Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen: Welcome to our baby shower. 

Behold the Belly!

Live from Colorado! 
George and I introduce Jeni and our little babies to the friends and family in attendance at
our baby shower October, 23, 2011 in New York City via Skype. 

Baby Shower Celebration: October 23, 2011

It's been a week since we had what we call  our "baby shower/celebration." It wasn't meant so much to be a baby shower and  we had no interest in it being a traditional baby shower being that there's nothing traditional about the creation of our family. We wanted it to be a celebration of people who love each other, celebrate life and family. 
What a celebration it turned out to be. We hired caricaturists, a roving fortune teller, a balloon sculpture artist and we hired a photographer who set up a photo booth for people to have their pictures taken with life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Jeni, George and myself. It proved to be a LOT of fun. Being that we own a restaurant, of course we catered the event with amazing food in addition to having an open bar at a fun bar/music venue we rented out in Brooklyn, New York to host the event. The high light of the celebration was our speech which culminated with us presenting Jeni whom the majority of people in attendance (all 162) had only heard of but had never met or even seen in pictures. We skyped in Jeni and had her show us 'the belly' for all to see. Her appearance made the entire event and our journey much more real for everyone. The family we are creating and the babies that are on the way were now that much more real.

What we threw was an event because that's exactly what this is for us: a huge event which we are completely overjoyed, elated and thrilled about. What else can I say. The outpouring of love (and gifts) was overwhelming. People left the party having had a fantastic time, telling me that they became that they became very emotional witnessing us speaking about this new phase in our lives, having introduced Jeni to them via the big screen and confirming what we already know: Jeni is amazing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

34 Weeks!

10 Pounds and 40 Inches!

Yep, Folks!  That's about how much baby we've got in there!

These amazing kiddos weigh about 5 pounds each, and each are about 20 inches long! Fat layers, which will help regulate their body temperature after birth are filling the babies out, making them rounder.  Their skin is smoother than ever.  The central nervous system and lungs are continuing to mature.  The pupils can dilate and detect light. The babies are now fully developed and their bodies are correctly proportioned.  Such great news, all around!

Let's hear it for 34 Weeks!  I see that you were all smart and we did not have a single vote that the babies would arrive in the 34th week, so I won't expect any excitement this week! 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Boy, do I have a surprise for you, today!

It's been quite a while since you've gotten to see pictures of the babies!  This is mostly due to the fact that Milena is sitting so low, it's very difficult to get a good picture of her face!  But today was our lucky day!  We managed to snap a quick picture of her before she decided to put her hands up in front of her face!  Have a looksie!

Awwww....Sweet, sweet Milena!
Gustavo, you're always so good about having your picture taken! 
We can't wait to meet you in a few weeks!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feelings and Emotions

A surrogacy journey comes chock-full of feelings and emotions.  And for me, they are constantly evolving.   Allow me to share with you where I am at right now:

I feel:

Excitement - I can't even begin to express to you how excited I feel about this time.  I am VERY much looking forward to labor (I know...weird), and delivery, an absolutely incredible, life changing moment for George and Farid that I feel so honored to be a part of.

Fear - Let me clarify before I begin to discuss my fears.  Talk to me during the hours of 9 AM and 9 PM, and I would tell you I have NO fears.  But I am a night worrier.  It's always at night that the fears start to creep up on me.  My fears are mostly of the unknown.  Some of the question marks are things like this:
  • How will it feel to suddenly not be pregnant? Will I feel relief, or will it feel strange?
  • What will the transition be like from "Jeni the surrogate, caring for babies" to "Just Jeni"?
  • How difficult is it going to be to say goodbye, temporarily, to George and Farid and the babies?
Pride - I did it!!  I feel a great sense of pride at being able to give this gift to Farid and George and that is a feeling I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Anticipation - When will the guys arrive? When will we go into labor? What will our labor be like?

Wonder - I can't believe we finally get to meet these babies...VERY soon!  We will KNOW what they look like!  We will begin to get a feel for their personalities! We will begin to develop a real relationship with these little ones!   

Anxiety - As we get closer and closer to our due date, I become more and more anxious about Farid and George being here in time for delivery. This journey has gone so perfectly, I really want it to end perfectly with them here to experience the birth of their children! 

Joy - When I think about George and Farid finally having Gustavo and Milena in their arms, I can't keep myself from smiling.  More than smiling.  It is an overwhelming feeling of joy.  Like Christmas morning as a kid times a million.

Love - The love that I feel for this new family, George, Farid, Milena and Gustavo, is something that I wasn't really expecting.  I never expected the feelings to run nearly as deep as they do.  My belly may only have room for 2, but my heart has grown by 4.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I choose to focus on the excitement, pride, wonder, joy and love...and not let the fear, anticipation and anxiety get the best of me.  I look forward to what the near future holds for us knowing that it will all unfold perfectly.  I look forward to the relationship that I will develop with Gustavo and Milena...a relationship that will no doubt be stronger once they are outside the womb. I look forward to continuing to build on the already amazing relationship that I have with George and Farid. 

I am exactly where I need to be in my journey, right now. 

...And I look forward to seeing where my journey leads me in the future.  It's bound to be incredible, wherever it goes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

33 Weeks!

Gustavo and Milena will be here in LESS THAN 5 weeks!  We are in the home stretch!  These babies are definitely preparing for birth! 
  • They each weigh about 4.4 pounds and are about 19.4 inches long! 
  • They are rapidly losing the wrinkled look as they continue to add more fat. 
  • The skeleton is hardening. 
  • They are doing lots of sleeping and because it's possible to see breathing even when they are asleep, we know that the respiratory center in the brain has developed. 
  • They can now perspire, something that premature babies cannot do, and the capability to regulate body temperature is maturing.
  • The muscles have developed. 
  • Languno hair is starting to fall off.
It is SO exciting to think that these babies are preparing for life outside the womb!  It's also hard to believe that I will only be pregnant for a few more weeks!  I have all kinds of feelings and emotions going on, but that will have to wait for another post...

In the meantime, here's a picture of the good 'ol belly!

33 Weeks

I'm fully planning on a boring 33rd week. 

If you're looking for excitement, please find it in your own life!  :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Packed Up and Ready To Go!

Well....technically NOT READY to go....but packed, for sure!

Here she is!  My hospital bag!

Cute bag, yes?

What's inside? know...mostly just the standard.
But, besides my unmentionables,
 I DID want to share with you the t-shirts
that I have chosen for labor/post delivery.
(Yes, this chick plans to resist the hospital gown as much as possible!)

"Love Made Me Do It"                          For the Brooklyn Babies and Daddies

And something you may not find in most hospital bags?

Yes, my friends...those are Cranium Cards.

I MAY or MAY NOT be requesting that
 Jill and the guys distract me during labor by playing games. 
 Charades, anyone?  
 I rock at charades....just sayin'.

I plan for this bag to sit right where it is for another few weeks...
 ...but I'll be damned if I'm not prepared.  :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Babies Are Coming! Are We Ready?

I felt compelled to offer a bit of my perspective for surrogates and budding intended parents alike who are either going through this journey or contemplating it. In a recent blog post, Jeni opened the 'floor' to questions to be fielded by me from her readers. I will attempt to answer some over the next few days / weeks.

To begin with, George and I can not believe how quickly the time has flown by. In the beginning of the process (summer of 2010), there is a sense of urgency, excitement and anticipation for the process to happen already and when it finally did, it flew by.  As we approach the end of the journey and look forward to the arrival of our children (a boy and a girl: Gustavo and Milena) due in November, we are filled with the same anticipation and excitement we had when we were beginning the process.

We're frequently being asked by our many friends and family members, "Are you ready?"  While I understand many of them are referring to the material things that need to be in place at home for the arrival of babies, I confidently answer, "I've made a huge room for them in my heart, my mind, my soul and now my apartment. (Giving up the home office was tough!) Yes, I'm ready.  Gustavo and Milena, we're ready for you. The question is: are they ready for us?  We've got an amazing world filled with love in store for them.

Friday, October 14, 2011

32 Week Appointment

Our appointment this morning went VERY well.  Baby Girl is still head down, in fact, she's VERY head down, if there is such a thing!  :)  Her heart rate was 155 and she is weighing 4.1 pounds!  Baby Boy is ALSO head down!  Yay for that!!  His heart rate was 143 and he is weighing 4.3 pounds!  Both babies looked absolutely fantastic and still had plenty of amniotic fluid to swim in.  Actually, there really isn't space for swimming any more, but they can for sure practice blowing bubbles.  :)

My blood pressure continues to stay in check, my cervix is measuring 3.5 cm., which is great, and I continue to be a super pro when it comes to gaining weight.  LOL!

Our next 3 appointments are on the books and they are the next 3 Wednesdays, with our next scheduled (and possibly last) ultrasound being on Wednesday, November 2nd when we will be just about 35 weeks.  The Dr. said that the 35 week mark is our green light...meaning if we go into labor at that point, they will go ahead and let us deliver.

Anyway, that's all from here!  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

32 Weeks!

Holy Cow!  The weeks continue to fly by!  Suddenly, we find ourselves at 32 Weeks!  LESS THAN 6 weeks to go! 

Babies should be weighing in at almost 4 pounds each!  They measure just under 19 inches long!  When I cheated and looked ahead the next few weeks, it states that the babies should each gain a half pound and a half inch per week, from now until delivery!  Wow!!

Just for the sake of keeping it real, I will say that my body has begun to feel the effects of being V-E-R-Y pregnant!  At night, I switch off from sleeping on my left side to my right side, back to the left, then right, etc.  At this point, that works for a few hours, then my hips are so sore, neither side is a good choice, so sleeping sitting up becomes necessary.  I have had moments with swollen feet and ankles, and a few days where walking is painful due to the pressure I feel on my pelvis.

As my doctor so accurately pointed out, I have basically been "full term" for several weeks now. That means that this is all to be expected and VERY minor compared to what we could be dealing with at this point.  I think it is SO important to keep things in perspective! 

And the belly continues to grow....
32 Weeks

So tell me...Is black still slimming for me?  :)

My mom arrives today!  She is here for only a short time, but I am really looking forward to spending some time together!  She is going to come with me to my appointment tomorrow morning, where we will have an ultrasound, so that should be fun!  I will of course update after my appointment! 

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Quick Shout Out

I am feeling the need to shout out to a couple of fellow bloggers whose blogs I am unable to comment on. Jeni definitely DOES NOT like to be forced to be silent. :) Please know that I follow ALL of your blogs very closely and I absolutely adore being able to share in the journey with you all!

Mike and Tony-I am so excited for you guys and I love the honesty and emotion you share with all of us on your blog.

And, Stacey-You're SO close!!  I can't believe your babies are almost here!  Thank you for all of your sweet and supportive comments on our blog!  I am so looking forward to pictures of your twins VERY soon!

The blogger "family" is one that I never anticipated having.  The support that we all give each other is amazing, and so necessary.  Thank you to all of you bloggers out there!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Time For A New Poll!

I think it's time for some more voting to take place! 

As we get closer and closer to the delivery of these precious babies, I'm curious to see when all of our followers think we will deliver! 

Feel free to place your bet!  Just underneath our Baby Ticker is the Poll!  I can't wait to see what everyone thinks!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Get Ready To Say "AWWWW!"

My good friend and fellow surrogate Andrea posted this picture last week and I just keep going back and looking at it over and over!  This is such a sweet "twin" moment, and I just had to share it with all of you!  I absolutely can't wait to meet George and Farid's precious twins!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Human Body Is Amazing!

Care for some perspective on this fine day?

Or how about just a giggle?

Check this out.

Camera 1
My First Night of Yoga-8 Weeks Pregnant

Camera 2
Yoga This Week-31 Weeks Pregnant

Seriously folks, isn't the body an amazing thing?  It's strange for me to look at the "Camera 1" body. I can't remember not having a belly!  How cool is it that the body is capable of making this space in such a relatively short period of time? And as we near the end of this pregnancy, I begin to think about my non-pregnant body.  Will I miss my big belly?  Yes, yes I will.  Will I ever see that "Camera 1" body again?
You bet your sweet bippy I will!  :)

Gimme 6 months.

Betcha I won't need that long.  :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Results Are In!

Our Fetal fibronectin test came back NEGATIVE! 
This means that there is a less than 1% chance that we will go into labor in the next 2 weeks! 
 Phew!  Huge sigh of relief! 
Thanks for all the "negative" energy!  :)

31 Weeks!

Let's hear it for 31 Weeks!  T minus LESS THAN 7 weeks!

These babies are gettin' big, I tell you!  They each weigh about 3.5 pounds and measure 18 inches long!  I do believe I've got more baby in there than I have ever had before!  :)  Babies will continue to grow at a rapid rate from now until delivery.  Under-skin fat is continuing to develop and the surface skin is more pink than red.  Studies show that babies are dreaming when they sleep.  Dreaming about meeting their Daddies, no doubt!  :)

I feel like I am about the same size as last week, although it's admittedly getting hard to decipher between ginormous and hugantic!  LOL!!

31 Weeks

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Contraction Action...Go Away!

Last night I was surprised by a short bout of contractions.  REAL contractions.  I immediately planted myself in bed and guzzled about 8 and a half gallons of water.  I kid, of course!  I ended up having a total of 5 over the course of about an hour and a half.  Fortunately after that, they went away.  These made me very nervous and I was anxious for my already scheduled 2:00 appointment to arrive today.

The Dr. did an exam and decided that although my cervix is soft, it is still closed and about 3 cm. long.  (Sorry if that's TMI, but we ARE talking about pregnancy/birth here!)  I felt like that was great news!  She went ahead and did a Fetal fibronectin test (see below).  We are obviously looking for NEGATIVE results.  I try to keep "NEGATIVE" thoughts away, but in this particular case, NEGATIVE is our friend.  Hello, friend!  :)  I will update when we get our NEGATIVE results!

By Mayo Clinic staff
Fetal fibronectin is a protein that acts as a "glue" during pregnancy, attaching the amniotic sac — the fluid-filled membrane that cushions your baby in the uterus — to the lining of the uterus.
Fetal fibronectin is often present in cervical secretions during early pregnancy. Fetal fibronectin also shows up later in pregnancy, about one to three weeks before labor begins. If your health care provider is concerned about preterm labor, he or she may test a swab from your cervical canal for the presence of fetal fibronectin. A positive fetal fibronectin test is a clue that the "glue" has been disturbed and you're at increased risk of preterm labor.

Other than that, the appointment was really boring.  Yay!  Blood pressure still good (120/70).  Gained one pound, and had to move up a notch on the dreaded scale.  OY!  Heart rates 145 and 128.  Anemia is in check.  HO HUM.

I have some super exciting news to share with you!!!  Farid has offered to be a guest blogger!  How cool is that?!  So, to all of our readers...if you have any questions for him, any subject you'd like him to cover, let us know in a comment!  Farid is like me... very open, very have at it!  What do ya wanna know, friends?!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Well Wishes For George and Farid

In honor of our 30th week of pregnancy,
I invite you all to leave a message for George and Farid!

Whether you've been following our journey from the beginning,
 or if you're a new follower,
I'd love for you to leave a comment at the bottom of this post
for Farid and George! 

They truly are amazing men,
and they are very excited that these babies will be here so soon!
So go ahead and let them know  how happy you are for them!

I know they'll get a kick out of reading all of your comments!


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