Friday, November 30, 2007

The Journey

Five years ago, the Journey began.
To my daughter Journey, who yesterday welcomed her fifth birthday with the zeal and vitality only five-year-old girls can muster.
My daughter, five years ago, I held you for the first time. Inspected your tiny toes and fingers, held you close to my bosom, drinking in your delicious baby scent.
My daughter, five years ago, I wondered how I could possibly love you so much the moment I met you.
I asked my self How was I going to be as a mother to a little girl? Boys I could handle, but a little girl?
You entered this world rapidly and beautifully, but only after changing your mind twice, and today, my child, you are still the same in mind and spirit.

The morning of your birth, it was discovered that you were in a position that was unfriendly for the birthing process. The doctors forced your little body to turn around and initiated the labor process. They said it was necessary to go ahead and hurry you up a little bit. You would not be commanded so easily, and you showed them that by turning around again, happy as you please. That caused the situation to intensify because the doctors feared a cord accident if you remained in that position during labor. So Mommy was prepped in a hurry for a C-section. There were no signs of distress, but the doctors wanted it to stay that way. As I lay immobile on the operating table, the nurse spoke in a voice I will never forget.

"Doctor? That baby has turned herself around again! Take a look at this!"
The doctor ordered for an ultrasound machine to be brought in, and sure enough. You had decided on your own time to position yourself for birth, and by golly, you couldn't have been more perfectly situated, nicely engaged in the birth canal just hanging out, waiting on everyone else to regroup and discover that they were not in charge of your birth, you were.
Now with no reason or medical justification to perform a c-section the medical team wheeled Mommy back to L&D and labor began immediately and efficiently. The midwife examined and said, "Oh, it will be a few hours", so off she went to grab a bite to eat, having been at the hospital for hours already, by my side through this whole experience. I said to your Nana, who was also there the whole time, "you know, I think it will be a lot sooner than that". Two hours later, I was holding you. Three hours before they thought you would be ready. Once again, it was obvious, you were in control.
The next evening and days were tough and wonderful. Exciting and full of anxiety. As I welcomed you, got to know you, tried to understand you and care for you the way you were demanding. Questioning my abilities and feeling my instinct kick in to guide the way.

Throughout my pregnancy with you, I felt myself open up and become more sensitive, more feminine, more gentle. People would say to me "Heather, you actually glow". I would just smile and shrug my shoulders, but I felt it too. Never before had I been able to cry at movies, offer hugs freely, or... wear pink (laugh if you must, but it is true). Carrying you I embarked on a journey of personal growth and discovery. I could feel your spirit, so innocent and angelic, so feminine and friendly. You were going to be a 'girlie' girl, yet I also felt a strength from deep inside you. A strength that would one day hold power.

So, your name, Journey, is appropriate for a multitude of reasons. Right now, you love your name and I hope that you will throughout your life, recognizing the importance and meaning behind it. To this day, the nurses and midwives in the doctor's office, when speaking of your birth, marvel in your ability to maneuver around in such a tight space, not just one time, but twice (babies don't usually do that so close to birth because there is just not enough room left for them to move around). They had never seen anything like it before.

I can't wait to see what the next five years hold in store for us.
I love you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Warning! Very hyper, yet undeniably adorable child trying to obliterate the 8 pm bedtime

Yes, after an hour of climbing, wallowing, wrestling, and giggling around, this little angel finally went off to sleep.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Out of the loop

I am so behind on posting, but I have been reading my blogroll, although leaving very few comments behind I am afraid.
I have not yet figured out how to blog, maintain sanity, and stay home all day with my kids. The girls are ready to have my full attention before 8 a.m. and I am still on coffee mode at that time of the day. We have danced to Hap Palmer, painted, colored, played with play dough--all by 10 a.m. usually. and how many trips to the library in one week is allowed before people wonder? I am enjoying the time with my girls, but alas, something must give and it has been my blogging, which I sincerely miss.
I guess I will be in and out for awhile, but still reading and keeping up with you all. I will also be updating on the surrogacy, but all still looks well and transfer is tentatively scheduled for late Jan/early Feb.

I think we are ready to welcome the holiday with all of it's chaos and eating too much food. Hope everyone else has a wonderful turkey day,
'til next time.


Thursday, November 8, 2007


My son Jacob. My eldest, my most challenging child.

I wonder, is it possible to love your child, but not like him very much?
I ask because, lately Jacob and I have been butting heads about everything and anything, from less serious things like the clothes he wears to more serious problems such as his disrespect and attitude toward the members of his family recently.

He is a wonderful boy and I cherish his existence, but I am wondering if he and I will survive his preteen years, let alone the teenage years! During these past couple weeks, Jacob has been mouthy, rude, too aggressive with his brother (that begs another whole post - why MUST boys wrestle?), and attempting to emulate the 'bad crowd'. Yes, there is most certainly a bad crowd already in the fourth grade - especially in public schools. Heck I think Kindergarten has it's rising issues in that area, as children these days place significant importance on clothing, shoes, who has which video games/Ipods/cell phones, but that also needs it's own post.

If I say one thing, my son says the opposite. No matter what. No matter if he knows he is right, it is simply to contradict me and I see it. I have tried taking privileges away, grounding him, and sitting him away from anything and everyone in an effort to take all stimulation away (a form of behavior therapy that worked with him for years). But gosh, now the child is simply unpleasant to be around and I feel myself brace when he comes in the door because I just know it isn't going to end well - whatever it is.

Those of you with boys, or girls, who have been dealing with issues such as these, or of course any of you readers that may have expertise in this area of parenting, I beg you to please offer up some new ideas. Parenting mags just don't cut it anymore. I am tired already and we have barely begun the journey.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One Day at a Time

We all know the phrase, "One day at a time", but let me expand on it's significance in my life as of late. Oftentimes we focus on the future, what might happen, what could happen, and get ourselves all worked up before we even really know what is in fact going to occur. I subscribe to the theory that if we remain in the present, in the moment, we can achieve a happier state of being and truly be at peace with whatever we are confronting in the moment.

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis are aware of my situation concerning the scam and it's repercussions on my job and family. So, as a person must in this kind of circumstance to keep from going crazy, I have stopped fighting and questioning and berating myself, and embraced the way things are going to be for now. Of course, I am human and that does not mean that I don't have some moments of tears and frustrations, but I think the key to moving on and opening new doors is to not remain stuck in all that fear and emotion but let those feelings have validation and flow through. As I wrote a few days ago, being more aware has brought me a feeling of peace and I have been in a different state of mind for the past few days.
Don't get me wrong, I have focused on finding work from home, but not obsessed over it, following whatever lead presented itself. I have practiced holding fast to the state of mind that knows everything will be okay, and relaxed. It is amazing how things are simply falling into place, as I focus on taking it day by day, moment by moment, even those things I thought were not going to take place for such a long time.
As of yesterday I believe I have found a little something to do from home to earn enough money to be okay right now, so that burden is lifted, thankfully. But at the same time, along with that satisfaction, is an unexpected yet pleasantly surprising development.

Much to my delight and surprise, the carrier agency I had been working with for a long time ( to be a gestational carrier) contacted me last week with good news. I had pretty much shelved the idea of being a carrier and as is often the case, things are falling into place now that I have stopped trying to make it happen.

First, let me offer some background info on this situation with the agency. After 10 months of working with this agency (since Nov. 2006), being matched, and then everything falling through at literally the last moment (in July 2007), I just backed off figuring it just wasn't meant to be or wasn't the right time. In August, I let the agency know that I was still interested and when they had a couple, they could contact me, but that until then, I was not going to initiate contact or inquire further. I just had to let it go and wait to see if it would come back to me in it's own time, knowing that if it did, then it was meant to be. The whole situation was very disappointing because I had really wanted to be a gestational carrier, put a lot of time and effort into getting all the required documentation, and most importantly, felt a connection with the Intended Mother with whom I had originally been matched. But, hard as we tried, it just wasn't meant to happen. There was always some kind of issue that was holding everything up and the process lingered on for months, frustrating everyone involved until finally all the blocks tumbled down around us, disintegrating the whole thing.

My motivation for being a carrier was/is that I can't imagine life without my kids and since pregnancy is something I enjoy and I have experienced no health problems while pregnant with my children, I determined that I had something to contribute, and it was my heart's desire to do so. I put years of contemplation into this decision and initiated the process in 2006, feeling that I had reached the place in my life where I was ready. To make a very long story short, my profile was sent out again last week and was accepted by a couple who sound very nice. This time things are moving along at a rapid pace and the pieces are falling into place effortlessly. I am very much looking forward to this opportunity and, if it actually happens I will post updates often - especially when the transfer takes place and whether or not it means Baby!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Down the Road

...The glow of the red tail lights against the cool, still-dark morning
...The brightness of the interior lights beckoning all to come within
...Children's excited voices purring
...Parent's nervous small talk
...The hum of the heavy engine

We arrived a half hour early and still found ourselves swallowed up in a huddle of parents, teachers, and excited students, arms heavy with paper lunch sacks, CD players, and water bottles.

The boys and girls, most of whom arose at 4 a.m. due to sheer anticipation are headed off on an adventure. The fourth grade field trip - lasting 13 hours.

For many, it is their first experience riding a charter bus and the excitement is too much to contain, spilling over in ramblings about nothing and everything all at once.
My Jacob is a member of this drone of carefree travelers.
My baby.
Headed down the road, in a very large bus. Without me.

Sometime last month, the conversation went something like this:

"Jacob, do you want me to go with you?" I asked.
"Aww Mom, I am old enough. Please can I go by myself?"
"Well," I say, trying to decide if I thought he was ready, "ok, buddy, I guess you are old enough." I rationalized that although he is only nine, he does very well in school (actually was just invited into the AIG program), has a good relationship with his teachers, and has been showing some maturity around home lately.

So, there I was this morning, standing off to the side with my cup of coffee which had grown cool in the crisp morning air, as my little/big boy climbed aboard with a quick "Bye Mom!"
I watched him clamber to the back of the bus, locate his buddies, plunk his backpack down, and settle in.
As I turned to walk back to the car, I can't be sure, but I believe the sound I heard was apron strings popping. But, I can't be certain of course.

Edited to add: The Boy has returned, safe and sound. And asking for an Ipod.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pirate's Booty...well, kids' Booty is more like it

The Loot...Need I say more?

Well, I will, of course. We made a 1 & 1/2 hour trek through the neighborhood last night. This was the first year in a long time, I think since Jacob was 2, that I took the kids trick-or-treating. We have usually gone to various church festivals, but this year decided to give the trick-or-treating thing a whirl. Was fun, but sure has changed since I was a kid.

People are nice enough but only give out one small treat or a roll of smarties (one roll) or a piece of gum. I mean, come on. These kids get all dressed up, are trained in the polite spiel of "trick or treat" and "thank you", their parents' feet hurt, and all these people can part with is one snack-size Snickers bar?

But, as you can see, we ended up with more than enough to go around, I actually did not have to carry Serenity, didn't lose any kids, no one got hurt, and I think we even had a little bit of fun.

Thank goodness it only comes once a year!