My mom and dad made it to Alabama just fine, and my kids were of course thrilled to see Grandma and Grandpa. Forget about their poor, fat, weebles wobble but they don’t fall down mom, who was embarking on her own grand adventure in just a few days …. For now, it was all about them and getting to see the grandparents. Probably just as good, since I was so big by that point, even my dad, with his muscular dystrophy and wheelchair, could keep up with them better than I could! Ha!
Still hopeful that I would hold out until induction day, I planned a few fun activities for when M&S arrived with their son in tow. It was kind of an odd feeling --- yes, we were all thrilled to see one another again, and so excited for what was in store. But at the same time, I felt a little tourist-guide-hostess-y, and wanted them to enjoy their time in Alabama … not just sit around and watch me gestate those few final days.
My IP’s first night in town, my parents stayed home with my kids while the grown ups went out to dinner at Longhorn and chatted. Thanks to the distance between us, it had been since our match meeting, a year and a half ago, that they and Blaine had even seen one another. So despite *my* constant communication with my IM, it was nice to sit and catch up.
After dinner the three of them came back to our house for dessert. That night, in the living room, the baby started kicking. I didn’t want to move for fear it would stop, so I just said, “Come quick, feel my stomach!” I thought my IF was going to break his leg jumping over the coffee table to get to me. It was actually really sweet (well, considering he didn’t break a limb, that is.) I had a few contractions that night …. Four, to be exact. Of course, everyone held their breath that “maybe this is it!” but once I said something, they stopped, and I felt sort of silly and over-reactive-y.
The next day we got up and had brunch at the Officers Club, then our families went to a local strawberry festival. That night they came back over to our house and we grilled out for dinner. It was all fun and exciting, and my kids loved them because they brought toys (hey when you’re under the age of five, that really is your main concern in life) but of course everyone’s minds were on the big event, still scheduled for the 7th.
It was also really nice during this time for my parents to have the chance to spend some time with my couple and their son. My mom had supported the surrogacy from day one, in a “I’m not sure I understand this, but if that’s what you want to do, then it’s fine with me” sort of way. My dad, bless his heart, was just along for the ride and I suspect still thought I had had sex with my IF in order to get pregnant. Regardless, I felt it was good for them to see in person the positive experience this had been, and see my IP’s excitement, up close and personal.
The next morning, the 6th, we took a tour of the hospital labor and delivery floor. The nurses and staff had been prepped for our “special’ situation, and as far as we were concerned, it looked like things would work smoothly. Sometimes, thankfully not often but sometimes, surrogate situations are not handled well by hospitals. Whether it’s due to ignorance, or prejudice, I’m not sure. Thankfully, the staff at this hospital appeared to understand this was a positive, happy, we-are-all-here-because-we-want-to-be scenario, and they seemed enthusiastic, and eager *for* us, which was nice.
Then we headed over to the doctor’s office for one final checkup. He hadn’t met my couple yet, and I made introductions all around. Dr. S had been fabulous throughout the entire pregnancy --- well, except for that one time at the beginning of the pregnancy, when he forgot I was a surrogate, and cluck-clucked his dismay when he asked if I planned to breast-feed the baby and I said no …. Then, after I reminded him I was a surrogate, he promptly turned three shades of red for forgetting, apologized all over himself, and I pretty much adored him from that point on. Not only that, but his wife had been the recipient of a kidney transplant a few years prior, and he seemed to have great appreciation for the concept of surrogacy …. For the concept of helping someone in this way. While I was happy for him that his wife was doing so well, I can also admit, selfishly, that I was grateful that God put a doctor with that personal experience in my path as well, since I was able to benefit from his enlightened viewpoint.
He asked my couple to leave the room so he could do a quick exam, and discovered I was dilated to a four, almost five. He brought my couple back in the room, and asked the three of us, “Tonight? Or tomorrow morning?” He repeated, again, that since this was my third delivery he thought it would go quickly, and said, “If you guys want to go ahead, your baby could be born this very evening. Or we can wait until tomorrow; it’s up to you.” I looked at my couple, and they looked at me, and we decided …. Why not? Everyone and everything is in place, so let’s just go!
It was definitely one of those “Oh my goodness, this is really happening!” kind of moments. I felt like I was sitting in the roller coaster, almost to the top of the first, big hill. And at that point, figured I should just throw my arms up in the air and yell, “Wheeee!”