Monday, September 16, 2013
When I was 6 weeks pregnant with my first pregnancy I remember walking around in a state of bewilderment and shock and amazement. This had actually happened for us. We'd had a dating scan and seen the tiny sack, fetal pole and yolk sack. I had a due date (the day before my 25th birthday). And I felt like nothing could touch me. Life was perfect.
I was already imagining my body with a huge pregnant belly, and how much fun it would be to be able to tell my friends and family who didn't already know yet. I caught up with my best friend of over 20 years for morning tea, and we were discussing all things morning sickness and sore boobs and what I could expect over the next few months (she already had a 2yr old). She was a wealth of information, but also so gracious about my first-timer naivety.
Then she casually mentioned that she was pregnant too.
I didn't think I could be any more excited! This amazing person that had been in my life since we were just tots ourself was going to share this pregnancy journey with me. There is only a few weeks difference between our own birthdays, and I think we both went into 'future-imagining' mode thinking about the awesome bond our children would share only having a few weeks between their birthdays as well.
My daughter was born towards the end of July, and her son was born at the start of August. We spent a LOT of time together when our babies were little and started a small playgroup. She was my 'go-to-girl' for all things parenting, breastfeeding, sleep-settling, and nappy-brand-choosing. Life was good.
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, my friend was already 5 months into her third pregnancy. So it was a novelty to be pregnant at the same time again, but the time difference was big enough that by the time I was actually starting to show, she already had a newborn in her arms. There was no one in my immediate frienship group who was due around the same time as me. So it was a different experience to be doing it 'solo' as such.
My son was born the day before a huge cyclone hit north qld. The property damage to the towns in the path of the storm meant work opportunities for my friend's builder husband, so they relocated the family up north. There would be no baby-catch up dates this time around. I still continued to attend the playgroup we had started though, which was now full of friends with kids of all ages. But I did miss that shared sense of 'I know what you're going through' that you develop with a mum that has a baby the same age as yours. Babies grow so fast in that first year that even a few months seems like a crazy difference.
When I was contemplating this surrogate pregnancy, I think I just assumed that I'd probably be doing the pregnancy thing solo again. And this was actually what sat best with me. I wasn't sure how I'd go if friends of mine were delivering babies around the same time as me. Yet keeping them! (obviously!). But one of the things I've quickly learnt is that just because something happened a certain way with a previous pregnancy, does not mean it'll happen that way again (this also translates to morning sickness!).
So far both my friend (yep, the same one as the last two pregnancies!), and my cousin are sharing this pregnancy journey with me. My friend is almost exactly a month ahead of me, this time with her fourth pregnancy. And my cousin and I basically share a due date. This is her first.
As with most things that happen in my life unexpectedly, I usually have a few days where I chew over the new information, write about it, process it, talk about it, process it a bit more - then move on. And this was no different.
I have no control over who else in my world will be sharing this pregnancy journey with me. What I do have control over is how I react to the timing of it. I can get all stressy and anxious and imagine future scenarios where they have a baby in their arms and I don't, or I can imagine visiting their babies in the future and feeling an extra special connection to them because of our shared experiences.
And it's honestly the later scenario that feels most real to me. I'm so excited to share this journey with these special women, and take the next steps on this very unique life experience.