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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Success...

Woohoo.... milk has arrived nice and frozen ~ so exciting.  I am totally doing the happy dance now!!!

Eat up little N ... another shipment will be on its way soon.

...did I happen to mention that I am just VERY EXCITED!!!!!!

On another note - my boobs are still sore but Tylenol and cold cabbage compresses are working (....that is aside from me feeling like I smell like - well cabbage - and thinking I already need another shower and it is still before noon!)

Time...

Time is a funny thing .. It seems like the last year has passed by in a flash and at the same time it seems like this summer went on forever...
 


No longer the milk maid...

Yesterday I took Sebastian and Olivia and went to Portland ... it felt weird to do the drive back towards the hospital again and I was so glad that Olivia was keeping me company and thinking of other things as we were driving.

First we went to the airport post office to drop off a great big box of milk for little N ... here is to hoping that it arrives fully frozen by this afternoon.  I am thinking lots of frosty thoughts. I am so nervous about it but hopefully it will all be well.  The post office worker looked at my box and saw that it was marked "Handle With Care - Human Milk" and said "I guess it is perishable???"  Yep - extremely!!!  Ship fast and keep cool :-)

I was able to get over 300 ounces in the cooler but I still have at least another 700 ounces in the freezer.  Hopefully the shipment will go off without a hitch and I will ship one more box.  But I am also going to figure out the logistics of my car for when we leave to do the drive next week to see if I can fit the rest of the milk in coolers and take to L's mom and dad's house instead of shipping it.... 

After the airport we went to the hospital.  Since it was after 5PM, I had to return my pump to the Family Birth Center.  It felt strange going back in there and I realized that I actually do not remember my transport from OR recovery to my room in that department...  Anyways it was just so bitter sweet walking past the entrance to the NICU, past the maternity ward, and into the family birth center .. so many feelings went flushing through my heart.  I hope to never return to these hospital hall ways again - as we walked back to the car all I could do was cry.

Olivia did NOT like me crying!   I know the sadness will linger but I will try to focus on the good things... such as great pictures of a sweet sweet baby boy who is now over 7 1/2 pounds!!  Way to go N ... and way to go to N's mama who is doing a great job getting him to eat eat eat!!!

Reinforcements are on the way .... hopefully in a very frosty condition!!!  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My little yellow companion...

I will be turning my pump back into the hospital on Tuesday.  My little yellow pump has been my steady companion over the last 3 1/2 months regardless of where I have been.  It has been a little yellow rock during some very difficult days.

Over the last couple of weeks I have slowed my pumping schedule from five times per day to four to three.  My goal for today is to see if I can make do with just two sessions.  Although my milk production has gone down, my body needs to adjust and as I have no desire do to be miserable, slowly weaning off the pump is a good way to go.

A benefit of stopping to pump is six plus hours of sleep in one stretch.  It feels incredible!!!   Although I feel ready to be done pumping, I do find my self quite emotional about it and maybe not completely ready anyway.  It is a process and it is a feeling of letting go.  It has been a good part of my ongoing healing.  I only wish for the very best for Little N and knowing that shipping off the milk in my freezer will keep him well fed for the next couple of months feels really good. 

I have been so incredible blessed to have been able to pump for little N until now.  It can be difficult to exclusively pump especially when there is no baby to stimulate the milk production.   Often when I sit down to pump, I look at pictures of both the babies and let my thoughts roam free.  This morning I awoke thinking of the L and N&J and I think I was dreaming of little J.  I felt very sad ... it is hard to explain but I just had a rush of emotions flood over me and sometimes I wonder if this will ever stop.  Loosing a little one, even if you gain an angel, is just not fair.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yard sale...

Ugh....I "never" do yard sales - well I guess I need to say "I almost never" do yard sales!  They are just too much work and dropping stuff off at Goodwill just seems so much easier.  However, a neighbor of ours was doing one last weekend and since we are moving, I figured this was my chance to get rid of some stuff that I was not going to move anyway.   You know, the stuff that I do not need pack and really should not pack because when I unpack I will wonder why I ever packed it in the first place... ok so the way I see it ... I get a good cleaning through stuff and get to purge.  What ever is not sold will then go to Goodwill.

Last weekend I made $100 on stuff and got to sit and chat with a great neighbor for the morning as well so that was a bonus...

Now I am doing another yard sale tomorrow because since I still had stuff out from last weekend (...have not made it to Goodwill yet!!!) I figured I might as well.   All week I have been pondering what should go out.  So this weekend I am pulling out the furniture, old Halloween costumes, kids clothes galore.... and hopefully someone comes along wanting to buy a couch.

Ughh ... I digress ... I will never do a yard sale again - it is just too much work!  But then again so is moving and that I will do again ~~~ I guess moral of the story is "never say never"!! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Loosing my ...

marbles ... sure in one of the moving boxes that is LOL ... Many words could probably be used to finish that sentence these days as I am packing down the house but the correct would be HAIR!!!!

Yikes the pregnancy hormones are definitely leaving my body and along with those my hair is deserting my head!   I always shed like crazy a few months out from delivery and the time has come ... my hair is falling out ~ I am hoping there will still be some left!!!

Anyways, I am still taking prenatal vitamins since I am pumping for little N... but now that am stopping that before to long I need to go find some super vitamins that are good for my hair and body.

Moving news...

We are almost on our way!!!  The boxes are stacking up and I am just waiting on a final quote and date from the moving company.  Yahoo!!!  I cannot wait for us all to be together in one place again.  The house we are renting looks so nice and it is very close to the community beach on the lake in the neighborhood.  So we will still have a beach ... so maybe I can just paddle around on my surfboard - if anything I can catch a tan while doing it!!

Chubby cheeks are so sweet...

I got a long email from L yesterday ... I was so happy to hear from her and to know that little N is doing good.  His follow-up appointments are going well.  He does pull little smurf tricks and turns blue on occasion which is so scary but I know his mama is watching over him very closely...she is such a strong woman.   I also got a couple of new pictures and his little cheeks are getting so cute and chubby ~ I just want to squeeze them.

I felt so many emotions flooding over me as I was reading her email.  We have been bound together by a very emotionally taxing experience and very few people can relate to the journey we have been through.  The grief and loss that lies so tender right under the surface of everyday can very difficult to navigate and come to terms with.  I can only imagine how hard it is to be at home with one sweet little baby but missing the other.  I know how much the loss has impacted me, how much I miss little J and wish that he was here with us.  Their feelings of loss are so much more amplified and I send many good thoughts of healing and strength to her and J.  Many hugs to you my dear friend ~ you are never far from my prayers.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Confused...

It has now been over ten days since I last heard from L.  I am confused, disappointed and a bit upset - I am not sure why she is not responding to me.  I have sent several text messages, e-mails, and left a couple of voice-mail messages for her .. but nothing in return.  This makes me so incredible sad .. I am so worried that something could be wrong and I just don't know what to do.

I am particular confused because they expressed interest and gratefulness for me continuing to pump breastmilk for little N ... my freezer is getting pretty full and I will soon need to make a decision on what to do with all the milk.  As I am not getting any response from L, I have decided to turn in the pump at the end of the month so from here on out, I am slowly stepping down my pumping schedule and duration of my pumping time.  I am still hopeful that she will be back touch soon ... even if it is only to arrange for the shipment of milk.

In addition to my contact attempts, I also sent her a very special gift - a beautiful necklace with all of her "baby feet".  I really hope she likes it ... although I may never know!

In any surrogacy journey, the relationship is based on trust.  I trusted they would keep in contact but I know full well that it is their sole prerogative to decide if that contact will continue post birth.  They are the parents of beautiful little N and they are responsible for making all the important decisions for him.

It is very difficult when a journey does not end the way everyone hoped for.  My premature delivery has caused so much heartache and sadness for everyone.  I am trying very hard to not have the feeling of responsibility for this situation overwhelm me again...I am trying to see the good in my journey and appreciate the good moments and special time in my life where I carried two sweet little boys within me... I will admit that right now it is very hard when I have no idea of how little N is doing.

I know in my heart, that even if I will never know through pictures and contact, that N will cherished and loved beyond measure.  I know that as parents L&J will be wonderful and give him everything in life that he deserves.  He is blessed with a wonderful family and this brings me comfort even if I will never know any specifics about him.

It is a sad reality for many surrogates that promised contact will not come to fruition.  Far too often contact ceases after birth and many of us never hear news of the little ones we helped put on this earth.  It will take some time, but if this is how my journey is supposed to end, then I will come to peace with this reality ... I will forever carry both N&J in my heart and think about them and love them afar - I will always believe in my little part of creating a great big miracle. 

Regardless of what life brings, I am so incredible thankful for my both of my sets of intended parents.  They have brought beauty and an incredible feeling of humbleness to my life.

Like the saying goes ...if you love someone, set them free, if they come back they are yours, if they don't they never truly were...  as such I will set my relationship with L&J free and hope someday, somewhere that we will come full circle and I again will hear news of the sweet little boy who rested below my heart.  I hope that someday I will share a beautiful moment in time with L&J and hear the stories of little N's growing up.

Right now I am just grateful and forever thankful to M&M for sharing their life with me, for the wonderful gift of staying connected and providing sweet glimpses into the life of a very special little girl. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A new day...

Today I am focused on our move ... full steam ahead.  We are going back to Illinois although a bit further north than before.  Rio is starting his new job at the end of the month and we have just signed a lease agreement on a home for the next year. 

We are all excited to see what new opportunities and experiences lay ahead of us!

Here is to happy packing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My sweet angel...


Dear Little Angel J

Today was the day you and N were supposed to be born.  Sadly you came much too soon.  You were loved so much by so many and although you were here ever so briefly .. I know that you were brought into my life for a reason and I will forever feel grateful to have carried below my heart.

The questions of why still lingers and although I am trying my best to get past it … I just do not understand why our God let things like this happen … why would he take you away from us.   I do not know why you had to leave my belly so soon or why you had to endure suffering ... I prayed for you to not be in pain… that you would stay strong and fight but that you knew when to let go.  I wanted so desperately for you to be ok and to grow big and strong and healthy.  I so wanted you to grow and go home to play with you big brothers and sisters.  To live a long happy life … sweet J - I had so many dreams and hopes for you. 

The night you earned your angel wings, I prayed that you would stay with us …. I begged God for his help to keep you safe but I also prayed that if it truly was your time then you would know it was ok to let go - sadly you were called to heaven way to soon… now I just pray that you soar with your angel wings and hold your protective hands over your sweet big brother N. 

Although I did not learn of your passing until later, I barely slept at all that night.  All I could think of was you ... I am so incredible sad that you had to leave us.  I am so sad for the heartache and pain your passing brought to your parents … We were not ready for you to go.  We all just wanted more time to love you and get to know you.  I hope that with time we will all heal and again see the sun behind the clouds along with the beautiful rainbow that often follows the rain. 

Little J the memory of holding you close will forever be etched in my mind  ... You will always live in my heart and you will forever be loved.

Due date...

Today is my full term due date and two sweet little boys should have had their birthday much closer to today than they do.

I have three wishes today ... my first wish is for little N and is for a long and healthy life surrounded by your lovely family.  My second wish is for little J .. I miss you very much and wish that you will always watch over your big brother with whom you shared so much.  My last wish is for L&J and it is actually for yesterday!!!  Wishing you a happy anniversary :-)

I am sad today and it is still hard not to wish that everything was so different.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Milk...

My freezer is getting very full of milk.  As a matter of fact, only the basket at the bottom is holding food at this point!   I keep reminding the kids to not to get into the freezer for popsicles and snacks as I do not want to take a chance that they will leave the freezer door open...I am the only one to go in there!!!  Yep the freezer patrol is on :-)

Right now I am waiting to coordinate shipping with L&J.  This will be the first time for me to ship milk out and I am trying to gather as much info as possible to make the shipment successful.  I am a little nervous about it ...  pumping takes a lot of time commitment and in order for it to be good for N, it has to be frozen solid upon arrival so it can go straight to their freezer.

To date I have pumped about 23 gallons of milk ... moo!!  My milk supply is slowly decreasing but I am still keeping ahead of N at this time.  As our upcoming move is quickly approaching, I will be stopping my pumping in the very near future.   But by the time I stop, I hope to have about a 1,000 ounces to ship out to little N and that should keep him on breast milk for a little while longer... every little bit is a good thing.  It makes me happy that I have been able to provide milk for him for as long as I have.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

3 months ago today...

My official due date is just three days away but exactly 3 months and 3 hours ago I gave birth to the twins via emergency c-section.  I am still sad that my pregnancy ended so suddenly.  Time has passed and I feel much much better emotionally but the loss of something undone and never to be finished still lingers and have left a little hole in my heart. 

The ending to my pregnancy for L&J was just not the way it should have been.  So much pain and sorrow took the place of all the happiness and joy we all had dreamed off.  Knowing that I will never again lay my eyes on sweet little J or ever get to hear his little voice just hurts so much - he was such a beautiful little boy.  I know that healing will continue to take time and hope that with time the joy of little N will overshadow the sorrow and leave us all with beautiful memories of little J . 

I also hope that I will continue to hear updates from L&J.   Sadly I represent a very difficult time in their lives ~ a time so jumbled with both joy and so much sadness ~ and although we agreed to stay in touch, I am afraid that the strain of the loss may make their desire to do so less than had the outcome of our journey been different.  L&J are wonderful people and adoring parents and I just hope that our friendship, spurred from the dreams of bringing a baby into their lives, can survive the loss and test of adversity that we have all gone through.  

Although I am still pumping for N, I do not hear from them as much as I had hoped for.  However, I am trying not to feel needy or expect too much as I know they are busy settling in and that N has many follow-up appointments to keep them running.  That being said, I do treasure every update I get from L as well as the occasional pictures - it always makes me very happy to see him and hear about how N and the rest of the family is doing! 

I truly wish that we will remain in contact for many years to come...but more than anything I wish that little N will grow big, strong and healthy....happy 3 month day my little sweet surro child - I hope you are having a good day today.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Magnus & Olivia are back...

We are sitting in the Seattle airport on our way back to Portland ... I just love my kids!!!  It was so great so see both of them again after five long weeks in Denmark....I missed them so much. 

Sebastian and I drove to Portland on Wednesday so I could fly out to get the kids in Chicago on Thursday.  First we went to get my car serviced.  Oil change got done quickly and luckily I had them check my tires extra carefully as I have been putting extra air in them quite frequently.  As it turned out there was a nail in one of them...good thing to have fixed now before we start our trek back to the Midwest. 

After getting the car done we went to catch up with M&M and the twiblings.  We spent some time at the playground and although it was catered to bigger kids, it was funny watching both V&K's little minds turn and think about all the things they could do if they were just big enough!  Their little personalities are just blooming and especially their vocabulary is expanding right now...so much fun to watch them grow.  We had Japanese for dinner and this was actually the first time I have been to a real sushi place .. yummy!!!  Sebastian tried a few things but curled his nose at seaweed!   After dinner we drove back to M&M's place and spent a little time just talking and watching Sebastian clown around ... he is not a quiet child - especially not when other little children are sleeping and his mommy would prefer for him to be quiet!!!   He is so funny to watch though and has a great imagination ... and luckily no twiblings were awoken and soon we went off to bed too.  Thanks for letting us spend the night!

We got up really early on Thursday and I dropped Sebastian of at some friends house and then I was Chicago bound ... so excited to get there and just give both Magnus and Olivia a big squeeze.  The have had lots of fun while they were gone and I am sure I will continue to get lots of stories for weeks to come.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Visiting one of my favorite families...

Yeah ~ Magnus and Olivia is coming back to the U.S. on Thursday ... I cannot wait to see them again.  I have missed them so much but it has been a great experience for them to visit with friends and family back in Denmark....I can't wait to hear all the stories!

I addition to getting M&O back home, I also get to go visit with Violet and her family!  As we are getting ready to relocate to the Midwest, I know this will likely be the last time I get to see them all for a while ... I feel so blessed to have them in my life and I just love getting to see how big V is growing and to spend a bit of time with her and family.   Sebastian and I will be staying with them overnight before I fly to Chicago to pick up Magnus and Olivia. 

What a great couple of days ahead of me...

New baby feet...

I am so excited ... my new "baby feet" necklace arrived and I just love it!!!  ...pictures to come soon :-)

Jennifer Woodall of Avaeli Couture makes awesome hand stamped jewelery.  I purchased a necklace from her after I had Miss V and I wear that one all the time.  I felt it was only befitting to get an updated necklace to wear with my newest two sets of "baby feet" included.

I had a necklace made for L too - I hope she will like it!

Check out all of Jennifer's stuff here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/avaeli?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=App_Seller&utm_content=shops&utm_campaign=fb_seller_shop2

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sweet dreams...

...Last night before I went to sleep... I received a text with a couple of cute pictures of N with his big brother holding him .. ahhhh such sweetness made for some sweet dreams for me last night.

Now on to some sweetness this morning ... snuggling in with Sebastian for just a bit before I hit the shower.

Still running...

Well ok ok jogging is more like it but eventually hopefully it will be a run!  It feels good to be out and moving and even though was raining this morning, I still got up and went out. 

I am thinking that I need some motivation ~ a little goal to work for ... like bikini motivation ... however, before I will venture out in a bikini (...and it remains to be seen if I will EVER venture out in a bikini again) I will need to drop about 5 ~ 10 lbs and "firm up" a bit.  At this point, I am only about 3 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight with N.   Right now I am not really focusing on weight loss as I am still pumping for little N.  Breast milk production requires a good healthy diet and a higher caloric intake and I want to make sure that my milk is good for him.  My goal with the C25K program is as much about getting into a better mental place as well as physical shape.  Getting back to a more active life style will help my body become more toned and in an overall better shape.  Then when I stop pumping, I will focus on cutting down on calories and hopefully this will help shred the last pounds off.

We have been planning to take a vacation once we are done with our relocation project and everyone is together again.  It will be so nice to spend quality time together as a family.  Where to go ~ where to go???  ...off to ponder where a good vacation spot may be that requires a bikini :-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August...

Where did the summer go .. I cannot believe it is August already.  I was due with N&J on August 17th and now is the time I am supposed to be having babies :-(  All the ladies in my SMO transfer group are having babies these days and it makes me a tad bit sad that I am not one of them.  N&J just arrived way too soon....I pray daily for a good day for Little N and hope his guardian angel is always looking out for him.

N is doing well at home and I am assured that he is adored by all!  L sends me updates on him ~ it is always great to hear how he is doing.

Sebastian and I have been hanging out at the beach the last couple of days and today we are off to the County Fair.   I am thinking we are going to fit in the Smurfs one of these days too ... but it has been too nice outside to go to the movies.

I fly to Chicago next Thursday to pick up my two big kids .. I can't wait to see them again.  They are coming home to Oregon for just a bit before we make our big move back to the Midwest...they were both so excited when I told them they were coming back to see their friends again.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hanging with Whoopi...

Got my picture!!

one more with sweet little Miss Violet

...and by the way check out my shoes ~ love em!

C25K day 2...

As I was laying in bed this morning contemplating getting up and my first thought was "ugh" I was sore, tired and cranky!  I got up and got dressed.  Once I got downstairs, the couch did look mighty good...but instead I got the dogs and off we went.  A neighbor of mine came along which was great motivation as well. 

After my walk / jog ... I feel pretty good and just made a great big bowl of yogurt, oatmeal and fresh fruit .. good healthy breakfast to go with the morning exercise - here is to keeping it healthy for the rest of the day.

Day 2 woo hoo!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

C25K day 1...

I made it off the couch!!!

Got up this morning, pumped for lil N, and completed day 1 of the C25K program ... ok it is a relatively minimal achievement but I did it!  Bella loved it too as she got to come with me this morning ... I figured she might as well get to run a bit of steam off since I was out anyway.   Then I sat down for a great big bowl of oatmeal ... yummy. 

Got a full day planned today.  Magnus and Olivia will be returning home in a week and half and I have stuff to get ready for them.  We have decided that they will come back to Oregon for a bit before we do our move as we are still working out some details.  So today I need to make flight arrangements so I can go to Chicago and pick them up ... can't wait to see them again.  They have had a very busy summer and I am so looking forward to hearing all the stories of fun and excitement.  ...but first the vacuum cleaner is calling my name ... wonder if I can train one of the dogs for that duty?