Friday, April 25, 2008

The Gift Of Pregnancy


I’ve been thinking a lot about surrogate pregnancy. There are two types of surrogate pregnancy out there. The first is traditional surrogacy which is where the father donates the sperm by artificial insemination (of course) and you donate the egg. The second is gestational surrogacy where the intended parents (the couple receiving the baby in the end) donate both the egg and the sperm creating an embryo which is then transferred to you. I, of course, am interested in only the second. The only way I would be able to carry a baby for 9 months and then give it away would be if none of it was a part of me, genetically. I feel this way that I would be able to stay mentally detached from the baby because I wouldn’t consider it mine. I would just be helping someone else’s baby get started in life.

My main concern is if I’m just being na├»ve. How hard would it really be to carry a baby for 9 months and then give it away, even if it wasn’t mine? Would I get more attached than I think? I mean, of course I feel like I would care for the child and love it but I still think that if it weren’t MY egg or Matt’s sperm, I would never feel like it was mine enough to have problems letting it go. Especially if it were going to a family I love and trust.

It’s a difficult thing to predict. Every woman carries babies differently and deals with changes in their body and hormones differently so even though hearing stories from other mothers helps, it still would be a completely different experience for me. The only way to see how I would deal with it would be to go through it myself! But what if it ends up being the hardest and worst thing I’ve ever done?

On the other hand, I have two major reasons for even considering this whole thing. The first is of course, the joy I would feel of being able to help another couple who isn’t able to have children have, a child of their own! One of their own flesh and blood, with their eyes and their nose and their personality. I can scarcely think of any gift that would be more valued and appreciated than that. MY children are the light of my life. They bring wonder and excitement and adventure. If you ever wanted an occupation where every day is different and every day you are challenged in new ways, then parenthood is the job for you!

I don’t mean to break this precious feeling and turn into the materialistic weasel of the bunch by giving you the second reason, but surrogate pregnancy pays A LOT.

Considering my two top motivations combined……I really don’t see how this could be a bad thing! I mean, getting paid big bucks to let someone else have the sleepless nights and dirty diapers? Letting someone else watch a cute serine face turn from calm and quiet to green and uncomfortable which leads to a large amount of upchucking that inevitably somehow gets into your mouth? Letting someone else get up at 6 am to find the kitchen floor covered in sugar because an early riser was bored? Let someone else clean up the bathroom everyday because actually peeing IN the toilet just isn’t as much fun? Oh yeah, I think I’m game.

Anyway, I’m not taking this decision lightly. I’ve been thinking about it for over a year now and I’m sure it will be a couple more years full of research before I make my decision but in the mean time I would be interested in what my family and friends think of all this. What are your personal opinions about surrogate pregnancy? Do you know anyone who has done it? What have you heard? Just curious about the feedback.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eating Healthy

At the beginging of this year Matt and I joined a gym here in town. Mostly because my jeans were starting to notice that I didn't like running in negative degree weather. Anyway, any time I get more into working out, I start to get more into nutrition as well. Mostly because when I'm done with a good work out, my body naturally craves more healthy foods like fresh fruit and veggies. I mean, the last thing you want to do after a 5 mile run is down a quarter pounder with cheese and an oreo shake. Well....maybe Matt might. haha. But how men lose weight and stay fit in comparison to women is a blog for another day!

On our latest trip to Utah, my friend Shari briefly told me about a new eating program she's on. It had to do with counting calories. Basically it's about burning more calories than you eat if you're looking for weight loss. I'd seen and heard of other people doing this type of thing but was never really interested. Mostly because the people I knew never looked any different but Shari looked great! I thought I'd give it a whirl when I got home. (I say "when I got home" because I'm a major muncher on road trips and after seeing that my newly purchased bag of candy contained an absurd amount of calories...weeeellll.... I thought I'd make it one last hurah!)

I got home and found an online website called sparkpeople.com that helps me keep track of my calorie intake on a daily basis. It's nice cause not everything I eat has a nutritional guide on the back, but I can look it up quick and easy with this site. All in all, I'm supposed to be eating between 1200 to 1500 calories a day to help me reach and maintain my fitness goals.

Heres how week one went:

Day one:

STARVING! The problem here was that all day I ate within my range of calories, but I was eating too much of empty calories. Needless to say, I regrouped that night and went grocery shopping the next day.

Day two:

Much better. Not nearly as hungry but suddenly noticing that this...

wasn't tasting nearly as good as this...

mmmmmm,that quarter pounder I was just bagging on! The entire day it was very hard to ignore temptation.

Day three:

Seriously starting to consider that if people who are lean and fit have to eat like THIS then where is the joy in life?! I'VE ONLY GOT ONE LIFE TO LIVE PEOPLE SO I'M GONNA EAT SOME CHEESECAKE! ...and I did. (I actually won a contest at work that night and the prize was a piece of cheesecake and you just can't turn it down when you've worked to hard to earn it! I did share it with 5 other people though).

Day four:

Decided that if I was going to survive this thing I was going to need at least one sweet treat a day to fend off the cravings. And I could do that. The plan says nothing about not eating sweets. You can eat whatever you want! It's just that typically one piece chocolate cake could contain as many calories as I would get from two healthy, well balanced meals so I just had to be careful. So I went in search of a low calorie sweet. And I fooooound...

....FUDGESICLES!!! The sugar free ones only have 80 calories in them and there are TWO in one serving!!! ...Too bad they tasted like frozen cardboard. :( I settled later on Real Fruit Popsicles. They do just the trick!

Day five and six were good and day seven was a fast sunday and since I chose to skip breakfast and lunch, I could eat whatever I wanted for dinner cause I hadn't used any of my calories yet for the day. After a nice healthy dinner and a big scoop of cookies and cream ice cream later on the couch, I never thought I'd look forward this much to fast sundays.

In the end what I found is that I like this plan! I don't want to call it a diet cause I don't believe in diets really. I believe in lifestyle changes. I believe in eating healthier forever, not just for 6-8 weeks. I find that it makes me really pay attention to what I put in my body. I never realized how unhealthy some of the things I was eating were, especially at Macaroni Grill. I mean, most of those dishes have all my calorie intake for a whole day in one meal! No joke! It's horrifying that Americans eat out so often! It's horrific that IIIIII ate out so often!

I also found that I am a grazer. I love everything about food. The sight, the smell, the taste, the texture, so naturally I like to eat it all the time. But I found that I was basically eating when I wasn't hungry. Most of the time I just wanted a good taste in my mouth and didn't recognize it. I chew a lot more gum now these days to keep from doing that.

The nice thing is that the healthier foods taste better to me now. They say when you make a change like this your body goes through a sort of detox. And now all the natural foods have so much more flavor to me, which is a relief cause I was really having second thoughts about how much I wanted to keep my goals! Seriously.

Anyway, I'm picking up all sorts of tips from people nowadays on healthier ways to cook things or better foods to eat so if you have any recipes you'd like to share or tricks you've learned along the way, like Shari's no calorie "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" or Jamie's Broccoli Brownies (which I still want the recipe for), I'd love to hear them!