Monday, October 31, 2016

(22) Emotional Roller-coaster Ride

Today is a very special day.  We’re 1 day past the 24 week milestone.  It is one of the most important milestones we’ve been hoping to reach.  Now it’s time to execute the Multnomah Falls “reveal” plan.  We’ve been talking about this day since before I was even pregnant and IT’S FINALLY HERE!  I didn’t sleep well last night because of my giddy excited nerves.  This morning, I carefully selected my clothing, because I want to make a good first impression on this new extended family I’ll be meeting today.  I also take the time to straighten my hair, because I have this horrible frizzy stuff that I usually just put in a ponytail.  My daughter Kaela reluctantly gets out of bed early.  She is a teenager after all, and it’s summer.  She’s part of the plan, so she has to get up.  We head for Multnomah Falls which is about a 30 minute drive from our house.

We arrive early so we can avoid seeing Holly and Darren’s families in the parking lot or by the river where they are holding their memorial.  We sit on the built-in bench in front of the Falls, and I have Kaela whip a drawing up of the bridge above.  She completes an amazing drawing in just a few minutes.  My plan is to act like I’m drawing while they all line up in front of the railing for a memorial photo.  Then Holly and Darren will ask “strangers” Tom and Kaela to take a picture, which won’t be a picture but actually a video.  We’re so sneaky!

Kaela's quick draw of Multnomah Falls bridge

At about 9am, we see the unsuspecting crew trickling in.   I’ve never met any of their families but I’ve seen photos on Instagram and Facebook.  I can also sense someone standing behind me so I take a peak.  It looks like Holly’s father -- EEK!  He appears to be checking out “my” drawing (Later, he tells me how impressed he was with the drawing – Thanks Kaela!).  There are a few other people around, but it isn’t too busy this morning, thank goodness, because we are about to blow the minds of everyone gathering here to memorialize the loss of Jude and Brinly.  After a few minutes, Holly and Darren’s families somberly gather together for the picture.  Holly walks up to a handsome stranger (Tom) and asks him to take a picture, while Darren hands Kaela his phone.  I just continue to pretend to draw.  As Tom starts counting 3-2-1, I get up and casually walk right into the group, trying to squeeze between Holly and Darren.  Everyone still smiles for the “photo”, but they are clearly confused and shocked at my rudeness.  After they thought the photo taking was done, Holly’s mom even says “can we take another one?”   I’m sure she was thinking “who is this rude woman who just photo-bombed us?!”

Then Holly turns and puts her hand on my belly and announces “this is our surrogate, Becky”.  Instantly, Holly’s mom FREAKS OUT!  She starts crying “What?!...  What?!...”  Nobody was ready for this.  Nobody even had the slightest suspicion.  They just completed a heart-breaking memorial for the lost babies, and now are hearing the heart-warming news of a new baby to be born.    I say “baby” because we are saving the “twin” surprise for later today!  Holly has a sonogram of one of the twins to show everyone.  The emotional roller-coaster ride has only just begun....

Holly and Darren had previously arranged memorial brunch at their house, which has now transformed into a bubbly gender reveal party.  All of their family members are still in shock, but now in a good way.  The excitement is electric as we all grab a bite to eat.  Then while everyone is finishing up, Holly and Darren pull out the gender reveal box.  Just one box at first.  But just before the box is opened to reveal either pink or blue balloons, Holly and Darren pause the action to bring out a second box.  And then another round of freaking out erupts, as expected and planned.  Twins!

Me and Tom before the reveal

August 23rd - 24 weeks

Holly, Becky and Heidi (Holly's sis ~30 weeks)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

(21) Positively Planning in advance

As my belly grows, so does my love. These two little boys may poke and prod me causing me pain, but that means they are alive, so bring it!  I have learned while doing this that it is not to be taken for granted.  I feel for all the women in this world who struggle with infertility.  I was blind to all of this, for which I’m grateful to finally have this eye opening experience.  I don’t know of anyone who has ever done this, so I think I’m one of few.  In the beginning I thought it really was NO BIG DEAL.  But, the farther along I get I’m realizing it is a big deal.  I did this for more than just Holly and Darren.  I did it for these two little boys and they haven’t even been born yet.  I know these two little guys are going to special! 

I remember meeting with Holly and Darren back in February for breakfast.  We were discussing how all my preparations were going and then Holly announced that her sister was pregnant.  I could tell she was really happy for her but at the same time sad.  She couldn’t believe her sister just ran a 5k then tells the family about the pregnancy.  Woman who struggle with infertility usually wouldn’t be running marathons while in the first stages of pregnancy.  After this crazy news I told Holly that I was confident this would work.  I assured her “I get pregnant really easy” so don’t worry.  I had to apologize to her later on because I thought it was really insensitive of me to say.  She said normally that would be a hard thing to hear but because it was me, she loves my special ability.

We start to discuss the future of something that is still just a hope and a dream, how to tell their families about me and my passengers.  That’s right I’m not even pregnant yet and we’re discussing this!  Holly had already decided she wanted to have a memorial for Jude at Multnomah Falls.  We started developing a plan as to how far along and 24 weeks gestation was decided.  This is when the medical world will take extreme measures to keep a baby alive when born this early.  The percentage is low, but there is a chance.  This is Holly’s milestone to reach before they inform their families.  They didn’t want them to have to go through the possibility of another loss.  It takes great courage to shield these feelings from them and Holly is overflowing with it. 

Luckily I’ve never met any of their families so they won’t recognize us at the falls.  We decide on Sunday August 24th at 9am.  How appropriate, I’ll be 24 weeks and 1 day on the 24th of August!  

What to wear, what to wear! 

August 9th - 22 weeks

Me and fruit comparison photo!