Monday, February 24, 2014

2 days to go!

Last night was incredibly rough.  As mentioned before I'm dealing with some painful headaches and last night was no exception.  I woke in the middle of the night with a bad one.  I could feel it not only in my head but in my neck.  I popped a few pills and slapped a hot washcloth on my head and thought I'd get right back to sleep.  Negative.  On top of the awesome headache I also had a sudden case of insomnia.  I was wide awake.  So I did what most insomniacs do, I tinkered on the Internet.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just trying to occupy myself while everyone else slept.  Once the medicine kicked in and the pain started to lessen I managed to fall back asleep to some really, really weird dreams.  The hubs always laughs and rolls his eyes when I say this but they do say vivid dreams are a side effect of pregnancy...  So, the hubs can laugh all he wants but if it's on the internet it must be true, right?!  ;) 

This morning the headache was back in full force and to be honest, I just feel "blah" all over.  Definitely not myself.  Just to be safe I went to a local pharmacy to use their blood pressure machine to make sure it wasn't anything serious.  I'm relieved to say my blood pressure came back as 119/80.  I feel much better knowing.

Last but not is my last day of work.  I'm officially on maternity leave until I feel well enough to return.  I'm blessed to have such a supportive employer!    


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Going The Distance

I'm that lady.  No matter how many prior pregnancies I've had, I will go the full 40 weeks each time. 

I've been having pretty good headaches the past couple of days.  The kind where I have to shut off the lights and find a really quiet spot to ride it out.  The headache meds have been helping but not completely.  My ankles are swelling too when I'm on my feet too much.  My energy level has really declined as well.  I'm sure somehow, someway it's just my body responding to the 40 week mark.  I keep pushing the fluids and I try to stay off my feet for the most part but with two kids to tend to it's a challenge at times.  I'm fortunate that they're old enough to do things for themselves, it's just they don't always want to...we're working on that.

I'm squeezing in one last birthday party tonight for C, our first born and also our leap baby.  We typically celebrate on the 28th when it's not a leap year but it looks like I will be in the hospital on his birthday.  He's being a really good sport about it though.  He never makes much a of fuss about his birthday even though we love too. 

It's hard for the hubs and I to grasp the fact that we have a 14 year old.  When he came into this world we were two very scared, inexperienced parents.  What we didn't know was just how amazing he would make our lives.  He lit a fire in both of us that led us to some really great accomplishments.  We wanted to give our sweet baby boy the best life ever.  My hope for him is that someday when he's grown and raising a family of his own he too will experience the same.  I look forward to sharing with him how much sweeter he made our lives the very minute he entered this world. 

Happy 14th Birthday, son!  We love you.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

6 Days Left

I apologize up front if this sounds like my very own pity party but I do promise I have a much better attitude and hold on it this morning.  Yesterday, not so much. 

Here's how yesterday's appointment went, in a condensed version...

Doctor walks in and first words, "Hello, Jennifer.  Looks like you'll be done next week.  Your bloodwork is scheduled for Tuesday and C-section on Wednesday."

I obviously had a deer in headlights look on my face because he said, "Didn't they tell you?".  Uhh, NO!  Last visit I was under the assumption I could think over the option for an ECV (turning the baby).  To which he quickly informed me he thought I didn't want that so he didn't take it into consideration.  All I said last week was that I wasn't sure I could handle that and he said, "of course you can".  He then tells me that it's a little late to attempt it and we should've tried at 37 weeks when the baby had more room to turn if he was able to.  At this point he was fairly certain his attempt at an ECV would be unsuccessful.  So, the option was totally off the table now.  Just great. 

I've come to accept the fact that this is what needs to be done and there's a reason it has come to this.  I must simply trust.  That's where I am at now, trusting.  And in turn, I'm beginning to allow myself to get excited.  We have a concrete plan.  We have a DATE!!!  On February 26th Graham will be arriving via C-section. 

There's only one thing that could affect this date and that is if my water breaks or I go into labor before the 26th.  My doctor explained that typically when a baby is breached, or even in proper head down position, and your water breaks the baby drops and the head or butt compresses on the opening of the cervix preventing the umbilical cord from slipping through.  When baby is laying sideways and the water breaks, the cord could slip down and through the cervix causing a life threatening situation.  The one thing I do have going for me that leads him to believe this wouldn't happen is that my cervix is closed tight, no dilation at all.  He checked yesterday.  If my water is to break or I go into labor before the 26th then I am to head to hospital right away and a C-section would be performed that day.

Here's a pretty good video about the C-section procedure if you're interested in watching but I must warn you it is graphic so watch at your own risk.  I've heard stories of other's C-sections but I wanted to actually see it for myself so I googled.  Yes, I google and I google often. 

I know I'll be scared the day of but I'm more concerned about my husband!  We've had the discussion and he confided in me that he didn't think he could get through it without passing out.  He wants so badly to be there for me and I want him there as well but we're both scared.  The last thing either of us need is additional worry that day.  I really don't want to get my hopes up but we're going to try to sweet talk the nurses or someone into sweet talking my doctor into allowing us to sneak Graham's mom (or dad) into the operating room with us.  I know the odds are stacked against us but we'll never know if we don't at least ask.  Knowing our situation I pray that they have a little extra compassion and understanding that day.    

There's more to how I'm feeling emotionally about this but it's not the most positive, uplifting attitude to have and I'm trying super hard to squash it.  So far so good.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In Case You Are Wondering...

Yep, still pregnant.  Patiently awaiting his arrival.  39 weeks and...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

38 Week Visit

Yesterday was my 38 week checkup.  It started with an ultrasound to figure out how Graham is laying.  The results...
He's transverse, or laying left to right instead of head up or down.  It looks a lot like the pic above only he is facing outwards.  This explains a LOT of my discomfort as far as bending and breathing.  It's a much tighter fight for him and puts more pressure on the both of us.  What I've always thought to be his butt tucked into my right ribcage is actually his head.   

Obviously he cannot come out this way so we're looking at three possibilities right now:

  1. ECV - this is where the doctor tries to turn the baby with this hands.  It involves a little medication to relax the uterus and fetal monitoring to make sure baby tolerates it well.
  2. C-section
  3. Wait it out and see if he flips on his own, if he doesn't and I go into labor, well then we're pretty much just left with the C-section option
My head was spinning after we left the office and I didn't know what to do.  I was so confused.  Everything up until this point has been the norm.  I've carried two of my own children and it's all been fairly routine.  This was uncharted territory.  This was a big decision.  This was a decision I wasn't prepared to make.  Last blog I posted about only making decisions affecting my care, well here I am having to decide something that has overlapped Graham and I.  Yes, this affects my care but in turn also affects Graham's.  That was a little more pressure than I woke up prepared for.

D and I spent a little time just sitting in the parking lot after the appointment.  I think we were both a little dazed and caught off guard.  I may have shed a tear or two but D has always been amazing when it comes to talking me through stressful situations.  He said all the right things and helped me remember that whatever the decision, it will be His plan, not ours.  Have I mentioned how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband?!

After much thought and a good night's rest ("good?!"...okay, that's a stretch) I've decided I'm going to give the ECV a shot in hopes to avoid the C-section.  If it works, fantastic!  If it doesn't, then C-section it is.  Or perhaps Graham will just surprise us all with his own plans.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

38 Weeks

I just finished completing the hospital birth plan this afternoon.  It involved a lot of questions about my wishes before, during and after delivery.  Such as...
  • Who gets to be present during birth?
  • Who gets to hold baby first?
  • Do you want to see the baby after birth?
  • Who do you want to cut the cord?
  • Do you want the baby and parents allowed in your room?
To be honest, the only questions I feel I should have say so in are the ones concerning my care but that's not quite the way it works.  The hospital sees the woman that delivers as the decision maker until they get legal papers in their hands telling them otherwise. 
Luckily D & I have had great communication with Graham's mom and dad so we know what their wishes are and those are the ones we will respect.  My "go to line" if the nurses ask me questions about Graham is going to be, "I'm not sure, you should probably ask his mom and dad" and I will take such pleasure from those words.  I know they're eager to take over their role as mom and dad and the hubs and I are going to be so full of joy as we sit back and observe. 
I don't know that either of us could have guessed what surrogacy would require of us emotionally and/or physically but we do know has taught us so much about ourselves and about love.  In the process I hope that it has also taught our sons a thing or two as well about God's love.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

37+ weeks

So now what?  We simply wait.

We optimistically go about planning our weekly lives as if Graham will not becoming this week, or today for that matter.  Although it makes me nervous to commit to much of anything this month, I've somehow managed to commit to numerous activities in February.  The bright side is it will keep me distracted until delivery day.

Sunday will be J's celebration.  Little man is turning 9.  My baby is celebrating his birth. 

Just last night I pulled out his baby book and took a little trip down memory lane.  I've always been a little confused as to what his actual due date was (time and kids will do that to your memory).  J was due on February 16th but, as we found out, that was not the day he was to arrive.  He made his grand entrance at 12:03 in the morning on February 19th.  He was the sweetest, most perfect addition to our little family.  At that very moment I knew I was in trouble.  This little guy immediately entangled himself tightly around my heart.  To this very day he still knows how to pull at my heart strings and draw sympathy from his mom.  He is a very affectionate child and doesn't let a day go by without showing his love.  He loves his morning hugs, goodbyes and affirmations.  He insists on bedtime hugs, sharing of his day, and family hugs (all of which we're more than happy to oblige).  His personality is beyond this world.  One second sweet, calm and loving and the next...the biggest curmudgeon you've ever met.  But, that's what makes little J who he is.  That's what fills our hearts. 

He is our little curmudgeon and on February 19, 2005 he completed our family.       

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Today was my first weekly doctor visit.  It didn't go as well as I had hoped.  I was hoping for answers, something concrete to look forward to but left with nothing but uncertainty.  He checked for dilation but my cervix is completely closed.  He also searched for Graham's position but still isn't exactly sure how he's positioned.  He did say his head is not down where it needs to be for a vaginal birth and he hasn't dropped.  I was certain he had.  I feel lots of pressure and it's been a lot easier to breathe lately.  The only good news I received was that I am down 2 lbs from my last visit. 

I go back next Wednesday for a sonogram to see how Graham is laying.  I'm completely stumped as to how he's laying.  I get kicked or punched in the ribcage as well as the bladder so I don't know what he's up to.  If he's breached or any way other than head down he mentioned possibly being able to turn him or else a c-section (which I'm reaaaaally not wanting). 

With only three weeks left something will have to be decided fairly soon.  Whether it's an induction or a C-section, it will have to be scheduled before I go into labor on my own.  I guess we shall see. 

As for how I'm feeling...tired, very tired.  I can't sleep very well and it's taking it's toll.  Other than that, no other complaints.  It's been a pretty easy pregnancy and it's crazy to think that in merely a few days it will be over.

I know there are those out there curious as to how "the surrogate" responds after delivery.  I'm curious myself.  I don't have the answers but I can promise you this, I will keep it real.  I will blog about it and I won't sugarcoat things.  This blog has taken me this far and I have a feeling it will be taking me much further.