Ah, the holidays. I am totally exhausted, and it’s still another week before Christmas. I don’t remember being this tired the week before Christmases past. I mean, I always end up being involved in a lot of music during this time of year, and of course I spend time planning/buying/wrapping/mailing gifts. But this year it’s like Christmas on steroids, despite the fact that I’ve totally cut out some traditions, like gifts for neighbors and acquaintances, and the annual Garretson card/photo/letter. I think it’s because I’m more involved in the kids’ preschool this year- I’m in charge of Hanukkah gifts for Elspeth’s teachers, and things are also starting to heat up with this huge fundraising auction I’m co-chairing, even though it doesn’t happen until the end of January.
Anyway, enough boring stuff! I have two news items: my medical screening at the fertility clinic and my meeting with Bishop Ellsbury.
The screening went great. I traveled to a northeastern city to visit the clinic that Urs and Ingmar have developed a relationship with. I actually lived in this city about five years ago. It’s a wonderful place, and I was happy to go back for a night. I had dinner with some friends, a couple who are in a similar situation to ours (he has left the church, she hasn’t) and it was so nice to see them and catch up and talk. Then in the morning I had my screening. The staff at the clinic were kind and professional, and the procedures were pretty quick and painless. They did a hysteroscopy, and I got to see the inside of my uterus! It was incredible. Well, my uterus wasn’t that incredible, really, but the process was and the fact that I was seeing inside one of my own organs in real time… wow. Amazing. Honestly, when people ask how my trip went I have to stop myself from telling them all about the hysteroscopy. I didn’t stop myself when my inlaws asked; I just blurted out “I got to see the inside of my uterus!!!!” and then there was a very awkward moment of silence. They’re not science people. They weren’t impressed. They probably just thought I was being gross.
So the next step is to wait for all of my tests (blood, urine, and endometrial biopsy) to come back. Then I’ll start taking hormone injections to sync my cycle with the egg donor’s, but I don’t think that will happen until at least mid-January. They said we’re probably looking at a February transfer, which is great timing; I’ll have a chance to get the aformentioned auction behind me before I get knocked up. And I’m so excited! Everything is seeming more and more real. I’ve also signed and returned my contract, and that’s one more big step in this thing. Urs and Ingmar have been emailing back and forth with me, and they are unfailingly positive, supportive, and enthusiastic. I love them! I know it’s weird, but I am actually looking forward to starting those injections.
Anyway, moving on to News Item Numéro Deux: With Christmas and tithing settlement keeping Bishop Ellsbury tied up until the end of the year, I decided that today was my last chance to talk to him. So I did it! And I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t nearly as awful as I imagined (though it might get awfuler in the future). Bishop Ellsbury’s laid-back personality is a big part of why everything is okay so far. I’ve got lots of nice fuzzy feelings toward him right now. He’s not excitable- definitely not a pulpit-pounder. He smiles and laughs a lot, and I think he’s a genuinely happy and kind person. Kind of an easygoing father type character.
So here’s how it went down: I just laid it out there. I said something like “I’ve decided to become a Gestational Surrogate. I’m going to carry a baby for a couple who can’t have children of their own. The baby won’t be related to me, it’ll be theirs.” He nodded, said ok, kept a poker face. I continued: “And the parents of the baby are both men.” Still a poker face! He must have been surprised- I mean, most people don’t think about reproductive technology on a regular basis. But he kept the same calm, friendly demeanor. I told him that I’ve made this decision and I feel good about it, but that a few concerned family members suggested I talk to my bishop to be sure there wouldn’t be any repercussions with the church. He said he’d have to consult the church handbook and talk to the stake president about it. I said that’s fine, it’s what I was expecting.
And that was about it! I’m expecting to hear back from him pretty soon, and I may even have to attend a meeting with the stake president. But I’m glad I’ve at least taken the first step toward legitimizing myself with the church. We’ll be visiting Knox’s family for the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and it’ll be nice to be able to say “yes, I’ve talked to my bishop about this.”
Things are happening! Things are looking good.