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."
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! :)