Sunday, August 24, 2008
It's time for my husband to emotionally engage
Yes Bob, that's you!
Last night I woke up in a sweat, with the terrors that my Bob will pull out of this surrogacy trip. We're not too far in. We've only spent $3000 on the lawyer thus far. Much of that is refundable if Bob spat the dummy right now. Yes, we've committed to our surro in the USA, yes we have an egg donor, yes, we have the finances. But I see no excitement from Bob. I know he wants to do this, he has told me so. He has signed the medical forms. He has transferred money to my account to wire overseas. But he seems to be overly concerned with money at present.
The way we are funding this journey-to-becoming parents is to cut back on the cost of our home extensions. Was it not only a few weeks ago that someone got a huge pay rise? Is it not the same person who gets his loyalty bonus in the next month or so? Was the pay rise news met with joy that we could afford the $330,000 extension to our little house? Was in not Bob, himself, who said "Now we can afford the extension"? Indeed it was.
I have budgetted our surrogacy trip down to the last cent. I have added in 20 per cent incase "things go disastrously wrong and the budget blows out". I have over-budgetted for travel and accommodation. I've not relied on free travel or accommodation that we will most likely get from frequent flyer points. And, most of all, I have not accepted the generous offer of financial assistance that my parents have extended to us. And why? Because I like gifts of generosity to be backups, and not relied upon, and because Bob is so darn smug about money that he is too proud to accept "charity".
Well, the fact is this. My parents are not a welfare organisation. They do not offer their money freely to anyone. They are people in the latter years of their lives. They have money. They want to help. More importantly, they are so very excited about becoming grandparents, for the only the second time, that they WANT to help us. They WANT to be a part of our exciting journey. They WANT, as much for themselves, as for us, for these babies to be born.
As my mum said last night: "You can't turn back time".
And no, we can't.
If I could turn back time, with Bob I could only do it three years, the time we have been together, I would change a few things. If could go back to three years ago, I would have immediately applied for inter-country adoption. We would now be three years into the audacious seven-year waiting list and now be expecting children from a foreign land. If I could turn back time I would have had that operation to repair my wonky uterus immediately, rather than waiting a year. In hindsight I would not have waited for the outcome of property settlement, nor child support, DNA tests, waiting to see if a child would come around and love his father despite not being genetically related to him. I would have pushed more for the future and held less to the past.
Hindsight provides such clarity about what should have been, but wasn't done. Such insight into one's nature. A window on how one behalves and the reason for that. I have absolutely no regrets with the way our lives together have panned out. It has all happened for a reason. Here we are now, infertile, unable - but - in a very good position to have children. Yes, it will cost a shit load of money. No, it is not the normal way of going about things. Yes, it will challenge us every step of the way.
But what else is there? Be wealthy and sit at home lavishing our time and love on a dog and a part-time child that we have to share with his ridiculous biological mother, who blocks a beautiful relationship between a father and a son at every chance she can.
Sure I can finish my post-grad degree, or move into the masters/doctoral program that I have recently been invited to join ... because I am so freaking good at study. I can become an academic. I can work towards being be called "doctor" or "professor". I can make buckets of money. But it will not make be happy. Happy enough, but academic and financial accolades will never soothe my yearning soul.
Before I met Bob, I was very alone. I was single. I was struggling with health issues, a part-time business, a $320 week mortgage, to be paid for from my crappy business. Every weekend I had to put on thick layers of makeup and fake hair and dress up as a belly dancer to entertain the generally uninterested masses of people looking for something interesting to fulfil their dull lives. After 15 years of doing exactly the same thing, every freaking boring repetitive weekend, I was so sick of it. And it made me sick. But I could see no way out.
I remember very vividly trying to be allowed to be a part of my only niece's life. A new life. A life of hope. The future. But the relationship I had with her mother back then was hopeless, at best, and my neice didn't need me anyway. I recall crying so hard and for so long into my pillow, staining my sheets with mascara and snot, night after night, for months on end, wondering why the hell I was struggling so hard. When at the end of the day, we all die.
And to who would I leave my legacy and the fruit of my hard work? My niece. A child I barely knew. A child whose mother, at that stage, I despised. A child that would never understand how I came to be in the financial position I was in. A child for whom money had always come easily. A child that never went without. A child who would never know how many hours I had spent digging concrete out of stolen landfill and carting the soil to my back yard just so I could make her a fairy garden. A child who would never understand how scared I was climbing to the top of scaffolding, without any safety support, to paint gutterings and facia and beams of a new extension that had to be painted by me because I could not afford to pay someone else to do it for me. A child that I always loved, but was never allowed to spend time alone with until she was four. How easy it would have been for me to give up and sell my house, buy a small unit, have no mortgage to pay, my weekly earnings spent on the basics ... bills, food, staying alive.
I would have become the quintessential cat-lady. How tragic. And I never gave up.
Nor will I now.
Posted by Phoenix at 7:40 PM