It wasn't until the new year before the conversation that started this chain of events happened.
My mother-in-law was visiting, and I was getting the family updates; what everyone was up to and how everyone had spent the holidays. In casual conversation, I had asked her if there was any news about Joel and Janelle (my husband's cousin and his wife) regarding their options for another baby. I knew they were planning on looking into surrogacy, but didn't know if there had been any steps forward yet. My mother-in-law mentioned that they were thinking of asking one of the other cousins, as neither of them had any sisters. They soon found out that the cousin they had hoped to ask had been struggling with infertility herself, and had been trying to conceive for quite some time. Hearing that this was where they were at, my first thought was, "Hey, I could help!" My immediate second though was, "omigod, that's CRAZY!" The seed was planted though, and over the next little while, I started thinking more and more about it, and wondered if it was something that I thought I might be able to do.
I never mentioned anything to my husband, but it was always at the back of my mind, and I'd find myself constantly asking myself questions. Could I carry a baby for 9 months, and then give it away? Could I go through another pregnancy? (I was never one of those women you hear about who "loved being pregnant" nor was I one who"glowed" during pregnancy.) There was not just the physical part of a pregnancy, but the emotional side of it too. Would I be able to detach enough emotionally from this baby to not fall in love with it right away? How would a pregnancy affect my girls? How would it affect my marriage? Could I go through all of this, for somebody else? So many questions were going through my head.
I think a big part in making this decision was due to my own girls, who are 3 1/2 and 1. Especially my youngest, who has been the happiest, good-natured and joyful baby. (Night and day difference from my first!) I would look at her and feel so fortunate to have this little baby that I adored so much. I couldn't imagine my life without her and felt so blessed to have these 2 amazing girls who have brought so much joy to my life. How could you not want everyone to have this? The thought of not being able to have these girls was devastating.
The more I thought about it, I realized that I 'got it'. I understood it. I had read online that adoption in Canada typically takes 5-10 years, and even then nothing is guaranteed. I understood the desire to have siblings as companion siblings, and have them grow up together and be close in age. Especially as they already had one child (around 18 months old) I could see why they would want to go this route for another. I understood why they would want to explore options through surrogacy before looking into adoption.
In my initial online research, I learned that in Canada, it is illegal to pay for someone to be a surrogate. It made me realize that if you don't have friends or family to do this, how difficult it can be to find a surrogate. I even found ads from people desperately searching for surrogates, even in my own hometown. I'm not sure why I found this surprising, but I did. There was this whole other world that I knew nothing about.
Suddenly, the inconveniences of another pregnancy seemed insignificant for something that could mean the world for another family. A baby is everything, and I knew what this would mean.
One year of my life, for something that would change the rest of their lives - suddenly seemed like a drop in the bucket.