A certain wonderful person in one of my due date groups today posted something that really got me thinking. I've been struggling with what to say after the latest move by the IPs.. how do you follow something like that?? But I think I've got it now.
The posting was something like this: Since people are getting itchy to deliver, I thought we could take a moment to share something we are proud of about how we handled this pregnancy. What are you proud of yourself for? My answer was quick, to the point, and a little bit off-humored: 'I'm proud that I didn't cave to the pressure, and that I haven't sent any hate mail.... Oh and that I'm still here and not in an asylum ;)' but after I posted, I did start thinking a little more about the question and how much I really have accomplished during this pregnancy.
For starters, I really am proud of myself for standing my ground. There were plenty of times where I had shadows and doubt cast upon my very existence because of the situation. The bullying from not only the IPs, but also from my agent and the lawyer; those were all things that could have at any point made me give up. People say I am strong, but I don't see myself that way at all. I am usually a person who avoids confrontation, not a leader but a follower, one who goes with what others want because it's easier than fighting for what I want. I tend to make decisions on a whim, without really considering the long term consequences. I like to go with the flow instead of fighting against the tide.
I am proud of myself for asking for help and reaching out to others, something that has always been hard for me to do. Especially after the initial act of refusing to abort, when I was met with a lot of negativity from the surrogacy community, a lot of personal doubt, and even suggestions from people who I thought would be supportive that I wasn't doing what was 'right' or 'best' but only what was in my own best interests. After hearing that so many times, it was even more difficult to put my personal struggle out there to a public that I didn't know personally. Asking for help isn't something that comes naturally to me; I'd much rather work my tail off and show everyone that I can do it on my own. I have always been very proud of my independent nature and my ability to rise to the challenge when it comes to my own needs and those of my children.
I am proud of the positive attitude that I have managed to maintain. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the 'forever optimist'. My positive mentality has been something that I have worked very hard to incorporate into my life. It's been difficult, and there have been plenty of times where I have faltered. Even during this experience I did have my moments of doubt, my episodes where I simply could not see any positive outcome. But I have managed to keep those thoughts and episodes to a minimum, and I am very proud that the majority of the emotions that I have experienced during this pregnancy are not those of despair, hate, or anger; but of hope, love, promise, and pride. Even faith, in the sense of a greater spirituality and belief in karma and fate.
I guess everything changes when it's all about something you care very deeply about.
Miss S has given me a great new outlook in the short time that I have been blessed to know her. She has helped me grown and change into a better person, and that is something that I will always remember about this experience. There are many things that could have happened during my pregnancy that probably would have had an equally negative effect as the positive one that I have experienced. That I have not had those experiences, for that I am grateful. The way that everything has happened, the people that I have found who support me and us; all of this enforces my belief that this was the right path to take, as treacherous and difficult as it has been. I will venture forth from this experience a better and more whole person. Because the alternative simply no longer applies
And.. to add.. after looking back and thinking for a few more moments. I'm proud of myself for not developing a deep sense of hate for Baby S's biological parents. There have been plenty of instances where I could have grown to hate them. Plenty of reasons that I would have to detest their existence. But I don't. I can't say that I agree with them (or we all know how that would have turned out) but I don't hate them for what they feel, or what they did. I do wish they had gone about things differently, but I can't say that I hate them for it. I actually feel really sorry for them; for the kind of people who see the only solution to a difficult situation as getting out and washing their hands. It can't be easy to live in those shoes..