Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surprise! Its a baby shower for you!

After leaving the hospital we all went our separate ways. Chris and I were reunited at home with our girls as the new family settled in at their hotel 40 minutes away. This time was bitter sweet, I was glad to be recovering in my own bed, but I speak for my entire family when I say we missed long visits with the guys and baby girls.

No worries though, we were only apart for 2 days. Then we were back together again. They were here for 3 weeks after the birth of the that 3 weeks we hardly spent a night apart. We ate dinner at our house, their hotel and out at restaurants together, went swimming together, spent time enjoying outside together and when we weren't with eachother as a family of 8 we were writing emails and text as well as sending pictures. This time will be cherished forever, we all bonded and grew into one unit!

To show our love, and appreciation for this once in a life time unique opportunity we thought we would do something the people of France don't do...we threw a good ol baby shower, Indiana style of course. The guys thought we were just having a cook out ( which they came to enjoy during their stay) but soon realized it was much more as gifts, balloons, and a cake that featured two babies girls on it were carried in. 

They were so thankful and again overwhelmed with joy, they couldn't believe the generosity of complete strangers. They shared many hugs, and plenty of "thank yous" but as the gift opening came to an end there was one gift left...the gift from us to them.  1st we had to get them Purdue shirts to go with the awful IU hats they got from my brother and sister in law...they got a real kick out of that and so did the group of 45 people who came to the shower. Then came the Tiffanys Co. Charms which were monogramed with the girls initials, then came the tears as they open the recordable book, read by Chris and I, dedicated to the twins...they listened to the entire book as they cried imagining our voices helping put the girls we all love to sleep as they listen to their bedtime story. Judging by the sniffles and "awes" the 4 of us weren't the only ones crying. Last was a gift I had worked on for months...a scrap book, which caused more tears. This book explained who we are, it showed pictures of my belly week by week, maternity pictures taken by Autumn Smith and Kaila Harkins, it also had a letter written to the twins from me and a letter to the dads from my husband (also a father of two girls), we included pictures of the shower, the hospital stay, likes and dislikes during pregnancy and all the ultrasound CD's and hospital bands. Are hope is that this scrapbook will keep us close to a family so far away and provide clarity for the girls as they get older.

They day came to an end, but not before passing the babies around for everyone to see. Like we imagined, everyone left with a lasting impression of this family. Some people I'm sure were surprised at what wonderful fathers these two men are to two princesses but Chris and I never had a doubt, they are strong, loving, caring guys and I must say, coming from someone who has a strained/no relationship with her father these little ladies are very very lucky!

Be prepared, the next blog will come soon and it will relive our parting which is a rough day to write about...stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My family grew!

After a long stressful night of no sleep, Friday June 24th seemed to fly by. From the time we arrived at the hospital the hands on the clock were spinning. 
  Worry and fear rushed through me...luckily I was surrounded by love and support. My husband, my best friend, my aunt (who called every family member to keep them posted) my cousins, and of course the Daddies to be. It was nice having the room full of chatter because it helped silence the very loud voice in my head shouting "you can't do this, its going to hurt, how can you give these babies up?" 
Soon nurses bustled in and out, sign this, sign that, IV therapy will be up shortly, expect this, expect that, the doctor will be here shortly. It was all a rush. 6 a.m. Is when I arrived and my 8 a.m. Surgery time came much to quickly.

I was told only Chris could be in the operating room, imagine the excitement and we all shared when they said the dads could come in as well! We all walked the hall together. The men however stopped at the operating room door while I walked through to receive my spinal block. Chris is my rock so I was a nervous wreck without him. 

It took 15 minutes, many tears and  the nurse repeating "relax Alexis" to get the block but finally I was numb. Maybe "finally" isn't a good describing word, because though I was numb my mind was racing...I hated being awake and not being in control of my body. I was in panic mode and I needed Chris. As they sat up the sterile field around my stomach I began to vomit came up though due to the numbness in my abdomen, there for I choked on my own fear causing me to pass out. I could hear everything going on around me, my nerves cause my blood pressure to spike. I had a weird moment where I honestly thought I was dying...I'm pretty dramatic I admit and being in this helpless numb state didn't help.

Chris and the guys entered the room, all a little nervous and unsure what to expect, as was I! Soon I heard "the incision has been made" I felt nothing! Chris taped the surgery and talked to me so I would stay calm, which didn't work because I passed out once more. Soon came tugging and pushing and pulling....then I looked at one of the guys...a shocked look took over his face, then a smile and a wave of tears and cries from both men and from a perfect 5 lb baby A! The expression on everyones face was the look of amazement...this surrogacy was real, the first baby was here! 1 minute later a healthy baby B was there joining us. Again, everyone in the room shared tears of joy! It was in this moment I knew, I COULD do this, I DID this...I had two healthy babies, and they belonged to 2 amazing men, and seeing what proud papas they were and seeing the appreciation written on their faces and the love expressed in their smiles and tears made it easy to hand both beautiful girls over to their parents!

Recovery was difficult, I'm officially calling myself out...I was a huge whimp! The couple roomed next to us so them and the twins visited us often, I wish I could put into words how natural both men are at parenting. They couldn't take their eyes off of the girls, constantly kissing their tiny four-heads, or rubbing their hair...they only let them out of their arms so that one of our many visitors could hold them, and they were very insistent that I spend time with the girls as well...which may seem like it would emotionally be hard but it was obvious who these daddy's girls belonged to so it wasn't hard at all, easy even, I just enjoyed the bonding time, with the girls and the dads.

The time in the hospital was short, 3 days, but in those 3 days my family grew. I grew to love the and understand the men even more and watching them go from two men into two dads was nothing short of life changing! Words will never describe the feels I have experienced during our time together!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A mothers doubt?

After finding out the news, that the CSection would be moved up there was a lot to be done. 

Chris and I had to quickly find child care, along with meal planning to make sure our arrival home would be an easy adjustment. Laundry needed to be done, and the house needed a good clean...with less then 2 days before the surgery doing these small task seemed to be overwhelming but at last, they were complete. We were ready...well as ready as possible.

Thursday night (the night before surgery) emotions were flashing faster then I could process, I was scared, excited, nervous, anxious, but the emotion that had me most confused was love. I knew I loved these men, and I had grown to love their babies...the babies my body natured and grew...and for the first time I questioned "could I do this, could I hand these girls over?" I couldn't answer that, although I stayed awake all night, getting no sleep worried about that very question.

Morning slowly came, 4:30 and I was in the shower, tears wouldn't stop rolling down my cheeks despite my effort to place my thoughts somewhere else. The nanny came and it was time to go. While riding in the car I expressed my fears with chris. I told him I feared the physical pain, but the emotional pain that I feared out weighed even the thought of being cut open. He talked me down which he does so well...he reminded me of how wonderful this gift of life was, and how much we have grown to love the couple. He explained what I already knew, that this couple deserves to feel the love we feel toward our own children and after that 30 minute conversation I thought I was ready!

We arrive at the hospital the men were jittery with excitement, and I was excited for them! Today they would go from being a couple to being dads, and a family of 4...this was the moment they prove people wrong, gay men could become parents, this was the moment they defied the odds, the moment they thought would never come...yet here it was! June 24th 2011!

Before going to my room I had to register. The men sat in the waiting room while I filled out paper work. This may have been the hardest part of this trip believe it or not. Paper after paper I signed my name, and on the last page I had to sign forms regarding the babies...I signed my name, the date, and under that was the question "relationship to child" I looked at Chris, I looked at the clerk and I was confused. I was award that in Indiana I am the legal mother but never have I referred to myself as "mother" so was I supposed to write "gestational carrier" or "surrogate" and a second or two which felt like an hour or two Chris said "your the mother" I hesitated to write the word because at that moment it felt real...all the confusion from the night before, felt real...I was giving MY babies away if in fact I claimed to be their mother. 

I wrote it, and I couldn't stop the tears, I tried to hide it, and I tried to dry my face before confronting the men but the tears had no sympathy. The wheel chair came around and i sat down wondering "is this all real?" as we winded around the hall and on to the elevator I realized...this is real, I'm going to have a CSection, these babies will be born, and they will not be in my room waiting on me, their mother, to hold them...they will be in the arms of two men...their dads and I will be in an empty room with nothing but a scar across my abdomen.

More to come so stay tuned, find out how surgery went, and find out hoe my emotional state changed!