Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 Weeks Post Delivery!

Hey all,
I figured I would give everyone an update on the last few months since delivery. It has been almost 11 weeks since I gave birth, and I'm just now starting to feel back to normal. The carpal tunnel has gotten significantly better, the heartburn is pretty much gone, and my back pain is getting better, and I see a nice hot stone massage in my future to help with that!

I had my 6 week checkup in the middle of October, and everything checked out just fine. Considering everything that went on down there, the doctor was pleased with her findings and gave me the okay to start exercising.  SHHH, don't tell her I started working out before she okay'ed it! I couldn't stand it much anymore. I had to do something! Ever since I can remember, I have always struggled with my weight, and with each of my pregnancies, I have not gained very much throughout, but this time, I didn't have to take care of a newborn to distract me from taking care of mommy! I probably overdid it for a few days especially at first, but everything is good, and I feel so much better when I work out! I'm starting to see some differences in my body, and my husband can even tell as well, which is a nice motivator!

My husband came home on October 25th! He left 8 days after delivery, so he was gone for 7 weeks! WAY TOO LONG!!! Him being gone was very hard, mostly emotionally this time. When he was gone for 5 weeks when I was still majorly pregnant, it was hard physically as well as emotionally but I was slightly distracted with giving birth to a healthy baby just enough. So glad he is home, and we are adjusting well to him being home! He now works from home and that has really been good for the kids to see him throughout the day, and know that he is still with us. We missed him very much!

A couple of weeks ago, I had my exit interview with Circle Surrogacy, the agency. It was just a time when they ask our opinions as surrogates what they can do to better their process and make things easier for us. They really did a fantastic job with me and the intended parents and I would recommend them strongly to anyone who would be interested in starting on a surrogacy journey.

The last question  of the interview was the hardest for me to answer. Would you consider a surrogacy journey again? The answer is a big whopping: I DON'T KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been asked this question several times by different people who know about my first journey, and I have not been able to give them a for-sure answer! I cannot fully say no, I won't do it again, or yes, I will do it again. I have been thinking of my answer to that question for a while now, even before she asked it in the exit interview. There are many reasons I would want to do it again. I just keep thinking that there is a couple out there waiting to be matched so that they can finally have the baby they've been waiting for, and here I am, perfectly capable of doing that! The cons aren't lost on me either. It's a lot. It's a lot to commit to again. Just because this surrogacy journey with these intended parents turned out great, does not mean that it will be that "easy" the next time around. There are so many factors and what ifs that need to be considered and I get very overwhelmed thinking about it, so I push it out of my brain, but it just comes creeping back. Maybe there's a reason. For those of you praying, pray for clarity!

I look at my children, and I think someone out there is waiting for a baby, a child to love like I love mine. Why wouldn't I give that to them? To me, it's not that simple, and I'm really trying to put some serious thought into it. Pray for me! :)

I will keep you updated when I have come to a decision. Hopefully it will be before I told the lady conducting the exit interview that she could call me back in 3 months and get an answer then! :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Post-pregnancy update

Alright, so it has now been 19 days since I gave birth to Alice. I have had many people ask how I'm doing, so I thought I would post an update on that. I just posted a blog with pictures of baby Alice. She is a cutie, for sure!

So, she was born on the 28th, and I was able to go home on the 30th of August. It was a rough week recovering. I was really sore mostly so was walking slow but still needed to do mom duties for my own kids. Ahh, life as a mom never ends or takes a break! It was nice to be able to sit Kynlee on my lap though, without my belly in the way! It also felt funny to drive for the first few days until I realized what was different about it. My belly wasn't rubbing against the steering wheel anymore! It's the little things, people!

I was prepared for this, and I knew it was inevitable, but my milk started coming in while I was still at the hospital. The couple chose to formula feed the baby. I was thankful for this choice in the end because even though I would have been happy to provide them with breast milk, it would have been a huge pain, not to mention added cost, of shipping the milk to France and having to pump all the time. The first 6 days after birth were the hardest. I was engorged and rock hard. I couldn't stand to be touched in the general area and when Kynlee punched me in the boob, I just about bawled my eyes out lol. We are at day 19 now, and I am still leaking breast milk, but the hardness and pain has gone away for the most part. It took me a long time to dry up with my own kids after breastfeeding for over a year, so I'm just giving it time, although it's a little annoying.

I have been pretty emotional, but not for the reasons one might think after having had a baby for someone else. I am not sad in any way regarding not having a baby to cuddle and hold, and feed in the middle of the night! I am sad because my husband is gone again, and the hormones of having a baby are in full swing! For about five or six days before he left, I had to fight this constant feeling of panic and anxiety. While giving birth to Alice was the hardest thing I have done physically, getting through these weeks until Halloween will be the hardest thing I have done mentally. It is overwhelming to think about the time frame of when Troy will be home and how long that is from now. It is way too long, but there is nothing he or I can do about it. He does have the option to come back between now and Halloween but I told him not to. When he came back for the birth, it took all of us 4 or 5 days to adjust to him being back again, and he would only be able to stay 5 days if he did come back. We would just be adjusting to him being back when it would be time for him to leave again, and I can't enjoy the time he is home, because all I'm thinking about is him leaving again. I told him to just get it done, and get home for good. He will probably have to travel back and forth a bit, but it won't be for a long time, hopefully just a week at a time. We both agree it isn't good to be apart like this, especially for the kids, but we are just doing what needs to be done at this point with the hopes of bettering and improving our lives. Still, it is the hardest thing mentally I have had to do so far. My patience is thin, I am almost constantly holding back tears, and I take it hour by hour daily. That's all I can do at this point. I am looking forward to the days when Troy will be home again full time, and we can get into a new routine with him working from home.

I was able to see the couple a few times after the baby was born. They would come visit me at my house. They were able to get the passport back after just two weeks! So they changed their flights from the 19th, to the 12th, which was Friday. I got to hold and cuddle baby Alice for most of the evening the night before she left. I felt no attachment or longing for another of my own, but just was enjoying getting to cuddle a sleepy newborn. I got to feed her and change a few diapers. She is pretty tiny and dainty! Long limbs and fingers and toes. Pretty easy going, and very awake for a newborn. She doesn't cry very much at all, just likes to look around and take it all in. She gets the hiccups a lot which is not surprising at all considering she had them several times a day when I carried her. As the couple was leaving on their last night here, it was difficult for them to say goodbye. It was an emotional one as they told me that "thank you" will never be enough, and there are no words to express their gratitude for what I have done for them. They said they will always consider me as family and we will talk frequently on FaceTime as Alice grows and grows! :)

If you have any questions for me at this point, I would be happy to answer them! I am an open book :)


Baby Alice

24 hours old here. 

Born at 6:55 pm. 7 lbs 13 ounces. 21 inches long. Just a few minutes old here. 
1 week old here 
2 weeks old here 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor and Delivery!

Okay people, guess what!? I'm not pregnant anymore!!! WOOHOO!!!

What an absolutely crazy day yesterday! My day started around 5 am. I slept okay at the hospital hooked up to the monitors that were watching the baby while the Cervidil was inserted overnight. I kept waiting for labor to start during the night but nothing really happened. When I got up at 5 am, I needed to pee so I went to the restroom. When I got back in bed, I noticed some small painful contractions starting at pretty regular intervals. I only had half an hour left with the Cervidil and then the nurse was going to come take it out. At 6 am, she came to take it out and I let her know that I was having some contractions but nothing too strong just yet, but definitely different from the Braxton Hicks I had been having. She checked me after removing the Cervidil and basically nothing had changed from the overnight drug. Still only 1 centimeter and still 50 percent effaced. I was a little bummed that some progress hadn't been made at least with the effacing part! She did say my cervix was softer and more ready to do the rest of what it needed to do during labor. Around 7 am, she started the Pitocin. I noticed a difference right away with the contractions. They became stronger, more painful, and closer together. She started at 2 micro units and was increasing by two micro units every 20 minutes or so. My husband arrived to the hospital from dropping off the kids with my friend who would be watching them for the day around 8:45. By 9 am, the contractions were getting very painful, I couldn't talk through them, and they were sometimes right on top of each other. My nurse was absolutely awesome! She let me know right away that I had rights as a patient and that if I didn't want something to happen the way the doctor was saying it should, that I could speak up and do things my way. I told the nurse that I would prefer to get the epidural before the water is broken, and she agreed with me that it would be the best way to do it, and told the doctor that that is the way we would go when it was time for the epidural. By 10:30, I was up to 12 micro units of Pitcocin and hurting pretty badly. Contractions were very strong, very close together, and I was starting to wear down a bit. The nurse checked me and said that I was at 4 centimeters and almost 100 percent effaced! Yay, progress! I was surprised at the progress, and thankful for it, and then consented to the epidural shortly thereafter. It took about 45 minutes for the anesthesiologist to come up and administer the epidural and by that time, I was definitely ready. This time, the epidural was different for me. With my previous births, Brae's epidural was only for 4 hours of the 45 hours labor, and with Kynlee's birth, the epidural was administered and then turned off almost immediately because I was almost completely dilated and they wanted me to be able to feel something and not be so numb. So with this birth, it was the earliest I have gotten it during labor and it also took the longest out of them all to take effect. After about 30 minutes, I was pretty numb and couldn't feel the contractions with pain anymore, just more pressure and tightening than anything. I was grateful for that because if the monitors were any indication, I was having some pretty strong ones. At this point, I hadn't eaten since 5pm the night before, and I was starving. They wouldn't let me eat anything which I expected, but I also didn't expect to feel so hungry!

Shortly after the epidural took effect, the doctor came in to break my water. After they broke my water, they increased the Pitocin again, and I was so thankful that I couldn't feel them! She checked me again about an hour after my water was broken, and I was dilated to a 5 and completely effaced. Yay, more progress! To tame some of the hunger, I started chewing on ice chips since that was the only thing I could have. BAD IDEA! I have had very bad heartburn during most of this pregnancy and it was really bad for the last month or so, and during labor it was just at an all time high. Laying on my back did not help and having nothing in my stomach but stomach acid from not eating for 18 hours at that point did not help it either! The water just made it 10 times worse! Another hour or so went by, and I started to feel a lot of pressure and also started to feel the effects of the epidural wearing off. My legs started to have more feeling in them and I started to feel the pain of the contractions again. The nurse checked me again, and I was dilated to 8-9 cm. Great! After about 30 minutes of feeling the contractions again, and not being able to talk through them again, the anesthesiologist came up again and gave me a bolus of numbing medicine and it slowly took effect and I was back to numb again. At this point, it was closer to 3 pm, and I was thinking to myself: "Wow this is going pretty great! No complications so far and I'm progressing and almost there!" And then, everything hit the fan!

A couple of minutes after 3 pm, the nurse checked me again, and said that I was complete and ready to push! She didn't call the doctor just yet, and just wanted to do a couple of practice pushes to see how I push and if it would bring the baby down at all. She was still pretty high and so I knew I would have my work cut out for me. By 3:20 I had started pushing. I pushed with every contraction for over an hour and she was not really coming down very much. The doctor came in about half way through pushing and she told me that the baby was stuck on my pelvic bone, and that her head was turned in a sideways position that was making it even more difficult for her to move down. She would try to turn the baby's head during a contraction and was trying to move a little lip of cervix that was still there at the same time, while I pushed. For this sake alone, I am so glad that I got the epidural and couldn't feel more than just pressure. One of the other side effects I started having from the epidural was uncontrollable shakes. My whole body shook from when I started pushing to when baby was delivered. I couldn't control it, and I didn't know which was worse, the shakes or the heartburn which was raging at this point. Every time I would push, I would feel the acid come in my throat, and I would try to swallow real quick before taking another breath to push again during contractions. It. Was. Torture! All of a sudden, before I knew it, I was throwing up. You wouldn't think I had much to throw up but apparently those ice chips I had been chewing on were just enough. NOT GOOD!

At this point, I continued to push for a bit, but after nothing still was happening, the doctor decided to take a break and let me labor down for a bit in different positions to see if that would help the baby come down on her own and get unstuck from my pelvic bone. I changed positions two or three times, and labored down for about an hour. The nurse checked me again, and said that the baby had come down further and that she thought I would have better luck pushing this time around. So she called the doctor back in and we started pushing again. As I started pushing again, the heartburn got bad again, and the doctor said that while she had come down from my pelvis, her head was still turned funny and so during the contractions and while I pushed, she would try to turn her. My epidural started wearing off again, so I just tried to use that extra feeling and pain of the contractions and to push through them. It was about 5:15 when the pushing started again, and she wasn't born until 6:55 pm. At around 6 pm, the doctor said that it was time to do something different. The baby's heart rate was consistently tachycardic (too high), and mine was getting high as well. I had just thrown up again, and was nearing the end of my rope. I didn't know how much longer I could push effectively and since I wasn't feeling like she was making any progress down the birth canal, I was getting frustrated and exhausted quick! The doctor's suggestion was to try a vacuum to help bring the baby down. She asked if I was okay with that, and then things got complicated. I asked what the risks were, and she said that it was possible it could cause brain hemorrhage for the baby. The intended parents heard that and freaked out. I don't blame them one bit! They ended up in the hallway, sobbing, while I was in the hospital bed, crying because the other option was a c-section. The doctor was saying that it would be a very long recovery for me, at least two weeks of not driving, extra pain, an incision, and everything else it would bring. I kept thinking, Troy goes back to New Jersey in 8 days, and I won't even be able to take Brae to kindergarten, or hold Kynlee, or do any of the other mom duties I have! I was crying during contractions and pushing, and Troy was trying to tell me that everything would be okay, and that if he had to, he wouldn't have to go back to Jersey right away and that he could stay and help for as long as I needed. I felt bad that I would be the cause of him not being able to return to work, and I also was worrying about what the intended parents must be thinking and going through at the same time. My doctor kept saying: "You're my patient, the only person I need consent from to do the vacuum is you." I heard the intended father say that he didn't want to the vacuum and that he would prefer for me to do the c-section. The doctor explained that even that wasn't the greatest of options either since they would have to push the baby back up the birth canal, and then rush me to c-section room and open me up, and still have to pull baby out of birth canal and then out of my uterus. I was terrified this was going to happen. My nurse, at this point, said that she was going to go talk to the nurse manager and figure out what legally could be done and who's ultimate decision it would be. I was worried I would jeopardize the relationship I have with the intended parents if something were to go wrong during the vacuum procedure, and I was also terrified to do the c-section. After a little while, the couple came back in, and since the nurse manager had taken some time to explain the procedure to them in more detail, along with my doctor who had stepped out to answer any questions they might have, they were ready to try the vacuum. My doctor started setting up for the procedure, and she said: "Okay Sarah, I am not going to use the vacuum for more than 3 contractions. If it isn't working after 3 contractions we will go to c-section." GULP! I had to sign a consent form that said: Patient agrees to vacuum assisted vaginal birth, if unsuccessful, will proceed to emergency c-section." The doctor then said: "Okay, Sarah you have got to push with everything you've got. Let's get this baby out!" I don't know where I found the strength from, but I pushed like my life depended on in! The doctor put the vacuum on the baby's head, and then told me to push. In one and a half contractions she was born!!! I heard the baby cry right away, realized she was out and that I had finally gotten her out, and I burst into tears. There were 13 people in the room, all nurses and nursery nurses, the nurse manager, the intended parents, my nurse and a paramedic student that was watching, and Troy. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room, except for maybe Troy :) The couple was sobbing, I was bawling, and I was so relieved that I didn't have to have a c-section! lol The doctor delivered the placenta after quite a while of pushing and tugging on my uterus. I was bleeding a little too much, so I got some cytotec to slow down the bleeding and then doctor had to get some leftover membranes that were still in my uterus. Once she got that out, she looked for any tears or lacerations. Surprisingly, there were none! I didn't tear which is great! The nurses and nursery nurses were doing the initial tests on the baby in the room and so it was pretty chaotic for a bit, but then all of a sudden, it was just me, my nurse, the doctor, and Troy! The doctor finished up her job, and they made me as comfortable as possible, and then I got to finally eat something! Food never tasted so good!

This process has been interesting, exhausting, unpredictable at times, but mostly very exciting! I am so happy and excited for the couple to begin their journey as parents now! I got to hold the baby last night for a little while. She is a cutie. I will post another blog with a couple of pictures as I take them, probably in the next few days. I want to respect the parents and let them bond with the baby as much as possible! They will be in the country until September 19th, and then will be headed back to France as long as birth certificate and passport arrive in time. I have had several questions from the nurses asking me how I'm doing emotionally, and the answer is that I'm doing just fine! I don't feel any attachment to the baby, or sad in any way. I was so happy to see my babies this morning after Brae got out of kindergarten. They are my world and I am so thankful for them! I'm so happy and proud of myself that I was able to provide a sense of family to another family that was so desperate for it! I will probably post another update in a few weeks with how everything is going emotionally for me for those of you that want to know! If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them! Thank you all for reading and following me on this journey! It's been grand! :)

Baby Alice
7 lbs 13 ounces
Born at 6:55 pm.
21 inches long


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

40 Weeks!

Alright folks,
 I have made it to 40 weeks pregnant! When I look back at this whole process, I can't quite process it all just yet, but it has definitely in a lot of ways flown by. It seems like just last month that I was finding out the results of the blood test to confirm whether I was pregnant or not!

It's been an interesting, stressful day. I took Brae to kindergarten this morning, and then rushed home to shower and get ready for my doctor's appointment this morning. The doctor checked me and I am still only dilated to a 1 and still 50% effaced. Apparently, this little french baguette is liking her oven, because she is in no hurry to come out! I have known pretty early on in this pregnancy that being induced was a big possibility because of the risk of stillbirth with the advanced maternal age of the intended mother, but I was really hoping she would decide to come on her own and we wouldn't have to deal with this whole inducing business. No such luck!

The plan last week was that if nothing changed between 39 and 40 weeks, I would be induced with Cervidil Wednesday night and then start Pitocin Thursday morning. So, here I sit in a hospital bed, with an IV, and Cervidil working its magic on my cervix. The idea is that it will soften and efface my cervix so that it will be more favorable to induce in the morning with the drug Pitocin. I have been very anxious and nervous the last few days leading up to this day. Everynight, I have gone to bed thinking tonight could be the night that she decides to come on her own, and every morning I wake up and I'm STILL PREGNANT! The last month has definitely been the hardest out of the whole pregnancy and the carpal tunnel I have had this time around is just about unbearable. It keeps me up for hours at night, so I'm really looking forward to some relief in this area after baby is born!

Tomorrow will be the day that this couple has been waiting for for a very long time!!! Their emotions are at the surface, and they are very much trying to convince themselves that this is real. They stayed with me for a few hours after the Cervidil was inserted and they will join me in the morning when Pitocin starts! Troy will join me after he drops off the kids with my awesome friend Nicole, and then the party will get started! I'm very nervous and scared about the Pitocin considering my last experience with it during my labor with Brae was nothing short of a nightmare, so please pray that everything goes smoothly and that me and the baby tolerate the drug okay and no emergency intervention is needed! I am going to try and get some rest before the big day tomorrow. I am ready to give this baby to her parents and they are ready to receive her!

The next update will be with baby news!!! :)


Thursday, August 21, 2014

39 Weeks!

So I have officially made it to 39 weeks pregnant! My husband arrived home on Friday afternoon, and the intended parents arrived on Monday! I am so glad that everyone involved for the big day has arrived. The French Baguette and I had an agreement that she needed to wait until her parents got here, and then she was free to come whenever she would like!

Apparently she is a little too comfortable in here. I had my 39 week checkup yesterday and I was checked again. I am still only 1 cm dilated and 60 percent effaced. I'm actually really not surprised because with my two previous pregnancies, I was barely dilated before I went into labor. I do the majority of my dilating while in labor. Lucky me! :) The doctor wanted to induce me today, but I told her that I would like to wait another week and see what might happen. She told me at my 38 week appointment that a lot can happen between 39 and 40 weeks, so I'm hoping that this is the case and she decides to come on her own before that! I need those of you that have been praying along with me throughout this journey to pray that she comes before next Wednesday night. Right now, the current plan if she doesn't come on her own before then is to get checked into the hospital on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm to do the overnight vaginal suppository Cervidil. The drug is supposed to ripen my cervix, just as an added prep for labor since they will start the actual induction process the next morning, Thursday at 6 am. A nurse told me that especially since this is my third birth, that a lot of times, the Cervidil will stimulate the contractions to start on their own and I won't need to have Pitocin the next morning to start labor! I'm really hoping that if she doesn't come on her own before that, that this will be the case for me!

I had the doctor strip my membranes yesterday at the appointment, and while it was very painful, nothing has really come of it. I still have the strong and long Braxton Hicks, but nothing near what the contractions will be. I am trying to be patient. I am really hoping that I don't have to be induced and that she comes on her own as the intended parents are very anxious to meet her! I am also very anxious to not be pregnant anymore! The last few weeks have been very hard on me, physically mostly as I haven't been able to sleep very well with the worst carpal tunnel I have ever had and also the worst heartburn. I can medicate the heartburn which helps for the most part, but the carpal tunnel is something I have yet to find a solution for. I go to sleep just fine, but then wake up a few hours later in crazy pain in my arms and hands with swelling, and can't seem to find a comfortable position or get the pain to go away enough to go back to sleep. Turns out, even though you're not bringing a baby home at the end of the pregnancy as a gestational surrogate, your body still thinks you are and still tries to prepare you for the lack of sleep and frequent interruptions of it. On a positive not, I have got one more week left at the most, and hoping that she comes sooner than that, I am trying to tell myself that this is almost over and the awesome part is about to begin for the intended parents!

I will be back with an update after my appointment next wednesday morning if I don't deliver before then, and will of course update after delivery, whichever comes first!!! Pray people, pray!!! :)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

38 Weeks!

Alright, so I am officially 38 weeks today! I had a doctor's appointment today and so I am here with an update. 

At my 36 week appointment I was not dilated at all, and I wasn't effaced either. Fine with me since my husband nor the couple were here yet. Today, my doctor checked me and I am 1 cm dilated and 50-60% effaced. Some progress and it is a slow progress I am thankful for at this point. My husband flies in tomorrow. He has been gone for 5 weeks. WAY TOO LONG! I have forgotten what it is like to have another adult in the house. I get to watch whatever I want on TV, but I would trade that any day for having my husband home every night! The kids aren't going to know what to do with him home either! The three of us have just kind of gotten into a routine and we have adjusted to being the three of us, but I'm sure they will be so happy to see their dad tomorrow at the airport. I have been a little worried lately because I have noticed over the last week or so that the Braxton Hicks contractions that I have been having since about 18 weeks, have gotten stronger and longer. I know this is normal towards the end, but I have been stressing because as much as I want to not be pregnant anymore, this little French Baguette needs to stay in here until her parents land in this country! Monday is the big day for that! I am so excited to have them back here, and for the occasion in which they are coming! They finally get to meet their little baby girl! I can't imagine what they must be feeling, probably too much to put into words. 

I have been asked lately if I am wavering in my emotions or feeling like I won't be able to give the baby away, and the answer is not at all! This baby is not mine to give away. I am just the oven, and their bun is almost ready to come out! There is no ownership on my part, or bonds that have been formed and mostly, I am just so excited to see the look on the couple's faces when they get handed their firstborn child! 

I want for this process to go as smoothly as possible and for the couple to have a great transition into parenthood for the first time. The closer my due date approaches, the more and more anxious I am getting about labor though. I remember being in labor with Kynlee and thinking to myself during a contraction: "Oh man, I don't know if I can do this for somebody else." Now, obviously I have not let this thought stop me, as I am weeks away from labor again but I am just praying and hoping that it goes quickly and as smoothly as possible! I tested negative for Group B Strep so while there is no need to get to the hospital as soon as labor starts, I plan to get there much earlier than I did while in labor with Kynlee. I don't want to be desperate for a breather and pain relief as I'm walking in the door. I want to be reasonable and able to get in the shower or the whirlpool tub that the hospital has for pain relief! Wish me luck! I checked with the doctor again today, and so far I have only gained 14 pounds to this date. Not bad and hopefully since I'm not breastfeeding I won't put the weight on then. I gained 15 pounds with Brae, and 20 with Kynlee during pregnancy, but my body holds on to every calorie when I'm breastfeeding and I gain weight instead of losing it! 

My next appointment is on Wednesday. The doctor is still talking about inducing labor but I told her that myself and the couple would rather I go into labor naturally so we will cross that bridge if we get to it for a medical reason. She will check me again, and see if there is any more progress made. The couple will probably be with me for that appointment and they will get to hear the heartbeat again, and ask any questions that they may have to the doctor. I will post an update after that appointment. For those of you praying, keep me in your prayers over the next few weeks. This is the fun part, but also the nerve-racking part! 


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

36 Weeks!!!

Alright, so I am officially 36 weeks tomorrow! I honestly don't know where the time has gone. This pregnancy has been so different for me mentally than my other pregnancies, and in some ways, while I feel like I have been pregnant for two years, I also can't believe I only have a month or less left!

The last time I blogged, my fluid levels were high and the doctor wanted to see me in two weeks to check the fluid levels again. That was at 34 weeks. The fluid levels were checked again and instead of going up, they went down. From a 22, to a 17! That was good news for sure. The ultrasound technician told me that the fluid levels can vary from day to day and so she wasn't surprised that the fluid levels were back down. I also found out at that appointment as well that I had lost two pounds, making my total weight gain up to 34 weeks, 10 pounds.

Today, I had my 36 week appointment, where they did the last ultrasound and growth scan. They checked the fluid levels again just to make sure everything was good. They are estimating this little girl to be at 6 pounds, 4 ounces give or take a pound. I have a feeling she is going to be a big baby, but time will tell! Fluid levels were down to a 16.4 and her arms, legs, torso, and head are all measuring just fine!

I shared this on my Facebook page, but thought I would give my readers a little laugh. I was at the grocery store last week, with both kids, checking out with a large amount of groceries. I am putting the bagged groceries into the cart, and I look up and realize that an old woman is staring at me. We make eye contact, and she proceeds to yell: "When is your baby due?" I pretend for all intents and purposes that this little baby is going to be mine, and reply: "I'm due at the end of August." The old lady then says: "Oh, are you having twins or something?" "No" I reply, "There is just one in there." I tell ya, I am not a violent person, nor would I ever wish harm on an elderly person, but I have never wanted to punch someone in the face more in that moment! The cashier was avoiding eye contact with me as much as I was with the old woman, and I got myself out of there as soon as I could! Yep, that's just what every pregnant woman wants to hear! Especially when it is 103 degrees outside with two kids who have been well behaved up until then, but are ready to be done there as well. That's the perfect thing to say! Are we sensing a sarcastic tone here? GOOD!

The doctor checked my cervix today as well, and while that was the most uncomfortable thing I have experienced in a while, it is completely closed! No effacement either. I'm fine with this news at this point. I need this little French Baguette to wait until her parents get here, and for my husband to come back to this part of the country as well! The couple will fly on the 18th of August, and my husband will hopefully be here the weekend before that! That will put me at 38 weeks and 4 days and then she can come anytime after that! The doctor thinks that I will go into labor closer to 39-40 weeks. She is still talking about inducing but she knows my wishes with not wanting a c-section if at all possible, and so if my body isn't showing signs of being ready, then she will try to let me go into labor on my own, which is what we all prefer anyway! I was tested for Group B Strep as well today, so we will find out if I will need to get to the hospital a little earlier for antibiotics. The ultrasound technician that I have been seeing every time, is so sweet. She told me today that she got all excited when she saw my name on her schedule, and that I am her favorite patient right now. She said she is going to be sad that she won't be seeing me anymore lol. She has been great to me, and very supportive!

I have been trying to keep in mind through this whole process that I am going to go into labor again. With my first child, labor was not easy, it was long at 45 hours, and there were a lot of things done to me that I think impeded on the process. With my daughter, things were much different, I felt more in control, and did a lot of the labor at home. I'm hoping that this one is relatively quick and without complications! I am so excited for the couple to witness their daughter taking her first breaths, and for them to get to bond with her! I will be keeping my mind on that when I'm in labor. Since I applied to be a surrogate when I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter, the only time I ever wavered in my decision or had second guesses, was during labor. Here I am though, so obviously didn't waiver too much! I would ask for those of you who have been praying to pray for a speedy, no complications labor!

It has been a really hard three weeks with my husband being gone, and with being this pregnant, but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's a very vague, very small light, but it is still visible lol.

Now starts the weekly appointments, so I will have an update next week! My doctor is on vacation so I will just be seeing another OB, but not Dr. Snider thankfully!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, July 7, 2014

32 Weeks Update

Alright people,

I am 32 weeks and 4 days! This is the part of the pregnancy that always seems to just drag on, and while I feel a little bit like that, it is going very quickly as well! Almost 7 more weeks, and these intended parents will finally get to meet their little girl!

In other sort of related news, my husband starts a new job on Wednedsay! He has been working at Mission Repair for 5 years, and while this new job is a great opportunity for him and for us, we are very sad to say goodbye to the last five years and his amazing boss who has done great things for us! Troy is going to be working at Mayvillage. They are a company that sells parts for repair companies all over the country. Sadly, he has to be in New Jersey for the next three months. Yes, he will come back for this baby's delivery, but will otherwise be out of town.  I am stressing a lot about his time away. The last time him and I were apart, it was for 6 months, and Brae was only 6 weeks old at the time. Now, with two kids, they are both aware of when Daddy usually comes home, and so the nights and weekends are going to be harder than hard, but we will get through it. I have friends and family close by thankfully and will be leaning on them for support during this time.

Last week, I had my 32 week ultrasound! Baby girl is growing just fine, and is measuring long in the legs and arms, but otherwise her torso looks to be right on track. She just might be a tall girl like her daddy! During my ultrasound, the technician took notice of the amount of fluid that is in there with this baby. There is a lot of fluid in there for this point in my pregnancy and so they will be keeping an eye out for an increase in fluid. I have another appointment scheduled for next monday to check the fluid levels again. They don't like to see it above a 25, and right now I am at a 22.  My doctor was talking about possibly inducing labor a little earlier, or trying to draw some of the fluid out to relieve some of the pressure this extra fluid might be putting on my uterus. My sister, the nurse in our family, also told me that with extra fluid, when water breaks, it can sometimes take the umbilical cord with it, and cause it to get pinched between baby's head and birth canal, in which case they would need to do an emergency c-section. Let's hope that does not happen!

I have to admit, I am a little stressed about this new development! As with any labor, there is a lot that can go wrong and change within a matter of seconds. I just want everything to go as smoothly as possible and I would prefer a vaginal birth for so many reasons but mostly for the intended parents to get to be in the room and witness their child being born. I'm not sure how the hospital would handle a c-section and if they would let the couple into the operating room with me and Troy, so we will see! Just pray that everything works out and that I can be allowed to go into labor on my own, and not have to be induced, and that if my water does break, the cord doesn't come out with it, and I can be allowed to labor naturally from there.  I will update with my next appointment when we know what the fluid levels look like at that time. I gained 7 pounds in a month, and the doctor looked and me and said:"You don't look like you've gained that much. That weight is all baby and extra fluid." I definitely have been feeling the extra weight as well in my midsection. Harder to breath, heartburn is really bad, and towards the end of the day, it's just plain uncomfortable! One other thing the ultrasound technician informed me of was that this little French Baguette is finally head down! So as long as this fluid level thing cooperates, I can safely deliver vaginally! Woohoo for that! I was beginning to think she liked my ribs way too much!

The last few times that I have face timed with the intended parents, they have been excited to show me the progress they have made on the baby's room, and all of the adorable little clothes they have purchased for her! They tell me they are very anxious to come for the delivery and are so excited to hold her finally! I can't wait for that for them either! That is going to be an awesome moment and one I probably won't be able to hold the tears in for! One other thing they were celebrating was the issue of citizenship in France. Up until just a few weeks ago, this baby that I'm carrying would have been considered a US citizen since she will be born here, but would have to wait for 8 years before she would be considered for citizenship in France. While surrogacy in France is illegal, they have passed a law that for all babies born to French parents like the intended parents, they will immediately be considered a France citizen, instead of having to wait those 8 years! The intended parents were very excited for this new law! Yay for them and this little Baguette!

Thanks for reading and I will be back with an update next week after the ultrasound! :)


Monday, June 9, 2014

Third Trimester!

Hey all,

So it has been a pretty uneventful month, which is always a good thing when talking about pregnancy. I am currently 28 weeks and 4 days! Woohoo! That is officially the start of the third trimester! I sometimes look back and think, wow where has the time gone, and then other times, getting to the third trimester seems like it has taken forever! I thought during my first trimester, with all the nausea and vomiting that I would never get here, but time passes and here I am!

I had my monthly checkup last wednesday and everything is right on track. The ultrasound technician that performed my ultrasound had so many questions as my chart says surrogate, and so she was just talking away! She stopped asking questions long enough to tell me that my placenta, which was still too close to my cervix at my last appointment, has officially moved well out of the way, and so I can deliver this baby safely vaginally. However, this little french baguette is still breech, so she will need to turn around, and meet this world head first before I am given the all clear, but my doctor and ultrasound technician seemed optimistic that this would happen. My uterus is measuring at 28 weeks, but the baby seemed to have had a little bit of a growth spurt and was measuring at 29 weeks. This little baguette has long arm and legs already, and is measuring right on track! I will continue to have ultrasounds every month until 36 weeks as well to continue monitoring growth and development. I have only gained 5 pounds so far. I am not gaining, but I am not losing either, and my OB doesn't seem concerned at all about this. She says as long as I maintain weight or gain then there is no need to worry about it. If I start to lose weight, then she will have something to say.

This last appointment was also the blood test for gestational diabetes. I had to drink 10 oz of some majorly sugar infused drink, and then 45 minutes later, have my blood drawn. Aside from the instant headache I got after finishing the drink, I felt fine. They said no news is good news for the results, and I haven't heard anything from them so that's good! Medically, everything is good! I asked the doctor about what happens if baby doesn't move head down, and if there is anything I can do, or they can do to nudge her in the right direction. If by 36 weeks, she has not moved, they can try to manually turn her. I have heard that this is pretty painful, but I would rather try it this way than have to have a c-section. So for those of you praying, pray this little baguette heads down!

The legal paperwork has begun as well. There are two lawyers here in Kansas that will be assisting with this process. One for the couple, and one for me. They will be petitioning the court for a pre-birth order that names the intended parents as biological parents of this baby. This will allow for many things including the hospital staff recognizing them as parents and as the ones who can make the medical decisions for the baby once she has arrived! I am so thankful there is an agency on board to deal with all of this!

I have another appointment at the end of this month which will be my 32 week checkup and then I will start going every two weeks and then weekly! Again, time has flown in some senses! I have been trying to prepare myself for labor again, and while I am not looking forward to it at all, I am looking forward to handing over this precious little miracle to her parents! I will update after my next appointment! Thanks for reading! :)


Monday, May 12, 2014

Six months pregnant

I don't know how this happened, but suddenly I find myself six months pregnant! I've been asked a few times if this pregnancy is going quicker than my other pregnancies, and the answer to that is yes and no. I inquired with the agency that I'm using when I was six months pregnant with my daughter. I knew that surrogacy was something I wanted to do, especially since Troy and I are done having our own children. I knew there would be a lot of paperwork involved and a lot of time spent waiting for approvals and medical records to be sent, and I also took into account that for the year that I was breastfeeding my daughter, there wouldn't be any magic happening. But with all that being said, I have been preparing myself mentally and physically for the last two and a half years. So when I get asked if this pregnancy is going quickly for me, the no part is because of all the prep work involved. On the flip side, yes, this pregnancy feels like it is going quicker than my other pregnancies because I don't have the anticipation of meeting my child. There is no: "oh, I can't wait to meet my little girl/boy" or "I wonder when I get to finally meet you, little one." So, the answer to that question is yes and no.

At the 20 week ultrasound, the doctor that performed the ultrasound recommended monthly growth ultrasounds until delivery. Thankfully, these appointments aren't on top of my regular appointments but they are involved enough to where bringing the kids with me to my appointments isn't exactly ideal. At my last monthly checkup with my OB, I was laying on the table waiting for the doctor to find the heartbeat with the doppler, and Kynlee was between my legs, and Brae was up by my chest, sharing the tiny table with me. My OB said: "wow, you don't really get a moment to yourself, do you?" No, not really. But I think it is good for Brae, especially since he knows now that mommy has a baby in her tummy, that he hear the heartbeat and just have a visual. He's so excited to tell people that there's a baby in mommy's tummy and that she is just growing her until she is ready to meet the intended parents when it is time.

Today, I had my first growth ultrasound since the doctor recommended it. At 24 weeks and 4 days, the baby is measuring great! They were and will be looking for three things. The head circumference, the torso, and the length of the femur bone in her legs. As long as they are growing steadily, they will be happy. Today, she passed her test! I really think that the doctors are being overly cautious with my situation and so these growth ultrasounds are just a way of covering their butts should any problems arise, and let's all pray that doesn't happen!

At my last OB appointment last week, the doctor informed me of a few things that I wasn't exactly prepared for. One of the reasons why I think the medical staff is being overly cautious is because of the maternal age of the fetus. While there are plenty of women who get pregnant well after their mid to late thirties, and everything is fine, they are treating me like I am in my forties having my own biological child. My OB told me that because of the maternal age of the baby, the risk of stillbirth goes up. She did not give me a percentage or comparison numbers, but that after 41 weeks gestation, the risk goes up significantly. Definitely was not prepared for that news, and that certainly wasn't the easiest conversation to have with the intended parents. The doctor will be monitoring me pretty closely towards the end of the pregnancy and I'm sure that if there are any indications, or alarms, that something will be done quickly. I went to 41 weeks gestation with Kynlee. Yes, a week overdue, and every day felt like a month, not to mention the level of pain I was in that prevented me from walking without holding on to something. I sincerely hope that I don't got overdue again, but with IVF, the dates are pretty exact, so I have a good chance of delivering on time, or possibly early. We'll see how that goes! I am trying to mentally prepare myself for induction or C-section, or whatever else could possibly be different than the idea I have in my head about how my labor is going to go. I want nothing more than for the experience where the intended parents get to meet their little girl be one they will never forget and one that will allow them to fully take in their first moments as parents.

After some contact with the doctor that performed the embryo transfer in Connecticut, the intended parents feel better about their odds, and agree that the doctors here are probably being a little more cautious than normal. My younger body has to count for something, I say! I passed a medical screening for a reason, and was deemed physically fit enough to carry another child, so I'm sticking to positive thinking that everything will be alright! (Knock on wood)

The ultrasound technician checked on the location of my placenta and while it is still low, it is not considered a placenta previa (where the placenta is blocking the cervix, making vaginal delivery life threatening). She was pretty confident in saying that as the baby keeps growing, the placenta will move out of the way and allow for a smooth vaginal delivery (fingers crossed). The baby is still breech as well, but it is still early and I'm also thinking positively that she will move into the proper position when she is ready!

Just keep me in your prayers and thoughts. Physically, I feel great! Probably better than I have felt with my other pregnancies. Mentally, it is still very easy to feel disconnected to the baby, and I have to constantly remind myself that I am pregnant. It is like my brain and the rest of my body is not connected or refuses to acknowledge what the other is doing lol. Pray that these placental issues and baby being breech fixes itself with time and nature, and that I can hang on to feeling good for as long as possible!

My next appointment is the first week of June. I will have another growth ultrasound done, will have the blood test done for gestational diabetes, and my regular checkup with my OB. I will keep you updated after than appointment! Thanks for reading! :)


Monday, April 21, 2014

20 Week Ultrasound results

Well, it has been about a week since the intended parents left Kansas to go back to France. It was a great visit filled with emotions, bipolar Kansas weather, and nice visits!

The intended parents flew in to Kansas City Thursday night, and the 20 week ultrasound was scheduled for the next morning at 11:00. I met them at their hotel on Thursday night and we went and had some dinner together since they had not eaten since their international flight! I took them to Chili's and they loved it! We said goodnight afterwards and made plans to meet up in the morning so they could follow me to the doctor's office. I needed to drop the kids off with a friend that was nice enough to watch them, so it worked out great!

Friday morning, the morning of the ultrasound, I did not feel the same way as I have felt with my own children on ultrasound day. As I have mentioned before, the ultrasounds were just confirmation for me on their sex, and not a surprise, but I'm still very excited to find out if I am right! This time was very weird for me. I was so excited for the couple to find out what they are going to have, but it had no impact on me whatsoever! So anyway, kids were dropped off and off we went to the appointment. We arrived right on time, and they took us back rather quickly to the appointment. I could feel the anticipation and excitement, and began to feel nervous myself. I was nervous for different reasons though. I was nervous that they would find something abnormal with the baby, or that they wouldn't find the heartbeat or that the baby's legs would be closed and that the intended parents had come all this way to find out the sex and wouldn't be able to.

The doctor came in, shook our hands, and got right down to business. I was informed of a risk with IVF patients in that we have a higher risk of preterm labor and that there is a way for them to check if you have a higher chance than normal of this happening. The way they check is with the cervix. If the cervix is short at this point in pregnancy, I would have a higher chance. If the cervix is long at this point, I have a lower chance of preterm labor. I don't know how many women can say they know what their cervix looks like, but mine is long. The doctor said I should be fine in regards to preterm labor. Yay!

The doctor went right to work, and placed the probe on my stomach and the intended parents got their first live view of their baby. The doctor was measuring the baby's head, all the organs, the heart, he showed us where all four chambers were and well developed, and then asked if we wanted to know the sex. The intended parents said: "Of course, that is why we have come all this way!" I kept looking for a penis, because I knew that if I couldn't see one, it would be a girl. I looked and looked and looked, and then all of a sudden, as we are all looking on the screen, we see the words: "Hi mom and dad, I am a girl!" Cheers, and laughter and disbelief came next! I am carrying a little baby girl for this couple, and they could not be more thrilled! They are very happy, and were glad to share the experience with me!

The doctor said that everything baby looks good! Organs, limbs, and baby girl look great! He noted that my placenta is low right now, and said that I need to have ultrasounds every month until delivery to make sure that it moves out of the way, and also to check on the overall growth of the baby. This is new to me, as I only had two ultrasounds total with each kid, so all these ultrasounds is a lot, but I will do what is asked of me!

The rest of their trip was pretty uneventful. We traveled to Topeka so they could meet my parents and sisters, and we spent the day together, enjoying a nice Lebanese meal my dad prepared, and spending time outdoors getting to know each other more. It was a long day, and my kids had a blast playing in the backyard with their cousins, and were out like lights before I could get on the highway to get home! It was a quiet drive home, and I struggled a little bit with wanting to sleep, but since I was the driver, I called my best friend and she distracted me for the rest of the ride. Sunday was a day of rest. The intended parents decided to go explore the city a little bit and ended up at Legends Outlet Mall where they did some shopping. Troy and I got a sitter for that evening, and we took them to Houston's on the plaza. If you have never been, their pork ribs are to die for! So delicious!

Monday morning, I had an appointment to tour the hospital for the intended parents and then my regular monthly checkup with my doctor. It was a busy morning for sure! I took the kids along and immediately regretted it, but my options for childcare are limited. The tour was good, and it was great for the couple to see where their baby would be delivered and where she would stay for a few days afterwards. The hospital was very accommodating and we met the director and clinical nurse coordinator of the maternity floor, who were very nice and had some questions about how this was all going to work, and let us ask them any questions we had. My OB appointment went well too. Everything was fine, and the intended parents got to hear the heartbeat for the first time as well! We came back to my house after the appointments so the kids could nap, and then we made plans to meet for dinner after I got my kids to bed, and Troy could stay home with them! It was a good last dinner, as their flight was early Tuesday morning. We said our goodbyes and we are all very excited for our next reunion, when baby will be born!

Everyone has been asking me how I am feeling. To answer, I am feeling well. I am not uncomfortable yet as I have been in past pregnancies, except for some heartburn here and there, and emotionally, I am constantly surprised at how easy it is to feel disconnected from this baby. She is moving a lot, and it is sweet to feel those movements, but I don't feel the same with her movements as I felt with my own children. I knew, going in to this, that I would be able to disconnect, I am just surprised at how easy it is. I have my moments of hormonal mood fluctuations, but I don't have the stress and worry, and anxiousness to prepare for a new baby. That part is definitely nice!

On saturday evening, as we were enjoying some family time, Brae asked me after playing with my tummy a little: "Mommy, do you have a baby in your belly?" I made eye contact with Troy and he said to go ahead and explain. I said: "Yes, Brae, Mommy has a baby in her belly."

Me: "Do you remember the intended parents (I used their names)?
Brae: "Yes, I like them."
Me: "Well, the intended mother's tummy is sick and she can't have a baby in there, and so their doctor put their baby in mommy's tummy and when the baby is all done growing, mommy is going to give the baby back to the intended parents."
Brae: "Okay."

Just like that! I have been stressing about this conversation since I found out I was pregnant. I have been worried and praying for the right words to explain to my 4 1/2 year old what I am doing. Just like that, he said: "Okay" like I was telling him we were going to get ice cream! lol He hasn't asked any more questions so far, but when he does, I feel more confident that I will be able to answer them in a way he can understand. He's a smart kid, probably smarter than I gave him credit for and I hope that when he is older, and has a better understanding, that he will be proud of what I did.

I will keep you all updated with the upcoming appointments with my OB and how the ultrasounds go. The goal is for my placenta to move out of the way so that I can stick with my plan of having a vaginal delivery, otherwise it will have to be a c-section. I would appreciate your prayers as always and will be back with the next update soon! :)


Thursday, March 27, 2014

To attach or detach?

So, I know it has been several weeks since my last post, and while I have nothing medically to update, I thought I would give you an update on how I am feeling. For those of you who don't care, you'll want to read my next post. In two weeks, the couple will be flying to Kansas to attend the ultrasound appointment that is set up and to meet my OB and to discuss anything they want with her. We are going to also try to get a tour of the hospital so that the intended parents can see where they will be welcoming their newborn boy or girl!

I have to say, this pregnancy is very different in many ways, but the same in others. For example, the nausea was pretty much the same.While the nausea is gone for the most part and only returns when I haven't eaten enough or in too long, I have also discovered that this little French Baguette (as my best friend likes to call him or her), does not like Reuben sandwiches. I was craving them badly, and while I know that pregnant women are supposed to avoid lunch meats because of the preservatives and bacteria that can grow on them, I also know that they are safe when you warm it up and then proceed with your sandwich devouring. Well, I did that. I was feeling fine as I started to enjoy the sandwich, but when I got to the last bite, something hit me like a ton of bricks, and I knew the entirety of this glorious sandwich wasn't going to stay in my stomach. I was right, as I ran to the bathroom with the rest of my family still enjoying theirs, and tossed it all up! Ok, so no more of those for a while! I don't have a gallbladder anymore since it was removed 6 weeks after Brae was born, and I have found that there are certain things I cannot eat, especially during pregnancy. Lesson learned, will stay away from lunch meats until further notice!

There are other things that are different this time that my other two times. Most of it is mental, some physical. With both Brae and Kynlee, I knew very early in the pregnancy what each of their sex was. I knew at 7 weeks what Brae was, and at 9 weeks with Kynlee. The ultrasound appointments for both of them were just confirmation, instead of surprises for me! This time around, I have no earthly idea! Your guess is as good as mine, as it is in most cases! Mentally, I feel no attachment or desire of another of my own whatsoever. When I was early in the pregnancy and was doing all of the ultrasounds, I was in shock that they kept finding something in there! It was not registering like it did with my previous pregnancies. I still am when I go for check ups and they find a heart beat with the doppler. I have a friend who is a few weeks ahead of me in pregnancy and in talking with her, I have come to realize that although we are pregnant together, her and I are in different places mentally. She is preparing for the arrival of another child, and adding a new dynamic to her family, and I'm sitting over here, contemplating what my first move will be after this process is over. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to sound callous or detached from what is going on with me, but to some extent, I think I am. Besides the growing belly, and a reminder when I bend certain ways that there is in fact a human inside of me, I feel nothing. I didn't expect to feel this way. When I made this decision to do this, I knew that I would not feel attached or feel like I have some claim to the child but I didn't expect to feel so emotionally, and mentally detached. I feel small kicks, and while I'm glad that the pregnancy is progressing healthily and that baby is growing, it's not the same feeling as when I felt Brae and Kynlee moving inside. I'm not sure I am doing a great job at describing how I'm feeling, but hopefully you can try to understand. I am so excited for the intended parents and what their new arrival will mean for their family! Beyond excited for them, as I tear up just thinking about it. I will be so happy for them and cannot wait for them to experience parenthood with all of its ups and downs and everything in between.

On another note, I just signed Brae up for Kindergarten Round up. It is next friday, and while he is experiencing what it is going to be like in Kindergarten, Troy and I are going to meet the teachers and see his classroom, and get thrown a bunch of information and be able to ask lots of questions. I'm looking forward to it and I know that he is going to love it, but I am little worried about his transition. He will have been with me and only me for the last 5 years by the time school starts. He is my little boy and I am his mother and his person that he runs to when he is hurt or sad, or needs something. I have enjoyed being here for him, and I love the bond that we have. I am due two weeks after school starts. We have not told him that there is a baby in mommy's belly that is not his brother or sister, and I am honestly terrified of how he is going to handle the news. Is he going to cry and get mad, and demand another sibling? Is he not going to care at all? Will he even notice? He has pointed to Kynlee on a few occasions, and said: "Mom, I want another one of these." Umm, what?! I don't expect an almost five year old to understand that a baby in mommy's belly has no genetic relation to me or him whatsoever and so I am really praying that when the time comes, and it will be soon, that I have the right words for him to understand.

That's it for now. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, as I'm an open book! Look for an update in the next two weeks with the results of the ultrasound! :)

Thanks for the reading!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello Second Trimester

Alright, so it has been a few weeks since my last post, because there hasn't been that much to update you with.

I wanted to just address the OB situation one final time.  A friend of mine that reads my blog sent me a message after reading my last post about my OB not wanting to see me for prenatal care, and asked if she could include an excerpt from it in her next article that she writes for Mommyish. I told her I was happy to let her share my thoughts, but got to worrying a bit when some of the feedback on the article wasn't totally understanding.

For those of you wondering, I saw my old OB for my prenatal care with Kynlee. He was great, laid back, didn't get too worried or cause me to worry about anything. I mentioned to him while pregnant with Kynlee that I was planning to do surrogacy after her. He never said anything to me then. I saw him for my six week checkup after Kynlee and mentioned it again, and he never said anything to me then either. Fast forward, and when I was gathering all the paperwork that the agency needed, one of those papers was a letter from my OB stating that I was OK to carry another pregnancy. The agency even provided a letter drafted by their lawyers that stated that my OB would not be held liable for anything. He wouldn't sign it. I had to go to my family practitioner to have it signed who was very supportive and happy for me and what I was doing. He had an opportunity then to say something, and still did not. The nurses would not explain why he wouldn't sign it either. About a month ago, when I was cleared from the clinic in Connecticut and released to see my regular OB, I called them up and made an appointment. I was very clear when making my appointment and shared exactly what my situation was, and they scheduled the appointment for me. When I got to that lovely appointment with the nurse, they were waiting for my paperwork and were fully aware of my situation. Opportunity number five was when I was in his office planning to see him. He lacked the professionalism and kindness to come and talk to me himself. It left me speculating over what his real problem with it is, other than the fact that "he is Catholic and doesn't agree with what I'm doing."  At this point, I am over the situation and like I said before, he isn't worth my time if he is going to be like that. But I realized at my last OB appointment with the new OB, that while she is very nice, and understanding and supportive, it would have been nice to make my own decision on who I wanted to receive prenatal care from, instead of sort of being forced into it because of time constraints with testing that had to be done a week later. I'm over that as well, and while I'm hoping that the rest of this process goes smoothly, I am still left with a slight bad taste in my mouth regarding the whole situation. For the first time during this whole process, after the nurse told me what the OB's feelings were, I felt like I was doing something wrong, or bad in some way. I quickly excused that thought from my mind, of course and am as excited about this process as ever!

So, I had the nuchal translucency exam done about a week and a half ago. It was a time sensitive test in that it has to be done between 11 and 13 weeks, and not a day over 13 weeks. It is an ultrasound, and a blood test. They are looking for the area between the spine and brain stem. There is a normal amount of fluid there, but if there is a lot of fluid there, it can be an indication of Down's syndrome or Trisomy 18. They want the level of fluid to be less than 3.5mm. When my ultrasound was done, the fluid amount was measured at 1.56mm! That was considered normal, but they couldn't give me a definite result until the blood test was done. So off I went to have blood drawn and the lab told me it would be a few days for the results.  Great, while I expected the wait, I just wanted to know the results so I could quit worrying about this and focus on the next milestone. The blood test was done on a Tuesday, and the lab told me it would be back by Friday. Well, Friday came and went, and I knew not to expect anything on the weekend, but when Monday came and went without a word, I was really starting to worry and was playing the "what if" game in my head. By tuesday morning, I called as soon as the clinic opened and asked about my results. They did not have them back from the lab yet, and were waiting just like I was. I asked if there was anything I could do to expedite the results, but was told no, and that they will contact the lab themselves and get the results hopefully by the end of the day. The intended parents were getting anxious as well (I don't blame them one bit), and so it was a very long day waiting for the phone to ring. When I hadn't heard anything by three, I called the clinic again, and spoke to the nurse. She said that the lab was confused with my age and the maternal age of the baby being different and so they had called to get a confirmation but still needed the lab supervisor to sign off on it. The nurse was hoping it would still be that day, but told me at the latest, we would have results the next day. About a half hour later, she called me back with the results! As she started talking, my mind started racing. What if this, and what if that!? She said the results were negative. For a second, I started thinking that she was giving me bad news, but then I remembered that we wanted the results to be negative!

She explained it to me this way: If they were to just take the maternal age of the fetus, they would give the baby a 1 in 44 chance of having Down's Syndrome or Trisomy 18. After the results of the blood test, and the results of the ultrasound, and her age put together, they gave the baby a 1 in 312 chance of Down's syndrome. For Trisomy 18, they gave the baby a 1 in 5,000 chance. Those chances are very low and are great results! The nurse explained to me that it isn't just 312 babies in general, it is 312 babies with the same fluid measurements and the same age range of the mother, and the same blood results. When you mix that with all babies, the chances are like half a percent! YAY!! Big sigh of relief for sure! For those of you that were praying, thank you and keep it up! The next milestone is the 20 week ultrasound! The intended parents are coming for this ultrasound and I am very excited for them to see the area and the hospital and to spend time with them!

I am 14 weeks, and 2 days, and the nausea is finally starting to fade away. I am still very tired all the time, but when I think about what my body is doing, I can't blame it for needing some rest! I am thankful to you readers and hope you stick around! I'm sure it will get much more interesting!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First OB Visit

Hi everyone,

Well, it has been a few weeks since my last post but I didn't have much news. Now I am back with an update!

The last I left you with was that I needed to go to my last ultrasound with the monitoring clinic and then as long as everything was fine, I would be discharged from there and then free to see my regular OB. Well, I had the last ultrasound, and while the sub chorionic hematoma is still there, the doctor didn't think it would cause any more problems, and that my body will just absorb it on its own. So, the clinic in Connecticut has discharged me as their patient and I was cleared to see my regular OB.

I am 12 weeks on Thursday, and while this trimester has taken forever, largely because I found out so early that I was pregnant, but also because I haven't felt well, I am so glad that it is almost over! I am currently weening off of the progesterone in oil shots. I have to take the shot every other day until I get to 12 weeks. Instead of two tablets twice a day of estrogen, I am down to two tablets, once per day, and of course, the low dose aspirin, all until I reach 12 weeks. I tell ya, I am going to be very happy when these shots and the popping pills are over with. For those of you that know me well enough, you know that I don't like to take medications, even for a headache. I usually try to deal with the pain, or sleep it off, before I pop an ibuprofen or something. This has by far been the most medications I have ever taken in my life!

So, once I got the clearance, I called my regular OB's office to schedule my first prenatal appointment with them. The way my doctor's office does it, I make the first appointment where I see the nurse who does blood work, and takes a urine sample, to confirm pregnancy. Well, I told them that wouldn't be necessary given my monitoring appointments with the other clinic and brought along my medical records from there so they could have a look. After that appointment, I can see the doctor, usually the next week, and so I made an appointment for that as well.

Monday was my appointment with the nurse. I went to the appointment with a little anxiety. Mostly because when calling to make the appointments, after explaining my situation, there would be silence on the other end of the line. No: "Oh that's great" or "Oh, okay, let me help you with that." Just silence! So, arriving to my appointment, I was trying to be prepared for whatever they would say to me. The nurse called me back, and I handed her my medical records to take a look at, and then she weighed me. I surprisingly have only gained 4 pounds. Considering I haven't been throwing up, just extremely nauseous, and haven't been able to work out, I thought it was decent. Whatever lol.

She then brought me to one of the rooms, and took my blood pressure and filled in some information on their computer system. The subject of my next appointment came up, and the nurse mentioned that I would need a pap smear at my next appointment, and I said: "oh okay, I guess Dr. Snider can do that when I see him next week." Then I knew why I had been so nervous! The nurse clasped her hands, sat down in front of me, and said: "Actually, Dr. Snider won't be seeing you for this pregnancy." Umm, what?!?!? She continues with: "He is Catholic, and doesn't agree with what you are doing. He doesn't prescribe birth control to his patients either, haha." Slowly, but surely, my eyes started filling with tears, and while the nurse continued with whatever excuse he had told her to say, I was trying to control the outburst of emotion that was hitting me. The tears were flowing at this point, and I say in the middle of gulps (thanks hormones): "Well, it would've been nice to know that ahead of time, like perhaps when I called to make the appointment, so that I could have made other arrangements." The nurse said: "What other arrangements?" I said: "Well I could've tried to find another OB that does agree with what I am doing, maybe?" Which is when the nurse mentions Dr. Petelin. She has great things to say about her, and as I am still wiping tears, she suggests that I could meet her before my next appointment. I agreed. A woman doctor might be nice for this situation, perhaps a little more understanding, and compassionate. The nurse left the room, and came back with Dr. Petelin. She's young, has three small children of her own, and I felt comfortable with her right away. But now, having had time to process the appointment and what was said, I am angry with Dr. Snider. He didn't even have the nerve to talk to me himself, and to explain his beliefs to me. Instead, he made the nurse do it! Ridiculous. I have said up to this point, that I had yet to find someone would didn't agree or like what I was doing, but I can no longer say that. My OBGYN of all people! Whatever, good riddance is all I can say if that is truly how he feels.

So, I made an appointment to see Dr. Petelin next week. The intended parents have elected to have the first trimester screening done typically between 11-13 weeks, and so I have that appointment scheduled as well. It is an ultrasound and a blood test for me, and no harm to the baby. That appointment takes place on February 18th. This test will be able to tell us if the baby has any abnormalities or birth defects. I ask you to pray that everything is found to be normal and that the baby is in good health! I will of course, keep you posted on those results! I will also post an update after my next appointment with Dr. Petelin. February has been a busy month with doctor appointments but after this, I should be doctor appointment free for at least a full month! :)

Stay tuned for more updates to come!  Thanks for reading!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ulrasounds, ultrasounds, and more ultrasounds!!!

Hey everyone!

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. I have not had much energy to do much of anything lately. The nausea started around 6 weeks, and some days are better than others but for the most part, the nausea is all the time, all day long even when I wake up to pee in the middle of the night! I am 9 weeks today! Yay!! So the nausea shouldn't hopefully last for too much longer and I am definitely looking forward to it!

The first ultrasound was done a few weeks ago, which confirmed a heartbeat and gave us a better idea of how far along I am. That's right, there is just one in there!!! The oven won't get overcrowded and the bun is going to brown very nicely! :) For many reasons I was a little relieved when we figured out there was only one, but I am so glad that it is a healthy baby right now and so are the intended parents.

About a week and a half ago, I was bathing the kids before bed, and felt some warm fluid gush out and so I quickly sat on the toilet, and discovered a light days pad full of blood! Dark, crimson, blood and I have to admit, I FREAKED out!!! With my previous pregnancies, I had never had any bleeding and so especially with this pregnancy, I was a lot more worried and wanted some kind of answer as to what it could be coming from! Troy, being the awesome person that he is, finished up the baths for the kids, and I went upstairs and called the nurse emergency number to the clinic in Connecticut. I got a call back pretty quickly and spoke to the nurse that was there with me when the transfer was done. She immediately told me not to panic, and that 80 percent of their patients have bleeding in their first trimester. She acted like she was used to this happening and said to take it easy for the rest of the night and that I was on pelvic rest from that point on until further notice. This happened on a monday, and my first ultrasound was scheduled for thursday, three days later. Well, honestly, I didn't feel like I could wait that long! So, we moved my appointment up to Tuesday morning, and by that afternoon, most of the bleeding had slowed down significantly and almost stopped. I was still very nervous, and couldn't wait of the appointment. At the first ultrasound, we immediately heard the heartbeat and a lot of my fears subsided. At 6 weeks, the baby is still considered an embryo, and they are just so tiny on the screen, but we could still hear and see a heartbeat which was great! The heart rate was 123 beats per minute and the doctor said that was very good! He then did a little exploring in the rest of my uterus, and found what he called a sub chorionic hematoma. He explained to me that it is a large bruise in my uterus that was the cause of the bleeding and that the hematoma will either bleed out, so I could have weeks of more bleeding, or my body will just absorb it over time. It was definitely nice to have an explanation for the bleeding and he said that if it were going to cause a problem for the baby it would have done so already. I was relieved to hear that for sure!

On Monday, I had another ultrasound to check on the hematoma and just to make sure everything is still fine with the baby. Strong heartbeat still and heart rate has now increased to 180 beats per minute!  I have not had any more bleeding since the first time but the hematoma is still there and still fairly large according to the doc. He said, at this point in the pregnancy, the cervix has for the most part, closed up, so more than likely, my body will slowly absorb the blood clot and bruise over time.

On January 30th, I will be considered 10 weeks, and will have my last ultrasound with the monitoring clinic and as long as everything is fine, will be discharged as a patient from the clinic in Connecticut and will be free to see my regular OB. They have been notified that I'm pregnant and should be expecting me as a patient again soon! I'm a little nervous with how my doctor will react to this pregnancy but from his perspective, it's no different than any other pregnancy.

I will keep you posted on the last ultrasound coming up of course!

The intended parents are having a hard time registering that they actually have a baby on the way! For a regular couple, able to conceive on their own, there is a constant reminder there. But for them, we are countries away, and while we speak on FaceTime a lot, it's not the same. They are planning to visit at the 20 week ultrasound, and I am looking forward to it, for sure!!!

Will update next week after the last ultrasound!

Thanks for reading!