant with the lowercase, I would read a chapter of Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week to see where he was developmentally. Once we reached 24 weeks, I added to my weekly reading by searching for health and survival rates of babies born at that level of prematurity -- my goal, since we knew it was very possible (and ended up being reality) that I would deliver early, was to deliver at the point where survival rates were around 99% (the same as full-term) with >90% of surviving babies deemed to be in the normal range for long-term health/abilities.
Looking down the barrel of a surrogacy, I find that it's a total unknown for me. It involves so much more than just my child's health. I have to make a judgement on the person carrying before getting to that point. I have to trust that they are going to be able to handle this very unusual situation.
In that vein, I find myself wanting to have a friendship with the person, have it be someone that I know and know that I can trust. But not entirely. There is a part of me that is very frightened to have someone that is already a friend carry for me. In doing so, I would be taking them out of the box of just a friend. I am asking them to make healthy decisions, to do things that I feel would be in my child's best interest. And some of it is craziness. For instance - I have had 3 miscarriages. I have spent hours with Dr. Google searching for studies about nutritional and environmental causes. I've spoken to multiple doctors, from OBs to REs to fetal pathologists. I don't consume caffeine during my pregnancies -- it isn't 100% proven to be a causal factor, but there are some interesting connections drawn between caffeine, miscarriage, and newborn weight. Most OBs say that some caffeine is safe. Is it fair to tell a friend "I know you like coffee, I know you have healthy children and drank coffee the whole time. Don't do it." And is it possible for me to back off from that request? I know in other countries, small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy are considered safe -- I don't think any alcohol of any kind is safe. Would I feel comfortable asking a friend to please, not go on that vacation because of my own fears and neuroses?
And my biggest fear is that the whole pregnancy would alter the friendship in ways that could never be corrected. If we disagree on something, is that going to break a friendship? If at the birth, I am so enthralled with the baby that I temporarily forget to show massive amounts of gratitude (I am very guilty of not always remembering to say thank you immediately, no matter how grateful and thankful I actually am) -- is that going to hurt a friend's feelings more than someone that I only know because they know I want that child? And is there a chance that the friend could have too much involvement -- for example, viewing herself as the child's "other mom" and questioning your parenting decisions throughout the rest of that child's life? And even if she doesn't do that, will I always feel like she is judging me?
I have a couple of things going on right now that I haven't posted about here...M's match may not be happening right now and we've been talking quite a bit over IM -- she'd still like for us to "win the lottery and work with" her...a friend talked to her husband and they have agreed that as long as she could be approved and we could work out some terms (life insurance, some financial compensation, other legalities) she would like to carry for us...And we should know in a couple of days if Mr. W's company is going to start work on one of the really big deals before mid-year (if so, then we could potentially get the money for surrogacy by the end of June/beginning of July, or be guaranteed that we would have it by this time next year).
So, what would you choose...your friend or someone you know only through the surrogacy world?