We are almost to the half way point of this pregnancy. So far, I'd say, it has gone by quite fast. On Tuesday, I will be 17 weeks. As my belly grows, it is becoming obvious that I am pregnant. I went through the "well, she looks kind of pregnant but she could just be fat" phase. I guess it depends on my outfit. My belly is a reminder everyday to my kids that there are 2 babies growing in there. There other reminds, too. Like, "Don't jump on me. You might hurt the babies" or when I am puffing for air like a 50 year smoker because I just walked a flight of stairs.
Out of my 4 kids, I worry about the older 2 the most. My 2 younger boys, 3 and 1, don't have vocal opinions. I am certain they have an idea something is going on, more so my 3 year old, but they are still too young to really get it. This doesn't stop us from explaining that the babies are not ours. From the very beginning, we have told the kids about me being a surrogate and the reasons why, how, etc. We have always been very open with them about it. I feel very strong about this.
My 2 older kids, almost 14 and 6, I do worry about attachment issues. My daughter seems very okay with this process but I do pay attention to her actions and words regarding it. So far so good. With all of her brothers, she has been overjoyed even before meeting them. I will never forget the day she came to the hospital to meet her first brother. I could hear her running down the corridor crying while chanting "my brother, my brother" over and over. Her eyes big with tears and her heart exploding with pride as she held Noah for the first time. It was a beautiful family moment. The next 2 brothers weren't quite as dramatic but she was still tearful and so happy to meet them. She knows that these babies are not genetically related to her and I think that will help her to not become attached. She has a good head on her shoulders and while I worry about attachment issues with her, it is a very minimal worry. Plus, I think she is satisfied with the siblings she already has.
My 6 year old is a little different. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He is a sensitive little guy. The first comment he made was early on, I think it was shortly after we received a positive pregnancy result. He asked "will I be able to visit the babies in the hospital when they are born". I told him I thought that would be okay but I would have to ask the parents first. After asking the dads-to-be, I told Noah that it would be okay for him to visit the babies. Along the way, he has made other comments but most are questions about me doing things with him once the babies are born. For example, a waterslide or trampoline. Sometimes he rubs my belly, but not often. One evening, a few weeks ago, he made a comment that after some thought left me feeling a little concerned. He asked "Can't we just keep one of the babies". Now, I don't know if he really meant that or if he was just having an emotional moment. My first thought was "what a sweetheart". The next day, I realized we need to watch him and be careful with him. A friend suggested I get a children's book explaining surrogacy on a child's level. So, I ordered a book called "The Kangaroo Pouch". I read it to all of the kids the evening we received it. It was a good book. Once we were done, Noah was like "Eh, okay". We don't read the book often but we do talk about the babies and how they will go live with their parents once they are born quite a bit. Today, he asked is we could do tricks in the pool once I "get their babies out of my tummy". He even stressed the word "their". That was nice. I think he understands it as much as any 6 year old can but we'll have to keep an eye on him.
I took my 2 older boys for haircuts last week. I was standing by while the stylist did her work. She asked Noah if he was ready to be a big brother again. He didn't say anything and I quickly said that I am a surrogate. I felt terrible that he was put in that situation without knowing how to answer. I realized that was one thing we hadn't discussed with him.
After stating to the stylist I was a surrogate, that was the only subject we talked about. Before leaving, she asked if I felt weird talking about it. The answer is yes and no. I feel I can read people fairly well but it's never a for sure thing. It could be a hit or miss. Some people feel fertility help is a way of playing God. Some of those same people have negative thoughts about same sex relationships. Fortunately, I have only encountered positive people. It overwhelms me when I hear comments about how selfless I am or what an awesome thing I am doing. The attention embarrasses me and swells my heart all at the same time. I am so thankful to be surrounded by many kind and thoughtful people. In the beginning, I only shared with my family and a few close friends. Since "coming out", I have received so many kind words and positive encouragement.
I remember the first time I told a stranger about me becoming a surrogate. It was a few days before going to CA for the embryo transfer. I was shopping in a store that sold only Minnesota related merchandise. I was looking for something for the guys. I wanted them to have something from Minnesota but had no idea what to get. My daughter and I spent a lot of time searching for a nice gift. Once we decided on the gift, we finally checked out. The cashier was friendly and asked if we were from out of state. I replied that we were not and that I was buying a gift for some friends that I was meeting for the first time. I ended up telling her that we were pen pals. She was more interested than I expected her to be and asked more questions. "How long have you been pen pals? How did you get started? I didn't think people really did that anymore". After her questions, which were one right after another, I said that I was actually going to be a surrogate for them. I felt I had misled her by referring to the dads-to-be as pen pals. She was intrigued by the surrogacy but honestly, I think the pen pal idea excited her more (lol).
To all of my family, friends and those I do not know that enjoy reading my blog, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support. We all make the world go round and in a lot ways, we all need each other. Be kind and do something special for someone else, no matter how big or small your giving task may be.
Take care my friends!