Monday, May 19, 2014

So this is what online dating is like....

EDITORS NOTE: This is the first post written from Ellen's point of view of the surrogacy, dating back to when she and I first "met" online and then when we met in person.  Moving forward, Ellen's posts will be written in green to distinguish her Surro Side from my IP (Intended Parent) Side.  Our posts are written independently so we are reading and learning about one another's viewpoints just as you are....

So this is what online dating is like....

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, amateur baker, Scrabble beast…just a few of the things I am.  I am also a surrogate mother.  And a very proud one at that.  I was a TS (traditional surrogate; means I was also the egg donor) for dear friends in 2008.  When I began that journey, I immersed myself in all things surrogacy.  Not knowing anyone IRL (in real life) who was involved in surrogacy led me to research online, and a few different online message boards.  Through these sites, I “met” a plethora of wonderful people.  Several of whom I have met, and many more I consider to be friends, even if it’s just online.  While my actual journey ended when Austin was born in December of 2008, I maintained these relationships, and consider these women (both surros and IPs) to be some of the best people I know, and it is through these people and connections that led me to Kerri and Jason.

When my husband Chris and I started dating, it was the time of dial up internet, and everyone who was anyone had an aol email address.  Online dating didn’t exist then like it does now.  Receiving the first message from Kerri via FB must be what it’s like to be courted online.  Kerri’s message was sweet, candid, flattering, funny, with just a smidge of desperation.  I liked her immediately.  Doing a second journey as a GS (gestational surrogate; zero genetic connection to the baby) had always been in the back of my mind, but I had never discussed it with Chris.  He was amazing and nothing but supportive during my journey with Austin.  I often consider the spouses of the surros to be the unsung heroes of surrogacy.  They put up with the meds, shots, hormonal mood swings, dr appointments, having their wives pregnant with someone else’s baby, (how weird it that!) but I digress. I didn’t even tell Chris about the message I got from Kerri for a week or two.  I wasn’t sure he would be receptive.  When I finally shared the messages and blog with him, he immediately said “if it’s something you think you want to do, I’m in.” I really am a lucky girl. 

And that folks, was the start of a beautiful friendship. 

OMG, what do I wear??

So after tons of FB messages, emails, and texts, it was finally time for our “first date.”  We decided to meet for breakfast on a Sunday morning.  I was a bundle of nerves and apprehension.  I felt like a 7th grader on the first day of school.  What should I wear?  What if they don’t like me?  Yikes!!  And anyone who knows me knows Chris and I hate to be late, and are almost always early to everything.  So, of course we were running late that day, then couldn’t find parking, and needless to say, I was a little freaked out.  We walked in the restaurant, spotted Kerri & Jason immediately.  And the nervous 7th grader reappeared… Do I hug them?  Shake hands?  Do they like me?  We hugged, started talking, and that connection I felt online and through text was indeed real.  I don’t think there was a subject we didn’t talk about that first meeting.  Our families, jobs, Chris’s cancer scare, my first surrogacy journey, Kerri & Jason’s journey thus far TTC (trying to conceive), and what we hoped for this journey.  When we left, it was with smiles on our collective faces, and hope in our hearts. 

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