I have a baby now. A baby. The smallest kind of human being living in my house, hands no bigger than a half dollar. This is her:
My husband and I waited for this magical girl for years. On our first date we talked about how much we both love family – our families in Texas, the family values we grew up with, the possible journey of making a family of our own.
I married that sweet man, my best friend, two and half years ago. The house we bought that summer was one we chose because we could imagine the kids who would live in the rooms. The white walls of the empty house were a canvas on which we painted our own future. We could both imagine the sweet babe in the room with bay windows, the brooding teenager in the small room in the attic with the window that faces the sunset. We both said the closet under the stairs was perfect for a hideout, the family room perfect for movie nights on a long, wide, cuddle-up couch.
We kept our dreams in the air long enough to finally meet our Surrogate. I hugged her with tears in my eyes for the first time over a year ago, an experience I was so anxious to have, so worried that it wouldn’t work out. We met her and her husband, and after the initial meeting the four of us went out for drinks and burgers and talked and talked and talked – the first bright spark of what turned into a year long journey together, a full on bright lights, dreams-come-true adventure. We were there with her during the IVF transfer. We could see the tube holding our embryo on the ultrasound screen. The doctor counted down, and at zero, we saw a bright light whoosh across the screen inside J’s uterus.
“Well, that was a beautiful visualization!” the nurse said. Our baby, the shooting star.
We saw the little peanut shaped fetus sucking her thumb at the twelve week ultrasound, and at twenty weeks we could feel her kick against our Surrogate’s stomach.
At 39 weeks, our baby girl was born. She came into the world through an angel of a woman who will now be part of our family forever. She came into the world and landed in my arms while I stood there in awe in the delivery room, her tiny heart beating against mine for the first time in the first minutes of her life.
In that moment and every day afterward, I tell her how magical she is. I try desperately to write all of the magic down – the sweet baby sounds she made on her first night, the way she looked when we drove her home from the hospital, the sweet things her grandmother said holding her for the first time.
After two months of memories, she is here. Our baby girl is here, and we are in a boat on a rushing river moving us forward and forward and forward. She is two months old, and I am on this ride with her down this river, happy for every splash of cold water, happy to hear her giggling at the bumps, grateful for the job of holding her tight at turns that might toss us over. Let the whole thing rush over me now, bowl me over and right side up again – I am holding on, white knuckling this job of being a dad, and when the water is calm, all three of us – our beautiful baby, her Daddy and me – we lay back, look up at the blue sky and thank every star that we made it this far together.