Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Favorite Post Delivery Question of All Time

Now this hasn't happened yet, but I know, eventually it will, because with me, it always does.

My Favorite Post Delivery Question of All Time . . . (drumroll please)

"So When Are You Due?"
This is an excellent question- for someone who is still pregnant. However, for those of us who have already delivered, it is the biggest kick in the stomach . . . squishy, stretched out stomach.

With Surrogacy it's even more likely. Most people know not to ask, "When Are You Due?" when you have a baby in a stroller with you. With Surrogacy, there are no baby/babies to show what you were just up to- so chances are, someone is going to think the baby/babies haven't arrived yet. Bummer.

Now I know that most women will still look about 5-6 months pregnant after they deliver, that is pretty average . . . the baby/babies are gone, so is the placenta(s) and lots of fluid . . . but for some, including me, it will take months (or years) to not look pregnant. There are also women who will leave the hospital looking like they just went in to visit a friend who had a baby . . . I have some friends like that . . . there are lots of words I could use swirling around in my head, but these are friends, so I will just smile and be happy for their flat stomach. Yes, Happy, that's the word I'll go with.

Last time, after I gave birth to Natasha and Anjali, I ran into an older customer who asked when I was due. I was dumbfounded. Sure I had heard it before, but I was a good 26 pounds lighter than the last time she saw me and about 16 inches less around the waist. How in the hell could she not tell? I mean, come on! All I have to say is that it was good that she was in her 80's and fragile, because in my mind, the only thing I could think about was kicking that cane out from underneath her. LOL

Here I was about 2 weeks before the birth of the girls

Don't you think she would've noticed, even if the belly was, say, half it's size? I guess No.

Here I am the day of the birth of my second journey-

And here I am leaving the hospital, only down about 18 pounds at the time (can someone say 6 bags of fluid?)
Yes, I know, I look pregnant still . . . but not 9 months with twins! HELLO!

It hasn't been long since the birth, I'm already down 38 pounds as of today and yes, I still look pregnant. I'm going to hope will all my might that I make it through the next month without the dreaded question . . . but I'm certainly not going to bet money on it.

*** UPDATE- 2 weeks post birth and I'm down 47 pounds . . . which is weird because I only gained about 36 in the pregnancy . . . but I'll take it!!! ***

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It Gets Better Video . . .

I saw this and of course, ended up in tears. Growing Generations clients Bill and Bill, with their family that they created through Surrogacy, explain to teens who are thinking of suicide or who just feel alone . . . . It Gets Better . . .


As an ALLY, I try to share my experiences with Surrogacy so that other women may think this is something they might consider doing as well. So far I know of at least five women who have applied to be or who have become Surrogates since meeting me or running into my blog. I hope that it spreads, that they may be a positive catalyst for others to become open about the idea of being a Surrogate too.

Who knows, 20 years from now, when my children talk about how their mom helped 2 different couples become families, maybe someone will decide Surrogacy is for them as well . . . . and become a surrogate for a man who remembers that as a teen, he didn't think it would get better . . .

. . . but it will, because I promise I will fight for your rights until the day I die.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Importance of the Matching Process

I just saw a blog that featured an article regarding a Canadian couple that found out the fetus their Surrogate was carrying was likely to be born with Down syndrome. The Intended Parents choice was to terminate the pregnancy, however, the Surrogate didn't want to abort the fetus. Now, this is a hard issue for any couple to deal with, I can't imagine having to make that decision as a parent. As a Surrogate, I know what my decision would be . . . whatever the parents wanted because it's not my fetus.

Growing Generations, my agency, discusses such things through the entire process. It starts when you fill out your profile and you let them know your thoughts on several possible issues. They ask about your feelings on the termination of the pregnancy for whatever reason and they even ask about selective reduction . . . how you feel about going from 3 embryos to 2, 3 to 1, 2 to 1 etc.

The above questions, along with a lot of others, help my agency find a couple that have similar views of what I want my surrogacy journey to be . Both the IPs and Surrogate get to see each other's Profiles, so we can see what we agree on and things that may need to be discussed further. Now, I can't speak for other agencies or Surrogates who choose to go independent, but all this is discussed AGAIN at the actual match meeting. You need to discuss all of this so that everyone is on the same page and it is much easier to discuss what you would do/what is best for you (IPs and Surrogate) BEFORE you are pregnant and in the situation of possible termination/reduction.

But here's the thing, there is someone out there for everyone. I would never carry triplets but there are other Surrogates who would . . . so obviously, I would never match with someone who wouldn't reduce if we ended up with 4 or 3. At the same time, there are some Surrogates who would not participate in a termination for any reason. I, on the other hand am Pro-Choice and realize that the fetus(es) I carry are not mine, so Ultimately, it isn't my decision. Yes, it's my body, but it's their future child/children. What I may chose for my own family (if I found out my fetus had Down's Syndrome, Spinal Bifida,etc.) has nothing to do with someone else's child.

I have really lucked out that none of this has ever been an issue for me in my journey as a Surrogate or as a Mother. I can't say the same for some of my surro-friends.

One Surrogate I know had to reduce from 3 to 1 and it was really tough on her. Of course she complied, as all this was discussed numerous times before she was pregnant, but I'm positive that it affected her negatively as her blog told the story of someone dealing with something I never had to deal with . . . even including a little ticker that mentioned 2 angels going to heaven. When I saw that, the first thing I thought was, "Whoa! I hope her IP's don't read her blog" and my other thought was that she obviously was deeply affected by what had transpired and I hope I would never have to feel the way she was feeling.

Another surro-friend carried twins, one that was diagnosed with Down's Syndrome. They told the parents the baby wouldn't survive the pregnancy . . . she lived until she was 4. When I asked this surrogate her opinion about this new story she said, " . . . Now, having been there and done that . . . it absolutely, unequivocally, HAS to be the PARENT'S choice. This is a sacrifice we make as surrogates. We are not the parent." I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thank You and Congratulations Robert Edwards!

This week, the 2010 Nobel Prize for Medicine went to Robert Edwards for his amazing work in pioneering In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Without his work, Natasha and Anjali and the babies I am carrying now would not have been created, as well as about 4 million other babies world wide. So thank you!!!