We had our appointment today, and all is great! Baby was swimming around in there like crazy, moving all over the place, and his/her heart rate was 176. There is also no trace of any SCH, or anything else that concerns the doctor. She gave the go-ahead to go about my life as normal, woohoo! We got to see a 4D view of her/him, and it was so neat! You could clearly see the little face and arm, and it was just really neat. It actually looks like a tiny little human baby. Of course, it IS a tiny little human baby, but I guess that I still expected it too look somewhat alien-like.
I got to thinking a while ago, about how much I took my own pregnancies for granted. When we have ultrasounds done for this pregnancy, I hold my breath each time until we see the heartbeat. I never did that with my own children. I always just expected to hear/see the heartbeat. I never thought I'd go into labor early and have my baby stay in the NICU while I went home, and now that is one of my biggest fears. It never really occurred to me that all pregnancies are not as easy and care-free as my two were, until recently. After seeing what some people go through to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and bring a healthy baby home, it really changes your perspective about things.
I'm definitely more cautious with this pregnancy than I was with my own. I don't know if that's because this baby isn't mine, or if it's because of the thousands of dollars is took to actually GET me pregnant, or because of the horrible bleeding-to-death scare we had a few weeks ago... I'm sure it's a combination of all of those things! With my own pregnancies, I was careful, sure- but not over-the-top careful like I am now. I second-guess everything I do or think about doing. Things that I know really are OK, things I never would have thought twice about if this child were mine. It's such an odd feeling, really. For example, I needed a cavity filled last week. With my own, never thought twice about it. The doctor and dentist said it was OK, and that was all I needed to hear. This time though, I spent an hour Googling and reading about the effects of x-rays, novacaine, even the stuff they use to fill the cavity. Turns out it's 100% safe, which I knew already, I just wanted to make double sure. I would feel terrible if anything that I did, caused something to go wrong. The fact that this baby does not belong to me changes everything.
When I was pregnant with own children, by this point I was already planning what color to paint the bedroom walls. What kind of bedding to buy, whether to bottle feed or breastfeed, picking out names... This time, I don't have to do any of that. And ohmygawd, it is relaxing!! I don't have to stress about which kind of bottles will or won't give the baby gas, or whether to buy Huggies or Pampers. I really don't have to do anything except gestate.
Continuing that thought, my mentality is entirely different this time around than it was when I was pregnant with my own children. I never really thought I would become "attached" to this baby to the point where I'd want to keep it. But I'm sure that for every first-time surrogate, there is that tiny, tiny little wonder in the back of your mind. Because really, we've never done this before. We can never predict how we will feel with a situation that's foreign to us. I would never in a million years want to keep this child, but a tiny part of me wondered if I might get attached to the point where I would love the baby, and be sad to see her go home with her parents. And 11 weeks in, I can honestly say that I don't feel any of that at all. Which is a good thing, of course! But when you're pregnant with your own child, you feel an immediate love for that child, even when it's microscopic and doesn't have a beating heart yet. That is your baby, and you love it. I don't have that. I still feel like I have to protect this baby, the same as any mother feels, but that whole feeling of 'I-love-this-baby-more-than-life-itself' isn't there. I guess it's neither a good nor bad thing, just an observation, really. And I know that K has that feeling for this baby, yet she can't really do much except watch me walk around with her baby in my belly and pray that I keep it safe. I can't imagine what a helpless feeling that is. I can honestly say that if I were infertile, and surrogacy was the only way for me to have a child, I'm not sure I could do it. I'm not sure I could trust someone else to keep my child safe for me the way I would if I could do it myself. Everyone always says how wonderful and brave surrogates are, and I think that the actual parents deserve just as much credit for being brave. I don't even trust someone who isn't family to babysit my 3 year old, and K trusts me enough to let me gestate her child. I don't think I could do it, but I'm so glad that she and J have trusted me with this most awesome task. It is such an honor, I can't fully put into words all the mushy feelings it makes me have, but any surrogate reading this will know exactly what I mean.
Okay, that's enough thinking for me. I need to be in bed, getting my beauty sleep before setting off on my vacation tomorrow!