It's been 3 weeks since Baby P was born. Wow! Is that it? For some reason it feels like it has been way longer than that. Maybe it is because I'm always busy and don't have time to think about the time that has passed. I've never been one for sitting around and doing nothing. There's always a project to be done!
So other than busy, how has my life been? That's actually the number one question I've received lately... "How are you doing Chana?" The funny thing is, I've realized that I've taken this question the wrong way most of the time. When people ask me how I'm doing I automatically think they mean physically. "I'm doing great!" I say. Despite this being the biggest baby I've birthed, I think I bounced back to my old self the fastest out of any birth that I've had. I don't feel swollen, I feel bright and awake, I didn't tear... what more could I ask for? Well, I do have a swollen gland that's slightly annoying, and I did have to go through a week of engorged breasts with no baby to relieve them, but overall I feel really great!
That's not what people were asking though. They were asking how I "feel". Like really feel... emotionally after this birth. I know that's been the concern with most people from the beginning. They didn't understand how someone could not get attached to a baby they've carried for 9 months. "Won't you be sad?" "Won't the kids be confused?" "I could never do that." I've heard so many things over this year and a half, but it's hard to understand until you've been there.
From the beginning I knew I would not become attached. This was not my baby. I'm just the babysitter, helping a baby grow till they could finally meet their parents. I knew that the birth and that moment when Belle & Adam were joined with Baby P for the first time would be the most amazing moment ever! What could be more amazing than knowing that you helped give a gift to a couple that has been waiting for this gift for so long? Yes, I always knew that moment would be amazing, and it was!
That being said, I did have fears. Although I always knew that I would not grow attached to Baby P, I did know I would grow attached to Belle, and them as a family in general. How could I not? When you talk to someone everyday for so long, you're bound to get attached, and I feared that would all end when Baby P was born. Not only that, but after putting all my energy and time into this surrogacy for a year and a half, I feared what I would do when it ended. Like I said before, I always have to be doing something, and what would I do when such a big part of this time in my life was over? Last, but certainly not least, I feared I would not see the beautiful family that I helped come together after the birth. You can never predict how one will feel in the moment, and I would have totally understood if after waiting so long to be a family, Belle and Adam decided to bond alone as a family. But I knew in my heart that I really needed to see their bond to feel complete about our journey together. It's hard to explain, but I knew that it was really important to see that bond right away.
From the moment Baby P was born I felt amazing. I will always treasure those first moments I saw them together in the delivery room; skin to skin with big smiles and an instant bond. We spent nearly an hour in that room before being separated. It was a perfect ending and beginning all in one. Belle and I still text almost everyday and she sends pictures full of adorable squishiness all the time. So although the pregnancy is over, our journey continues on and I can't wait for their trip back to California next winter. I'm sure it'll be here in the blink of an eye. I'm also staying very busy. During the pregnancy I decided to start my own business as a doula. Thus Love & Labor was born, and getting this business off the ground has definitely kept me busy! The kids and Brian are also doing great. They love seeing pictures and hearing updates. "Sooooo cute!" That's what the girls think of Baby P.
So back to the original question, "How am I doing?" I'm doing great!!! I feel nothing but joy thinking about these past 9 months and the happy family that is now together. Lots of love to Belle & Adam, and lots of love to Baby P!!!
Don't forget to check out my "Surrogacy" tab at the top of this page to catch up on any posts you might have missed
*Some of the names in this post have been changed and faces blocked out to protect the identities of those involved in this journey*