Thursday, May 19, 2011

Making a Mother’s Day

Alternate title: For Amity  See, it’s a pun! Amity is my friend and “amity” means friendship! You should all have a friend whose name means friendship. It just makes life better.

This year marked my second Mother’s Day. Well, it marked my second Mother’s Day as a mom. I’ve actually acknowledged my own mother for years now. Probably for as long as I’ve known her. (I’m guessing.) And Mother’s Day is great – if you’re a mom. If you’re not, it’s more likely a day that you remember with just enough time to join the throng of Hallmark shoppers, jammed shoulder-to-shoulder in the tiny aisles, searching for the right card… one that mixes humor with love, thankfulness with poop jokes. (You know you’ve seen them.)

Yep, I love Mother’s Day. And I’ll have photos up from my MD fun soon, but this post? Well, this post is actually about my wonderful, beautiful, giving “mother” of a friend, Amity.

Seven years ago, Am became the first of my close friends to become a mommy, and almost five years ago she added a second love to her fabulous family. It was a role that just came so naturally to her, and I really don’t think I’ve ever seen her happier than she is when she’s with her kiddos. She’s nurturing and patient and makes me pause sometimes to think, hmmm... maybe I could handle more than one. Then I glance over to see Charlie dancing on the storage trunk that she’s just managed to scale, and I come to my senses.

Amity though? Well, she was meant to be a mom.

It’s funny, within just a few months of giving birth the first time, I remember Am saying that she could see herself being a surrogate one day. I, of course, attributed that to a rush of some sort of superwoman hormones, but it stuck with me.

Then, early last year, I became a mom. And when Charlie was about one month old, I received a beautiful email from Amity, who probably doesn’t know that I saved it. (Point of clarification: emails aren’t necessarily an impersonal way of communicating for us – especially when one of us is hard to get in touch with due to, oh say, a newborn being in charge of everything. Everything.)

Am’s message explained that something had been weighing heavily on her heart, and that she had begun the very slow process of becoming a gestational surrogate. 

In her own beautiful words:
     I literally woke up one morning and felt like the wool had been removed from my eyes. I saw my kids and my life with fresh eyes. I saw how wonderful my family is and was overwhelmed by this feeling of my family being complete. Every day since then I have woken up with this feeling of peace and contentment. 

     I think that seeing you with your daughter has just reinforced this notion I have, that so many people are meant to be mothers. Life hands people all kinds of things, and I feel like not all women were meant to carry or grow babies, but that doesn't mean they aren't meant to be mothers.

     To be able to give someone the same amazing life with children that I have would be amazing.  I have my children, I relish them and love every bit of them.  I want that for everyone I know.  And if I can help someone to get that, it doesn't take much thought. In the end I get to see a family completed. 

Amazing, right? You know what’s more amazing, though? She did it. My dear, sweet friend made a family for someone else. And just in time for Mother’s Day.


It was decided pretty early on that, wanting to maintain some sense of normalcy, it made more sense for Amity’s husband to stay with their kids when the big day came. And that, my friends, meant that I was able to be Amity’s “person” in the delivery room, and I joked for weeks that I was going to doula the hell out of her.

At first I was a little lost. The last time I did this, I was in the other seat and all that I really remember "needing" was to get that baby out. But I figured it out. Boo-yah, doula on! Before the epidural was called for, I was actually helpful, providing counter-pressure to Amity's hip during contractions. (That was funny, really. Amity couldn't see what I was doing, but it took all of my might, leaning as hard as I could into her with my feet planted in what I can only imagine was some sort of strange wrestler-like lunge. But hey, it worked!)

Once the epidural was in, well... I didn't have much to do other than break out the camera.

Note: This begins the not-too-graphic photo part of the post.

Here, an incredibly uncomfortable Amity waits as patiently as possible while the epidural is being prepped. One of her goals going into the birth was to go into labor on her own and see if she could make it epidural-free. At about six centimeters she decided that natural labor - especially when it feels like your hips are being ripped out of their sockets! - is just fine. For someone else.

Well, that's just much better! We learned that you're allowed to have whatever clear foods and beverages you want during labor, including coffee, but not with cream. Who knew? (I wasn't offered anything during Charlie's birth, probably because I was too busy puking in the corner.)

I stayed by Amity's side - or rather, her head - during the actual birth, and it was perfect. The baby's parents stood on either side of her, helping bring their little girl into the world. (In response to the look on most faces when it gets to this part of the story, Amity normally clarifies that both parents are trained medical professionals. So just relax! Geeze, you'd think no one's ever watched their baby being born out of someone else's body before...)

The baby was (and is!) beautiful. A full head of hair, totally kissable cheeks, and oh, did I mention HUGE?

Daddy was the first to kiss his precious girl. To see the joy on M&J's faces really was priceless. I'd get up in the middle of the night (or, in this case, at 5:15 in the morning) everyday if it meant seeing a family completed.

I kept Amity's hubby updated all morning on the progress she was making via text message. (Technology, I love you sometimes. Mwah!) And just like magic, he and the kids happened to be around the corner when Baby A arrived. They were able to make it to the hospital to see their mommy and meet the baby she'd been growing for another mommy "whose tummy was broken" before the rest of the visitors arrived. Look at those faces! They're as beautiful as their mom.

And here's Baby A with the woman, my friend, who helped bring her to her family. I know I've already over-used these words in this post, but come on! Beautiful. Amazing. Wonderful.


Amity, you made a family. Happy Mother's Day.

(And yes, I know I'm late on this one, too. But really, it wouldn't be me if I'd written this on Mother's Day, would it?)

By the way, in case any of my two readers were wondering, Amity has a blog, too. (Click on the word "blog" to find your way there.) She does a much better job of explaining everything that went into the surrogacy, which makes sense since it’s her story!

My own Mother's Day photos will follow soon enough, but for now, I want to celebrate Amity: friendship and my friend.


  1. Beautiful, Meagan...Yours made me cry, too, just like Amity's did. I'm so glad that you two are friends, and that you were able to share this experience with your Amity!

  2. "Oh mom, you're dripping on me!" exclaimed the dark-haired little girl in my lap. Thank you for this--seeing what it was like to glimpse into my story was awesome. I love you for it!

  3. Wow. That is a wonderful thing to read. Lovely storytelling, Meagan. What a gift Amity gave... Wow... AGAIN.

  4. Everything about this story is beautiful - the obvious fact that Amity was able to give the gift of parenthood. But, the bond that you two have is just as beautiful.

    I read Amity's version of the story, but it was nice to hear it from your perspective. And, oh yeah, thanks for making me cry!

  5. I adore the way you write. I tried posting early and my computer if this repeats, I apologize. :) Beautiful story on every level. I love this!

  6. Wow is right....I only met Amity a time or two. Once, when Corey was throwing his guts up at that theme park in Virginia after braving the BIG BAD WOLF ride with you two. It's so sweet to see how you two girls have grown up and what incredible mothers you are. I've been watching Charlie grow in the million and one pics that Kate posts almost daily. And the little brat Corey will be 23 next week, by the way. Thanks for sharing your stories!

  7. Meagan this post was amazingly beautiful. Your perspective on the events of that day moved me almost as much as Amity's decision to make a family. I really was brought to tears.

    Thank you for sharing. I am now an avid reader of Amity's blog also.

  8. I have such a swollen heart now that I've read this Blog. You are such a gifted writer, Meg and Amity, well, she's an amazing friend and what a giving person. Beautiful pictures, too.

    I was still holding out hope that some day I'd join my motherlode of Motherly friends. Now it just doesn't look like a child will naturally ever be mine, but surrogacy may be the answer for me, someday.

    Thanks, Meg. And lots of hugs, too.
    Marsh xo


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