Habari Week 30!

We’ve reached the thirties!!

Oh wow, does it ever feel good to make it to Week 30. The end is well within sight! The summer months seemed to drag out and reaching the final leg of this journey felt like a distant dream, but look at how far we’ve come from a train ride up the Southern California coast to an IVF clinic one day back in April.

These past two weeks have seen doctors appointments galore as I had to go in and have a horrible growth on my leg examined and removed. What I thought was a wart ended up being something much worse. Note: try not self-treat skin growths with apple cider vinegar unless you know for sure they actually are warts. What else can possibly go wrong this pregnancy?? I shouldn’t tempt fate. Everything with the extraction went well though and it’s very unlikely to grow back.  I’m only 32 but in some ways it feels like I’m getting too old for this baby growing business. The baby, fortunately, is looking GREAT! Me? It’s been a bit of a rough go.

I’ve been enjoying this stage of the pregnancy though. That’s where the weird surrogacy part of this all comes in. Even though these unusual medical maladies keep happening, I am really, really happy to be 30 weeks pregnant. It’s fun getting to know this little person doing somersaults in my tummy and although she isnt my little person, I’m just so happy to help her get started. It will be so amazing to see her Mom and Dads faces when they finally get to meet her. That moment…is why I signed up for this whole gig in the first place. Ahhhh, happy hormones….

In other news, my oldest cutie lost her front tooth last night, the other one is close to falling out as well. All she really will want for Christmas this year is her two front teeth XD

Warning: gross picture of NOT a wart ahead :-/

Γεια σου Week 28

Month 7, baby, you’ve come a long way since the 4 years you spent as a frozen embryo. Now your birthdate creeps closer by another month and your Mom and Dad are getting more and more excited to meet you after the incredible journey you’ve made!

Yesterday we celebrated the anniversary of the birth of my littlest baby, who is not so little anymore at two years old and 28 pounds of rambunctious boy. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic at the memories of his birth (sniff* stop growing up so quickly!) as it’s the one most recent in my mind and I’ve been starting to think about the labor and delivery of this surrogate baby which will be here before we know it.

My son was born at 40w+3d and holds the title of heaviest baby thus far at nine pounds even. Oof. I don’t think this baby will be as large. I will be talking with the doctor about inducing at 39 weeks this time around. Is it considered selfish to try to have her here before Christmas? I don’t think I’ve ever made any demands or asked too much of my IPs to center the birth of their child around MY needs, but it would be really really great to be out of the hospital and spend Christmas Day with my family this year. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable to ask! (honestly I’m pretty sure IPs are okay with this as they’re looking forward to snuggling with her on Christmas too). I’m fully prepared to eat these words as this WOULD be the baby who decides to show up three weeks early when all the rest of them have been slow-cookers needing eviction.

People ask often if it’s hard for me to ‘give up’ the baby. I don’t ever think of it like that. I’m giving back, not giving up. Two years ago I pushed out a nine pound junior whopper cheeseburger and spent the next year and a half waking up at night to feed him. THEN once he finally was sleeping all night, we reverted back into newborn mode waking up to check blood sugars every morning at two. If it’s selfish to say I will greatly enjoy a full-nights sleep post-birth this time around then so be it!

Buna ziua week 26

We had a pretty productive week, all things considered. I went to my monthly doctors check-in on Wednesday and we got to hear baby’s heartbeat and discovered all was looking good with her growth. I’ll have to take ANOTHER glucose tolerance test sometime before our next appointment in another couple weeks. I took an early one-hour GTT at 18 weeks, typically they only give them now in the early third tri, but because there is now documented history of diabetes in my family, I have the pleasure of taking two. Even though my daughter’s Type 1 has ZERO relevance to whether or not I’m at higher risk for GD. They’re almost two completely different diseases. But, there’s protocol to follow. Okay.

I also received and signed my portion of the Pre-Birth Order which will now go in front of a judge to sign off on and make an official declaration in the eyes of the law that my intended parents names will be the only ones going on this baby’s birth certificate. Pre-birth orders are very important in surrogacies. Growing Generations gives a very good explanation as to what they are on their website. From growinggenerations.com:

“Pre and post-birth orders are items of extreme interest in gestational surrogacy. Both assign parentage to the intended parents and remove any rights or obligations from the surrogate. These birth orders can also cause a great deal of unnecessary stress for both IPs and surrogates when they’re not properly understood.

In simplest terms, a birth order is a legal document assigning parentage to a child. Depending on the state in which your surrogate lives, these documents can be started in the fourth month and are often signed by the seventh month of pregnancy in pre-birth order states. In post birth states intended parents are usually seen in court within three to five days following birth.
The most important thing to understand about the pre-birth order is that while it may be issued by the court prior to the birth, it is not effective until the birth occurs. So while having this court order signed two to three months prior to the birth may offer you some peace of mind, it is not an absolute necessity and should not cause you distress if early labor occurs before your pre-birth order is finalized. Parentage will be protected by other guardianship documents even if the pre-birth order is not in place at the time of the birth.

Some states do not offer the option of a pre-birth order. These states, post-birth states, do not allow the filing of parentage documents until after the birth of the baby to file parentage documents.

In these post-birth order states there will typically be a court hearing held after the birth and the intended parents may be required to attend. Even if a hearing is required, know that these hearings are typically a formality and agreed upon easily by the courts as all parties are in agreement over the desired parentage of the child in question.

Court hearings can just as easily be required in states offering pre-birth orders.

This reality, paired with the fact that pre-birth orders aren’t considered active until the birth of your child, makes the real life difference between pre-birth and post-birth order states insignificant.

In general, don’t let fear of working with a post-birth state scare you away from a woman who could be your ideal surrogate. If you do choose a pre-birth state, know that everything will work out with or without your pre-birth order in hand at the time of birth.

Additional questions about birth orders can always be directed to your case specialist or your legal representative at IFLG.”

I’ve crossed the threshold in pregnancy now when things are just beginning to feel uncomfortable. My center of gravity is getting way off and I’ve caught myself almost losing balance a couple times. 14 weeks to go!


Namaste Week 25

Hello heartburn my old friend,

You’ve come to torture me again…

I’ve been feeling a bit stressed out lately, which may have heralded the return of a not-so favorite pregnancy ailment, and this past Thursday decided enough was enough and I was overdue for a little me time. You could say I’ve never been good at “girling”. My makeup attempts are comical, usually giving a look every time that skirts the line between drag-queen-had-a-rough-night and Ursula the sea witch. I gave up on getting manicures and pedicures because having some sweet Vietnamese woman wash my dirty callused feet brings out the white “I promise I’m not the oppressor” guilt each time. When I needed to take a bit of the edge off from this week, I turned to some amazing skin care products my IM brought me as a very thoughtful gift and had an at-home spa night.

IM has amazing taste in beauty products! I would buy everything she suggested if she ever curated a list of must-have items. I felt soooo much better after an evening of self-care. I also took a kid-free morning to myself today and met up with a good friend for a healthy, invigorating breakfast and a peaceful walk just to watch the waves roll in at the beach. The light chill in the air and the smell of the saltwater helped me remember to slow down and take a couple deep breaths and remember that everything is going to be okay. Sometimes you need to do that for yourself every once in a while. On our walk, we passed by a lady who said on her way by, “you look absolutely beautiful pregnant!” What a kind compliment to pay a stranger. Hopefully this glowing, positive energy I’m now feeling can carry into the next week and HELLO THIRD TRIMESTER – you’ve arrived quickly!


Privyet Weeks 23&24

Things have fallen into this routine around here of school, homework, soccer, sleep, repeat, so I won’t be updating as often unless something out of the ordinary happens, but really, this is going to be our lives for the next 16 weeks.

Happy to be 24 weeks today. I think many pregnant women breathe a sigh of relief making it to the magic week number more commonly referred to as viability. Every detail about my health is still worth talking with the doctor about, but know what? I did it! I made it so far as to give baby a chance to make it on her own and get her into Mom and Dads arms. Every week from here on out, her chances of surviving and obtaining healthy baby status go up. We also have our PBO–that’s pre-birth order–papers getting drawn up and ready to go to the judge to sign. If for any reason I have to go in and have an emergency delivery, I’m sure the lawyers will have to bust their butts to get a rush on that–but since all is going smoothly and there have been no more scary bleeds or other problems, I expect to be signing my portion of the PBO before the end of the month.

It’s been exciting to feel baby’s kicks get A LOT stronger. She’s feisty! And very active. Curious to know how her Mom and Dad will feel about that one!

Ive been going through some personal/marriage challenges, but, I’m optimistic on those fronts and hope things will resolve in a way so that our family can move forward in a positive direction. Things stand at a crossroads right now and I’m not sure of the right direction. Been saying a lot of prayers and keeping the faith that it will all work out. In other news, my class starts on Monday and I’m excited about it.


¿Que Pasa Weeks 21&22?!

These past two weeks have been mighty, pleasurable, intense, chaotic, celebratory, but most of all…very memorable. I can’t begin to describe what a joy it was to have my IM and GS1 little guy out for a visit for a couple days. Having them be able to share in the experience of the anatomy scan and getting to see our GS2 little lady kick around on the monitor was incredible! I know it was an amazing and emotional moment for IM. Expecting your second child (or third, or fourth) is by all means just as exciting as waiting for your first. There’s a brand new person cooking in there with their own individual likes and dislikes. Maybe they will have a goofy giggle or oddly shaped toenails (like my son, haha!) – who knows! All the things an ultrasound doesn’t reveal is what parents-to-be dream about. When you’re having your second or third or fourth however, you do have a bit of experience under your belt now and have a slightly better grasp on what you’re getting yourself into. Although, as a parent of 3, all from the same two DNA contributing sources, I’ll be the first to admit that surprises abound no matter how the genetic deck gets shuffled. The great news from Monday’s scan is that baby is measuring and growing right on track, everything appears normal with her cord, placenta and water levels, and my cervix is high and closed like a steel bear trap. My intended parents will be welcoming a very healthy baby this Fall/Winter – and with our due date, she could very well be a Solstice baby.

Their visit was a wonderful warm-up to the big show and I’m so thankful as a surrogate to have a close connection and relationship to my intended family. Not all surrogacies go this way, nor do they have to – it’s completely your preference to keep things strictly transactional or not. Surrogate and Intended Family relationships run the gamut from terrible and estranged to BFFs for life. I feel very lucky ours has developed into a close and special bond between both our families that IM felt comfortable enough putting up with our chaos for several days! It’s going to be so much fun having them back in December.

It feels like we’ve now entered the final phase for how things will go up to the birth. My older two have started back in all-day school. I go back to school early September. Appointments will start every other week come mid-October. Baby will keep growing (she was already one pound according to the ultrasound!) and I’ll continue to do my best to cook her as long as possible.

Heres a little glimpse of some of our adventures these past two weeks. I had some fun working on the florals for my Grandmothers 90th birthday. Floral design is sort of my day-job which I may have to pick-up more hours doing come the near future, but we will see about that. There’s  enough on my plate right now to keep me busy for a while.

Hoi Week 20!

Wo-ahh, we’re halfway there! Made it through the last couple weeks living on a few prayers, but we seem to be out of the woods with the spotting and bleeding. For now. Let’s hope it stays that way. I’ve been put on an iron supplement for pretty serious anemia and the last couple days have felt waaaaay less fatigued. Getting some of my energy back feels so good.

Big things are happening next week. It will be a yuuuuge exciting week. Baby gets to spend a couple days in the presence of Mama and Brother! Hopeful that everything looks good on our ultrasound and looking forward to their visit!!