Am I Selfish?

I’ve been writing and editing and re-writing a few posts over the last day days. I’m not one to be lost for words, but for the first time I’m really struggling to get my thoughts out onto paper these last few days.

The sum of it is that due to the new unexpected adoption costs we have been re-evaluating surrogacy / gestational carrier as an option. The cost of adoption has made us rethink our initial decision, simply because there is a chance that surrogacy / gestational carrier could be cheaper or at least about the same price. [Side note – I have lots to say on our re-evaluation on of our options (I even have a few charts comparing the options), and I expect to share a lot more on this in the really near future, maybe even tomorrow, if I can ever get the words out.]

But, the point of today’s post is my moment of self-discovery, a moment that hit me like a tonne of bricks today:

We are not pursuing surrogacy / gestational carrier because of me.

I could not do it. I said no.

The more I think about it, the more I dig into my emotions, the more I realize that this decision was largely made because of me. Yes, Mr. MPB agreed, but I have to wonder if it weren’t for my state of mind coming out of five miscarriages if he would have felt differently.

My logic for not pursuing surrogacy / gestational carrier as an option was pretty simple:

First, after all my body has been through, I couldn’t fathom the idea of signing up for IVF. IVF scares the crap out of me. I know many women who have done it, but I’m still so scared of having more surgeries. I’m also petrified of the drugs. I’m worried about how successful I’ll be at producing follicles.

Second, I’m afraid of how I will deal with watching someone else carry the baby I so desperately want to carry myself. This one just sounds like a mental health nightmare for me just waiting to happen.

Thirdly, I am also very fearful of another loss. What if implantation doesn’t even occur? What if we have yet another miscarriage? Statistically, IVF ups the chances of miscarriage, and we really don’t know need help in that department. How will I feel if someone else miscarries on my behalf? If we use my eggs, I will always wonder if I’m the reason for another loss because we know that our losses are the fault of my body not Mr. MPB’s. I don’t even want to know how expensive the psychological counselling bills will be if we went through another loss.

Lastly, we could use donor eggs and therefore remove me completely from the equation, yet this brings up an immense amount of emotions for me. The idea of Mr. MPB creating a child with someone else kills me (even though I logically know that the actual procreation is done in a lab, not in the bedroom). Further, the idea of raising a half Mr. MPB / someone else, bothers me immensely. We married each other, in part to have children together. Somehow it doesn’t sit well with me that only one of us would be the biological parent. Where’s the us in that? I’m not sure if it’s jealousy that he could have a biological child and I cannot? I’m not sure if I’m scared that I’ll end up resentful as I look into a child’s eyes and knowing that the child is half him, and none of me? I’m not sure if it’s the fear that I won’t connect to the child the same way that Mr. MPB will? Or maybe I’m fearful that the child won’t love me the same way they do Mr. MPB? And the real paranoid part of my brain wonders what would happen if he ever died, and I was left to raise the kids – would his family try to fight for custody knowing that I am not genetically linked to the child (P.S. I do realize just how paranoid and crazy that sounds as I would legally adopt the children and it wouldn’t be possible – but hey, paranoid thinking isn’t based in rational thinking).  For me, this fear, the fears of our child being half Mr. MPB and none of me, makes me prefer adoption, simply because then Mr. MPB and I are equal genetic parents.

Honestly, I don’t know what it is, but the idea bothers me immensely, but I cannot push these emotions away. And yet, I know many couples do this all the time in the infertility world. So, I’m struggling to understand why I’m so bothered by it. And, I also realize that by saying no to this, I am effectively removing Mr. MPB’s chance to ever be a biological father. He doesn’t seem to mind, in fact he hasn’t complained once and he’s even the one that ultimately turned to adoption before I did. (He really is an amazing man).

.

So today, I cannot help but wonder if I am just being selfish? Should I work to get over these feelings, and move towards surrogacy / gestational carrier? Are these emotions things I can or even should just get over?

And even with all of this said, we still have to go back to the basics, and think about why we are re-evaluating our options. How do all my new found emotions factor into our decision making process?

Really, the questions we are asking ourselves right now is largely all about money. And the big question is now that the cost of adoption is equal to surrogacy / gestational carrier, which is the best route for us? We were confident in our decision, but with the ever increasing costs, we really need to be sure. With the kind of money we are talking about, there literally is no room for error.

Up until this point we’ve been adamant that adoption is our best path to our family.  And I cannot help but wonder, if we remove the money element, will we still choose adoption? In the next few weeks are we going to change our minds about adoption?

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

76 Comments on “Am I Selfish?

  1. I don’t think you’re being selfish. The emotional factor definitely needs to be a part of this decision. If it’s something that you don’t feel you can emotionally handle, then it’s not selfish of you to not want to do it. I will tell you this: my friend that I’ve blogged about, they did IUI with another man’s sperm to achieve their son. They were able to choose features of the donor that were similar to her husband’s (no idea if you can do that for a surrogate, if you don’t use your eggs) and let me tell you…that baby could be his son! They look SOOO much alike, people that don’t know the truth would never question. But aside from looks, that baby IS his son. They love each other unconditionally, the baby has no idea the truth, he just knows that that’s Daddy and he takes care of him and loves him. No matter what way you achieve your goal of having children, they will love you just the same, because you will be their Mommy and you will raise them and love them like they came from your own womb. Some day you’ll I’m sure share with them the story of how they came to be, but I don’t know anyone who is adopted (or whatever the situation) who isn’t forever grateful and thankful for their parents, and they don’t love them any differently than if they were their biological parents. So while you shouldn’t feel selfish about this decision, you should also keep in mind that those kids won’t think less of you or not love you as much, wherever they come from. ❤

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    • Just wanted to add that I asked my friend about their situation. Her husband didn’t need to adopt the baby, it was no legal issue or concern. Hope that helps.

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  2. I personally always wondered why you chose adoption over surrogacy (though am only sharing my opinion since you brought it up), since surrogacy seems to really eliminate most of the “cons” of adoption: you get a biological child (potentially 100%, but at least 50%); you don’t have to deal with a birth family, which is the reason you preferred international adoption in the first place; you have far fewer worries over the prenatal environment; you avoid the ethical downfalls of seeking a child from vulnerable women (there is no such thing as a woman considering adoption who is NOT vulnerable); you have potentially more control over the timeline and are less at the mercy of agencies/legal procedures of two countries; there is no waiting period to bring your baby home nor no concerns about a relinquishment being rescinded.

    I know surrogacy involves it’s own downfalls, but given your concerns, they seem grossly outweighed by your concerns surrounding adoption. You put your body through hell to try to have a biological child; I can’t imagine IVF would be worse than that. If you opt to test the embryoes to rule out chromosomal abnormalities, the risk of miscarriage drops markedly (especially in a carrier who has successfully birthed before). It may be tough to watch someone else carry your child; but you’re not avoiding that with adoption, just kind of being a little more blind to it. And if you are so bothered by not having a genetic connection to your child (in the event that donor eggs were necessary), how can you be going full steam ahead with adoption???

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    • Thank you so much for your comment. You touched on one the biggest struggles I’m having right now – adoption is in so many ways a result of income and class structure. And it really bothers me. This has become so much more pronounced as a concern for me now that the costs have gone up and I am really questioning where all this money is going, because right now it seems to be going towards making some lawyers and agencies very rich, and that simply doesn’t sit well with me. Mr. MPB and I have been discussing the ethics of international adoption and how we feel about being part of it.
      Also, I think you misunderstood my concern around the genetic link. I am much more okay with no genetic link then I am with a partial genetic link. And Mr. MPB feels the same way. Somehow the partial link seems very weird to both of us.
      For us right now surrogacy has a lot of significant risks that adoption doesn’t. Those are largely the risks that made us turn away from it to begin with. Adoption isn’t perfect either, but we have spent so much time learning about it and understanding it that we have a comfort level with it now, even more so then we did just 6 months ago.
      Honestly, I’m not sure that we have the right answer today, and I’m not sure that there is just one right answer. But, for now, all we can do is look at all the facts and make the best decision for us, our future child(ren).

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  3. You aren’t selfish at all. You are normal in what you are feeling and going through. Your fears concerns and questions are all legit.

    The advice I would give you is give yourself time to full process things and don’t be afraid to take some chances. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s whatever is best for you and your husband.

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    • Thanks Greg! You are so right about there being no right or wrong answers, just whatever is best for us. I think that’s part of what makes this all so difficult for us, as we are pretty black and white people so living in greys is foreign to us.

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  4. You’re not being selfish. These are all valid feelings, and I’m glad you’re listening to them.

    I was a traditional surrogate twice – I carried, gave birth to, and handed two of my biological children over to other people. one was a single gay dad, and another to a straight couple. The mom (we are still friends, a decade later)…she had some of these feelings, too. She sees me in her daughter, of course. But she told me that makes her love/appreciate the opportunity to parent, and she’s glad, at least, that she gets to see her husband reflected in the eyes of her child. She couldn’t love that little girl more, even though she has no biological ties. And we all love to see her (non-bio mom’s) mannerisms reflected in the little girl – she’s actually a lot like her mama!

    It’s good that you’re being honest with yourself about what you can/can’t go through. It doesn’t make you selfish – it makes you smart.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your perspective! It is so nice to hear from someone who has been a surrogate and really understands what is involved in all of this. I also really appreciate hearing how one of the mom’s had similar feelings to what I’m experiencing now and how she feels about it as the child is growing up. I guess there is just something about hearing a “real” story of someone who had similar fears that brings so much comfort to me.
      Thank you again!

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  5. I can tell you what we did when we decided to throw in the towel after our miscarriages. We were also thinking on the same lines of adoption/ surrogacy/ donor eggs and we both took the whole week off (mon-fri) not talking about this to each other. We decided to write down on paper what we wanted, so that neither would know how the other felt while making a decision and that would give us both peace and room for negotiation.
    My husband was not ok with donor egg and I was not ok with donor sperm, and neither were ok with adoption unless it was a newborn.
    Perhaps, you could tap your inner side and see what is really making you uncomfortable.
    If that’s your true feeling, then you will have peace and no doubts.

    Also, do not judge your feelings, its not buying aged cheese or new cheese, this is a life altering decision and there can be no selfishness in it.

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    • You and your husband sound very similar to us! Looking at GC again more seriously has made us re-consider a lot, and really understand what the different potential genetic make-up of a child could look like and what that means to each of us. After writing this piece and talking with Mr. MPB more over the last few days, it sounds like neither of us are okay with using one of us and one donor. So if we go that route it will be embryo adoption and a GC. And if we go back to the cost component, this will make it practically the same as our now more expensive adoption, but it carries a lot more risk of miscarriage.
      Also, we too also knew with adoption we would only do it if it were infant adoption. Which means we only have domestic adoption and USA adoption as our choices. And, we really are not comfortable with the way local adoptions are done. So, this is actually a large part of why we are so limited in our adoption choices.
      Anyways, thanks so much for sharing and understanding and just getting “it”. It is so helpful to know that others have and are contemplating all of this.

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  6. The intense emotional considerations of IVF and using a surrogate are significant and confusing. Don’t beat yourself up. These are all real elements of that option and you sound comfortable with adoption. Keeping an open mind to different possibilities is good too. I can totally understand the dilemma.

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    • Thanks so much for understanding! You make such a great point about us being comfortable with adoption – we are. We’ve come to really respect and understand open adoption through the last year of consideration. For us, asides from cost, we are okay with international adoption being the route to our family. As much as the cost is bothering us right now, we shouldn’t neglect to remember that adoption offers us so many positives.

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      • Absolutely, and if it resonates with you then you deserve to pursue it. Any way you grow your family, that child or children are going to be the loves of your lives.

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  7. While you are considering your options…

    I don’t know where you live – but I have fairly general idea. If you adopt transracially the diversity (or the lack there of) should perhaps be part of the conversation if you are considering your options.

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    • Mr. MPB and I have spent countless hours considering transcratial adoption and what the means for us and our child. I wrote two specific posts while we were contemplating this (http://wp.me/p4qQfg-bJ and http://wp.me/p4qQfg-xp). We also spent a lot of time talking with our social worker about it during the home study process.
      I have never discussed our ultimate decision on my blog, nor will I at this point in time as this a conversation we want to have with our child at an appropriate time. We’ve also decided not to tell anyone in our real-lives our final decision because everyone seems to have an opinion on the subject, and truthfully this is a decision that Mr. MPB and I need to make ourselves.

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  8. I agree with everyone else here…there’s no such thing as selfish when it comes to these kinds of decisions and it is so important to process and acknowledge your feelings before taking any action. Sharing my experience of egg donation and ivf… Firstly, ivf absolutely and completely sucks and is bloody awful but does not even come close to a miscarriage or dnc… So I would encourage you not to be afraid of it… Secondly, from following you for a longish time, I think I understand that yours is not an egg quality issue and therefore technically, you wouldn’t need an egg donor. However, if you did, I really don’t think your kiddies would love you any less because of the lack of genetics. I’ve come to know you as a very thoughtful, introspective person who generally reaches very sound and rational decisions… I trust you’ll process this and make the best decision for you and your future familyxxx

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    • Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve followed so many people who have gone through IVF, and while it looks horrible, it’s really not the procedure it’s self that scares me. It’s the emotional side of it – after going through so many losses, I’m just starting to heal and re-build a relationship with my body. I’m afraid IVF will put me so far back on that. I’m also afraid of the emotional damage if it does not work, and even more afraid of the irrational guilt of another miscarriage using my eggs. (I say irrational, because as you acknowledged, my eggs are not the problem, my uterus is). More then anything, I’m afraid of another loss and the guilt I would feel.
      So, I think if we did proceed with a GC it would have to use donor eggs, because I have to put my mental health high on the list of priorities (which is almost funny, because it took me 5 miscarriages to even care about factoring in my long term mental health).
      I’m not sure if you wanted such a long response, but your comment (and mamaetmanan’s comment) really got me thinking about why I am so fearful of IVF.
      Anyways, thanks for sharing and being so incredibly supportive!

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      • I can perfectly understand that… It is exactly how I feel, even having only been through one miscarriage… But it took us two years and much medication just to ge that far and I’m also too scared to use my own eggs…so I get it! How do the costs of de and gc compare to adoption?

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      • I think the cost of DE and GC will be very close to adoption if not equal, because we cannot do GC in Canada. So we will have to go to either the USA or India.
        I wish our decisions weren’t so guided by fear, but sometimes, like these fear is such an important factor!

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  9. These feelings are absolutely normal. I have had the same feelings about donor eggs, which is why if it comes to these sorts of options, I want to do donor embryo adoption. Healthy embryo that I get to carry and an adopted infant that I gave birth to. I also find myself unable to handle the fact that a surrogate with her own eggs (or someone else’s eggs) means that the child will be biologically my husbands and not mine. I’m sure you will love the child unconditionally, but the thought of it is pretty out there. Perhaps you could do a surrogate with a donor egg and sperm, or an adopted embryo. That way you can choose the parents, and you won’t have to worry about a child who is part your husband and part someone else. And having someone else carry the baby means that your body won’t have to go through another miscarriage. There is no right or wrong way to feel, and don’t let anyone tell you that what you are feeling is selfish. It’s normal, and you need to take your time to think about it.

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    • Thank you so very much for really understanding all of this. I so appreciate that you too have contemplated all of this, and are willing to share. I think you are right, these feelings are normal for those of us who have to actually contemplate these options.
      I so wish we had more time to contemplate all of this, because in so many ways I think it deserves more time. But we know we have some significant adoption bills looming so we have timelines dictating our schedule, which just sucks!

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  10. Self-health and selfish aren’t the same thing. Also, “if money wasn’t a factor” is a similar exercise to “if multiple miscarriage wasn’t a factor.” Do what’s healthiest for you and you family. ❤

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    • You are so right about this. Asking questions that don’t have any basis in reality, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Clearly, money is a factor just as much as multiple miscarriages. It’s sad that to even have children comes down to money, but it does and so we cannot over look it.
      Also, thank you for stating that “self-health and selfish aren’t the same thing” – this is such a wonderful perspective. Thank you!

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  11. You need to go with the decision that feels right on every level. It isn’t selfish to seek that answer out…its a life decision, it has to feel right. All the best finding your answer…it will undoubtedly come to you!

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    • Thank you so very much for your support – you are right, it’s a huge life decision and Mr. MPB and I both have to think about what’s right for each of us independently and as a couple. And doing so requires us to ask ourselves the hard questions.

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  12. As everyone else has said, I don’t feel you are being selfish at all. In fact, I had many of the same thoughts and feelings when we were considering donor eggs or sperm at one point. You can’t help how you feel. I’m wondering if talking to a neutral party (like a counselor?) would help you process some of this stuff. Just a thought. Whatever you decide, listen to your heart. You and Mr. MPB are the only ones who know what is right for you. ❤ Many, many hugs!

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your similar feelings – it’s always comforting to know that I am not alone in this.
      And yes, our counsellor is amazing. We’ve talked a lot about all of this with her, both when we first chose adoption and now that things are up in the air a bit more. Honestly, I don’t know how we would have survived the last 3 years if it weren’t for her!

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      • I’m so glad that you have a good counselor. It can really make a difference. ❤

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  13. If I was in your shoes, I would feel the exact same way about surrogacy. In fact, some of your insecurities are identical to some of my own when I was trying to get pregnant and catch would say something about how maybe she should try. It sounds so unreasonable, but if I couldn’t carry our baby, I didn’t want her to either. Bringing a baby into the world is the most emotionally fraught process I have ever experienced. At least ten times more so than marriage and all those other life milestones. Everyone is different, but for me, it was completely unreasonable to expect myself to “get over” that particular set of fears/insecurities. I don’t think that’s selfish–I think it’s just part of what makes us who we are.

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    • Thank you so much for understanding and getting these fears! It’s nice to know that all of this makes sense to someone else who has considered all of the options. And thank you so much for reminding me that it’s okay to have these fears and I shouldn’t have to just “get over” them.

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  14. I don’t think you’re being selfish at all. I think how you’re feeling is completely understandable and you need to be emotionally happy with the biggest decision you’re likely to make. Also, although the adoption process sounds like a very difficult and expensive one, ultimately it will end in you having a family. That is not the case with surrogacy/GC. Whether you used your eggs or donor, there is still no guarantee that it would end in a family and frankly you’ve been through enough to even contemplate that outcome xx

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    • You get it! Everything you said here, you so get it! This is exactly why we initially made the decision to adopt, and the one component of adoption that always wins when we start weighing our options and comparing surrogacy / GC and adoption. Thank you for understanding!

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  15. Being in a same-sex marriage, we will never have the opportunity (at this present time) to have a child that is biologically both of ours. This was a very touchy issue because it brought up deep rooted emotions and expectations- who gets to make the biological contribution- her or me? How do you even go about picking? In some ways, the decision was easier for us because a) DW is significantly older than me (lower chance of quality eggs), b) my family health history is much cleaner than her side’s, and c) if we went with her, we’d want an asian donor that is tall like me, which are few and far between. I still feel really guilty for getting to be the one that we both mutually agreed to have as bio-mom. DW was actually okay with that part of it, because at the time, our plans were to have her be the gestational mom and carry the pregnancy. Of course, after her two miscarriages, we switched to me, and I think that was the hardest part for her- not carrying and not getting to carry. There are moments when I complain about pregnancy symptoms, and she politely asks me to stop because it still hurts her.

    I really wanted to have her brother be the sperm donor so that the child would be more biologically ours- a blend between our two families, but DW hated that idea- as having the donor be someone close to her, she felt, would be a reminder of what she wasn’t able to do. She’d rather have it be an anonymous donor than to look at the child and see aspects of her brother. I guess that’s sort of like how you might feel about a baby made from Mr. MPB + egg donor.

    Having done IVF twice, I must say that it really wasn’t that bad the second time around. The first time sucked because I was going to work everyday, and was trying to keep it all a secret. It should be much more manageable if you continue to stay at home- with the monitoring appointments, injections, medication schedule, egg retrieval, and recovery. If you opt for PGD testing, you will eliminate the chromosomally abnormal embryos, and should significantly reduce the chances of miscarriage if you use a proven surrogate. I know that you feel overwhelmed by the idea of having to find a surrogate when the Reproductive Act is so restrictive in how they can be compensated, but a colleague of mine was able to find a surrogate within a month of her last miscarriage. There was only one legal agreement to draw up, and the surrogate is pregnant with their biological fraternal twins. I believe they paid her 10 grand, which was “compensation for time off work”.

    There are a lot of decisions to make, and they are hard ones. I think that you and Mr. MPB communicate really well with each other, and that together, you will figure something out- whether it is to stick with adoption, or go with IVF + surrogate, or use donor eggs/embryos + surrogate. I know that using you as a gestational carrier is out of the question, which I know makes you sad, but I think is also a relief because you won’t have to put your body through any more losses.

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    • Due to current technology, I’ve always assumed that any same-sex couple would have to make these decisions no matter how they choose to grow their family. And I so greatly appreciate your willingness to share everything! Really thank you.
      Mr. MPB and I both discussed a long time ago, before we knew that my uterus is the problem, the possibility donor sperm and eggs from family. Given that I’m the only girl in my genetic family, we have no family that could provide eggs. And Mr. MPB felt the same was as DW about using his brother’s sperm. That the end of the day, we both know if we use a donor it will be anonymous. And, I believe we both still feel very strongly about that point.
      And now, contemplating the real possibility of surrogacy and donor eggs it’s interesting to see how many issues I still have with the idea. I don’t think I realized all of this months ago, but now it’s really in my mind. As for my hesitation with doing IVF, it really isn’t about the actual IVF process – I can handle needles, and I’ve watched enough people go through it that I think I could do it. Yes, it would be hard, but I think I would get through it. My issues are more to do with my body failing me and the fears that it will again. And that we will have another miscarriage and I’ll fully blame myself. And, that I’m just getting my body back after so many losses – I’m starting to use it regularly through exercise and I’m starting to feel some sort of connection to my body again, more then just being failing baby maker. I’m scared of losing all of that, and I’m really scared of the mental health consequences of jeopardizing everything I’ve worked so hard to get back.
      Any idea how your friend found a surrogate so quickly in Canada?

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      • Word of mouth actually. Her surrogate had never done it before, but was willing to. Talking about it amongst our other colleagues, it seems that there are quite a few women willing to surrogate for others.

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  16. It’s not an easy decision and whatever one you make will be the right one. In the end surrogacy sounds like such a great option, because you could have a biological child, but I understand the fear of how hard it would be. Seeing someone else pregnant with your child is not easy and it takes a strong woman. Adoption is also such a blessing for the child, you would be providing them a loving home and giving them so much love that may not have otherwise got. I wish you the best of luck on your decision and whichever one you make will be the right one.

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  17. Oh my dear, I so wish this weren’t such a tormented process for you! It will be SO WONDERFUL when you finally hold your own precious baby in your arms – however they come to be there – and can begin to focus on your lives together. I also wish I had wise advice … I’m sure there’s some in the comments above (haven’t read all of them) … I guess my only thought is that you should pick the path that is most likely to end in a baby. If the surrogacy route once again raises the possibility of failure, that alone would be enough to eliminate it, in my mind.

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    • Sometimes I think you read my mind! The biggest reason we chose adoption to begin with was the success rate is as close to 100% as you can get. Surrogacy / GC opens us back up to the hurt of loss, and while I am so much healthier today then I was while we were living through the miscarriages, I don’t want to go back to where we were, it was dark and I much prefer our more happy lives. 🙂

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  18. This isn’t selfish at all. Those are all normal things to wonder or worry about. I know that most people (all?) say they overcame the bio connection or lack thereof very quickly, because diapers, feeding, rocking to sleep in the middle of the night, and changing sheets define a mother far more than genes.

    We (two women) have to consider that too. We wondered if adoption would be better so that we are on even footing – nobody has a bio connection. Honestly, the cost is one of the biggest factors for us choosing to try to make a baby instead of adopt. However, I’m very confident I’ll completely love a child my wife creates and feel 100% parent. She is trying to have the same confidence, but does, honestly, struggle with a lot of things you elaborated.

    No easy answers. But you’re not alone.

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    • Thank you for sharing Caitiin. It’s funny you mention getting over the bio connection right away, because we are both over the bio connection should we adopt. But, that dynamic changes for me if we chose to proceed with a GC and donor eggs – in my mind it’s somehow different. I suspect if we chose this route, my fears would ease with time, but I cannot help but be worried about it. I suspect somewhat like your wife?
      And thank you so much for reminding me that I am not alone in this. It is such a blessing to have you in my life. I am wishing the best for you as well!

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  19. I don’t think you are being selfish. In fact, everything you’ve written would apply to me – the fears of bonding, genetic ties, surrogacy fears, jealousy, my perceived “weirdness” of it all. However, I suspect these things disappear as people progress on the journey – as you say, many people do this exact thing, so these issues must be process-able. Sometimes however, it’s just about time passing before you consider an option you had previously rejected. A year ago we would never have even considered IVF, but eventually we signed up for exactly that. You’ve mentioned higher miscarriage rate with IVF before – do you mind if I ask where you heard this? Our consultant said that the risk is no greater than for a natural pregnancy at the same age, and I googled this quite extensively to make sure we weren’t going to effectively worsen our odds. I think you need to be gentle with yourself and know that it’s okay to change your mind and it’s also totally okay NOT to ever do something you wouldn’t be mentally comfortable with. Only you can know, and as the future mother, your decision carries the greatest weight. Wishing you clarity as you make sense of all your thoughts and options x

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    • Thank you so much for understanding! I think you are right, many of the fears would probably diminish the further into the process you go – I know that has happened for us with adoption so it makes sense that it would with surrogacy / GC.
      Our RE was adamant that IVF has a higher miscarriage rate then regular old fertile people. And the chances of ectopic pregnancy is also higher. I don’t remember the exact stats anymore, it’s been a long time since we were considering doing it for the genetic screening. I wish I could remember it for you….. (as a side note, it frustrates the heck out of me that every RE seems to be tell different people different things, its so unfair to us as we are making decisions).
      And thank you so much for your encouraging words, that my decision and opinions carry weight in this and I need to do what’s best for both of us. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Different doctors do say completely different things… I was aware that ectopics are slightly higher with IVF (of all things!), but I guess the whole process is so poorly understood that they can only go on their teachings and to a large part their experience too. It is frustrating though – who are we supposed to believe?!
        You know, I had no idea at all how enormous and complex and expensive adoption was before reading your blog. I have a (fairly distant) friend in real life who told me after christmas they were now waiting to be matched and it makes me wonder what on earth they have been through to get to this point. It’s just a tremendous journey and nothing at all like I ever imagined.

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      • Like you, I also had no idea just how complicated and expensive adoption was until now. Being integrated into the adoption process has been fascinating. We now really understand what we were told early on – domestic adoption is relatively easy (we’d already be approved and on the waiting here if we chose domestic), international is hard work to navigate. Anyways, I’m happy to know that I’m helping you (and hopefully others) to understand adoption a bit better.

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  20. I totally understand the whole his sperm/someone else’s egg thing. I don’t think I could do that. The husband just asked me if it was my egg and someone else’s sperm, would I be ok? Still no. I’d want either both us or none of us. Perhaps if it was my egg in someone else, I’d be ok because I’d feel like contributed but I don’t think I could do that if it was someone else’s egg, his sperm, all in someone else. I think jealousy would be the right word, and feeling a bit left out. Agh, it must be so difficult. Really hoping you feel peace with a decision soon xx

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Just thinking, if it was your egg, his sperm and someone else carrying – it’s like the perfect equality! You’ve both ‘donated’ your necessities and someone else carries. It’s just the same as how the man normally works – donates but then doesn’t carry. I guess surrogacy is as equal as it ever gets. And a baby would still be completely 100% yours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely get what you mean here. I do understand that it would be ideal if it were my egg and his sperm with someone else carrying. It really is equal for both of us.
      But for me, the emotional fears for me are the fear of another loss with my eggs and a GC. I’m really not interested in putting my body through more strain at this point. For me, I’m just starting to get my body back and the idea of IVF to get the eggs out is something I’m really not interested in.

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  22. You are not selfish at all! And I have often thought about what it would be like to raise a child half my husband and half another woman and honestly, I couldn’t do it at this time. But I could handle someone else carrying my child. I think. There are so many things that come with everything and I’m praying for you. God grants wisdom to those who ask and I am asking that He give you wisdom on what would best fit you and your hubby. I am also asking that He give you peace and He remove all the fear, worry, and doubt from your mind. I think of you often and I just can’t get over how strong you are at times. I think you are awesome! xo

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    • Thank you so much for sharing Elisha. It’s really comforting to know that I’m not alone in this.
      I think if it weren’t for all our losses, I would be better at handling someone else carrying our child. For me, right now, the fear of another miscarriage is so great that I cannot bear the idea of it and even fathom how I would mentally overcome another loss.
      Thank you so much for all your love, compassion and encouragement. Thank you!

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  23. You are not being selfish. These are enormous decisions and they’re gut wrenching. Only those of us who are in them can truly understand that. I’m a firm believer in that we each have to be the ones to wrestle with these issues. All the different fertility treatment options and adoption raise so many ethical and emotional issues that it can be hard to deal with and it feels like everyone has an opinion. I believe that each couple has to make the best decision for them and not be pressurised by anyone else. Since I’m on the infertility journey too, I understand what it is to wrestle with some of the issues that you’re wrestling with. We decided not to do IVF. For some of the concerns that you shared, we would not personally do one party donation. Like you were sharing, I would feel weird with a child being one of ours but not the others. Suddenly though, we’re considering embryo adoption. That’s not something that I expected to be considering and yet here we are! The child wouldn’t be related to either of us and so we see it as adoption and we’re both fine with that. I got to the point where I Was sure that we were going to go ahead with that. I still feel sure that we will investigate further by contacting clinics. But suddenly I’m doubting and scared and wondering if this is the right thing. It’s hard if you’re someone that analyses things a lot (as I am) because infertility and decisions about what steps to take, is something that forces you to analyse but then it can be hard to stop! It’s easy to worry about what other people might think (I worry far too much about that! but I’m in process and I’m learning) but the truth is that the people who have to live with the decision are the couple involved. So, no, I don’t think you’re being selfish. Probably some people might do, because people say stupid things. Hopefully those aren’t people who would be likely to read your blog, but you’ll get that at some point. But there are times when we have to seek council from those whose opinion we respect and follow what we know to be the right path and not worry about what others think. And that’s hard and I’m still working towards that! But we’ll get there. We will! There are pros and cons to all the decisions that we can think of but at the end of the day, we make the best decision with the information that we have at the time. We need to make the decision that is least likely to leave us with regrets. It’s a challenge. Thinking of you as you wrestle with this and as I too wrestle.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing all of this Rachel! It is wonderful to know that I am not alone in so many of these feelings, about IVF and about all my concerns over one party donation.
      And I also love your perspective that “we need to make the decision that is least likely to leave us with regrets” – we have no way to know our futures, but we can make decision that we believe will provide us with the best possible future, regret free.
      Thank you again for sharing! Thinking of you as you wrestle with all of these feelings and all of the possible ways forward.

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  24. Honestly I think that admitting to what you are afraid of and speaking honestly about your feelings is the least selfish thing that you are doing. You can only do so much without breaking. Whatever decision you make I will support.

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    • Thank you so much EM. It is so hard to sort through all these emotions, but I think in the long run it will be worth the effort. I’m just annoyed that we are back here re-evaluating everything when we thought we knew out path.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I have a close friend who is breaking down because of infertility. She and her husband have been trying for two years, more seriously for a year. She isn’t ovulating. She is devastated. She and her husband have both always wanted children and assumed before they were even married that it would be the first thing they would do – start their family. Four years later, she feels like she’s losing her dream of becoming a mother and her identity as one. I’m going to recommend her to your blog because I feel she would relate to your story and your writing style. Anyway, thanks for being so real and straightforward with your feelings, thoughts and your life 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry to hear that your friend is going through such a hard time!! I am honoured that you are going to suggest my blog to her, please do send her my way. Also, she is welcome to email me anytime – myperfectbreakdown@gmail.com. I hope that she can take comfort in knowing that she is not alone, and building a family can be so unbelievably hard! I know for me, having you (and others in the blogging world) has been such a valuable source of support and love. I am grateful!

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      • The blogging world had been an incredible support for me, too. I feel so lucky that I discovered it and stuck with it; there is so much wisdom and love here. Thank you and I will pass your info along to her. She’s not really one to reach out, but I know she’ll read!

        Liked by 1 person

  26. You are definitely not being selfish. You seem to know yourself very well and having that insight into how these different courses of action might impact you is a good thing. I’m just getting to the stage where I am now really having to consider how all of this will affect my mental health. It wouldn’t be a good thing to end up with a child but also end up with significant manual health issues. I don’t think it’s selfish, I think it is absolutely necessary to factor this stuff into your decision.

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    • Thank you so much for your support and your encouragement to continue to investigate all these emotions and thoughts.
      It took me a long time before I started to see the mental health consequences of RPL, and I’m thankful I saw it when I did and I’m thankful I’ve had an amazing counsellor by my side as we’ve navigated this road to help make sure I don’t venture into serious mental health concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I don’t think you are bring selfish at all. These are legitimate and natural feelings that can arise during this process, and each couple that deals with it reaches their own conclusion on where they stand. I don’t think this is something you just know what to do about right away – it’s exactly this kind of reflections and conversations that will help you eventually understand what you want, what you feel comfortable with, and what wouldn’t work for you. Whichever road you decide to go down, I hope it will bring you happiness!

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    • Thank you so much Molly! I think you are right, it really is an individual couple decision. What is right for one couple, may not be right for another couple. And it takes a lot of self-discovery to figure out what is right for each person and couple.

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  28. Pingback: I’m Starting to Get Dizzy | My Perfect Breakdown

  29. One could use donated embryos and a GC… But the emotions are what they are. Have you met with your counsellor about these feelings? Even if you stick with adoption it might be valuable to explore your feelings and their roots? Meanwhile I really hear your anguish and the stress of added expense and hope you find some peaceful moments in these whirlwind days, my friend.

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    • Oh, yes, our Counsellor is very well aware of all of this. When we first were deciding which way to go she was pretty clear that she didn’t think the emotional stuff that goes along with surrogacy and the potential of another loss would be a good idea for us at the time, and she continues to feel that way.
      And as we move forward, however that may be, it’s nice to have her outside perspective.
      Thank you for your hope. I too wish you peaceful moments in this whirlwind. Love to you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. i completely understand your last point. I’ve thought about using donor sperm if what we’re doing now doesn’t pan out. It’s tremendously scary, and my thoughts always go to the future. How would be tell our child, what would he/she think, how would it change our marriage, would there be jealousy?

    BUT! IVF is not that scary! The needles aren’t that bad (I hate needles!!). The procedures are bearable.

    I understand your feelings of wanting to be pregnant. I also want that. But using a gestational doesn’t make you less of a mother. Just think, you don’t have to deal with morning sickness, heavy saggy boobs, back pain, frequent need to pee! The list goes on!!

    I’m praying for you! I know you’ll make the best decision for you and Mr. MPB! xoxo

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    • Thanks for understanding! It sounds like you really do get so many of my concerns about using a donor.
      You know what’s funny/odd, I’m not even scared of the needle component of IVF, needles have never bugged me. I’m just terrified of putting my body through more. I just feel like in addition tot he emotional stuff I feel like I’ve physically been through enough for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. This post just hit home with me. I too debated many times and cannot overcome the fact that I tried for 5 year and three ivfs and I had to accept a child that is not mine but joos. For that reason we cannot move forward. I totally understand your fear and emotional feelings. I do not want to be forced to decide on this. I can only wait until the day I come out cleared on this. I hope you do the same. Other people can accept this does not mean you can. You cannot accept this today does not mean you won’t accept this tomorrow. Take your time to decide.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing Jasmine. These decisions are just so hard! I love that you are giving yourself time and space to figure out what is best for you, and thank you for reminding me to do the same. Wishing you peace and love.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Oh gosh, I feel like an awful blogger friend for just reading this but I completely echo what others have said in regards to having the same fears. We spent time thinking about donor eggs as with endo, you just never know how it’s going to ravage your egg quality. I ran through the same gamete of emotions and concerns. Like adoption, it’s not something to enter into quickly but then there are those people that have a gut instinct and just know what’s right for them. My husband and I talked a lot about various scenarios and none of them are easy to make. And yes you are selfish but you have to be in order to appropriately evaluate all the options. It doesn’t make you a bad person and your intent isn’t coming from the wrong place. You’re doing what you know to do, making informed decisions and that’s just plain old smart 😊 Be kind to yourself lady, you deserve it 💛

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    • Thank you so much for sharing all of this! It is so nice to hear from someone who gets it. Rationally, I know my egg quality should be okay based on the testing done, but the endo could really be playing havoc with my insides so my paranoid brain cannot help but worry about it.
      And you are right, this is about making an informed decision on how to move forward. So, here we are, trying to make the best decision we can and that means thinking through all of it, the good and the less good.
      Oh, and you aren’t a bad blogger friend. Presumably just a busy friend, which is a good thing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: What Are We Going To Do? | My Perfect Breakdown

  34. Being pregnant with a DE/DS baby is interesting because it eliminates the mental hurdles of inequality that can exist with just a DE or a DS baby. There are so many good reasons to want at least you or your partner to have a genetic connection to the baby, but it’s also really nice to have an even playing field. So no, I don’t think you’re selfish (even though I know you’re now thinking of pursuing surrogacy with DEs) to think it might be hard.

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