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.