~ 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.
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.
|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|
|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.