Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sibling's big day... Surrogate Side

Well, it's been a while.  Three years, in fact.  Oops.  Sorry, folks! 

For those of you who have been asking, yes - everyone is okay and healthy.  I won't say everything was seamless or smooth sailing, but all turned out A-okay!  Now, let's get to the story you've all been waiting for!

As you probably already know, everything had been arranged in advance for the delivery and plans were in place for childcare of my children in the event that this delivery followed suit of each of my others and started in the middle of the night.  The plan was that we would call A for any night except for Saturday as she would be out of town; so of course we figured out a Plan B.  E was on back-up duty.

Historically, going into labor at home was relatively uneventful.  I would have significant pain and nudge the hubby to let him know it was time to go.  I'd call A to come on over and we'd be on our way.  It was no big deal.  This time around was a bit different.  It was a standard evening until it wasn't.   

Just a typical night of tossing and turning and the need to go pee.  However, at 2:00am after using the bathroom, I began to climb back into my super high bed and ... "snap!"  In my head I'm thinking, 'what the hell was that?'  Welp, folks.  That there was the snap of my amniotic sac.  My water broke.  ON. ITS. OWN.  I was so confused.  That had never happened to me before!  Clearly I don't handle fluid leaking out of my body well as I headed right to the toilet and was yelling for my hubby for help.  I had no idea what to do.  He was no help - he was just as confused.  LOL!

Eventually, I figured out that I needed to call A so I could head to the hospital.  I gave her a ring and let her know it was time.  She listened to me go on and on about my water breaking and then hesitated for a moment.  It then dawned on me that it was Saturday.  I said, "today is Saturday, huh?"  She confirmed and wished me luck.  I hung up with A and called E.  She was on her way. 

When E made it to my house, I was still sitting on the toilet at a loss of how I was supposed to get out of my house with fluid coming out of me.  My husband got the car ready to go and I meet them downstairs with a full-size towel shoved into my leggings.  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?!

At some point during the chaos of learning that my water broke and driving to the hospital, I called K&J to let them know that it was time.

At the hospital, the nurse brought us to our room and helped me remove the towel I was straddling between my legs.  I had told her that my water broke.  ((shrug))  Somehow, she didn't believe me and said she had to test the fluid.  Did she really think I was peeing myself?!  Anyway, I was right.  My water broke.  Duh.

Things progressed as normally as they did with any of my other pregnancies (except for the feeling of a constant warm trickle of fluid saturating the mattress pad beneath me - ugh).  However, unlike with Charlie, I was not trekking the halls to kick start labor.  Labor this time around was more sedentary.

This is where things get a little foggy for me.  Bear with me.

I recall being checked on regularly by the doctors and nurse and when K&J arrived to the hospital.  I remember getting an epidural and it not working properly (again).  The time for active delivery had come and my husband helped me through it as K&J witnessed the birth of their second child.  

As I mentioned, the epidural did not work properly and I was in what I thought to be some serious pain.  The baby was born, but the pain did not stop for me.  I was confused because, in the past, once the baby was born the pain would stop.  That did not happen this time.  The pain got worse.  

I was hemorrhaging.  The doctors and nurses (remember, I delivered at a teaching hospital so the room was chock-full of people) began moving really fast.  It was all a blur.  I remember mumbling, 'what is it?' because I still didn't know the sex of the baby and K walked over only to be redirected away.  My uterus collapsed.  My body couldn't produce the placenta.  I was in so much pain.  Pain that brought tears to my eyes.  I could hear K asking them if they could give me something for the pain.  I remember being injected in my leg with something, but the pain would not go away.  Until it did.  The doctor reached into the birth canal to pull the placenta out.  It was like magic.  Once it was out, the pain magically disappeared.

And then, after all that, the pain meds started working and I fell asleep.  LOL!

It was a BOY!  My instincts were right, although there was a time when I doubted myself and briefly hoped it was a girl.  Benton was born on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 2:35pm.

Charlie and Benton with Santa!
The end.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

40 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Date:  November 12, 2015

How Many Weeks:  40+ weeks

Total Weight Gain: 26lbs

Baby Size:  Jackfruit (what the heck is that?)

What is going on with this baby:
  • Baby's continuing to grow hair and nails. This baby is gonna have quite the head of hair if the old wives' tale is true because I have some serious indigestion. o_O
  • And keeping up that lung development, too.
Maternity Clothes:  Let's just say I'd rather not wear pants anymore. But, don't worry, I do... At least I'm on leave right now just waiting to have this baby; I can wear yoga pants and pajama bottoms all day if I'd like. Finding a long enough shirt to cover my entire belly is getting tough these days, though.

With all that said, at least I can say that my hospital bag is finally packed (not that I use anything in it, really). Chapstick and a toothbrush is all I really need. But, the dang thing is packed. 

Sleep:  What is that? I haven't slept (well) in quite a while. I'll go to bed and get a couple hours of deep sleep and then it's insanely light sleep, tossing and turning and going pee. My back ends up hurting so much from the weight of my belly pulling down as I sleep on my sides. I tried sleeping on my back, but, whoa, I can't breathe! Yikes!

Movement:  You'd think it would start to run out of room at this point, but nope. This one manages to stretch my belly to accommodate his/her needs. Lol! 

Symptoms:  I was wrong; there has been no real progression from all of these contractions. They are simply just to torture and give me false hope. My back continues to be painful and it's now pretty much the entire day. To make things even more fun, it now hurts to walk. To walk!!! Do you realize how much walking one does in a day?! I am worse than an old lady! Slooooooooooooow. 

Moving on, I went to the doctor yesterday for an ultrasound (because I am now overdue and they need to monitor my fluids) and had a regular appointment afterwards. Things with the baby are great; plenty of movement (duh) and good fluid levels. 

They were also measuring for size. Now, most of you know by now that I have a tendency to grow some big babes. My own two were 9 & 10lbs. Charlie was 9lbs. From the start, we were told this one was going to be small. But, alas, this recent ultrasound rained on my parade. This little bundle is right on track with all of the others at 9lbs, 8oz right now. Why?!

At my OB exam, they checked my progression and I just cannot catch a break. I was at 1cm for two weeks in a row and now am at 2cm. Seriously, I could've punched the guy (if he weren't just so sweet). He joked that he could sweep my membranes and from my reaction, just chuckled. Uh, no, that'll never happen again. 

Food Cravings/Aversions:  I have been having quite a bit of indigestion (especially in the middle of the night) so I am very cautious of what I eat. I made the mistake of having lasagna the other night. Ouch. Cereal has been my go-to. It's the safest way to eat at this point. 

I'm looking forward to: the final stretch! There is an end in sight! If I don't go sooner, I have a scheduled induction for Monday, November 16th at 6pm. 

39.5 Weeks

40 Weeks

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

39 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Date:  November 3, 2015

How Many Weeks:  39 weeks

Total Weight Gain: 24lbs

Baby Size:  Watermelon

What is going on with this baby:
  • Baby's probably able to flex limbs now. Welp, that is quite evident given the nature of performance inside my belly!
  • Baby's brain is still rapidly developing—and getting smarter by the week!
  • Baby's nails may extend past the fingertips - ouch...??
Maternity Clothes:  I am ready for a button and zipper, that's for sure! I'm a little bit over pulling my pants up every minute or so. 

On another note, I probably should start to pack my hospital bag, huh? I pulled the bag from my closet, but didn't have enough ambition to put anything in it. So, it's sitting on the floor next to my dresser waiting for me. I thought about doing it today, but...

Sleep:  I haven't slept in about 3 nights. Not a record setting number, but still a pain. I am naturally a very light sleeper, but I think the pregnancy has heightened this for me. I toss and turn quite a bit. The dog's snoring certainly doesn't help the matter. 

Movement:  All the dang time. 

Symptoms:  I've continued with the standard aches and pains. Braxton Hicks are here with a vengeance and, I'm sure, have encouraged some further progression. My belly tends to be as hard as a rock much of the day causing a pretty significant/uncomfortable/painful stretching feeling at the very top of my belly. Sometimes I'll lift my belly to relieve some of the stretch and it seems to work a little... 

One of the newest symptoms I am facing (that I've had periodically before, but never to this extreme) is indigestion. And, to make it that much better, it rears its ugly head in the late evening while I'm in bed. It feels like I have vomit coming up my throat. Gross, huh?!

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Weird, but yellow mustard. This has been an ongoing delight of mine, but I always seem to forget to add it when I'm updating the blog. Yeah, so, yellow mustard has been a big hit for me. 

I'm looking forward to: a strawberry margarita on the rocks from Margaritas! Told the hubs to have one ready as soon as the baby makes its debut!

Belly: Just look at those veins! I'm damn sexxxxxy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

38 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Date:  October 28, 2015

How Many Weeks:  38 weeks

Total Weight Gain: 22 lbs - I haven't gained weight in over a month!  Baby is certainly growing, though... o_O

Baby Size:  Pumpkin - Ha! Pretty fitting as Saturday is Halloween!

What is going on with this baby:

  • Baby may have about an inch or so of hair already.
  • Baby's slowly shedding that white goo on its skin (called vernix caseosa), but you might see some of it at birth.
Maternity Clothes:  I'm running out of clothes.  Well, comfy clothes at least.  I've reached the point where very few things fit well enough to wear for an entire day.  Most things fit just fine in the morning, but by mid-day I am secretly trying to devise a plan to remove my pants and not have anyone notice.  Tops just barely reach the bottom of my belly and if I move or raise an arm it's all over.

Sleep:  So, I THOUGHT I figured out my dog's snoring problem, but it only worked for a short time.  Some nights are better than others.  At least I'm not having to get out of the bed too many times a night to pee. Actually, there are nights I don't have to get of bed at all. However, those tend to be the ones where I am already wide awake because of my snoring dog... 

I'm tossing and turning a lot and I can feel the baby slide from one side to the next. Kinda weird, but nothing I haven't experienced before. This time, however, I can't lay on my back for long periods of time (not that I'm supposed to anyway) because the baby ends up hurting me. I guess by the way it's positioned?? 

By the way, just last night, this baby tried escaping through my belly button. No lie. It was somewhat relative to what you would see in a horror movie. 

Movement:  I really cannot offer an accurate enough description as to how much (and how powerfully) this baby moves. I mean... Well, there are no words. Really. Lol!

Symptoms:  Sore. That pretty much sums it up. Again, mid to late afternoon seems to be when it intensifies the most. There is some pressure in my cervix and it feels like the girly parts have been in a boxing match at times. My boobs have kept quiet most of this pregnancy, but have begun to show their ugly face again lately. Can't really complain there since this discomfort won't even compare slightly to what will be coming down the pike...

Food Cravings/Aversions: Did I mention that I had the cake?! Yep. I did! And now, I don't want it anymore. I think? 

I'm looking forward to: these final couple of weeks! I'm really hoping that we have this baby early for K&J (and not at all because I want it to come early for myself)! wink, wink


37 Weeks:

38 Weeks:

Monday, October 12, 2015

36 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Date:  October 13, 2015

How Many Weeks:  36 weeks

Total Weight Gain: 22 lbs

Baby Size:  Honeydew Melon (Really? That seems a bit on the small side for how I'm looking; nevermind how I'm feeling as this baby practices for its grand exit...)

What is going on with this baby:

  • Baby's getting closer and closer to being able to breathe on its own.
  • The skin is getting smooth and soft and gums are rigid.
  • Baby's liver and kidneys are in working order.
  • Circulation and immune systems are basically good to go, too.
Maternity Clothes:  No turning back now; I have officially reached the point of no return and am constantly feeling beneath my belly to be sure my top has not risen to reveal my belly's underside... Even my maternity tops are beginning to get shorter!

Sleep:  Actually, it may be just a little bit better?? I think I've figured out my dog's snoring issue. 

So, some background: I've been really hot at night and sleep with the window slightly open and our ceiling fan on low. Much to my surprise, I've learned that my hubby has been cold at night. I had no idea that being hot during the night was only my problem and wasn't shared by him. Oops. 

Well, one night he decided to turn the fan off without my knowledge. Of course I was pretty hot that night, but woke up in the morning to realize that I hadn't spent 3/4 of the night nudging the dog to stop snoring. His snoring was minimal! I then realized that the ceiling fan was off... 

Using my methodology of invesitgative skills, I was able to deduce that the dog slept well on the couch each evening before bed and slept relatively fine with the fan off. THE DANG DOG SNORES WHEN HE'S COLD! So, to rectify this situation, you would think that I sleep sans fan, but noooooooo... I wrap that dog in a blankie and sleep with my window slightly open and fan on low. Humph. I win. 

Movement:  This about sums it up:

Symptoms:  Discomfort. Braxton Hicks. Backache. "Full" leg sensation. Heavy belly. Pressure in the cervix area at times. 

Food Cravings/Aversions: I still haven't had that cake, dammit!

I'm looking forward to: that dang cake!

Belly: 36 weeks!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

35 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Date:  October 8, 2015

How Many Weeks:  35 weeks

Total Weight Gain: 20lbs

Baby Size:  Coconut

What is going on with this baby:

  • Now,the baby's hearing is fully developed, and responds best to high-pitched noises.  Maybe I'll let out my high-pitched scream when this baby is trying to kick it's way out of my belly instead of holding it in... Maybe it'll listen to my cries and feel bad for me and stop?!  LOL!
  • If it's a boy, his testes have probably fully descended.  This is absolutely amazing; I still don't know the baby's sex!!!  Ahhhh!!  So exciting!
Maternity Clothes:  Yes.  I am at the point where I don't have much of anything to wear.  Well, at least that doesn't make me so incredibly uncomfortable at some point during the day.  Can I just wear yoga pants, a tank top and flip-flops everyday?  If only...

Sleep:  Not the greatest right now, but it's not all pregnancy related.  My dog is going through a cycle of constant and annoying snoring behavior.  I'm not sure if I've just been a super light sleeper these days, but his snoring is beyond out of control.  It just amazes me, though.  He can sleep quietly on the couch every evening, but once we head to bed for the night, it's all over. I've been tossing and turning quite a bit, too. 

Movement:  I say this every time, but this baby is strong. And, loves to move. I don't think I've ever seen my belly stretch the way it has been. Although it moves consistently throughout the entire day, the big moves occur in the evening time. 

Symptoms:  Braxton Hicks have surfaced more regularly. My back is hurting quite a bit and my belly feels over-stretched; especially midday/early evening. By the time I get home from work, my body is a mess. Lol! 

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Actually, I'm not really that hungry very often. This could definitely be attributed to not having a stomach anymore (wink, wink)! I'm still wanting cake (chocolate with PB frosting, of course), but I haven't had it in a few weeks. 

I'm looking forward to: Cake. I've gotta get me some cake. And no, I won't bake it. It's totally not the same nor as good if you make it yourself. Just ask my hubby. Ice cream just tastes so much better when he scoops it for me. True story. 

Belly: 35 weeks!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

33 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Date:  September 23, 2015

How Many Weeks:  33 weeks

Total Weight Gain: 20lbs 

Baby Size:  Durian

What is going on with this baby:
  • Baby's eyes are being kept open while awake.
  • Baby is also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing.
  • The bones are hardening.
  • And baby is going through (more) major brain development — that's one smart baby!

Maternity Clothes:  Haha; of course. Are they getting tighter all of a sudden?! The time has come where I am doing regular "is my shirt covering my belly" checks. Even my hubby's t-shirts are not footing the bill these days as lounging wear. 

Sleep:  Eh. Not the greatest, but tolerable. My bladder seems to become full quite easily even when I avoid liquids at least 2 hours before bed as recommended. Lots of tossing and turning, but at least I can get back to sleep relatively quickly. 

Movement:  This prompt just makes me laugh. You wouldn't believe how much this baby moves. Any description I offer does not do it any justice. 

Symptoms:  Achey. My back hurts towards the middle to end of the day and my legs become "full" pretty easily. I can't really say they're swollen because they don't look it, but they feel full and tired when I walk or stand. 

Food Cravings/Aversions:  I don't know why I am in love with cake. Although I've used some great self-control lately and haven't had cake in a couple of weeks, I REALLY want some. 

I'm looking forward to: eating cake. 


The Countdown Begins.......Parents Side

Where has the time gone? I apologize I haven't been as diligent in our blog updates as much this time around. Between moving a few times and new jobs for J and I, time has certainly flown by. J also had major spinal surgery a few months ago and is finally on the mend after a very long recovery. Still not a great excuse for our lack of writing.

We haven't believe it's only a matter of WEEKS before the baby is going to be born. We are so excited and can't believe Charlie is going to have a brother or sister. Yes, we know the gender, but G has not found out this time!

I really hope that we can keep it a surprise from G until delivery day, so far we have done a good job, but I'm sort of afraid to look her directly in the eyes when I see her, in fear that she will find out. She has been such an unbelievable trooper, this has not been the easiest pregnancy. The plan is to have the delivery take place at the same hospital as before. This has been an amazing few years and we couldn't be more grateful. It's hard to write into a blog how much we appreciate and love G.  We look forward to November and pray for safety for both G and the baby. I think Charlie is very excited as well!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

32 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Date:  September 19, 2015

How Many Weeks:  32 weeks

Total Weight Gain: Not quite sure... I'll have to get some numbers at next week's appointment. Stay tuned. 

Baby Size:  Squash

What is going on with this baby:
  • Baby is getting ready for it's descent — baby is likely in the head-down position now.
  • And baby is probably feeling even more cramped.
Maternity Clothes:  There's no turning back now. My pants have been bothersome as they are always falling down. This is partly my fault because I refuse to pull the band up over my belly. And then, when the band falls down, it cuts into the underside of my belly causing some discomfort. 

Sleep:  Not the greatest, but it could totally be worse. I'm tossing and turning quite a bit and needing to get up to use the bathroom. All par for the course at this point. 

Movement:  ALL. THE. TIME. And, it hurts. We had an ultrasound today and the technician was shocked by how much movement there was and the power behind it! Just this morning, I was drying my hair and watching body parts travel around my belly. It looked like a mouse caught under a blanket! 

Symptoms:  I still struggle with shortness of breath, but it's gotten better. My back has started to bother me some, but it's not too bad. By late afternoon, I am done; my body pretty much hurts everywhere. I took the kids shopping after school the other day for just a couple things and we ended up in there for two hours! Clearly, I was walking slow. And, I'm VERY tired. All the time. Bleh.  

Food Cravings/Aversions:  I'm not really craving anything per se, but I still seek out chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Man, that sounds good right now. And, similar to my last couple of pregnancies, I really enjoy chocolate Cheerios. Not sure why?

I'm looking forward to: the home stretch! According to the ultrasound today, baby is measuring 4.5lbs... With 8 weeks to go... Eek. 


Thursday, September 10, 2015

31 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

So, I'm really terrible at these updates this time around... I have every good intention of doing them, but I just cannot seem to find the time these days! Between work, my babies, homework, football, gymnastics and whatever else comes up, I am at a loss. 

Anyway, here's some recent updates within the last few weeks:

I was notified by my lawyer (as I was laying on the beach during my vacation) that I was to "appear" for the pre-birth order hearing tomorrow. I explained to him that I was on vacation and he assured me that I could simply call in. So, the very next day, as I walked around Martha's Vineyard, I kept checking my watch to be sure I did not miss it. If any of you are following since our last journey, you will remember that things did not pan out too well for us in this arena last time around. We were denied a pre-birth order and required to petition for a post-birth order after Charlie was born. Although things ended up working out just fine, it was still a pretty chaotic and stressful predicament. So, I positioned myself on a park bench in Oak Bluffs and prepared for the call. I have to admit, I was a bit anxious and kinda nervous about the possible outcome. The call started and we made introductions. The judge was pleasant and the lawyers (both mine and the one representing K&J) reviewed the purpose of the hearing. The judge pretty much said that it was all made very clear and that we had all of our bases covered and, I quote, that he "just needs to sign the damn thing." And that, folks, was the end to the pre-birth order hearing. We did it!!

The next order of business that surfaced during these last few weeks have been a couple of OB appointments. Let me preface this with the fact that I had just returned from vacation when I had my first appointment. Turns out, I ended up gaining 6lbs in 4 weeks. What?! Lol! In my defense, this baby had a growth spurt, I swear... Or, maybe I had a lot of sweets? Nah. 

At my last OB visit, however, I learned that I lost 1lb in 3 weeks. Hehe! I also learned that baby is breech and has a great heartbeat of 140bpm. It's measuring a week ahead, but is perfect. The doctor wants an ultrasound next week to monitor growth since this is an "artificial reproductive" pregnancy. I think it's just an excuse to see the baby again. I also learned that I need to increase my dose of iron due to my levels being significantly low again. **sigh**

And, here we are; all up-to-date! I think...

As for this baby? Can you say M-O-V-E-R?! And, STRONG! Holy smokes! And I thought Charlie moved a lot. Forget about nightly performances; just touch my belly and this baby will fight you. No lie! Put 'em up. Put 'em up!

Baby belly anyone?

28 Weeks

29 Weeks

31 Weeks