Tag Archives: “the boys”

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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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39 Week Update

 

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I’ve pretty much reached that stage of pregnancy where I’m “done.” Just a few hours into each day I’m tired, my back aches and I’m MORE than ready for labor to start. Of course, Miss Swann really should hang in there until 40 weeks; it’s the best for her development. And, yet, I’m not ready to NOT be pregnant. I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy, this surrogacy, this whole journey. My job as gestational surrogate is almost over and then it’s up to the boys to raise Miss Swann, to love her, to teach her, to nurture her. I’ve fulfilled my part of the bargain: provide a safe place for this little baby to grow for 9 (10) months so she can be raised by two people who love her so much they’ve been planning to have her in their life for a long time.

Pregnancy agrees with me: I had a relatively easy pregnancy with Em and this one seems to have been just as easy. Sure, I’ve whined about heartburn, not being able to put on my own shoes without assistance, swelling, the lack of sushi… But those all fade away and I can focus on the lack of morning sickness, being able to teach my daughter about love and babies, the support my family, boyfriend, church, friends and coworkers have given me, the opportunity to teach people in my life about surrogacy and of course the wonderful relationship I’ve developed with Miss Swann’s daddies.

In regards to the pregnancy, this week was less eventful than the last. I have only had intermittent Braxton Hicks contractions that are eased by rest and water. I lost part of my mucus plug Friday. I experienced one moment of seemingly random and sudden vomiting Sunday afternoon, but was able to eat lunch right after and have only felt some mild nausea on and off since. My lower back started to hurt Monday afternoon but that also went away once I was in my recliner with my feet up. Miss Swann’s movements have been less frequent but with the same intensity that she’s had all along. Her favorite spot is about 2 inches below my belly button, causing discomfort that is VERY similar to cramps/contractions, so every time she stretches I go on full alert! I woke up Tuesday with my lovely swelling, so I put on my maternity support belt, took some Tylenol and drove to the office with an ice pack; by lunch I could actually sit comfortably. The support belt is a bit uncomfortable now that I’m bigger, but it’s better than staying home JUST BECAUSE I cannot be in any position other than lying down on my side.

In regards to the surrogacy, this past week has been amazing! The boys joined us at church Sunday morning, had a wonderful NOH8 photography session with Em and me Sunday afternoon and had dinner with my family Sunday night. The relationship between us all is just beautiful, like long-lost friends reconnecting after years of separation. Our conversations are a mix of love, laughter, and language lessons: we keep discovering phrases that don’t really translate well or even exist. We are also learning about some cultural expectations that are complete opposites of what we are each used to. The boys were quite shocked to learn that their daughter will only stay in the hospital for 2 days before they take her home, which is MUCH different from the ONE WEEK babies usually stay in the hospital back home!

The deadline for my mom to be my birth coach is slowly closing in as she leaves this Sunday to be with my sister; of course my friend Mary is ready and excited at the prospect of being there for me.

Em and I both have bags packed, ready for the big day: mine for my hospital stay, hers in case my labor starts at night so neither she nor I have to pack her “tomorrow” clothes while she’s sleepy and I’m breathing through contractions.

Brad is still unsure about where he will be when I’m in labor. In the beginning I told him his only job was to make sure I had sushi ready for me in my recovery room. But as this pregnancy has progressed, so has our relationship. He’s very important to me and I feel like I need him with me during this. But this is not his baby, so it’s not like he HAS to be there. Only he can decide what is right for himself and I’ll support that decision no matter what.

“Stats” from today’s appointment:

Station: -2
Dilation: 2 cm
Effacement: 70%

My weight gain in the last week is a bit surprising to me, though it could just be water/fluid retention. As of the writing of this post, my ankles are still swollen, even first thing in the morning. My waist gain, however, doesn’t surprise me. Miss Swann has moved around a bit and isn’t quite as up-and-down as she usually is.

My blood pressure was 136/78 and I had a small amount of protein in my urine. Doctor sent me over to Quest for blood work. IF my labs are abnormal, I’ll be sent to labor & delivery today; if they’re normal, I have a 7:30 AM induction scheduled for tomorrow! So I may not get to go out with Brad for Valentine’s Day, but… WORTH IT!!

Of course, I’ll update more as I find out more!

All Love, NOH8

Miss Swann is officially welcome to make her entrance: Em, the boys and I had our pictures taken yesterday!

 

HUGE thanks to Jessica Chapman (who coincidentally is the sister of the friend I’d offered to be a surrogate for that led to my working with my agency and meeting the boys) for asking if she could take NOH8 pictures of us! I cannot wait to see the finished product.

 

Brad was on hand to take behind-the-scenes pictures with my iPhone and did a great job! Check out this fun little slideshow I made with Qwiki (I’m having trouble embedding it on my site, so you’ll have to click the link to see it in another window).

 

I’ll upload some of these pictures to my surrogacy pictures page in the next couple of days and you can bet the real pictures will be posted when I receive them!

 

Oh!! And don’t forget to participate in the poll I have on the right side of this website: when do you think Miss Swann will arrive?