I'm Maggie. My almost-husband's name is Mike. Mike is my almost-husband because it seems silly to call him my "boyfriend." He's an old soul who was a man long before he had to shave. We've been together for 9 years this May but we've yet to tie the knot. People always ask us why we aren't married yet. I don't really have a good reason. Life keeps happening and we haven't made the time.
Even though we don't have a piece of paper saying we are husband and wife, we have lived more life and more "marriage" than most married people we know. In nearly a decade, we've bought homes, built homes (literally with Mike's bare hands), we've lost loved ones, we've struggled with our relationship, we've built a business, and we've done the whole "in sickness and health" deal. We are partners in every sense of the word.
So why I am I writing this blog? Mike and I want to start a family. Mike is not a risk taker. Every decision he makes is analyzed from
every angle before he commits. I, however, am much more a fly by the
seat of my pants kind of girl. I figure, everything will work out in
the end and the bumps along the way are what life is all about. I've been ready for motherhood since...forever. Mike, ever the analyst, has been waiting for the "perfect time." Events over the past two years have forced us to realize that life is too short to wait and there will NEVER be a "perfect time." Now that we are ready to start a family, I cannot be pregnant.
We talked about and considered adoption. Sometimes it seemed like the best way to go, and sometimes it felt wrong. Having other people evaluate us and our lives and determine whether we were worthy to parent a child feels wrong and cold and stressful. Not to mention the possibility for heartbreak if no one chooses us to parent her child, or if she chooses us and then changes her mind. The process outlined for us by the adoption agency we consulted, helped contribute to an all consuming anger I had for many months last year. Eventually the back and forth of "it's the way to go, it's not the way to go" crossed it off the list of possibilities for us. If we both couldn't be 100% certain that this was the way to go, it was not the way to go. I think we only really considered it because it felt like the only option available to us.
Surrogacy was an option that seemed like a great possibility until we learned that the laws were not favorable toward it in the US. Even if I was the biological mother of the child, I would have to adopt the child after birth to be the LEGAL mother of the child. That meant that I would have to do the home study and have someone else determine whether I was "fit" to be the mother of a child that is already genetically mine. Because of the laws protecting paternal rights, Mike did not have to worry about that. Apparently paternal rights are based on genetics while maternal rights are based on the womb used for gestation. The concerns over who exactly the legal mother and father of the child would be added to the concern that the surrogate may not give us the baby when it was born. We briefly considered having my mom carry our baby (her idea, not ours). But while it is definitely possible for a post-menopausal woman to carry a pregnancy, and has been done (several times), the risks were simply too high.
So we were left with our last option which I had crossed off the list very early in our thinking. We decided to pursue surrogacy in India. Initially, I was very against the idea. It felt like I, as a "rich" American, would be exploiting a woman from a developing country. When all of our other options were crossed off the list, I started doing much more research into the surrogacy industry in India. It felt right. There are a million hurdles to starting a family this way and we fully expect that there will be all kinds of stress. Mike, after all of his analyzing, felt the most comfortable with this avenue. I have come to trust that we would not be exploiting anyone and also trust that we will not be exploited. So we are excited and scared and we have a thousand questions. We're having a baby in India!