Tomorrow is our 2nd appointment (phase 2) of our ’20 week’ appointment. The infamous 20-week appointment where we’ll get to learn all kinds of fun and exciting things about our baby, like the sex (which we’re not finding out!), the big ultrasound with the 3D picture, and most anxiously for me, the appointment where they will do an echo on sweet Baby J’s heart to see how it is formed.
Our appointment is at the University hospital the same hospital that I’ve been seen at in the pediatric cardiology unit for the past 25+ years for my own congenital heart disease (Tricuspid Atresia). From the beginning of our surrogacy journey and deciding to become pregnant via surrogacy, my own cardiologist has recommended that this big appointment be done there.
I would be lying if I said we aren’t anxious about this appointment, not worried but anxious. Because anxiety is the fear of the unknown, and that’s the fear I have. Because of my own congenital heart disease, I am anxious to find out if our baby will also have a heart disease. Will our baby go through the same stuff that I did/do? Numerous heart surgeries? Physical limitations? It has been and continues to be hard enough to go through my own heart surgeries, difficulties and sadness attributed to it, but how will I ever watch my baby go through that? It’s those fears of the unknown that keep me up at night, my mind racing and my thoughts a million different directions.
This appointment is big, like really big for most people, but I’m not sure most people understand what it actually means to us. It’s huge. When I shared my anxieties about this appointment with one of my best friends, she asked the question I wanted to answer. Probably because I want people to know where this anxiety comes from. She asked if there was a chance our baby would have a heart disease? “well, yeah” I replied…. “There’s 93% chance that it won’t have a heart disease.” Her response, simple, “So, you mean there’s only a 7% chance that it could?”…. “ooo well yeah, I guess when you look at it like that! Yeah! There’s only a 7% that it could have a heart problem!”
Up until this fateful appointment people ask that ever pressing, more fun question, the question: are we finding out the sex? (we aren’t) When we tell people that we’re not finding out the sex of the baby most people’s follow up to that is: ‘ooo how exciting! It doesn’t matter what you have, just as long as you have a healthy baby!’
When I hear this, I cringe a little inside. It’s something I’m sure I too have said to other people not even thinking about it.
But here’s the thing- No, we actually don’t care if we have a ‘healthy’ baby, we just want the baby that God has chosen for us. We want the baby that God says we need, and the baby that needs us the most.
That’s all we want.
This entire surrogacy process has prepared us as parents-to-be much more than traditional pregnancy possibly could. Throughout this process we met with a counselor (mandated) as well as a lawyer (also mandated) where we had to answer specific, very difficult questions, and then not only answer the questions but also have it all documented for legal purposes in our contract with our surrogate. Are you going to do testing on your embryo? Will you be aborting for any reason? Will you be doing genetic testing? Do you want to do the test for down syndrome? If there’s abnormalities, what will you do? These questions aren’t the typical questions people ask right before they’re about to go lie in bed with someone (with the possibility of making a baby!). But these are the questions that we had to answer, both my husband and I had to be on the same page, 100%. We have been forced to be honest with ourselves and with each other. Honest, real, raw and true; because before you can ask someone to carry your baby, you better make sure you know exactly where you stand and what your plans are.
And when all of the difficult questions came up our responses were quick and simple, no, no, no and no.
We have not done any testing on our embryo, all we know is that it has both my husband and I’s DNA. We said no to everything, we will not be testing for down syndrome or anything else. and if anything comes back tomorrow heart issues, or alike it will not change our stance or our love for our Sweet Baby J.
Because as my husband so thought provokingly and God lovin’ has said, ‘what if Kendra wasn’t here? (Kendra is his/our adorable niece that has SMA, a rare muscle disorder) Or what if you weren’t here?’
And it’s the profound things like that, that he says that remind me why I love him so. Because he is absolutely, 100% right, neither our sweet niece Kendra or I can be described as ‘healthy’ but we’re still both here; living past doctor’s expectations, past doctors limits and kickin booty; and hopefully both doing our jobs of living this life that God perfectly gave to us.
So while I have anxiety about the fear of the unknown I have faith that we will get the news we need and that in less than 20 weeks God will give us the baby he perfectly chose for us.
For this child we have prayed and the Lord has granted us the desires of our hearts. ~ 1 Samuel 1:27