Sunday, November 17, 2013

Two month retrospective

My surro baby is almost 2 months old, and we're just about a month away from the 1 year anniversary of our transfer. And here in Thompson World, things are going fantastically. We just returned from a wonderful cruise to Mexico, and my biggest complaint is that all my baby weight isn't just falling right off, like it tended to do with my kids. But to be fair, with my children, I was breastfeeding and following an ultra strict diet due to their allergies. And I wasn't eating opulent cruise food, either. :)

I haven't shared any pictures of my surro girlie because my IFs are protective of their privacy, and I, of course, respect that. Although I do have bunches of adorable pictures I am hoarding all to myself. :) There's an especially cute one of the Baby and I, and both families all together (one big, happy family :D ). And a super adorable one of B admiring his new daughter for the first time. My IFs send me new pictures from time to time. I hear from them about twice a month. Their family will always hold a special place in all of our hearts, and vice versa, but we're not super BFFs, and I am okay with that. I thought that it would be very important to me to be in close contact with my IPs after the baby as born, but I am completely content with knowing that their family is complete and happy. Hearing from them every once in a while and the occasional picture is nice, but it's a nice bonus, not a necessity (don't think that that means I want you to stop sending them, guys!). (Edited to add: before I finished this post, I got an email from B. :D )

Everyone told me how hard it was going to be, to "give up" the Baby, even when I insisted I could handle it. So, even though I felt like I wouldn't have a problem with it, I was prepared to maybe be a little sad, or miss her or her family. But I'm not sad. As a matter of fact, the whole process of goodbyes and sending her home to her family was even easier than I expected. I feel almost cold-hearted saying it, but I think I was just properly mentally prepared. She is not mine, and she never was. And I always knew that. She went home with her family, where she belongs, and I'm home with my family, and my two awesome kids who keep me happy and busy.

All that being said, yup, I'm totally ready to do this again. :D My surrogacy journey was an overwhelmingly positive, and, I believe, undeniably successful, and I can't wait to help another family get their child. I plan on reapplying shortly with the intention of having time to find my next set of perfect IPs. I know how long the process can take, and I'd ideally like to transfer in August (after our trip to Europe, but early enough such that I don't have to be pregnant in the summer again. I was such a crybaby.). I'm very specific about what I am looking for in IPs, so I know that I might have to be patient. Although I've learned that looking at ads on surro websites makes me just want to run out and get knocked up for everyone. ;)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Birth Novel

Facing an induction Monday night, I attempted to begin my birthing time for several days. Friday I spent a nice long day with my breast pump, which had seemed to be successful at starting things with Kismet. I got some good contractions going, but they'd taper off once I stopped pumping. Saturday I broke down and tried Castor Oil, against my better judgment. :-) At 3:30ish, I took 2 tablespoons blended with orange juice and ice cream, which I drank with a straw (so too much nastiness wouldn't hit my tongue). It wasn't too bad, and once I was sure I could stomach it, I took 2 more tablespoons blended with root beer and ice cream. Should have stuck with the orange juice. :-p

I went back to the pump off and on for the rest of the day. The castor oil was mostly disappointing. I got some burps that tasted like I had eaten a tube of chapstick, a mild upset tummy and about an hour of good contractions, but they petered just as I was starting to get excited. I got back on the pump and got some more good contractions going, but nothing to write home about. During the night I woke up about 3 times to a heavy contraction, but nothing else. I woke up around 7:00 Sunday morning, and I felt like something had changed. At that moment, my water started dribbling. After getting up, a few gushes and a couple of pairs of pants later, I confirmed that my water had, in fact, broken and I hadn't developed sudden incontinence.

I woke up Tony, and then text the Intended Fathers (IFs), my mom and my sister, and called the hospital to confirm that they wanted me to come right in. Fortunately my mother-in-law had spent the night, and was able to take the kids, which included taking them to an out of town birthday party and bringing them back (I am ridiculously lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive people).

Tony and I headed to the hospital, and my mom and my IFs (and Big Brother) met us there shortly after we were put into a room. I was 2.5cm dilated, which surprised me since my water had broken and all. Because I was GBS positive, and only had the opportunity to get the first round of antibiotics before he was born, we decided the best course would be for me to relax and not encourage the contractions (which were starting up, slowly) until I could get at least 2 rounds of antibiotics in me, which would take at least 5 hours.

So, we all hung out for a few hours, IFs and Tony running out for some food (nurse initially said I could only have clear liquids, but doctor came by and said I could eat more or less whatever I wanted, with the idea that I might be seeing it all again (so he suggested I keep it light), so I was thrilled because it was early and I was already starving). The first attempt to start my IV resulted in a blown out vein (still sore) and my almost passing out/puking (I'm fine now if you can get the needle right, but if you mess it up, it's no good). So then they insisted on putting it in my hand instead of my arm, which I think is such a hassle, but they placed it. And then they had to stick me yet again because something happened with one of the tubes of blood they drew. But it eventually got all squared away, and the antibiotics were started and we were on the road.

My mother-in-law brought Kismet (DD) by around 2:00, where she settled in with the rest of us for the long haul. Around 3:00 we finished the second round of meds, and I got started with the breast pump to try and get some contractions going, since being in bed for so long had stalled them. Did that for about an hour. Nothing. Walked the halls like crazed speed walkers. Nothing. More pumping, more walking. A few contractions here and there, but nothing at all consistent. What the hell? The pump had been at least getting them going for the past few days, but now that it counted, nothing. I had only dilated to a 3. :-/

I knew that, because my water was broken, I was on a bit of a time crunch, and that pitocin was imminent. And sure enough, doctor said 7pm, 12 hours after my water broke, we should start the pit. I wasn't happy about it, but I knew that I was making my best efforts, and they weren't working, so something had to happen. Shortly after 7, they started the pit at a 1, and turned it up by 2 every 30 minutes. I continued to walk the halls with various members of my entourage, to the constant comments of the nursing staff (positive comments, but seriously, does nobody else walk here?). We put Kismet to sleep on my hospital bed and one IF took Big Brother back to the hotel room to sleep for a bit, and it wasn't until almost 10:00 and several dosing increases that the contractions started getting regular at 5 minute intervals. Like with the birth of my son, the nurses had a consistently hard time tracking the contractions on the monitor, and were constantly trying to adjust my sensor. For the most part, I tracked the contractions on my app and they took my word for it. They were regular, but still easy to walk and talk through, so they continued to up my pitocin, up to 13.

Around 11:15, the contractions started getting a tiny bit heavier, so I decided to take a break and listen to my HypnoBabies track, which helped a bit. By the time I was done, around 12:15, the contractions were about 2.5-3 minutes apart, and I was no longer able to walk or talk through them. And still they were not showing up on the monitors. I had to ensure my nurse things were really getting going at this point. She checked me and I was a 5. I walked a little more between contractions, but after a few laps, I decided it was time to find a good position in the room. The contractions started coming significantly harder. We decided it was time for the other IF and Big Brother to come on back. Tony and my mom were invaluable in their support, and Tony got a great workout doing counter pressure on my back during the contractions.

With the pitocin, the contractions soon became more than I was willing to deal with. I first request the pitocin be turned down a bit, but I should have done that a lot earlier, because I was too tired to deal with much more of that intensity, and soon I requested some fentynal, which I knew would just take the edge off, and that was significantly quicker acting and exactly what I needed. I knew I was in transition, but I was too tired to wait it out. I was checked again and was at an 8. I think it was at this point I asked the nurse if she'd called the doctor yet.

The timeline gets a tiny bit fuzzy at this point (and I'm hoping to get my hands on my medical records to get the exact times down), but I'm fairly certain not more than a half hour passed before she was born. I know there were a few more contractions that the fentynal helped with, and the nurse asked if I was feeling pressure yet, because Baby Girl's heartrate was showing slight decelerations, indicating she was moving lower. I misinterpreted this question, thinking she was asking if I felt the urge to push. I told her no, I wasn't feeling pressure, when I realized later that I had been. Oops. :) This might have contributed to her thinking I wasn't as close as I was. Not one or two contractions later I told her I was feeling pushy. She checked me and I was at a 9. She told me to breathe through the pushing feeling. I did it easily through the next contraction, and not so easily through the following contraction. I knew that I was not going to be able to not push during the next contraction. I asked if the doctor was there yet. He was "on his way." I told the nurse I was going to have to push. We had a very brief negotiation, as I'd been on my hands and knees for my contractions, and the nurse asked me to lay on my back, because she'd never delivered hands and knees. We compromised with me being on my side. We finished the conversation as my contraction began. I'm not sure the nurse quite realized exactly what would be going on in the next minute yet, but I had a pretty good idea. As the contraction took hold, I believe I yelled for somebody to grab my leg. I swear that I tried to push softly and evenly, but my efforts, my body took over, and Baby Girl's head was out within, I'm guessing, 20 seconds. The nurse asked me to push again, and I asked if I could rest for a minute (I wasn't clear exactly what was going on at this point, except that I felt like resting). She told me no, I had to get the shoulders out. So I obliged, and Baby Girl was officially born at 1:59a.m. on September 23, 2013, 7 pounds 12 ounces, 19.25 inches. The doctor walked in in time to clamp the cord and clean me up (no stitches again, score!). It took a little effort to stop my bleeding but the doctor didn't seem too concerned. After Daddy and Papa got to snuggle their beautiful new daughter, I held her for a short time before we all headed off to our new rooms, where we collapsed from exhaustion (after all the after birth going-ons, it was close to 5:30/6:00 before we finally got to sleep).

The newly expanded family is doing very well, despite baby-mandated lack of sleep. Big Brother is very adoring and protective of his sweet Little Sister, and I don't think Daddy and Papa would put her down even if she let them. :-) We visited at their hotel one last time today; tomorrow they'll be spending the night near the airport and heading home early Saturday morning. I got some good baby snuggle time in, and lots of hugs from Daddy and Papa as we left, and we all managed to keep it together through the goodbyes. We talked about maybe visiting them next year, and in the meantime, I'm looking forward to watching Baby Girl grow on Facebook and the like.

I'm currently doing good. Physically recovering pretty well. My biggest physical complaint at this point is my big bruise on my arm where a nurse blew out my vein. I certainly don't wish Baby Girl was ours, and I don't really specifically miss being pregnant either. If I get down about anything, I'd say I'm occasionally a little sad the journey and excitement are over. All in all, it's been an overwhelmingly positive experience, and I really hope I can do it again. And while I totally feel like a rock star myself, I just don't feel like all the praise is warranted. I don't know, to me, it's just something I can do. So I do it. :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Baby Watch 2013

Yup, still here, still slacking hardcore. :-) Come on, you didn't want to read all that boring normal pregnancy crap anyway, right? It's better this way, jumping right ahead to the countdown. That's right, we are officially on Baby Watch, starting today. Today, because Daddies and Big Brother have landed on the West Coast. They'll be spending a few days in the San Francisco area (about two hours away) before heading out here to the (Central) Valley. I'm currently 39 weeks 2 days, and I'm not really expecting Baby Girl for at least a week (I'm actually hoping for next Wednesday because Tony will start his long weekend that day), but she's allowed to come whenever she's ready at this point. It's a relief to have her family close now. Most of me was sure she'd wait to come, like my kids, but who knows why we go into labor? Does the woman's body dictate it or the baby? And if it's the baby, all bets are off this time around. But, for the moment, she is still cozy and kicking, and I'm excited to see her family in a few days and let them all have turns feeling her bounce around inside before they get to hold her outside. I'm especially excited for her brother to get some snuggles in; he was telling everyone at the airport he was coming to California to see Tiffany and get his baby sister. <3

Mostly, I'm feeling good. I despise the heat, and next time around (which there almost certainly will be), no way in hell am I transferring December-Marchish. Ugh. 8-9 months pregnant plus 100° weather equals miserable. But somehow I'm surviving. :-) I'm super looking forward to labor and delivery, and rocking it with my HypnoBabies like I did with my son. I'm excited about IFs getting their daughter and Big Brother getting his sister. I've realized I view her far more as a completion of a family than an individual baby, if that makes sense. I don't really think much about how she'll look, I think about her daddies holding her and her brother snuggling her. Even after nine months together, I don't feel like I've developed any sort of bond with her that will be detrimental to returning her to her parents. I hope to remain in contact with them all, and I'd love to visit someday (okay, maybe a tiny part of that is their proximity to New York), but at no point have I wished she was mine. The only thing I actually am a little bummed won't be happening because she's not mine is that she won't be passed to me for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding immediately after birth. But that's not because I want to bond with her, but because I didn't get to do that with my own babies, for various reasons, and that's the only thing I felt like I never got to "do right."

I was going to wax poetic a little more, but I'd better publish this before I forget about it. :-D

Sunday, May 19, 2013

More than halfway!

Do you know what's boring? A happy, healthy pregnancy. No issues, no drama, just happy healthy baby and gestational surrogate. :-) Busy, happy, healthy surro. With a bit of a recent addiction to Candy Crush. But, all in all, I don't feel compelled to blog much anymore. I think about blogging all the time; about all the little and big things I want to share, but I don't feel the need to as often anymore. This blog and you guys really helped me work through all the ups, and the many downs of my early surro journey, but, for the most part, at this point, with no more shots, no more monitoring, it just feels like a normal pregnancy, and, really, who wants to read about that? ;) "Today I had heartburn. Today I had a headache. Today I had heartburn and a headache. The baby moved a lot, especially at night, again today." See, b-o-r-i-n-g. ;)

Which is not to say that exciting things haven't happened. First of all, I feel it necessary to point out, after making light of it above, that I love the part of the pregnancy when you can feel the baby rocking and rolling in there. Just like with my own kids, I like to take a little time every night and every morning while I'm in bed (if I have time) to just sit and feel Baby for a bit. I appreciate my good night kicks and good morning punches. And I try to appreciate all the karate chops and funky dance moves in between. Also, after a bit of drama, the amnio all went very well, if a week later than originally planned, and the baby is genetically beautiful, which we optimists knew, of course, but confirmation is always nice.

Super exciting was a few weeks ago when B & C, and their son, came to visit. They spent to weekend in the area, and got to meet my kids and family, and we all had a wonderful time. My daughter especially just adored their son (she told me she's going to marry him), and my family just loved them. We also got to tour the hospital, which was the first visit there for me as well, and it seems like a good, mostly laid back place with a lot of experience with surros. The only major bummer of the weekend was that Tony had to work, so he only got to see the guys for the hospital tour.

And I had to, of course, save the biggest news for last. The main reason the guys were here was for the Big Ultrasound that happened that Monday. The ultrasound tech was way nicer than me and wasted no time informing us all that B & C will be having a little girl! It was a very exciting moment to be a part of, and they were thrilled, and I think that helped make it a little more real for their son, who didn't want to let go of the pictures of his "little sister" after the ultrasound.

There are so many more little things I'd like to touch on, but I think I got the big things, and preggo girls need their sleep!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Catching up

It's been brought to my attention that I've been slacking on my responsibilities to the blogosphere, and to you, oh great blogosphere, I apologize. :) For the most part, things have been unremarkable lately, which is exactly how things should be going at this point. And a nice, smooth pregnancy makes for boring blogging.

We're 16 weeks 1 day today, coming up on 4 months, and the second trimester is treating us pretty good. The general nausea has passed, and the ravenous hunger that was alternated with it has eased up some. I can no longer brag about my minimal weight gain, as I randomly gained, like, 8 pounds in a week. Foretunately I've kept it down since. 3 miles a day on the treadmill has got to count for something. Although, to be fair, a fair amount of it has gone to my boobs (everyone else is talking about them, so I'm allowed to; seriously, 2 different people with whom I'm not sure I'm that close with have commented on them). They have gotten ridiculously huge (like, 3 cup sizes in the past 2 months), which has really affected my wardrobe. The cleavage being flashed by my adorable holiday dress was no longer technically Passover/Easter appropriate. Besides that, I am just starting to look like I'm letting myself go a bit, with no identifiable baby bump as of yet.

We had our first trimester ultrasound a few weeks ago, and everything is looking perfect. Baby is starting to look like a Baby and not a Blobby anymore. And on Thursday we have the big amnio, which I'm actually a little excited about, as weird as that may sound. Before I was really not keen on the idea, but I know how important it is to B & C, and now I'm kind of looking forward to it, kind of as another thing I can kick ass at ( ;-) ), like the shots. And it's always nice to see Baby, and have Baby's health confirmed. I'm also supposed to be on bedrest for 24-36 hours afterwards, and after the constant colds I've been battling this winter, an excuse to stay in bed for a day actually sounds pretty fabulous. I've already picked up a couple of movies from the library for the occasion, and am looking forward to intersplicing that with some Walking Dead.

Since I should have a bit of extra time on Thursday, I'll try to pop back over here and let you all know how the giant needle in my uterus went. :-D

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pin cushion no more!

Approximately 65 progesterone shots,
21 estrogen shots,
13 blood draws,
and I'm done!

I got the call from my nurse Thursday that yesterday's progesterone check was good enough (last week's was not), and I can officially stop doing my progesterone shots! Or more accurately, Tony can stop doing my shots. :) I'm so excited. After the disappointment of last week when my numbers weren't quite high enough, I didn't want to get my hopes up too much, but I was apparently at least somewhat optimistic because I didn't order any new meds or needles, and we were down to just a few more days of both. No worries now though! Eeeee! It's become such integral part of my day, I can hardly believe we're finally done, and my bum can start on the road t Approximately 65 progesterone shots,
21 estrogen shots,
13 blood draws,
and I'm done!

I got the call from my nurse Thursday that Wednesday's progesterone check was good enough (last week's was not), and I can officially stop doing my progesterone shots! Or more accurately, Tony can stop doing my shots. :) I'm so excited. After the disappointment of last week when my numbers weren't quite high enough, I didn't want to get my hopes up too much, but I was apparently at least somewhat optimistic because I didn't order any new meds or needles, and we were down to just a few more days of both. No worries now though! Eeeee! It's become such integral part of my day, I can hardly believe we're finally done, and my bum can start on the road to recovery. Which I don't actually think will take very long; I have a few little knots and bruises, but nothing major. In a week or two it'll be just like we weren't poking holes in my butt on a regular basis. I even get to stop my vaginal suppositories Monday. Drug-free in 2013! Whoo-hoo!

So, my body is really on the job now. My placenta has taken over production of the estrogen and progesterone. It's nice to have some confirmation that things are going right because we're getting to the time during pregnancy that's really uneasy for me. The first trimester symptoms are starting to fade (except for the boobs; they're still huge and sore) and it's not possible to feel the baby yet, and I get a little paranoid sometimes, for no reason. I'll feel better once this kiddo starts using my insides as a punching bag. :-) Monday we'll have further confirmation of the continued health of this little one at our NT ultrasound, which screens for various possible issues, and I'm sure we're going to pass with flying colors. :-)

P.S. Am I the only one who doesn't get Portlandia? I've heard good things, and we've tried giving it a good fair try, but so far, about half of the episodes are almost painful to watch. Am I missing something, or am I just too old or unhip for sketch comedies? o recovery. Which I don't actually think will take very long; I have a few little knots and bruises, but nothing major. In a week or two it'll be just like we weren't poking holes in my butt on a regular basis. I even get to stop my vaginal suppositories Monday. Drug-free in 2013! Whoo-hoo!

So, my body is really on the job now. My placenta has taken over production of the estrogen and progesterone. It's nice to have some confirmation that things are going right because we're getting to the time during pregnancy that's really uneasy for me. The first trimester symptoms are starting to fade (except for the boobs; they're still huge and sore) and it's not possible to feel the baby yet, and I get a little paranoid sometimes, for no reason. I'll feel better once this kiddo starts using my insides as a punching bag. :-) Monday we'll have further confirmation of the continued health of this little one at our NT ultrasound, which screens for various possible issues, and I'm sure we're going to pass with flying colors. :-)

P.S. Am I the only one who doesn't get Portlandia? I've heard good things, and we've tried giving it a good fair try, but so far, about half of the episodes are almost painful to watch. Am I missing something, or am I just too old or unhip for sketch comedies?

Monday, February 18, 2013

10 Weeks, Baby!

Can't believe it, but we're already 1/4 of the way done! To be fair, we did get to start 4 weeks in, but, still, time is flying. :) We're making crazy progress over here. I believe I forgot to mention that on January 31, my estrogen was over 700 (we were looking for 500+) and we got to stop our estrogen shots. And last week's progesterone check put me at 57.8, which meant we got to start weaning off the progesterone (still shots every night, but we get to cut the dosage by half). We do another progesterone check on Wednesday. I'm not sure if a good number then means we stop the shots altogether, or we take another half step down. Either way, my body is so ready to take over this pregnancy! :)

I sure had to earn that progesertone level last week, though. First, and I realized it just as I was handing the lab order to the receptionist, my nurse forgot to write the account to which to bill the test, so I had to call up and have them fax over another order. They called me back just as the courier showed up to pick up the stat orders, and my tests are always labeled stat, so they asked him to wait. And then they came back and told me they don't run progesterone stat. I could have sworn they ran my progesterone stat before, but, whatever. And they can't just not run it stat, they have to get an official okay from the ordering doctor's office. Fortunately, this time they called themselves, and the office okayed them not running it stat. I'm starting to feel a little nervous because I haven't seen the kid they've got back with me to draw my blood before, and being there on a regular basis, I'm pretty familiar with the staff. But I tell myself not to be negative because last time I was negative, it was my most painful blood draw. And then I noticed that one of the regular women is staying back to oversee him. Yup, he's a newbie. Doh. The stick wasn't *too* bad, but it wasn't a good one, either. He was in there for a while, too. But he tapes me up, and I'm getting ready to go, and the phlebotomist is checking out the vial of blood, asking him, "Is this all you got?" :-/ Well, clearly it is. Double doh. So I offer up my other arm, and she gets it done right and finally my very patient little boy and I are on our way. :)

Wednesday's blood draw will also include labs for our first trimester screening. That's part one, and part two is an ultrasound that somebody will hopefully call me tomorrow to schedule. That ultrasound has to take place sometime in the next 2.5 weeks to be valid, so we'll definitely be seeing this kiddo again soon.  :)

Kismet and Teagun were looking through a catalogue playing the ever popular "I want" game when Teagun came across a baby activity mat, and announced, "Let's give that to B & C's baby!" <3

Usually, I'm a follow the recipe as opposed to make up my own dinner kind of girl, but for several days the Baby has been requesting a new and very specific pasta dish: farfelle with a butter and garlic sauce, with sun dried tomatoes, sauted mushrooms, peas and bacon. I finally got around to making it Saturday, and this kid is a culinary genius. Everybody in the house devoured it, and I had to make it again tonight. Yum!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Blobby

I apologize for my little absence there. In addition to being freakin' exhausted (usually I blog at the end of the day, and by the time that of day all I want to do is snuggle up to Tony, if I make it that far), there's been some non-surro-related stuff going on that has fortunately turned out all puppy dogs and roses, but was taking up a good deal of my mental energy.

Anyyyyyyywaaaaayyyyysss, the news you've all been waiting for is finally here! Ultrasound today was pretty conclusive that we have one healthy baby in here. Baby Blobby, as I referred to he/she today (in reference to the baby's distinct resembalance to a two lump blob; an adorable blob, but a blob at the moment), is measuring a nice 9 weeks 1 day, about 2.5cm, with a heart rate of 147. Baby Blobby is still sharing my womb with an extra sac. The other sac is measuring 6 weeks, about the same as it was 2 weeks ago. Doctor says it should be starting to reabsorb (imbuing Blobby with super powers, maybe? ;) ).

So, Blobby and I are doing mostly well. My biggest "complaints" are fatigue, nausea and heartburn. Last week I had a cold, and that plus pregnancy rendered me useless. I was too beat to do much more than sit on the couch and read. Fortunately, Tony was home and made sure the kids were dressed and had more to eat than dry cereal. :) My "morning sickness" is by far the worst in the evenings, but sometimes it is far more motivated than me and lasts for most of the day, if I don't stay on top of it with little snacks. And I've got some heavy food aversions. I used to eat sunny-side up eggs everyday, and now just writing about them makes my tummy a little yucky. I'm glad I've realized it was the salad dressing that I usually eat that was driving the aversion, and now that I've rectified that, I can enjoy my salads again. Of course, I could eat fruit all day long. We're all in trouble once grapes come back into season. I'm pleased to report that I'm only up about 4 pounds since starting the meds, and coming up on 9.5 weeks preggo, I'm okay with that. I wish I could say it was all in my boobs, but my pants are definitely uncomfortable. :) I'm living in yoga pants until I'm big enough for maternity jeans. I've had a few days where I feel too short of breath to get up on the treadmill, but most days I make it down to the gym, although certainly not nearly as hardcore as I once was. :) But at least it helps curb the weight gain on the days I only want to eat Sour Patch Kids. :-D

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's a good thing surrogacy has taught us patience...

Oops, missed 7 weeks, but more on that later. Important news of the day is that there is no new news. :-/

Today we had a repeat ultrasound in an effort to solve the twinsie mystery. The twinsie mystery stands. I had my ultrasound at the unkind hour of 8:30 (which meant I had to drink 32 ounces of water by 7:30. The contrast of the cold water in my warm belly was unsettling.). The tech did her ultrasound, noting one healthy baby and one "sac of fluid" and then she said she was done. She did all of this through abdominal ultrasound, while last week the tech (at a different office) did both abdominal and trans-vaginal ultrasound, and got the most information on the sacs through the latter. So, after I emptied my grateful bladder, I went back and requested a trans-vaginal ultrasound, for my piece of mind. Thankfully she agreed. Sure enough, she was now able to visualize the other sac, and see the yolk and *possible* fetal pole inside. Measuring smaller than the other sac but bigger than it had last week. Still no heartbeat, though. The tech seemed to be of the opinion that we "shouldn't get our hopes up," but she's seen stranger things happen. Second verse, same as the first. At least I left feeling proud that I insisted on the trans-vaginal ultrasound, even though it didn't tell us anything we didn't learn last week.

At 12:30, I had an appointment to review the ultrasound results with my doctor. Another exercise in frustration, because the radiologist had read the ultrasound wrong and the report he sent to the doctor said both sacs were measuring the same (7.3 weeks), which, I think, made the absence of a heartbeat more final than not being able to find an ultrasound at 6.3 weeks. I insisted the report was incorrect, and the doctor put in a call asking the radiologist to review the ultrasound again. Doctor called me about an hour later to say that I was right (again; who has the fancy degrees around here?), the other sac is smaller, but he still says we're going to call it a singleton pregnancy for now and follow up in two weeks. Ugh, two weeks. In the meantime, I'm still going to blame all of the weight gain on the extra sac.

All in all, it feels like an exhausting, wasted day. Bright side is that we have one little healthy bugger in there, and Dr. says the other sac won't affect the health of that baby, regardless, which was the one piece of happy, useful information I was able to pass along to Daddies today.

I really did intend to write our 7 week stuff here, but I'm so tired. I'm making sushi and spending as much of the rest of the evening on the couch as the kids will allow. One thing of not is that my pants are getting a little uncomfy. :-/ Think high estrogen thoughts for me tomorrow: if we hit 500, we get to cut out our every 3rd day extra shot. Still doing progesterone every night for a while now, but it's a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surprise, surprise!

Cutting right to the chase, today we had a surprise ultrasound. Both in the fact that it took place and what it revealed. Turns out we've got two sacs people! After our beta numbers, I was all prepared for one healthy baby. While she's conducting the ultrasound, I saw the first sac, and then she swept around, and I saw the other sac, and I thought "Oh my goodness, twins!" and then I thought, "No, it's probably just the other side of the sac. Ultrasounds are tricky." And then the tech announced "Looks like two of them in there." And I gasped. Oh my goodness.

But it's not for certain that there are 2 viable babies in here yet. The tech was able to find a good strong heartbeat for Baby B, but she was not able to find a heartbeat in the other sac. The other sac was measuring a little smaller, so as far as I understand, that could mean it's just a little bit behind and it's too early to get a heartbeat, or it could mean that sac is not viable and we have one healthy baby and extra sac.

I spoke with our nurse at the IVF clinic this evening, and she said we'll try and get another ultrasound next week to clear this mystery twinsie business up. In the meantime, we're all in flux. I called my IFs and shared the potential news, and they were surprised and cautiously excited. We were all expecting one, and since Daddies have one kiddo already, I think they were looking forward to one more child to complete their family. They aren't opposed to 2, but I think they're a little nervous about the idea of two babies at once, as I imagine most parents of twins are. So, right now, we don't know: do we process this news and get excited about twins, and run the risk of having to mourn a baby that never was, or do we spend the next week or so not processing and just mentally sit on this news? An interesting place to be...

I met my new OB today. Nice guy, very soft spoken, and hooked us up with our surprise ultrasound today. I was supposed to have to go to San Francisco for our ultrasound on Friday, but he was able to give me an order to get it done today, locally, so that was nice.

In other surprise news today, my sister, 19 weeks along, found out the daughter she thought she was having (based on the NT ultrasound at 12 weeks) is, in fact, a son! It was a big day for news via ultrasounds. :-D

The baby(ies) is(are) demanding linguini noodles with spaghetti sauce. Nothing special. Just jarred spaghetti sauce over noodles. I started thinking about it Monday night when mentally planning Tuesday's dinner in bed. My mouth started watering and I almost got out of bed at 11:30 to make it. I found it especially notable because I always prefer angel hair pasta, thin as possible. So to be craving linguini noodles was amusing to me. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

6 Weeks and everything else

Oh my goodness, I meant to be on here several times earlier in the week to blog, with lots of relevant, important things to say, but I just never made it. Even throughout today, I was interrupted several times. Fever, vomiting, diarrhea (everyone else in the house but me, strangely enough)'s been an all around fun time around here. :-D

First and foremost, our second beta was on Monday. 3914! Doubling time of about 1.65 days! At first I thought that was extra high, possibly indicating twins. But Google tells me it's a good solid number, probably indicating one healthy Baby. But numbers don't necessarily directly correlate. We won't know for sure until our ultrasound. Which *should* be this Friday. But that's a little iffy right now. Everyone is working hard to find a good place for me to get that done, but apparently it's not as easy as requisitioning the nearest ultrasound machine. We might be getting it done in San Francisco. Possibly.

Or we may be getting it at our new OB's office. Normally, we wouldn't be seeing our OB for the first visit until closer to 10 weeks, but because we've been having such a hard time finding a good local place for the ultrasounds, it's been agreed the earlier I can get hooked up with my local OB, the better. So we've got an appointment with our new OB on Wednesday. If we're super duper lucky, maybe they'll do the ultrasound there and then.

In other surro-related news, I had my worst shot experience ever Friday night. It was a 2-shot day, so estrogen in addition to the progesterone. Shots usually range from "That's it?" to "Ouch! That hurt." Estrogen shots are usually a little easier, in general, because there's less volume, so I, at least, imagine they are quicker. This particular estrogen shot was hellish. From beginning to end, which seemed to take extra forever, it burned like a wicked sumabitch. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. And it continued to hurt afterwards, which is unusual. I had to lay on that side to put pressure on it just to sleep, and it still hurts more that it should, 2 days later, which means this might be the 3rd day of progesterone on the left side, when we usually alternate. My best guess is that we nicked a blood vessel on the way in, because it bled a lot more than usual. And last night's shot was, blessedly, one of the "That's it?" types.

And, finally, we are 6 weeks today! Yay! Kismet and I decided to nickname the Baby, for the time being, "Little Pumpkin" (she needed something to call the Baby) because this Little Pumpkin will be making his/her appearance in the world around the same time as pumpkins start being harvested around here. Anyway, Little Pumpkin's ears, nose and mouth are beginning to develop and blood will start to course through Pumpkin's body. Arm and leg buds are beginning to show and lungs are beginning to develop. This week, Pumpkin will double in size, but is currently the size of a lentil.

I am feeling mostly fine. Still the tiniest bit of nausea in the evening, and generally tired and cranky, but poor sleep thanks to my little man is almost certainly a contributing factor. Otherwise Pumpkin has been very good to me. Oh, I did immensely enjoy a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, which I've never been a big fan of. But breakfast cereal is a big winner for me when I'm pregnant. It was Lucky Charms with Teagun, but those I've always loved. :)

Here's hoping my next entry brings news of our ultrasound!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

5 Weeks!

That's right, once we get that positive pregnancy test, we jump right into being pregnant, and today marks 5 weeks along. Baby is currently the approximate size of a sesame seed. Baby is super busy in this next week, developing eyes, tongue, skin and brain, and the heart is beginning to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood. A tiny little sesame seed, pumping blood! :-D How cute!

Despite being a little sesame seed, this Baby is making me feel full all the time, except when I'm starving. Those are the 2 states I have: uncomfortably full and freakin' starving. And the latter half of the days are spent with a very bubbly tummy. If this keeps up, I'll never know when the Baby starts moving because it feels like I've got a whole soccer team in there right now. I only get nauseous, mildly, on occasion, and I'm looking forward to stocking up on grapes to help ease that when necessary. And, I am, of course, tired. So tired. Almost got a nap yesterday when the kiddos came home, in their usual parade-like manner, which negated any restful time.

I think all this praise people are heaping on me is going to my head a bit. I've never felt unfulfilled as a stay at home mom; I know I'm very lucky to be able to stay home with our kidlets, and, while I still lack mad housekeeping skills, I'm not too bad at the actual raising kids part. I love my life and have no desire for anything to be different (okay, maybe magically cleaner house and Tony at home more, but you get the drift). But I've noticed that I've been feeling somehow more important lately. Which is not to say I didn't feel adequately important before! But I've been feeling like I'm doing an additionally important thing, I guess. Which is a nice feeling. Not necessary, not something I was seeking out or expecting, still doesn't mean I'm a super-amazing person for all this. But it's nice.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Oh my goodness, I am tired. Granted that's just as likely a result of our amazing vacation, which we returned from yesterday, as the teeny, tiny baby growing up in here. :) Oh, also the lack of caffeine may be a contributing factor. But for now, I'm enjoying the one hour a week I have the house to myself, sitting on my ass, watching Quantum Leap and chatting to you all.

So, clearly the past week has been HUGE. After our beautiful digital pregnancy test on Friday, we had to follow up with the official beta test on Monday. I was able to make an appointment at the Quest just a few minutes from the condo we were staying at in Garden Grove, and it was a good thing, too, because I got down there Monday morning and the place was packed, and we had California Adventure to be getting to. As I was sitting there, I thought, "This isn't my usual lab; I bet they won't be as good at sticking me." I had no reason to think that, as I'd also got my blood drawn at 2 other places in the past few months, with no issues. But sure enough, that vampire stuck that needle in my arm.and then tried to find the right vein. After the needle was in my arm. Twisting it around. A similar incident when I was 7 led to my initial fear of needles. It was quite a testament to my HypnoBabies "Needles are Okay" track that I just laughed when she asked if it hurt. Big giant DUH. :-p My arm hurt for two days afterward. BUT, it was done, and my nurse called me with results just as we were sitting down to the Aladdin stage show. 197! Woot woot! Great numbers for a singleton pregnancy at this point. Well, great numbers to *indicate* a singleton pregnancy. We won't know for sure exactly how many are in there until the ultrasound in 2 weeks. But I feel confident in guessing one, which is perfect. :-D I just had time to text B&C (if you've been following my journey for a while, these initials are new to you; my IFs are very appreciative of their privacy, and I'll be going back to my old entries and editing my past use of their initials to these new ones) the wonderful news before the curtain rose. They were, of course, thrilled. :-D

Our second beta will be on Monday, just to confirm the health of this little miracle, and then ultrasound the following week. We're still trying to figure out exactly where that's going to take place, because the place that did my monitoring ultrasound doesn't see pregnant patients. Which I definitely am. :-D

While my close friends and family have been aware of my journey, I "came out" as a surro on my Facebook yesterday to overwhelming support. While I didn't expect any negative comments (well, maybe one or two), the responses were a little embarrassing: people calling me amazing and stuff like that. I mean, generally awesome, yes, but amazing because of this? Nah. This is mostly easy. Honestly, at times, I feel like this is a bit selfish on my part. It's an exciting adventure for me that sometimes takes time away from my family. I mean, it's not like we're using my uterus right now anyway.

While I mostly try and keep this blog surro-centered, I have to say, our vacation to Disneyland really was completely magical. It was us, my mom, my sister, her 2.5 year old daughter and her husband. We spent 4 days in Disneyland and California Adventure (Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday), one day at Huntington Beach and one day of me being sick (I think I had a bit of food poisoning; amazingly, none of the children got sick with anything the whole week). We got to enjoy all of the Christmas celebrations on Thurs/Fri and light crowds Mon/Tues. We got to do pretty much everything we all wanted without feeling too ragged. I was so pleased with how everything went, and we all loved it! Hope to edit this entry with a few pictures a little later. :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I sure am popular these days ;)

Wow, my last post had the most views ever. That makes me think there's some news you guys are waiting for; something you are moderately interested in knowing. That you might want to know that I am, in fact, PREGNANT! At least, that's what 4 pregnancy tests in the past 3 days have indicated (yes, I have a problem).

I'd had a couple of negative tests previously, and I initially thought Thursday's test was negative as well. But, on second look, I saw the slighthest ghost of a line, which apparently only pregnant women could see (the only other person who saw it was my sister, who is 17 weeks along). I desperately want to keep my IFs as informed as possible, but there was nothing to show them yet, and I didn't want to say anything in case it was an evaporation line. So I waited until Friday morning, and, while still light, the line was clearly visible. But lines are so vague, so (on our way to Disneyland), we stopped by Target and picked up a digital test. I peed on that bad boy as soon as we got into California Adventure and got that beautiful "Pregnant" result, so I text that wonderful picture to W & J ASAP, with a Disneyland map in the background, with the caption, "Wishes really do come true in Disneyland! Congratulations!" :-D

Daddies are very happy and excited, and can hardly believe this is real, as they've been working towards this beautiful result for over a year now, so I think they're cautiously optimistic. Beta test is early on Monday morning, before we head back to California Adventure (Disneyland was Thursday and we'll be back on Tuesday; W joked that their son's younger sibling will be able to brag that he/she has been to Disneyland first. :-D). Beta will be our official confirmation of pregnancy.

I'm feeling good. A little bloated and yucky right now, but I think that's more a result of the super delicious bacon burger, garlic fries, cookie dough milkshake and strawberry caramel sundae I shared with my family at Ruby's on the pier in Huntington Beach at lunch. YUM! And ugh. :-D

Check out this awesomeness (dpt=days past transfer):