Picking another woman to carry my child is one of the biggest decisions I’ve had to make, and somehow I didn’t expect the wide range of emotions that would come with it. I’ve known for years that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant and while it’s been a tear-filled struggle at times, I thought accepting that fact long ago would have made this whole experience easy for me. I was wrong. Matching with a surrogate was so much harder than I ever had imagined.
When we started the process, I didn’t know where to begin in making a list of my criteria for a surrogate — everything seemed important and non-negotiable. We spoke with several women who were all so incredible, but I wasn’t feeling drawn towards any of them. I wasn’t getting that excitement I saw so many other IP’s talking about in my surrogate groups. I was able to find “problems” with everyone we spoke with. Mike, on the other hand, liked several of them right away and I started to feel like something was wrong with me. I felt like I would never find anyone I liked, anyone I trusted, or anyone that felt like “the one”. It was at that point I had to start to look inward and ask myself why I was feeling this way. I think I had this fairytale idea in my mind of what it would be like finding a surrogate: We would connect instantly, she would be just like me, and I would know without a doubt that this was the right woman to carry my child, and when that wasn’t happening for me I felt devastated. I wanted so badly to be able to get pregnant and carry our child, but I knew logically that wasn’t going to happen. So subconsciously, I wanted the best next thing: I wanted someone that would do every single thing that I would do, if I was pregnant. Once I realized I was thinking this way, it helped me so much to be able to move forward with matching with a surrogate. I was able to see these woman as they were, and they were great, more than qualified, and willing to provide us with such an incredible gift of carrying my child for me.
Still, that didn’t mean that every incredible woman was a great match for us. We still needed to find someone that we were comfortable with and felt we would be able to have those important, heavy, and sometimes awkward conversations with over the course of working together. Someone that aligns with your wants and desires for the pregnancy, birth, and beyond. And someone that passes all the requirements your clinic has. We definitely struggled a lot with finding someone that fit all of those things. We had some heartbreak finding a woman we loved, only to find out she didn’t meet the clinic’s criteria. Or feeling connected to another woman but then realizing she wasn’t ready to transfer, and deciding if waiting another year to get started was something we wanted to do. When you’re in it, every disappointment feels like the end. It feels like it’s never going to work out and you’re the only couple that isn’t finding a match.
Looking back at the matching process now, I can see it’s just a part of the process and most IPs go through the exact same thing, and I realize now that’s something I wasn’t prepared for. Despite having an amazing surrogacy community online, sometimes you still just feel all alone on an island filled with so much grief and sadness. The ups and downs in surrogacy are something I hadn’t really experienced before in my life, at least not in the same way. Matching with a surrogate was my first glimpse into that, but certainly not my last. Thankfully, we finally found a surrogate that both Mike and I felt really good about. I think this was the biggest hurdle at the beginning of our journey. I do wonder how I will feel once our surrogate is pregnant, but just like every other part of this process I’ll take it one step at a time.
To hear more of our thoughts and advice during the matching process, listen to Episode 3: Finding a Match of our podcast, Surrogacy, Baby!