I once was invited to participate in a group with a bunch of women, who had trouble conceiving. What was interesting to me was that the women were far more distressed by their experience, than I was about mine and I had been struggling with the issue for far longer!
I wonder if the dynamic that set us apart was the fact that I was single! It seems to me that when you are coupled up, and both want a baby, that you must have either some sense of disappointing your partner, or feeling aggravated with your partner that together the two of you cannot make a baby. Either way, you have some complicated feelings to manage vis a vis your partner. If the problem does not reside clearly with you, you may feel your partner is blocking you from realizing your dream. Similarly, if the problem lies with you, you might feel you are failing your partner and keeping them from experiencing all the joys of parenthood. The sense I got from participating, briefly in this group, was that the very relationship was sometimes threatened, by the fact that the couple could not naturally, or with assistance produce a baby.
What has always been phenomenal to me was that what each of these women wanted more than anything was a baby and a family to fill the void in their lives, yet most of them were absolutely unwilling to try to attempt this process using genetic material, other than their own!
When I lived in New York City, I knew a couple who experienced a similar challenge. They were in love! Bogey were married! Bother had a novice home and a couple of cats and they wanted nothing more than a baby. They tried IVF seven times and failed. They never pursued adoption and it was too early for surrogacy, which might have been prohibitive given their financial resources. Quite frankly, even if they had the finances, they may have had a similar outcome, if they were still unwilling to use alternate DNA. You see, I was never privy to the exact nature of their problem.
Call me daft, but I fail to understand in what way the ladies in my group and the friends from New York City could not understand they could realize their greatest dream, if they simply created a baby that would be theirs, save the genetics. At the end of the day, any one of these folks would have either a bouncing baby boy, or a darling little girl. So what’s the difference how the child comes to be, if all you really want is a baby? The notion still makes me scratch my head.
What I do know, as a result of raising my own children, who do not come from my genetics, is they could not be more mine! People very commonly think they come from me, yet mistake me for their grandmother, owing to my advanced maternal age! The point is we look enough alike that people assume we are have the common genetic ties seen in most families.
The journey is what makes me their mother! The day to dayness of our relationship and all the things I do for them, big and small, is what makes me their mother. Having the honor to be with them through thick and thin, and the joy of watching them grow and change overtime is what makes me their mother. Sharing their laughter and their tears is what makes me their mother. Watching out for them and trying to make sure each day is filled with texture and an appropriate amount of stimulation is what makes me their mother.
My DNA is not the fiber of their being, but my heart is! They are my labor of love. They are my life’s work. Everything I am and all that I will become has everything to do with them. We are family and there is a purpose for all of our actions. Everyday, we are becoming more of who we are meant to be. To be sure, we three were meant to be together! We are bound by the ties of family. My life is richer and better now that they are in it. Although my children arrived when I was nearly fifty, I cannot imagine what it would have been like without them.
So what is holding you back? Are you allowing genetics to get in the way of fulfilling your dreams? What is truly at the root of that for you? What are you afraid of? What’s the bottom line on this one for you? Aren’t we all more alike than different, by the simple virtue of our humanness?
By now, you know the drill. Get out paper and pencil, or grab your mobile phone or iPad and please put your thoughts down in a more formal fashion. What keeps you from leaping forward and creating that baby? Surely, in the case of surrogacy, you can see you have more control over some of the aspects of the genetics your baby is likely to inherit, than is the case in adoption or foster care. What stops you in your tracks? Is it insurmountable? Can you work your way around it? Are you ready to dive in and create that family you have so desperately longed for?
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach at Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick In a University Heights, Ohio
Leap Into Action!