Oh well hello there. Hi. Yep, I'm still here. I know, I know this technically has turned into a ghost blog, yet oddly enough I still consider myself a blogger with an actual blog. Perhaps it's because I create posts in my head, and I often find myself thinking of you guys and wondering about you, or wondering if you are wondering about me!
In any case, two events have happened that made me realize it might be a good way to slowly let this blog go, if that's what I decide. I'm not sure, because I love the idea of blogging and helping others navigate parenting after an intense and extreme IF experience, especially for potential mothers who may not like the whole parenting thing in the beginning, like me. I think it's important to get that point of view out more, to legitimize those feelings that are probably hushed away for fear of what it looks like. To this day, whenever I see speak to a pregnant woman, I advise them that the whole loving being a mother thing may not happen at first, or for even several months, and that's ok. Just keep doing what you're doing, but it's OK.
The twins recently turned three, and no, I'm not going to say that annoying ass cliche "where has the time gone! How do *I* possibly have three year olds??" Know why? Because it feels like three years. It feels like the two of them and us as a family are exactly where we should be. I can think back to these years and tell the story of them through my constantly, ever-changing thoughts, feelings and emotions regarding parenting. This was a surprise to me. I assumed that once you fall in love with the idea of mothering, well, then that's it and you are good to go. Not for me, it keeps changing, it's so utterly dynamic. I'm constantly reevaluating how I feel, or the moment when I first wake up hearing Peanut being all pissy in his bed, and what my first gut morning reactions are. It's always always changing. But to make a complete blanket statement about those feelings, I'll happily and gratefully say that those feelings are constantly changing for the better. It goes in perfect synch with the twins getting older and being more fun, more like little people. I realize now that I don't think I'm a baby-baby person, and this age is just awesome right now. The more the kids can do and we are able to do together, the more I like it. (I also realize this is a sacred time, because at some point they won't want to do a damn thing with me. Last year, one of their early intervention therapists almost got a little misty eyed when Peanut called out "moooommmmyyyyy, I need your hep pwwwweeassse," as she said that she remembers when her teenage kids actually asked for her and wanted to be near her, she was wanted. It really made me realize and appreciate how fleeting these tender times are.) Three year olds can be FUN and they say the most hysterical things without meaning to (my running list for both kids is about 10 pages each!) However, no way could I be a stay at home mom and be with these kids all.the.time. I love the days I'm home with them, but I also really love my days at work. I envy women who just love and soak up everything about a mom, all those annoying bloggers who have a blog that has the word "mama" in it (you know what I'm talking about!) and the woman who can honestly state that this was their calling in life, to raise kids into adults. Nope, not me. But that's ok! We need all sorts of different people in this world to make it go around, and think I'm a good mom. (As a side note, I was talking to man who works at my gym and his sister lives out in Utah and has five children. He told me that whenever he calls her but she can barely talk or be heard, she just says again and again, "I love this - this is what IWASMEANTTODOOOOO..." When he said that to me I almost barfed in his office. But, then I got jealous. I kinda wish that MY only self-fullifing goal in life was to create little people and raise them into strong and sweet adults. Well, I do that with the twins, but I can't do 24/7 like her.) Why can't I just be happy with what I have? Nope, I have too many interests and ideas and damn it things that I'm good at and enjoy doing and I don't want to give that stuff up.
So, one of the things that gave me pause and also seemed like a nice end period to put on this blog was something that happened last fall. I might have mentioned on here that I'm the president of our local Mothers of Multiples support group (and yes, sometimes it still takes me aback to realize that I went from infertility patient to president of a parenting group.) It's a pretty big group with over 200 members and a boatload of activities and things that we plan, it keeps me pretty busy on top of my two jobs and the twins. Anyway, at our fall board meeting we were all going around introducing ourselves. After I finished giving my personal spiel, my close friend and another board member leaned in and whispered in my ear, "but what about...." I looked up quizzically at her, not understanding what she was saying. She replied, "you know, the stuff you always talk about, the surrogacy stuff."
It was like getting hit by lightening. For the first time since the twins were born, I had left out the important piece of information that I just assumed would always, always be part of my identity when around other parents. It just would roll off my tongue. You know, "Hi, my name is Sunshine, I have boy/girl twins that are three years old, I live in whatever town and I work part time at whatever company, and the twins were actually born in Texas with a gestational surrogate."
But, this time, this time was different. I just didn't even think about it, it wasn't there in my brain. IF was not in my brain. ME!
Anyway, getting back to the meeting - once I understood what my friend was saying, I actually gasped out loud in shock and amazement, and I think I mumbled something about moving on to the next person. But then I leaned in and whispered to my friend, "Wow. I guess that means I'm healing."
So there you go ladies and gents. It took two years and eight months post-infertility resolution to not have this topic be in the fore front of my brain. I'm curious as to other IF survivors and how long it took them to stop constantly identifying as someone who suffers from IF.
I still bring up how the twins were born, because for some reason I feel like I am impostor if I don't. Or, I guess I just don't want people to look at me and assume whatever the hell I imagine they are assuming, so I cut it off at the front. I have it down pat, and people are usually so intrigued and love to talk to me briefly about it (or tell me someone they know who either was a surro or using one.
So, the second recent thing going on is that there is a big push here in NY to revoke the archaic laws, and to allow compensated gestational surrogacy in the state of NY. Right now it is illegal, so it makes it SO MUCH HARDER for us Intended Parents- we have to find new clinics out of state, fly a lot, pay for hotels, there are tons of tiny details that make this more complicated then it has to be. I got in touch with the Assemblywoman who is sponsoring this bill around last summer sometime. I typed up a brief story and reasoning as to why we should change the law, and then I heard nothing for months. And then all of a sudden two weeks ago, things went into over drive! Her office contacted me and said I was going to be the "heterosexual face" of someone who used a GC in New York. (Since gay marriage is now allowed here in NY, they anticipate a huge amount of gay couples wanting to do surrogacy, so the rate of surrogacy will most likely rise. However, with this situation, a baby born will still need be to legally adopted by one of the baby's parents- INSANE. So, this bill also addresses that issue and will have both the parent's names on the birth certificate (this of course will go for both gay men and lesbian couples who have a baby together). This is a very important bill for the gay community, and in fact one of their advocacy groups also did a short piece on DH and I that is up on their website!)
Then, a few days later I was called and officially invited to testify in front of the Senate in Albany during the bill's forum. I had to see if I could just leave for a day with whatever childcare I could rummage up, but eventually I did it. I was told that I would have four minutes, and I would be on a panel with one gay man and one disabled woman who used a GC. My goal would be to simply tell my story, and not try to sway or put politics in it, they had professionals to do that. Just tell my story! So I wrote it up and submitted it, and received great feedback.
Then, out of the blue again, I received a phone call from the Health reporter for our large area newspaper. No one had prepped me that a newspaper interviewer would be calling, but here she was! She interviewed me for over 45 minutes, and the next day a photographer came out to the house. The photographer also did video and wanted to know if I could speak for about a minute to accompany the article. I was totally unprepared, but I just went for it in one take, and you know what- for me, it's the best part about everything! I was very happy with it. A few days later both the article and the video were online, it was so awesome. Then I received a text message the next morning that didn't make sense to me, something about, "Oh what a great surprise to see you on my doorstep!" Ha? Then she sent me a picture and -holy cow- there was a big ass picture of the twins and I playing with play-doh that literally took up the entire top of the front page. The article was below it. FLOORED. I hadn't even thought about the actual print paper -do those still exist?? I had assumed once the article was online, that's it. Man, I was wrong. People kept bringing me their paper copies, and there I am front and center, over and over! The context of the article was great, the author did an excellent job, she quoted me appropriately, and the points got across.
So, due to threat of a winter storm last week, the Albany forum was unfortunately postponed, but I'll be sure to work it out so I'll be there FRONT and CENTER and give those old Senators an ear full!! I hope someone can take a picture of me!
Ok, this was super long, but boy it felt great to get it out. I really do indeed miss writing here, perhaps this will inspire me to write more. I feel like the first two years I didn't know who to be, because I was 50% IF survivor and 50% parents to twins. Well, I think those percentages are changing, and talking about parenting and my issues with it might make me feel better, and this is a safe space so let's see where it goes! I need a break from all those "I'm a MAMA..!" crap blogs. Oh, I have a goodie that maybe I'l share with you next time.
If you made it this far, hey- THANKS! And, welcome back!