My surro and her girls had winter break and I've got a pretty flexible schedule so we decided a trip to the zoo would be an ideal way for me to meet her girls. We had actually hatched this plan before I gave them the zoo pass- which is why I knew it would be a welcomed gift. I was excited and nervous to meet them. The zoo trip happened the day before her youngest was about to have her 7th birthday party. Weeks prior, she posted this on FB " My sweet (daughter) turns 7 soon and she claims she "has everything she needs, but wants to have a party to collect clothes, toys, and books for kids who don't have any":) so we're celebrating with a carnival." I was blown away when I saw that post. How fitting that this wonderfully generous woman has a seven year old with that same generous spirit! If this is the kind of kid my surro-mom was raising, I knew my baby would be in good hands!
I had heard such great things about her girls and they certainly lived up to their reputation. They were smart and sweet and funny and the littlest was as spunky as could be. Living so close to the zoo, I've been there a handful of times. Never before have I seen so many baby animals! It was really uncanny.
First we came upon the lions and the baby cubs. They apparently were born in November and just made their zoo debut in late January. They were soooo adorable (Editors note: I stole this picture from the internet)
We also saw the panda cubs. I was expecting to see them as their birth had made headlines when they were born in July. They were IVF babies so I thought it was pretty cool seeing them. (Editors note: Picture also stolen from the internet)
After the zoo, we went across the street to to grab lunch. While we were eating, I asked the girls what their favorite foods were. I was floored to hear their answers. The littlest one said...get this...BRUSSELS SPROUTS! What?!? I had only just recently (like within the last five years) tried brussels sprouts and while I enjoy them (especially when drenched in garlic) I certainly wouldn't put it atop my list of favorite foods. Her oldest daughter shared her favorite food next- ASPARAGUS. Again, I love me some asparagus but when I'm talking favorite foods, I'm thinking CHOCOLATE, PIZZA, SWEET TARTS. You know, junk food. Not only did it floor me (and okay, maybe even shame me a little) to hear that these young children and pre-teens put vegetables at the top of their favorite food list, it also made me once again feel really, really goodabout the woman I had chosen to by my surrogate. If her children are eating like this, then surely she eats healthy like this, which means my growing baby will also be eating healthy like this. It was so very reassuring.
Having a surrogate means, among other things, letting go of control. For the past five years of trying to conceive, I have worked really hard to eat healthy. We got a refurbished Vitamix and I have smoothies almost daily made with organic spinach, bananas, berries and often macca root or goji berries which are ancient fertility enhancers. I used to limit my alcohol intake even when I wasn't in the two week wait and rarely had caffeine. I only eat organic meats and try to eat lots of super-foods. I do this to for my own health, but also because I wanted to create the healthiest environment for conception and had hopes to nourish my growing baby in the best possible way. All bets are off when you get a surrogate. I spoke to someone who loved their surrogate but acknowledged she didn't have the best eating habits. She apparently ate a ton of sugar- so much so that the baby was born in diabetic shock... because it wasn't getting the sugar it was used to in utero! It resolved itself within a few days and their five year old is perfectly healthy now- but still-it makes you worry about what your surro will be eating. So, you can imagine my relief to hear that her children's favorite foods are vegetables. All in all, it was a wonderful day- I can't help to think all the babies at the zoo- the zooborns- are foreshadowing for what is to come!