Small Update

Just thought I would pop on and give a little update.

IFs and surro babe #2 FINALLY made it home a couple weeks ago. They had been gone since around March 22 if I remember right. It wasn’t just a straight trip home either. They had to travel to another state, then they went and visited some family in another country. After that they visited family in their home country before finally heading home. I have to say this little girl is already a world traveler!

I can’t imagine being away from home so long and with a newborn (although she’s not really a newborn anymore!). I’m so happy for them to finally make it home. It’s like the ending of a saga LOL

I’m enjoying our warm & sunny autumn weather before the cold and snow sets in. The kids are playing soccer which has been fun for them, despite how hot it has been LOL They have to wear masks when they play which is hard when it’s 80 degrees out. They’re still enjoying it though.

We’re supposed to go to Hawaii right after Christmas. This is a trip we’ve had planned since January, so long before this COVID stuff. I doubt we’ll be able to go, but I haven’t cancelled or rescheduled it yet. I’m waiting to find out if Kauai is going to implement a 3 day quarantine for all arrivals in addition to the pre-trip testing. If they do then we’ll try to reschedule for spring.

The kids aren’t in school yet. They were supposed to start going back this week, but our local cases rose too high and now we’re looking at the beginning of November at the very earliest. It’s sad for them and hard for us, but we’re making it work. Luckily they have amazing teachers that are super helpful. I just know they are learning as much being at home as they would be at school and that’s hard.

Overall we’re hanging in there. I’m already looking forward to 2021 and hoping it’s better than 2020 has been!

1 Year Ago

A picture came up on my Timehop that reminded me that 1 year ago I was just starting meds for the IVF cycle that would eventually result in the most recent surro babe. It’s always so amazing to me the difference a year can make. She’s now almost 11 weeks old already!

I won’t lie, seeing the pictures of meds and the med calendar wakes up that part of my brain that is ready to jump in again. I have to remind myself why I need to wait and at this point it’s easier to not get ahead of myself. Come next spring/summer I will be more anxious to get going.

In other news surro babe #1 is almost 2 already!! She is so sweet and looks so grown up these days. I love getting pictures and updates from her dads. They are absolutely lovely people and I’m so happy they’ve chosen to stay in touch. More pictures popped up the other day of when I flew to Las Vegas for my screening with their RE three years ago. It’s amazing how fast time can fly.

6 Week Appointment

I had my 6 week post partum appointment this morning. Everything looked good and I’m officially healed from delivery.

She asked me if I thought I would be a GC again. I told her that I wanted to talk to her about it. She said that from her standpoint I’m cleared to carry again. She said that I do great and she is completely fine with me doing it again. She said that she would want me to wait at least a year to get pregnant again so she was happy with the plan to wait 18 months to transfer again.

I figured she would give me the okay, but it’s always great to know for sure. I sent IFs a message and let them know. While they’re in the US still they’re on they’re home country’s time schedule due to work so they won’t be up to see the message for awhile.

I also sent my agency coordinator a quick note to let her know as well. We’re not starting any part of the process for a year or so, but I like to keep everyone in the loop.

I wonder how long it will be before I get antsy to start the process again LOL

Birth Story: Post Partum Edition

Also not proof reading this post either LOL

 

After baby was born and with her dads my husband decided to go home and finally get some sleep with the plan that he would come pick me up later that afternoon.

Not too long after he left the nurse was doing her uterine massage and noticed that my uterus was pretty firm and not centered. She placed a catheter again to see if my bladder was holding it up, but it was still off center. She kept my OB updated and kept on with the uterine massage.

During one of her massages she managed to knock loose a large string of clots. While she was getting help to clean it up my OB came in and expressed a lot more clots. They gave me some meds to slow the bleeding.

They weigh the clots and chuck pads to keep track of blood loss. They like to keep it under 500ml, my final number was 1135mL. Even at that my OB didn’t feel like I needed a transfusion and just suggested I stay until the next day so they could monitor me and check my blood levels the next morning. This was kind of a bummer because my husband had already left and couldn’t come back so I was stuck by myself for the next 24 hours. To keep it in perspective the average blood loss for a c section is 1000mL and transfusions aren’t usually indicated for most patients. Most healthy women can handle that much blood loss without a problem which is why my OB didn’t feel the need for a transfusion (thank goodness!)

After the clots came out my bleeding went down to normal and I didn’t have anymore issues. The next nurse that took over my care was surprised when she saw the numbers because I still had good color and was totally mobile and moving around fine.

After an incredibly boring 24 hours (well, there was a lot of sleeping involved since I had been awake since 2:45am at 6/6 because couldn’t sleep that night and it was not 10:30 am on 6/7) I was able to go home.

I started pumping for surro babe when my milk came in a few days later. I pumped for her for about a week and a half. It was great that they wanted to milk because it gave me the opportunity to see the new family. Unlike last time when I came down with bronchitis the day after delivery, this time I felt great. Other than getting tired faster because I was a bit anemic I felt great. I didn’t have any tearing and other than a bit of an achy back for a few days I recovered wonderfully.

Surro babe is just the sweetest, most chill baby. It’s a joy to see her with her dads. She’s so loved already and will have such a wonderful life.

Seeing a baby you carried with their parents makes everything 110% worth anything that was hard in the process. It makes the medications, the injections, the bed rest after transfer, the morning sickness, the blood draws, the aches and pains, the exhaustion, and labor/delivery seem like nothing because you helped make a family! It’s even more special when you adore the IPs and get to add them to your family as well.

So right now IFs are working on getting a passport for her so they can start making plans to return home. These last months have been something else for them. They’ve been living in hotels on visas, not sure when they’ll be able to return because they were getting limited information from their home government. They’ve weathered it all so well, at least from the outside it looks that way LOL

It’s a far cry from what the last months of expecting a baby even in a surrogacy situation. That’s why I was pretty excited when they mentioned before surro babe was born that they want to try and use their last embryo to see if they can have another baby and they asked if I would be willing to be their carrier again 🙂 I would love for them to have a more normal experience as compared with the one COVID has thrust on them this time.

We are waiting a bit though. I see my OB on the 15th and want to make sure she’s okay with me doing this one more time. I think she’ll be fine with it, but with the clots and blood loss I had after delivery I want to talk to her about it.  I’ve also delivered 4 babies in 7 years and the last two were delivered 20 months apart. This time I want to have a little more time between delivery and transfer. We’re hoping to transfer in January 2022. They’re unsure if they’re going to make more embryos if the one they have doesn’t work out. If they do that’s great and I’ll stick with them as long as they want to try. If they don’t want to make new embryos I’ll probably look for other IPs, but will wait until the next January to transfer again. The reason I’m looking at January transfers is because I would prefer not to be pregnant over the holidays again. I’ve done it 3 times and this last time I felt like I couldn’t give my kids the holiday experience I wanted because I didn’t feel well and was tired. Some of the exhaustion was due to our crazy school and swim schedules. With both kids in the same school next time it should be easier. I also enjoyed being pregnant in the summer. People tend to think I’m crazy, but I really liked it and would like to do it one more time.

Another reason for waiting is to put some distance between the process and COVID. Who knows how long things will be restricted for, but we figure waiting a good 18 months is a start. Hopefully by then there is some semblance of “normal” in the world.

I’m not going to lie…I’m missing being pregnant already which is hilarious, but the last 6 weeks were rough! Actually the whole pregnancy was harder than I anticipated LOL We had a super busy schedule for most of it then COVID happened and I was trying to work and home school. I wasn’t able to go to the chiropractor or my prenatal yoga classes. It’s amazing how quickly all that is forgotten after delivery…I told my husband just a few days after she was born that I thought there was something wrong with me because I was missing being pregnant LOL

So don’t go anywhere….pending my OB appointment on the 15th I may be back in surrogacy mode sometime next year 🙂

Birth Story

Okay here is it…finally…because I’m a slacker LOL

Fair warning, I’m not proof reading this because it takes long enough to type without having to read it again

The night before induction my husband and I met IFs for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. We chatted about what the next day might look like then went our separate ways until baby was ready to make her appearance!

I checked into the hospital at 7:15am by myself. The plan was for my husband to come in later in the afternoon because once he came into the room he couldn’t leave and come back. We had gotten the okay for both IFs to be in the room when it was close to delivery time so they would come later as well.

The nurse got me all checked in, got the IV started, did the COVID test (ouch!), and said the doctor would stop by in a bit. The nurse said that I was actually having contractions which I assumed were just Braxton Hicks, but she said they were real ones, just very light. They were only about a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale. I ordered breakfast at 8am and settled in to wait.

I started to get antsy when she wasn’t there by 9am…then another 50 minutes passed before she was able to come in. She checked me and I was still only 1cm and -3 station (baby was still pretty high up). She placed a misoprostol tablet against my cervix to soften it and then told me that they would check me again in 4 HOURS! and only then would we start pitocin. That was pretty disheartening news as I was hoping to get things going a little faster than that. Since it had taken so long for her to get to me it was now going to be until after 2pm that we could even start Pitocin. However, there was nothing I could really do about it.

For simplicity’s sake I’ll do the next parts in a list by time

Noon: contractions got stronger, 4-5/10 and 2-3 minutes apart. I was able to get up and walk around (had to wait for a bit after the miso was placed) and bounce on the yoga ball.

3:30: The OB was busy so at 3:30 the nurse finally checked me again. I was only 2cm…womp womp She started the pitocin, starting at 2 and eventually increasing it to 6 over the next couple hours.

During all this time I was trying to keep the parents in the loop since they couldn’t be there and texting my husband to let him know what was going on since he didn’t want to come too early and be stuck there forever (joke was on us because he did end up there for a loooong time).

6pm: Husband arrived

6:30pm: I decided to get the epidural placed

6:45pm: The nurse had been watching my blood pressure slowly drop since the epi was placed and kept asking me if I felt okay which I did…until I didn’t LOL I can’t remember what the numbers were exactly when I finally felt the effects, but I think it was something like 70/40. The nurse called back the anesthesiologist and they gave me some meds that brought it back up and made me feel a lot better.

8:55pm: I felt a gush that I thought was probably my water breaking. I had my husband come over and look. He said that it wasn’t water, that it was blood. I called the nurse back in who took a peek. She thought maybe it was partially my water breaking.

9pm: OB comes in. She checks me (4cm) and pulled a small clot out. Breaks my water. She said they would keep a close eye on me and if she doesn’t like the amount of blood then we will do a c section.

During this time IFs had been in the parking lot waiting for the okay to come in. We had all expected things to move a bit quicker than they were. We weren’t sure when they would be able to come in and around 10pm while the nurse and I were discussing when would be a good time they appeared in the doorway LOL So that worked out and we didn’t have to worry about them being let in

I wish that I had remembered to keep better notes past this point, but I was tired and the epidural kept wearing off in a certain area so I just didn’t write much more down until the next day. By then the times that things happened were already getting fuzzy.

I continued to leak amniotic fluid for most of the night. Baby’s head would keep plugging my cervix and whenever I moved, she moved, or the nurse checked me more fluid would leak out….we went through so many towels LOL

When the epidural started to wear off from my hips down I tried to deal with it, but when the nurse checked me and I was only like 6cm we decided to have the anesthesiologist come back. He retaped it once which didn’t help. Then he came back and basically wiggled the catheter and retaped it which fixed it for awhile.

I labored all night. It took a while to fully dilate because she was turned just enough that she wasn’t putting much pressure on my cervix.

I was finally able to start pushing, but she was still turned and stuck on my pubic bone a bit. Instead of pushing to no avail we took a break and I laid on my side with the peanut ball between my knees.

We started pushing again just before 7am. Around 7am when the nurses were switching shifts and our nurse from the previous day was getting the updates from the night nurse I asked if I should be pushing with the contraction I was having. They said sure…so I started pushing, right at that point my OB came walking in to check on everything. All of a sudden, and what felt like out of the blue to me baby was right there and ready to come out. I asked if I should keep going or stop because it was pretty obvious that nobody was ready for her at that moment. They told me to stop pushing while they got ready. That was super hard and seemed like it took forever for them to get everything ready.

They were finally ready and it only took a couple more pushes to get her all the way out. She was born at 7:10 am, weighed 7lbs 8oz (my smallest delivery) and was 20.5in I think. We joked afterwards that she was just waiting until everyone was there at shift change so both nurses who looked after us and my OB were there to see her.

This was the only delivery that I wasn’t numb in my nether region and ouch! That ring of fire is no joke and some R rated words may have escaped…well not “some” more like a lot LOL

Dads were right by my shoulder and were able to see their daughter be born which we didn’t know if they would because of stupid COVID. We were all glad that it worked out on the end.

She was on my chest for a minute before the cord was cut and she went to her dads for some skin to skin time. Then she was weighed and measured before they got moved to their own room (which was technically the NICU, but baby was fine. That’s just where this hospital has IPs take care of their babies until they’re discharged)

Phew! That was a novel…I will continue with the post partum stuff in a new post.

Still Here

It probably seems like I’ve abandoned this blog after my 38 week post. I haven’t, but it usually takes me some time to get in the mental head space to write a birth story post. I also meant to write a 39 week post as well, it was supposed to be my last one before induction day..but life happens and at that point I was so tired and ready to have that baby that I didn’t get around to it.

I’m not ready to type out the whole story just yet, but here’s the short version:

Went in for induction at 7:15am on Saturday the 6th. This was a longer induction process than I’ve had in the past because it was at 39+2 and I was barely dilated and baby was still high up.

True labor finally started around 4pm on the 6th and she took her time in coming so she was born at 7:10am on 6/7. She was 7lbs 8oz and I think about 20.5 inches, the smallest baby I’ve had so far and as cute as can be!

Eventually I will type up the whole story. I did manage to take notes for awhile since the details always get a bit fuzzy pretty quickly.

For now I’m still resting up, but feeling pretty good. It’s so nice to sleep through the night again LOL My body definitely lets me know if I do too much. I’ve been wearing a brace that has been a life saver for my back. I’m not sure why my back is so sore this time. It’s more of an issue now than it ever was during pregnancy. I’m working to strengthen my core to hopefully help with the soreness. If it continues to be an issue I’ll make a chiropractor appointment.

Stay tuned…

38 Weeks

Weekly Update:

How far along: 38 weeks

How big is baby: size of a spaghetti squash, probably around 7 pounds and 20 inches

Symptoms: she finally dropped last weekend so not having her bum in my ribs has been nice. However, it has increased other things like cramps, Braxton Hicks contractions, and even less room for my bladder LOL I’m still having heartburn if I don’t remember to take the Pepcid

Movement: her movements slowed down over the weekend, I think because I was pretty active and there was a lot of noise. Since we’ve been home her movements have picked up again

Sleep: not great…last night I had to get up 4 times to take Tums because my heartburn was so bad. I get up more to use the bathroom and around 5am my sinus drainage gets so bad I have trouble breathing which keeps me awake. I’m really looking forward to some good sleep after she’s with her dads

Food cravings? nothing lately

Anything making you queasy or sick? not really, except just being towards the end of pregnancy and it being hot this week

Next appointment: Next in office appointment is on Monday. We’ll do a non-stress test and a cervical check to make sure that everything is good to go with the induction. They usually like the cervix to be at least 2cm dilated and softening.

 

36+4

Man, I am getting terrible at remembering to do these! This weird pandemic schedule has me all discombobulated.

Blood sugars are still great so my OB said I could go to testing every other day. It’s been really nice to have a break from that.

The ultrasound went great. She was measuring right on track at about 6lbs (give or take 14 oz). That was the 56th percentile, so right at average. I thought for sure she was going to be big, but it must be her position that makes me feel huge 😆 Since she is measuring average and this will be my first induction before my due date (it will be at 39+2), she may actually be the smallest baby I deliver and the first one under 8 pounds.

As of right now the hospital policy is still only one support person for me during labor & delivery (my husband) who can’t leave & come back and can’t be switched out for someone else. Once baby is born she is her own person and one of her dads will be allowed to come in the hospital and care for her in a separate room until she’s discharged. It would be great if that loosens up in the next 3 weeks and at least one of her dads can be in the room when she’s born. We’ll keep our fingers crossed!

Weekly Update:

How far along: 36+4 weeks

How big is baby: size of a papaya, 6.5lbs & around 19 inches long…I wonder if she’s longer and that’s why she feels big 🤷‍♀️

Symptoms: the Braxton Hicks have gotten more frequent and happen throughout the day. I get some cramping here and there. If I don’t remember my Pepcid I get heartburn at night. My lower back and sciatic have been hurting so I take a bath almost every night. Last pregnancy at this point I was seeing a chiropractor and getting massages. With everything just opening up for non emergent treatments I just never made an appointment and figured I’m so close to the end that I’ll just tough it out.

Movement: still very active and her bum is still usually up in my ribs. I keep bouncing/sitting on my yoga ball at night hoping it will encourage her to drop and give my lungs and ribs some space

Sleep: Not terrible, but sometimes if I wake up fo any reasonother than to pee then I can’t go back to sleep. That would be why I’m writing this at 5:30am…my daughter woke up and couldn’t find her blanket, so here I am 🤦‍♀️

Food cravings? they have been soooo random this pregnancy! Recently it’s been pizza, nectarines, egg rolls, deviled eggs, and as always, sweets

Anything making you queasy or sick? eating too much because she’s squishing my stomach

Next appointment: I have my first in office appointment since March 4th tomorrow. It’s time for the GBS swab so I actually have to go in. She said she’d check my cervix if I wanted, but I’m undecided. I also think they’ll do a non stress test as well due to the GD.

19 days until baby comes!!

34+1 Weeks

Just realized I completely spaced the 33 week update…blame it on COVID-19. I’m in a constant state of discombobulation these days

Blood sugars are still great and easy to control. I was happy to hear that my OB’s protocol has changed since the last time I had GD and as long as my numbers are good I don’t have to have weekly or twice a week non-stress tests. She said they would probably do one when I’m in the office for my 36 week appointment and maybe another one before the end.

Speaking of the end…we have an induction date set! I’ll be showing up at the hospital at 7:15am on June 6th! I’ll be 39+2. I’m really happy with this plan as I feel like she might be a bigger baby so doing in a few days earlier than planned is great.

I have an ultrasound scheduled for next week just to check on her growth. I’m curious to see how big she’s measuring and if I’m just imagining she’s big or if she actually is on the big side.

Weekly Update:

How far along: 34+1 weeks

How big is baby: size of a savoy cabbage, about 18 inches long and around 5lbs

Symptoms: Still having Braxton Hicks, mostly in the evening. I also get cramps in the evening as well, but they aren’t awful. Heartburn as improved since I got some Pepcid AC to take…makes a huge difference

Movement: still very active. Her bum is set up under my right ribs. When I sit down I have to either lean back or push her butt down which she sometimes protests against

Sleep: Not terrible, but sometimes if I wake up I can’t get back to sleep which can be very frustrating.

Food cravings? chicken sandwiches (like breaded chicken patty on a bun), strawberries w/ pound cake, hamburgers

Anything making you queasy or sick? not really

Next appointment: ultrasound on 5/6, video appt on 5/14, in office appt on 5/19

32 Weeks

Blood sugar levels have still been great and I haven’t had to alter my diet all that much. The most annoying part is having to stick a needle in my finger 4 times a day LOL But really it’s not too bad and I’m really happy that the number have been so good.

 

Weekly Update:

How far along: 32 weeks

How big is baby: size of a head of a Florida Pomelo, about 17-18 inches long and around 4lbs

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks a few a day, especially when I have a full bladder. Still heartburn when my stomach is empty, cramped lungs, and tired

Movement: still super active, I’m finally noticing that she calms down when I’m walking around. She used to just move all the time no matter what I was doing.

Sleep: Actually not bad. I get up a couple times a night to pee and I wake up on some level every time I roll over, but I’m usually able to go right back to sleep

Food cravings? No strong cravings this week.

Anything making you queasy or sick? not really

Next appointment: video appt on 4/30.