Saturday, October 9, 2010

It has been a long time

Although it has been ten months now since I gave birth to my surrogate baby, yesterday, I was there again. In full form and glory. Feeling the intensity of the joy, the pain and all of the fullness of what my journey through surrogacy was.

I am honored to have been asked to be doula to my friend and first time surrogate recently. Her IPs are from Seattle and have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their baby girl. Although they didn't have to wait as long as expected.........the baby's waters broke at 34 weeks. My friend called me and I eagerly dropped my life and went to her side, giving everything I had to be what they all might need. This is something that I do love to do, but man, it is hard. Physically, I mean. Not only did I leave my four children alone for a long time, but standing on my feet 75% of the time and being up all night (actually, 32 hours) was obviously draining.

Where the REAL stress came in was when it triggered my deeper conscious who remembers so intently of how deep, how raw, how joyful and how painful my surrogacy was. As my friend was pushing this baby girl out, the mother stand at the end of the bed, watching and my eyes fixed on her. As her cheeks flushed with pink and eyes welled with tears, the brows pulled tight and she clenched her fists to her chest in sheer joy and expectation of the daughter that she so deeply longed for. It was as if my stomached dropped into my belly and my heart creeped up into my throat. All at once, I was filled with joy and pain and I thought that I should run. I saw my friend hold the baby that she grew for so long cuddle this sweet newborn girl as the baby's parents watched on. I almost felt sick for the impending pain that might be coming (because who's to say that it will be tough for everyone?).

As I observed the new baby now enjoying skin to skin with her natural parents and their sheer joy, I noticed that the professionals had filtered away from my now stable friend and she lay alone with her husband comforting her. Walking up, I felt some of her pain, but also, I felt my own. I saw myself in the airport, bent so painfully over my deer sweet friend and surrogate baby in sling, laying a kiss on her forehead and telling her that I loved here, tears pouring down mine and the mother's face, we embraced. It was as if something so special that I had put in a trunk had been opened again. And I remembered all of the nights that I cried myself to sleep feeling so very alone and knowing that I went through this for my own children. No one will ever fully know or understand.

I stroked the hair of my friend as she lie in a bloody, raw mess, so empty I told her I was proud of her and tears fell from her eyes as she said that it was harder than she thought it would be. Inside, I held my breath and knew that there would be many more tears to come. Tears now pouring down my face, I shakily told her that we could cry together. As I kissed her forehead, I vowed to myself to help her avoid as much of the pain as possible.

While it might have been the intent for me as a doula to help her feel as comfortable as possible, I know more than anyone could that my role now actually begins.......