CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

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.

04 August 2013

Changes this week

~ by Kim

This past week has brought along some changes with it:

- Janelle, Joel, Asher and Myer are back home in Calgary. 
- My milk came in with a vengeance. 
- I was able to dry my feet after a shower. 
- Rowan got her first big haircut - something a little lower maintenance for a 2 year-old. 
- I slept on my tummy again. 
- We got a kitten, to help the kids with the adjustment of everyone being gone. A distraction of sorts. Well, maybe a little bit for myself too. 
 - I went to the mall, and drove past the "expectant mother" parking. That has been my "spot" for a few months now. 

Myer 9 days old
First day at home
(Thanks June for sending - made my day!)