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When Believing in Your Dreams Doesn't Lead Where You Expect

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When they decided they wanted to try again for another baby, I was over the moon. Carrying again for them would be the third and final item on my “dream” list.

Which really was just that - my wishes and nothing more - to experience through surrogacy. They weren’t my requirements, nor my expectations, because every successful surrogacy in itself is a miracle and a gift. It would be foolish and shortsighted of me to consider them essential to a satisfying surrogacy.

But still, they were in my heart. They were things that were special to me, things that I hoped to achieve throughout my various surrogacy journeys. And I was already on my way toward accomplishing my list.

My first wish was to have a home birth, and I’d had that about a year prior with them. It was intimate and quiet and loud and peaceful and painful and everything I’d ever imagined it would be. I was eager and terrified to do it again, but eagerness won out. As we looked toward having a second baby together, we planned another home birth in the beautiful loft room on the top floor of their house.

My second wish was to nurse a surrogate baby I’d carried. Shortly after our home birth, their baby latched on and nursed beautifully. We nursed throughout our first days together, and I continued to pump milk for her for several months. My bond with her and her parents only grew deeper.

So when they asked me to carry again for them, my heart was full. It was already full, of course, with my own children and the six others I’d carried, but this baby would bring a special kind of significance to me.

We conceived on the first try. But the pregnancy, even without any medical complications, concerned me. I was uneasy and anxious from the start.

There was a lot to lose this time around…although by all accounts I had already won.

But still, there was that dream list.

I was certain that my head and my heart were playing games with me, that subconsciously I’d let these wishes grow unchecked into something bigger than they needed to be. I ordered myself to calm down and get a grip.

I told myself that everything was fine. The doctors were nothing if not reassuring, and I had an excellent history on my side. My rational self reminded me that this would be the completion of my dream, while my heart reminded me that there was a lot at stake.

My intuition, however, told another story, one that we would discover to be true by the sixth month.

The baby was not well. She would not make it.

I was right after all.

Indeed there was a lot at stake, just as I’d suspected.

On March 23, 2009, I delivered her stillborn to her grieving parents.

I had finally delivered siblings, though not in a way that completed my dream.

But dreams are just that - things we wish to happen and nothing more - and do not guarantee happiness.

Even, or perhaps especially, when they do come true.


Motherhood by Design: Shawn Fink

So What If I’m Doing It Wrong? At Least I’m Doing It.