Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We've been going through a lot the past 2 months with my youngest daughter.  First, with her hitting her head really bad and having constant headaches for almost a month and having to have  a couple of CT scans.  Then she got sick one day, developed a fever and was very lethargic.  I took her to the dr and she said Zoe just had a virus and she would be fine.  This is her at the dr office.  Normally she would be running around the room.

I ended up taking her to the ER that night b/c her fever was up to 103 and wasn't coming down with tylenol or anything.  They sent us home telling us that she was fine, she just had a virus and to keep her hydrated.  After we got home she was walking really funny and we couldn't figure out why.  That was a very scary night.  I was up with her most of the night and her fever got up to 103.6 and she started having hallucinations which was really freaky.  This is her the night she was having the hallucinations.  I have no idea what she was staring at, there was nothing there :/  Several times she started talking to the hallucinations and trying to hit them.

Then I noticed a rash about the size of a slice of bread that was red, hot and slightly swollen on the top of her thigh but didn't think too much about it.  The next day she still had a fever and was vomiting and i took her back to the dr and they still said the same thing.  Within 2 days the rash spread down the front of her shin and she still had a fever and was vomiting.  We ended up taking her to the ER that night (a different ER) and they still told us that she just had a virus and she was fine.  They gave her a bag of fluids b/c she was dehydrated and took some blood to run some tests that were supposed to be ready the next morning and we all went home for the night. 

The next morning I went back up to the hospital by myself to get the test results.  When the doctor told me that all her test results came back normal I couldn't take it.  I broke down right there.  I was just so scared and we had been taking her to the doctors constantly and no one was helping us, just saying she had a virus and she would be fine.  Here is a picture of the rash after it had spread down her leg...

You can see it's starting to spread onto the top of her foot on that bottom side.    2 days after taking her to the hospital her whole foot was red and swollen and she could barely even move her toes b/c they were so swollen and she couldn't walk anymore.  I took her back to the doctor again and she took one look at Zoe's foot and said that it definitely wasn't a virus and she put her on some high dose antibiotics and said it looked like she had a bacterial infection.  They also sent us for x-rays which they said looked fine.  She wasn't able to walk for 4 long days and the antibiotics didn't seem to be doing much.  After 4 days on the antibiotics her foot was still red and swollen and hot but she could walk on it a little.  After 10 days on the antibiotics she was walking on it but still favoring that foot a little and it was still red, swollen and warm, just not as red, as swollen or as warm.  So the doctor said we needed to take her to a childrens infectious disease specialist (very scary thing to hear the doctor say).  The pictures don't do it justice, it was much redder in person.

So we took her to the infectious disease specialist and he said to take her off the antibiotic, that it wasn't an infection but he wasn't sure what it was but put her on the steroid, Prednizone.  He said that whatever it was that it wasn't anything serious (insert HUGE sigh of relief).  He said that if he had seen her sooner he probably could have given us a diagnosis.  Then he sent us over to the childrens hospital for MORE x-rays and bloodwork.  Everything came back normal, yet again.  A few days after coming off the antibiotic her foot started to REALLY look better and she was finally able to wear her shoes again.  And now her foot is back to normal :D 

And, just because I LOVE pictures, especially pictures of my beautiful girls, here are some pictures I recently took of her...

And her sister, Alyssa...

And one more of Zoe from today :)

During that time that all this was going on with Zoe I was so consumed with everything that I didn't contact the guys (I and A)  Then about 2 weeks ago I e-mailed "I" and updated him on everything that had been going on and asked about the baby and everything and I still haven't gotten a response.  I sent him a text the other day too and no response.

The worrier in me says that something is wrong, that they're mad at me and want me out of their lives (I know that's probably crazy but it's basically every surrogates worst case scenario).  Then my more rational side says that they're just busy with trying to balance work and the baby and everything is fine, they'll contact me when they get a chance.  But like a very wise surrogate friend said, "A simple text takes so little time but means so much."  Anyways, here are the most recent pictures I have of him (they are from last month).  He is 4 months old now and already weighs 20lbs!

Nathaniel with 2 of his cousins.  I love that face...LOL!

On another note, my agency contacted me the other day wanting to know if I wanted to come back for another surrogacy :D  HELL YEAH I DO!!!  I can't wait to be pregnant again.  I keep seeing women with pregnant bellies and I miss it so much.  It's just an amazing feeling and I think knowing that the pregnancy is for a greater purpose makes it even more rewarding. 

Until then I have been working on loosing some weight.  I went back to my pre pregnancy weight without doing anything and have been wearing all my regular clothes since about a month after delivery but I was already heavy before I got pregnant and this is something I've really been needing to do.  I've been using myfitnesspal and tracking my calories and we try to walk or ride bikes in the evening if we can and I already lost 6 lbs in the first 2.5 weeks.  I'll weigh again in the morning and hopefully that number will go up at least a pound :)  I'm only eating a maximum of 1280 calories a day and some days it's hard b/c I've been having some major cravings the past few days but it's paying off and I'm losing weight so I'm gonna stick to it.  One thing I got REALLY excited about the other day was when I finally broke through the 200 lb barrier.  I have been over 200 for a very long time (probably close to 10 years) and I was very happy to be back in "one"derland :D  I bought a new pair of jeans the other day to celebrate (a size smaller than I would have bought pre pregnancy:).  I think it was the first pair of non maternity pants I have bought in years.

I highly recommend myfitnesspal though.  I never thought counting calories would work for me but it has and the app makes it super easy to calculate everything.  Also, it really opens your eyes to how many calories you were consuming a day (no wonder I couldn't get below 200), how many calories are in things and what the correct portion sizes are.  I love it.  My husband has been using it too and has lost 13 lbs in 2.5 weeks!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Feeling good

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since my c-section and I'm feeling great.  My incision has pretty much healed and the numb spots on my stomach aren't bothering me as much.  I'm wearing my pre pregnancy clothes and last time I weighed myself (a week or so ago) I was 4 lbs away from my pre pregnancy weight.  Funny story, the first time I weighed myself after coming home from the hospital it said that I had GAINED 7 lbs.  I had just delivered an 11 lb baby, how is that even possible?  LOL!  I guess it was just from all the IV fluids they pump into you before and after the c-section.  I was really worried this time that I wouldn't be able to loose the weight since I'm not breastfeeding and I gained a little more than I did with my own pregnancies (20 lbs vs 15 and 12 with my kids) but it has just came off like before without me doing anything and I am SO glad.  Of course my husband always says I look great but it always feels good to hear it from someone else.  Today I had two other people compliment me.  They said I didn't look like I'd just had a baby and I looked very slender :)  I can't wait to get back in the gym and loose some weight.  I want to be under 200 lbs this summer, that is my goal.  I haven't been under 200 in almost 10 years!

  Why yes, I did recently deliver an 11 lb baby :)

Baby Nathaniel is doing good.  I talked to "I" last week and Nathaniel had been giving them a hard time and had been especially fussy and hard to get to sleep at night.  They took him to the doctor and ended up changing his formula and putting him on gas drops and he's been doing much better.  It's hard to believe he's almost a month old already.

Alyssa only has 3 weeks of school left and I can't wait.  I am SO not a morning person and I love the summer.  The summer is when we really get to do stuff as a family and the kids get to experience so much new stuff.  I love taking them to new places.  We recently got them a small pool and they LOVE it.  They drive me nuts every single day begging to get in the pool, rain or shine, day or night, it doesn't matter to them.  We also got season passes to the zoo and I can't wait to take them.  And we are planning on taking a trip to Florida this summer.  Alyssa has been begging me to take her to Florida for at least 6 months now.  She wants to go to the beach an go visit her friend, Aubrey, who moved to Florida and go visit "I and A" and baby Nathaniel :)

Alyssa (left) and Zoe (right) waiting on the pool to fill up.  They were pointing at the clouds and talking about what they look like :)

This is how a 4 year old writes lady bug and caterpillar...LOL!

Alyssa got a soccer trophy!

The coach made paper plate trophies for all the kids with different things on them for each kid.  Alyssa's was "Major D" for defender b/c of how she would run up and block the goal trying to keep the other team from scoring.

Her coach and teammates

Zoe in her new bathing suit ready to get in the pool :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Baby is Here!!!

Well, it's official, I am a surrogate.  Even when I was pregnant it never felt official, it felt more like a goal.  Now that the baby is here I can actually say that I AM a surrogate :)  Or should I say I WAS a surrogate?  Now I'm confusing myself :o/

Ok, let me start at the beginning and see if I can remember all that happened.  It went by so fast it's kind of a blur.  At my 36 or 37 week appointment I had an ultrasound done to check the size of the baby b/c I was measuring big and he was already measuring 9 lbs!  I was shocked, as were the IFs, but I know the ultrasound measurements can be off, especially this late in the pregnancy, so I just kinda blew it off and didn't believe it. 

About 2 weeks went by then I had another ultrasound done at 39 weeks to check his size again and this time he was measuring 10 lbs 4 oz!  We were all shocked, again.  This time it was a bit harder to just blow off but I was still pretty certain that it was at least a pound off and I would be fine to do a vaginal birth (my last baby was 9 lbs 3 oz).  Some of the doctors were REALLY pushing for me to have a c-section but I was totally against it.  I asked them about inducing early and they absolutely refused which really made me mad.  It makes absolutely NO sense why they are ready and willing to cut me open at 39 weeks and take the baby out b/c of his size but refuse to induce me b/c of size.  I still don't understand it, especially since I was induced with my last baby b/c of her size (same doctors office and everything).

Anyways, we ended up going back and forth about it between me not wanting to do it to the OB pushing me to do it and scaring the IFs with all the horror stories about what could happen when trying to deliver a big baby then the IFs pushing me to do it and I ended up scheduling the dreaded c-section for the next day when I would be exactly 39 weeks.  It wasn't what I wanted but I also know that this isn't my baby and I didn't like the thought of something possibly happening to him during the birth and me being responsible.  We've worked too hard and come too far to let something happen to him now and I would never have been able to live with myself if something had happened.  Plus I think it was probably for the best, considering how big he ended up being.

So, my IFs were already on their way and decided to go to the pre-op appointment with me.  We just signed some paperwork and she let us know what to expect and answered some questions we had then we all (me, "I", "A", I's mom, my MIL and SIL and my 2 girls) went out to eat for dinner.  The c-section was scheduled for 10:30 the next morning.  We got up and my wonderful hubby took Alyssa to school as usual and brought me back a CFA biscuit for breakfast totally forgetting that I wasn't allowed to eat...LOL.  Oh well, it's the thought that counts :)  We finished getting ready and took my youngest daughter to my MIL's house then me, hubby and my mom went up to the hospital. 

Once we got there and got signed in and everything they took me back to the recovery room to get ready for the surgery.  They hooked me up to the monitors and an IV and pumped me full of fluids.  Then they put these lovely giant sock things on my legs that went all the way up to my thigh and had the toes cut out.  I'm guessing so they could make sure my toes weren't turning blue b/c those things are so tight.  We were in there for a while and had to sign more paperwork and do god knows what else.  Then we walked down to the OR and I sat up on the table to get my epidural.  I love epidurals but I hate having them put in.  It's such a scary thing to put so much faith in someone you don't know and hope to god he knows what he's doing.  Plus I hate hearing/feeling the epidural needle scrape against my spine.  Gives me chills just thinking about it.

Once the epidural was in they had me lay down on the table and things got scary for a minute.  My blood pressure dropped to about 50/75 and I almost blacked out but as soon as I told them they started pushing meds into my IV and I started to feel better at least for a second.  After I came back from that I started getting really nauseous (which I told them and they quickly started pushing more meds into my IV) and started throwing up.  The meds started working pretty quickly and I was feeling better and they brought my husband in who forgot the camera :(  Thank god for cell phones!  Once they got started they brought "I and A" in.  I was shocked they actually let both the guys in the OR.  They usually only let once person in the OR with you so they made a major exception for us which I was very thankful for.

Before the c-section I (jokingly) told my husband that if this baby came out weighing less than 10 lbs I was gonna kick "I and A's" butt! Then when I was lying on the table right before the surgery the OB (same OB who told us the day before that this was probably going to be a 10.5 lb baby) was feeling the baby in my abdomen and said, "I don't know, we might have a 9.5 lb baby in here." I was like WHAT?!?! You better be glad I've already had my epidural and can't get up right now lady!

Baby Nathaniel was born on April 13th (yes, Friday the 13th), exactly a week before my due date.  He was 11 lbs 4 oz and I think he was 21.5 inches long.  BIG baby!  As soon as they pulled him out I immediately felt better.  It was like a huge weight was lifted and I could breathe again and was more comfortable.  After that "I and A" went down to the nursery with the baby while they stitched me up and took me to recovery. 

What I wish I'd known about c-sections:

1.  That they leave the epidural in for 24 hours.  I thought they would take that out after the surgery and I would be up and walking around later that day.
2.  How much I would miss that epidural once it wore off b/c the Rx wasn't helping with the pain.
3.  How hard it would be to get out of bed for the first time (especially when your legs are still half dead from the epidural)
4.  That it's not just the incision that's gonna be sore.  My stomach muscles, all the way around the sides too, felt like they had been pulverized.
5.  How extremely painful the gas pain is after surgery and that you can have gas pain in your shoulders.
6.  That the surgery was going to cause really big numb spots in my lower abdomen.
7.  Apron.  Need I say more :[

When I was in recovery they let a couple of family members come back and see me a few at a time.  My stomach looked and felt really weird.  It was completely sunken in like they had taken out a few organs and forgotten to put them back.

I don't remember much else about what happened that day.  It's pretty much a blur.  They took me down to my room and I know a lot of people were coming in and out and the guys came to visit and brought the baby to me but that's about all I remember.  Tommy stayed with me that night and Zoe stayed with his mom and Alyssa stayed with my mom.

The next day, Saturday, Zoe had a soccer "game" so Tommy left early that morning to go watch her play.  That afternoon they took the epidural out and I was in a lot of pain.  Then I had to get out of bed for the first time and walk to the bathroom and my blood pressure dropped again and I almost passed out.  That was pretty much how my whole day went.  People came and went and I was very sore and just trying to heal and not pass out when I got up.  The first time I got up and walked down the hallway it felt like I had just ran a marathon.  I managed to walk halfway down to "I and A's" room that evening and Tommy pushed me the rest of the way so I could go for a visit.  "I's" mom was there and "A's" mom and dad were there.  They were all very happy to see me and kept thanking me and giving me lots of hugs.

On Sunday the baby and I were allowed to go home.  It was a very bittersweet goodbye.  I was SOOO ready to go home and get out of the hospital and get back to my own life.  "I and A" are great daddies.  Very attentive to him and even though they've got this huge baby you would think they had a tiny little preemie the way they acted.  Everything the did they did so carefully like they were afraid they were going to break him.  It was hilarious!  I can't wait to watch him grow and watch them grow into their roles as dads.

Since the birth everyone always wants to know how I'm doing emotionally.  A lot of my friends and family told me from the beginning that it was going to be hard to give up the baby.  I always told them it wouldn't be b/c I truly don't want any more kids right now.  I'm doing this with the sole purpose of helping someone else have a baby and knew going into this that the baby isn't genetically mine or my husbands.  Why would I want to keep someone elses baby?  If I wanted a baby I would have one of my own, the easy way.  In the back of my mind though I was prepared for the worst.  I even warned the guys to expect me to be all hormonal and emotional (just in case).  I had heard about all the emotions you go through after surrogacy from a lot of other surrogates.  Plus I know how crazy your hormones can get after pregnancy.

I know it probably sounds terrible but, I can honestly say I felt no connection to the baby after he was born.  It was more like how I feel towards any of my friends kids.  I never got upset about any of it and taking care of a baby was the LAST thing I wanted to do after that c-section.

Now, everyone's favorite part.  PICTURES!!!

                                                                           34 weeks

36 weeks

38 weeks

night before the c-section

                                                        all hooked up and ready to go

a very happy family, goal accomplished :D

back home

Sunday, February 12, 2012

30 Weeks!

I know, I haven't posted in forever.  Not much to write about in the middle of the pregnancy but you know what they say, "A boring pregnancy is a good pregnancy." 

Nothing much going on around here.  Baby is moving around a lot and gets the hiccups all the time (speaking of which, there he goes again...lol).  He gets really active around 10:30 or 11 every night for about an hour.  I love feeling him kick and squirm and watching my stomach move.  I've been trying to get a good video of it for the guys but this kid is very stubborn, or camera shy one.  Every time I grab my phone or tell someone to look or put their hand on my stomach he stops.  It's very annoying.

My kids are doing great.  Alyssa's first school year will be over before we know it.  Zoe has been a handful as usual.  She is at that stage where she wants to do everything herself and gets mad if I try to help her.  And her new favorite word is "Why?"  She asks why about everything.  This is a typical conversation we've been having...
Me:  Zoe you're about to get in trouble!
Zoe:  Why?
Me:  Because you're not listening.
Zoe:  Why?
Me:  I don't know why you're not listening, why don't you tell me!

Zoe also keeps telling me that she's got a baby in her belly.  She started doing it when we were in a restaurant the other day.  She pulls her shirt all the way up and sticks her belly way out and says, "The baby's trying to come out!"  And of course she has to say it really loud and do it over and over again.  I got them both signed up for the spring soccer season.  It will be interesting to see how Zoe (2.5 years old) does.  Hopefully it will help run some energy out of her.  I would love to sign her up for a tumbling class too since her soccer "games" are only on Saturdays.  We'll see.

We recently adopted a dog, or she adopted us.  Apparently someone dropped her off up the street and she wandered up about 3 weeks ago now and immediately took to Zoe.  After 5 minutes of Zoe running around the yard playing with her she says, "You know what the dog's name is?  It's Pepper."  I have no idea where she came up with that but, whatever.  She has been a great dog.  We really couldn't have asked for a better dog to adopt.  She's excellent with the kids and very calm and gentle with them.  She listens VERY well and she doesn't use the bathroom in the house.  She walks on the leash really good too.  Both of the kids can walk her with no problems.  I don't have to worry about her dragging them down the road.  After we'd had her for a couple of days me and the kids took her to the park and Zoe was walking her around.  Well, we found out real quick that she likes to chase squirrels.  She took off full speed after a squirrel and I hollered at her and told her to stop and she stopped dead in her tracks and turned around and came back to us.  I was shocked, I just knew Zoe was about to be lying face first on the ground.  She's a german shepard mix but she's not very big.  Only about 40lbs and the vet said she's probably about a year and a half old.  She is the perfect size for these kids.  Not too small so that I have to worry about the kids trying to carry her around and not too big so that I have to worry about her hurting them or taking up too much room in our small house.  The kids are loving having a dog.  Zoe likes to get into the dog food and play in the dogs water.  I went in the kitchen one day and she had thrown all the dogs food all over the kitchen floor.  And twice already she has gotten her play mop and dipped it in the dogs water and "mopped" the kitchen floor with it.  Aren't kids fun.

Tommy and I joined the gym.  My legs were so sore after the first day.  It's nice being able to get out of the house for a little while but last time Zoe got really upset in the little daycare.  I was really wanting to do some Zumba but it's harder than those girls make it look (or I'm just really uncoordinated).  They are way too bouncy for me right now too.  I'm not feeling very bouncy these days.  I think I need to practice the Zumba on my own a little more before trying another one of those classes. 

It's so funny to hear how people react when they find out the baby I'm carrying isn't mine.  One of the girls at the gym asked me how far along I was and I told her and she told me congrats and I said, "It's not mine but thank you."  All she said was "Oh."  And that was the end of that conversation...LOL!  I don't know if she was confused or what but she never said anything else.

Ok, time for pictures :)  These are from the 20 week u/s when "I and A" were here.

this is 24 weeks

this is 27 weeks

this is 28.5 weeks 

30 week belly

Doesn't look like it has changed too much in the past month or so.  Some days it looks more round than others, just depends on how he's sitting.  He seems to like to sit lower than my girls did and I think it makes my stomach poke out a bit more.

The guys have decided to drive up a couple of days before my due date instead of waiting on me to go in labor and trying to jump on a plane.  They are going to drive home too.  The pediatricians they talked to advised them against flying with a newborn.  I'm glad, that just means I'll get to see them more.  I want to take them up to Stone Mountain when they come up.  When I said something to them about it they said, "Are you sure you can do that at 9 months pregnant?"  LOL!  I told them absolutely and assured them that I wasn't planning on CLIMBING the mountain.  Then of course at my next OB visit they had to ask the OB if it was ok for me to go up there then and do that and of course she said yes, absolutely!  And they had to ask her about me joining the gym.  Guys are so funny.  They just have no clue.  I wish they would just trust me more and try to relax a little.  I know my body and I know what I'm doing.  It's not like this is my first pregnancy.  I GOT THIS!!!