Now that it is over….

 Didnt see that C section coming.  I had such a great start to the day and was in the best of moods…this was going to be a great day.

Then I found myself looking into the eyes of my anesthisiologist, in an operating room about to have major surgery.

Recovery was painful, but with enough pain medication, I found out that you look at life a whole lot differantly.

I couldnt wait to hold baby Cole in my arms, to see his face, to meet the one who had grown with me for the last 9 months…..

He was so precious that I was almost sorry for all of the nasty ” stop kicking me” comments.

I got to play the “Mommy” role for 2 whole days and it felt great…..this is what I had wanted, and I knew the parents where so happy and couldnt wait to take him home.

I have to give my husband all the kudos in the world for being so great, so understanding.  He has taken care of not only me and was by myside the whole way through but to add house and home on top of it…is just amazing to me.

Husband.

Familys of surrogates, take care of the husband too. They work just as hard and are probably looked over for all of thier support, errand running, emotional support and general keeping everything together all the while watching thier wives go through pain and agony.

I can never repay my husband for what he has gone through with me but I will have the rest of my life to keep trying. 

Advertisements

raiders_of_the_lost_ark_2

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about the first Indiana Jones movie. Remember the climatic scene, where Harrison Ford and Karen Allen are tied to a stake, back to back, while the Nazi bad guys are opening the Ark of the Covenant?

“Marion, don’t look at it,” warns Indy. All the evil guys are enjoying the amazing view of the sprites and angels floating around…

Suddenly the spirits change into demons, and lightning bolts shoot right into their eyes, and out their skulls in wonderful Spielburgian fashion. Even in these modern CGI days where filmmakers can create absolute miracles on screen — like making Keanu Reeves seem like he’s actually an actor — the melting face thing still looks pretty cool.

Which brings me to today’s big event. Michelle and I went to the IVF Clinic today, where she was successfully implanted with two tiny microscopic embryos.

And I got to watch the whole thing. OK, not the whole thing.

In fact, I was just holding her hand and watching the doctors/nurses/plumbers/oceanograhers work on the…err…..business end.

And while there were no lightning bolts shooting into my eyes, no face melting or screams (OK, I wanted to scream a couple of times but didn’t) it has to be about the most unforgetable 20 minutes of my life. And frankly I didn’t expect to be there.

I had asked Michelle who she would like to have accompany her into the operating room, and she thought M and B would want to be with her through the procedure. Per the rules of the clinic, only two people were allowed in to witness the transfer. As I think about it now: I’m sure she was protecting her ultra squeamish husband; I’m not sure exactly who she wanted holding her hand. But I wasn’t exactly stepping forward on my own.

No, it took the prodding of B and M to make that happen. They just ‘assumed’ I would want to be there, saying how wonderful I am to be so supportive, how lucky Michelle is…… Argh. I was trapped. If I said ‘no thanks’ at that point, I’d look like a schmuck….

And before you know it, I was gowned up in a yellow cloud of cotton with a mask, hair net — even foot covers — walking into the darkened operating theater.

And there was Michelle, lying back in the…uh…action…position. I’m not going to go into much detail here. (Hey guys, check out this home movie I made of the whole thing! Get your popcorn!)

Suffice to say that the team of doctors and nurses swarming over Michelle were efficient and professional. This clinic has been in business for over 25 years and they obviously know their business. Michelle was made comfortable, kept informed of everything that was happening and came through this short (20 minute) procedure with flying colors.

Of course the huge valium pill she took 15 minutes before arriving at the Clinic didn’t hurt either.

They ‘defrosted’ a total of four embryos. (God as I type that word, defrosted: It’s like they’re thawing out some ground round for tonight’s meat loaf). It turns out the two had somewhat disintegrated in the thawing process. Leaving two very healthy mini-mini-mini people. I saw a picture of them snapped under an electromicroscope and it was heart stopping. (More on that in a later post.)

 So potential person no. 1 and potential soul no. 2 were placed in their new, temporary home. And just like that: our journey is officially started.

This is obviously a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life. But I recall thinking as I was driving the car closer to the door to pick up Michelle….it was just so simple. Almost routine.

For God’s sake, two potential lives were just given a jump start. You would expect some kind of miraculous flash of light…marching bands… something more than it was.

And yet it seemed to be no big deal, a routine out-patient procedure like fixing a hernia or a nose job. 

Driving home from the Clinic, we stopped for a leisurely late lunch at a Mexican joint. Michelle was about to order her usual lager to go along with her tacos…..and then realized very quickly: Life had changed.

Or so we think. Now we await a blood test in about 10 days to confirm that she’s pregnant.

The success rate is pretty high for this clinic.


spartan-brad-pitt

And as for my take on this idea, well…….

Huh? The picture? Hey, it’s MY blog! I’ll choose whatever picture I like. You do a blog….you can choose the image.

 Personally I think it’s a fairly good likeness.

 So back to that Sunday morning so long ago…..

 As we were watching this story, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Michelle was staring intently at the screen. She’d gone quiet and was zoning in, cocking her head and concentrating on every single word. I could hear the gears whirring and clanking in her head.

 ‘Oh boy,’ I thought. ‘Here we go.’ Because I had seen that look before. It’s a combination of curiosity and determination. Coupled with a sly, calculating kind of furrow of the brow. It’s a look that says: I’ve got the start of an idea. A wonderful, surprising, amazing, intriguing idea.

And here. We. Go. Again. That look means business. Serious business. When she had found a house she liked. Or an idea for her business or new career path. Or a way to decorate a room. Or deciding to have a child.

Now just having a particular look on her face doesn’t guarantee an outcome but it does promise action. Of that I was certain. We were on the start of a journey.

The Big Bang!

While this idea of surrogacy was a completely new idea, it did revolve around a very familiar topic of debate in our household. The subject of children – more of them, that is — had been a semi-regular topic in our home. The topic would resurface every year or so. Completely out of the blue. Triggered by God only knows what. But certainly not by me.

Because I was oh so very certain in what I wanted in this way. I was done. Fin. Add your own favorite way of saying ‘no’ in any language on the planet. That was my position.

I hate to equate having children with gambling on a game of chance, but: I figured we had beat the house twice on Emma and Sara. Blackjack and Royal Flush. Happy. Healthy. Smart. And I had already backed away from the table, and seemingly cashed in my chips.

How so? At the risk of sharing too much information, I had made the decision to..be…well….fixed. Yes, I’m comfortable with the slang associated wtih vetinarians rather than the human medical term. My squeamishness knows no bounds. Rest assured you’ll read not one more detail about this experience in this blog.

So I was mentally and now physically finished with the whole idea. To think about getting ‘un-fixed’ wasn’t an option. And still the topic kept creeping up, like a persistent weed that recharges itself from deep buried roots.

As for Michelle? Well, it turns out she wasn’t so sure. Even after she had enthusiastically offered me up to be the one to seek the ultimate birth control solution. A little TOO enthusiastically for my liking now that I recall, but it made sense at the time. It still made sense. And yet about every year or so, she’d restart the discussion.

‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have another little one’. Or: ‘What if we would try to have a boy’. Was she just thinking out loud?Or was she trotting out ideas to guage my reaction? I’m not sure.

When the subject would rear its (baby) head, I would quickly move to block/blunt/quash it. I had a list of reasons and issues ready to go at merest mention of little ones.

Take a deep breath: Diapers. No sleep. No social life. Cost of college education. Really poopy diapers. Braces. Ear infections. My mother visiting. PTA meetings. Elementary school fundraisers. And god don’t forget those frangrant diapers.

These functioned as my babymaking herbicide, my weed spray to keep those ideas from sprouting. And the topic would soon dissolve and be forgetten….for awhile.

This Sunday morning, however, I didn’t recite my list. Why? I really don’t know. Maybe it was the look on Michelle’s face. Or the hope reflected in her eyes. I’ll pick up that subject another time.I get a lot of questions about why I agreed to this project. It was a pretty simple decision and I have a lot to say about that. Later.

For this morrning I just nodded and agreed with Michelle’s idea. Maybe she’d look at the website. Maybe she’d give them a call and just investigate it. It did sound interesting. Who knows…….

I often wondered what would have happened if I had chosen to try to squash this idea. Would we be here now?