Surrogacy has so many hidden aspects that many people don't think about or simply never knew. I received a thick envelope from IARC, our agency, a couple weeks ago, and it was filled with more paperwork and a ton of questions for me to fill out for our court hearing after the baby is born. Most of you aren't aware that in the state of Minnesota, I actually have to give up my "parental rights" over the baby and a formal adoption will happen shortly after the birth. You've gathered it, I end up on the birth certificate for a short time after the birth and have "rights" over a child that doesn't even have an ounce of genetic attachment to me. This seems silly to me, but we do have to do a bunch of legal paperwork and then go in front of a judge to have everything finalized. I'm kind of bummed that we need to do this in the cities instead of St. Cloud, because my mom, who's a court reporter, would have asked to be with our judge for the day and she could have recorded the whole court hearing.
Ben and I recently meet with an attorney to have our wills done. This is another piece of surrogacy that needs to be completed. If something were to happen to me during the pregnancy, we've made sure that it's written to keep my body alive and to let the baby grow to full term. These are very morbid conversations to have but we've known about this since contract time. It's just something that most people wouldn't think would be a part of this process.
I can finally feel the baby from the outside! This is very exciting news because I get to see my IPs tomorrow and hopefully they'll be able to feel their baby kick!!!!! Our 5 year old son, George, was the first to feel the movement last weekend. He's not one to sit still very long, however he laid next to me and giggled every time he felt movement for at least 30 minutes. I had one night where I actually felt a very hard body part slide across my hand. It's such a neat feeling and this is totally the reason I love being a surrogate, so far! I'm sure that the actual birth and watching my IPs in the delivery room will be the very best part!!!
I need to brag on our kids for a moment. Lydia, our 9 year old, and I were having a conversation last week about different things that people do to help others out in this world. We were specifically discussing Red Cross, volunteer work, and natural disaster clean up. Lydia told me that helping clean up after a natural disaster is something that she really wouldn't ever be interested in doing, and I agree with her, I don't think it's something that I really would feel like I'm "called" to do either. So we went on discussing other ways we could help people out and really enjoy it. Lydia didn't hesitate when she said that our family is doing something great for someone, and she told me that she thinks when she is older that she might be a surrogate herself. She has such a big heart and loves what our family is doing for our IPs!
Jack, our 7 year old, is a very deep thinker. He loves to go above and beyond what he needs to do in school and gets really excited to excel at everything he tries. We recently had parent teacher conferences and one of his assignments at school was to answer a bunch of questions from a story, of his choice, that he had to read. He asked if he could write a story and then answer the questions, and of course any teacher would say, yes. He spent three days writing his story, and his teacher said he worked very very hard on it. She wanted us to read his story right there in front of her during the conference, and she had a HUGE smile on her face the whole time! Jack's story was about a little girl who lived with just her mother, had no neighbor kids, and she was very lonely. Eventually she got new neighbors that had a bunch of kids and this made the little girl happy, but she really wanted a sibling terribly bad. The story ends by the little girl suggesting to her mom that they should get a sperm donor so she could have a brother or sister. Ben, Jack's teacher, and I were all giggling. Clearly, our kids are very accepting of any method people use to bear a child. I feel like they are learning such valuable lessons at such a young age and can only hope that it will continue into adulthood.
Tomorrow is our 20 week ultrasound! I can't imagine how giddy our IPs feel. I'm really excited to see baby again and know that everything looks nice and healthy. They do want to find out the gender of the baby, so I'll be sending a private message to my family after we learn, however I'm going to wait to post anything on here until I get the "go ahead" from our IPs. I want them to be the ones to share their news with their family and friends and will wait a few days until I know the news has spread. I can't take that joy of sharing their news away from them! I'll eventually post photos and let you know if it's a boy or girl. I still think it's a girl!