I never thought I would be writing this blog. It hurt too much to go back in time and recollect all the pain and heartache stirred in with the happiness and joy. But I decided it was only fair to write the truth; at least from my point of view. I write this blog because the reality is that even with the best intentions sometimes life throws us for a loop and we get the unexpected. It happens… But how we handle things is is always a testament of the person we are. So this is the raw story about the journey of baby Nico… I always knew that my Intended Parents wanted two children. One biologically related to each of them. After the birth of baby Luca, I carried this thought around with me knowing that the day would come when I would be asked to carry another baby for them. It was unsaid that I would. Of course I would. I was their surrogate and I had to help them complete their family. I couldn’t imagine them starting all over again with their search to find another surrogate. But the hard truth was this… I didn’t want to be pregnant again. I had spent long months getting my baby weight off, I was running daily, had started back to work for the first time in six years and my marriage was on the rocks. I felt myself shifting and transforming. My head was telling me no, but my heart was telling me yes. I always had a tendency to go with my heart, even when it wasn’t in my best interest. And so in the Spring of 2015, I forged ahead and did a single embryo transfer which resulted in a positive pregnancy. I was a rolled up bag of mixed emotions, but at the tip of it all I was thrilled for the guys. They were going to get their happily ever after and I was going to be a part of it again. And then my marriage came to an end. I’ll spare you the personal details of why, because that’s the book version of a different tale. I’ll simply say that our paths together had come to an end. I made the decision, after a very long year, to walk my own path. In the midst of uprooting my four children to a new town and new home, I was growing this precious baby inside of me. And I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. The painful, yet simple truth is that nobody around you is privy to your ‘behind doors’ trials and tribulations. I loved my husband dearly and still do, but I came to the understanding that we both wanted very different things out of this ONE life we were given. It was pretty obvious to everyone in my family that I needed to leave, and my friends supported my decision and I made the choice I have no regrets about. But my Intended Parents were devastated. This isn’t what they wanted for their second journey. Our first journey with baby L was picture-perfect. Happy family of six, great mother, strong morals and ethics, great support system… all the things that Intended Parents look for in a surrogate. We had news stories and interviews on us. Today’s Parent featured our story in their magazine. We were all so happy. And that’s the truth. And for me, that story will remain unscathed. Because although the second journey wasn’t the same by any means, nothing about me truly changed. In fact, if you were to ask my family now how they see me, they would tell you I’m happier, stronger, and more independent and beautiful than I’ve been in years. I’m thriving as a Mother just as I always did. I take pride in my home and have a great love for my friends. On the inside I knew I was changing what I wanted for my future, but I was still me. But the exterior visual was no longer the same; that perfect smiling family of six was gone. The fact remains that I held great importance on growing that precious baby in my belly. Nothing would ever rock my intentions of giving my IPs their miracle at the end. But I didn’t have the sheer energy for the hype, media attention, blogging, parties, and family visits with this journey, because my focus was on my own four children and helping them find roots in a new path I had chose for them. At the end of the day, I had to focus on the simple version of life. As the months passed, my relationship with the guys became strained and difficult. I knew that no matter what I said or did they couldn’t get past the fact that this family woman who they thought they knew so well, up and left her husband and turned herself into a single mom, while pregnant with their baby. I understood their shock. I even understood their hurt. But I stood by my decision and refused to feel guilty for doing what I thought was best for me and my kids. I still stand by that decision today. But I had to live with the fact that two of my best friends were very likely going to never forgive me for causing stress in their lives and the life of their unborn child. And that pain remains real today. But the nights in my king-sized bed, full of children and belly rubs is something they didn’t fully see. The kids talking and singing to the baby when we would cuddle and watch a movie is what that wee boy heard. Because instead of screaming and fighting, baby N got to hear sweet voices and happy soothing. And he thrived and grew just as his brother did. Yes, our second journey wasn’t publicized and fussed over. Yes, my attempt at a gender reveal party was a bit of a deflated balloon compared to the first party. Yes, I did simply not have the energy to worry about all the frills I did the first time, but I committed to taking good care of that baby. And on November 17th, 2015, right on his due date, baby Nico arrived. Healthy, happy and cute as a button. But the birth was nothing short of traumatic for me. Without any drugs to ease my pain, the OB had to manually extract my placenta that was fused to the side of my uterus. I began to bleed heavily. It broke off into pieces as he scraped the inside of me. I passed in and out of consciousness from the immense pain and cried for my children. I thought I was going to die. I have re-lived that day so many times over and over and I unfortunately don’t remember those beautiful moments after the birth because I missed them. What I do remember was having my oldest daughter Madelyn by my side when the danger was over and she never left me the whole night. What I do remember is holding her and sleeping with her through the night in that crammed and small hospital bed, knowing that in all of what I had been through I had new meaning as her Mother. She was my rock and I knew I would be okay with her by my side. The recovery since the birth has been anything but easy. I had a post infection three days later and was in the ER with Endometritis due to leftover placenta. And then I have spent the past five months dealing with more retained placenta, hormonal imbalances, and unexplained bleeding. Thankfully I have finally found answers through an amazing homeopathic woman who has helped me heal, spiritually and physically. But the truth of the matter is, my relationship with my Intended Parents hasn’t been the same. I wish it had just gone back to that happy place we knew before, but it didn’t. I wish I could say it was all unicorns and rainbows, but life just isn’t that way. And for the first time I’ve put this all down in writing and it feels really good to throw it out to the wind. I was far from being a perfect surrogate the second time around. I said it. But I think that through it all I did a pretty fine job growing that baby boy and making sure that when he entered this world he was ready to meet his parents with love. And I love those two boys dearly. It makes me teary every time I think of them and how much my children and I love them. They will always be in my heart. And I hope over time the hurt my decision caused the guys will heal itself and we can start over. Because I miss my friends and the love they once had for me. Strangely enough I feel more centred and determined more than ever. I’ve thrived at being a single Mom. I love my new home and the community we live in. The kids love their new school. I even have thoughts of being a surrogate again, now that my life has settled and taken new shape. But truth be told, I’m on a new path. A path that has me helping with surrogacy in a new way. I loved the beauty of creating life. I always knew that surrogacy was where I was being led. The complications with my own life in the midst of my second journey never made me resent the guys or their unborn child. In fact that miracle baby is what grounded me most. Knowing I had to keep it together not only for my own children, but the baby growing inside me, is what kept me steady. He was my little miracle too. So here it is – the messy side of life. Intended Parents and Surrogates come together all the time to forge a bond and create a miracle and sometimes it’s picture-perfect and other times it has bumps in the road. But let us not forget that every one of those women go into the journey selflessly, giving of herself for someone else. The bumps along the way just show how human she is. We all have bumps. Scars. Hurt. But the feeling I get every time I see a picture of baby Nico on Facebook is enough to make me smile, knowing he was born out of those bumps and has his own story to tell, just as his brother does.