It’s been a while since I updated. I’ve just been over here having someone else’s baby. No big deal 😉 Ok, that’s a lie. It was a big deal, but I’ve been hesitant to share a whole lot of information like I did with my own kids (here and here) because parts of this experience feel like they aren’t really mine to share. However, this has been a big part of my life and my family’s for over a year, so I wanted to share an update.
Just over a month ago, I very quickly delivered my surro-baby (this is a popular term for a baby you have delivered via a surrogacy.) I had attended my prenatal swimming class as usual, but when I got home at about 7:30, I felt like I was having more frequent contractions. They didn’t hurt, but they were coming more often than my Braxton Hicks normally did. I sat down to rest for a while to see if they’d space out, and when they didn’t, we decided to go to the hospital to get checked out. About 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital (the hospital that is a half mile from my house) the baby was born and placed in the arms of his parents.
From the first time I thought, “Hmmm…Is something happening here?” to the time the baby was born was only a few hours long. Only about the last half hour was painful – although wo-man was it painful to go from 6cm to a baby being born in 45 minutes. The short duration was probably the only thing that allowed me to do another med-free birth, but I did it!
The most frequent question I heard during and after this pregnancy was: Won’t it be hard (wasn’t it hard) to give up the baby? But here’s the thing – this was never my baby to give up. This baby was his parents’ from the start. I was just babysitting. So the official answer: No. 🙂
The last month or so, a lot of people have asked: What’s it like to come home without a baby? or What is postpartum like without a newborn at home? The official answer here: It’s different. It’s hard to classify it as harder or easier, because it’s just different. Yes, there isn’t another little life to care for. That’s certainly easier. But my body still had to recover, physically, from growing another little human and delivering him into the world and there are still crazy hormones to deal with. That’s a constant. I’m pumping every few hours and waking up once overnight to pump, and there’s no cute baby to snuggle to go with all the work. I won’t say that makes it harder, but it’s certainly a challenge.
And speaking of pumping and breastmilk… After I started pumping, the parents decided they didn’t want to use my breastmilk, so our freezer looks like this.
This is just over a week’s worth of milk. I’ve given the rest away to local moms. According to the app I use to track my output, I’ve spent over 130 hours pumping and gotten over 17 gallons of milk. That’s over a day a week spent pumping and about 4 gallons a week. I feel a bit like a cow 😛