Tag Archives: Austin Texas

What Makes A Family?

Though my Journey to carry June, and to give Brooke and Joe a daughter ended six months ago, our Journey together is far from over.

No I’m not talking about another baby (although that IS going to happen). No, I’m talking about this time in between new babies, and the relationship we have developed.

This past weekend Brooke and June came to Austin, it’s the first time they’ve been to Texas since June was born. Brooke E-mailed me a couple weeks ago and told me when they would be here and asked if we would like to visit. I was overjoyed! Of course we would love to see them! After replying telling her I would ask for time off of work, I sat back. I ended up being stuck in my own head. What if she was just being nice? What if she was worried that if she came to Texas and didn’t say anything to me I would be upset? What if she didn’t ACTUALLY want to see me?

She’s never given me any indication that any of these things are true. But we have a rare, and abnormal relationship. How many people have someone in their life that gave birth to their child, and isn’t their significant other or blood family? It’s different, and there are no hard or fast rules on how this relationship should be. We are in uncharted lands, wandering around, just figuring it out as we go.

I expressed my concerns to my best friend, who is in her own strange lands. A birth mother who has an open relationship with her daughter and the family raising her. She said that she often felt the same way, that my feelings were normal but that didn’t mean they were right. Her daughters parents loved her and enjoy the time they have together.

So was I being crazy? Does Brooke like to see and spend time with me? Or am I an attachment that’s hard to shake off?

Curtis, the boys and I drove to Austin (Emma got in big trouble in school and stayed with her grandmother for the weekend). I was nervous and excited to see Brooke and June, and also Brookes family. I walked up to the door and of course was met with big hugs from all. Junes grandmother had her when I walked in, and she handed her right off to me. There were many moments during the day when Brooke would have June in her arms and say “Oh look Aunt Chelsea wants to hold you!” and would hand her to me with no warning or without me asking. It was so nice. We talked about my new Doula business and I mentioned needing head shots done for my site. Alex (Brookes sister) pulled out her camera and took pictures of me, and my boys, and June. It was lovely. I met many of her friends who stopped in throughout the day. I was introduced many different ways:
“This is Junes Surrogate.” “This is the woman who gave birth to June.: “This is Chelsea, she birthed June.” It made me giggle how nonchalant she was about it.

 

We stayed up late eating, drinking wine, talking and playing card games. We talked about babies and how wonderful of a sleeper June Bug is. We talked about her moving to Texas someday and of Curtis’ future in films. We talked about Joe and we talked about my business. Her and her sister gave me the advice that I’ve been hearing a lot lately.

Be Confident.

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We finally went back to our hotel around 11 and we all slept like rocks. The next morning we got up and met Brooke and her brother for breakfast. Curtis held June (which he hadn’t really done, poor baby was afraid of his voice), and we enjoyed the little Austin Café. I was so sad to say goodbye, but I realized we already had our next TWO visits planned!

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Maybe I don’t all the answers on how our relationship should be. Maybe there isn’t “a way”. No matter what, I love seeing June and all of her family. I love them in all the ways you would love your own, even if they are different than you. I love to watch our relationships continue to grow and I look forward to all of the time we have together in the future.

I knew that I was giving someone else a family, I never knew I would get one in return.

June Bug is on the move

It’s funny how life can get away from you sometimes. Or maybe it doesn’t get away, but you’re so caught up living it! So much has happened since my last post in MAY! We transferred one beautiful embryo on June 17th in Austin Texas. I got to spend some more time with mom and met pretty much ALL of her family. It was a really amazing trip.

Me, mom and June Bug! Ready to get pregnant!
Me, mom and June Bug! Ready to get pregnant!

When I came home from Austin, it was a waiting game. I felt the morning sickness and exhaustion start almost immediately and started taking home pregnancy tests. I got my first faint positive on June 21st, fathers day (just four days after transfer)! I wanted so desperately to call mom and dad and tell them the news!!! But alas, they had decided they wanted to wait for my blood draw which wasn’t until June 29th (12 days past transfer). I peed on 2-3 sticks a day! Watching that line get darker and darker and I knew, our first try was a success!

How many sticks can someone pee on!?
How many sticks can someone pee on!?

July 29th came, and mom called me early that morning. I told her I had been testing, and we both just couldn’t wait until the blood draw came back, I told her over the phone that she was going to be a mommy and I could feel her joy all the way from NYC to DFW through the phone. My blood work felt like it took FOREVER to come back, but when it finally did! BETA was 550!!!! I was ecstatic! I skyped with mom and dad and got to look them in the eyes and tell them both the great news. The emotion was overwhelming. It is truly a moment that I will never forget and treasure my entire life.

Since then we’ve hit a few little bumps, and had some shocks. Turns out that our one little embryo SPLIT into TWO baby girls! We were all in shock! Just as much as we were when we lost the twin around 9 weeks.

Medications turned into a huge challenge, making me unable to move without being in extreme pain. I ended up bed ridden for most of July. Since then it has been smooth sailing, outside of some major nausea and morning sickness that lasted until about 15 or 16 weeks.

Today I am 19 weeks pregnant and as I type this, June is belly dancing while we listen to some grunge music (which seems to be her favorite). My belly is smaller than it was with my boys but I’m glad to be able to still sleep comfortably and fit in MOST of my clothes. I haven’t seen dad since we first met in March (though he works a lot), but we do communicate sometimes via messenger on facebook. I talk to mom almost once a week over the phone. She’s coming for a visit next week for the anatomy scan. It’ll be the first time I’ve seen her since transfer.

My everyday life both is and isn’t effected by my surrogate pregnancy. I don’t work even close to the 50 hours I was working before I got pregnant. I do miss work, but I’m cherishing this time with my youngest child who will start Kindergarten next year. I’m also taking this time to figure out my own career and long term plans for my families future.

Some funny irony is that it was one year ago, in October that I filled out my application for the Surrogate agency. I’ve been actively on this journey for a year now, but only halfway through my pregnancy.

Little 17week bump with June Bug.
Little 17week bump with June Bug.

So now it’s a waiting game of growing a chubby healthy baby and living life. Planning her grand entrance and enjoying all the people who will be there to help welcome this miracle into the world.

Keep growing little June girl.