Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yay! Good news!

Today the perinatologist did another scan and (finally!) it was all good news! Both babies look great, and growing ahead of schedule and have topped the 1 1/2 lb. mark! And, my cervix is holding well and looks good.

AND, he said I could start slowing adding some low level activity to my schedule. Starting with walking 10 minutes a day! And then in a week or two adding yoga, and eventually adding swimming into the mix! I can not even begin to tell you how liberating it feels to hear this!

And, instead of the doom and gloom speech of 'Prepare Yourself for 28 Weekers', I got the probably more like 34 weeks. This could all change in a matter of hours if things go wonky, but for now I'll take this great news and celebrate!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What I do for a living.

Yesterday I was sitting in my car waiting for my kids to get out of school and a mom that I am casually friendly with approached me and mentioned that she didn't know I was pregnant again. We chit-chatted a bit about it and I told her that these babies weren't mine either, that it was another surrogacy, and for the same family I carried for before.

And she said, "How interesting. I've never met anyone that makes their living doing what you do."

I know she meant it in a genuine and interested way, and that she was in no way being catty or rude.

I have a job. I make my living as a legal assistant in a family formation law firm. Surrogacy is NOT a job. I am not paid to carry someone's baby. I am compensated for the effort and time I go through, and I realize that is a fine line if you aren't living it.

I don't know why it bothers me so much this time around, but it does. A lot.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Treat me like I'm...

AlmostGrownChild*: I'm going to stay late and then I'll be home.

ManyMom: Actually, I'd like you to please be on the next bus home. You broke curfew yesterday and then were sneaky today by waiting until I had left the house to leave, when you were on restriction and I had specifically said no to you going to your meeting early. You need to come home now.

AlmostGrownChild: Hmph! I wish you'd stop treating me like a 16 year old and start treating me like a 17 year old!
*slams down telephone, hanging up on me*

chuckle, snort, giggle. hahahahahahahaha!

*This is my current fosterteen. He turned 17 a couple weeks ago. He's lovely, and has been with us since August, and I really enjoy him.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seductive Dance School Ads (repost)

Huh, my classes certainly don't progress in this fashion!

(Sorry, couldn't figure out how to copy the images into my blog. You'll just have to click.)

New (tango) bloguera

Sometime over the Christmas season, google fed a me a little jewel in my reader. I have it set to scan for tango related web items (and you would NOT believe how many non-tango things are tagged with tango!) and it sent me to Adriana Palanca's blog post Why I should take tango lessons. I left a little message and didn't check back for awhile.

Lo and behold, that Holiday party sent her to classes and she's blogging about it!

If you get a chance, stop by and say hello, send her some encouragement. Tell her a story about what it was like when you started.

(Here, here, here and here are her next few tango posts, one for each class, but the rest of her blog is really worth reading as well!)

Tango in my Dreams, if not reality

Last night I had the most lovely dream that I was in a wedding/function thing and had a partner that I was 'assigned' to. We didn't know each other, or speak the same language, and didn't have a chance to communicate anyway as we were busy with our duties.

At the conclusion of the event, when tables were cleared and chairs put away and we were saying our goodbyes I went to shake his hand and hug him goodbye. He had been a lovely companion and I'd enjoyed our limited talkless time together. But he held our hug, and then a tango started, and he moved us into an embrace and the embrace was so *right*. It was that fit that makes it all come together, the sense of mingling spirits. My left arm went softly around his shoulders and sank just a bit like butter and never needed to move. My right arm, I didn't even sense it. And when he moved us, it was, well there was no body. Just us and the music and the movement to it. And we danced a couple songs, and when the last song ended he kissed me on the cheek and went his way and I returned to where my friends were sitting just a few feet away.

And I could feel that slightly shocked, removed feeling over me, like a heavy blanket or a cloak. And my friends said, That was Nice. And all I could do was grin foolishly because I knew that was the best dance I'd ever had in my life.

If I can't have it on the dance floor, I'll take it in my dreams. I feel a bit glowy this morning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Can I just share with you all how traumatic the hospital experience really was for me? It's taken a bit to process it, but here, a couple weeks later, I can say it was traumatic.

There I was, on a table, legs up in crazy expose-me-to-the-world stirrups, and a spinal block. I can't feel anything below my bellybutton, can't move my legs, can't do anything but lay there at the mercy of these people that I don't know and don't trust. They're doing their routine thing, all normal and typical to them. And all I can do is lay there and breathe. And fight back the panic. Count the times my blood pressure drops so low he has to give me epinephrine and the buzzy two second high when it hits.

It was traumatic.

Surrogacy and Money

I know it's a topic of interest.

I don't get that much money for carrying a baby (or babies), for fulfilling a dream, for creating a family. If one were to average it out, it's no where near minimum wage. The compensation I receive as a surrogate is part of what makes it a legit and legal exchange, part of what defines the parameters to keep everyone safe, part of what makes the sacrifices worth it. But it's not WHY I am surrogate. In fact, I don't know a single surrogate that actually considers money the main reason she carries. And, in all honesty, as I sit her on bedrest, the idea that the money is the motivation is laughable. There really isn't enough money out there to make me halting my normal life worth it.

But I will tell you what is worth it all:

Creating a Family
Being part of something done with such Intention
Knowing that these children are wanted, cherished and cared for
Helping someone's Dream come true
Feeling these babies kick and knowing that every ounce of thought about them is suffused with love

I've seen births that I walked away from and said prayers for those babies and the lives ahead of them. I've seen new parents with no thought or consideration for what it means to actually parent. I've had children in my home that have so much damage that I'm not sure they can be loved enough to repair it.

I have a chance to help repair just a little bit of that damage, to balance it out.

So, yes, I'm compensated and it helps, but it's at the bottom of the list of why I am a surrogate. And so when people ask me first about the money, or say "You must get paid a lot to be willing to do that" or they make snide comments about babyselling, or they suggest I am a uterine whore....I don't even know what to say. The rude ones I don't bother with, they won't get it anyway.

But the rest of the do I convey to them the aching beauty and trust that the parents share with me, give to me, to carry their child? And the absolute honor that is? How do I convey to them that this lovely little being inside of me wants and expects nothing more than the purity of love for a short time, and I get to give it? How do I share the absolute heartwrenching moment of seeing the parents realize that the baby in their arms is theirs?

I wish I could get people to really understand what is at the heart of being a surrogate.

What else does she have to do?

So, one might suppose that because I'm on bedrest I would have nothing better to do than sit around and blog. But One would be wrong! There is so much more to do. Here is a list of my daily activities that prevent me from blogging (not necessarily in order):

1. obsession with Surrogate Mothers Online forums
2. Facebook
3. Staring at the dirty door frames, cupboards, etc in my house
4. disrupting my cat's need to slumber right where I am laying
5. obsessing about how I'm not tangoing
6. feeling guilty for having a faulty cervix

In all seriousness, I will be on bedrest until the babies come. If you look alllllll the way down at the bottom of my blog, there's a ticker that will tell you exactly how long that is supposed to be.

I'm bored. I'm slightly depressed. I'm NOT lonely (thanks to wonderful friends, and my lovely children) and I miss being able to just do regular everyday things without thinking if I am jeopardizing anyone.

My children soon got over the novelty of having my undivided attention (maybe they could sense my desperateness?) and have gone back to their surprisingly uneffected routines. They are wonderful and have really been sweet about picking up where I have stepped away, and I am continually amazed and honored to have these kids in my life.

And, underneath all this bedridden angst is the really sweet reminders when Baby Boy kicks and moves, and Baby Girl does her little floaty thing that makes me feel like she's a dolphin in there, that I am bringing them into the world and being part of building this family is still one of the most special things I've ever been part of.