Guy, for you on your birthday I wanted to let you know first, how much you are loved. Love is what brought you into this world and love surrounds you from places you may not know. I met your daddies in a very unconventional way, but nonetheless, it was meant to be. I read through endless profiles of people trying to explain how important it was in their life to have a son or daughter or even both. I flipped through pages and pages of people always feeling so disappointed in the end. Prior to working with your daddies I had the honor of working with people that had tried to have a child for over 20 years! At that time, it was more than half of my life. It’s amazing to see how strong their relationship grew through the pain and disappointment of receiving the news that they were not yet having a child of their own.
I chose your daddies profile because the agency that we were both working with indicated it was far more difficult for two daddies to be chosen for the process, than it was for a mommy and a daddy. This made me so mad! I wanted to be able to help anyone have a baby regardless of who they were. It didn’t matter to me that they lived so far away or that I didn’t know everything about them. I don’t know if they have told you or not, but our first conversation together was spent with far more laughing than asking questions. It was like they were part of my family that I hadn’t yet met. We met face to face on June 17, the day they got married. How crazy is that? We spent such a magical time together in Toronto. I knew after that trip that your daddies would be in my life forever.
I had a few struggles along the way, and ended up needing a year off. Your daddies were so patient and kind to me during this time. They were always more concerned about how I was feeling than I was. They never wanted to hear my apologies for not being able to have a child for them. They only wanted to make sure that everything with me was the way I needed it to be. I’m sure you already know it, but your daddies are so amazing. They are loving, considerate, honest, goofy, patient and sincere. It’s not a common combination when it comes to daddies; you are so lucky, so fortunate.
A lot happened while I was pregnant with you. Most of it was pretty boring; I went to work, I came home from work and napped because you made me so tired. My taste in food changed so much because there were only a few things that you really enjoyed me eating. Most of those things, I ate while in Israel spending time with your daddies. The food in North Dakota seemed to anger you and you made sure that I threw up everything you didn’t like. After I went to Dr. Doyle’s office to get pregnant, I spent a few days lying in bed talking to you. I told you how happy you would make your daddies even if you were a girl. I told you that I wanted you just as much as they wanted you. I pleaded with you to just hang on long enough to be born safely. I was nearly to the bargaining point to where I was going to be willing to give up anything other than Jayde just to have you.
When I flew home from the appointment with Dr. Doyle, I’m pretty sure that Bijou knew you were growing every day. She just knew something was different with me. We don’t have her anymore due to some other issues I had after you were born, but you will probably hear a lot about her. She kept me company while I napped and while I spent endless hours lying on the bathroom floor because I was overcome with morning sickness. She protected you from everything surrounding me. She wouldn’t let people come close to my stomach or lay next to me in bed. She would take her paws and hug my stomach. As you grew, she also believed that she was pregnant. It’s crazy that this can happen with dogs. The vet let me know that she would be fine and not to worry about how oddly she was acting with everything involving you. She would often times put her ear on my stomach and just listen to you moving. You loved to kick her face whenever she did this. I’m guessing you really weren’t sure if you should be sharing your space with a dog that was a bit over protective.
The time I spent in Israel with your daddies was yet another reminder for me just how amazing they were. They introduced me to friends and family and never made me feel out of place. They gave up their bedroom to me so that I was more comfortable. They even had your grandpa come over to fix the bathroom door so that it would close properly. I never closed the door though. It was something that I was never able to do at home because of Bijou. She always got really stressed out if I shut the door at home so it became a habit of mine to never close the bathroom door. I learned so much about your daddy Gadi in the ten days while visiting. I was always so close to your daddy Ronen; we tend to chat quite often because we have the same bizarre sense of humor and can always make each other laugh. Gadi showed me who he really was. He referred to me as his “pregnant wife” and rubbed my stomach and talked to you. Although he didn’t think I was eating enough to keep you happy. We spent a day together doing the typical tourist things. It was really something I needed to learn more about how he was the “outgoing” person as listed in the profile through the agency. Apparently your daddy Ronen is shy and quiet, but I’ve not yet seen that side of him.
During my trip to Israel, I let your daddies know that you were going to be a boy. There were tears and laughter because I kept them thinking they were having a girl. I know they would have been delighted regardless of if you were a girl or a boy, but they really wanted you just the way you are. They knew, just as I knew, that you would be absolutely perfect. I never wanted to leave Israel and return to North Dakota. I loved every second spent in your home, even when I was napping.
I became so sad when I returned home. I just kept dreaming of being someplace so much warmer than it was here. I kept talking to you and playing you the music I loved so much. I was trying to keep things light, but you seemed to be the happiest when listen to Bach! Mozart played a close second, but you were definitely a Bach man. I would turn on the music and you would start to dance. My entire stomach would shift from side to side and to me, you seemed happy. I also learned that you really disliked when I was at work. You would play soccer with my insides until my ribs were sore. Maybe that should have been a lesson to me that you were trying to let me know I should be working somewhere else. That you could hear how unappreciated I was through co-workers insults and bribes. You did love when people would bribe me with ice cream though, just not chocolate! That was another one of those foods that you absolutely hated. Your daddy Ronen and I used to joke that you were definitely your daddy Gadi’s son. He is just as picky about what he eats as you were making me.
A few months before you were born, I started to feel a lot of pain in my hips. The doctors originally thought it was because of your size, or because of the chair I was sitting in at work or how I was trying to sleep at night. In the end, they found that the bones in my hips weren’t doing so well and that I would need to have them fixed after you were born.
I started working from home at that time because the doctors felt it was best that I stayed in bed as much as possible so that you could continue to grow, and you did such a great job at that. You were born on one of the coldest days in 2014. It was a Wednesday and so cold that no one wanted to even leave home. It’s hard to explain how cold it really was, so I will show you one day. I will bring you back to where you were born and let you experience how cold, cold really is.
The doctor that delivered you was so amazing, because of her, I didn’t need to have a c-section. She believed, when the hip doctor didn’t. There were so many people in the room with us when you were born. Both daddies took care of me. I even wore my good luck socks to ensure everything went perfectly. They were the same socks I wore when Dr. Doyle got me pregnant. I’ve not worn them since the day you were born. They are special to me and I need to make sure they don’t get worn out from wearing them. If there is ever a day where I need everything to be perfect for me or for you, I will wear them again. Phil and Jen were also in the room with us. Phil played candy crush and other video games a large part of the day and Jen was there to ensure I was able to voice my concern if we had a nurse or doctor that wasn’t listening to what I was trying to say. Everyone was so anxious but yet at the same time I think we were all calm knowing that this was the day you were making your entrance. At 6:19 pm, you decided it was time to meet your daddies. I can’t tell you who got to hold you first, but I think it was me. I got to give you to your daddies and that’s what was most important.
Every single person that came to visit you said the exact same things as I did. Everyone knew just by looking at you, that you were perfect. You were alert and not crying, you slept well and I think you knew that you were surrounded by so much love. My parents came to see you but didn’t stay very long. They really just didn’t know what to say or what to do so they just sat beside me awkwardly. Jayde held you and was so in love. She reminds me from time to time how the top of your head smelled. Even typing that last sentence, I can remember. It was something that I wish I could bottle and have whenever anyone asks how perfect you are/were. Yes, it was that good! Jen left shortly after you were born, and I’ve not seen her since. It’s been so hard on me because she had been the only person that’s been with me through all of the disappointment and all of the hurt that surrogacy brings. Teresa and Jason came to see you and it made them want a baby so much more than they already wanted one. They even asked if they could use me as a surrogate because of how perfect you were.
I didn’t sleep for the first two days after you were born, because I didn’t want to miss anything at all. I knew at some point that you would be leaving the snowy tundra of North Dakota to go to New York for a while, and then back home to Israel. I told you every secret I’ve ever kept. I told you my greatest fears and my proudest moments. I cried while you just looked at me and listened. I reminded you how special you were and that you were so lucky. You were chosen; your daddies wanted you for so much longer than I could ever try to explain. I reminded you of how many people loved you even before you were born and how many more people would love you now. I reminded you to keep the easygoing perfect nature that you had while I was pregnant and that sometimes you just need to go the direction least expected when it’s something that really matters. I let you know that you didn’t need to be just like everyone else in the world because you are you. I let you know that not everyone has a family as special as yours and not to take any of them for granted. Life is cruel sometimes and you may get hurt far more than you think you can recover from, but then something so amazing happens and you remember how fortunate you are.
I had my first surgery two short days after you were born. It was scary but your daddies kept coming to see me and sometimes they even brought you with. We had made so many plans of what we were going to do with my time off of work, but I needed to cancel all of those plans due to some medical issues. I had planned on spending Passover in New York with your family. I had also planned on another trip to Israel to spend the most time possible with you. In the end, I spent months in bed healing. I’ve tried to plan many more trips back to see you, but none have worked out. We continued to share pictures of how things were changing and we had our Skype dates. The best Skype dates for me were when you seemed to recognize my voice. I loved it even more when you would try and kiss the screen. These Skype dates will forever be ingrained in my mind. I can close my eyes and see your slobbery kisses, your smiles, your excitement and how perfect you still stayed. I love your daddies so much for sharing your time with me. You were helping me to heal.
As your first birthday approached, I was sure that the doctors would allow me to come see you. I was reminded again that due to additional issues or additional surgeries that it wouldn’t be safe for me to fly that far in my condition. This was so difficult for me. I wanted to hold you so much. I just needed to see you again. I felt like something was missing in my life and the more I thought about it, I understood that it was you I was missing so much. I researched the process of surrogacy for nearly 10 years before I signed the original paperwork, I figured I knew all there was to know about being a surrogate, including how to feel after the birth.
I realized shortly after you were born that there was so much I never knew. I know our story is so different than anyone else’s story. Not everyone has health issues following pregnancy or during pregnancy, not everyone is required to be on “bed rest” even after the delivery. Not everyone has Murphy’s Law and has everything continually go poorly. I need to remind you again, like I did on those first two days of me sharing everything with you, that none of this is your fault. You didn’t cause any of my issues. You made me a better person. You taught me so much while I was pregnant and have taught me so much since you were born. I now understand something that I never thought possible, that there is another emotion other than laughing everything off, or being stressed out all the time. I have feelings again and understand I don’t need to continually push everyone away. It’s good to allow people to help me when I need it and that I need to learn when it’s time to ask for that help. Thank you again for helping me grow over the past year. I will forever be indebted to you.
I’m thinking this is plenty for your first year of life. It’s a lot to take in and a lot to read. If there is anything I can ask of you, please remember how much you are loved and that you have family in more places than you know. I hope by your second birthday that I’m able to hold you and kiss you. I’m going to wait patiently and listen to the doctors so that I’m able to be on a plane for that long. Keep smiling and laughing and try not to break too many remotes. Keep going to the park and swinging so that everyone in the park can hear your perfect little laugh.
With all of my love,
Yes, I know this is seriously over due. I find it very difficult to get anything done, when the only thing I need to do is “heal”.