One year ago today we stepped out of the surrogacy world and into the world of parenthood. Of course, you never really leave surrogacy behind. True once the baby is born, she's all your child, but surrogacy is a part of both of your life stories, and something that stays close to your heart.
One year ago today a beautiful little girl was born in Portland, Oregon, 4 hours away from our home in Washington because Washington does not allow compensated surrogacy. Unfortunately that has not changed.
One year ago today I gained a new title, "Mommy". The only title change I've ever had that might possibly compare with that was gaining the title of "Wife".
One year ago today Aaron and I went from knowing that there would be challenges in the first year to living those challenges entering a 6 month whirlwind of sleep deprivation, relationship stress, jaundice, croup, expenses, childcare, and more.
One year ago today Aaron and I went from knowing that there would be amazing moments in the first year to living those moments with the first smile, baby cuddles, crawling and walking, sloppy kisses, dancing stuffed animals, vacations and more.
One year ago today I thought that 8 pounds was a really heavy load to carry in my arms. Today I pick up 22 pounds with ease.
One year ago today I was secretly worried that my physical challenges would keep me from being a good parent. Today I know that being a good parent involves a lot more than perfect balance and typical muscle tone, that there are always ways to work around my differences, that the way most people do things doesn't necessarily make them the best way to do things, and that laughter and help from friends and family can overcome any shortcomings I may have physically.
One year ago today I dreamed of what my baby's personality might be. Today I see a spunky, determined toddler. She's a girl that loves to move move move, running, bouncing, climbing over and under, letting nothing stop her. She's got the healthiest appetite I've ever seen in a child her age, consuming her entire smash cake this evening. She possesses a deep belly laugh that is most easily triggered by her father or her puppy. Her curious mind has her scanning rooms and crowds intently, picking up every detail.
One year ago today I thought that there would be some surprises with having a baby, but that I was well prepared.
In the last year I have had scores of people rolling with laughter at my "mommy lessons"- status updates on Facebook archiving times when I the surprises were...well...very surprising.
One year ago today I swore I would never smell my daughter's bottom through her clothing, never say some things my mother said, and not let having a baby make me late to places. At this point I have done all of those things many, many, many times, and quite a few other things I swore I would never do.
One year ago today I never thought I would have a perfectly natural conversation about the bowel habits of our children over lunch. Yup. That happened too.
One year ago today I really thought we would never consider doing another surrogacy. Now we are seriously looking at it again.
One year ago today I didn't really didn't have any concept of the phrase "time flies". As I look at my one year old, I could swear that just yesterday she was a newborn. How can it be that she is one year old? I guess time flies.