I call them my boyfriends, I always have since the day I found out I was carrying two boys. They are the leading characters in my love story. They turn 10 years old today.
After the heart wrenching sadness of my first surrogacy, I went back to my agency to be matched with another couple. Friends and family, knowing what an unexpectedly difficult physical and emotional experience my first surrogacy was, were very surprised to hear I was planning another surrogate pregnancy. But how could I not? I was still in search of my love story.
The pregnancy took on the first try and we were elated to find out I was carrying twins. My first twin pregnancy was easy and I expected this one would be as well. And thankfully, it was.
They were born by c-section, not planned but not unexpected either. The boys grew big and strong inside me until I went into labor at 37.5 weeks. They were positioned transverse (sideways) with no room left to turn, so after a few hours of contractions we headed into the operating room for delivery.
They came out big, strong and healthy, emphasis on BIG. Baby A, Vincent Fuller, was 7lbs, 7oz and Baby B, his "little" brother, Tyler Walsh was 7 lbs 8oz. That's 15 lbs of baby. Even I was shocked.
It's hard to adequately describe the experience of that surrogacy, sure there's a lot I could say about all the ultrasounds, all the time spent chatting on the phone, the parents coming to every appointment and taking me out to lunch afterward every time, and the multiple baby showers, all with gifts for me too. It was all so satisfying and sweet and thoughtful, a completely alternate universe from my first time around. I was embraced and celebrated by their big, loud, emotional Italian family, I have every last card and present they gave me to prove it.
But what I remember the most is that they told me that they loved me, and that changed everything.
Now it's not that I feel unloved in my own life apart from surrogacies - nothing is further from the truth. I consider myself very lucky to be blessed with children and a husband and extended family that love me and aren't afraid to express it in lots of ways.
But when you give over your own body to a virtual stranger, when you carry their children inside you all day every day for the greater part of a year (and in your heart forever), when you sleep with them between you and your husband every night, when you willingly undergo surgery for their safe arrival, it makes it all worthwhile to hear that you're loved. It's nice to have co-authors to your love story.
Happy 10th birthday, boyfriends. I love you.