Sure, we mostly see one another at doctors appointments (which are weekly at this point) but we have also done a ton of socializing with them sans doctors. The first time we hung out was early in our surrogacy journey- in fact, Ellen was just six or seven weeks pregnant. We were at a festival with a bunch of our friends and Ellen and Chris had a night without the kids- in fact I think it was their anniversary. I remember being really excited and kind of shocked that they chose to spend their anniversary with us. I was a little nervous about introducing them to my friends (would they fit in? how would we explain how we knew them?) but everything went great. We played cornhole and giant Jenga and had a blast. It was then then I discovered Ellen and Chris share the same competitive nature that Jason and I share. They gave us a ride back to our place that night and we figured they would just drop us off. To our surprise, they came in and we hung out for a couple more hours just the four of us. It was a really nice day and it showed us that we weren't just going to be surrogate/intended parents- we were going to be friends.
Since that first outing, we've spent time together at family gatherings (Easter and 4th of July), the Dragon Con parade, multiple visits to the zoo, a Willy Wonka musical and now, a concert. Each time we hang out is better than the last. We are all just so compatible. And the family gatherings...well they are really special too. Ellen has a huge family (she is one of six kids, who all have plenty of kids themselves-fertility is clearly not an issue for the Courts). We met the whole family for the first time on Easter. Ellen was just six weeks pregnant and I was still feeling pretty nervous about everything since we had just had a bleeding scare the week prior. I was also nervous about meeting everyone- I wasn't sure how they would feel about this strange couple who had enlisted Ellen to carry their child. They couldn't have been more welcoming. In fact, I was blown away when Ellen's mother handed me- ME- a gift just as we were leaving. She gave me some parenting books and a pillow that Ellen had made in home-ec in high school (that she hoped we might share with Baby O one day) and the most special, supportive card. Jason spent most of the day playing corn hole with Chris and Ellen's brothers and brothers-in-law (Jason and Chris were undefeated!), we participated in an adult Easter Egg hunt/white elephant exchange (I scored some much-needed wine glasses) and we feasted on the most amazing food. It was a really blissful day.
As we approach the end of the pregnancy (we are almost at 31 weeks) I can't help wonder what the friendship will look like when the baby is no longer the thread that binds us. Ellen and I still text multiple times a day. Is that going to change? I hope not. I think I will have withdrawals if it does. Will we still hang out as a foursome? I hope so. Ellen and Chris are among our favorite couples to spend time with. Will we grow apart when our lives are consumed with sleepless nights, tummy-time, and a crying baby? Perhaps. But hopefully not for long. Baby O brought us together but I'm hoping our friendship endures long after his birth. And speaking of birth- today is Ellen's day of birth! Wishing the happiest of birthdays to one of my favorite people in the world (and I would say that even if she wasn't carrying my baby!)