Submitted by Anonymous

If you look up the definition of 'compassion' in the dictionary you will find:

-noun; a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Compassion is what brought me into my surrogacy journey. I don't consider myself as an angel nor do I think what I done was an act of unselfishness. I did eat the Krispy Kreme doughnuts when I felt a craving for them (and everything else as long as I'm being honest)! I'm a very thick headed person, as many of you can attest to and very determined to see things through when I get an idea in my head. Even if it was painting almost the entire inside of my house while pregnant!

The day I met Gretchen and Tyler is a day that I will most certainly not forget. They were still getting over the loss of their third baby with their second surrogate and were both very fragile. It was an emotional meeting for all of us. I had told my husband, Alex on the way to meet them that I hoped I wouldn't cry. But to see their faces and to hear them speak of such unimaginable loss was heartbreaking and I ended up crying right along with them. I was determined that I would see them become parents. I told them that that very day. I was willing to give them all the time that it would take. Six months later after our first transfer, we would find out that one of the two embryos put in stuck! Of course I was ecstatic however it wouldn't be until much later that I would see the sigh of relief on Gretchen and Tyler's face. Every big mile stone we overcame was a huge relief for all of us but it would still be some time before Gretchen and Tyler would let their guard completely down. With all they had gone through I prayed that I could finally give this couple what they've waited so long for. The pregnancy was better than textbook. As with my own three, who must have left the rules for this little one in utero, he gave me no troubles.

So anyway, with all of that now being said'On October 10th, Zachary Frederick 'Fred' finally entered the world! He was born at 7:15p.m. Weighing in at 6lbs. 12oz. (little thing), was 20 inches long and absolutely beautiful! He was out after just 3 hours of labor. Alex had to fill me in on the details because when I came time to push I kept telling everyone I needed to just take a quick catnap. I would later find out that it was because my blood pressure had suddenly dropped to 52/30. But apparently I managed to get him out within 15 minutes and made it through just fine. Alex of course, was by my side and Gretchen and Tyler were in the room as well. It was quite an experience for them to see the birth of their son. And I was so happy to finally see them be at peace. The day had finally come. They had made it to the end. They were very overwhelmed with emotion. It was such a blessing for me to be a part of it all, to experience that with them and to know that I had something to do with it. It's an emotion I can't put into words exactly but my heart was overjoyed.

Shortly after he was born, Gretchen and Tyler brought Zach over to me. What a sweet boy. It was a little funny to see this little being that I carried for nine months look nothing like me or Alex. But to hold this little guy in my arms and see what I helped create was absolutely overwhelming. He was perfect. I even commented to Gretchen that it would have been a lot easier on me if he came out ugly. We both laughed and shared a few tears.

The kids came shortly after to meet 'Fred', which by the way is going to be very difficult for me to give up calling him. Natalie and Isabel thought he was cute. Nicholas was a little unimpressed which was a nice relief to me. He just wanted to know why I was still fat and when I'd be home. Gotta love honestly!

From day one all of the children knew that this was not our baby, not a sibling, but 100% Gretchen and Tyler so it wasn't a big concern for them. I was a little worried about Nicholas but life seems to be going along as normal for him. I did ask him today if he thought I was still fat. He lifted my shirt and thought about it for a minute then told me no. So happy to hear that!

The next day we said our good-byes (for now) with Gretchen & Tyler. We took lots of pictures and gave lots of hugs. They let Alex and I spend some time alone with Zach so that I had a chance to have my own personal good-bye with him. I'm so thankful I got that. Then we shared more hugs with Gretchen and Tyler and left the hospital.

I was anxious to get home to my own kids and get back to my life not to mention my body. It's now been one whole week! I'm glad to say I've only had a few major melt downs so far. I had prepared myself as best I could mentally but knew the hormones would have their way with me. Alex has been an absolute saint though all of this. His patience, understanding and unconditional love remind me of just some of the reasons why I married him.

This was an amazing experience for me, largely because I'm adopted. My birth mom chose to give me life. For me, the smallest gift I could do for someone else in my lifetime was to pass that on. So it is the 'Pay it Forward' theory but more importantly the act of Compassion. My kids have witnessed not only compassion but commitment, dedication, inspiration, determination, kindness and love. They're lessons I hope they won't soon forget.

I can walk away from this knowing that I did what I set out to accomplish. I'm no angel just a girl who was on a mission. I do believe that it is only with the help of all my angels that I am able to sit here and write of the wonderful journey I've just come from today. I can honestly say that I would do it again in a heartbeat. To give Life to a couple but more importantly a Lifetime has been amazing!

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