Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Surrogacy Roller Coaster

For those who follow this blog, you know that our experiences on this journey have been incredible.  Truly amazing.  We are so blessed and feel so grateful to have had such wonderful outcomes at each stage thus far.  I hope (and am confident that) we will continue to be so fortunate.

There are many Surrogates and Intended Parents out there.  So many of whom I have developed relationships with through Facebook, forums and blogs.  We each have our own story to share, so no journey looks quite the same.  When one signs up for surrogacy, the primary goal is to help someone have a child/children.   We are made aware of all of the odds, the risks, the possibilities, but what keeps us going is the thought of getting that baby into waiting arms. 

The emotional roller coaster of surrogacy is a crazy one.  Crazier than any real roller coaster out there.  Some surrogacy journeys are the  more mild coaster, maybe one loop-de-loop, a moderate sized drop, etc.  Others are filled with insane, stomach in your throat drops and filled with one loop after another, after another.  One of those coasters that you kinda wish would slow down/even out for a while so you can catch your breath.

The women that sign up for surrogacy are incredibly strong individuals.  All of them. 

IP's who choose surrogacy are incredibly strong individuals.  All of them. 

You have to be.  There just isn't an option. 

That being said...as a surrogate and strong individual, I am inspired daily by other Surrogates/IP's whose journeys have resembled the crazy roller coaster.  The strength, determination, and dedication  that you show, on a daily basis is hugely inspiring...not just to me, but many others.  To be on that roller coaster, voluntarily, and continue to hop on for however many rides it's going to take, requires such determination, such patience, strength and hope.  Much more than most people possess.

So I'd just like to take some time to acknowledge all of the Surrogates out there...and all of their Intended Parents, who are on this roller coaster we call surrogacy.  Whatever your roller coaster looks like, continue to hang on tight, scream if you have to, and keep the primary goal in mind...

It's about getting a baby into waiting arms.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Boring...Just The Way We Like It!

Everything has been nice and boring here in Pregnant Land!  One area of life that we LIKE to be boring!! :) The twins continue to give me no trouble at all!!  Aren't they sweet?!  :)  Probably the thing that's changing the most is my profile!  A few of you "locals" have definitely been noticing the rapid changes in the belly region!  For those of you that aren't local, let me refresh your memory...

9 Weeks
10 Weeks

11 Weeks

12 Weeks
Pretty amazing how things change in just a short period of time, huh?!  In other fun news, I have scheduled my next two appointments, for June and July!  We will have an ultrasound at both of these appointments but the July appointment is a biggie!  A 90 minute ultrasound where we will be able to see lots of details in the babies, like lips, fingernails, and hopefully, their genders!!  George and Farid are planning on coming to Denver for that appointment!!  Hooray!!  I've also scheduled our hospital tour while they are here!  It will be so crazy to see the place where they will finally get to hold these babies for the first time! 
*chills & happy tears*

I trust that you are all well and living very NON-boring lives!  :-)

Until next time....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Goodbye Meds!

Woo-hoo!  I am officially done with meds!!!   In order to celebrate, Rick and I have been working on a dance routine!  We thought we'd share our dance with all of you!  We've been learning these moves for weeks now, so prepare to be impressed! 

I invite you all to celebrate with us by doing a little jig of your own!  If you don't want to work on a whole routine (like we did), at least do a little butt wiggle in honor of all of the medications that have been put in this body over the last 3 1/2 months!!

12 Weeks!

That's right, folks!  We are 12 weeks pregnant and each of the babies is about the size of a plum!  They are each about 2.5 inches long from the crown of their heads to their cutie-patootie rumps! 

Yesterday's appointment went very well!  Babies were looking perfect of course!  :) 

Baby A was measuring 11 weeks, 6 days  and had a heart rate of 167!

Baby B was measuring 12 weeks, 1 day and had a heart rate of 186!

And here is a picture of their awesome babysitter:  Lol!  :)

12 Weeks!
Can you say...bring on the 2nd trimester?!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First OB Appointment

Tomorrow is our first appointment with my OB!  Hooray!  I really liked our RE and our monitoring clinic, but moving on to my OB is a milestone for this pregnancy!  I'm excited to get to know all of the Doctors/Nurses, knowing that these will be the people we will be seeing from now until we deliver!  No more Musical Docs for us!

My appointment is about 2 hours long!!  They need to do blood work, all of my initial measurements and paperwork, and they are going to do the FNT ultrasound too!  I am looking forward to seeing these kiddos again, and praying that they are flourishing in there!  I will of course be sure to let you all know how everything went!

FNT Ultrasound Info

In other news...surely you haven't forgotten that we are almost done with the meds!!  :)  Tomorrow will be my last dose of the Jelly Belly's, and Thursday will be my last Progesterone injection!!  Woo Hoo!!!!  Have you all decided  how you'll celebrate this momentous occasion?  Lol!

P.S.  Did you see our baby ticker???? Less than 200 days!  Yay!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Tonight, Rick and I will be celebrating our 14 year Anniversary!  Our actual Anniversary is on Tuesday, the 24th, but Skyler's choir will be singing the National Anthem at the Colorado Rockies game on that day, so we decided to celebrate a little early!  We are going to one of our favorite restaurants...The Melting Pot.  Have you been there before? 

It is so choice. If you have the means...I highly recommend picking one up. 

Anyone know what movie that quote is from? 

Besides you, Kenny. :-)

Yummmm.....SOOOO looking forward to dinner.

Rick and I met in high school...when I got a job at the DQ that his family owned.  Shortly after my hiring, we started dating.  Rick had a 15 minutes early policy when it came to getting me home on time.  At the time, I thought that was pretty lame, but now, as a parent, I would love, love, love the boyfriend who had the 15 minutes early policy!!  We continued dating through my senior year and by then I had decided that we should get married after I graduated high school.  Rick had a different plan.  He told me that he would marry me as soon as I graduated from college.  Again, lame then, priceless now! Needless to say, I was on the fast track through college.  I took the maximum, 18 credits, every semester.  A few semesters, I talked my counselor into allowing me to take extra credits, so I was up to 22 credits some semesters.  I went to summer school to get some extra credits in there!  Although I transferred to another college (to be closer to Rick) mid-way through, and lost some credits, I graduated on Mother's Day, 1997, 4 years after graduating from high school.  The very next Saturday, we were married.    Some might say I'm driven.  I don't know what they're talking about. :-)

Anyway, here's to the last 14 (19) years!  And to many, many, many more.

Wow! I think we look WAY better at Age 36 & 38
than we did at 22 & 24!  Am I right?
(Your answer here should be...ABSOLUTELY!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Houston, We Have Movement!

That's right, folks!  The twins are wigglin' around in there!!  And I can feel them!!  Wednesday night as I was sitting at dance class for the girls, I felt a lil' somethin', somethin'.  I paused....waited....yep, there it was again.  Fluttering.  I immediately hopped on my phone and let the guys know that their little ones were on the move!!  :)

So, I know it's early.  Truthfully, I can't even remember what week of pregnancy it was when I first started being able to feel my girls move.  When you look online, you get reports all over the place!  Women who report feeling their baby move at 7 weeks, Doctors who claim that feeling is just gas.  Well here's the deal.  I have had gas a time or two in my life!  I know what that feels like.  I've also felt babies move within my body. Twice.  I know what THAT feels like.  They are different feelings....and one of those feelings ends up producing....ahem....well, you know what I'm talkin' bout!  :)

Anyway....I have felt the fluttering several times since then.  Wanna know the coolest part?  I have felt it in TWO spots!!!  Now that's something I've never experienced before!!  Feeling both Baby A and Baby B moving is a crazy but cool experience!

Yay for wiggly babies!!!

I was unable to go to yoga last night as the girls had a performance at school!  So I don't have an 11 week belly pic in yoga clothes, but here's one in regular clothes!

11 Weeks

Gettin' bigger, right?  As Skyler told me this week:  "Mom, I saw your belly and I wondered if that was the babies, or if you were just getting fat!"  Ahhh....children.  So brutally honest!  Let me make it perfectly clear...

*and they may be covered in a leetle extra padding*

Thursday, May 19, 2011

11 Weeks!

As we progress through this pregnancy, there are fewer and fewer NEW developments to report in the babies.  I read somewhere last week that at this point, the babies "make-up" looks very similar to an adult, just in miniature form!  Crazy!  The babies' job now is rapid growth!  And speaking of rapid growth...remember last week when these tots were about the size of a kumquat?  (I trust you all know what a kumquat is after my VERY helpful tutorial.)  Well this week, babies are the size of a LIME!!  A LARGE LIME!!  Holy Smokes!!  That's a whole lot of growth in one week if you ask me!!  And they will double that size again in the next few weeks!  Yep...I'm finally gonna start looking pregnant!!  :)  Crown to rump, babies now measure 1.75 inches!!  Wow!

11 Weeks

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gender Predictions?

Sometime in the next 2 months we will know what the genders of the twins are!  In the meantime, I thought George and Farid might get a kick out of seeing what everybody THINKS they are going to have!  So take a moment and vote, folks!  Just above our baby ticker, I have posted a poll!  Let's see what the results are! 

Another Birthday...

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!  Ours was busy as we celebrated Skyler's birthday!  She had her parties on Saturday and we celebrated as a family all day on Sunday!  I can't believe it's been 10 years since she arrived!  I can still remember it like it was yesterday... Mothers Day 2001.  The doc decided that my blood pressure had gotten high enough and it was time for this baby to receive her eviction notice!  Well, Skyler put up a fight as she was super cozy in there and didn't seem to want to vacate!  She took  her time...28 hours... we were all so thrilled when she finally arrived.  We have a picture of her just minutes after birth, laying in the bassinet with the nurses cleaning her off and she has her hands clasped together over her chest.  Everyone said she looked just like an angel...and it's true!  She's been our angel ever since!

Whether from all of the celebratin'  or just a random pregnancy moment, Sunday was a rough day for me.  I felt really wiped out!  My body wanted to be completely still, I didn't seem to have the energy to move!  As a rule, I try to listen to what my body is saying because I truly believe that our bodies will tell us what it needs.  On days when I feel tired and low on energy, I take it easy...sit around as much as I can...get some extra sleep, etc.  We can't always know what's going on inside our bodies, but I believe that our bodies are designed to let us know what it's needing.  Anyway, it was hard for me because Skyler's birthday was not a day that I wanted to be laying around in bed all day!  We made it through the day with some low key activities and I did get a little rest in the afternoon.  Today I am feeling a little better, although still pretty low energy.  I plan to go to work for a couple hours and then set up camp in bed for the afternoon/evening!  :)

Oh!  On Saturday night, we ordered Chinese for dinner.  I actually got a fortune that meant something for once!! 

A great honor will be bestowed upon you with the coming year.

Already has.

Continues to be.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ultrasound Update!

I'm hoping that all of you heard about the 30+ hour Blogger outage and didn't think I was just leavin' you hangin'!

Ultrasound yesterday went GREAT!!

The twins are both measuring 10 weeks 2 days!  Way to go babies!!  Baby A's heart rate was 172.  Baby B's heart rate was 185.  They were super active--the nurse thinks maybe because it was just after lunch time!  I know babies!! I get excited too when it's lunch time!!  :)  They were of course as cute as can be and I love seeing them so happy and healthy in there!

Baby A has arms bent with hands by face. 
Cutie-pa-tootie if I do say so myself!
Baby B's head is facing Baby A with arms and legs
folded across the body. Baby B is showing off the lobes of the
brain in this picture.  (Gonna be a smart one, I think!)  ;)

And if you're interested....here is the video of the ultrasound!

In WAY less exciting news...guess who didn't have to receive a Progesterone injection today? Me! Me! Me!  Progesterone and Prometrium are now on an every OTHER day basis!!  Woo to the Hoo!

And for our belly pic this week....we have....

I know!  Disappointing, right??? I decided that my yoga clothes did not do the twins justice this week.  How 'bout this pic of me in street clothes (and sans head) earlier in the week:

Better, no?

That about sums it up here!  I hope that you are all well and that you have a terrific weekend!! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

10 Weeks!

We have our 10 week ultrasound this afternoon, so I will post more later but I SO enjoy sharing all of the incredible things going on in the womb at these week markers, so here goes:

  • Babies are the size of a kumquat* (am I the only person who had to Google what a kumquat looks like?)  I read somewhere else, the size of a prune (now that I can picture!)  :)
  • The babies have now completed the most critical portion of development!
  • During this fetal period, the tissues and organs rapidly grow and mature.
  • Peach fuzz hair is beginning to grow on tender skin.
  • Babies are swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm! (SO excited to feel those kicks soon!)
  • Crown to rump, babies are about 1 1/4 inches long!
  • Babies could experience their first case of hiccups this week!

It has been difficult for me to think about going to the ultrasound without the guys this afternoon.  It doesn't feel quite right without them here to see their little ones in person!  :(  It sounds like I could be having quite a few ultrasounds over the coming months and I know that they cannot be here for every single one, so it's just something I will have to get used to.  I'm taking the camcorder and will record the entire thing to send to them, so I guess that will have to do! Looking forward to posting news and pics a little later this afternoon! 

*kumquat-The edible fruit closely resembles that of the orange, but is much smaller and ovular, being approximately the size and shape of an olive.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Little Tease!

So... there's not a whole lot going on around here!  I can't think of a great post idea.  Not much to report from the land of  Surrogacy, Pregnancy, or Jeni.  But I will say this:

The twins have definitely decided they are ready for people to see that they're there! 

But you'll have to wait until Friday to see! 

I know...I'm such a tease!  :-)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weaning Off The Meds

Good news. Bad news.

The good news:  Thursday marks the day I get to start weaning off of my meds. 
The bad news:  This is a two week process.

*Paragraph of Griping
I am a pretty patient person, but I have to admit....I'm tired of the meds!  The Jelly Belly's are gross...and inconvenient.  The Progesterone injections are also super inconvenient, but more than that...they're uncomfortable.  The quest to avoid soreness was gone long ago.  Bruises started a couple weeks ago.  And the disgusting lumps I was hoping to avoid???  Yep, they're there too.  Ugh.
*End of Griping

Time to pull up my Big Girl Panties, and  "Git-R-Done!" 
(I secretly love Larry The Cable Guy...shhhh...don't tell)     :-)

After Thursday, I only have to do the Progesterone injection every OTHER day.  Same with the Jelly Belly's. Days that I do the Progesterone--no Jelly Belly's. Days that I don't do the Progesterone--Jelly Belly's.  You get the idea.  I reduce my Estrace to only once a day.  Baby Aspirin and Prenatal Vitamins stay the same.  2 weeks from Thursday, when we are 12 weeks pregnant, I get to stop all medications except the Prenatal Vitamins!!!

So May 26th will be a day of celebration!!  Mark your calendars! :-)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Removing the Borders

There are so many things I love about this blog. One of them  is the way that it allows people, from all walks of life, to come together on a single subject!  This blog has been viewed over 4000 times since January, by people across the globe!  There are people following this journey from:

United States
United Kingdom
Hong Kong
Philippines   Denmark
Iran   China   Mexico   Spain   Sweden   Japan   Israel   Turkey   United Arab Emirates

Pretty amazing, right?!  The relationships that I have formed, here within the blogosphere, are ones I never anticipated I would have!  Many of you would be surprised (and maybe a little creeped out) how often I speak of you!  :-)  Some of you even have nicknames, but that's my little secret!  Haha!!

So thank you...to everyone who is following along on this incredible journey.  It really drives home my belief that humans are capable of, and should strive to "BE OK" with one another.  We are ALL different!  We all have a different story to tell!  Everyone's story is valid, unique and amazing.  This is what makes up the human race....


Friday, May 6, 2011

Surrounded By Love

During the last 10 minutes or so of yoga, the instructor dims the lights, we all lay on our sides and use the time to "bond" with baby.  It's very interesting...and not as strange as you might think...bonding with babies that aren't yours.  

I care SO very much for these babies.  They are a major part of my life!   And yes,  I definitely have formed an attachment with them!  The attachment that I feel though is not a mother/child attachment.  Instead, the attachment stems from the relationship that I have with their fathers.  When I think about the babies, I think about their Daddies.  I can just imagine George and Farid with these kids, and it melts my heart when I imagine that time.  My role is very clear to me...to get these babies HOME!  With their Daddies!  I absolutely cannot wait for that moment. I feel privileged to be able to care for them for 9 months, but the part I am most looking forward to is seeing these little ones in the arms of Farid and George...

So last night, for the last 10 minutes of yoga, I used the time to convey love to the babies.  They are so loved....already...by so many people.  I thought about how much their Daddies love them, how much my family and I love them.  How many family members and friends of George and Farid that are anxiously awaiting their arrival. They really are surrounded by love!  I gathered up all that love and focused it all on them....I continued to send that message of love over and over and over to these two beautiful babies.  I hope that they felt the love.

I think they did.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Any Changes In The Belly Region?

Yoga day is always a good day to assess any changes in the baby bump (or lack thereof).  This week, I have felt bigger...or should I say...rounder.  Still no belly to proudly display, but I think we may have some babies who are getting ready to make their presence known.  What do you think?

9 weeks

Just as a reference...here's last week's belly pic:

8 weeks

9 Weeks!

Woo-wee!!  This week is a biggie!

  • Babies are about an inch long!  They are about the size of a grape. 
  • No longer embryos, the babies are now fetuses.  (I still call 'em babies!)  :) 
  • The heart will finish dividing into 4 chambers and the valves start to form.
  • Tiny teeth are forming (OMG!)
  • The organs, muscles and nerves are kicking into gear.
  • The babies are flexing their joints since muscles are developing.
  • Tiny earlobes are taking shape.
  • Now that the basic physiology is in place, the babies are poised for rapid weight gain. (Does this mean me too?  Lol!)

Here's a cool video showing the incredible things the babies have done this last week, and what they will be doing in the next couple weeks!  Amazing!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It All Started With Rotten Bananas

Today has been a day of baking.  And memories. 

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that my remaining bananas were pretty brown.  My THREE remaining bananas.  Well we all know what to do with THREE rotten bananas, right? 

I made Banana Bread!  As I pulled out my trusty banana bread recipe, I had to laugh.  This recipe card has seen better days.  I was trying to remember WHEN exactly I had received this recipe.  It took some time but I am proud to say that I actually remembered!! :-)  This recipe was given to me 14 years ago at my bridal shower, from my good friend Christen.  Christen and I have been friends since high school when we dated 2 brothers.  (She married the one brother. I on the other hand was dumped, and met Rick shortly thereafter.)  Christen and I ended up being college roommates and after college even taught in the same school.  Our lives have paralleled in SO many ways....marriage, jobs, babies, etc., etc., etc.  Anyway...Christen, I thought you'd get a kick out of the fact that I still have that recipe card and use it whenever I've got 3 rotten bananas. 

As I pulled the banana bread out of the oven, I was reminded how I used to always make an extra loaf for my brother, Kenny.  Banana bread is one of his favorites.  Kenny now lives a few hours away and this made me miss him.  So Kenny, this is your official IOU for a loaf of  b-bread the next time you're in town.  Miss you, bro!  :)

I also decided to make a batch of homemade beef jerky.  I've gotta say...I've gotten pretty darn good at the whole jerky business!  Lol!!  Whenever I make a batch of jerky, I am always reminded of my "low carb" days.  And whenever I think back to my low carb days, I remember that this is the time when my mom and I became so close.  Mom and I have always had a great relationship, but it was during this time, about 4 years ago, that she and I became VERY close.  Like talk on the phone for 3 hours a day/every day close.  Yes, I know.  It's pretty unbelievable.  Although we don't talk EVERY day anymore, (we do text daily however) we usually talk at least a few times a week, and yes, we can talk it up for 3 hours at a time!  I'm so grateful for our close relationship Mom.  You're awfully cool!  :)

My good friend and fellow surro Jesse called this afternoon wanting to chat about a few things surrogacy.  She's just been matched with her IF's from Prague!  Pretty cool, right?! She has a blog too!  If you don't follow it already...you should.  She has been given the gift of words and has a killer sense of humor!  I heart Jesse!  Anyway, as we were chatting, I whipped out my HUGE folder containing all of my surrogacy paperwork, manuals, contracts, medical records, etc.   It is a VERY large folder, but don't you fear...it's very well organized. ;)  After we got off the phone, I started looking through that folder.  It has the profile I received of George and Farid along with some of the very early on communications I had with both Circle, and the guys.  It brought back so many memories looking through the folder.  I can still remember exactly what I was feeling when I first looked at that profile.  It was neat to go back and look through things now that I know them so much better!  Back then, I had such fond feelings for them, but now....now things are so different.  Their twins are growing in me!!!!  It made me ever so grateful....yet again....that I am on this journey...with them!   Farid and George, I couldn't have asked for better people.  You guys are truly amazing!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Day of Rest

Phew!!  After over 12 hours straight of birthday parties, meals, presents, clowns and the much dreaded trip to Casa Bonita yesterday for Savannah, I have declared today a day of rest.  I plan to remain right here...in my bed...in my jammies....all day! 

I'm sure you're not keeping track, but did you realize that I only have a week and a half left on meds?!  Can I get a Woo-Hoo????  I am so excited...not just because I won't have to endure all the meds, but because this means that our pregnancy is far enough along, that my body is cooperating, that the babies are strong enough that the medication is not necessary!!  Huge milestone in my eyes (and my arse!)

Today is Sunday.  Yoga was Thursday. My muscles are STILL sore!  Just a gentle reminder of how friggin' out of shape I am!!  :)  I am very much looking forward to going back on Thursday!  Now that the birthday mayhem is behind me, I am hoping I am better able to reap the physical  AND mental benefits of yoga on Thursday.  Last week I definitely got the physical, but mentally, I was piecing together birthday details. Can't wait.

Our next ultrasound is a week from Thursday... May 12th!  I am very much looking forward to that beautiful picture that helps ease my mind that all is well in Womb-ville!  I am a little sad, and it will be strange, that George and Farid won't be there to see that...but that's just the way it goes, right?  I've been seeing other gal's 10 week ultrasound pics and the babies look so much cuter, like little teddy bears with those arms and legs and hands and feet!  And many girls report that they can see the babies wiggling around the screen!! How cute is that?!  When we saw them just a week and a half ago, they didn't have much shape yet, so I can hardly wait to show the guys the difference in just 3 weeks time!!

I think that about sums things up in the land of Jeni!  Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend!  Chat at ya soon!!  :-)
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