Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Last OB Appointment

Well, I had my last OB appointment today (38wk 1day). Taryn and JD met me there and were able to meet my OB. I'll let Tar's post below describe what happened for the most part at the appointment. But, I wanted to add that it was nice to have them there. They were able to hear Kyen's heartbeat again (haven't since just before our first 4D u/s) and Taryn even recorded it on her phone. She has some pictures I'll share that we took at the appointment today too. BP was back to 110/70 and I lost 3 lbs since last week - another sign of early latent labor. Baby D is up high yet (as is normal for multi pars) however, he's come down some since last week's check. I'm afraid Kyen won't make his appearance until Friday after all.

Before I forget, I wanted to send out a HUGE thank you to Taryn's Aunt Suzanne and Uncle Bob for the absolutely awesome, most appreciated, WAY to expensive gift for the boys and Noel (Xbox 360 w/all the bells and whistles). It arrived in the mail for them and the boys are LOVING it...me too 'cause they are getting their homework done as soon as they get home from school so they can play it when they are done. ;) Oh, and Suzanne made me the prettiest fluffy scarf...gave it to me Friday night.

I felt better getting out of the house today a bit more. My twin sister, Angie (also a surrogate), is having a ultrasound this Thursday and her couple (Kathleen & Joe) from NY flew in with their daughters (Madeline and Charlotte) tonight (Charlotte was carried by Ang in 2003). Since my Sis lives 2 hours away from the airport, I thought it would be nice to greet them there - I needed to be out on my feet more too. I loved finally meeting them - they are a lovely family! Here is a pic of us:

We're going to take the boys to T&J's hotel tomorrow to swim and eat pizza.


Taryn's Post

Looks like Kyen will make his appearance Friday. I tried to tell him he is being evicted, but he likes his Heather (who wouldn't).

We are 2+ centimeters dilated, 50% effaced and his head is at a -3 ( I am clueless on that one).

My family and I are enjoying our time here, relaxing and eating. Tomorrow we are going to spend some time with Heather and put a smile on her face! We are all just so happy to be here, we are eating our way through Oklahoma LOL. The food and weather here is GREAT!

So all is well here!!! Just need to get my Heather happy!!! I know this is tough on her I just hope I am doing and saying the right things.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Not feeling well - Emotional post

Well, today I met Taryn and JD at the hospital to talk to the hospital social worker about our upcoming plans to give birth and have the PBO honored. I'm a tad bit nervous that she took a copy of the order for the hospital legal department to review, but overall the meeting seemed to go in our favor and that makes me feel some relief.

Then she gave T&J a tour of L&D (I think they enjoyed it) and told us that they do not yet have wireless Internet access - blat (not sure who told Taryn on the phone a few weeks ago that they did). So, we aren't going to be able to do a web broadcast of the birth after all. :( That's fine 'cause I seriously doubt my OB will like seeing all the cameras we have planned to be in the room (not counting the computer cams)...she has already told me I can't have pics/video during delivery (but, we are going to try to sneak some in anyway, LOL).
Putting the finishing touches on blanket for Baby D.

Anyway, tonight I haven't felt very well at all...just a bit emotional and feeling yucky all of a sudden, a little crampy but still only having a few contractions - but they are a bit more intense it seems. Things are starting to wear on me overall, I think. I'm trying to enjoy the last few days of the pregnancy, but it's hard being patient. I did lose a little (tiny) bit more of my mucous plug this morning. I couldn't believe there was actually more there to lose after what I already passed Saturday - although I've heard you can build more back up. Oh, and for the last couple days my system seems to be cleaning itself out (my stomach has been very upset today especially). Maybe a sign of impending/early latent labor? Let's hope so!

Tomorrow I have my last OB appointment at 2:30pm. Hoping she'll strip my membranes when she checks me...but I doubt it 'cause she's never been rough or helpful in that way in the two previous checks...it's like she doesn't want to disturb anything so I'll have to make it to my Friday induction (more convenient for her schedule - grr).

I know, I know - the baby will come when he's ready...it's just so frustrating 'cause I'm such a planner and here I am again, the "watched pot". I feel like crying again. Going to bed, if I can.

Here are some pictures and video of my couple and their family visiting us at our house & eating dinner with us at a local BBQ

Saturday, March 4, 2006

TMI update

If you are grossed out easily, don't read below...

Tonight Noel and I hired a babysitter to watch our sons and went out to dinner w/Taryn and her aunt Suzanne. I wasn't feeling many contractions, but what I have felt were intense. Two of which were in the car on the way home (from our fabulous dinner, I might add). When I ran into the bathroom to potty before taking the sitter to her car, I noticed I had lost my mucos plug! Woohoo!! I'm not used to seeing so much there all at once (it was the size of a jello jiggler, NS!) I've been checking and checking before tonight and disappointed to see nothing each check...usually it comes a little at a time...but, not tonight! So I'm thrilled that things are moving along a bit more.

The men should arrive very soon - Baby Kyen can make his appearance anytime now! Come on baby!!! I think it will be thrilling to go into labor naturally and not need the dreaded devil drip. Even more so if my water breaks on it's own.

Please pray for as natural a birth experience as possible (that would be a gift I've yet to receive - outside of the twin's scary unmedicated birth). Thanks!

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 long...so 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)...at 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 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.