So here's how it's gone:
We delivered on Sunday night. The emotions during and immediately following delivery were nothing short of pure elation! There is absolutely no sweeter feeling than bringing life into this world and that feeling wasn't any different just because the babies weren't coming home with me. Seeing those babies in the arms of Farid and George is something I had been waiting a long time for! It was magical.
Monday I was a mess. Lol! Kleenex was not doing the trick...By 6:30 AM, I had graduated to a bath towel! Was I sad? NO! I was overwhelmed. I woke up to over 200 emails in my Inbox and had over 150 more by the end of the day. All from people who were congratulating us, wishing us well and had MANY, MANY kind words to say about me and the gift I had just given. Now let me clarify...I can handle attention. :) And kind words. But this was so much! I couldn't wrap my brain around how kind people were! It was overwhelming...in a good way...but overwhelming nonetheless. Pair all of the kind words with the fact that I was finally getting to "know" these beautiful babies I had just carried for 8 months...I was a blubberin' fool!
Tuesday I woke up feeling great! And I continued to feel great through the next Sunday. A few happy tears here and there but still no sadness. I was lucky in that I was able to spend a significant amount of time with George, Farid, Gustavo and Milena every day for the 11 days following their birth. Holding, feeding and changing the babies while hanging out with some of my very favorite people was so awesome! I am extremely grateful to the guys for allowing me to do that. I really do think it was helpful for me emotionally. That being said, the Monday before their departure (we're at 8 days post birth), I woke up and I could tell it was going to be a rough day. I fought a ginormous lump in my throat for the better part of the day. And it didn't feel like happy tears I was holding back. I was sad. Sad that they were leaving soon. Absolutely dreading saying goodbye.
*People always ask me at this point "Dreading saying goodbye to the guys or to the babies?" Well, I was dreading saying goodbye to THEIR FAMILY!
This is probably a good spot to point out that at NO point pre pregnancy or during pregnancy did I think that I would have a hard time "giving" the babies to George and Farid. The emotions that I had post pregnancy were NEVER about "giving" the babies to them. These babies were theirs from the get-go! I have all sorts of happiness about seeing these men, whom I have grown so close to over the last year, with their children! What a privilege! What an honor!
So Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I spent on the verge of tears. No, I didn't cry all day long...in fact, I cried very little. But I was very aware on those days that it wouldn't take much for me to cry. Thursday night when the time came to say goodbye, the flood gates opened and all of Highlands Ranch, Colorado was forced to don their galoshes! I learned 2 things that night:
1. This would absolutely be the hardest part of this journey.
2. You never....ever...ever...run out of tears.
Friday morning. I felt sad. A little lost. Yes, I'll say it....bored. Pregnancy in general, but especially a surrogacy pregnancy is all consuming. We think about it, we inject ourselves with it, we experience so much happiness, so much pride....and that's all before becoming pregnant! Once pregnant, we experience all of those things PLUS the pregnancy experience! And quite an incredible experience it is! Basically, I had to come to terms with the fact that I needed to go back to my "real" life. I have a wonderful life...an amazing life, but this surrogacy journey...it's pretty tough to beat. :)
However, Saturday, I felt better. Sunday, even better. And by Monday morning...pretty much back to "Just Jeni", which I know Mike said I will never be again. :)
So, 2 weeks. That's about what it took for me! Some things I have found to be therapeutic?
- "Forcing" myself to get back to my usual tasks
- Pictures and videos of the guys and the babies, (Thank you, George and Farid!)
- I spent some time one day and re-read this blog from the very beginning! What an incredible journey we have had! You said it at the very beginning, Farid. We have an amazing story to tell. Boy, were you right.
I hope that this post has shed some light on what it is like to recover from a surrogacy pregnancy. There are many misconceptions out there about what surrogates must be feeling post-delivery. Really, we are just human beings, with feelings and emotions, who are blessed with a super power....