Friday, October 31, 2008

Many thanks

I just want to say thanks to all of you who took the time to answer my previous post with a kind word or comment. I always hesitate just a brief moment, finger poised above the “send” button, whenever I type a post that is that personal. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but sometimes my skin isn’t the thickest, and I worried a little bit that I would come across as selfish in that entry …. Wanting to have my cake and eat it, too. Thank you all for understanding that sometimes pursuing one route to happiness means eliminating another, and even smart decisions can be bittersweet.

What really validated me were the replies I got from the group of surrogate-girlfriends I’ve had for the past eight years. (Hello, Facebook, not such a worthless time suck after all!) Several of them find themselves in the same place as me …. Two or three surrogacies under their belt, and perhaps considering “retirement” for one reason or another, but not real happy about it. It was helpful to hear that my feelings are normal. Or maybe not normal, but at least my friends are having the same ones, so we can all be crazy together!

The comment that resonated most with me was from my friend Deb, who has carried twins – three times. (yeah, I know, you do the math and NOT be amazed!) She said:

“Obviously I know exactly how you feel. It truly is addicting. It is a huge commitment of time, physically and emotionally. We've done an amazing thing (x3!!) and we should be able to move on from here. I know we're moms & wives, and that is the most important thing we've done with our lives, but for so long my identity was being a surrogate.. So it is what it is. I'm retired. Now what?”

Exactly that, Deb, exactly what you said.

Obviously (why, silver lining, there you are!) there are perks to no longer considering surrogacy. I drove past the blood bank the other day and realized I could donate blood anytime I want, a freedom I haven’t had for quite a few years …. I sorted through heavy Rubbermaid bins in my garage (looking for the freaking Halloween decorations … has anyone seen my big tin pumpkin? I know it’s here somewhere!) and the lifting and pushing and pulling didn’t require me to call Blaine for the heavy work as it has many times in the past …. The bazillion flights of stairs I climbed at Great Wolf Lodge last weekend would have been out of the question … as would the water rides themselves, had I been pregnant ….. I can DRINK whenever I want now -- because I’m *such* a heavy drinker … {eye roll} …. And best of all, I’ve always said when I was done I would be taking a long-awaited and highly-anticipated vacation with my friends Nip and Tuck … so there’s that to look forward to.

So, good things, and sad.

And in the vein of never say never, I’m not ruling it out entirely. You never know what God might throw in your lap, right? So I’ll wait, and think some more. And who knows what might happen?

But for now, I’m coming to peace with it. Or at least trying to.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You obviously have a heart of gold. Of course you would be nostalgic for something that has been such a huge part and blessing in your life. Be careful what you wish for though...two years ago I was feeling sad about saying good bye to my baby days. I even cried to my OB. In my head, I knew those days were over, but I couldn't convince my heart. (At the time I had 4 children...ages ranging from 11-6...and I was like a whirling dervish every day with school, hw, soccer, bball, dance...you know! I knew that I could NEVER manage another baby) I am sure you can guess the out come...today we have a beautiful 8 month old baby girl. She was a surprise to be sure...(I had eventually come to terms with no more babies)...we actually call her our bonus baby, "the baby we didn't know we needed, until she arrived"! And yes, I am still a whirling dervish...I guess God figured I would be a crazy person with or without this wonderful baby! You never know what is around the corner...sometimes it is not up to us! (We plan, God laughs!)
Be gentle with yourself...you have given a gift most of us never will...for that you should be proud.
Meg
Milford, CT

Anonymous said...

I admire you so much, you are an awesome mother & wife and have brought such joy to other families through surrogacy. As someone who went through 6 years of infertility & 4 miscarriages, I remember all too well the yearning of wanting to have a baby. We have been blessed with 2 adopted children & 2 biological children & realize the precious miracle of a baby being born. You have helped bring that miracle to three families that otherwise would not be able to know the pure joy of holding and loving their much wanted baby. I have followed you since the caringbridge days & pray for your beautiful family. I love your blog & appreciate you sharing so much. Prayers for Blaine as he fights this battle. Thanks again for the laughter as well as the tears through the years. Keep posting.
Susan
Peachtree City, GA

Shannon said...

I'm glad you are coming to peace (or at least trying to) with your decision. I am no where near as eloquent with words as others, and I just wanted you to know that I could only strive to be as good of a person as you!

~Shannon

Melissa said...

You are an amazing woman, you are so far from selfish I can't even believe that you would use that in a sentence about yourself. You did a precious thing and you have given three gifts to people that will live as a legacy to your kindness. You are a great wife and you are raising some pretty special kids. Have fun with your family knowing that you helped three other couples have families too. Here's wishing you many water slides and tipsy scrapbook nights with your girlfriends.

DeborahB said...

If I could change anything about my journeys would be to start a little earlier than I did. I was almost 40 when I had my first set. Time was already against me. But physically I was fine, just "advanced maternal age". God, I still can see that on my OB's chart! But the good thing about starting late, with my kids being older, was that I was able to explain it to them in a way they could understand. They were old enough to know I wasn't pregnant with one of their siblings. They met my couples, and knew I was carrying for them, because they needed my help to have a child. They could explain my situation to their teachers and friends and was proud of me (which will probably be the only time in their ENTIRE LIFE that will happen). I even heard my youngest say once, "when I'm done having kids of my own, I'm gonna be a surrogate too." Which thrilled me. I don't care if it ever happens, the fact that they acknowleged what I was doing, thought it was cool enough to emulate, was enough for me.
But everything happens for a reason. There was a reason I was supposed to wait until I did. And I had an awesome ride. I absolutely believe I'll be dancing at my twins' weddings someday. Lifelong friendships have been formed. And I'll get to see them grow into young men and women.
Now, I have to focus on myself and my family. Getting some of this weight finally off, seeing my girls get into college, and find a way to pay for that!! Retire with my husband and enjoy being older. I'd love it if my agency needed me to be a spokesperson for surrogacy or needed me to talk to newbies about what to expect, etc. But if not, I'll always have pictures, and videotapes and magazines to remind me, right?
Thanks again for getting your journeys out there for the masses to read. It's been wonderful reading your side of the story. Prayers of course continue for Blaine as he fights this latest cancer battle!
We'll have to see each other soon. I'm due for a trip to OK!

Renee said...

Tough one, Kristie. No advice.... but can help you make a bigger list of "can dos" now -- ski-diving, more cruising, more drinking.....

mom25in5 said...

Kristie;

I've always said that if my babies hadn't started coming 2 at a time, I would have had 20. Actually, even now, with 5 aged 13-8, 44 and having hot flashes I would have still had 20. I mourn almost monthly the fact that my baby-days are behind me.

Surrogacy aside, it's sad to think that time is done. I never felt more in line with God would have for my life than when I was pregnant.

I can tell you that it still stings to think it's done (3 years after making the tough decision), but that He has blessed me in many other ways (yes, my silver lining).

I will pray for your peace in this decision, and pray that if God wants you to have more little blessings, He will make the time multiply in your life for it to happen.

Hugs,


Kim

They're-home-for-6-days?! Mom to:

Daniel-13
Scott-almost 12
Bryan-10
Sarah-8
Dana-8

MichelleB said...

Wow, you bring happiness other families and that's amazing.

Ever since me and my hubby celebrated our 10th anniversary and he surprised me with a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings from www.idonowidont.com I surprised my hubby letting know him I'm pregnant!

Now my BFF is pregnant & is going to be a surrogate mother and I find what she does the unselfish thing ever!

Anonymous said...

You have done more than 99% of us would have done. You deserve a medal. You already have a crown/tiarra waiting you.
Enjoy each day.
Enjoy your 3 wonderful kids.
Enjoy your family.
Enjoy your husband.
You have an abundance to be thankful for at this time of year.
Make the most of it.
mcs/crosslake/san diego

Anonymous said...

Wow I can't even think of what to say. I'm sorry that you can seem to make everything work.

Coming from someone who has for three years tried to have a family IVF won't seem to work for me, it seems my endo won't allow by ovaries to spit out eggs. Or I'm just to old (my eggs that is)

Thank you for always sharing your updaates are the best.

Stephanie said...

HUGS to you, Kristie, and thank you for sharing. I'm struggling (again) to come to terms with the fact that I will not have anymore children....doesn't help that we were pursuing an adoption this summer that didn't work out. So while me wanting to have more children was simply a desire for ME, your desire to help another family have that miracle is so incredibly giving and beautiful. I'm sorry you won't be able to do that again...but love you to pieces for doing it the three times that you did!

Ann from St. Peter said...

I know I am a few days late with this comment, but I know how you feel. I was a volunteer emergency medical technician here in our smallish town for years. When I started, my kids were 1st and 4th graders. I loved it and swore I would not quit until it no longer was "fun". I could have gone on for years, however, as my kids got older, it became harder. We conducted "drills" on what they had to do if I got called out on a run (I was a single parent). They were very self sufficient and could finish cooking a meal if need be, and always picked up after themselves and went to bed if I was delayed. In fact, if I was out due to call, they were great. If I was out because I had to get a haircut, they fought with each other and were generally bad. Go figure. Sadly, it got to the point where I would have to tell them "Gee - I would love to come to your baseball game, but it's out of town and I will be on call", or "I will pick you up after practice, but if you hear sirens, you will need to call you dad instead", or "I wish you could have your friend sleep over tonight, but I will be on call and some parents may not be comfortable having their child left without a grownup in the house, so you will have to wait". As my kids got older, I realized that the time that I had with them, watching their games or watching them interact with their friends was limited - my oldest was in high school by then. So - I quit. Our time together had to come first. Now my kids are in college and I don't regret a thing!

Dianna in Louisiana said...

Kristie, I have to say it again--- WHAT A WOMAN YOU ARE!!!! I so love that you allow us to really know you through your posts. Your ability to so clearly and bravely identify your feelings, and feel those feelings, is truly an inspiration.

My family is praying faithfully for yours.

Andee said...

Coming late to the party, but I think that it is wonderful what you have done, and it is so nice to read a real story. I've always considered surrogacy, once I am finished having my own children, and thoughts like these help make the decision.

You'll do what is best for you, and don't doubt it for a minute!

Bev Z said...

Hey Kristie....I just popped on to catch up on your site and saw your post. I am right there with you. (and Deborah....so cool to see her post....) I miss you ladies. I'm trying to figure out my path right now. I have a few things out there, but some doors seem to be closing and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I've never been told I couldn't do something, so this is a bit tough for me. I really feel I CAN do this again...just give me a chance with the right embryos!! I also agree with Deborah that I wish I would have started earlier, but then again, I don't know if me or my family would have been ready for it then. I know things happen for a reason, and for now, I'm still not ready/willing to say I'm done. Us retired/or soon to be retired friends need to get together

Luann said...

this post struck a chord with me. I am infertile. I can't carry a child to term. I'll never experience a pregnancy.

I'm also now a mom thru adoption.

But I made so many friends in the "ttc" (trying to conceive) world that I felt like I lost who I was when I left that world and joined the adoption world.

I'll always be infertile. And you'll always be a surrogate.

I commend you for all you've done for those of us that struggle to become a mom.