To Snow, or Not to Snow

By: Alysia Lyons

(3 mins)

I am officially two weeks postpartum. I had two very beautiful little girls for another woman that has grown as close to me as any family member, and I am so thrilled they were born healthy and are thriving.

I am a four-time surrogate and although giving birth isn’t new to me, giving birth via C-Section is. With my other pregnancies, I had two, maybe three, days of downtime, and then I was up and ready to go. My bounce-back ability after pregnancy is one of the many reasons I was so willing and eager to say yes to surrogacy so many times.

But a C-Section…that’s a whole other story. I keep thinking, “They make women go home and take care of a baby after this?!”  I have a whole new respect for women who have C-Sections.

After two weeks, I am finally starting to feel like I can go back to business as usual. I finally felt comfortable driving to the store down the street and driving my son Zander to school. 

So, when my boyfriend decided we were going to take a family trip to the snow, I’m sure you could imagine my sudden and instantaneous tears were totally understandable (especially when you factor in the hormones).

I was actually very surprised by the tears, other than the hormone factor. This internal conflict suddenly showed up, a conflict between my highest priorities and the woman/mother I want to be.

I recently decided that I don’t want to be a surrogate again because my priorities have changed. When my son was younger, being pregnant wasn’t as big of a factor for him. The first few times I was pregnant, he didn’t know any different and the third time, my best friend lived with us, and she picked up some of the slack for me.

But this time, my son was aware of the dangers of this pregnancy. I physically couldn’t play with my very active ten-year-old, and his inability to visit me in the hospital made my hospital visits a lot scarier for him.

For months, I’d been putting off fun activities he wanted us to do together, and now that the babies have been born, we can all go to the snow together, right?

But two weeks postpartum, I am still healing. I haven’t made it through a day without pain medication. Trips to the grocery store have to be short because standing and walking for long periods of time are a struggle. Oh, and fun fact: shivering uses your ab muscles, and those are the last muscles you should be using after you have a C-Section.

My desire to prioritize my health and my desire to be and have fun with my family was in major conflict, and I couldn’t choose one without feeling I was betraying the other.

I knew there was no way I could choose not to go to the snow, though I tried several times to get my boyfriend to tell me not to go. So, I had to find a way to make myself comfortable with the decision to go.

I talked to a friend who had had a few C-Sections, and she told me to go and have fun. For me, that calmed the safety fear. I ensured I had plenty of warm clothing, pain meds and the option of sitting in the car with the heater on, which took care of the fear of pain.

Lastly, I love being around my family and other people. Sitting in the car alone and watching everyone else have fun sounded like a fate worse than death. I made sure I had plenty of things to keep myself occupied in the event it wasn’t safe for me to walk around and I did have to be car-bound.

In the end, the trip was a blast. None of the things I’d worried about or even shed tears over was a factor in the day, and I made my son’s day by watching him sled down the hill a million and a half times.

We all have values, and these values drive our decisions. On occasion, some situations bring those values into conflict, and we have to make a discussion. In this case, my value of self-care was colliding with my value to make sure my son feels loved and cared for.

In the past, an internal conflict like this would make me feel crazy, and I would have said yes out of obligation and resented my son or my boyfriend for not reading my mind and telling me to just stay home. In the past, I would have felt like and chosen to be a victim.

Alysia Lyons
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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