It's interesting. One thing I had not anticipated was this acute sadness I am feeling. After spending time with a friend who is 3 months pregnant I came away with a longing to experience what she is experiencing, and an envy/jealousy towards our surrogate who gets to actually carry this pregnancy. The feeling grew even more this weekend when I spent time with a woman who is 7 months pregnant. We've been so focused on getting to this point of being pregnant and the ultimate goal of a child that I really hadn't anticipated this, and I don't quite know what to do with it.
I kind of feel like an involved and engaged bystander, but a bystander nonetheless. Everyone fawns over expectant mothers, asking them how they are feeling, telling them they're glowing and giving sage advice, wisdom and folk remedies on stretch marks. It's our pregnancy, sort of, in that it's our child, but I don't get all that part of being pregnant. And yes, I know I won't get sagging breasts, or morning sickness, or stretch marks which may all be a good thing, but I also don't get the joy of the sideways pictures taken of me every few weeks, or feeling the flutter of little feet and hands inside my womb or the knowing smiles from everyone I see, strangers and friends alike, that says, "I know what's up with you. What an amazing experience!"
In my philosophical moments I've been thinking about archetypal persona of what it means to be female, to be a mother. It's not exactly something Hallmark makes a greeting card for. It's not the 50s, there are so many acceptable roles for women other than homemaker, wife and mother. Nonetheless, when one talks about a 'Mother-To-Be' there is the image someone glowing with the anticipation of the life inside of them, the life that they get to support and nourish before the child is even born. What happens if you don't fit that image?
Maybe if the distance were shorter between our surrogate and us I would feel a bit more like I was experiencing the pregnancy along with her. It's nothing she's done or said, indeed she and her husband keep talking about this being "our" (Aaron's and my) pregnancy. And we've bought some children's books to create audio CDs of our voices reading to play to the as it grows child (and her children). And I bought her a "pregnancy" journal that I hope she'll keep so that I can later share that with our child. I feel like I'm doing everything I can to feel involved. But it's just not the same. I mean, let's face it, nothing about this journey is the same as most people's journeys toward parenthood. And I'm mostly ok with that. Mostly grateful that there is a way for us to become parents. Amazed that someone will join us on this journey and help us become parents. But, to be totally honest and transparent, every now and then I do feel that ache of wishing it were different...more like everyone else.