The day after Christmas. Five years ago today we had five kids living at home. The three older kids had gotten money for Christmas from several people and it was burning a hole in their pockets. We took them to the mall and they shopped. I sat a lot because I was 8.5 months pregnant with twins. No contractions at all though. The Columbia Mall had massage chairs at that time and I can remember Sarah and I sitting in the chairs getting a massage and it felt wonderful on my poor back. After the mall we came home and got Hardees. I ate a huge hot ham and cheese and curly fries. Not twelve seconds after I took the last bite my water broke. Not a single contraction....just bam. I went to the bathroom and there was blood. A lot of blood. We called a babysitter and then went down the street to the hospital. I was supposed to deliver in the next town but was nervous about the blood. That turned out to be a good decision. When I got to the OB Triage, I was dilated to an 8 but had complete placenta previa (how, exactly, did my OB miss that one?). I had an immediate emergency c-section and thankfully the babies and I were all fine.
Five years has passed since that day. Dylan and Ella are now in pre-K and getting ready for kindergarten. Their dad continues to send me pictures and their grandparents send me an e-mail once a year, on their birthday, thanking me for their grandchildren. Surrogacy is about creating families and I'm so thankful that these wonderful people allow me a glimpse into their family.
Life around here has changed a lot in the last five years. My role in the surrogacy world has changed from a "grower" to a mentor. I am in the background now. I do a few interviews a year and write an article or two here or there. Some people say that you are always a surrogate but I don't think I agree with that. I was a surrogate. Now I'm a mom and a friend.
Our kids, who were 8,8,13,13, and 15 have grown another five years. We have gone from having them wake us at the crack of dawn to open presents on Christmas day to us actually having to wake them up yesterday morning so they could open presents. We have gone from two in grade school, two in middle school, and one in high school to two in college, one in the workforce, and two in middle school.
Five years ago I was working a crappy factory job. I now work in a professional lab and have had two papers published about my research.
Life is so different now and yet very much the same. My time is taken up with kids, work, and my husband. I have little free time and little time to myself but I can see that changing as the kids get older. I'm not one of those that wishes the years away. I can see that we only have five years left until the younger ones are 18 and it is exciting for them and a bit sad for me. They are growing so fast and time seems to be speeding up rather than slowing down. Joe and I both try to embrace and enjoy every minute with them because time seems to be slipping away faster and faster.