I have no wish to go back to diapers, bottles, attempting to breastfeed with my body that refuses to make enough milk, daycare drama and all that comes with having a baby. I am quite content to snuggle my large children and my extra large dog, I don’t need a sleeping baby on my chest (sleeping babies are ticking time bombs of mess, hunger and incoherent need). My children may be emotional time bombs, but at least when they explode, we can usually decipher the source of the problem and quiet it, relatively soon, and if we can’t, well we can always send them to their room. We can even leave the house, and leave them there to let everyone cool off for a bit, because they are old enough now to be left alone for a bit. I love parenting my kids, I am glad they are not infants anymore and I have no desire to parent an infant again. Why isn’t that okay?
The hardest work of this surrogacy process is behind us, and now it’s time to have some fun. No more shots, no more twice a week blood draws and weekly vaginal ultrasounds, hopefully, we just have easy OB appointments and a stretching waistline from her on out, well until delivery I guess. But while I am having fun watching my own older children freak out over heartbeats and baby movements, and telling people the baby is not my husbands, other people aren’t laughing along with me, they are giving me sad, sympathetic looks. Over and over again people say, “how are you going to give up that baby?” “How are you doing psychologically” and on and on and on. It’s as if they are just waiting for my to run off to a foreign country and refuse to hand the baby over to it’s parents. When I tell them I don’t want a baby, they just say, “but it’s a baby!” as if that is some magical creature you simply cannot live without and must form extreme attachments too. They keep trying to tell me I am sad, not accepting any of the reasons I offer for not being so. Seriously people you are killing the buzz from my hormonal high, stop giving me sad eyes, and let me enjoy gestating a baby I don’t have to raise!
Please don’t misunderstand me, I get that babies are important to people, I get that so much I am helping another couple have a baby by gestating it myself. I understand that having a baby can be very hard work for some, I just did that hard work. I understand too, that some will never get to have a baby, I grieve for them, but grieve for them not me. I enjoyed the experience of welcoming my children into the world, snuggling them close and nurturing their tiny little lives. I appreciated it, I treasured it, but I also stressed out through it because it was hard work, really hard work. Parenting at any age is hard work, but there is something about infancy, perhaps the lack of sleep, the cluelessness you feel in caring for someone with very limited capacity to communicate, the overwhelming feeling of facing down a lifetime of carrying for that tiny little person. I appreciate babies, but I had mine and I am done with that.
I have no desire to keep this baby. I care for this baby, I talk to it,I laugh when it I feel it’s alien movements inside me, but I have no desire to raise it. I am not giving it up, I am delivering it to it’s parents. Sure I will cry, my body will be a physical wreck with no baby bjorned infant to cover it, and hormones pouring out, you would cry too. The tears won’t be over a baby left. This is not my baby. I am not a birth mother. This baby has physical connections to it’s parents and not to me. I am a prenatal childcare provider. That reminds me, do people ask daycare workers how they “give up those babies” at the end of the day? It really is just a hitchhiker, one that I will bond with while we enjoy the ride together, one that I will try and keep in touch with, but one that I will be able to let go of.
I look at the letting go like this, every year I take students on trips to serve others, and these are incredibly powerful experiences that are hard to let go of when they end. I work for a year for a one to two week trip, trying to create a powerful experience for those being served and those serving. There is so much work and preparation with the team, so many meetings and appointments. The trip itself is intense; so many relationships are made and deepened. When the trip is over, it is hard for a bit. There is a loneliness and a let down, because the experience is over, and you won’t see those people anymore. There is a longing to see them again, and a fondness for all that happened, but there is also a satisfaction in the experience. The satisfaction and the memories are enough, and any contact you have in the future or opportunity to experience the adventure again is just the whip cream on top of an amazingly sweet experience. So will it be hard when this pregnancy is over, yes, but not hard because I will go home infantless. It will be hard because the adventure will be over. There will be loneliness because I will not have the same amount of contact with the family as I currently do. We will both be busy, we will check in, but not as often. I won’t have so many people acting as cheerleaders, and encouraging me with cards, emails and texts. There will be a bit of a let down, but that is okay, because the adventure will have been so amazing and the results so rewarding, it will be enough, and anything else that comes of it will just be extra awesomeness.
|They aren’t cute all the time either, you want to cuddle this one? that’s me by that way|
So please save the worry and the sadness for those that actually do have to give up their babies, and the families that adopt them, look for ways to support them, and just laugh with me. I am knocked up with someone else’s baby, a frozen science baby at that. Let’s enjoy the weirdness, the humor and the adventure of it all.