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


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

26 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Holy smokes; time has flown right by!  I am the worst blogger ever.  The time has come to really nail this sibling project down and get back into the swing of how Charlie's updates went!  Here goes!

Date:  August 5, 2015

How Many Weeks:  26 weeks

Total Weight Gain: About 14lbs!

Baby Size:  Lettuce

What is going on with this baby:
  • Baby's eyes are forming, and will soon start to open.
  • The eyelashes are now grown, too.
  • Baby is getting it's immune system ready for life on the outside by soaking up my antibodies.
  • Baby is taking breaths, too. They're of amniotic fluid, not air, but it's still good practice.
Maternity Clothes:  Oh, but of course!  My wardrobe consists of a lot of sundresses, maxi skirts and tank tops these days...  I am not complaining!  I absolutely LOVE this weather!

Sleep:  No complaints here!  Although, I'm still waking up super tired and feeling exhausted during the daytime.  I consistently have my daily "crash" around 2/2:30pm where I literally cannot stop yawning consecutively.  It's really quite a sight to see!

Movement:  There is no denying that this child is directly related to Charlie.  We've got another little mover on our hands!  I am blessed with nightly performances once again, but this time much later than Charlie's.

Symptoms:  Some pretty significant shortness of breath and low blood pressure.  I'm not dizzy anymore, but have episodes of not being able to catch my breath.  Docs think it's related to my low iron and my iron supplement not working as well as they'd hoped.  We shall see what these next few days/weeks present.

Food Cravings/Aversions:  I cannot believe it; I don't want ice cream!  I actually don't feel well after eating it.  I am, however, pretty drawn to cake.  Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.  Delightful.  But, the most demanding craving I have at the moment is a specific panini from a local bakery/deli located just across the street of my work; Wild Oats.  I may or may not go there to purchase one every now and again.   Or, maybe every other day?!  I am just a little bit obsessed with them.  No lie.  The workers know me by name and are already writing down my order when I walk in.

I'm looking forward to:  Relaxing!  We are heading out on vacation next week with my brother and his expecting wife to Cape Cod!  She's due the day before me!  How funny is that??


Before at 23 Weeks!
Today at 26+ Weeks!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

19 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

19 weeks!  Yowza!  Almost halfway there.

Not much has really changed, but at least I'm not nauseous anymore! For crying out loud, all I want to do these days is eat!  (Specifically Japanese food; veggie sushi rolls, seaweed salad, gyoza...)  I'm still having shortness of breath and dizziness, but I'm hopeful those symptoms will subside soon enough!

I haven't had another appointment just yet, but have one scheduled for next week Wednesday. This will be our "big" appointment with our anatomy scan ultrasound where K&J will find out the sex of their baby!  They just cannot wait to learn if it will be a boy or a girl.  I was hoping they could hold out, but dangit, they just can't!  LOL!  So, notice I only said "K&J"...

Given that this will be my very last pregnancy ever, K has decided that I deserve to get the surprise birth I've always wanted, but never could have.  With my own pregnancies, my husband just HAD to know and he wasn't going to be able to make it through the duration of the pregnancy without spilling the beans in some way or another.  K&J and I tried to keep it a secret for Charlie's pregnancy, but the ultrasound technician didn't advise me to look away before he got to "that" area and low and behold there he was right on that screen for the whole world to see.  When I said, "well, there goes that idea..." to the technician, he was surprised that I figured it out that quickly.  I told him that this was not my first rodeo and there was no denying what I had seen.

Anyway, K is determined to prevent me from finding out.  We'll see how this goes!

19 Weeks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

17 week sibling update... Surrogate Side

Well, hello there!  I am just terrible these days with blog posts.  Please forgive me!

So, there's quite a bit to update all of you on since my last post.  I hadn't been feeling great at all; still nauseous much of the day, but no vomiting.  I was having some pretty good headaches and one that really didn't want to go away.  I was always so dizzy.  I would get up and have to stop and hold onto something so I wouldn't fall over.  I would even see stars.  My most frustrating symptom at that point (apart from being woken up in the middle of the night with the feeling of having to puke) was some pretty significant shortness of breath.  I'd barely take a few steps and would feel like I've run a marathon; not that I would know what that feels like because if any of you know me, you know that I don't run unless I'm being chased (wink, wink).

I've also had another appointment with my OB.  The doctor took my blood pressure and had a weird look on her face.  She asked if I was feeling okay.  I shared the symptoms I was having and she told me that my blood pressure was significantly low.  I was also diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. The doctor hopes that taking the iron supplement will help my low blood pressure, too.

Baby is perfect with a heartbeat of 160.  I was told I'm measuring large (ahem, what?!).  But, that may be par for the course at this point.  This is my fourth pregnancy...  Doc wasn't concerned at all and pretty much had the same train of thought as me and added the fact that I do grow some big babes.  She doesn't lie; they do end up being on the larger side... o_O

K&J are still amazing.  They are always so thoughtful.  Just the other day, I came home to a flower delivery at my door.

And I just love the pics of Charlie they send periodically.  He is such a handsome little man! Watch out, ladies!!

And, now onto me...!  Here's my 17 week (measuring a little big) belly pic!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Faith, Hope, and Love.....Parents Side

Three things will last forever--faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  On Mother’s Day, I appreciate all the good things around me. My own mom, sister, mother in law and grandmother and all they given me. I feel so much more than gratitude for what G has done not only for me—but for my entire family. She has taught and showed us the true meaning of all these things. I hope that someday Charlie and his sibling can have a similar compassion for others, learn from G's kind heart, and know that they are always loved.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Let it grow... Surrogate Side

Folks! The time has come where we just let the little HIPster grow on its own!  NO MORE MEDS!  WooHOO!  My body sends its undying thanks!

K met up with me this past Tuesday to attend our nuchal-translucency scan (otherwise known as a sequential screening).  This scan requires specific measurements of the baby's spinal fluid. Baby looked more like a baby this time and not so much like a blob; LOL!  It was nice to see the baby moving all around.  We've got another little jumping bean on our hands!!  It's a running joke about Charlie always being on the move and I constantly kid that I called this when he was in the womb!

Following the ultrasound, I was directed to the lab to have my blood drawn.  I won't even get into that.  Let's just say I don't have much luck and I didn't get the "Lead Lab Attendant" this time around.  Both arms for 1 tiny tube...

Anyway, not only were we able to see the little mover at the ultrasound, but we also had an appointment directly following with my OB.  At that time, Dr. G greeted K and congratulated her on this new journey and joked that she didn't wait long and based that on the fact that I am getting old and reaching "advanced maternal age".  Ha. Ha...  Always a joker that Dr. G!

We talked about the logistics of the duration of the pregnancy and listened to the heartbeat; 169 bpm.  We will be discharged to our other OB (closer to our delivering hospital with a NICU) around 35 weeks.  All of our regular appointments have been scheduled; including the big ultrasound for the anatomy scan!!  That bad boy is June 24th.  K&J have until then to decide if they want to find out the gender or let it be a big surprise at the end!!!  May I suggest... LET IT BE A SURPRISE!  Ha ha!

But, let's be honest.  I think it is very clear that K has her heart set on dresses and bows.

And, since I'm pretty confident (LOL) that this baby is a boy, there is a greater likelihood that it is, in fact, a girl since I have been wrong EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. before.  Could this be the one time I am right??

Image result for mystery gender

As for how things are progressing for me:
  • I still feel like crap, but not as much like crap as before...
  • My porn star boobies have officially returned.
  • I am tired.
  • Sleep and peeing have been good.
  • My belly is beginning to grow, but it's in that awkward stage where it's not obviously a baby belly and could easily be confused with a muffin top.
So, there's that.  Until next time!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First OB appointment... Surrogate Side

Sorry for the lapse in blog posts!  There really hasn't been a good excuse except for the fact that I, quite honestly, have felt like crap these last few weeks.

I had my first "OB" appointment yesterday with my real doctor and not my monitoring clinic.  Everything went really well.  K was unable to attend due to prior commitments, but was available via phone for questions -- thank goodness!  I had to complete some lengthy paperwork that is always a bit confusing when the baby you are carrying is not genetically linked to you...  Most of the information requested was about anomalies that could be inherited genetically.  So, K got a call so I could accurately complete the forms.

When I was called back for my appointment, it was like a crazy train of people congratulating me and wondering if this baby was for the same set of parents.  They were all so excited.  I let them know that this baby is a sibling for Charlie and they got all mushy.

During the appointment, we talked more about the logistics of the pregnancy and how things will play out.  I assured them that everything will remain as it was last time around.  I was also lucky enough to have a pelvic exam to complete the initial pregnancy testing for everything under the sun.

We were able to hear baby's heartbeat!!  At 10 weeks along, the heartbeat was 172; busy little bee in there!  She was only able to find the heartbeat that one time because HIPster is already a mover; just like it's brother was...

After the appointment, I was sent along my merry way to have my lab work drawn.  As most of you know, I don't usually have the greatest luck with getting my blood drawn.  This time around, I had the "Lead Lab Attendant" and, obviously, I had some high hopes.  I got lucky; this guy was good.  During the time he was draining my veins to fill the 7 vials of blood, he asked me if this was my first.  I chuckled and said, "No; this is my fourth."  He looked a little stunned and asked how old they all are.  I shared that my own two children are 4 and 5 years old and Charlie was 15 months.  He then said, since I was pretty much an expert when it came to this that I probably already knew that I also had to leave a urine sample.  I knew, but I also had to just leave a sample about 30 minutes ago for my doctor!  I gave it my best effort.

So, apart from still feeling like shit, things are going really well.  Baby is healthy and growing and we await our next appointment.  We have the nuchal-translucency scan in two weeks!  K will be joining!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ultrasound..IP Side

The time had finally (almost) come. We were counting down the days for the first ultrasound to determine if we saw a heartbeat, if things looked okay so far and if there was 1 baby or 2. The night before I was headed to meet G, J and I both started feeling like we were coming down with the stomach virus that was going around. Much to my dismay I was unable to make the 3-4 hour drive to meet G for the ultrasound as I was just feeling pretty crappy. I was so disappointed but knew that G would update us as soon as she could! As the time grew near we kept staring at my cell phone and like magic this sweet picture phone appeared with the following phrase.
One baby! Heartbeat 130. 7w1day and due 11/10/15.

This was amazing news! We couldn't believe it. G and I agreed it both felt "real." During the course of this cycle, things on my end didn't look great. My response to the medications was poor, my ovarian reserve was worse than before and overall my poorest cycle yet in terms of stimulation response. At one point the nurse even said to me, if things do not improve Dr. B may consider canceling this cycle. I didn't tell G this because I didn't want to worry her, and I kept telling the nurse, I know I can do this, please have Dr. B give me a few more days. So here we are, another miracle. This process really is crazy, only words of advice I can give is to enjoy the ride . I know without a doubt that if wasn't for G we wouldn't have been the proudest parents in the world to Charlie and soon to be parents to the "HIP." We aren't out of the woods yet, around 8 weeks now but staying positive.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ultrasound tomorrow... Surrogate Side

Just a quick post:

EEK!  We have our early ultrasound tomorrow! K will be traveling up here to join!  I am so excited to see what's in there!

Things have been moving right along.  I have begun to have some unpleasant symptoms of early pregnancy; nausea being the most significant.  I am also pretty tired.  Well, actually, it is more like exhausted.

Otherwise, things are good.  Can't complain, really!  We're pregnant!!!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Beta #2... Surrogate Side

Just a quick update...  

Image result for 4 weeksGet this!  I am currently 4 weeks pregnant!! What?!  Yep. According to the due date calculator for IVF pregnancies, I am 4 weeks, 1 day pregnant as of today. And, we are due 11/12/2015. This still hasn't hit me yet.

I went in for my follow-up beta blood test this morning to be sure that my levels are progressing appropriately from our last blood test on Wednesday morning.  According to the Gods of reproduction, beta levels (hCG), should double every 48-72 hours.  

Here's a table that shows average levels by weeks:
  • 3 weeks LMP: 5 – 50 mIU/ml
  • 4 weeks LMP: 5 – 426 mIU/ml
  • 5 weeks LMP: 18 – 7,340 mIU/ml
  • 6 weeks LMP: 1,080 – 56,500 mIU/ml
I am 4 weeks along so my levels should be between 5 - 426.  The nurse just called me a bit ago and revealed our latest number... dun, dun, dun...   431!

A good strong number!  The nurse was pleased that it more than doubled in two days and let me know that we will have an early ultrasound in 2 - 2.5 weeks.  

I was in touch with K and she, too, is super excited!  I think J was excited, too, because I was told that he shared that they were having another baby with the Dunkin' Donuts worker!  Bahahahaha!!!  Love it!

Here's to more waiting!!  o_O

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Beta #1... Surrogate Side

I finished all of my home pregnancy tests; all six of them! I'm a POAS maniac. I love watching the positive line appear.

Each test indicated a progression in the right direction. The last couple of tests showed the indicator line as darker than the control line -- wooHOO! What a great feeling to "watch" this pregnancy progress. Every morning, K received a pic with each additional test progression. 

Our beta blood test was this morning! Although we kinda already knew the results, I was a little bit nervous to hear the actual number... Was it too low? Too high? Were all my pee tests faulty?? 

I am a very impatient person. My lab appointment was at 8am and they told me that the IVF clinic will have my results by 11am. Around noon, I texted K to see if she had heard anything. Nope. At 2pm I got a phone call from the clinic. I picked up the phone thinking, "this is it!" To my surprise, the nurse simply was calling to see if I had even gone to my lab appointment because they hadn't received the results yet. I assured her that I did and she then asked that I follow up with my monitoring clinic and ask them to fax it over. So I did. 

At around 4pm, I received the phone call from the IVF clinic that I had been waiting for all day; the results are in...

A good strong number! A little high for my liking, but still a good strong number. (As a comparison and the reason for my worry, Charlie's first beta, who's pregnancy began as twins, was 151...) But! There's no need to fear things now. 

We. Are. Pregnant! Woot, woot!!!!

Follow-up beta is Friday morning. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

POAS #1 (and #2)... Surrogate Side

After our transfer last Saturday, K and I talked about how long we should wait before testing using a home pregnancy test. The clinic has their standard two week wait time for a scheduled blood test, but that is just waaaayy too long to wait; for me at least. K and I both knew we would try testing at home before our beta on March 4th, but when...?

K is a heck of a lot more reserved than I am and said Sunday, March 1st. I had another date in mind; Friday, February 27th - 6 days past our transfer date. We had a positive that early with Charile, but he was also a twin. I decided to take it day by day and see how I felt as time progressed. 

A day after our transfer, I got ill. Coincidentally, I caught some bug that was going around and had a fever, chills, headache and some pretty intense body aches. I didn't have any nausea (thank God), but didn't feel good at all. I really don't like taking meds (and especially during pregnancy or potential pregnancy), but I had to get my fever under control. I texted K and let her know how I was feeling and she agreed that I had to take something for the fever. I took Tylenol pretty regularly and it helped significantly. 

I stayed home from work on Monday and made the fatal error to keep my daughter home with me instead of bringing her to daycare. Well, I take that back. She was an angel and played perfectly and quietly throughout the day, but the fatal part was that she wanted to be fed. She wanted lunch, dammit. I gathered up all my strength to make her macaroni and cheese for lunch and that was when it hit me. Remember when I said I wasn't nauseated at all? Well, the smell of the pasta cooking sent me over the edge and to hugging the toilet. I never did throw up, but it was bad. Bad enough for me to curl up on the bathroom floor and pray. But! That was the only time I felt that way. I never once had another bout of nausea. 

Hmmm... Pregnancy related or sickness related?? Haha! Probably only sickness related, but totally makes your mind wonder!

Well, the remainder of the week trickled on and Thursday arrived. K had asked how I had been feeling and asked me what my gut feeling was. I told her that I thought I was pregnant. As crazy as it seems, I was yawning all the time (to the point of embarrassment during a meeting) and my sense of smell was considerably heightened. I know, these symptoms could very well be in my head, but I've been around this block a time or two (or three). I could also feel some magic happening down there (wink, wink).

So, I told K that I was going to pee on a stick (POAS) on Friday morning. Eeek!

And so I did:

I had heard if you put your ring on top of the test, your camera would have something to focus on and you could better capture the results of the test. It didn't work as well as I hoped...

Well, I did the test, but didn't think there would be anything worth jumping around for since it was so early. But! A very, very faint line did appear. Can you see it?!

Anyway, I POAS again this morning and this is what we saw:

How about that for a darker line??

I think it's safe to say that we are PREGNANT! Official word will be told on Wednesday, March 4th for the blood test!

Eeeek! It still hasn't sank in...!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ready for Spring!

Can't believe Charlie is almost 14 months old! He is walking and starting to talk more and more. We were so happy G could come down for his first birthday party in January it was so fun to see her.  Fingers crossed for good news next week! As G said we didn't have the best news with the number of eggs that were mature, but we are hoping for good news despite these odds. GROW HIP GROW! G is amazing, her kindness and excitement is never ending and we are counting down the days until we learn more about this transfer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

We have a "HIP", folks... Surrogate Side

Our transfer was Saturday and given my past excursions to the clinic (and being late the last time I went), I was determined to not be late. On any normal day, without traffic, it should take about 2.5 hours to get to the IVF clinic from my house. The last time I made the trek, I gave myself an extra hour to allow for traffic; I was STILL late. This time, I planned for an additional almost two hours. I spoke with K the night before and she was like, "Nooooo! It's the weekend and there won't be as much traffic!" I decided to compromise and leave myself the one extra hour (and would totally blame her if I were to be late - hehe!).

That said, K was right. There wasn't any traffic and I arrived a whole hour early. Lol! Not a big deal; I totally rested in my nice warm car until K arrived and then we made our way inside where we chatted and caught up. I tell you, she is like family to me. Our nurse even asked if we were sisters! 

I did things right this time; I wasn't late (!) and I didn't over fill my bladder. (The things you learn after a few times... wink, wink). 

After we chatted a while, we were called back for the procedure. We were set up at a different station as the past two times and had a new nurse. I told K we have a fresh start. The reproductive endocrinologist (RE) came to talk with us about the embryos and expressed that the two that fertilized are good. One embryo was an average 11-cell while the other was a PERFECT 8-cell that was labeled a "HIP". K and I both looked at each other in question. What the heck was a "HIP"?

According to the RE, a "HIP" is an embryo with "high implant potential". We're like, Oooooh YEAAAAHH! This was such great news! After learning that only 2 of the 8 eggs fertilized, this was a breath of fresh air. 

After our brief consultation about the quality of the embryos, we were brought back to the procedure room where we were joined by, get this, a student nurse who would like to witness the procedure. (Have I not said before that I must have a neon sign on my forehead that reads, pick me! Pick me!!??) 

As I adjust myself on the table and the nurse tries her best to save some of my dignity with a sheet, the entire medical staff (or so it feels like) flock into my room to watch me during the awkward situation. 

Why is it that men get into this field?? The RE was an old man (who is the one who really gets down and dirty during the transfer) and the ultrasound technician (who uses this technology to help guide the catheter to the right spot in my uterus) was also a man. I don't get it.

Anyway, when the embryos were successfully transferred, I got covered back up and could go back to dress and use the restroom. The nurse loved our "lucky" socks!

I made the trip back home with the precious cargo in tow. 

And now onto the dreaded two week wait. Tick tock, tick tock. Our pregnancy test is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4th. Haha, yeah right. There is no way I will be able to wait that long. 

Pee sticks will commence soon!  Ahhh!

Friday, February 20, 2015

K's a ROCKSTAR... Surrogate Side

K's a rockstar.  She had her egg retrieval on Wednesday morning and they were able to get 8 eggs!  She was sent on her merry way with some very important Vicodin and orders to rest.  

As she rested, I awaited a call from the clinic to confirm my next steps for meds (even though I was well aware of what needed to happen, I felt better to hear it directly from my cycle nurse).  I didn't want to be the one to screw anything up!! After waiting a while for them to call me, I called the clinic to request this information.  I left a message a couple of times...  I think my final message got their attention because I got a call back later that afternoon.  

I'm thinking the cause of the delay was that my cycle nurse was either on vacation or out of the office that week since the nurse who called me really had no idea of my next steps.  I pretty much explained to myself my next steps and she just verified.  I was informed that I would continue the estrogen regimen of pills and patches, discontinue the Lupron and begin butt injections; progesterone in oil (PIO).  When the nurse didn't mention anything about the pills (Medrol -- umm, YUCK! -- and doxycycline), I asked if those also began.  She said, "oh yes; start them, too". Good thing I've been around this block a time or two... o_O

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I asked if they happened to know if the transfer was confirmed for Saturday and she told me yes, but they wouldn't have a time yet.  I would find out the time the day before the procedure.  

There is something to say about being a surrogate and having patience...  

I finally got the call for the time of transfer and my excitement suddenly peaked.  It's getting real again!  I immediately log onto Amazon to place an order for pee sticks!

As I was searching for good deals for First Response Early Result home pregnancy tests, I received a text from K.  She notified me of our transfer time (just in case I hadn't heard from the clinic yet) and also shared that out of the 8 eggs that were retrieved, only 2 were fertilized. This was disappointing news for both of us; especially K.  Given the historically not-so-great quality of the eggs, we have chosen to transfer 3 embryos each time to increase our chances that at least one will attach and grow.  Unfortunately, this time around, we don't have a choice of which embryos will be best since we will have to transfer the only 2 that fertilized.  This was heartbreaking for K.  She felt defeated.  But, I made it very clear to her that she is a ROCKSTAR!  There are not many women who could endure all of what she has been through in life.

We. Will. Get. There.  We WILL stay positive!

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