Part II ended with our confirmation of pregnancy. Only moments after receiving the email from SDFC confirming my pregnancy, I sent a What’s App message to my couple saying, “Congratulations!! I don’t know if you saw the email yet, but you’re having a baby!!! I’m so so so so happy for you guys!”
Typically with an international match, the surrogate mom meets the couple in the beginning as I did, but then most often the next time they see each other is at the end when we are awaiting the birth of their baby. Mark and I were very lucky that our couple was able to make a trip during my pregnancy.
We were so happy to host them and invite Carol and her family to our home for a BBQ over Labor Day weekend. My heart was so full that day! I remember as if it happened yesterday, opening the door and hugging them both. I recall having a feeling of such joy and gratitude to be on this journey with them. Our connection was immediate. There was no moment of awkwardness or discomfort. My husband and I, and our kids felt appreciated but even more than that, there was this acknowledgment. It was clear to us that we were doing much more than fulfilling a contract.
They went home but didn’t feel as far away as they were. A profound change in our relationship occurred during their visit. We Skyped at least once a month and chatted via What’s App several times a week. I have never appreciated technology more than during this journey. Most of my appointments Shannon was able to FaceTime my couple so that they could see their baby in real time and talk with the doctor. Even from thousands of miles and opposite time zones, we were in this journey together.
Looking back, I can remember several truly amazing moments during this pregnancy. If I have to pick just one, I would choose the moment I met the baby’s maternal grandparents via Skype. It was mind-blowing, astonishing and overwhelmingly wonderful to consider all of the people that were being affected by this little being growing in my tummy. Like their daughter and son-in-law, they welcomed me into their family with open arms. There were tears all around and there are more than a few as I look back on this moment now!
As the pregnancy progressed, I felt my role was to exude enough confidence and optimism for us all. I’d often send messages like “next year this holiday is going to look so different,” and “in X amount of weeks you’ll be meeting your baby!” It seemed to pay off because shortly after I received an mp3 of their wedding song that they wanted me to play for their baby. It gave me an idea too! At around 27 weeks I visited a local ultrasound clinic so that I would be able to have video of the baby made along with a plush monkey that played the baby’s heartbeat. I shipped it to them as I was excited to provide my couple with a tangible reminder of what was to come.
It was probably in the third trimester when my couple began actively preparing for baby. Our skypes evolved into discussions on baby gear and things to stock up on. They began sharing their purchases and baby items with me. It gave me goosebumps when they shared that their daughter would sleep in the same bassinet that her mother had slept in. There was also a particular outfit that my Intended Mother and her sister had both worn home from the hospital. If you haven’t noticed my sentimental nature yet, I will tell you that this idea was so moving to me. In fact, I recall telling my husband afterward that this was why I held onto so much of my own children’s baby items. Another of the peaks of this journey was when I learned that my IM’s friends had thrown her a surprise baby shower. When she sent me the photos, she and I cried tears of joy again. Although it sounds like we cried all the time, I promise we laughed a lot together too!
Stay tuned for our delivery day!!!