Success and Relief......

We have a healthy baby girl in our hands.

Today is the day Part 3

C-section is set for tonight.


Time TBA.

Today might be the day Part 2

We just got a phone call that our surrogate is in labor
so we are off to the hospital.

Her water hasn't broken.

This news has got me to stop calling the hospital to
verify procedures with them. This has been my project for
the day.

We will find out how things work through live
fire.

Our baby might be here soon.

We are off.

The Teeter Totter Teeters........

We have reached the hardest stage of the process.

For the first time we have not all been in agreement.

Our baby is breech with her foot in the first position.
Ready to kick her way out.

If she does this and dangles her foot out -
she can stangle herself to death.

Fear has set in.

At least with Christy.

She believes that the baby is safer on the outside then on the inside -
so wants her out right away.

Our surrogate wants to wait and see if the baby will flip and go head down
so that she can have a VBAC and not a C-section.

Then there is me -

I am not as convinced of the danger as Christy is, but believe it to be true.

I am most interested in a September birthday.

In most sports leagues the age cut off is August 31st with the new year starting September 1st.

This means that if our baby is born on or before August 31st - she will be the youngest player
in the league.

If she is born on September 1st or after - she will be the oldest player in the league.

They have done worldwide studies on sports and kids born in the first 3 months of their age group
dominate sports until the age of 18 as a group. Roughly, 75% of the Olympic development players from
ANY NATIONAL - AND ANY SPORT - are born in the first 3 months of the age cut off.

With that knowledge, I am fine with a September 1st, 2010 birthday at 12:01am.

All in all, three agendas make it hard to agree.

Of course, my desire for the perfect sports birthday is less important then a healthy baby.
So my desire should have the least priority.

In the meantime, we are on the clock.......waiting.

Today is the day.... and then it's not......

Today was going to be the day for a few minutes.

The Dr. offered to do a C-section yesterday which to us all by surprise.
And we passed on the offer.

Today our surrogate was open to the idea -
we called the Dr. to take him up on the offer and he said "no."

"Nothing is going to happen until the next appointment."

Which is next Tuesday.

At which point, I am sure that he will tell us - we are scheduled for Thursday or Friday let's
go with that appointment.

So it's on for September.

Our hearts are tethered through the heavens....

The topic comes up -

How do the Intended Parents bond with the child when it is being carried by someone else
so far away from them.

I think that this is such a silly question.

The soul burns the connection into the parents and child even before conception and it grows from there regardless of time or distance.

We see the earliest 4D pictures of our child and I am told "she looks like you".

I in turn see my parents.

And Grand Parents.

And Great Grand Parents.

After that my memory of seeing family pictures fades, but I can clearly see the fifth generation of my family under construction from her very first photo. At 15 weeks old.

The connection is clear and it is strong.

I've known her for generations.

Generations of history - passed on to the newest family member.

There is no rational explanation of how this connection develops, but it is there instantly.

You find it told over and over again through stories of twins separated at birth.

Or

Through countless stories throughout history were a son is born, and his father is killed before the child even had a chance to know him. Yet, the son burns with desire to avenge his father's death decades later.

To me, a few things are undeniable:

Our souls have already meet - The three of us are united -
We have briefly been separated on earth -
But time and distance mean nothing -
Every second - We are sharing the same blood -
Our connection is eternal - A man, A woman, A baby -
The core purpose, perfection, and fulfillment of our life -
The essence of philosophy, religion, spirituality, and psychology -
Are all based on establishing this timeless relationship -
A bond - that has no beginning - And no ending -
Our hearts are tethered through the heavens -
And we are one.

The End is Near......

Today, we saw the Doctor and there are some twist and turns.

Literally, a 180 degree turn.

We are now back to being a breech baby.
Feet down and head up.

Who would of thought that the child would be difficult?

The bottom line is that she could come any day, but we
have been given our expiration date.

A C-section is scheduled for September 2nd.

If she turns again by then - the plan is to skip the C-section and
induce labor in which case a September 3rd date is planned.

The crazy disturbing fact that I didn't like about our meeting with the doctor today is that this
is the first stage in the whole process that the doctor can not give me a percentage of probability.

I can't function without odds.

This is really frustrating for me.

I mean - how hard is it to say that she has a 5% chance of coming today and then a 6% chance tomorrow ramping up to a 90% chance of being here September 2nd.

Instead, we are told "she will come when she comes."

Where is the science in that answer?

For now, the end is almost near, and a new beginning is about to happen.

It will finally be time for our baby to join our family.

Locked, Loaded, and Leaving......

We got the good news that we are now locked and loaded in the head down ready position. This means no C-section for us.

At 37 weeks 1 day, we were 7 pounds 15 ounces and everything is looking very positive and healthy.
As I make this post we are at 37 weeks 4 days.

And everyday counts.

In the small chance that a C-section gets scheduled it will be September 2nd. Otherwise, we are looking at a due date of Sept. 7th.

We are hitting the road so that we can be there 2 weeks before the due date. I expect that this to give us plenty of time to sit around and twiddle our thumbs while we wait.

It's the classic hurry up and wait scenario.

Just waiting for the "belly lender" to pop.

Our great reward at this part of the process is only being terrified with boredom. With no medical issues or concerns to worry about we have nothing to fear.

Except of course, being in the delivery room.

And seeing a dirty baby.

If the hospital let's us fill out a birth plan - I know that my request is, I don't want to touch the baby until it has it's first bath. And to have women only in the delivery room.

I have the feeling that I will lose out on both of my wishes.

Despite that - here we come.

The more mature me.........

We all have wants and needs in life.

When my wants start to overpower my needs, there needs to
be a re-balancing of my id, ego, and super-ego.

This is not about me, myself, and I.

But,

"the it," "the I," and the Over I."

My id ("the it") doesn't want to take no for an answer and is only looking at the selfish answer.

My Super-ego ("the Over I") strives for me to act in a socially appropriate manner.
To find the perfect answer, and keep everyone happy.

My ego ("the I") separates what is real. It helps me to organize my thoughts and make sense of them and the world around us.

According to the reality principle:

In Freud's words, "an ego thus educated has become reasonable; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also at bottom seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished"

I can hear Christy already..........

What are you talking about? What's your point?

The more mature me - looks at reality - over my emotions.

And reality tells me that the birth experience will be much smoother, easier, and comfortable
under these conditions.

Our surrogate stays in the comfort of her own home until D-Day, D-Hour.
Our surrogate has the delivery done by the OB that she has been seeing all along.
Our surrogates family is able to relax at the comfort of their own home and town.
Our surrogates families daily routine remains unchanged.
Their life can keep it's normal ebb and flow.
That we put them in the best situation possible.

So my point is -

The more mature me wants to know, "how do we make things best for her and her family?"

The wind is at our back.......

We are flying high right now as the wind is at our back and we are quickly, very quickly going to
have a baby in our hands.

99.9% of the stress is gone.

I am sure that it will return when we enter the hospital and the actual moment is upon us.

But, at this moment we are stress free.

The facts are all in our favor.

We are over 35 weeks along. Over 7 pounds in size. We have passed the DNA test. Counted fingers
through our 4D pictures, and have overall proven to be healthy.

If we were born today, we would not, should not, end up in the NICU unit.

That is one less thing that we need to stress about.

Now, Christy's main concern is appearance.

As an Intended Mother it's in her DNA to always be worried about something.

The 4D pictures make it look like our girl has my nose and lips.
She is concerned that I don't look like a girl.

Funny, I have never been concerned that I don't look like a girl.

It's never been an issue for me.

For me, being able to joke about appearance, instead of being worried about health and complications is simply a great relief and not one that I expected to have as I have read everyone else's birth stories over the years.

Finally, maybe one part of the process will be easy for us.

Soft in the Head.......

No, to your surprise, I am not talking about my readers.

We are subscribed to a weekly update from WhatToExpect.com and that is the headline of their email
and how they describe our child and her current stage of development.

And you think that my writing style is fiesty.

On the positive side - it says that our babies brain is growing at an amazing pace.

I think that we have learned today - that while her skull might be soft - her skin is tough.

Well, I am sure that her mother will say that she has soft skin.

So she will need to take after her father - to become hard headed and tough skinned over time.

Barf Towels and Diapers.....

Everyone is excited now and sending us gifts.

You expect things like toys, books, and clothes.

OR maybe something useful like a bag to lug all of the junk around.

Because it is clear that we already have 3 large bags for this child. How can something
the size of a small football need her own landing force and Army so that she can travel.

We don't need to hire a nanny as much as a mover - just to pick her up and bring her home.

I'm thinking - how much does she need?

She doesn't even sit up for the longest time.

All she does is lay down on her back and wait for everything to come to her.
The life of a baby and a surrogate sure seem to have a lot in common.
Or at least my version of what a surrogate should be doing.

But, in my mind surrogates are fragile, like a china doll and break easy.
I have been told that I am wrong.
No Surprise.

The most disturbing thing is that our number one gift has not been clean, nice, cute, little clothes.

But, Barf towels and Diapers.....

It's a good thing that this child has a mother.

To finish, conclude, arrange, and otherwise get things done........

We are reaching the last month of our Surrogacy. Our countdown is changing from months and weeks to days.

Our due date is still Sept. 7th. A mere 36 days away.

Our baby is in the 90-95th percentile so there is a good chance she will race to the finish line and arrive
early.

That means that this segment of our life will be completed.

We will have concluded and finished our - let's have a child through ivf and surrogacy - phase of our life.

In the beginning we though - "It will be so easy."

Look - we can pick the birth date of our child based on when we do the transfer.
"What month do we want to have our baby born in."

We were so naive then and so experienced now.

Not necessarily better for the wear and tear. But, wiser.

Are we ready to exit one world and enter the next? That is up for debate.

My answer is no - I will never be ready - But there's no backing out now - so let's
make the best of it.

I read a quote recently, that might not describe us directly, but sums up how I feel at the moment.

If you know Myers-Briggs, I'm a P (for Perceiver), which means I'm adaptable, open, creative, but not so good at finishing.

If you know ADD, well, that's me; I get distracted.

If you know perfectionism, you know why my P and my ADD drive me crazy:

I NEED it to be right, but I often can't find the discipline to get it just so.

Then there is Christy.

She's a J (for Judger) which is the exact opposite of a Perceiver; J's love/live to finish, conclude, order, arrange, and otherwise get things done.
And that's why I call Christy a bully..........


And

It's also why everything will be ok for our baby.
She has a mother that will make sure that we are prepared.

Through her desires and efforts we are ready for the last step.

Inspire, Challenge, Enable, and Encourage.........

These are the goals I have for myself and this blog. Can and will my posts here inspire, challenge, enable, and encourage others through their Surrogacy journey, all while I haul through my own endeavor.

If you read my last Melancholy post - it sure isn't inspiring , enabling, or encouraging. Though it is challenging.
Challenging at least to me - not others.

This is like many things in life - where fear and doubt of the outcome - is worse then the outcome itself.

I do believe that this is one of those cases.

As a leader, how do you inspire and encourage others - when you are deep into a personally challenging struggle? How do you enable others to make the right decision - when your second guessing your own?

That is my true challenge of the days, weeks, and month ahead.

Who vs. Where Part 2 - OR "My" Want vs. Need.....

Looking back at my prior posts - two years ago - we were at a turning point in our Surrogacy adventure.

We made a choice of  Who vs. Where Part 1.

I came to Surrogacy World with an open mind, open heart - and only one requirement.

The child needed to be born in California. Specifically, Southern California.

We had a lot of people say "that is stupid." It doesn't matter where the child is born.
It will live in California and will never know anything else.

So, with much thought, we made an open choice to pick "who - over - where."
That means we chose to work with a surrogate that wasn't going to deliver in California.

We picked a great surrogate and have had a great experience.

It was the right choice at the time.

The right person for us.

And the right choice still.

Without a doubt......... WE WON with our selection as a surrogate.

We are now weeks away from having our baby in our hands.

We have paid the price and done the hard work necessary to get to the finish line.

Victory is at hand. Clearly, in sight. Mere moments away.

And yet, I am filled with an oppressive sadness as this victory nears.

At this time, I fill like my victory comes with a mark. A mark that will follow my child to the grave.

She will not be born in California.

Sure - this is where almost all of you can laugh. And tell me to get over it. You have a healthy child on
the way. Don't be picky. Especially, over something so minor.

I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.


I keep thinking - if I repeat that sentence enough - I can start to believe it.


However, it's not working.


Instead, I look at the Obituaries and I read them:

They all say - "So & So was born Date, Place."

This is the FIRST LINE in everyone's obituary.

This is truly a cradle to grave issue.

I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.

California is a migration state. Everyone is from somewhere else. In High school, I only
had one friend that had both parents born in California. One.

Christy and I both have deep roots in California.

My family arrived here in the 1890's.

And we are the new kids on the block compared to Christy's family that arrived during the gold rush.

My family has been here for 120 years.

I'm giving away my roots to the state - my heritage.

But, it's not my roots I'm giving away. It's my child's roots.

Now every time, my child does something simple - like answer a password question for a bank account - she
will have to say - "I am not from California."

I am not like the rest of my family.

I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.

My feelings remind me off another quote from Lincoln that he made just as he was leaving to
be sworn in as President.



"Friends, no one who has never been placed in a like position can understand my feelings at this hour, nor the oppressive sadness I feel at this parting. For more than a quarter of a century I have lived among you, and during all that time I have received nothing but kindness at your hands. Here I have lived from my youth until now I am an old man. Here the most cherished ties of earth were assumed. Here all my children were born and here one of them lies buried. To you, dear friends, I owe all that I have, all that I am.
Lincoln's Farewell Address in Springfield by Abraham Lincoln February 11, 1861

 He got everything he wanted, but had to give up so much.

Sometimes, happiness and sadness, arrive at the same time.

The better angels of our nature

At the start of our pregnancy I read a book about President Lincoln and how his writing and speeches before and during the Civil War set the tone for our Nation to be able to re-unite even after 4 years of mutual destruction.

I have a quote from Lincoln that I keep going back to as I observe other couples going through Surrogacy and when I struggle through my own thoughts at times. This quote from the Civil War seems especially suited to Surrogacy.

 
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every living heart, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.

What and who are the better angels of our nature? 

Lincoln was suggesting these were humaneness, compassion, good will, tolerance, and other good things. 

What lay ahead though was four years of savage war and 600,000 deaths before those positive values could be invoked again by Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address, asking these better angels to bear "malice towards none, with charity for all . . ." 

They way I see this connecting to Surrogacy World is straight forward.
Yes, there are hard times.

Yes, there is a struggle.

Yes, there is sacrifice.

And in the end "The Better Angels of our Nature" at least those within our surrogate -

 "humaneness, compassion, good will, tolerance, and other good things."

Has made the impossible - possible.