CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

11 August 2014

One year later... first birthday!

~ By Kim

I can't believe it's been a year! Some days it still seems like just yesterday, and at other times it feels like a lifetime ago.

July 25th was Myer's first birthday. It's crazy to think of how different life was just a year ago.

We rented a cabin for a week at Shuswap Lake in the Okanagan with Janelle, Joel and June (Janelle's mom), so we could all celebrate together. And it was fabulous. It was so great to see everyone and what the past year has brought everyone. For his actual birthday, all the grandparents and cousins from near and far joined us as well, so it really was a quite a celebration and a real party. 

Here are some of my favourite pictures from our trip:

Different faces of Myer

Lily, Rowan and Asher

Carl and I with Myer.

When I look at this picture, I can't help but feel grateful. I could never have done any of this without this man beside me supporting me through everything, both with the surrogacy and in life. Having Myer really was such a team effort.


Bedtime stories with 3 of my favourite babes.
Myer and I, just before the birthday celebration.
Not sure who's more excited. 

 Asher and Lily at the beach. Cousin love.
Our two families.
Me and Myer. 
Some moments were still surreal for me.

People still ask me how I'm doing and what's it's like for me with Myer. I'm amazed at how time can change perspective and give insight. I'm doing great and feel so fortunate to have been part of this journey. At 3 and almost 6 years old, the girls are amazing and bring so much joy to our lives, despite the moments that they make us want to pull our hair out. I love watching them grow, the people they are becoming and the relationship between the two of them as sisters. I'm happy to have been able to give that gift of siblingship to Asher and Myer. Is that a word???

Now that a fair amount of time has passed, it's easier to look back and be able to acknowledge all the different parts of the journey, including some of the challenges that were hard to acknowledge while in the midst of them. I can look back and remember both the good and hard times, and accept them all as part of the journey. 

As I've shared earlier, we did have complications with Myer's birth. Physically, I got a little banged up and have subsequently had some difficulties. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, I'm being sent for surgery next month. On the slate is a cystocele and rectocele repair, bladder lift, pubovaginal sling, overlapping sphincteroplasty and hysterectomy. Sounds like a full gyne-makeover. Ugh.

I have mixed emotions about this, as I'm a bit nervous, never having had surgery before, but hopeful that once it's all done, everything should be where it's supposed to be and back in working order. Sometimes it sort of feels like this will be the final step in the journey. 

Since we got back from our trip, we've been making the most of the rest of the summer. We got a new trailer and have been having fun bombing around on the island, camping with the girls. We live in such a beautiful place, and it's been nice to get out and enjoy the beauty of the West Coast. 

Lily will be starting grade 1 and Rowan will be in preschool next month. Crazy how time flies, especially when I think that Rowan was only 8 months old when we started down this road. 

Together, Carl and I have taken some time to reflect on the past few years. To look back at all that we've done, and start making plans for the future. I feel so fortunate in so many ways, and can't wait to see what our next chapter will be. 

10 April 2014

Myer's return to Victoria

- by Janelle

Oops! I intended to edit this and then publish it right away but now 2 whole months have gotten away on me. Ah what the heck...I'll post anyways. Enjoy the delayed update!

Myer and I made a return trip to Victoria this past weekend [Feb 6-9th] to visit Kim and family. We arrived by plane and brought with us the cold weather from Calgary, sorry! Still, for those of us in the foothills of the Rockies, experiencing Victoria's cold snap of -4C sure did beat the -25C we were "enjoying" back home. Regardless, the visit was fantastic and makes me wish, as I often do, that our two cities were within a short drive of one another.

I really liked seeing Kim's girls play with Myer and fight over who got to have him on their lap while sitting on the couch - so cute! At one point Kim asked her youngest Rowan if she remembered where Myer came from. She said yes and in anticipation of hearing her say "your tummy mommy" or something along those lines, she said with conviction "Babyland!" Haha! I'm sure some of us ladies wish that were true. What? No need for labour? Count me in! ;)

In the four days we were in Victoria, we managed an afternoon at the movies for their Stars & Strollers baby friendly feature, a walk through Beacon Hill park where we fed the ducks and spotted peacocks, some swim time at the rec centre, a morning stroll with a friend of mine, Alicia, for coffee, and a family dinner with Kim's extended family at her in-laws house overlooking the ocean.

Myer with his Victoria family.

A happy guy!

Beacon Hill Park (ducks & peacocks).

Upon looking back at the trip I realized that all of the things we did this trip we also did way back in July while we waited for Myer's arrival. It gives me such warm feelings to think that now he is with us.

Oh I would do it all again today if I could. Thank you Kim for having us! Now we just have to make it through the next 6 month until we see each other again to celebrate Myer's first birthday.

03 January 2014

2013 - What a year!

- by Janelle

Twenty-thirteen will be an incredible year for me always. I have a precious son and an incredible relationship with Kim and her family. We are already planning on vacationing together in July when Myer turns one. I can't wait to have our families together again!

Myer is now 5 months + 9 days old. He has stolen our hearts and my brother, his Uncle Jason, has coined him smiley. Slowly we are getting into a groove of predictable nap times. Previously Myer was King of the 1/2 hour cat nap, but now he sleeps for at least an hour at a time. My Mom (who is visiting from Florida) seems to ask me every morning how his night was and I'm so used to being up at least 3 times with him that I'm not sure if that's a good thing or "bad thing" at this stage in the game. As a mom I've totally gotten used to the interrupted and shorter sleeps that it's simply all normal now. I'm definitely not at the end of my rope looking in desperation to get Myer to sleep through the night. Perhaps I'm silently expecting him to do so at 6 months which is when his brother decided to start sleeping nearly 12 hours straight at night. Yep - that sure was nice! Regardless, we'll get there and on the weekends I steal a nap here and there at times.

During the holiday season there was a lot of cheersing going on around the table. Asher said cheers to the flower centre piece, to reindeers, all the presents, family, etc. and more than once we said a cheers to Kim & Carl. We all practically finished a glass of wine before we had a chance to dig into our turkey! Kim was very much on all of our minds as we celebrated Christmas and brought in the new year with our immediate family because the reality is that during this time of gifting we had already received the most incredible gift ever...

Myer Kim, 5 months old
(Christmas Day, 2013)

28 December 2013

The last 3 months...and now a 5 month old baby!

~ by Kim

I've been meaning to write for quite some time. It's amazing how just regular everyday life takes over, and finding time to set aside for extra things can be challenging.

It's been 3 months since I've last posted, and it seems that a lot has happened in that time. Three months can be either a long time or a short time, depending on your perspective and what it's in relation to.

For Myer, who is 5 months old - it's over half of his life.

Part of me is glad to have taken the time before writing again, as time really does give you a better overall perspective. Though it doesn't capture all the nuances of the postpartum process, it does give a better look at the big picture.

Besides...does anyone really want to know about the insignificant little things afterwards? Some maybe, but not all. Things like crying when I got my first period after the birth? Probably not, but now I've said it. I cried. Not because its absence had been one of the perks of having 3 babies in just under 5 years, or the fact that between being pregnant and nursing, my boxes of Always and Tampax had grown cobwebs in the back of the bathroom cupboard and would need dusting off; but surprisingly, it felt like a significant life event to me. Emotions can come in waves, sometimes when you least expect it, and this was one that surprised me as I drove to work one morning. And it hit me. 

It was over. We'd done it.

My body was going back to normal.

These days I feel great. I finally feel completely back to normal, both physically and emotionally, though I think a part of me is forever changed, for the better. I've grown and learned a lot over the last couple of years. I realize as we approach the New Year, that it was exactly 2 years ago when we first got on this path, and the idea of being a surrogate first popped into my mind. I had no idea all that was to come, and to see where we are at today has exceeded all expectations and hopes for what would be.

When I look back now over the journey, most of it is with fond memories. I still remember the challenges that came along with it, but with such a positive outcome, it's easy to forget about them and focus on all of the positive aspects instead. The biggest and most obvious is the the little boy that came from all of this. He is the prize at the end.

As I look back, it's easy to see how that initial time after the birth is difficult. Surrogacy takes over your life. It becomes the main focus, the goal and the thing that takes up most of your time and energy. It's a big commitment, on so many more levels than just time. It's what we worked on making happen for a year a half of our lives. When suddenly it's all done, you forget what it was that you were doing before it. I felt a little lost, trying to remember what we were doing, what life was like and where we were headed before deciding to do this and changing our paths.

Fall 2013

Since I've last written, Carl and I made it on our trip without the kids in October. We went to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, and really had a fantastic trip. It was so nice to get away, and spend time together again as a couple, rather than parents. We got to do daytrips and excursions, sleep in, stay up late, have as many drinks as we wanted and enjoy ourselves without the limitations that comes with travelling with small kids. We pulled out our dated 80's and 90's dance moves at "The Disco" that I'm sure will one day embarrass the kids to no end. It was good for the soul. We celebrated together the end of the journey and looked forward to what we wanted the future to bring. We really made the most of our time.

Enjoying a bit of paradise
Visiting the ruins at Tulum
Not pregnant! I can participate!
Zip lines in the Mayan Jungle
Swimming in the underground rivers
Snorkelling in Akumel

November came, and I made my first trip out to Calgary to visit with Janelle, Joel, Asher and of course my favourite baby. Myer was 3 1//2 months old, and it was the first time seeing him since he was born. He had grown and changed so much from the baby that I remembered and knew.

I wasn't sure how it would be, or how I would feel seeing him. I saw this baby that I'd given birth to only months before, and as cheesy as it sounds, seeing him filled me with joy. Looking at him, I felt such a sense of pride, and was happy and proud of what I'd done. It was amazing to see him at home, with his family in their environment. It felt like all was as it should be. It reminded me of what it had all been for. Living so far away and not being able to visit easily, sometimes it's easy to forget. There were some days I felt like I had nothing to show for such an effort and sacrifice, but just being able to go visit, all those feelings were long forgotten.

Going to Calgary was a really memorable trip for me in other ways too. I got to experience some of Calgary's winter, with both snow and cold that I'm not used to. The temperature was -26 degrees while I was there, so it was a bit of a shock to the system! It wasn't the mild 8 degrees that I'd left at home on the West Coast.

Of course the best part of the trip was seeing everyone. While I was there, they had a big family dinner with the extended family, which was really great! These Albertans sure know how to make a girl feel special! :) Janelle's dad said it was like an early Christmas; and it was, with all of us getting together. It felt like a special occasion. It was so great seeing everyone. These people have touched my heart, and I feel like they're my family now too. It also makes me remember how many others besides ourselves are affected by what we've done.

Here's some pictures from our visit.

Myer and I
Myer in his new sweater.
Pulled out the knitting needles for this babe! :)
Janelle and I (with Myer bundled up at the bottom)
Joel and Asher making snow angels
Brother love 
Happy babe in the bath
Myer and his beautiful mom. 
Myer and I hangin' on the floor
Janelle, Myer and I the night before going home. 

When I got back home, everyone wanted to know how it was. What was it like for me to see Myer again? Did I feel like he was my baby, and was it hard to leave him?

Seeing him was GREAT! I loved it! I loved being a part of their everyday lives for a few days, from going to preschool, doing a baby massage class with Janelle and Myer, playing in the snow, going out for breakfast and even just having a cup of tea in the evenings with a TV show on. I loved it all. I got my baby fix with lots of cuddles, smiles, hugs and kisses. 

I felt a little sad in leaving, just because I knew it would be awhile before I would get to visit again, not because I was leaving behind a baby. At the same time, I was happy to have been able to have made the trip out, and grateful for the opportunity to come visit. (I don't think I mentioned that I made the trip on my own: no hubby, no kids! - A real vacation!) :)

I did feel a little different with Myer, in that when he would cry I would find myself drawn to him and would go to him, where as with other babies I'd be wondering where that kid's mom was. Haha! 

I felt almost like a grandparent. Or at least what I imagine it must be like to be a grandparent, as obviously there's some speculation there on my part. To see this baby that is not your own child, but yet there is still a connection with. This little person that you love - but without the responsibility. I could be there to help when I could, to hold him and hang out and play, and be a part of all of the fun parts of a new baby, but at the end of the day I'd go to my room to sleep through the night.

Myer is not the same as my own children, but he is not the same as other people's children either.

I've heard the term "tummy-mummy" and it makes me smile. It kind of explains the different relationship and feelings for him. I've birthed 3 babies, and he is one of them.

He's my little surro-baby that will always be dear to me, and the whole experience still warms my heart to no end.  

26 September 2013

2 months after the birth and FAQ 2

~ by Kim

We're nearing the end of September and life is a lot different these days! Myer is now 2 months old, and it amazes me how the time is flying! It's funny how time can change perspective on things. I'm sure  a year from now, this will all be just 'a thing I did.'

Lily has started kindergarten, so it's been a big milestone for us with her starting school. So far things have been going great; she's doing well and adjusting to her new routine. Kindergarten here is full days, so it's a big change. It was more difficult for Rowan, who has never known life without her sister being right there with her. The first few days she would cry as Lily got on the school bus and beg to go with her. We've started some activities for her to do on her own, which has been a lot of fun, and the one on one time with her has been nice. She's started a dance class that she absolutely loves! I think this is the first time that she's ever had something of her own to do, rather than just being dragged around to whatever Lily was doing at the time. The poor life of the second child... :)

I've just started back at work, and I love it. Getting back has been really good for me, and it makes me feel like my old self again. I've realized that I've missed it, as well as appreciating how hard it is to be a full-time stay at home mom. It's exhausting! I totally understand the saying, "going to work to have a break." It helps that I like my job, so I'm really happy to be back. I'm only going back part-time, so I think I've got the best of both worlds.

Here's a few pics from our September:

The girls with their faces painted, at a local fair.
Lily's first day on the bus.
No longer pregnant...a night out! Woohoo!
Rowan ready for dance class!

Awhile ago, I wrote a post called FAQ, (frequently asked questions) and I thought now that Myer is born it was time for another one of where we're at after the birth.

So here is part 2, what I often get asked and what people seem curious about.


How was the handover? / Was it hard to "give him up?" / Did I want to keep him?

This is usually the first question I get asked and one of the most common. "Giving him up" was honestly the easiest part of our entire journey. I didn't want to keep him, and never thought of him as my baby. I know I've said it before, but it's such a different experience than when carrying your own child, and you go into it with such a different mentality. I knew right from the beginning this is what I'd be doing, and on the day of, it wasn't hard. I never thought of him as mine, so I never felt like there was anything to "give up." I got to to carry this precious life for a short time, before giving him back to his family where he belongs and is loved and adored. There was nothing hard about that.

Do I miss not having a baby?

Nope. Not at all. I know how hard the newborn stage is, and am enjoying sleeping through the night. Haha!

Would I do it again?

Knowing what the outcome is, I couldn't imagine Myer not being here. For that, I would do all that we have done again. His very existence makes all the challenges and hard times worth it.

But would I do it another time, or do a second journey?




Say what?!?

No, seriously....


No more babies for me.

Any regrets?


How is it with them being so far?

This is the hardest part. At least right now. Initially, I thought the distance would make things easier, but it goes to show that you can't always predict how you'll feel. I'm sure it will become easier with time, but right now there are definitely times I wish we lived closer. I wish that I could watch him grow and celebrate milestones with them. 

How am I feeling? / How's all the emotional stuff? 

Everyone want to know this! How do I feel? Have I gone crazy? Am I really okay?

In all honesty, there have been ups and downs after the birth. Physically, it takes its toll. Myer was the 3rd baby that I had in just under 5 years, and some of the physical recovery was uncomfortable. Without a newborn to take care of, I probably did more that first couple of weeks than you would typically do immediately after giving birth. After only 2 days of getting out of the hospital, I was at Walmart, shopping. I was at the cashier when I ran into an old friend from high school who congratulated me on being pregnant again and asked me when I was due. I was shocked. I wasn't pregnant anymore. Wasn't it obvious?

Apparently not.

I realize of course that I still looked pregnant; it had only been days since I'd given birth. I can look back remembering that day now and laugh, though at the time I wanted to cry.

Emotionally, it's a bit of a roller coaster. Some days I'd be so amazed at everything we'd done, and there were others where I was tearful and would cry without really knowing why. I was happy with what I'd done, but some days I'd feel down, and my thoughts and feelings would be all over the place. Other days were fine. I wasn't used to being so up and down.
I blame the hormones.

Another thing was that often I'd be feeling more than just one thing at a time, which would be confusing. I'd feel happy and proud at having done all this, and at the same time feel frustrated and annoyed. My body hurt, and hormones were crashing. I was on pain killers and antibiotics and leaking from everywhere. I felt fat and didn't recognize my body. I felt like I was going through all of this to recover physically and had nothing to show for it. Which is not to be confused with wanting a baby or having regrets because even knowing all this - I'd still do it again. I think it just shows some of the ups and downs after the birth - which is all part of the journey. The first couple of weeks after giving birth can be a little harried whether a surrogate pregnancy or not.

These days I'm feeling great. I've started exercising again and working towards getting back to my pre-pregnancy state. Life is starting to feel more balanced as we settle into our new day to day routines of normal life. Apart from the limited wardrobe selection, which sometimes frustrates me, and some things I still physically can't do yet, I feel really good. I know these things will come in time.

Sometimes Myer's birth seems like ages ago, and other times it feels like it was yesterday. It's still so fresh in my mind.

Overall, I'm pretty amazed by it all.

How do I feel about Myer?

I love him. How could I not. It's not the same as my kids, but it's not the same as other kids either. It's something special and unique unto itself.

Sometimes I feel sad about not being able to see him regularly, or being able to just pick him up and hold him. This is probably what has surprised me the most, as I didn't expect to feel that way, so it's caught me off guard. I thought that as soon as he was born, my life would go back to normal and we would just carry on as we always have. And though that's what we've done to a certain extent, I think of him often and realize I'm not quite at "normal" yet. I know it will come, and I'll get there soon enough.

I think of Myer, and it feels like a part of my heart is with him, and probably always will be - regardless of how much time passes. After carrying a baby for 9 months, and working so hard for him even before then, it's hard not to get attached to some degree. It's that attachment that makes you do everything you can to take care of and protect them when pregnant. Even though there is still some sense of detachment during the pregnancy - knowing the baby is not yours - you still get attached. At least, I did. Though different than that with my own children, there's still some sort of bond. He will always have a special place in my heart, and I can't think of any better way to try to explain it.

Thinking about Myer and the family that I helped create makes me smile. I feel happy, content and grateful. I love seeing him so loved. His being, truly is one of my accomplishments in life. That I could even do this, gives me such a sense of pride, and is one of those things I'll be able to look back on fondly in years to come. This journey has taught me a lot about myself, and I'm grateful to have had such an opportunity. It has not only changed Janelle, Joel and Asher's life - but mine as well. It's changed me in ways I never expected and opened my heart to all that family can mean and incredible friendships. I am blessed. I feel so fortunate to have been able to go through this experience, and share it with so many amazing people.

The good, the bad and the ugly...

         ...all of it was worth it.

I can't wait to see who this little man becomes, and share with him stories of baked potatoes and red grapefruit, among many others.

06 September 2013

It's been 6 weeks already!

- by Janelle (IM)

My world has completely changed. I'm sure it's no surprise to the many mom's of 2+ kids that I'm finding it hard to find time. Time to do laundry, time to wash those dirty pots from dinner, time to read a book - ha to that one! Also, time to write a post. So here I am with two hours away from both boys and I'm trying to play catch up on all these things.

These past six weeks since Myer's birth have been full of transitions and firsts.

Most noteworthy was Myer's birth. I have to say that my husband spoke to this perfectly in his post  "From intended to actual father". I often think back to the moment and am still in awe. What a powerful thing it is to bring a child into the world. I feel extremely lucky to have experienced birth as both the birthing mom and as an intended mother. Admitedly both of these births weren't the "beautiful" kind that you hear women speak of, but they were far-reaching in their own way and ultimately resulted in a healthy baby and a birthing mom who to me is a superhero. There are times when I look at Myer and tear up a little thinking about Kim and our efforts to bring this little man into our lives. Really it's hard to articulate just how amazed I am by Kim and also modern medicine.

Having a baby in the house has been a lot of fun for me and being that it's baby #2, there are some new firsts. For one I have more confidence; a bit of that "been here, done that" kind of mentality. For example, I don't panic if Myer doesn't poop for 4 days, and I can decipher if he's crying for milk or if he's simply tired and needs a little help settling down. For reasons like this I find that Myer is a very content baby and easy to please. These past six weeks with Myer has also made me realize just what rough shape I was in when I came home from the hospital after Asher's birth. When Asher was six weeks old I still had a hard time getting myself in and out bed. Being physically sound has allowed me to be more mentally sound which is helpful when dealing with sleep deprivation and a very energetic nearly 3-year-old.

My extra time in the hospital after Asher was born also meant that I missed out on early baby moments that may be overlooked at times, but which I fully embraced this go around. For one, meconium. Yep, that's right, poop! This black tarry early baby poo had me excited every time I saw it. At my birthing classes with Asher I learned about meconium and with it the advice to not use cloth diapers during this time. Well, I never saw it until Myer came along. I was almost disappointed when it came to an end and the regular cottage cheese poop started coming, haha!

Another first was being with Myer when his belly button fell off. I was doing a diaper change while visiting some family friends and immediately yelled out to them with excitement, "This might be a gross thing to share but Myer's belly button just fell off!!!" Not sure if they thought I was crazy :)

I simply love having my two boys! Asher has been a really great big brother. I permanently have a chair for him to climb up on at Myer's change table because he wants to have a look and help out. He always asks "Is it pee? Is it poo?" as he's getting onto the chair, and he hands me the wipes.

I feel so lucky.

25 August 2013

One month update

~ by Kim

How am I doing.

It's the question everyone I see or talk to wants to know. The question itself is so vague, and my answers have been varied. Depending on the day, who I'm talking to, my mood, the context (physically, mentally, emotionally), where I am or how much time I have can elicit different answers.

The truth is that some days have been good, and some days hard. 

The first few weeks have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, and a real adjustment period for me. This journey has been such a big part of my life and was the main focus of so many things for such a long time. Suddenly, it's all done. No more appointments, planning, anticipation or wondering. 

For me, the end of the journey wasn't in the birth itself, but more so the following week when everyone left. Myer was 8 days old and I started the drive home from the airport after having dropped everyone off to go back home. That marked the end of the journey for me, and the beginning of getting back to "regular life." It was a difficult drive home, and as I pulled away, the tears started coming. I wasn't expecting that, so it caught me off guard. The tears didn't stop until I got home and I pulled myself together for the girls. Carl could tell I was emotional, and wrapped me in his arms and just held me quietly while everything sunk in, and a few more tears snuck out. It was a lot to take in, and I think I was a bit overwhelmed by everything I was feeling. I wasn't anticipating it to hit me as much as it did. We'd brought a new kitten home that day (strategically planned), which was a great distraction for both the girls, and myself. She made that first evening a bit easier with something new to focus our attention on. I was a bit mopey that evening and thankfully the girls didn't seem to notice. 

When I think about and reflect on the past month, I can break it down like this:

Week 1: A total high, both mentally and emotionally.

Feeling proud of what I've accomplished and thrilled at the amazing outcome of such a long journey.

Week 2: Hormone crash.

 Tears are flowing, mood is unpredictable, state of mind questionable. Haha! :) My mind knows I'm not pregnant anymore and understands everything, but there's the physiological aspect with my body being ready for a baby. Hormones are completely out of whack. My shirt becomes wet from a hug or picking up the girls, as I leak milk, and I still have a lot of healing to do from the birth. Feeling "fragile" and a little beaten up.

Week 3: Holding it together...sometimes.

Still weepy, but not always at the drop of a hat. I'm good, until asked if I'm good. TV shows and movies are unexpected tear jerkers. Able to maintain a better level of "socially appropriate" behaviour and not cry at inopportune moments with whoever might be unlucky enough to cross my path. Trying to remember how long it takes to heal, when the bleeding and cramping will stop, but I have full blown amnesia despite having done this twice before.

Week 4: The return of sanity. Most of the time anyway.

Feeling good most days, but still have moments that can still trigger the tears. Thankfully, duration is now shorter and it's easier to regain control. Still have ups and downs, but more ups than downs now. Wondering why I can't fit into my "normal" clothes. Without a baby as a reminder, it's easy to forget that I just gave birth. Striving to get into my "fat pants."Can now laugh at myself and some "incidents" from week 2. I may owe an apology to the girl who weighs you in at Weight Watchers.

Week 5: Only the beginning so far, but feels like I've turned a corner and things are on the up once again. Feeling good physically and emotionally. Impatient to get back into my old clothes, but still a long ways off. Accepted that it will take time, but can't help but wishing I was like the celebrities and could lose 25 lbs in a day or two.

This has been the first month.

I'm sure each subsequent month will be easier and easier.

5 years from now, I'm sure will be a piece of cake.

The common misconception or assumption that most people seem to have is that I miss having the baby with me. This couldn't be further from the truth - I know Myer is exactly where he is supposed to be. When I see pictures of them together, it makes me feel happy to know that their family is now complete, and the role that I had in helping to make that happen.

I did have a moment recently, when in looking at a new picture of Myer, I felt a little sad. He had changed so much since they were here, and it's only been a few weeks. I felt like I barely recognized him, and I found myself wishing they lived closer. It's hard being so far away and not being able to go and visit anytime. This was something I hadn't anticipated feeling.

Medical Report:

I had my first medical check up since the birth and physically, everything is where it's supposed to be. My cervix is good and my uterus is back where it should be. My family doctor went over the birth with me, and then went over the operative and procedural report that he'd received from the hospital OB. Reading about it in black and white, written with such formality was strange. It was almost like reading about somebody else.

My pre and postoperative diagnosis was:
"Arrest in the second-stage uterine inversion and postpartum hemorrhage."
In the report, it also states:
"With the delivery, it was recognized that the placenta was relatively adherent, and the uterus had completely inverted. ...the uterus was slowly put back into place. Resuscitative efforts were being performed at the same time." 
Reading that made me appreciate the severity of what had happened as my doctor told me this could've been fatal and said again just how lucky we were.

Just before Janelle and Joel left, we had some pictures taken with a photographer in Victoria. Here are some of my favourites.

Myer was one week old.

I find myself looking at this one often. I even have it set as the wallpaper on my phone. It's my 2 girls with Myer. We were waiting for Asher to come in the shot, to get one of all the kids together. When I look at this picture, I can't help but thinking that these are the 3 kids that I've birthed. It's a little surreal, and sometimes a little hard to wrap my head around the whole thing. 
Janelle, Myer and I.
The new family
Beautiful Myer
As time goes on, I realize that returning to normal will be a process. It's hard to just jump straight back into regular life right away without allowing myself to go through all the feelings that follow such a big event in my life. It's been a long road and sometimes I think I've forgotten what 'regular life' is. I'm realizing it will take time and have accepted that. Sometimes it's hard, but I knew it might be. I'm still emotional, and that's ok. My doctor told me it would be more concerning if it wasn't like this.

I'm lucky. I've had my best friend supporting me each day throughout this journey, especially at the end when I've really needed it most. I'm grateful to have such an amazing husband.
He hasn't had me committed yet, so we're doing OK.

But if the kids had their say...

Thankfully they don't. :)

20 August 2013

From intended to actual father

- by Joel (IF)

It has been a little over three weeks since Myer was born.  It seems ages ago since being in the labour an delivery room watching it all happen. The stress of life with a newborn, and near 3 year old, has faded into relative routine and the new normal of managing life with two beautiful boys.

I have had some time to reflect and think about the last year.  WOW what a year!

When I do think back the thing that always comes to my mind is how lucky we are. Not only did we have the possibility of surrogacy offered to us, we had the best possible person offer herself to be our surrogate. Kim acted as our guide through the whole process. She proceeded with such passion, knowledge and eagerness. In the down times she was emotional and concerned while in the up times she was elated and optomistic. Regardless of where we were in the process she remained focused on the role she took and simply moved on. This unique and enviable character in Kim showed itself during the birth in full and impressive form. She worked so hard for over 12 hours with the same impressive and unwavering focus to move forward and get the job done. Often with a smile, always with determination.

Kim has taught me a new type of giving, a new type of selflessness that I did not know existed.  She has not only given us another child, she has given me a deeper faith in the goodness that exists in people.

Thank you Kim, you are incredible.