I’m into the final weeks of my surrogate pregnancy. Like I can actually count the days down to the induction. The magic number is seventeen. 17 days! Sometimes I think it will happen sooner anyway, since both my kids were at least a week early, but as long as this baby waits at least 9 more days until her mom is in the same state as we are, I’m good to go. We’ve scheduled an induction not just for planning purposes, but for the IP’s peace of mind (they’ve had late term problems with previous pregnancies).
So I am getting really excited. I obviously can’t claim the standard reason for being excited at the end of a pregnancy (the baby herself), but I have several other reasons:
1. I want to not be huge so I can fit in my clothes again. I only have one pair of pants that fit comfortably. They are soft stretchy maternity jeans, which is all great, but they’re also skinny jeans, which is not so great when you are short-legged and top heavy. If my legs were slightly longer and/or more slender I might say I resemble some sort of adorable lollypop, but since they’re nice and stocky I might say I just look like...a dumbass. My darling husband might whole-heartedly agree. I imagine wide-eyed vigorous nodding. He hates those pants. With fire.
2. I want to not weigh 1,956 pounds so my feet quit hurting when I stand up for more than 0.78 seconds. I also would hope that they return to their normal size (still excessively wide but perhaps not so swollen).
3. I want to get into a hardcore diet and exercise routine and get back to my pre-pre-pregnancy weight. SIKE. (Or is it PSYCHE?) Well, yeah, I DO want to get back to my pre-pre-pregnancy weight, but I totally do NOT want to do the hardcore diet and exercise routine. UUUUGGGGHHH. I’m actually really dreading it, but it needs to happen. I’ve gained way more weight with this pregnancy than I did with my two, plus I started at a much higher weight than the other times. I’d like to blame the two cycles of IVF meds (which DO cause weight gain), but the inactivity of my first year staying home full-time is also to blame. Waitressing and childcare kept me moving more than I realized. HowEVER, I must admit, my extreme laziness and gluttony are the real culprit(s). I have milked the pregnancy excuse to the max. Oh, the baby wants another piece of pie. Oh, I’m supposed to take it easy. Heh. Whatever, Fatty. So I have a few weeks left to eat AALLLLLL the fudge, cinnamon rolls, ice cream, chocolate, cookies, cupcakes, etc., etc. currently in my house and then people had better quit giving it to me. (I suppose I’ll have to refrain from buying and baking stuff too.)
4. I want to drink beer. Prost Dunkelweizen, to be specific. And ginger beer. And strong coffee. Plus marijuana will be legal in Colorado tomorrow, so there’s that. Kidding.
5. I want to not be so lethargic and irritable. No doubt my sweet kiddos and hub are even more excited for that. I feel like I’m always so tired and cranky that I’m no fun to be around for anyone, and I’m such a massive lump that it’s hard to get up and play with the chilluns. There are other relationship areas affected by the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy that I am eager to work on too.
6. I want to pee less often.
7. I want to eat sushi and deli meat and all the other no-nos.
8. I want to be rid of excess indigestion and gas and that weird pressure that rises up at the base of your throat like you need to throw up or burp but you can’t. What is that? Heartburn?
9. I want to laser the hell out of these heinous purple veins on my right leg. Yeah insurance covers that! Woot woot!
10. I want to get a tattoo. I'm not sure what but I want one.
11. I want to sleep on my stomach. Even if it's bad for my neck to twist around like that.
12. Finally, and most importantly, I want to see the parents with their new baby. I don’t know just what this experience will look like, but I’m excited about it. Truly.
One common question people ask—after the standard “how are you feeling” physically—is the “how are you feeling” emotionally. I don’t have a very good answer though. Honestly there’s not an extreme depth of emotion at this point. It’s been a very long process (I started looking into it when my daughter was just a few months old, and she’s three now), so I’ve had plenty of time to get used to the whole thing, plenty of time to research and read other peoples’ stories. It all just seems very…normal, for lack of a better word. While I do recognize that there is something profound about carrying someone else’s baby for them, it generally feels no more profound than babysitting. Surely when it all goes down in the hospital I’ll have more to say on the matter, but it really is pretty simple to me. No complex tangle of emotion, even with the idea of actually giving the baby to them. It’s theirs anyway. It always has been theirs.
I won’t deny the possibility that I might get a little case of baby fever, and there will be no stopping the wave of hormones that will inevitably wash over me, but all I need to do is read the list above to remind myself what’s so nice about not being pregnant (even though I have easy peasy pregnancies). I could also recall any number of super stressful days at home with my two wonderful monsters and imagine how it would be even more stressful with the addition of a third, OR contemplate the fact that in two short years they’ll both be in school full-time (*gasp*bite knuckles*SOB*) so I might be able to have a life again and WHY would I start over with another one?
So in the meantime I’m enjoying the alien antics of this baby girl rolling and kicking my belly in the freakiest of ways, waddling to the bathroom every ten minutes, and kegel-ing nervously when she pushes down in such a way that I think she’s trying to escape. Not yet, you.
Dirt and Tuesday are only mildly amused by the strange pulsation in my gut, and seem completely at ease with the idea that this baby is not ours. They know her name and her parents’ names, and ask why the baby kicks them when they squish her, but are uninterested otherwise. I just reeeeaaalllly want to avoid giving them an in-depth answer about how the baby gets out. “The doctor gets her out” is the accepted response at present, but I fear that my little incessant questioners will soon interrogate further. While I’m all for discussing natural things in an up front and honest manner, that is one thing I don’t want to burden their curious brains with right now.
Although sometimes (rarely, but occasionally) they readily accept the most basic answers without any additional questions, like the time Tuesday asked why grownup ladies have hair on their hoohoos. All I said was that she’d have it too someday, and she happily dropped the subject and left. The idea of a thong seemed much more disconcerting to her though:
“Why are you not wearing undies?”
“Why are you not wearing undies?”
Me, flashing front hip area: “I am wearing undies. See?”
Tuesday, looking worried: “Why are you not wearing undies…in the back?”
If pantylines and wedgies are such troubling issues to discuss with a three-year-old, I am quite skeerd to describe the logistics of childbirth.