Ep 3 | Where does the love start and end?

Tiny Huge Decisions podcast tile

Ep 3 | Where does the love start and end?

What is it really like to be pregnant with someone else’s child? Dalia shares some of her anxieties from the difficult experience she had with her first pregnancy. Then, she shares some of her own research with Mohsin. She’s spoken to surrogates, finding differences, similarities and common emotional ground. As she learns more about surrogacy, which way is she leaning?


RUTH (HOST): Before we get started on this episode, if you’ve just got here, you really do need to go back to Episode 1. Because this podcast follows a life-changing decision-making process that stretches over years. And all through that process, our subjects--Mohsin and Dalia--have been recording themselves.

Sometimes the audio is a little DIY. (For example, in this episode Dalia’s microphone might have been facing the wrong way.) But this audio lets us listen in as these two friends go on a journey together. And the best place to start a journey is the beginning. 

This is Tiny Huge Decisions, Episode 3: Where does the love start and end?

MOHSIN: Do I record, yeah?

DALIA: Yeah I’m ready to record.

MOHSIN: Okay, I’m recording.

DALIA: How are you?

MOHSIN: I’m okay. What’re we talking about today?


It’s been two months since Mohsin and Dalia spoke about this potential surrogacy. The time has slipped away--work, family, life--you know how it is. But they connect on a call, so Dalia can share some research she’s been doing: Speaking with surrogates, to try and get inside the head of someone who chooses to carry someone else’s child.

Both Dalia and Mohsin know that there’s an added complexity to any discussion of Dalia becoming pregnant again. She had a difficult experience having her daughter. And they begin today’s conversation by reflecting on that time.

DALIA: And then I went for the 12 week scan. [MOHSIN: Okay.] She said she could see the fetus and that there was a heartbeat. Yeah. And so we went, and obviously, it's quite exciting as well. And we were feeling quite nervous and excited. And the sonographer confirmed that I was pregnant.

MOHSIN: I'm getting excited now, even though this happened in the past!

DALIA: Really happy. And then she started being a bit weird, and like, cautious and seemed like she was taking ages, and couldn't tell us any more. So then I started to get worried. Then she basically said that she needed to call someone else in.


DALIA: Because she couldn't identify what this large mass was.


The lady said-- she was basically really excited because she'd never seen one of these before. But actually that mass…it was something called a dermoid cyst. A dermoid cyst is basically like something that you're born with. And it's a cyst that--

MOHSIN: Something that you're born with?

DALIA: You're born with it, but they can be tiny. And so they like, often go really undetected. And I think they form when skin layers don't grow as they're supposed to. But in, so I have one inside of my ovary that was probably tiny. But then during pregnancy, because of all the hormones it grew to be 18 centimeters. And now it was so big, that A, they couldn't see the baby, and B, there was no option but to have it taken out. Because it was just going to keep growing.


DALIA: What was supposed to be this like really nice, happy occasion, then totally got clouded by the fact that I had this really large cyst, and then at 16 weeks I had to have surgery--

MOHSIN: I remember that.

DALIA: --to have that removed. And so that was quite stressful. So I had the surgery and then for a few weeks afterwards, I couldn't walk, I couldn't move. I was getting to like the three month mark where you're supposed to start feeling like better and glowing and like really happy, and everything's supposed to be nice. And then I just basically couldn't walk for like four weeks. And was in quite a lot of pain. And then unfortunately, when the biopsy came back, they'd found like a really small tumor inside. And it was impossible to have any tests, like proper tests done because I was pregnant.

MOHSIN: Yeah, I remember that.

DALIA: I had to then wait and basically find out. Until the baby was born, I couldn't have any tests to confirm like, if I was actually ill, or if there's anything wrong with me. So the whole thing in the end just ended up being like massively stressful. By the time I came to nine months, I was exhausted. After just having this operation, and then just generally not feeling very well, and not having a particularly um…easy pregnancy. And I just had to decide like, is it worth just having my ovary taken out, living without an ovary? Or do I then potentially have to go through another operation…

MOHSIN: To have it removed?

DALIA: To have it removed.


So in the end, we basically just decided to have my ovary out at the same time. So I had a cesarean section, my baby was delivered and--

MOHSIN: Bloody hell.

DALIA: So after all of that, I was just tired, I was fed up, it was really stressful. The good news is that after all of the biopsies, it was found that there was no other like, cancer, there was no other tumors. But actually, sometimes really serious things do happen. And I think the only thing is that if I'm like, really honest, I'm just like, scared.



DALIA: Like, that's it. It's not like…I just am scared, and that's the problem is that, because now I have a child, it's not just about me. And I think that's also like what my husband's feeling is, that this just made us feel a bit like, you know what, actually, sometimes, like really serious things can happen. And why would you do that?



RUTH: This kind of fear of what could go wrong, it’s something that we know has been lurking in the back of Dalia’s mind since they first started these conversations. Now this feels like her chance to explain and explore that fear.

To demonstrate the realities of what she’d have to go through, Dalia has prepared a game for Mohsin. She’s got a list of symptoms or side effects of pregnancy--some common, some more unusual. And in this thought experiment, she asks Mohsin: If the tables were turned, would you do this for me?

MOHSIN: Okay, so I'm going to say yes or no as soon as you say something, and I'm not allowed to pause and then afterwards, I'll try and explain.

DALIA: Okay.

MOHSIN: Alright.

DALIA: Some of these might be--some of them are temporary. But actually, a lot of them are like, long lasting.

MOHSIN: Oh god.

DALIA: So you've got to like accept that - just imagine for the sake of argument, you're gonna live with this forever.

MOHSIN: Forever.

DALIA: Forever.

MOHSIN: OK, go on, go for it.

DALIA: Rashes.



Was that a mild one? [DALIA: YES!!] Oh my god, rashes forever?

DALIA: You wouldn't, you wouldn't experience rashes forever for me to have a child!?!

MOHSIN: Oh, okay. All right. Yeah, yeah yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DALIA: Would you?

MOHSIN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well it depends on how severe they were. [LAUGHTER] I mean, and where they were, oh, my God. Okay. All right. Yes.

DALIA: Permanently sweating?

MOHSIN: No. Oh my God! I’m saying no each time. This is terrible. Permanently sweaty?

DALIA: No sex drive for two years?

MOHSIN: Yeah, I could cope with that one.

DALIA: Permanently bigger shoe size.

MOHSIN: [LAUGHTER] Wait your shoe size goes up? Okay, I'll buy you new shoes. I can deal with that one.

DALIA: Okay. Well, hang on, this is about you, so you say yes?

MOHSIN: Oh, yes. I'd just demand that you buy me new shoes.

DALIA: Losing teeth?

MOHSIN: No, yes. Yes. Yes. [LAUGHTER] OK. It's just I'm kind of like shocked at these things because I don’t think I’d have--Yes, I would lose teeth because I'd get new ones.


MOHSIN: Fake ones!

DALIA: Alright well, that's nice that you can afford fake ones. [LAUGHTER] Numb hands?

MOHSIN: Forever!?!


MOHSIN: No, well, yeah! I mean, what? Numb hands? What, does that mean, couldn't you write? You wouldn't be able to write anymore?

DALIA: That's not being very quick fire! [LAUGHTER]

MOHSIN: Sorry, sorry, sorry. Numb hands? No.

DALIA: Okay. Imagine you had boobs. Boobs becoming six times larger?

MOHSIN: Yeah, that sounds like, I mean, this is such a male response. That sounds so great. I'm not even, I'm not even straight, and was like yes.

DALIA: [LAUGHTER] A clicking hip?

MOHSIN: Yeah, I could deal with that. Because then like when I was dancing, because it would add a little rhythm into it.

DALIA: Great. Incontinence?

MOHSIN: No! Wait, what is it, does that mean where you can't stop yourself shitting?

DALIA: Or weeing, yeah.

MOHSIN: [GASP] Forever?

DALIA: Geographic tongue?

MOHSIN: What does that mean?

DALIA: Separated abdominals.


DALIA: A blue vagina?

MOHSIN: Yeah, that'd be quite cool.

DALIA: A dermoid cyst?

MOHSIN: Eugh, can you stop showing me pictures of those? Literally, and you, genuinely you picked sushi before we, what, and you knew we were going to be looking at this stuff.

DALIA: Answer the question.

MOHSIN: No, I don't want one of those.

DALIA: Final question. An allergy to halloumi?

MOHSIN: [LONG EXHALE] I love halloumi. But okay, I would give up halloumi forever if it meant you could have a child.

DALIA: Really?

MOHSIN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I basically said no to everything else. [LAUGHTER] So I feel like halloumi is the one thing I should probably--I need to say yes to something.

DALIA: Okay, you know actually that means a lot.

MOHSIN: I mean, I know it was a quick fire round, but I was actually joking, I would have done all of those things for you. [LAUGHTER]

DALIA: Really?

MOHSIN: No! [LAUGHTER] No, like, if you said to me, oh, you know, in order for Dalia to have a child,  you're gonna have to be incontinent for the rest of your life. I would just tell you that I loved you, and I'm sorry.

DALIA: But that's the reality for so many people. And these aren't like serious strange things, like these are things that happen all the time.


But what I was gonna say was, what was really interesting about all of this was that it made me question my motivations. Because I felt like--

MOHSIN: For having this conversation?

DALIA: No, like for thinking why on earth did I want, did I consider being a surrogate.

MOHSIN: Oh, okay.

DALIA: When it seems like lots of people who do it do it because they want to be pregnant, and they enjoy that feeling of being pregnant. And that's very tied to it.

And I was feeling a bit alienated from some of the people that I was talking to, and some of the things that I was reading, because that like, seemed to be at the center of it. Like literally, women I was speaking to, like one of them said, “I'm one of those that like, absolutely loves to be pregnant, and absolutely loves to like, give birth. And I just wanted to keep doing it over and over again.”

MOHSIN: Well just give me her number!

DALIA: She was asking me if I wanted to see like, all her birthing pictures and videos and things, because it was such an incredible experience.

MOHSIN: You mean actual videos from when she was giving birth?

DALIA: Yeah.

MOHSIN: What did you say?

DALIA: I just said, yeah, that, you know, that's nice. Not [INAUDIBLE]

MOHSIN: Did she WhatsApp them to you? [LAUGHTER]

DALIA: But it just, I just felt a bit like really like, oh my God, like, I--this isn't me, like, why am I doing this? If I'm not--I don't want to share any of my birthing videos. Not that I have any! [LAUGHTER] And then I met Michelle.


RUTH: Dalia spoke to Michelle as part of her research into surrogacy. Michelle was the surrogate for Ashley, the sister of Michelle’s husband, Dom. Like Dalia, Michelle already had her own child, Maddie, when she made the decision to be a surrogate for Ashley.

MICHELLE: So I was in labor forever. And then ended up having to have an emergency C section. And, you know, it was like, a million hours later in my mind. And finally, you know, we had Maddie, she was healthy, she was safe. And we did like, a Skype or Zoom, and I was bleary eyed. And they were congratulating us, you know, with like a champagne toast, and I'm never gonna forget it. I could see Ashley, and just the pain, I even remember what she was wearing, and I could just see how painful this was for her, even though of course, she was happy for us and, you know, excited for our new adventure. But it's like, one of those memories, you know, that stuck in my mind. And I remember being like, in that, even in that moment, just like, I wish I could, like, make her feel better, you know? And even Dom noticed, you know, like, he was like, ugh, this is just… this is so hard.

DALIA: And so her motivations for wanting to be a surrogate were very different than a lot of the other people that I'd spoken to and read about. And the reason she wanted to be a surrogate for Ashley was because Ashley has cystic fibrosis.


DALIA: So she couldn't have her own children, and had been trying for many years to have a child with her partner. And I really enjoyed talking to Michelle because she was really, like honest and open about her experience. But also, I felt like finally I was meeting somebody whose motivation for wanting to be a surrogate--

MOHSIN: Okay, were aligned with yours.

DALIA: --were like aligned, yeah. So I'm going to play some clips from my conversation with Michelle.

This first one is her talking about the very first time she maybe thought about being a surrogate. Similarly to me, it was just after she had her own child.

MICHELLE: I'd just had a baby, you know, I was like, totally out of my mind. Because after that labor it was just so awful! But yeah, so I guess really, that was kind of the first inkling in my mind about…You know, of course, it was not in any way, like, “Oh, I'm going to be a surrogate.” But that was kind of the first like, flash of like, “Oh, we could do this.”

Eventually, fast forward to like another holiday, we were there, and I remember, it was in Provence, we were in France. And we were--it was just, it was very rare that Ashley and I had time to kind of sneak away ourselves. But it was a time where we did and like, we'd had a few glasses of wine. And I remember being like, “I'll have your baby! Like, I can't take it anymore!” You know? [LAUGHTER]

She's like, “No, no,” you know, and… but I just remember being like, I can't--Almost in a selfish way, like, “I cannot take seeing you in this pain anymore. Like, what can I do to make this stop?”

And so yeah, and I mean, of course, that was, that would have been…Maddie would have been like…Not even maybe about one at that point. So, so that would have been still like a year out from even starting the process. So it was a long time, you know, from when these little thoughts started to when actually, we started the process and, and everything like that.


MOHSIN: Wow. That's--it's kind of weird how similar it was to how our conversation came about. In terms of both like, timing and kind of motivation, right?

DALIA: Yeah.

MOHSIN: Like she's not saying, as you said, she's not saying like, “Oh, my God, I can't wait to be pregnant again.” It's the opposite. She's saying, “That was awful!”

DALIA: Yeah, and that's why I really liked talking to her, because I felt like oh, alright. Like it's okay. It's normal.


DALIA: Like you don't have to, like you don't only have to want to be pregnant to be, to have a good like, you know, to have that motivation. I think it really helped me. It was really refreshing to hear somebody else say that. And she then went on to talk about how she just generally wasn't looking forward to being pregnant.

MOHSIN: So what did like, what did talking to her then do to the way you were thinking about it all?

DALIA: I think weirdly it just made me feel…It just made the way I feel like, feel fine. And it just almost validated that like slight ambivalent feeling that I have to the point where it made me just think, it doesn't matter. Whereas this is the thing that I've been like fixating on all along.

MOHSIN: What doesn't matter?

DALIA: Like, it doesn't matter that I don't like, massively really want to do this.

MOHSIN: [LAUGHTER] It doesn't matter that you don't want to do it?

DALIA: Yeah, I know it sounds so, like that's so, so contradictory, but like, I often feel like you're made to feel in life, that you have to be like, really--That things have to be quite straightforward. Whereas talking to her made me realize that yes, like, you have to be decisive, and you have to want to do something. But the reasons that make you want to do it in this case, aren't that linear that it's like, I have to want to…I don't have to want to be pregnant.

MOHSIN: Okay, I get that.

DALIA: She didn't either. Like what she wanted, was for her sister-in-law…

MOHSIN: To have a child.

DALIA: To have a child, just after she'd experienced having one and seeing, like, the pain that they were going through not having that. And she wanted to help them. And that's the way she described herself. Like, I'm just a fixer. Like, I wanted to just fix the problem.

MOHSIN: So did she enjoy her second pregnancy?

DALIA: Well, this is what she said about the idea of being pregnant.

MICHELLE: So well, I will say, I wasn't necessarily looking forward to being pregnant again. [LAUGHTER] Like, I would not have done this for anybody else, you know, or, or anybody other than, like, someone I truly cared about.

So I mean, I say it was easy, but again, I had morning sickness, for sure. And I'm not gonna lie, I like to go out and have a drink. So that kind of stunk. And, you know, and so, there were definitely parts of that I was not looking forward to. But I was like, “It's nine months, it's a school year, I can do this,” you know, and so I was like, “For a lifetime of somebody's joy and love, I can, I can do this.”

But then it's like, you know, there's always gonna be that “What if?” And so I had to do the pros and cons and be like, “But let's, let's say I don't do this, what would that be like too?” You know? And so, to me, the pros totally outweighed the cons.


MOHSIN: Did talking to her, did any part of the conversation make you feel guilty? Like did any part of you think, “Oh, I wish I felt more like her” or, “Oh, I don't feel like that” or, “I know that she's speaking logic, but that doesn't detract from the way I--from how fearful I am?” Like you said you were scared earlier, right?

DALIA: Well, I suppose like a little bit maybe, like in the sense that again, like she'd actually had quite…what she described as being quite an easy, quite a pleasant…I mean, not pleasant. Like, I don't think pregnancy is ever pleasant. But like what she described as being like a straightforward pregnancy.

So I suppose she didn't have this like…fear of it in the same way that I do. But I definitely didn't feel guilty. I did ask her if there were any points in which she, like not necessarily regretted it, but she would start to feel a bit like, resentful or like knowing that she also didn't massively look forward to this idea of being pregnant. This is what she said. 


 DALIA: Did you, even in those times that--did you, did you feel a bit resentful sometimes or a bit like, angry or…?

MICHELLE: No, not angry-- 

DALIA: I guess if it's your own baby, you're a bit like, well, I've got to do this, but I can imagine myself being a bit like, “Ugh, this isn't even my baby and I have to--”

MICHELLE: Yes. Well, the only time I ever felt…Okay, and I don't even wanna use the word resentful, but just like, really, what kind of annoyed [me] was, Ashley went on a babymoon. Like, you know when, where they like, have a vacation before they have a baby, [LAUGHTER] which I get, because you are giving up your life in a minute. But I remember being like, “What the fuck, like I should be the one going on a babymoon right now!”

You know? And that's the only time. And I remember being like, “Well, it's not your baby, you're not gonna have to get up at three in the morning and five in the morning. You know, you're not gonna have to do any of that.” And that's kind of the point of it. And so that was the only time I felt that way.

DALIA: [LAUGHTER] That’s so funny.


DALIA: I would just like to put it out there that I would be so angry if you went on a babymoon!

MOHSIN: Dalia, I'm definitely going to need a babymoon. [LAUGHTER] Like, honestly, it's going to completely change my life. I'm going to need a holiday beforehand.

DALIA: It made me laugh so much because I just thought like A, it's exactly the kind of thing you would do, and B, it's exactly the kind of thing I would be really annoyed about. [LAUGHTER]

MOHSIN: Anyway, Dalia, we're going to Miami for a babymoon. I'd love for you to come, but I don't want to risk the baby. So I'm gonna leave you some cupcakes to enjoy while we're away.


DALIA: Even for all of the people that I spoke to, like, what really came through was how long the process was from that initial like what we heard with Michelle saying there was like an inkling of an idea, to a baby is born, for all of them seemed to take years.

MOHSIN: What do you mean, like the decision to do it?

DALIA: The whole process of like, deciding but then all of the conversations. I mean, I suppose for many of them also, like, it's with people they didn't know. So--

MOHSIN: Oh yeah, yeah.

DALIA: --part of it's like forming that relationship. But as one of them kind of put it, the chances of the pregnancy actually being successful, are not that high. And they're particularly not that high when it's what we would be doing, which is gestational surrogacy. So when the egg would not be mine, it would be a donor egg. So just for example, like the first stage that you would have to go through with Matthew is to find an egg donor, then to create embryos, and even that, again, can be like, each one of these stages is really long.

MOHSIN: Takes ages.

DALIA: And doesn't necessarily work. And for one of the people that I spoke to for example, she met a couple, a same sex-couple, she was, you know, really like they got on really well, she wanted to be their surrogate and went through the process of first of all, using the embryos from one of the parents. It didn't work twice. And that meant that that parent lost the embryos that he had had--

MOHSIN: The chance to do it.

DALIA: --and then they tried with the second. Didn't work. And then that relationship just deteriorated. And like, that was a really big loss for both of them. But again, that kind of took like a year and a half to then get to the stage where they, you know, had to mutually decide that that was kind of the end of the road. 

MOHSIN: So it just didn't work?

DALIA: And then you know, she went on and she was then a surrogate for another set of parents. And then it was more successful, and she had a really good experience. But again, it was almost like we're talking about like…years of the span of like, trying, dealing with the kind of disappointment of it A, not working or B, having a miscarriage. Yeah. And actually, that’s one of the things Michelle was really clear about.

MICHELLE: The first, I don't know what you call it, implantation didn't work. And that was, that was devastating. And I remember being like, “Oh my gosh, I have failed them,” you know? And just..it just was so sad. And having that, having to have that conversation of it didn't work, you know?

And then I remember saying, “I can do this one more time. Like mentally I can't like, lose another one and then do this again.” So I kind of, and I was honest with her, and I was like, “I will try one more time. But if this one doesn't work out, I'm sorry. I'm out.”

And so she got that. And then obviously, thankfully, it worked. But then of course, I think there was this level, more on her part less on mine, because I was very much like, “Okay, well, it's kind of out of my hands, I'm gonna do everything I can to make sure that this is successful. But if, you know, if nature doesn't want it to happen, it's not gonna happen.” So I think she was never really going to be very comfortable and happy and safe and sure, until that baby was in her arms, you know?

So that part I know, was hard for her. And I think, I guess particularly too, because she'd experienced so many let downs up to that point. So it was a lot of pressure on me, you know, and I think that definitely led to some stress and stuff. And of course, you're like, “I don't want to be stressed because it's bad for the baby,” and things like that. But yeah, I think she was nervous throughout the entire thing, I'm sure but then, you know, also, like, just so grateful that it was happening.

MOHSIN: But you know what, I don't think I will ever…Like we're having these conversations, right? And I know we just went through that list of things that [I would or I wouldn't do for you], if I were going to be having a child. But I just never have to--I just would never be able to get it. Like all of this stuff. The gravity of it. It's just like, I will never ever be able to fully appreciate the thought, the risk, the stress, the pain, all of that. And it's just kind of, I don't know, like it feels quite…I feel…I don't know how to explain it. Like I feel, I feel guilty right now that we're even entertaining the idea that you would do all of this stuff for me.

DALIA: [LAUGHS] That wasn't supposed to be the outcome!

MOHSIN: No, I know that wasn't supposed to be the outcome! But like…I just think…I don't know, like it's just difficult isn't it?

DALIA: That's what was also the other part, the other side to the story was like speaking to these people, really weirdly, especially Michelle, made me think like…like, yeah, like, this is something I could do. I just need to, I just need to actually be prepared for it. And be okay with like, all of that weirdness. And all of that potential difficulty. Because the likelihood is that, if not one of these things that we've talked about, but like something will happen, there will be times when it might be difficult, whatever the circumstances, even if it's like an absolutely perfect pregnancy and everything is okay. Like, it's still quite tough!

Even at its best, it's quite a tough thing to do. But it really made me feel like as long as you kind of like know that, and you're almost like, prepared for it, then…I think I kind of got into the like, actually, it's quite cool! At the end, maybe it's worth it!


MOHSIN: Do you know what it makes me think about? I love our friendship. Like, I get so excited about hanging out, and spending time together. And I also know what you're, what you're like, right? We know each other really well. I would hate the idea that it would ever become a chore for us to see each other.

Like, I would hate the idea that, okay, there's this thing, and we've been trying to do it for months and months, or maybe even a year or so, or two. And it hasn't worked. And suddenly, there's this really complicated situation, because you feel like you're letting me down. And I feel so invested. And I'm so kind of keen for it to happen. And then what it means is that whenever I see you, all I want to talk about is whether or not we're, you know, getting pregnant, you're getting pregnant. And when you see me, you don't want to hang out because all you're thinking about is oh my god, all he wants to do is talk about this child, or this potential child. And that actually worries me, genuinely.

DALIA: Yeah, I hadn't really actually thought of that.

MOHSIN: Because that would be horrible!

DALIA: But I definitely got the sense talking to these people, there's like a lot--

MOHSIN: Of that?

DALIA: Not of that, of like the whole thing is just…a lot. And like, the two of the women I spoke to [INAUDIBLE] Surrogacy UK, and like even just talking about the like pages and pages worth of like, contracts, and the things you have to like go through...But, saying that like it, I think it just made me realize like, this is like a really long journey.


DALIA: Which sounds ridiculous to have not realized before.

MOHSIN: I know.

DALIA: But I don't think I quite realized it.

MOHSIN: I don't think I did either.

DALIA: And there's like, so many steps, so many like biological steps, emotional steps--so many, like, you know, so much going on. That that's where I got to it's like, right, we're right at step number one.


DALIA: And then it is interesting, because then you think, is it an advantage, or is it a disadvantage to be close?

MOHSIN: I'd say it's probably a disadvantage, actually. Because at least when you are going into it via something like Surrogacy UK…Like we haven't even got to that point, right? Because by the time you're meeting somebody at Surrogacy UK, both parties have decided what they're trying to do. And it's just about getting to know each other to figure out whether or not you want to do it with this other person or these other people. Whereas we're still trying to figure that out. But then even once we've got there, we have this in some ways, those people have got together because there's this one thing they want to do together.

DALIA: But even then, like talking to again, these people--and this is not to paint like a negative picture on it--but like it was just almost like a realistic picture that even then, even when you've both got there down the line, there's like so many points at which you might have a conversation about like, what are your red lines, [MOHSIN: Yeah.] and then the relationship breaks down. Or it might not work at implantation, or it might not work at this stage. And then it's like even getting to that stage where you both decide you want to do it.

MOHSIN: The thing is that--

DALIA: It's not actually committing to doing it.

MOHSIN: Yeah. You're right.

DALIA: That's what it made me realize.

MOHSIN: But the thing is that those people that are strangers to one another, at least to begin with, right? They're trying to build something special. The difference with us is we would be trying to protect something really special that we've already got while we try to build something else. And I think that makes it more complicated.


RUTH: Tiny Huge Decisions is a Chalk & Blade production for APM studios. At Chalk & Blade the executive producer is Ruth Barnes, the show runner and story editor is Louise Mountain, and the producer and sound designer is Matt Nielson, with original music by Ian Chambers. At APM, the executive producer is Erica Kraus, the senior production manager is Nick Ryan, and the executives in charge are Joanne Griffith, Alex Schaffert and Chandra Kavati. With special thanks to Dalia, Mohsin and Matthew.