I woke up yesterday in the early morning hours– sore from lack of sleep and immediately conscious of the meetings we had scheduled to take place in just a few hours. The sound of my own heartbeat reverberated in my ears and I shut my eyes in a futile attempt to block out the feelings of anxiety rising in my chest. I wished instead for a different morning, one during which I could switch on my heating pad and reach for one of the books on my nightstand to pass the time while I waited to fall back to sleep. But despite my best efforts, sleep did not come.
We had only just contacted the surrogate agency a week prior. It had been on my to-do list for weeks, but nerves and sheer terror kept me from moving forward. The plan had been to call a few agencies not long after our flight from London touched down in early October, but life had thrown us a curveball before we’d had the chance to settle in that made the thought of taking this enormous risk even more overwhelming. Several times over the few weeks since our return, my mom had gently pressured us to take the next step, and finally, late one night last week, I impulsively typed the name of an agency into the search bar and tried to avoid thinking too much about the ramifications that might follow.
I made the decision to apply online as an “intended parent” and quickly submitted our details before I had the chance to lose my nerve. The next morning I was surprised to see an email in response already waiting in my inbox despite my late night application. For better or worse, we had taken our first step in the surrogacy process. That day we set up two consultation meetings via Skype for the following week and received a questionnaire to work on over the next couple of days.
Now, a week later, we had completed the questionnaire together and were preparing to be interviewed by the agency. I tried not to panic as we sat in front of the laptop in Kyle’s home office– the room we had excitedly imagined as a nursery while we made plans to move in to this house three years ago. After all this time, were we actually going to do this?
More than three hours later, our second meeting came to a close and we sat back into our chairs feeling both physically and emotionally drained. As they walked us through the logistics and overall process, the uncertainty I’d felt that morning slowly began to dissipate, but I realized now that using a gestational carrier is far more complicated than I’d ever even imagined. Even though we were given a much needed dose of reassurance, I saw the process stretch far ahead of us and hoped that we were ready to make all of the difficult decisions we would soon face.
One thing is abundantly clear to us over and over again: this is definitely not a journey for the faint of heart.