Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Surrogacy's Dirty Little Secret

Ahh I'm finishing up some French toast room service brought me after a nice afternoon nap. I fell asleep eating chocolate and reading some trash mags a friend brought me yesterday. I had a shower this morning with some doTerra soap that made my whole room smell like a spa. Basically I'm being tortured here. Please send help.

There's a dirty little secret about surrogacy that I'm going to just spill right here. It's hard to talk about but you've been with me on this journey, so it needs to be said.

Recovery from a surrogate birth...is...AWESOME.

After I delivered a human being into the arms of her parents, I was whisked away to a bed all by myself. My only care in the world was if I wanted to wear the hospital gown or my own pajamas. Did I want to shower or wait until later? Here's some water, and can we get you anything to eat?

I just curled up in bed and melted into the pillow.

It was about 2 in the morning when I delivered, and I wasn't asleep until 5 a.m. But only because I was fielding calls and texts and getting all comfy in my room. When I crashed out I just slept. I didn't worry about my baby needing to eat or getting a heel prick or wanting me to snuggle her. My babies were home safe and warm snuggled up to their daddy who was fully capable of taking care of them while I just did whatever the hell I wanted.

I almost felt guilty for the new parents next door who were up with their brand new bundle. The guilt didn't stop me from sleeping like the dead.

The next morning I had floods of texts from friends all congratulating me on a job well done. I mean honestly people I put in maybe 4 hours of hard work. But they acted like I deserved a medal. The ego can only take so much.

I had two friends headed up to the hospital before I'd even had a chance to finish my breakfast that room service delivered so graciously. Room service folks. Room. Service. I look at a list of food I do not have to prepare. I decide what I want. And a nice boy in a bell hop outfit brings it to me with a smile. Torture.

When Jana and Sabrina arrive with a giant bag full of chocolate everything and some People magazines I want to cry. I mean really...the folks next door deserve the gifts! They're having to parent a newborn! But oh man there's a triple layer chocolate mousse cake in my bag. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to dig into that.

Even my instruction chart in my room seemed to think my most important goal was having wine three times a day.


Ok maybe it says urine...but still...

That is the dirty little secret of surrogacy. When I had my girls my room was a revolving door of doctors and nurses coming to poke and prod me and my uterus and my baby and my breasts. With this birth it's a revolving door of friends just coming to hang out and bring gifts and words of love and encouragement. I'm not wracked with nerves about germs being all over my new baby. I don't have to watch the clock for the next feeding or change diapers or be quiet so they don't wake up.

With this birth they come push on my uterus from time to time, check my blood pressure and leave me the hell alone. I'm pumping and I've had babies, so they don't need to constantly check my milk jugs. I can be lazy about pumping because I don't actually have to watch the clock for a feeding schedule. The only person I'm worried about pooping is myself. And I handled that like a boss since this kid didn't rip a darn thing on the way out. That guilt is really creeping in because this is downright magical.

Then last night, just as I thought I had seen all the magic that this journey had to offer, Hubs brought my babies up to see me. They never looked so sweet. I hugged them and shared my curly fries as they told me about their day and asked if I had the baby. I told them I did, and Sunshine wanted to know why my tummy was still so round. And OOMPF!! So squishy...that kid could be a nurse the way she smashed down on my uterus.

I told them the baby was next door with her parents and they squealed because I said "her". They were totally team Baby Girl.

I texted Baby Mama to see if we could pop over with presents. I thought it was important for the kids to see the end game.

We walked into their room and there was little Peanut snuggled in the arms of her mother with her father sitting next to her in bed. The girls were tickled pink.

They saw little Peanut, and they oohed and ahhed over her. Sweet Pea wanted to get in there and hold her, but I told her she's just too new. I remember being a first time mom and not wanting little children's grubby hands all over my new baby. They proudly handed over their gifts for the baby instead, which included a ton of "artwork" that Baby Mama said she was going to frame for her nursery. All. The. Feels.

So there we were. Our two families together at the culmination of our journey. I'm glad we're in a hospital with a cardiologist on staff because my heart could burst at any moment.

My midwife came by today to check in on me. It just so happened that the midwife on call was the one in the practice who had been a surrogate herself. You don't get a much better experience than rehashing your surrogate birth with a midwife who has been there. She could totally relate to every feeling I had.

The funniest feeling was meeting Peanut in person for the first time. I didn't hold her in the delivery room because A) She went to the nursery so quickly for her heart. And B) I honestly didn't even have the desire to.

So yesterday when I went over for my first visit since the birth, Baby Daddy asked if I wanted to hold her. Well of course! Come here you little squish!

He placed her in my arms, and the strangest thing happened. Nothing.

She was so cute and beautiful and adorably perfect, but I can say with 100% honesty it was like meeting any other baby for the first time. There was absolutely no familiarity. It wasn't like "Oh hi old friend! We've spent the past 9 months together!" Nope. It was like "Oh wow! Your baby is super cute! Nice to meet you!"

My midwife totally felt the same way as did my doula. It's so nice to have these women who totally get it. I know there are folks who are worried about how I feel after "giving the baby up." But these chicks get that I just gave her back.

She did ask if I thought I'd do it again. My midwife is actually the only surrogate I know personally who is a one and done. She said there was nothing about her experience that was bad or that made her not want to ever do it again. But like me, it was something to cross off her bucket list. She always wanted to help a family have a baby, and she did it. Then things in her life changed and she just never got back to a place where she wanted to be pregnant and have a baby one more time.

I said the same thing. I honestly think this was so perfect I would be afraid to do it again. This journey has been absolutely amazing. There's been heartbreak and times that really tested our patience. But it has been absolutely incredibly perfect. I do not see how another journey could even compare.

I told her this, and she just smiled. For some reason people don't believe this is my last rodeo. Hubs thinks I would carry a sibling for Peanut. Jessica thinks so too. I swear I'm done. It was just such a good uterine swan song I don't see how I could do any better.

At this stage in the game I'm just focusing on how freaking amazing it is to recover at Hotel L'ospital. My midwife said she could discharge me as soon as now or as late as tomorrow at midnight. I told her book me for the week woman! I'm enjoying this dirty little secret of surrogacy.