Lilypie - First Birthday

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013

It is with much love I bid farewell to another year.  For this family, 2013 has been absolutely beautiful.  I am in awe at what has transpired over the past 365 days.  Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the blessings bestowed upon our family.

After five years of ups and downs, extreme heartaches and much needed healing, the Lord reunited our family.  Hands down this was the best thing to happen to me in 2013.  By the looks on my children's faces, I would have to say they agree...

It's pretty customary to look forward to the new year ringing in and focus on what we'd like to change.  I can't help but do the opposite.  I can't help but look back on 2013 and smile.  I haven't focused much on resolutions for 2014 because I am too amazed at what 2013 has been.  They say you shouldn't waste time looking back at what was but I think I'm going to ignore that little piece of advice.    

It's overwhelming to think what 2014 will be like.  How can we possibly top 2013?  Something tells me that as much as I believe 2013 has been over the top amazing...the best is still yet to come.

Much love 2013...2014, let's do this!
  

Monday, December 23, 2013

30 Week Check-up

My 30 week appoinment on Friday was quick and uneventful.  Probably the best kind of appointment to have at this point in time.  My weight is up to 164 and baby's heartbeat was around 156 bpm.  I discussed the severe sciatic pains I've been having and he recommened warm baths.  I haven't tried it yet as they seem to have let up the past few days.  That's not to say it doesn't hurt, it's just a lot more tolerable right now.  Graham is a lot more active so I'm guessing his repositioning is what allows me some relief from time to time. 
 
31 down, 9 to go!  The end is in sight.  I've had a few emotional roller coasters this past weekend but the hubs was on his game, as usual, and really talked me through it all.  I'm getting tired, sore and just plain worn out.  Mental and physical exhaustion are settling in.  I recall getting to this point with my last pregnancy.  Only it wasn't quite as hard.   We had a focus of another kind.  We were anticipating the arrival of our child.  We were distracting ourselves with shopping and preparations.  None of which we are doing this time around.  It's just all so very different.  We're not upset.  We're not even sad.  We're filled with the excitement for what's about to happen.  I just wish I could get there a little quicker...and so does my body ;)   
 
Next appointment will be in 3 weeks, then a couple 2 weekers then I'll be seeing him once a week until Graham arrives. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Well, would you look at that...10 weeks to go! 

I was asked over the weekend how it's been thus far.  According to D it's simply a matter of memory loss, but I would have to say being older has made it harder on my body.  I do realize I'm still fairly young but my babies were both born by the time I turned 25.  Here I am almost 10 years later.  I feel the difference.

Would I do it again...well, it depends on what you're referencing.  Would I do this journey again with E&G (now having the hindsight)...absolutely I would.  Would I ever consider being a surrogate again in the future, at this point my answer would be no.  I feel like there's a new journey of a different kind waiting for me.  I have more to give but I feel pulled in a different direction.  Part of me feels like maybe it's a career shift but who knows.  Patience, prayer and an open heart will make it clearer when the time comes. 

However, if I've learned anything these past 5 years, it's that these are not my plans I'm living.  Haven't you ever heard the saying...

 
If you would've told me 5 years ago I was going to carry a complete stranger's baby someday I probably would've thought you were out of your ever lovin' mind but here we are.  It hasn't been an easy road, but letting go of control and trusting He will give me strength is the key.  I'm not claiming to be great at it but I know when I do let go, He always takes care of things and puts me right where I need to be.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Make a Wish!

So I added another candle to the cake this weekend bringing the total to 34.  The hubs did a fantastic job of making the day extra special.    
 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Week 29

Graham Cracker is hiccuping daily.  It's typically mid-morning then again in the evening.  I know how nuts it drives me when I have the hiccups, I wonder if he gets annoyed at his hiccups too? 

Click here if you're curious at to why babies hiccup in the womb.

I'm ready for that little lady in the ticker above to get her behind past the 30 mark.  Little Graham (from what I've been shown thus far) has some really cool stuff awaiting him at his home!  He will not lack in style that is for certain.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My New Best Friend

"Most likely. Many women experience heartburn for the first time during pregnancy — and though it's common and generally harmless, it can be quite uncomfortable.

Heartburn (also called acid indigestion or acid reflux) is a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. It's caused by some of the hormonal and physical changes in your body.

During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus. This hormone also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep back up, which causes that unpleasant burning sensation.

Progesterone also slows down the wavelike contractions of your esophagus and intestines, making digestion sluggish. Later in pregnancy, a growing baby crowds your abdominal cavity, pushing the stomach acids back up into the esophagus.

Many women start experiencing heartburn and other
gastrointestinal discomforts in the second half of pregnancy. Unfortunately, it usually comes and goes until baby is born."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My List

Have you noticed all the lists lately on Facebook?  You know, the ones where someone gives a friend a number then that person has to list that many random facts about their self (I'm sure that was probably poor grammar).  Well I thought that might be fun to do on here.  Since I don't actually have a number assigned I'll just see how many I can come up with.

  • I dislike homemade chocolate chip cookies.  The smell alone can make me gag.  Store bought are okay.
  • I love Angel Food cake.  I can put away an entire cake, on my own, in one day...no pregnancy needed.
  • My oldest was born on Leap Day, a week late.  We celebrate it the 28th.
  • My current addictions:  Facebook, Judge Judy, Text Twist, my phone
  • Both of my kids are half lefty and half righty.  One writes lefty and plays sports righty.  The other writes righty and plays sports lefty.  It's weird and I don't get it.  D and I are both righties.  
  • I used to have this weird thing with counting the letters in words in my head.  If it's not an even word I must add an "s" (or something) so it's an even lettered word.   
  • My favorite movie has always been Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...and I'm not referring to the Johnny Depp massacred remake.  You can't compete with Gene Wilder.
  • I've been married twice...to the same man.  We're getting it right this time.
  • I acquired the nickname Pooper Scooper as a child.  It's not what you think.  It started as Jenny Poo, went to Poo Scoo and somehow found it's way to Pooper Scooper.  My siblings must've come up with this one.
  • I love spinach and brussel sprouts.  It disgusts my kids.
  • I have a thing for Hondas...5 out 7 of my vehicles have been Hondas.  
  • I am very easily distracted.  Dangerously so.  Drives my husband nuts.
  • In my 19 years of driving I've never had a speeding ticket.
  • I can't whistle.  
And now I'm drawing a blank so I guess my list is complete.  :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

About our IPs...

When I finally decided to become a surrogate I always knews there could be a possibility that I could be matched with a couple that I didn't click right away with, or at all.  I knew that perhaps they wouldn't want much communication after the baby was born and that was something I would have to mentally and emotionally be prepared for.  Honestly, I thought I would be okay with that.  Now, I know that I was kidding myself. 
 
I've come across several surrogacy boards that I enjoy following and participating in.  The majority of the time the matches are great and you get to witness really amazing bonds form that I can really relate to.  Unfortunately, I've also witnessed matches that weren't so great and the surro is left feeling very hurt and for lack of better words "used and forgotten".  I want to believe with all my heart that it's never intentional.  It just happens.  The "process" is completed, baby is delivered, and contact is almost completely severed. 
 
I will forever be grateful for the IPs the hubs and I were given.  After birth, we will continue our journey and relationship for the rest of our lives.  This is the gift that they have given me.  The ability to watch Graham grow, laugh, walk, start school, graduate, marry, etc, etc, etc!  The list is endless and it's truly a gift that keeps on giving.   
 
E&G remind me daily in all the texts, emails, pics, and even letters how amazing our relationship really is.  I've never felt like anything less than their friend...actually it's more than that.  They have made us feel like family.  I received the following letter in the mail yesterday and it's the most amazing letter I've ever received.  I was torn on whether to laugh or cry as I read it.  I knew I had to share it, it's too good not to! 
 
 
 


 
E&G, 
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Hello, Monday!

Friday went well.  It was a pretty uneventful appointment.  I drank the magic juice, waited about 30 minutes, got weighed in, visited with Dr R, then waited a little longer for my blood draw.  Then on my way I went.

Dr R was a little shocked by the 10 lb weight gain over the past 4 weeks.  However, he said he wasn't overly concerned about it since I've been doing really well overall with my weight gain.  I, on the other hand, took it really hard.  While I haven't gone up in clothing size just yet I could tell things are starting to get tighter.  My tops, those made sense, my belly is growing.  My pants, well that's just plain upsetting.  Ugh.  This is going to be my heaviest pregnancy yet.  My final weight with my youngest was a little over 160.  I'm at 160 now with another 12 weeks to go! 

I'm really happy to share that "mom & dad" gave me the okay to start referring to the little man by name on my blog.  So here it is, his name....Graham.  How sweet is that?  We're currenly referring to him as Lil' Graham Cracker.  Lil' Graham Cracker woke me in the middle of the night last night.  He was awake and very active.  It's hard to sleep when he's throwing punches and kicks nonstop.  That combined with my back being really torqued last night, my sleep wasn't so hot.

Very excited to have a very short 3 day work week then off for 4 days with the fam.  So much to be thankful for this year...new friends, new family and new life!  We are blessed.   

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lots of Changes

Here's what things should look very similar to right now (at 26 weeks).  The flexibility of a baby in utero is amazing.  I'm feeling more pressure in the pelvic region but I'm not convinced he's moved to a head up or down position just yet.  I'm sure my doctor will be able to confirm that tomorrow at the appointment.  The last website I visited said he should be a little over 2 lbs now.  The contractions are still happening.  They're not really painful but I have noticed they're a lot more crampy than they used to be.  I have to really relax through them.  It's great practice though and nothing really to complain about.
 
His movements and kicks are getting much stronger.  Are you curious to what it feels like?  Make a fist with one hand. Take those knuckles and press them into the palm of your other hand then move your knuckles up and down across the palm.  That's about as close I can get to replicating the feeling.  It's a very boney, tickly feeling.  They're no longer soft, fluttery feelings.  I can feel his bones (more than likely his elbows, knees and feet) pushing and rubbing all over my belly.  He sure does love my right side.  I always feel the most movements over there.  He likes to tuck right up towards the bottom of my right ribcage.  Sometimes I have to massage the spot gently to kindly encourage him to relocate. 
 
I had a serious case of heartburn after lunch today but it only lasted about 15 minutes.  Thank goodness!!  It was painful.  I really hope it was just a case of eating too quickly and not a sign of what is to come in the third trimester. 
 
Another change I've noticed lately is my hands are swelling some.  It's not noticeable by sight but it took all the force I had to get my wedding rings on this morning.  D told me to give up before I hurt my finger but I feel naked without them.  The rings are a must.  Once they're on they're comfortable so I may start leaving them on at night to avoid the whole forceful process.
 
Looking forward to another smooth doctor appointment tomorrow afternoon. 
 
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Just Another Monday...

NOT a very flattering photo but it really shows how big my belly is getting. 
 
                                                     

 
The photo uploader isn't cooperating today.  I tried multiple times to rotate the pic below but it just isn't happening.  Oh well. 

It's the little things in D & I's relationship that mean the most to me.  I found this sweet message waiting for me this morning.  Love that man!

 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 26


Did you know yesterday was National Kindness Day?  I really did have all kinds of ideas of how I could perform a RAK (Random Act of Kindness).  It started out a really great day.  My mood was chipper and the sun was shining.  I dropped the kids off at school then this happened...
 
The darn thing came out of nowhere.  The only time I actually saw him was when we went looking for him to make sure he wasn't suffering somewhere.  I was very fortunate that he didn't run in front of me so there wasn't a forceful jerk forward from impact.  He actually ran into the side of my car right by the tire then bounced back into the median.  It was incredibly loud and startled me for sure but I was shocked at how I didn't really feel any impact.  The car or tire took it all and I didn't even leave my lane.  My seatbelt didn't lock up either so no worries about the little guy.  I immediately pulled over and I may have called my darling hubby in a little bit of a panic because I really wasn't sure what just happened.  I mean, I knew it had to have been a deer but when you don't see it or expect it, it leaves you a little confused and scared.  He came to my rescue and the process of operation "adapt and overcome" began. 
 
Now back to the surrogacy....
 
Here's a pic I took last night for comparison.  I have a lot of people already asking how much longer I have because it looks like I'm getting close.  Little do they know I have 3 months still.  My belly will slowly start to turn into a cone shape if history repeats itself.  My son's classmate happens to live across the street from us and he rang our doorbell last night to tell me, "My mom wants to know how long before the baby comes.  I mean how long before he goes to the other place".  It was too cute.   
 
I took this pic also for a little face comparison.  It's usually the final few months that my face starts to get puffy and by 9 months I'll look like I'm having a mild allergic reaction to a bee sting.  I asked D if he saw it happening yet and he said no.  So, I made this little comparision and we all got a little reality check from it.  Well, D and the kids got a good laugh.  It has begun. 

P.S.  I bet you're wondering what Cry Baby Hill means.  It's the bicycle race that the hubs went to in Oklahoma the day I was in the IP's state for the embryo transfer.  The shirt is my souvenir from the hubs.  It's my favorite t-shirt (not to mention one of the few t-shirts I have that will still fit comfortably).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 25

Hmmm..what to type about?  Nothing has really changed from last week.  The belly is growing which also means the little guy is growing.  I realize my gender guess was wrong so this guess will probably be wrong as well, BUT, I'm guessing he's going to be a little on the bigger size and want to come out a little early.  I'm not sure how much more my belly can actually stretch but I guess I'm about to find out. 



Next appointment is Nov 22nd to do the fabulous glucose test.  I have to drink a cupful of a liquid  that tastes like carbonless orange soda.  It's super sweet and not so great.  They have you drink it then sit in the waiting area for an hour before they can draw your blood.  They're checking for gestational diabetes.  I've never had any issues in the past so I'm assuming I won't this time either.

Week 28 THIRD TRIMESTER!!! is just around the corner. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

What Does the Hubs Say?

I feel like I should start a self help book for men whose wives are pregnant.  The idea hit me when the hubs made another one of his unintentionally insulting remarks.  I was trying to put my socks on and having a hard time reaching my feet.  Noticing my struggle he says, "Just imagine what it will feel like to be skinny again."  Seriously!!!  All I heard was, "man you're fat right now".  Nice one, dear.

The best part is watching him back pedal and stumble over his words when he realizes what he's just implied.  I'm fortunate enough to have a very playful, fun relationship with the hubs and we're able to laugh off just about anything.  So no, I didn't blacken his eye but I'm pretty certain he will think a little harder before he speaks next time.

But seriously, I'm going to try to keep track of all the things people say to me before thinking.  The filter must go out the window when talking to a pregnant woman.  Yes, I know I'm big.  Yes, it's slightly odd for a complete stranger to rub my belly.  Friends and family I do not mind, these are people I would hug anyway, so what's a little belly rub?  No biggie. 

And of course E&G get a free pass.  They can ask/say whatever they want and I would never be offended...(perks of being little man's mom & dad).   


* Edited *

I typed the above entry, logged out, and walked next door to grab some paperwork for payroll.  I kid you not, the very first words out of a male co-worker's mouth were, and I quote, "Well hello, pot belly".  Followed by laughter.  I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!!

What is wrong with people?!!    

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 24


I'm working on convincing D to do a posting on this blog.  I think it would be great for others to hear his perspective on everything.  He has his hands full with his current hobby and blog right now so it may take a lot of encouragement but I'm not giving up! 

During the ultrasound they discovered the placenta is sitting right up front, directly behind my belly button.  It made sense of the weird kicks I've been feeling in that area.  They're nothing like the other kicks.  Imagine laying on a water bed and someone is on the under side of the water filled section kicking it.  It doesn't feel like a direct jab.  It's more of a spread out rippling effect.  It's dispersed like an echo in a tunnel.  Therefore, I feel it not in one specific spot but sort of all over the front. 

I made it through the night without the leg cramps!  I celebrate the small victories ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sonogram Update

Well here HE is, in all his glory.  I still can't get over how cool it is to be able to say HE! He wasn't a bit shy.  Ultrasounds have come so far.  We saw so much more than D & I did 9 years ago with our youngest.  The tech zoomed in on his carotid artery, brain, heart, tiny little ribcage, and lots of other really cool stuff.  The image of his foot had to be my favorite.  He was a very active little guy that weighs over a pound now.  
 
I may have let out a little yelp of excitement when the tech scanned the baby for gender.  She didn't even have to be the one to tell everyone.  It was as clear as can be.  There was a tiny part of me that was really hoping for a boy for E&G.  I know I'm biased but I think little boys are so much fun.  They're full of personality and energy.  I also loved the idea of their little one carrying on G's family name as well as being the first grandson!
 
 
 
He is measuring in a week ahead of our Feb 27th date but my doctor said it wasn't a signicant enough change to warrant changing the due date.  Had he chosen to, it would now be Feb 20th.  As long as he's healthy and fully developed, sooner would be great.  If I remember correctly the dr also said that if around 37 weeks I'm starting to show signs of progress he will go ahead and schedule an inducement at 39 weeks. 
 
My weight is up to 150 lbs and dr seemed pleased with it.  The leg cramps I've been experiencing (in the middle of the night) are a symptom of pregnancy and he suggested compression socks and elevating my feet in the evenings.  The Braxton Hicks contractions are still coming and going with no pain or consistency.  Luckily no swelling in my feet at this point.
 
Overall, it was a great day with E&G and it was incredibly sad to see them leave.  D even admitted to how much he already missed them.  I look forward to reconnecting with them again before delivery day.  These two people have such a special place in our hearts.  They'll never know how much they've changed our lives and shown us a whole new kind of love.  A kind of love that very few people will get the opportunity to experience.   




Thursday, October 24, 2013

They're coming to town!!!

Tomorrow is the big day!  Well, not the BIG day but it's sonogram time!  So excited to have E&G coming to the appointment and most importantly finally meeting the hubs in person.  He comes off as quite the sarcastic person, and believe me he is, but I think people are surprised at how shy he can be in person.  Same goes for me. 

So, our day starts with a labor & delivery tour as well as a little paperwork.  I imagine it'll be a good Q&A session as well since the hospital hasn't had a surrogate deliver there before (that they can recall).  So cool that we'll get to be the first!  I'm all about coloring outside the lines and getting off the beaten path. 

Later on in the afternoon is the big sonogram.  Boy?? Girl??  Throw your guesses in now!  I've been leaning towards a girl but it's purely a guess, an uneducated guess at that.  I know they're going to be thrilled either way so it's a win-win scenario.  I'm anxious to see exactly how big Baby B is right now.  The dr gave me us an expected due date of Feb 27th but knowing the exact transfer date it would actually put us at Feb 25th, I think. 

And finally, after the sonogram, E&G will get to meet my dr for the first time.  There's never any guarantee that he'll be the one to deliver but I've been very fortunate.  He was on call when both of my boys were born.  I'm hoping for the same luck this time around.

I look forward to updating the results soon!  Hang tight.

Monday, October 21, 2013

That question

As my surrrogacy journey becomes more and more public, I always get asked that inevitable question, "How are you able to give the baby up after carrying it for nine months?".  It comes in different fashions, different wording, different circumstances but it always boils down to that question.  I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's hard to not take offense to being asked that.  But in the same breath, I get it.  I understand their curiosity. 

Let me start by saying being a surrogate is never to be taken lightly.  If you're not mentally stable and secure with your standing in life then by no means is surrogacy for you.  If you have any doubts as to whether or not your family is complete, surrogacy is not for you.

Now, on to answering that question to the best of my ability...

I've tried to explain to others that I simply cannot give away something that wasn't mine to begin with.  Unless they travel down our road, they'll never truly get it. Judgments have been made against my decision and I accept that. I can't say I understand, but I accept. I know of no other surrogates, in real life, therefore I'm not sure how they would even know what it's like in order to form a judgment. All I can do is to simply ask the Lord to soften their hearts.    

Becoming a surrogate I knew from day one that making a bond or connection with the baby I would be carrying would be the biggest concern.  My approach...do everything in my power to make certain this baby is given the best care while in my womb while maintaining a different sort of relationship.  I guess you could say it's an aunt, uncle, or possibly even big sister sort of relationship.  I will always care about this child and his/her wellbeing but I haven't allowed myself the connection I made with my own children.  I've kept myself emotionally guarded in a way that protects both myself and this child. 

D & I didn't create this child through our love.  This baby is a result of a deep love between E&G.  Yea, so maybe it wasn't done in what society would label as the "typical way" but I can assure it was done with that same deep love.  I enjoy watching their love for Baby B grow daily.  It keeps it very real as to whose child this is.  It fills me with excitement for the day they can all be reunited.  I'm simply the vessel that was chosen to get them to that day.

I don't believe I even did this question justice in this blog entry.  It's so hard to put so many emotions, thoughts and feelings into words.  Sometimes I wish people would leave that question out of the conversation.  Honestly, think about it...would I have become a surrogate without asking AND answering that question for myself?   No worries my friends, I've got this :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Little Emotional Today...

My kids are fortunate enough that it works out perfectly for me to drop them off at their schools on my way to work every morning.  D and I were just talking about how fortunate they were to not have to get up super early in the morning to catch the school bus.  I can recall missing the bus so many times as a kid because it just came too darn early.  I'm not an early morning person by any means.  However, allow me to sleep until 9 or 10 am and I'm good to go.

As I was dropping C off at middle school today I got a little choked up.  My emotions have been harder to express since I became pregnant.  I've always considered myself a pretty emotional person but something about being pregnant has really roped in my emotions.  Anyhow, I was watching him walk into the building this morning and thinking to myself, "When did this happen?!  When did he grow up on us and where has the time went?"  Tears started to well up and I drove away before I embarrassed him or myself.

If I could offer a little piece of advice to E&G from experience, I would say...do not wish away a minute of time.  I know that sounds pretty common sense and who in their right mind would wish away time with their child, right?  What I mean is, when it's month 2, 3 or 4 of nonstop early morning cries and diaper changes and you're completely exhausted from juggling work and taking care of the baby, you will be tempted to say, "I cannot wait until we're past this stage".  From someone on the other side, believe me, you can wait and even more than that, you will miss this.  I promise.

To be honest, those were very exhausting/trying times but they were also some of the best bonding moments with my children.  They adored their mom and dad and nothing was more soothing to them, or to us, than cuddling.  Those times are now gone.  My heart holds onto those memories but as time passes it's harder to remember them. 

Now, I have a teen that rarely allows me to hug him.  He thinks he doesn't need me as much anymore but I would argue that until my last breath.  It has slipped through my hands quicker than I could even realize it was happening.  He's a great kid and he means no harm to mom's feelers.  He's just simply growing up. ((Sigh)).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Changes

Lots of changes going on lately with this pregnancy.  Those wonderful Braxton Hicks contractions have started.  Don't worry, they're completely normal.  You can read more about them here.  They're completely painless but they definitely get my attention.  Too bad the ones during real labor couldn't be the same.  Those contractions are a level of pain that I cannot even express in words.  They made me puke.  Can you say epidural?!  Yes, please.   

The once soft, fluttery kicks are much stronger now.  I'm beginning to see not just kicks but actual movements.  The other night my stomach looked like a waterbed.  I wonder what little Baby B was up to.    

Everyday around 2:30 I hit a wall.  I'm overcome by a terrible case of drowsiness.  It's not the I sure could use a nap right now kind of sleepy.  It's the kind in which you feel like you've been up for 2 days straight without any sleep at all.  My head feels heavy and my eyelids want so badly to close.  My family used to walk from 7 pm to 7 am in the Relay 4 Life (cancer benefit walk) and that is the only time I can recall feeling this tired before. 

I'm really looking forward to the Holidays to help pass the time by.  It's a nice distraction from the timeline that still awaits.  It's great being over halfway there but knowing this baby won't be coming until 2014 makes it seem so distant still.  And of course it doesn't hurt to know the Holidays mean extra time with family and great food.  I love how Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year all seem to run together.  Remind me of this when Christmas starts to roll around and I'm stressing due to my guaranteed procrastination.            

Here's a pic from Halloween either 2011 or 2012, I can't recall.  The hubs (in black shirt) was Billy the Exterminator while I chose Where's Waldo.  Funny how well J's camo costume blended him in with the yard.  And that would be C, our oldest, on my right.  It's amazing how fast he has grown.  He is now taller than me! The rest of the gang is our wonderful nieces and nephew. 

We're working on ideas for 2013....

    

Friday, October 11, 2013

Week #21

Want to see what a baby kick looks like?  I've been getting a lot of them lately.  Baby B is becoming very active.  It's a great feeling to feel the kicks and know he/she is getting bigger and stronger every day.  Only two more weeks until IPs get to the feel the kicks for themselves.  Crossing my fingers that these videos loaded properly.  I took them last night while laying in bed.  Please ignore the chaos in the background.  My children were having a Nerf sword fight :)
 




I really should stop taking these baby bump photos in my messy closet.  The other option would of course be to straighten the mess up but I won't kid myself into believing that's going to happen any time soon. 
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Randomness

So, I finally came out on Facebook.  I can't think of a more fitting time than our halfway mark.  Such wonderfully positive responses too.  It really warms my heart.  Sometimes the responses become overwhelming.  I'm gaining so much emotionally and spiritually from this experience that I feel guilt for being praised.  I'm not one for having much focus on myself.  It's actually pretty uncomfortable for me.  I'm shy.  I'm nervous.  I'm awkward, lol.  I'm still trying to figure out daily how to process this new place I'm in.  One day at a time, right?

Our bed finally arrived!  After a week of swapping between J's bed and the couch I will finally be back to sleeping in my own bed.  My must have for right now...lots of pillows.  It makes for a night and day difference in my sleeping. 

On the non-surro side of things, my 15 year high school reunion is this weekend.  How did 15 years go by already?     

The fam and I had a nice family day on Saturday.  That's all it takes to fill this girl's heart up.  It was a great day roping ourselves back in and focusing on what matters the most. 

One last bit of good news.  I'm getting baptised!  I was raised in the Methodist church and baptism was something that took place as an infant.  While I respect the Methodist faith, I feel that was more of a choice being made for me by my parents.  I've come to a place in my life that I willing, able and so very ready to make that decision for myself.   So here goes!

   

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On a Roll

Two posts in a row, this could be a new record for me!

Last night in casual conversation I asked C if anyone has asked him yet if his mom is pregnant.  I wasn't too surprised when he responded yes.  Of course I then had to ask what his repsonse was.  The conversation went something like this (keep in mind C is a teenager):

Me:  So, has anyone asked if your mom is pregnant?
C:    Yea, "J" asked me if you were having a baby or something.
Me:  Haha.  So what did you say?
C:    Well, I said yea
Me:  Is he wondering if it's your sibling?
C:    Yea, he asked if it was my little brother or sister
Me:  Well, how did you answer that?
C:     I just said well, it's sorta complicated
Me:  And you left it at that?!
C:     Yea

Heaven only knows what his friend is thinking!  I think it's time to start explaining things to more people.  Even J's best buddy's mom has given me the look of "are you?" but hasn't asked the question yet.  I guess I just assumed people would ask and then I would share my story.  It hasn't happened that way AT ALL. 
 

Monday, September 30, 2013

My old friend Keflex

Looks like another UTI.  Blah.  All is good though, I started the Keflex on Friday and already feel so much better.  I am feeling lots of movement and kicks from Baby B.  I am hoping that they'll get strong enough for E&G to feel when they arrive in a few weeks for the sonogram.  D and I finally made the switch to a king sized bed (but unfortunately it's on order) and last night we sold our queen bed leaving us without a bed to sleep on.  He took the couch and I used J's trundle bed.  Needless to say our sleep was horrible.  My back was so torqued.  Crossing my fingers that the new bed shows up this week.  We also added a little color to the bedroom :)  It looks a little blue but it's actually gray.

My waddle has started.  D claims it started a long time ago but I've just now started to notice it myself.  I found myself on my closet floor this morning laughing at myself as I tried to put on my shoes.  I'm not all that large as of yet but that hump sure gets in the way of bending at the waist.  I could barely reach my feet.  It's all starting to progress so quickly and I can't always grasp the changes as quickly as they occur.  In one week this journey will be halfway over!  Well, I guess I should say the pregnancy will be halfway over.  The journey is something that I will continue to carry with me throughout my life. 

P.S.   D has been working really hard lately on building his own bike.  (Cycling is his other love)  He's blogging the process if you're curious to follow:    http://www.thrivecycles.blogspot.com/   He is extremely gifted when it comes to making things.  He's built so many things for our home as well.  When he puts his mind to something he stops at nothing less than the best.   

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Friday!

I feel like I should be updating this more often but to be completely honest, I'm not sure what to post.  Things are rolling right along and no issues other than recurring UTI's...and sleep has become an issue as well.  Lots of tossing and turning, bathroom breaks, hot flashes, switching ends of the bed.  I told DH that while hopsitals aren't the best place to be, I am really looking forward to that first night of sleep after I deliver.  I can't recall what a full, uniterrupted night's sleep is like. 

I've reached the stage where there is no doubt (by sight) I'm very much pregnant.  It's always rough going through the phase where people aren't sure if you're pregnant or you've started packing on some extra unwanted pounds.  It does a little number on your self esteem.  Escpecially when all I see on FB anymore is everyone participating in 5k's, kickboxing, cycle classes, etc.  At this moment in time, I'd just appreciate not getting so winded when I walk.  Not a huge request, right? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Today's OB appt

Just got back from another good checkup.  I've gained 6 lbs in 5 weeks bringing my weight to 144 lbs.  My blood pressure is at it's normal low of 110/72.  They drew blood to check on my thyroid.  I had issues once (pre-pregnancy) and I guess pregnancy can mess with it as well so they're checking to be safe.  I've been extremely worried lately about the lack of movement I've felt the past weeks from baby B.  My worries were put to rest when he found the heartbeat without too much effort.  Baby B is at 148 bpm, a good solid rate!  My biggest hindrance right now is the difficulty in breathing.  I lose my breath on the smallest of tasks.  It's bothersome.  Just a few weeks before the transfer I was running jogging a couple miles here and there.  Now, I can't even walk one flight of stairs without being completely winded.  I'm not even all that large in the belly yet!  All of the normal day to day tasks are much more of a challenge now.  I'm still trying to get adjusted to my new round shape.

IP's let the cat out of the bag over the weekend and told their parents they're expecting.  Incredibly happy for them.  I was told it was a pretty emotional day.  It sounds like a meeting of the grandparents is in our future now as well.  D & I are feeling so very blessed!        

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Photo Update

Last night my 13 year old told me I'm kind of like a camel with my hump. So sweet. Oh well, it's for a great cause. Just call me Sally :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beginning week 17...

Symptoms:  winded all.the.time, headaches are still lingering around, lots of pressure in the lower rib cage area (and pretty much everywhere else) from things stretching/shifting upward, my energy is finally back as well as my appetite

The IP's started the ball rolling on the parentage agreement.  Not sure what all it will include but the main purpose is to establish who the legal parents are upon birth which has and always will be E&G.  So many legal documents to get in order before their baby arrives.  Luckily for D and I, the majority of the work is on their end (because currently our my nights are being consumed with 8th grade Algebra and Language Arts).  We just have to review and sign.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I would like for things to play out on the day of delivery.  I'm hesitant on getting too much of an idea of how it will be for fear of disappointment if things go a different direction.  It will no doubt be an intense day full of emotions and worries.  I would love to capture it in photos.  One thing is for sure though, recovery and relaxation are at the top of my list and everything else can wait.  

          

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week 15 Begins...


I guess it's about time for another photo update.  The bump is getting larger and Baby "B" appears to be getting larger as well.  I really need to come up with a better name than Baby "B" but for now that will have to do.  He/She should be about the size of a naval orange now.  Things are starting to get squished and shift around accordingly.  Lots of soreness and irritation going on in my back as well. 

I've started to surrender to maternity clothes.  It's been tough finding ones that aren't either A) ugly as sin or B) outrageously pricey.  I took my chances on ordering some online from Burlington Coat Factory.  They were pretty inexpensive so I may end up getting exactly what I paid for.  I also received a few items from a couple really good friends.  One just had her little one, the other is due on my birthday!       
 
The fluttery feelings of movement have started.  I don't think I would have recognized them this soon if it were my first time being pregnant.
 
The IP's and I are pretty much staying in contact daily.  Not a lot to text about right now but it is nice to hear and see how they're doing.  We've been exchanging a lot of photos lately.  It's pretty neat to put faces to names now.  I'm really hoping to meet a lot of them in person.
 
With the kids starting school and my other business needing a lot of attention right now, my focus has been pulled elsewhere.  It's been such a blessing too as it's made the whole month of August really fly by.  As weird as this may sound I don't want this surrogacy to consume my thoughts and time too much.  Once the baby comes I don't want there to be this shock of "now what do I do with myself".  I don't want it to become such a focus for me now that I don't know how to focus my thoughts and energy afterwards.  I welcome all the distractions at this point.  To be honest, the only person I talk about the surrogacy with is the hubs or the IP's.  Outside of that I don't talk about it much at all to anyone else.  I enjoy just leading my normal life as if I wasn't carrying a child for another couple.  I enjoy being seen as "me".     
   

 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

13 Weeks

Yesterday was my monthly check up with my OBGYN.  All is looking great.  I've dropped a couple pounds weighing in at 138.  I think I was retaining a lot of fluids while on my meds that coupled with the fact that I've been focused on making my snacks healthier.  I'm taking full advantage of the ability to eat and drink the things I used to dislike.  For instance, orange juice.  I've never been a fan but I've been drinking it daily lately.  Oh and milk!  I've always liked milk, it just doesn't like me.  Thanks to surro baby I enjoy a nice cold glass at breakfast with no issues.

Dr R. wasn't certain if we'd be able to hear the heartbeat just yet but he found it.  The little one is at 160 bpm right now.  According to the old wives' tale anything over 140 would indicate a girl. 

Next appointment will be in 5 weeks.  We'll check the heartbeat again and do a little belly measuring.  I'm hoping to stay right on track this pregnancy with the doctor's intended weight gain for me.

We were able to plan ahead about 10 weeks and schedule the gender revealing ultrasound.  IM has an insanely crazy schedule right now so we were shooting for one particular day.  I went into the appointment thinking there was no way we could get the one day that would work for everyone and lo and behold we did!  So October 25th, baby's mom and dad will be flying in to see their little one for the very first time.  I can't wait to see the excitement on their faces.  They will fly home knowing if they are going to be the parents to a son or daughter.  They'll be going home to share the news that they're going to be parents!  No more secrets.  I love it.  Their family deserves to be able to buy that first adorable newborn outfit, to start choosing a name, the carseat, highchair, pack n play, etc, etc, etc.  They deserve the opportunity to finally prepare and celebrate this little one that will soon be rocking their worlds at all hours of the day and night. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Goodbye 1st Trimester

Today marks day one of the second trimester!  Morning sickness and nausea have disappeared.  The main symptom I'm battling with right now is the tiredness.  It's not so bad in the morning but afternoons and evenings are rough.  I'm sporting a pretty noticeable baby bump now.  I've surrendered to the maternity pants since very few of my regular pants are fitting anymore.  I'm not sure what hormone is causing it but my upper arms are breaking out badly.  It's making me very self conscious.  Oh, and the sneezing!!  I had no idea it was pregnancy related but I did a little research and found it actually is.  It's a little thing called rhinitis of pregnancy.  Weird.  I definitely don't recall either in my other pregnancies.  Of course you can't really compare this to those though. 
 
I just want to add how exciting it is to see the IP's excitement when we hit milestones.  I can't imagine the level of anticipation they are having each day.  Their patience is pretty darn amazing.  Their involvement and communication is top notch and exactly what I had hoped it would be.   
 
         

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wrapping Up the First

Here's a photo taken today at 11 weeks.  Little bit of a baby bump going on.  That makes us just 7 days shy of 2nd trimester.  I wish I could say it's just flyin by but the reality of it is, it isn't.  As I get more uncomfortable, it gets tougher mentally.  Adding to that is knowing I won't deliver until 2014.  Please don't mistake my ramblings as regret because I have none.  I went into this knowing that I'd walk away with tremendous personal growth (and no, not literally) what I didn't expect was the relationships that have developed.  I see great things coming in the future for both of our families.  Something far beyond forty gestational weeks.      

I shared the news with everyone at work last week and the responses have been incredibly warm and supportive.  When I say "I shared" I really mean I told my boss and let him share with everyone.  He was able to do it in a tactful, "oh by the way, Jennifer..." manner.  Glad to have that weight off my shoulders.  I guess I'm officially "public" now.             

I just received the best news today!  It's been a battle getting my most recent bloodwork results from one doctor to another.  I am so fortunate to have a very persistent IM.  She called the nurse, on her day off, on her cell, and got the answers we've been waiting for.   I am now MED FREE!!!  Hubs said I should celebrate by buying him lunch...how lucky am I?! ;)          

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Always the Bladder

What a rough past few days... 

Rewind to Monday evening around 7 pm.  The pain started.  The stinging sensations that I'm all too familiar with.  A UTI was in the works and it was bound to be a good one.  I've experienced numerous UTI's and I always start with the same plan of attack.  I started drinking lots of water.  I even had some pills left over from the last UTI I had just a week or so ago.  I started on those right away as well.  But it was too late.  The damage was done and no amount of water or pills were going to stop this one before it did its damage.  I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand, I couldn't lay down.  I was in hell.  It was getting late and everyone went to bed.  I insisted the hubs sleep because there was nothing he could do at this point.  I was determined to ride it out myself.  Little did I know that wasn't going to be the case.  By about 11:00 I was in such agony I was screaming, shaking, crying...it was the worst pain ever.  Maybe it's simple memory loss but I was certain that the pain was far worse than child birth.  I'd never experienced a UTI like this before.  The hubs woke due to the noises that I could no longer control.  I recall looking at him and telling him I couldn't take it anymore, I needed help and by help I meant hospital.  He contacted my mother who came to sit with the kids while they slept.  Off we went on one of the worst, most painful car rides I've ever been on.  Every tiny bump was agony. 

I'll spare you all the details of the ER but I did end up with an IV, several external and internal ultrasounds, some pretty potent pain meds in my IV and a sweet little (they're never little) catheter.  Diagnosis:  A severe UTI with a bladder filled to the brim.  Apparently the average bladder can hold up to around 800 mL and at around 150-250 mL the brain tells you to pee.  I was at a 1000mL and I was completely unable to release any of it.  I honestly didn't even know if I had anything in it.  My bladder wasn't communicating with my brain.  It's a horrible side effect of a surgery I had as a young child.  I will forever live with this problem.  That I accepted a long time ago so it wasn't quite as painful to hear this time.  The solution: self catheterizations at home.  Again, not something new to me but something I've always wanted to avoid as long and often as I could.  I was warned that if I don't get my bladder empty and this continues that it could/would eventually lead to renal failure.  Another fact that I've been confronted with before.  Only this time, having been through this nightmarish pain, I was hearing it more clearly and taking everything a lot more serious.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baby is Growing!

Heartbeat is up to 178.
If I had to guess I'd say the head is to the left.  Still so hard to tell.  We did hit a milestone yesterday.  At 9 weeks the little one transitions from embryo to fetus!  I'm up to 140 lbs. 
 
A little comparison shot....7 weeks vs 9 weeks
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

For Your Entertainment

    Pre-transfer            7 weeks             9 weeks

 
Sorry about the image quality. 
 
At 7 weeks I was dealing with a lot of bloating!  The 9 weeks picture is bloat free and all baby bump.  I was trying to hold up nine fingers and the hubs said I looked like I was throwing gang signs so I rolled with it. 
 
Today is ultrasound #2 as well as another blood draw to check the estrogen and progesterone levels.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why?

I guess it's about time I explain how I was led to surrogacy and what made me decide to become a surrogate myself.  It's hard for me to believe it's almost been 2 years since the word surrogacy entered my life.  Well here it is, the story, and hopefully I don't disappoint because there's really nothing earth shattering about how I made my decision.  It began simply enough with a tv show.  I came across Sister Wives one day on the tube and their non-traditional lifestyle peaked my interest immediately.  I couldn't grasp how they live as they do.  (I shamefully admit I am a reality tv junkie)  Anyhow, I set the DVR to record all the episodes so I could watch them at my convenience.  I don't recall which eposide it was but one of the wives was always very open about her battle with infertility.  Her newest sister wife came to her and made what felt to me like the greatest, most loving offer of being her surrogate.  I was in awe of how selflessly she was loving on her sister wife.  It was at that moment my wheels started turning.  Not only was the idea placed on my mind it was implanted on my heart.  I reflected on my life and thought about when in my life have I done something of such great magnitude for someone else?  I hadn't.  In what way have I contributed to this life in a manner that didn't revolve around myself or my family?  I knew I was very capable of such an act and it was certain it would be for someone that I knew nothing of or about.  It would be a complete stranger. 

I began with researching the idea online and praying about it, a lot.  It wasn't until about a year later that once again the world of surrogacy was introduced on tv once again.  At that point I knew that if a year later my heart was still on fire about the idea that this was meant to be.  I needed to take the next step.  And I did.  I contacted an agency and the ball began rolling from there.  It all happened so quickly too.  Within a few short months the match had been made.  Little did I know what sort of relationship would form from there.  It's with a smile in my heart that I can say my family has grown by two.    

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bacteria, BLAH!

((Sigh))...UTI confirmed.  Awesome.  I get these all.the.time so I'm not too surprised but when you have something pressing on your bladder all the time it makes it so much worse.  I'm up about 3 times every night to pee.  It blows.  I feel bad for the hubs although he did tell me today that it doesn't seem to disturb him.  So Keflex it is for 5 days.  Praying it does the trick and I get some relief. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Great News!

I'm so happy I could cry, that is if my hormones weren't so jacked up.  I just received a call from the RE and she is reducing my meds.  This means one less estrogen pill and one less estrogen patch every day.  This also means the weaning off my meds has started and sooner than I expected!  My progesterone level is up to a 19 which she said is great and the estrogen is at 1,027.   Adding to the great news, there will be another ultrasound around the 23rd as well as a blood draw.  Please pray that my levels keep rising!

Another Little Update

Well, I had my first official episode of throwing up.  Although I don't think it technically counts since I accidentally gagged myself with my toothbrush this morning initiating the episode.  I'm extremely anal about brushing my tongue really well when I brush my teeth.  My stomach wasn't feeling great and that's all it took.  I couldn't stop it.  It's weird how great you feel right after though.  It's been a rollercoaster of good and bad days.  Sunday was horrible but yet Monday was great.  It's a crap shoot really on how I'll feel each day.  I've hit 8 weeks so I'm hoping things will start to settle down now that I'm getting closer to 2nd trimester.   

I've been having some issues with getting meds refilled.  It seems like every week I'm running out of something and the insurance company is giving me issues.  The RE told me to increase my dosage. However, the written prescription says I'm not taking as much as I actually am.  Therefore, the insurance company thinks I'm going through it too fast and won't refill before a certain time frame.  So a little lesson to all, if your doctor increases your meds, get it in writing.  Time is the of the essence and we couldn't wait for it all to get straightened out.  IP's ended up having to pay out of pocket over $100 for a med that would cost $28 if my insurance would have covered the refill.     

A few days ago the kiddos went to their yearly summer camp with their grandma and cousins. The little one made it two nights before calling us last night crying and wanting to come home. According to his gma he "missed his dad and his dog". Awesome, mom didn't make the list. :-/   Now we're having to do a little shifting around of schedules as we are without a sitter until Thursday and we didn't expect to need one this week.

The hubs and I did manage to squeeze in date night while the kids were gone. We went to see World War Z. If you enjoy The Walking Dead then you'll enjoy this movie even more. It was pretty scary.  Picture "walkers" that are runners...FAST runners. The boys are wanting to see it but we thought it was best to check it out before letting them watch. Good thing too! The little one wouldn't have made it past the first 10-15 minutes.  I think I was able to talk him out of wanting to see it.  He doesn't care much for scary.  I don't blame him!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Part II

It is with great joy that I am able to share they found ONE beautiful little baby with a strong heartbeat of 128 bpm.  The dark banana shape is the sac and the blurry image inside is the baby.  The official due date is 2/27.  I must have a thing for delivering in February.  My kids were born on 2/19 and 2/29.  Obviously I won't be delivering another leap baby since this isn't a leap year.  I will make certain that my boys' birthdays are just as special and important next year as they've always been.  We may have to do things a little earlier but what kid doesn't enjoy celebrating a little early?

Next appointment will be in 2 weeks to see the nurse.  They make you see her before they officially start your care so you can get reading material and samples.  It's just an educational appointment and I won't be seeing the dr that day.  They did draw blood to check the hormone levels...PLEASE let them be rising so I can be off these meds by 10 weeks!!  Oh and the hubs did awesome.  No passing out and he even had to stand through the whole thing which worried me. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ultrasound today!

Sorry it's been so long since I've updated.  There's just not a whole lot going on right now.  Still battling nausea.  It's getting better though.  I'm learning what helps and what makes it worse.  This afternoon is my first ultrasound.  I'm nervous, excited and scared.  So many emotions.  My biggest fear is to receive bad news and have to relay that on to E&G.  I cannot even fathom how painfully difficult that would be.  I'm remaining optimistic that there's one beautiful, healthy little heart pumping away.  On the downside of things I am certain I've had a UTI for the past few days and I know that it's because of the lack of fluids I've been able to consume lately.  I'm having a hard time stomaching drinks.  I did figure out yesterday that diluted brewed iced tea settles very well.  What does not settle well (why I had to actually try it to figure it out I will blame on preg brain, because no one in their right mind would attempt this combo)  is a bowl of ice cream followed up by pickles.  I was miserable after that bright move. 

OooH OooH...I have really great news to share.  Remember Andy...Darrel's bestie (prob not too manly to say bestie huh?) well, he's headed to St Louis in 2 weeks to try out for The Voice!  He called last night to share the news.  So very excited for him and praying that his heart pours out during his vocals.  He's a fantastic singer, songwriter and has a heart that is on fire for God.  If you missed it, I posted a short clip of him singing in my June 4th post.  If you could lift up an extra prayer for him it would be much appreciated.

To Be Continued....

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ugh!

Next time I make a stupid comment like the one I blogged about yesterday, someone please smack me.  I may have woke feeling great but morning sickness ran tampant all day yesterday and it's back again this morning.  Almost nothing sounds good but my stomach is on empty which only makes the nausea worse.  I almost got sick in my car twice today on the way in to work.  I haven't shared my news with anyone at work yet so I'm miserable on the inside yet trying to not let it show.  With my boys I didn't experience this.  I think that's a huge part of why I thought I would be a good candidate for a surrogate.  This is the first moment at which I have had any sort of doubts as to why I did this.  If someone had told me that I would be this sick, I don't know if I would have made the same decision.  Last night the fam shot off a few early fireworks and there I was...miserable...sitting in the back of the car just watching because moving around was too much effort and my stomach was weak.  It breaks my heart to see how much time is slipping through my hands.  Time that I can't get back with my kids.  Memories I'm missing out on making with them.  It brings me to tears as I type this.  Right now they see mom as someone who sleeps a lot and doesn't do much anymore.  They know I'm carrying a baby for someone else but I don't know that they understand this is all a temporary side effect of that.  Who knows what others who don't know are thinking.  I mean, I have gained 7 lbs already in a very short period of time.  Surely that has to show.  I guess this is the not so glamorous side of surrogacy.  It's the raw, truthful side.  My heart is still very much into it and I know the finish line is within sight.  I cling to that.  I cling to the images in my head of E&G seeing their precious newborn and hearing it make its first blood curling cry.  I imagine that tears of joy and flood of emotions that will be shared in that room on delivery day.  Crazy enough I actually feel a little better physically now from having typed this.  I guess I just needed to get that off my chest and refocus once again.   
 
 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Doc is In

Ultrasound has been scheduled for July 9th. 

I woke this morning feeling great.  So great that it actually worries me.  I don't feel bloated, stomach is fairly normal and I slept really good last night.  What happened to my symptoms??  I was sharing my fears with the hubs and his words were exactly what I needed to hear --------------------------------->
 
Did I mention how amazing he's been through this journey?  He left me the sweetest, and totally unexpected, card in my car this morning.  Words will never express enough how supportive, patient and loving he has been.  Surrogacy isn't just a journey for the carrier, it's a journey for her entire family.  My family has made sacrifices as well but the hubs, he's the MVP in my book.  He picks up the slack when I'm ill or absent.  He listens to all my ramblings.  He gets me back on track when he's sees I'm running astray.  He keeps me humble.
 
***A special Happy Birthday to my SIL, Dan-O!***   

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sick, sick, sick

I'm not sure what made me think this pregnancy would be anything like my others.  It isn't...and it hasn't been.  The morning sickness began over the weekend. Up until that point I could eat just about anything I wanted to.  Even the things that my stomach has always been sensitive to, they were now on the menu.  It was great.  But, it was short lived.  Sunday was the worst.  The hubs and I made it to church but it wasn't easy.  My stomach was empty but I was scared to eat.  Everything that sounded good also sound gross.  It's a nasty little game my stomach is playing on me.  Luckily I haven't been throwing up but due to my health history, it's pretty difficult for me to do so and it takes something like the flu to make me throw up.  I woke in the middle of the night last night certain I did have the flu.  I was chilled, achey and burning up.  Awesome.  Just how I wanted to start the work week.  I managed to get a few more hours of sleep and woke up feeling like my normal preggo self.  Slight nausea, flutterly stomach and bloated.  My IPs have been checking in on me and I'm very reluctant to share with them just exactly how bad I am feeling.  I don't want to worry them.  They sent our family a gc in the mail the other day to a really awesome Brazilian steakhouse.  I told the hubs, who cannot wait to get his "meat coma" on that we're probably going to have to wait until the second trimester so I can enjoy it as much as he intends to.  Poor guy has had me worried as he's not been feeling real great lately either.  He had his blood drawn today and he passed out.  Of course this is nothing out of the norm for him.  After all, this is the same guy that started passing out on me at the sonogram for our first born.  And when our youngest had to get an IV due to dehydration, it was the hubs the nurses had to lay down on the fire engine table.  Oh and when he had his vasectomy, yep...lights out!  I am hoping that he can make it through the ultrasound next week.  We will see...     

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Patiently Waiting...kinda ;)

Nothing really to update about.  My doctor is out of town so I have to wait until Monday to find out when the ultrasound will be.  The last couple of nights I've dealt with some minor nausea.  It only comes when my stomach is running on empty.  Monday night, in the middle of the night, I went to the kitchen and ate a little applesauce so I could get back to sleep.  Lets hope this doesn't become a habit. 

I came across this on FB (my agency had posted it on their page) and I think I'm going to have it framed.  It's perfect.



If you have some spare time, go check out this link.  It's a birth story of another surro and it's beautiful!  http://itstartedwithabump.com/  It really makes me wonder what that day will be like for us.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Beta #2

Saturday, June 22nd

Beta hcg....1,056
Estrogen...138
Progesterone....16.3

They were looking for the first beta of 402 to double within 48 hours which I guess I overachieved on that one.  DH is convinced it's twins but I'm keeping my mind open to either option.

The estrogen and progesterone numbers don't mean a whole lot to me just yet.  I'm going to put a call into the RE to find out what the desired range is for these.  I know the estrogen must be low because they called me yesterday and said slap on another patch.  Just when I thought we'd be decreasing the meds, they up it on me.  A little bummed about that but I'll get over it. 


* Update *

RE wants to see the estrogen at 200+ while the progesterone looks fine.  Ultrasound will be week of July 8th.  Just waiting on my OBGYN to confirm the date.  They will also recheck hormone levels at that time. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Coming Out

So it's officially official now.  Up until this point this has been my precious little secret that I have treasured keeping to myself.  So far I've only told the people in my life that have in one way or another been a support system to myself or my family.  I shared with the people that I felt safe handing over my secret to.  These past few days I've felt so selfish in wanting to keep everything so quiet.  Here's why... 
 
My agency posted this photo on their FB page a few weeks ago and it broke my heart.  The colors on the states represent how surro friendly each state is.  Green being the best then bright yellow...darker yellow...orange...then my state...bright red.  Clearly there needs to be more education and a stronger push for Surrogacy rights.  This brings me back to the selfish feeling I've been struggling with.  This surrogacy has become my passion in such a way that I want to be a voice for other surrogates and other parents struggling with infertility.  Here's my opportunity to be a voice!  Yet, I'm scared.  Once I chose to go public it will mean I need to have the answers.  Very few people understand the process and they're full of questions, which by the way is wonderful.  I actually welcome questions from those who are genuinely interested.  But, I want to have the best possible responses I can.  So far I've had nothing but positive reactions but I know the negative reactions will be there.  How will I handle that?   
 
Up until this point I have guarded my secret for fear that I would have to retract my words if something were to go wrong.  I've slowly started to entertain the idea of coming out.  I know this has to happen if I'm going to educate others.  I guess this blog entry is my little way of talking myself into the courage...the courage to be more open and willing to speak about my journey.  But right now, my mind is set on waiting for the first sonogram before sharing with too many others.  I need some of the unknowns to be answered before I can fully share my story.           

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Results

And the Magic Number is......402 and it's confirmed...I am pregnant.  Praise God!

I just found out some crazy news too.  Turns out the IF, who mind you lives in another state, just found out the founding partner for his firm was born and raised in my hometown and went to the same exact school as my dad!  How's that for a sign :)     

Draw #1

This morning was my first Beta hcg blood draw.  The results will be ready within an hour and faxed over to the RE.  I've been searching everywhere online to find some sort of acceptable beta range but the numbers really are all over the place.  Some women have super low betas and go on to have a successful pregnancy while others have really high betas (rumored to be an indication of multiples) and they end up with just one baby.  Unfortunately some also have great numbers and end up in miscarriage.  It's really hard to say. 

If you're curious here's a site that did a little polling of betas.  betabase.info/  Keep in mind the chart goes off of DPO (days past ovulation) which would be 5 days prior to the actual transfer date of June 9th.  So if I've figured it correctly I would be 16 DPO.

PS......I don't care how old you are, you're never too old for a fun bandaid!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A little Anatomy lesson

Well, the RE's (reproductive endocronologist) nurse let IM know the reason I have to stay on all my meds until about week 12, even after the betas confirm the pregnancy.  It's all because of a little thing called a corpus luteum. 
 
That lovely item #10, well that's the corpus luteum. 
 
 
 
A normal pregnancy starts with an egg released from the mother's ovary which travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus where it joins with the sperm and becomes the embryo. This follicle that releases the egg then becomes a temporary estrogen and progesterone ovarian cyst called the corpus luteum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_luteum The corpus luteum produces estrogen and progesterone for up to 12 weeks until the placenta develops and takes over its duties.   Because we didn't want to fertilize any of my eggs, I was given the Lupron shots to prevent ovulation therefore leaving me with no corpus luteum to produce the necessary hormones that maintain the inner lining of the uterus for the embryo.  After 12 weeks the placenta will take over producing the necessary hormones therefore allowing me to discontinue the meds.  This will be the point at which my body is allowed to do what it naturally does, completely unassisted.  I like the sound of that!
 
The nurse also informed us that if the betas confirm that I am indeed pregnant, we will have a sonogram two weeks from that date to determine if the pregnancy is a singleton or twins.