Even though I wasn’t yet discharged, I was showered and dressed and ready to leave. I met my 13-year old daughter Aster downstairs in the hospital lobby and brought her upstairs with me; thankfully, the pediatrician had not yet come by to discharge the baby. Apparently he was running late.
I spent the next hour and a half in a hazy dream state, watching my own youngest child drink in the intoxicating newness of the baby I’d just birthed.
She held him.
She fed him.
She soothed him.
She changed his diaper, and she rocked him.
And after the doctor came by and declared us all fit to leave, she ever-so-carefully dressed him to go home.
It was a sight I never expected to see – not that I’d been hoping to see it, I hadn’t really given it much thought until that point. But it’s one that’s stayed with me as one of the highlights of my surrogacy experiences.
My intended parents had always very generous toward me – they loved to spoil me with wonderful gifts and thoughtful cards – but in my mind and in my heart, there was nothing more generous than them giving us that special time between their newborn son and my youngest daughter.
There was nothing greater they could have given me than the gift of this important role in getting their baby ready to go home with them.
And there was nothing more thoughtful than giving us this lovely transition of this beautiful baby, grown under my heart, moving from our family, our care – for nine months – into theirs, forever.