I have happily had my arms and my heart full the past 8 weeks with one very special little girl. Between diaper changes, middle of the night feedings and the very best baby snuggles, I have taken a little break from blogging. But as always, time seems to go SO FAST and I am afraid I am going to forget things about her birth….so time to catch up!
But since I only announced her birth on social media and not on here, I would like to formally introduce the newest little love of my life. Ivy Rae Kent was born on February 9, 2016 and every detail about how she came into the world was miraculous. It is the only word I can find to describe this whole thing. I am looking forward to telling you all about it!
But for now….I need to get back to telling the rest of our surrogacy story. In my last post, I had just found out that we were having a little girl at our gender reveal party. That was certainly a jittery, crazy, unbelievable high.
But as the second trimester unfolded, Stacy and I seemed to get into a routine. As with any pregnancy, it is LONG and many average days and nights pass by without much notice. And especially in my case, sometimes it was easy to forget that OUR baby was on the way. I wasn’t pregnant. I continued to drink wine, eat as much sushi as I wanted, and didn’t have to compromise my insane cheese obsession in any way. I continued to work, take care of Jack including potty training and many tantrums, struggle through my own grief over the past few years, and TRY to wrap my head around what was actually going on.
One highlight of the second trimester was feeling Ivy kick for the first time. I received a text message from Stacy in the beginning of September saying that she was pretty sure the flutters she had been feeling were indeed Ivy kicking! I was thrilled to hear this because I had been looking forward to this part of the pregnancy. Now, I could actually feel her with my own skin…with my own hands. If she couldn’t be in my belly, this was the closest thing to getting to experience her before birth.
And with it, came a wave of sadness.
I would never feel my baby kick in my own womb.
It was only the second time I had had feelings like this (the first was during the transfer) and to be honest, it was difficult to admit that I was having those kind of feelings in the first place. After all, all my dreams were coming true. Friends of mine would never even have the chance to be a mother and here I was expecting a second baby! Certainly there wasn’t room for sadness of any kind. When you get a miracle, you keep your mouth shut.
My friends, that is a lie.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It is OK to identify the brokenness inside the beauty- to call it out and acknowledge that loss still exists. It’s OK to rub tenderly over a scar even though the wound is healing up so nicely. Let’s stop pretending! We waste so much time convincing ourselves and others that we are doing just fine. What would happen if we were just honest with others and more importantly, ourselves?
I think we would find we are not as alone as we think.
So yes, I was part of something miraculous. I ALSO had to work through the fact that I couldn’t carry my own baby- something you are told your body is supposed to be able to do. I found a lot of freedom when I stopped shushing those feelings under the rug. I could experience feeling my baby kick with true joy and I could ALSO acknowledge that it was a little painful. A little broken.
Stacy was very considerate of my feelings. I know she understood my loss and did whatever she could to make me feel connected to the pregnancy. In this case, once she started feeling kicks, she invited me to sit next to her in church so I could feel them. We ended up skipping the sermon (sorry pastor!) and decided to sit in the green room so Justin could feel it as well.
I just remember thinking that even though I couldn’t see those little hands and feet pushing up against Stacy’s belly, I knew that I will know them for the rest of my life. I will put Band-Aids on those little knees. I will sigh when she outgrows another pair of pants when those little legs grow taller. I will hold that little hand when she gets scared.
I loved her already.
The rest of the second trimester honestly seemed like it flew by. Fall had arrived. We traded beach trips for cozy nights at home with pumpkin spice candles and hot cider. We had the 20 week ultrasound and she looked perfect! We started working on her nursery and getting the baby gear back down from the attic. My relationship continued to grow with Stacy as we shared this incredible bond.
Meanwhile, our excitement and love continued to grow for this sweet baby girl.