Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why I'm a surrogate

If you tuned into this post to see a wad of cash, sorry to disappoint you. If you tuned in to see my face on the cover of a magazine, oops....not here. Surrogacy is not about money. It's not about fame. It's about people just like you and I who thought they couldn't have babies....and now they have babies. It's about a new generation for a family who thought there would never be one. It's about dads and moms smiling through the exhaustion of new parenthood because even though they are exhausted and are covered in baby slime, there's nothing that they would change. For the surrogate, it's about opening up your email on a thoroughly crappy day, a day filled with late homework assignments for kids and explosions in the lab (crap did I really just add those two chemicals to each other) and finding a simple email from someone who has changed your life as much as you have changed theirs. Below are my surrobubbas. They are not my children but I grew them in my heart so that their parents could experience the joys of parenting. I do not regret a single moment of the last six years. I never will

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And that's the way the cookie crumbles:

So it was going to be a relaxing weekend. Yeah. Hmmm. Let me re-cap:

Saturday. Wake up at buttcrack of dawn. Take step-daughter and her jug of pee (from her 24 hour urine catch...and yes, we did strap the bucket o'pee into the backseat of the car) to the neighboring town to drop it off at hospital lab. Lab slip shows bloodwork to be done also. Get to lab. It is closed. Go register at ER. Silently curse step-daughter for not paying more attention to details/instructions. Get blood drawn. Drag extremely pregnant pre-eclamptic whiner through six stores and the mall while waiting to hear bloodwork results. Silently contemplate killing her and giving her boyfriend a medal of honor for putting up with her whining. An example? She whined no less than 11 times (I counted) that there was enormous pressure in her who-ha. Really kid? No shit. When you are 4'11" and you create a baby with a man who is 6'3", there's gonna be a smidge of pressure at the end. Finally hide behind the lingerie racks in Victoria's Secret and manage to lose her, thus freeing myself from whining for at least ten minutes. Finish shopping. Bloodwork results show the beginnings of pre-e and low potassium. She will have to be monitored but induction. So we head home. On the drive home, silently contemplate killing her when she asks 14 times if she's going to die during childbirth and then has the nerve to state, "You just don't understand what it's like." Um really kid? I've been pregnant six times. Had 8 babies. 3 vaginal unmedicated births. 3 c-sections. Two sets of twins. But yeah, I probably don't understand what pressure and swelling and pregnancy discomforts do to a woman. Hmmm. To be 18 and self-obsessed again. Bet that changes in less than a month when a wee one makes an appearance.

Sunday. Wake up. Return to the neighboring town to exchange the school uniform pants that I got boy #2 because even though they are size 32 32 and even though they were in the men's section, they are, "Girl Pants". Ahem. Stop at the four other stores I was not able to visit yesterday. Drag hubby through craft store, needing nothing, just to see how tortured he looks. (Note to self, DH is not a man because the craft store did not bother him at all and at one point I'm pretty sure I saw him looking at the macrame supplies). Drive home. When almost home, make arrangements to retrieve boy #2 from a friends house. Phone rings. Growl ominously but it does not good....I must go to work. If you're counting, which I am, this is 9 out of the last 10 weekends. EGADS. Finish work. Come home. Plan to walk with my husband. It begins to pour rain. Give boy #3 the video game we found for him. Cook dinner. Get invaded by pregnant step-daughter. Retreat to bathroom to hide and get a phone call from boy #1 in prison (he has been accepted into treatment and has signed up for a rigorous parole option...he sounds like he's beginning to accept that he cannot live his life this way). Decide to blog about my ridiculous life and then take a bubble bath.

Thankfully I get to go back to work tomorrow. I need the rest.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Frank Sinatra....ramblings on regrets

When I was a kid, my mom was big time in to Frank Sinatra. I can remember our Saturday ritual. We would all get up and clean the house. We had a record player in the family room. Mom would put on records and as a family, we would clean, room by room. When Mom would put on Frank Sinatra, I would know that we were almost done. I am not a big Frank Sinatra fan, but I do love the song My Way. We would all sing it together. Now, as I get older, I find the words of that song coming back to me. Here's a section of the lyrics.

Regrets I've had a few
But then again too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

The ideas that this represent are how I want to live my life. I want to have as few regrets as I can. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. Who doesn't? But when I look back on my life so far, I have few regrets.

I married young and I married to wrong man. But from that marriage I have my children.

I married again and he is truly all that anyone could ask for. He has sacrificed so many times for the kids and I. He gave up his career and worked part time for the last six years so that I could pursue my career. He was perfectly okay with six years of living frugally so that the kids could have one of us here. Now that the kids are older, he never says a word about having to start over in the work force. We literally do everything together. He is up for any adventure, be it a road trip or simply a trip to the grocery store.

Between the two of us, we have five children. None of them are perfect. Our parenting of them has not been perfect. We sit down together and make the best decision we can at the time. We have a good relationship with all five of the kids and that is what matters. There have been some rough patches and some misunderstandings but in the end, in the last 20 years there have been more smiles than tears, more laughter than anguish. That is all anyone can hope for.

Some people would like me to regret surrogacy, but I do not. I do not like to say that I grew five children through surrogacy. Rather I say that I helped make two families through surrogacy. When I get a picture of the family together, or better yet, a letter from the grandparent thanking me for the grandchild they never thought they would have, that to me is the truth of surrogacy.
There have been some rough moments, but in the end, surrogacy was such a huge part of me for the past five years. Surrogacy allowed me to give a gift that you cannot set a price on...for what is the price of family? I used to be a much more vocal advocate of surrogacy. When I got that rare negative comment, I felt a strong need to enlighten the person. Now I couldn't be bothered. As I get older, I realize that as long as I know in my heart who I am and those that love me know who I am, I don't care what others think.

So where will my life go now that surrogacy is not a part of it? I will continue to write, both in this blog and in other places. I simply love to write. I know that I'm not a great writer. I know that this blog opens me up to the criticism of others. But writing is an outlet for me, a way to express myself. So I will continue to blog, though I can't say for sure what I will blog about. While I ponder where life will lead me next, I will leave you with more from the great Frank Sinatra.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way

For what is a man what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way

Yes it was my way

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mom brag

So I have mentioned a time or two that boy #2 is a fairly decent basketball player. I try to avoid the typical mom bragging thing but every now and then I just have to. How awesome is it that he and only a few other 8th graders in the whole town were asked to show up for the varsity/jv basketball open gym/practices at the high school with the high school kids. It's good for him because he gets to play against kids that are better than him and taller than him. I don't tell him because he would get a big head, but I think he just might achieve his dream of playing college basketball if he keeps going down this path and keeps growing. Did I mention that he's 5'10" tall? At age 13? Egads.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ten things

I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it was a cool idea:

Ten things you don't know about me:
1. I speak Persian-Farsi (it's the language they speak in Iran).
2. I was a sharp shooter in the Army (and have the medal to prove it).
3. I am one of the few people on earth that actually loves my job.
4. I am married to the nicest man on the planet.
5. I make more money in one year at my job than I have on all three previous surrogacies combined. I am what is considered a low comp surrogate. I do it because I love it.
6. I would love to go on the show Survivor but you could not pay me to skydive.
7. Spiders make me scream like a sissy girl.
8. I rock at test taking. I got a perfect score on the ASVAB and scored pretty well on the MCAT also. In fifth grade I was part of a pilot program and took and passed the GED and the ACT. When I took the ACT in high school, I got the highest score in the state that year.
9. We have our own language at our house.
10. I firmly believe that carpet is the root of all evil, followed closely by Walmart.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Updates, news, and other sundry items

That's sounds promising right? Like maybe I have some good surrogacy news. Yeah not so much. I'm fairly sure I'm done. I do have some exciting non-cycling surrogacy news though. It's probably boring but it's exciting to me. I took some yearbook classes in high school and won some statewide awards for my writing. In addition, my maternal Aunt and my sister are published authors. So I've always played with writing, hence this blog. I also write for another source that draws writings from several writers. It is more of a website with articles than a blog. Anywho, I also write on the side. For many years Joe has tried to get me to write a book about surrogacy but that's just not me. There are private moments in surrogacy that are the best part and I don't feel like sharing those with anyone. A few months ago, however, I wrote an article that is sort of a guide to surrogacy for those who think surrogates are batshit crazy. It is funny and irreverent and yet in the end, the true essence of surrogacy shines through. I tweaked it and re-wrote sections and then sent it to my Aunt to proofread. After, I sent it to several sources and one of them has decided to publish it. It's a pretty big women's magazine and I am thrilled. Even better, they sent along a letter asking what other writing I might have. This is almost better than playing with my chemicals at work. So that's my surrogacy update. I am fairly certain that you could consider me retired from the actual carrying aspect of surrogacy but it's nice to know that I can continue to contribute to the surrogacy world.

There's not much else going on in the world. We are at that wonderful time of year when both boys need new glasses or contacts, dental checkups, and physicals. We are almost done with all of those thankfully.

Off to scrounge of dinner for the hooligans. They are starving as usual.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It must be a full moon

Because the crazies are out in force in the surrogacy world. Thankfully things at home are calm and wonderful so that kind of balances out the crazies. Let's see what I can update on.

Kids: Doing well. Boy #2 is growing like a weed. Boy #3 is getting ready to hit a growth spurt I think. Girl #2 is miserably pregnant and they are thinking she will be lucky to carry to 34 weeks. She is 32 weeks right now. Operation "spoil the heck out of the new grandbaby" is about to commence very soon. Yay. Girl #1 is married though I'm not sure it's happily. Lots going on with her. I feel bad for her but in the end, I think she's made some bad choices and is having to deal with the consequences of them. She's an adult and that's what happens sometimes. Boy #1 is doing as well as can be expected. We are hoping that his eyes are being opened and that he's dealing with the consequences of his actions. Who knows though.

Spent all day yesterday cleaning out a room in the back house for Girl #2 to use as her master bedroom. That led to re-arranging the basement. We had no kids at home so we had a date night and then stayed up WAY too late worrying about things that I should learn to let go. Got up bright and early and went to work this morning. Back home now eating chocolate and trying to decide how to spend this glorious day.

Surrogacy wise I have nothing. I think I am retired. I am okay with being retired. I will continue on as I have been for another month but I think it's safe to say that I'm done. Arrivederci. Is it okay to say thank heavens? Got gorgeous pics of three of the surrobubs. They are growing so quickly.

Do you remember my blog post about the kkk member/wanna-be surro that ended up being banned by a black moderator? Read her account of the whole situation. Very funny.

That's about how it went down. Kym is a wonderful writer. I remember when I used to write funny blog posts. Now they feel more like a daily itinerary and whine session. I need to work on that. :)