I've been bee bopping around in my own self-absorbed whirlwind of PTA meetings, school events, fundraisers, job searching, Girl Scout leading and the day-to-day of motherhood. I've been going to the library more with the kids and sitting out in the sun just watching them play. We've skipped a night of homework just to snuggle up with some popcorn and watch Hercules. It's been deliciously wonderful.
I've been so engrossed in my own parenting world that I almost feel like my part in creating another family was all a wonderful dream.
I almost have to do a double take when I get texts from Baby Mama about little Peanut these days. I come to a screeching halt and go "OMG!! I totally grew a baby a minute ago!"
Baby Mama has been absolutely amazing keeping me posted on all her sweet little milestones. I got to see her learning to crawl and getting her first tooth. And I'm starting to realize that I didn't just help create a baby. I actually brought a person into this world. This little Peanut is growing and changing into this beautiful little human. And I'm starting to feel this sense of pride.
I'm not proud like I am with my own children. When Sunshine's teacher told me that she's one of the best readers in the class I'm proud that I might have had some sort of influence on that. I was the one snuggling her on the couch developing her love of reading. Or when Sweet Pea astounds people by doing addition in her head, I swell a bit because I'm the one who first discovered her love of math.
With my own children I'm proud to have helped them grow as people. But with Peanut I am proud that I had a part in bringing a person into the world who might not be here otherwise.
All her developments and milestones will be credited to her parents. But I think maybe more than anything I'm proud of myself. I had a really strange but strong urge to carry a child for someone. I was led to surrogacy by a force I didn't understand. There were risks and it was a little crazy, but I did it! I guess I'm just proud that I followed my heart. Little Peanut is living proof of my determination and something I accomplished.
I think that's why I'm always confused when people think that what I did was a selfless act. It really wasn't. People who foster children or adopt children are selfless. They open their homes and hearts for life to this child who is a wildcard. They often have a hard road ahead of them, but they are truly making a difference in the life of another person. My work lasted about two years, and the only REALLY tough part lasted about an hour or so.
Their work lasts a lifetime.
With surrogacy I had this desire to help a couple have what I was afraid I'd never have. It feels more like I used one of my skills to help someone. I was decent at growing people. I enjoyed it. So I did it for someone. It's like I'm decent at sewing so I volunteer for projects at Sweet Pea's preschool they need sewed up really quick.
But another part of why I carried her was that I didn't feel done after Sweet Pea. My pregnancies with Sweet Pea and Sunshine were a rollercoaster I couldn't wait to ride again. So there was a selfish aspect of my surrogacy. I wanted to experience pregnancy again, but I wanted the easy way out. No sleepless newborn nights. No potty training this one. I just wanted the fun auntie role. I can send Peanut the noisy toys on her birthday. When she's older I want to be the one bringing her a big bag of gummy worms and letting her eat half the bag before I go home.
People say that I gave such a gift with surrogacy. But Peanut really gave me the gift of closure. I've never before felt so complete with my pregnancy journey. That yearning and longing for the excitement of a positive test. Or chasing that junkie rush I get with a natural delivery. It's all been satisfied.
Just a few months after Peanut was born I decided I was done. I wanted to let Baby Mama and Baby Daddy know in plenty of time so they could find someone else if they wanted another baby. I had such a great experience I was afraid to push my luck with another pregnancy. I'm the person that will walk away from a heater in Vegas. I like to leave on a high note.
But now that she's nearing her 8 month...7 month? 8 month. Yeah I think 8 month birthday (you can tell she's not my keeper. I knew when mine were 8 months 3 days and 12 hours old). I can see this little person I brought earthside and I feel a loyalty to her.
She deserves a sibling just like my sunshine deserved a sibling. And although I feel very very done being pregnant I now feel this confusing responsibility to carry her sibling.
We haven't chatted about it in a while, and I still don't know where I stand. There are so many things I want to do right now without worrying about being pregnant. The Hubs and I have trips to Europe this year, and the kids and I have roller coasters to ride and my friends and I have margaritas to drink.
But still there's this pride and love and nagging piece of me that says "But what about Peanut?" Don't I want to see her snuggling her baby brother or sister?
Sigh...Now I have to decide how selfish I am.
I selfishly wanted to carry her. Now am I going to be too selfish to carry her sibling?
I got an email a few days ago from our agency. A couple who is only a few minutes down the road from me has faced years of miscarriage and infertility and heartache. They'll be ready for transfer in January. They're perfectly amazing. She loves Gilmore Girls and he loves kayaking. They have everything in the world in common with our family. They are seriously amazing. But I can't.
I know in my heart if I ever carried again it would be for Baby Mama and Baby Daddy. Not for me. Not even for Peanut. But it would be for the two people I brought into the Parenting club.
I carried Peanut for me. If I carried again it would be for her parents.