Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Keeping Secrets

I had an ultrasound Friday and the parents were there to witness it :) As always, ultrasounds are super exciting and rewarding: seeing the little babies move all around and hearing their heartbeats is simply amazing. As we were waiting and chit chatting, the parents told me that they have not told ANYONE that they are expecting. No one. They even have Mom's mother (soon to be grandmother) living with them currently and she has no idea. Holy crap!!!! The grandmother knows that they have a surrogate and that things are on the right path, but no clue that there were embryos, a transfer, twins, nothing!! I cannot begin to imagine how tough that would be for me to keep my big mouth closed in that situation. But I have never been in that situation, not even close. Both times when we found out I was pregnant, I couldn't keep it a secret. With Stella, I called my mom right away. With Roy, I told my mom at Thanksgiving when I was only about 4 weeks in. Not news I could possibly keep my mom. I know a lot of people keep it a secret until the end of the first trimester "just in case", and that totally makes sense. My thought process was that if I were to suffer a miscarriage, I would want my loved ones to know what I was dealing with so I would immediately have their support. There is no right or wrong way to do it, its just whatever works for you.
This couple however, has been down this road before. Not with a surrogate, but the mother herself has suffered through countless failed attempts. Each time thinking "This is it!" and then being heartbroken when the pregnancy ended, time and time again. To be honest, I don't even know how many times because when we talked about it all she would say was that she had been through it "so many, many times." Jeeze, that breaks my heart. So when I asked if it was hard to keep this pregnancy a secret from her mother, she said "nope, not at all." Only that when they do decide to share it with her mother (who by the way has already picked out her outfit for her future grandchild's christening and planned the menu for the party) she will make her husband tell her, since she is pretty sure her mother is going to kill her :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Motherhood is full of possibilities and unknowns. Starting with pregnancy: Will it be a boy or girl? Will she look like me? When will I go into labor? Will it be hard? Then after the precious bundle is here: Am I going to be a good mom? Is breastfeeding supposed to hurt? What school will he go to? Is he going to like sports or be a musician? All of those possibilities can instill panic in even the most stable mommy. But most of us just assume that those will be the unknowns we will have to deal with and never even consider that we may not have the opportunity. The parents of the children I am carrying have been facing much more intense questions for the last 15 years: Can I get pregnant? Why can't I? Why is this so hard? Is it my fault? Is it his fault? How much is this going to cost? What if this never works for us? Can we trust someone else to carry our baby? How will I handle a pregnancy that isn't in MY body? It is totally overwhelming to think about. Now, finally, they get to experience all the joy and mystery and wonderment that comes from being expectant parents, and I am so happy for them :) The mom and I were talking this morning about the nursery and cribs and clothes and the sheer thrill and joy of baby shopping. What a miraculous transformation their lives have taken and how much more miracles of parenthood they have in store for them!!

This made me think of a friend of mine who went through a huge transformation through her pregnancy. My dear friend Jenny used to speak about the day she would have kids and how she wanted nothing more than to just be knocked out during labor and to wake up to a perfect bundle in her arms. None of that pain and laboring and ickiness; yuck!!! Once she became pregnant, her inner earth-mama came out. She learned sooooo much about pregnancy and childbirth, doulas and midwives and actually had a completely natural experience. She then was so inspired that she became a doula. I gotta say, I was so proud. To each her own, but everyone knows I am a big proponent of natural birth and midwives, so I was ecstatic that I had helped convert someone :) Honestly, I want each mama to simply be in charge of her birth experience, whatever that means for her. Epidural in the parking lot? So be it. Homebirth in a tub? Awesome. Not sure-I'm gonna play it by ear? Cool. Each woman should know her options and the possibilities of each. But Jenny??? Jenny makes me proud.

Now here I am, immersed in possibilities. Will I be able to have a vaginal, natural birth?? I'm damn sure doing everything I can to make that happen. Will my kids love soccer and be jocks like their mom was? Will they (please oh please oh please) have the musical abilities of their father? Will we find the perfect new home for our family?? So many opportunities and unknowns, and finally I have reached a point in my life where I'm ok not knowing all the answers yet. I'm willing to let the possibilities and paths unfold.

Monday, August 13, 2012


This weekend has been a hard one for a lady almost 12 weeks pregnant. We have painted the entire inside of our house, including 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, living room, dining room and kitchen. Walls, trim, doors, everything. Overwhelming! Thankfully we had help from a few friends and church members which really made it go by faster- I cannot thank them enough. I made sure to take breaks, but looking back on it, I did push myself too hard and didn't eat enough. Big no-no's for preggers. But I just wanted to get it done! Halfway through painting Stella's room, I thought about why we are doing this; to sell our house. Why are we selling our house? To move to a better school district for when baby girl goes to  kindergarten next fall. I love our house, but honestly our neighborhood is in a crappy school district, so we need to move. Once we realized that we weren't comfortable with our kids playing with the other kids in the neighborhood or riding their bikes, we realized that it was time to go. We had NEVER planned on moving, but suddenly, we wanted to go like NOW. Hence all the house projects my husband is busting his ass to complete and all the cleaning, planning, organizing I am doing so we can trade up.
Some might say all of our hard work is a sacrifice for our kids. One of the many sacrifices parents make for their kids. I have honestly never thought of the changes we make in our life for our children as "sacrifices".  We just do them because it feels like the best choice for our family as a whole. I cut back hours at work so I could be with my family more. Russell doesn't do a lot of side jobs on weekends so we can have family time. We miss social events (not too many :) ) not because we can't get a sitter, but because we want to hang out with our family instead. No, we cannot be as spontaneous as we used to be, no I cannot stay up past 10 anymore, no I can't sleep in till whenever, no I cannot drink wine when I'm pregnant. I don't care. None of these things feel like I'm losing anything because it was just a shift in priorities. I am not missing being out in a bar until 2am. Yes, I will totally enjoy having a big glass of wine and a rare steak after the twins are born, but I don't feel upset about not having them. I guess I just view things differently now, through the eyes of a mommy.
True sacrifice is what the parents of these twins have gone through. And they aren't even parents yet. They are going to be amazing!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Birthday Boy Blog

3 years ago today I woke up at 5:00am with contractions. My first thought was "I knew it! I KNEW he was going to be born today!" My second thought was "I'd better let Russell sleep a little, he will be no good to me at this time of day." So I waited until 6 and then woke him up. Every year since, I have woken up at 5am on August 4th, without fail, today included. And I do let my hubby sleep until 6ish.  My birth with Roy was so amazing and beautiful, and I relive it each year and bawl my eyes out. I am such a sentimental sap like that.
So now here I am, pregnant with twins for someone else. What will this birth be like??? For me AND for them?? There will be a day that will forever change these parents, a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives. What will it be like to have your children brought into the world through someone else's efforts? Will there be jealousy or envy to some degree? Or will there just be pure love and joy? I'm not entirely sure, but after getting to know these parents over the last several months, I do know that the positive will outweigh the negative. They are such generous, loving people and I know that they are so thrilled that after years of heartache their family is that much closer to being completed.