I left off that I had a small complication that didn’t allow me to visit with anyone the night after I delivered. But, the first thing the next day my couple and their new baby came for a visit which lasted all day and we celebrated her safe arrival. It is definitely up there on my list of ‘best days’ of my life!!
Our good-byes, for now, happened the next day. We were being discharged from the hospital. When I entered their room, I saw their baby and she was wearing the family heirloom outfit! The one that her mother and her auntie wore when they were born!! It is a memory that often comes to mind and makes me smile.
I was pretty exhausted which was expected after the blood loss I suffered during delivery. When I got home, which was only minutes from leaving the hospital since we live so close, I fell asleep. I awoke to my little family around me making sure I was resting and recovering. It was a big difference from when our children were born that the main focus was on me! It was nice!!
I had offered to pump breastmilk and my couple happily accepted. You never know if you will have a good supply, and you must know me by now that it was something I worried about. But, we were really lucky! Not only did I have a sufficient supply, I naturally woke up at night to pump and was able to keep a good pumping schedule and provided milk for the baby for the month before they all went home.
My husband and I were so thankful that our couple rented an Airbnb close to our home. We were able to visit with them every few days while they were here. It was during this time that our bond was really cemented. We became honorary Aunt & Uncle to their baby girl and they filled the same roles to our children as well. I remember spending afternoons with them and while mom and I were cooing over the baby, dad took my kids into the backyard for exploration and fun. We still talk about how one of the best times was that summer with them.
Near the end of their stay, we were able to host a BBQ where our extended family was able to meet the new family. I think until that point they didn’t really understand why I did what I did. But meeting my couple and seeing them with their baby was so huge for my parents especially. I definitely was able to see the moment when the magnitude of the situation hit my mom. Although she’s always been a big supporter of her children, I can’t think of another time she was more proud of me. Seeing a couple become a family and knowing you had any small part of it, it’s really unparalleled. I think for my parents, seeing their child be a part of that and knowing that all of the times they babysat or helped out in my journey were all steps to making this dream come true was really amazing.
The last day before my couple went home was bittersweet. I was overwhelmed with excitement for them to introduce their child to their friends and family. I knew that they were being met at the airport by the maternal grandparents and paternal grandmother and couldn’t wait to hear all about their reaction to meeting baby. On the other hand, my little family was so sad that we wouldn’t be able to see them every week anymore. We had grown used to having meals together and had really bonded on a personal level with them. The word bond is too small to adequately express the level of our relationship. I felt as close to them as my own family. How do you properly describe that bond??
We stood in the entryway of my home just hugging and crying and promising to keep in touch. My sassy, then two and a half year old daughter, managed to lighten the mood. When Dad went to put baby girl in the car seat to leave, it wasn’t empty! My daughter had strapped a baby doll in her place! It gave us a good laugh. When they drove away, I imagined that this must be how a mom feels when her child drives off to college for the first time. A combination of joy, sadness, gratitude, and pride. I knew in my heart that no matter the miles between us, we were all bonded for life.
This is my fifth installment in my surrogacy reflection story. Stay tuned for the next and final installment!!