Friday, March 28, 2014

Due Date

Fully Cooked
I had my membranes stripped on Monday at my OB appointment.  I was a little nervous after hearing from people that it can hurt.  I actually didn't think it hurt at all, yes it was uncomfortable to have someone digging around in my cervix but not painful.  She initially told me that I was still dilated to 1.5cm but once she got into stripping she told me that I was at "a good 3cm".  It doesn't surprise me to hear this because my cervix is tipped and I've been check before and it seems like I must be harder to reach than others.  It makes me feel like those three hours of contractions last week actually did something to help me progress.  It's three less centimeters that I have to dilate now!  I was told to expect to bleed a little after having the membranes stripped and I did lightly bleed for a few days.  I guess I'm one of the few that the stripping didn't work on because he's still all cozy in my belly!

Did you know that the mucus plug can regenerate?  I heard this from a few people in my surrogate support group and I didn't believe them for a second.  I believed that I lost it and he would be born in just a couple days.  To my surprise, I lost my mucus plug for the second time on Wednesday and I even lost a little more yesterday.  I'd really like to not have to experience that again during this pregnancy.  He's welcome to enter the world without making me wipe that thick bloody mucus out of my vag again. 

I think I have been mentally pushing off the birth of this baby because my sister-in-law was due the week before me and I was invited to witness the birth of their baby.  I knew I didn't want to miss out on the birth and I even thought that if I was in the hospital that I would make a dart for the cities so I wouldn't miss out on the birth.  I'm so lucky that my sister-in-law is one of my best friends and that she wanted to have my mom, sister, and me at the birth of their baby!  We got the phone call yesterday that she was in labor, so my mom and I headed down to the cities yesterday morning.  We hung out at their house while she labored there for hours, and she totally rocked it!  Once she decided that they should head to the hospital her contractions were REALLY close together and we were a bit nervous with the 35 minute drive to the hospital.  She started crowning in the car on the way there.  We were in separate cars and left just minutes after them.  By the time we parked and sprinted down the hall (you know it's serious business when a 9 month pregnant woman and a Grandma, carrying a dozen roses, are sprinting down the hall screaming, "She's Crowing!  What room do we go to?") she had already delivered the baby.  We missed it by two minutes!  Devastated? Yes!  Regardless, they have a healthy mom and baby and that's all that matters.  And now it's my turn.

Proud Auntie!!!
I've been doing everything I can to help urge this baby to come into the world.  I've been walking like a mad woman.  I've put over 10 miles in this week to see if that would help urge him along, but clearly he's one content baby.  I've thrown lots of dance parties, some of them by myself and others with the kids.  This is a pretty normal daily occurrence in our house anyway, because dancing makes the day just a little brighter and way more fun.  Plus, I need to make sure our kids know all the cool dance moves for when they make videos with their cousins!  Acupressure is another thing that I'm doing every day on myself, but clearly that's not working either.  My favorite piece of advice is when EVERYONE tells me to have "Great Sex!"  Did you know that I'm 40 weeks pregnant?  I'm pretty sure that those two words don't belong together at 40 weeks pregnant.  Thanks for the advice, though!  I've decided that the only thing bound to work is patience.  He'll come when he's ready!

Signing Paperwork.  I felt like I had to wear my "I swear it's not mine" shirt.

I received another big package in the mail full of more paperwork to fill out.  This time we needed to get a Notary when we signed all the pages to "give up our parental rights".  I read the contracts cover to cover which always ends in a headache.  We signed the papers on Wednesday and had to overnight them to the agency.  They'll have all of our papers for our court hearing by today.  Yay!  Obviously there would never have to be a worry about us not filling out this paperwork, but I imagine that my IPs feel great knowing that it's all turned in and we're just two steps away from them "legally" being the parents of this baby...I still need to deliver the baby and then we'll have our court hearing.  I know I've said it before, but it blows my mind that this part is necessary!  The baby has NO genetic link to Ben or me, so lets all pray that the bill will be passed into law so that this step can be avoided in the near future. 

We're really close to finishing the final chapter of this book and starting the first chapter of a new one.  Hopefully my next update will include a photo and name of the baby!  Positive energy, happy thoughts, and prayers are always accepted.  Thank you all for your continuous support and love.  This is going to be the BEST gift ever!  I'm ready to see my IPs holding their son.  They've spent way too many years holding the image of this baby in their dreams, so it's time to make that dream a reality.                  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Well That Wasn't Funny!

39 Weeks

My IPs came up for our final "Blow up the Belly" photo.  We have a series of four photos now and they're adorable.  We'll take our last picture with the baby right after they're released from the hospital and heading home.  We took a bunch of other fun photos and had a wonderful lunch with our family and both IPs.  I don't know why, but I always feel extra lucky when we get to spend time with them.  I'm still certain that we're the best match ever! 

My OB appointment on Monday was quite uneventful, except my cervix is tipped so far that her knuckles have to reach into me to find it.  That can be a little uncomfortable but not painful.  I told her she was allowed to stir things up if she wanted just in case that might make this little man decide that he'd like to come out.  She said she could strip my membranes next week if I wanted her to.  I truly feel so amazing!  IP-B asked me this morning how I was feeling today and I could only respond with, "Ugh, way too good!"  I really can't complain about how amazing I'm still feeling at 39 weeks.  I know most of you could slap me right now, but I guess this is why I was meant to do this and you weren't!  I'm seriously fine if he stays in a little longer to gain a bit more weight.  The selfish reason I'd like him out is I really can't wait to give my husband a hug and snuggle with our little kiddos and not feel like I'm a mile away from them.  I'm also really excited to see my IPs holding this little man and for him to finally have a name! 

I met a woman yesterday when I was volunteering at a March of Dimes event who learned that I was a surrogate.  I'm so amazed at the overwhelming support that strangers poor out when I tell them that this baby isn't ours, and I'm just carrying him until he gets to go home with his parents.  Most people express that they have only heard about surrogacy on the news, TV shows, or the movies.  This lady was so exited that she started giving people high-fives and saying, "We met one!" because she got to meet a real surrogate in person!  She made me laugh.  At this same event, there was an older gentleman who shook my hand and gave me a bow and was so thrilled that our family is helping others.  It's so neat to see how other people are impacted by a decision we made as a family and that the joy of this baby extends far beyond his parents.  

I joined seven other surrogates, several IPs, and the owner of IARC last night at the state capitol to support a bill that was passed for assisted reproduction.  I've never ever had an interest in legislation or truly cared much about bills that were presented to our senate.  I have truly have found a passion for surrogacy, so I thought it would be important and a great learning lesson to join my fellow surrogates in support of this bill.  I felt proud to stand behind two surrogates and a couple IPs who testified for the bill.  I think it helped that there were two of us who were really pregnant that stood behind the people testifying in support of the bill.  There were only two old douche-bag men that didn't want to pass the bill.  I love that all of the women and a couple gentlemen were very much in support of what we are doing to help build families! 

There was one woman and one man who testified against the bill and I almost threw up from the ideas that they had of us.  The lady basically stated that we were uneducated women who are on welfare and only become a surrogate for the money.  Isn't it great that the agency has such a thorough application that would disqualify anyone that has a motive like that?  I appreciate that they have us fill out hours and hours of paperwork, telephone interviews, medical examinations, and psychological evaluations prior to even being accepted as a potential surrogate.  All of us involved in surrogacy have the same create families that can't do it on their own!  It's such a beautiful process to be involved in and I feel so honored that I get to be a part of this hidden world that isn't as small as you think. 

I started having contractions about 9:00 last night.  I kind of thought it was funny that I was surrounded by a ton of surrogates and IPs and was contracting so much.  I met up with a couple ladies to carpool and when they dropped me off at my car around 11:00 I was still having contractions.  My IPs asked for me to call them when I could after the legislation meeting (they watched it at home), so I called them on my way home.  I was still contracting and they were getting stronger.  I told them that I'd wait to have them head up until I got home and started moving around just to make sure that they didn't stop.  About thirty minutes later I called them and said that hey should probably get ready because I was 99.9% sure that he was going to make his grand arrival.  The contractions continued to get stronger and stronger in the car.  I had to even start telling myself to relax during them.  Of course I was driving so I could time them out, but I almost called the hospital before going into the house to tell them that they could expect us sometime last night or early this morning.  I was so confident that this was it.  I walked into the house and could almost tell instantly that the contractions weren't as strong as they were when I was sitting down.  I told my IPs to hold off with making the drive and I'd try to get some sleep.  I'm sitting here, so you can guess pretty quickly that it wasn't true labor!  I'm super shocked.  I'm still getting random contractions that aren't very strong, I actually am having one right now.  He'll come when he's ready, I guess! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mucus Plug

38 Weeks
You may think it sounds disgusting to talk about the mucus plug, but why do people think that it's somewhat inappropriate to discuss?  It's a completely natural part of the birthing process and your mom lost hers at some point when you were making your arrival.  I'll spare you the photo I took of my mucus plug that I sent to my IPs, but I had to think about that for a long time before posting this.  I don't think that it would be a bad thing to show you.  I had to take a photo and send it to my IPs so they could be as involved in this process as they wanted to be!  Plus, I've heard that some of you even got to see the photo already from my IPs.   

I had my OB appointment on Monday and I'm still dilated to 1.5cm and she said I'm slightly thinner than last week.  I lost my mucus plug that afternoon after she dug around up there, which probably helped it out.  I really got hopeful that this little man would have already made his grand arrival.  I lost mine with our little Jack on a Thursday and had him on Saturday, so I had really high hopes that yesterday would have been the day.  I realize that loosing the mucus plug doesn't mean labor will start really soon, but at least we know my body is working on preparing itself for giving birth.  I've had several random contractions that really don't hurt.  We're just playing that game of "hurry up and wait".  

I went crazy on Monday night getting everything ready just in case I did go into labor that night.  I now have everything ready to go.  My bag is packed and I somehow completed the task of shaving my legs...not easy to do!  My IPs went to the store that night to finish up their last minute shopping and I think we're all completely ready to go.

I had a dream last night that I forgot to call our photographer and tell her I was in labor.  I realized after the baby was born that she wasn't there and I was so sad!  In that same dream, no one video taped the birth either.  I guess it's clear that I feel like these two things are very important and I know we won't forget to do either!  I don't want to have to do all this work and not have a video or photos to look at after the birth.  It's kind of sad how the person giving birth does all the work and misses out on seeing what is happening.  I know I closed my eyes and gave so much concentration on my body while I was giving birth to our kids, so I appreciate having a video and photos to look back on.

I'm still feeling amazing!  Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming my way that this little man will make his arrival really soon.       


Friday, March 7, 2014


37 weeks
I started nesting about two weeks ago.  I actually had to ask  my surrogacy support group if it was normal for a surrogate to go through nesting.  I guess it's pretty common that we do go through nesting in a whole different way.  Most surrogates say that they went crazy baking and cooking things and buying unnecessary items for their house.  I guess I started by cleaning our house like a mad woman.  I dusted everything and even washed all the windows.  This week I started feeling like I needed to get all of our paperwork in a neat pile ready to go and I had to get my camera memory card cleared and charge up those batteries.  I sent out our Birth Plan to everyone with a big email of instructions for those that are going to attend the birth.  My final touch will be when I pack my bag.  I think I'll do that this weekend or next week sometime.

I had an OB appointment on Monday and went over our whole birth plan with our doctor. She is very much on board with all of our wishes to make this labor and delivery as smooth and drug free as possible.  One thing I really like about our OB is that she allows time to answer any and all questions that we have and we never have felt rushed.  I really appreciate that she makes me feel like my health care is important and that her schedule will be fine, and she always seems to be running on time.  She did the Group B Strep test and then check to see if I was dilated at all.  I told her before she check my dilation that I've never ever been dilated prior to going into labor with our kids.  I even sent a message to my IPs telling them that they shouldn't expect that I will dilate at all before going into labor.  To my surprise, I am dilated to 1.5 cm.  I realize it doesn't mean anything, other than my body is starting to work on something down there, but it's really fun to say!

I guess after one tells their agency that they are dilated, the paperwork starts coming extra fast!  I heard from my IPs that they had paperwork that needed to get turned around pretty quickly.  I think it's all complete and we'll just have to sign more papers at the hospital after this little man is born.  In addition to making our court appearance about a week or so after he's born.  It still blows my mind that Ben and I both need to sign our "rights" away.  There is NO biological connection to this baby and yet we have to sign more papers to "give up rights" and appear in front of a judge.  You would think that there would be laws put into place by now that would prevent this...and our agency is actively working on putting such laws into place.  Most of you will be getting an email from me pretty soon to ask you to send an email to your congress person to help pass a bill to prevent all of this unnecessary paperwork.  It would help protect the IPs as well as protecting the surrogate.  Please consider taking a little time to help the surrogate world, my IPs, other IPs, and future babies born through surrogacy.  We appreciate all of your support!     

I got together with my sister and sister-in-law yesterday for a pampering morning.  We got pedicures and had lunch at Granite City.  It's fun that we're all best friends and having babies (obviously they'll be keeping their babies and this baby will go home with his parents) around the same time.  My sister's little Elliott is almost 2 months old and my sister-in-law is due a week before this baby is due.  I especially love that they are going to have little babies that I get to love on and not have to take home.  I'm so out of baby mode, but it's fun that we were all pregnant together!  I've enjoyed going through this journey with them  :) 

Happy Toes all set to greet Little Man
There isn't much more to update you on other than I ended up with a horrible cold that lasted two weeks.  I don't think I got more than one hour of sleep at a time without feeling like I needed to move from the bed to the recliner and back to the bed.  When I went into my OB appointment on Monday she said she would like to give me antibiotics, but I thought I would be able to fight it on my own so I asked for her to give me a couple more days. By Wednesday she called in a prescription and I now feel almost 100%.  I only got up once last night to pee...that's a BIG deal!!!  I still could use a good night of sleep.  Pregnancy wise I feel AMAZING!