Thursday, February 16, 2006

35 wks pregnant already?

Wow...I can't believe I'm already in my 35th week of pregnancy. Taryn wrote me an email (as she does most mornings) saying we only have 21 days to go until the induction we have set for March 10th. I thought that was pretty cool to know within a month I'll be saying hello (and goodbye) to my 4th little surro baby!

Lots has happened since the baby shower. For one, Baby D finally has a name - Kyen! (pronounced like, ki-e-n (similar to cayenne, the pepper), but more emphasis on "en" - not "an"). Taryn and JD had to book their flights to Oklahoma and the baby's return flight, so they decided on a name. They're still not 100% on a middle name, but I've heard it might still be Spencer (a family name - from his Dad and Granddad's names).


Secondly, our pre-birth order (PBO) was given a thumbs up by an Oklahoma judge last week! It's the interim order for the hospital to list my IPs names on the birth certificate once their son is born. This is excellent news since I've yet to be a part of such legal steps in this state. My former couple chose to do step-parent adoptions for their children (take my name off the birth certificate and have their mom's name added)...which shouldn't have to be done! But, it was the tried and true way at the time and that's what we did. Now, it seems getting these PBOs is becoming the norm with surrogacy legwork in Oklahoma...and I'm so excited about that! Now, all we have to face legally, is the hospital honoring the order. We'll keep ya updated.


Anyway, back to planning for Kyen's arrival, Taryn and her Aunt Suzanne have made their arrangements to fly to Oklahoma on Friday - March 3rd (one week before the induction). And JD, Uncle Bob, and Tar's Dad - Jerry, plan to fly out on Tuesday March 7th. The Marriott across the street from the hospital that I'll give birth at has been booked for all of them to stay too. So, we'll find out how well we planned in a few weeks and if this baby decides to wait until his induction date. I have a feeling he'll come by Monday the 6th when I turn 38 wks, but we'll see.

My 2 year old has really taken a liking to my large belly over the last month or so (I need to take a belly pic - will do that soon, I promise). He kisses it, pats it, and it seems to soothe him as he's constantly pulling up my shirt to rub on it (even as I walk around the house, etc). It's the funniest thing and sorta nice...I'll miss that. So, even though I'm not bonding with the baby inside me, I am able to bond even stronger w/my own son. :)


I was getting a little worried that I wasn't having enough contractions like I've had with all my other pregnancies (or I'm just not noticing them as much - might be due to chasing my little one around). But, this evening it seemed they wanted to pick up in frequency a bit...I'm so glad, 'cause I worry my 'ol uterus will give out on me since I've had such an easy time this pregnancy (no need for bedrest or medications - hurray!)


I've been wearing an ace bandage around the top of my belly for the past couple months too...especially at night. It really seems to help me sleep better and get some relief from my sore rib area since this little/big guy seems to enjoy pushing his fanny up and around the top of my uterus. I was telling Tar that I hope he drops soon, but then that comes with a whole other set of aches and pains - but at least those are pregnancy ailments that make me feel more hopeful that an end is near. ;)


I've got another OB appointment next Wed (36wks) where I'll get my first internal check (ya! I'm think'n I'll be at least 20% effaced and 1-2cm by then - we'll see) as well as tested for group b strep, even though my OB plans to have me treated at delivery anyway since I have tested + with my surro son, Cole's pregnancy. Then Thursday, I've got my last 4D ultrasound (growth scan) scheduled. I'll post more after those appointments.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

In Memory of Delaney

I wanted to jump on here and post a little something for Taryn and JD on this anniversary of their daughter, Delaney's delivery.

This poem was written by a talented surrogate.
I couldn't help sharing, as it explains much of how I feel about my current journey w/Taryn and JD.

I did change - just a tad of the original poem's ending to fit our situation...it now reads exactly as I would have written it myself (if I was more creative & a poet - but, unfortunately, I am not *shrug*).
I think y'all will enjoy and appreciate it:


~*~A Dream~*~

by: Lain

Our friendship started differently,
than most friendships I've had.
We had to search each other out,
because of something sad.

A precious child to fill your hearts,
is what you're longing for.
Infertility has made it hard,
to open up that door.

And so a search began for you,
to find a helping heart.
So similar to my own search,
not knowing where to start.

For me the search is special,
it requires such great care.
A couple to help have a child...
the fruit my search must bare.

Now we've found each other,
so much more real it seems.
Through faith and hope and honesty,
we're moving toward your dream.

But the dream we have, it is the same,
a dream that's filled with firsts.
First smiles, first laughs, first steps, first words....
all starting with a birth.

Often times I find myself,
wondering what it's like,
to have to trust a stranger,
with such a precious life.

And though I can't imagine,
all that you've been through,
I hope you know I'll do my best
to bring a child to you.

Surrogacy is something,
not everyone can do.
But I've been so blessed in my life,
I'm drawn to helping you.

Some people call us Angels,
us surro-moms to be.
But I don't feel Angelic,
I just feel like me.

Our journey is almost over,
and I know it's not the end.
I pray I can bring you a HEALTHY child,
as it's already brought me a life-long friend.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Baby Shower Update

Well, I had the most incredible time in Delaware over the weekend attending Taryn and JD's baby shower. I was thrilled to be invited. I never went to a baby shower for my previous IPs, Stacey and Anthony, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Truly, I thought my presence could interfere in the reason for the occasion, but was reassured that it was a day to celebrate the new parents-to-be and they wanted the baby there as well.

My flight was great. Since I was flying at 32 wks pregnant I didn't know how I'd fair. I was, surprisingly, very comfortable the entire trip (to and from DE), although extremely tired (sleepy) 'cause I had to wake at 3:30am in order to be ready and at the airport for my flight at 6:30am. At least I gained an hour on the trip and able to get to bed earlier.


Seeing Taryn and JD again was terrific! Tar and her sister, Jennifer, were there to meet me at the airport (I flew into Baltimore this time - hoping to avoid delays flying into Philly). It was nice to meet Jen, since she lives in Seattle and I didn't get to meet her at my last visit. We had a nice lunch together, then Taryn took me by their company's business to reintroduce me to some folks and show off her son (via my big belly, LOL). Then it was time to rest at T&J's house before dinner. Tar had a basket of goodies on my bed again (as she had done at transfer time)...so sweet - a beautiful bracelet, angel doll, body butters, and lots of chocolate, for the baby of course, LOL.

Later that night, before we went out to eat, Taryn's Mom came over and gave me the most amazing, and not to mention, beautiful matching opal and diamond necklace and earrings. I was so S-P-O-I-L-E-D! I didn't take them off the entire weekend - lovely!


At dinner, I was able to meet more family members I hadn't met during transfer time and Jen's 2yo son, Matthew (such a cutie). We had a nice visit and finally it was back to the house for some much needed rest.

video


Of course, I don't want to forget to mention, that throughout the day and evening, each time the baby would move or kick, I'd quickly ask them to feel...and I think, by the end of the weekend most everyone was able to get to a good nudge or two from Baby D. :) The best was sitting around at T&J's and letting 'em try to catch a quick jolt of a foot, or feel the roundness of his little hinny reared up at their touch. I love this part so much...just wish Tar was able to feel him as I do each day. :(

The following morning, Taryn and I went out to breakfast and then we waited around the house until it was time for the shower. We then drove over to Taryn's Aunt's friend's BEAUTIFUL home. Once we arrived, Taryn instantly got emotional and I too got pretty teary while being introduced to those in the room. It was very nice, but overwhelming once everyone begun to arrive - over 70 people in attendance! Taryn was given a button to wear that said "Mother-to-Be" and they gave me one that said, "Very Special Person". :)


Again, there were more family and friends I hadn't met at transfer time - JD's sister was one I've heard lots about and glad to finally meet. It was great 'cause everyone special to T&J seemed to be there (some had even flown in to attend, like myself). Correction - I say everyone, but Taryn's brother, SIL, and niece didn't make it and I know Tar was upset...she seemed fine because there were so many others who loved her (not that they don't, but you understand, right?). It seemed so many people already "knew" me through reading my site, journals, emails, and seeing pictures throughout the pregnancy...it was a bit of an odd feeling, but nice to know they cared so much about my IPs and took the time to find out who I was.

video

video


We ate a wonderful lunch (tons and tons of food - even a chocolate fountain), yum! And then it was time for Taryn and JD to open their gifts. Taryn made a tearful speech and thanked the shower hostess (whom had made the most amazing scrapbook of our journey - I made copies of it for myself!)...very nice...again she made me cry.

video



It was so loud in the room when things got started with so many people visiting and trying to get a glimpse of my IPs opening everything. (They made out like bandits!) But, I think everyone was satisfied with the shower, overall...it was really a great experience. I got a few more gifts as well - a chocolate gift basket from JD's sister, some beautiful glass ornaments from T&J's neighbor (her sister was once a traditional surrogate), a handmade crystal bracelet w/colors that represented my son's birth stones from one of Taryn's friends. :)


video video

Later that night, several of us went out to dinner at a great Italian place (and ate way to much). Said good-bye and went home for some more rest...Taryn and JD a bit overwhelmed by the large stash of baby items now laying in their front room, LOL.

Sunday morning, I was invited over to Taryn's Aunt and Uncle's house (Bob and Suzanne) for a prenatal massage. Suzanne transferred her time w/the masseuse to me (such a nice gesture, huh?). It was awesome!! Especially because on Friday night I had a terrible leg cramp/charlie-horse and the massage really worked it out. I'd never had a massage while pregnant and thought this gift was just perfect!


We then went home. I showered and packed for my trip home. Taryn and JD drove me back to Baltimore and we had a terrific lunch at The Cheese Cake Factory after shopping for a few gifts for my husband and sons. And off I went to the airport...sad to say goodbye to my IPs again, but we knew it would be a quick 5 weeks or so before we'd be seeing one another again for the birth.


So, that's my baby shower update...hope I didn't bore y'all to much. Just felt a bit chatty, I guess, LOL.

(Taryn's Post) Baby Shower Update

It was amazing! Everything was just perfect! Heather and I had an amazing weekend, we got to feel my little boy move around lots. Jd is still glowing :)

I am just in love with you Heather! We laugh and cried and laughed some more! I feel like we are old girlfriends. We had over 70 people at the shower and we got an overwhelming amount of gifts! We are on cloud 9!

Kian ( I think that's his name) well his furniture arrives Sat. and I can't wait to put everything away. Seeing Heather made everything more real! I can't wait to see her in less them 6 weeks!!

Here is a link to some pictures taken over the weekend:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=3AbsmjJu0Yu-A


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Second 4D ultrasound

I had a ultrasound today (32wks) - originally scheduled just for fun...wanted to surprise Taryn w/an early baby shower gift of her son's development thus far. First I went to my twin sister, Angie's Dr apt with her and met her OB (he's awesome - but I hated the office in Edmond - but that won't matter). Then Ang and her youngest DD met me at my peri's office for the scan this afternoon.


I was also hoping to get reassurance that this little man wasn't breech.
Turns out he is fully lodged where he belongs (in my pelvis - head down), just as all the others have been - good boy!

But, unfortunately we weren't able to get any good pics for T&J because he was so well behaved. :( The only face pic the tech managed was extremely blurry when he turned just a tad (looked as though he was resting his head on a pillow in there, LOL).

Anyway, all is well w/baby, placenta, fluid, and cervix...and Baby D weighs in at approx. 4lbs 8oz and measures another couple days ahead (as he always has). I go back in 4 wks or so to get another weight measurement since it will help us get a better gauge on when he should be induced...likely we'll be sticking with our March 10th date...we'll see.

I've got a OB appointment tomorrow and then Friday morning I fly up to Delaware to attend Taryn's baby shower on Saturday afternoon. :) Can't wait...I think they are expecting 70+ in attendance...I can't wait to see everyone again. I'll be sure to take pics (of course).

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My New Couple

The couple I'm helping this surrogacy live in Delaware - their names are Taryn and JD. They are childless and endured tremendous obstacles in trying to achieve their family...their most recent loss was that of their daughter (from a once twin pregnancy) in February of this year.

They have been through 3 IVF procedures and countless other attempts to become pregnant, but my IM's uterus is unable to sustain these precious lives and I've stepped in now to try to help them.

They have a wonderful supportive family and very much remind me of many of the qualities my former couple and their family possess. I'm pleased to know that the extended family is very optimistic and hopeful for Taryn and JD in this venture.

I met my couple in April 2005 through TASC (www.surrogacy.com) and began chatting very quickly after doing so. Both of us had only been searching for a short time and felt although hundreds of miles away from one another that we'd make a terrific team. Soon we grew to be very close friends and talk several times a day as we gear up for our transfer.

I'd already completed my psychological testing (just had to have my home study updated by phone interview) & medical testing (saline ultrasound of my uterus, STD testing of my husband and I, and pap was up-to-date). Their RE is currently reviewing my records and David Cole in TX is drafting our contracts, to be ready sometime (we hope) this week. Attorneys have been contacted across the board and it is looking VERY favorable for a Pre-Birth Order (PBO) to take place here in OK. I've found out a new OK Supreme Court ruling has set a precedent for us Okies (I have yet to research it further...but, looks good!) We are ready to go with a tentative transfer date as soon as my IPs clinic in DE prepares a calendar protocol for us...we are projecting a June 2005 cycle.

Why Another?

I'm asked often, "Why did you decide to become a surrogate again for another couple?" My answer is simply, "Because I'm able and willing to help create another family, so why not?" Plus, my desire to be a part of another miraculous birth through surrogacy is just to addictive a feeling to deny.

Surrogacy is a very fulfilling endeavor and I'm very excited to take this step of helping yet another couple create life. Noel and I are finished having children of our own and I'm healthy, conceive remarkably easy, and I have the desire to continue giving back to society in this way.


My former IPs - Stacey and Anthony, gave me their blessing after I had previously helped to match them with another surrogate - I was unable to cycle for them again when they were trying with their last frozen embryos. I was breastfeeding and not quite ready to move forward with a cycle on their time frame. Their final two attempts failed, so they say they are now done TTC anymore children. Already they are blessed with the three they have via surrogacy (with my help). I'm eager to share with them in my news of this surrogacy and they continue to keep in touch.


My family is remarkable and couldn't be more supportive of my efforts to be a surrogate again. Of course, my twin sister - Angie, is also an experienced surrogate (following in my footsteps) and currently trying to help her former IPs with a sibling for her surro daughter. My sister has moved back to Oklahoma from Wisconsin and very much involved in helping me fulfill this next surrogacy journey (as is my younger sister, Jenny, and the rest of my extended family). I'm excited to be able to share with them in the joys and possible disappointments that surrogacy can bring.


I've decided to document what I can of this surrogacy, in case it is my last. I'm extremely blessed to have this opportunity to help another couple and even more so to have the ability to make more memories as a surrogate.