Monthly Archives: March 2013

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I’m fine, really

This post exists because people have been asking how I’m doing now that I’m no longer pregnant and the boys and Chloé have left.

 

It’s been an interesting 6 weeks off. The first 4 days were spent in the hospital (I promise, that story is coming!) and the remainder has been a whirlwind of feelings. Giving birth alone wreaks havoc with your hormones and emotions and many moms, new or again, go through the ups and downs of tears and joy as their bodies get back to normal. And while I did not have the demands of a newborn wailing at me through a baby monitor, I still suffered from exhaustion and random bouts of crying.

I got to see baby Chloé multiple times a week and the boys brought her to church a few times. The family feeling I felt with the boys before Chloé was born intensified as we all spent time together with the three of them. This little family I helped create is just a beautiful as Chloé is. The love these dads have for their daughter is just overwhelming.

 

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The boys and Chloé left for home a week ago and I cried. I cried hard. But I didn’t cry because Chloé left. I didn’t cry because I gave birth and didn’t have a baby to take home with me. I miss Chloé, yes, but it’s more than that. I miss the boys, I miss Chloé and I miss this wonderful family that has etched themselves onto my heart. Knowing that I may not seem them again for a very long time hurts.

Many of my friends have been asking how I’m doing, am I really ok now that Chloé is gone? Isn’t it hard giving her up? Won’t I miss having her around? One of the reasons less than 10% of applicants become surrogates is because we are carefully screened medically and mentally. We know that the baby we give birth to is not ours. This was not my baby, ever. I chose to grow someone else’s child because they could not. There was no attachment to the growing baby because she had loving parents waiting for her. It’s like giving someone a present for their birthday: you give it to them from the love in your heart; you do not regret giving to them instead of keeping it for yourself. If I wanted a baby of my own, I’d have one of my own. Chloé was never mine. Surrogacy has been described as extreme babysitting: you take care of the child for the parents for 9 months and then you give it back.

I’m fine. Really.

And thank you for asking. I really do appreciate you all checking in on me. This particular chapter has ended, but I’ve got a whole lot of story left to read.

 

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Variety is the Spice of Life

I’ve heard it said that in your 20s you’re supposed to take risks, experiment, figure out who you are.

Well, since I’ll be entering my 30s soon, I still have no clue who I am and I’m not usually one for taking risks, this will have to count as an experiment. A fun experiment!

I went to my hair salon for my usual haircut. Just as my stylist was finishing up, I asked her to do one more thing. I needed some color, to cover up my grey hairs. She plopped the book of color in my lap and asked, “What’re you thinking?” which was followed by a “Nice!” when I pointed to what I wanted.

And I absolutely LOVE IT!!

(Bear in mind I am HORRIBLE at taking iPhone self-portraits)

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It’s definitely different from the color I’ve had for a while, and I’m sure my mom will have some input to share on the exact shade, but I don’t care.

See? Self-portrait of me not caring what people think!

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The brightness will go down a bit with the first couple shampoos, but I kinda like it this way!

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One more cuz it was the only other one I liked out of 3 million attempts to make my nose look smaller than it really is.

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And because I’m the worst when it comes to taking self-portraits: yes, it is all the same color. I struggled between finding a good angle for my hair or making my nose look less huge-ish. I picked the smaller nose. And I took these pics just after styling my hair, so some sections were not quite dry yet.

But YAY!! New hair color!

As Em said as she climbed in the car after school yesterday, “Whoa. Mom…you colored your hair? It’s RED!!! I like it!”

Constructive Consequences

Consistency is key in parenting. If you make a rule, you have to stick to it. Every time. When your child is in school, you should try to stick to the teacher’s rules and methods, too, if possible. As much as some of us (ok, a lot of us) thought homework to be a punishment, its design and purpose is to teach something new or to reinforce something recently learned so the lesson will hopefully be retained for a long time.

Today, Em forgot to pack the homework her teacher assigned. Em was supposed to study in preparation for a science test tomorrow, so in addition to having double homework tomorrow, she’s also just learned how important homework is for her success in class. For punishment at home, Em will have to mark a negative on her behavior chart for not completing her homework correctly and we will not be going out to watch Oz The Great and Powerful as I’d planned.

After explaining to Em the importance of and reason for homework, I assigned her my own homework – NOT as a punishment, but to keep consistent with her afternoon routine. I asked her to read 3 chapters in a particular book she has on her Kindle and write at least 1 paragraph for each chapter summarizing what happened during each of them. I also explained the purpose of this, to make sure she stays focused on her reading, to make sure she understands and remembers what she read, and to help her work on proper sentence and paragraph structure. For Em, reading is never a punishment, but I made sure to emphasize that this is just in place of what she should have been doing for class.

I’m bummed that Em and I will not be able to go out to see a movie tonight and I’m sad for her that she will not be able to study properly for her test tomorrow, but I am glad to see that she understands the importance of bringing home the assignments from her teacher and is willing to accept my consequences as well.