Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The New School Park Experience

Benjamin starts at a brand new preschool on Tuesday. Four days a week this time. I'm stoked. He's stoked. He's mostly stoked because he gets chocolate milk every day (and he'll tell you that). It's probably his favorite drink ever and when I noticed about three-quarters of the kids in his class also signed up for chocolate milk, I knew there was no chance I was getting away with signing him up for the white milk. He wouldn't drink it anyway. It's going to be great leverage for those rough mornings.

We went to preview day last week. After, the kids played at the park in front of his preschool. People slowly trickled out until there were about 4 kids left. I was nearby when a kid asked his mom to get on the other side of the see-saw. It was one of those newfangled ones that is on springs and didn't require leg work. Super chill. When she replied that she couldn't, I explained that I go on it frequently with my kids and it's so much nicer than most. She replied, "No, I just had a baby."

I rescinded my comment. Of course I wouldn't be getting on that thing either (and probably shouldn't have said anything). Through further conversation with the mom, I learned that she was a surrogate for a (stranger) family an hour away. She has two biological children and then carried another baby to term, all vaginally. She plans to have more kids of her own.

I found myself instantly uncomfortable. Jealous even. It was entirely directed at her innocence in birthing babies and understanding that there is an absolute living birth at the end. Maybe she doesn't entirely believe that, but I'm sure birthing a full term deceased baby wasn't in the forefront of her mind when she considered surrogacy. I told her about Andrew because I felt like leveling the playing field when she told me she birthed three babies. ME TOO. That, and I just talk about him because he's mine.

One thing we had in common: We both had breastmilk arrive a few days after birth. I asked her how that went. She told me it wasn't a big deal and just went away after a few days. She did mention that it felt weird because she breastfed her two boys, but was otherwise fine. That milk devastated me. In common, but NOT same-same.

I'm so grateful for surrogates and have friends who have used them to bring children into their families. I just never actually spent time talking with one. I didn't realize my emotions would be so involved and my grief would play any sort of role.

School is going to be an eye opener for the both of us, I presume. Kleenex ready.


Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Oh grief, you sneaky bastard.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Surrogacy.. What those women do is so important and awesome and special. And at the very same time, I envy how easy pregnancy and birth must be to them. Sigh.. They probably carry and bring into the world SO many rainbows :)

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

We went to storytime at the library when G was about 3-4 and three other moms ended up pregnant during that time. Obvs not when we first went because I would have peace outed. The one that got me the worst though was the surrogate, wonderful sweet woman. And all I can think is she is so damn fertile she can just GIVE them away. Not true. But. So 1 mom knows our story, the other 2 don't, and guess who's (older) kids G goes to school with. The other 2. UGH. I really need to work on being honest. It's part of ME. I'm practicing. "Uh no, we won't be having more, we have unexplained secondary infertility so it looks like G gets us all to herself." *breaks into tears*

Totes won't be awkward.

Jenny said... [Reply to comment]

That must have been so hard, to forge ahead into an honest conversation. I have known a family who had a son via surrogacy. It's a high physical and emotional price for the surrogate, vis a vis the toll of drugs and how women's whole beings are biologically designed to bond with that baby after birth. The brokenness of either the mother or the baby not being together due to death, illness, adoption or more should grieve us... it was never God's plan :-(