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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things to consider...

So this post has been in the workings for a while ... my plate has been pretty full recently but I want to give a quick update on the surrogacy plans.  Since we cancelled cycle in May, we have all had a lot to think about.

I have not shared much about why we cancelled the transfer but it was due to insurance issues.  The insurance options that we planned to use was no longer a viable option due to my early delivery with the twins.  And for those of you wondering - yes my history was disclosed to the insurance company but it did not become an issue until well ... last minute so to speak when they were pressed for specific details.  I guess most companies are happy to take the premiums but not as happy to incur the risk.  So we cancelled transfer - better to stop something than to have an issue later.

With this particular insurance option gone - we all knew that the end of the road was likely reached.  Insurance when undertaking surrogacy is very important.  Self-pay is certainly an option, but given how quickly the unexpected turn of events with the twins occurred, it is not really a risk that we wanted to take.  I knew that my insurance from back in the Midwest would not cover anything because we are completely out of network out here.  Furthermore, I was not hopeful on the likelihood that our new insurance would cover surrogacy as most specifically excludes it.

Low and behold, my new insurance does cover - but here is the hitch - it covers uncompensated surrogacy.  So the question for me to ponder was whether or not I can do that.  Surrogacy requires a lot of you both physically and emotionally but it is a gift regardless if those efforts are comped or not.  My main motivations for surrogacy was never the financial gain and that is certainly not what motivates me this time around either.  If anything, my last experience have taught me more about how precious life is and that you truly cannot put a value on it.  Parenthood is priceless.  I truly have it upon my heart to help A&S, so while I may not have considered an uncomped journey in the past, things have changed and knowing full well what goes into this, I have spent a lot of time over the last month pondering it....can I do it?  ....and yes I can do that - the incredible intrinsic rewards that come along with this act of giving the miracle of life to someone else is truly the reward that means the most to me.

This has however required a lot of discussion between Rio and I - because this is not just my decision to make.  He is as big a part of this as I am and his input is just as important as mine.  While I gain all the personal rewards, the financial aspect has made up for some of my shortcomings along the way such as when I was too tired to cook dinner and we ordered extra takeout, or when I simply had no energy to clean my house, I could pay someone to do it for me.  I need his support and unless he is ok with my decision - then it would be a no go.  How lucky I am to have a great supportive husband - who understands and care for me.  Bottom line is that he knows my wishes and my dreams to carry a baby for this couple.  The reasons are plentiful - are they tied to the outcome of my last pregnancy .. sure there is some to that ... but trust me when I say, that I am not pursuing another pregnancy because of that experience.  I knew A&S before I knew L&J and at this point we have a long history together and a very special friendship.  A and I email back on forth on most days - actually I think that she is probably the person that I emailed with most frequently these days.  Mostly my desire to do this comes from wanting to help some very sweet parents realize their dream of adding to their family.  Family is very important to me.

In life we do not choose our family ... if we did, I certainly have a few extra families that I would like to include in mine.  Sure I have met these families by chance ... but by chance or not, 3 families have crossed paths with mine and I am ever so blessed that they did.

So things are still in the works - I just really needed time to think through it all ... life is a journey - let's see where it takes us next!



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Objectivity...

Take away from a conversation with Sebastian today:

S: Mommy what would happen if a huge gigantic asteroid hit the lake
Me: I guess we would get REALLY wet
S: No Mommy like the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs
Me: I don't know
S: We would go extinct Mommy!

Here I was, sitting in the car, hoping not to go extinct just yet!!

This conversation was so sweet and candid and I love these moments when I can tell that he is really starting to process things he is learning.  Fascinating to hear how he puts 2 and 2 together and trying to make sense of things.  Even more interesting as I am doing a lot of reading for my developmental psych class!  I am sure some of the various theorist (if still alive and not yet extinct!) may just have something to say about that conversation.  Anyway, I am excited about this class because I hope to gain some valuable insight not just for applicable usage once I get into the nursing field, but also for myself now.

There are two aspects of the class that I am particularly interested in - childhood development stages as I may glean some very valuable information to aid in my never ending quest to raise three bright and delightful children ....who will always speak nicely to their mommy, who will never throw pre-teen girlie fits completely with "if eyes could kill - you would be dead now" looks, or who will quit saying "just a minute" when being asked for the 5th, 6th or 7th time to get off the computer!!! .....ok ok I digress, maybe the class will not help me with those exact issues, but surely it will help me to become a more educated parent!

We will also be talking about grief and how these feelings impacts people.  I know I feel like I have been dealt such a shitty hand when it comes to grief ... but surely that is how all people feel when they loose someone they care about.  It is never fair and timing is never right.

A quote keeps floating back into my mind;

~ Better to have loved and lost .. than never to have loved at all ~

And yes .. it is better - it is harder but better!  

I feel grateful for the experience of carrying N&J.  I am saddened by their early arrival and still heartbroken over the loss of J ... but the experience have still made me a better person.  I cry sometimes and part of that is an ongoing process of loss and letting go.  Letting go of expectations  and being ok with knowing that I may never know how N is doing.  

I have gotten so much stronger over this last year - I am stronger person for what I have been through.  Truly loss happens all the time, it is eminent and especially for a nurse it is a reality that will linger close by.... So what is the trick?  Is it to remember the good things and warm our hearts on those memories when the going gets tough.  I know for me remembering that for a moment in time I brought joy and hope and the miracle of pregnancy where none was before, and although the end of the journey was troubled, I still brought the excitement of little feet to a very very loving home.  Or is it to have a place of solace to remember the people we loose?  For me visiting the grave site of my grandmother and my father will always be a staple in my life when I travel to Denmark and J's little sunny spot will forever be close to my heart.

Whatever it is, I hope to be enlighten in this class - I hope to gain some valuable knowledge to be able to handle situations with grace and humility and down the road be able to provide comfort for those in need.

....and if nothing else ~ even if I do become extinct by morning due to a massive asteroid hitting the lake close to my home ~ this I know - I am so much richer for having loved.  Although I may have lost, the memories of love lives on forever.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A sweet new baby...

Congratulations M on the delivery of your second little surro babe ~ you rock!

I know M from my very surrogacy journey with M&M.  She carried their little boy while I carried Miss V.  Today she delivered a sweet baby girl and made a family very very happy.

Speaking of M&M ... I look forward to go and visit them very soon.  July is already a hectic month due to lots of kids camps ~ but hopefully August will allow for a trip ... yeah for summer planning.

Thinking about M&Ms ... I totally want some - but do not have any :-( ... Off to sneak in an Oreo and a cup of milk before bed!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer classes...

My summer term starts on Monday.  I am excited to get started again but also a little nervous as I am taking the classes online.  Scheduling wise, online classes work great for the summer as the kids are home and we do not have to plan around me going to classes several times a week.  Still I feel a little antsy waiting for the details from the class instructors so I can begin my studying.  The school uses an electronic blackboard for communication and I was hoping that information for the classes would be posted yesterday as the term starts Monday...but no such luck - one last weekend of freedom I suppose!

I am actually spending a good amount of time reading up on information for my upcoming A&P sequence starting in the fall.  I really want to go into fall with a good foundation on bones and muscles....almost anything I do physically right now gets mentally related back to anatomy.  Preparation is half the battle!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Angel flutters...

It has been a year since little J received his angel wings...

I wish we had more time with you ... I wish you were not so little ... I wish you had stayed within me much longer than you did ... I wish you were home with your brother ... there is not end to my wishes for you ... but perhaps my biggest wish is peace for your sweet family and that you will continue to watch over them.

Loosing a child must be the hardest thing a mother can ever endure.  My thoughts are often with J and also with L.  I know her heartache is amplified many times that of mine.   Even though I am not J's mother, my feelings regarding his loss are indescribable .. as a surrogate the sweet little ones are not ours but still they are for just a brief moment in time.  I have been through loss before but this has been one of the hardest things I have ever gone through.  I still have moments when my grief feels very raw and I do not think that will change.

Baby boy .. your footprints sweetly lingers in my heart... I miss you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I AM a Spartan...

What a crazy crazy undertaking ... the Spartan Sprint is NO joke!

This morning I feel pretty much run over by a truck ... and I know the only way to combat my sore muscles is a little jog to get them to loosen up.  The thought of running right now is .... uhmm not so fun...but I will do it.  Because even just sitting in my bed, I feel sore and achy.

My knees and palms are totally thankful that I was wearing knee pads and half gloves .. my elbows?  Not quite as happy - Ouch!!!  They are both pretty bruised.  I guess crawling - no creeping is more like it - on your belly uphill in finger-deep mud, below barb wire while being hosed down with ice-cold water from a fire-hose, did my elbows no favors.....trust me, you will dig in anything in just to get forward and upward - including unpadded elbows!!

Still ... 3+ miles, countless of obstacles, a nasty spill off the monkey bars, 90 burpbees later and a jump over the fire... I finished the Spartan sprint in about an hour and a half.  I am proud of my accomplishment - the experience rocked!!

My two big kiddos ran in the Spartan Kids race - they loved it!  Well done kiddos ... I am just so proud of both of you!!  Getting muddy and having fun .. it was just a great day.  Both of them got a taste of running a race ... and they want to do it again!  I will totally do another race like this - but got to work a bit more on my upper body strength first....well that and nurse my raw elbows back to health!

I AM A SPARTAN .... aruuuuuuu!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spartan kiddos...

We are doing this - I just finished the registration.  Magnus and Olivia are signed up to do the Spartan Kiddo race and I will do the Spartan Sprint..... I am sure that by 5 minutes into it I will have my moments of regret ... for now - I am just excited and think it will be fun!!

Check back Sunday to see if we all survive ;-)

YES!!!

I got 94% on my micro final ... I walked out of the test knowing that one of my essay answers was just not quite there.  I completely drew a blank when getting ready to answer that section and had to come back to it several times ... each time I was still at a loss.  Finally the time was ticking away and not wanting to leave the section blank, I wrote anything that I could possible relate to the questions to at least get some partial credit.  Last night I was totally stressing about it too .. kept thinking about the essay questions and how they could have been answered better.

Thankfully my instructor is a very quick grader.  The final was yesterday and the grades were logged today on the schools intranet.  I also got an email kudos from my instructor about the final ~ that just made my day!  I do not have my grades for the laboratory section yet but I am not too worried about that part ... but I am so totally excited that I did well in my first full class back in college and totally psyched to continue my studies.

Woohoo!!! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Are you a Spartan...

Well I would like to attempt to find out if I am!!!

Since we cancelled transfer, I am needing something that gives a bit of immediate gratification...so while this may look like I am gluten for punishment, I am really just ready for an extreme physical challenge ~ well this will be it for sure.

Check it out: http://www.spartanrace.com/index.html

June 16 - is less than a week away.  I can still sign up through Thursday so if I can find someone to come along or watch the kids for the day, then I am on it.

Scared?  ....yup!!!

1st prerequisite for nursing school is done...

Can I just tell you what a sigh of relief I felt walking out of the test today (ok ok some anxiety too because there were pieces of the test that I was so not confident on!) ...it feels so good to have the first class done with.  I feel like I have actually accomplished something.  Now all I have to do is not stress out and worry about the grade - I should have it tomorrow.

The last few days, my thoughts have really kicked back into thinking about nursing school.  Thinking and planning how to get through pre-reqs, with minimal impact for the kiddos, in order to be able to apply.  All while hoping that I can keep up a great GPA as nursing school is SO competitive - for the 2012 sessions, they accepted just short of 90 students, had over 500 applicant with an average GPA of 3.86 ~ yep I got my work cut out for me.  Still, every time I think about it, I just get that really excited feeling deep in my belly.  I know this is a right direction for me.

So here I go .. ready to start the pre-reading to prepare for my summer classes - nutrition and developmental psychology ... excited already :-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Missing my dad today...


Three years ago today my father passed away and I miss him very much.  I still cannot "find" his voice in my memories but I hope one day my heart will unlock that treasure and I again will be able to recall exactly what he sounded like.

When we loose someone we love dearly, life is never the same again.  After the initial grief a "new normal" settles in with the memories always lurking behind closed eyes and in the depths of our hearts. 

June for me will always be filled with longing.  Wishing not only that I had had just little more time with my dad.  June also brought the loss of sweet baby J.  He was such a beautiful little baby and while I cannot "hear" my dad, I quite often hear the little wimpers from an all too tiny little boy.  It still seems so unfair that he was taken away so soon...

Today though ... I just miss my dad .. I love you so much

Funeral Heart with Red Roses

Saturday, June 2, 2012

End of first term back in school is near...

Yikes my microbiology final is coming up in just about a week....not sure that I feel ready for the final yet - but I am ready to get the first term back to school under my belt.  It has been a great term and I am really enjoying the subject matter. 

Last week I signed up for both my summer and fall terms ... Luckily I got into the A&P class for fall.  It is a bit competitive to get into here and since I was not allowed to sign up for classes until day two of registration, I was keeping my fingers crossed.  I am excited that I got in and am totally looking forward to starting that class again.  For the summer months I will be enjoying a nutrition class.  It is an online class only which will work well as the kids are out of school.

Once my finals are over I need to get all my transcripts submitted to the nursing program for evaluation and possible transfer credits.  They will go through what I already have as well as the classes I plan to take in preparation for the nursing program to make sure they all fit their requirements.  The actual application window for the program is September through January ~ exciting!