Right now things are rough. In addition to the stress of the IVF cycle and the surrogacy, I've got a lot going on in my life outside of the surrogacy, and dealing with raging hormones is not helping at all. I'm at the point where I want to throw my hands up in the air and shout at no one in particular, "Seriously? Seriously? There's got to be something more to throw at me! Because I'm not giving up! On anything! Even if I'd really like to! So...since I'm not giving up, Lord can you please just make things a little easier?"
So I've decided to take a page from my friend Michael's blog. He's the inspiration for my blog. He's also going through a surrogacy right now and began blogging about it. And after reading his, I began to blog, and, with encouragement, decided to share my blog with my friends, as he had been doing with his. And one day, he wrote the kindest blog entry about me (excerpt: Michaela's (my pseudonym on his blog) blog has been so helpful to me. She finds humor in pain like I can't do. She finds hope in adversity which I can't always find. She finds happiness in a frustrating hand that life has dealt her. I have definitely used her texts and calls and blog to help me through rough times.)
I was actually re-reading his entry today to remind me that I can make it through all of this. So I thought one way to turn my attitude around was to talk about his experience. Because he's been so great for me, going through this.
Michael and I went to Northwestern together, eons ago. Of course, he had no idea who I was because I was 2 years younger than him in the theater program, and who pays attention to those that are in the years behind them, unless they are particularly threatening? But I noticed him. And years later, after returning from Disney, and deciding to pursue ASL in addition to finishing my degree at Northwestern, I ran into him again at Columbia College in downtown Chicago, where he was studying interpreting. Now, here's his version of how we re-met, taken from his blog:
Picture it: Columbia College. Summer of 2001 (I think). A hallway. A young girl comes up to me and says...
Girl: Is your name Michael?
Me: Yeah. (She looks up to me because she's a newbie and I'm about to graduate.)
Girl: Is your last name H____?
Me: Yep. (She knew me because I was such a phenomenal interpreting student!)
Girl: Did you go to Northwestern?
Me: I did. (Hmmmm...what's going on?)
Girl: You majored in theater, right?
Me: Ummm...yeah. How'd you know? (Should I be calling the cops?)
Girl: You graduated in 199...7?
Me: OK...why are you stalking me???
OK, he didn't actually say the last line, but I guess that was going through his head. Although I looked so cute and innocent back then, how could he possibly think I was stalking him? So we were friends there, where he helped me out several times as I got into scrapes with the professors...usually accidentally. We lost touch after I left the Chicago area, and then, years later, we bumped into each other on Facebook. Well, God has a grand plan for everything, because he began a blog about surrogacy, since he was starting his surrogacy journey. And I just happened to see a link to it on Facebook right when Aaron and I were beginning our surrogacy journey. Seriously now, how many people go to the same University, then years later are at interpreting school at the same time, then years later begin surrogacy journeys at the same time?
Anyhow, along this crazy ride, Michael has been an amazing support to me. I've had friends facing infertility, friends doing IVF, but he's the only one who is doing surrogacy. And being a unique experience in and of itself, having a friend to share the journey is incredible. Along the way Michael has always encouraged me, telling me things are going to turn out ok and, "Just think, after all of this, the teenage years will be nothing!" Whenever I think I've got it tough I think about his journey. While my uterus isn't a good home for a baby, and my ovaries don't work as well as we'd like them to, at least I've got my own ovaries. Michael has to work with a surrogate and with an egg donor. And, at this point he's had 2 failed transfers. And run out of embryos so he's starting again with egg donor #2 whose cycle just got pushed back until May. And he's still encouraging me. Mostly, his blog cracks me up.
We've decided when all this is over, to pay off all of the bills, we're going to write Surrogacy: The Musical, or perhaps Michael and Michaela (similar to Julie and Julia, and where I got my pseudonym), or some other catchy title. We've got it cast for the most part. He wants to play himself, I've picked Amy Adams to play me (I plan to do the choreography), and we've got a host of other A-List actors slated to join the cast (not that they know it yet). We've come up with some catchy song titles like, "Makin' Babies in the 21st Century" (with choreography featuring pipettes and petri dishes), a hilarious cover of "Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof with all new Lyrics, and the showstopping "Pushin' Real Hard," a revival-esque gospel number about the birthing process. Of course, at the rate this is going, we may have an epic on our hands.
So can you do me a favor? The next time you say a prayer for Aaron and I, would you please pray for Michael too? Because he's an amazing guy who really deserves this to go right for him the next round.
And I guess I accomplished my goal. Because after writing this, I do feel a little bit better. :)