My heart was pounding. My palms were sweating. I had one thing and one thing only going through my mind. Please stick, babies.
Just a few moments prior, the doctor had carefully placed two embryos into my uterus. Babies. Yes, I know that technically at that point, they aren’t referred to as babies, but in my mind, in my heart, my uterus was now home to two babies who would hopefully snuggle in for the next nine months. At that very moment, I considered myself pregnant. I think the babies’ daddies felt the same way, as on our way out of the clinic one of them announced in the hallway, “Pregnant lady comin’ through!”
The next day I found myself back at home in Denver, greeting my husband and two little girls who were very happy to see me, but perhaps even more excited to investigate my belly region to see if they could tell that I was pregnant. While I was gone, my wonderful family had put together a lovely care package for me to enjoy while I was taking it easy the first few days back home. My care package included a few magazines, some chocolate, an aromatherapy candle, ahem…chocolate, a back massager, and uh, did I mention chocolate? I was also armed with an arsenal of pregnancy tests. Pregnancy tests which came in very handy just two days later when I caved and tested late at night. I thought I was pregnant. I certainly felt pregnant. The tests confirmed it – pregnant!
What an incredible gift to be able to share with your IP’s the news that they are pregnant. It is quite an honor to be part of such a joyful and momentous occasion! Shortly after learning they were expecting, Daddies made travel plans to come visit our family and be present for the seven-week ultrasound.
It took all of a few seconds for the ultrasound technician to confirm that there were indeed two babies snuggled up in my uterus. The moment we all saw those two sacs was incredible, emotional and memorable. Two little babies with two beautiful heartbeats! The sound of those heartbeats was music to all of our ears. Many tears of joy were shed that day.
As we settled into the pregnancy, things continued to go extremely smoothly. As the babies grew, so did my relationship with the guys. I really enjoyed being able to share all of the small moments with the guys including the cravings that I was having. Fruit is generally too sour for my taste, so imagine my surprise when I learned that fruit was what these babies were requesting! Pineapple, watermelon and red grapes seemed to be their fruit of choice. I can also distinctly remember one evening when nothing at all sounded good…except kettle corn. I don’t care for popcorn (at all), but after texting the guys to tell them about this odd craving, I learned exactly who this kettle corn craving was coming from.
We also shared the bigger moments of pregnancy. The guys were back here in Denver visiting when we had our 20-week ultrasound. It was there we learned that these beautiful babies we had all fallen in love with were a boy and a girl! Jackpot! It was thrilling for me to have the guys see my belly in person, to be able to get their hands on their babies and for the babies to be able to hear their daddies’ voices while they were still in utero.
Days and weeks passed and our pregnancy continued to move right along just as it should. As you can imagine, my belly began to produce many stares and comments from strangers. Picture this: At the grocery store one fine day, I notice that the lovely woman who is also searching for the perfectly ripe cantaloupe, is scoping out my belly out of the corner of her eye. I smile cheerfully.
*Eyes wide “You must be ready to deliver any day now!”
“Nope, we’ve still got many weeks before these babies will be ready to officially meet their Daddies.”
*Insert puzzled look from lovely woman. “Huh?”
Sharing our surrogacy story with others became something I lived for. I had many interesting conversations, and developed quite a few strategies for delivering the news that I was proudly growing babies for another family.
Before we knew it, we had reached our 35th week of pregnancy. Our doctors had told us that once we reached the 35th week, they would no longer attempt to stop labor, should it occur. And occur it did, just two days after we reached week 35 and three days before the guys planned to be in Denver. My water had officially broken. The guys were officially still in New York. I was officially in panic mode. Thanks to my lazy body, which does not seem to labor without a little help from an IV, the guys were able to book a flight and make it here to Denver in time for us to labor and deliver those babies together. We did it together. The guys were there to support me through the entire process, but more importantly, they were there to greet their little ones as they each took their very first breath. The birth of a child is a miraculous thing. To deliver children for these two men who had long ago taken up a large space in my heart was an absolute honor. It was truly a life changing moment. To see this family, that I helped to create…well, it just doesn’t get any better than that for me.
Many months ago, I lay on the transfer table willing two babies to stick-stick-stick. If only I had known back then that not only would they both stick in my uterus, they would also burrow deep into my heart…then, now and forevermore.
Jeni Denhof is an ordinary girl who knew she could do a not so ordinary thing – carry babies for another family. Through the course of her journey, Jeni developed an extraordinary passion. For surrogacy…and writing. Her blog www.lovemakesafamily2011.blogspot.com has become a way to share her story, her passion and her life with all who care to follow along. Jeni lives in Colorado with her husband and two beautiful daughters.