Surrogate AJ tells her birth story, as part of our new series – This is Surrogacy.
When you are a child, you think family is linear. A mom, dad, siblings, grandparents. But as we grow we learn that family is so much more then your immediate circle. It’s so much more then what you were born into. I’ve struggled with the idea of family, but I can honestly say that the family I’ve built through surrogacy has changed my life forever.
My first journey did not go at all like what I imagined in my mind. Untested embryos resulted in pregnancies that were not viable. I had a terrible miscarriage that resulted in uncontrollable bleeding. Although it was terrifying, it taught me how to advocate for myself. It taught me who was there for me. And it taught me that no matter what, trust your gut. If you think something is wrong, trust yourself, ask for the help you need. You can’t continue to help others if you don’t look after yourself. My first surrogacy ended with an amazing baby girl meeting her Mom and Dad. I helped create one family and expanded mine.
My second journey was everything I dreamed about. I met the brothers I’d always wanted. They went out of their way at every turn to include my husband and my kids. They went out of their way to LOVE all of us. The support they gave me and the family we formed helped get me through morning sickness, exhaustion, endless meds and doctors appointments. They took trips with us, spent time with our kids, introduced us to new things and brought a lot of love into our lives.
The day their baby came into the world was full of laughter and support. But there was also some fear too. I was scared that I’d hemorrhage again. I was scared that once their baby came, that our relationship would change.
My water broke after dropping my kids off at school for their very first day. It also happened to be the babys due date. They drove me to the hospital and during, what I’m sure was the longest night of their lives, they supported me endlessly. They welcomed my husband and friend, who took beautiful pictures of baby E’s birth. They held my hand through my epidural, contractions and pushing. They got us all food and made sure that their WHOLE family was cared for.
As I was getting closer, after what seemed like forever, the fear was becoming overwhelming. My doctor was amazing and recognized my fear. He recognized how overwhelmed I was feeling and brought the room to a stop. My doctor told me that he could have everyone leave, that I could have a minute if I needed. He told me that he was an excellent doctor and that what had happened at my last birth would not be happening again that night. He assured me on the off chance that it did, they were prepared. They had taken every step they could and that I would be fine. He took those minutes to address my fears, he did not dismiss them. He looked right into my eyes and eased my mind, eased my husbands mind and eased the dads minds.
I started to push without fear and had the support of everyone around me. When their baby came screaming into the world and was placed on my chest, it was one of the most liberating moments of my life. My birth was without the fear I had been struggling with since my previous birth because I was surrounded by the family we all chose to create together. He was perfect, and so was his birth.
After 16 hours of labor he was placed into the arms of his fathers and OUR family grew by 2 more feet.
I will be forever changed by the love, strength and family that surrogacy has given me.