Tuesday, August 13, 2013


3D Ultrasound of 7 week 3 day Baby

One Baby!
We played a game of hide-and-seek and found one tiny little heartbeat that nearly took all of our breath away.  My uterus was searched from side to side and up and down to make sure that there wasn't another little nugget hiding somewhere.  Here she is (I've just decided that I think it's a girl and will call her a she from now until we know for sure).  She's got a strong heart rate of 159 beats per minute, and we're already able to see arm buds.  We even got to see a 3D ultrasound!  The tech was thrilled with the photo she got, she said it was the best one she's taken ever of a babe this young (see top photo).  She was actually showing it off to her co-workers before giving it to us.

The ultrasound appointment went by in a blink of an eye.  I think we all wanted to stare at the screen forever, or at least another hour.  I don't understand how we wait for all of these BIG appointment only to find out that they take just a minute or two.  It sometimes feels like we have waited forever for these moments to arrive and I just want to hold my breath and let it last for a little while.

I can't speak for my IP's, but I'm pretty sure that I was the only one who shed a silent tear during the ultrasound.  Learning that I'm going to be carrying a singleton pregnancy was a huge sense of relief for me.  I woke up at 3:30 the morning of the appointment scared out of my mind that there were two babies in there.  The goal was to get one healthy baby out of this journey, and it looks like we're on a path to success!

Most of you are aware that my IP's want two kids.  They would have loved to have gotten a BOGO, but they said they didn't feel a sense of loss and that there is a little bit of relief on their part.  It would have been fun to have twins, but this way they'll get to experience everything twice.  It sounds like they especially would have wanted twins if I wouldn't do this again for them.  So long as I stay healthy and can carry again, Ben agrees, I get Zofran from the start, and we transfer only one embryo (wink wink), then I'll probably do a sibling project.  The connection a surrogate has with her IP's is pretty much indescribable!  I want nothing more than to see their little family complete.  Plus, we all think that if they have another surrogate it would feel like the were cheating on me.  Ben's first comment after meeting our couple was, "If you do this twice...I hope it's for them!"  I sure do have the best husband!!!

After the ultrasound I meet my IP's in the waiting room and we all just sat there for at least a half an hour.  We all sent text messages to our loved ones.  I loved being a part of this magical moment with my IP's.  Watching them stare at the ultrasound pictures and listening to their conversation about their baby was a moment I'll never forget.  This was the moment that it all became real for them.  We all wondered when it would sink in (for my IP's...I've been vomiting and feeling how real it is for many weeks), and we discovered that was moment it would become "real".  I've been getting messages from both my IP's that they can't concentrate at work and they stare at the photos for fifteen minutes at a time.  That makes me smile  :)   

My IP's arrived a couple hours earlier than the ultrasound to have an appointment with an OB.  I've been really sick and having a hard time eating anything.  I've decided that I'm not going to be weighing myself during the pregnancy, other than at the doctor and I cheated today, only because I'm loosing weight.  When I got to the doctor on Tuesday I was down seven pounds and I'm down by ten today.  It's not the ideal way or time to loose weight.  I have been feeling terrible up until this week when I was finally able to get on Zofran.  I had a couple days this week where I was able to eat a normal portion of food and not throw up.  The Zofran has helped tremendously with the nausea, but I'm struggling with this food issue.  It seems like when I think about eating I want to throw up.  Things that I was craving the last couple weeks make me want vomit if I think about them.  Bland foods seem to do the trick, and I still can't eat anything that's sweet!

Speaking of Zofran, I've decided that the founders of the drug should win a Nobel Peace Prize.  Seriously, they have touched so many lives and made the world a much more peaceful place.  I think that anyone who has used this medication would totally agree!  I actually feel like I'm a human again.

During my pregnancies with our kids I craved normal things like: pickles, ice cream, pizza, s'mores, and beer...ok, maybe not normal?!?!  This week has been the week of cheese.  I can only seem to eat grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade mac n' cheese.  I'm lucky if I can get a child's size portion in me at once.  I seem to be able to take a few bites and hand the food off to our hungry little kids.  Tonight I made homemade pizza and could only eat once bite.  George was happy to gobble up the rest of the pizza to fill up his tummy.  I'll just keep trying...
I was going to say peace out, but maybe I'll say...


Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Throws Up

When my sister was pregnant with my sweet little niece, Molly, she had hyperemesis.  I've never experienced someone so sick during pregnancy.  Our mom had the same thing during her pregnancies but there was not name for it.  At one point Megan was hooked up to an IV that she carried with her and she had a Zofran Pump that she used for most of her pregnancy.  Megs would often call me crying from the grocery store and tell me that nothing looks or sounds good to eat.  She would ask almost every night what we were having for supper to see if that would sound like something she would want to eat, more often than not it didn't sound appetizing to her.  I never understood or had sympathy for this problem of hers until now.  I owe you a huge apology, Megs!  I'm sorry for not giving you sympathy when you needed it the most from your best friend.  I just thought you should suck it up and eat something.  Now I understand the problem and I'm very sorry for not being a better sister!  Please forgive me. 

I started to experience low hunger within the first week of starting the progesterone.  I simply wasn't hungry and nothing sounded appetizing.  A week or two ago the hunger came back but this issue of nothing sounding, smelling, looking, or tasting good started.  Shortly after this, hot dogs became my craving of choice and then one day I really wanted stir fry.  I purchased all the fixing for stir fry the next day, but by the time I was going to make it for supper the thought of it made me want to throw up!  I also had a small craving for ice cream one day and I told the kids we should go and get some, but by the time we reached the store the thought of ice cream made me sick.  We didn't end up getting ice cream and the kids were so sad.  I've realized I have about a fifteen minute window to consume my craving before the thought of it makes me sick.  I've never experienced something like this in my pregnancies.  Ben keeps saying that's what I get for getting pregnant with someone else's kid, and I should be more careful next time!  hahahaha!!

The last couple days have been very rough on me as far as nausea goes.  I've really only been able to eat very small quantities of rotisserie chicken, dill pickle chips, chocolate milk, hot dogs, Ginger Ale, and Grandma Boom's famous beans.  When I woke up this morning I knew it was going to be the first day I would vomit.  I was sick before getting out of bed and could only eat four bites of my toast.  I tried to eat more rotisserie chicken but after two bites I gave up.  I thought I'd try something different.

I can't complain to Ben at all about this pregnancy, after all, it's not his kid and this is a desire of mine that he's happy to support, therefore, my IP's are going to hear all about it when I'm not feeling well! :)  I thought I'd try an Epsom Salt bath to see if that would help me a bit.  That was the beginning of the end of my yucky day.  When I got out of the tub I knew it was coming up...Yep, I totally blew chunks!  It's amazing how much better one feels after throwing up.  I don't like barfing but my stomach feels so much better now.  I'd be happy if that was it for the throwing up stage.  

I text both of my IP's to let them know what happened throughout the day, and I got the cutest response back from IP-A..."I wonder if we should check with Dr. Virro to see if that's normal or if they need to moderate it [the progesterone] some?"  Knowing this is normal, I could reassure them that this is a typical part of pregnancy and all was well.  This is the reply, "Can you just imagine this...Our kids are going to be in the docs office every other day with a sneeze, cough, or sniffle.  We'll have to call the nurse Josie line before we haul them off to the doctor."  Oh IP's, you're going to be typical first time parents and do what we all did as newbies!  You'll be amazing!!!             


Have you ever been stripped or robbed from a passion?  I have experienced this several times in my life where I have looked up to someone as a good example and found they were the worst leader, and from that I have lost interest in certain passions.  It makes me wonder if they were real passions in the first place when I haven't chosen to pursue them again.  Surrogacy, for example, was one passion that someone tried to strip from  my life.  It is obvious that it's a true passion since I chose to pursue it even though someone (remember that therapist from my first post) may not agreed with my decision.  I don't think you can hide a genuine passion!   

Most recently, I was stripped from my dental hygiene passion.  Before moving back to Minnesota I worked at the most incredible dental office.  I was given an example by three amazing dentists that it is possible to love going to work.  My co-workers were an extension of my family and I love them to this day!  I'm positive that I would have stayed at this office until I retired if we wouldn't have moved back home.  The choice to move back to Minnesota wasn't very hard, because we knew that raising our kids around our family was the right thing to do.  Changing of offices was very difficult.  I thought I had picked a great office to work at, but boy was I fooled big time.  Don't get me wrong, I had wonderful co-workers, but the stress of going to work was doing more to my body than I even realized.  In the three years I had worked there I saw a 100% turnover in their employees.    

I went into work on my day off to tell my boss, in full detail, what I was doing with this surrogacy journey.  I brought in pictures of the transfer and I had more excitement than anyone could imagine.  I've been working on getting to this point for eleven months and I couldn't wait to fill them in on a piece of my personal life.  My boss didn't give me a minute of her time to share my news and asked me to come in early the next morning.  I guess she had a different agenda. 

I showed up the next morning with much less excitement than the day before.  Ben and I decided that I shouldn't even share that this was a surrogacy pregnancy and to just tell them that I'm pregnant.  She started the meeting off by telling me that she's cutting my hours from 22 per week to just 10 hours because they didn't want to loose the gal who was job-sharing with me, so they gave her a full time position and were cutting my hours.  Then she asked my exciting news.  I just said I was pregnant.  Later that day she wanted me to sign a piece of paper stating that they were cutting my hours.  I was very uncomfortable signing this form, so I asked if I could take it home and go over it with Ben.

After I finished the next day she asked if I signed the form.  Ben and I hadn't had a chance to sit down the night before, so I stated just that and we would be happy to sit down and look at it over the weekend.  She proceeded to tell me how it was a simple form and any normal person would just sign it.  She said if I wouldn't sign the form right now then she'd have to let me go.  I shook her hand and thanked her for the last three years and told her how much she has taught me.  I finished all my charts, my end of the day paperwork, gathered all my personal items, and went home to find myself able to sleep a full night though.  The stress of the working environment took way more out of me than I knew.

I'm starting to temp around town.  I'll be able to set my own schedule and work as much or as little as our family needs.  I actually have my first day tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to seeing a light at the end of this black hole that I've been stuck in for a few years.  It is a passion that I was robbed from and I'm looking forward to lighting that fire in me again.  I feel really happy about where life is going at this point! 

We've been teaching our kids about choices, and how you are the only person that can make a choice in your life.  There are people who guide us and help us to make decisions in life, but there is only one person who can actually choose...That person is you!  What's your passion?  Have you been stripped of a passion that you would like to choose to regain?  It's your life...make the choice!  Life is GOOD!