Tomorrow morning we will finally be able to meet our gestational carrier face-to-face for the first time. I’d like to say that I am feeling nothing but excitement at the prospect of seeing her in person, that I am solely focused on getting to know her better before our lives are entwined with hers by a tiny embryo, but that isn’t exactly the case. I want to be excited. I want to be free from the fear of being so vulnerable. But, honestly, I’m terrified to take this next step.
We’ve spoken to our carrier several times now through phone calls, texts, and Skype, and each instance leaves me feeling a little more comfortable and a little less like this is the craziest thing I have ever done. In just a few weeks she has somehow become an integral part of our lives, so much so that it almost seems strange we’ve never truly met. Tomorrow morning will change all of that.
As our meeting has drawn closer, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to combat the fears and worries that cycle through my thoughts. Sometimes I’m afraid that she won’t like us or that she’ll change her mind about doing this for us. It means so much to me for her to think that we are deserving of being parents and worthy of being entrusted with the care of a child. It’s always in the back of my mind that she doesn’t have to do this, that she could grow tired of the endless blood draws, the ultrasounds, the intimidating paperwork and the invasive procedures. I know we could easily find ourselves back at the beginning of this process through no decision of our own. Other times I worry that we won’t get through this final medical screening, that we’ll be denied the opportunity to try IVF after all of this time. With every step we complete we become more invested and the thought of failing seems even more devastating. It’s scary. Really, really scary.
Tomorrow my Paddington bear will be coming with us on the long trip to our fertility clinic. I found him in the official Paddington shop on the top floor of Paddington Station in London while we were there in September. Buying toys for a child that may never exist is not a great idea (as I’ve already learned), so I tried to convince myself that I was buying him for me– to keep me company at each of the appointments and help me stay focused on what we’re working toward– but as I bundled him out of the shop, I secretly hoped I would get to pass him on to someone else someday soon. Of all the Paddingtons I saw in Britain (and there are a lot of them), this one, with his little red wellies and monogrammed coat, was by far my favorite. I’m happy to have him along on the journey with us.