Giving Thanks

November 26, 2010

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, spent with the family of this baby baking away (the baby was baking, not me – I got to relax all day!). They are an amazing family and I feel blessed to have gotten to know them so much better over this past year and felt like we were with family over this holiday. I am also thankful for my family, many of whom we’ll get to see over the next month and all of our friends who have been so supportive throughout this experience. It’s hard to believe I’m going to not be pregnant very soon!

Our appointment on Wednesday went well. Weight and blood pressure were fine and I had just a little protein in my urine. My feet are still fluctuating with the swelling but no headaches, blurred vision or other indicators of pre-eclampsia. Our ob starts checking for dilation at thirty eight weeks, which we hit tomorrow. So at our appointment on Wednesday we’ll see if these contractions are producing any signs of impending labor. We asked our doctor her guess as to when she thought the baby would arrive and she said twelve days. That puts us on December 6th, my daughters’ birthday.

My soon to be five year old has wanted a hamster for months now and after a lot of consideration, I gave in. We took regular trips to the pet store, checking them out, figuring out what we’d need and getting tips on picking out the right one. The pet store we decided on had just put out weaned teddy bear hamsters last week so she ended up with an early birthday present. I let her unwrap the cage on Wednesday morning (she freaked out and was beyond excited) and we got it all ready with bedding and water then we went out to pick up her new baby “Teddy”. She wants to hold him all the time and has been very good about cleaning up after him, feeding him and can’t wait to get home when we are out to play with little Teddy.

Any guesses as to when baby girl will arrive? Let’s guess weight and length too. Here’s mine, please leave a guess in the comments!

DOB-   December 8th, 10:10 pm

Weight-   8 lbs 6 oz

Length-  20 inches

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Full Term!

November 21, 2010

Baby girl is now fully developed and considered full term as of yesterday. Anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks is full term, prior is premature and past 42 weeks (which I couldn’t imagine) is post-term. Our due date is only 20 days away but we all seem to think she might be a little early. She’s been measuring ahead in size and I’ve seemed to drop a little. It’s so exciting to have no idea when labor will come on but at the same time it makes planning things like my daughter’s birthday a challenge. For all I know, they could end up with the same birthday! Thankfully I will have family in town over her birthday weekend and it will be special no matter what we end up doing.

I’m trying to figure out my water retention mystery. I drink water all day long and don’t urinate as frequently as you’d think with how much fluid I consume. Then I get up about three times during the night with a full bladder. These last couple nights when I wake, I’ve had strong Braxton Hicks contractions, which makes the bathroom trips even more undesirable. I’ve weighed myself before bed and in the morning several nights in a row and it’s been a consistent 5 pound loss from night to morning, which is then replaced again the next day when the water cycle repeats. My feet are still a little swollen and they go up and down as well. Other than that I’m feeling great and can handle a couple more weeks of toting this little girl around.

 

The Last Hurrah!

November 18, 2010

With the okay from our doctor and the parents to be (since it’s a little farther than our contract’s allowable travel and quite an adventure in itself), I took my kids to Disneyland on Sunday with a friend and her daughter. I had a ticket from volunteering for Give a Day, Get a Day that expires December 15th and I didn’t want to pass up going. The day was way easier than I anticipated it to be and we managed to get in nine rides (I skipped two of them), visited Toon Town and saw the magical lighting of the castle and snow display right before we left. She had the MouseWait app on her iPhone, and is a pass holder (aka Disneyland expert) allowing us to get the most out of our day. This was my first time going as an adult during the holidays when it is all decked out, so I enjoyed all of the little details and didn’t miss going on the “big rides” at all. The kids were wonderfully behaved and had “the best day ever”! Since my daughter’s birthday is a few weeks away, we got her a Happy Birthday pin from the ticket window and made it her special day. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do for her actual birthday yet, since it’s only five days before our due date. I’ve already let the baby know she can come before or after, as long as I’m not in the hospital on her birthday, it’ll all be good.

Monday we were back to school and work and by the end of the day I was exhausted! My feet swelled up again, I’m sure hugely in part from the low heels I wore and have not been the same since. I got a pedicure yesterday, which felt amazing and bought a pair of stretchy flats to get me though these next few weeks when filp flops won’t do. We had our 36 week check up today. Blood pressure and weight were good. Baby’s heart beat was strong and I’m measuring 37 weeks (the same as last week, so perhaps she’s dropped). I had a little protein in my urine but not enough to worry the doctor, and without any other negative symptoms it seems to be okay. She did the Group B Strep test as well, and hopefully that will come back negative so I can avoid antibiotics during labor, especially since mine tend to be so quick. This coming Saturday, baby girl will be considered full term, then the waiting begins! It’s time to pack my bag, get the house in order, the kid’s back up care lined up (if great grandma doesn’t make it in time) and then wait and wonder when her birthday will come.

Pop! Goes the Belly

November 10, 2010

We are 35 weeks, 4 days and my belly is measuring 37.5 weeks. Mom and dad of this little girl were at our check up today and we got another quick peek at her via ultrasound. I can’t imagine what this experience is like for them, but from my view, I couldn’t ask for a better surrogacy experience. They are so involved yet not imposing in any way. I’ve read of intended parents cleaning out and restocking the surrogate’s pantry and fridge or throwing away Teflon pans. They have trusted me to carry their baby and I’m honored to do so and enjoy the time spent with them.

I am not yet unbearably uncomfortable; just getting up from lying down or sitting on the floor (it happens a lot when you have a two year old) are challenging. I don’t want to talk about my weight, but will, since it will be fun to see how quickly it goes back down. I’ve gained the 35 pounds I typically gain during pregnancy and don’t want to gain much more! I feel like I’m eating regular portion sizes (not for two), I eat healthy (other than the occasional treat) and am always on the go with my little ones. At least we know the baby is nice and healthy and her share of the weight will be gone at delivery. She’s estimated to weigh around six and a half pounds now and growing right on track. The Braxton Hicks contractions are picking up and I can no longer comfortably cross my legs when sitting down. Tomorrow, the 30 days till our due date countdown begins! I’m not ready yet, but will be soon.

34 Weeks

 

Fat Feet!

November 5, 2010

It was in the eighties today. We had virtually no summer this year, just lots of fog and now the weather is gorgeous. My feet however, are not enjoying this. I don’t remember swelling with my previous pregnancies, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. That’s one of the benefits of journaling this pregnancy experience, I’ll be able to look back and see that I had cankles (where the calf and ankle become one) at 34 weeks along. Other than having hobbit feet, I’m feeling fine. The baby’s activity is the same, very mellow throughout the day and then she does her water aerobics after dinner and into the late evening. I just put together an info sheet about my children’s schedules for while I’m in the hospital and have my hospital checklist ready to go. We’re only a month away!


This was last night, before the swelling. From this perspective, my feet look small.


The most glorious sunset.

Good Girl!

October 26, 2010

I wish I were talking about me, but nope. I’ve been indulging myself with long naps that I just cannot escape from and have had frozen yogurt and chocolate mousse this week…and it’s only Tuesday. We had a check up yesterday and our wonderful OB did an ultrasound so we could get a peak at baby girl. Baby’s mom, auntie and grandma were all at the appointment and got to see her which is way more exciting than the typical measuring of the belly and listening to the heart beat. She is head down (yay!!) and estimated to weigh between 4 lbs 15 oz and 5 lbs 5 oz. Babies usually gain an average of a half a pound a week in utero so I’m guessing she’ll be around eight and a half pounds if she arrives near her due date. My daughter was 7 lbs 4 oz (my birth weight as well) and my son was 8 lbs 8 oz born two weeks before his due date. Her size seems just perfect. We have another appointment in two weeks, and then they are weekly until she’s born. I can’t believe how close we are to the end of this journey. I haven’t reached the “I’m over being pregnant” stage yet but I am so excited to see this little girl with her family. She has been very well behaved thus far and I hope that she cooperates with a nice, easy birth.

Baby Brain

October 20, 2010

My calendar had been marked for months, the lovely invite for this little girl’s baby shower posted on my fridge, babysitter lined up and I was ready to go just before noon on Saturday. I left the front door unlocked for the house cleaner and we loaded up the kids into the car. I ran back inside to grab tissues for my son’s runny nose and headed to mama to be’s baby shower. My sitter had loaned out her car that day so she was going to drop me off and take the kids to the museum in my car. First, I took the wrong street and was telling my sitter that I had serious baby brain and was not usually this spacey. We pulled up to the address on the invite and there was only one car in the driveway. Other than the balloons and sign out front, it didn’t look like much of a party. I looked at the invite again and noticed the shower started at 2 p.m. not 12 p.m.! I felt so stupid. So, I ended up dropping the sitter off and taking the kids to the natural history museum myself since I had a couple hours to kill. I then got a call saying the house keeper came by but the door was locked and there was no key. I knew I had left the door open and then remembered my forgetting and realized I had locked it when I ran back into the house. Oh, what a morning.

Thankfully, the afternoon unfolded beautifully. My sitter came back over just before two and the baby shower was lovely. It was a great group of wonderful women, tea, quiche, sandwiches and lots of sweets. It was so nice to see how loved and blessed this little girl is going to be and I’m sure it made it all feel so much more real for the mom. In less than two months, they are going to have a little girl to adore. There wasn’t an ounce of me that felt like I was going to be having a baby. Of course I will be physically giving birth to one but I have no longing to bring a baby home and haven’t once thought of her as mine in any way. I was so surprised to receive such a generous gift from part of her family – an awesome new camera! I have been dreaming of having a Canon Rebel for years and I am so excited to work on my photography. Her friends also put together a fabulous gift basket and had gifts for my children as well. I have felt so appreciated throughout this entire experience and am so thankful for the relationships that have formed throughout our journey. I couldn’t imagine a better surrogacy experience than the way this one has evolved.

Last week I managed to only nap once, this week however I’ve already succumbed to two out of three days. I love naps, I really do and when it is raining I don’t think they should be passed up.

 

Raindrops on roses – one of my first photos

9 Weeks to Go

October 10, 2010

Where are the days going? This time of year, the days get shorter and the weeks are over before we know it. I am now addicted to naps and they have completely thrown off my sleep schedule. We have to be up at 7 during the week and by the time 2 o’clock rolls around, the kids are napping and I can’t seem to keep my eyes open. After taking a long refreshing nap, I stay up way too late, wake up tired and repeat the process again. This week I’m going to try to get through the afternoon lull and see if I can turn my napping habit into an occasional occurrence. I like to have those two quiet hours to work from home and catch up around the house. Juicing in the afternoon is a great energy boost, so I’m going to stock up on fruits and veggies for the week and see if this helps. One of my favorites is ginger lemonade, made with one lemon, two apples and an inch (or more to taste) of fresh ginger. Mix with a cup of water and serve over ice. I love juicing and all of the health benefits that come with it.

I’m starting to think about labor and have my checklist made of things to bring to the hospital. My grandma is coming down the first week in December to help out with the kids but I need to put a backup plan in place just in case the baby decides to come early. Hopefully she stays put until after my daughter’s birthday on the 6th of December. Any time *shortly* after that would be wonderful!

29 Weeks

September 28, 2010

There are a lot of women who don’t like being pregnant. I’m not one of them. I think it is such a wonderful, miraculous experience and am grateful that I have been blessed with easy pregnancies and have this opportunity to help bring this little girl into the world. When the pregnancy comes up, I am quick to share that I am a surrogate since one question usually leads to another. Here’s a typical conversation:

“When are you due?”
“December 11”
“Is this your first?” (often asked when I am with my two children)
“Actually, this one isn’t mine. I have two of my own and am a surrogate for this one.”
“Wow, what a wonderful thing to do.”

When I run into someone I know who isn’t in the loop, once they’ve noticed the belly I like to say , “No, I’m not having another baby.” They look confused for a second and then I say, “I’m a surrogate. I’m pregnant but it’s someone else’s.” I love being able to share about surrogacy, as I find it all so fascinating. I have learned so much about the process in just a years time and looking back can’t believe how beautifully it has all unfolded.

We had a regular check up today and everything was great. I’m measuring right on schedule, continuing to gain weight and baby girl had a nice strong heartbeat in the 130s. I’m taking iron supplements since it came back low and hope they help increase my energy level a bit as well. This evening my kids and I walked down to the farmer’s market and made huge steamed artichokes for dinner with fresh rustic bread followed by a trip for frozen yogurt for dessert. It was the perfect meal for this incredibly hot night. I received the pre-admittance paperwork for the hospital today as well – we are in the home stretch!

Weeks, Months, and Trimesters

September 19, 2010

Pregnancy is broken down into weeks, months, and trimesters and it can all get so confusing. 40 weeks seems pretty simple to grasp, but then you have to factor in the two weeks from ovulation to fertilization and that’s where it starts to become unclear to some. On the day of conception you are already two weeks into your pregnancy. Sources differ as far as which weeks mark the beginning and end of the trimesters and can be measured by development, gestation or conception. If you’re talking about how many months along, its the month you are in rather than how many you’ve completed. So, with that said we’re currently 28 weeks, 7 months or in the third trimester. If she decides to arrive around 40 weeks, we only have 12 weeks to go!

I was four days late with my daughter (first born) and was induced at 38 weeks with my son due to several factors. I’ll share these stories soon. I am all for natural, unmedicated births but know that in the end there are many circumstances that need medical intervention. What’s most important is to listen to your body and allow room for change in whatever birth “plan” you intend.

I passed the glucose tolerance test and happy to have that out of the way. Paperwork has been filed regarding the birth certificate and the parents to be will be listed as the birth mother and father, as I am only the gestational carrier. We now have check ups every two weeks, December will be here before we know it!