December 30, 2011

Growing babies... it's a wonderful thing but ouch!

The two little bundles of joy are definitely growing bigger and bigger everyday. They are moving into regions of my body they probably shouldn't. My belly officially rests on my lap when I am sitting, it probably has for awhile now but I haven't noticed it. I walk like I am holding a ball between my knees, to drop the ball would lead to the world exploding. Which reminds me of a funny little thought I had earlier in this pregnancy. As I was walking out of the OB office one day, a petite young lady was walking in. She was very pregnant. She had such a waddle that it seemed to be an over exaggeration. I thought to myself  "hehe, first time mom". Now I open mouth and insert foot. I need the hallways cleared as I am coming through... I have a total sway as I walk. I am not as big as I thought I would be but I am definitely not packing a small bump. I was talking with a pregnant woman earlier this month and asked her when she was due. She said 3 weeks... she probably noticed my jaw drop because I was her size at about 4 or 5 months - not kidding! I have been getting the question "when are you due" more often. I say the date and I feel the need to say it's twins to save them from saying something stupid. The usual response is surprise there are two babies which surprises me. I have to wonder if they are just being kind. I'll try to post a picture next week of the growing bump.

In other news, my body is growing tried and a little sore. It is very hard keeping up with chores and those 3 little cherubs or monsters (depending on the day) running around my house. My heartburn is usually lingering even with medication. My hips are feeling uncomfortable from the extra weight they are chugging around. I am in a full body bloat mode most of the day. I use the restroom only to feel like I have use it again right away. These are just the joys we experience as the end of pregnancy approaches. It's nothing new to me as I have had these aches and pains previously and knew what to expect. I must admit I thought the aches and pains would be greater considering I am carrying twins.

Now for some sentimental stuff. Earlier today I was holding my 20 month old (who happens to be a cherub today) and he was cuddling me, a very rare occasion these days. After he cuddled for a moment he pointed out our facial features. His favorites are the nose and mouth. He'd point to his mouth then mine and say "mouth". We did this for a few minutes then returned to a few moments of cuddling. Like I said, it's a rare thing so I will drop anything for cuddles with my kids. Sure it wasn't anything earth shattering but even these quick little encounters can be such a sweet and beautiful moment. It can melt away any troubles you may be feeling, make you feel like there is no one else in the world, just a wonderful thing. I cherish these moments and wish they happened more often. Most of my day is "put that down" "stop fighting" "take that out of your mouth" blah blah blah so I dive in head first when my kiddos want mommy time. I bring this up because my thoughts became interrupted with the disturbing thought that some truly worthy people will never have this kind of moment, not with their own child anyway. It reminds me why surrogates do what they do.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for checking in!


December 22, 2011

The epidural dilemma

I already know I will be getting an epidural. This is because baby boy is breech and it's recommended with twins anyway. Some don't understand my reasoning for being anxious or nervous about it so I thought I would explain it.

Here are my cons/worries:

1. It's a needle going into my spine.
2. I have no idea how my body will handle it. 
3. It's a needle going into my spine.
4. Will it work 100%?
5. It's a needle going into my spine - I think I've mentioned this before.
6. Will I labor longer because of this drug? I average around 4-6 hours with only about an 1 or 2 of hard labor.
7. How will pushing be for me? My motto when it comes to pushing is "get that baby out ASAP" and baby is out within minutes. I'm telling you, I mean business when I push these little people out. How could I be that successful or quick about it if I can't feel what's going on down in the delivery zone?
8. I hear side effects are rare but still... there's always a chance.

Now for the pros:

1. I only have this one... labor is bound to hurt less.
2. Guess I have another, I will be ready in the event an emergency C-section is needed.

Bottom line is that I know how my body handles labor and delivery without drugs and I have no idea how it will be with drugs. I am guessing just fine especially since I will have great people by my side.

Feel free to comment if you've had an epidural experience (good or bad).

December 16, 2011

33 weeks ultrasound pictures and bump

Where is my head!?! I forgot to post the new pictures of the babies.

Sweet baby girl wouldn't move her hand away from her face. She likes her little hands and she may just be a thumb sucker.

Beautiful baby boy was laying so nicely and cooperated with getting his picture taken. On Facebook, I recently saw some 2d u/s pictures posted by the place we did the 3d u/s. They were trying to point out how you may be able to see the baby's hair. The "hair" in this picture looks quite similar so I am guessing baby boy will come out with hair.

See the bright white spot on the upper back part of his head. I think this is his hair.

And the BUMP!

Sorry for the poor quality - all of the pictures were taken with my cell phone.

Take care!!!


Were my predictions right???

First off, let me say that I don't even know how far along I am so how could my predictions be right. Ha! I am 33 weeks and 2 days not 32 1/2 weeks... geeshh!

Let's start with the positioning of baby boy... still breech! Actually he is more breech than he was at our last appointment, I just have to laugh at that. My OB and I talked about a breech extraction once again. If she is getting tired of explaining it to me, it doesn't show - you have to love that in a doctor. We have discussed it at the last 3 appointments at least. It's fair to say that I am still worried about this. I worry more for baby boy than I do myself. But I also know a breech extraction won't be the most comfortable procedure. Yay for the epidural, right? Remember that county fair post I made last summer? The one about the breech calf? That's all I can imagine. My OB assures me that all be just fine. Baby girl is bigger than baby boy and that leaves us in a good position. I am a little nervous for the unknowns but I trust my OB.

We didn't check to see if the contractions are doing anything. I am sure all is fine and the babies will stay put for a bit longer. My next appointment is Jan 3, we'll check things out at this appointment.

Ready for this? Baby girl is around 5.5 lbs and baby boy around 4.9 lbs! These babies are growing like weeds. They gained about one pound each. They are both growing so wonderfully and preparing nicely for their arrival.

The daddies-to-be have booked their travel arrangements. I can't wait for them to be here. I haven't seen them since our transfer date back in May. They will be here a few days before the induction. The induction has been scheduled!!! The babies will be here on Jan 17, if not before.

Thanks for checking in!


December 15, 2011

Fortune Teller Melissa's predictions at 32 1/2 weeks

I have another checkup this afternoon. I am anxious for it because I think there has been some change in things. I want to predict how the appointment will go and see how close I get.

I have had contractions since very early on. It's very common considering it's twins and that my body has done this 4 times already so my uterus gets a little cocky and says "heh, I'll show you I know all about having babies" and starts showing off. The contractions have been nothing to worry about so far as they are not changing my cervix and seem to have nothing to do with the preparation of the babies arrival. Lately the contractions have been a bit stronger. I don't know if this means something may be starting or the babies are just bigger and it makes the contractions a little uncomfortable. I have also been having some lower back pain. The contractions are not consistent, though. They just come and go throughout the day.

I am kind of thinking baby boy flipped and is head down or in some other position. The movement from his apartment (my left side) has been feeling slightly different. This may be just wishful thinking, though. It's hard to tell the difference (regarding movements) between the two. Baby girl has always felt more active than baby boy. The ultrasounds have verified this, too. I tried again to capture a short recording of the alien belly movements but the movement stopped before I could get anything recorded.

My belly is starting to peek out from the bottom of my shirts, this just started within the last week. Currently, I have 3 shirts that cover (just barely) my entire bump. My pants have a hard time covering my belly, too. So my next prediction is how much weight the babies have gained since my last appointment which was 2 1/2weeks ago. I am thinking right around 10 oz. each might be a close guess. This would put baby boy right around 4.5 lbs and baby girl just below 5 lbs.

Those are my predictions! Be back soon with an actual update.

December 08, 2011

My fun morning

I just had a thrilling morning! I took my 3 hour glucose test. The appointment was at 7:30am, I arrived right on time at 7:50am... oops! For this particular test, I was required to fast. I don't have a problem with that, I didn't feel sick or faint from not eating. The sugary drink must help with that because I usually need to eat by 8:30am or I start to feel weird.

I was called back at about 8:05. They prepped me with an IV. I was surprised by this because in my previous experiences I would just have my blood drawn every time. I am not sure which I like better. The convenience of the IV was really nice but I could feel the needle in my arm the entire appointment and that creeps me out. Remember, I am not fond of needles. In the past, I would hear "ok, you're gonna feel a little poke" every hour. I am just happy I have cooperative veins! They protrude with eagerness and beg to be poked at.

After the IV was put into place and some blood was drawn, I drank the delicious sugary cocktail set before me. This time I was given a very full cup instead of half of a cup. I would estimate it at about 2 cups worth. Just thinking about it now makes me queasy. I was sent out to the waiting room. The effects of the sugar don't take place right away. It takes probably 20 to 30 minutes then BAM. I wasn't sure if I should set off running, start climbing the walls or lay down to take a nap. It's such a bizarre thing. I figured a very pregnant lady running around the waiting room would get some funny looks, climbing the walls would probably warrant a visit from hospital security and taking a nap on the floor didn't sound all that appealing. I decided to check my email and Facebook to occupy my mind. It worked but I was still very fidgety.

One hour after the drink I was called back to give some blood then sent back out to the waiting room for another hour. During this hour I popped on my iPod and started crocheting. I crocheted 4 hats in that hour... haha, just teasing (it would take much longer than an hour to do that many hats). I really did crochet, though. I started crocheting a diaper cover as a prop for my photography business. This hour wasn't so bad. Music can help me get through pretty much anything. The end of the hour was a little rough as I started coming down from my sugar high. I was getting extremely tired.

Once again after the hour was up, I was called back, gave some blood and sent back to the waiting room for one more hour. This hour was tough... I was very tired and the thought of napping on the floor was sounding more and more appealing. I continued to listen to music and crochet. The hour went quickly but the tiredness stuck around. After that hour was up, I went back for my final draw. They took the IV out (YAY) and I was free to go about my day.

They told me if the results weren't up to par, I would get a call tomorrow. We'll see, they told me that last time but didn't call when they were supposed to, leaving me thinking I had passed the one hour.

I just want to leave you with something nice one of the daddies-to-be said to me. I had texted them to let them know I failed my one hour glucose test. The response I got was: "U didn't fail. U r just too sweet for this world". Awww...................

Thanks for checking in!


December 06, 2011

These babies are hungry!

Ok or maybe I am just hungry, but I can blame the babies, right?? For the last few weeks, I haven't ate much because after just a couple of bites I would feel full. Plus, I was having some major heartburn issues. Today and yesterday, I have been so hungry. I am still keeping the meals small but I find myself looking for snacks quite often. And, I am even throwing in some healthy treats like apples and carrots, yay for the healthy cravings. I usually like carrots but they are extra tasty these days. It's always nice to have a craving that isn't 1001 calories. My other food craving is pretzels, which I happen to be out of right now, boo! Looks like I will be making a trip to the store after work.

Last Friday, I had my glucose test. For those that don't know, it's a test to determine if a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes. I arrived at the appointment and was given a very sugary drink and was instructed to have a seat in the waiting area for about one hour. Once the hour is up they take a blood sample and do their testing. During the hour, there are moments of extreme nausea. It's always good to know where the bathrooms are in these types of events. Thankfully, I was able to put my mind somewhere else and not think about the nausea. I was talking via text with the daddies-to-be, that was also helpful. In the end, I must have passed the test because I didn't receive a call from the doctor.

I know you are all wondering... my feet and ankles are still a bloated mess. My daughter was actually making fun of them last night. Can you believe it, no sympathy! They seriously look fake to me. I don't want anyone to worry, though. My OB and I discussed it and since my blood pressure is all in check there is no concern. As most of you know, I do daycare so I am pretty much always on my feet. I just have to remember to sit down and put my feet up throughout the day. It's not always easy to do because 1). kids ALWAYS need something... diaper change, a drink, kleenex, something and 2). I feel like a slacker just sitting on the couch.

Big bummer!!! While I was typing this post the OB office called... failed my glucose test. GAH! I failed it by 7 miserable points, 7! Now I have to go in for further testing. It's another glucose test, only this time I get to drink the sugary drink and get my blood drawn every hour for 3 hours. It will be a total of 4 draws. I failed with my 2 older boys so this isn't exactly a surprise but it is a boo hoo moment. I am sure I will pass the 3 hour as I did in my past pregnancies. Wish me luck!

Thanks for checking in!


December 05, 2011

32 week baby bump


The mega belly

Incase anyone is wondering... I don't include my face because it's chubby right now :)


November 30, 2011

31 weeks

Here we are at 31 weeks. In 7 weeks or less the babies will be born. Some days this journey seems very unreal. Most days it seems that we just started this journey. I barely remember the beginning... you know, the shots and the unfortunate morning sickness. It's funny how we can forget how we really felt at moments like that. It's like labor and delivery... most women will tell you that labor wasn't all that bad but really we know it was fairly painful and full of extreme emotions. I think it's mostly because once the baby is born the pain from contractions, pressure and anything else is over pretty much immediately. Oh and that precious bundle of joy will usually wipe the painful memories away.  Now, I know this isn't true for everyone so no hate mail, okay ladies?

I am very happy to say that all four of my past pregnancies have been uneventful and very text book. This pregnancy has been the same. Although, I have had a few bumps that I didn't experience in the past, nothing serious just some different symptoms. My deliveries have been nothing but uncomplicated and my recovery the same. I'll be honest, though. I am a little concerned about labor and delivery of twins. I am thinking positive thoughts that baby boy will flip and become head down before delivery.

Here is the scenario if I was to go into labor today: baby girl will be born first as she is closest to my cervix (actually, hanging out directly on top of my cervix), there would likely be no complications with her birth. Baby boy is a different story. He is breech and would likely have to be born feet first. There is a chance he would flip head down after baby girl is born but there is no way to determine that and quite honestly, I didn't get a good feeling from my OB that he would flip. It would be highly suggested that I get an epidural for this scenario. I have never had an epidural so that unknown makes me nervous. The unknown of delivering a baby feet first makes me nervous. The unknown of a c-section makes me nervous. Like I said, I am thinking positive thoughts that Mr. Baby Boy decides to head south soon. If you have any spare positive thoughts, please send them my way.

My 31 week appointment went well. The ultrasound proved the babies are still growing and growing. Baby girl weighs around 4.1 lbs and baby boy weighs around 3.12 lbs. That is almost 1 lbs gained for each baby in 3 weeks. Baby girl is measuring 1 week early and baby boy is measuring 3 days early. I did get a picture of each baby but it is very hard to make anything out. I asked my OB if we are on track to having two full-term babies and she said most definitely, all signs point to yes. Other than talking about how good everything is going we discussed the scenario above. I am quite proud that my track record does not include an epidural. I think for the safety of the babies and myself, I am leaning toward getting one this time. This way I am all set in the event an emergency c-section is necessary. I would much prefer to have a shot than to be put under.

I get a lot of looks when I, without my husband, go places with all 3 of my boys these days. The other day I dropped my daughter off at the orthodontist and took my boys to McDonald's for lunch. For the most part, my boys behave but my middle boy is my challenge. He did really well until the end of the meal. I was gathering the boys, trying to clean up, put coats on, etc. As I was finishing, I could tell this lady was going to come over and start a conversation. She was a very sweet older lady. She asked about the pregnancy. I debated telling her I was a surrogate because of her age but mostly because I was really anxious to leave. I don't mean to offend anyone by saying "because of her age". I think we all know a lot of older people are set in their opinions and I wasn't ready to enter into that topic with her not knowing how she would respond. I decided to keep quiet about being a surrogate. She asked when I was due and if we knew the gender. (Side note: which by the way, (when my daughter isn't with us) I can not believe I haven't heard the comment "So you gonna try until you have a girl" by a stranger). Anywho, I told the lady at McDonald's that it was actually twins and there is one of each. She was thrilled and went on and on about it, as my 3 y/o is running here and there. She gave me information about a local grocery store that could deliver my groceries to me and told me that I must stop in (she works at McDonald's) after the twins are born so she could see them. She really was a sweetheart but couldn't she see that my 3 y/o had turned into the Tasmanian Devil? As she continued on, she told me about her daughter-in-law and her multiple miscarriages, it was then that I felt terrible for thinking she wouldn't have understood my surrogacy decision. In the end, I wish I would have told her I was a surrogate. By the time the conversation had turned to her daughter-in-law I felt like I had really mislead her. I wanted to say "well, really I am a surrogate" but because my son was ready to bolt out the door I knew I couldn't start that conversation.

I am not shy about telling people that I am surrogate. With the circumstances above, I was basically just trying to end the conversation quickly. That same day I took my little Tasmanian Devil to get a haircut. Again, I was asked about the pregnancy. I was upfront that I am a surrogate and we talked pretty much the entire time about it. There were 3 stylists and 2 clients in the small area. One of the stylist was behind us and didn't seem to be paying attention to our conversation. A while later she came over and said "I just don't know how you can do that". Well well well, welcome to our conversation, please tell me what your think! Her tone was that of a prude and I could feel myself getting very defensive if she continued with this tone. I had already discussed with the others that an egg donor had been used therefore making them not biologically mine. One of the stylist said right away "but the babies are not hers in any way". The prude replied "yeah but you still get that connection" as she waved her hands over her belly. I told her it's a completely different mentality to carry a child/children for someone else. She proceeded to tell us of her friend that donated eggs and how beautiful the children were. Not sure what the attitude in the beginning was about but she was fine in the end.

Whew... long winded today. Hope you made it to the end.

Thanks for checking in!

November 21, 2011

Even my hands are fat....

Have you seen the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"? The original one? If you have, you'll know the scene where Violet takes the chewing gum that tastes like that of a three course meal. The last course, of course, is dessert. I believe it was blueberry pie. Anyhow, she chews and chews and chews until finally she starts turning blue herself. Then suddenly she swells into a huge blueberry. I am seriously on my way to swelling up as she did, only I won't be turning blue :)

I have had "cankles" for quite some time now but my hands are even joining in on the fun. I feel like I have fat little sausages for fingers. So my comment in a previous post about the firefighters having to break me out of my house is becoming very real. If you were to watch me roll over in bed, you would have a good laugh... it's a whole big production and takes several (and I mean several) seconds to do it. Sometimes I have to get out of bed just to get into a different position.

You're going to be happy you tuned into this post because I am including a picture on my gorgeous "cankle". I took this picture this morning. My socks had only been on for about 3 hours and you can see an impression from it.

she's a beauty, huh?

Here are my fat little sausages. Many of you have no idea what my hands usually look like so it may not seem like a big deal. Trust me - they're little chubbies right now. My ring barely squeezes on these days.

All the swelling jokes aside, I am doing just fine. It's part of the process.

Thanks for checking in!


November 18, 2011

29 weeks down 9 weeks to go

It struck me the other day that we have reached the single digits! We have 9 weeks or less before the babies are born. I am so delighted that the babies are growing so strong and that I've been able to "keep them baking". With twins, the risks are much higher. Although, I can't say I was ever worried about something going wrong. My past pregnancies had been uneventful so I went into this with the assumption that this pregnancy would go just as smoothly.

I am officially 29 weeks as of last Tuesday. The babies are continuing to chub up and gain weight. We are on track to having 2 full-term babies. They were almost 3 pounds last week so I imagine they have hit 3 pounds and a few ounces by this week. With 2 months to go, there is a good chance these babies will be 6 or 7 pounds each, at least. That's a whole lot baby action. They have been very busy moving and grooving these last few days. Sometimes I really wonder what is going on in there. I feel more movement on my right side and almost none on my left side. That is not surprising because of how they are positioned.

As for me, I am doing pretty well. My only complaints are heartburn and little bit of hip pain. I am sleeping okay at night minus the times heartburn shows its ugly face. I haven't reached that point of "I want these babies out". I am sure the time will come but for now I know they need to stay put for awhile longer.

Thanks for checking in!


November 10, 2011

28 week maternity pictures

So these are self portrait taken... they are out of focus (boohoo). It was hard work shooting these and I am not sure I can/will do a re-shoot. I would really like to but it took me long enough to get these done. It's funny to look at these because I look SO big. I feel big but it's different actually seeing just how big I am.

November 08, 2011

28 weeks pregnant.. holy smokes!

**pokes head out from behind the curtains** anyone there? HELLOOOO???

Sorry for the crickets these last few weeks. I have been busy with my photography and to top it off had some major computer issues. Anywho, surro-mama is back in town and feeling fine. No news was good news.

I had my 28 week check-up today. We have started growth ultrasounds and will continue to have them every 3 weeks for now. As always we checked out baby girl (twin A) first. She is growing like a champ. Her estimated weight is 2 lbs 15 oz and she is measuring 11 days early. She wasn't as busy as previous ultrasounds but we did catch her yawning again. Baby boy (twin B) has been busy... he is now breech! All hopes are that he will change positions and end up head down again. I was a little sad that he changed positions not because it's a possible sign of an impending C-section but because they were so darn cute when they were cuddled head to head. I am guessing he was annoyed with her so he flipped... LOL. Baby boy is growing just as well as baby girl. He is estimated at 2 lbs 13 oz and measuring 14 days early.

Even though the babies are measuring 2 weeks early, it doesn't mean they are ready to come anytime soon. My doctor was very pleased to see them growing so well. During the ultrasound, Roy, one of the daddies-to-be, asked what I was feeding the babies... my response: "we just grow 'em big in Minnesota". Ha! Honestly though, I can't say that my appetite has changed much. I am really surprised by how much weight I have gained already. I don't eat big meals because heartburn smacks me around if I do and I don't graze all day. I feel very bloated and round. This feeling has came on suddenly, probably within the last few weeks. I joke that I probably shouldn't sit or lie down because one of these times I won't be able to get back up. I'll need to call the fire department to help get me out of the house once I go into labor (if you've seen some of those shows about very large people, you'll understand what I mean). I knew I would grow huge so I say all of this in a teasing manner.

I have been having tons of contractions, probably ranging around 10 or more a day. They are only Braxton Hicks and not painful at all. I had these contractions with my other pregnancies but never this much. I am not too concerned about them nor is my doctor. My cervix is still very long so it doesn't appear these contractions are labor inducing. Plus, it's very common to have a higher amount of contractions when pregnant with multiples.

I have tried to capture the babies moving on video but once I start taping it, they stop moving. I am going to keep trying and I will succeed! Once I have it, I will share it here.

Enjoy some pictures:

Baby girl yawning 28 weeks

Baby boy 28 weeks

October 24, 2011

My surprise for the daddies

Many months ago, I decided that I wanted to surprise the guys with a 3d/4d ultrasound. I worked with the agency to be sure that I could do this without the guys knowing. I had done research on businesses that provide these services when I was pregnant with my last baby. Unfortunately, time got away from us and we didn't have the u/s. I figured having the elective 3d/4d ultrasound this pregnancy would be something fun for me and give the guys something they could treasure until their babies are here (and after). The package I chose included printed pictures along with a CD of images and a DVD of the ultrasound.

After I scheduled the appointment, I received an email informing me that this company has something called SonoStream. It allows anyone I invite via email to view the ultrasound as it is happening. I was thrilled to learn this. This meant I could tell the guys and they could watch the ultrasound live on their computer. About a week before the appointment, I told them and we all eagerly awaited the appointment.

The day of the appointment finally arrived. Jeremy and I arrived at the office where the ultrasound would be taking place right on time. I filled out some paperwork and headed back to the exam room. These rooms are very comfortable and allow for many people to be in the room. There is a comfortable bed with a huge screen directly in front of it. I called the guys and we attempted to get things started. The guys logged on to view the screening... only it didn't work! I hoped that it was just a delay and that they would be able to join the screening very shortly... didn't happen. I felt so bad that I was able to view the ultrasound and they were only able to listen. This was one reason I debated (briefly) telling the guys. I didn't want to get them excited about something and have it not work out. So, in that respect it was a HUGE let down.

The ultrasound was wonderful, though. The technician explained how it would work. It starts out as a 2d ultrasound and he double checked genders. Very clearly, Twin A is still a baby girl and Twin B is still a baby boy. The 3d/4d part was a little different than I expected. It is kind of hard to recognize what is on the screen. But it's a big "awww" feeling when you can actually make out what you are seeing... a hand, arm or face. The arms and hands were always quite visible when they were on the screen. Yes, these two were busy yet again during the ultrasound. Baby girl was stealing the show! She was not afraid to show us her precious little face. It took awhile to get a good view of baby boy's face but it was worth the patience because he is just as adorable as his sister. Baby boy has a lot of cord around his face making it difficult to get a clear peek. Baby girl is actually hanging out slightly on top of baby boy, kind of like he is hiding behind her. When we started the ultrasound, we could see that their heads/faces were nestled together, it was very sweet

The guys did eventually (the next day) get the link to work properly and were able to view the ultrasound. It still disappoints me that they were not able to view the ultrasound live. I was looking forward to hearing their responses to seeing their babies.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy :)

Baby girl (baby boy's head by her right cheek)

Baby girl - she was busy opening and closing her mouth

Baby girl - back to resting. See her sweet little face nestled up to baby boy's head?

Baby boy... took awhile but we finally got a clear picture of him

Baby boy with his fists up by his face

Baby boy just chillin'
 I told you it would be a fun post!?!


October 17, 2011

This and that (a little heavy)

I met with a friend for ice cream last week. We don't get together nearly as often as I would like but I'll take what I can get. We talked a lot about the surrogacy but that wasn't the entire conversation. One thing that came up about surrogacy was how the babies, once they are older, will feel about how they were conceived. I don't know how the daddies-to-be will handle this conversation. We discussed the egg donor and wondered if the babies will eventually have a need to want to meet her. And then we discussed how the babies would feel about me. Will they feel a connection to me? I really don't know about this. As my friend put it "what am I (babies) supposed to feel toward this person" (as in me and/or the egg donor). Well, I don't expect them to have a lifelong connection to me. But, I have never been through this before so I just don't know how it will be. If they have a connection and want to be part of my life (via long distance), I would definitely welcome that. I have said before the guys live quite a distant from me so staying in contact will be a challenge. We don't talk everyday but I think about them everyday and I am pretty sure they think about me/babies everyday. I do know that once the babies are here and the daddies return home that their lives will be busy... their lives will change dramatically! Now, we all know how easy it is to lose contact with people once our lives change in such dramatic ways. I have friends that live in the same town as me and we never see each other. My best guess is that there will always be some sort of bond between the daddies and myself but contact will be not very frequent. We'll just have to see where this road leads us.

Another topic my friend and I discussed was the "This is it" theory. You know, if you're going to do something, do it now... now is the time, this is it. If you have a desire to do something, now is the time, this is it. Pretty much, what are you waiting for? Today could be the last day you have to do whatever it is you dream about. I've thought about this a lot. What had actually pushed me to finally act on goals I've had? Within the last year and a half, I have gone after 2 dreams. One, being a surrogate and two, becoming a photographer. So, what was it that pushed me? Well, the answer that comes to me is this... about 6 years ago, I lost my grandma. She meant the world to me. She plays a part in many of my treasured childhood memories. Since her death, my life has never been the same. I still think about her almost daily and hate that she was taken from me. I know death is a part of life but she was cheated. She died from Alzheimer's. I have a hard time understanding why such a truly wonderful person had to suffer with this disgusting disease. Moving forward, almost exactly 3 years ago, I was at the bedside of my childhood best friend when she died. Watching someones life escape them is beyond words for me. Two others friends were there as well as my childhood friend's parents. Losing someone is hard but watching someone lose their child is extremely painful. I left their house hoping that what I had just witnessed wasn't real, that in the morning I would wake up from this dream. I still about Jessica very often. We had known each other since the age of 5, we were best friends through elementary school and most of high school. We grew apart as time went on and lost contact for a few years. When she got sick, I contacted her and our visits were here and there. She died from Neurofibromatosis. She kept high spirits throughout her illness and often put others' needs in front of her own. Her illness confined her to a wheelchair for years yet her desires to be independent were very strong. Moving forward again, a little less than 3 months after Jessica's death, my grandpa passed away. This is the grandpa to my grandma that passed earlier. Since her death, he had never been the same. In a lot of ways, I think he gave up and was ready to go be with her. When he was really sick, he made comments to my mom like "why can't I just go". He, like my grandma, was a huge part of my life and I loved him so much! After my grandma passed away, I watched him slowly die both inside and out. He had no desires to be here anymore. My brother and I made it to the hospital literally minutes after he died. If I hadn't stopped for a cup of coffee, we would have been there when he passed. He had been in and out of the hospital for months so we knew it was coming, we just didn't know when. Honestly, I was relieved to not be there. Having just watched Jessica die a few months before, I was not ready to watch another person die, especially my grandpa.

Whew... deep breath. After these events in my life, I slowly began to realize life is too short to keep saying "maybe tomorrow I'll look into accomplishing that dream". While I have other dreams to accomplish, I think I am off to a good start. The two lifelong dreams I am working on right now are pretty big. I am proud of myself for going after them and look forward to seeing where they go. I encourage you to do the same.

I read in the news today that Giuliana Rancic has breast cancer. For those that don't know her, she is a TV Host on E! News. She also stars in a reality show with her husband. I have followed her story a little bit. Her and her husband have had trouble conceiving a baby. They remain childless today. Before starting their next round of IVF (having 2 failed rounds, I believe), Giuliana's doctor recommended a mammogram. She figured she would wait until she was 40 years old (she is 37 now) to have her first mammogram but she took her doctor's advice and went forth with the test. Imagine her shock when the results showed she has cancer. I was very saddened to read about this. Hasn't she been through enough?!? She is lucky to have had it detected early. This will push back her next round of IVF by quite a bit. I am just sad for her.

Sorry if my posts seem a little heavy lately. I have a lot on my mind. This blog is a nice outlet for me. My next post will be something fun and exciting... I am not telling you but trust me, you'll enjoy it.


October 14, 2011

Not much is new

Not much to update lately. We are still chugging along and growing two babies. I have been feeling well and getting around just fine. I have noticed that I am starting to get much clumsier... which doesn't seem possible because I am naturally clumsy enough. I find I am constantly dropping things. When I feel something dropping it's like a slow motion "nooooooooooo". This is where having kids is helpful. If they are near, I ask them to pick it up.

We are at 25 weeks. This week the babies are working on developing their lungs. They still need plenty of time before they will be developed enough to breathe on their own but they are off to a good start. Up until now, their nostrils have been plugged but that is not so anymore. As they become unplugged, it allows the babies to practice breathing. Also, this week the babies are turning pinker. Tiny capillaries are forming under their skin and filling up with blood.

I plan on taking some maternity pictures soon. I want to do it before I get too big. I just haven't found enough time to get them done. Once I get them done, I will share them with you. I am an aspiring photographer and I plan to do them myself.... one word... challenging. I enjoy a challenge, though.

Take care friends!


October 07, 2011

My last appointment

At my appointment last week, I was able to see a new doctor. I am not very picky about doctors but was a little put off by the last few that examined me. The original OB we started with decided to move mainly to the GYN department so I was left to find a new doctor. The first one we tried was in a big hurry and just gave me a not-so-important feeling. Not that I need someone to bow down to me but don't make me feel like I am holding you back from something. The second doctor was fine but she was very laid back, almost too much, in my opinion. Finally, at this last appointment we found someone we will stick with. She has a very gentle nature, which I liked very much.

The appointment was just a normal check-up to be sure everything is on track. I think I have mentioned this before, we have a portable ultrasound at every appointment so they can be sure to record both of the babies' heart rates. With a Doppler, it's kind of a guessing game as to which baby you are hearing. Anywho, all checked out fine and the babies are doing great. The only issue that came up was my heart rate. I have been noticing some irregular heartbeats. My heartbeats become very hard and fast once in awhile. I was put on a Holter monitor for 24 hours and the results came back a-okay.

My next appointment is at the end of October. I will be 25 weeks. Once I hit 28 weeks, we will start having ultrasounds (not portable) every 3 weeks to check on the growth development. I am excited about that, it's so fun peeking in on them.

We confirmed that induction will happen at 38 weeks. A natural delivery will be possible as long as Twin A is head down. Please keep your fingers crossed she will be head down... I really want to avoid a C-Section.

One thing I wonder about is the intensity of labor with twins. I do not have epidurals simply because I would rather deal with the pain than to have someone stick a needle into my back and I don't want to deal with side effects. Also, I would hate for it to slow up delivery. My plan is to not have a epi with this delivery either.

Regarding my last post, I have decided to work on my patience. I always feel like I am in the fast lane (having 4 kids will do this) and that everything should be done in a timely manner (or shall I say, when I want it done, ha!). Being this way, I find that I miss out on some opportunities with my kids.

Take care friends!


October 03, 2011

A "not baby related" post

Do you ever think to yourself "I wish I was a better human being"? You know that old saying "treat others the way you want to be treated", how many people actually live their lives this way? My guess... not many. As for myself, I wish I was a better person. I can be selfish, judgemental and mean to those I love at times. This is why the sermon my awesome pastor (Pastor Paul) preached really hit home yesterday. He talked about the "one hour Christian". The type of person that is Christian-like while at church but goes home to be someone different. I can relate to that. When I am at church, I can feel the power of Pastor Paul's messages and it usually always speaks to me, like the message is directed toward me. Makes me want to be a better person. But several hours later or the next day I return to my usual ways. By no means, is that a truly terrible thing but I know I can be a better person. Some days I just don't how to get there.

Pastor Paul talked about how we need to love within before we can love others. Do you love yourself? I can say I do love myself but sometimes I don't like myself. Wouldn't the world be a wonderful place if everyone loved themselves and treated all others the way they wanted to be treated? Well, I think we all know this will never happen. Our society is full opinionated and selfish people. It causes wars, divorces, murders. What's the purpose for this or the reason? Who really wins in the end?

After I left church, I decided to challenge myself to improve one thing about myself. I am still deciding on what to improve. I don't want it to be something too huge. I am just going to take baby steps. I hope everyone reading this doesn't think I am completely dogging myself and dragging myself through the mud. It's not like that at all. I just see there is room for me to make a few adjustments/improvements. I only have this one life, when it's over I don't get a do-over.

Are you brave enough to take on this challenge, to look at your downfalls and strive to make yourself a better person? If so, I challenge you. No, I double dog dare you to improve one not-so-good quality about yourself. Don't start too big, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Start small and work your way up. This isn't all about being a good Christian, either. It about being a better person for yourself, your spouse, your kids, whoever. If you know you are the best you can be, you can't go wrong, can you?

One day at a time, people! Good luck!


September 29, 2011

Pregnancy brain and other random thoughts at 22 weeks

Pregnancy brain, baby drain brain, pregnancy amnesia, momnesia or whatever you may call it has totally hit me and it has hit me hard. I admit it! I have actually heard that pregnant women are sometimes "smarter" during pregnancy, but I couldn't find research to back that up. However, I found plenty of websites that confirm baby brain drain effects most pregnant women. What is it? Well, we are talking about temporary lose of memory and forgetfulness. The websites I found all said that it is common because of the hormone levels and excitement in the first trimester. I don't recall (see what I mean) having forgetfulness/short-term memory loss in the first trimester. They also say it happens often in the 3rd trimester. I am only in my second trimester and this baby brain fog is clouding up my memory.

Here are some of my mishaps:

I do my grocery shopping at a local store that allows customers to self check-out. I find self check-out works best for me because: one, I bring my own bags and the cashiers usually give me an annoyed looked when I hand them 10 bags to bag my groceries in (sorry, cashier, just doing my part to save the earth) and two, I actually enjoy it. Well, twice in the last month I have forgotten items (after they had already been paid for) in the check-out area. I grocery shop once a week, if you do the math that is 2 out 4 times I am forgetting paid merchandise. Once I just bit the bullet and didn't bother calling the store but the other time it was a couple of items and a bit more money so I called. They didn't find the items which leads me to believe the person after me decided they deserved free items or I actually have the items somewhere but I just can't find them. Either way, I went back to the store and they allowed me to get the items and not repay for them. Of course, if I run across these misplaced/hidden items somewhere in my car or house I will return them to the store that so kindly trusted my pregnancy brain.

Last week, while I was driving with my daughter I ran a red stoplight. I never do that!! I just wasn't paying attention. Thankfully, the other drivers saw my flashing neon light that read: warning, pregnant woman behind the wheel.

I can't get any child's name right the first time. When my daycare is full, I have 10 kids. You can bet that I go through at least 3 names before calling the child the right name. Sometimes I even throw in the dog's name. Sometimes I can't think of any name so I am in a frozen state of "duh".

And lastly, I have many times gone to put the milk in the cabinet and the sugar in the refrigerator.

Oy! Oy! Oy!

These are just a few samples of my memory loss. A lot of what I read says that fatigue is a key factor, too. I can understand that. I had been sleeping pretty well up until about a week ago. Our youngest has not been sleeping through the night lately. We are hoping this passes quickly and we can return to our normal sleeping patterns.

On to random thoughts...

The other day I didn't have any clean pants to wear to church so I pulled out a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. I know some women can wear their regular jeans throughout the entire pregnancy. I guess I just never thought about it for myself. So I dared myself to try on these low-rise cut jeans and they fit!!! Do you understand the significance of this? This means my butt and thighs have not grown in size. Ha! The 14 + pounds (we'll find out more weight damage this Friday at my next appointment) I have packed on are mainly being distributed to my torso, I say torso because it's not just my belly (some will understand that and some won't... it's okay if you don't get it). I guess you could add my chin to this list, too. I am pretty sure I have 2 1/2 chins now.

For those wondering, no, my belly button has not popped. It hasn't in my past pregnancies so it probably won't with this pregnancy either. Belly buttons kind of freak me out anyway. No one is even allowed to touch my belly button. Just add this information to my weirdness factor :)

As for my bump, I feel I look about 7/8 months pregnant. Others say I don't look that big but I am not so sure they are just saying that. I have a shirt that I wore when I was pregnant with my first son (6 years ago) and it almost does not cover my belly. I wore this shirt until the end of that pregnancy. Sooo... the shirt has majorly shrunk, right? I am not sure what I will wear once I hit 8/9 months. Lucky for me, I don't work outside the home. Yoga pants and sweats always sound good to me.

I read a blog authored by two men preparing themselves for fatherhood. Read here. It's also listed under "My Blog List" to the right. Their babies, triplets, were just born at 30 weeks and one day... incredible. Their surrogate had been on bedrest for quite a long time. From what I have read, the babies are thriving. Feel free to stop by their blog and leave some positive thoughts.

The babies:

We have reached 22 weeks! The babies have gained much strength in their movements. They still seem to follow the same pattern... once one starts the other will join in on the action. Sometimes I can see my belly move when they are busy adjusting their positions. My belly shuffles around as if there were aliens in there preparing for their departure. I will record it once it becomes more noticeable and frequent. It's a bizarre but beautiful show.

Each baby should weigh around one pound each. My guess is they are a little bigger than a pound because they have seemed to always measure slightly bigger. Even in the very beginning they were measuring a few days ahead. They are starting to hear things around them and are probably discovering their sense of touch. My house is in constant noisemaker mode. We often have to remind the kids to use their "inside voices". I don't know what it is about children but generally everything has to be said a few notches higher than the volume actually needs to be. I haven't noticed much response from the babies in regards to loud noises. Actually, they seem to be more active during quieter moments. This will probably change as we trek further along.

I spoke to the daddies-to-be a few days ago and they told me they had purchased the cribs. It always feels so much more real once a big item like that has been purchased and set up. They are already looking into their trip here, too. They are coming from a place that does not have snow. Boy, will they be in for a weather shocker! January in Minnesota isn't so enjoyable unless you plan on skiing or snow tubing, which I doubt will make their "to-do" list. It is not clear how long they will need to be here. Secretly, I wish they could stay a month or longer but realistically (depending on the health of the babies) it will be a week or two. I will be sad to see them go as I have no idea when I will see them again next. :(

Thanks for checking in!


September 23, 2011

A little silliness

Lately, a fun game in our house is peek-a-boo under mom's tummy. Here is a picture of my youngest little man playing.

September 17, 2011


The most common questions I am asked are: 

"How can you carry a baby for 9 months and just hand it over? I could never do that."

I have skimmed on this question before. When I was first hearing this question, my first reaction was to say my own eggs were not used. I found that answer to be a very logical reason as to why it would be easy to hand these babies over. The eggs aren't mine, so in no way are these babies mine... plain and simple. The usual response was "yeah, but still...". My thoughts are this, I am done having babies but I am still quite capable of having them. I was blessed with the ability to have children so why not help those that can't. It's very simple in my mind.

There are two different kinds of surrogates, gestational and traditional. I am a Gestational Surrogate (GS), which means I did not supply the eggs. A Traditional Surrogate (TS) uses her own eggs. I couldn't be a TS.  Knowing the baby was biologically mine would make things very complicated.

When I see and hold these babies, I know there will be some feelings involved. But I am fairly positive I will leave the hospital and sleep very well at night... both figuratively and literally.

"Will you do this again?"

If you would have asked me this question during the first trimester, my answer would have been probably not. The injections and nausea were just a little over the top for me. My thoughts are little different now. I was so ready to be done with injections but I had no idea when it would end. Now I have a good expectation of what is in store for me. If I decide to, I will probably only do this one more time.

I am matched with a perfect couple for me. Could I get this fortunate a second time? There is no doubt more amazing and worthy people but it's important for me to feel comfortable with them. I was lucky enough to have only one interview before being matched with this couple. Interviews are a lot of pressure and very nerve-wracking. I do lean toward doing this again for another same sex couple. I wouldn't rule out a heterosexual couple, though. After being matched, I started wondering how it would be to be matched with a heterosexual couple. One pressing thought was how would the woman be throughout the pregnancy. I imagine the couple didn't decide on surrogacy as their first option for bringing their baby into this world. I'm guessing there was much heartbreak that led them to surrogacy. Would there eventually be hard feelings because I was able to carry her baby? That's a big deal to me. People can pretend that all will be wonderful in a 2 hour phone interview and they may truly believe it will be a smooth process. Once a pregnancy is confirmed and my belly starts growing, I just wonder if jealousy would prevail. It's hard to say and I wouldn't want to assume this would happen. I feel I am a pretty good judge of character but one can always be misled. I am kind of rumbling on with my thoughts. We'll leave it here and I will worry about it if and when the time comes.

Will the daddies-to-be be in the delivery room with you?

Time willing, definitely! I wouldn't want it any other way. In fact, I worry they won't be here in time to witness the births. The focus will be on the babies... not me (if you know what I mean). The problem we run into is that I labor and deliver fairly fast. With my last baby, I started contractions around 9:00pm. We arrived at the hospital around 11:00pm and Elliott was born at 12:56AM. If I go into labor on my own, there is no way the guys could be here in time for delivery. For now, the plan is to keep the babies cooking until 38 weeks and then it's game on!

That's all for now. I will be sure to post another FAQ if more questions start rolling in.

Thanks for checking in and take care!


September 15, 2011

About a year ago...

I was still thinking surrogacy was something I would always want to do but not actually be able to achieve. I researched surrogacy many times in the past but never found a place/website that felt comfortable. The only thing I knew about surrogacy was that someone has a baby for someone else. I didn't even know if it was legal where I live. There was a lot of black space. I suppose that is the biggest reason I thought surrogacy would only be a dream I had.

Last fall, I started my research again. Fairly quickly, I found a website that led me to the agency I am working with. I entered my name, phone number and email. It was either the same day or the following day that received a phone call from the agency. The call was to verify they had received my request for information and that someone would be contacting me soon. I was suddenly nervous... what had I started, was I sure this was something I wanted to do.

The following week, I received a phone call from another staff member. She had the most bubbliest voice. We talked for quite a long time about the process. By the end of the conversation, I was ready to go to the IVF clinic and have my transfer done. Okay, it wasn't exactly like that but you know what I mean. She had me very excited and I knew my search was over. I had found the right agency for me.

So here we are one year later, I am 20 weeks pregnant with twins and have met some very wonderful people along the way.


September 09, 2011

Anatomy Ultrasound/19 weeks and 2 days/a funny story/bump picture

An anatomy ultrasound is exciting for 3 reasons. One... we can make sure the babies are growing strong and healthy, two... we get to see the little sweeties again and three... if the babies cooperate and show us their goodies, we will be able to know genders.

In a previous, very early ultrasound (I think it was around 13 weeks), the technician concluded one boy and one girl. Of course, the daddies-to-be haven't run out to buy pink and blue baby gear. My thoughts, going into this appointment on genders, is that there are one of each. Here are my reasons for thinking one boy, my 1st trimester (morning sickness speaking) was much like the 1st trimesters in my past 3 pregnancies (all boys) and my cravings have been somewhat similar to my past 3 pregnancies. Reasons I think there is a girl, I have had some attitude problems (see my previous post). My attitude problem leads me to believe there is at least one girl because let's face it, girls just bring drama. Also, my 2nd trimester has been mostly morning sickness free... which is similar to my first pregnancy (a girl). Actually, I only remember having one very bad (morning sickness) day while pregnant with my daughter... it was on Valentine's Day (boo!).

On to the appointment, once I was called back, got the daddies-to-be on speakerphone and the gel was applied, the ultrasound (u/s) tech got to work. Sometimes you run into people that are in hurry and rush through things, I don't like that. Sometimes you run into people that hate their job and they run on auto-pilot. This tech was nice and very thorough, which was great considering the daddies were attending the appointment via phone.  She found both babies (kind of hard to not find the babies since they are about the size of a mango) and both heartbeats right away. Twin A is the baby closest to the cervix. Twin A is on my right side. SHE is lying head down with her feet shooting straight up. Apparently, we caught her in the middle of her spin class. She twirled and twirled throughout the u/s. The tech measured and checked everything out. All measured and looked terrific. She is 11 ounces, measuring just a few days early and her heartbeat is 130. As the tech was finishing up with this little princess, she kept putting her hand in her mouth, it wasn't just her thumb, it was her whole tiny fist... adorable! The tech caught her yawning but I missed that, not sure how because my eyes were glued to the screen. Her eyes are much better at seeing that stuff, I guess. Also, as we were finishing up with the baby girl, Twin B kept poking HIS head over into our view. It was almost like he was trying to say "Hey, she has had enough attention. It's my turn now!". Again... adorable!

Images of Twin A:
Notice her ears on either side! I think this one is so cute.

The legs of a princess

Profile view... fist in mouth

Another profile view... fist by her eyes

Twin B is lying head down with his feet hanging out in my ribcage. He was busy moving, too. Especially when we trying to get a look at his "goodies". After a couple attempts, the tech got a wonderful shot of "him", definitely proving him to be a boy. The measurements were right on and everything checked out great! He is 13 ounces, also measuring a few days ahead and his heartbeat was 146.

Images of Twin B:
Twin B trying to steal the spotlight from Twin A (B on the left and A on the right)


The legs of the little prince

Like I mentioned, the guys were on the phone throughout the entire appointment. I love that they can be there even if it can only be by phone. They are such wonderful people. They express over and over how happy and thankful they are. They say such nice things to me. I wish I could put them in my pocket and carry them around with me. When I am having a not so good moment I would just pull them out and talk to them. They both make me so happy. The babies are so lucky to have such beautiful parents to follow after.

In a previous post, I thanked my husband. I also need to thank my mother-in-law. She has been extremely helpful during this adventure. It's her nature to be this way and I am very thankful for her.

Before I jet away, let me share my funny story. Yes, it involves my kid. Noah, my very curious child, asked me how babies come out. He has asked this before and I have always been able to slide with the response that doctors help get babies out, end if story. He asked me again the other day. I used my same response, only this time it didn't work. He said "yes, but where does the doctor take the baby out. There has to be a hole or something. What, does the baby come out of your mouth". Come to think of it, he has asked about the mouth before. I find myself feeling a little unsure how to answer but think his thought process about delivery to be cute and funny. I don't remember exactly what I said but I know I stumbled through an answer without having to say exactly where the baby comes out. At 6 years old, I am not sure he needs to know. If anyone has thoughts to share... please do! I know this matter will arise again.

And just for fun... 19 weeks and 2 days baby bump:
That's all for now. Take care my friends!


September 07, 2011

Email address

I have had some recent requests for a contact email address. Your wish is my command... I have set up an email account for those that prefer to comment or ask questions in private. As always, I am VERY open to talking about being a surrogate and why it's important.

Feel free to contact me at


September 06, 2011

Thank you, my husband

Throughout this whole process, my husband has only once had a verbal doubt about it. That doubt was in the very beginning. It was right before sending the completed application in to the agency. The doubt was brief. I sent in our application and we never looked back. I think I have said before what a generous man he is. He is a people pleaser. He's dealt with giving me shots, my cravings, my morning sickness, body aches and probably worse of all, my hormones. Hormones can really take over someone, physically and mentally... seriously! I work with kids all day so when a bad mood strikes, I have to do my best to put on my smile and get through the day. That is not always easy but it is always necessary. Unfortunately, my husband probably receives the brunt of it at the end of the day. This is not to say that I am in a bad mood everyday. I think my moods have gotten much better since stopping the injections.
The reason for this post is to send a public "THANK YOU" to my husband. Thank you for putting up with me when I am not so fun to be around, for helping me satisfy a craving (you know, that run recently made for M&M's and not just any M&M's... peanut butter M&M's), for back rubs especially when you aren't feeling like giving them and just being the thoughtful, generous man you are.