Remember the old Meatloaf song, the over-the-top and emotionally draining "I Would Do Anything For Love (but I won't do that)." If not, feel free to take a moment and refresh your memory here.
That song has run through my head several times in the past few weeks, in response to recent news reports. For when it comes to my family and friends—my daughters in particular, in this instance—I sincerely would do anything for love. Whatever that anything may be, whether time, money, attention, affection, I will do and give to the full extent I'm able.
But, as that earworm of a song says, I won't do that. That being what some incredible and amazing mothers—grandmothers, really—have recently made the news for doing.
You may recall the many stories online and off about the kind and courageous—and physically fit, I must add—grandmother who served as a surrogate for her infertile daughter. The daughter was repeatedly unsuccessful in carrying a child to term, so the sixty-one-year-old mother, who had gone through menopause ten years prior, agreed to hormone supplementation and in vitro fertilization of her daughter's egg and her son-in-law's sperm. She successfully carried to term and in August, delivered via Cesarean section her daughter's biological daughter. Her own grandchild.
What an amazing gift to give a beloved daughter. And this most recent woman is not alone, as such surrogacies have taken place countless times in the past.
I truly, madly, deeply love my three daughters. But I don't think I'm selfless enough to commit to being a surrogate for any of them.
Serving as a surrogate isn't the most recent act of selflessness on the part of a mother, a grandmother-to-be, that has made the news. Yesterday's newspaper (yes, I read the actual print paper) featured a story about two Swedish women who underwent the world's first mother-to-daughter uterus transplants, in hopes they will be successful in getting pregnant and giving birth. That's two daughters with two mothers who gave up their uteruses (uteri?) for the love of their child. One daughter had her uterus removed because of cancer, the other was born without a uterus. Now, thanks to their moms, they each have one. Now the quest to bear children is on.
I honestly cannot imagine the point of desperation one must reach in order to consider, much less do such a thing. Such a heartbreaking state it must be. Regardless, if any one of my daughters came to me entertaining such a thought, suggesting such a plan, I couldn't do it. I really am not that strong, not that selfless.
And I really am not so committed to becoming a grandma that I'd birth my own grandchildren.
Although, I already am a grandma, so I can't say for sure.
I'm not judging any of the grandmothers who sacrifice in such a way, I promise. I truly think they are incredibly loving, giving women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty of a mother, of a grandmother. I'm just trying to understand the degree of cojones it takes. And why I don't have them, what I'm lacking that makes me, as a mother, unwilling to do such a thing for my own daughters, if need be.
In all honesty, because of various health issues, I'm pretty darn sure I would not be physically able to be a surrogate or offer up my uterus to be transplanted into my daughter. My oldest happened to be visiting as I wrote this, and I asked her if she'd ever consider requesting I be her surrogate or uterus donor. Her immediate response was "no," because of what the health repercussions may be to me, her mother.
I admit to being a wee bit thankful for those health issues that make me a poor candidate. They save me from having to find out for sure how deep is my love, for my girls, for my future grandchildren. At least when it comes to doing that. Because—more honesty here—I can't be one-hundred-percent certain that I wouldn't do such a thing, if it would make all the difference in a daughter's world if I did.
I pray my girls never reach the point of such desperation for children that surrogacy and transplants requiring my participation are a consideration. For any of us.
When it comes to my daughters, I really, truly, honestly would do anything for love.
But I won't do that.
I don't think.
And I hope I never have to find out for sure.
How about you? Would you do that?