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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Count down to race day...

Ready .. set .. go  ~  well I hope so!!!

The Run for the Roses is coming up bright and early Sunday morning.  Start time is 7:35 AM .. here is to wishing for no rain :-)

Today I measured the exact distance of my run and timed it as well.   3 miles in 32 minutes (including 7 1/2 minutes of walking).. I am pretty happy with that.  I feel ready for the race and am totally excited to do.

If all goes well on Sunday, I would like to do a couple of more races before transfer if time allow.  There is one in April at the Portland Zoo ~ Race for the Cheetah ... I totally think the kids will get a kick out of that one.  They have a kiddo race as well and I think I am going to sign all three of them up for it.  It is just 1 mile ... I know they can all do that easy.   I just need to find someone to come along and watch them while I do my run.

My long term goal is to do a triathlon .. it will likely not happen this year as I really need to get more bike training in to be ready for that....but setting goals is a good thing and it will happen someday. 

Something else is even more exciting that race day!!!  My hubby is coming home tomorrow!!!  Yeah - we are all looking forward to seeing him and spending time with him...just can't wait!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just a little more time...

All these rainy days are getting to me....I am so ready for some sun and cheery weather.  I am really happy about doing the 5K on Sunday.  It has given me something to focus on for me and make sure that I get out of the house for a run (other than chasing the kids ;-) on most days...total bonus is that my scale is co-operating too and heading southbound! 

A Facebook post the other day got me thinking about time (and yes I have been spending way too much time on the computer ... did I mention that it has been raining and raining and raining!!!).  It made me reflect on how I use my time and got me thinking about the choices we make in life.  How do we know that we make the right decisions and how often do we wish that we made a different one...or maybe not truly a different one but just that the circumstances were a little bit different.

Do you ever have those days where you wish things were just a little bit different .. that you could go back in time or stop time for just a little while?  I sure do ... while I think that I have gotten better at using my time well instead of wasting it (ok ok ... spending endless time on the computer after the kids go to bed being hooked on some netflix series is probably not so well spent but I digress)... I know there is always room for improvement.

Running has given me even more time to think.  It gives me a solid 20 minutes to just think and plan...some days I try to really "just get out of my head" and and focus on my run ... but it seems that my brain will just not turn off!

The last few days, I have been thinking about and missing my dad a great deal.  I still cannot hear his voice in my head and I miss it.  I wish I had just a little more time with him .. wishing that our last time together was not so filled with sadness and difficulty understanding each other.   I would give much to hear his voice again and to see his smile.  I look at pictures and see my dad.  But my mental image of him is from after his stroke and his face is not truly my dad's .. while I do feel lucky that he Skyped me the day before his stroke, it makes me sad that our conversation was ever so brief.   He had just installed Skype and I remember him saying how happy he was to now be able to Skype me whenever he wanted ... we quickly rang off as we were both busy but little did we both know that this would be both his first and last time to Skype me.   Had I known that, I would have spent all day on the computer with him!  But alas somethings were not meant to be... I just hope some day, my memory of his voice will be unlocked in my brain and I will be able to recollect both his smiling face and the sound of his voice.

Of course no one can go back in time... no one can stop it even ever so briefly.  We can only make the best choice at any given point in time.  Time will continue to fly by and tomorrow all we can do is linger in the memories of today.   I find myself thinking a lot about what memories I leave with my children.  I try to give them freely all the time they want and need (and more so than they really want as evidenced by grouchy pre-teens who really do not always want to spent time with mom but rather be out with friends or "waste" time on the computer...just like mom!)... hoping that many happy moments are being lodged deep within them like little treasures to one day be unraveled when they have just a little time to sit quietly and remember what once were.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

C25K update...

I am doing it!!!  I got off the couch and I am doing a 5K on Sunday.  The timing is perfect.  Rio is flying in next Friday evening and we are spending the weekend in Portland anyway ... so I figured why not!  Now is the time to do it ... so I am signed up for a 5K at the Run for the Roses 2012 in Portland.

I have been keeping up with my running and try to get out at least 4 days a week.  I am at a point now where I can run a straight 20 minutes without stopping ... much much better than when I started and felt like dying from just going around the block!

I am really excited for my first "race" to get here....hoping to do a few more before we get to transfer day.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Calendar...

We have a tentative calendar...it makes it all seem very very real.  Woohoo...

A and I had been talking about dates and decided to leave it up to the nurse coordinator to go with what she felt was the best window.  May would work best for me as the kids will be out of school in early June.  So when I received an initial email with a date in the very end of May with the potential for that date to be moved into the first week in June, I told A that I hoped the date would be moved back into May rather than into June.  Well low and behold, just afterward our nurse coordinator sent us another email with a potential transfer date of May 25...yikes!  Magnus' birthday is on the 26th so the 25th is not ideal as I will have 2 days of bed rest after transfer and I would prefer not to be gone on his birthday.  So we will see what happens ... I have great faith that it will all work out.

Some things in life just feels so right and this is one of them.  I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to do this journey with A&S....connecting with A over the last few years have been very special and it feels like that connection is truly coming full circle.  We have much to look forward to in the upcoming months with respect to our journey...for now I am just very pleased that all my screening has been completed and we are ready to take the next step.  I am also looking forward to meeting A&S in person for the first time.  Phone calls, Skype and email is great .. but there is just something to be said for a personal face-to-face connection as well.  Exciting times!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Forgot to mention...

...that I totally LOVED the scale at my OB's office yesterday :-)  128.5!!!!  Woohoo.....I will take that as a victory for solidly being below 130.  Love it! 

My goal weight of 125 is not too far off....it would be nice to drop a few more pounds before we start cycling as the medications typically make me gain right off the bat.  But really the most important thing to me is that I just feel physically really really good....I am in better shape now than I have been for a long time. Off course there is always room for improvement ;-)


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fully cleared for take off...

I went to see Dr. H this morning to have a breast exam done and to get my OB form signed for the reproductive clinic file.  These were the last two items remaining to complete my pre-transfer check list at the clinic ... we are now fully cleared for take off.  It feels so good to have all the medical screening items done - even though I did not anticipate any issues at my OB's office... it is just nice to officially be medically cleared and to be able to make some real plans for a future embryo transfer.  This is so exciting!

I just read a beautifully written birth story from a mother who just had a child through surrogacy.  It was heartwarming to read this story of the delivery of a beautiful baby girl and the birth of a brand new family.  Such joy radiated from her story and it was accompanied by a beautiful picture tribute to her surrogate.  Stories such as this just warms my heart and reaffirms to me why I choose to become a surrogate.

Surrogates change lives .. and although the stories that we help create are not always perfect, I recently came across an intended mother's sentiment that has stuck with me ... that even when journeys are not not perfect they still provide a glimmer of hope where none was before.  Infertility is so difficult to deal with - I am so grateful for my ability to carry a child and I truly hope that I will get to experience the miracle of life again very soon.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Insurance...

Getting insurance for surrogacy is not easy and can be a bit tricky.  While many insurance companies does not cover surrogacy, they do not come out explicitly stating that fact and reading plan documents can leave much up to interpretation.  Add to that fact that insurance plan documents seems to change so rapidly these days, it can be hard to know if one is truly covered.  While I do have current health insurance, it is not favorable toward surrogate arrangements.  Also as it is an employer sponsored plan in the Midwest, we are far far "out of network" making it very likely that they would scrutinize all charges being submitted and likely deny them all anyway.  In addition, with our relocation back to the coast, it is our hope that Rio will be joining us soon and with that comes another employment change which will bring another insurance change.  I know for a fact that if he takes a job with the employer he is prospectively looking at, their insurance will not cover any surrogacy related pregnancy expenses. 

As such, A&S is now on the search for the right kind of insurance plan to get and use for our adventure.  There are a limited number of options and we are covering all bases to make the best decision.  I really wish that this part of surrogacy/infertility was not so incredibly expensive to the intended parents.  Getting short term medical coverage for a pregnancy is not only difficult but also incredibly expensive often running in the thousands of dollars.  Insurance alone is why many IP's are unable to pursue parenthood unless they can find a surrogate with private insurance that covers surrogacy .. and like I said, that is becoming a rarity rather than the norm.

Although insurance is very expensive, it is a necessity to make sure that everyone is protected.  In addition to insurance, another options to look at is getting a quote for a "self-pay" plan from my local clinic and hospital... this may be good option as it will likely less expensive than all other choices as long as I have an uncomplicated pregnancy.  But we all know that does not always happen, no one can anticipate anything with any pregnancy at any time ... I have learned that first hand!   So in the event we choose to go the self-pay route, we are also looking into back-up policies to have in place that can be activated in the event that something does not go according to plan. 

...the joys of insurance .. but once that is behind us we are one step closer :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Check check...

Trial transfer done .. check!
Ultrasound of uterus and lining measurement done .. check!

Two more things of the list with beautiful results - this is getting really exciting!!  After my physical exam component at the clinic with Dr. H. was done, I got to meet with the nurse coordinator.  We talked about how my past medication protocol has been effective so we will leave it the same and hope for good results the third time around.  We are looking at a May (possibly early June) transfer.

The clinic is now just waiting for the last few items before we can officially move ahead and make real plans.  They are waiting for my psych report (...and yes I am sure I am insane - but I plead the fifth on that one ;-) ... Dr. D should be sending her report over soon - both my conversation with her and her phone call with Rio went well.  Actually I am truly glad to have had another opportunity to discuss the aftermath of the twins' early arrival - think through and verbalizing it all again and feel sure that I have gone through the process of healing and knowing that I am ok.  It will always hurt - it will always have an impact on me....but that is ok.  It is part of who I am and little J will always be with me.   It was good to "re-air" some of all those feelings to someone who counsels a lot of women who are going through infertility or dealing with various degrees of pregnancy and infant losses...always helpful to get another perspective.

Contracts are in the works as well ... we are all hoping for a smooth process here.  Last piece is my OB sign-off .. that appointment is scheduled for later this month.  I will no longer see my regular OB as she has gone into private practice and no longer does OB care.  While I am sad because I really like her, it is also good as the other doctor I will see focus on high-risk obstetrics which is truly a benefit given the early arrival of twins. 

It seems that we are well on our way to making a baby .... excited?  You bet!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I just need to whine...

:-(

Ok I just gotta get it out because it is eating at me...

First off it is the 13th need I say more ... well at least it is not Friday the 13th but still this day on the calendar leaves a bit of a sting in my heart every time it comes around.  Much love to you little N ... I hope you are having a great day today!

Our day actually got pretty well on its way.  I got up early, got the kids up early, got part of my workout in (love my ab glider) while asking Sebastian repeatedly to get dressed while he was resisting and being grouchy....bonus to grouchiness was that I got all of my daily glides in before breakfast!

Even though we were up early ... we were still late for the school bus, which was ok because I had promised Olivia that I would drive her to school.  However, still running late ... how is it possible to be late every morning even though we get up earlier and earlier - I just do not get it.  Need to focus on time management skills for all three of my lovely little ones in the mornings ... trying to come up with some new routine that will work out better than our current one.  Well we got to school just as the bell rang so luckily no tardy notices!  I went on to the grocery store which was nice an empty and got all my shopping done and was home by 9:30AM.  Great!

Well now here is the bugger number 2!!!!  Mail was here and with it came my "we hereby regret to inform you that we are withdrawing your provisional admission into the nursing program for Fall 2012".   UGHHHHH!  I knew it was coming as I had already informed them that I would be unable to attend ... but man it still sucks to see it in writing!  I know ... I know that it is just a minor and temporary set back in the grand scheme of things and bla bla bla for lots of good reasons.  I KNOW!!!  It still sucks....

Ok done whining for the day...I will now put my big girl panties on and get on with life.   I saw this posted on Facebook this morning .... ohh how appropriate...


I asked for strength ~ And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom ~ And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity ~ And God gave me a Brain and Energy to work.
I asked for Courage ~ And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love ~ And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors ~ And God gave me Opportunities.
....I received nothing I wanted but I received everything i needed.


We got to be careful about what we ask for in life .... you shall always receive but in may not arrive in the packaging you are expect.  In spite of all the things that seem difficult and not exactly how I wanted them to be ... I recognize that I am blessed and my live is filled with so much good and for that I am forever thankful.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Work it out...

Ok so I am completely fixated on my scale ... I really need to throw it away ... really I do!!!

I have been able to maintain below 130 in the mornings.  I have been at this spot for a while now ... but man, it is just not budging much beyond that.  I am really watching what I eat and I am getting back to working out pretty much daily (...well to some extend anyway and sure I could be doing better ~ but hey walking the dogs does count too).  I have just been so busy since our move that it is not always easy to cram everything in.  I also know that I need to do a better job of drinking more water so I just bought a new refillable bottle this weekend and I am back to keeping track of that as well.

I am hoping to get to 125 before we start actively cycling, as I know that the fertility meds will bring the pounds right back on.  I think this is a reachable goal if we plan for a May transfer....hopefully our first transfer will be successful and the pounds will be packing on for a whole other reason ;-)

Truly I am not so concerned about the number on the scale but more about the toning of my body and it is looking pretty good....I am back in my size 4 jeans which makes me very happy ... now I just want to "redistribute" a few things and eliminate a few others like the cellulite that is still hanging out on my bum, thighs and the back of my ribcage..... It will happen .... it will happen :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Running on the beach...

I love being on the beach ... I took the kids and the doggies down there around lunch time today.  It was very windy and it was great feeling that wind rush past you with the waves crashing at your feet.  I got in a great run - it was not a long run - but in the wind, on the sand and with leg-weights on - it was a good run.  I also used the logs for push-ups and dips so my arms definitely got a great work out as well and then I finished up with a few sprints up the sand dunes ... I can feel that in my glutes tonight!

We were lucky with the weather.  It was sprinkling in the morning and almost as soon as we pulled back into the driveway, it started hailing....only to have the sun peek back out moments later.  Back to the crazy coastal weather - especially in the winter.  I guess it is technically spring at this point .. but tell the weather gods that!  Snow is expected in the mountain passes this week .. just in time for me to go to Portland on Wednesday for my trial transfer.  I am however taking it as a sign of good luck .. every time I have been in the testing/transferring time window, snow has fallen in the mountain passes and at least one of my drives to the clinic has been at a snails pace.

Wow ... I actually  just wrote that!!!  We have our trial transfer scheduled for this Wednesday - yeah!  The clinic is passing on a full mock cycle this time which is great.  Since I am doing my transfer with the same doc and clinic, and both of my previous transfers were successful, it is a pretty safe bet that I will respond well to the transfer protocol the third time around. 

Contracts are getting under way as well ... we have a great team of attorneys who will be working on these so I am sure it will be a smooth process.  Again just wow ... I am actually getting to do this one more time!  I am totally excited ... it is like being a kid on Christmas.  After I meet with the RE on Wednesday, I should know more about timing for the actual transfer ... guessing that it will be somewhere in the end of April or in May.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Talked to my attorney...

Time for attorneys ... crazy but true.  This is exciting as all my psychological and medical clearance have now been done and I feel comfortable moving on to the contract portion of this journey.

My IP's and I are in full agreement that our friendship, confidence, and trust in one another is the backbone of this journey.  I feel so very fortunate that we have had the opportunity of getting to know each other very well and hopeful it will make the contract process go very smoothly.  Contracts are a crucial component to protect all parties in a surrogacy arrangement.  They are a formality that is a must and it is important to pay attention to all the minutia and details to be addressed in there.  Involving attorneys clearly protects everyone for the duration but it also imparts some contention as obviously each party is coming from a different angle.

If have recently been in contact with the attorney I have used for my previous journeys via email.  He is really great and I totally trust and appreciate his guidance.  We also had the opportunity to speak on the phone as well and it was great to touch base and to know that he is willing and happy to represent me with this new contract as well.

So here we go on to new excitement ...   

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wishing for an update...

I long to hear an update on little N and it has been some time since I last received a text message from L.  I am sure that all is well with everyone, still it would be nice to get a little update on their sweet little boy.

I try not to dwell on the lack of communication from their side.  I have to remember that it is their life and their prerogative to maintain contact.  We can hope and dream about many things in life, but there are never any guarantees.  Being a surrogate, I put my heart on the line for someone else and do it because I care deeply.  While matching, future contact was a very important aspect on which I wanted to ensure compatibility...but still I have to be prepared for the chance that what is promised may never come to be.  I have to accept that I may never hear another word about, or from, that special little person once they leave my arms...while I hope with all of my heart that I will always continue to get little updates, the risk that I never will, is there.

It is the chance we take ... even if during the matching stage we agreed to maintain contact, things change.  Things get complicated and wishes change.  I know that the events of the last year have been hard on everyone, but I do hope that someday we will be able to share our story about N&J again ...  even if right now is not that time. 

One thing I know for sure, is that L&J love their little boy so much and they will be incredible parents to him.  I wish for many more future glimpses into his life ... wishes do come true and someday I hope mine will too.

Little N ~ you are in my daily prayers .. I hope you are growing bigger and more beautiful everyday.  I know that you have the most incredible little guardian angel in the world watching out for you.

L&J ~ you two are very dear to my heart .. I know that our journey did not end exactly how anyone anticipated.  Life is never easy but it is always a treasure.  I am grateful to know you both.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Talked to A today...

A and I talked on the phone for a while this morning .. discussing pancakes and lasagna!  We do a ton of emailing back and forth but it is always nice to chat on the phone as well.  There was a lot of delay on the phone line this morning...made us both feel like we were constantly interrupting one another.

We are all very excited to be moving forward to the next step of doing contracts.  I have been in contact with the attorney I have used for my previous journeys and they have sought advice of a couple of different attorneys as well so we can determine under which state the contract should be governed.  At first we were thinking CA laws as we have talked about and planned (this far anyway) for a Cali birth.  However, based on the most recent legal advice, I think we will be doing the contract here in Oregon and plan for birth here as well.  We will find out more during the upcoming week and then I think we will be into the actual contract stage.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this stage of the game will be smooth. 

I did my psych evaluation last week and it went well so I am pretty much cleared for take-off so to speak.  I need to make one more appointment at my regular OB's office to have a breast exam done (mine was not done at my usual check-up as I was still pumping for the twins at that time) and also for them sign my form for continued care upon release from the RE's office.  The final "testing" piece to get done is a trial transfer which needs to be done during a certain window in my cycle and this will be done sometime in the next three weeks or so.

Beginning contracts allows us to begin really making a game plan .. totally exciting!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Flowers for little J...

On our drive back to Oregon, I stopped by little J's grave.  A place which will always be very dear to me.  Bringing flowers to him and just visiting for brief moment in time ~ like the all to brief moments in a life time we were lucky enough to share with him here on earth.  Being there and feeling the sun rays reaching his little special spot, thinking about all that has happened and still wishing that things were so very different.

Our house is quiet today.  After having spent the last two weeks with my mother visiting us and helping with the move, it seems a bit lonely to be here by myself and I find that I miss the chatter of the children while they are at school.  The quietness reminds me to be grateful for every day..  and how silly and easy it is to get caught up in little annoyances and be hung up on non-important things.  This morning my voice sharpened and I got short with one of my children as he just did not seem to be moving at a reasonable pace ... and after they all left on the school bus, I felt alone and so awful that I yelled at him.  In the grand scheme of things, my children's imagination and play ..even at inconvenient times and making us run a bit late .. is really just a brief look onto a small treasure .. for the babies we carry below our hearts will be grown all too quickly and then all we can hope for is that we raised them well and that they will not remember the harsh words that came along as they were in their own little world playing while we were rushing them along hurrying to catch the school bus.

 There are days where my heart aches so much for the people dear to me that I have lost...my father, my grandmother, little J ~ how I wish we had just a little more time with you.   But the sands of time runs out sometimes when we least expect it.  Life is fragile ~ it is the greatest gift and I have to remind myself that none of us are ever guaranteed tomorrow .. that we can only live up to the potential of the day laid out in front of us.  If I make a mistake, I try to correct it.  If I want something to be different, I try to make it happen.  We never know what lurks right around the corner and we have to make each day count because sometimes today is all we have.

One song in particular sets my heart ablaze with thoughts and memories and I heard again this morning while reading one of my favorite blogs ~  somewhere over the rainbow... it is such a beautiful song.... and I feel certain that somewhere over the rainbow the many souls dear to me are somewhere up there.  I try to remember that today is the day to enjoy my children and the joy that they bring to me ... to be patient, loving and kind.  While we all have to plan for the future .. we still have to live today and today leaves the impression of the memories of tomorrow.  I can only hope that the memories I create will be good ones for those who will remember.

Acceptance letter...

Last week I got my acceptance letter for nursing school in the mail.  It was a little bitter sweet.  I knew that my chances of getting admitted were excellent but seeing it in black and white and knowing that I will not be able to go right now is ... well ... I could say upsetting ... but instead I am going to say "encouraging".

I know that I have the qualifications to go and meet the requirements (aside from some science classes that I will continue to pursue as soon as I can enroll in classes again out here on the coast) - and most importantly: I GOT IN!!!!  Focus on the positives ... I have the skills but the timing is not right at this moment in time.

If I got accepted once, I know I can get accepted again.  My focus on going back to school has not fallen off track just been put on the side burner for a little while.  Being unable to get approval to sell our house really threw us for a loop in our plans.  Still we are going to make the best of it and I will look at the positives and there are many things that makes my heart truly happy:

My children and so very excited to be home ... seeing their happy faces as they come in from playing with their friends is so wonderful

Listening to the sound of playing kiddos everyday when school is out

Listening to the sounds of the roaring ocean from my backyard

Walking in the sand by an seemingly endless ocean listening to the constant crash of the waves

I got accepted to nursing school ... this is a good thing even if I cannot go right now

..and maybe baby ... hopefully a sweet little one will be in the making very soon!  I have completed the majority of my screenings and we are on track to begin contracts ~ we are all so excited.

So while I miss my hubby so so much right now .. we will just keep making lemonade!  We are ever so thankful that we had the opportunity to say "let's move back to our wonderful home" instead of loosing it and leaving us in a financial mess...we are thankful that Rio has a great job that provides very well for all of us.  Life is not getting us down and when handed lemons, we will made the best of it and continue to pray for a local job opportunity for him very very soon.

...ok happy March y'all ... and happy happy birthday to my big brother!