Friday, March 3, 2006

Trial Run

I had another OB appointment Tuesday (37.1wks) and found out that I was 2 cm and 50% effaced (baby still up high). BP had gone up to 122/72 (still good), baby's heartbeat was 147bpm, and I hadn't gained any weight. I forgot to ask that day, but apparently my group B strep test was negative (I'll be treated w/antibiotics at birth, regardless, due to being positive in my 3rd pregnancy).

Throughout the week I've been very frustrated w/my body. Feeling as though I'll stay pregnant forever (that it has forgotten what to do in preparation of birth) because I've had very few braxton hicks contractions or any of the other signs that I'm getting ready to give birth. My OB refuses to induce before 38.4 wks, but she'll let me have him if I do go into labor on my own (which I've only ever done with my very first son's birth - all others were augmented to some degree). I'm a tad bit upset that my OB won't even consider the report my perinatologist wrote after my ultrasound appointment last week...stating the baby was a good size, taking breaths, and he was able to detect visually lots of vernix floating in the amniotic fluid - the white cheesy substance on baby's skin to protect his skin and also aids in lung development as they swallow it later in pregnancy, coating the lungs to maturity. I just hope that if I'm "favorable" by my next appointment (next Tuesday - 38.1wks) that she'll consider inducing me earlier. I know my IPs are very eager to meet their little man.

Last night however I did make a "trial run" to L&D after finally feeling some very consistent contractions causing me lots of lower back pain. They were coming, what seemed like, every 5 minutes here at home. But, once I was hooked up to the monitors it seemed they were only near 7-12 minutes. They kept me at the hospital for 2 hours and let me go home after noticing I hadn't made much of a change in my cervix. It was 1am by the time I was permitted to leave (oh, so tired and achy but relieved that I had made a tiny bit of progress). So, I left there at 3cm dilated and near 50-60% effaced.

Taryn and her Aunt Suzanne were due to fly in tonight (9:30pm), but they decided to take an earlier flight and arrived instead at 6:30pm. I'm glad they are here now and will be even more relieved when the men arrive (they moved their flights to tomorrow - Sat - night). Then baby Kyen will hopefully receive another eviction notice and grace us with his presence. ;)

We have plans to eat out tomorrow night and we'll have a few days now to visit some sites around OKC together...we'll walk this baby out if we have to, LOL. I went to meet Tar and her Aunt tonight at the airport and get them settled in the hotel (across from the hospital). So, we are all set now, I think. Just waiting...

I'll keep y'all updated!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

36 wk OB appt & Last Ultrasound

I had another OB appointment yesterday - it went just as I expected. Gained 2 lbs (25 lbs total so far - not bad at all *wink*), the baby's heart rate was 152 bpm, and my blood pressure was 110/76. My OB did the GBS test (she'll call w/the results if I'm + or I'll find out at my next appointment) and I was given my first internal check. Again, as expected, I was only 1-2 cm dilated, but "soft"...w/Christopher at this time, I was firm and maybe I've made a bit more progress then during his pregnancy. ;) I go back for another OB appointment Tuesday.

And today, I had my final ultrasound with the perinatologist - Dr. Stanley. The baby looks fabulous! He's so chubby already. Weighing in at approximately 7 lbs 12 ozs (another big boy). Dr. Stanley feels pretty confident, as do I, that this baby will be quite close to the same size that all four of the other boys were (Cole - 8lb 3oz, Cam & Chris - 8lb 6oz, Chandler - 9lb 2oz) least my body is consistent in growing 'em...LOL. I'm 36.3wks today, but Baby Kyen is measuring 39.3wks placing him in the 87.2 percentile for growth. When I talked to Taryn today after the sono, she kept saying she'd have to build up her arm strength and hopes he doesn't come out walking/talking (Ha!).

We finally got some good pictures of Kyen's face this time too...his head has grown large enough now (even though he is still wedged in my pelvis - being a good boy) that his position allowed for some great shots. Oh, and he's got hair (apparently, from what the tech saw - I couldn't make it out) and he's taking lots of breaths (that was awesome to see). He's always hiccuping, so I figured he was doing this already.

Here's one of the 4D pics taken today of baby Kyen:

I've got some great video of the ultrasound too:

Now, I just wait until my body (and baby) decide it's time to deliver. I suspect he'll come earlier then my 38.4 wk induction date (March 10th). He's so active and I swear some days I think he just might break my water from inside (never had that happen before, so we'll see). I'm feeling SOOOO good...full of energy, very few aches or pains of any sort (except for feeling uncomfortable in my rib area at night)...hopefully I'll continue to feel this way for another 2 weeks.

Oh, and here are a few belly picture I took today. And I've included a couple pictures, for comparison, with the belly cast we did at 36 wks during my youngest son, Christopher's, pregnancy (he's in the third photo pointing to where he grew when I was pregnant w/him):

I've been playing a stuffed teddy bear w/lullaby that my IPs bought for the baby since about 20 wks (in hopes of getting him familiar w/the tune for soothing) and since about 28 wks I've played a recording that my IPs also sent of them talking and reading to him (JD even sings a little to him - so sweet!). I really feel that Kyen already knows Mom and Dad 'cause he's active while I play it (I crank it up in the car while I'm alone & use a headset at home)...could be why he was moving around so much today at the ultrasound...I played it on my ride across town to the sonogram. ;)

Anyway, I can't wait to see Taryn and Aunt Suzanne again - they fly down next Friday evening. I've got babysitting arranged by a great service here in OKC called seeking sitters. And Saturday I'm planning to get our assigned sitter a base pass for her car in case she needs to get to us in a hurry when I go into labor. Plus, she can get to know the boys while Taryn, Suzanne, Noel, and I enjoy a few hours out together.

OK, this post is long enough...bye for now.

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 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) 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.

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 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.

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.

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, 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. :)

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.

Monday, January 30, 2006

(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:

Wednesday, January 25, 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).