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!|
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?
No more babies for me.
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?
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.