We were going to have five children. FIVE.
The idea started to set in when I reached 20 weeks with baby #5. My husband and I were still in shock that we were about to have another child when we already had four at home, three of which were under a year old. All I kept thinking was how would we explain to people that we had four babies in 13 months. In addition to our 12-year-old son.
I mean it literally took four — yes, FOUR — IVF treatments to get pregnant and we used a surrogate to ensure that we’d have a baby when we wound up with her having twins and my pregnancy going full term!
When we made it through the first trimester on our fourth IVF try, we were overjoyed but also still so scared that we’d not go full term. I had already had a miscarriage and, let’s face it, I wasn’t getting any younger.
After a lot soul searching, we decided that surrogacy would help ensure that we’d have a baby in the next year. We placed two embryos in our surrogate and wound up with beautiful twin girls in addition to the baby girl I carried.
The story is remarkable and had a happy ending, but it was a certainly a journey. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a complete control freak. To relinquish control to a stranger, a thoroughly vetted stranger, but nevertheless relying on a stranger was excruciating. I was so grateful to this woman for giving this gift but I also wanted to make sure that she was eating healthy, exercising, driving safely, etc. In the end I found my inner calm, trusted that we chose the right person, and kept in constant contact. I spoke to every doctor, made sure her groceries are organic, got her massages to keep her comfortable — I took control of the things I could and just prayed it would work out.
Thank goodness it all worked out. My surrogate was a dream and I will forever be thankful to her for carrying my daughters so safely and healthy.
We went from a family of three to a family of seven in 13 months. I delivered our daughter Harlow and our son Dylan within one year of one another and our surrogate delivered our twins in between. We now have 5 children. Wow! The wild thing is 4 kids — 1 tween, 3 babies — was for the most part manageable. We had our routine and got into a good groove. Adding another baby has taken it to another level for us. I’ve come to realize with this whole experience that we have to always be on the offensive, constantly anticipating needs and situations, otherwise the kids completely take over.
We plan — A LOT. Sunday nights I review my 12-year-old’s schedule with him and coordinate all the activities and plan homework. My husband and I divide and conquer — groceries, meals, work schedules, almost everything. The babies are all on a super strict schedule for feedings and sleep.
It’s a juggle but we are managing. It doesn’t always work and there are days when we literally could cry we are so tired but in the end it’s all about love. We love our family so much that it’s all worth it. To those of you with multiples, large families, really anyone with kids…I tip my hat to you. The struggle is real.
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