Meeting with Dr. Horvath was a little bitter-sweet yesterday, I am officially at my 6 week mark, my uterus is back to its original size, my stitches healed, and I’m cleared for exercise. She was my doctor for Lauren 13 years ago and now baby Jackson, but for my yearly appointments I have seen Julie Jones, a wonderful Certified Nurse Midwife, who delivered Will. She is amazing, and I lover her approach to try things that are natural first rather than just resorting to medication.
So now that the surrogacy is over, I should be going back to Julie, but I am sad to leave the care of Dr. Horvath. I guess I am having a hard time closing the door, finalizing this experience. To be honest, I am struggling a bit with closure, not for the reasons you may think. Earlier this week I did the dreaded task of packaging up my maternity clothes that I won’t need and trying on my pre-pregnancy clothes to see what fits now, and what I need to still work on. For any woman who has been through a pregnancy, you know that this is absolutely the worst thing because you’re not pregnant any longer, but you still aren’t back into your normal size.
Since I am heading back to work Monday, I am trying to figure out what I have to wear. Lucky for me, I can wear jeans just about every day, but I would like to get back into my work clothes soon to extend my wardrobe a bit. So as I packed up my clothes, and contemplated what to do with them, I tossed around selling them and giving them away, but ultimately I just couldn’t do either. The future is foggy, unclear, and uncertain for me, for my family and for Sara and Derek. All along I really just thought this would be it, I would have a baby for another couple and then I would move on with my life and be so proud of what I had done.
However, life isn’t feeling like I thought it would, I am happy, no postpartum depression, my kids and Billy are adjusting well so why do I feel like I can’t shut the door on the past? Early in the week I reached out to Sara to let her know how I was feeling, her first instinct was to ask if I wanted another baby. A natural response, a realistic question really, of course this experience could stir up emotions and make me crave another child. But no, that isn’t what I am feeling, I really have no desire to have another child of my own, we’re done having our own kids and this experience solidified that feeling concretely for us. Billy and I had many discussions about it along the way, and we are both enjoying life with older kids and our younger nieces and nephews when we need a baby/toddler fix. I realize I am only 6 weeks postpartum and time could change how I am feeling. I mean it could all be hormonal right? But for now, I am leaving the door open, letting fate take its course again and determine later if I should venture down this road again.
For now, I am focusing on weaning, which is going very well. I am gearing up for work on Monday, getting the last few details ready for the kids to start school and squeezing in a few more lunches with friends. Being on Maternity leave has been amazing for me and my family, and I didn’t realize how much I needed a mental break to clear my head and focus on me rather than everyone else around me. That may sound selfish, but if you know me well, I have a tendency to put other people’s needs before mine and for the last 6 weeks, I really made sure that I came first, as much as I could do without feeling too much guilt. Guilt, what a crazy thing that feeling is. Why should we feel guilty if we can’t make a commitment, if we are too tired or sore to stay long hours at an event, or say no to running kids around endlessly and take a quick nap instead? But I did it, I did say no at times, not all the time, but enough that I put myself first when I could, when I didn’t feel it would disrupt the balance too much, when I knew there would be another opportunity down the road. Monday will mark a new chapter, it will be back to reality for me, Billy and the kids. I will start to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I will feel stretched too thin, I will be involved in too much, and I will give 110% to everything I do. It is just me, no changing it, there isn’t a way to fix it, and I don’t mind. I love the life I have created with Billy, family and our friends. I wouldn’t change a thing…but I could have used another 6 weeks!
So how is baby Jackson? Delightful, he is loving the visits from all his family members, just look at this darling little guy with his Aunt Ellen and cousin Sadie as well as the rest of the Smith family. He is bringing so much joy to this family and it warms my heart each time I see a new picture of him.