Bob brings up “the other boy” all the time. He means the embryo that we have in the freezer. During these early days of life with twins, it is really hard for me to imagine taking care of another newborn any time soon. Plus, given how difficult a surrogacy journey is, I have a hard time imagining another round of it in the near future. Don’t get me wrong. As far as gestational carriers go, I believe our experience with Annie was/is the most uneventful and pleasant. Regardless, it was/is still challenging to manage a third party carrying your bab(ies) for you. So this topic will be put on the back burner until the twins grow older.
Speaking of Annie, she’s been struggling physically after the birth of the twins. I usually contact her by text every few days asking her how she’s doing as well as to send her the babies’ photos. She responds with Oohs and Ahhs as she loves them and thinks that they are perfect (which they are, I might say). She said that people assume that it was difficult for her to hand the twins over to us after the birth. She often tells people that this aspect of the surrogacy was actually the easiest to deal with, as she can’t think of anything better than carrying babies for their loving family and not having to take care of newborns. To see them grow and be happy and healthy is the biggest joy for her. The most difficult aspect is the physical healing after the birth. Her uterus healed wonderfully. However, hemorrhoids were still bothering her a great deal. She had gone to the specialist to band the ones from the pregnancy. After the procedure, she continued to feel the pain at her pelvic area which to her specialist it wasn’t typical. She was referred to a pelvis specialist who eventually diagnosed her with pelvic floor myalgia. The initial course of treatment is taking Val.ium vaginally and 12 weeks of physical therapy. Emotionally she’s been struggling with how difficult the physical healing is after twin birth. She has been feeling a bit depressed. She also came down with a cold that hasn’t healed in two weeks. She was in so much pain (despite the meds and the physical therapy) on Thanksgiving day that she could not enjoy her favorite holiday to the fullest.
A little while after we texted about her new diagnosis, she told me that she’d give me a call to catch up. I waited for her phone call but never heard from her. I didn’t want to bother her so I didn’t follow up, but I did wonder if she had anything specific she wanted to say. About a week later, I received an email from our surrogacy attorney with an attachment of a letter from Annie’s pelvis specialist stating that her new diagnosis was due to her twin pregnancy. In other words, we as the parents of the twins are responsible for the cost of treatment for this illness.
Here was my initial reaction: I was a little hurt and mad, but at the same time glad. The hurt and the mad feelings most likely came from how Annie handled the situation. Given our close relationship, I thought that she would have informed us first before taking this matter to our attorney formally. I also felt a little emotional that we had to be responsible for the cost of her treatment even 2.5 months after the birth. On the contract, it stated that our financial responsibility for any postpartum complications would end 8 weeks after the birth. Don’t get me wrong. We know that this is our responsibility as she suffers from this problem for the sake of our family and we will pay for it. But it WAS a trigger for me for the fact that it once again reminded me that I wasn’t the one who carried these babies, that we have to shell out more money even weeks beyond the birth. The cost of not being able to carry is just never ending. At the same time, I am very glad that 1) Annie finally found the reason for her pain and there is a solution, and 2) having our agency as well as the attorney to be our guide rather than working with a surrogate independently ensures that the appropriate action is taken for various issues.
Like I said, my emotions are complicated. Surrogacy is just complicated despite how civilized and loving everyone has been with one another.
Annie loves these babies though. She enjoys seeing their photos. She has a little display at home that she had shown on social media that shows how much she loves our babies. It is a wood branch with five baby birds on it and a mama bird below it. Needless to say, she is the mama bird and her 3 kids plus our twins are her baby birds. I was so touched when I saw this photo. I am forever indebted to her for sacrificing herself for our family’s sake. I sincerely hope and pray that the course of treatment is the answer to her physical ailments so she can completely heal and move past this chapter of surrogacy to resume her normal day-to-day life.
As for our “other boy” via surrogacy again, it is a serious topic that warrants serious discussions with my husband.