All Kinds of Motherhood
Motherhood: What does this word mean to you? What comes to mind?
I know that personally, I think of my own experience- raising my daughter, and now starting again with raising our second girl.
Sydney’s experience, however, is quite different. She has experienced motherhood from several different aspects: as a biological mother who placed her child for adoption, as a mother raising her second child with her husband, and as a surrogate.
This episode details Sydney’s experiences in all of these areas, providing us all with a fresh perspective on the word ‘Motherhood’.
Sydney found out she was pregnant directly after college- she was not expecting or planning on this pregnancy. She felt sure that she was not ready to be a parent, she did not want to parent alone, and she knew she had to figure out quickly what she needed to do.
Her family assumed she would get an abortion, but she felt that because she wanted to be a mother one day, she could not allow herself to end this pregnancy with abortion.
Once she chose the family to adopt her child, she wanted them to be as involved with the pregnancy as possible. They got along very well.
Sydney struggled with her familial relationships in terms of deciding to keep the pregnancy, and in fact did not speak to her father for the entirety of the pregnancy. Their relationship was quickly reestablished afterwards, when he acknowledged that he had handled the situation incorrectly. He now continues a relationship with the child by sending presents, birthday cards, etc.
For the first year, all seemed to go well. Sydney felt rejuvenated to be able to spend time with her friends without being pregnant… she felt like her old self. However, at the 1 year birthday party of the baby, she became very emotional and realized she had not taken the time she needed for herself to heal after the birth.
She decided to take a job with Teach for America and travel. She moved to Memphis and met her husband. Within a year, they were pregnant and married!
Her second birth was a homebirth in Las Vegas. Her husband was able to catch her son and passed the baby to Sydney under her legs. Both she and the baby were crying! She discusses the difference of feeling between having her first baby with her second- knowing that this baby was hers to keep.
Her third pregnancy was as a gestational surrogate. The beginning of her pregnancy was incredibly easy- she had no morning sickness, which was very different from her two previous pregnancies.
During the 20-week anatomy scan, a heart defect was found in the baby. The parents of the baby had to decide whether or not to terminate the pregnancy. Right before Christmas, they’d decided to terminate.
However, the day after Christmas, they changed their minds and said they would keep the baby no matter what!
The rest of the pregnancy went okay for Sydney, though she did feel stressed trying to make sure she was doing everything she could to help the baby be healthy. She was induced at 39+2.
The labor was long, but once she finally was pushing, she pushed for only 3 minutes. The baby was born screaming- so she could breathe! And she didn’t need oxygen. She was also strong enough to have her heart surgery on day 2 as opposed to day 5.
Sydney was able to breastfeed the baby while she was in town, and then she was able to donate over 3,000 ounces of milk to other babies.
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