APRIL 22, 2009
My Uterus is Just Very Friendly!
Well, for those of you who don't know (I've hinted around a bit) it's official, I will be a Surrogate one more time. It is no surprise to any of my readers that I LOVED the entire process. It was wonderful! Heck, I've even had a few followers of my blog apply to be surrogates themselves! That was always part of my goal with the blog. When I started it over a year ago, I wanted to educate readers on the process of surrogacy in an entertaining way, let my Intended Parents (IP's) and their friends and family be right there with me through the entire journey. I think it was a success (check out the map to the right).
So the girls turn 5 months in a few days and I'm about to start again. I know some people think I'm crazy but I have several friends who are/were Surrogates and they totally get it! Can I get a shirt made that says, "It's a Surrogate Thing, You Wouldn't Understand" (ut oh, lots of thoughts flooding my brain) . . . maybe a Bumper Sticker that says, "I Break for IVF" or "I'd rather be getting knocked up in LA" or "Fertility Happens" . . . maybe one for my husband's car . . ."My Wife's Uterus is on the Honor Roll at Growing Generations"?? Okay, I'll stop! :)
Anyway- to get you caught up on my newest venture:
*Fill out (again) Application with Growing Generations- Check!
*Pass the Medical/Psychological Screening and Background Checks again- Check! Check! Check!
*Surrogate Insurance approved- Check!
*Paperwork signed- Check!
I was told by Growing Generations that the prospective IP's were given my profile. I was excited that this part was here but it's also like the first step in a job interview . . . what if they don't like my views? what if they make fun of my pictures? what if they hate me? and if that's the case, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Don't they know who I am?
Well, good news, they loved (or was it liked?) me- Hello! Who are we talking about here- was there any doubt? . . . did they see how gorgeous the kids who spend time in my womb are . . . There are 5 adorable faces to prove the wonderful environment . . . it's like an exclusive spa . . . "Anyone, who's anyone came out of Kelly's uterus." (I'm envisioning Ruby, Preston, Sawyer, Anjali and Natasha with cucumbers over their eyelids and a towel wrapped around their head while they were In Utero).
So- the next step is going down to LA to meet them sometime in the next few weeks. At the Match Meeting you get to learn more about each other, openly discuss your thoughts/views on the upcoming journey, etc. I remember after Ricky and I met George and Sanj, we knew instantly that they were who we wanted to work with. We were sitting at the airport ready to fly home and we already called and left a message for Growing Generations telling them, without a doubt, YES!
George and Sanj do know about my next journey and are excited for me. We've discussed it a little bit, as much as I can at the moment. I know I've mentioned it before but as a former Surrogate, you almost have these feelings like you're cheating on your former IP's. It makes me wonder . . . is my Uterus Easy or just very friendly? I just want George and Sanj to always think of my uterus in the best of light . . . not as a big ol' uterine whore. I don't want to walk into a bathroom in New York years from now and see my information . . . "For a great pregnancy call Kelly's Uterus . . ."
I'll keep you posted on the progress. I don't think we'll actually do transfer until July or August- and that's if the Match Meeting goes well . . . which is great because that will give me a few more months to lose some more baby weight, before putting more back on- and ride a few roller coasters!
* Feel free to visit Kelly's actual blog at www.justthestork.blogspot.com for active links, pictures and to leave comments *
APRIL 12, 2009
Have to Share this Picture!
Every now and then comes a priceless picture . . . so when I got this one, I almost peed myself! I am LOVING this picture, especially Anjali's (left) face! hahahahah!
I can't believe they'll be 5 months at the end of April, where does the time go?
(Picture at Kelly's actual blog www.justthestork.blogpost.com)
SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2009
Our First Anniversary . . . thinking Round Two?
I can't believe it but today is the one year anniversary of our embryo transfer! To remind you- here's the post from a year ago today!
What a difference a year makes . . .
Natasha and Anjali turned four months old today and are sleeping (sometimes soundly) in their own cribs instead of my womb.
I am also doing great. I had a busy day today and was pleasantly surprised when I arrived home to find a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from George and Sanj. The card said, "Remembering you a year ago." Are they awesome or what?
It's amazing to think about the journey I started a year ago. It was so wonderful, I can't imagine it going any better than it did. We met great IP's. We got pregnant the first try. It was twins. It was a healthy pregnancy with an easy birth. I didn't have any real sadness watching the girls go away with their parents.
The only interesting (weird) feelings were, "now what"? Surrogacy is amazing. You have a goal for a long time, it comes to fruition and then you're (for all intensive purposes) done. It reminded me of after my wedding to Rick. You plan every single detail for about a year and in one night, it's over. Of course the marriage is there and great but the "planning" part is over. Some brides get the wedding planning blues. The more Surrogacy blogs I read, it seems there is a bit of Surrogacy (planning) Blues too.
One of the first things I thought about after delivering the girls is how I could totally do that again. I almost felt sad I was 34 years old and couldn't help more than one more couple become a family. I realize that people who are not surrogates or who have not been blessed with families with a surrogate's help can't really relate to my thinking. Some people I work with and even some family members thought I, "got it out of my system" so why would I even think about doing it again. Well, they were not with me in that hospital room when George and Sanj's babies were born. They were not there when they arrived a happily married couple but left a family. No, I assure you, if you were not there or have not been through something similar, you can not relate.
To be honest, I was not surprised when Lynn, my Growing Generations Counselor, asked me in the weeks following the birth about if I'd do this again. We had discussed my feelings throughout the entire process, so of course this would come up. I remember thinking, of course! For me though, time is of the essence as insurance for surrogates goes up at the age of 36. Actually, even if time was "on my side" , I'd chose to do it sooner than later. So in later conversations with the Surrogate Coordinator, I told them that yes, I would do it one more time (before my beautiful uterus wilts) LOL! My only stipulation is that I wanted a few months of an empty uterus and did not want to be in my third trimester during Christmas this time around. She said she'd talk to me later. But I'll leave the rest of this for another post. For now, here's an updated picture of the FAMILY I helped create
(Picture at Kelly's actual blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com )
MARCH 3, 2009
A visit on girlies 3 month Birthday!
Since our 3 month visit with Natasha and Anjali had to be cancelled because of uncooperative weather, I was really excited when George and Sanj mentioned trying to get together when Ruby and I were going to be nearby.
Ruby and I spent the weekend in Santa Clara for a Dance Expo/Competition she was attending. She was done competing earlier than most, so we were able to have dinner with everyone that night.
(To see pictures visit Kelly's actual blog at www.justthestork.blogspot.com )
Luckily besides great food, The Elephant Bar was very "kid friendly"!
And adult friendly
Anjali definitely won the award for Easiest Baby at a Restaurant
Natasha won the award for Cutest Baby being walked around a Restaurant
If I'm handing out awards, I guess I should give out a few more . . .
The winner of most adorable 7 year old holding a baby goes to my own Ruby Rummelhart
and the winner of the happiest 7 year old surrounded by her surro-family
It actually went quite well . . . it was the twins first dinner out and unlike when I'm out with my own kids, I was able to eat :) It was musical babies, everyone taking turns holding or walking a baby.
Here's me getting to hold Anjali
The night also reminded me how many shoes and socks I lost when my children were babies. Here's some cute little toes that arrived with both socks and cute little shoes
February 22, 2009
Well, my visit with my surro-family had to be postponed. I'm a bit bummed but we're having quite the rainstorm and we all decided it was best to cancel the 3 hour drive in the rain and wind. We're trying to figure out a time in the next few weeks to get together. Maybe next weekend when Ruby and I will be down for a dance competition?
For now, here's an updated picture (above, left) of my surro-girlies, Anjali and Natasha at 12 weeks. Posted below are some reminders . . .
(go to Kelly's actual blog to see pictures www.justthestork.blogspot.com
Here they are less than an hour old
Here they are, in my uterus about a week and a half before making their entrance
And here's a "Never seen before" picture of George and I in the room right after the Transfer of the embryos. Sanj is taking the picture.
I'll keep you posted!
February 1, 2009
My Surro-girlies are 2 months old!
Natasha and Anjali turned two months on January 28th. I'm excited I get to see them mid-February! I can't wait to hold them because last time, at the Open House, I was so busy I never even held them. George and Sanj say they are doing great, getting bigger and really starting to interact. At their last appointment Natasha weighed 10 lbs even and Anjali is up to 9 lbs 7 oz!
Here are some others pictures of my sweet ladies getting bigger! (will have to visit actual blog to see pictures (www.justthestork.blogspot.com)
and here's Anjali
Some more for you-
THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2009
The "Better You, Than Me" Award
I'm sure you have all heard about the woman who just gave birth to a litter, uh, I mean 8 babies. I could not even imagine! What I find so extraordinary about this story, aside from giving birth to EIGHT babies is that this is the first I've heard about it. I mean, don't you think she looked really huge? Wouldn't someone have noticed? Clerk at store- "Hey you're huge! Due any day?" . . . Incredibly large bellied woman, "Actually I'm due in 6 months". (Clerk's mouth drops). Although, I bet she was on bed rest since they found out early in the first trimester so many embryos stuck.
Reports state that this same woman already has six children between the ages of 2-7! I know, I know! How did they all keep it a secret? My 2 year old tells people I have "boobies", my 5 and 7 year old will tell their teachers my business all the time. How did not one of her kids not "slip". Or maybe they did and no one believed them. Seven year old to 2nd grade teacher, "My mom's going to have seven babies" . . . teacher to student, "You and your crazy stories . . . I'm going to have 13 brothers and sisters, yeah right, now go to the Principal's office Mr. I can't tell the truth." Do you think she's kicking herself right now for being so quick to brush him off? Now some of you may have caught the number 7 . . . yes, they thought she was having 7 but in the delivery room there was an 8th one. How is this even possible . . . Baby A, B, C, D, E, F and G were seen and Baby H was hiding behind 28 arms and legs?
I just think it's crazy, 8 babies? If I didn't know any better I would think she read my blog and wanted to "one up me". SHOW OFF! (me rolling eyes).
Original post January 29, 2009 on Kelly's blog
SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2009
Scars are cool!
All my surgical tape has fallen off (okay, some of it pulled) to reveal a C-section scar about 5.5 inches long. This is one of the things my OB, Dr. Knight will be checking this Tuesday at my 6-week follow up appointment. This got me thinking about scars in general.
The definition of the word Scar:
1. A mark left on the skin after a surface injury or wound has healed.
2. A lingering sign of damage or injury, either mental or physical.
I agree with the first meaning but I'm not quite "on board" for the second (regarding my own experience). When I look at my scar the last thing that comes to my mind is "damage or injury".
I look at My Scar and see a lingering signs of Hope, Joy and Family.
I'm not going to say I don't have any vanity, because I do, but I am a bit bummed that my days of wearing bikinis are over. This has nothing to do with the scar from my surrogacy pregnancy, it has to do with my belly from my own three pregnancies. The last time I wore a bikini was probably the year 2000. The scar is so low that even with a bikini on (when Hell freezes over) no one would see my scar. It's kind of a bummer because it could be a great conversation starter.
The subject of scars even takes me back to the night before our embryo transfer. I was watching The Replacements on TV while trying to "talk myself down" to administer the shots. There's a great line from the movie that comes to mind. The Quarterback is in a huddle trying to say something inspirational to his teammates before a win or lose play of the game. What he comes up with is . . ."Pain heals, Chicks dig scars... Glory lasts forever".
Well, the pain is gone . . . I'll have to get back to you on the other two! ;)
Original post January 11, 2009 on Kelly's blog
Original post January 8, 2009
I'm not the only one on Earth!
One of the coolest things that has happened as a direct result from this blog is meeting another Growing Generations Surrogate. We connected when she left a comment on my blog and we have become friends.
Stacie's picture is above. In her arms is her surro-baby Alexandra and her own daughter. Stacie just gave birth last week and I'm sharing her story (in her own words) below. You will see first hand why Stacie and I get along so well. Just the other day I asked her how she was doing and she said, "I'm feeling pretty swell. Healing seems to be pretty good (I'm like Claire on Heroes, if her vagina tore)." While reading the email I spit out my drink! So I know you'll love her too.
There were several similarities between the two of us: We both were Growing Generations Surrogates, live in Northern California, were due in December and carrying girls (she with one, me with twins).
*Oh, and Stacie was also told she had a "Beautiful Uterus" . . . she's a friend, so I will agree, but if she were a stranger, I would insist on a "Uterus-Off" . . . think dance off with ultrasound machines.
There were a few differences as well. My Intended Parents lived close enough to come to most appointments, Stacie's lived on the East Coast. I would've been begging for induction by week 37 and Stacie made it to 42 weeks! Can you imagine? Well, I can and I'll tell you one thing, I would've been trying to strip my membranes on 37 weeks 2 days . . . and I think you all know me well enough now to know I'm not kidding.
Below is Stacie's Delivery Story (only changes are the IPs names to initials) You'll see her birth was very different than My Surrogacy Birth Story so I wanted to share.
"So, I had a NST and AFI test on Friday and the doc checked my progress: 4cm and 70%. Not bad for no signs of labor. She schedled me to be induced on Sunday morning, but said she thought an ounce of castor oil would do the trick if I wanted to take matters into my own hands. The dads were with me for the tests and chatted with the doctor and Sunday was decided for the deadline. We agreed that Saturday I'd try the castor oil. Warning, too much information coming your way!
I put off swallowing that shit until almost 5pm. It was nasty and I have this mental block with swallowing liquid medicines. I had to put it in a syringe and have Paul squirt it into the back of my throat and chase it with pepsi. And that took about 30 minutes of coercing on his part!
So I finally get the oil down and nothing happens. 4 hours later we do it again- much easier this time- and go for a walk. I start having some tummy grumbles on the way home and have to poop when we make it home. Could have been the oil or might have been the enchilada I had earlier. After about another hour, I have some mild contractions, like I've had for two weeks now. We started timing them at 11:45- they're mild but 5 minutes apart, and I've been passing more tinged mucus. I check with the midwife on call at 12:30 and we decide together that I should head out- if I'm not really in labor, I was scheduled for induction later in the morning anyway. We leave just after 12:45 and call the dads. They text me at 1:00 that they're on the road.
In the car I started to panic. The contractions were regular, coming faster, and actually hurt at the peak. My other labors were slow enough that I was able to get myself into hypnotic relaxation, so I had very little discomfort. Not this time. I was afraid how quickly everything was happening.
We arrived at the hospital by 1:30 and things were moving along. The dads arrived by two and I got in the tub at some point. The midwife broke my water when I was complete in the tub, which must have been around 4, but there was light meconium, so I got out and back onto the bed. This part all sucked- I though her positioning was off because my hips were BURNING. She was low and the monitor wasn't picking up her heart rate well, so I moved to my hands an knees, but she didn't like that position, although I did. I flipped back over and just though, "I've got to hurry this up," so I pushed HARD for a few contractions and, shit, there was that burning (and some shit- that was great, BTW- crapping in front of the guys). I slowed the pushing and her head popped out (best feeling EVER once that was out) with her arm across her chest and up above her head, and her cord around her neck.
She pinked up immediately and squealed. Dads were right there with their hands on her, loving her, goop and all. I had to be stitched inside because of that arm, but had a "beautifully" in tact perineum. The nurses and midwife were SOOO accommodating with all of us. They're big on natural birthing in Davis, and they were so delighted about the two dads, and stroked my ego about the whole surrogate thing. The nurses are being so helpful with the dads, too, during their stay. It's nice to see.
M has to head back to NY today and D has to stay with the baby at the hospital until tomorrow morning because I tested positive for GBS and didn't manage to get two doses of abx before the birth. I'm going in to see them this afternoon and breastfeed Alexandra again. I did it yesterday at the hospital and it was not big deal at all. They bottlefed her first, the later I did it. You're right about the bonding- she is so clearly their baby that it's not even an issue. I see her and she's beautiful, but so not a part of me. I feel something special for her, but it's more like she's one of my friends' babies who I helped birth as a doula.
Anyhow, there's the long and short of it! The guys are kind of private, so I can share, but can't shout it from the rooftops like it's my nature to do!"
Again, the delivery story above is Stacie's experience as a Surrogate, not mine.
My surrogacy delivery is in November Part 1 and Part 2. My own Children's Delivery Stories are also posted in my "Memory Lane Posts" but Ruby's is by far everyone's favorite of the three. Although Preston and Sawyers were good too.
Original post January 8, 2009 on Kelly's blog
Another Visit at 3 Weeks!
*- in order to view HTML and pictures you must visit Kelly's actual blog: www.justthestork.blogspot.com
My family and I went to the Bay Area to celebrate Christmas with my in-laws. Since we were so close, George and Sanj offered to bring the girls over for a visit. We had a great time hanging out and seeing how Natasha and Anjali have changed in the last three weeks.
Here is baby Anjali
and here's baby Natasha
Rick's mom was the first to hold one of the girls . . . I love this picture, I just wish I could see more of Ruby's face, she was so excited to see the girls
Here is Rick's sister Denise holding Natasha
and his sister Laurie holding Anjali
Of course, Ricky wanted to hold the girls too
Funny, that just like my own kid's photos, I'm no where to be seen . . . as I'm always the one taking pictures, oh well! There's always next week, when the come up for the Open House at my place.
Original post DECEMBER 22, 2008 on Kelly's blog
Q & A Part 3
One of my favorite parts of being a surrogate is all the great (and sometimes funny) questions I get asked. I thought I'd share a few that I've received in the last 2 weeks -it's been 2 weeks, can you believe it?
Q: Have you had them yet?
A: Now I try to not to take offense to this question, but it seems almost silly to me because I was so HUGE 2 weeks ago and even though I have a belly left (it's just deflated and several inches lower), I'm already back down to my pre-surrogate pregnancy weight. I would think it would be noticeable that I'm about 26+ pounds lighter than 2 weeks ago, but whatever! Perhaps, because I'm still about 30 lbs away from where I was before I gave birth to Ruby . . . but again, whatever!
Q: Was it hard to let the babies go?
A: Not at all. Again, I went into this whole thing knowing they were not my babies and that I didn't want anymore children, so it didn't bother me at all to see them drive away with their parents. I always wonder if people think I'm some cold-hearted lady when I say this, but it's the truth! (Wait, that sounds bad . . . the truth is it wasn't hard, not that it's true I'm cold-hearted, ha!)
Q: Did you cry at all?
A: Yes, I'm a total cry baby . . . Oreo commercials, Steel Magnolias, Brokeback Mountain, heck, even The Green Mile book and movie by Stephen King . . . not to mention I was full of hormones! First, I started to get all "misty eyed" in the delivery room- watching the dads react to the birth of their girls was amazing. Too see them so happy, and know that I had something to do with it, it was indescribable!
The other time I started to cry was when the parents and their family started thanking me (and hugging me) as they were leaving . . . I lost it. I wasn't crying because I wanted the girls, I was crying because the girls were so wanted. If you had a Grandma thanking you for helping her son and his husband and helping give her grandbabies, well, you would be a cold-hearted lady not to cry at that!
Q: Do you still hear from the parents?
A: Yes . . . mind you, it's only been 2 weeks, so I'm sure as time goes on, our communication will space out a bit- having kids will do that, but for now I seem to talk with them every day or two. I hate to call because I know they must be tired and I don't want to wake them (not the girls, I don't want to wake the parents!)
Q: Did you enjoy being a surrogate?
A: I can easily say my experience, as a surrogate was absolutely amazing. I really believe that in the future, when I look back on all my accomplishments, it will easily be one of the best things I ever did. As a friend of mine wrote in an email - “You were able to help give a wonderful gift so that two people could experience what you and I know so well... the incredible love and joy that can only be experienced by having kids." It really was an unbelievable journey for my family, their family and me. The feelings I had when I saw the parents with their babies will stay with me forever.
Q: Do you think you'll do this again?
A: I don't know. My goal was just to do this one time, but my experience was so amazing and there are other couples who still need help. I know after we got matched, I asked George and Sanj how long they had been with Growing Generations before I came along and it was almost a year! It's hard enough to find someone who wants to be a surrogate, but then to find someone who passes the medical and psychological screening, and who's not just in it for the money, that's were you run into even more issues. I tend to have easy pregnancies, heal quickly, and with my hips, I was made for childbirth . . . put that with the feeling of helping someone create a family they always wanted, it's almost like a drug- I think I'm addicted! :)
Original post DECEMBER 12, 2008 on Kelly's blog http://www.justthestork.blogspot.com
Happy One Week To You!
(To see pictures you must go to Kelly's actual blog- address at bottom)
It's hard to believe but its already been one week since the girls were born. Crazy, I know. We'll here's a one week old picture for you to marvel over
I can't believe how alert they look for one week old babies! You can just tell they are totally advanced, probably geniuses . . . and I'm not just saying that because I carried them for 37 weeks. I'm telling you, like I've said from day one, GOLDEN UTERUS (okay, okay, and great genes that I can't take credit for at all).
Originally posted on friday, december 5, 2008 at Kelly's blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com
The Girls Go Home!
(To see pictures you must go to Kelly's actual blog- address at bottom)
So, it's been a few days since this event happened, but give me a break . . . I just birthed twins by c-section and made it home to three kids ages 7 and under. Better late than never.
On Monday, December 1st the girls and I were discharged from the hospital. I was told some information about recovering from a c-section, given my prescriptions for pain killers and let go. My friend Jodi drove up to meet the girls and was awesome enough to drive me home. While she was there, she was able to meet Appachchi (Grandma/Logi), Dad (George) and Appa (Other Dad/Sanj) and help us get the girls ready to go.
First, they made sure to feed the girls for their long trip back home.
Then, there was the jobs of changing the girls into their "Going Home" outfits and filling out the paperwork.
And of course putting the girls in their car seats. Which brings me to a joke (and any of you who have ever put a newborn into their car seat for the first time know the answer) How many adults does it take to put a baby in a car seat?
Appachchi pulled out their going home outfits and let me choose who got to wear what. I decided Anjali should wear the dots and Natasha should wear the stripes.
Here's Baby Anjali ready to go
and here's Baby Natasha
While we were making our way outside we stopped by the Non-Stress Testing unit were I spent the last 6 weeks (twice a week) to show off the babies and say Thank You. A little while later we made it to the parking lot and it was time to say our goodbyes and take one last group photo. Here's Appachchi, Appa, Kelly, Dad, and Nurse Valerie with the girls in front.
The girls got clicked in their seats and were ready to go
We said our goodbyes, which included lots of tears. (I'll talk more about our plans to keep in touch on a later post).
It has almost been a year since we all decided to proceed with the surrogacy and there we were, about to leave one of us with an empty uterus but a FULL heart and the others with a car full of love.
Originally posted on thursday, december 4, 2008
at Kelly's blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com
My Kids Hospital Visit . . . a.k.a. Chaos in Room 360
(To see pictures you must go to Kelly's actual blog- address at bottom)
The day after the girls arrived my mother, husband and 3 kids drove to Sacramento to visit me in the hospital and meet Natasha and Anjali. Sanj and Menaka were hanging out with the girls in my room right before my family came in. I told them that my kids would be walking in at any minute and it was about to get really noisy.
They arrived and for the next hour I was reminded why women recover at the hospital after a c-section without their kids. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing them and I thought it was important for them to meet the girls and most importantly to see them in their dads' arms. My kids have known Sanj and George for about a year and Ruby and Preston have been very aware of the entire process of their mommy being a surrogate. Back to the chaos-
We were sitting in the room when all of a sudden the ground started to shake . . . loud voices went from muffles to screams . . . a nurse ran down the hall shouting something about a stampede heading our way . . . JUST KIDDING- my kids walked in on their best behavior (that lasted about 5 minutes). They immediately saw the babies in their isolates and went ga-ga over them. Preston was trying to hug and touch them, Ruby was smiling from ear to ear, and Sawyer had no clue where he was, what was happening and why I was there. His little eyes were wide, looking all around and you could tell he was wondering what in the heck was going on- then, he saw them . . . "Babies" he said. Rick picked him up and showed him the girls.
Everyone came over and gathered around my bed. I got hugs and kisses and we talked about the babies a little bit. Menaka held Anjali and I held Natasha so my kids could see the babies up close.
Preston, my little love bug, would rest his head on them (giving them hugs) and Ruby asked if she could hold them. She sat on the end of my bed and I handed her Tasha to hold. She just sat their for a while staring at her and loving her. She was very excited to be able to finally hold one, since she had been feeling my belly for their movements for the last few months.
The funniest part of the day was Sawyer's reaction when I fed one of the babies. I was giving Anjali some colostrum and Sawyer was not happy about it. He climbed up and sat on his dad's lap, across from me. He stuck his chin up and his bottom lip out and proceeded to stare us down. You could just imagine what he was saying in his mind . . . "Don't get to comfortable baby, that's my mommy" or "Put the Boob down and no one gets hurt" . . .
For the rest of the visit my kids were bouncing off the walls, couch, chairs, etc. It was time for them to go before I made sure every woman on my floor decided against having more kids in the future. I gave them all hugs and kisses and told them I'd see them in a few days. Rick, seeing that I was a little stressed over their behavior (and my physical inability to deal with it myself) thought he'd be funny and ask if I wanted them to come back tomorrow. "No, Thank You" I said. In my mind I was freaking out thinking in 2 days I'd be back home, still physically unable to "control" my children if they decided to take advantage of mommy's "condition". Luckily, my mother is sticking around until Friday to help out since Rick's mom is now unable to help out as planned because of a family emergency. (My poor mother, I swear, she'll be back home by at least New Year's).
Originally posted Sunday, november 30, 2008 at
Kelly's blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com
Birth Story Part 2
(To see pictures you need to go to Kelly's actual blog, address at bottom)
When I left you last I was checked into the hospital, 4 cm dilated, IV in, shaved and waiting for Sanj to arrive. It's usually around a 2 hour drive from the Bay Area (depending where you reside) to Sacramento. The time flew by- for me anyway- I'm sure it was a long drive for Sanj . . . because his girls would be here that very night! Before I knew it Sanj and Menaka had arrived and George and Sanj were given their scrubs to change into. Then after signing some paperwork and some last minute explanations we were ready to go to the Operating Room.
I was taken back to the O.R. where I was about to take a trip to "Surreal, USA." I have never had a c-section so this delivery was totally different. I got up on the gurney and the anesthesiologist gave me a spinal. That hurt a bit. I guess my vertebrae are really close together so getting the needle in between bone was harder than usual. Later, George and Sanj would tell me they heard me during the process and they felt bad. It probably sounded something like this, "Ouch, Ow, Ouch, Ehhhh, Okay, Oww, Ouch, Oh God . . ." I think you get the idea. Once they had the spinal in, they laid me on my back immediately. I felt like I was going to fall off the gurney. I asked them if I was falling, they assured me I wasn't and that I was attached and couldn't possibly fall off. It was really bright, so I closed my eyes while the preparations were going on and kept telling myself, "This is it!" It's crazy, we've been on this journey for almost a year and here I was, in the O.R. being prepared to deliver their girls. I wasn't scared, the whole thing seemed surreal. I couldn't feel pain from the abdomen down. I could feel them touching and tugging and moving around, but no pain. They put up the curtain, swabbed my belly and when they were ready, they called for the parents. George and Sanj took a seat by my head and the surgery began.
They told us they were cutting and Sanj took some pictures of the events.
At 7:05pm Natasha made her grand entrance. I could only hear her cry and then when the nurses moved her to the station to check her out, I could see her thick black hair. She was 6 pounds 2 ounces and 17.5 inches and Beautiful!
One minute later Natasha's little sister Anjali was born. She weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces and was 17.25 inches long and Adorable!
The nurses were attending to the girls and George, Sanj and I were in awe. Multiple cameras were being used (Thank you Sanj for using mine too) and the three of us were completely giddy! It was an amazing moment. Seeing George and Sanj with their girls was spectacular! It is unlike any other feeling I've ever had. To be a part of something so special, I can't even really put it into words. All I know is that it was a moment that I will never forget.
*Recovery stories to follow*
Originally posted on sunday, november 30, 2008
at Kelly's blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com
Birth Story Part 1
(to see pictures go to Kelly's actual blog- address at bottom)
It was Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and I was heading to Sacramento for my last Non Stress Test appointment before our scheduled c-section (Sunday the 30th). I wanted to stop and get some lunch since I had only had a bowl of cereal a few hours before for breakfast but I wasn't sure I'd make it to my appointment on time. I figured I'd just grab a bagel sandwich afterwards on my drive home.
At 1:00 I met George and his mother in law at the appointment. I'm hooked up to monitors and the tests go well. They do notice I am having contractions and my blood pressure is a bit elevated. They page my OB and he tells them to send me to delivery so they can monitor me a little longer to keep and eye on my blood pressure. We settle into a triage room and start making a few phone calls to find out where Sanj is in case he has to drive to the hospital (it's about a 2 hour drive). I also call my family to let them know that I may be either late or not coming home tonight. The staff takes some blood and I pee in a cup so they can run a few tests . . . let the good times begin! Taking blood sucks for me because I have little veins- heck, I couldn't abuse IV drugs even if I wanted to! Peeing in a cup, now there's something I was born to do (great aim)- no problems there.
After an hour or so they decide my blood pressure is okay but they want to check my cervix for any progress since I'm having contractions every 2-3 minutes (75% of which I can't even feel). George and Logi leave the room and the nurse checks my cervix. I'm at 4 centimeters, which is another way of saying the girls birthday will be born in a few hours, not the 30th of November. I call my family to let them know I'll be home in a few days . . . George calls Sanj and Menaka (Sanj's cousin) to let them know they need to leave ASAP because we will be going in for a c-section in a few hours (2 other mom's scheduled before me). When you have a c-section they advise you not to eat or drink several hours before and luckily for me I hadn't eaten since eight o'clock that morning and I hadn't drank anything since noon. *Personal note* by this time I was indeed hungry and thirsty but knew it would be a few hours until I could eat or drink anything.
They check me into the hospital and begin preparations for the c-section. I get on my gown, they give me some medication to slow down the contractions, they start an IV in my hand and last but not least, shave my pubes. When the nurse was shaving me I had to giggle because instead of thinking about how painful the incision from the c-section would be I was complaining in my head, "Man, this is going to itch in a few days".
So now we just wait for Sanj to arrive.
Originally posted on sunday, november 30, 2008
at Kelly's blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com
Thankful for Mothers!
My mother and I had this great plan- She would come up to help me with my family and house for the time leading up to the girls' delivery. We had it planned out perfectly based on my last three deliveries, she'd come up November 7th (35 weeks) and she'd stay until the 21st. That way she'd be able to help me out at the very end, be here for the delivery and maybe a few days of recovery. Of course, as you know it's now November 27th, the girls haven't arrived yet and my mom is still here. HA! So much for my perfect plan, eh?
Luckily, My mom is a realtor, so with the market totally sucking right now she has been able to come up for a few weeks . . . actually, it will almost be a month by the time she leaves December 2nd. I am so grateful she was able to come up. I even told her in October, when we were planning everything, that if she left before I delivered that her being here would still be a tremendous help. I haven't been able to bend over really for weeks and it's amazing how quickly my house gets cluttered with 3 kids, most specifically my 2 year old. Not to mention my house is over 3400sf, which means a lot of house to keep in order when you're lugging around twins and can move a little quicker than a snail. Honestly, I think by having my mom here to help me get the kids ready for school, helping me taxi them everywhere, helping me with the house, meals, etc. it's probably the reason I haven't delivered yet. With my own kids I work up to the day I deliver and don't have any extra help until relatives visit after the birth. With my surro pregnancy I was pulled off of work at 30 weeks and for the last 3 weeks, when I'd usually deliver, I've had help 24 hours a day. So really, I guess I should tell my mom it's her fault :)
It has been great having her here for so long. Besides all the invaluable assistance, it's been nice for her to be able to spend so much time with her grand kids. Ruby's school even had a "Grandparents Day" that Granny Red (my mom, who's a redhead) was actually able to attend because she was already here with us! My kids are LOVING the fact she's been here so long, but I think we've all been spoiled. They're used to grandparents just visiting for a weekend, now whenever any of them come up they'll wonder why they have to leave so soon.
Another great thing was that my mom was able to meet the Intended Parents and will be around to see the girls she helped "keep in" for so long. Also, my mother in law will be coming up on the induction date (November 30th) and will stay with us until December 7th. That way, she can meet the parents and the babies and will help us out with the kids while I'm in the hospital and for the first few days I make it home with stitches and staples. At first Rick and I felt really bad about our mom's taking off work to come help out when the twins aren't their grandchildren. But they both had communicated to us that they wanted to help us because they were nervous about the twin pregnancy/birth and ultimately, we are their children and their grandchildren would need them. Not to mention my mother in law gave birth to triplets over 30 years ago and she knows the journey of multiples.
Honestly, the whole surrogacy process has gone flawlessly except for waiting for the delivery. We met great parents right away. Our transfer succeeded the first time. The parents ended up with twins. We've had 37 weeks of great reports on the girls and my health. Everything has been wonderful. The only "bummer" part in the whole process was my inability to plan my mothers visit better. But really, I swear, if she didn't come up when she did, I would've had the girls earlier, I'm sure of it. So I guess I should try not to feel bad. I know she has enjoyed herself but she also has left a husband, job and animals for almost a month and when she returns home will no doubt have tons to do. Perhaps I should start thinking of a nice Thank You gift to send her upon her return.
posted by kelly's uterus at 10:12 am 2 comments
Originally posted thursday, november 27, 2008
on Kelly's blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com
Kelly's Fantastic Turkey Day Twin Diet- Yours only $40!
Last Friday we had an ultrasound and they estimated the girls weight. I'm carrying over 11 pounds and 3 ounces of cargo! Baby A was 5 lbs 10 oz and Baby B was 5 lbs 9 oz, which is a great weight for twins at 36 weeks. We've passed the gestation and weight where it is very likely that they'll be discharged from the hospital before I will.
Since I'm still pregnant (I swear every blog will be my last before I give birth) I figured I better blog since it's been several days. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so we'll see if I get to eat with my family or if I'll be eating Sutter Memorial's version of turkey day dinner after we deliver. If I am home, it will probably be the least amount I've ever eaten for Thanksgiving, ever. I should market "Kelly's Fantastic Turkey Day Twin Diet" to the world. It would be based on the fact that there is no room to really eat. I figure I could write a comedic "How To" lose weight on America's most gluttonous day brochure, have it accompanied by about a cup full of food (envision military rations) in flashy packaging and charge about $40 each. Where I think I'll fall short is the FDA approval on the 11 pound fake twins we'll need to try to have surgically implanted in the customer's abdomen. Obviously, I'll need to think this through, but as a quick brainstorm, I may have something here.
I actually do have a plan for eating tomorrow. First, we're going to eat earlier in the day to try to help avoid my nighttime heartburn. Next, I think I'm going to start at the end of the meal knowing that I'm going to run out of room. This way I can ensure pleasure of eating Pumpkin pie and not "waste" my room on green beans.
For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, Happy Turkey Day tomorrow. For those of you who don't, Happy Thursday.
I'll try to do another post in the next day or two since time is running out . . . . Who knows what you'll be forced to read in the upcoming months when you can't visit my blog anymore. I will make sure to post some support group information soon since I'm sure several of you will no doubt, go through withdrawals. I know at this moment, some of you are yelling at your screen, "Say it ain't so Kelly" . . . Sadly, Denial is the second step after Shock in the Cycle of Grief. Just know I'll be here for you.
Originally posted wednesday, november 26, 2008
on Kelly's blog www.justthestork.blogspot.com
In The Final Stretch
My bag is packed and hanging out in the back of my van. I'm ready to go . . . just waiting for that whole "labor" thing to begin. My family and friends are so surprised I haven't given birth yet. I am actually the most stunned- I guess I jinxed myself blogging about how early my own kids come. I thought for sure between my early births and and with twins usually making an early appearance, by today, the parents would be experts at wiping spit-up, changing their girls outfits 4 times a day after multiple "blow outs", and trying to function on minimal sleep with no showers. But here I am . . . still VERY pregnant and they are still very clean and well rested (with plans to see the new Bond movie Friday).
Back to the packing . . . it was much easier to pack for my hospital stay this time around than when I was about to birth my own kids. I get to pack a few things I would have never packed before and get to leave several items at home. More than likely I'll be having a c-section, so instead of staying for only one day, I might be in the hospital for 2-4 days. New items I packed this time are books. With three kids at home, a teaching job, a children's boutique and a television addiction reading a book for pleasure (written for an adult) isn't usually my top priority. So, I made sure to bring two books that I've been wanting to read, When You Are Engulfed In Flames by my favorite author David Sedaris and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach. Since I won't need to care for the twins or my own children, I may actually be able to read both books from cover to cover! Heck, with a c-section I'll have a catheter in, so having to stop reading to go pee won't even be an issue! I'm also debating about bringing my laptop. Sutter Memorial has free Wi-fi so I figured I can keep up with the blog during my "down time". I can create magical blogs in my hospital bed and later have a nurse help me up to walk around and post it from the free Wi-fi area . . . or when my family comes to see me, have them post it. Seriously, if not for the fact that this will be major abdominal surgery with a few weeks of recovery, my hospital stay has the makings of one of the best vacations I've taken in the last few years.
On the other hand, no need for me to bring car seats, the girls won't be going home with me. Don't need to pack any outfits, diapers, or any other baby gear. I also don't need to bring anything for Rick, as he won't be staying overnight with me like he did with our kids. We've discussed his "job" through all this and it doesn't need to be much. These aren't our kids, so it's not like he needs to be there during the birth. Yes, he could give me encouragement and support, but the parents will be there, and their excitement for the outcome will undoubtedly be more than Ricks, so they may be the better bet. I do think if something goes wrong, maybe I would want him there, but I hate to go there . . .
Even though it may be a downer, it is part of the whole experience, so maybe I will mention some of my anxieties. Let me preface this by saying I have a huge imagination, so there have been a few things I've thought about during this process. Ultimately, I'm very optimistic, so my overactive imagination hasn't gotten out of control. As we get closer to delivery and it became apparent that I would probably be having a c-section, some new thoughts started to tip-toe into my mind . First, I could lose my uterus but the fact is, our family is complete, so it's not like I would be devastated that a future baby wouldn't have the chance to join our family.
One of the things that does make my heart skip a beat is that I know dying during birth does happen, although very unlikely. I have thought a little bit more about this just because I've never had a c-section before, so I've devoted a little bit of time to all my what if situations. The biggest sadness I feel besides of course my children losing their mother is the thought that Sawyer is too young to remember me if I did pass. (Again, it is not my goal to freak people out here or have them to start to tear up, but I have tried to stay genuine during all my posts, and this goes for the sad thoughts as well as the funny ones). Perhaps I should insert a pooping during delivery joke here to cut the tension? Again, I'm very positive and know that everything is going to be fine, but I would be lying to say that the thoughts above never have entered my mind.
Well, it's the end of the post and I'm still pregnant- damn it! *smile*
I'll keep you posted. I'm hoping things happen soon. No one, including my OB, thinks I'll make it to November 30th (which is our induction/c-section date) but you never know. I do hope that I give birth before this Monday or after next Friday. It would suck to spend Thanksgiving without my family in the hospital. Although, it may suck more to be pregnant at Thanksgiving since more than a cup full of food seems to give me heart burn. Perhaps I need to see this in a more positive light . . . as a diet technique. I will no doubt have several pounds to shed in the next few months (or years for me) this could be a blessing in disguise, my inability to eat or enjoy Thanksgiving. Perhaps the twins should stay in longer so they can help me not eat Christmas Cookies?
Originally posted november 18, 2008
Big Belly Kelly
You would not believe how big my belly is. It is crazy. I remember just bragging weeks ago (or was it days) that I'm doing so well . . . yada, yada, yada. Well, I'm changing my tune- I'm ridiculous. My friends are gasping and laughing and not under their breath or behind my back . . . to my face! Can you believe it? The nerve! :) One of my best friends said I need to update the Pumpkin Smuggler shirt picture because it's old (and false advertisement) so I'll try to take a quick belly pick today and post it. For now here's one from October 24th- click here.
I keep thinking about the longer these little ladies stay in for the better, but also the longer it will be until I can bend over again, shave my legs, get up from my sofa and bed without assistance. I've had some people ask me if the babies have "dropped"- I'm not sure that happens really with 2, drop where? They're taking up every bit of space in my abdomen, I don't think there is anywhere else to go, except the nearest exit and they are not rushing to get out of my uterus, that's for sure. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've said it time and time again, MY UTERUS ROCKS . . . if I were in there, I wouldn't want to leave either, but come on, there are tons of people who are waiting to meet the girls, so I think they need to pick up the pace.
I have been having contractions for a few weeks now and at night I notice them a lot more. However, they are not consistent . . . usually anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes apart . . . then nothing. We'll see if anything happens in the next few days, or hours. One thing that is a little different getting ready to birth someone else's babies is that I have not noticed any "nesting instinct". Before all three of my kids I went through this uncontrollable urge to clean, fix, prepare various things. We will see if it ever happens (like in the next week or so) but I kind of doubt it. I do have to prepare for my absence and the recovery from a possible C-section but nothing "uncontrollable".
I'll try to post more in the next few days, since it's coming to an end, so keep checking back . . . you never know when I'll be going in for the big push (or cut).
Originally posted on 11/16/08 on
Memory Lane #2
Continuing with the former birth series, we have arrived to Preston's birth. I'm sorry to say it won't be as funny as Ruby's, which also means no poop, but I'm sure you'll find it wonderful or at least cleaner.
Well, it was a hot day in June and I had just taken Ruby swimming. We got home, I put her down for her nap and took a shower. During the shower, I noticed I lost my mucous plug. Even though I had given birth before (just shy of 2 years) I couldn't really tell if the "tightness" I was feeling was actually contractions or not. So, I call Rick at work and let him know I might be having contractions and I lost my plug. I told him no need to rush home, but we may be giving birth in the next day or so and that I'd keep him posted on my progress.
I kept track of my possible contractions well into the late afternoon and I even called a few friends to have them "remind" me of when I should venture to the hospital. Remember, with Ruby my water broke, so going to the hospital was a no brainer. I guess I didn't want to be one of those women who goes to the hospital only to be sent home.
Around 5:00 pm I start to think that maybe this really is it. I call Rick at work and tell him that I think I'm in labor but no need to drop what he's doing . . . just finish up and come home so we can go to the hospital to see for sure. He tells me okay and then asks if I can go pick up his dry cleaning. Yes, you read right! I laughed at him and asked if he was joking . . . he told me that he figured if I gave birth and he wasn't around for the next day or so that he may not have a chance to go get it before the weekend. That's when I reminded him that I was in labor and would not be driving to get his DAMN dry cleaning while having contractions and bringing along my 20 month old. I asked him to finish up and come home.
By 7:30 pm, he was still not home so I called him. He was still at work! He told me that he just needed to finish a few things and reminded me that I told him to finish before coming home. I decided to CLARIFY in my best "get your ass home right now" voice. Within 35 minutes he was home and we were on our way to the hospital. Besides J Street having several construction closures, we made decent time to the hospital. When we arrived I told the nurses in the Maternity Ward that I thought I was having contractions, about 15 minutes or so apart. They put me on a moniter and we found out that I was having contractions every 2 minuntes. (I'm so in tune with my body, eh?) They checked my cervix and reported that I was already 5 cm dialated.
They asked me if I wanted an epidural and using a scale of 1-10 (I assumed 10 was giving birth to Ruby without any drugs) how much pain was I in. I asked them which answer would get me an epidural. They let me know that any answer would suffice. I told them about a 2 and urged them to page the anestisiologist now (we all know what happened last time).
I can really summarize the rest . . . I received my epidural (rainbows, fairies and bubbles) and the labor was 100% different than Ruby's. They told me I should rest, get some sleep since I'd be pushing soon. I laughed thinking, sleep? really? This was soooooooo different than Ruby's delivery! A little while later they woke me up and we found out I was almost 10 cm and they said I'd be pushing soon. I started to feel that pressure you get in your butt and told them they need to "top off" my epidural because I knew what that pressure meant. (Pain, cussing and pushing coming up quick!)
At 2:54 am on June 18, 2003, about 2 weeks early, Preston Xavier was born. He weighed in at 7 pounds and 8 ounces.
Originally posted monday, november 10, 2008
Shaved Legs and Memory Lane #1
As of tomorrow, we have reached our goal of making it to 35 weeks with twins. So, pretty much any day/week now we can deliver. With delivery being, well, whenever, I've decided to try to do a few more things to get ready for the big day. One of these things was shaving my legs. It is no easy task to shave your legs when the largest part of your midsection has grown to about 52"! Yeah, you read right . . . that makes me about 12 inches taller than around-YIKES. But I still have gotten no where near where I thought I'd be!
I've been getting a lot of people asking about how I think the delivery will go and we keep discussing my last 3 birth experiences. I thought, in order to prepare you for this birth and the marvelous write-up of that will no doubt follow when I return from the hospital, I'd get you warmed up on my past experiences. So here you go-
Memory Lane # 1 (Not quite short, but definitely shorter than I usually tell it)!
Ruby was due November 22nd so it was quite the surprise when my water broke 4 weeks early. They always tell you that most first pregnancy's go up until, if not past the due date. That night was like any other. Rick and I ate some spaghetti and hung around the house. At one point I had him feel my abdomen, "Wow, that's really hard" he said. "I know", completely oblivious. I watched about an hour or so of Maternity Ward (which is the worse show to watch when you are pregnant) and made the decision I would definitely be using an epidural during the birth. I didn't need to be a super hero and after watching this women scream for 30 minutes, then be as calm as a cucumber after she received her epidural, I was sold.
Anyway, so I go to sleep and at 1:40 am I wake up and look at my clock. Right then my water breaks. "No", I said as I got up. "No way", I told myself as I paced around the room with more fluid making its exit. I was freaking out. I still had one more day of work before my maternity leave and Ricky and I had put up the crib, but that was about it because we thought we'd have 3-4 weeks of maternity leave to get things settled before little Ruby Q made her entrance. So, I wake up Rick and let him know. We call the hospital and they tell us to come in. We get out the list of what to bring to the hospital and start throwing things in a bag. I run upstairs, call in for my substitute teacher (I was teaching high school at the time) and created and faxed over my sub plans.
We go to get into my Tribute but our roommate is parked behind me. We grab the baby seat and toss it into Ricky's car. It's on Empty. We drive to the nearest gas station (it's about 2:15 am now) and go to fill up. He left his wallet at home. I break out my card and pay while adding some snacks, a banana and suckers the list tells me to bring to the hospital and we're off . . . well, first we go back home and get Rick's wallet. Now, we're off! It takes us about 45 minutes to get to the hospital (it's across the Bay) and we arrive and get settled into our room. They give me pitocin, to help along contractions since my water broke and you're supposed to deliver within 24 hours of water breaking to prevent infection. The nurse asks me if I plan on using drugs. I tell her, "Yes, but I want to see how far I can make it without" . . . . famous last words!
Well, we find out the pitocin works really well for me, because fast foward a few hours and I'm doubled over in pain, asking for my epidural and told that I was now 10 cm and couldn't get it. "Excuse me?", I say, "My aunt is an anesthesiologist and I know for a fact that I can get it any time I want, it just makes it more difficult for you" . . . SILENCE FALLS IN THE DELIVERY ROOM . . . Ricky swears he sees a tumbleweed roll across the floor as the western dual music plays in his head. The nurse, who I now will call Nurse Ratched, tells me that by the time the anesthesiologist gets here, that I will have already had the baby.
I'M PISSED (to say the least). Once I become very aware that I will not get any drugs and this will not be going as smoothly as I hoped I kicked everyone but Rick out of the delivery room. I figured my mother in law and sister in law do not need to see me this way. After all, I could very well say something that will haunt me for years to come. My nurse, who is not feeling my pain and has no sympathy (just a horrible attitude) has become enemy #1. Now, for those of you who don't know (sorry to be the one to tell you but) sometimes when women are giving birth, they will also poop. I have now decided that my new goal for this delivery (besides delivering a healthy girl) is to crap as much as possible because it is Nurse Ratched's job to wipe it off the table. GAME ON!
So I'm contracting, pushing, screaming, cussing, and all along smiling knowing I'm doing a great job on the feces front. I ask Rick, "Am I pooping?" He confirms, I smile and say "good". (Now, some of you may be mortified reading this now. All I can say is it's a good thing you haven't taken the college class I teach because I tell this story and act it out!)
At 8:05 am on Tuesday October 30, 2001 Ruby Quinn makes her entrance weighing in at 6 lbs 10 oz. Nurse Ratched says, "See you didn't need drugs" . . . it is 7 years later and I still hate her.
Originally posted thursday, november 6, 2008
What's in a Birth date?
As we get closer to the due date it seems everyone has a feeling or at least hopes the babies will be born on a specific day. It may revolve around a lucky number or a date that has some sort of astrological significance. Perhaps, it's just your own (or another family members) birthday. Regardless of how you came up with your birthday guess, please feel free to cast your vote in the comment section at the end of this post. If for no other reason than for bragging rites. It will be documented and easily linked for that fun "I was right and you were wrong" email you send to friends and family that also voted, but were not as omniscient as yourself.
For the record, I actually have a few guesses (hedging my bets) . . . First, November 11th or the 22nd. Why you ask? Eleven and Twenty-two are two of my lucky Roulette numbers. Both would be a double dose 11/11 and 11/22. November 11th would put the girls in the astrological sign of Scorpio, just like me and my own daughter . . . and there is nothing cooler than a female Scorpio! (The 22nd is on a cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius- depends on where you read). The other date that seems to come up often is November 13th. It would still have the lucky 11 aspect (because of the month) but this number is more of a "feeling" . . . plus as I was writing this very sentence, I looked up at my clock on my laptop and it said 11:13 PM HELLO!! Does it get any more obvious? ha!
I'm not going to be picky, if the 11th or 13th comes and goes, that's fine, but anytime between the 7th and 19th would be awesome because my mom will be here visiting and it would be great to give birth while she was here to help my family while I'm pushing out some Scorpios!
As you're thinking about a date, if you don't already have one in mind, a little information for you to make a great educated guess:
Remember the due date is December 15th (40 weeks) and most twins don't hang out that long.
We will not be giving birth after December 5th, as they will induce sometime between November 30-December 5th if we make it that far.
Dr. Knight told us that week 35 is the date we want to make it to, after that, they'll let me progress.
My own singleton pregnancy's arrived at 36, 37 and 38 weeks.
About half of twins, and the majority of higher order multiples, are born at least a month early.
** TO VOTE visit Kelly's actual blog and - click on the word (link) comment below this post and it will open up a comment box for you **
originally posted wednesday, october 29, 2008
Goodbye Glowing, Hello Swelling!
The days of cute, glowing pregnant woman are behind me. Welcome the days of, "Wow, when are you due?" big ol' pregnant chick. My husband Rick told me last night when I was brushing my teeth in the buff that my belly had grown 10 times its size in the last week or so. Nice. The funny part about it is that with clothes on I look like your normal third trimester preggo lady, but when I lift up my shirt to show the "select few" that I deem worthy, they gasp in amazement of how much bigger it looks in its natural glory.
The other body parts that are out of control are my feet, ankles and calves. During every pregnancy I tend to swell towards the end. I was actually bragging just last week about how it had not happened yet. Well, if my foot could fit in my mouth, or even reach it, I'd insert it. What's interesting this time around is that my right foot/ankle/calf (a.k.a cankle) is larger than the left. Don't get me wrong, both are noticeably swollen . . . but the left is pregnancy swollen, where the right is Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man swollen.
I think it's safe to say that my dreams of being a shoe model in the upcoming weeks have been crushed. I took a few pictures last night for the blog, but since it has been months since I could reach my feet, my toenails aren't looking so cute. And honestly, if I'm going to post an unflattering picture of my ever swelling cankles, then darn it, my toes are going to look gorgeous. So- you'll have to wait for that picture.
originally posted 10/23/08 on Kelly's blog
Banana Chocolate Vivanno, mmm, mmm, Good!
Everyone who has ever been pregnant or been around someone who was pregnant knows that most "expecting" women tend to have food cravings and I am no different.
When I was pregnant with Ruby it was cheese, specifically Pumped Nacho Cheese. Sadly, there was a Taco Bell across the street from where I taught high school at the time . . . this is probably one of the biggest reasons I gained so much weight with Ruby. To this day Ruby LOVES cheese and will eat it everyday if we have it in the fridge. With Preston it was Fuji Apples . . . although, you'd think since it was a healthier craving I wouldn't have gained so much with him, but I digress. Nowadays, I would say Preston eats about 5 apples a week, easy. With Sawyer it was anything sweet and he is my little candy man. He will ask at 8:00 am for a lollipop. No, I don't give it to him, but he tries several times a day to get cookies, candy or even fruit flavored gummy vitamins.
You may be wondering what it is this time around. Well, it's actually a few things. First off, I have single handedly kept the Gridley Starbucks in business with my excessive need for their Banana Chocolate Vivanno. A lot of other people I've talked to say they think it's chalky or doesn't really taste like Chocolate. To me, it's Heaven. It reminds me of a Carob Banana milkshake my dad and I used to share when I was about Ruby's age. My thoughts are that they are better for me (and the babies) than the Mint Mocha Chip Frap that I'm really jonesing for.
Food wise, I am constantly craving either Pepperoni Pizza or these wonderful Cheese Bread Sticks from a local place called Pizza Round-up. The bummer about this craving is my Nirvana is immediately followed by Heart Burn, "Damn you Bread sticks!" Lastly, I tend to daydream about Mexican Food. I rarely give into this one because my need for cheese enchiladas and refried beans doesn't outweigh my need for peace at dinner . . . taking my 2 year old out to eat anywhere is a headache waiting to happen.
I have not given in to my cravings as much with this pregnancy as I have in the past. I'm positive this must be the reason I have only gained about half the weight this time around (even though it's twins). With that being said, I still have a few weeks to go . . . which means dozens more Vivannos, bread sticks and possibly a Mexican Take-out plate or two . . . so perhaps I should save the "pat on my own back" until I actually deliver. Umm, speaking of delivery, do I smell pizza?
originally posted 10/16/08 at
Babymoon or weeks of nail biting?
We're at 31 weeks now and things are moving along. Our last appointment went great. Babies are doing well and I'm only up 20 pounds. If Dr. Knight was a kindergarten teacher, I would have left his office with the biggest gold star you've ever seen. Sadly, he's not, so I got a "Good Job Kelly" and a big smile . . . but that will do. After the appointment, we took the Hospital Tour. I've delivered there twice but thought it was a good idea for the parents to see how things will work during our stay. Nothing really changed, except they didn't give out the "how to cut your umbilical cord with car keys" in case you deliver in your car handout that Rick and I got back in 2003. Not sure if they've decided not to freak people out or if it in fact was as dirty and unhygienic as it seemed back then.
Now, for the next few weeks. I'm hoping that it is very uneventful. The Parents have left the country for about 3 weeks. Perhaps it's for a Babymoon and family wedding rolled into one. For me, its a one way ticket to Freakoutville. Where every night I dream about going into labor between 31-33 weeks. Where every cramp, ache or weird feeling makes me take a deep breath and tell myself, it's nothing, nothing is going to happen. Where I count down until their return October 29th. Don't get me wrong, I know that if something does happen, they'll come back immediately but I'm still freaked for some reason. I do have plenty to do to pass the time, I need to get prepared for the upcoming weeks- but that will be in my next post.
originally posted 10/13/08 on
Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting
My womb is a war zone. Actually, I'm sure all the movement is nothing more than "love taps" but these girls are everywhere! It's funny because my belly is so tight right now that if I'm wearing a close fitting shirt you can see the movement from the outside of my body at times. Speaking of which, here's a belly pic (sans shirt).
My next appointment is at the end of the week, then I'll have updated information for everyone. Usually around this time (almost 30 weeks) we're looking at over 15" length for each baby and almost 3 pounds a piece! People keep asking me if it feels different with twins. Not really. It's more of just the feeling of being farther along in the pregnancy with a baby that moves a lot. My energy and overall feeling reminds me of around 36 weeks with my others, so I keep wondering what the next several weeks have in store for me.
Now that I'm not working at my store anymore, I'll have a little more time. One of my goals is to watch and review the movie Baby Mama. I've heard it's funny, I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler but never saw it. However, lately people keep asking me if certain parts of the movie are true . . . like the fact the surrogate gets $10,000 a month, ha ha ha ha ha ha ! No, that part is not true. I guess she gets something like $100,000 to carry the baby . . . I told an acquaintance that for $100,000 I'd put an "EXIT" sign by my Vagina and cash in . . . that I can single handedly help populate the earth until my uterus gives. Of course I'm joking!
originally posted on Kelly's blog 10/5/08
Comments from Strangers
Now that I'm REALLY showing I'm starting to get lots of comments from Strangers . . . which then puts me in a weird position of smiling and going with it or some level of disclosure (without feeling like a liar or disclosing too much).
When I'm out with all my kids- 2, 5 and 7 next month I get the old, "Wow you have your hands full" or the close "You are going to have your hands full" comment. I got these same comments when Ruby was almost 2 and Preston was about to be born . . . oh, to be able to time travel, I could go back and say, "This is nothing, wait until Fall of 2008, you'll be speechless!"
The usual progression of questions . . .
"Wow, when are you due?"
I usually answer December 15th but they think more like November since it's twins and I tend to deliver early anyway.
Next is usually either:
"Twins?" or "How many kids do you have already?"
Which then leads to a few possibilities . . . .
"Wow, 5 kids?" or "Twins, are you going to dress them alike?"
Which then goes to (depending on how much disclosure) . . . .
"What do you mean they aren't yours?" or "I don't think I could do that." or "That's amazing, what a great friend you are." or even, "I've always heard of people who are surrogates but never met one in person." (I always smile at this one, like I'm a unicorn or the tooth fairy).
From there- people (strangers, not friends or most acquaintances) either move on, talk more about it superficially or worse case scenario . . . there are some who want to know every personal detail (and will ask as if it's their right to know) . . . "Who are the Parents?", "What do they do?", "How come they can't get pregnant?" (I guess never hearing about this little thing called Doctor Patient privilege), "Is it her egg and his sperm?" (one of my favorites, most of you know why) . . . this list can go on but I think you get the point I'm trying to make. That point being, it can be hard to discuss my surrogacy (with the goal of educating people) and at the same time protect the privacy of the Intended Parents and my family. It was one of the reasons I started the blog, besides keeping the Intended Parents friends and family in the loop, I can send people to it to answer some questions and not have to get into the downward spiral of some conversations.
originally posted 9/23/08 on Kelly's blog
Halloween is right around the corner-
The kids and I have been talking halloween costumes lately. I tend not to buy anything until about mid October because my kids change their minds so often on what they want to be . . . or they don't see my vision of matching costumes . . . oh wait, here we go!
Anyway, our cousins have this huge halloween party but since they live about 3 hours away, we won't be able to go. Part of my contract states that I can't travel a certain amount of miles away from the OB/Hospital once I start my third trimester. However, I still want to use my costume idea for this year. As of today (it may change) Rick and I have decided to play up the pregnant belly and we're going to be Bristol Palin and Levi for Halloween. I figure we can make a mullet and Hockey Jersey (with a W) for Rick and I may make some sort of McCain/Palin shirt for me. (Quick Disclaimer, if you can't tell my views already, I don't have one of these shirts just laying around) Maybe I'll make a Palin for Sex Education shirt instead, hmmmm, I'll have to think about that one.
There are not a lot of great choices for costumes when you're pregnant, that's for sure. Another option is painting your belly. I still have some time . . . who knows? I may not be in the mood or shape to try to dress up for Halloween. I may be the lady you hear about that sits at her door and throws candy at the kids- we'll see how I'm feeling.
Originally posted at Kelly's blog (for picture/link references) www.justthestork.blogspot.com on 9/21/08
Two Peas in a Pod
Today we had the 3D/4D ultrasound. If you haven't seen these before, they are so cool. My husband and I did one with our last baby and we thought it was unbelievable, you could see he belonged to our family . . . spitting image of his siblings, before he was even born.
The girls are currently face to face, which our sonographer said was not very common. She said usually they are positioned like a Yin Yang, facing each other but face to feet. The position they were in made it hard to get pictures easily, but she pulled off several "keepers". If you click on the picture above, you can make it larger. Anyway- top left is the girls face to face. Top right is my favorite, foreheads touching (through membrane). Bottom right and bottom left are images of each girl alone.
She was also able to measure them, weighing 2 pounds and 1 ounce each! They're getting bigger . . . but I can tell you they won't get this big!
originally posted 9/9/08
Dr. Knight's Iron Fist of NO SEX comes down-
Had my OB appointment the other day and things were going well . . . I gained a pound in the last 2 weeks which puts my total weight gain at 12 pounds so far. Dr. Knight was very happy with my weight stating at this rate I will have gained more with each of my singleton pregnancy's than this twin pregnancy. (Again, I'm known for "packing it on"- so doing this well wasn't really expected). I think it has something to do with the fact that the girls aren't mine. Kind of like when you're watching a friend's child and you realize you do a better job at their safety than your own children's. No, my kids don't walk around with knives or play in the street (and no one has stuck a fork through their nose) but I'm at 100% Mommy when I'm in charge of Someone Else's child.
Back to the appointment- did a quick ultrasound to check heart rates and they were great. Talked about a little ankle swelling and Dr. Knight reminded me of what I'm not supposed to be doing . . . "No working, No exercise, No excessive walking, No Sex . . ." I said, "Wait, what was that last one?" Sure enough, I heard correctly- Dr. Knight says from now on, I shouldn't have sex or orgasms because it could trigger labor. Now I have to admit, this was a surprise of sorts. I remember when Rick and I were going through the counseling part of Growing Generations we discussed how we may have to be abstinent for a while. Of course, I was just thinking around the time of hormones and the transfer. Never having twins, I didn't really think about the whole labor part. Usually within a normal pregnancy, sex is fine up until your water breaks . . . but NOT for us this time, because multiple fetuses aren't normal.
originally posted on 9/7/08
25 week Belly Picture
So I cropped the picture to remove strangers, get rid of the weird look on my face, and zoom in on the belly so it looks bigger . . . and Voila! a 25 week pregnant with twins belly picture. I'm wearing a tighter, non-maternity tank top so it's showing everything, I look pregnant and not just fat now. If you don't agree, be advised that I now have the cluster map so I can hunt you down . Sure, it only shows a "rough estimate" of where you are, Canada, Egypt, Australia, Texas . . . but I will find you and make you delete your fat comment. You've been warned! :)
It is funny though how people's perspective's are very different. Most people, including my friends who've been pregnant before or have seen me pregnant with my own in the past thought I'd be a lot bigger by now and/or think I look great for 25 weeks. I usually wear baggy tops, to hide the "left overs" from my last 3 pregnancies, so a lot of people have just started to notice that I'm pregnant. Others think I look big already. For those people, you haven't seen anything yet! :) ha!
I have been noticing that it's getting tougher to do things . . . get up from the couch, walk around for a while, and put on shorts or skirts, etc. The OB has told me that I should stop exercising, walking my kids to school, etc. That I should just do what needs to be done and not over exert myself. Usually I'd laugh and think yeah right, but carrying twins is different than my previous pregnancies, not to mention that the girls aren't mine, so I think I'll follow the directions this time around. I think I was 7 months pregnant with Sawyer when I was hauling bark cover from the front of the house to the back in a wheel barrel. I also have been known to camp and river raft at about 30 weeks . . . so you can see where this is going to be very different than my previous pregnancies.
originally posted 9/2/08
Gold Medal for Bed Dismount in Preggo Mommy Olympics?
The Olympics are over and all the medals have been handed out but Kelly's medal progress isn't over yet. (Not sure if Kelly's is participating for the USA or Canada . . . we'll just say both so she can double her chances at medal contention).
*High jump . . . aka getting into and out of an elevated bed. Footage of this event could bring $100,000 to my family if uploaded to America's Funniest Home Videos or at least a viral email forward via YouTube. Judges promise my scores will increase as the weeks go on. If it's funny now, imagine at 35 weeks!
*Hurdles and Weightlifting . . . going up and down the stairs in my house, carrying a 23 month old, while stepping over shoes, toys and laundry baskets that were supposed to be brought up stairs by you know who (Ricky!)
*Synchronized swimming . . . bathing 3 kids (5 if you count how my belly gets wet now, even when I'm not in the tub or shower being utilized).
Sprints- 60 and 100 meter . . . length depends on how far away I am from a bathroom or cordless phone at any given time.
Triathlon . . . or rather an Octathlon? Wake-up, get kids ready for school, drop off at 2-3 different locations depending on day, (shower if time), keep almost 2 year old busy for several hours, straighten up house, pick up from school at 2-3 different times/locations depending on the day, homework, dance class, dinner, bath time, bedtime, pack up lunches for next day and whatever else pops up that needs doing. Now sprinkle in some doctor's appointments, grocery store trips and work here and there and there you have it. (Where are the people on the sidelines with water- I need to pour one over my head after just writing this).
Perhaps this would be a good time to give your own mother, father, sister, brother, friend, whoever is in your life raising and/or carrying kids (their own or Someone Else's) a HUGE hug for the job they do everyday . . . this includes Super Dads too, not just Super Moms! So often we overlook what a big job being a great parent is and since I'm writing about all these events above, I want to remind people there are tons of people who are doing similar things that I do everyday . . . and would like more than anything to be acknowledged for raising awesome kids- or at least have help for a few minutes so they can shower.
originally posted 8/23/08
The Incredible Expanding Woman
*Click photos to enlarge*
We had our appointments today and all went well. The baby girls are over a pound each which explains some of the 11 pounds I've gained so far. Actually, my doctor is very happy- since I usually pack on the preggo pounds! With my own children I'd say I easily gained 30-45 pounds each time (and that was with singletons)!
Women's Health Care Topics online describes where all the weight goes that a women will gain during the pregnancy . . .
Baby - may weigh between 6-7.5 pounds . . . obviously can be more, especially with twins.
Uterus - may weigh 2 pounds.
Placenta - generally weighs 1.5 pounds.
Breasts - may weigh up to 1.5 to 2 pounds.
Blood Volume - will increase during pregnancy up to 4 pounds.
Fluid - as much as 4 pounds.
Amniotic Fluid - weigh approximately 2 pounds.
Maternal Fat Stores and Nutrients - about 7 pounds of weight.
I think it's safe to say I probably had more "fat stores" in my last pregnancies versus a 15+ pound placenta. Especially since my kids weighed from 6 lbs 10 oz up to 7 lbs 8 oz.
When it comes to weight gain, a positive this time around will be I won't gain any after. I'm one of those women who puts on weight breast feeding instead of melting away the pounds- I'm the Le Leche League's greatest media fear!
From now on I"ll be seeing my OB every two weeks, so I'm sure I'll start to blog more often. We're getting close to beginning the third trimester- how close we are depends where you get your information. Some say the third trimester begins week 26, others say week 28 . . . all I know is regardless, it's going by really fast!
originally posted 8/21/08
Is gender that important? Perhaps we shouldn't tell you . . .
JUST KIDDING! So we just got back from all the Doctor appointments today- by we I mean myself and the two little princesses I'm carrying.
We had our big ultrasound today and in the process learned several things.
1. They're back to thinking only one placenta, not two (so they may be identical twins like we originally thought).
2. Baby A was a bit shy not showing us too much but finally in the end they said she's a girl.
3. Baby B was not shy at all- showing us all her girlie parts.
4. They don't provide spare pants if you pee yourself on the table. (I didn't, no worries, but it would've been nice to have the option)
I'm sure I'll post more later but I wanted to get this up before we go camping. I know a lot of you were dying to find out what gender they are, so I didn't want to torture you any longer.
The one major change because they're twins and also with one placenta is that we have to go in more often. I go back in 4 weeks but after that I will have to go in every 2 weeks. Then starting at 32 weeks, I'll have to go in twice a week for
Non-stress tests. I have 3 kids at home, so I was thinking I could just phone in and they could tell how stressed I was . . . but I found out that it's the babies they're testing, not me . . . so that's good! :)
originally posted 7/24/08
Gender and Dreams
Since I put up the Gender Poll on the blog I've had several people ask me what gender I think the babies are. Honestly, I have no idea or "feelings" at all. I've come to the conclusion that the "feelings" that you have with your own pregnancy are just that. When you are pregnant with a baby (or babies) that ARE NOT your own . . . it's not the same at all. There is no dreaming about the future, what she'll be . . . what his voice will sound like . . . . what names you prefer . . . . or how you're going to totally mess them up somehow. None of that is there- because you don't have to think about what color to paint the room, what baby gear to buy, or how in the heck you're going to save enough money for College. With that being said, I have no idea whatsoever- None, Nada, Zilch.
However, I do know that whether I give birth to 2 boys, 2 girls or one of each the Intended Parents will be incredible. And I can guarantee that everything that I'm not thinking or worrying about (above mentioned items, plus preschool, future boyfriends/girlfriends) they ARE thinking, dreaming, and waking up sweating about. So, I'll just leave that part to them and I'll continue to think about how to alleviate heartburn, how in the heck I'm going to make it upstairs and into my elevated bed in the months to come and sweat about if my husband will really bathe my toddler when I can't sit on the stool hovering over the bathtub weeks from now. I have seen images of women with twins at the end and it doesn't look like I can bathe myself, let alone my 3 kids!
originally posted 7/22/08
Uterus Party in Mexico? Ci!
We just got back from our cruise. Here's a quick picture of my belly and the most exclusive uterus party in Mexico. Many are trying to get in, but this uterus only has enough room for a Party of Two!
My husband and I attended a surprise cruise for my step-mom's birthday. She was surprised and we all had a blast. It was only a 3 night cruise but it was a much needed break for all!
At the time of the cruise I was 17 weeks . . . you can sail on a cruise line up until about 24 weeks. Just a few weeks back a woman was turned away so I made sure to check the policies . . . we still had to sign a waiver to cruise, but I was sipping VIRGIN strawberry margaritas in no time flat! I also can give you quick directions to any bathroom on board, as I swear I was peeing every 30 minutes!
Even though I was eating for three (myself+ twins) I was lucky that the food was not the best compared to other cruises we've been on in the past. Let's just say I didn't gain the normal 4-8 lbs on this cruise, ha! I guess it also helps that the cruise was about half the days of the others we've been on.
FYI- we have our next ultrasound July 24th. At that appointment we should find out, if the babies aren't being too shy or uncooperative, what gender they are! I have set up a Poll at the top right of the blog . . . make sure you vote to let us know what gender you think the babies are . . . 2 boys, 2 girls or one of each. You'll only have until the 24th of July to vote!
originally posted 7/7/08
More Good News!
To quote my OB, " . . . with every ultrasound, we keep getting better news . . . "
Last week we had our first appointment with the Sacramento Maternal-Fetal Medicine Medical Group. We were told we would get to know this group well since previous ultrasounds had shown only one placenta. On Thursday, we were there for the Nuchal Translucency Screening.Like most ultrasounds, I did have to drink 16 ounces of water an hour before my appointment (been there, done that). However, I've never had to wait so long for an appointment and have it take so incredibly long. I drank my water at 12:45 and was finally able to pee about 4:00! I was ready to bust (or cuss at someone).
We will find out later how the test turned out, but it looked pretty good to me. FYI- that doesn't mean much since I'm not trained in this area, but I did google a lot and saw pictures, and ours looked like the ones that were fine. If it turns out I'm right, perhaps I should open my own practice? My waiting room would at least have a fish tank :)
Durning the ultrasound they looked at the placenta more closely and reported to my OB that the pregnancy is Dichorionic (two placentas) not monochorionic (one placenta) which is what everyone previously thought. This is great news because there are possible complications with only one placenta and two fetus'. And the best news, that we've known for awhile is that they are diamniotic, which means each fetus has its own sac- which is great.
originally posted 6/18/08
One Trimester Down, Two to Go!
Yeah! We've made it through the first trimester . . . only several more months to go.
Things are going well. The babies are healthy and measuring great. I'm feeling better finally . . . can stay up later than
9:00 PM again and only feeling nauseous when I take a prenatal vitamin on an empty stomach (which sadly is almost daily- why won't I remember!)
We met with Dr. Knight and were able to get a few questions answered. We also found out I'll be making a few more trips to Sacramento than usual. Needless to say, I'm learning firsthand that carrying twins is different than a singleton. Since the babies seem to be sharing one placenta, they'll really need to keep an eye on them to make sure that each baby is getting what they need (oxygen, food, etc)
I'm really excited the first trimester is over . . . although it's been different this time around. A lot of times couples will wait to tell people they're pregnant after the first trimester since chances of miscarriage go down dramatically. However, when all your friends and family know you're doing IVF/Surrogacy, it's a little hard not to fill them in immediately . . . especially when everyone is aware you're going down to LA to get pregnant.
Lastly, I've had several people want Belly pictures . . . well, even with twins I'm not really showing all that much. Actually, that's a little off . . . ever since my belly stretched with Ruby 7 years ago, I've always thought I've looked 4 months pregnant. *smile* When I was pregnant with Preston and Sawyer, I hardly showed until the 5th month or so. I know it will be different with twins. The top part of my abdomen has already come out a bit, the lower part, again, since the birth of my first, has always been out. LOL! I promise belly pics will come eventually! Until then, perhaps I'll show some past pregnancy photos to get you all in the mindset . . . maybe next post.
originally posted on 6/4/08
Who has a pair of 10 week old Fetus' swimming in her womb? This girl!
Here's the latest pic of the cutest damn fetus' in the world. They're about 10 weeks and growing. It is amazing the changes in just 2 weeks. During the ultrasound they were moving all around, arms and legs moving about. They were "tag teaming", when one would be moving the other would rest and then they'd switch. Very fun to watch.
Now that we're 10 weeks along and all was great with the ultrasound, I have been released to my OB. I'm lucky that Dr. Knight, who delivered my last two children, is covered by my special surrogacy insurance. I'm excited to be under his care again because he's an amazing doctor. Our first appointment with him will be at the end of the month. We'll be able to do another ultrasound so he can see firsthand what he's dealing with and the Intended Parents will be able to meet him as well.
Oh, and I was able to stop all my medications Saturday. Now instead of pumping myself full of hormones, I only have to take the prenatal vitamins. YEAH!!!
Lastly, an update on questions. I was talking with someone and they asked me, since there are 2, do I get to keep 1 of them? I swear, some people . . . too funny (and by funny I mean ridiculous).
originally posted on 5/18/08
8 weeks and counting!
We're 8 weeks along and a few things were (or at least thought they were) seen at the last ultrasound. The Sonographer said that both the embryos looked good (they'll be fetus' next week) and she still thought they were identical. It looked as if both had their own amniotic sac, which is great news. We also got a pretty cool 3D picture of them (above). When you look at it, Baby A is standing on its head and Baby B is up on the left wall . . . you can make out a little of a facial profile- but they're pretty much "kidney beans" at this point.
We have definitely entered "morning sickness" time . . . I never really had it too bad with my own three, but these two "peanuts" are bringing it. I start to feel nauseous if I go a little while without eating something. My "morning sickness" turns into "nighttime sickness" when around 9:00 PM I start to feel queasy. Also, I'm going to bed a lot earlier than usual. I've been so exhausted this time around. Not sure if it's because I'm carrying 2 or because I'm raising 3 this time around . . . but man, oh, man I'm tired 80% of the day. I usually put my kids down at eight o'clock and then work (around house, internet, etc.) until midnight or so. Now, I put them down and hit the hay myself! Needless to say, the house looks terrible and I haven't done anything to my website in weeks. But I know soon enough I'll be out of this phase . . . . and into another!
originally posted 5/7/08
Q & A Part I
Since I'm so open about the subject of my Surrogacy I get plenty of questions. They say there are no stupid questions, but I'm starting to think, whoever "They" are never carried another couples baby. I figured I'd share some answers of some of the most popular questions I've been asked so far. You'll notice I put Part I in the title . . . I assume Part II will come a few months from now when I start really showing and new questions arise.
Q: What made you want to do this? Did you just decide one day to do it?
A: It may sound weird, but I think this is one of the reasons I'm here (put on this earth). I have known for a really long time that I would do this someday. To anyone who really knows me, this is not really a surprise at all.
Q: Wow. I couldn't do that! Now this is more of a statement, but whatever. I hear it a lot.
A: Yes, I know there are not a lot of women who could (or should) carry a baby for someone else, family or not. But I'm not your average girl. And lucky for infertile couples out there, a few of us do exist.
Q: Aren't you going to want to keep them?
A: No, why would I? They are not my babies. They were not my eggs, not my husband's sperm and we already have 3 of our own, thank you very much. I went into this knowing all the above. We're done having (our own) kids. There is an amazing couple that needs my help. Why on earth would I try to keep THEIR child? I would not babysit a friend's baby for 9 months while they're fighting in IRAQ and then expect to keep it once they returned.
Q: It's not your egg but it's your blood, so won't it be your DNA?
A: No. A fertilized egg has half it's genetic material from the egg and half from the sperm . . . nothing from me.
Q: What does your husband think? Mine would never let me do that.
A: Well, then I guess I'm lucky I married the right man. I have a loving husband who supports me (so far) in everything I've wanted to do. He knows what things are important to me, he knew about the surrogacy idea even before we were married. He is excited by the idea because he knows this journey is important to me and our family as a whole.
Q: Do your kids understand?
A: Ruby (age 6) and Preston (age 4) totally get it. We began discussing this with them when we started the process and even bought a book for them (a few posts below). Sawyer is 19 months and oblivious to the whole thing. My children are one of the reasons we're doing this. I think this is a great learning experience. There are so many ways to make a family and I want them to CELEBRATE all families, no matter how they get there or who's in it. This experience will help them see first hand that everyone (regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, etc) should be admired and celebrated.
Q: You get a lot of money for doing this, right? (now I haven't had any friends ask me this as it is a bit rude but my mother gets asked this a lot and I've had students ask me too).
A: I'm sure some people become a surrogate because of the money but I'm not one of them. I kind of think that the money is there to help partners think, okay there are other reasons to do this too. Not only that, but with the amount of time and energy you put in, it's nice to get some compensation.
However, a lot of money, No. I make more teaching part time, a few hours a week (with little to no complications for my body) than I'll be taking home from this experience. Most people see a number and think, wow . . . without thinking of a few things. Yes, you pay taxes on it, so there goes about 30-40% off it. Also, unlike other "jobs" you don't usually have to work 24 hours a day, 40 weeks a year . . . . never off, limited to what you can eat, drink, physically do, etc. I think you catch my drift.
Q; What if you have 5 or 6 babies?
A: I won't have that many babies as only a certain amount of blastocysts are placed inside the uterus.
originally posted 4/30/08
We had the first ultrasound yesterday and everything looks good so far.
The image on the right is from our ultrasound. You will notice (at this time) there are 2 embryos, that's right two.
However, they couldn't really see a membrane. What this means is that there may be a chance that these are identical twins, versus fraternal twins. If this ends up being accurate, of the three blastocysts placed into my uterus, two didn't attach but one of the blastocysts divided into 2 embryos . . . and those 2 attached. I go back in for 2 more ultrasounds at 8 weeks and 10 weeks, so maybe the membrane will show up better or they will rule that these are, in fact, identical twins.
This is very exciting. The Intended Parents are so excited. My kids are really excited. Rick is excited that we don't have to raise twins. So pretty much it's a WIN for everyone.
My family is a bit concerned with certain Risk Factors that are more likely in multiple pregnancies, but I am going to remain positive. I am a researcher and a have no problems asking TONS of questions, so chances are I will know all the possible issues and what I can do to try to prevent them. I am a "glass half full" type of gal (in this case 2 glasses that are half full) so I'm sure it will all be great. I will get huge, but I get huge anyway. I already have been stretched- so bring it on!
originally posted 4/20/08
What will you be doing December 2008?
I had my blood drawn for the hCG level test this morning- 7 hours later I finally hear the results. We were looking for a level of 100 to confirm the pregnancy. Anything lower and I'd need to go back on the 9th and see if it had at least doubled since the 7th . . . . but my level was 267.
I'm very excited. I was really hoping it took the first time. The transfer wasn't really hard for me but to have to go through it over and over as the Intended Parents, that I wasn't excited about.
I will go in for the first ultrasound around April 20th. Of course I'll keep you all posted. I'm sure there will be more to say the weeks leading up to that. I still have injections and medications to take until May 17th, so if a needle is involved, a blog can come up at any given time!
They gave us an estimated date of arrival as December 15, 2008 (40 weeks). We'll see if I last this time. My own Children arrived at 36 weeks, 38 weeks and 37 weeks. If history repeats itself we could be looking at Thanksgiving baby for G & S.
originally posted 4/7/08
Newsweek Article on Surrogacy
Talk about perfect timing, eh? Newsweek has an article on Surrogacy Although, it is even more interesting to read the comments. One stated that surrogates are uneducated and poor- talk about hitting the nail on the head with Rick and I, ha! Yeah, we're pretty destitute and regarding education, I call leaving school in the 8th grade an excellent choice. (FYI- for those of you who don't really know me, I'm totally joking . . I have a Masters in Education and Rick and I have done pretty well).
Although the part that scares me is within the comments people are advertising about being surrogates and looking for a surrogate. I would advise everyone to go through a reputable agency. There are several out there, mine is Growing Generations. The other part of the company is know as Fertility Futures. Here's an article about them in W from a few months back.
I guess I'll be buying Newsweek tomorrow on my way to work. I figure I can read part of it to the kids, or at least show them the pictures. They already have the book The Kangaroo Pouch and they love it. It's a story for young children about Surrogacy told through a kangaroo mom who's helping another kangaroo family. Preston and Ruby (my 2 oldest) totally get the idea of what I'm doing thanks to the book and of course meeting the Intended Parents. We even have a photo of them on our family photo table. It's actually pretty cute because Ruby has written about them in her journal for 1st grade.
originally posted 3/31/08
Transfer Complete- Let the bed rest begin!
Transfer Day with G & S (Intended Parents)!
9:00 am Bagels at Noah's
10:30 Get Pregnant
So, this morning at 10:30 am 3 blastocysts where placed inside my uterus. The process feels a lot like a regular ol' Pap Smear But this time, when I walked out, I could be pregnant. That is actually one of Rick's jokes, "My wife went to LA for the weekend and came back pregnant."
After the transfer we came back to the hotel and I started my 36 hour stint of Bed rest. Here's what it looks like-
(Picture of me)
So- I'll be on rest duty for the next 36 hours. Since my own 3 kids are at home with Rick, it may actually be possible. I brought some work with me from the store and of course my computer so I should be set. There's also a nice flat panel TV on the wall, I'm just missing my own DVR. But I have a King size bed, 4 pillows and no one to fight over it with.
I'll go in April 7th for a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Until then, I'll take it easy per the Dr. and keep my fingers crossed.
originally posted 3/28/08 9:24 pm
My 3 Hour Freak out . . .
I flew down to LA Thursday night and got set up in the hotel . . . The Beverly Hilton, that is! Everything was going great until it was time for my shots. It was the night I had to give myself 2 shots but I couldn't do it. To procrastinate I decided to take a shower . . . then dry my hair . . . then paint my nails . . . . then I loaded up the needles and began what turned into a three hour freak out.
I paced around, kept getting in the position, and counting 1-2-3 and when that didn't work, 3-2-1. The movie The Replacements was on TV, then it ended- no shots completed . . . then Jay Leno started . . . and ended. Finally, after hours of me trying to talk positively ("You can do it Kelly"), not so positively ("Don't Be Wimp"), reminders ("You've given birth 3 times, have tattoos, had piercings, you can do this") and using empathy ("These shots are the only thing standing in the way of their family, just do it!")
I did it! Did I mention that during the process I pricked myself a few times, not hard enough to insert the needle but hard enough to bleed . . . I think Law and Order and CSI call them "Hesitation Marks". Of course the shots didn't hurt, I just blocked myself mentally . . . it's amazing how we can psych ourselves out over our fears. Kind of like the first night Rick had to give me the shot. The funny thing is I knew this, I kept telling myself this, but it still took a little over three hours!
I was finally able to go to sleep and dream wonderful dreams of helping create a family for my friends, yeah.
originally posted 3/28/08
Let's Get Knocked Up!
Our "Transfer Date" is set . . . . drum roll please . . . . Friday the 28th of March!
This is when the Intended Parents Blastocysts will be placed in my uterus- oh, excuse me, I mean my beautiful uterus will receive the most gorgeous blastocysts the world has ever dreamed of . (You think I'm joking, but the rumor is out, they are indeed gorgeous. I hear Angelina Jolie is already trying to adopt them).
But seriously, I almost envy those little blastocysts- I love my house, but from what I hear, it's no where near as gorgeous as where they will be "shackin' up" for the next several months. Feel free to doubt, but I've seen the ultrasounds . . . I know what I'm talking about :)
Anyway- I fly down Thursday night after teaching, have the transfer sometime Friday, bed rest for 24 hours and then I fly back on Sunday.
I have been getting ready for the transfer by taking prenatal vitamins and doing the Delestrogen shots every 3rd day. I also started my Progesterone shots on Sunday and those will continue EVERYDAY from now until around the 8th week of pregnancy. For those of you keeping count at home, that's 1 shot of Delestrogen every 3rd day + 1 shot of Progesterone every day = two very bruised butt cheeks.
Rick, my husband asked the other day if "irritability" was one of the side effects from the injections. (That would be a no, that's just a side effect of being married with 3 kids 6, 4 and 18 months). But I have had some side effects . . . a little weight gain, bloating and one or two I won't mention for your sake.
Well, I need to go, it's shot time!
originally posted 3/24/08
Let the injections, I mean Fun, begin!
So last night was the first night Rick had to give me an injection. In the end, everything was fine, but for a good 3-5 minutes I was totally freaking out!
In case you don't know- I HATE shots, when I found out during our medical screening that I would be taking several injections- per month, but sometimes per week, I had to take a deep breath and remember why I was doing this . . . and I had to remind myself last night as well.
Close your eyes and try to imagine . . . my dear Rick, with limited medical knowledge and no IV drug experience what so ever, filling up needles and injecting set needle into a very fidgety, nervous as hell, Kelly.
We were as close to "ready" as we were going to be . . . we had read the instructions (several times), we had studied the backside illustration, Rick had even marked up my backside with a pen. Now if I could just stand still, we'd be in business. But I couldn't! I was pacing, sweating, freaking out completely . . . to the point where Rick was getting a little frustrated. I finally grabbed a pillow, bent my knee on the injection side and was waiting for the "90 degree angle", "dart like motion" event to occur. When it did (as I was saying some gibberish out loud over and over) I thought, that was it? Gosh, I'm such a wimp.
This isn't my medication, but of course, I find this on youtube after we try it the first time. We will be watching this VIDEO before every injection, I'm sure. FYI- this lady was much calmer than I was before my injection. Oh, and in case you were wondering, my butt looks just like the one on the video, I just have a little more of it :)
originally posted 3/10/08
The last few months- a long process
So, just to give you some history . . .
Kelly applied to be a gestational surrogate towards the end of 2005. However, while discussing the process, Rick (Kelly's husband) and Kelly decided to finish their own family before helping someone else. So, her application was put on hold.
After weaning Sawyer, Kelly's last "Bio" kid, she contacted Growing Generations to proceed with the application process. The next several weeks consisted of Kelly getting to an appropriate BMI (I've had 3 kids in just a few years people, get off my back) to be a surrogate. Kelly had a phone interview and Rick and Kelly both flew to LA for Medical and Psychological Screenings.
After that they found an AMAZING couple they wanted to work with. Lucky for Rick and Kelly, the "Intended Parents" liked what they saw in Rick and Kelly's profile too.
In December 2007, the 4 of them met, discussed everything and decided that it would be a great match. Everyone was excited thinking about how there may be a little one (or two) the following Christmas .
originally posted 3/10/08