When most people choose to start their family, it is usually a decision (and action) that occurs between two people.
Oh, to be so lucky.
Instead, for us to start a family (or even just attempt to do so) involves: a gestational carrier (as well as her husband, friends, and family), a fertility doctor, several lawyers, embryologists, nurses, receptionists, assistants, financial counselors, any of our family members or friends who have a hand in supporting us through the process (by either driving us to appointments, offering us advice as needed, or even just being a shoulder to cry on, etc.), anyone helping to shoulder the financial burden, social workers and counselors, people who specialize in matching surrogates with parents, the medical professionals who run our tests and read our test results, the doctors/nurses/medical professionals who will deal solely with our gestational carrier, those who will make and/or provide the medications we’ll need, anesthesiologists, additional personnel in charge of the egg retrieval/fertilization/freezing and storage of embryos/transfer of embryos, and probably about a million others that I have simply forgotten at the moment (or don’t even know about). And all of that is before implantation will even occur. It is not something that happens in the course of a night. If you’re lucky (and highly committed to the process), it will take about a year or possibly a little less. Again, just to get pregnant. You’ll have to wait even longer to hold that child in your arms.
Are you crazy enough to do all of that?
Hiring a stranger to carry a child for us is by far the most insane, most terrifying, most bizarre thing I have ever done in my life. But some of the weirdest parts of the whole experience are those brief moments when this process almost starts to feel… normal. You begin to forget that for almost everyone else, the action of getting pregnant requires just two people —two!– as opposed to dozens (if not hundreds) of people, most of whom are strangers and some of whom you may never even meet. And don’t even get me started on the concept of actually getting pregnant for free. That is completely unfathomable to me.
Seriously. Did you even know how lucky you really are?