Saturday, October 19, 2013

Four years...

Four years ago today, I was preparing for your birth...for the second time.  You were almost born on the second day of this month, but at the very last minute, you changed your mind and decided to do what you should had done weeks earlier.  Walking back out that day, wearing the same clothes, belly still swollen with you tucked away inside, I was pretty devastated.  I was picturing walking out of that hospital holding a little brown haired, brown eyed girl.  Your grandparents and aunt were there.  We all thought that was the day we would meet you.  Although we had to wait a little longer, it's been four years exactly since the day I first saw your eyes look at mine...and they weren't brown.  Although it took over two years for you to have any significant hair, that wasn't brown either.   In fact, you were nothing like what I expected, in any way.

In your babyhood, we were hard on each other.  I didn't expect those nights to be so hard.  I didn't expect the months to pass so slowly.  I didn't expect most of what happened in those early days, and today isn't any different.

I didn't expect you to be so grown up at four years old.  I call you my little old soul, because of the way I catch you staring out the window, deep in thought.  You have always seem to grasp concepts far beyond what your years should allow.  I can speak to you like a friend, and never have to simplify my thoughts.  You understand it all.  You even understand me when I don't have words to speak.  How often do we look at each other and break out into smiles?

I found myself staring at you once recently, you fell asleep in the car.  I pulled into our driveway, and normally I would jump right out to begin the process of removing children, shoes, socks and whatever else happened to make its way into car on our trip.  I happened to glance at you in the rear view mirror, and stopped short.  I saw such a mature face it made me simultaneously sad, proud and overwhelmed with the realization that you were growing up, and you aren't going to stop.  I stare at your face now and it's impossible to see the baby you once were.

You're so appreciative for everything you have, everything you are given.  I have never seen another child show so much gratitude and excitement when you are offered gifts, no matter how boring or mundane they may seem.  What kid gets excited about new socks for Christmas? Or a magnet brought back from a business trip? Well, you do, and you show as much excitement and gratitude for these little things as you do for the "big" gifts that most kids crave.  It only makes me want to give you more.

You're so much like me.  The deep thinker, the animal lover, the attachment to your family.  You never asked for a lot of affection, independent from the time you were a baby.  But on those occasions you ask to snuggle or request a hug, I just want to hold you so tight I'm afraid to hurt you.  You're such a great big sister, watching how you love your little sister , how you care for her, consider her, it multiplies my love and pride for you even more.  How lucky she is to have you to look up to, how lucky I am to have you as her role model.

I love our little quiet moments together, morning time hugs, waking up to your hand on my face, telling me you love me.  I love how you tell me at the end of the day you had fun, and you thank me for it.  A four-year-old, thanking her parents for a nice day.   Even as I think about it, I'm am shaking my head in amazement.

Thank you my baby girl, even though the baby is long gone, I am so grateful for every moment we have had together in these four years.  I'm excited for the years to come, though I would never want to rush through any of these moments.   Thank you for all the fun, the sweetness, the caring, and the understanding of situations that should be far beyond your comprehension, but somehow, for you, they just aren't.  Thank you for your unconditional love, your tolerance, your ability to forgive me my faults.

Thank you, my love, for these past four years.

Monday, May 13, 2013


There are a lot of whys in this life.  Some are amazing.  Why are my kids so cute, why am I so lucky to have the two best children on this planet, why did they choose me, why do I get such an amazing family, job, life?  These whys are wonderful, life affirming, humbling.  I try to ask myself these whys at least once a day, but naturally it happens more when the girls we around.  I love these whys.

The whys I try to never ask myself, why did she just throw that, why is there traffic, why did the dog pee on the floor when we just got back from our walk? Why did they jerk us around with delayed flights only to cancel and why did I decide to take two children to Georgia without my husband? These are the insignificant whys.  They happen naturally, in moments of self pity we have no business pitying ourselves.  It's human, to let these stupid details become the big deals they really aren't.  Add a bit of sleep deprivation, hunger, hormones or whatever excuse you give yourself ( sleep deprivation is my go- to) and these whys seem like a big deal for a second, but you know they aren't because they don't last long.  Kids moods improve, they grow and learn and stop throwing things.  Traffic never lasts forever, I've never seen that on the news.  We got a new flight and eventually made it home, and the dog usually pisses outside.  Short term whys.

The worst whys are the ones that last a lifetime, and are never answered.  Why do very bad things happen? War, fires, deaths of children?  Newtown, Boston Marathon, September 11, take your pick.  There are dozens more I don't care to think of now.  These whys fade a bit, but never go away.  They can't be answered, they don't get better, they never resolve.  Scars on humanity.

How do I raise children in a world of these whys without tainting them? How do I explain these things, what else will they endure in their lifetime?  How do I teach them this world is a good place? That good will always outweigh the bad? That two people can set off a bomb, but a thousand people will run toward explosions to help?

I can hope that they see this.  I can show them that other people are good.  I can talk and talk about other people, wonderful people, doing good things in their lives, selfless things, wonderful things.

And, I could do something myself.  As their mother, it's my responsibility to show them good in other people.  But who is arguably the most influential person in their lives? Me.  I still spend time trying to please my parents, I seek their advice about these things.  I admire my parents so much.  Of course my children will do the same.

So, two years ago, I decided to do something big.  The idea grew out of me a bit unconventionally.   I get a lot of great ideas, many never come to fruition.  But this was different.  If I was religious, perhaps I would say it was what God told me to do.  For me it was more of a hormone fueled passion that didn't dissipate even when the post partum hormones did.  I couldn't get it out of my mind.  I thought about it every day.  I researched every aspect of my idea.  I opened my life to investigations, probes in to the most personal parts of my life, my history.  I spent months tracking down records, doctors, insurance companies etc.  It was work, I had moments of being so overwhelmed I thought I would just quit.  But things fell into place.  When my insurance would not cover what I intended to do, this wall appeared.  It looked like this dream was crushed.  That day, my husband came home announcing his company is finally offering insurance options, after years of not.  They offered only one choice, and this was one of the only insurances that would cover my intentions.  I couldn't believe it happened like that, wall removed, we push forward.

I've met them.  Not in person, but on the phone.  I love them.  They could be us, they are us.  She is me, in a different body, living a different life.  He is Mark.  They have no children.  They want children so bad.  I thought I went through a lot in my journey thus far, how stupid of me not to realize how much more they had to endure.  The connection is instant.  We are supposed to wait a day or two to make a decision, but I can barely contain myself.  Mark feels the same.  I never was more sure of anything in my life.  I was only half sure about having my own kids, and look how awesome that turned out.

Contracts were created and signed.  I received a hugs box of medications, needles, pills, calendars.  Several fun exams.  I am prepared for this.  This is what I want to show my children, this is what they need to see, experience with me.  We talk about it every day.  They seem excited too.  Mommy is going to have a baby.  A baby we don't keep.  A baby we will give back to his or her mommy and daddy after the are born.

I am going to be a surrogate.  Because I want to.  Because it is good.  Because it is right.

Because I can.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

731 days

Two years you've been here now.  Don't worry, I added correctly, there was a leap year in there too.

If I had one moment in my life to live over again, it would be the day you were born.  I guess that is more than a moment, though.  Somehow, in my memory, I can conjure it all up simultaneously.  The shock, the craziness, your sweet sweet face.   Holding your warm, wet little body in the car, the cold, foggy night, the ride in the ambulance, the moment we arrived.  They took you away from me...I don't remember that moment.  I can't place the face of the nurse.  I just know I tried to cry but I couldn't.  I wanted to, but I just didn't have the strength.  I remember it was a long time until I was allowed to hold you again.  But we spent the first night together, you didn't even have a diaper on, but I didn't care.  You were snoring.  The sweetest, most beautiful little snore.  You smiled even.  People might not believe that, but I took a picture of it.  I can prove it.  My sweet newborn, amist all the chaos surrounding her, smiled in her sleep as I stared at her.  As if you knew, you were in on the joke.      All that craziness, all the drama, and the local fame.  I think it was part of your little plan.  And I love you immensely for that.  I learned more about parenting in that day than any other.  That children, will never, ever be predictable.  That they don't follow rules, or plans.  And after a long day of craziness that would drive any adult to the brink of insanity, they will close their eyes and smile.

These two years have been amazing.  You're so much fun, so loving and affectionate.  You still spend most of the night sleeping beside us, asking constantly to "snuggle Mommy, snuggle Daddy".  You love animals so much.  How many times I've been able to distract you, mid-tantrum, to look at a dog or cat, or when I'm really desperate, a bird...real or imaginary.  I think I've thrown a few insects in there too, just for good measure.

I love the sound of your voice.  The sweetness of your little lisp.  The way you pause for a long time in between words.  I'm not sure if it is for emphasis, or if you are really thinking about what you are about to say.  You certainly didn't inherit that gift from either of your parents.  I love how you ask us " mommy, daddy, wassa madder?" When you know your sister is being disciplined.  You tell me immediately that you love me when you misbehave.  Only two, and you are so smart.

I love staring at your eloquent profile, especially first thing in the morning.  I love the crinkles of your sleep swollen eyes.  I love watching the light reflect off your skin in the most beautiful glow no model could ever fake, no matter how much make-up or photoshopping is done.  I love your perfect smile, your straight little white teeth, but most of all I love your one special tooth, a fused tooth, as they call it.  I love how it adds more humor to your smile.  I am completely helpless in the presence of that smile.  A smile that makes your smooth skinned cheeks swell with happiness, I could touch and kiss those cheeks for hours and never tire of the feeling.  

You love your sister so much, I ache when you hug each other, call out for each other, say your good nights and "I love yous".  As much as you love your big sister and older cousin, you're not currently a fan of babies.  Perhaps you are too in love with the fact that you are my baby, even your teachers at school have commented on how territorial you are.  I nod and listen, but I am smiling so hard inside it takes all my strength not to let it show.  My beautiful little independent girl, so strong minded, so determined, so much like mommy.

You are demanding, but in such a cute way I doubt I will ever be able to resist your requests.  My sensitive girl, whenever you get scolded, you tend to cry and beg for hugs, with I am helpless to resist.  Most children may run from their parents, when they are angry with them.  You ruin into our arms every time.  You demand so much love I sometimes doubt my ability to give you all you deserve.

People still stop us on the street, to comment on your beauty.  Many small children look alike, but the reason we get stopped is because you are so unique.  Your dark, gilded hair, the furrowed brows that frame your unbelievable blue eyes.  So unique it prompted even our pediatrician to comment on how amazing they are.  As a person who sees many sets of young eyes, even she was taken aback by yours.  I wish pictures did your eyes true justice, part of me fears someday they will change, and I won't be able to look back and see them as they are now.  I love looking into those eyes, usually veiled in your hair, early in the morning.  I love how they almost disappear when you laugh, I even love how intense the blue looks when your eyes are red rimmed with tears.  I love that no matter how old you get, I will be forever fascinated when I look into your eyes.  Because whenever I do, I not only see the beautiful little girl your are.  I can see glimpses of the woman you will become.  I can see memories of the baby you were.  And every so often, you grant my greatest wish.  When I look into your dark blue rimmed, turquoise eyes, I can travel back in time to relive the moments surrounding your birth.  I won't ever be able to thank you enough, baby girl, for that incredible gift.

Happy Birthday, my sweet little bug.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


My love for my children is indescribable.  I blog in a vain attempt to do the impossible, describe it, so that they can someday understand the things I felt raising them, loving them.  I'm proud I sleep only a few hours a night and that I grow food for us and that I make our own laundry detergent and dish soap and do everything in my power to protect them from food dye and pesticides and chemicals and bad television and sadness.  Some people call it being a super mom, which I'll proudly accept, but I certainly don't do it to brag about it on a blog a few people read.  I don't do it to someday guilt and/or embarrass my kids with when they are vengeful teenagers.  I am driven only by this need to protect them, from everything I can.

And though I bolted every piece of furniture to the wall,  and gated every doorway and hazard, though I ban toys made with unnatural substances, I know there are a thousand things I can't protect them from.  I don't need to be reminded so often.  But lately, it's all I hear.

The horrors of Newtown still fresh in all our minds.  The family massacre in New Mexico.  And right in the next town, a horrible fire, taking the lives of two beautiful girls, almost the exact ages of my two beautiful girls.

It takes a while for me.  To see, hear, comprehend, and then fall apart.  I've cried so many days for complete strangers in the past few months.  I'm tired of the crying, tired of the sadness, but I am so damn grateful that motherhood has made me empathetic enough to react this way.  I don't need more reasons to appreciate my kids, more reasons to hug them tighter, smell their heads for a second longer.  But they keep coming.

There is no greater fear you could imagine than the fear of not being able to protect your own child, from pain, from fear, from death.  I would die a thousand times to prevent that.  I would not ever want to live without them.

I can't help but imagine I were that mother.  It's a self inflicted pain I can not resist.  I can feel her sadness, her tragedy, her hopelessness, I hear her scream and I am screaming with grief in my head as tears roll down my face and soak my shirt and waves of grief wrack my body with breath sucking sobs until I'm too exhausted to cry anymore.  And, for added torture, when my vision returned, I made myself write this.  Because I want to remember how I feel right now.

Why am I trying to rationalize, to understand, to ignore, to distract myself? I know the results.  At least I can answer this myself,  maybe answer the girls' questions someday, if something similar happens.  The answers are difficult and emotional, but they are there.

The worst questions are always this way, because they will remain forever unanswered.

Why why why whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhy