My Thoughts on Surrogacy

I can’t believe that sweet little Knox was born 11 weeks ago already! The time is flying by and I often forget that I just had a baby since I don’t have a newborn around!

I wanted to write a post for you guys to hear my thoughts on surrogacy now that it’s been a few months and I’ve had time to process it more.

Here’s the short version: Surrogacy was AWESOME. If you want to hear the long version, read on. ūüôā

Being a surrogate¬†was such an amazing experience¬†and I really loved it. Before even starting the process of becoming a surrogate the part I was most unsure about was how I would feel after the baby was born. Of course I¬†prepared myself as much as I could and thought I would be ok but how do you really know how you’ll feel after you grow a baby that is not yours inside your womb for 9 months and then one day head home from the hospital without them? Amazingly, it was not at all hard for me to come home and recover post-partum¬†without a baby. I did not fee like I wanted to bring Knox home. I did not feel like he was mine. I did not feel attached to him like I did my own children. I knew from the very beginning that he was not mine and I worked hard at mentally preparing myself to leave the hospital empty handed. Of course, I’m sure that Knox will always hold a special place in my heart but he does so as the children of my close friends and siblings do, not as if he were my own child. I honestly left the hospital with so much joy because I was just so incredibly happy for Ben and Kristen to finally have their baby boy in their arms. From the very beginning I knew why I was doing this and what the end result would be. When Knox was born, it was so rewarding to finally see the culmination of all the years of waiting (for Ben and Kristen), the weeks of paperwork, testing, and injections, the months of pregnancy and pre-natal visits, and the hours of labor. Sweet little Knox was finally here!

Recovering without a newborn was easier but I am pumping my milk to donate to a milk bank and so I am still up in the middle of the night pumping and I am not getting much sleep even without a baby to wake me up. =) ¬†I did not have any post-partum anxiety or depression to deal with so that was good. I really just went back to life as usual – with a greater sense of fulfillment for what I had just done! I am feeling all back to normal – with just a few reminders that I recently had a baby (like a little extra tummy pudge. ūüėČ )

Many people have asked how the kids have handled everything and the answer is that they have done amazingly well. The transition from Knox being in my belly to going home with his family went SO smoothly for them. They never once asked why we didn’t keep him or if he was their brother or where he went or anything like that! We were very open and honest with them from the beginning that this was not their brother and that he would not be joining our family.¬†We talked a lot about surrogacy in terms they could understand. They got to know Ben and Kristen throughout the process and they knew that they were¬†Knox’s parents and that he would be going to live with them. When the kids came to visit Knox in the hospital after he was born they never thought he was our baby or that he would be coming home with us. It’s been so amazing to me how they have adjusted to everything. In their minds what I did as a surrogate was normal and they don’t think anything weird about it! When I get pictures of Knox from his parents I will show the kids and they will say “ooooh, he’s sooo cute” and there is no hint¬†of thinking or wishing that he should be ours. I think that kids take so many of their cues from adults as to how to respond in certain situations and¬†because Drew and I sailed smoothly through the whole process they were able to as well.

It was very rewarding to be a surrogate. It left me feeling so proud and happy that I was able to help somebody in an incredible way. I had a great experience from start to finish and I would definitely do it again! (I’ve just got to decide if I want to be pregnant again… ūüėČ ) For now I am on to my next adventure which is that of a full time exclusive pumper. After having Knox I wanted to be able to do something with my breast milk because I knew that in the past I had been a very large producer and I knew my milk could go to babies in need if I was willing to pump it. I knew how badly I had wanted Eloise to receive breast milk and how hard I worked to induce lactation in order to breastfeed her (and what a rewarding experience that was for me) so I couldn’t bear not to offer my milk (that would come so easily compared to inducing lactation!) to babies in need. ¬†I found a milk bank that works exclusively with surrogates who are willing to donate¬†their milk to help sick, premature babies. It has been a learning curve as I figure out how to fit pumping into my daily routine. I currently produce 85 ounces a day and pump every 2-3 hours,¬†including in the middle of the night. Between pumping, bagging and freezing my milk, and STRICTLY washing and sanitizing all my pump parts (I have to be very careful about contamination since my milk is going to micro-preemies!), I calculated that I spend almost 8 hours a day collecting my milk! It’s like a full time job but I love being able to¬†continue helping to grow the babies of others!

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Birthdays, Disney World, Graduations, Oh My!

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and for a while now I have been wanting to post a follow up blog post with my thoughts on surrogacy now that I’m 10 weeks post-partum and have had more time to process everything. But March and April have been busy months for us and I haven’t had the time to sit down and write. I’m finally making the time, but before I do that I’ll fill you in a little on what we’ve been up to the last few months.

We made two trips to Disney World! It was the kids’ first time to Disney World and everyone had a blast. Since we live so close we’ve just been making weekend trips and visiting one park at a time. We’ve been to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom so far and are going to Hollywood Studios in June. We’re skipping Epcot this go around but maybe next year! We went with Drew’s parents and the kids’ cousin, Gavin. It was SO much fun and we can’t wait to go back!

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Olive turned 3 and Eloise turned 5 in April. Olive didn’t have a big party this year since she’s too little to have many friends to invite yet (but as a family we did have the Barbie cake that she wanted!). But Eloise, now that she’s in VPK, had a big party with lots of friends invited. She wanted a mermaid party so we did our best and everyone had a blast!

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Isaiah got his Kindergarten graduation pictures taken in preparation for his graduation later this month. I can’t believe that my baby boy is already almost done with Kindergarten. The years fly by so fast. He had a Mother’s Day Tea at his school last week and made some sweet things for me to cherish. ‚̧ This boy has a sweet and tender heart!

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The card says: “Happy Mother’s Day! You look prettier than a rose. I love you. You are as pretty as sun. Love, Isaiah” ‚̧

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Both the girls got their first hair cuts last month! Yes, I waited until they were 3 and 5 to get their hair cut for the first time….that’s ok, right!? Eloise also got her first blow out and is in love with how long her hair became once it was straightened. It will stay straight as long as we don’t get it wet….which is hard to do when you have a fish for a daughter but we’ll see how it goes!

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The kids and I took a trip to Indiana to visit my family. I was nervous about flying with all three kids by myself but they honestly did GREAT and I was so proud of them! It was so easy I’m actually crazy enough to be thinking about when we can do it again! This visit was extra special because my sister-in-law and her kids were also visiting from Wyoming so we got to spend time with them as well. The kids haven’t been able to spend much time with their cousins on my side of the family since we live so far away so it was a great time for them to catch up. We were able to get some cousin photos taken as well and even though the weather was freezing and the kids were crying – we managed to get a few good ones. ūüėČ

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We finally got a new roof put on our house! There is no official record of how old our roof is but our best guess is that this house still had the original roof from when the house was build – over 30 years ago! It has served us well and actually wasn’t leaking or having any issues but it was becoming a bit of an eye sore so we decided to replace it. =) I asked the kids what color roof we should pick and Olive picked pink. She was quite upset to come home and find out we had chosen charcoal…She’s disappointed but Drew and I are pretty happy with our choice. ūüėČ

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Drew took a trip to Omaha, Nebraska to go to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting. He has been wanting to go to a meeting for years and it was an amazing trip for him. He wants me to go with him next year but I’m not sure how interesting it would be to me. ūüėČ

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So that’s what we’ve been up to these days. This turned into a much longer post than I anticipated so I’ll write my post on my thoughts on surrogacy later this week. Stay tuned! ūüôā

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