Tuesday, May 25, 2010

26 weeks

We are officially beginning the viability stages. Baby now has a small chance of surviving outside the womb, not that we want it out quite yet. It is welcome to stay in there for another 14 weeks.

We had the best visit with Ali and Ben. They came up to go camping with us, but since we got over a foot of snow we kiboshed that idea and just hung out at home. The first day did feel somewhat like camping since our power went out for two nights and one full day and for us that means no water, no power, no heat (except for our wood stove which we are so thankful for) and no water means no toilet and no power means no cooking. Thankfully my parents fed us that night. The snow has now melted and we can have our warm weather back. I love Northern BC, but if you could strangle a province I might have tried this weekend.

One of the things we got to discuss this weekend was our birth plan. I'm so relieved to have that finally set out for us. There was a little bit of stress for me trying to plan it out and somehow try to predict how we might all be feeling and what we might want and that's just not possible since none of us have ever been here before. I think we are all happy with the plan we have come up with and knowing that we are all flexible easy going people helps. This is a birth plan and like any plan in life it can change.

I was really feeling guilty about how much participation Ben was going to have. I was struggling with the fact that this is his baby, but obviously not his wife so where do we go from there. We decided that there would be more of an "open door" policy during labour. Ben and his and Ali's moms (if they can make it) are welcome to come and get updates (obviously depending on how things are going) sit and chat if we are all feeling up for it, but during the actual delivery the only people who will be in the room is Ali (baby's mom), Andrew (my husband, my rock) and my mom (who is a maternity nurse and my coach during my delivery's). Ali would cut the cord and then be the first to hold it once baby is ready and then she can take the baby out to meet his/her very excited father and Grandma's. Once I'm done getting stitched up (hopefully that won't be necessary) and delivering the placenta then they can all come in and we can oooh and awww over the baby together and I will get a chance to hold him/her. I think this is a lovely compromise and one we can all live with. When we are all finished meeting the baby for the first time then Ben and Ali will go have some private time with their baby and I will go have the most wonderful shower of my life. :)

Figuring out the details of after the birth and while we are in the hospital was a little trickier since a lot of that will depend on a. how long I'm in there for and b. if there is enough space for Ben and Ali and baby to have their own room. September is supposed to be a busy month so lets hope we beat the rush and have this baby in August. We want to all be very open to discussing how we feel and be honest about what we need. We all have the same goal and that is making this a great experience for everyone involved so I feel that it will work out just fine. For me my main goal is to help Ben and Ali enjoy their first few days as parents. It's a unique situation to have someone else involved and I want to help make it feel like it's all theirs. I have had my moments with my babies, holding them and getting to know them, studying their faces for the first time and I want them to have that same opportunity. My most special moment with my girls was after everyone else left me and I was truly alone with them for the first time. Babies are so alert the first couple hours after birth and we just sat there staring at each other. I couldn't help but cry with all the love that I felt for that little person. I can remember it like it was yesterday and it still brings tears to my eyes.

Ali and Ben are kind enough to give Andrew and I a chance to be alone with the baby before they leave and say goodbye. I know we will be seeing this little one again, but it will be nice to have that moment since we will have been on quite a journey together. I am actually hoping for a nighttime delivery so that I can leave the next afternoon. I'm not a fan of trying to sleep in hospitals and since the hospital will want to keep the baby for at least 24 hours if I can leave early Ben and Ali will get to be on their own with their baby there.

I'm really excited for them! Just imagining them finally getting to take their baby home makes me smile. I remember the drive home and the first day as parents on our own and there was a sense of everything being right in the world. I don't think I ever felt more at peace. I hope Ben and Ali get to experience that to the fullest and that they can look back on this whole experience fondly.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another beautiful birth

My dear friend Tara just delivered a beautiful baby girl and was fortunate enough to have our friend Laura there to capture the birth on camera. I wanted to add this video to my blog b/c I think it was just such a beautiful birth and Laura captured it perfectly. I truely hope my birth goes as well as this one. I love how the feeling of the birth was captured so well. Since our birth will be coming up in 14 weeks I have been thinking a lot about what it could be like and I hope that it goes as well as my first two. I hop it can be mellow and peaceful and a great experience for the parents as well as for me :) I'm excited!!

So I hope you enjoy this video.
This is my friend Laura's website. She does amazing pictures and is such a beautiful soul.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just had to share this.

I have been following a few different surrogate blogs and just recently one of the surrogates delivered the IP's sweet baby girl. They had a photographer in there for the birth and posted the slide show on her blog. I just had to share this with you guys b/c it really hit me with the reality we will be facing in 15 short weeks. I watched it probably 4 times and cried the whole time. It was so beautiful!! What stuck with me the most was what a great welcome party that little girl had coming into this world. In the movie the photographer quoted a verse from the Bible that says " Every good and perfect gift is from above" James 1:17 and that truth just resonated with me. I am so thankful for my children, I don't know what my life would be like without them and getting to be a part of this opportunity for God to bless another family's life is such a honor. I can't thank Ali and Ben enough for trusting me with their precious cargo it's a "job" I don't take lightly. Watching this movie made me that much more excited to share in their special day with them.

Here are the sites for both the photographers website and surrogates blog. Watch it and enjoy!!
(I tried attaching the links, but they weren't working so copy and paste)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

25 weeks!! Only 15 to go??!!?!?

How can it be that we only have 15 weeks left!!?!?! The days are becoming warmer and we leave for our first camping trip this weekend. Not only does that mean summer is coming which is just glorious, but also that baby will be born soon. I find myself calling it HE all the time. I think this is my way of not having to call him an it, but also since I have two girls and no boys, it separates the familiarity that much more. Ali and Ben are coming camping with us this weekend and I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm excited to chat about our "birth plan", although it is more of a "baby plan" since most of it will be our preferences for after the baby is born or newly arrived. It will be nice to have some more concrete ideas on what we all want.

I had a dr's apt. today. It went very well. I drank that awful orange drink (last week), which I usually love, but really didn't this time and found out that my blood sugar is perfect. My hemoglobin is a tad on the low side so I'm back on iron supplements every second day. We heard baby's heartbeat and it gave us some nice variables so that is a good sign that 'he' is doing well. My dr advised me that they still consider this a high risk pregnancy soley for the fact that this is an unusual situation and although everything has been going perfectly come 32 weeks they will be monitoring the baby very closely. This is my last 4 week stint in between dr's visits b/c after that it will go down to two weeks in between and then at 36 weeks I'll go in every week. I will have an ultrasound at 32 weeks and then possibly another two after that and then again starting at 32 weeks I will go in for regular NST's (non stress tests) which checks the baby's heart rate and movements and also monitors any contractions. My life is going to get VERY busy in the next few months, but that's really okay b/c it's nice to know that we are all getting taken care of and that there are people on our side who are doing their absolute best to help Ali and Ben welcome their healthy baby into this world. Not to mention we will have a lot of nice pictures for their baby book :) My dr. also mentioned that his estimate for their baby's weight is between 6 and 7lbs which is a nice size and right now the belly is growing perfectly with the dates.

I asked him if IVF babies are known for coming early or right on their dates since conception is not a guessing game. He said no the statistics are similar to a 'regular' pregnancy, but that usually when people use IVF it is b/c of complications getting pregnant which may effect either the embryo itself or the mothers body and ability to carry children so this may point to higher risk more complicated pregnancy's and sometimes preterm babies. In our case there is no way to guess when the baby is coming since there aren't really any of the usual complications. Both 'his' parents are young and healthy and my body has carried two babies to full term already so our chances of making it close to the end or even past are pretty good. I'm still hoping for August 30th (which is my birthday), but as we all know we don't get to chose. :)

Here is another set of pictures of "the belly" at 25 weeks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

24 weeks!

I can't believe we are 24 weeks!!! We only have 16 weeks left!!! How time fly's. Not so sure if it's flying for the baby's parents, but it is for me. I have been feeling great lately. Honestly half the time I forget I'm pregnant and then I'll feel it move or try to hug my husband and oh yeah... right there's a baby in there hahaha. That's a good thing though. Still comfortable and really enjoying it. I can't wait for the IP's to get here. They will be coming camping with us (and my family) if it's warm enough on May long. I think it will be so much fun and I"m really looking forward to it. I hope the baby gives some good kicks for them to feel while they are here. I still have to be laying down to feel the kicks with my hand. Baby is still really low and I'm still carrying closer to my back... hopefully that will change by the time they get here otherwise we may have to catch it when I'm laying on the couch.

One of my good friends just had a baby. It was a girl and she's so precious!! I did notice that there was a definite difference in my feelings from most of my other friends. We are all in the "childbearing" years and most of us have young families and are hoping to have more so it was no surprise when most of the women commented on "wanting another one" when holding that little sweetie. I on the other hand really didn't get that feeling. She's sooo precious, but I can honestly say I SOOOO don't want one. When they aren't mine it's just not the same and this one in my tummy doesn't feel like mine even a little bit. Again I think it's just a healthy confirmation that things are as they should be. Since this is my first surrogacy I guess I really didn't know if my heart strings would be tugging at all (not that I would have given into those feelings). Actually the feelings that surprise me are the ones where I think about meeting this baby 2 or 3 years from now. It actually brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. This will be a special little person to me and my family and Ali and Ben (the parents) will always be in our thoughts and prayers. I will feel connected to them in ways I can't describe and happier than I ever imagined to see them become parents.

Monday, May 3, 2010

(almost) 23 weeks and ultrasound #5

Today I had our 5th ultrasound of the pregnancy. This should be last one if all goes as planned. Everything looked good with the baby from what I gathered... they really don't tell you much. The baby is now measuring 2 days ahead of schedule instead of 1 which was interesting. Maybe they will get their baby early :) That would be welcomed I'm sure. These measurements defiantely don't change our due date since they are so close to being right on and the earlier the ultrasound the more acurate.

Other than that there isn't much new to talk about. I've had some cramping, but it is gone as of today and they checked my cervix with the ultrasound so I'm sure nothing is happening. Just all part of the package this time around.

Here are some updated belly pics now that I finally found my camera.