I used to joke that I should have someone else’s baby. I’m good at being pregnant, I thought. I get pregnant easily… I stay pregnant easily… I give birth easi fast… it just feels like something I do well. And in some sick way, I’ve enjoyed giving birth. I like hospitals… all those people coming to help take care of me, bring me water, bring me food that I don’t have to cook or clean up myself… no one with the chutzpah to argue with me over the remote control… (I know – I’m nuts, right?)
Except you know what I really don’t need more of in my life? Kids. They’re everywhere – we’re infested with them.
“I’d love to have another baby,” I’d say. “I just don’t want another kid.”
So I joked like this for a while until one day I thought to myself, “Huh. I wonder if I really could do that. That’s a thing, right? No – I’m sure I’m too old,” I told myself.
But then one day, I looked it up. Yes, it is a thing. No, I am not too old. Yes, I can do that, it seemed.
Nearly ten years ago I started volunteering at Mayyim Hayyim. Two years later I joined the staff and I’ve been the Executive Director for the past four years. People come through our doors for all kinds of reasons, finding joy and healing in a small pool of water called a mikveh. Our visitors have had a real impact on me, particularly the ones who have been on some kind of journey to build a family. I’ve seen women and men in pain over repeated failed attempts to have children, more miscarriages than I could possibly count, and the loss of stillborn babies late in pregnancy. The sadness, isolation, and anger is intense. I’ve also seen the sheer delight when one of these women returns for an immersion in her ninth month of pregnancy, a couple brings their long-awaited adopted child to convert to Judaism, and when two men visit with their infant who undoubtedly has taken incredible determination to bring into their family.
So here we are: There’s No I in Uterus.
Vivianne and David are a Jewish couple in London. They’ve been trying to have a baby for seven years and decided to use a surrogate as a last-ditch effort. And I have a uterus sitting here collecting dust that I’m now working on putting to good use on their behalf.
This blog will track my journey in becoming a gestational surrogate to, please God, deliver a baby into their arms. Assuming all goes according to plan, an embryo (not genetically related to me) will be transferred into my uterus in mid-January that I’ll carry to term, at which point I will return the baby to his/her parents.
There’s so much I want to share about this experience already: watching my husband, Jamie, wrap his head around the whole thing, the process of getting matched with Vivianne and David, all the steps involved prior to the embryo transfer, the real need for Jewish surrogates and my bafflement that we do not talk about this in the Jewish community, how supportive the staff and board has been at Mayyim Hayyim, what and when we’ll tell our kids (mum’s the word for now, k?) and of course the many future twists and turns that I can’t even imagine at this stage.
I’m not sure how often I’ll write, but you can join with me on the journey by subscribing to this blog below. In addition to my goal of helping Vivianne and David have a baby, I want surrogacy to become a known thing within the Jewish community, so please feel free to ask me anything you like. I’m sure that if I had known anyone else who’d done this in the past, I would have started considering it a long time ago.
So – thank you for coming along with me on this ride. Now let’s go have a baby!