35 weeks…

HOPE. Such a small word. But those 4 little letters often carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. And that weight is then transferred to whomever- or in whatever- that hope lies…intentional or not. Being the person who is charged with turning that hope into a reality can feel overwhelming at times.

Hope, it is said, is not a strategy. But when you get to that point- the one where hope is all you have left after wishing on stars, eyelashes, and birthday candles, crossing fingers and toes, and praying to every entity you can think of- you may find yourself clinging to that hope with everything you have…and trying with all of your might to turn that hope into a strategy after all.

When what is understood to be such a natural, expected, organic part of life- reproduction- turns out not to be…and all medical options have been exhausted, hope comes into play full force. That hope may even go from being an abstract feeling, to taking physical shape in the form of a person, of a woman whose basket you will gladly place all of your eggs…literally and figuratively.

For a couple attempting to get pregnant on their own, most will stop at nothing to make it happen. Even when costs and bills seem endless, that shred of hope keeps them going. On the hardest days when there is yet another negative test, or a pregnancy that just wasn’t meant to be, that shred of hope keeps them going. Until the day the doctor gives the final head shake, the one indicating there just isn’t any hope left, that shred of hope keeps them going. And then it is time to change course…To think outside the box…To manifest that hope into the form of a person…To find a gestational carrier.

Being the person who has been engaged to re-ignite that flame of hope is a tall order. Quite frankly, it is one I rarely think about because (thankfully) both times I tried have been successful. But that success isn’t guaranteed, and it certainly doesn’t come without difficult days. And that alone creates a pressure you may not consider as a gc when you initially sign on the dotted line. Imagine knowing that someone’s happiness relies on your body cooperating…something you have no control over. And then there are the things you can control- what you eat, your physical activity/weight gain, how you take care of yourself- more pressure. Every single thing you do is with this baby, this family, their hope, their dream in mind. Honestly, it is only when you stop to reflect on the responsibility you have assumed that you fully realize the extent of the weight you carry. And it isn’t until those days immediately post-delivery, once you have handed that little miracle over to his/her parents, that you find yourself releasing the ultimate exhale…the breath you didn’t even know you were holding. In just over 4 weeks, I will deliver my own little symbol of HOPE to her wonderful family. Until then, stay tuned while my family grows another…

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