“You were so in control and seemed to have such a knowing of what was going on.”
When I heard that from my birth doula, my jaw almost hit the floor. My surrogacy birth was very fast, super intense, and I felt like a train without brakes plowing down a giant mountain. And I was amazed, with all that chaos going on inside my mind and body, that outwardly I seemed at peace with everything that was happening.
Looking back, I now know I was falling into the chaos of birthing my sweet surro baby and myself. I had a deep intention around this birth that I also birth myself into my next stage of life. The feeling of deep pain, the discomfort and the burning, this was the sacrifice I had to make to birth myself. To bring forth this new powerful woman I knew I could be and wanted to be; to walk in this world with benevolent compassion and with no self pity.
To spend nine months carrying, loving, holding, growing and cherishing a little being of energy was to have her change me and my soul. She woke me up and helped bring me to knowing my truth. I realized during my pregnancy that my true passion is helping and supporting women during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum, their birthing year. And the part that felt so right about all of this, was once she was born I got to let her go. I got to release her to bring that love and joy and magic to others. To gift her to her adoring and magnificent parents. The joy and euphoria I felt, being able to give such deserving parents this little beauty, was beyond what I expected. There was a part of me that thought it might be hard. But after receiving all her gifts during pregnancy, it all felt so right seeing her in their arms.
That being said, I was surprised two days later, when I was back in my own home, how emotional I became. The first full day home I was weepy and felt empty. My body was confused.
“Where is the baby I should be holding?”
“I’m lactating but I’m not nursing.”
“I had a purpose for the last nine months, now what?”
These were such confusing feelings. Having this joy and happiness for the new parents and my personal journey, but then having so many sad, dark and depressive feelings at the same time. I was able to talk through it with my partner, and he was so supportive, just listening and not trying to fix it. The confusion and emptiness started to fade away by day three at home.
Having Bridgetown Baby's postpartum doula support really helped - I was able to carve out time for myself and really listen to my body and my heart, to reaffirm that this had nothing to do with the “loss of a baby” but with a “loss of purpose.” So I focused on my family, my next steps in life, and how I was now going to get to help, support and empower other moms and families.
Birthing my surro baby helped me to create space within myself. As I birthed her and myself, I was able to release self doubt, let go of the “I don’t know,” and find my courage and my empowered self. After birthing her, I now have an empty womb, through which I can go forth and grow my next life adventure: to grow into my true nature and realize my future.
-Krystal Gard is a mama of three and a postpartum doula with Bridgetown Baby.