This past Friday, almost a week ago now, I received the call: our potential match saw our profile and wanted to meet us via Skype over the weekend. All day on Saturday my fears formed into questions that bounced around in my mind: What will we talk about? What if she doesn’t like us? How will it feel if this doesn’t work out? Throughout the day I asked Kyle a hundred times if he was nervous, but he seemed to act as though meeting a stranger who could end up carrying your child was a normal way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Finally, a half-hour before our scheduled meeting, he admitted his apprehension, which only fueled my own even more. As the minutes ticked down and we set up for the video chat, Orion responded to our frenetic energy by barking incessantly at nothing. We were off to a great start.
However, the moment that her face filled our screen, I immediately felt some reassurance. She was instantly friendly and easy to talk to despite the circumstances. I suddenly wished that we were able to meet in a more normal setting, that we could have had this personal discussion face-to-face instead of through a blurry connection. It is just one of the many things that we will miss out on by living so far away from our gestational carrier.
In the emotion of the moment we immediately forgot everything we’d wanted to say, but eventually we were able to calm down enough to discuss some of the most pressing issues. As we talked about the level of involvement we wanted during the pregnancy, I felt strangely fearful that we would be perceived as overstepping boundaries by asking to be included as much as possible. It reminded me again that this is an incredibly abnormal process. Being included through texts, phone calls, and hopefully a ultrasound or two is the only way we can have even a fraction of the experience of pregnancy. Not being able to carry the child myself is painful enough, but I don’t want to sacrifice anything more than what I have to already. Thankfully she seemed to be open to allowing us into this part of her life and even appeared to prefer it that way. She explained that it would be helpful to have that constant reminder that the child growing inside her is not her own.
Above all the most important question was the hardest one to ask. Our potential match has specified that she does not want to carry twins, and while we plan to only transfer a single embryo, having identical twins is still a possibility. We needed to know that in the case of a multiple pregnancy, she would not abort one of the babies– something that she would absolutely have the power to do. I started to ask the question before realizing that I couldn’t even make myself say the words out loud. Instead, Kyle came to my rescue and phrased it differently: would it be a deal-breaker? Not only did she comfort us by saying no, she felt that having twins that way would be God’s will.
Overall the conversation went well, and I am comfortable in moving forward with this match. I don’t think any of us is unrealistic in our expectations for what lies ahead. She seems well aware (as we are) that this has the potential to be a truly amazing journey, but that it won’t come easily for either side. After we ended the call I knew without even speaking to Kyle that he felt ready to commit to this match, just as I did. All that was left from there was to wait to hear whether or not she felt the same.
I got that call on Monday, the call that said we were now officially matched with a gestational carrier. For the first time in this very long process I let myself feel the tiniest spark of excitement. In an attempt to keep my hopes from getting too high, I made sure to remind myself of the next step from here, which will take us back into the legal side of things. But, even if it was just for a moment, it felt good to feel that first flicker of hope in a long time. I am focusing on the relief of having a great gestational carrier to go through this journey with, and I am so grateful we’ve found her.