This Idea that I Had…

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!

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29 thoughts on “This Idea that I Had…

  1. Years ago we had a family friend who was a surrogate for three children-all for her best friend -all Jewish.
    I wish you strength, fertility & good health. G-d bless you for giving them the gift of a child.

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  2. May I make a suggestion, and you might already be doing it, but if not, please consider. Video everything. I mean everything that you are involved with and also the couple in London should be dong a video as well. You need the pictures as well as the storyine. Someone can then put the two videos together and have a wonderful remembrance of this miraculous giving that you, and they, are about to embark on. It will be not only inspirational for all the parties involved, but also for future families who wish to take this journey. Personally, I see you doing a book on this, and speaking engagements.

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      • I do have another thought. I was wondering why you chose this couple who are not in the United States? They’re in London. Were there no Jewish couples here in the United States who were also having fertility issues?

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  3. You are a true angel and about to do the biggest mitzvah in the world!!! I am one of those unlucky people who have suffered through multiple (6) miscarriages, was lucky to carry one amazing child to term and now have had to have a hysterectomy. We have 4 embryos left and are about to have a surrogate implant in January as well!!! U are amazing!!!!! Thank u for being so special!

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  4. Carrie!! What a tremendously wonderful gift that you are giving. Dear friends of mine are the proud new parents of two radiant twin boys born by an awesome surrogate power-woman like you, and more conversation in the Jewish community is so needed. I look forward to following your journey through the internets and am sending you my cosmic good wishes for a healthy pregnancy ❤

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  5. what a wonderfully selfless thing you are doing for this couple. Knowing you as a young girl, i am incredibly proud to know you. Can’t wait to follow your journey. Hope it is an easy pregnancy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carrie,

    I, like you, loved being pregnant and had quick, uncomplicated births. I wish I had known of such a thing when I was young enough to do it. I ma guessing that 53 is too old.

    Thank you for raising awareness. Thank you for sharing this incredible mitzvah you are doing with the rest of us.

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  7. Carrie you are truly awesome and so totally kind and unselfish. This is the ultimate mitzvah, giving life and giving love to strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Setback | there's no i in uterus

  9. Wow- just an amazing journey thus far… and you have way more to go….. wishing you strength, good health, and only the best. Your words and deed are truly inspiring.

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  10. Pingback: There’s No I in Uterus | The Mikveh Lady Has Left The Building

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