Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Life and Death

Two things we are guaranteed ~ Life and Death.

Right now I am creating life.  I am in charge eating well so that these babies get good nutrition.  I am in charge of staying hydrated so they have a lot of fluid to keep them warm.  I am in charge of getting enough rest so that my body can work on sending the girls blood and oxygen.  I am in charge of helping my body to function well so that these girls can grow to be big healthy girls at delivery and hopefully not come to soon. I have made it 30 weeks.  30 weeks of committing myself to two other lives so that one women could have her greatest wish come true. So that one women could know what it feels like to love her own children, to be called 'mom', to watch her daughters grow in to young ladies, to pass on traditions that were passed on to her.  It is truly the most amazing gift to give another.  When I see the girls move in my belly, which is often and their movements are big, I am still in awe that I am able to do this.  This Mother has a heart of Gold and she will be the greatest mother to these girls. I am truly blessed to make her wish come true.

Right now I am also dealing with death. My mom was diagnosed with soft pallet cancer (aka throat cancer) back in 2012.  At the time we did not know that it would be terminal.  She has been through Radiation, 3 different chemo's and about 7 surgery's.  My mom is a strong soldier who never gives up and always believes there is a solution for everything.  Unfortunately, her cancer is much stronger and instead of going away, getting smaller or even stop growing it has continued and has spread.  At this point my mom is very weak and has very little time left.  I have been told she won't make it to March, but no one really knows.  My oldest son is 21 and a Marine.  He was deployed July 2014 and is due back home soon.  She really wants to see him and I think will try to hang on until he gets home.  He is to be back early spring, but no real date.  I never thought I would loose my mom at this point in my life.  I really thought I had much more time with her. We have spent some good times together and this past summer did a few small things she really wanted to do.  One was to go to the Getty Center Museum in LA.  The other was to go to the Festival of the Arts.  She really enjoyed both of those things and they were really the last of the mother daughter adventure's.  Just to give you a quick background, my mom and I have had a rough relationship.  For many years I really didn't like my mom and the choices she made in her life.  They were very painful for me and when I really needed her as I was growing up through the awkward preteen, teenage, and young adult life, she wasn't there.  She actually became very ill and almost passed away then.  Since then she has done a lot to change her life and be healthy.  We have spent a lot of time repairing our relationship and have become very close.  I have learned a lot of wonderful things about my mom and who she is and admire her talent and abilities.  She has been the person I go to for a lot of business decisions, organization ideas, birthday ideas, fashion, decorating..... I guess a lot of things.  I am sad that there will come a day when I pick up the phone to share something with her only to realize she isn't hear anymore.

With both things happening at the same time, life and death, it has been a roller coaster of emotions.  Right now I can feel the girls kicking and moving around, which makes me smile, while tears stream down my face thinking about my mom.  I do my best to stay in the moment and not dwell on what is going to happen or even when, but try to focus on spending quality time with my mom and share with her everything that is going on and stay present in today.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Not what I expected....

Surrogacy.  It's not what I thought it would be.  With today's technology and social media I can hear stories from Surrogates or IPs (Intended Parents) about their journey and it's not some life time movie or I knew a girl who's cousin's best friend's aunt who was twice removed has been down that road....  and all the drama that goes with it.  I have heard of several very amazing journey's where surrogates and IP's become close friends and what happens through pregnancy and birth is beyond what anyone can dream.  Then I have also heard the stories that do not turn out the way the surrogate or IP expect and there is a lot of heartbreak and feelings of loosing control.

When I first started this journey I imaged giving the greatest gift to another, the gift of life! I imagined how easy it would be, because I get pregnant easy, and my pregnancies and births are mostly very easy going. I thought about all the wonderful things I have been lucky and privileged to experience with my own children.  All the smiles and laughter and even some tears.  I dreampt about giving that to another and how amazing it would be. As I looked more in to it and began my own journey, I got to see that sometimes, things don't always go as planned.  Sometimes there is not the joy that I thought would be there for everyone.  Sometimes there are even losses of these babies.  Sometimes there are disagreements and conflicts over these beautiful small angels.

After reading more about the heartaches that others went through I started to stand a little more guarded.  I have heard several stories of surrogates who never see the baby after they are born and the IPs do not keep in contact, even though in the beginning it was discussed that they would keep in contact.  I have heard of surrogates and the Intended mother becoming really close during pregnancy and then once baby is here, contact is non-existent.  This could be due to the IM wanting to spend every waking moment with this most precious and beautiful gift she thought she would never have.  I can see how I would be so addicted to my child that nothing else would matter. These are some of the things I read that made me feel not to get to attached.

I have kept in touch with my IM at least once a week and mostly through email. She has always seemed very polite and lovely to work with.  I never thought that we would have any problems communicating or coming to any agreements when it came to the pregnancy.  So like I said I have been very guarded with becoming to close but always send my love with a bit of hope that things would be how I originally hope they would be.

Well after seeing them this week and spending hours with them at the hospital, ultrasounds, doctors appointments and visits, I know that it is everything I expected it to be and more. They have complete trust in me and what I am doing for their girls.  They told me that if for some reason they are unable to make it to the birth because I go in to labor early they full trust my decisions until they get there.  What an honor to hear that.  I want nothing for the best for these girls so they can come healthy and their mom can just enjoy every moment, every second smelling them and kissing their sweet skin.  Trying to take it all in and not rush one second.

We had our ultrasound this week and it was the first time they got to see the girls in action.  There were lots of "ohhhs" and "Ahhhs!" while watching them and seeing the girls move around.  The IM was fascinated.  Afterwards we meet with the doctor and he explained everything to them and what I will be doing from this point forward until the girls are here. I will have 2 doctors appointments every week for them to check fluids, heart rates and make sure babies are growing at the same pace.  It is very common at this point to start to see the weights change in the babies and for one to gain more than the other.  Small amounts are ok, but anything significant is dangerous. The IPs were very pleased with my doctor and his office staff.  They feel extremely confident in my choice for our care. After that was over the girls were getting active to I asked the IM if she wanted to feel the girls move. Of course she did.

She was so excited to feel the feet or legs or what ever part it was moving around in there. She was beaming with joy and so excited and appreciative.  Seeing her so happy filled my heart and soul with so much love and excitement!  I am even more thrilled to be doing this for them and can't wait until delivery day.  The look on her face when meeting her daughters is going to be absolutely fantastic!!

I am 28 weeks and 2 days. today.  The girls are measuring well.  One is right on target and the other a little bigger by a couple of weeks.  Their current estimated weights are 2lbs 10oz & 2lbs 15oz.  Already almost 6lbs of baby and I still have at least another 7 wks before these girls are allowed to come!  Most women get uncomfortable and want babies out, and I may end up feeling that way soon...it is getting tight, but I really want to make it to 35 weeks at the earliest! That will be the first week of March and the parents will be here!

This is me today at 28 weeks, but measuring 38!!  This will be interesting to watch this belly grow!! I am really looking forward to seeing these girls, but most of all to see their mom with them is even more excited and worth every bit to get to that. 

Is that a basket ball or a couple of babies under there?!?!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

IPs have arrived!

My IPs are here! They came in to town today. I haven't seen them yet but will tomorrow for the hospital tour. Then on Wednesday we have an ultrasound and will see the doctor. Oh I'm so excited for my IM. =D she will be so amazed at feeling her girls move. It's pretty crazy sometimes. I feel like we haven't discussed so much for the birth, after and breastfeeding. I need to get my list of questions together. Eekk. Ok I need sleep. Most recent picture of me, almost 28 weeks.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's all about the belly

Last week it was appointments, ultrasounds, needles and stress for these girls. This week it's all about taking care of them and their bedroom.

I had a doctor's appointment with my regular OB. He checked on the girls, both breech but good heartbeats. Measured my fundal height. Im 24 weeks but measuring 32! So 6 months measuring 8! Crazy. I will see him next month when I'm 28 weeks, then I will see him twice a week till the babies are here. I will get to know him well.

I also had a chiropractor appointment and got adjusted. I just want to go every week. It feels SO amazing! My left side is really tight so having her work on my left hip and my back was heaven. If you have never gone to a chiropractor during pregnancy, you should go. You will tank me and wonder why you waited so long.

The day after that, I went and got a massage! OMG! I took a bath in a jetted tub filled with amazing oils and bubbles. It was so relaxing. The water was a perfect temperature, candles were lit, music was playing and there were fruit snacks to enjoy. Heaven! After that I was escorted to the room for my massage. A full 50 mins but it went by so fast. It was so relaxing. I plan on going again next month!

Today I went to yoga. So peaceful and so good on my hips to stretch everything out.  I can't imagine not doing yoga while pregnant.

It's getting harder to get up with Penny after I rock get to sleep. Not sure yet what I will do in a few week's when it's really hard to get up! Have Bryan push me out of the rocker... ha ha ha.

Speaking of Penny sleeping... Time to lay her down.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Results are In

So surprised to get the call today. As soon as I saw the number calling me was restricted, I knew it was Ashley.  I was nervous to answer but did along with quickly getting to the closest thing to me to write this information down. I can get so nervous I forget what I am told and have to make sure I write down what I hear. Well, I am relieved to say that both girls are in perfect health! I knew that test was wrong! All this stress and pain this week to find out what we really already knew. The girls are PERFECT! So the final results will be in next week as these were preliminary, but they won't change.
Whew! I can breathe again! I can get back to normal life with no worries or concerns about the future except making it to the next mile stone. Which is hitting 24 weeks. This is when the girls are viable, should I deliver early, the hospital will do all it can to save them. I will be 24 week's on Tuesday. Omg, I'm just so happy. Tears of happiness overwhelm me. Life is so good and amazing right now. I'm emotionally exhausted and yet re-energized at the same time

From now on it will be boring pregnancy updates and belly pictures! I will talk about fun pregnancy feelings like heart burn and constipation. Food cravings or not. And then eventually the birth!

I think in the next couple of weeks I'm going to get a GOOD pregnancy massage. I deserve it.

The saga continues

Yesterday late afternoon I received a call from Ashley letting me know what was going on with the results. Apparently the courier that picked up the sample on Tuesday failed to deliver it to the lab that evening. They actually didn't even deliver it until two days later on Thursday, which was the day that I was to get the results! It's frustrating that this happened. The lab knows how important this is and is going to expedite getting the rapid results done. However they still need 24 to 48 hours to have the results complete. They do work on Saturdays, so as soon as they have the results then they will call Ashley and let her know. At this point I'm not holding my breath to get the results any sooner than Monday afternoon.

I let the IM know. She told me not to stress and is, confident that everything will work out great.

I do believe that all things happen the way they are supposed too and that nothing happens by mistake. So I get to just trust in the process for now.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Squeaky wheel

It's early in the afternoon and I had not heard back from the doctors office. So I decided that I would give them a call after they get back from lunch around 1:30pm. Spoke with the receptionist there and she said they have not received the results yet. They decided to contact the lab and find out when the results are going to be in and get back to me. When the receptionist called me back she informed me that the lab said my results will not be complete until tomorrow! I went from having a very peaceful morning to stressing out this afternoon. So I decided to call the genetic counselor I have been working with ( we will call her Ashley) and see if o could get some more information. She is so sweet, understanding and helpful. She understands the situation and I figured she might be able to get me more detailed information as to when three results will be in.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to reach her. The woman I did speak with said she would contact Ashley and also contact the lab understanding the time restraint I am under and try to get the information today. So now I'm just waiting again... Now full of anxiety.

I'm not one to be such a squeaky wheel. But this time it's needed.

It's one thing when its your own pregnancy and you can make all the decisions and choices for what you're going to do in the future. But it's completely different when you're carrying children for another couple. It almost feels like there's more pressure to make sure I get them adequate information on time. They have trusted me this far and I want them to continue to feel like their girls are in good hands. That I am doing all I can to get them answers. Hopefully I will hear an answer quickly.