Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unresolved Issues

As we near the end of our pregnancy I am still grappling with a few issues.

Issue #1- Not having carried our baby. It's something that not many people will be able to relate to unless they have walked a mile in my shoes. The mere fact that I am going to watch another woman experience labor and pain that was meant for me is unsettling. It makes me feel pretty empty--no pun intended. I keep trying to envision the moment when I will be in the delivery room with M, the moment that they will hand over our baby to me, the moment I will let go of M's hand to hold my baby, leaving M alone [insert tears here]. I feel a clash of emotions about this moment. It will be the happiest and saddest moment. Happy for obvious reasons. Sad because this strong woman, who has labored so hard over the course of nine months and has given up so much of her life to help me find joy in mine, will be alone and in pain while I am experiencing what will probably be the most joyous moment in my life [sobbing].

Issue #2- Breastfeeding. Why, why, why do people who are close to me feel the need to recant stories of how great it was to breastfeed or how their kid wouldn't take a bottle after being at their breast. I get it. You're better than me. You got to feel your baby kick and move inside of you. You never had to worry about another woman carrying your child. You never had to worry about your baby's nutrition or how much food you had to bring to a foreign country because you were capable of carrying your child and feeding your child at your breast.

Issue #3-Don't touch my baby! This isn't really an issue for me per se. I'm not letting anyone hold our baby but me or Brett for a long time. Not even my my own mother. I have to make up for the time I lost not carrying my baby, and I don't want our baby to be confused as to who his or her mother is. So to answer peoples' questions -- if you want to help after our baby is born you can leave us alone so we can bond with our baby.

10 comments:

Carrie Jo said...

Tracy,

I am so with you. If I have to hear one more comment about breastfeeding or labor or anything else, I might scream.

And NO ONE gets that I don't want to have a million people around right after the baby is born. I don't think it should be that difficult to comprehend but apparently, it is!

Intended Parents said...

Carrie Jo,

Thank you so much for making me feel like I am not alone with my feelings:)

Tracy

Intending To Be Parents said...

You have every right to feel this way about everything. I SERIOUSLY hear you on all fronts. I am a complete stress case over what on earth I'm going to do with myself at that exact moment after they are born. As far as #2 - ditto, ditto, and ditto. And #3 - that one is a tough one because all of our family is out of town in the Northeast and of course they want to come as soon as possible so we're going to have to deal for about 5 weeks or so - and we could use the help, but we REALLY need to bond with our babies, so hopefully we'll be able to figure out something that can make everyone (especially us) happy. We'll appreciate the help, but we seriously have to make up for the 9 months of bonding we missed out on.
Man, oh man do I totally "get" this post!! I just can't wait until you are back home with your little one!!!
P.S. I use pseudonyms on our blog, but this was just too weird to not say something - I saw you mentioned your DH's name and just wanted to say how crazy of a coincidence it is because his name is the same as my DH (same spelling too)! Weird!! :)

Heather and Jase said...

If someone insists on helping just tell them they can cook or do the laundry. After the baby comes there is not a law saying you have to hand your baby to anyone. If people can't respect that, they can go home.

Sara said...

Just a thought-have you considered inducing lactation? www.asklenore.com has really great protocols that lots of IM & adoptive mom's have had success with.

Intended Parents said...

Sara,

I have considered inducing lactation. My doctor isn't a fan of domperidone, the drug that is used on Lenore's site. My doc advised me against using it. He did recommend an SNS supplemeter to use with formula. It gives you the bond of breastfeeding and may naturally induce lactation after seveal weeks use. www.lact-aid.com

Tracy

N said...

I can only speak for myself, but I will say that any sadness I had about not carrying our babies went away after they were in our arms. Your mentality really does shift once they arrive and I hope you have the same experience.

I had some guilt about not breastfeeding but in the end I've come to realize how many great things there are about formula feeding. It's predictable, it doesn't hurt, you still bond just as much during feeding, you know exactly how much they are getting, you don't feel like a milk machine. There are GREAT things about formula feeding and the early weeks will be much less stressful, in all likelihood, than if you were breastfeeding in addition.

And lastly, I did the same thing. I didn't want help early on because I just wanted FINALLY to be with my kids, just us. We turned down offers of help for a couple of weeks for that reason. I think it's a great plan. :)

crystal said...

Tracy--
If you are staying at La Casa, the staff there will want to touch your baby, as they did with Mark. Please do not feel overwhelmed, they are just trying to be kind. Just go with the flow, your baby will be just fine.

Life is unfair for most of the population, but luckily you and I have options. Let me know if you need anything!!

TonyB said...

Tracy, as you probably remember, we are just shy of 13 weeks, yet my wife has expressed these feelings twice already. I find it difficult to console her; but I try my best of course. Then she feels guilty for even having such thoughts with motherhood, something she felt might not happen, now just a few months away. Oh the emotions... The sacrifices are many, but if like most things in life, it will be plenty worth it! Just a few more weeks to go... Tony

Anonymous said...

Tracy,

I know how you feel. I have the same kind of feelings and concerns about my baby in India.

I, too, worry about possibly not being able to bond to the baby naturally and about having to feed him/her formula.

But despite these downsides, those of us having babies from surrogates have some important advantages:
1. Our babies are planned and we truly wanted them. (This is not the case for 60% of people who conceive naturally).
2. We won't get post partum depression or have to recover physically - both of which may detract from bonding to the baby.
3. We had more time to prepare, since most of us have been trying for so long.
4. We were able to see the whole development of the baby, starting from the cells in the petri-dish. (Most people who conceive naturally don't see it during their first trimester).

These things may be more important and have a more long term effect on bonding than some of the physical aspects that most "normal" people are worried about.

So don't let anyone make you feel bad about labor and breastfeeding.

Sarah