Saturday, May 13, 2017

Joel's Birth Story

Let me start by saying, a midwife (or at least this midwife) is the worst patient...

May 9th... I woke up to my alarm and was having some "different" sort of pains. I couldn't call them contractions even though they seemed to be coming and going as contractions do. It was a sharp vaginal pain, nothing I had experienced with any of my other five births. So, I texted my midwives, Amanda and Jamie, like I do every morning. We have a group text and usually check in with each other in the morning to see who has been to a birth and what each other's day looks like. They're good friends and sister midwives and the texts are always funny and supportive and this time....me confused on what was happening within my uterus, lol. After saying I was going to call our nurse midwife friend because I was convinced something was wrong (this will be the theme all morning), Jamie said she'd hop in the shower and head over to see what was going on. About that time, Amanda chimed in and said she was discharging at the homebirth she was at and would also head over. 

I called Chris to come home from work. With his job there's no telling how long it will take for someone to relieve him so he can get home. I knew I needed him here. Not only to help with the tub and around the house, but if this was labor, I needed to have him with me. I definitely have a fair amount of fear from birth "trauma" and Chris makes me feel safe. After him not making it to my last birth that ended in an emergency transport, next to my midwives, I needed my husband. So, I decided to let him know before I actually knew if anything was really happening. Just in case. Then I called my mom to take the littles to school so that I could be home when Amanda arrived. 

Amanda got to my house around 8am and Jamie arrived shortly after. Amanda did a vaginal exam and I was 3cm. They decided I was in fact having contractions and it was just early labor stuff. I still was not convinced what I was experiencing were contractions. They were so weird, as I explained every single time I had one. Probably with more description than they ever needed to know. I changed out of my cute "labor pants" into some yoga pants and thought they should go home. They had both attended births in the wee hours and hadn't had any sleep. And since I wasn't actually laboring, there was no reason to be here. However, I'm happy they insisted on staying. I needed the emotional support. We decided to go get breakfast since it was early and the "contractions" were sporadic and short with no real pattern. The morning was spent hanging out and laughing. We talked about recent births and our kids and just told funny stories. I snuggled my basset puppy, Owen, a lot for comfort. 

Finally around 11:40am I asked for another vaginal exam as it seemed nothing was really progressing. Contractions were still short and sporadic and I was still describing them as something other than a contraction. (Still not convinced this was even early labor) I was now 4cm. One cm progression in nearly 4 hours. At that point I laid in bed and thought, "told you. I'm not in labor." By now Chris was home and napping upstairs after connecting the hose to the bathroom sink and taking care of a couple chores. My mom also came over after getting the kids to school, going to the gym, and making brownies for everyone. After laying down for  about 20 minutes with no contractions, J and A suggested a walk to see if that would get contractions coming again and make some changes. I begrudgingly got up and agreed. 

At that point I let the dads, my doula, and the photogs know that we were in what appeared to be early labor with not much going on, but were heading out for a walk and would let them know when we got back if anything had changed. As a licensed midwife I know what having too many people at your birth early can do for progression. "A watched pot doesn't boil". I've seen births take a turn for the worse when too many people are in a woman's birth space too soon. Especially considering I was so in my own head and knew I was going into this birth with fear. What I needed were the two women who were there who knew my deepest fears and could calm me with a few simple words and a loving touch. Women who trusted the process and could remind me why I trust it too. Why I choose homebirth and why everything was going exactly how it needed to. Not long after I gave them all the update, our photogs decided they'd start heading this way in case things progressed quickly. The dads told me later that they all too got ready and decided to head to Fort Worth so they'd be close by when things picked up. 

The walk was relaxing. There was a cool breeze. We strolled more than walked and laughed more than strolled. We looked at all the different houses and pointed out stuff we liked about each one. I love how different each house is in my neighborhood! Jamie talked about how much they love their neighborhood and also the updates they needed to do on their house. We talked about changing our kids schools when you move and how hard it is to not become settled in an area once you have school aged children. Mixed in were some contractions, but mostly the walk was relaxing and enjoyable. As we walked up my walkway I had my first "good" contraction. I still described it as a sharp pain that came very quickly, intensified, and then slowly went away. It wasn't wave like, like I was used to. No slow build up to a peak and then blowing back out. It was sudden and sharp and I was convinced something was wrong. I came up with every scenario my midwife brain could think of and thankfully I have amazing midwives who understood I needed to be heard and then needed real explanations of why it couldn't be what I was creating. I needed constant reminders that I was safe. 

Something I've realized as being a midwife...my own births aren't as peaceful as they once were. I now have tons of knowledge of all the possibilities of what could go wrong and no matter how small of a percentage those things happen, no matter how much trust I have in the process, no matter how none of that fear gets carried with me to other births, no matter how many times I comfort a mom knowing everything is perfect during her birth, I cannot shake the "what ifs" at my own births. And they're always crazy complications. Nothing small.... the biggest, craziest things that could happen, that happen less than 1% of the time. I think this combined with having had a transport that lead to a cesarean, which makes me a VBAC forever, add to the fear. The scar on my uterus is never far from my mind. And then an emergency transport at my last birth.. It's safe to say, I'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I tried to calm my mind as best as I could and not let the fear creep in. But, those "contractions" were ridiculous. It literally became my sole focus to describe each one, every single time. 

Owen provided so much comfort ❤️


Once back at the house Chris was napping upstairs and my mom was laying on the couch reading a book. We went in my room where Owen was still asleep on my bed. We joked that if I birthed basset hounds I'd never stop having babies, lol. (I'm obsessed with my bassets) I had another good contraction while holding on to Owen and that's when Jamie decided I needed to tell everyone it was time. From there things went very fast. I texted everyone something along the lines of "come now" and I'm pretty sure most responded, "will we make it?". I thought for sure they would. I figured we finally hit active labor and it would still be some time until we met a baby. I did find out later that Natasha and Jamie, the photogs, were already heading our way and so were the dads and their parents. 

I went to go to the bathroom and as soon as I sat down, I stood right back up. That was not happening, way too much pressure. It was then I began to panic and started filling my own bathtub as Amanda was trying to get the birth pool set up. I knew I needed in the water somewhere, somehow. It suddenly went from nothing to everything. I started sweating and was lightheaded and asked Jamie to get Chris, but to also stay with me in my bathroom. I got down on hands and knees and knew no one would make it. I ended up laying on my side in an attempt to not push and tried desperately to breathe through contractions. I asked Jamie to have my mom video the birth if no one made it and she reassured me they would make it. (Knowing full well they wouldn't...but what a sweet thing to say to calm my mind) Chris came in and Owen and Talulah, my other basset, were in and out of the bathroom. Talulah eventually stayed with me and I held on to her as I tried breathing, moaning, "horse lips", anything to not push. I later found out Jamie had let everyone know they'd miss the birth, but things were going well. 

My body started baring down and there wasn't much I could do to control the urge to push anymore. I heard Jamie get heart tones and they were not good. I couldn't quite make out how low they dipped, but I knew he needed to be born. It was then that I pushed. Amanda was scrambling to set up for the birth on my bathroom floor. Jamie quickly took my pants off just in time for a second push. I believe it was after the second push that they told me if I could get up and get to the tub in my bedroom that there was just enough water to birth him in. (Maybe a foot or two of water?) I said, "I can't move" and then rolled over, pushed myself up, made it to the tub, and in the tub as fast as I could go. I squatted down into the warm water and instantly felt relief. 

I reached down to see where baby was and felt his head crown beneath my hand. With the next contraction I felt my membranes rupture and his head birth into my hand. "Head's out", I called. I then took some deep breaths while cradling his head and waited for shoulders. Suddenly I felt his one shoulder slip out and then the other shoulder and I reached down and pulled him out of the water. 

Screenshots from the video my mom took. 


I pulled him to my chest and then noticed he had a double nuchal cord (cord around his neck twice). I tried to reduce it, but was too discombobulated and asked J and A for help. It was tight and he needed someone to untangle it. They both reached in and got him situated. He still needed some help, as he was pale with poor muscle tone. He appeared to be so tiny to this 8.8-10lb birthing mom and I asked if he was okay. He could have been 5lbs for all I knew, he felt so tiny in my arms. I'm pretty sure this is when I started giving orders, my poor midwives... lol. We were all working on Joel as the pool was full of blood. I immediately thought I had hemorrhaged. I started asking for pitocin and they wanted me out of the tub. I didn't want to get out and asked them why. They explained they needed to assess where the blood was coming from and I immediately started worrying again. It's not me? It's him? What's wrong? What are y'all thinking? Is he okay? Finally I got out of the tub and it still wasn't evident where the bleeding was coming from, but while his tone improved, he was still quite pale. Thankfully he sounded great and was crying the whole time. 

Within a few minutes of being in the bed the placenta birthed, which seemed quite quick. It was then that they discovered Joel had a velamentous cord insertion. (Google here). He also had a two vessel cord. We're guessing when my membranes broke, it ruptured along one of the vessels in the sac and that caused the bleeding and some of the issues with Joel at birth. Looking at the placenta was both fascinating and terrifying. We all were so thankful that Joel arrived so safely. 

Shortly after I was situated in bed with Joel our doula arrived and then our videographer. Not long after our photographer, the dads, and the grandparents walked in. Thankfully Natasha and Jamie were able to capture the moment they met their baby. There were tears, there was excitement, mostly there was a lot of happiness and love. 



Emilio cut the cord and then Joel was his own little person and free to be loved on by his family. He's the first grandbaby for Emilio's parents and they have waited a long time for him. Love; something Baby Joel will never, ever have a shortage of. He got plenty of snuggles and love from everyone. Eventually he was hungry and I nursed him. About that time my mom had picked my three youngest up from school and they were so excited to meet Joel. Finn was mostly excited to see me and be sure his role as the one and only baby in my life was secure. He climbed in bed with me and gave me the sweetest cuddles. 

I decided to do an herbal bath in my tub for healing and relaxation and J and A set up an herbal bath for Emilio and Joel. Finn watched as they took their bath and told me he remembered the one we took together after he was born. 😍 

Finn and Emilio's Dad watching the herbal bath ❤️


The rest of the afternoon was spent with our families hanging out between the living room and my bedroom. The kids got to hold Joel and I nursed him again. My littles climbed in bed with me and my hubby went between making sure I was okay and getting pictures and video of what was going on in the living room so I didn't miss out on anything. Paul told me how much he loved the homebirth, how nice it was to be here and not in a hospital. And Emilio's dad also told my mom how great it was being at the house. I'm so thankful they trusted me and our team to have a safe and healthy homebirth and that they loved it for all the reasons I wanted to have it. Safe, loving, calm, peaceful, warm, comfortable. 

Pictures my mom took of everyone hanging out in the livingroom and our kids meeting Joel ❤️

My hubby sent me these images when I was in the bedroom, so I could see what was going on. The bottom is a still from a video he took of Paul and Emilio watching the birth video ❤️

Some photos I took...
I knew he was a thumb sucker because I always felt his hands by his face ❤️

Milk drunk ❤️
Sleeping through discharge instructions ❤️




We eventually did a champagne toast to Joel and two families coming together to love this perfect little human. Natasha and Jamie got final pictures and the cleanup process began. I sat in the livingroom and held Joel while he slept and Jamie went over discharge instructions with everyone. It was fun hearing their questions and the answers and watching them all fall into their new roles as dads and grandparents, so seamlessly. My doula, Samantha, made sure the car seat was properly installed in their car. And then everyone hugged and kissed and the new family headed "home" (where they're staying until they can go back to Spain). 

Heading "home" ❤️

Most of my birth team left one after the other and my mother-in-law came to pick up my littles. (She takes them on Tuesday nights) Finally it was just me and Chris and our sweet bassets. He picked us up dinner and we relaxed in bed eating. It was a whirlwind of a day, but if you looked around our room....it was if nothing had happened. A typical Tuesday. Except this Tuesday was anything but typical. It was extraordinary. It was perfect. 


Journey #2, complete. ❤️

Baby Joel's stats:
Born: May 9, 12:51pm
7 pounds, 4 ounces
21 inches


His birth stats:
4cm to birth in just over an hour.
Active labor to baby in less than 25 minutes.
Crown to baby 1 minute. 
Three pushes.
Waterbirth.
Delivered and Caught by his most grateful surrogate.

My birth stats:
6th birth
5th planned out of hospital birth
3rd out of hospital birth
5th completely natural vaginal birth
2nd homebirth
2nd waterbirth
2nd surrogacy
5th baby boy
3rd VBAC
2nd HBAC 
Fastest birth. 

Baby Joel: 
Transferred on August 18, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois
Grown and loved under his American surrogate's heart for 265 days in Fort Worth, Texas
Loved by many in many different countries ❤️


Thursday, October 6, 2016

And with that...

The last time I blogged was for the transfer of little embie back in August. Because there's so much uncertainty I didn't want to say anything until we knew for sure. So, here's a run down since then...

I started doing home pregnancy tests 3 days post transfer. I got faint positives, but wanted to get a positive digital before telling my IFs. On day 5 I got to see that magical word, "pregnant". I squealed and then took a picture and sent it to them. 


After that I didn't do anymore tests and waited for beta. Our first beta came back positive. Two days later I had beta drawn again and it doubled! (You're looking for the number to double every 48-72 hours) Our clinic had us do a third beta a week later and the doubling time was less than 48 hours. That was a really good sign that everything was going as it should. But this isn't my first time and I know the other shoe can always drop. We waited for our first sono with guarded optimism.

 

At the first sono we couldn't see much, but what we did see was a little blur on the screen with a flickering heartbeat. I was so happy that the dads were able to skype and see their baby for the first time!

6.4 weeks

We were definitely pregnant!!! Of course, that didn't stop me from worrying. Although, the constant exhaustion and nausea did give me some hope that the little bean was growing and healthy. Then we went for our second sonogram and once again saw a bigger, more formed blur with a perfect heartbeat! This time we could hear it. 159 beats per minute. Dads got to Skype again to see their baby bean growing. 

7.4 weeks

Third sono dads weren't able to skype, so I recorded the sono. Probably a good thing because baby was either napping or being super anti-social. Either way, we got a kick out of it. He kept his back to the probe, so all we could really see was a perfect little spine. No matter how hard the nurse tried, he was resolved in that we were not seeing his little face that morning. We did, however, hear his heartbeat and it was 179. 

8.6 weeks

I continued feeling tired all the time and completely turned off by food and the smell of pretty much everything. I was fairly certain things were going perfectly. We had our fourth sono a week later and dads were able to skype again..

9.5 weeks 

This time baby was...a baby! He finally looked like a baby! Little legs, little arms up by his sweet face. And he was excited!! He was moving around so much it was hard for the nurse to get a good picture of him! 

My final two injections

And with that, we were officially released from the RE to our midwife. 98 injections. 3 additional meds. 3 blood draws. 4 sonograms. Lots of food adversions and even more naps. My family and friends have been so supportive and loving. My IFs have been amazing. I'm looking forward to second trimester, no meds, and a continued healthy pregnancy. ❤️


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I've been meaning to write....

I feel like I should rename my blog, "I've been meaning to write", because I always start out with that. It's been so long I'm not even sure where to begin!! 

So, when I last blogged I had recently matched with super awesome Intended Fathers in Spain. SO much has happened since then. So much, y'all. I'll be brief. ish.... 

So, we went through psych eval and the counselor said I was incredibly normal. I'm certain she meant boring, but I'll take it! From there we had our medical screening and I chose to see the RE we used for my last journey, Dr. E, because I love him so! It was great to see him and he said my uterus looked "beauitful". I celebrated with a margarita. I had to have tons of labs run and had to run some on my hubby. He passed out when I drew his blood. Shhhh...don't tell him I told you. It was a little funny. Maybe a lot funny, but I'll never tell. 

At my med screening with Dr E

My beautiful uterus celebratory margarita


Anyway, we both are super healthy and we were officially cleared in early June for journey number TWO!! Surrogacy is a whole lot of hurry and a whole lot of wait. So we waited on lots of things. But finally we got to schedule the transfer!!! 

August 18th!! That was the day!! I started birth control right before the med screening in June and was on that for about three months. I then started Lupron injections and did 27 of those. I think. I wrote it down, but now can't remember where...

Then I moved on to estrogen injections and finally added in progesterone. I'm still on both of those... 
This is what estrogen and progesterone injections look like. Good times. 

I had three uterine lining checks the three weeks before transfer. I needed at least a thickness above 8mm for transfer and my final measurement was a whopping 12.9mm. And I felt it. My uterus was heavy and crampy, but so much fluff for that little embie to snuggle into, I was happy to take the bloat! 

So, I had to fly to Chicago for transfer and decided to bring along one of my fave friends, my preceptor, my midwife, (That's one whole person) Amanda. She went with me and we made it a girls trip. We had an amazing time there and it was definitely a very relaxing trip, perfect for harboring a peaceful environment for my soon-to-be roomie. 

Here are some of my fave pictures from Chicago... 

We did so much there and absolutely loved Chicago!! 

Day of transfer we took the train to Highland Park, about an hour north of the city...

On the train before we realized we were supposed to have tickets to ride and our metro card did not count. Oops! 


And then this 6AA embryo was transferred into my big, fluffy uterus! Our clinic nurse had my IFs on skype, so they got to see the whole thing. It was incredible. And crazy fast. They sent me on my way immediately after the transfer and we opted for an uber back to our hotel. We stayed another day and a half before heading back to Texas! 

I decided to wait to give any results on the transfer, but I will say we had our second beta this morning. Guess you'll have to stay posted to find out if that sweet little embie got cozy and comfy and decided to take up a temporary residence in my uterus! 

Until I remember to blog again.... 




Saturday, April 9, 2016

Matched!


I've been meaning to blog about my match and then life keeps happening...

After a lot of discussions and talking with  potential IPs, Chris and I decided that sticking with our agency for a match was the best route for us, for this journey. Once we came to that conclusion in March I emailed my agency owner and told her we were ready to move forward with them 100% and I gave a few specifics for what I wanted in IPs. She emailed back that day and attached a profile. I read through it, looked at their pictures, and emailed right back with, "YES! I love them!!" She then sent them my profile and later that day emailed and said they too loved my profile! 

It all happened pretty quickly from there. We scheduled a Skype call two days later and had a great hour long conversation with them. Chris was his usual reserved and quiet self, but told me after the call that he thought they would be a great match and we'd have a really good journey together. We brought our littles in at the end of the call, since they were literally hanging from the window just to the right of us, hoping to catch a glimpse of who we were talking to, lol. The call went great! By the end of the call we all knew we wanted to move forward.

Since then my agency has assigned us with a coordinator, confirmed I have surrogate friendly insurance, sent me for a psych evaluation, set me up with life insurance for the pregnancy, and sent my records to the reproductive endocrinologist we'll be working with. 

Because of my on call schedule, we have small windows when I can travel to Chicago, where there clinic is. Hopefully the clinic will get me approved to fly out at the end of this month for my medical screening and then we're hoping for an early July transfer! 

Hopefully I'll be able to give more specifics about my IPs down the road, but for now I will tell you that they live in Spain (both speak English fluently), they will be using an egg donor, and they are the funniest and sweetest guys you'd ever meet! Doing a journey with two Intended Fathers I think will be such a different experience from my last journey.

Hopefully my next update will be that I've been medically cleared to move forward!

Here's to an another amazing journey and to growing babies for ALL families! ❤️ 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A second journey

Yeah! Wait, what? Another journey? Yes, I'm going to do it again! After a lot of soul searching and endless hours of talking to my husband and friends I decided I do want to do one more journey before retiring my trusty uterus who has grown five perfect babies. 

Matching. I forgot how hard this part of the journey is. Really, there are lots of hard times with surrogacy. The good outweighs the bad by a million, but it's certainly an emotional roller coaster. 

It's hard matching with potential IPs. You hear their story and many times become emotionally attached. You want to be the one to help them have their long wished for baby. And then when it doesn't become a match because of timing or birth preferences or whatever, it's hard. 

The truth is, I wish I could have a baby for every person who wants a baby. You know, Oprah style. You get a baby! You get a baby! You get a baby! But, alas, I cannot. 

So, I try to stay true to myself, my beliefs. I hold on to the few requirements that my heart would never let me give in on. Along the way I get to meet amazing IPs who all want the same thing; a healthy baby. I feel truly blessed to get to walk this journey with another families and make friends along the way. Cheer on other surros, cross my fingers for the IPs. Hope with everything that they all get exactly what they want out of their journeys. 

I'm excited about a second journey. I'm hoping for a Spring transfer of one healthy embryo and planning another homebirth. Stay posted...hopefully the next blog will be telling y'all about a MATCH! ❤️

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The End.

This past week I made a really hard decision. I decided to stop pumping. I knew Eli was moving to Florida and on top of pumping, bagging, and storing, I'd have to add in packing and shipping. I was getting very little milk and was feeling a lot of pressure (not from anyone but myself) to pump more, more, more. I started feeling like my family was getting less of me because it was hard to keep up with them and the house with pumping for an hour, 6 times a day. 

So, on his 6 week birthday I had my last pumping session. A huge weight was lifted when I washed and stored my pump parts. The first couple of days were great. I felt a new freedom. I could have an alcoholic beverage without calculating when I'd pump. I could have caffeine guilt free. I could cut my daily calories without worry. I could leave the house without dragging along my pump and a cooler. I didn't have to set my alarm for the next session. 

And then I started feeling sadness. I felt regret. I felt unsure. Should I have continued to provide for Eli? I know Erin has so many wonderful people pumping and donating to sweet Eli, but my milk is made for him. Did I make the right decision? I've asked myself that question over and over. 

I don't think there is a clear answer. I could have continued and then began feeling stressed about my production, about the time commitment, about toting all the extras with me everywhere. I may have felt peace with my 2-3oz/hour session, gotten used to loading up pumping supplies every time I left the house, had a good routine that became apart of my day. I don't know.

What I do know is, I feel good about the 6 weeks I pumped for him. The middle of the night pumps, the driving in my car pumps, the sitting at the birth center pumps, the "I'll be on my way as soon as I pump" pumps.

And now, there is a sense of finality. Now I am no longer supplying this precious little being with nourishment. I spent nearly a year nourishing him. And that last pump was it. I was done. It was over. 

As I watched Eli and his family drive off with the last bit of milk I pumped it was officially the end of this journey. 


Friday, January 23, 2015

He's exactly where he's supposed to be...

How are you? Are you okay? Do you miss the baby? Are you adjusting fine?

These are some of the questions I've been asked over the last two and a half weeks. And, I love them. I love that my friends and family...and, well, people I don't even know care enough to ask.

As a student midwife and someone who had a very big birth team filled with women who really understand birth, we all planned for the "worst". For an emotional backlash, baby blues, even postpartum depression. We know that a woman's body doesn't understand that the baby it just birthed is not staying. Biologically, psychologically, physiologically, our body, mind, heart, and soul expect to be caring for a squishy newborn. To hold a baby against our chest, nurse the baby every couple of hours, wake up throughout the night with the wee one. 

Because we know this, we planned for it. We planned for weepy days and all the possibilities of missing someone. My birth team was on standby for those possibilities. For those lows. For that sadness. And seriously, I couldn't of had sweeter people making sure I was okay. 

So how am I? I'm great!! I'm happy, I'm healed, I'm rested, I'm blessed. My body did have a couple of days of adjustment; waking up throughout the night, but it quickly passed. On day 3 I slept through the night and it was magical! On day 4 my hubby and I went on a lunch date and that was the only day I shed tears of anything other than happiness. I was looking for something to wear where I didn't look 4 days postpartum without a cute little newborn to take out with me, and after the fourth, or maybe it was the fifth outfit, I shut my closet door and cried. Was it sadness? Or frustration? I'm not sure. 

We went to lunch and while it was nice to be out, it was strange. I realized that I had been in a bubble the days before, surrounded by friends and family who knew my "secret". They knew I had just birthed a baby, but I didn't actually *have* a baby. And I decided I'd go back to that bubble.

A week later I tried again. I got dressed and went out with some girlfriends for dinner. I had a blast!! (And I wore the first outfit I tried on) 

I fully expected some sadness, but I think I got through this postpartum period with nothing but complete happiness in my heart for several reasons....

I had A LOT of support. Family, friends, the people who followed my blog, my birth team...

I prepared for it. And even though I never had to call on anyone, I knew I could. And that was reassuring.

I stayed in my little bubble. I took time to sleep, and heal, and recover. I ate well and drank plenty of water. I took care of myself while my family took care of my nuggets. 

I was CRAZY HAPPY for Erin and Jose. Her texts and pictures made my heart overflow. Seeing them as parents on social media made me smile. Knowing I had helped them get their sweet baby made me proud... And so incredibly happy.

And, if I'm being totally honest, I didn't lose anyone. I have four beautiful, healthy babies. But I did know people who had lost someone... Two babies left Earth too soon during my pregnancy. A little girl, Baby P, was born sleeping. I was about 5 months pregnant when I attended her birth. Then about three months later one of my closest friends lost her first son, Baby C, shortly after he was born. My heart ached for them and their mommies. Those losses made me even more grateful for my healthy children. And even more honored to be growing a baby for someone who knew loss too. Someone who had tried for years and years to have a baby of her own. I knew Eli didn't belong to me. He belonged to someone who loved him long before he grew inside of my uterus. I knew that I didn't know loss and sadness like L, or J, or even Erin. 

So, no, my heart doesn't hurt for Eli. I went into this journey with the intentions of becoming pregnant to help make a family. I knew he was never mine to keep. He was merely mine to grow and love for 40 weeks. (Though I'll love him for a lifetime) He's in the arms of the mommy he belongs to. He's healthy, he's loved, and he's finally here.

And, he's exactly where he's supposed to be....