Today my husband and I celebrate our 5 year anniversary. Since I didn't feel comfortable being too far away from home at 26 weeks with twins, we decided to celebrate by spending a couple nights at a Bed & Breakfast just outside the city in the countryside. Our friends kindly offered to watch the kiddo for us, so we will get 2 days and nights all to ourselves...so exciting!
It's funny how life works sometimes. If you had told me on my wedding day that on my 5th anniversary, I would be pregnant with another man's children, I would have politely (or not so politely) suggested that you check yourself into the nearest mental institution. At that point I was still ambivalent about having my own children, and it never would have crossed my mind that I would want to be pregnant for someone else. I had no idea how much five years would change me.
In those five years, I met many people who changed my perspective completely. I met my beautiful daughter and was able to experience the love of a mother - an indescribable emotion that you can't possibly understand until you feel it yourself. I crossed paths with many wonderful people, both in person and online, who yearned and deserved to become parents, and were held back by nothing more that their biology. These last five years opened my eyes to the epidemic of infertility in this country, and made me feel desperate to help. I don't know how many times over the last few years I discussed another couple's struggles to have children with my husband and told him, "I wish I just had a baby to give to them." One day I realized, I can!
I have always been my own person and done what I wanted. My husband knew that going into this marriage. Becoming a surrogate was not the first crazy scheme I've come up with. Through everything, my husband has not only gone with the flow and let me be myself and follow my dreams, but he has been there to support and encourage me every step of the way. He has talked me off the ledge when I've felt like a failure, picked up my slack when the everyday tasks got lost in the shuffle, and shown me that he loves me for who I am no matter what I do.
People constantly tell me how wonderful they think I am for doing this, what a big heart I have, how strong I must be. Even though these comments make me uncomfortable, I'm going to shift the spotlight onto someone else. I think my husband is the unsung hero in this process. No, he didn't have to pump himself full of crazy meds for three months. He doesn't have to watch his stomach grow daily, or feel the aches and pains that go along with pregnancy. He will not have to push two babies out of his body (or undergo abdominal surgery if it ends up being needed). But you know what? He has to deal with his wife doing all these things, which might even be worse. He had to go through the same medical and psychological screening that I did, to ensure that he's not crazy or riddled with STDs. He had to listen to me vent and whine about the lawyers and the clinic personnel. He had to come home from his 12 hour shifts and do laundry and make dinner when I just couldn't do it in the first trimester. He was the one who had to go out at 10:00pm the other night when I saw a commercial for and demanded a frosty in a waffle cone.
It's true that not every woman could be a surrogate. Besides the physical aspects, I'm sure the emotional side of the process would be more than some women could handle. But I also think that it takes a very strong, secure man be a partner to a woman in this process. Not just anyone could deal with all the emotions a man goes through during his wife's pregnancy, knowing the whole while that the child/ren she was carrying were not his.
If you know my husband and me in real life, you know we are not normally the mushy, lovey-dovey types. So I just thought I would take our anniversary as an opportunity to gush about how much I really do appreciate everything he does for me and our daughter every single day, and what a wonderful man he is. He truly is my partner, both on this surrogacy journey and on our journey together through this life. I love you, Pookie!