I suppose the logical first post to write on a surrogacy blog would be about surrogacy, right?
But I’m going to back up a bit. Okay, I’m going to back up a lot. People often say that to figure out where you’re going, you need to first take a good look at where you came from, so I’m going to do that.
I met my husband in 2006 back when I was 21 and he was 24. Neither of us were looking for a relationship at the time, but things clicked and we both knew fairly quickly that we had stumbled upon something great. We were engaged and moved in together within about 8 months. We had a wonderful 2 year engagement. We both come from families of two children and had discussed having our own kids one day, but for the time being he was focused on finishing up school and we were both eager to start our new careers and plan the wedding.
We got married on a Friday evening in June of 2009 and it was perfect. We spent the summer in newlywed bliss. In the fall he returned to school to finish up his last year and I continued working. Things were great and we had begun planning moving out west to work. Kids were still something that we thought would happen one day, maybe 3-5 years down the road.
But everything changed with two little pink lines. We obviously weren’t as careful as we had given ourselves credit for, and a baby girl was headed our way. Our plans to move out west were put on the back-burner and our new focus was on our growing family. I can’t say that I was thrilled about the surprise for the first while. I like to think that I am a “go-with-the-flow” type, but my husband would probably tell you the opposite. There are times when I like to make a plan and stick to it, and this was not part of the plan.
But, on a cool August morning in 2010, my little girl was born and life was forever changed. It wasn’t an immediate bond like I was expecting, but (sorry for the cliché that’s coming…) she filled a space in my heart that I didn’t know was empty. I fell head over heels in love with this little thing and can’t imagine my life without her now. She turned 5 just the other day, and I can honestly say that these have been 5 of the hardest, but most rewarding years of my life. She was the best surprise I have ever had.
The three of us did end up moving west, but only about 2 hours west to be closer to my hometown and my parents. My husband finished school, found a job, and less than a year after moving we bought our first home; a tiny 2-bedroom 750 square foot bungalow. It was during this time that I first started thinking about and looking into surrogacy. I don’t think either of us felt like our family was complete yet, but it was something I wanted to start thinking about and store away for the future.
In spring 2013 my husband and I decided we were ready to begin trying to have a second child. Our daughter was going to be 3 in the summer, and we didn’t want her to be too much older than her sibling. We started trying to get pregnant in June, about the same time I found out that I had gotten a new job. Although I know it can take a perfectly healthy couple up to a year to get pregnant, it was still difficult to see the negative tests month after month. By September we were still not pregnant, and I had started thinking about what it might be like to just be a family of three. In October we ended up buying a bigger house, and thank goodness we did, because I found out that I was pregnant on our 5th month of trying, the day after we took possession of our new home. Our second baby would be arriving in July of 2015.
Second baby… Ha! In February, when I was 20 weeks pregnant, we found out at our anatomy scan that I was actually expecting TWINS! We do not have twins in my family, so it was a huge shock. I was so excited to be pregnant this time, but having twins really scared me. I wanted to have one baby, not two! Again, our plan was complicated, but what can you do? We rolled with it, bought a ::shudders:: minivan, and thanked our lucky stars that everyone was healthy. Our baby boy and baby girl arrived in June of 2014 at 38 weeks, and we all went home together 3 days later. While we were extremely overwhelmed, we were happy. Our family was officially complete.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it and say that the first year of having twins and a 4 year old was wonderful and a breeze, because it wasn’t. It was the hardest year of my life to date. My marriage was rocked. The stress of finding out that we were having twins had really taken a toll on both mine and my husband’s emotional health, and neither of us coped with it well. He had a bout of depression while I was pregnant and I was diagnosed with post-partum depression when the babies were 6 months old. I started medication, my husband and I got into marriage counseling, and we began really focusing on us again. We had gotten so caught up with being “mommy” and “daddy” that we completely forgot that we started off as husband and wife. My self-confidence and body image had gone waaaay down, if you can imagine after a twin pregnancy. I started eating better, exercising and running (which are awesome stress-reducers, by the way), and started getting healthy. All of these positive changes have made a huge difference for my marriage, my ability to parent, and my mental health.
So now I am back at work, the twins are 1, and my daughter is 5. I know with 100% certainty that my family is complete. I am in a good place in my life again, in fact even better than I was 2 years ago or before I got pregnant with my first daughter. My marriage is strong. We still have highs and lows (whoever says they don’t after having 3 kids is lying), but I have no doubts that we are both where we are supposed to be. So now this surrogacy thing has started floating around in my head again and we have started having more conversations about it.
I have a lot to think about. This has been a crazy couple of years and things are finally calm again. Do I really want to rock the boat by throwing surrogacy into the mix? Or is this the perfect time because I am feeling so great, both physically and emotionally? There are a lot more things to consider, so stay tuned as I try to sort out my thoughts and make a decision about whether or not this will actually be something I pursue.