Or at-least the milk. It seems that we have had just about every possible hang up that you can imagine, but yet, the common thread is that of assistance. The personnel involved in the shipment and at the quarantine department have been amazingly helpful in working to expedite the process of getting this precious milk to Mikayla still frozen! Tomorrow will be SIX days on a shipment that was supposed to be 1-3. However, we did plan for delay and have done all that we can to ensure that it will arrive frozen. I will be eagerly awaiting the news when it is picked up, but somehow, deep inside of me, I feel that all is well. I don't know if that is just the relaxing affects of lactation or if it is my intuition. Usually, I am good at knowing things without evidence, but lately I am just so relaxed! LOVE it!
So, today is my 36th birthday and I am sitting in a hotel room all alone in San Francisco at a yoga conference. I walked across the street and treated myself to a bottle of wine and some deli food. Sitting here, with the keyboard as my companion, I am left wondering what to do next. I sure would love a piece of birthday cake. Tomorrow, my stepbrother is taking me out to dinner and I am very much looking forward to it.
As I looked in the mirror tonight and toasted myself to a successful past year of life, I felt blessed to just get through to the other side. I walk around this hotel full of yoga celebrities and yoga hard bodies everywhere. I shop at the vendors and nothing is suitable for my body. Easily, I could allow this to bother me, but I don't. I simply feel honored to be who I am, where I am, with the past that I have. I feel blessed to be alive and in good health. And THIS, my dear friends, is yoga. This, being present, living and breathing what yoga is and teaches within my soul. Truly, I am growing and maturing toward all the wisdom that God will allow.
Today was the culmination of much planning and preparation. Weeks were spent researching and readying ourselves for this grand shipment to this tiny little person. The package weighed seven times her body weight. The hours spent making decisions seems endless, and now all we can do is wait. Wait and pray that the cooler of liquid gold arrives to it's queen in a solid, frozen state. I have literally prayed and visualized angels carrying this precious cargo swiftly to Australia. The time I have spent pumping, cleaning pump parts and storing milk have been uncountable, but the heart to give to this baby hasn't been near tapped. I couldn't ship all of the milk that I have in my freezer due to weight limits, and that just grates at me every time I see the milk in my freezer and not in the cooler on it's way to be utilized.
I find myself wanting to reflect on Mikayla tonight because of the gravity of the day, but I'm at a place that I have learned how to stay even in emotion. If I don't allow myself to think of her for more than a few seconds at a time, then I don't get to that sad place of longing. Then I wonder, is this selfish preservation of my heart worth the denial of her existence? Sometimes, I want to allow myself to the dwell on my memories and let the tears come just so I can feel close to her and not forget. But, most of the time, I just can't let myself feel that pain now that I have been able to avoid it. So, here's to another night of good sleep and dreaming of Mika receiving a cooler full of FROZEN breast milk from her surro mommy.
Tonight, we enjoyed a skype call and I got to see sweet little surro babe smile! Her daddy was holding her and she was smiling up at him and I just love to see her with her parents and love to see her happy with them. Just knowing that she is taken care of and loved makes me feel good. Knowing that I was a part of making this family is exactly what drew me to being a surrogate, but the feeling that I get from it is much more rewarding than I even knew it could be. Yes, the downsides have been tougher than expected, but Man, have the upsides been more UP! The love that what I feel for this beautiful new family is so strong and the deep love and connection that I have to this little girl is absolutely undying. Hmmm. Just sitting here feeling so full of yumminess right now.
So, I was in the hospital three days after birth for a possible infection, needing IV antibiotics to recover. And Yesterday around 1:00 or so, I began spiking a fever very quickly. I was chilled and shivering uncontrollably, wondering what was going on. I thought it might be mastitis, so called the midwife and she said that I could go in to the ER for antibiotics, or I could take loads of vitamins, and wait to see by tomorrow. I took Tylenol also and that did eventually drop my fever and help me to feel a bit better. But, I still began to feel worse again.
Out of desperation, I took two ounces of my own milk and was amazed that I began feeling better. So, then I had this dilemma of wanting to be well and knowing my milk could make me better, and not wanting to use Mikayla's milk! This is the first time I have drank my own milk and I was amazed that I could do it, but honestly grossed out at the thought. It's amazing what you will do when you feel like you are dying. And after a couple of hours, I began feeling worse again, took more Tylenol and still decided that I must go to the hospital!
We spent two hours at the hospital just to get one pill and a prescription. I don't even have the energy to go into the frustration of our medical system or Kaiser Permanente for that matter! But, wouldn't it be great if we could just have the DR call in a prescription?
And, I must lie flat again as my head is throbbing like a freight train is going through it. Let's hope that this is my last complication!
SWEET baby girl! The last couple of days have been great. Actually, the whole weekend. But, when the tears come again, it is hard to stop. Usually in the dark night when I am thinking of her sweetness and our times together.
However, more and more, I can console myself with the acknowledgement that I had a wonderful gift of four weeks with this little one and many surrogates do not get that. And that should be enough writing about my feelings as it is getting close to that time of night and I prefer to go to sleep without crying.
The last two days have been much more positive for me and I recognize that it could also be due to the fact that I am quite busy, but I will take it!
It seems that right now, I am noticing a different perspective in my view on aspects of my life that are no different than they were right before the birth of my surro baby. My thought is that having gone through this difficult experience of surrogacy and certainly the trauma of the birth complications has allowed me to see things differently. I feel somehow that life is more manageable. Life is more possible and how do I say, maybe more enjoyable? As I return to my 'normal' life, I feel that the same things that stressed me previously do not matter as much. What I might also assume is that I feel this way simply because I am so close to the whole experience and still in the postpartum period. My ideal would be to maintain this same perception and approach to my life. Being able to go through life without stress and anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed is a constant struggle for me and it seems much more natural now. Here's to hoping it is a permanent character change due to a traumatic life experience! I'm loving feeling more accepting of me and all the aspects of my life!
It seems that the evening is the toughest time for me as there is less to distract me from the thoughts of my little surro angel. Or is it that I am tired and wish, much like an infant would, the comfort of nursing and cuddling? Whatever it is, my heart feels sad and tonight I wonder why I feel more sad the last couple of days? It's like I know she is longing for me too and I can't do anything about it. It's amazing how a person can harbor such highs and lows of emotion simultaneously. I am sad and lost and longing for Mika, and at the same time, I am happy to be getting back to my life and eager to experience all that is in front of me. But, yet, maybe that is it. I am moving on and returning to normal, whatever that is, and I feel that I have left her and our sacred time together. That somehow I may possibly forget our sweet December. But I know that could never happen. I will never lose the connection I have with this little soul. As time pulls me away, I feel the rawness healing, but I will never forget. So, tonight sweet Mika, sleep deeply and know that I love you and wish you well. And, as usual, you will be the last image in my eyes as I fall asleep.
I can't really say why other than time and my enjoying having energy and feeling good! In fact, I feel better than I have in a year's time. When I started injections back in March was the beginning of not feeling great (understatement) and now, well now I am becoming ME again.
As my energy is returning, I have been doing yoga and going for walks and it feels amazing. As I have some weight to lose, I realize that I could slip in to that old and all too common pattern of hating my body and not really enjoying life when I have weight to lose. BUT, I feel something different this time. Is it maturity, or is it maybe being very relaxed after several months off work, or is it that I am only 5 weeks post partum? Or, maybe it is the fact that I am so over-joyed to feel good and have my energy back that I have a new lease on life? I believe that it is the later. so, here's to feeling good and working on my ultimate fitness.......and enjoying the journey.
It is evening and that is my toughest time as I slow down and am not distracted. This is when I really start longing for Mika. When I close my eyes, I can almost smell her. The feel of her in my arms is so real, but not quite real enough. I just wish I could hold her one more time. Kiss her sweet face and tell her that I love her.
Our most recent struggle has been clearing and planning the shipment of my milk to her. The country of Australia is very tough to get clearance for anything perishable, but we did get it. Now, it is timing and packaging that delay us. So, meanwhile, I feel disconnected and helpless to care for the baby that I grew for so long. And it seems that I drive myself crazy trying to reason with my heart. I don't even want a baby to raise or give time to, but my heart just longs for her not caring what my mind says. It's irrational to be upset by something I planned, but that's what love is. Irrational.
The daily video calls are helpful in letting me see her with her parents as the cuddle her and give her all the love she deserves. It warms my heart and reassures me that she is OK. here is one of the most recent pictures that they have sent.
I've begun doing yoga again and am thoroughly enjoying it. My body craves the nurturing.......
Yesterday was the second hardest day of my life. My surrogate baby left to Australia and I am left wondering how I got to where I am. It's strange that just a couple of months ago I was perplexed that I felt so little connection to the baby that I carried for so long. It's strange also that I was sure that I could let her go with her parents without a worry. And now. Now I am broken hearted. It's funny how pain makes you think and think.... and think. Like you are trying to figure out what can make it stop. I've found that if I had not offered to breast feed, things would be very different. Four weeks of nursing this little tiny baby was not what I had planned, and somehow, it just seemed to happen. As each nursing passed, I grew more in love with her. More attached and more deeply wondering if there is any possible way that she could remember me on some deep level in the future.
The day was long, wet with many tears and bouts of crying and dreading her parting from me, yet eager to have it done and to be on the side of less pain through healing. The trip to the airport was the same, with me sitting beside her, gazing at her sweet face and stroking her tiny little hand in mine. Tears pouring down my face, it seemed that I couldn't say, 'I love you' enough times. Once through the check in process, with time short, there was much urgency to get her nursed for the very last time so the new family could pass through security and be on their way home. This last nursing was in the waiting area with many people around and I let them distract me as often as possible, but toward the end, it was impossible. As I stroked her little cheek, I knew when I took her from my breast, I would never nurse her again. With her mother sitting beside me, I took baby Mikayla up in a hug and kissed her and cried hard. Her mother standing up, I placed this gift that I love so much into the sling around her mother and I hugged them both telling them I love them. I whispered, 'Take good care of her' into her mother's ear as we cried together. Walking over to the others then in line for security, more tears, hugs and promises of visits were shared.
Walking out of the airport with no baby in my belly, no baby in my arms and no baby waiting for me near by was the emptiest that I have ever felt. As I spent the rest of the night unable to stop the random tears, I grasped some of her left behind clothes to my chest and sobbed. I knew I could have avoided this pain, but I didn't care. If I had kept myself separate and kept my milk from her, it would have hurt less, if at all, but I never would have had the joy, the love, the pleasure of sacrificing so much. Nor would I have the sweet memories of her tiny little body curled up and nursing at my breast, her tiny little hand so gratefully grasping me like she too treasured every moment.
As the time goes by, I know that I can think of her and feel the joy and love and not the pain, so much. In the end, I am in awe of how grand this journey has been and how deep the feelings. All of the feelings, in fact. The joy, the pain, the love. And I am proud of myself for being open enough to accept it all. Tonight, I have hope that I can lay my head down and not cry myself to sleep. The thoughts of this little girl in the future is a pleasurable distraction as I think of seeing her again one day and wonder, how will my heart feel at that moment. Whatever it may be, I am certain that it will not be pain or sadness and I am thankful that those days will come.
My time will now be spent finishing my book and I will still post on this blog related to my feelings of the surrogacy and how the family is doing. It's my hope that some how, I have helped to touch someone through sharing so openly here and know that it's true that It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.
I am married to my best friend and the love of my life. I am first and foremost a home-schooling mother of four children (one in college). Together with my husband, we own a wellness center and yoga studio. I am a certified yoga teacher and in my spare time, I am an author. :-)