So May 3rd it was! Nick called me just as I was about to walk out the door for the airport and let me know we were officially daddies! I filled out the stork signs with their names, weights, and lengths, stuck them in the front yard under cover of darkness, and headed to the airport.
I arrived in San Diego early Saturday and friends of ours picked me up and took me straight to the hospital where I met our newborn sons, one at 6 pounds, 2 oz. and the other at 5 pounds, 5 oz. They were so tiny, but beautiful. It all seemed so surreal being in the nursery with them and the other babies. Our boys were swaddled and very quiet compared to some of the other babies. I spent some time getting to know them and all the staff was great. They treated us both as parents, just like the rest. Actually, there was another gay couple about ready to head back to the East Coast with their twins as well, so this hospital seemed used to having same sex parents and surrogates.
We took the boys up to see our surrogate and at first sight, I felt so sorry for her. She was resting, full of morphine for the pain from the c-section. Her family had been there with her through the night but had left to get some rest. We showed her the boys and let her hold them for a while, but then let her get back to sleep. We left the babies to go to our friends’ house to take showers and have dinner, then back to the hospital for the evening to spend time with the boys. We bought our surrogate a spa package, some flowers, and a card to cheer her up before heading back to the nursery to spend time with the babies.
Sunday afternoon, they were released from the hospital – much sooner than expected. We talked to the pediatrician Sunday morning and she said since their lung development was perfect and they were eating, they could go home. I had planned to fly back home Sunday afternoon, expecting them to be in the hospital for a few days, so I cancelled my flight and we booked a flight together on Monday afternoon.
Sunday we took the boys for another visit with our surrogate, then left and went on our first family outing – Sunday dinner and a trip to Target. We soon discovered how much attention you get with two very cute newborns with people coming up to see them and ask questions. People seemed to just understand that we were both the parents, and no one said anything negative to us. The boys just slept through it all.
Sunday night was interesting, to say the least. All four of us were packed into a double bed in a guest room. It was confusing when they’d wake up, looking for a bottle, looking for bibs and diapers. By dawn we were exhausted, but probably got four to five hours of sleep. Monday morning a good friend of our drove down from L.A. to visit us and see the babies. We enjoyed visiting with him as we packed up and got ready to leave. We went out to eat with friends at a diner before heading back to visit our surrogate and then we headed for the airport.
Our surrogate was doing much better, walking around and eating. Her family was visiting her and her daughter got to see the babies. We were worried about her becoming depressed once the babies were gone, and she said nurses kept asking her if she was feeling bad about it. She said she was fine and knew up front this was the process and that they weren’t her children. She seemed fine, but I still worry about her in the coming days. We’re keeping in close contact with her by phone and e-mail and plan on seeing her in the future. We plan on taking the boys back to San Diego since it’s a short plane ride and a great place to take kids for vacation. Plus we have plenty of people visit there, so we’ll be back in a few years. I think we both really feel a close bond with our surrogate now and consider her a special part of our family tree.
The flight home went well, other than schlepping all our luggage into the airport and getting through security. We were flying on standby passes from a friend who works for an airline. Again, everyone was incredibly helpful and friendly in the airport when the saw we had babies. Luckily there wasn’t a line at the security checkpoint because it was quite a process. When you fly standby, you’re already subject to extra checking in security. I think it was just a bit overwhelming because I’d never done this before, but we got through in plenty of time and drew a small crowd at the gate while waiting to get on the plane. They gave us each two seats in the same row so each baby stayed in his car seat. I think that made the flight much easier, and neither boy cried at all during the flight.
We arrived back home around 8 p.m., but were up until midnight putting things away and settling in. Our dog nearly hyperventilated when she met the babies and we think she believes they’re her own to care for. She nuzzled them and wanted to lick them all over, like newborn puppies. She’s right there when we feed them and gets up with is in the middle of the night. I was worried she’d be jealous, but it seems she’s accepted them as members of her “pack”, so that’s a relief. Neighbors have been bringing us dinner and offering help, so if we just figure out how to get a decent night’s sleep, we’d be set. Last night they really kicked our butts! We’re going to seek advice from other twin parents to see if we can avoid hiring a night nurse to get some sleep.
I’ll post more on the babies’ first week home as I find time, but now they’re asleep so I need to get a shower while I can.