Thursday, July 25, 2013

Never Boring.....Intended Parent Side

As promised in the world of surrogacy and pregnancy this process is never boring. About a week ago on a Saturday afternoon I was doing the boring Saturday morning routine. Laundry, errands and just as I was walking in the house I received a phone call from our carrier. Now, we talk to her all the time but typically it's via email or text message and once in a while on the phone. When the phone rang I saw her name and I had a feeling this wasn't great news. She started out the call very calmly saying: "The baby is fine I heard the heartbeat, but I did have some bleeding."

I could tell she was nervous on the phone and I immediately felt HORRIBLE that she had to make this call to us. When speaking to a pregnant person, no less someone who is carrying your child you have to try to remain calm. The last thing I wanted to do was sound too freaked out, although I'm pretty sure she could tell you I was nervous. She also said that she had gone to the hospital and the doctor wasn't sure what caused the bleeding but they think it was a fluke occurrence since it stopped. I told her I was so sorry this had happened and wanted to make sure she was feeling okay and to keep me update on how she felt the next few days. Right after getting off the phone I paused for a second and debated how I should tell my hubby the news. Over the past few years we have taken turns at hearing news, giving news and relaying news. We often have an unspoken rule that we both try not to freak out at the exact same time. Although that doesn't always work......I lasted about 2 hours (in my defense he was at work for part of day) and then tried to 'casually' mention the news to him. Well, that went over like a lead balloon and his first question was "is she okay, are the doctors worried." I reminded him that we can't do anything other than support her and hope for the best and since the bleeding has since stopped that probably was a good sign that things hopefully were fine, especially since this trouble maker baby had a strong heartbeat.

 Our number one concern is that our carrier felt okay, because we knew from past experience that this isn't actually the most comforting experience. I assured him she was but rightfully so had a rough day. We were so grateful that her friends and her amazing hubby were there to help her out. My next thought was the bleeding was probably caused by the twin pregnancy or the small SCH she had in the past. Also, bleeding is no stranger to IVF pregnancies. A little word of advice, when talking to other friends about pregnancy if it's an IVF pregnancy try not to compare yourself, because IVF often does not follow the same rules and things can go wacky for no reason.  Either way, we were worried but wanted to see how the next few days went. We decided a ultrasound wouldn't hurt and even though the doctor said there isn't much we can do if something was wrong (never the words future parents want to hear, although we know this is true) so we asked for an ultrasound and they scheduled one. Meanwhile, our incredible carrier borrowed from someone a Fetal Doppler and send us this video one afternoon.

We honestly think we probably have the worlds greatest surrogate on the planet. Not many people would have gone out and done this for someone else, not to mention gone the extra mile of taping it and sending it. We aren't using this as medical information, just as a fun way to hear the heartbeat, which was pretty cool. She has since sent us several more and it's always really fun to receive these! She had an appointment scheduled for that Thursday so she went an hour early and the night before she went into the appointment she asked if they knew the sex would we want to know. We didn't hesitate and said YES! She told us she still didn't want to know the sex and would have the medical staff member write down "blue or pink" and put it in an envelope along with any pictures and she would give to her friend when she got home and her friend would email or text us the information. Well that didn't quite work out. She told the tech to let her know when he was starting to go in and look for the goods. Apparently he didn't let her know soon enough and being the smart person that she is she caught a view of something that she didn't want to see. She sent me a text message saying that THANKFULLY everything looked fine on the ultrasound that day and they couldn't find the source of the bleeding early in the week but it was most likely due to the small SCH or past twin sac that never grew past 9-10 weeks. The doctor's appointment also went well and they took some blood to run a few more tests. I received a call from her about 2 hours later and she was laughing since it was somewhat possible that the cat had been let out of the bag, but she promised her friend she could be the one to give the news. She put her very sweet friend on the phone who gave us the happy news that the baby was a..........................
Okay, maybe it wasn't a royal baby update but it's a BOY!!! We couldn't be more thrilled! I was on my way home from work when I received the call and when my hubby got home from work he asked for the big NEWS. I think I SHOCKED him by telling him it was a boy. All along we thought it was a girl (along with our carrier and many of her friends and our family) since the heart rate had continued to be high. We proved again, that this was an old wives' tale. We couldn't be more excited and grateful. We could have cared less what the gender was, but we have to admit, it's fun to know. Now, let's just hope that we have a boring remainder of the summer. Keep the good thoughts and prayers coming our way!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

As promised... Surrogate Side

There is never a doubt in my mind that I was matched with the most perfect couple.  They are always so supportive and caring.  They are so deserving of having a child of their own.  I am so lucky to be able to help them reach that goal.  

When you come home from work and see that you have a package waiting for you on your doorstep, you immediately get excited (especially if you know you haven't ordered anything recently).  When you take that package inside to open it and see that it is chock-full of fun summer activities for your children and a nice comfy set of PJs for yourself, you get tears in your eyes as you watch the excitement on your children's faces as they squeal with delight.  When they ask who it's from and you say K&J and their response is "thank you so much!", your eyes begin to sting while you hold back the tears.  (Okay, maybe the crying part is just me and we can blame it on the pregnancy, but come on... these guys are simply awesome.)

From the most thoughtfully sweet IPs EVER!

Just as I promised, below is a belly pic!  Wowza!  And this is even before I've had lunch.  (I say that because my belly gets even larger with every morsel...)

17.5 weeks!

And take a look at this little cutie...

So precious...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If nothing else... Surrogate Side

Well, it's been another long couple of weeks.  If nothing else, this pregnancy sure does keep us on our toes!

So, I think this baby just doesn't like country music.  I went to see Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert (who really sucked live, but that's a whole other story for a whole other time, wink wink) on Friday, July 12th at Fenway Park in Boston - WooHoo!!  My hubby and I had a really nice time -- ate dinner (quickly, since we were, of course, running late) at a cute Mexican place, Qdoba.  The pulled pork quesadilla is amazing if you're interested and have one near you.  From there, we made our way to the concert where we people watched - a lot - and, oh yeah, listened to music while I bounced in my seat.

It was a long night and I surely played the pregnant card to get out of driving back home; "oh my, that was so much fun.  I am just SOO sleepy now, hunny........"

The next morning, the kiddies were up bright and early and I decided that I would take them out to breakfast since I was already heading out to bring the babysitter home (she's awesome and stayed the night), so I thought I'd surprise them.  We had a nice breakfast and did some shopping before heading home.

And this is where it gets CRAZY!

When I pulled into my driveway, I felt a gush.  A GUSH!?!  I took a look and saw that it was blood - it went through my pants and onto the seat.  I felt like I was about to puke from my nerves.  My children were still in their carseats, so I had to pull it together and remain calm.  The only thing I could do at that moment was text my hubby since he was working that day.  My text to him:  "I'm bleeding".  I stuff some napkins down there (I know, probably TMI, but hey, at this point, if you're reading this blog, you realize that I don't hide much) and get the kids out of the car and set them up with an independent activity. 

While in the bathroom to clean up, I call my husband.  He understood my alarm and wanted to help (I could hear it in his voice), but simply said, "I can't talk right now.  I'll call you back."  With his line of work, that means he's not alone and doesn't want his "company" to hear his private conversation.  I understand the situation and say okay.  I call one of my best friends and explain what just happened and she immediately is on her way to my house.  My husband ends up calling me back shortly thereafter and says he's on his way home.  Both my husband and my best friend show up one right after the other.  I really am a lucky girl.

My friend asks if I have called the doctor and I'm like, "uh, no."  I couldn't think - that never even crossed my mind!  What is wrong with me??  Anyway, I call the doctor's office and the answering service has her call me right back.  I tell the doctor what just happened and she asks the typical questions for someone with bleeding during pregnancy -- did you have sex recently? (no)  do you have any cramping? (no)  have you done any strenuous activities? -- Well, this is where I explain to her that I went to a concert down in Boston the night before (she asks, "The Aldean concert??").  Being her carefree, blunt, funny self, my doctor asks if I was smoking any pot while I was there.  I said, "no, but there was some around me in the air!"  She laughs and says that I'm fine.  (I adore my doctor, I really do.  She lightened the mood and really made me laugh and feel better about the freaky situation.)  She said that she thinks everything is just fine since the bleeding had stopped and said for me to come in to the labor and delivery unit at the hospital to hear the heartbeat for reassurance.

I was so nervous about calling my IPs to share this scary news.  I didn't know how to tell them.  My friend encouraged me to say the following and in this order, "The baby is fine, I just heard the heartbeat!!  But, I did have some bleeding."  She's brilliant.

My bleeding had stopped at that one gush, but I experienced another incident on Tuesday morning when I used the bathroom first thing that morning.  I was not "bleeding", but more of rust-colored discharge when I wiped (and a little in the toilet).  My initial reaction?  "You have got to be kidding me."

K was so incredibly understanding and supportive.  She and her husband ultimately decided that they wanted to schedule an ultrasound to be sure that all was really okay in there. My doctor's office arranged an ultrasound for just before my regularly scheduled OB appointment that upcoming Thursday afternoon.  The nurse sensed my nervousness and said, "why don't you come in and have a listen to the heartbeat?"  I did just that.  I put K on speakerphone so we could all listen to the beautiful sound.

My bleeding subsided completely and I went to my scheduled ultrasound and OB appointment on Thursday.  All went fantastic and I could see the little butterball all snuggled up in there.  (We also got some other exciting news while there, but I will let K share that...)  My appointment with my doctor went well, too.  She doesn't have an explanation for the bleeding, but thinks that it might be due to the twin pregnancy or even the small sub-chorionic hemorrhage that they saw at my very first ultrasound.  Either way, we're good.

I was sent on my merry way to the lab to have my follow-up blood draw for the NT scan.  I wait and wait and wait to be called.  Finally, it's my turn and I walk back with the phlebotomist.  She says, "no worries, just one little tube this time".  I smile and sit down.  Next to me sits a women who must have been newly pregnant because her phlebotomist brings out her 9,000 tubes for her blood draw.  I don't envy her.  My lady says she's gonna start and I hold my breath.  After a few seconds, I look over to my arm and see nothing - the tube is empty!  My girl is digging around my vein and pleading with it (silently) to give her blood.  I look over to the other lady (who started after me!) and she has 2 vials down.  What??  I try to relax and look over at my arm again.  Still nothing.  Okay, I'm about to punch this lady.  I look over to the other lady and 5 vials down.  Wait!  She's done?!  I look at my arm and this lady's got a trickle of blood coming out of my arm.  I've about had it and said, "okay, it's beginning to hurt" and just when she's about to remove the needle, my vein delivers the goods.  YeeHaw. 

So, here we are.  Feeling fine and taking names -- well, at least waiting for the final name reveal from K&J!!!  Woot!

Belly pic to come... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Where'd it go?... Surrogate Side

Okay, here's my most significant "pregnancy brain" post for the time-being...

Long day yesterday.  Hubby had the kiddies for the day and I made sure his day was full of excitement; I had made an appointment for my son to see a Pediatric Pulmonary Specialist (he's okay!) for a simple consultation that afternoon and told my hubby that he'd be riding solo to the appointment with our daughter in tow, too.  I'm so nice.

I attended the consultation via speakerphone (yeah, that was easy with 2 children saying, "hi, momma!" every other second...*insert sarcasm here*).  The doctor was accommodating and allowed this to happen.  Sweet!  We got through the appointment with no harm done and resulting good news (see?, told you he was fine).

My hubs definitely had his hands full as my 3-almost 4-year old was in rare form and legitimately overtired from his "I'm going to play in my room and not go to sleep when Momma tells me to" overload the night before.  Although my 2-year old sleeps just fine (and even asks to go to sleep some nights), she feeds off of her older brother's shenanigans and, together, they become little monsters who have somehow gotten a hold of imaginary caffeine for kids to make them have the MOST energy one has ever seen and who's ears just don't seem to work.  At all.  (wink, wink)

That said, my husband decided that he was going to stop by the mall on the way home to maybe pick up a thing or two.  He later described that episode as disastrous.  (Yeah, us mommies would have known to go directly home by that point, and this mommy probably should have said something when she was told of his plans, but........Eeek! LOL!)

Around 1:30pm, my husband calls me at work and says that he just got called into work for an emergency.  Given his line of work, that simply means I drop everything and take the kids no matter what.  He tells me that he'll be dropping the kids off at my office and heading out.  When he arrives, he tells me that they have been terrible and that they hadn't had naps.  Yay......

Fast forward to after the kids (finally) get put to bed...early.

I sit down on the couch and turn on the television.  I needed some good teen drama or reality TV.  As I sit there, I begin to feel some "tickles" in my belly.  I immediately text K to tell her that I think I'm beginning to feel the baby move.  She's excited and I've made her day.  I google Babycenter's week-to-week synopses and find the 15-week mark.  The baby is the size of an apple.  Wow.  Then, as I sit there, I question my 15-week mark "guess".  I, for the life of me, could not figure out how far along I was.  I had to reverse google how many weeks I was by using our due date! 

That thing tells me I am 16.5 weeks along right now! What?!!?!  Where the heck did that week go?  (I'm losing it.)

16.5 weeks! Already? Geesh.