CLICK HERE FOR FREE BLOG LAYOUTS, LINK BUTTONS AND MORE! »

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas...

Today is Christmas eve - the nicest day of the year for all little good boys and girls!!! Keeping with Danish tradition, we celebrate Christmas at our house today. Accordingly, Santa came overnight to fill the stockings so I have 3 very happy children running around right now!

As it happens I also got a present in the mail today..my "hands free" pump arrived ... so I am promptly testing it out. It is different - but once I get used to it, I am sure it will be great .. for sure it will be nice not being tied to the couch whenever I am pumping.

Baby V is 8 weeks old today and she has begun to smile. M sent a cute picture for me the other day and we will be heading up for a visit on Saturday to drop of milk and to see the cuties. I am excited to see them - babies just change so quickly when they are this little. I cannot wait to see her smile :-)

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My baby feet...

I love my mail lady these days...I have been getting lots of Christmas cards, Saturday I got Christmas goodies from my mom and the wonderful birth announcement from M&M..... then today I got something else very special - woo hoo my "baby feet" necklace is here!!

I wanted to have a something special to remember this amazing journey by and I found the perfect thing. A good friend from St. Louis was having a jewelery party from Avaeli Couture and since I could not go to the party, I went online to check out the jewelery - and Jenifer has lots of cute pieces! She did not have exactly what I wanted on her site, but she made a custom order for me by combining two different pieces to make a perfect necklace for me.

The necklace is a Tiffany toggle with name plates for all the wonderful baby feet I have carried under my heart along with a little pearl and a charm with foot prints on it....it is beautiful.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Birth announcement...

This weekend I got something very special in the mail - M&M's birth announcement. It is so adorable and so cleverly made - just perfect for them. Lots of thoughts and care went into making these...and I feel so honored to be mentioned in the announcement (along with their other surro, egg donor ...and more) ... it truly was a treat to get in the mail and it really touched my heart.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

6 week check-up...

On Thursday I had my 6-week check-up with Dr. E and I am happy to say that I am fully released from my OB and do not have to come back until my regular annual check-up. My tear has healed up very nicely and now that the stitches are all gone, I am feeling mostly back to normal. My weight has dropped to just 1lb over my initial weigh-in at the clinic...this is very exciting and I know that pumping milk for Baby V (and nursing her occasionally) has definitely contributed to my weight loss. I have also continued to eat a really healthy diet with lots of organics...good habits.

I feel really great emotionally as well. Now that the pregnancy hormones are mostly out of my system, I do not feel quite so emotional anymore. M&M and Baby V still occupy a great deal of my thoughts and it makes my day when I hear news from them...this whole experience just makes me very happy.

I have now completed what I set out to do a couple of years ago - I helped create a family.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Those who say "don't cry over spilled milk" - never pumped exclusively...

grrrrr....I knocked over a bottle just as I was about to pour milk into bags to be frozen.....how frustrating to see milk pouring out over the counter and dripping onto the floor!!! That just made me cringe and very unhappy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Visit...


Today M&M brought the twins out for a visit - it was so nice to see them. The babies are so sweet. They are thriving with the love of their parents and look very healthy with wonderful chubby cheeks. M&M also brought some delicious bundt cakes....after eating a few of these, my cheeks will look pretty healthy too :-)

I got to hold and cuddle a bunch with little V .. she looked adorable in her little leopard outfit. I nursed her too while they were here - it is amazing that little babies just know what to do. She ate really well ... and I am sure this will have a great impact on my milk supply for the next few pumping sessions. Baby K was also dressed very handsomely - he is a cute little chunk. I got to hold him briefly too but he was a sleepy one today.

I sent a good batch of milk home with M&M, so they should be stocked for a bit...but only for a bit as with two hungry babies I am sure that it will be gone pretty quickly.

M&M Thank you for a wonderful afternoon - you hold a very special place in my heart!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Excited...

On Tuesday I went back to work and it has been a bit hectic adjusting back to a full time schedule. My kiddos have been a little extra cranky as their schedules have been changing as well. Hopefully we will all adjust back quickly. Since Christmas is approaching this is making life a little extra hectic as well. We are all excited about Christmas and I spent the afternoon decorating inside the house. The lights went up outside last weekend....I love this time of year.

I am so excited about tomorrow ... M&M and the twins will be coming out for a visit. It will be wonderful to spent time with them and to see the sweet babes. Today baby K is 6 weeks old..and Baby V will be six weeks in just 5 days! My six week OB follow-up is coming up this week too - it is hard to believe how quickly time passes by...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Going back to work...

Today was my final day of maternity leave. The last 33 days have passed by so quickly ... time flies and in an instant little babies get big. My "biggest" baby is 10 now and growing so independent...it is hard to believe that 10 years have gone by with Magnus in our lives ... sometimes I wish I could stop time for just a bit and linger in the moment.

My last day at home started out great ... I received an email with new pictures of Baby V. She looks so wide-eyed and alert.....cute as can be. M&M and the babies are planning to come out for a visit next weekend - it will be wonderful to see them and I am really looking forward to the visit.

Tomorrow the challenge of pumping will be increased a bit by going back to work. Luckily my milk supply is good and I consistently pump over 40 ounces of milk per day. For now my output is keeping up with Baby V's intake - hopefully it will stay at the same level even though my pumping schedule will change a little bit. I have had a clogged milk duct the last couple of days but it finally resolved this evening...my boob is feeling so much better...glad that is not an issue to have to deal with tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for baby feet...

I feel so thankful for the four sets of little baby feet that I have brought into this world. Each set of feet has expanded my world in more ways that I could ever have imagined. My own children has brought so much love and joy into my life and my surro babe has equally filled my heart with joy.

My children are healthy and happy ...well maybe this is questionable.. especially as my youngest is currently throwing a gigantic fit as he did not get the last blueberry pancake as of course he rightfully should have ..especially when he clearly did not want it to begin with!! ...oohh the tears, Sebastian's world is just not right this morning. I feel so blessed being able to watch them learn and grow every day.

Baby V is 4 weeks old and cute as can be. I stopped by for a quick visit and a milk drop earlier this week as we headed to OMSI for a fun day with the kids. She and her brother were sleeping like two little peas in the pod. Thinking about V, makes me very thankful for a wonderful and healthy pregnancy...what an amazing experience it was to grow and love on this special little girl. It feels so wonderful knowing that because of something I did, another family have their long wished for little miracle to share this holiday season with.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

3 weeks ...

Today Baby V is 3 weeks old ... which means that in just about a week I will be returning to work. I have enjoyed being home with my children so much that I am not thrilled about going back to work - especially since we are going into December with all the fun of the holidays and Christmas fun. I do like my job and all the challenges that it presents but it is so much more fun to be at home and be able to engage in the children's school and all the activities they like to do.
For now, I will enjoy my last days at home and take advantage of a few more mid-morning naps!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Visit...

I dropped off milk for Baby girl and her brother on Friday. It was really nice to just sit around and watch and hold the babies for a while. Baby V was sleeping in my arms .. and K was sleeping in his bassinet - they are so sweet!

While I was there, both the twins got their first real bath in a nifty new bath tub thingie ... it is like a bucket so the baby can sit up right and be relatively covered with water instead of laying stretched out with only their booty covered. While it did not sound like they enjoyed their first experience in there - I am sure that before long they will both love their baths. After bathing both of them had a good appetite. I got to feed K his bottle while V got her bath - and then I nursed V for her afternoon feeding. Wowsa her little gums are strong!!! It is pretty incredible how my body responded to her nursing - my first 3 pumping session were really high volume after that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two weeks old today...


Today Baby V is two weeks old. Her parents have been so wonderful in sending pictures and updates for her.

She looks great and has now passed her birth weight....she is growing well on breast milk...yeah! Grow baby grow.

I feel good ... my body still has some healing to do but in general I think everything is going well. Pumping milk for the sweetie is helping me heal; my tummy has shrunk quite a bit and I am down about 20 lbs from the day of delivery.

Pictures...

Welcome to the world Baby V....Big congratulations to the happy parents!!




I love this picture...everyone looking at sweet baby V. Lots of wishing, planning, and hoping coming to life with the birth of a very special little girl!

Pumpkin...


Here is the "big pumpkin" from the evening before delivery. Baby V seemed very content and we had a great time getting the pumpkins ready for carving with the kids.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reflections...

It is a bit strange to think of this amazing journey as nearly over for me but truly just beginning for M&M. This journey has been such a big part of my life for a long time and to be winding it down is both joyous and a little sad at the same time.

M&M and Baby V (and her brother) will always hold a very special place in my heart and I trust that I will always have a special place in their hearts as well. For now, I treasure the emails and pictures that I get and hope that the future will bring more chances to see the babies especially while I am pumping milk for them. I know that as time go on, M&M will move forward to new stages of parenthood - lots of exciting experiences are ahead of them as a family. I wish for them all a lifetime of love, joy and happiness together.

I, like them, will move on to new and exciting experiences. Over the last many months there has been a dual focus in my life - surrogacy and my own family. Although, I plan and hope to continue pumping milk for the babies for a good long time, my main focal point will begin to shift back to our family life and the raising of the three wonderful children that Rio and I have.

I feel so proud of what we have accomplished together...bringing Baby V into this world has been the definition of a group effort both before conception, during my pregnancy, and after her birth. Children can never have too much love. Over the course of the last few years (more than that for M&M!), many people have been a part of bringing these two special babies into the world for M&M to love - including M&M, their egg donor, the second surrogate, a host of medical staff, my children and husband, as well as love and care from many people who interact in our daily lives....and even though this special family may not be part of my daily life, I will carry them in my heart every day for the rest of my life...

I hope that even though life will bring many changes, we will continue to stay in touch. To receive an occasional phone calls, emails and picture updates of this beautiful family that I helped create will always be very dear to me. However, regardless of what the future holds...this journey has given me so much more than I ever expected. I went into surrogacy because I wanted to help a couple achieve their dream of a family. My children are the joy in my life and I wanted to give something special of myself to help create that dream for someone else. Little did I realize how much I would get in return. M&M came into my life and can truly say that they are amazing people - so thoughtful, kind and giving.

During this experience many beautiful moments have blessed my life in so many ways. The hope for a successful IVF transfer, the excitement of a positive beta and pregnancy test, the joy of feeling Baby V move for the first time - the feel of M&M hands on my belly as Baby V moved around and kicked back. Her amazing birthday - I could go on..

In the midst of all the excitement, my father's passing during this pregnancy was very difficult for me. However, the joy of carrying new life in my womb was a special reassurance that life always have new beginnings even when some doors close unexpectedly. This experience have taught me about humanity, about hope and loss but also about love and joy. Although I have always thought of myself as a very giving person, this has taught me about what it means to truly give of one self and how that spurs a return beyond measure.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Visit...

On Saturday we went to visit M&M and the twins ... oh what sweetness to see the babes snuggled up next to one another sleeping in the bassinet. K&V are so cute together. They have the loveliest chubby cheeks and the sweetest facial expressions as they laid there sleeping. I remember watching my own babies with amazement when they were that little - it is truly amazing that the human body can grow these perfect little individuals.

I dropped off my first box of milk for the babies too - pumping has gone really well. M&M should have a good milk supply for a few days now:-)

While there I got to hold and love some on Baby V. I got to nurse her as well - it was such a sweet moment to just sit there with her and watch her eat until she was content...at first she did fiddle around for a bit but once she got a taste of milk she seemed to do just fine in knowing how to nurse instead of eating from a bottle. Thank you M&M for allowing me to feed her - your baby is wonderful!

M&M gave Magnus, Olivia & Sebastian a present from them as thanks for letting me help them grow Baby V. Thank you so much!! They were all very delighted! I am so blessed with three wonderful children - they have been so good and very accepting of this journey. We have spent lots of time talking about why Mommy decided to help M&M and although those concepts can be hard for children to understand...they all understand that helping is good and can be very special. They are all curios about the baby and really enjoyed visiting and seeing both the twins. I hope that they have learned something really important during this journey...that amazing things can be achieved when you give something of your self to help others.

M&M have also given me a wonderful birth present - I thank you both from the bottom of my heart. You will always be very very special to me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baby V is 1 week today...

At this time last week, I was in the hospital talking to M&M and Rio - we were all excitedly anticipating Baby V's birth. I was almost ready to push and everyone was very excited...it was great day!

HAPPY 1-week BIRTHDAY Baby V...

I feel great and very happy today. My healing is going well and I am down about 13 lbs from before delivery. That means about 10 more to go .... and maybe just a few more that than to reach my goal of 130! I am in no rush to loose the weight though and I know my body will hold on to part of this as I am pumping milk for the sweet babe.

I got on our Wii Fit today ... well my character is no longer plumb and my BMI is back in the normal range...however, I am apparently still not very coordinated!!! Oh well as I slowly ease back into exercising, I forsee lots of balance training and walking....woohoo..hoping too that my ab muscles will soon meet back in the middle so I can tackle my jiggly belly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Got Milk???

Today is day 3 at home and 3rd full day of pumping. I think it is going well and so far I have managed to freeze down over 36 ounces of colostrum and milk for Baby V. and her brother

It is time consuming to pump and getting my supply established but it is worth all the time and effort. In my opinion breast milk is best for babies. Thankfully it is going and I feel like I am getting a good start. Hopefully my body will continue to increase supply so I can keep Baby V's cheeks as wonderfully chubby as they were at birth!!!

Tears...

My body is a jumbled mess of hormones. These first postpartum days makes me feel very vulnerable and lots of thoughts and feelings are racing through my mind and body.. I continue to feel really really good about this surrogacy journey. I am so happy about what I have done for M&M and it makes me very proud to have helped create their family. I feel elated when I think about all the wonderful experiences they have ahead of them as a family and I know in my heart that M&M will truly treasure their beautiful and amazing little girl along with her brother.

Feeling great about what I have done does not always stop my tears. I knew all along that at some point my emotions would catch up with me and all I can do is to let my tears flow. My tears are not of those of sadness or longing for a baby...but I think of them more as a reflection of the joy in my heart. Baby V grew in my womb for many months and she will always own a piece of my heart. I cherished her kicks and movements every day during my pregnancy and I loved feeling her inside of me. Now that she has arrived to join her wonderful family, I will always treasure the memories of my time with her in my belly as well as the time I spent with her at the hospital.

I thank M&M from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to spend so much time with Baby V while we stayed in the hospital. Nursing her was my special "welcome" gift to her. I believe that breast milk is the best start possible in this world and I am so fortunate that M&M feel this way too. I hope that I can continue to pump milk for her for a long time to come...and keep those sweet chubby checks looking wonderful.

Spending time alone with her, holding her, watching all her funny movements and sweet facial expressions, having her sleep on my chest, taking in her sweet smell, and caring for her allowed me to say goodbye to this special little person who has been such a big part of my life for the last many months. My hope is that I will get many updates on her life in the years to come, not just for me but also for my children who have been such a big part of growing this special little person.

I wish only the best for this new family. I hope that having children will bring so much love and joy into M&M's lives. There is nothing better in this world than experiencing life through the eyes of your children.

Going home...

During the hospital stay, M&M took such good care of me - they brought me delicious treats every day and a lovely dinner...yummy!! Best of all, I got to spend a lot of time with Baby V - that was so special to me. I nursed her until were were released on Saturday. She is such a good little eater and she helped me get a good start on my recovery. She will always own a place in my heart and I am just so grateful for the time I spent with both her and with M&M during our hospital stay. I was wonderful just having time to sit and talk about many things but also this wonderful journey.

Magnus, Olivia and Sebastian came to visit me on Thursday evening ... it is always amazing to me how much bigger them seem after holding a new born - especially Sebastian. M&M brought in Baby V for them to see - I am so glad they did. They have been such a big part of this pregnancy and have been so good and understanding and happy about helping M&M to have a baby of their own. I am so proud of them.

The nurses and staff at the hospital were great. They were all so excited about this surrogacy and were wonderful supportive of our wishes the entire stay. M&M got to stay at the hospital as well and it was great having them right next door. Dr. E came to check up on me on Friday morning. We had a nice visit. She is so sweet and has been an amazing doctor to have. I truly am so glad that she was the one to deliver Baby V. Thank You!

Saturday morning came around very quickly. The nurses had brought Baby V to me about 4 AM for her feeding. After I feed her, I just sat with her and looked at her - her sweet chubby cheeks and little fingers and toes. She slept on my chest and I kissed her little head - M&M you have such a sweet little girl to love and cherish. Around 7:30 AM I changed her and feed again. I put lotion on her little skin cracks on her legs and wrists and just held her close for a little while. Then I wrapped her up and brought her back to M&M's room around 9 AM.

Afterwards I took a shower and began getting ready to leave the hospital. As I was in the shower my tears were flowing - what an emotional and amazing journey this has been. These tears were filled with so many hopes for this sweet little girl who will now go home with some very very special people who I know without a doubt will love, cherish and care for her. I got to nurse V one more time as she laid wrapped in only her going home blanket - I cherished holding this sweet little bundle as she ate up til she was content. Then M (IM) dressed her in her going home outfit and the nurses took her off for pictures. Both M&M went to pack their things and I was getting my stuff ready and called Rio to come and get me.

I got to help M (IF) put Baby V in her car seat and she sat there just snoozing and snug as a bug. Before I left, M&M gave me the sweetest present ever....a violet. And a paper violet and a little birds nest - thanking me for their little "hatching Violet" - it truly touched my heart. The violet is on my night stand and I look at it often. Rio then came to get me along with Magnus, Olivia and Sebastian - I went home with my three incredible wonderful children...and M&M went home with their sweet baby girl - life is good!

This surrogacy journey has blessed me in so many ways. What a treasure it has been to help create a new family and to see the joy in their eyes....I will never forget how good this made me feel.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baby V...

Happy Happy Birthday Baby V - born on Thursday October 29 at 1:47 PM!!! Welcome to the world sweet girl

Wednesday night after my OB appointment I was having a few contractions but nothing usual. As the evening went along, I did have more discharge. I figured that I was loosing my plug especially given the fact that I had my cervix checked in the afternoon and I was dilated to about 5 cm. We enjoyed our evening and got pumpkins ready for carving with the kids - we took a cute couple of "pumpkin pictures" of my belly and as it turns out - these were the last pictures to be taken of my belly....so really nothing unusual happened that evening....well that is until about 2 -3 AM

I woke up and could not go back to sleep. My contractions were not consistent but definitely getting stronger. By 4 AM, I could not longer stay in bed. I got up and took a shower and sent out a text message to M&M. Rio got up too and we started timing my contractions. At this time they were about 5 minutes apart and were clearly getting stronger. I went downstairs to get some toast and a banana - I am always starving in the mornings and I needed just a bit of food in my stomach. Next I called the hospital to get their thoughts on coming in. Since my water was still intact, they thought I could wait a bit longer... however, as I gave the phone to my hubby (while having a contraction) he pointed out to them that this was baby #4 for me, and they said that "right away" was probably a good time to come in. I called and left messages for M&M and then I called a friend who came to watch our children and off we went to the hospital.

The drive to the hospital is not that far and we got there quick - I think I counted at least 5 or 6 contractions during the short drive. I am very glad that we had called ahead - the maternity unit was very busy and our call ahead had allowed the nurses to pull out our legal information and get prepared. Upon arrival, I was checked into the triage room for observation. My weight upon check-in was 158 lbs...I got changed into a gown and was very quickly put on the monitors. My nurse checked me and I was about 7 cm dilated and having very regular contractions. I asked for an epidural in hopes of getting some pain relief but also slowing down labor just a bit as M&M was not yet at the hospital. The anesthesiologist R did a great job putting in the epi - it thnakfully went very smooth. The OB on call checked my cervix once the epi was in - the timew as about 7:20 AM and I was dilated to about 9 cm. He then broke my water - clear fluids and baby V was a station 0 - so very good progress. M&M called to say that they were on their way....yeah I was praying that they would arrive in time for Baby V to be born.

At about 7:30 AM the nurse mid-wife came in to say hello. She was on call for deliveries that day along with my regular OB. I was so happy that Dr. E was on call - it seems so right that she was there to deliver Baby V as she was the one who initially approved me to be a surrogate and she was the one I have seen for most appointments throughout my pregnancy.

The epi slowed my labor down a bit and I stayed dilated to 9 cm for quite some time. This was great as it allowed M&M plenty of time to the hospital. The arrived at about 10:30 AM and we enjoyed some time just sitting around talking and getting some breakfast ... well not me but the rest of them!!! At about 11:45 AM, Dr. E came over from the clinic and I was ready to push. Baby K was at station +1 when I started but I did not seem to make much progress. I asked Dr. E if she wanted to revise her size guesstimate....lol...After about 20 minutes, she still had not moved down in the birth canal and although I had some feeling I asked to have the epi was turned off so I could get more feeling and be better direct my pushing. We all thought that this was going to be an easy birth especially since this is baby #4 for me. However, it turned out to be pretty difficult. Baby V presented acyclitic (meaning her head was tilted and she was coming out at an angle kind of with the side of the head & shoulder at the same time) this made her journey through the birth canal difficult. Dr. E and Melanie was watching her and could see her wiggle back and forth in there. This is also the first time I remember the baby being very active in the womb in between contractions. I could feel her kicking my belly a lot - she sure is going to be a lively little girl. I had a really hard time pushing her out - the anesthesiologist came into help push down on my belly to help her along. Finally her head was out but ouch....we ran into a bit of an issue with the shoulder getting stuck under my pubic bone...ouch!! Shoulder dystocia can cause issues for the baby but luckily Dr. E did an amazing job of getting her out. It felt like forever but it was only about 40 seconds that she was stuck - but without an pain relief at this time, I just went into my own little world and focused on pushing her out. Finally after about 2 hours of pushing - Baby V was born at 1:47 PM....yeah After she was out, Dr. E quickly clamped and cut the cord to hand of the baby to the nurse - I got a quick look at her and she looked so sweet and very big to me! She was quickly moved to the baby warmer to get suctioned right away and make sure that she was ok given the difficulty of the birth. Baby V was wonderful and she cried before she made it to the baby varmer....hearing her little voice was the sweetest sound ever. Seeing M&M looking at their little girl for the first time was incredible and seeing the joy in their faces will be a memory chiseled in my heart forever.

Rio was a great comfort and he stayed right by my side for the whole thing - I am so thankful that he was there. I could see him mentally taking notes of everything that was happening .. always learning - I think he will be a great PA once he gets done with school!! Melanie watched the entire delivery - her amazement was apparent and I remember hearing her voice and some commentary. At one point I reached down and felt Baby V's little head - it just melted my heart. Through out the delivery I know everyone was talking but I cannot remember very much of what was said. I was in my own little zone listening to Dr. E's directions and the encouragement of everyone. Michael stood behind my head and I could feel his presence and excitement. At one point he did look down to get a peak at V as she was coming into the world...yeah.

As for size....well as my OB delicately put it - "you can never know"!!! Baby V weighed in at 9 lbs 6.3 oz....what a pumpkin!! She is sweet as can be and has the most wonderful chubby checks. I could hear her cries and M&M loving on her. Her APGAR score was a 9 for 5 minutes past birth so that was great. The placenta was delivered rather quickly and then Dr. E had a lot of repair work to do.....I got another does of medication through the epi catheter and then the stitching went on for some time - Rio said he gave up counting the number of sticthes...!!! The birth was difficult but what an amazing experience. I am just so thankful that baby girl is healthy and here!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

39 Weeks & 1 day...

I had my weekly OB visit today with Dr. E. M (IF) came out for the appointment and Olivia came along as well.

I have been a little apprehensive the last couple of days as the news of Baby K has settled in. He looks adorable and is a big boy. Hi size had me worried a bit about the potential size of Baby V...but Dr. E managed to alleviate some of those fears for me today.

The appointment went well. My weight is about the same as last week....and now I know I am eating (...and eating a lot) but it must not be sticking .. which really ... I am pretty ok with that! My blood pressure is good 110/68 - down a bit from the previous two weeks this is good.

My belly measured 37 weeks today - Olivia got to help out with the measuring as well as finding the heartbeat - she was very excited....and very sassy all afternoon!!! but that is a different story.

M, Dr. E and I discussed the size of Baby K and potential size of the baby V. Dr. E does not think that I am carrying a 9 lb baby .. unless I am hiding it very well. I think that I all belly and I can feel her in there - but I have no clue as to how big she may be. I did ask, but Dr. E did not want to venture a guess on size - the scale is the only one to tell. She checked my cervix and I am dilated to about 4-5cm. This is a lot of progress from last week of being at 2 cm. I am excited about it - this means my body is definitely getting ready for Baby V's arrival!!! Yeah for birthdays!

Dr. E swept my membranes a bit and I have noticed more color in my discharge since leaving the clinic. However, I have had quite a bit of discharge over the last couple of weeks and I am sure I have been slowly loosing my plug as I have been dilating. Still no significant contractions other than a few here and there which has been the same for the last couple of weeks as well. I hope that I can get a good night sleep and maybe that tomorrow will be the big day.

I have had my membranes swept with all my kiddos in the past and it never seemed to make a difference in bringing on labor any sooner. However, I have never been dilated this far without being in active labor....so this is new to me and quite interesting. With all of my three previous births, the sack of water was broken when I was between 3 and 4 cm dilated, and although I was having pretty regular contractions with all of them, I never really felt the contractions until the bag of water was broken. This makes me a bit curios to know if I really am having regular contractions at this point and I just do not feel them because of the water cushion. Speculation speculation....the human body is a miraculous organ.

I just pray and hope that things will progress well and that M&M will make it to the coast in time for Baby V's delivery when the time is here. How wonderful to think about that very soon they will have their little princess to hold along with Baby K.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baby news....welcome Baby K...

Saturday morning I woke up with a sore back and I thought ... hmm maybe today will be the day....well that idea was blown away really quickly. Shortly after arriving at the soccer field with Olivia for an 8:00 AM game, I got a text message from M telling me that they were at the hospital with M (their other surrogate) and for Baby V not to get any ideas!!! Woohoo baby day!!!

Baby K was born early afternoon ... I rubbed my belly and told Baby V that her big brother had arrived and that she needs so stay put for a bit so M&M can take in the wonder of her sweet brother. I have seen pictures and Baby K is sweet as can be. He is big too!!! 9Lbs 7oz....ohhh I pray that Baby V is a bit smaller than her brother!!!

M&M looks so incredible happy - I can only imagine the elation they must feel after waiting and praying so long to have a baby of their own. Children are so amazing - true miracles... and how wonderful it is to be part of creating M&M's miracle. They have been blessed with a sweet baby boy and will be doubly blessed when Baby V arrives to join her brother.

Doctor's visit...

On Thursday I went in for my weekly check-up. Before heading to the clinic, I met M at the hospital and we went to see the OB Manager there to make sure that they have all the paper work they need. Everything seems to be in order which is very good to know. The manager show us around briefly and we talked about the visiting policies in place with all the flu and swine flu worries around. It seems that it will be ok for the kiddos to come visit me as long as they are all healthy....this is good as Olivia was a little worried that she would not be able to come and see me.

After our brief visit at the hospital, we headed over to the clinic for my check-up. We were scheduled to see Dr. H which is the last doc for me to see. The clinic have 3 OB's and one midwife and whoever is on call will do the delivery....it would be nice to have meet them all before they may show up in the delivery room!!! Well ...Dr. H's was not there and we got to see the midwife instead. P's is a treat..very funny women ... but boy was she running late that day! She is very chatty and takes her time with her patients. This is great....just not when you are running 1 1/2 behind because of it!! Anyway the check-up was good. I have gained 1 lb and all looks good and well. Baby V's heartbeat was good .... that sound is so precious - I know we will not have many more opportunities to hear that! I had a quick cervix check - still at 2cm 50% effaced so no change there. Guess this little girl wants to keep baking for a bit longer.

As always it was great to see M...very enjoyable conversation as we were waiting for our appointment to begin. Before going to the hospital, I stopped at a great little store in Astoria where I had see the coolest stuffed animals made from recycled plastic bottles. I purchased a bunny and a puppy for the bassinets so they are not so empty while M&M wait for the bundles of joy to arrive. As it turns out....the wait was very short!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

38 weeks today...

We are almost at the end...I keep wondering when baby V will decide to join us. I continue to have contractions on and off but she is clearly not ready to come out yet...so for now we wait!

Sebastian asked this morning if Baby V was coming today. I told him that I did not know and that baby V will come when she is ready - he looked at me and said "no mom, she is not coming today - your belly is still big and fat"!!! What a charmer...maybe I should start asking him for a daily birthing forecast!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hospital paperwork...

Yesterday I received the legal correspondence in the mail that was also sent to the hospital...I am so glad they now have all the information. I tried to call the OB manager but she has yet to return my call. I would like to talk to her about logistics and how they normally handle these type of situations.

I continue to have small contractions on and off and I am really starting to anticipate the upcoming birth of baby V....it is kind of surreal that she is now almost here.

M&M have their bassinets ready and waiting - I am sure that they cannot wait to fill them up with their little bundles of joy. I am so excited for them.

Emotionally I feel really really good about this journey - this has been such an incredible experience up to this point and now that we are close to the end, I just pray for a smooth delivery and a quick recovery.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contractions and 37 week visit...

On Tuesday this week we are 37 weeks along...wohoo!! M&M are both very happy that we made this milestone...early full term and baby V seems happy and healthy where she is.

On Wednesday I had an all day staff meeting in Astoria - the meeting went well...but the chairs sucked to sit on!! During the day I had a few contractions but they really picked up overnight - I was having them pretty consistently but they were not painful so I chucked it up to Braxton Hicks and a preview of what is to come!! Today we continued our meeting and my contractions continued as well. Some of them were pretty strong and definitely made me take notice. Pretty exciting although we all hope that Baby V will stay put for a bit longer.

I had my doctor's appointment this afternoon and M (IM) came along as well. This was the first time she met Dr. E - but she was fabulous as usual and she even made sure that M got her swineflu shot done...yeah! The appointment went really well. My weight have been consistent over the last 3 visits - I am happy with that. I feel that I am all belly and the 20+ lbs are primarily sitting on my stomach. My blood pressure was a little high for me 118/low sixties .. I think it was because I was still having some contractions. Dr. E did a cervix check and I am now dilated to 2 cm and effaced 50% - things are progressing!

After the appointment I had to rush off to school for a parent teacher conference as well as get the teacher dinner from the PTA group ready for the school personnel. Conferences went well - both Magnus and Olivia are doing well in school - always room for improvement but I am happy with where they are at.

My contractions have slowed down now as I am sitting here relaxing...This is good news as I have lots to get done at work tomorrow...but I gotta say that I am getting very excited to see when Baby girl decides to join us.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Starting to drop...

I noticed today that my belly has dropped just a bit - Rio noticed too! Baby V is still laying very high - but not quite in my ribs anymore. This makes it a bit easier to breathe but makes me go to the bathroom even more than before if that is possible. Along with this, I am starting to feel much more pressure on my pelvic area especially when I get up from sitting for a while.

Friday, October 9, 2009

36 week check-up...

This week we saw Dr. L - and I did not care for him very much. Neither did M (IM)....I hope he will not be the one to deliver Baby V!!

Anyway the check-up went ok. I am up 1 lb from last visit 2 weeks ago - so slow and steady weight gain. My blood pressure reading was off 130 over 65 - which is way to high for me. Normally my systolic number is between 100 and 110, so 130 would be a bit concerning to me. Funny the doctor did not even mention it! However, I had Rio re-check it later in the evening and it was 105/62 ..much better and in the range I am normally in.

Dr. L did the strep-B test and a cervix check. We should have results from the strep test by next visit. My cervix is still fully closed but "soft" .. whatever that means. I think Baby V is good and comfortable where she is currently hanging out and will stay put for a bit longer.

M&M stayed for dinner after our appointment - it was very nice. Ms. T had made roasted chicken, potatoes, brusselsprouts and salad...yummy! Olivia ate almost all the brussel sprouts. The dinner madness at our house is most definitely very different that the quietness at M&M's ... but soon they will know just how crazy life gets when you add a couple of kids to the mix.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4th...

November 3rd is the official due date...which means that since today is October 4th, we are within the 30 day window of Baby V's arrival. The day is coming closer really quickly now .... M&M are baby shopping this weekend and I hope they have lots of fun!

We went to the zoo today and we just had a really nice day. Although I gotta say - if you visit the Portland zoo .. skip the train ride - it is not worth the $3.50!! All you see is junk and if you are lucky maybe an animal or two...lesson learned! The St. Louis zoo is so much better!!! .. yes there are some things to miss about St. Louis!

After the zoo we went to Target to do a bit of Halloween shopping. We wanted to make sure that we have everything ready just in case Baby V decides to before Halloween! Olivia was a bit concerned that she would not be able to trick or treat if that was the case..but I reassured her that Daddy would take her... even if I could not walk around and display the beautiful pumpkin I am currently growing straight out in front. My belly is quite round and my shirts are getting pretty tight..so there are only a few shirts that I really like to wear anymore. I bought a few long sleeved t's at Target to mix it up a bit.. still by the time I get through this last month, everyone is gonna be happy that I will be out of my maternity wardrobe.

On Wednesday I go in for my 36 week check-up and from here on out I will now go for weekly ob visits. I know they are going to do the strep B screening test - pretty sure they will do a cervix check as well, so it will be exciting to see if anything is happening in that department. With all 3 of my own, I started dilating around this time - for each of them I know that I was about 1 cm when my ob did a cervix check at my 36 week appointment.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sore ribs...

Baby V's little feet are constantly in my ribs these days - woo girlie ...you are making me sore. I have given up on wearing most of my under wire bras as they just get too uncomfortable by the end of the day. Right now, I can feel little feet flutter on the top right side of my belly...but thankfully not in my ribs!

Rio was checking baby's position this evening and she is definitely head down. She is getting quite low and when I get up from sitting for a while, I can feel a lot of pressure on my bladder ... translation = I need to pee almost every time it get up.

I continue to have lots of thoughts about the delivery and I am really happy to know that the declaratory judgment is now done and signed. This means that M&M will have all the legal rights to this sweet baby girl once she arrives. The paperwork will be sent to the hospital so that everyone there will know what to expect as well. Yeah - one more thing checked off the To-Do list.

M&M are also both headed back to this area of the country - it is very comforting to know that they will be close by again...just in case Baby V decides to make an early arrival. However, I doubt that will be the case as she seems very content where she is for now. I am still carrying very high, but I can tell that my body is getting ready for the big day. I am starting to have more braxton hicks contractions - some which take my breath away for a moment. I just passed the 35 week mark so although we are in the home stretch now, hopefully Baby V will stay put for quite a bit longer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

34 weeks and 1 day..

Today I went to see Dr. E for my 34 week check-up. I have gained 1 1/2 lbs in the past two weeks, my belly is measuring 34 cm, and my blood pressure was....ahh I forgot - I think 106/62. No swelling and baby V's heart rate was good ... I love the sound of the heart beat. I had a little glucose in my urine again today - but nothing to worry about....must be all that yummy yummy cake I ate for my birthday yesterday :-) Dr. E is really happy with my progress and so am I.

I also got the flu shot today. Normally I choose not to get it as it always seems that when I get it then I am sick and when I do not get it, I get through flu season just fine! Anyway I got it today as it is highly recommend for pregnant women to get it. I will hopefully protect me and Baby V will benefit as well. I will be getting a second flu shoot once the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is available.

I always call M&M after my appointments - as always it was nice to catch-up and let them know how I am doing. M (IM) has been a bit under the weather for the last week....I hope you feel better soon! I am very excited that she will be returning from the NY soon - I can't wait for her to get to feel Baby V move again. Although her movements are slowing down a bit, she continues to be very active. I think is it so amazing to feel parts of her body through my skin....I call feel the hardness of her bones and often a foot or hand. Olivia told me today that my belly looked really big...and that she did not think it will get any bigger! It is pretty round I will give her that ... and some of my maternity tops will no longer cover my entire belly - yikes!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Legal paperwork...

We received the last round of legal paperwork from our attorney today. This paper work is for the Declaratory Judgment for M&M to be named the legal parents of baby V.
I am so excited for this to be done and hopefully everything will go very smoothly with getting it filed with the courts and signed by a judge.

I will initially go on the birth record as the birth mother, but the Declaratory Judgment will all the vital records office to ensure that M&M will be listed as the legal parents on the initial birth certificate. We all hope to have this finalized soon so that it can be provided to the hospital before the birth occurs.

I have been working on a list of things to get ready for the birth ... wow it is coming up in about 6 weeks now!! I has been a little bit since I have been through this and I just want to make sure that I am ready. I am also working on a birth plan to give to my OB and the hospital nurses - I really want everyone to be fully aware of the situation and makes sure that M&M are included to the full extent possible in baby V's birth.

Luckily Rio is doing his clinical rotation close to home this fall, so I plan for him to be present for the birth as well. He has done such a good job of keeping me grounded during my deliveries with our own children...actually he delivered Sebastian and did fantastic. Now with him being into his clinical year of the Physician Assistant program - this whole pregnancy, labor and delivery provides an additional opportunity to learn.

I am thinking a lot about the upcoming birth. Wondering if I am ready for this journey to come to completion. And although I am very ready for a full nights sleep...on my belly:-)and to have back a normal bladder capacity - I gotta say that there are aspects of pregnancy that I will really miss. I have really enjoyed myself and I feel so blessed to be feeling great all along. Hopefully that will continue for the next 6 week or so. I love feeling baby V move around - that is one thing I always miss after the birth and I am sure this time will be no different.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Belly picture...



A picture from this morning...32 weeks and 3 days. I continue to feel great...my belly is getting huge and it feels really sore at times. Baby V is still very active but her movements are getting restricted. She does not kick as much but moves around quite a bit. She is snuggling in head down and hopefully she will stay that way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crazy day and 32 week OB visit...

Today is first day of school for Magnus and Olivia...wohoo I do not know who is more excited...them or me!!! Summer has been long and they are definitely ready to get back into the routine. So since today was first school day, I took the day of work to make sure they got a good start. Since I was off the day was loaded with other stuff!

First the kids got dropped off at school, then Chompers got dropped off at the groomers. Next off to the bank and then the OB office at 9:00 AM. The visit went well. I am up 1 pound over the last two weeks and my belly is still measuring 32 cm. I continue to feel great - although I tire more easily and occasionally my sciatic nerve makes it hard to get up from sitting or laying down. My blood pressure was good and "Dr. Sebastian" got to hold the dobbler and find Baby V's heartbeat - he was so excited. He really enjoyed coming with me to the doctors office and put on full charm for Dr. E. The only bad part of the visit was that I had some leukocytes and sugar in my urine..so I had to go down to the lab and give an additional sample for a full urine analysis - this ended up fine thankfully.

Off to home where a friend came to watch Sebastian and then I was off to the dentist!! Things were going well at the dentist for the first 5-10 minutes and the all of a sudden I felt really hot, dizzy and about to loose my lunch. I told my hygienist to please sit me up or I was going to pass out...if that is what morning sickness is like well then I am glad that I have never experienced that...if that was the case, I would have stopped after child #1. I got myself propped up better on a pillow and laid on my side and the rest of the appointment was uneventful. Busy morning and by now it is only 11 AM.

...breathe....home for a quick lunch and then off to do some shopping for our fall fundraiser at the kids school....finished that just in time to drop all the items off at school and pick Olivia up at 1:50PM. She had a great first day and was very happy. So was Magnus when he arrived home on the school bus at about 3:30.. well that is aside from having to do homework already on the first day!

A crazy day - but a good one. Baby V has been quiet but is now very very active in my belly...it is bouncing around - wonder if I will get any sleep tonight!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

31 weeks and 1 day...

I feel like the count down is officially on...I have passed the 30 week mark and the eviction notice is signed lol:-) Baby V in less than 10 weeks your Mommy and Daddy will cradle you in their arms. This has been such a long journey for them to reach parenthood....and to think that it is now within reach is so amazing.

Everyday I feel you in my belly as you are growing big and strong. My love for you is beyond words but it is a very different love from that I feel for my own children. You are so precious and you have truly been conceived with the love, help and support of many people. I was trusted to carry and love you for a very short duration of your life and I have enjoyed it tremendously. Very soon I will deliver you into the arms of your parents and your amazing journey in this big world will truly begin. Baby V I wish for you a lifetime of joy, love, happiness, adventure and so much more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bare belly...



Here is a picture taken on our recent vacation...I have gained just about 20 lbs total and I am 28 weeks and 4 days along...lots of belly:-)

Happy Friday...

Today I got great e-mails from my IP's...I recently send them some small baby books - I love books and know that M (IM) loves books as well - so what could be better than helping to start the babies library:-) Well I got two very sweet thank you emails today - M&M glad you liked the books!!

I cannot believe how quickly time is passing. I am almost 30 weeks along now and M&M are getting closer to holding their sweet little bundle of joy.

As I am growing...reality of my impending delivery and Baby V's arrival is starting to sneak up on me. Sure this ending is part of the process but it always get a little scary for me right about this point. When you are first pregnant - the little bean is .. well a little bitty bean....not so much anymore. Once I am big and round - well then reality really sets in. Although I have had relative easy deliveries with my own children, birthing a child is not pain free. I pray that everything will go smoothly and that labor and delivery will be a wonderful experience for all of us. I am looking forward to delivery day - I know it will be a very special time for all of us....M&M will be parents and I cannot wait to seem them holding their little miracle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

28 week OB appointment...

Today was my 28th week OB appointment and I had the wonderful glucose screening to look forward to...yummy...nothing better than a heavily sugary drink to chug down in 2 minutes...yuck! Anyway I asked the nurse when I would get my results and she said she would call tomorrow but only if it was bad results....so simply I told her not to call :-)

I am feeling great and the check-up went well. I did not get to see Doctor E as she was doing a delivery at that point. Instead I saw the midwife...she is a hoot! Weight gain was good. I am up 4 lbs from last visit but blood pressure was good and baby V's heart rate about 135 bpm (I think). My belly has grown .. ohh my has it grown!! It measured 32 cm and I am at 28 weeks..yikes ... where will I be at 40 weeks! Anyway I asked the midwife about it and she said it is normal to be measuring ahead especially considering this is my 4th pregnancy.

Baby V continues to be very active. I feel her a lot all over my belly so I know she must be doing flips in there! Before long she will not have room for that anymore.

...well we are off on a vacation down the OR coast...can't wait to get away for a little bit with all my sweeties:-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Below 100 days...

Woohoo there are less than 100 days before M&M become parents!!! ...well I guess that depends on when Baby V decides that she is ready to arrive maybe it will still be more than 100 days...but in theory we are below 100..YEAH!!!

M&M your little girl have been giving me a hard time today...she decided that sticking her feet up in my ribs was good for her...ahhh.. I had a hard time breathing...lol. I am sure she will keep you busy busy busy. She continues to be very active - I love feeling her move around. Her movements are strong enough that you can see the surface of my belly bouncing when she kicks.

I go on my Wii Fit with Olivia last night...now that was an eye-opener! According to Wii fit, I have gained 19 lbs since last December and my Wii character is now nice and plumb!.... At the OB office, my weight gain was 12 lbs since my first visit there at 12 weeks and I know that I had gained a bit while cycling with the medications...but I guess this confirmed it...hard cold facts! yikes!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The scale...

Not sure I like my scale anymore!!! I am sure it is reading too high...now I am even above 150 on my home scale in the morning...yikes!! Well I guess that is the direction it needs to be going but....

I continue to eat really healthy. I do a lot of snacking but it is mostly on fruits and veggies. Most days I feel like a walking fruit basket... I most admit though, that I also enjoyed a DQ blizzard this past week and another piece of that evil chocolate cake Sissel bought and left behind last weekend!

I try to walk most evenings when I get home from work - but some days I am just too tired. I also try to get out for short walks at lunch time and in the afternoon at work. It always feels good to be moving even if it is just a short walk along the harbor.

I must say too that it is so good to have Rio home again. We have missed him so much while he was away at school...although I did not miss his mess!!! LOL!
He is doing lots of stuff with the kids too and gives me plenty of time to relax a bit when I need it. He also goes walking with me and the dog - thank you honey!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Visitors and the Beach...

This past weekend we enjoyed visitors from Denmark. My dear friend and a colleague stopped by for the weekend and we had so much fun. I got a great walk Friday night showing them a portion of Fort Stevens.
On Saturday we went to Ecola State Park and hiked down the trail to Indian Beach. The hike is about 1 1/4 mile up and down the mountain side ... so a bit strenuous but I managed ..however do not plan to do that one again until after Baby V arrives!
When we got to the beach the tide was out so we got to play in the tide pools and looks at starfish and sea urchins....it was really cool. The kids loves that kind of stuff and the weather was just beautiful.

I enjoyed so much having my friend in town. It is not that often we get visitors from Denmark and it is always nice to share our life with friends and family. Thank you so much for coming!

On Sunday we went for a walk to the local marina - not far but still a good walk when you have 3 kids and the dog in tow. For dinner Sissel and Tanja went shopping and cooked dinner (well Rio handled the grill)...yummy....feed me and I am happy!!

It was a great weekend and I got lots of walking in there! I am trying to keep up a good amount of walking to be in good shape for delivery and also to feel good physically. I am starting to feel the extra pounds on my body and getting more easily tired now...but considering that we are pushing 25 weeks I think that is to be expected.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two for Two...

In two days I have had two doctors appointments and got two opportunities to hang out with M&M ;-)!!! Happy to report that it was a great two day!

On Monday we went back to Legacy Medical for a follow-up ultrasound to look at baby V's heart. Everything looked great and her growth is right on target - Tuesday is week 24 and she measured 24 weeks on Monday. We got to see some really cool 3D/4D pictures - totally awesome. I have never seen these types of ultrasound images with my own children so this was great. You could see her profile so clearly and see her tapping her little feet. Her feet by the way measures 4 1/2 cm....no wonder I am really starting to feel her kicks!

Baby V was laying head down. I get lots of "tickles" and punches on my lower belly which would be her very active arms. On the upper side of my belly, I mostly feel her movement on the top right side of my belly....and yep her feet are inching closer to my ribs!!! I have gotten a couple of good whacks!

Both M&M and my hubby was there for the ultrasound - we had a party in that room. I am especially glad that M (IM) was there as she did not get to be present at the last ultrasound. I think watching the baby moving is so gratifying and reassuring.

M&M also brought me a wonderful bag from Italy....it is so nice ...definitely for Mommy time out with NO kids!!! Thank you so much - you are always so kind to think of me. After the appointment we went for delicious chocolate!!! yum...

On Tuesday I had my regular OB appointment at the clinic. M (IM) came out for the appointment. This time we met with the midwife in the practice...what a treat! She is something else! Very nice just shall we say..a bit different! The appointment was good ...well aside for me packing on another 6 lbs during the last 4 weeks. My weight gain is increasing a little more rapidly that I wish. Although at my prior visit I had only gain 2 lbs. The second trimester has historically been the time when I have gained the most weight with my own children as well..but seeing that scale blast past the 150 mark is always a bit scary!


M and I also went to the hospital for a quick tour of L&D. The nurse who showed us around seemed nice. The department is much smaller than at the other hospitals I have delivered at but the facilities seems just fine and I have really only heard good things about it. Hopefully when the time comes they will have an open room for both me and M&M so they can stay in the unit as well.

M stayed for dinner and to visit for a bit after the appointment - it was very nice just catching up and sharing a meal...I love sharing a bit of our organized craziness that we call our life with M&M - just wait to the twinkees come and you will be busy!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009



Sebastian talking to Baby V!! 21 weeks and 2 days pregnant

22 week mark today...

It is amazing to know that now the baby can hear and before long we are past that magical 24 week mark where babies can survive outside the womb...off couse I am hoping that Baby V will stay put for a lot longer than that.

Our neighbors brought home a sweet baby girl just yesterday. She is just beautiful and looks so peaceful while sleeping....M&M before long you will get to bring home your sweet baby girl - I truly am so happy that I can help make your dream come true.

Baby has been very active today. I have felt a few very solid kicks and I am certain they could be felt on the outside of my belly as well. I may need Rio to come and hang out on the couch with his hand on my belly!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

21 weeks and counting...

Wow I cannot believe that we have reached past the halfway point of this pregnancy - it has gone by really fast! I feel great and baby V is very active at this point...I love feeling her move - it is so reassuring. M&M's little girl is growing big and strong .. and my belly is getting out there. Sebastian loves to pet the belly and ask about the "baby-egg"...he is so sweet.

I have my follow-up ultra-sound scheduled for later in July to take another look at the heart. Hopefully everything will look great. I am very excited to go as M (mom) will get to be there too - I hope that it will be a wonderful experience for her. Hopefully by then Baby V's kicks will be strong enough that they can be felt on the outside of my belly as well so they can feel her move.

My own three kiddoes have started summer vacation and Magnus and Olivia went off to camp today. This is the first time they are going to be gone for a whole week on their own. I think they are going to have lots of fun and I know Sebastian is going to love being an "only-child" for a bit. Later this summer we will be taking a trip down the Oregon Coast to explore the beaches futher south and to visit the Sea Lion Caves.....yeah I love summer!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thank you...

M&M thank you for the beautiful flowers. Your thoughtfulness and care is so appreciated.

How can life be so right and still so wrong...

Today is a very very sad day for me. My sister just called and told me that they have now begun the end of care for my father.
Life is so fickle and fragile and although I know in my mind that this is best for my dad...that he will now have peace and no longer be in pain. My heart hurts and it is difficult to truly know that I shal never see him again. As I sit here really quiet, I try to listen for the memory of his voice...it seems like I cannot find it right now. I get so scared that I will never hear him again that my memory of his voice will somehow be locked away in my brain forever....
I have many wonderful memories of my dad ... so many of them are rushing through my mind. I feel like they are rushing too fast and I try to grab them all and hold them tight.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ultrasound...

Today we went to the Maternal Fetal Health Center at Legacy Emmanual Hospital for my ultrasound of baby V. M (IF) came to the appoinment as well. We had an hour long genetic consultation where we talked about the different aspects of this pregnancy and chances for fetal abnomalities and risks of doing an amnio.

It was agreed that given all the data already gathered about the pregnancy and health of baby V that we would not do an amnio. Instead off we went to a very indept ultrasound...and baby V looks great!

She was very active in there. It always surprises me how active a fetus can be without being able to feel it. I have felt her move plenty now and do so at least a couple of times aday. But the feelings are still faint...but very reassuring.

Everything in her development looks great. The doc had some trouble seeing all of the heart...so we will go back for another ultrasound a little bit later on. At this stage of the development it can be difficult to see all aspects of the heart and doc said that between 20 - 24 weeks that would be easier. He said he did not think it was anything to worry about - but a good thing to follow-up in case there is a problem and then make arrangements for delivery accordingly. For now, I will just continue to enjoy Baby V's movements and pray that everything will turn out just fine.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby V is hiding...

Today we had our regular monthly appointment with Dr. E. M (IF) came to the appoinment with lots of questions about the second trimester screenings. We had some good dialog about the benefits and downside to the Quad screen, and it was agreed that I will come back and have the quad screen done later in the week.

Next up was finding baby V's heartbeat .. and the little stinker was hiding. Dr. E searched first with one doppler and then a second doppler and was unable to find the heartbeat...this is always scary! Both M and I were thinking "oh no"...and I was especially thinking that it had to be there as I felt her move earlier today.

Well as Dr. E said .."this always happens at the end of the day"...and then she was off to turn on the ultrasound machine. Sure enough Baby V was doing just fine but laying high in my belly! We could all breathe more easily after seing and hearing Baby V!

Now M&M have decisions to make about a possible amnio...good luck!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day M...

I am thinking about M&M this weekend as they are sharing their big news with family!!! How exciting...I hope everything is going great!

M (IM) - Happy Mother's Day to you...before long you will have little ones around to celebrate your special day!

Also Happy Birthday to M (IF)....hoping you had a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

flutters...

I felt some flutters today...I am sure it was the baby and although it is a little early, I am pretty sure it was baby V making her presence known...wow! How exciting..I wish it was not to late to call M&M...off to send an email:-)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mommy - where is the string?...

I have been looking at pictures online with my children to show them how the baby is developing and growing....Sebastian is really interested in pictures of him as a baby as well and very observant. So the other day he was looking at me, and around me, and up and down...so I asked what he was looking for? He was looking for the string because he wanted to pull it!! I asked what string - well it was the baby string ofcourse!! The umbillical cord - he was so funny...!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

1st OB appointment...

The doctors appoinment went really well today. I really like Dr. E. M seem to like her as well - I am glad! The visit was good and the baby's heart rate sounded good.
We talked about the first trimester testing and Dr. E advised that she did not see a need for further testing at this point since PDG was done. Once we get to the second trimester then we will do the quad screening and go from there.

M stayed came over for dinner after the office visit and he got to enjoy a delicious dinner made by T....yummy homemade crepes stuffed with shrimp and peapods!
M brought a big beautiful hydrangia....the flowers are beautiful - I would love to plant some of these along the side of the house some day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

198 days...

So I just noticed that my little ticker says "198 days left" ..another little milestone - under 200 days until M&M meets baby V! On Wednesday I see my regular OB for the first time after being released from the RE (reproductive endocronologist). It will be exciting to hear what she has to say. I discussed my plans for surrogacy at my last annual check-up and she seemed very positive about it then. M (IF) is coming along as well - I hope that he will like Dr. E.

This weekend did not start out well. I got some sad news about my Father's health Friday morning - and I am prayerful and hopeful that testing in the upcoming week will give some answers. Then Friday evening I got a call from my sister-in-law to tell me that my husband's adopted little brother passed away. We are all very sad and cannot quite understand the inequity in the loss of this young life.

On a more positive note, we had beautiful weather at the coast this weekend. The great weather did a lot to help lift my spirits although a great sadness lingers in my heart.

Physically I am feeling really good. My belly is starting to show more and I can forget about fitting into most of my regular pants. I am trying to be creative with my regular wardrobe as I am not ready to make a full transition into maternity clothing just yet.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yummy food..

This week Ms. T has been cooking for us...very delicious. T came to the house on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night we had some delicious fish and Wednesday we were served a very yummy chicken noodle stew. She also premade a lasagna that I just had to pop in the oven for Thursday evening. This looks very promising...M&M thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Last injection of Delestrogen...

Tonight is my last Delestrogen injection....and then I just have a few more evenings of the Progesterone injections and then I am offically done being a human "pincushion" for a while ....yeah!!

I remember thinking, when I had to do my first intramuscular injection, that this was going to be really tough to do. And it was.. but now that I am almost done and look back ... it really wasn't so bad. Yep I have had some lumps and bumps and a bit of bruising...and some nights it was no fun to do - but teh end result is all worth it. I am so happy that the baby is growing strong and healthy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ultrasound today...

Today I went for my 10 week ultrasound and everything looked great!! Yeah! M&M and Rio came along for the visit at Dr. H's - great visit to share with everyone.
The change from the last ultrasound to todays is amazing - the little pink bean has grown into a tini tiny babe with wiggling arms and legs. The heartbeat was great at 167 bpm...love that sound...M (mom) got to hear it for the first time today.

After the clinic visit we all went out for a delicious lunch (thank you!!)....you know feeding a pregnant girl will definetely keep you in her favor!! I had a great crab salad .. and that dessert I was not going to eat was very delicious as well.

I also went to do a bit of maternity shopping since we were in the city. Not to many place at the coast to shop for that...and my pants are getting tight .. so my belly will love these new soft waistbands.

I am 1/4 through the pregnancy....the end of the first trimester is nearing. After the visit today I got a plan from the RE clinic to start reducing my injectable medications...yeah! I will have to do shots for just another week...woohoo..
I am done at the RE's office now and will be going to a local OB for my next appointment. M (dad) will come along for my first visit with Dr. E later on in April..we are all excited to get to this point.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Help...

A few weeks ago, my wonderful IM - M called and offered to get me some cleaning and cooking help. This is truly a wonderful gift they are giving us...so here we are getting ready to try out someone for helping. I am a bit nervous to have someone else come into my house...cause we all know how picky I am!!! yep I will admit that any day...but the thought of having the extra help and dinner ready for eating when I get home from work....well I have to say that is a very attractive idea! ...so with excitement and anticipation tomorrow is the big day...hope something delicious will be ready when I get home from work!

Feeling Pregnant...

I have now reached the 9-week mark and I am starting to really feel pregnant. My belly is rounding out and it is becoming a bit more difficult to keep my pants buttoned all day :-)!!
I still feel pretty tired and could nap the day way ... hopefully this will ease up as we move into the second trimester in a few weeks - this is how it has typically been with my own pregnancies.
Sebastian is really excited about this baby in my belly - he tells anybody he meets about it. At daycare he talks about it all the time .... so we spend a good deal of our drive home from daycare talking about where the baby will go to live after it "cracks" out of my belly (to use Sebastian's term)... He is also really interested in knowing how that baby got in there - I told him that I had a "special Mommy door" that the doctor used to put the baby egg in through. That worked for now! lol...
Next ultrasound is schedule for April 8 - just a week away. I am looking forward to the appointment as both M&M will be there and get to see and hear the heartbeat.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Initial Reactions...

Most people I have told that I am a surrogate has had really positive reations...many have been surprised at why I would do this and some have lots of questions.

This week I got the first "funny" reaction. My youngest child Sebastian has told his teachers at pre-school about Mommy having a baby...that spurred a conversation last week with me telling them that yes I am pregnant but that I am a surrogate.

Well Tuesday afternoon I came to pick Sebastian up from pre-school and another teacher stopped me in the entry way to his room. She could barely keep her eyes of my belly! I just had to laugh...first there is really no belly to look at just yet (...but boy my pants are getting tight :-) )and second she wanted to ask questions which is fine ..but she had a real hard time looking at my face when talking to me....now if only my eyes had been placed right above my belly button...lol

I am sure I am in store for many more reactions like this come....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One pink little bean is growing...

Today was finally ultrasound day...I have been waiting for this day! I have been feeling good and experiencing my regular early pregnancy signs ... but the thought of "what if" was there.
Well today we met with Dr. H - my mom came along and M (IF) was there too...and the ultra sound looked great. The embryo is growing...one little pink bean is hanging out in there - YEAH!!! We transferred two and one stuck - just perfect. The heartbeat was 125 beats per minute which is right on target. Dr. H said that everything looked good and measured right on track. What a relief to hear - and how wonderful to hear the heartbeat...to me it sounds like a little horse just running along.
M (IF) was very happy - this is just so exciting for M&M - I love the fact that I am helping them create their family. M (IM) called a bit later in the afternoon ... I picked up the phone with a "Hi Mama"....she better get used to hearing that.
Dr. H also said for me to go ahead and schedule an appointment with my regular OB for after our next ultrasound which will be on April 8th....woohoo almost down to being a regular pregnancy...my medications have been reduced but I will still have to do injections for another 5 weeks or so..but soon that will end too.
Great day - great news....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

6 weeks today...

Today I am six weeks along... I am getting a bit nervous about our ultrasound scheduled for Monday.

I am learning that surrogacy is a lot of "hurry up and wait"!!! Waiting to match with the right couple; waiting to do preliminary testing; waiting to sign contracts; waiting for the transfer; waiting in the two-week-wait; waiting for the beta results....wow is the waiting over yet!!! Nope...the positive betas were great and very reassuring...but now we are back to waiting...waiting for the ultrasound!!

I feel good and not very different than any other day. I am more tired ... but other than that I am great. I am praying that our ultrasound will show great results on Monday. It will be a very special day.. M (IF) will be with me for the ultrasound and so will my mom. My mom is flying in for a 2 week visit on Friday and we are all very excited!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Surreal...

This is so surreal...knowing that I am now pregnant with a little tini tiny babe ... taking the fertility medications have been a bit rough but it is all worth it...it even makes my sore rear-end so worth it!! The injections are giving me some bruising on rear - even though it is getting the royal treatment...ice first and heat afterwards...I still seem to bruise and have some lumps. I feel it when I am up walking around and especially if I am about to sit on something hard...ok enough whining for the day!

I am so excited for what is to come. M&M will hopefully have their dreams for little ones come true sometime in November...I am scheduled for my first ultrasound on March 16...it will be very exciting to see what is hiding in there!!!

I am starting to feel some of my usual early preggo symptoms. I am getting tired early and could snooze all day if someone would let me ;-) .. I also really need to eat as soon as I wake up....starving!!! Let the fun times begin.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beta #2.....more than doubled...yeah!

So off course it had to snow last night .. the snow seems to be on the same calendar as me, when I have to go to Portland ... well then it will be snowing the night before!!! The drive was a bit slow but since Magnus was not feeling well he gave me company on the way..

The blood test was quick and then we turned right back around to head back to the coast while I was anxiously awaiting the results.... E called from the clinic about 1 1/2 later....yeah beta #2 was 324...grow baby grow.

I am so excited and feel good knowing that the second test was good as well.....now I can anxiously await for the ultrasound in about 2 1/2 weeks.....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Confession...!

So I was so not going to pee ....but I cheated last night...my curiousity got the best of me!!! ..I got a BFP....but I did NOT pee & tell!!!

M&M - I wanted to have the positive beta before I said anything! I am so happy for you guys - grow baby grow!!!

Beta today was 128 and we are 9 days post a 5 day transfer. It is a great number ... I go back Thursday for a repeat and hope for at least a double of the number today.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tomorrow is beta #1...

Rio gave me my shots this weekend .. it was nice not having to do it myself for a change....and plus it is good practice for him!!!
So tomorrow I go for my first pregnancy test.....woohoo...this has been a long wait. I feel really good. I have had some cramping over the last few days - hoping that is a good sign.
Praying for a +....

Monday, February 16, 2009

1 Day post transfer....praying and hoping and wishing....

Today is one day post transfer. I am on bedrest in a hotel in Portland and enjoying catching up on daytime TV and sleep. It is really possible to sleep this much!?! I feel so lazy... M&M had arranged for a massage this afternoon. It was amazing to be pampered....thank you!!!

M&M came by with dinner - and we enjoyed some very delicious Thai food...yum....it was great spending time with them. We spent some time talking about how I met Rio and how the two of them met...I really enjoy getting to know them better.

Tomorrow morning I will drive back home and the wait begins....my beta is schedule for Tuesday 2/24...we hope to get a positive.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dear M&M...

Today is a big day - I am so excited and happy. I met with M&M this morning and we went for a quick breakfast before heading to the clinic. M (IF) also went to pick up cup cakes for a treat for the staff and all of us....yummy!!!

The PGD results were not great.. but we all hope for the best - it only takes one! I believe that everything will be just right. I hope that the transfer was successful and that very soon we will see a big fat BFP!!!!!

The transfer went very smooth. M (IM) was in the room with me and holding my hand. It was a great moment of connecting - very special to me. The staff and Dr. H are great - and everything seemed to go just right. It is amazing to think that at this very moment I could be pregnant. We transferred two little embryos....as PGD was done, I know that it was two little girls ....think pink pink pink pink....grow baby grow!!!

On a funny note, I got a great compliment from Dr. H: "my uterus looks really good".....now you do not get that one every day!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Transfer day is here...

Tomorrow is transfer day. I am so excited. This day has been a long time coming. I got a call from M&M tonight about getting the logistics settled.....we are all excited. The embryo count was really good so now we have to wait for tomorrow for the pre-genetic testing results to see how the embies look and then make a decision of what to transfer. We have discussed if we should transfer one or two embryos and it will depend on how they look and what the recommendations are from Dr. H. I just want to give M&M the best chance possible of becoming parents.....fertile thoughts for tomorrow :-)

I will be driving into Portland first thing in the morning and have to be at the clinic at 10:15AM and the transfer is schedule for 11:00AM...yeah! I will be meeting up with M&M at my hotel and they will take me back and forth to the clinic. After the transfer, I will be on bedrest through Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Great news....

M wrote me today that 22 embryos are growing from the eggs retrived .. this is great news. This is becoming more real by the day...4 more days to transfer! A friend asked me today if I was nervous .. and sure I am a bit nervous - but even more so I am excited.

M (IF) also send me a great email today. Thank you for the kind words! I truly hope that this blog will let you follow along on my side of this exciting journey that we are embarking on.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow...

I had to go to Portland for some bloodwork today as the donor had her retrival this morning. It is a bit of a drive but it was beautiful drive through the mountain pass today as it had snowed overnight....all the trees were powdered with snow - a true vinter wonderland.

The donor retrival went well.....29 eggs!!! woohoo ...M you rock!!

My bloodwork looked good ....all ready for sunday!!! Now off to give myself a second PIO shot...

Monday, February 9, 2009

First PIO shot....

Today I got the revised calendar and our transfer has been moved up to Sunday. The egg donor's retrival is scheduled for tomorrow - sending M a lot of good wibes for great results at the retrival and I am praying for lots of great eggies for M&M!!! Olivia asked me again today why it is that M cannot carry her own baby..so we went back to chicken and egg hatching scenario ... it is all about eggs.


The change to the calendar also means that I am done with Lupron and that I move on to PIO. I did my first PIO shot this evening and I now have a lump in my rump! I am trying to put a bit of heat on it to see if that will help... but I am thinking that a serving of strawberry ice-cream could be even better:-)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Counting down the days....

M called this afternoon to give me an update on the egg-donor. Things are looking really good and retrival is moved to Tuesday instead of Wednesday which means that transfer date is moved to Sunday...wild to think that I will be preggo just a week from now!


Today I had Rio give me the Delestrogen shot. I have been doing all my own shots until now and having someone else do it was a little scary....made me more nervous but it was ok!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lining check

I met M for breakfast this morning at Nell's... adorable little place. I had a yummy spinach and mushroom omelette and toasted baguette with delicious fruit compote! M and I had a nice chat - it was great seeing her again...we are both so excited that we are getting closer to the transfer.

We went to the clinic together after having breakfast. It was nice to have her come along. All this is so new to me and having M with me who has been through it all before felt good. This morning Dr. H did an ultrasound and then I had some bloodwork done. Dr. H's says that my uterus looks "great" ... to me it looks like a grey glob!!! Good news is that my lining looks good -12.2 mm and tripple striped.

Blood work came back with good results too.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beginning of a journey... completing the contract ...yikes

Our contract has been long underway - but is it finally done and I hope that we are all satisfied with the outcome. I just mailed mine off to my attorney and hope to see a fully executed one back before long.

I was not exactly sure what to expect when I received the first draft .. boy it is long! I was doing a lot of reading and re-reading ... legal lingo is a language of its own. There was a lot of ground to cover and lots of different scenarios that hopefully will never see the light of day.

Negotiating a contract is never alot of fun - but we are done with that part now and can move on to bigger and better bellies ... I mean things! In the end, we all wish for an uneventful pregnancy and a wonderful experience for all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 4 of meds

I am feeling better today. I think my body is getting used to this "new stuff". I also talked to a nurse at the clinic and she said to try Tylenol for the headache....wow that helped so much and I felt ten times better after a dose of Tylenol. I guess I did not realize how bad my head ache was until it went away! Anyway it is going well with the Lupron injections - I am getting used to giving them to myself. Olivia walked in on me today and she was mortified that I was about to give myself a shot...the kids hate shots - I think all kids do. I am not a big fan myself but these are all worth it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 2 of meds

Today is day 2 of the medications and I really do not feel very good. I think my body is making adjustments to the doxy and the Lupron...I think that I have a cold coming on too. I have a cough and I am very sneezy. Sebastian has a cold - maybe he is sharing with me!

Second injection went well.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Starting medications

The day has finally arrived ... I started my medication cycle today. We have waited for this day for a long time now and I am really excited that we are starting this journey.

Rio and I will both be taking doxycycline for the next ten days and I also started on Lupron tonight. The Lupron will work to suppress my natural ovulation cycle and is common in IVF transfers using donor eggs. I will be giving my self the injection in my belly - luckily this first round of needles are small and thin!!! I put ice on my belly for a bit before doing the shot and it went in smoothly...one down many more to come!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why...

People often ask me why I decided to be a surrogate and although there are many reasons why - the most important one to me is the miracle of seeing the world through the eyes of children. Children are amazing and mine have enriched my world in ways that I cannot begin to describe. I love them so much and treasure every day that I spend with them.

To be able to be part of bringing the gift of a child to someone who truly longs for that is such an incredible feeling. I hope and pray that our transfer will be successful and that M&M will soon be enjoying parenthood.

I loved being pregnant. I had three wonderful pregnancies and enjoyed every moment of them...well ok maybe not EVERY moment ... but most! I love the feeling of the first little flutter of movement and later being able to see the babes moving around. I feel strongly that my family is complete but I do not feel "done" with pregnancy. Being a surrogate will allow me to help a wonderful and deserving couple achieve parenthood ... and I will get to enjoy being pregnant.

Some have stated that "they could never give away their child"....and to them I say - "I am not". This little miracle that I hope to carry deep inside me very soon is not mine - it is that of a wonderful set of future parents who have dreamed, wished and prayed for a miracle for so long. This baby will not have any part of my biology - I am just providing the warm belly for it to grow strong and healthy. This child will always reside in my heart but it will live a life with a family who truly longed to welcome and embrace children into their lives.

M&M - I will treasure this journey with you. Life is a miracle and I feel so fortunate to be a part of a miracle waiting to happen.