Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pregger Friends

My last pregnancy was a part of a weirdly coincidental pregnancy pact. I had a lively 2-year-old who had me thinking I wouldn't try for another child until she was in college. At the time I had friends who casually mentioned that they were thinking about maybe possibly starting on those sibs, but all of us were very happy with our singletons.
I figured out I was pregnant with my second born on my first born's second birthday. I'll give you a moment to process that.
I was throwing my baby girl a fabulous Alice in Wonderland unbirthday birthday party, but all I could think was how badly I wanted to rip off my husband's head and shove it down his throat. How dare he try and help ice that cake!? I worked for hours. How. Dare. He.
My father-in-law jokingly said the last time I was so grumpy with the Hubs was when I was pregnant with my first-born.
Crap.
The test confirmed it, and we called her the Immaculate Conception for a reason. I couldn't remember the last time I showered without interruption. Conceiving a child seemed an impossibility, yet here we were.
Then like a bad case of the stomach flu, all my friends started turning up pregs. It was nice because all of our toddlers were just a few months apart, and now the sibs would be right in the same zone too.
Having people who know what you're going through is paramount during pregnancy. It was nice to be able to bitch about my cankles or barf in someone's mixing bowl without judgment.
But in the surro world I figured I'd mostly be going it alone. It's just a different ball game entirely. I really don't have too much in common with someone who is trying to bake their own bun. I don't want to talk about whether I want a boy or girl or what I'm going to name it because those aren't my choices and by God I am excited as hell about that.
I have this vision of my husband popping the top on a Red Stripe just as I'm popping the baby out into the loving arms of her parents. I'll just kick back and down the beer while they figure out how to swaddle their new little cheesy wrinkly bundle of responsibility. 
It's just not the same image an expectant mother has for her own L&D.
Luckily this weekend I had the privilege of meeting some amazing women who have all completed at least one journey through surrogacy.
I was invited to a picnic to meet up with other Texas surrogates, so I gave the Hubs a free pass to work on the kid's playhouse for the day while my mom and I trekked the kids to Austin for the get together.
I wasn't really sure what to expect since I'm such a noob to the whole surrogacy thing, so it felt a bit like an awkward blind date as I approached the park. I didn't even really know to who look for since I don't know the ladies in attendance personally. And I wasn't sure if I was supposed to look for a bunch of preggers or just a bunch of superheroes or what?
I finally saw a familiar face as I scanned the crowd. There among the picnic tables was my surrogate case manager. And in her arms was a tiny squirming baby she'd delivered just a few months ago.
It totally solidified why I'm doing this. Her IF came to the picnic and she got some snuggle time with her surro baby, who by the way was totally adorable.
I'm finally to the point in my life where newborns are cute again. The don't look like wrinkly little balls of responsibility. I can appreciate their beauty once again...as long as their parents don't wander too far.
The entire picnic was just fabulous. I met some amazing women who have all been through this journey I'm on. It was great because they were all just so nice and normal and not weirdos. I mean I don't know why I would have expected weirdos. I don't think I'm that weird. I'm pretty normal. I have a mini van, shop at Target and I'm super into Downton Abbey. But they were all just so fabulous. They were well-spoken, well-educated, nice, normal, beautiful women.

It was also encouraging to see that so many of them went through the process more than once. I've had a few naysayers tell me that I'm going to totally regret this, and while I don't feel that in the least, it was very reassuring to hear one surrogate tell me "Oh honey, you just wait. It's addicting."
They shared stories confirming what I'd suspected. That handing that baby over to its parents was the most amazing thing they've ever done outside of birthing their own children.
I also got a lot of tips from experienced surros about what to expect and the different challenges they faced. I even found one surrogate who is also an attorney! She was incredibly nice and funny. And after talking to her for maybe 10 minutes I totally had a chick crush, so I asked her if she'd represent me with all the silly contracts and what not.
My psych evaluation lady stressed to Hubs and I that we really needed to find a good attorney who would really represent our best interests. Since this lady just delivered surrogate triplets I figured she might just know a thing or two about egg hatchin' contracts.
Not sure if we can be friends though. She's like 120 lbs. soaking wet less than a year after delivering triplets. We'll see. Maybe she got massive stretch marks or some redeeming quality.
I told her we're waiting on contracts, so she said she'd happily represent me so that I have someone to commiserate with as we wait on this part of the show. 
I'm so glad I went to the picnic, and I'm even more excited to meet with my IPs on Wednesday at our group meeting!
It's nice to have a new group of pregger friends for this journey. I still need the loving support of my original pregger friends. But the extrovert in me just loves the idea of expanding my friend zone.