What is on everyone’s lips? RONA

I’m sitting here with an itchy throat, mucus everywhere, steroid pill in my tummy. I have a sinus infection. But in the back of my head…. I wonder….

My family wonders…

This environment is something I haven’t experienced before. I remember a lot that rocked our country. From trials of celebrities to the World Trade Center. But I’m not sure I recall anything that changed the world as this has.

I am a Caseworker. I work in child protective services. We are what they are now calling “essential workers”. I have been on call now for 5 days. I’m exhausted. The worry that the virus will spread to my family scares me. I’m a fairly decently healthy person, so I will overcome it. I have 80 something year old grandparents that live beside me and a 2 month old baby neice that lives on the other side of me. They are precious to me and I want to keep them safe. But I must do my job. I must go about my day as if nothing is different when the entire planet has changed.

Here I am sitting with a child that has nowhere to go. It’s approximately 130am and I’m so tired but I do my best to keep my eyes open. I pray this child finds a place that is appropriate for her situation. I pray her parents get their lives toethr to get her back.

I pray my children at home, who are far away from me, know that I love them so much and I think about them every second of every moment I’m away from them.

Here I am leaving the hospital after getting a call about a special needs juvenile. I’m starting to feel sick as I leave the hospital. I was screened when I walked in so I know my temp is OK. I have 3 more days of on call. I have to hold on.

My 3 kids are out of school. They have eaten anything they can get their hands on. They don’t get the meaning of working from home. I have had deadlines and paperwork on top on more deadlines and paperwork. I have had to have conversations with clients while my dogs barked loudly at a vehicle driving by. My kids asking me where the this and that is. They do not care.

Just the other day I was attempting to play Uno with them while typing case notes. It was a disaster. They are bound up and don’t fully understand why. They are enjoying being away from school but want to be able to roam free. I have to continue explaining to them what isolation is and why it’s the safe thing to do as I disappear fo hours in the night to calls.

They hate my job.

I wake up the following day and I’m sick. Doctor deems it as sinus infection. Ok. The task must be completed. I just keep telling myself, it’s almost over.But I know there are so many other “essential workers” that are grinding and will continue to grind. Keep y’alls heads up. This is what we were made for. We were made to thrive.

Who I get to be is because of who they were.

I breathe in. I breathe out.

Air. Oxygen.

Life.

A gift.

I look over and see a man. A strong man. A sexy man. A broken man. A recovering man. His chest rises, then falls. His nose flares. I notice the stuble on his cheek. (I imagine when he wakes up, asking him to pluck the good ones. He tells me no. I pucker up. He allows me a few in exchange for my happiness.)

God has shown me in ways I don’t have time to tell, how to love better; how to manage my anger; how to show true love and kindness. I’m able to work this out with him. I fail but I give it my all. I love because God loves me.

God is allowing me to love this man through the hardest time of his life. I am showing him love that isn’t always reciprocated right now because I believe in God’s promises and I believe in this man.

I am grateful to his late wife. I appreciate her giving me the gift of raising her son in her honor. I did not know her but I have learned from her son and husband and other family members, who she was. I make sure to talk with his son about his mother often. I listen to stories of her life before Heaven.

Loving a widower can be confusing and painful. There are feelings of never being able to fill the shoes of a Saint, knowing if the wife didn’t die, your relationship wouldn’t exist. The contradiction your heart feels between jealous moments and heartbreak for the survivors can be a lonely place at times. I could live in those moments and be unhappy but I choose to focus on the gift of knowing my man does not know the bitterness of divorce and the complicated ongoing frustrations of raising children in separate homes. He had an in tact marriage that wasn’t perfect but that ended as God intended, till death do us part. It was way too early and painful beyond my imagination but she and he were blessed to have had the marriage they did.

I am where I am today because of their life together. Thank you, B.

Surrogacy Journey: Post Partum

Moments after baby Kate was delivered, I was up and about. I felt amazing. Sore. But good. I got home the next evening, worn out but manageable. Started with a headache that caused me to cry out in pain and agony any time I wasn’t laying down.

I got scared.

We went to the hospital the next morning. They pumped me full of pain medicine, gave me a prescription and said if it wasn’t better by Monday, another epidural would be done to do a blood patch to fix the leak. I go home, miserably. I slept the rest of the night, the entire next few days. Some family and friends came in and out but the main focus was me and sleep. I was given several 2 liters of mountain dew. I don’t drink cokes. It was A LOT of caffeine. I got up to

Post partum day Wednesday, I started to feel better. By Thursday I had no pain when I got up. Praise God.

Now on to the fun part.

Hormones.

I’m a passionate person. I knew it would be an emotional ride.

This pregnancy, as you’ve read before, has been the most emotional. I had hoped the post partum wouldn’t be, but as patterns so often show, it has been WILD. I am extremely loving and sensitive and caring and hurting.

This comes at a rough time in my personal life as it has a very complicated few levels to it right now. I’m praying I level out before I go to work. At this point, I wouldn’t make it. … professionally.

I wanted to compartmentalize my emotions to only focus on baby stuff. That has not happened.

My surrounding support are so nervous that I’m going to freak over the loss of attachment of baby Kate. They tiptoe around me. They talk amongst themselves. When I say it honestly truly does not bother me at all, the cord was cut and my job was complete, it’s like it flips. Now I’m supposed to be perfectly fine with no issues.

Hold up people. I wrecked my body for 1 year and now it’s my responsibity to obtain a healthy post baby mindset, weight and life.

Oh ok. Let me just get right on that.

I need support but not in sadness of a baby lost

I need support in regaining my mentality. I need support while I cry. I do not need you to tell me it’s nothing to cry about or get angry that I cry. I’m holding onto my kids a little tighter because I made them and they are beautiful miracles and I’m blessed fo it. I need you to not question my emotions unless I’m showing signs of hurt in myself. Be here for me

Let’s laugh. Let’s cry. Let’s keep rocking along through this journey. It ain’t over yet. And I’m ready to continue through the journey of life.

Surrogacy Journey. It. Is. Finished.

January 9, 2020. 650am. 7 lbs 8 Oz. Baby Kate entered the world.

I did it. I succeeded. I completed the task I began over a year ago. What a blessing.

For this child, we all have prayed.

The daddy, mama, and brother are so in love.

I haven’t met her yet but hoping to after I get discharged today.

It was my third birth. The easiest birth I’ve had. I went in at 7pm Wednesday evening. They started medication and I began immediately contracting.

It was a fast process. My water broke at around 330am. I made it until around 8 cm before I begged for an epidural. Contractions ARE THE WORST PAIN. I was having them every minute. No kidding. By the clock, every 30 seconds or so I was in and out of contractions. My boyfriend had dropped me off but due to how fast it was going, decided to stay with me. He really showed up and showed out. He talked me through my breathing. Getting an epidural in between contractions is quite possibly the most irritating experience. The doctor just wants to tap my spinal cord. I just want to punch her in the face. I keep breathing. She sticks me. I’m thankful for modern medicine.

My boyfriend got my phone and called the list of people to let them know we were way ahead of schedule.

My blood pressure drops and they have to give me some meds to spike it back up. I also have oxygen. Not going to lie. It scared me. I just kept telling myself. I can’t give birth if I pass out. I found something to focus on and gazed hard until I elevated.

My doctor, who has been my doctor for all births, had to be woken up and staggered into the room (I’m being slightly dramatic). He’s the best doctor. He’s low key and I love it. He said let’s do this. I begged for them to wait a few more minutes. I promised my 8 year old that she could be in the delivery room as long as she could manage it. My sister (kinda) brought her up there. They rushed her into the room. She held my hand and kept her composure the entire time. She is the most amazing tiny human. She loved it. We pushed and pushed. And baby girl made her appearance st 650!! Mama and daddy were tickled. They immediately took her, got her cleaned up and left the room for another room.

They cleaned me up and that was that.

Just like that.

It’s over.

Post partum:

I had a spinal leak from the epidural. It was excruciating. I was told to drink caffeine all day. Drinking caffeine after being up for 30 hours is a scary mix. It’s slowly tapering off. It was the longest day. I had several visitors. Social media exploded with the celebration of this beautiful baby girls life. By the evening, I was pooped. Everyone went home. I had the room to myself. I was able to finally shower, get jammies on and crawl into the (most uncomfortable) bed.

I slept.

Sleep is beautiful.

Now on to getting back to life. My body will need to heal. I will need to dry my milk up. I will need to mentally get myself back to normal. I will have 3 weeks off of work but I will eventually have to start back. I’ve missed my caseload families but I have thoroughly enjoyed being off and creating a baby! I will need to readjust me and my family’s lifestyle.

God. Is. So. Good.

Surrogacy journey: 38 weeks. Real talk.

I’ve held off on posting my real emotions. This is a delicate situation. 38 weeks pregnant. No spouse. No responsibilities after baby arrives. A family in waiting for their forever blessing to arrive. Nothing about this pregnancy is what society calls normal.

I started blogging this journey for anyone out there who may want to experience surrogacy but I also have to be mindful that many lives are involved.

With that being said, I’m exhausted. I am taking care of a household and children. I’m uncomfortable standing, sitting, laying, bending, anything really. I have mentioned it slightly before but I’m going to tell you…. When they tell you to do a psychological evaluation and counseling beforehand, this is why. It takes more out of you than a “regular” pregnancy.

I don’t mean to but somehow I end up feeling secluded and nothing more than an object to get someone to their destination. I feel I have to fight for my voice to be heard in some scenarios and I feel a bother in others.

These are just fleeting emotions (I tell myself to try and “snap” out of it).

I just left the hospital. I had to register and get a check due to my doctor being out of town. Everything is good. Contracting but not dilated enough to be admitted. I will be induced next week. It’s surreal. She will be here and into her mom and dad’s arms next week. We only have ONE more week. We can do this!!!!!

I have 3 weeks off work paid to rest and heal.

I believe I will feel much better in a few weeks.

I’m hoping I have some help when I get home from the hospital. It takes a lot to manage a household, much more after you deliver a baby.

I called a house cleaning agency. They wanted 230 bucks for a deep cleaning. WHAT??? looks like I need to go into that business. Ha.

Alls well. Baby’s healthy. This is what matters.

We continue on!!!!!

Surrogacy Journey: 36w4d

That was a Braxton Hicks. No, that was a real contraction, says the doctor when I was 35 weeks pregnant.

I’m on bedrest. I’m huge. Baby’s dropped. Mom is freaking out. Her nursery isn’t finished. All is well.

I’m still not due until January 15 but she sure does feel like she’s trying to come. I’m dilated 2cm and having real contractions.

I stay overwhelmed, I suppose. I’m so ready to see this happy, healthy, baby come out and go to her parents.

I had to leave work earlier than I expected and it has caused so much anxiety. My caseload doesn’t just disappear. There are lives that are ongoing and extremely brittle and fragile. I have spent months trying to ensure these families have the services and support they need for a safe home. Leaving them has felt like leaving family. I will be getting back to work as soon as I possibly can. I will follow my doctor’s recommendations, of course.

I will not be venturing down this road again but my heart will be completely open for any support asked of someone who may way to follow their own journey of being a surrogate. It’s beautiful. I am blessed to be able to do it. And I will be blessed to be support for the next person.

Surrogacy journey :getting real

Here I am. 34 weeks. My mid section is growing, what feels like, by the minute. I feel big as a house to have started at 4 foot 11 inches and 101 pounds. I’m still the same height but a good solid 45 pounds heavier. That’s a lot when you think about how mobile I need to be throughout my day.

I am at the part of pregnancy that I’m certain God blocks out of our memory so we will continue having babies. It’s not fun. There’s little sleep involved. Everything is uncomfortable. I ache in every part of my body. My mind is consumed with every emotion possible. I cry several times a day. I have gained more stretch marks than with my two babies combined. I am overflowing even my maternity clothes.

Yet, here I am praising Jesus for this opportunity. Every day I wake up and it’s like I am reminded just what I am doing. Just what gift I am bringing to this world. Just how happy this family will be.

No words can describe it.