Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crunchy Granola

I’m too crunchy for some people (to the tune of “I’m too sexy”)

I am one of those people who has to know everything about something before I do it.  I’ve read countless pregnancy books, I’m a member of at least 5 different surrogacy and/or pregnancy forums online and on Facebook.  I’ve talked to OB’s, doula’s, labor instructors etc. about pregnancy, labor, and birth and I’ve watched a few documentaries about the whole process as well.  I feel like I am well informed. 

I’ve chosen a natural route for this pregnancy, as I did with my own son 8 ½ years ago. 

Back story – On my husband’s 28th birthday we went to my OB for my 39 week check-up.  According to the sonogram, the baby (we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl yet) was measuring 12-13 lbs. and would surely add another half to full pound in the next week if given the time.  My OB strongly suggested a c-section concerned that the baby would be too large and get stuck.  Being a young, naive, first-time mom I relented and the next day my son was born. 

While the C/S was uneventful and my recovery went smoothly, I was disappointed for weeks that I didn’t get to experience any of the feelings of labor.  My water never broke, I never once had a contraction, I had no idea what any of that was like.  I felt I missed out on a huge part of being a woman and creating life.  Of course, having a healthy baby was paramount, but it didn’t alleviate my sadness and feelings of failure.

Fast forward to over a year ago – I decided that I wanted to try again.  My husband and I are totally happy with our family the way it is and do not wish to have more children of our own, thus why I decided to become a surrogate.

So now I’m just over 12 weeks with twins and have been doing my homework and finding an OB who is more than willing to help me have the birth that I want.  The babies intended father is also on board, knowing that a vaginal birth is easier for me and better for the babies.

Being that I am on so many forums with so many other women going through similar situations I find it so difficult to read when a woman just accepts that what her OB says is law, and ends up having a c/s because it’s easier to schedule, or because she had one last time, or whatever.  I also find it really hard to read about health issues like pre-ecclampsia as a given.  I wonder how many babies would have been able to go full term if the mother/surrogate knew that a proper diet could almost 100% prevent it in the first place. 

I’m also learning more and more about how chiropractic alignments (something I’ve never given much thought about) could seriously help ease labor by aligning the pelvis and ligaments. 

No, I don’t think crystals or “healing light” waved over me is going to make the pain disappear, but I do think that more women should advocate for their own health during pregnancy by learning more.  I have friends who never even went to a birth class, they just showed up to the hospital the day the OB scheduled their c/s for and that was that.  I find the whole thing disturbing.

So yeah, it appears that I am “crunchy” according to current definitions and I think I like it that way J

Monday, September 24, 2012

12 Weeks

12 weeks already!

Wow!  It’s amazing how fast things are going. 
This is the last week of my first trimester, and other than a tough start this morning (I don’t think the babies like Monday’s either) things seem to be getting a little easier.  I’m less tired and less sick to my stomach in the mornings.  I can also tell that my body is changing.  My waist line is quickly disappearing.  I also felt a flutter last week – it was small and quick, but it was a flutter.  It’s still kind of early for that, so I am going to say it was the perfect storm of right position at the right moment that I felt it.  I should be starting to feel them more and more often over the next couple of weeks.

I am also, ALWAYS HUNGRY!  It’s getting kind of ridiculous.. I can eat a half a sandwich before I feel totally full, then two hours later I’m starving again.  It’s not just an, “Oh I’m hungry again” , kind of feeling either… it’s full on-gonna-eat-the-next-thing-I-see kind of starving.  I’m still craving spicy food too.  That doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

In other news, I have decided to switch OB’s.  While I love my OB, she is not a supporter of VBAC’s (vaginal birth after cesarean) and definitely not with twins.   I found an OB only about 30 minutes from my house that is very pro-VBAC even with twins.  His demeanor was so wonderful when I went for the consult – he’ll even delivery breach.  He said, “I’m old school, we learned to catch them anyway they come out!” 

I’ve also enlisted the help of a doula.  She is the friend of a friend of mine and I know she is going to be an amazing resource and source of support and help for all of us.  For those not familiar, a doula is basically a labor coach.  They are trained and certified in the labor process.  She knows what to look for as far as trouble, and is there to keep me comfortable, make suggestions to ease labor, and to reassure both my husband and M. that everything is okay and normal.  She’s also a wealth of information as far as diet, health, and overall wellbeing and comfort during the pregnancy goes.  Dawn ( will be on hand while I labor at home, and help us know when it’s really time to head to the hospital.

So, yes, I’m kind of a crunchy mom, even though these aren’t my babies, and I would really like to have a natural birth with no meds and no c-section.  M. is in complete agreement and trusts my judgement because he knows that I have the babies health at heart.  I’m only semi-crunchy though and will leave options of vaccinations etc. to M., since they will be his kids after all.

We have our next appointment with Dr. C (the new OB) on 10/5 – hopefully we’ll get another sono done and I can post pics. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

10 Weeks

A total of 65 shots in my rear end. 

It’s been tough to be committed every night to bruises, lumps, and soreness.  I’m so glad it’s over.

At this point, I’m officially off all of my IVF medications and only required to take my pre-natal vitamins.  It’s so nice not to have to remember to take a pill three times a day as well as being ready for a shot every night.

Next Wednesday, 7/19 I have an appointment with a doctor who is pro-VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) with twins.  He’s about the only doctor in the DFW metroplex who is not only comfortable but advocates for natural births.  I’d really like the opportunity to try for a natural birth and I know that my current OB, though I really like her, is not as supportive. 

On 9/25 we have an appointment with a Perinatalogist.  She will do more in-depth measurements as time goes on to make sure that both the babies are growing at close to the same rate.  It’s very important that we keep an eye on that just in case one twin starts to lag behind.  M. is planning on being at this appt. so he can help fill in questions about genetics that I don’t have answers for.  It should be a very interesting appointment and we should get another ultrasound.

We’ll be 12 weeks (3 months) on the 24th so the babies should actually kind of look more like babies and not like gummy bear aliens.

Friday, September 7, 2012

9 Weeks

So I am a little late in updating…

I’m about 9 ½ weeks today and feel pretty good.  My biggest complaint now is just being exhausted all the time. 
Not sure if it’s from getting up at least once a night to use the restroom or just in general, but I don’t feel like I am getting enough sleep.  I’ve been known to take a nap so I am well rested for bed J

The babies are doing great.  I had my first OB appointment on Wednesday and both were measuring right along where they should be, baby A is about 2 days ahead in growth than baby B but they are still close enough together that there is nothing to worry about.

Best news yet – I only have 4 more progesterone shots to go!!  My butt and I are going to have a party on Tuesday around 7pm when I would normally be headed into the bathroom for our nightly ritual.  Seriously, the bruises are pretty bad and I’m really sore but at least it will be over soon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

8 weeks today!  I honestly don’t feel that pregnant – in fact when we went in for the ultrasound on the 17th I had been concerned that I didn’t feel pregnant enough and was worried something had happened.  Other than just being really tired and a little bit of morning sickness, this has been a breeze so far!

I hate to jinx it though as I know it’s going to be much harder the further along we go.

I’m having a lot of heartburn and indigestion lately.  I read that it happens more frequently and earlier (as in the 7th – 8th weeks) with multiples.  I’ve just gotten used to carrying Tums around with me everywhere.  I’ve also noticed a decrease in my appetite.  While I’m really hungry often, a few bites in and I’m totally full.  It took me 8 hours and 3 separate attempts but I conquered a whole entrĂ©e from Olive Garden yesterday!

Friday we have our second ultrasound – the babies should be the size of gummy bears around then.  Very exciting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Friday 8/17 we went to our sonogram appointment.  M. got to be there with us, which was really great.

As we were waiting for the doctor to come in and get to business the three of us, Josh, M. and myself were talking about how easy M. has it.  He only has to show up to appointments – he doesn’t have to deal with the day to day of taking care of a pregnant woman. (Not that it’s that hard though)  No running out in the middle of the night to satiate a cupcake craving.  (Josh did that a few times when I was pregnant with Ben)

The doctor came in and within a few minutes we saw two black blobs on the screen.  In each one was a tiny grey little bean with a beating heart.

That’s right folks, it’s TWINS!

M. was elated.  I know that I felt it was going to be twins before we even did the transfer, but seeing it on the screen made it much more real, especially since my symptoms have been fairly easy to deal with.  I actually told the doctor I didn’t feel pregnant enough and had worried something had changed since the beta tests.

As we were leaving M. insisted that I call him if I needed anything.  Of course, I wouldn’t call him for anything simple like needing a maternity bra now or a belly band because my pants are uncomfortable.  I have a monthly allowance that provides for those kinds of things.  So, Friday evening we were texting about the due date and again he insisted I tell him if I needed anything.  I replied with, “I promise to let you know if I need anything other than cupcakes.” 

Saturday morning there was a knock on my door and a cupcake delivery!

I have the best IF!

We have our next sonogram appointment on the 31st.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So I can honestly say in the week, and especially the last few days, I have really started to “feel” pregnant.

First, there is the feeling that I have a brick sitting in my lower abdomen.  The heaviness is most likely attributed to the extra fluids and blood flow that is going on in my uterus, but it just makes me feel heavy.

I’ve been very tired…. Like going to bed at 9pm kind of tired.  Taking naps before bed kind of tired.  You get the picture.

I’ve been a little nauseated but so far nothing’s come back up.  This is a huge concern if mine and was one of the greatest concerns both Josh and I had when I decided to become a surrogate.  When I was pregnant with our son I had hyperemesis – it’s basically extreme morning sickness where the woman can’t keep anything down.  I was hospitalized for a couple of days to rehydrate me and make sure I could keep something down.  It was emotionally taxing on both of us – I was depressed that I couldn’t eat, and Josh had to do EVERYTHING around the house. 

I doubt I will have the same problem this time though – by 6 weeks I was already spending half my day over the toilet. 


Lastly, CRAVINGS!!  Like I said before, with my son I was sick so much I was happy to get anything down so I really didn’t have cravings… at least not until later on.  I wanted chocolate baked goods and milk every night. 

Right now – I want Ice… Sonic Ice in particular.  Since I’ve been a little queasy cold things sound really good – cold fruit like grapes and oranges.  Oh and the babies have told me that they are particularly fond of Mexican food on a number of occasions.  And Breakfast – but not at breakfast time, at dinner time instead. 

Both the genetic father and mother are at least partially Hispanic so I think the babies just want home cookin’ ;)

Friday, we go in and have the sonogram to confirm that there are, and only are, two little beans in there.  I’m really hoping to get a sonogram pic and will be posting it for sure, if I do. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I had my third and last beta yesterday and it was a REALLY high number – 13708!  Just to put it in perspective, the average for twins at 18dp5dt is 5800.  We don’t really think it’s triplets or anything like that, just two really happy little beans!  M. is ecstatic!

I really started feeling pregnant a few days ago.  I have been very tired and a little nauseated, but it’s not been too bad.

We have our sonogram scheduled for 8/17 so we can find out for sure how many babies there are.

It’s just moving right along.

So today I am officially 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm really pregnant!

Yesterday morning Josh (my DH) and I drove out to Fort Worth for my first beta test.  For those not familiar, a beta blood test looks for the amount of HcG (the pregnancy hormone) in your blood.  An average number for a single baby is between 50-100 at the number of days past ovulation I am (14 or 9dp5dt). 

My beta was 220!!

First off, it’s a great solid number.  At the very least it indicates that we should have at least one very healthy baby snuggled in.  It could also mean we are looking at twins, but it is still really early to be sure.  Our 6 week sonogram will give us a more definite answer which should be right around the beginning of September.

When I told M. what the number was he said “OMG there are like 15 people I need to text!” – He was very excited!

I can’t say that I feel very pregnant yet, other than just being really tired.  Naps are glorious things and I wish my office allowed me to take one around 3pm every afternoon. 

So, we repeat the beta test tomorrow (8/1/12) to make sure it is doubling enough.  Basically, you want the HcG to be increasing at least 50% for every 48 hours, or better. 

I’m going to take a wild guess that it’s going to be 485 tomorrow… we’ll see how accurate I am then.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

And so it begins...

(I feel like the Mortal Kombat music should be playing now…)

In May of 2011 I signed up with a surrogacy agency based in Dallas, Simple Surrogacy.  I matched quickly with a very nice couple, but after 9 months we separated without getting to the medications stage.

I was very disappointed that things didn’t work out the way I had hoped, but after a short break of a week or so, I contact the agency again and told them I was ready to match with someone else.

A few days later I was sent ‘M’s’ Profile.  (Until I get his consent I’ll just use his first initial)

I’ve never considered myself to be traditional, but when I realized that he would be a single father I had to really think if I was okay with that.  After really reading the things he put in his profile, then meeting him for dinner, I knew he would be a wonderful father and I really wanted to be the surrogate to help him with that.

A few days later we were an official match.  We started contracts shortly after, and then medications in mid-June.

After 30 Lupron shots, and

67 estrogen pills, and

6 days of Progesterone shots

we transferred two 5 day old beautiful Grade A “hatching” embryos – or Blastocysts more accurately.    

Today, July 25th is officially 4dp5dt (4 days past a 5 day transfer) and I got my very first, very very light, positive pregnancy test!  (I know for non-surro eyes it might be really hard to see, but I promise it's there)

I’m going to keep POAS (peeing on a stick hehe) each day and posting a picture of tests as the second line gets darker and darker.

I'll be continuing the estrogen and progesterone shots for another 61 days (my bottom feels like a pin cushion already).

We have our beta blood test on 7/30 to confirm the pregnancy!