September 19, 2015
Yesterday our lives changed forever. We found out about you, Small Fry. Auntie Shelbey took a pregnancy test and it was positive!! She came over early in the morning to go with mommy to shoot a wedding. We had a busy day ahead and she came into our house and announced she had brought donuts for breakfast. She is such a sneaky girl. She didn't have donuts - she had a cake with balloons on it that said "thanx 4 knocking me up" and put her little pregnancy test with a PLUS on in in front of the cake.
For most babies their mommies are the ones who see two little lines and at that moment become "Mommy." Then the little one grows in her belly and when they are born the mom and dad get to hold them. But your story is different - your auntie is the one who is growing you and Mom is on the outside loving you from here. I'm your mom and inside my body are some owies that make it very hard for a baby to grow there. They are not the kind of owies that Daddy can kiss and make go away or ones that cartoon bandaids can fix. Sometimes they hurt, but most of the time Mommy doesn't feel pain.
When Mom and Dad got married they knew two things: that it could be tough for mom to get pregnant and carry a baby on her own, but also that they wanted kids to call their own. So, right away we saw doctors who worked hard to try and help Mommy and make her owies better so she could have a baby. They tried medicines, shots, tests and other procedures to help us. But, even though we did all of that Mommy still couldn't grow a baby.
Many nights your parents would stay awake dreaming, wondering and talking about becoming parents. We prayed and we cried lots of tears. Every day we wondered if soon we would hold a baby in our arms. As weeks, months and years passed we watched as people all around us had babies. We lovingly held those babies, played with the toddlers and cheered at events for children who were not ours. While we were thrilled for our friends and our families we were sad for us. Our thoughts were often wondering if the room we were saving for you was empty because we did something wrong and this was our punishment, or were we never meant to be parents, or did God have something else in mind for us - and what was that? There were, and really, still are, so many seemingly unanswered questions that made both Mom and Dad very sad. Your grandparents, aunt and uncles and Mom and Dad’s friends all hoped and prayed for you.
Shelbey was one of the ones who was there when Mom and Dad would come home from doctor’s appointments and see our hopes grow and eventually fall each cycle. She would listen when we would talk about what we were doing and see how my eyes would look away from baby stuff in stores because just seeing it could sometimes make Mommy sad. So, after we had only tried for a little while, Shelbey said “I’ll do it. I’ll be pregnant for you.” Whoa. It was pretty early on that she said she would do it. She and I talked and she said “even if I do it doesn’t mean you can’t do it someday, too. But you’re ready, and Paul’s ready, let me do it.” Both Mom and Dad had lots of things to think about. Could we feel like parents if the baby didn’t grow in your mommy? What emotions would we have once you got here? What would people say or wonder about surrogacy? And, the one Mommy had, and still has, the most trouble with: would people call Shelbey “the real mom?” Yes, the egg you came from belongs to Shelbey, genetically you will have her DNA. But, I am your real mom.
Shelbey had a lot to think about, too. Would it be too hard on her body? What would her body be like after giving birth? Could she still exercise during pregnancy and lose the baby weight after? And, what sort of emotions would she have after she went home from the hospital alone and we went home with the baby?
So, we all sat down with some experts to talk about what we each needed. Shelbey needed you to know you are her niece or nephew and we are your parents. She needed mommy to be willing to go on walks and do stuff with her once you came. Once you are born she wants us all to stay in the same room and be together with our family; she doesn’t want to be left alone at the hospital. She wants you to know she gets to snuggle, hug, kiss and babysit you anytime she can! Daddy needs you to know even though the way you were conceived was not traditional you are special but still like other kids. He needs to be included in the journey and tag along to appointments and get reports whenever possible. Another thing that's important to Daddy is making sure Mommy is happy and comfortable - he has a big heart! I need you to know how much I love you and even though you didn’t develop and grow in my belly you were growing in my heart. You are my child and I prayed and wished for you. I need to know even though you are on your way and will make me a mom there will still be an option for me to someday go back to trying to conceive and carry a baby; and when and if that does happen you will still be mine and nothing less. I will not love you any less or think of you any less if that does happen. Yes, you are different in your journey to getting here, but that doesn’t make you less ours, sweet babe. You are so special, so loved and so wanted.
You are blessed to be born with so many people waiting for you. You will have an amazing extended family who sees you as an answer to prayer. I pray you can understand and feel all the love we already have for you and know how special you are. Those are some of the things I want you to know about how I feel now that you are coming. I wanted you so badly, my baby, and loved you so much before you were even created. When we sat there waiting for the process to be completed we all were filled with such wonder about our futures and now we can’t wait to hold you, to feel you, to kiss your little face and tell you how special you care. I am excited to watch your relationship with Shelbey develop. To see a miracle of my own in your eyes, in your day-to-day life, in your accomplishments and in your love. Mom and Dad have a lot to do before you come here and we are happily working to get all of that done. Right now you are as big as a teeny tiny seed – but that is only your physical size. You already take up so much more room in your mommy’s, daddy’s and auntie’s hearts!