Let’s go WAY back…

Year: 2012

Location: New York, NY

Season: Late Spring

School was out for summer (I teach, remember).  A friend had offered us his place in the city for free for a long weekend.  Flights were cheap. We had only been dating for 6 months (though we were already living together because we “just knew”) and thought it would be a great, romantic, cheap, getaway.  COUNT US IN.

We had both been to the city before.  Jesse had been a few times in his adult life and already knew of some cool spots to re-visit.  I, however, had only been once when I was 12ish.  My dad worked for an airline and thought it would be cool to take us to the top of the Statue of Liberty (back when you could climb the cramped circle staircase right into the crown and peer out over the city).  So we got up early one morning, boarded a plane, landed in NY, headed to the statue, then got straight back on the plane to fly home.  We literally were gone 24 hours… so I really knew nothing about the city (except what I learned watching Sex and the City).

We landed with our carry-ons and hopped straight onto the subway.  We ate lunch, we day drank, we saw the sights, we went to less known locations, we explored some book stores, we walked by the pier… and that’s when we decided to take an evening sail to watch the sunset, drink, and see the Statue again.  Man I miss the spontaneity of our pre-kid life… memories….  anyway, I digress. 

It’s was this moment that forever altered the course of my life, though, at the time, I never would have known- it was just a cool thing to do.

We loved the sail.  It was spring so still pretty chilly, especially on the water after the sunset.  So in prep, I bought a cute wrap/scarf thing from a street vendor to wear to keep me warm (I still wear that damn thing).

I can’t be certain this was THE BOAT (hell, it’s been 6 years!) but it gives you an idea.  It was massive and beautiful and we drank and talked and Jesse explained all the boat stuff.  Again, we had only been dating a few months and I knew he loved to sail but I didn’t know AT ALL how much he knew!  I was blown away (pun not intended, but it works)!

After we returned to the dock and as the crowds were departing, Jesse asked if he could use the “head” (I later realized it was boat speak for “bathroom”). So we got to go down below.  I had thought the upper deck and cockpit of the boat was beautiful, but I was NOT prepared for the exquisite woodwork that was below.  This boat was massive and could easily sleep a crew of 10 if not more (again, I am certain I am not recalling it all perfectly- how was I to know then what I know now).  He showed me around a little and told me what was what without being too nosy and then we headed above to go get dinner.

While I may not recall exactly which boat, and I may not recall exactly what else happened that night, I will NEVER forget the conversation we had as we walked down the dock hand in hand:

Jesse: You know, people live on those things.  Just like their house.

Me: That makes sense, I mean, it’s huge.

Jesse:  They raise their kids on those boats and sail around the world visiting new places and seeing new things.

Me: Really?  I mean, I’m a teacher, I could home school our kids while we explore the world.

Jesse: *stops moving and stares at me*

Me: I’m serious.  I love the idea.  How do we make that happen?

******

Again, I can’t be certain exactly what happened after all that, but I believe we spent the rest of the evening chatting about boats, kids, our futures, and how we could possibly make it all happen.

*******

Fast Forward 6 years, 2 kids, and two moves later… and it’s happening.  NOW. That moment 6 years ago changed our course so significantly that now that it’s here, this moment we’ve literally talked about daily since then, I can barely even process it all.  I’m so utterly excited but also scared fucking senseless!  But, as my dear friend and biggest cheerleader, Jen, has helped me see:

I will share more details soon, but I had to tell the back story first.

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Days after loss- A surrogate’s side

It’s been about 5 days.  The flowers the IP’s bought me are prettier than ever.  The blooms are amazing.

Most of the time, the distraction of my family helps keep my mind off the heartache… the guilt… the sense of failure I am feeling.

On Friday, the day after the D&C, my kids went to school as normal so I had the morning to myself.  Laying around didn’t seem like a great idea.  So I cleaned.  The house is practically spotless… as spotless as it can be when you have two kids and three dogs anyway.

I think, much like the first time, this will just linger.  The tear producing waves are much further apart than they were on day one and I assume they will gradually grow far enough apart that I will not cry at all, one day.

I was talking to another surrogate about the loss she and her IP’s experienced.  We’ve decided that this particular situation is VERY difficult.  I certainly do not want to say it is any worse than any other woman experiencing a miscarriage- that is not it at all.  There’s just a level of complication added to this that makes it so strange and hard to navigate.  If it were just miscarriage, sadly, I know many women that I can talk to about that; I have people I could commiserate with.  But the complication of losing someone else’s baby… there aren’t many women that can share that story.  There is no guide book.  There is no one to really provide any direction.

It’s also difficult for my husband.  He mentioned the toll it’s taking on him.  This is not our child, but, from what I have read, many men “recover” faster than the woman.  She was the one that experienced constant reminders of what amazing thing her body was doing (or supposed to be doing) and when the pregnancy ends, she’s the one that both physically and emotionally must recover- there are hormones that must be contended with, and emotional scars, and a feeling of failure.  I have all of those things, but I also have the concern and well-being of the IP’s that I must process.  How are they?  What can I do for them?  How might I show them that I am thinking of them without re-opening a wound they are trying to keep clean and covered?  What do I do in this terrible situation?  It’s constantly there in the back of mind, ALL of this.  And my husband just wants his happy wife and the mother of his children back.

He mentioned the other day that there have only been two times in our marriage that I have cried so hard he was worried about me.  And, both of those times were when the surrogacy pregnancies failed. I do not want to call this pain a burden, but I do think that my husband might view it that way.  And I do understand that- our family is complete, these worries amazingly didn’t plague our family… when we wanted kids, we luckily got them without ANY complications.  And now we are taking on someone else’s struggle- which we knew.  I, so naively, didn’t think any of this would happen.  I thought that I would have a transfer, get pregnant, have a pretty uneventful pregnancy, and give this family a baby.  I was so terribly, terribly, wrong.

I don’t know where this journey goes now.  And I don’t even know if I will have a part in it.  I deeply hope that I will. The desire to help a couple grow their family is still, very much, a part of my dream and my passion.  But it isn’t up to just me (there are the IP’s, my husband, my family that must also be considered).

Bragging for a minute…

This morning was my BETA draw… and while that is important and this blog has mostly turned into “the adventures of a surrogate” blog, it is still, technically called “Monika’s Musings,” so I am at liberty to talk about whatever is on my mind.  Bare with me… it does come full circle I promise.

I have previously posted about the hectic schedule that runs our family (no I did not grammatically screw that up- the schedule runs us! NOT the other way around). From the second the alarm sounds in the morning my husband and I are in a critical, minute to minute rush to get things done or get people where they need to be and any break from that routine can make things a bit crazy.

For instance, this morning, in order to make it to my appointment at 8:00 I HAVE to leave the house at 7:10 (I chose the clinic closer to the school where I work so that I wouldn’t have to miss work too often).  But my husband and I tag team the morning- he gets breakfast ready while I get kids ready.  We eat together and then help the kids get their belongings and themselves loaded into the car. I drop them off and he manages the two separate pick ups.  We are a fine tuned machine in the morning.  But again, today, due to the circumstances, my husband had to do most of that on his own including both the drop off and the pick ups.  (Though, in my defense, I did still get the kids dressed and into their seats at the table, I just had to peace out immediately after that to get to the appointment).

Jesse not only manages all of that with grace and ease, the dear man also made me a “to go” breakfast so that I wouldn’t be hungry all morning!


I have caught myself one of the best men on the face of the planet.  Seriously!

I often find myself in conversations with other women who are ragging on their husbands for an assortment of different issues.  They don’t help clean the house, they aren’t very helpful with the kids, they don’t seem attentive… the list goes on and on.  And in those situations I just have to sit there quietly and shake my head.  I can’t participate in the man-bashing… my husband is amazing.

I am not saying we don’t ever disagree or miscommunicate- we do.  I think all marriages do/will. But, by and large, I feel luckier by the day to have him in my life.  He is my perfect match.  He is my anchor.  He is my equal.  I love, honor, and respect him more today than the day I married him.

Which, coincidentally, happens to be 5 years ago this Friday.

A little back story.  When we were planning our wedding ceremony we wanted to do something that was a little more unique than the typical blending of the sands or the unity candle (I am not dogging on these BTW, they just weren’t for us). My husband and I opted to do a Wine Box Ceremony (which you can read more about here).  The gist is this: on the eve of your nuptials you write a letter to your spouse telling them all the reasons you love them and appreciate them and then seal it in an envelope.  Then during the ceremony you seal your favorite bottle of wine inside the box along with the two letters.  My dad, who married us, told an amazing anecdote about my grandparents generation- “The Fix It Generation” (when something breaks, they fixed it, they didn’t discard it and buy another) and then explained in the ceremony that if, over the next few years, our marriage seemed to be breaking, or we ended up in a fight so large we were considering the prospect of discarding the union, we were supposed to break open the box, share the bottle of wine, and read the letters we wrote one another and remember why we married one another, why we fell in love, what we value about the other person.  In short, if we felt like we were breaking we are to remember to fix it!

On the happier side, if we made it to five years without a fight of that magnitude, we were to celebrate by drinking the wine and reading the letters and then put in a new bottle and replace with new letters along with the first ones.

So- we are at FIVE YEARS and I am proud to say that our box is still sealed and its contents happily stowed inside. The sad thing though, is that we have been looking forward to this anniversary for… well… five years.  We were super excited to break that puppy open, drink our wine and read our love notes now with greater perspective…  BUT I CAN”T DRINK. (Insert all the teary emoji’s ever)

And, as if that weren’t bad enough by itself… the clinic does not want me having an orgasm until after the fetal heartbeat is detected.  Do you know what that means?  Here, let me clarify… not only do I not get to drink the wine I have been so looking forward to but I don’t even get to have sex with my husband on this milestone anniversary!!!  Que the tears:

Now, I totally understand that what I am doing is worth it.  And I am so so so happy to be doing this for these IP’s, I think the world of them and I am so happy to be on this journey with them (as is my husband!). But allow me to be whiny for a second, please.  I mean, you see what I mean.  Right?!?

But, again, focusing on this negative stuff doesn’t do me any good at all, so now that it is off my chest, lets focus on the positive (literally) for a minute:

8dpt round 2

Lets hope that this strong line means that I will have a good BETA number and things will work out this go round!  We’ve been on this merry-go-round before though and it didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped, so cross some fingers, toes, what have you for us, will ya?

I will update later today with the actual BETA numbers (mostly for historical purposes but also for the people that might care about all that jazz).

PS- for those of you that are allowed to drink and have sex, please consider making a donation to your body of both of those in strong quantities on my behalf, please. Okay?  Great.  Thanks.