“I hope I am leading by example by giving the greatest gift possible, twice.”
The most amazing gift you can give is the gift of a child. Amber is on her second surrogacy journey, and I am so excited to be able to document this from start to finish.
When I asked her oldest kiddo about what she thought, “It’s just normal.”
I began this project with a few standard questions for all the Mom’s, here is what Amber has to say about life as a Mama…
1. What are your 5 biggest roles in life, this can be work life, home life, whatever.
Parenthood, Spouse, Community, Environment and Human Rights. Everyone always says your spouse should come first in your life but Mark and I both agree that we put parenthood before each other and it’s something we are ok with. We have made a lot of sacrifices for our children and will continue to put them first and somehow this has made us appreciate each other more. We bed-shared for years, I breastfed for years, tandem breastfeeding them for 3 years, we didn’t go on dates because neither of us wanted to leave our babies until they were much older. We always just followed our instincts when it came to parenting and even though outsiders pressured us to do things like date night and babysitters, it never felt right for us and I think listening to our instincts together is what has made our connection so strong. Now that the kids are older we enjoy going out just the 2 of us and having our bed to ourselves. We are both so grateful that we spent so much time with our babies because that part of our lives is over now and if flew by.
Friendships are a huge part of my life. We have moved all over this country and have made friends all over the world. I have learned something different from every friend I have made. The older I get the more skeptical I get when it comes to friendships. I have learned that not everyone is as honest and loyal of a friend as myself and that has been a hard lesson. I have some very loyal friends that I have had for over a decade and they are sisters to me. Those friends I cherish dearly.
The environment and humans rights are something I have felt strongly about for as long as I can remember and I lump them into one because protecting the environment is protecting human rights (having clean air and water…). I grew up very sheltered in a small, conservative, mid-western town (2000 people). Family gatherings consisted of relatives gossiping about people in town, making racist and homophobic comments about groups of people that they have never given the time a day to get to know, all while pretending to be Christians. Since I was a little girl I felt this was wrong but it was strange to me that nobody else in the family seemed to be bothered by it. Here I was, the youngest of them all and I would stand up and say something to defend these groups of people and I was told that it was “just a joke” or to “brush it off”. I am not the “brush it off” kind of person. I eventually stopped talking to the majority of those family members and have spent most of my adult life doing things to fight for human rights and protect the environment. Mark introduced me to trail and river clean ups, giving to charities that protect the environment by doing our own part at home to be conscious of our decisions. I have marched in Washington D.C and other towns for a number of issues. The first time I marched in D.C was for an anti-circumcision march. I believe that every person has the right to keep all of their body parts until they are old enough to give consent unless medically necessary. One of the most impactful marches I ever participated in was the Women’s March in D.C in 2017.
2. What is one thing you wish you could tell the world?
I always say this to my family: “leave it better than you found it.” I say this when we stay at someones house or play at a park. It applies to everything in life and to life in general. Live a life with intention so you leave this world better than you found it. I hope I am leading by example by giving the greatest gift possible, twice.
3. How has motherhood changed you?
It has taught me that I don’t know anything! haha, seriously though, raising kids has shown me that I will never know what I am doing. It has also empowered me more than I ever thought possible. Giving birth to my first born at the Bozeman Birth Center without drugs taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I spent that entire pregnancy being told by everyone around me that I wouldn’t be able to give birth without an epidural and that I probably couldn’t breastfeed. I heard the phrase, “if I wasn’t in a hospital I would have died” more times than I can count. I had my mind set on a natural birth and extended breastfeeding and I had the most beautiful and empowering birth you could imagine. I became a different person that day. My confidence in myself and my body went through the roof. I started to love and appreciate my body that day. I stopped looking at what I don’t like and started to look at myself like the goddess that we as women are. Like the grinch, my heart grew 10 sizes that day! You hear this all the time from parents but I truly didn’t know I could love anyone that much. I would just stare at her and cry because I couldn’t handle how much I wanted to protect her and love her. Since that wonderful day, I have given birth to my son. He was born at home and once again, one of the best days of my life. I have also given birth to one other baby via surrogacy which was a whole other kind of experience. My kids have taught me more about life than any teacher I have ever had.