Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Yesterday was a big day in this surrogate journey: THE BIG ultrasound. 5:00pm found me waiting in the doctor's office both for my appointment and for the parents to arrive. They live about 2 hours away. Right before the nurse called me back, I got a call from them saying they had been stuck in traffic and were about 30 miles away. I explained the situation to the nurse who was super excited about our situation and agreed to do all the preliminary stuff until the couple could get here. For those who have never had this experience, this midpoint ultrasound measures everything on the baby; arms, legs, heartbeats, amniotic fluid, weight. That takes a while with one baby, let alone two! So the whole time she was taking measurements, we were chit chatting about this journey. She was fascinated and we had a great talk. But when she was done except for all of the good stuff (the sex of the babies), the parents still weren't there. I didn't want to know without them being there.
At that point, her next appointment arrived early, so she offered to take them and finish up with them quickly so we could kill some more time. Perfect!! I had been in the waiting room again for about 5 mins when the parents finally walked in the door, tired and apologetic and excited. As we waited, the second family in the ultrasound room walked out: a husband and wife and their 5 children. The mom is expecting her 6th child. Yep, 6th. Their youngest looked to be about 2, their oldest maybe 9. Only one girl, the rest boys. Now I know plenty of people think it is crazy to have that many kids. I myself marvel at the organization and financial planning that must take. But the parents that were waiting with me had nothing but smiles and love on their faces. Imagine what they must have been feeling to see this beautiful happy family; nothing but appreciation for their dedication to family as far as I could tell. Perhaps deep down there was some envy or longing, but I couldn't see it.
So now it was our turn! The nurse asked if anyone had any ideas or feelings as to what the sexes were. The mom said her mother (who STILL doesn't know that I am pregnant!) had a dream where the father was walking and holding the hands of two little girls. The father said he was sure it was two girls. And he was right. It is two beautiful, big, perfectly healthy girls! What a joyous feeling it was that filled that room! I just can't put into words how it feels to experience pregnancy this way, very much a part of it but still a bit of an observer of the emotions that these parents are feeling. It is amazing.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mas que mi vida

After each of my kids were born, I got tattoos representing them. For Stella, I have a cameo of a mother and child. For Roy, I have the phrase "mas que mi vida" arranged in a heart. It means "more than my life"in Spanish. I quite literally take the phrase to heart. Most mothers I know would truly sacrifice anything for their children (I am fortunate enough to know some awesome moms!) Motherhood takes some adjustment, but most moms I know, from the moment they know they are carrying a child, put that child above anything else.  We change what we eat, what we drink, how we exercise, recreational activities we engage in, etc. We change career plans, travel plans, party plans. As I wrote about previously, we don't see these things as sacrifices; rather, it is just that our own needs quickly take second place to those of our child. I have heard so many times, over and over, how carrying a child changes you forever. How unless you have carried a child and given birth, you can't possibly imagine the love and life-changing devotion you feel towards your child. Its almost like a club, the Mom Club, that only those who are fortunate enough to have given birth are allowed access to.

Recently however, I've had a new perspective on the Mom Club. Through this surrogate journey of mine, I have been introduced to moms who go through an entirely different set of circumstances and life changes. Those moms who are UN-able to conceive or carry, or those who choose to adopt. Wow, talk about dedication! I was so blessed to have conception, pregnancy and delivery be relatively easy for me. My life changed once I knew I was pregnant. But what about those moms who can't get pregnant? What about the moms who go through failed test after failed test, those who go through fertility treatments over and over, those who spend their life savings to pay for the hope that they can get pregnant? The moms who simply cannot carry a child to term, so they seek the help of someone like me? Those who choose adoption and wait on pins and needles for the call saying they are good enough to be given a child? Those moms who aren't in "traditional" heterosexual relationships who are told that their wives or life partners cannot adopt the child they worked so hard to get?  Those moms know sacrifice. Those moms give everything too, they put the POSSIBILITY of a child above their own needs. I now know of women who have struggled for 15 years, moms who have been told their religion eliminates them from the process of adoption with certain agencies, moms who have suffered multiple miscarriages, moms who have had to go out of the country to adopt a child. These moms personify the dedication, love and devotion that we associate with good mothers. I applaud them, I bow before them, I respect and admire them tremendously for their courage and sacrifice and examples. These are the moms that our society needs to recognize for the amazing women that they are.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Time is flying by

Last Friday I had an appointment to have bloodwork done to screen for genetic markers that could indicate a problem with the twins. Standard testing only, we are not doing any of the "extra" testing that is optional. The parents believe (as do I) that a) the children they are blessed with are theirs no matter what b) no sense worrying unnecessarily over tests results that may or may not mean anything c) they don't want any testing that could be risky for me or the babies, like amnios. The big news that I found out that day has nothing to do with genetics, but rather with my due date. I am actually a week further along than we thought :) Now my due date is Feb 19th, which puts me at 17 weeks tomorrow! Woohoo! I don't think there is a mother out there who hasn't wished her pregnancy would speed up by a week. I am so excited for this news, as are the parents.

So the way that my brain works, I immediately start thinking that I'm only a few weeks away from being 20 weeks. And that is the halfway point. And that means I've gotta start thinking (like I haven't already) about the actual birth. That doesn't freak me out, it is just super exciting. Simply by being one week further along, my brain has gone into overdrive!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


A friend of mine recently posted an article that brought up a hot topic: women who choose NOT to have children and the stigma that is attached to that choice. We all know the "choice" debate covers lots of areas, including whether to keep a pregnancy, whether one wants to have children at all, how many children to have, etc etc. Women are constantly bombarded with the baby question, starting at (in my opinion) way too early of an age. My basic answer to all of those questions, in all of their forms, is that it is no one's damn business but mine. I'm not going to get into a big political/social issue/moral issue debate here because that could go on forever. Suffice it to say that I am firmly in the "mind your own business" camp. But it is interesting to me that so many people, mainly women, get up in arms when a grown, intelligent woman makes the conscious choice to not produce children. Is it that they feel the decision is an indirect judgement against their own decision to HAVE children? Do they feel it is a woman's primary job to produce offspring? Is it a religious thing? Regardless, it fascinates me.

As a mom, I know that having my children is the most important and rewarding thing I have ever done.  It has changed me in many ways, most of them for the better :) And while it doesn't work this way for every mom, my decision to become a mother was a VERY planned and conscious choice, both times. I would cheerfully rip the head off of anyone who threatened my babies or questioned my rationale in deciding to have them, just as I would do the same for anyone who questioned my choice had I decided not to try to produce children. As a woman, I wish we would support each other's decisions more. As a feminist (yeah, I said Feminist! If you have beef with that one, we can talk about it another time) I yearn for our society to treat all women as equally and fairly as we deserve. As a mother, I revel in my motherhood, and I plead for all women to keep their judgements to themselves. Whether you are a mom or not, we are all sisters.