Tomorrow marks 3 months since Squishy was born. 3 months since I was last pregnant. 3 months since I was a surrogate.
Am I a surrogate, or was I a surrogate? It is definitely a part of who I am now, but it’s also a part of my life that is over. I’m at the tail-end of maternity leave, and I’m left wondering, now what?
The last 3 months have been a roller-coaster, to say the least. The first few days after the birth I was on the “I just did the coolest thing in the world” high. Since I didn’t have to have a c-section, recovery was smooth, and I felt like myself again in no time. My hormones started to do their big swing about a week later, conveniently right around the time that C&J and their perfect little family went home. It was so hard saying goodbye. And not just to Squishy, but to C&J, too. Over the course of the year we had formed very strong bonds, and the birth had only strengthened those bonds. I was fearful of how our relationship would change once they took their baby home. Luckily, we still remain close, and I can’t imagine not having these people in my life ever again.
December was crazy, as usual, with a few added emotional hurdles thrown in (we started a business, there were a few family losses, etc.), but I survived. In January life finally started to settle down a bit (we have a 6-year old and TWO 2-year olds, so it’s never really settled.) I was able to start working out, which I was thankful for. I don’t love working out while I am doing it, but man do I miss that stress-reliever when it’s taken away from me. Plus, I was looking forward to starting to lose some of the baby weight. Of course now, 6 weeks in to exercising and eating well, I’ve remembered that I never lose any weight within the first 6 months of having a baby. I figured that since I don’t have a new baby and have the time to run, workout, cook, and eat well, I might be able to lose it earlier or faster, but my body still seems to think there’s a baby out there I need to feed, and is holding onto the extra fat stores. So I’m dealing with the frustration that that brings. There’s no baby here, body. My brain and my heart are 100% okay with that, now it’s time for you to get the memo!
Now that I am getting more active I’ve been taking our dog out for a ton of walks, and it’s during those walks that I think a lot about what’s next. I took a term position last summer that ended in the fall, so finding work of some kind is fairly high on the list. But in the meantime, I have been thinking of other ways I can find purpose and also give back. Right now I am Mom and I am Wife. I know that there is a heck of a lot more to me, but I’m struggling to figure out what that means right now, and what else I have to give. Of course taking my dog on these walks, and going to the dog park with her, led me back to an idea that I’ve always had and always wanted to do. I want to foster rescue dogs. Our dog was a rescue, and since we got her I have always thought that it would be amazing to foster one day, once our kids were older. I have been soul-searching and trying to find another way to give, and this is it. Right now, this is my currency.
This is not a decision that I (actually, we, because my H and oldest daughter are 100% on board) have made lightly. I’ve been questioned about whether or not I have the time or energy to do this. I’ve been questioned about whether I will get attached and if I will be able to give a foster dog away (which is funny considering what I just went through.) And while I appreciate the concern, I am not the type of person to make decisions like this on a whim. Like surrogacy, I have been thinking about doing this for years. I’ve now realized, like with the surrogacy or even deciding when I wanted to have my own babies, there is no such thing as the perfect time. When you know you need to do something – when you can feel yourself light up on the inside when you think about it – you should probably do it.
So, my Temporary Home to sweet little Squishy is now becoming a Temporary Home for a rescue dog. We’ve signed up to foster with the rescue that we got our pup from, and are now waiting for a dog that fits our criteria. I was honoured to help one family bring home their baby last year (they already had enough fur-babies!) and now this year we hope to help some fur-babies find their families. And bonus for me, this year involves no morning sickness!