Archive for the ‘Hormones’ Category

Weaning, Weight and Wine!

February 1, 2011

My goal was to pump for 6 weeks and go from there. I made it to eight, going with the flow (pun intended). My milk production naturally decreased as I slowly cut out pumping sessions. From weeks six to eight I was averaging about 8 ounces a day pumping for 15 minutes in the morning and again at night. Once I hit eight weeks, I was ready to be finished and my body cooperated wonderfully. Although I occasionally have the feeling of letdown and my breasts still feel full, I didn’t have any engorgement or leaking after stopping. It’s been a week now and I feel great. I was wondering if I’d miss the “happy hormones” from milk production but I haven’t noticed any difference in my mood- I’m still happy! Baby “C” was getting a combination of breast milk and formula since birth so they still have a nice supply of frozen milk to continue giving her for the next couple of months. I’m so glad she’s gotten the benefits of breast milk and that it was such an easy process for me as well. I had multiple bouts with mastitis when nursing both of my children and am so thankful I didn’t have it this time around! The lochia finally stopped at seven weeks. I’d always thought how wonderful it was to not have a period for 9 months while pregnant but after bleeding for seven weeks straight, it kind of cancels that benefit out.

While the weight dropped off quickly after the birth, I have hit a plateau and think I’m now going to have to work at dropping the final pounds. I’ve heard your body stores some fat for milk production, but now that I’m finished I was hoping all of the extra baby weight would disappear overnight. Thankfully, summer is still several months away.

I love wine. I added it to the title because I wanted one more word that started with “W” to make it sound catchy but I could get a second (or fifth) job writing about wine. I love the complexity, differing characteristics, flavors and feeling I get from sitting down with a nice glass of wine. Living on the central coast of California, we are surrounded by many wonderful wineries and are spoiled with our beautiful weather and fabulous wine to accompany it! Cheers to getting to enjoy it once again after a year of growing a baby! Maybe this year I’ll grow grapes.

Happy New Year!

January 4, 2011

I had my check up yesterday at 5 weeks postpartum. Our OB asked if the delivery was really as easy as I made it seem and I replied, “It was really painful at the end but overall, yes.” She jokingly asked (again) if I’d carry a baby for her next. The entire surrogacy was such a wonderful experience and I have the family that is now complete with their little girl to thank. They will forever be friends and this past year they have been like family to us. I have to admit I was very spoiled throughout the pregnancy and greatly appreciated every bit of it. I can’t believe how quickly the last year went and all that it encompassed.

I have lost 27 out of the nearly 40 pounds I gained and am pretty much back to normal other than a little bleeding and the side effects of producing milk. I’ve slowly spaced out pumping sessions and am now only pumping twice a day and will probably finish in the next couple of weeks if my supply continues to decrease as it has. I went from getting around 8 ounces in a session to now averaging 4. I attribute my rapid weight loss, happy hormones and general health to the benefits of pumping and part of me isn’t quite ready to stop completely just yet.

2010 was a fabulous year and I’ve already begun to manifest an amazing 2011. It started off on a good note, with an invitation to use a friend’s beach house for New Year’s weekend. My sister was visiting with her three children and it was such a treat to spend the weekend with the beach as our backyard. Wrapping up 2010 and embracing 2011 in such comfort and beauty was the perfect ending and beginning.

1/1/11

Happy Hormones

December 21, 2010

I can’t believe three weeks have passed since the birth! Other than the abundant supply of milk I am producing and passing along I don’t feel like I just gave birth or remotely wish I had a baby right now. I’ve read that nursing/pumping produces happy hormones and I’m pleased to say I haven’t had any emotional downs. There is a lot of talk about postpartum depression and the baby blues, but some women experience the opposite. I have felt really good since the birth and while I was prescribed Motrin and Vicodin for pain, all I ever needed was the Motrin. I suppose after going through a drug free delivery, pain is all relative. I started pumping every three hours the day she was born and have slowly stretched it out to five or six so I can work, sleep a bit more, and have more freedom throughout the day. I am now getting between 5 to 8 ounces per 15 minute session. Other than having to use heat compresses on a couple of clogged ducts early on, it has been going well and I’m planning on continuing into the new year. I have lost more than 25 pounds and have about 15 to go to get back to my ideal weight.

It was wonderful having my mom and grandma here following the birth. While I wasn’t lying around being doted upon, we did have a lot of fun and managed to get a lot accomplished over the course of a week. It was wonderful having someone to take my daughter to school and my little boy got to spend a lot of quality time with his grandma and great-grandma while I worked a bit. We all went to dinner at baby “C’s” grandparent’s house while they were here and had a great time with our two families (three generations of theirs and four of mine) together.

I am just about ready for Christmas and looking forward to what is in store for 2011. All of last year seemed to revolve around the surrogacy- from doctor’s appointments to medications, pregnancy and finally the delivery. It was an incredible experience and I’m so happy it ended with the birth of a healthy, beautiful little girl. I hope 2011 brings joy and love for all!

Happy Baby Dance

May 25, 2010

We went in for a check up with our OB today and had an ultrasound to make sure everything is healthy in the womb since discontinuing the progesterone and delestrogen injections. Mom and Dad to be were there and we got to see the baby moving around like crazy! It looked like it was dancing, moving its arms around and rolling from side to back. It is absolutely amazing to see how developed a fetus is at 11 weeks and it’s only the size of a fig!

Last week my kids took turns getting sick and now I am fighting a nasty cold. We’ve had lots of wind and pollen in the air so it feels like I have allergies mixed into it all. My appetite is slowly coming back and I’m hoping as we venture into the second trimester I’ll start to feel fabulous.

We are now like a normal, healthy pregnancy and don’t have another doctor’s appointment for four weeks. Like our doctor said today in regards to parenting, “The days seem long but the years fly by”, the days are definitely dragging but the weeks are starting to fly by for this surrogacy journey.

No More Needles!

May 18, 2010

Tonight was my final night of injections and I am so thankful to be done! I had mom to be call the nurse to double check that she really meant today would be my last day because the doctor kept going back and forth as to when I’d be finished. I called yesterday, as I was down to my last dose of delestrogen and the doctor said after Tuesday (we are 10 weeks, 3 days), I could stop the progesterone as well. We have graduated from the fertility clinic and all of our appointments from here on out are with a local ob. I am definitely more nervous with this pregnancy, opposed to my own but as we approach the second trimester, I’m feeling more assured that everything is fine.

I think I’m past the worst of the queasiness and have been finding food more appealing. I still have my moments of feeling not so hot and have to eat regularly to keep the nausea away but am thankful that I am eating somewhat normal meals again. Bland foods are still most appealing- today I had an English muffin with melted cheese and a Morningstar sausage patty for breakfast, lentil soup and a piece of garlic bread for lunch and a stuffed baked potato for dinner. Eat up little baby.

It’s a baby!

May 13, 2010

It amazes me how much a fetus develops in ten days. Last week all I could see was a big blob (sorry baby) but today it completely resembled a baby. Mom to be and I went down for our last appointment with the fertility clinic, from here on we get to see a local ob. We had a perfect straight on view and could even see itty bitty fingers. It went from 17 to 34 mm – doubling it’s size in the last week and a half! We got to listen to the heart beat too, a strong 160 bpm. I have to stay on the progesterone and delestrogen for another week or two, then I’ll finally be done with injections! I don’t heat them up anymore and haven’t been having any problems. The doctors and nurses down there are amazing and so supportive. They wanted to make sure we keep in touch and call for anything. Watching the development from embryo to fetus was absolutely amazing and I am continually in awe of reproductive technology.

Exhale

May 3, 2010

Yesterday, I attended a healing & health yoga workshop with a group of wonderful women to celebrate our fabulous friend’s runaway marriage in Mexico and subsequent pregnancy.  She is only a couple weeks behind me so we get to share the pregnancy experience together. The class was two and a half hours of relaxing yoga poses, meditation, visualization and Reiki healing. Towards the end, the teacher had everyone send out positive energy towards the two unborn babies in the room, which was so special. Feeling centered and relaxed, we followed the workshop with a picnic in a beautiful nearby park with a Koi pond, turtles and ducks. The food was amazing.  We had wraps, fruit salad, cheeses, roasted garlic, French bread, green papaya salad and lots of yummy desserts. It was a perfect afternoon!

Today was our 8 week ultrasound and the baby is growing beautifully. It measured 17 mm and I heard the heart beat for the first time; it is such a comforting sound. I am staying on my current dosages of progesterone and delestrogen for now, probably up until ten weeks. Eating snacks throughout the day has helped with the queasiness – I have fruit leather and mini packs of almonds, cranberries, and cashews in my purse at all times. I am so excited that summer is on its way with all the delicious fruits and veggies that come with it!

Sourdough Toast

May 1, 2010

As of today we are 8 weeks! Sourdough toast has played such an important part of my life these past few days that I felt it deserved to be the title of this post. I haven’t cooked anything in a week now and have a hard time finding things that sound good enough to eat. Yesterday, breakfast, lunch and dinner consisted of  sourdough toast. A piece in the morning for breakfast with butter, followed by a smoothie.  Lunch was another piece of toast with half an avocado mashed with salt and smeared over the top.  Then buttered sourdough toast for dinner with a side of fresh pineapple. Then I had a pickle and some mini oreos.  I’m hoping this passes soon and I can get back to eating well balanced meals. I go from feeling fine to starving instantly so today I’m off to Trader Joe’s to stock up on emergency snacks to keep on hand and eat before the hunger strikes. Eating helps combat the queasiness but once it hits its hard to eat. We’ll see if snacking throughout the day makes this go away. Our next ultrasound is Monday to see how much the baby has grown and hopefully I’ll get to start weaning off the progesterone and delestrogen. Last night my hip felt crunchy as the needle went through. No pain, just crunchiness. Only a couple weeks of injections left, I can’t wait!

Grow Baby, Grow!

April 28, 2010

I have waves of queasiness throughout the day but am thankful I haven’t had any morning sickness. It’s hard to figure out what to eat that doesn’t sound nauseating but once I do eat something I feel much better. Lately fruit, smoothies and veggie pizza have been sounding good pretty regularly.  On Monday night around ten, I started bleeding bright red blood. I had just read about another surrogate’s experience with this and she went to the ER and everything was just fine, so I wasn’t completely freaked out but still a little worried. I called the on call doctor and got a call back about a half an hour later from my doctor. He said not to worry, this is very common and I could go in for an ultrasound the next morning or get my blood work done locally to make sure my HCG levels were still rising. By the time he called the bleeding had stopped so I went to bed and called mom to be in the morning. She ended up calling the OB we planned on transferring to once we “graduated” from the fertility clinic and got us in for an appointment that afternoon.  I met our new doctor, who is wonderful and she did an ultrasound. Everything looked perfect. The baby is measuring at 7 weeks and had a strong heartbeat. There was no sign of where the bleeding came from so she ordered lab work to check my progesterone levels as well. Apparently bleeding is very common in IVF patients, up to 75% experience it at some point! It was so reassuring to see that everything is okay and on track and mom and dad now have another photo for the baby book!

A Flicker!

April 21, 2010

Mom, Dad, Grandma to be and I all went down to the clinic for our six week ultrasound today. They called us back relatively quickly and once the nurse realized the size of our party she had us wait a few minutes while she prepared a bigger room. Mom to be and I went back first, and then once I was all situated she went and got the others. After about thirty minutes of visiting and waiting, another nurse came in and said the doctor had just been called in for an egg retrieval and would be another 15 to 20 minutes. We ended up waiting around an hour total but the results were well worth the wait. At six weeks, four days he said we might not be able to see the heart beat yet and he was mainly looking for the placement of the embryo and implantation. Everything was “perfect” and he pointed out the yolk sac and the flicker of a heart beat. Our next appointment is a week and a half away for another ultrasound and to discuss weaning off the progesterone and delestrogen. We are officially due December 11, 2010!