Remember back in the '90s when blonde jokes were all the rage? I felt totally justified telling them, because at the time, my hair was dirty blonde. (It got darker as I got older...uh, I mean wiser.) Plus, I knew I had plenty of my own ditzy moments, so I could relate to the jokes! Anyway, there was one joke that I thought was so funny. (And if you have blonde hair, don't take this personally, okay?)
Q: What's the first thing a blonde asks the doctor when he tells her she's pregnant?
A: "Is it mine?"
Well, here's my big announcement...
And it's not mine.
I know, I know...I've got a lot of explainin' to do!
So, remember my beautiful best friend Ann? The one who has filled such an important spot in my life? Well, Ann is a cancer survivor.
When she found out she had cancer over four years ago, Ann and her husband had a son, "Coqui," who is just a little younger than Chickie. They definitely wanted more children.
Unfortunately, the surgery that removed Ann's cancer (completely--yay!) also left her unable to be pregnant. But her doctor gave her hope--if they could find someone who wanted to be a gestational carrier for them (a more accurate term than "surrogate" for a woman who carries someone else's biological child), then they could have more children--children that were biologically theirs.
Ann and her husband let people know what they were looking for, and her husband's cousin quickly volunteered to be their carrier. In a lab, embryos were created with Ann's eggs and her husband's sperm, and one of them was transferred to their carrier. She became pregnant, and now Ann and her husband have a vivacious little two-year-old daughter, "Peanut."
But there was one embryo left, which was carefully frozen and stored for almost three years. Recently, this tiny little embryo was thawed and placed in my womb. We waited the requisite time for a blood test...and it came back positive! It's official.... I'm pregnant with Ann and her husband's third child! It's pretty ideal--The Engineer and I feel that our family is beautifully complete, and Ann and her husband feel that with one more, their family will be just right. They had an embryo that needed a place to grow; I have a uterus and enjoy pregnancy and childbirth. A great fit, right?
I'll be eight weeks pregnant tomorrow (Sunday, 11/20). We had the pleasure of seeing the perfect little baby on a sonogram this week, with its heart beating at a perfect pace. What a miracle! It will be so beautiful to see Ann and her husband meet their little one in person around July 1 of next year! And I know that child will be so special to me--I'm looking forward to being an honorary auntie!
So, I know this is a lot to take in. Most of us haven't ever known anyone who has been a gestational carrier. I know you probably have some questions, so I invite you to ask them here. You can ask anything--and I'll answer it, as long as I feel comfortable disclosing the information!
This is such a wonderful, beautiful, exciting, and unique experience. It's something I started considering when Ann and her husband were first looking for a carrier, over three years ago! I knew it would be so rewarding and I am deeply blessed and happy that it has worked out. What a huge privilege, to provide a temporary home to a baby who will then have the blessing of joining its wonderful family--a family who is so special to me. Wow--it's pretty awesome!
Ann and I see God's fingerprints all over this. He gave life to those little embryos and is protecting them...two-year-old Peanut, and her tiny sister or brother who's growing perfectly and getting bigger by the day. He gives me the desire to do this, and the excitement for it! He instills faith in Ann and her husband, so they can entrust me with their child for nine months. And we look forward to seeing His amazing creative miracle when this child is born! God is the One behind this--we want Him to have the glory!
Thanks for sharing in our excitement!
(Oh, and I hope to be blogging more often now. My mind has been so distracted by this exciting process and by early pregnancy that I haven't been on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog as often! Now that I am sharing this with my online community, I hope to be talking to you all more frequently!)
Bring on those questions...! (Don't be afraid to ask them!)
You can read Ann's announcement post here.
Edited to add: You can read my first Q& A post here--the answers to your questions may be there, but if not, ask away!