I can't even begin to explain everything as it happened after my last post. The babies were born on December 15th after almost 24 hours of labor. The IPs had been in town for a week by the time they welcomed their precious son and daughter into the world. My cervix had been dilated to three the Tuesday before, and I am known for relatively fast births, so they opted to come sooner. What none of us could have known was that the twins had stretched out my uterus so far that it was rendered useless.
Sunday the 14th, I experienced plenty of contractions, but they weren't awful. I got to have lunch with the IPs that day, then my family had a church Christmas play to attend. Two of my three girls were in the play, so I hoped I could make it through. My contractions were regularly spaced at 6 to 7 minutes apart at that time, so I made arrangements for my girls to be away that night.
We then went home and I took a hot shower, trying to relieve some pain until the contractions would be close enough to go to the hospital. They never got closer than six minutes, but by my second shower of the night, at around eleven, the pain got to be a little bit too much to handle. Allow me to be frank. I have never been in labor before outside of a hospital. I knew I could kind of handle the contractions I was feeling then, but they got worse each time. I realized I would need to go to the hospital soon because I am a huge baby who is afraid of being in pain.
We went and I was, thank goodness, 6 cm dilated. They checked me every hour, but there was no change, so they decided to wait until morning to give me some pitocin to move the pregnancy along. I felt awful because my IPs and my husband were all in really uncomfortable chairs trying to get some sleep. I could not sleep very well, but at least I had a bed. I had an epidural at that time, so I was not in pain. Long story short, after almost 24 hours of non progressing labor, my doctor told me it was time to change the plan to c-section.
I won't say I wasn't disappointed. I did not want a c-section. While I have always been open minded about it, I still viewed it as a failure. My uterus and cervix were just not cooperating. The only bright side was that the hospital allowed both of the IPs to be in the room.
I am going to gloss over this next part. Friends and family have had access to my facebook note about what happened. The babies came out just fine, but because of my super stretched uterus and low iron, I bled. A lot. I bled so much that the doctor accidentally cut a uterine artery- which bled more. I lost quite a bit of blood and had to have a transfusion. At the time I thought it was odd how tired I was. I couldn't stay awake at all. A friend later told me that that wasn't being tired, it was passing out from blood loss. Oops.
I do have a couple of memories from this time though. The first was the sound of two babies crying in perfect sync. The second was feeling pain in my abdomen that woke me up. I could tell something was wrong, but moreso I knew that the pain of being cut was not one I wanted to feel right then. I managed to kick my legs up and I heard someone say that I was bucking. My doctor- bless him- said "that means she can feel everything I'm doing," and he called the anesthesiologist back. I believe he put me in a twilight sleep at that time. I just remember having a mask over my face and breathing in very deeply so I could follow my mom's advice and "just sleep through them stitching you up"
In the end, I had a wonderful team on my case because I woke up, had a doctor explain to me very simply what happened, and they wheeled me into recovery.
My mom told me that the babies got wheeled into the labor and delivery room. The IF asked if I had gotten to see them, to which the nurse responded no. He asked no questions and took that bassinet with two babies swaddled in it. He pushed them all the way around the labor and delivery ward to my recovery room to make sure that I got to see the babies as soon as possible. I was so thankful to have such amazing and thoughtful IPs that they were concerned with me getting to see the babies. I know those first moments are so important, so that they wanted me to see them as soon as I could was just incredibly touching.
I immediately began pumping milk for the little ones. I am still pumping, though I do not make very much milk. The baby girl had some tummy issues and breast milk is easier on her, so we are continuing until the end of May. In August, we have plans to visit the parents (no longer intended) and the twins. I feel very fortunate on that end too. I know many surrogates who do not get this opportunity to maintain a relationship with their surrogate families. I don't know what I did to deserve such a wonderful match with these parents, but I am going to embrace it and be forever thankful.
As for another journey, I specifically told my mother in the recovery room to tell me to shut up if I ever considered doing another surrogacy. As I get further away from that experience and I get to see the change I was part of, I know I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is not recommended that I carry twins again because my OB says that my uterus would probably play the same dirty trick on me again, but I could safely carry one baby to full term. I am going to wait until my six month check up to ask them to check everything and let me know for sure if it is a good idea. If so, I would begin looking for matches. I would love to be a part of one more journey.
Also, I am kind of proud of my c-section scar. It's like a badge of a battle won.
I am at 32 weeks today, so I have begun counting down (something like 6 more weeks!!!) The longer I can keep these little ones in, the better, however with twin pregnancies, something like 50% have naturally ended by the end of week 36. The rest of them would be best ended by 38 weeks in order to avoid placenta problems or low amniotic fluid. This means that I really have 4-6 weeks to go. I would rather not be off giving birth on Thanksgiving, which also happens to be my oldest daughter's birthday. My amazing husband is hoping for a December 17th birth (that is 38 weeks 1 day) because that is his birthday. I told him that is an odd way to choose to spend your birthday.
I know it has been a long time, but that is not my fault because I simply have had no news. Up until last week, I had no doctors appointments since my last blog post.
We had some scheduling issues with my doctors office, so I was a couple of weeks late getting my gestational diabetes screening in. My sugar was a little high for the one hour test, so I was very concerned. Everything has been so text book perfect for this pregnancy that I guess I was waiting for the shoe to drop that ruined the smooth journey we have had so far.
I explained what this meant to my IPs and they are just as calm as ever. I have can't help but feel just so LUCKY that Tina matched me with these IPs. I cannot give much information on them as they are shy and do not wish to be part of the blog, but I can sum them up as sweet, grateful, patient, and kind. I have been hearing other stories of IPs who get a little lost towards the end. These other IPs are gearing up for a life change but they have no control over the actual catalyst for the change. My IPs are not like that at all. They have asked me questions such as what they will need to bring for the hospital and what they will need to take care of the babies while they are here. I am at a loss sometimes because I have never dealt with twins.
The most beautiful moments are sometimes just small things. My IM said meeting me was very lucky for them. It was just very touching because most days I feel like all I am doing is being a little more lazy (resting more), and other days I have symptoms that are bearable. It is life changing for them but really is not that big of a change for me, and my change is short term.
Either way, their constant calm demeanor keeps me calm as we near the end of the journey. I was concerned that if I failed the 3 hour glucose test I would cause problems for their babies. I admit I also worried because this journey has been such a wonderful experience that I would hate for GD to take away my chances to be a surrogate again someday.
My first 3 hour glucose test was a complete bust because I drank the sugary nastiness, the babies went absolutely sugar rush crazy in my stomach, and I got sick before I hit even 30 minutes. I was sent home that day. The second time, my doctor prescribed me some anti nausea meds. I still felt yucky the whole time, but I kept the stuff down. My levels came up in the normal range so we are clear on the gestational diabetes. My IPs were happy, but had been unconcerned from the beginning.
At my last ultrasound (last week) we discovered that both babies are now facing head down and ready to go. Assuming they don't squirm enough to flip around again, we are primed for that vaginal birth I am hoping for. The babies are within a good weight range and looking overall quite healthy. Baby boy is 3 lbs 9 oz, and baby girls is 3 lbs 7 oz.
My only complaint is that both sets of feet are now up in my ribs, so when they babies stretch out I feel like my ribs are being expanded a little. It is not the most comfortable feeling. Baby boy's head near my bladder can sometimes cause a bit of discomfort as well. Other than that, my only symptoms worth mentioning are constipation and heartburn. Unfortunately, the medicine for the heartburn can make constipation worse. Of course. I am not sleeping wonderfully due to the heartburn so I have been trying to drink extra water all day, then I can take my Tums at night without too much trouble. At least the babies will be getting plenty of calcium.
Where I am now: Well, I think you would call it nesting, though I have no nest to build. I have been overtaken with the urge to take on creative projects. I am a special effects make up artist for a local haunted house, so that helped me be quite creative, but we just ended the season there. I decided I wanted to learn air brush make up and went out to buy a beginning airbrush set to practice with. I keep making new patterns and designs on a styrofoam head. I have also started crocheting things, though I am kind of bad at that. Basically, I feel like my normal nesting energy is going into full throttle, but I have no direction to point it in, so I am all over the place with crafts and fun things.
Looking to the future: Yes, I am definitely considering being a surrogate again. This has been a beautiful experience for me. I have met so many people through this who have struggles with infertility. The other day I had a lady I had just met start asking questions about my pregnancy. I have a 3 question limit. If they keep asking questions after that, that is when I decide to tell them that I am carrying for a surrogacy. This is mostly because people react the same whether they think I am about to have 5 children of my own or they know I am giving these twins back to their parents. Either way it is against the norm, so I prefer the truth as early as possible. So at question number 4, I told this woman that I was actually a surrogate and she just HUGGED me. Not even a little hug: a bonafide HUG. She shared with me that she was unable to carry her own children so she just 'adopted' some grandchildren that she helped out with and spent her time with. This is actually not that unusual. More people struggle with infertility than I ever imagined, and more people understand surrogacy than I had previously thought. Without fail, they think I am this amazing person dong an amazing thing. Since I have enjoyed the journey so much, I feel that credit is undeserved. It can't be that amazing if it's simply what I was made for, right?
So I will base my final decision on how the actual birth goes and my healing time afterwards, but as of right now, I very much want to do this again.
In the meantime, I am very happy to get to pump for three months for the twins I am currently carrying. After that, I will probably begin milk donation to a preemie milk bank or similar until my body is ready to go.
In this case, no news is good news. I have definitely grown a bit larger, but in honesty, I don't feel it too much. I do have a baby's head in my rib on the right side, so that is a little uncomfortable sometimes, but for the most part everything is smooth sailing. I had a doctor appointment today (note: I procrastinated so the appointment was about two weeks ago ) in which we found out that baby boy is taking up a lot more room than baby girl. Baby girl is curled in a fetal position under my right rib. Baby boy has his head down in my cervix and his feet up in my ribs on the left side. That said... both babies weigh the same amount. The difference in weight in grams is so small that the doctor actually said he wouldn't believe it if he hadn't seen it. Apparently there is usually more of a difference. I don't know. He did say I had a wonderful uterus. I suppose as a surrogate there are very few greater compliments. I wasn't able to skype with the momma this time, but I got a couple of short videos to send her. I feel like since nothing eventful has happened I have been updating a lot less. I am glad I have nothing to report seriously. If I had a story to tell it would probably be something bad. Let's play the good, the bad, and the ugly again, just to keep a record of how I feel at 27 weeks.
-At the end of this week, I will officially be beginning the third trimester!
-As of now, babies are already practicing breathing and strengthening their lungs. Every day brings them so much closer to a strong birth with no nicu stay.
-I have slightly more energy now that the girls are in school during the day. Yes, I need naps, but I also don't get more than 6 hours of sleep before I have to get up in the morning. If I have trouble sleeping, my day might be a little worse.
- my nesting phase is turning into a creative phase which I am using to draft my own Halloween decorations for our Halloween party.
-I am not as big as I thought I'd be by now. There is discomfort, but no lasting back or belly pain that I can't handle.
-OMG baby kicks All.Day.Long. I feel awful for the IPs on this one because their baby girl is very active at night. Their baby boy is more active during the day. At some point in the evening they are both up together. I am really trying to get video of my belly moving so I can share it, but they stop as soon as I whip out the phone. Sigh.
-cravings, yes they are good. I still have my fabulous, supportive husband who pretty much helps me get any craving I have. Yesterday he got me sugar donuts and chocolate milk mix... Just because I told him I had a craving. I swear, readers, he is the true hero here. You remember me saying I didn't feel it was a really amazing feat to be pregnant. Lots of people do it all the time. No... I am not amazing. The husband who is taking care of me, pampering me, lotioning my belly, and genuinely showing me he cares when I am going through pain, emotional struggle, or sickness-even though I chose this route and the babies I am carrying are for another family-that is true selflessness. He is amazing.
-I have to roll out of bed like a turtle who landed on its shell.
-as far as cravings, I sometimes have cravings or wants I cannot have. Spicy salmon sushi and a bologna sandwich with mustard being two of them.
-I have to maintain seriously limited caffeine intake, and I have schoolwork I need to focus on, coffee is kind of what gets me through schoolwork. So switching to water or milk has been quite the adjustment.
-baby girl's head is in my ribs and baby boy's head is down in my cervix. It is not the most comfortable feeling. I suppose it is helping my posture, however I mostly just have to lie down a lot to stretch out. The funny thing is that my last baby, Gabriella, caused me the same exact discomfort, and she was only one baby. One very straight and stubborn baby.
- I am still working at my own favorite haunt, the USS Nightmare, and since I am only doing make up this year I had hoped to be able to visit some other haunts after work. I have been able to, but I am pretty exhausted by the time the night is over. I will not be able to do the haunted cave, I fear, because the walk back out of the cave at the end is difficult for a non pregnant me.
- heartburn is not fun. It hurts and it happens way too much. I guess the babies are getting much needed calcium for bone development because I have to have tums quite regularly.
- fiber is a necessary supplement in my daily routine. If I miss it one day there are huge problems.
-restless legs? I think. Sometimes my legs just feel like they are all jittery and uncomfortable and no position works. I just start tap dancing a little because it feels like pent up energy or something. It is most annoying when I am in a car and can't really move too much.
-uh... That's about it. It is a normal pregnancy with normal complaints. The only mother thing I can think of is a fear of my belly getting monstrously huge before I give birth. I know I will get much bigger. I just hope I can carry it well. You know?
I am starting to actually feel like I am pregnant now. Just in the past couple of weeks as I have started feeling them move more they have become more real to me. The whole thing still feels surreal since I am not planning a nursery or buying diapers or baby clothes. I can picture them a little better now. I cannot wait to get to cuddle with them ( and then give them back to mommy and daddy when they need a diaper change. Hehe)
We had a wonderful visit with my IPs last week- well, over a week ago. My girls started school last week so it was kind of a blur to me. They arrived on Thursday night and treated my girls and me to dinner at the Melting Pot. I have only been there once, for our anniversary, and my girls had never been. We had a wonderful time preparing our meals and I ate waaaayyyy too much. Mostly because my stomach is being squished by two little ones. The next day, we did get to go to the doctor and hear the heartbeats of the babies.
I also got to find out their names. I do not believe their names are a secret, but I also do not want to share them on social media simply because they are not my names to release. I only know their American names though. The Chinese names will be figured out by the family and based on some other variables which are fascinating to me, but I do not understand them enough to explain. Perhaps I will research further when I actually learn their Chinese names.
Either way, the hospital tour also went very well. I have delivered at this hospital before, but they have renovated a lot, so it was nice to get the lay of the land. This will help everyone to know where we are going and what we are doing. The hospital is great for surrogate births because they do give the intended parents a room to take care of the babies in. This means that they get to stay in the hospital with their newborns until they are released as long as the floor is not full. My room will hopefully be nearby so I can cuddle a little bit with the babies before they go back home.
The IPs did have to leave right away, so our adventures ended there. On Monday, I had the mother skype call in so she could watch the ultrasound and ask any questions she had. Our little twins are still the exact same size, at 13 oz. each (That is the day before 21 weeks, so they are actually a tad on the smaller side, but they are within healthy range.) It is so cute though, they are cuddled up in my lower belly. Both heads are side by side and all four little feet are right next to each other. There is more room in my uterus for baby girl to move upward, but she is staying right down there with her brother.
Right now, both heads are on my lower right side and the feet are on my upper left, so both are lying sideways. The boy's head is lower than the rest of him, so if he doesn't do too many gymnastics moves, he is primed for birth when the time comes. He could move a lot by then, though, so I am still crossing my fingers. The sonographer did say they the two will always be in this bunk bed position with boy on bottom and girl on top, meaning we won't have any trouble with baby girl getting in the way. The more probably issues is that baby boy will come out just fine the intended way, and baby girl could go any which way from there. She'll probably move quite a bit in the process of her brother's birth.
I am not going to stress about this yet, but it could mean I have to have one vaginally and the other may need to be c-section. I would rather do both the same way for healing purposes, of course. On the bright side, the hospital is already prepared for any eventuality because I will be delivering in the operating room either way. That way if we can do both vaginally, we are great, but if an emergency comes up, we will already be in place to handle it. I am slightly saddened that only 1 other person can be in the room in the event of a c-section. I will leave it up to the parents to decide which one of them it will be. The other up side is that in the OR there is a curtain that we can use to keep everything hidden from any eyes that do not need to see it. The parents will be able to see the babies as soon as they are all the way out and not before.
Finally, my symptoms right now:
Slight heartburn in reclines positions. Not bad.
Sleeplessness. I believe insomnia describes it best, but it is not every night.
Fatigue during the day or after too much activity. I am kind of low on energy at the moment.
A Stretchy, full feeling in my belly.
Lots and lots of baby movement.
A longing for the smell of soap and clean things. OMG I went to the soap aisle at Kroger and just inhaled for like five minutes. I believe I may need some extra iron, but I talked to the doctor and he said to just wait until the scheduled blood draw at 28 weeks. (I am at 22 now) My numbers looked fine in the beginning, but I did have pregnancy induced anemia when I was pregnant with my middle daughter. I am just trying to throw in a few more meats for now.
I think that is it for now. My next appointment will be an ultrasound on September 15th, so I may not have a whole lot to say until then unless my symptoms change.
I am so so so happy to be able to announce that my IPs are getting their wish.
Meet Baby A- 男 That means "boy/son" in simplified Chinese. According to Google. I just love the written Chinese language. It is absolutely beautiful. I wish I knew more about it.
And Baby B makes their mixed set 姑娘 Which means girl/daughter. If google is right. Or it could be this... 女 I am so confused.
I love that the symbol for girl is far more complicated than the symbol for boy.
So here is where we stand right now:
I am 19 weeks and 3 days pregnant with two beautifully developing babies.
>OMG TIRED- I need a nap every day at some point. Today my nap was from 4:30-6.
>Cravings include ice chips, (which I am going to get some iron supplements to curtail)
ridiculously sweet things, and peanut butter honey on toast. Thank goodness our honey is locally made by my father in law. I am trying very hard to maintain a healthy diet for these babies, and in the grande scheme of things I have been very healthy for most of this pregnancy. This week has kind of been a fail. I even ate ramen noodles for dinner last night because I was too tired to think of anything better.
> My back is getting sore already, but I think that is more because I am less active. Doing things makes me tired, so I have been reading more, working on school work, and wasting a heck of a lot of time on my computer. It doesn't help that my girls have a crazy schedule this week so I am driving them places then coming home and waiting until it is time to pick them up.
> Headaches are still a thing, but not as bad. I have a little one right now actually, but it is not the kind that makes me sit in a dark room.
Good things include:
>Movement!!! I feel Baby Boy moving quite a lot. Once he woke me up with a jab to my lower belly. He is lying sideways in my lower belly, so I feel him a lot more than Baby Girl, who is sitting up high and has a bit more room to wiggle in, I think. The cutest thing is that I think they are still staying fairly close together. I feel movement either in my lower belly on the right side, or in the middle near my belly button. Baby Girl is trying to cuddle, I guess.
Other good things include the fact that nesting set in early and is making a great impact on my house. I do get tired if I clean too much at once, but I am keeping up on that. Better is that I have been getting my house painted- by a professional, of course. Now you all know I am not doing this for the money, but there is a fee involved. It is not a huge amount- it is enough to do some nice things for our family, such as fixing up our home a little. When we moved into this old home, it had been "whited out" by the bank. The shell of the house has character but no color.
This is my entry way. I did not get a great before of my entry way, but you can see it is just stark white. I will post more updates as they happen. This has made a huge difference in the feel of our house. The only other thing that I have done so far is buy a few pieces of new furniture. We moved from a 1040 sq ft home to this 2300 sq ft house, so our great room was never furnished until now. I moved some of our old ikea furniture out here (because it is easy to recover ikea furniture in most colors), then I put the new comfy stuff in our living room. I'll share that later too. I found these sofa/loveseat sets at American Freight for less than $600. It is amazing how much you can do on a tight budget really.
In other news, the IPs are coming into town again this month. They were supposed to be coming for the 20 week anatomy ultrasound, but my OB office called and cancelled that appointment. I guess the sonographer is on vacation that day. I am pretty sad about that, but I am super excited that we are going to be taking a tour of the hospital that day. This means that the parents will get to see where their babies will be born and we can ask any questions we have while we are there.
Most of my questions have to do with modesty options. I feel my IPs will want to be in the room as soon as the babies are born, and I need those babies to go directly into their parents' arms first thing. That means some precautions will need to be taken to save everyone from seeing things that should not be seen. :) My only other question has to do with their policy in the event of a c-section. Many times, the rule is only one other person can be in the room during a c-section. Some places might let two in. My problem is, again, I want those babies in their parents arms first thing. This means that I want both mom and dad in that room with me, but I feel I need my husband too. I have no idea if they'd ever allow three people in a c-section room. My priority is the parents though. I am hoping at least they will allow a switch out after the babies are born, such as the parents go with the babies then they will let my Stephen come be with me while I get sewn back together.
So, yeah, we are crossing our fingers that we don't have to worry about that. If everything goes as planned, their limits in the birthing room are very flexible, as I have learned the three previous times I have given birth there.
I think that is all I have to say for now. This is what you get when I wait over a week to write a post.
So those words sound very scary, but as surrogate, I have heard them a LOT. It seems as soon as you mention bleeding on a surrogacy board, at least a few of the responses involve these words along with reassurances that the baby or babies were born just fine. So, it may or may not make sense that when I started bleeding at around 8:45 last night, I almost prayed to hear those words, because the alternative word would have been "miscarriage".
I saw the bright red blood and we immediately left for the ER. I know they couldn't do anything for me if it was a miscarriage, but I also knew that if I were an intended parent, I would want to know that my surrogate did everything in her power to keep the babies going. My hospital got me in pretty quickly and monitored for heartbeats. There were two, and they were strong. I heaved a sigh of relief and then waited to hear the verdict.
At that time, the verdict was "go home and follow up at your doctor's office tomorrow."
I happened to have an appointment already scheduled for the morning, so I went home, got some sleep, and went in hoping for some answers. At my Ob Gyn's office, we have the absolute BEST sonographer I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She takes her time, explains everything, and is simply pleasant.
She was able to locate the heartbeats and determine that the babies were still doing well. She also was able to locate the subchorionic bleed which was located just inside the cervix, and far away from the placenta, which is the best possible place for it to be (far, far away from the placenta.) It looks like we might have a little more bleeding before all is said and done. The next thing she was able to do was INSTANTLY determine the gender of each baby.
I sent the parents some flowers today that are color coded with notes to give them their news. I had to go with flowers because anything else would have taken too long to get to them. I have received word that the flowers have been delivered. Once it has been confirmed that they got them, I will post it here on my blog first. I just want to give them the respect of not having 50 people know before they even have a chance to process the information. (If there are even 50 of you out there? lol)
Anyway, the bleeding seems to have stopped. I am feeling some random little movements in there, and I am satisfying my current craving for oreos and milk. Back to school work I go. :)
First- I notice that even though my belly is still not quite to baby bump level, I am already walking like a penguin. This happened with my last pregnancy as well. I think my hips just feel the growth and turn into rubber instantly. It has caused a tiny bit of lower back discomfort, which I am certain will become pain later. It is nothing I haven't been through before, so I am prepared for it.
These little ones are starting to get bones now. This probably explains why I want whole milk ALL THE TIME. Every time I get thirsty I reach for milk. I have had to force myself to drink more water unless I am outside in the heat. They are about 5 inches long now, and given that my belly really hasn't gotten much bigger than before, that may explain why I occasionally feel Baby B (the one on top) moving. It has been a rare occurrence, maybe once every other day for the past week, but I know the feeling. It's pretty cool.
My cravings, aside from milk, include avocados, berries, and turkey sandwiches with miracle whip.
My symptoms include occasional headaches, some leg cramps if I don't drink enough water, heartburn, and going to the bathroom a lot at night. I also have been having more dreams, though I can't remember them.
I really do not feel pregnant. It feels weird to even say I am pregnant to people.
I will say that I have had great fun messing with people now that my belly does stick out a little. I do enjoy seeing peoples expressions when I say "yes, I am pregnant, but they aren't mine"
They give me a confused look to which I respond, "well you see, they're Chinese"
Another confused look. After which I explain that I am a surrogate. I also have been known to tell people I am pregnant but not keeping them because they are not my husband's. That gets some interesting responses as well.
I have to be able to have some fun with this, right?
I did get to have lunch with the intended mother last week when I visited Philadelphia for the Queen + Adam Lambert concert (which was OMG AMAZING). It was really very nice to get to see her and catch up since we don't get to see each other very often. The greatest part about this meeting is I was given permission to find out the babies genders if possible at our next ultrasound (Monday the 28th). I did not know if they'd want me to find out since they could not be there. I am excited that I might get to be the one to relay the news to them. It could go either way at 18 weeks whether the sonographer can figure out their genders, but I am crossing my fingers that the little ones will cooperate.
Again, I cannot express my gratitude enough to Tina and The Surrogacy Experience for handling all of the business aspect of this journey as well as matching me to such a wonderful couple. I have been hearing of some other journeys that are not as smooth lately, and it reminds me over and again how incredibly lucky I am to be where I am. If I do decide to complete another journey I will, without a doubt, choose to continue with the same agency.
Oh this experience thus far has been so wonderful. My intended parents are simply the sweetest and most generous IPs. I never would have expected the match to be this great. I posted on facebook, but I received a package in the mail full of Burt's Bees products. I have never tried their skin care line. I must say, I love it. This is really just one of the many nice things they have done. I don't even want to list some of the others. I'd feel braggy. Since I am well into the second trimester now, I am feeling great and it's almost not like work at all, so I don't feel I deserve to be so spoiled. I am not complaining at all. It really just helps make me feel even more secure in this decision and in them as my match. I don't know how I got so lucky. I am just glad.
Symptoms right now:
- some headaches in the evening
-hunger- either I want to eat everything in sight or absolutely nothing sounds good.
-it is getting slightly uncomfortable to sleep because I either need to go pee or I have heartburn
-cravings- they change every day. right now I want fried eggs with toast and a peanut butter milkshake.
In other news: My husband is amazing.
For every craving I have had or every nap I have needed in the middle of the day he has been understanding. He is just as perfect now as when I was pregnant with his own baby, which is far better than I expected. He agreed to this journey as much as I did, but the true test was when I started putting Popsicles, kosher dill pickles, and a few other odd things in the cart and he just went along with it. He also has gone downstairs to get me pickles on several occasions when I wanted them. Once again, I find myself astounded at my luck.
As far as the babies, I have felt a few flutters, but I am never quite sure if they are babies moving or my stomach acting up. The babies will be about the size of avocados by Tuesday. Our next ultrasound isn't until the 28th so we have a little bit of time before I get to see them again. This one is just to check cervical length to make sure it's enough to hold these babies in long enough.
I do have a sight baby bump now, but some of the bump is really just leftover chub, so I feel like it's cheating to post a cute belly picture now. Maybe I will get one later. :)
I have no concerns or worries. I am a textbook pregnant- even with twins apparently.
Today was the Nuchal Translucency screening. It is exactly 13 weeks and 6 days, so it was the last possible day to do it. Everything looked great. That is not the best part though. The parents of these perfect little humans got to come and see them on screen and hear their heartbeats for the first time. It is such a beautiful moment to get to be in the room and see the little ones moving on screen and see the expressions on their parents faces when baby B swallows.
The IPs got here Saturday night and we did meet up with them for a short while. We spent all day with them on Sunday. I don't know what they were thinking, but they wanted my three rambunctious girls to come visit too. My girls are 11, 9, and 4. They can be very sweet, but can also be quite a handful. I must say that it was nice to see how well my girls can behave when they are asked to for a set amount of time. I mean, my four year old had a little trouble towards the end, but she was happy energetic at least, not crying.
We went to the Newport Aquarium first, which the IPs were excited about because it took them into another state to add to their list. We in Ohio, but near the Kentucky border. In fact, you pretty much have to go through Kentucky to get to Cincinnati from where we live unless you want to take the long way. They enjoyed the aquarium and even let my girls pick out a prize at the aquarium store. Have I mentioned the IPs are very generous and giving? We went to the Art museum after that. My older girls handled it well, my 4 year old was a little too excited about the echo in that big, old building. My husband had to take her outside. The IPs just laughed at how much energy she has. HA!
I am honored just to be a part of this journey with them. I know that they could have chosen another surrogate, but they chose to work with me and give me the trust required to let another woman carry your child. I love being part of this experience, especially now that I have hit the end of the first trimester, and the nausea and inability to eat much has mostly passed. (told you I was by the book)
I am even more elated to say that they have agreed to allow the babies to stay in my hospital room if they are unable to stay in the hospital with them. They have also asked me to help feed the babies breast milk until they took them home. I am so happy about this. I do intend to donate breast milk once this journey ends, at least long enough to get the recovery benefits. I am glad that at least some of that will be going to the twins I helped bring into the world. I am very honored that they have asked me to do that as well.
I can't express enough how lucky I am to have been matched with these parents. They are sweet, intelligent, giving, caring, understanding, hardworking, and most of all, they handled my three minions for an entire day and still messaged me afterwards about how much they enjoyed them. They will make amazing parents. I love these people.
Part of the reason I initially started looking into being a surrogate is because my pregnancies were rather textbook easy. In the first trimester, I had a little nausea that stopped like clockwork at the beginning of the second. In the second trimester, I felt great with maybe a little back pain. In the third, I was huge and uncomfortable. I had some ankle and all over swelling with my third pregnancy.
So far, this pregnancy is not much different. I am thisclose to reaching the 13th week (second trimester) and my nausea is almost gone. I am still limited on what I can eat since I have been eating so little for 12 weeks now. For the most part, I feel great. I have no baby bump still, but I assume that will come soon enough and wreak its havoc.
As for cravings, each of my girls gave me a slightly different craving. My first pregnancy led me to love tomatoes and gold star chili with cheese. I also craved iced tea with my first pregnancy. Since I was only 19 at the time, I had very little difficulty with that pregnancy. My biggest issue was the weight gain. I had never been little, but I just did not lose the weight when the pregnancy was over.
In my second pregnancy, I craved chocolate milk... all. the. time. I also got very tired with that pregnancy. I could not wake up in the morning without taking a nap in the early morning and possibly afternoon.
My third pregnancy was the hardest, but I think it has a lot to do with the baby in question. On the bright side, I craved all things fruity and light. I lived for cherry slushes from Sonic and watermelon. This baby was not a cuddly curled up baby. She came out straight. I knew she would come out straight because I felt her feet in my ribs and her head all the way in my cervix for the last three months. If I pushed in on my belly, she would push back- kind of saying "get out of my space"
This pregnancy has pretty much been by the book as well. The main difference is that I have no serious cravings yet... more like on a daily basis what I want is something different. I'm not saying I can actually eat much of it though. yesterday, I wanted steak, watermelon, and spaghettios. My super amazing husband was very supportive and even grilled the steaks for me. Today, spaghettios sound/smell disgusting, and all I really want is... well.. nothing. I am not in the least bit hungry and absolutely nothing sounds good. That is possibly also because someone dumped something in the sink that looked and smelled...well... awful. I found it first thing this morning, started to clean it up, then made my hasty departure back to the bathroom. Fortunately I had had a glass of water with my medicine, or that would have been worse than it was. I do need to take my medicine again though.
All in all, this pregnancy is not as bad as I thought it would be. If I were trying to lose weight, it would be the best diet plan. I am supposed to eat more, but positively cannot. I have lost a total of 16 pounds as of today- literally eating everything I want (because I don't want much). Tomorrow is 13 weeks. Woot!!