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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Twinkies...




The first picture of the little beans :-)

A beautiful story...

My surrogacy journey with M&M was everything that I could have hoped for. It was a wonderful experience and M is writing so eloquently about it...I am so excited that a positive story is getting out in the media about surrogacy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/0/02/magazine/02babymaking-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine

Yeah...congrats M on the publication! You rock....you all rock!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Exciting day...

Monday brought lots of excitement! First I spent the morning at M&M's doing interviews for some fun stuff .. much more on that later when it is all official! ... all I am going to say is that it gonna be good!!!

V&K have both grown so much and they are very confident walkers now ... so cute!! And little Miss V looks adorable with a bow in her hair....fun times!

The afternoon brought a different kind of excitement as it was ultrasound day. We have all been waiting for this day with great anticipation. My beta numbers were great, higher than with V, and I have been experiencing all my usual early pregnancy symptoms ... however, I have also been having a lot more nausea that ever before. It comes and goes and I really have to stay on top of eating something light frequently. It has crossed my mind quite a few times over the last few weeks that something was different with this pregnancy.

The scary thought is always .... is it just all the extra hormones playing tricks on my body or is a little something really growing... well at the ultrasound yesterday it was confirmed that a little something times 2 is growing!!!

Yikes!!!! Two embroys were transferred just like when I carried V.... however, the result this time around is very different. We hoped for one healthy and strong heartbeat ... but on the monitor two little were growing and looking very good.

All I can say is WOW!! I am not that surprised but still it needs some time to sink in. L&J are of course very excited and I too am very excited. I am so happy that we obtained a pregnancy with the first transfer....I pray that this will continue to be a healthy pregnancy all around.

My next ultrasound is schedule for January 17th ... woo hoo!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beta number 2...

Friday was the day for Beta draw number 2....I was excited but had plenty of butterflies in my stomach as I headed to Portland. Sebastian and Olivia came with me for the drive and it was so nice to have them to chit chat with along the way. Sebastian had an upset stomach the day before and was still not on top and Olivia complained about her stomach hurting in the morning as well. I figured that I better take them along as I would not be able to come to school and get them if they got sick and since Rio was in Texas he would not be able to get them either.


The blood draw was quick and easy and then the official waiting began ... wait wait wait!
I was hoping the clinic would call back early in the afternoon ... but nope we had to wait a good long time!

To pass the time, I took Olivia and Sebastian to the dog breeder where we purchased Chompers three years ago. She has puppies again now and they are just so adorable. I would love to add a second doggie to our household .. Chompers needs a friend! The puppies were so cute and Chompers did really well with most of them...I am especially smitten with a little brown one!!

2 o'clock rolls around.. waiting....3 o'clock.. still waiting ... finally at 3:28, exactly as I walk Olivia into dance class, the clinic calls and of course I left my phone in the car! But I had a great message awaiting me on my voice-mail....beta number 2 is **479** and all my levels looked great.

Great number - great doubling time ... Yeah!! Both my betas this time around are higher than with Miss V... L and I have talked about the beta numbers for their previous surrogates and my numbers are right in between theirs .. so what do they mean - well we can now ponder that for the next 15 days! Ultrasound is scheduled for December 27th at 1:30PM and we can't wait to see if one of two small beans stuck around...I am so glad that it is Christmas time with many many other things to occupy my thoughts!

Grow .. grow .. grow!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beta Day....

WooHoo.....beta today confirmed what I already knew to be true...L&J have a little something growing .... beta number one 9 days post 5 day transfer is 185

I am so freaking excited....big congrats to L&J...now here is to patiently waiting for the beta number 2 on Friday.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Round one of waiting is almost over...

It is almost Wednesday here!!! YEAH.... tomorrow I go in for my first beta testing and we are all a bit anxious to get the results back.

After my couple of days of best rest were over it felt like heaven to get up and take a shower on Wednesday morning. I had breakfast with L&J before we all left Portland to travel home. It was so nice to spend those couple days getting to know them both better - they are both so nice and just very genuine...I feel very lucky to have made a great connection with them and we are all excited about what the future holds!

I left to drive to the coast full of positive feelings and thoughts. I actually felt sleepy after my drive home which seemed impossible given the fact that I have been doing nothing but lay on a bed for the last couple of days. However....it was a trend that would continue. I am sure it is my body working overtime to create a snug home for a very special someone.

I started feeling a bit achy on Thursday and come Friday morning I just felt so sleepy. I took the kids to school and went home to sleep for another couple of hours ... ahhhh! I am also starting to feel a bit nauseated the moment I wake up and breakfast is definitely a must right away. These are all tell tell signs for me ... and hopefully good signs.

Rio told me on Sunday that I "looked poofy" ... at any other time that comment would have gotten him one on the nose but given what we are trying to accomplish .. I guess I will take "poofy" as another sign of what is happening in my body - and actually I do feel a bit bloated at times and I know that is one of the effects of the extra hormones that I have on board.

By Monday morning, my curiosity got the best of me. I was determined to not take a home pregnancy test ... but alas ...all these small signs and I was just dying to "know". Two little lines were showing - Woohooo!!!!

Yes it is a little hard to see the second line in the picture ... but it is there!!! I am a bit nervous about tomorrow and I hope that my beta confirms what we think we know. Time will tell....Wednesday hurry up and get here :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Transfer Day...

Transfer day was yesterday and hopefully a sweet little something is settling in for the long haul!

I left the coast after ready the kiddos ready for school and dropping them off. Thankfully last weeks snow had mostly melted and the pass was pretty clear. I met L&J at Hotel Monaco in Portland where we are all staying for the transfer. It looks like a really neat place ... and if you are lonely, you can get a beta fish delivered to your room to keep you company - how cool is that!

I was a bit nervous about meeting J&L; however, after so many emails and phone conversations, it was just really nice to have that in-person meeting. They are both great and I am really enjoying our time together. It is very clear to me that the love being parents and that they truly adore their children - what a beautiful thing to be able to help them add to their family.

We had brunch before heading off to the clinic for transfer. Their five frozen embryos were being thawed in the morning hours and we were all hopeful they would make the thaw. When we got to the clinic, we were checked in and I made sure to take enough water on board. Since I typically stay very hydrated, water filters through me relatively quickly and I had to drain my bladder twice before transfer....and let me tell you it is hard to stop peeing with your bladder is full!!

Two little embryos made the thaw - this made the decision of how many to transfer very easy. The embryos were frozen using a dehydration method ... not an expert on this at all - but as they thaw, the hope is that the embryos take in water to get back to the stage a which they were frozen. These were 5-day embryos and although they were not fully expanded at the time of transfer, it only takes one to stick and we are all hopeful and praying for a great outcome.

I am now on bedrest until Wednesday morning and being well cared for by L&J. I am enjoying getting to know them better and hear more about their family.


Pregnancy test is next Wednesday ... Grow baby grow!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I have a new nephew...

I am an auntie again - Yeah! My new little nephew - Malthe - was born on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone is home and doing well and I just can't wait to see pictures.

BIG CONGRATS to Mikkel & Linda and big brother Marius!!! I am so excited for them.

Count down to L&J's big day is on....two more days to go before transfer. My bum is getting pretty sore from the PIO injections and I am feeling a bit crappy from the Doxycycline (an antibiotic taken to prevent infections at the time of transfer).

L&J are traveling to Portland tomorrow and I will get to meet them face to face for the first time on Monday. They are staying in town for the duration of my bedrest and I look forward to getting to know them better.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful...

I have so many things to be thankful for today ... my family and all the wonderful people in our lives. Life is good and although we do not yet know exactly what the future hold for Rio's job situation, I plan to just enjoy the day and be extra thankful for my three amazing children.

Having children is an ability that most people take for granted. I feel so fortunate to have been able to bring into the world three little wonders that are the love of my life. In addition, I feel so fortunate to have carried sweet little V and brought happiness to her family. She is such an amazing little girl and I truly treasure the times I get to see her and hear updates about her, her brother and parents.

This year I am also so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of a new family! My body is responding great to the medications for a new round of IVF and transfer is scheduled for this Monday at 1:15 PM! Yeah! I am so excited to be working with J&L and pray that we have a successful transfer and that a sweet little one will join their family by the end of summer.

Wishing everyone has a great time this Thanksgiving surrounded by lots of family, good friends and lots of yummy food!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Clinic appointment and wonderful lunch today...

My journey with J&L is moving right along. Timing wise every thing fell into place for a transfer cycle in November which works great with everyone's schedules. We had the option of doing the transfer in December but that seemed a bit hectic so close to Christmas so we are all hoping for success in November and something to be really thankful for.

My injections are still going well. I am really so happy to have Rio here to do the intramuscular ones for me - these first ones are spread out nicely, but starting next week I will need a daily injection of progesterone .... I told him he is allowed to continue as long as he does not use me as a dart board!!!

I went for a clinic appointment today to have my lining checked and blood work done. My lining was at a 13.5 mm and triple striped which is great. Dr. H is very happy with my progress and I am just relieved that everything is right on target. My blood work also came back good and my estrogen level is right where it should be so there is no adjustments required for my injections. Transfer is 11 days away and we are all excited!!

After my clinic appointment I met my previous IP's for lunch at Mother's Bistro.. what a treat! It is always great to see them and I truly enjoy their company. They brought along K (V's brother) ... he is just so cute! Walking all over the place and just full of joy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Testing , contracts, injections...

Things are moving forward full speed...woohoo hang on for the ride!!!

I am so so excited. My lupron injections have gone well and I have not had any issues with head aches this time. Rio is getting ready to do my second delestrogen injection this evening...he did really well for the first one. It is definitely a plus that he is here this time around. I got used to doing my injections alone when carrying sweet baby V .. but it is so much nicer to have him do the for me.

The next few weeks will bring more injections, a lining check and blood work. In just 17 days L&J will be coming to Portland and if everything goes well, we will be transferring and praying for a little one to stick!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A new journey has officially begun...

We are moving forward ... full speed and if all goes according to plan, a sweet little babe will be snuggled up very soon.

I am so excited to start a new journey - I pray for a successful and uneventful journey and for a little sister or brother to join L&J's family!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to you my sweetest little surro girl...

Dear V,

The happiest of birthday wishes to you. I wish for you a bright future full of adventure and wonderful experiences .... conquer the world girl!

You have impacted my life in so many ways. I feel so fortunate to have been able to carry you and care for you inside my womb...you were such a comfort and joy to me in utero... a special little blessing. Watching you grow over the last year has been so much fun - you are such a sweetheart.

Today I reflect back on 2 1/2 years of knowing your mom and dad and what a fantastic journey it as been to watch them grow into parents of some of the cutest babes ever! M&M you are rooted deep in my heart and I feel so fortunate to know you. Thank you for allowing me to be a continued part of your lives .... it means so much to me.

Love always..

Monday, October 25, 2010

Party time...

A whole year has gone by...and sweet baby V is no longer a baby!!! In just a few days it will be her 1st birthday and she will officially be a toddler.

Olivia and I went to the twiblings birthday party yesterday - what a wonderful day! The babes are just getting so big and crawling all over, standing, and just about to walk all by them selves.

Being invited to the birthday party was so special to me. The party was filled with wonderful people all in one way or another connected to the babies. M gave a beautiful toast that was really touching. If feel so lucky to be allowed to peek into M&M's life and watch them embrace parenthood. Each time I see them or get emails and pictures is like being given a gift... being allowed to follow little V and K's growth is so fantastic and reaffirms my choice for being a surrogate.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Timing is everything...

Often in life timing is everything....and my belief is that everything happens for a reason. That being said, I do have great difficulty in finding good reasoning and fairness in certain situations. Couples experiencing infertility is one of those situations. In an ideal world, any couple would be able to conceive and carry the child they so wish for but unfortunately for many that is not the reality.

For a while this summer I was corresponding with A&S and discussing a potential surrogate arrangement with them. At that time they decided to move forward with another surrogate who seemed to fit their time line better than me. At the time, it seemed a little disappointing but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.... L&J came into my life shortly thereafter.

Since the middle of August, I have been fortunate to get to know about L&J, their life and their children and to share my life with them. We have been sharing lots of thoughts back and forth and have been exploring a potential journey together. I feel great about moving forward with L&J and we are all excited about what the future holds.

Last weekend A &S contacted me again as their chosen carrier was not approved by their clinic and they wanted to know if I had matched for a journey. Reading their note stirred many thoughts in me ... I had great conversations with them earlier on and I think we could have had a good match. I truly felt for A&S' story and part of me wanted to help them make their dream come true but another part of me also knew that the timing for pursuing a journey with them had passed.

I feel a great connection with L. Finding the right match and having a strong personal connection is just really important to me. I feel that L and I have many similarities in our lives that can provide a wonderful basis for a friendship outside the boundaries of a surrogacy journey.

I feel so fortunate to have a second chance at being part of someone else's life in this special way that surrogacy provides for. At the same time I find it heart wrenching that many women are unable to conceive and carry the children they so wish for on their own. I wish for A&S that they will find the perfect surrogate to carry a baby for them - maybe I could have been that person but I truly feel that L&J came into my life for a reason and I hope that I will be able to carry a beautiful sweet little babe to hopefully join their family very soon.

We are all getting very excited about moving forward. Correspondence is ongoing with L&S' attorney and hopefully we will have a preliminary contract to review soon. Rio and I went to have our labs testing done this past week and today I went to get my records released and get my OB to sign off on that I am healthy and capable of carrying another pregnancy. Next week I will be go to ORM for a preliminary testing requirements there including a sonohysterogram to ensure that my uterus is fit for another IVF pregnancy.

Busy busy times .... but ever so exciting!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wow ... I am matched for a second journey...

I am matched with L&J and we are totally excited about the prospect of having a little something snuggled up in time for Christmas! The thought of getting to be pregnant again soon is very thrilling and being able to give the gift of life to another family is an incredible feeling.

L&J already have three beautiful children via surrogacy and they are looking to complete their family...I feel so excited about the possibility of doing just that with them. We are moving forward to getting contracts done and I will begin to do some of the preliminary clinic requirements this month.

Life is a miracle ~ I pray that our journey will be filled with wonderful moments and be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Age is just a number...

Today is my birthday ... yeah I love cake!!! Now the questions is how old I am??? Well today I choose my Wii fit age from last friday ... 29!!!! today was not bad either 33.....but let's not talk about the day before yesterday when it showed 41 :-(

Anyway the sun is shining and life is good.....age is just a number. I feel great and am enjoying my day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Maybe a match...

I have been corresponding with L since the middle of August and it feels incredible exciting getting to know about her, her family and her baby dreams.

It is a bit scary to go through an independent matching process. With the agency, so many things are spelled out up front and I only talk to potential couples who already like my profile. Whereas with an independent match, nothing can be taken for granted and it leaves you very vulnerable as you divulge a lot of of very personal information. You never know how your emails will be received and it can be difficult to wait for responses ... especially when you would like to know everything... like yesterday!!! ...yes I know ... I have to have patience. Not everyone spend their lives on the computer the way I do...!!!

Going though the matching process has a lot of unknowns, and there are so many things to take into consideration when making a match for a surrogacy journey. ...so many things to discuss and so many compatibility factors to consider.

For me having a great connection with potential future intended parents is extremely important. Enjoying a great personal relationship and feeling like the opportunity is there to develop and nurture a friendship that can last for a long time to come means a lot to me. Although I do not expect to become a part of my IP's daily life, I would love to continue contact and hear updates about this special little person who was brought into this world because of our very special connection.

Surrogacy is a miracle ... I truly wish that I once again will be able to help make someones baby dreams come true...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

School and Soccer Saturdays are back...

School is back in session and so is soccer!!! Yeah. Last week brought first school day for all my kids...even my baby!! Sebastian is big enough to enter Kindergarten this year...and he is so excited to be going to school. It makes me a bit sad to think that I have no more little ones at home .. but watching his happy little face light up in a bright smile anytime someone mentions the school bus just melts my heart.

Olivia and Magnus are both glad to be back with their friends...although less excited about the return of "The Homework"...I am glad to have them back in school .... and since they are all going this year this means that I can actually take a shower without anyone knocking at the bathroom door.

Soccer is also back ... yeah for lots of running!! Sebastian is playing for the first time this year - I love watching the little kids play. The all run around in one big clump and chase the ball - I call it bumble bee soccer .... a whole lot of buzzing going on on that field! Olivia is also playing in the recreational league this year ... and she was very disappointed to learn that her first game was canceled this weekend. Magnus is playing "Classic" soccer this season which is a competitive league and they actually get to travel for games (to the Portland area). They play the full lenght of the soccer field so there is lots of running ... this equals a very tired boy on game days and practice days. He looks so handsome in his real soccer uniform...go Riptides!!! He did great in his first game on Saturday .. it was so much to watch.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Contemplation...

Although I was not really looking to do another journey at this moment ... a wonderful opportunity recently presented it self to me ... to help a couple add to their family. We had a lot of good dialog but their time table was quicker than my heart! I think it is so important to make sure that the right connection is there before moving forward ... I wish A&S the best of luck with their journey....sending lots of magic baby dust in their direction.

I will say that this experience has my wheels turning. My heart is definitely open to a new journey and the prospect of being able to help someone else create or add to their family really makes my heart sing. Life is a miracle...babies are miracles - and if I am lucky enough, the stars will all align at some point and I will get to do it all over again.

I have spoken with my children about maybe carrying a baby for another family again - they all seem very accepting of the possibility. I am so lucky to have my wonderful little ones - they are developing into smart and caring wonderful individuals ... I am so proud of them.

...who knows what the future will hold....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mexico...

Well the summer at the Oregon coast have been kind of crummy....so now we are heading south of the border to get some summer!!!

We all need some time to relax - especially Rio. He is almost done with his Physician Assistant program now ... just another week of clinical rotations...I am so excited that he is done! A week away will be a great way for him to get a little break before the last week of school and the looming state testing not too far off in the future. I am just ready for some sun and warm weather....the kids are very excited too. Sebastian cannot wait to get back on an airplane and Magnus and Olivia really want to go swimming with dolphins....not sure if that will happen ... but for sure it will be a week of lots of fun!!

5 days left and woohoo Mexico here we come!!!

Maybe Baby...

Baby V is getting big...she has now passed the 9 month mark - 9 months in 9 months out - and she has now lived a longer period of time with her parents than in my belly! M&M's household will soon be overrun with moving toddlers....kitties - watch out!! Whenever I visit the sweet family or look at pictures of V and her brother - I just feel so much joy!

Over the summer, I have had some time to reflect over the last few years. It has been such an adventure and I feel so fortunate to have be part of something very very special....and I am getting the itch to do it again!!!

Only time will tell ... stay tuned :-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Growing big...

I have been very fortunate to see the babies quite a bit over the last month or so...they are getting so big - I love their little chubby cheeks and happy smiles!

This past week has brought lots of excitement. M is writing about our incredible journey...it will be very exciting to see how it turns out. We have also been interviewed for an interactive piece and had a fun photo shoot just the other day. And what a long and busy day that was ... but so much fun hanging out with everyone and especially the babes...they did so awesome.

It will be exciting to see how everything will turn out. The photographer has done some amazing pictures...really incredible stuff. Hopefully we will all get some photos to remember this day with.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Got Milk?...well not so much anymore..

My milk supply has been dropping over the last couple of months and it is time for me to stop pumping. I made the decision today as I only get a few ounces at each pumping session now.

It is actually making me really emotional to have made this final decision to stop pumping. Somehow it seems like end to a truly amazing experience ... but in my heart I also know that is a beginning of new things to come. And for the babies ... it truly is the beginning of a new and hopefully yummy exploration into the world of food.

I am very proud to have been able to feed sweet Baby V for her first 6+ months of life. I have pumped a little over 52 gallons of milk for her and her brother and judging on their lovely chubby cheeks - it has been well worth all the effort. ...Milk - it does a body good :-)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day...

Happy Mother's Day to M!

Two years ago we started an incredible journey together. Today my heart sings as both M and I enjoyed a beautiful and sunny Mother's Day.

I feel so grateful for this experience. It make me feel so good that I was able to accomplish what I set out to do ... to help someone else's dream of motherhood come true.

Magnus, Olivia and Sebastian - you mean the world to me ... you make my heart sing! Every day I love you more than the day before and every day I feel the magic of watching you grow and learn.

Baby V ... you will always have a piece of my heart ... You are one special little girl and I know you are bringing so much joy to your mother.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time flies...

Baby V is 6 months old on April 29 ... she is growing bigger and sweeter by the day. She has a beautiful little smile and along with her brother they are bringing lots of love and joy into this world. I feel so fortunate that I get to see them and watch them grow .. it is so amazing to watch their little personalities beginning to emerge.

I continue to pump for the babes but my milk supply is slowing down considerably ... good thing the babes are big enough to begin solid foods...exciting times!

Happy 1/2 birthday baby girl :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

What a difference a year makes...

A year ago at this time I was driving towards Portland full of anticipation...excited nervous and hopeful. Little embryos were growing full of potential....now one year later, sweet baby V and her brother are here. I wish you so much love on your amazing journey in life.

What's next for me...who knows. I am working hard on getting back in shape now...I still keep up a relatively high caloric intake as it takes a good diet to keep up my milk supply. My diet is really healthy and I feel generally very good. Rio and I have started a new workout program....and my body is sore but slowly getting used to being challenged again. My goal for this summer is to complete a amateur triathalon.

I will also be making a change at work. I love my job and have great employment.. but I love my children more. I have decided to cut down my hours for the next few months and to stop completely before the children get out for summer break. They need me at home and I need to watch them grow.

...the one thing I know for sure....change is consistent! Here is to a new amazing chapter in life.

Friday, February 12, 2010

1 year ago...

One year ago I was on medications had in preparation for my IVF cycle....today a sweet little girl is bringing love and joy to her parents. How blessed we all are that the transfer was successful and the pregnancy went well. Baby girl and her brother are both doing wonderful ...

Thank you M&M for an amazing journey ~ you will always have a special place in my heart.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Visit...

Today I am going to visit M&M and the babies - it is amazing that they are almost 3 months old now...I cannot wait to see their little smiles.

We will be dropping milk off as well...my supply has gone down a bit but so far I am keeping up with demand...pump baby pump. I never thought about exactly how much you feed an infant....I nursed all three of mine and you cannot really know exactly how much they eat.. they just eat! Now that I am pumping exclusively, I have been keeping track of the number of ounces pumped and frozen to date ... to date = 3,117 (give or take a few)...really that is over 24 gallons of milk....wholly cow!! Moo! In addition, I have been lucky enough to nurse Baby V several times when we visit. Some find this a bit strange - but it truly has been so special for me. Pumping has also been great for my weight loss ... now if it could just work on my belly jiggles too that would be fantastic!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year ~ 2010...

2010 is here...the dawn of a new decade - how exciting!

2009 flew by and what a year it was. It was filled with many wonderful moments and one of the highlights was seeing M&M look at their baby girl for the very first time. My dreams of being a surrogate has been fulfilled and it has been such a special journey that I will treasure in my heart for a lifetime.

I am so excited for 2010 ... with all the new possibilities and opportunities out there - we just got to reach out for them. We have so many things to look forward to. One is Rio getting done with school

So here is to a fabulous 2010 - Happy New Year.