My Body, Their Baby.

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My Body, Their Baby.

I am heading towards the best thing I could possibly do to help a friend of mine. He and his wife have been trying to have a baby for years. Every time she's gotten pregnant, it has ended in horrible miscarriages.

The first time I heard about this, I listened and offered sympathy. As time went on, I thought about surrogacy. I had yet to become pregnant with my own child. I wasn't even sure I was going to have children, but I wasn't afraid of being pregnant. I thought it would be really great to be able to help someone achieve the ultimate goal in life. So I offered myself as a surrogate.

Turns out, he never told his wife because he didn't want to get her hopes up - or his, for that matter. Becoming parents just meant so much to them - still does. Then I got pregnant, and as each day passed, I was more and more willing to do it for them. My pregnancy was perfect. I pushed my daughter out between jokes and said "I could do that a few more times."

So fast-forward to a few weeks back, and he posts something on his blog about the in-depth conversation he and his wife had the night before. They're talking about adoption, but they still have embryoes left, and what to do, what to do... Adoption isn't a bad option, but they still want their own baby. I can't blame them.

So I throw my name back into the ring, say Hey, I told ya, you got embryoes, I got a womb. But this time, it really clicks, you know? It becomes a real possibility. He tells his wife (finally), and she has questions...but then is really excited. He let her read the emails back and forth, and she realizes this is a true possibility.

Sooo...long story short (TOO LATE, I know), they are coming up to Philly to see me this Saturday. Couldn't have picked a better day for it - it'll be beautiful! We're going to go over points of concern, stuff like that. And believe it or not - we are going to meet each other for the very first time. Yup...this is an online friendship, going on years now.

I have already decided that I am more than happy to sign and agree to whatever concerns they have, but I will not have a lawyer. We can agree on what we need to. And basically, it is their baby. I would never want anything to harm that baby, and I know they will never ask me to do anything that will bring harm to myself.

I am so excited. I'm going to try to keep this updated.

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Omigodomigodomigodomigodomigod.

They will be here in the next two hours, tops.

I am so nervous.

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dp.

oops.

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Just a quick note -

They are wonderful.

I love them so much.

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Okay. So I just sent them off to their hotel room. We're all so tired. Against my better judgement, I took Norah with me to go to dinner with them. I should have just left her with Sean, but he was pretty tired and wanted to sleep for a while. Plus, they really enjoy Norah, and I knew that even though she was tired, she'd get a big kick out of the restaurant. She chanted "Aye yi yi yi yi yi" over and over again while waving pieces of bread at the ceiling.

(Suffice to say, that table now has an unreal amount of bread chunks under it, but oh well.)

They are such good people. I knew they were good people from the last three or so years that I've known them online, but this is just so wonderful. My assignment is to research insurance companies so they can get me fully and properly insured.

(Healthcare in this country is so sad. The minute you get knocked up, you can get covered by Medicaid, but if it's anything like my post-partum experience with Norah, they'll cancel you AND the baby less than two months after birth. WTF, man?)

I'm just so happy. And tired! I had a weak amaretto sour, and it drained me. I'm gonna park my butt on the couch and fall asleep to some Veronica Mars episodes.

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Sent my couple to brunch at Monk's, a Belgian cafe/pub with an awesome beer selection. They LOVED it, and their server sent them to the Foodery, a convenience/beer store with an also awesome beer selection. Now they're on their way back home, trying hard to make it before the Skins/Eagles game ends.

You know, I love my SO. I do. He's a great man.

BUT...I wish he acted more like a man with a family sometimes. He's really do much wrong...I think it's just me picking. He'll do laundry....hid laundry. He doesn't offer to throw in my stuff or Norah's stuff. Maybe he thinks I'd rather wash my own. Maybe he thinks he'll mess up her stuff. At least I don't have to do ALL the laundry, right?

Eh. I'm just picking, I think. I shouldn't do that. After all, this IS the man who stayed up until well after 3am last night /this morning cleaning the kitchen, right?

I am STARVED. I think I'm going to make a quiche. I'd stay and post the recipe, but I think Norah may want me (she's chanting "UMMA" and that usually means "Mommy get your butt over here" in her babytalk.

It's rainy and grey, and I want to go to sleep.

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One last thing - I am always amazed at just how strong and enduring women are. Or can be, rather (we get our bad eggs too).

I just get sucked into these journals.

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Searching through these damned insurance plans is sheer, unadulterated hell.

UGH.

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I just put the finishing touches on the Personal History and Patient Information forms for the fertility clinic. Turns out, they are non-interactive PDFs, so I had to print them up and fill them out. I wish I could teleport them there...but I guess faxing them isn't a bad alternative, huh?

My SO is a bit pissy because he apparently didn't think surrogacy was something that was going to happen in less than a year. I think the main thing is that he thinks I won't be able to get a job if I'm pregnant. I told him - I'm getting a job BEFORE I'm pregnant, and I'll be working until I can't work. If I end up with a singleton, I'll most likely be working up until that sucker is born, like I did with my first pregnancy (I was gonna go to work that Monday had I not been in the hospital popping one out).

It's frustrating, but I'm not sure how I can make him see, it'll be okay. I think the next time I do it, it'll be better. I'm planning on doing this again, maybe two more times (we won't be having a lot of children for ourselves...one more, tops). This first one is mostly uncompensated, because I offered - the idea had never crossed their minds*. The next time, I plan to either freelance myself or find a really good agency, and it'll be compensated. How on earth can he object to me making $15-$21K for simply being pregnant?

At least he had the wisdom to tell me "Ultimately, it is up to you if you want to do this." If he hadn't been able to recognize that, he'd be picking teeth out of the kitchen floor.

* They have expressed a desire to compensate me in some way still, so I think they're going to try to buy me stuff and whatnot. And as I stated in an earlier entry, they are insistent on paying for health insurance for me.

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This has been the most non-doing-anything-est weekend EVER. We're heading out the door soon to leave the house for the first time all weekend.

For shame.

More later.

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We may be $500 poorer, but we're an 8-drawer chest, a storage bench, and a two-tiered set of storage shelves richer.

Or whatever...

I never posted it here, but the IM is having some issues with the baby not being hers, and her not carrying. She feels that her husband pretty much "doesn't need her" to have a baby. I never realized that the eggs used weren't hers.

The big problem is that she is so busy with work, and when you add that stress to the impending reality of her biggest desire - a child - things get tough. According to her husband, they are doing better now.

We just have to find a way to focus on the outcome rather than the journey. I don't want this pregnancy to be all about me, I want it to be about the baby(ies). It's going to be tough enough for all three of us, not to mention my family will be affected by my pregnancy. We just can't make it harder than it already is.

Anyway. I realized how close Christmas is the other day. I don't want it to come. I know it isn't about the gifts, but it always feels like it is, especially since my household is not religious at all. I don't care what I get or don't get, but I do care about not being able to do things for everyone else.

Also - I don't believe in overdoing it for children. Not as in "Pish-posh, there's no such thing as too much," but more like "PLEASE don't buy my child a metric ton of clothes and toys, she doesn't need it." Sean's sister bought so much stuff for her own children in the past years, I shudder to think of what she'll do for Norah.

Ahh, Norah.

Isn't it funny how one little smile and stream of babbles from the baby can erase it all? Even a fart can make me giggle.

Sentimental, I know.

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So it took me a few hours, but I assembled that dresser. Mostly by myself, but I'm really fine with that. Sean took one look at the instruction booklet and gasped, "IT'S GOT NO WORDS!!!"

So yeah...as the person in the household familiar with Ikea products (I used to work for a small company that traveled the metro DC-VA-MD area assembling Ikea furniture for rich folks who couldn't be bothered), It was my job. Pretty easy, though - and I was guaranteed a good night's sleep afterward.

The fertility clinic should have my papers now. I am so excited about this.

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So the fertility clinic has the papers, and they are going over them to make sure I am eligible. This part makes me nervous, even though it really shouldn't. Of course I'm eligible...right? I had a baby before. It was an extremely low-risk pregnancy. My blood pressure and all that crap was perfect. I gained less than 25 pounds. I worked up until the day I gave birth. You couldn't even tell I was preggo from the back.

But still...I'm insanely nervous.

Norah had a meltdown at the grocery store the other night. It was our fault - we pushed our luck. We were there until like, almost 8. Even though she doesn't go to bed at that time, she was REALLY tired, and just started SCREAMING. That wasn't fun, considering I was wearing her in the mei tai.

She's also working on her 7th tooth, so hopefully that will break through today. She loves those teething tablets, though. What a weirdo.

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Dude.

Every time I look at the title of my journal, I just crack up laughing. Fun-nay.

It sounds so...Days Of Our Lives-ish.

Lifetime on a bad day. You know?

Got a message from my PIPs today. They are trying to figure out when they can go in and talk to the docs about the surrogacy program.

I had a fake-out the other day, I emailed the contact at the clinic to make sure they got the papers, because I'm paranoid about stuff that I mail. I got a second response from the contact, and I thought it was real info, but she was just commiserating about the Postal Paranoia.

Curses, foiled again!

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So Friday afternoon, I was enjoying computer time while Norah was sleeping. There are two bedrooms, and they are at opposite ends of the apartment. Norah's crib is in our bedroom for the time being (yeah, that is fun). The computer is in the second bedroom, which will be Norah's pretty soon.

So I'm sitting back in this big fat executive leather office chair, alternating between reading people berate each other on Craigslist and researching health centers that give flu shots, when something dark darts along the baseboard and under the door.

Now we're both pretty paranoid about vermin. I'm aware that in a big big city like Philly, almost every building has some sort of infestation - no matter how nice the grounds are. And hey - I don't discriminate - I find bugs and mice equally revolting.

But the thing is...my eyes get tricky after a while. My eyesight isn't the best, so I wear contacts, which dry out and act funky. I'm not entirely certain what I saw was even what I thought it was.

But later that night, I'm feeding Norah on a cushioned ottoman while Sean sits on the couch.

And I see something dark dart out of the kitchen and behind stacks of books.

#%@&!!

I break the news to Sean, who immediately gets up and starts loading traps with crunchy peanut butter (choosy dads choose JIF) and placing them along baseboards behind items. It's tough, we can't put them where we used to, because of Norah.

He goes back into the computer room and gets online. Norah's in bed, I'm watching Conan O'Brien.

I have forgotten about the traps, and our little buddy, until I hear a *snap* in the kitchen. I get up and follow the sound of frantic scrabbling. Thankfully, it's behind the top of the kitchen island we're trying to get rid of - the top has been taken off, and it's propped against the wall. So I can't see it.

Sean decides to wait until it's truly dead, and so after a half-hour or so, my hero disposes of the dirty little bugger.

And we haven't seen or heard anything since.

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Not to sound Grinchy, but I can't wait until this Holiday Nonsense is over. Norah and I went to the mall the other day to get her some more sleepers, and it was total mayhem and chaos.

Also, My BF's sister (practically my SIL) went looking for and found our weblogs. That pisses me off. We never said anything about that stuff because we didn't want her to know. Like, her specifically.

After the holidays, my PIPs have their appointment with the fertility clinic. They can't go see them now, it stresses my PIM out way too much, and she gets insecure about the whole thing. I don't want her to feel that way, even though I know none of us can necessarily prevent it.

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Wow. I need three or four hands to count the ways I suck.

I guess this has been a little neglected, huh?

My PIPs are doing okay, but not great. She's having some real issues with insecurity. He has decided that if their marriage does not last, he still wants to go ahead with the surrogacy. I'd refuse it if they were her eggs, but they are eggs from a donor, and fertilized with his sperm. So I feel that is acceptable to me.

In non-surrogacy news, Norah is growing like crazy. It's insane to hold her and talk to her, because I can totally see her listening to me, and I can see how intently she's thinking when we talk. And yeah, I talk to her like she's just another adult. I hate baby talk.

Sean's sister totally admitted she went looking for my weblog. She didn't even know that I had one - she just typed in Norah's name and my name and a huge series of mix-and-match phrases. BAM - there ya go. I was pretty angry about that, but I bit my tongue.

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Oh, also - I apparently didn't pick up some paychecks from an old job I had, and now I've got like $400 coming to me. Y'all should check the treasuries for any state where you've ever worked or lived. It could be worth it.

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Sometimes I look at Norah and I can't believe I'm her mom. I'm someone's mom. I look at her little face, and her fat hands. I quietly watch her playing with her toys and babbling to herself and I try to think about how I imagined my first child would ever be like. And for the life of me...I cannot even begin to picture the child I always assumed or thought I'd have.

Yet I cannot imagine having any other child other than Norah. Like, when we ever get around to #2...I just imagine the poor little ankle kicker being just another Norah.

Sean gets mildly worried when we see other babies pointing to their noses and giving kisses on demand. I try to tell him - Norah just decides when and what she'll do. For the longest time, we'd try to get her to wave at us, and she'd look at us like we just landed. Then one morning, she just waved. Just like that. It's just her personality - she's as indifferent as stubborn as I can be.

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Well, I guess it's a good thing I didn't update like I was going to on the day we had that site-wide glitch, huh?

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Insert big fat irritated eyeroll right here:

I freakin' swear...