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I'm a loving [although sometimes crazy] wife, a [very] loyal friend, a passionate educator, an involved citizen, a sensitive soul, a faithful Christian, a fiery Aries, and a classy lady.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Foster Mother Bird AKA Andrea's Story

The beautiful post below was written by Andrea, Easton's wonderful surrogate mom. Enjoy!
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A couple weeks ago, I gave birth to a baby that isn’t mine. Next to me was my husband-it wasn’t his baby either. On the other side of the room, though, were our friends, waiting for their baby to enter the world.

Rewind to the past year and a half. A year and a half that started with a measly conversation, including months of preparation, praying, hormone-taking, and an emotional rollercoaster. It ended with a new life being born.

It has taken me a couple of weeks to put into words what the last year and a half has been like. First off, the decision to be a surrogate may have started with an easy offering during that dinner conversation, but it was a decision that Matt and I didn’t take lightly. We thought about it long and hard and prayed about it, all while watching our own daughter grow up. I remember the day that we knew it we had to do this for Mandie and Patrick. It was that day that MG giggled uncontrollably for the first time. Matt and I had heard a laugh here and there, but nothing to this magnitude. I remember looking at him and seeing that, he too, had tears streaming down his face. That’s when we knew. Mandie and Patrick deserved this same kind of moment with their own child.

The process wasn’t easy. I was cleared by my doctors, including my OB who initially thought I was nuts. You see, I didn’t exactly enjoy being pregnant the first time around. I wasn’t one of those people that were meant to be pregnant, and my OB knew that. But she was supportive and was happy to be a part of this journey. As Mandie prepared for her egg retrieval, I prepared my uterus. I took hormones, inserted pills into lady parts, and injected myself with more hormones. IVF is no joke, and I feel for every woman that goes through it.

Fast forward 8 months to a few weeks ago. July 18th was my end point, my light at the end of the tunnel. I was uncomfortable and felt awful. I struggled through every day and crashed into my bed every single night. My blood sugars were out of control despite my efforts (try being pregnant and not being able to eat carbs!) and my blood pressure crept up. I was admitted to the hospital for a week before the actual delivery date because of this. My body was exhausted and was telling us it was done. And on July 9th, after 7 hours of labor, the baby that was once so active inside me was out. My job was done.

Let me explain something that you may not understand. I went into this entire process with the mentality that this was not my child. She never was. I always acknowledged her as ‘the kid’ and not one time mentioned her by her name. I don’t want it to sound like I neglected her…in fact I did the opposite. I nurtured her, prayed for her, spoke to her, and sang to her. I cared for her like she was my own baby. But in the back of my mind, she wasn’t mine. I wasn’t attached. Since ‘the kid’, now known as Easton Kate, was born, a lot of people have asked how I’m doing emotionally. My answer is this: emotionally, I am so incredibly happy for Mandie and Patrick. Because I was never attached to Easton, I wasn’t sad to see her off to Tennessee where her life was waiting for her. Physically, I am so glad to not be pregnant. I feel amazing and can’t believe I gave birth a couple weeks ago.

I have received so much support through this journey from family, friends, coworkers, and even complete strangers. I can’t thank everyone enough for this. I have also received praise. While carrying Easton was no easy feat, in no way was ‘praise’ the reason that I did it. I simply did this because our friends deserve to have their own child. They deserve to have what Matt and I have. I trust them to raise the child that I grew for them and I continue to pray for the Beeler family. Above all, I pray that Easton is healthy, happy, and knows God. These are the same hopes I have for my daughter, Mila Gray. Easton and I will always have a special bond and I can’t wait to watch her grow up. She is a beautiful human being, and I am the lucky one for getting to know her like I have.

Love, Andrea
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Andrea and Matt also made this video for Easton highlighting our journey. Watching it today, 17 days after Easton joined our family, is amazing. She has changed so much in these past few weeks! This little girl is so, so loved, and we can't imagine our lives without her.