We had a wonderful lunch and afternoon visit at my IPs house on the 27th of December. It was fun to hang out and play with Spencer. He is an active little boy who will make anyone giggle. His vocabulary is extensive and his words are very clear. He had a Christmas concert at his preschool where he learned how to shake bells while singing and dancing to Jingle Bells. We sang the song over and over and he would smile and clearly say, "HEY!" at the right time. He's so cute! Our kids love to play with and snuggle him. I especially love watching our George touch him so gently and rave about how cute he is. IP-A sent me home with a large helping of homemade beans. I love those beans! I separated them out into small portions and froze them for when the craving arises. I had several meals that consisted just of beans right away. Unfortunately, they don't sound appetizing at all right now.
This summer at a surrogate social I was asked to give my testimony about our first journey. I think the clip turned out great! That said, I'm amazed to see how anything someone says can be turned into what someone else wants it to sound like. I was only slightly concerned about how I would feel when I heard Spencer cry for the first time, more interested in how that was going to feel over anything else in the journey. I had relief when his cry was so different (this part was cut) than Lydia, Jack and George's cry. I'm not sure that it portrays me in the exact manor that I think it should, but I love the part where I talk about my friend, Charity (though I never mention her), and how priceless my interaction with her was! She was my first contact with a real surrogate, someone who truly understood my crazy! I've learned so much about myself and others through surrogacy!
The first six weeks of this pregnancy were like a dream. I was back up and running within a week of the transfer and felt like I was on fire! I was running strong and fast and had dreams of singing up for all these amazing races throughout the pregnancy. I actually signed up for a 10k with my friends in March. I even contemplated signing up for a half marathon because I felt like I was on top of the world! I had all of the early pregnancy symptoms that you hear about - I needed to pee all the time, had tender breasts, fatigue, and I could smell anything from a mile away. My tell tale sign has always been pain in my sciatic nerve right away. I never really gave thought that there could be a connection between the hormones and early pregnancy symptoms, so off to my support group I went with this question. Apparently, a lot of the women who have experienced failed transfers have experienced early pregnancy symptoms. It makes sense, but I never really thought about the connection.
I hit six weeks on Christmas Eve and the nausea hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm pretty sure anyone who was with me that day would say I had RBF (resting bitch face). I secluded myself to a quiet living room and peacefully played with our kids. The loud noises made me cringed and I took a long nap that day. I was more than grateful to make it home that night and sleep in our own bed! Christmas Day brought with it a whole new struggle...I started vomiting that day! I think it may go down as the worst Christmas ever. The guilt I had about taking two long naps and spending time in the bathroom vomiting was so god-awful! NEVER AGAIN will I be pregnant on Christmas!!! I proceeded to have a very difficult week following that.
My heightened sense of smell only gets more heightened when I'm pregnant. We're in our new house and have new smells to begin with, but the smell of the gas dryer was so bad that our kids were commenting about how terrible the cloths smelled even before I was aware of how bad it was. We bought a new dryer thinking that was the issue, but the result was the same horrific smell in our cloths. Thankfully, my in-laws had an electric dryer they weren't using, so they sent it home with us after Christmas. Ben, my magician, got everything hooked up and has taken over laundry duty because the smell of the basement is still frightening for me...ok, I gag every time I go down there. The connection to the gas stove is also a problem. Now he and Lydia are doing the cooking while I have to head upstairs so I don't vomit from the gas stove. This is going to be a long pregnancy if I can't cook!
On January 1st, Lydia and I were supposed to stay at my cousin's house but their little boy wasn't feeling well, so we decided to sty home and not expose ourselves to any kind of germs. Little did we know, Ben got nailed with something nasty. I've never seen my husband that sick in my entire life. He had projectile vomit throughout the evening and was in a tremendous amount of pain. I heard Ben call my name from the bedroom, and as I reached the top of the stairs I could smell vomit. I started gagging as he asked if I could clean it up. I looked in the bathroom and it was covered in vomit. The walls, sink, floor, and toilet had puke covering them. I ran out and threw up from the stench! I told him there was no way I could clean it up. I'm not sure what we would have done without our precious Lydia. Lydia, 11 years old, came upstairs and cleaned up the bathroom. Just as soon as she finished cleaning, Ben missed the toilet again. Lydia and I both started crying and she proceeded to clean it up again. Ben whimpered as he told me to call someone for help. Umm...I'm not sure who would want to subject themselves to this mess or germs?! Lydia showered up and we had a sleepover in her room for the next two nights. I promised her we would go out to eat anywhere she wanted the next day as a thank you for her help. Lydia is our hero! I'm sure that day will be engrained in her head forever...poor thing!!
The very next day I woke up with a terrible cold and a commitment to photograph a wedding of Lydia's best friend's mom. Lydia and I drove up to St. Cloud and upon realizing that there was another woman who could photograph the reception, we stayed only for the private ceremony. It was a beautiful wedding! We felt honored that we were able to be there and support Esther and her mom. We snuck out as soon as we could. Lydia picked noodles and company for lunch, which hit the spot, and then we headed back home. I proceeded to have three days where I barely left our bed. My head felt like it was going to explode! After the third day, I went to work and thought I was feeling better, but that's when the cough hit. I was nauseous, had a horrible cough, and my head still felt like I was going to explode. I worked three days last week and thought I was getting better. I was supposed to fill in at an office a couple miles from our house this week, but they didn't want me to bring in my germs in. I decided that it would be best, after 12 days, to head into the doctor. I got an antibiotic yesterday, slept the day away, got kids to school this morning and went back to bed for three more hours. I actually feel like I am a functioning human again! I can't remember when, but George got sick somewhere in there and missed school for vomiting. It was crazy!
Among my three days where I could barely get out of bed, I met my IPs at the lab on January 4th to have a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm the heartbeat and that there was just one bambina in there. I sent my IPs a text warning them of how awful I looked. I took a rinse off shower, so I didn't smell for Liz who would be up my who-ha, put on a hat, and left looking like a truck hit me. Liz, the ultrasound tech, is adorable! She greeted me with a welcoming smile and clearly remembered who I was. I gave her the blog information when I went in for my lining check and she totally read it. I think it was pretty fun that she got to meet my IPs in person. It's one thing to read about people, but it's another to meet them in person. She confirmed that there was one little baby in there and the heartbeat was 174bpm. I was expecting to see the little heart beating but I don't ever remember hearing it beat at this appointment. Liz turned on the sound and I totally cried! It is such a relief to know that this journey is going just as smoothly as the first.