“I had a dream that I am supposed to carry your baby. I want to be your surrogate.”
“No you don’t. You are crazy.”
Katie and I have that kind of friendship. Eight years ago we were thrown together in a unfamiliar Midwest town for our husbands’ surgical residency training - and we created our own family.
What started out as regular Sunday dinners and movie nights morphed into Katie driving me home from medical procedures. Her two-year-old son would jump on the trampoline at summer BBQs - the trampoline I had purchased to detoxify my lymphatic system.
A few years, three frozen embryos, and several biopsy scars later that same son turned to me one Super Bowl Party, “Corinna, put your hair back on, you look better with it on.”
His father, mortified, turns to me, “He didn’t mean that, he doesn’t understand.”
“No, it is a good point, I am a bit of a egghead - especially without any eyebrows.”
My husband’s birthday one year happened to occur when I was still in quarantine on the Bone Marrow Transplant Floor. Katie and her family were the only friends we invited.
We finished our residency. Katie and her family returned to the West Coast and we returned East. A new biopsy scar in my armpit joined the ones on my neck and I said goodbye to my hair again. I also said goodbye to waddling and complaining of swollen ankles, to cute shirts over leggings, to resting a glass of carrot juice on my belly and watching it dance with hiccups. Goodbye to being kicked from the inside. Goodbye to George kissing my belly with paternal pride. We read pamphlets filled with pictures of the Gerber baby and saved money for a surrogate.
In February, just when we are ready to sign a surrogacy contract, Katie called me. I was not able to talk her out of her extraordinary offer.
Later that year, the doctor placed one embryo we had frozen 6 years ago into Katie’s uterus. She gave herself daily shots, made appointments for acupuncture because she knew I wanted it, stopped exercising, educated her children about momma cells and pappa cells coming together, and prayed with her priest.
The day we came home from the implantation at the clinic Katie’s 5-year-old daughter ran up to her momma laying on the couch, leaned over, and kissed Katie’s belly, “Grow baby grow. Grow baby grow.”
During our husband’s training, our friendship became familial. We are adding complexity and depth to that familial relationship by literally adding another member to our family.
Our baby is due in April. Katie, mine, my husband, her husband, and her children - all of us are having this baby. Grow Baby Grow.
(this is the first one in this short lived series - some things are better to be kept close to the chest)