Tag Archives: surrogate blog

Klahowya Week 36

I have a sentimental attachment to this green and white flannel shirt. It’s very PacNW, no? For a number of years, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, you could find me wearing this flannel, giving a fresh cut to the bottoms of dozens of evergreen trees, hoisting them to the roofs of hundreds of vehicles and securing them with twine to watch them drive off to their new homes where they would be adorned with baubles and Santas and surrounded by the echoes of joyful laughter. I loved working at the nursery all year round, but Christmastime was the best.

This year I won’t so much be surrounded by handsaws nor covered in pine sap but I’m starting to feel the holiday love all the same! Because…helloooo full-term baby!! Yes, she will be arriving earthside in very short order. I just have to keep my knees squeezed and maybe hang upside down a  bit until Dec 5, when my IPs arrive in town with GS1 to celebrate the holidays here in lovely San Diego and welcome their newest angel. It’s only 8 more days, right?! I think I’ll be able to make it.  After the 5th this little stocking stuffer has the green light to shoot clear on down this ol’ chimney. We will all be anxiously waiting! If I don’t go into labor naturally before school gets out (the 16th for my kids this year) I really hope my OB is still on board with induction the week before X-mas. At the last appointment she said we could talk about it more as things got closer, so perhaps next week I’ll know for sure. 3 more weeks to go! I’m definitely looking forward to having a holiday themed alcoholic beverage and sleeping on my stomach once again. Need to get those lights up on the tree first!

 


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!


Bonjour Week 7

There are so many different realities in our world, over seven billion to be exact, and the amazing, absolutely humbling thing when you think about it, is that all those realities began the exact same way. We all came from a woman who gestated us in her womb long enough for us to make it out there on our own; for some who arrived to the party a little early, medical technological advancement helped as well to varying degrees.

Today, on this Day of the Mother, it is my hope and wish for the soon to be 5 children I’ve helped bring into this world that they all experience life to their fullest potential. When I get down on myself about a career that was a non-starter (I mean, career advancement potential wasn’t exactly white hot in 2009) or how my kids have to make do with far less than I had as a child and getting into a funk about life not being upwardly mobile for us, I have to stop and realize there is no better time to be living than right now. There isn’t. The world is at its most peaceful time in history. People of past ages had things far worse with famine and disease and war. Even pending the results of what could be a disastrous election, there still exists the hope and possibility for our children’s generation to make things better – for themselves, and for the planet. Our original mother, the one we call home, is getting sicker and warmer every year. For the sake of my children and their children after them, we have to practice mindfulness and realize the repercussions of what comes after a misguided grab for instant gratification.

This Mothers Day I’m reminded of the responsibility bestowed upon mothers to light the way and set a good example for our children. A mother is not defined by the woman who births you. She is the woman who is watched and studied by an impressionable mind for hours of the day. She teaches and guides by her words and unspoken actions. My heart overflows with gratitude for my mother, and her mother before her, who helped make me the woman I am today, and for all the women I know making the world a better place for the next generation. For those who are still on the journey to motherhood: you are not forgotten today. Your courage to soldier on through the heartbreak is beyond admirable. I hope this is the year your miracle arrives – if I have any good, sticky baby dust to give, its all yours!

Many blessings to you all and to the woman you call Mom today.

 


The Pee Test Express

All aboard the emotional rollercoaster of the pee test express! In order to ride, your hormones must be raging and you better be prepared to accept that as easily as the pee test giveth, it can just as soon taketh away. Warning: if you’re not careful, you may also get wet.

On Day 5 and the morning of 6, I tested to a BUN – Big Ugly Negative. It wasn’t even a  big fat negative because there was nothing there to call fat. In the immense hormonal and emotional state I’m in right now, I emailed IM because I know she’s just as much on pins and needles waiting as I am, to let her know the result and all my anxieties about what could cause a failed transfer. Yesterday afternoon, after a tearful but optimistic phone call (they still have one embryo still in play from the last cycle, so not all hope is lost!) I went ahead and used the last HPT in the package and lo and behold, the faintest of faint lines appeared! It was barely there, but even I couldn’t miss it.

Baby! I hope that hearing your Moms voice made you go, “hey! I’m here! Stop talking bad about me being slow or non-existent. I’ll make myself known when I damn well please. Mama, please keep talking to me. I love hearing your voice .”

I went out to procure another pee stick for my arsenal this morning, hoping to see a stronger line. While it wasn’t as blazing flamboyant pink as I was hoping for, there’s definitely a darker line.

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Moral of this tale: if you choose to take HPTs and discover on day 5 after a 5 day transfer (the first day when a lot of women report a positive HPT result) a BFN – DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE!!  It’s not over until the BETA levels come back (even then, I’ve read stories of extremely low levels resulting into a pregnancy). This is my completely unscientific theory, but maybe it just takes the frozen embryos an extra day or so to warm back up.

I really really hope that line gets darker tomorrow and we’re not looking at a possibility of a chemical pregnancy. Please hang in there, little angel! We are all praying for you!

My Beta test will be Monday.

I always want the weekend go on forever, but with this waiting, it will be the longest weekend of my life.

 


4dp5dt

Not much to report on today other than I have to say I am greatly missing coffee. I feel bad complaining about having to give up the liquid bean because so many women experiencing infertility give up SO much more just to even try to get pregnant, that me as a fertile whining “waaaaahhh, muh coffee” makes me feel petulant. But seriously, I really miss having my morning cup this time around.

One thing I find interesting about carrying a surrogate pregnancy versus my own is that I feel a stronger sense of duty or commitment for taking better care of myself than had this been potential kid #4 for us. Would I make the choice to drink that coffee? I probably would. Because I think I kept up caffeine consumption with kid #3 (and he’s turned out okay so far!). With my older two daughters pregnancies, I followed the rule book pretty closely – well, except for that whole travel to China for a month bit while pregnant with my oldest part, that might have been a bit risky – but I definitely halted the caffeine, the deli meats, the cat litter box cleaning, and the booze obviously for those 10 months.

Being pregnant and responsible for someone else’s child turns on the need for me to go above and beyond. I know my intended parents are reassured that I’m not some raging alcoholic floozy only in this for the comp money – but I do like to give them a sense that I know how much this little one matters to them, how important he/she is, because my own little bean sprouts are my everythings, and if I were in their position I would hope that the person responsible for growing my heart-outside-my-body would take just as good of care.

Anyway…I’m not peeing on any sticks until Thursday, when the pregnancy tests I ordered online are scheduled to arrive. I could go earlier, but at our grocery store they keep the pregnancy tests all locked up so you have to ask for assistance for someone to open the cage and I hate having to do that so Thursday it is!

I don’t want to speculate too much, but it’s Day 4 and this will be pregnancy #5 for me. Do I feel pregnant? Yes. I do. I would say that I am beginning to experience the all same symptoms in common with how all the others started. A heavier, bloated, “full” feeling in my uterus. The urge to urinate more frequently kicked in today. And when I accidentally brushed my hand up against my breast today, it was almost as if it yelled “hey, watch it!” at me. I know nothing is official until I get that BETA reading, which will actually be Monday the 18th. I thought they were going to do it next Friday so not having to wait as long is a nice surprise. But…if I were to bet on things after 4 babies and how my body has reacted at a similar time, I would say we have some good news coming our way. Thursday! Knowing my UPS delivery guy it will be a late in the day delivery. More waiting.

This is my favorite coffee cup, by the way. As a kid growing up with an old lady name, it was very hard to find anything cool with my name on it amidst the many offerings of Jennifer and Jessica key chains and slap bracelets. When my parents finally found me a Helen something, at 8-years-old, I thought a mug was just about the most unthrilling gift ever. Now? I am very grateful for this personalized sacred stimulant vessel.

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A Day Like Any Other

Today is supposed to be a rarity because it doesn’t happen all that often. But if you really think about, every day is unique because you’ve never lived it before. Keeping this perspective via mindfulness helps get me through some of the more challenging days of being a mom of 3.

While I woke up and dropped my kids off at school just like any other Monday, I did take some time to reflect on the journey of how far I’ve come since having our son in October 2014, and the journey I’m about to embark on with this (to be) my final pregnancy. It’s fitting today marks a day of endings while the new month tomorrow kicks off the start of something entirely new. And it’s extra-special, as well, as tomorrow is Surrogate Baby #1’s third birthday!

Since I’ll be taking a lot of hormones through the birth control, it’s finally time to cut-off breastfeeding for my little guy. He turns 17 months tomorrow and is not going to like this one bit but it’s time. 17 months is nearly double as long the time I spent breastfeeding our daughters and I am very grateful to have gone this far, especially since he’s our last kiddo. This is completely disgusting and too much information so tune out now if you’re squeamish about bodily fluids. Our family all suffered from a bout of conjunctivitis last week (NOTE TO OTHER PARENTS: IF YOUR KID IS LEAKING MUCUS FROM THEIR EYEBALL, KEEP THEM HOME FROM THE PLAYGROUND! For the love of God, people…) Thankfully it has run its wretched course. In what I consider my milk’s final act of badassery sustaining the lives of my children and keeping them healthy and fed, I used a little breastmilk to treat son’s pinkeye. It greatly helped to get the swelling to go down and he woke up looking so much better the next day! WAY TO GO ULTIMATE MILK POWER-UP! Women don’t say “thanks” often enough to their bodies, so today, I’m saying a big thanks to mine.

Today I also finished a weight loss challenge with a group of friends that we started at New Years. The competition was a great extra boost to help keep my fitness train a-rollin’. Getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight after pregnancy #4 took much much longer than 1, 2, and 3 (well, I never fully got back after 1 or 2). Man, this was a big wake-up call to make good choices throughout the duration of this upcoming pregnancy. There is no way I’m getting up to as heavy as I was. That was a lot of work to get the weight off and it’s not an experience I want to repeat. SO….MAKE GOOD CHOICES THIS TIME AROUND!! I’m making a promise to myself now to exercise every day like I have been doing and continue to JERF. I love that acronym.  Just Eat Real Food. No more Stoffers Lasagna crap.

Anyway, here’s to a new month, a new season, and a thankful nod to my body for getting me here after almost 32 years.