|The day after Spencer was born|
|Spencer- 1 day old|
Lydia has had a maternal instinct her whole life, so naturally she couldn't wait to get her hands on the baby. She came into the hospital with a smile and left beaming from ear to ear! She was the first of the kids to want to hold the baby. She later told me, "When I grow up I'm going to have two children of my own and be a surrogate twice!" This journey has had such a positive impact on all of our kids, especially Lydia. She's so in love with pregnancy and babies...just like her Mama!
|Lydia and Spencer|
|Jack and Spencer|
|George and Spencer|
My mom, sister, and nieces came shortly after Ben and the kids left. We visited in my room for a while and then went down to visit Spencer and my IPs. Spencer's grandparents, auntie, and cousin were in visiting when we got into their room. Words can't express the feeling I get when I see Spencer's family members holding him, and I get this surreal feeling when I see him in his parents arms...it's indescribable! This was a room full of happy tears and loaded smiles. We took lots of pictures and had lots of snuggles. My family is very respectful with making visits short when they should be and staying longer if they are needed. Ben joined us at the hospital and brought a heaping laundry basket full of items that people left at our house when we bolted out after my water broke. He stayed for lunch with us and everyone left shortly after so I could nap.
I spent most of the afternoon sleeping, pumping, and sitting in the amazing bathtub that the hospital has. The same nurse was assigned to Spencer and me. It was fun because the nurses would go from one room to the next and I got to hear updates on the baby and my IPs. Our day nurse, Betty, was so touched by our story. It took her until Friday night to finish my registration information because that didn't happen before the birth. I think three nurses throughout our stay, on separate occasions, told us that we should write a book. We obviously showed the hospital staff that our surrogacy journey was perfect without even telling them. I think people can just see it and they probably feel it, too. I didn't want to be overwhelming by visiting too much, so early Friday evening I got a text from my IPs that I should come down and visit or they could come to my room to visit, if I wanted. It's hard to know what kind of balance I should have in terms of visiting, especially at the hospital. It was so nice to get that text. It's very clear that all of us are so respectful of each other. Thankfully, we have ALWAYS had very open and clear communication about our desires and boundaries. So, Friday evening was very quiet. I hung out with my IPs and Spencer and we had such a wonderful time. We had a mini photo shoot which is always fun, and I got to snuggle but I didn't hold him very long. It was nice to hold him but it was even better to see my IPs holding him! We all wanted to get an early discharge on Saturday morning, so I went back to my room and packed up and had another sleepless night...guilt of the birth got me again.
|1 Day Old|
|1 Day Old|
Our life is so busy with our kids activities, so right after leaving the gas station I needed to go and get my new breast pump at the medical supply store. Then we dropped Lydia off for her play, she actually had two plays that day, and then headed off to see Jack in his two plays. Somehow I needed to find time to pump a few times between the performances. After Jack's second play we went out for supper with my in-laws who came up to watch Lydia's first performance and Jack's second performance of the day. Everyone from our kids' school had been anxiously waiting for Spencer's birth so when I showed up at Jack's play I had so many shocked looks. I don't think most people would have gone straight from the hospital to their son's play. He did a play in a week, so he only had two shows the day I got out of the hospital and I couldn't miss it. It was a nice way to transition, too.
Our life didn't slow down from there. Lydia had another show on Sunday. On Tuesday I volunteered as an usher at Lydia's two school shows. On Wednesday my sister came with her girls to visit, she cut my hair and I had a photo shoot with her girls. I ended up sending my hair to Locks of Love. Wednesday and Thursday, Lydia had two school shows again. Thursday night Lydia had a school coir concert. On Friday I had a five hour dental meeting, had to pick up and deliver milk to our milk group, Lydia had another show that night, and I had a mini breakdown. Everywhere I went I was asked the same question, "Was it hard...you know, to give the baby away?" I didn't think it was a hard question to answer because I just fulfilled my dream, but hearing the question over and over became quite emotionally taxing. I knew I pushed myself too much, and I was overwhelmed and very overtired. I cried for two solid hours. Thankfully, Ben took the boys to an event at the school and picked up Lydia from her show so I could take a long bath and head to bed at 7:30. On Saturday Ben and I volunteered as greeters at Lydia's first show and then we had Montana, my cousin, babysit so we could have a date and enjoy watching Lydia's second show. On Sunday I volunteered in the greenroom at Lydia's last show. It was way too much!
|Hair Sent to Locks of Love|
I've been much more careful this week to keep my commitments down. I did have a few things planned. On Monday I took our van to get fixed. I dropped off the van and walked to the gym, just a couple blocks away, where I walked 5 miles on the treadmill and biked 6 miles while I waited three hours for the van to be fixed. Again, I'm not sure what in the world I was thinking doing this much work knowing I just pushed myself too much. I didn't have anything else to do while I waited, so I felt like I just took it easy while I walked and biked. On Wednesday I got to go visit babies! I met my sister and her two girls and we had a visit with our sister in-law and her girls. I bet is was a sight to see two women pumping while one was breast feeding all in the same room. We had a blast together, it's so fun we'll all best friends! Then we went down to visit my IPs and Spencer. I didn't know what it would feel like seeing Spencer for the first time since leaving the hospital. I felt like I almost ran to look at him. I didn't think he looked like he had changed much, but when I picked him up I could tell he was solid. I couldn't believe how heavy he was! He had just finished eating, so I snuggled with him on my chest for a full hour. It was the perfect snuggle time that I had hoped for. We also all watched the video of the birth together. I left with a smile again! We had a nice two hour visit and then I made the trek in a snow storm back home. I stayed in my PJ's for most of today writing in the blog and tomorrow we're going to have another PJ day with the kids. Saturday we're going to be in the cities for my cousin's wedding shower and we all get to visit Spencer on Saturday afternoon. I learned today that Spencer weighed 9 pounds and 4 ounces and measured 21.5 inches long at his two week check up today. That explains why he felt heavy when I snuggled him.
|Snuggle Time- 13 Days Old|
|13 Days Old|
|13 Days Old|
The truth of the matter is, I'm emotionally doing wonderful! I think people question this because most people couldn't imagine doing what we just did. Most people couldn't do it because of the fear of having attachment issues. I had no fear of having attachment issues, but that's because I was meant to be a surrogate. I've had joyful tears and tears when I had my mini breakdown. None of these have been because of sadness or a feeling of loss. I have such joyful feelings and still feel like I'm on some type of high from this journey.
I received this message from IP-A just a few days after giving birth. I think it sums up our experience perfectly! We feel the same about them...
As we think back on this chapter...joyful tears come to our eyes for all the expressions of love, outpouring of support, and just plain generosity. You and your family are such incredible gifts to the world and you have brought so much joy to IP-B and I. No words can express how appreciative we are. You're heroes and you'll always be family to us. Your selfless act of carrying lil Spencer to our arms, Ben's strong support, the kid's excitement, the My Wish for You book, both yours and Megan's incredible gift of liquid gold, Ma and Pa Boom's active cheer leading. You all have done so much for us. We wake up thinking this might all be a dream...but it's real and it's very very special.