Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hit and Miss Christmas

Well Christmas didn't turn out exactly as planned, but was nice anyway. Our numbers dropped to about half when on Christmas Eve, we found out that my brother and SIL (25 weeks pregnant) were in the hospital because she was sick. They spent all day there and it made me nervous, because my brother is a nurse anesthetist and works in hospitals all the time and not the type to go to the ER unless he was very worried.

But it turns out she was just very sick with a stomach bug and needed fluids. And she had a UTI too. Ugh, sounds miserable. So she stayed home for Christmas and her parents and sister decided to stay home as well. My brother made the trek up to us and my parents came up as planned though, so there were only 5 of us in the end. Still it was nice, because it was just the family and not the same pressure with people you don't know as well. We made a ton of good food and will have leftovers the rest of the week! We talked about baby names and we spilled the news to my parents and bro (and my mom LIKES the names, oh my goodness!) and bro spilled his too! It actually would have been our son's name (if we'd had a boy) - so we now know we have similar tastes in names :) I'm so excited.

We gave my brother and SIL a gift from their registry (a bassinet) and my parents gave me this for Christmas. I love it. I'm wearing it right now, even though nearly no one at works knows I'm expecting and probably would be like, "Uh, what?" if they were to see it.


 
 
Gabby is presently on her way to NH after an MFM appointment this morning. The babies are getting a bit more varied in size from each other now. Baby M (previously baby A) is only 2lb14oz (6th percentile) and her femurs are only measuring 28.9 weeks (so basically just under 29 weeks). Baby N (previously baby B) is 3lbs5oz (34th percentile) and her femurs are measuring 29.9 weeks (just under 30 weeks, which isn't too far off from where we are). The difference between 34th percentile and 6th percentile is only 7oz. which doesn't sound so bad, but I guess since the weights are still so small at this point that's why it's such a huge difference. They checked Baby M very carefully, including doing a doppler of her placenta/cord and everything was A-OK, they see no reason for her smallness that they can tell, other than genetically. Her amniotic fluid is still measuring low-normal though. Baby N's amniotic fluid is totally normal.
 
Gabby reassurred me by telling me about her two daughters (both singletons). The older one was 18 oz. more at birth than the younger one, so she says, if they had been in the womb together at the same time she's sure they would have shown a marked difference between them. As ours (L's and mine) are fraternal twins, they're really just normal siblings sharing a womb, and two siblings can be very difference. Even today, when you look at Gabby's daughters, her youngest one (besides being younger) is just smaller overall than the older one.
 
And as I've said previously, my aunts and grandmother (all on my dad's side) are all under 5 feet tall. My mom is 5'2" and my grandmother on my mom's side was 5'3". I'm the tallest female in the family at almost (but not quite!) 5'6". And then there's L's side of the family to take into account as well (not many females in the family so I don't know! But his mother is shorter than I am). So if you end up with one baby the size of my aunt and one baby my size, there's your difference. They came from two different eggs, two different sperm, even if they're both related to us there can be a difference.
 
Even with my own siblings - both my parents are Puerto Rican, so me and my siblings are also 100% Puerto Rican. But we all look very different. I am the oldest, and the lightest skin, my brother a little darker, and my sister, the youngest, the darkest overall. My father is your stereotypical Puerto Rican, rather short, dark skin, black hair, and then you have me, about his height, white skin, blonde (ha, well used to be, now dirty blonde/light brown) hair. I'd be worried if I didn't look exactly like my mother and have other features from my father :)
 
So, I'm just hoping everything will be ok, and am so glad they did the doppler of the placenta, because that makes me feel a lot better. However, they did tell Gabby today that if the baby gets below 5th percentile, she'll be going on bedrest. Luckily, she should be taking it really easy on vacation in NH so I'm hoping that'll be pushed off. I do think she'll be on bedrest before the end of the pregnancy, but the few weeks it's for, the better for us, as we have to pay her salary when she's on bedrest.
 
I do think she's been pushing herself too hard, and it's hard because I don't have control of it. At least she stopped going to the gym, but with 3 kids and christmas and working full time, in the third trimester with twins - I'm sure she's run herself ragged. Luckily she's got this week and her load at work will be lighter when she's back. Her husband is trying to convince her to go part time until the babies are born (even that will be less to pay for so I'm all for it) but she says her job isn't really that hard and it'll stress her out MORE being at home. I can see that.
 
She's going to start going every week now till birth, which means more updates for me - whee!! Now that we're almost to January, it's finally feeling like it's getting close!! He does think she'll go full term (full term being 38 weeks for us) her cervix is looking great, the babies are not in the birth canal yet - oh yea, they're been trouble makers - both are breech and it's looking like they won't be switching from that position, so c-section for us! so that's good.
 
Her rash is driving her nuts and they finally told her she needs to go on oral prednisone. She's hesitant for a number of reasons, one being for the babies (I really appreciate that) but it looks like it'll be ok since there's such a small number of weeks left now. She's going to try to make it one more week without it. We'll see!
 
And now I'm wondering if it's possible I could have picked up the bug from my brother (who was not sick) in the time he was over yesterday. I've already thrown up twice today, can't seem to keep anything down. Gah!
 
 
 
 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thirty Weeks

Thirty Weeks. THIRTY WEEKS. OMG I can't believe we have made it so far! 56 days left!

I hope it really does take all 56 days because I want them to be as healthy as possible. Our next appointment is Wednesday before Gabby takes off for New Hampshire, a non-surrogacy friendly state, for a week. She got permission from us to go, since she's not allowed to leave the state in her 3rd trimester, but she had the trip planned since even before we met in January so I felt really bad saying no, even though my OCD overprotective self was saying to her, "No, no, please don't go!" But one of the prerequisites was that she had to get doctor permission before she went, so she'll stop by the hospital on their way out of town, and if for some reason the answer is no, she'll go home with her youngest.

I'm sure it'll be fine, but it's scary, considering she gives birth so quickly and she'll be out of the state. If something goes wrong and she has to give birth there, we won't be considered the parents. Heck, we haven't even had our parentage petition go through yet, so even in MA we wouldn't, technically. Ugh.

The flooring for the nursery is done! And my curtains are 99% done! I wanted to hang them up so our guests could see things for Christmas, but I just pinned the tabs in place and I plan on sewing buttons on the front of each one later.

The baseboards are still down and there's no quarter round yet so it still looks pretty unfinished, but it's the best we're going to do for Christmas. That took a lot of hard work this weekend. The curtains in particular took me way longer than I thought they would.



Nighttime pics, so you can't see the colors as well, but I really love the aqua and yellow together. One step closer!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tick Tock Tick Tock

A friendly acquaintance of mine...you know those people, more than acquaintance, less than a GOOD friend? :) just gave birth yesterday to a singleton at 31w2d. She was technically due 2 days after our due date of 2/17. It totally shocked me when I opened up FB this morning! Now I keep wondering if my babies will even make it to February! Please please please!

It didn't help that yesterday I finally got the reports from last week's ultrasounds. No one had mentioned to me that one of the babies amniotic levels were at "low normal." The other one just said, "normal." It's baby A too, who's the smaller one of the two (even though they've been almost identical in size till now, yesterday was the first time I noticed a difference). I questioned Gabby while Googling (of course) and she said that the doc had told her, "Low normal is still normal!" and he wasn't worried. Well, he may not be, but of course I am!

I know it could be a matter of it just being the lucky moment that Baby A was drinking amniotic fluid BEFORE peeing it back out, but I just get the feeling it's going to get worse. And even though their sizes were still ok last week, when I typed them into the fetal measurements website that I do each time (Yes, I'm crazy) I noticed a marked change. Obviously they're not decreasing in size, but they definitely are growing more slowly. I recently learned that Gabby's sister had IUGR with her singleton pregnancy, and I really think we're going to run into it here. I don't know that yet, but I just have this feeling.

It seems like yesterday was L's tipping point on this pregnancy. I heard no less than 3 times - "OMG, those babies could come any day!" I love it.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Little Relief

Today I'm doing a little better. Still a bit nutso but a little calmer. I spend about 2 hours (that I didn't have) talking and crying on the phone to my dad last night. I'm such a crier, about everything. It's such a physical release for me though, I literally feel better after crying. I think my dad now thinks I'm crazy but he's my dad, it's ok. I complained to him about my mom and that helped release some angst about that. I do revert to acting like a teenager with my parents sometimes.

I completed two more sides of one of the curtains yesterday. I'm doing 1/4" seams and then 1/2" seams on top of that for "finished" sides. I have two more to do tonight and then I can start sewing the tabs on top and then that will be done! Whee!!

L pulled up the rest of the carpet/pad in the nursery yesterday. I'm sure all the flooring will be in by Christmas but I wish we could have gotten in the baseboards/quarter-round in by well so people could see a finished, if empty, room. Oh well, there's nothing I can really do about that.

I still haven't gotten the reports from last week's ultrasounds from Gabby yet, so I texted her and she told me she put it in the mail Monday so I should be getting it today. I don't get to go to the ultrasounds and I just get a call from her after the appointments so I wish she would try a little harder to get the reports in the mail right away. The last u/s was on Thursday so Monday is quite awhile afterwards. It makes me feel less connected to everything.

We ordered name blocks for the girls and they came yesterday. We can't change their names now! (ok of course we could but now we've bought something with their names on them.:)

I was looking to make them myself or purchase them from Joann Fabrics and paint them (another thing to do) but after Googling I found about Uncle Goose's blocks. They're handmade in the USA from sustainable wood from Michigan, non toxic and use Child Safe inks. $1.50 a letter. So cute!




Since this isn't a locked blog I don't want to share the names here. But one begins with an M and one begins with an N!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Insert Scream Here

Not much to say...just moving along waiting and waiting and waiting. To be absolutely honest, the Ambien isn't even helping that much. The first night was awesome, since then I'm not even sleeping fully through the night with it. I talked to one of my closest friends who happens to be a social worker and she said I should go ask for a very low level anxiety med for the next few months until the babies are here. Also that I'm insane for trying to do so much before they come.

I think it's just that I want everything to be perfect before they are here. I want the nursery to be awesome, the house to be spotless, the dog to behave, the money to pay Gabby her maternity leave to magically appear. It's really crazy how much I'm trying to make just right.

I'm trying to make curtains for the room right now. I gave up on making the crib quilts, instead I've "outsourced" - actually got someone on Etsy to make them for me (I hope she does a good job). We have to finish the flooring and the baseboards and the quarter round and caulk and hang up pictures and sand and prime and paint the cribs and buy the unfinished dresser and prime and paint that as well, possibly a bookcase and shelves as well, and all the stuff that was in the nursery closet is now out in a pile and making me feel like a hoarder (how the hell did we fit so much stuff in that closet?).

And yes, like I said, this is how crazy I am and how my brain is working these days, one run on sentence...on and on with everything I have to do.

I've bought presents for 18 people now. And not easy Amazon gift cards or whatever. My family and L's family are batshit crazy about gifts and I just don't get it. We are all past 30 years old - why does everyone need to get a present? Why can't we do Secret Santa or something else? How am I the ONLY one who doesn't care about presents? I tried to complain to my mother for the umpteenth time (of course inlaws I can't do that with) and she went on and on about how we all need to have stuff to open on Christmas Day.

No we don't. We're not kids. I swear my mom is such a child sometimes. So on top of everything else I've been shopping like a madwoman spending money I don't really need to spend on people who need NOTHING because otherwise I will get bitched at.

And she's driving me nuts. She and my aunt were going to do my shower - months ago she said this. None of my friends stepped in because she wanted to do it. But I guess my aunt isn't doing much (I love her but she doesn't have a lot of money and I think she is really depressed over it and I wish she wouldn't worry and just help out with the work part of it) so my mom keeps calling me and basically having me do everything for the shower. I can't do that on top of everything else. And apparently my mother thinks I have nothing else do to with my time because every time I tell her I have so much to do she asks me what the hell I do all day? Oh, nothing besides working full time, and cleaning the house, laundry, working on nursery stuff, my Etsy shop, and two blogs. She would tell me to just stop doing everything else. Ok. Sure.

So I asked her if I could give her my friend's number (that she knows very well, we grew up together) because said friend (the afore-mentioned social worker) LOVES party planning, and my mom said, "I guess. So why didn't she offer to do the shower then?" Making me feel absolutely shitty like I FORCED her to plan my shower when it was my mother who was so excited months and months ago she was calling me every two minutes to pick invites.

So I called my friend and asked her if she could help my mom out and she was like "OMG yes. I've wanted to do it but I didn't want to step on toes, etc." Thank God it's a load off my mind. My mom was sending me pictures of things for centerpieces, asking me what games we should do, to buy this for the shower and that and ...Jeez, i just don't need that right now.

And of course, we're hosting Christmas for 11 people next week. And the house is in shambles because of the nursery stuff, we need to cook a ton, and I work Christmas Eve (L is off thank goodness), and we need to drive to my BFF's house 45 minutes away (1 way) this weekend to pick up 6 folding chairs and a table. We have one dining room table that holds 4. That's it.

And I really wish we could drive out to see Gabby before the babies are born but I don't think it's going to happen. I will never have felt my children move in utero :( There's just no time...and it's something I really wanted to experience.

And what else? My dog is acting up and I'm getting stressed thinking how I'm going to manage her and 2 BABIES in our condo which just seems smaller by the day (probably because of the aforementioned we have SO MUCH CRAP!!!)

And work is stressful too. My work BFF left a month ago and they decided to give me all her work and then some so I am now doing the job of 2.5 people. Of course no promotion.

Didn't I start this by saying I didn't have much to say? And this is why I need medication.

I am so looking forward to maternity leave.



Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Things Can Be So Good Yet I Still Feel Stuck

What I'm going to write is probably going to make some of you want to smack me. I'm going to sound like a brat. I know it. And I apologize in advance.

I went back to the RE after my latest PCOS b/w just to ask if there was anything else we could test for that could explain my difficulties getting pregnant/staying pregnant.

We've dropped my insurance (I'll go on L's in the new year) because we only kept it for the infertility benefits and we need to save as much $ as possible since I'll be out of work 6 months next year and we won't have my paycheck at all.  So while I have the insurance these last two weeks, I just thought I'd make a futile, last ditch stab at it.

It sounds so bratty. I know we'll (hopefully) have two babies next year and I'm STILL trying to figure it out so that maybe I could get pregnant one day. I would be thrilled with 1 baby and getting two is just a dream. So why can't I just STFU and forget about anything else?

Well, if it makes anyone feel better, I waited 40 minutes past my appointment time for a 10 minute appointment with the RE who basically said, "No, nothing else to do. Stop bothering me."

Ok, he didn't say it like that, but it was 10 minutes long and he did say there was nothing else. He also said with my heart, maybe I shouldn't be getting pregnant. Which pissed me off to no end because dude, you're not a cardiologist. I informed him my cardiologist said it was ok for me to get pregnant, which shut him up. But basically I hated him.

I don't know why it should surprise me, people have been telling me my whole life I can't do stuff because of my heart, and it seems as I get older, I'm getting more and more annoyed by it. Maybe it's because I am realizing how much I'm not like other people. Not having my own babies has made me feel like so much more of an outsider than not being able to run a race like everyone else ever did when I was kid.  Maybe it's the same thing as when you're little, you think you can grow up and be anything, even the President of the United States, and when you grow up, you realize what a lie that was.  I realize now my heart DOES keep me from things I never thought it could or would when I was little.

I've been sleeping so crappy for the last month and feeling so down in the dumps it's led to all sorts of crazy things, like my testing for PCOS and glucose intolerance and seeing the RE in the spur of the moment. After 3 hours of sleep last night, I had it. I went to see my PCP to beg for something to help me sleep. I've been trying Benadryl, and Tylenol PM (when I have a headache) and it's just not working all that well.

The nurse tech I saw before the PA asked me if I was depressed and I told her. I'm not depressed. How can I be depressed? I'm anxious as hell because so much is going on, but not depressed. Good things are happening for the first time in years! When the PA came in I talked to her and she made me feel not as crazy. She said I didn't need an anti-anxiety pill and gave me a small prescription for Ambien. She said I just need to get back on a good schedule and she believes everything will work itself out for me. And she said something I totally agreed with - I've been go go going for so long, so many doctors, working for so long towards babies and now things are starting to come together and it's making me anxious. I don't know how that makes sense but it does. Why things working well for once should make me anxious, I don't know, but it's true. It's almost like I don't know what to do with all that effort I used to be making.

I actually do decently well on low sleep, I haven't gotten more than 4 hours a night in months. But it's catching up to me, making me over emotional, over anxious, and in a few months (hopefully) I'll be getting no sleep! So I need to do so now.

Hoping tonight I could get a full 8 hours.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Presents

Thanks everyone for your exercise/tracking suggestions! I downloaded My Fitness Pal as suggested on my phone to keep track. I need to eat 1200 calories a day in order to lose 2lbs a week. Oh good Lord. I tracked everything I ate yesterday, which was a pretty typical day (except that I had stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a small hot chocolate which I don't normally do) and my calories came to 1485 for the day. So 285 over. But lets say I'm normally eating around 1500 calories a day. Seriously...1500 calories a day has led to me gaining 60lbs in the last 5 years???? I hate my body.

As for exercise...yeah, Jillian Michaels scares me :) I went shopping after work and was walking around so fast I was sweating - so I'll count that as something better than nothing (according to MyFitness Pal, that burned approx 245 calories, so only 40 over for the day). I will have to get my head right before attempting Jillian.

L and I sent Gabby and her family the Christmas presents on Saturday and they got them yesterday. I got the cutest text from her with a picture of the mug I sent her sitting in her keurig machine with a spoon in it:

Opened this tonight, I love love love it! Made my day! It is washed and ready for coffee in the morning. (Husband) also got a package but like the adult he is, he put the presents under the tree. He was kind not to mention the fact that I ripped open my package immediately, no thoughts about putting it under the tree! Haha. But glad I don't have to wait to open it, I love it! Thank you for thinking of us!

Not only that, she posted the pic to her FB and "came out" about being a surrogate there, finally! She did not tag me (thank goodness, as I haven't said publically on FB that we have a surrogate, only that we're expecting (though people who've FB messaged me I've told in private) .

But it was still so sweet. She wrote on FB:

LOVE my new mug, such an awesome gift from great parents, now hurry up February, these baby girls want to meet their rockin' parents! So happy and proud to be a part of this!

She got nice kudos from her friends, and their responses ranged from, "Wow!" to "You are so awesome!" etc. Which she is so that was really nice!

And then she sent me a 28 week bump pic :)


Oh yeah, any doubts that she looked "small for twins" last week are totally gone now! She looks great!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hating Exercise

10 weeks left! Oh my goodness, we are almost to single digits!!!

The room is ....continuing to be worked on. This flooring business is taking FOREVER. L works on that while I am sewing. Have I mentioned I am a very basic sewer? I am trying to make tab top curtains for the nursery and it's going ok. It won't look like a professional did it but hopefully it will be good enough.

We have learned we will be hosting Christmas for 10 people. In our tiny condo. We have 1 table that holds 4 people -oy. Should be fun!

In other news, I've been on a tear this week regarding medical stuff. All self-induced. It started when L and I went over my SIL and BIL's house after Thanksgiving to see their babies.

My SIL has always been slightly overweight. But right before she got pregnant she had found out that she was insulin resistant, gone on some meds (metformin) and dropped a lot, almost instantly it seemed. Now that she's given birth, she continues to look great.

I am jealous. The years of infertility treatments, and general depression have done a number on me. I have gained about 60lbs since my wedding. And my metabolism sucks. I swear I do not eat as badly as I look heavy. All my friends agree, I eat so much less than them but I can never lose any weight. I lost a total of 5 lbs from my last IVF cycle in June and nothing since. I had high hopes of losing weight by the time my babies are born but I never could get started on that. For the first few months I was just too anxious and depressed about whether they would make it and since then I've just been too anxious and stressed about everything else. I swear I should take a med for anxiety.

But after seeing her the other week (SIL) I decided it was time to check back in with the RE and make sure I didn't have PCOS (something I have always suspected I may have due to my long cycles) and what if the reason why I couldn't lose weight was because of insulin resistance too?

Really, I've started wondering if something is up with my hormones generally - because I also get horrible cystic acne. It's terrible, I am 34 years old and break out with bad acne all the time. It is not right at this age.

So off to the RE I went. And I found out that I had never been checked for PCOS in all my time there. I was really surprised. So I went through the whole workup and got the results last week.

And....nothing.

No PCOS. My testosterone is perfect...other tests are perfect.

No insulin resistance. (Yea, I feel like a dork for having that checked).

In essence, nothing to explain my crazy long cycles. Luckily, my AMH is still good, and other things all checked out well.

So I was being silly.

(Or I was just hoping on a lark that maybe something easy had been missed a long time ago that would explain the last 4 years to me). But no.

Really what I need to do, in the midst of everything else, is get onto a good exercise schedule for a lazy, overweight person and lose some pounds. But like everything else it's just one more thing to do. And I hate exercise. People say find something you like to do to exercise and I don't have anything. And I hate being outside in the cold in the winter. And there's no gyms near me (within 20 minutes) to exercise at.

And yes, I could come up with 101 excuses.

But I can't come up with 101 motivations. Even my potential children isn't enough to help with that. How terrible.

10 weeks to go...why can't I get something together for 10 weeks?

Any suggestions for a lazy girl like me?



Thursday, December 6, 2012

27 Week Bump Pic

27 week bump pic with faces (hopefully) blurred out. It's kinda hard to see. I think she looks pretty small for twins at this point.




I got the reports in the mail last night though, and I was pretty pleased with them. Definitely did not feel as worried as she prepared me to be (maybe it's reverse pyschology- ha!) At 26w4d they were weighing 1lb 14oz. and 1lb 15oz. respectively - just shy of 2 lbs which is right around where they should be by 27 weeks, or so I thought.

Heads are measuring larger - 28 weeks I think :) Figures they'd have big heads, lol. But yes, the femurs of both girls are about a week, week and a half smaller, as is the abdominal circumference of one of them.

Short femurs could mean down syndrome or dwarfism, but I really doubt both of them would get one of those. I'm more afraid about IUGR and don't know much about it, though I've started researching. It seems like in addition to short femurs, it also involves low weight under 10%. I looked up the weights on Dr. Google (of course) and there seems to be conflicting answers. On the same website (http://www.baby2see.com/medical/charts.html), if I type in their weight to see the percentile - I get 25th and 28th percentile respectively. Yet in a chart below, it says that at 27 weeks (a few days ahead of their last measurements), their weight is more appropriate to 26 weeks gestational age (so right around 10th percentile). A 27 weeker should weigh on average 2lbs 5oz according to the chart.  When you look up pregnancy by the week (i.e. http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-27-weeks_1116.bc) it says at 27 weeks, your baby weighs almost 2lbs, right in line with where they are. So I don't know. So much conflicting information. Gabby goes back next week for another measurement so I just hope things stay in line or get better, and don't go down anymore.

So, we just wait and see and hope all is well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

75 Days (to induction day)

Still haven't gotten the u/s report from last week but Gabby did warn me not to freak out when I saw the sizes on there. She already had told me the percentiles (11th percentile and 19th percentile) but she has now informed me that at 26w4d they were measuring 25w1d and 25w3 days respectively. On the one hand that is freakishly small, but on the other hand, they are still measuring past 24 weeks viability stage which reassures me somewhat. Unfortunately, when they reach 28 weeks gestational age later this week it won't really be like they're 28 weeks though. Gabby told the MFM I would be very concerned (which is totally true) so he told her to tell me (lol) he's not worried. And talking to some other people I have learned it's not where they are right now, it's if those percentiles drop the next time. So we'll see. I have the feeling she'll be going in for some NSTs soon.

She sent a 27 week bump pic but her daughter is sitting on it and I'm trying to figure out how I can just blur out the face :) She looks like she's swallowed a basketball - a perfect small and round bump. I would look like a house by now. I'm so jealous.
.
All I want is for my babies to reach 5lbs each before they are born. I don't think they're even 2lbs yet. Sigh...
In other news, I will probably be posting to a protected (i.e. password protected) blog once they are born (that is not "anonymous"). I'm not sure what I will do here yet but it's going to be hard to give this place up. I don't know if anyone cares as it's actual baby related, but if you want to go to my non-anonymous blog and want the password I'll let you know to email me for the password when the time comes. I haven't done anything yet, just a heads up.
I'm a freak about security, lol. I don't think I even want names up on here :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happenings in the Ducky House

Another u/s this past week. I don't have the report yet, but Gabby said everything looked good, amniotic fluid, cervical length etc. The girls are measuring small, one in the 11th (!!) percentile, the other in the 19th percentile. Yeesh. But she says the doctor said he doesn't get worried unless it's the 5th percentile. That's good...I guess. I just hope it doesn't go down any further. Consider both L and I don't come from the tallest families (believe it or not, but after my brother and father, I am the tallest person in my family, over my grandfather and every other woman in my family. My aunts and grandmother are actually not even 5 feet tall.), I am trying to hope that's the reason. And, they're twins, right? Less room, smaller babies? I dunno. I'm going with that and trying to save a freakout for later on, if it gets worse. I'm worried about IUGR.

L is right now in the nursery, tearing up the carpet, pad, and nails in order to put in our laminate flooring in. So exciting! And a bit nervewracking, if we totally screw it up. He assured me ahead of time that he had experience helping his dad, but has made a few comments since then how impressed he is with himself that he's doing a good job. Ha, that doesn't exactly make me feel confident about his skills :)

I went ahead and bought a prenatal massage for Gabby for Christmas, and I bought a mug for her on Etsy that reads "Proud Surrogate...I make families. What's YOUR superpower?" I love it and can't wait to mail it.

We thought we should buy her family some presents too but didn't want to go too crazy - so we got her husband a bottle of Jack Daniel's, and a kid's board game for the three of them. We had planned to give them this when we saw them after Thanksgiving but that didn't work out and we're not sure when we'll see them again so we have to mail it all. Hope they like it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Best. Blog. Post. Ever.

I just found this gem over at Nuts In May. It's a little colloquially British but otherwise so spot on I wish I could mail it to every friend and relative who fits in one of those stages.

http://nutsinmay.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/five-stages-of-knowing-an-infertile-person/

Right???

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Creme de la Creme 2012


Thanks to another blogger, I just realized the 2012 Creme de la Creme list is open! I miss this every year, and I want my fellow bloggers to know that it's open right now through December 15th to get their best post of the year to Stirrup Queens.

What's Creme de la Creme? I'll just copy her words right here:
This is the way it works. If you want to participate, read through your archives from 2012 and choose a favourite post...You can only choose one entry. You cannot be modest. Everyone has a best post. There is no such thing as a boring blog. Even if you don’t think you have any readers because you’ve never received a comment, you have a best post. The one that you felt really good about when you hit publish. The one that would be the post you’d put forward if an editor called you tomorrow and said, “I have this great writing job for you that will pay a million dollars an hour. You just need to submit one blog entry to get this job so we can check your writing style.
 Go here to check out the full post telling you how to submit! I'm very excited to get mine in this year - and so should you!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Well, all that happy hoo ha about how I'm getting more comfortable with not being pregnant but still expecting went right out the door this week.

I'm officially a liar.

I didn't set out to be one, but in the end I just wanted to protect myself. Applications for our HOA board went out months ago, and L decided to run. A month or so ago though, he decided with 2 on the way, no way did he have time to be on the board. Smart decision, hubby. I was President of our HOA a few years back, and what a time suck.

But it looks like our management company never told the homeowners he wasn't running anymore. So the evening before the election meeting (which we decided to skip altogether) L ran into one of our neighbors (we have 54 neighbors in our development, mostly elderly) and he was told, "I'm voting for you!" Well K had to explain to this gentleman (a retired priest btw) that he wasn't running anymore bc he's expecting twins.

Cut to earlier this week when I got an email from my elderly downstairs neighbor saying that she hasn't seen us in awhile and to come over. She has been in a bunch of hospitals over the last few months but is finally home. I felt bad because it had been awhile since we saw her (we'd been keeping up on how she was through her SIL who was house sitting while she was in the hospital). But I also knew that Father Carl was a busybody and had to have told her. Ugh. And if it had just been her and the news wouldn't have been spread all over the development, I probably would have told her the truth, but I knew it would be. And it's MY news to tell or not tell as I see fit.

So we went out and got some flowers, an I put on my bulkiest jacket, just in case, though I wasn't going to mention a thing. Well, we got through the door after saying hello, and she exaggeratedly looks at my belly and says, "Looks like someone is expecting a little bundle or two soon!"

Kill me now. And I just went along with it. And every question she asked about my pregnancy, I answered, totally leading her to believe I'm the one pregnant. By the time we left, I felt like such a fraud. But I really just don't want all these other people discussing my business!!!

And I KNOW I do not look 26 weeks pregnant with twins. Part of me thinks she knows I'm lying, because how could she not? Now I'm just like, how can I hide out until February?

Afterwards, I may have gone searching on the Internet for fake baby bumps. Rest assured, I did not purchase one though. Sense did grab ahold of me at last.

I'm having a hard time this week. I don't know why. I am ├╝ber jealous of all the photos SIL is posting of her twins on FB (even though I have other friends posting pics of their kids and I'm not jealous of them!) and my OTHER SIL (brother's wife) just posted a 20 week bump pic on FB and I burst into tears. Sheesh. It's like I'm so torn between two places. I'm half afraid something will go wrong with my babies and I'll never get to take pictures of them, but I also wish I was pregnant so
much and had a bump pic of my own...

Sigh...I wish I could improve in a linear fashion but alas, I have regressed this week.

Hopefully next week will be better.

Friday, November 23, 2012

100 Days

Sorry, I've been playing around with the blog look again. Chalk it up to a mostly boring (and drama-free, at least) Thanksgiving, where we stayed home since I have to work today (as you can see it's a very busy day at work, haha).

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer, but according to my ticker, there are 100 days left before the girls are here! However, the ticker is based on their original due date, which I left in when I grabbed the ticker because I wanted to know what week and day I was whenever I looked at it. Really though, there are only 86 days left today, because the latest they will go is 2/17 (and that's a Sunday so maybe even earlier on 2/15?). I really want to print out some calendar pages so I can draw a big X through each day and do a proper countdown. I did that each day when my work BFF was out on maternity leave earlier this year. It was great.

Speaking of my work BFF, she has left me for greener pastures :( She got a job closer to her house so she can spend more time with her daughter and go to all the daycare activities she was missing out on. It totally makes sense and I fully understand of course, but I miss her. Her last day was Wednesday and her office is so empty now.

Have yet to hear from Gabby today. I hope she will be doing the 1 hour test though. I had the best dream (if a bit wacky) last night! I went to visit an old friend at her (the friend's) house. I knew she was going to be playing with her kid when I arrived in the living room, and she was. I said hello and then went into the bedroom next door where my two girls were laying (surrounded by people I knew in my dream [though I have no idea who they are now]) on the bed, waiting for me. And they looked ALMOST like identical twins (you know, how Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are fraternal twins, even though they look almost exactly alike? Strong genes run in that family, have you ever seen Elizabeth Olsen? Anyway, I digress...) One looked exactly like me as a baby, but with bigger eyes, and one looked almost the same but had a tiny bit of L in her (not that I could put my finger on what bit that was). And they looked like they were about 3-6 months old, even though they had been born yesterday (I've been rereading Breaking Dawn, if that explains anything). And while I was like, "Why didn't anyone tell me they were born?" and mildly wondered where Gabby was, for the most part I didn't think about it at all and just basked in the glow of my babies. It was beautiful.

Randomness for Black Friday.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Follow Up

It looks like Gabby will be redoing the 1 hour test on Friday. Thank goodness. I'm not sure if M at the surrogacy agency ever talked to her or not, but she (Gabby) emailed me last night. I feel bad that I basically nagged at her all day yesterday, but then I am annoyed that I had to nag at her too. I totally understand that she's probably cranky these days but I am probably not the person to complain about this stuff to...her husband is.

While I was drifting off to sleep last night, (that weird place between consciousness and unconciousness where sometimes things become clear to me) I realized that I don't think she's going to stay in touch with me after this is over. We always said to each other (before we started the cycle), if its feels right and natural, we'll be friends but if not, so be it. But despite how nice she is, and how much I wish we would click more, I don't think we do. That makes me sad. I want everyone to like me (despite how bitchy and whiny I can be on here).



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Control is a 4 Letter Word

I'm a Type A, control freak. Yup, one of those. I admit it. Probably the only reason my marriage is as strong as it is is because I married a Type B, "whatever happens happens" kind of guy. (Of course, that can sometimes really be frustrating for a Type A like me!)

We're over 25 weeks now and things are supposedly great. Gabby had her GD test on Thursday. I didn't hear back about the results until yesterday when I finally asked her. She told me she failed by 16 points and it was probably because she ate a PB&J sandwich at the same time she drank that stuff. But she doesn't want to take the three hour because, and I quote:

"They are CRAZY! There is absolutely NO way I can fast for 3 hours, that can't possibly be the routine for women pregnant with twins who are as hungry as I am!"

She also told me how if she had to do the 3 hour it would take a few weeks for her to get to the lab to take it so she was going to ask if she could redo the 1 hour without eating this time.

My initial thought was "take a few weeks to get to the lab?" I mean, I really love my carrier, but if you need to take the 3 hour, you don't get to take a few weeks. No offense, but she signed up to do this. I don't want to wait if this needs to be done. I don't want anything happening to my babies. But then again, I know nothing about GD and the risks.

I did talk about this with some of my friends (all of whom have been pregnant at least once, some multiple times, but admittedly none with multiples) who were basically like, "Tough, suck it up, it's only once." about it.

So I tried to email her back saying I was worried and to see if she could take the 1 hour again ASAP and felt blown off by her again.

"Don't worry, I am very careful about my sugars and know all the risks! I've been checking my blood sugars to make sure they're normal [she's an NP who can do that at work] and also have dialed down the sugar/starch in my diet a little, just to be safe! I really feel confident that the test was not accurate. If I didn't get low blood sugars as much as I do then I would be a little more worried. But with diabetes it's an insulin intollerance and you rarely get low blood sugars [as she says she has gotten.] I have no not hear back from them but I have also found different levels. At [another hospital nearby] if the 1 hour is under 180 they consider than normal so I'm not sure if [our hospital] just uses different levels or what. But I will keep on track of it, don't worry we haven't made it this far to risk anything now!!! :)

Ugh...it is so tough not having control!  I'm sure I would have had GD, what with my weight and love of sugar, but I would have been back so fast to get anything taken care of, and it's annoying me that she just won't go get it done. Just do it - when you pass with flying colors you can just chalk it up to one more thing you've had to do with this pregnancy that you never had to do with your own.

I get it that she's just cranky and exhausted and hormonal and BUSY (she is STILL going to the gym - that is crazy to me) and it's just one more thing to do on her list but to me this is important. For the girl who was so worried about her health and carrying three babies that she made me do S/R she doesn't seem to be as concerned about this.

So I just went and tattled because I didn't know what else to do. I thought about calling the doctor's office but no one except the doctor really knows me there and I don't know if they would discuss her with me since they probably don't understand our arrangement. So I called up my surrogacy agency instead because I didn't know where else to go. And it's rough because our person ("advocate") is a personal FRIEND of hers, but she has been super professional with us. I told her what I was going on and she said she'd talk to her (and said she wouldn't say that we spoke, which I hope is the case). I told her (our agency person, M) that I wasn't trying to be a bitch and maybe I'm just paranoid I just don't want anything to go wrong.

So at least I've made it known to them now. I just hope Gabby doesn't hate me for it if she finds out. But I didn't know what else to do. M has seen Gabby recently at someone's birthday party and said she doesn't look gestational diabetic at all (not sure what one looks like), but I also had a friend who took the one hour even though her doctor said, "no worries, you'll pass with flying colors" and then failed it AND the 3 hour, even though she looked totally fine. So who knows? And why not be safe?

It is so hard not having control. Harder than not being pregnant (which is plenty hard by itself, trust me).

ETA: Gabby told me in the email I quoted above that she would get in touch with the doctor's office today and email me when she did. Lo and behold haven't heard anything back so I emailed her back an hour ago (ostensibly to "remind" her if she'd forgotten). Nothing back yet.

And I also wanted to clarify about the "harder than not being pregnant." I didn't mean harder than not being pregnant in general. I meant harder than not being the one who is carrying the babies, as you all know how I've struggled with that. I reread it and it didn't sound right to me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reality Setting In

I'm not sure why, but it took until last night to realize that I'm going to be a mom in about 3 months.

In all honesty, I've been calling myself a mom for years now, ever since I had angel babies. It was the only thing that got me through Mother's Day. But now that I may actually be a mother of living babies, I was struck dumb by it last night!

I'm guessing if I were the one 24 weeks pregnant, maybe it would have occurred to me sooner, but actually doing baby shopping, planning my registry and googling 24 weeks pregnant (something I do every week because I will NEVER sign up for Baby Center emails again- those bastards don't understand to stop sending weekly emails if you have a miscarriage) seems to have driven it through my thick skull. Sure, no matter how many blog posts I've written about babies up to now, it still was this far off dream that I thought of occurring in the distant, distant future, not in a few months. I've had that dream for so long, it just doesn't seem real now.

I'm not sure exactly what happened to all of a sudden make me think, "Hey I'm worthy of calling myself an expectant mother!" but all of a sudden I felt like I was. I felt like I would sneer at anyone who thought I wasn't. Where did that come from?

A couple of things have happened on the baby front recently that must have led to this...though I'm not quite sure how I made the leap. The first was that we attended a diaper service class (we plan on cloth diapering) a week and a half ago. We were the only ones in this session, with the diaper service owner and her assistant. I could have sworn that the assistant was pregnant (but thank God I didn't ask her because it turns out she's not, nor does she have kids), so I was feeling a little sensitive about not being pregnant. The owner asked when we were expecting, and since I don't plan on ever seeing the owner again, nor did I feel like getting into my story, I told her February, and said we were about 23 weeks along. She looked at me in amazement and said, "Wow, I never would have guessed you're 23 weeks with twins! You look so small! (Me smiling inside). "No, that's a good thing!" she assures me. "Seriously, I was thinking you were 16 weeks, max!" (Me not smiling inside).

Oh yay. I look 16 weeks pregnant! If she hadn't said the last sentence, I probably would have told her that we were expecting via gestational carrier, but then I justified my closed mouth by not wanting to make her feel bad that she just told me how fat I look. I'm sure she would have been embarrassed.

As for me, I guess I should just be glad I *only* look 16 weeks pregnant and not 23 :)

Then last week I had my 6 month dental check up and I went to ask if I could have another checkup in less than 6 months (as I will be on maternity leave 6 months from now and without dental insurance during that time, and if I wait till I'm back at work it will be almost a year before my next checkup). The YOUNG! receptionist asked  me why I needed to have it so early, and I told her I would be on maternity leave. So she tells me, "I need to check to make sure you can have a dental cleaning in your third trimester." So, hemming and hawing I had to tell her that I wasn't going to be in my third trimester and could get that damn checkup if I wanted to, thankyouverymuch! Of course, my dental hygenist happened to wander over to the front desk just as I was explaining and strangely enough the receptionist actually said to me, "I thought it was illegal to do surrogacy in NY?"

Who the hells knows about the legality of surrogacy? So random. I explained to her what we were doing and the hygenist was SO interested and asked if I minded a personal question. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound so I said sure. She wanted to know if we used my eggs or donor eggs. WHO THE HELL ASKS THAT?? I told her they were mine.

She was so interested and so "That's Awesome!" about it that it really made me feel better about things. That may have been the turning of the tide for me.

So yesterday I went to pick up a Bumbo seat from a consignment store and I really wanted someone to ask me a question about my kids/pregnancy so I could tell them what we're doing and I was bummed that they didn't. Hahaha!! Talk about a reversal of feelings!

I've given up on trying to make sense of...myself.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lottery Again

So, you know how I've always complained about winning the lottery for negative things? My heart condition, recurrent M/Cs...all 3 embryos implanting, etc.

Let me add one more to the list.

Gabby was diagnosed with Pemphigoid Gestationis today. Another name for it is Gestational Herpes, but they don't use that name really anymore because it's not REALLY herpes. It's an autoimmune disease

It's on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) "Office of Rare Diseases" website. Dr. Google has informed me that 1 out of 100,000 pregnant get this.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that is 0.001% chance.

Why am I not playing the lottery? Oh yea, it doesn't work the other way around for me :) My coworker/close friend just informed me I should never take my umbrella out in a thunderstorm because I will get struck by lightning. Twice.

I feel so bad. I can't tell if she got it because of my babies, or if it's HER body's reaction to the babies or what. It's not too bad right now but I'm guessing it will get worse.

The MFM didn't seem too concerned. He said he's seen some really bad cases, like, they didn't even look like a person they looked so bad (nice!), and he's not going to give her any steroids yet. Since she already gets followed so closely, he'll just continue to monitor. He doesn't foresee any impact on the babies (thank God, because Dr. Google mentioned there would be), with the except of pre term labor. But since they are multiples anyway, we already have that risk factor.

As for everything else, it looks good. He's not concerned about the small femurs at all because he says it's all growing appropriately week to week, we just have genetically small babies (I guess?). Cervical length, blood pressure, continues to be good. Baby (A)isha is breech right now, and Baby (B)eyonce is head down. Aisha better get her act together though! It doesn't matter how Beyonce is positioned if Aisha is not head down.

So...I'm just going to hope the rash stays on the mild side. Hope hasn't done much for me before though. Ack...and I was just starting to get comfortable with all the good news around here...

Monday, November 5, 2012

23 weeks

23 week picture...



Not that much different than the 18 week picture, right? Has she grown much in 5 weeks?




I'm not sure. Damn femurs, grow! Apparently the MFM does not have "public" email, so I've asked her to ask him about the femurs and AC at this week's appointment.

In other news, we finally finished painting the nursery, which we started before we even had a contract. I love the colors.




I'm in love with this aqua blue palette. So we painted 2 walls a darker aqua and 2 a lighter aqua. We dragged our feet getting this done because that last thing we wanted was to have a nursery and no baby but now time is starting to get away from us. Still not sure how we're going to get flooring done before. The holidays are coming and the weekend starting to move. In one way I love it, in another I wonder if we waited too long to start on things. Being a Type A, OCD kinda of person, I want everything perfect. You'd think after nearly 5 years of things NOT being perfect, I'd have learned to deal better. Oh well.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Measurements

I have a question to start this off - is there a way to follow wordpress blogs just like you can blogger blogs? Because so many of you have wordpress blogs and I use that follow option to keep up on your blog posts and comments. And I haven't been able to figure it out so I end up not commenting often on wordpress blogs!!

In other news, I got a text from Gabby two nights ago in which she said she had been playing the story I read outloud for Bellybuds to the girls (it's only 3 minutes long, so she plays it on repeat) and the girls were kicking a ton. So strong even her husband could feel those kicks!

My heart totally melted. Keep growing, girls!! I did tell her maybe they were sick of that story being on repeat and they were kicking her to stop playing it :)

I got the reports (plus some creepy looking u/s pictures) from the ultrasound last week at 21w4d. Now if you'll remember (and what do you mean, you don't? :) the doctor said everything was absolutely perfect and she didn't need to come back this week and could come back in 2 weeks instead.

But I'm looking at these measurements and looking them up on Dr. Google. There are two things I'm really worried about:

Their femur lengths seem pretty short. According to the report they are measuring 20.6 and 20.7 weeks respectively. This is when they were 21.6 (that's 21w4d) at the time of the measurement. According to Dr. Google they may be a few days past that, but on the report it is noted that for one of them the FL was 0.8 SD (standard deviations I'm sure) below mean, and the other was 1.0 SD below mean. So why didn't the doctor mention this at all?

Commence worry. I mean, I'm 5'5" and my brother is 5'9" (and he's the tallest in my family, lol) so it's not like we're tall. L's family is 5'11" at its tallest (L is 5'10") but still. I looked it up and short femurs can mean down syndrome. We never got any blood testing done that would have told us our risk for it because they told us it wasn't reliable for twins. I keep hoping there would have been other indications of down syndrome but I'm still worried.

The other thing I'm worried about is the Abdominal Circumference of Baby Aisha. It's 18.1mm smaller than Baby Beyonce's - that seems like a really big difference to me! In terms of length and head and everything else they are close enough to each other that I'm not worried, but the abdomen? Again, no mention of this though.

So, would I be a total freak to email the doctor and ask?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cribs and Floors

I have to reply and catch up on previous comments. But we did get our cribs on Saturday from IKEA.

Yeah, they're cheap. Yeah, they're definitely not decadent in the slightest. Yeah, they look like Baby Jail a bit. But that's ok. They are solid enough that we trust them and they will get our kids through to big girl's beds. They're definitely not heirloom pieces - we will probably chop them up and burn them for kindling in a few years :)



But we have enough other things to spend our money on. My parents offered to pay for our cribs. And the ultimate crib if there was all the money in the world we would have gotten was this one:


It's the Land of Nod "Time to Turn In" Crib. Made from solid American sustainable wood (from the Appalachians), non-toxic, no lead, phthalate free, metal mattress frame...I love it.

But if I won't pay $1300 (for two cribs) I'm certainly not going to ask my parents to pay that. My parents asked if we were sure, because they think the Ikea one is ugly (and yes, it certainly won't be winning any prizes) and even offered to split it if we were uncomfortable with the price and we decided no. It's just not that important. And honestly, I'm going to get ridiculously priced mattresses (which are organic/eco-friendly) so in the end I'll still be spending a lot on my crib stuff. (And honestly, I know my mom. She's so crazy excited to FINALLY be a grandma [her words] that there's no way she's going to stop at the cribs. So this way I don't have to feel as bad about what she spends ;) )

So, $140 + tax it was!! And it was hilarious, afterwards we went to Bobby's Burger Palace in Paramus NJ (that would be Bobby Flay's joint) and L and I paid for dinner and my dad refused to let us pay for him and mom because he said that would be half the cost of one of the cribs he just paid for! LOL, true.

The next thing we're looking at is replacing the carpet, not only in that room, but our whole house.

The other day one of my kitties tore a claw and when i got home, it looked like a MURDER scene. Blood EVERYWHERE, no joke. I seriously thought for awhile that my dog had gone after a cat. So we used oxyclean and got most of the blood up but now the carpet is a bit bleached (or it's so dirty that those are the clean spots, haha!) Then we found a place under the table (those little circular tables with the skirt that goes all the way over them) where the cat must have hung out for awhile that day and it was a huge puddle of dried blood. *shudder*

BTW, the cat is fine. We took her to the vet because we couldn't get her to stop bleeding and they "chemically cauterized" the nail with a stiptic pen (or whatever you call it). But even at the vet on the table she just kept bleeding and bleeding all over the place and it LOOKED horrible. She was fine though (claws apparently just bleed A LOT!)

The carpet wasn't looking that great anyway, so we should probably change it, especially since we hope to me moving in a year or two. Normally we would go for sustainably grown hardwood, but since we're not going to be here too much longer (and need to be saving money right now for the surrogacy) I'm looking into Greenguard Certified laminate flooring. Laminate is not that great environmentally, but Greenguard looks at chemical exposures (VOCs and offgassing and the like). We can find a certified laminate that is a good compromise for us at least.

Will we ever be done with this room before the babies come? I'm really not sure!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quick Whining Post

My SIL had her c-section this morning.

And used Gianna.

And used Josephine.

So I am 0 for 2 now in the names category.

I know she didn't "steal" my names, they weren't "mine" to begin with.

But the fact that they wouldn't tell us their G name when we asked burns a little bit more today than I think it would have if they had just told us when we asked.

I don't really have any other names I just *love*. Hopefully I will get there.

Here's a weird question...do you think twins with names starting with the same letter (names do not sound alike) are ok?

I don't think I do. I think it would be ok if they were sisters of two different ages, but as twins it's a little cheesy.

I have all sorts of arbitrary naming rules for myself though.

Eh, I'm just disappointed today. I'll get over it. It wasn't even 100% anyway. But you know as soon as a name you think you *might* use is taken, all of a sudden you're SURE you would have used it. It was one of those rare names we actually both agreed on.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

This is the post that doesn't end...

We made it home alive :)

I'm not sure which way is up. Usually when I take a vacation, I leave on a Saturday and come home on a Saturday so I start my new work week on Monday like everyone else. Well, we flew back in late Tuesday night and I took off Weds. to clean up/do laundry etc. so today was my first day back at work. And I'm all discombobulated. But it is awesome that tomorrow is Friday!!

Yesterday my back started hurting again and by nightfall I knew I had thrown it out again. WTF? How do I keep doing this? My chiro says it's not any one thing I'm doing but some repetitive twisting motion that doesn't show up until later. unfortunately since it's later I have no idea what that thing is. Luckily, I got into the chiro first thing this morning instead of trying to wait a few days and see if it'll get better on its own and I am already doing better than I normally would be. I'll go again tomorrow and hopefully that will be enough to get me through this weekend because we have SO MUCH TO DO!!

And of course, this is freaking me out with two babies on the way. What am I going to do if I throw out my back then? And what if it happens just by me picking up my babies? I feel like this is going to be a big problem.

So, lots to do this weekend, including...my SIL is having a C-section tomorrow!!! Her baby girls will be here and we'll finally find out the names!

I didn't write about it in my last post, but while we were on vacation she posted to facebook a picture of her nursery with the initials of the babies above the cribs. One is G and one is H. The H I don't care about, but the G I did. Not that we're 100% set on it but we've been leaning towards Gianna/Gia. So L sent a text to his brother and his brother refused to tell us.

It upset us a lot. I mean, we're not just trying to be nosy and ask for the sake of asking. We also have two girls coming and though I know we have a few months left half the fun is being able to talk things out for awhile. And they had that same fun. Now at the time we thought we were going to have another few weeks before their babies came so it doesn't really matter now but I thought it was kind of crappy of them. I don't know what the big deal is. I understand wanting to keep it a secret from most people, but not your brother who is also having twin girls soon. If my brother who is about 2 months after us ends up having a girl I am sure we will end up telling him our names so they can decide. We'll ask him not to tell anyone else but I fully understand why he might want to know our names.

Anyway, so it hurt. More L than me. I think he is realizing more and more he is not as close to his family as he once thought he was.

Before we got this news today though, we were planning to downstate Saturday anyway to go with my mom to Ikea to look for cribs!! It is step one of my "Eco-healthy" nursery. Well, really step two.

Step 1 was painting the nursery with Mythic Paint, which is a non-toxic, zero VOC (even in colors) paint. A lot of "regular" zero or low toxic paints have VOCs added as soon as you make them a color. You know how you buy a paint can and then bring it to the paint counter with the card of the color you want and they had the "formula" to it? Yea, it's that formula they add (no matter the color) that adds VOCs to your paint, even if the original paint can says zero VOCs.

Have I mentioned I'm a little bit of an eco-nut?

So I've been looking for all wood, no or very low formaldehyde cribs as my step 2. Most are insanely expensive (like $600 -$1200 a crib) so that's totally not going to work and definitely not for two (I have the feeling if we were having one I would probably find some way to justify that to myself). So I did some research and it turns out that Ikea has a super cheap, super basic crib that is all hard wood EXCEPT for the base that the mattress goes on (which we can either replace or not care about too much because the baby won't touch that) and totally unpainted so the baby won't ingest any chemicals when she goes to chew on the wood. We can finish it with some linseed or other food grade oil if we want OR I might paint it myself with some white Mythic Paint. And best of all it is $69 for the crib. AWESOME!

It's the Sniglar crib.

But I'm under no illusion that the crib may be TOO cheap. So we're going to trek to NJ on Saturday afternoon to check it out and see if it's way too flimsy. I won't buy it if it is. But if it's just very basic and simple, we might do that!

I don't have a back up yet though....oh well, we'll figure it out.

On Sunday my whole family is going to the Jets game! My brother (and his wife, my OTHER SIL) got tickets from his inlaws as part of his graduation present from Nurse Anesthetist school in August and my father-in-law has season tickets to the Jets (I know this isn't the first time I've mentioned how much I married UP) so we can get tickets almost whenever we want to the game so we decided to go with them and tailgate before the game. Then just yesterday, my FIL offered to GIVE my parents (who have never been to a football game) in their lives, the other two tickets he had. Usually he sells them, but my parents don't have the money to buy them so this was super nice of him. My mother is so excited. Like, she ran to facebook and put on her status how she was going to a Jets football game with her kids and their spouses. I have a feeling she'll be complaining by the end of the first quarter about being cold. (Oh and yeah, that hurricane is going to be coming through starting around then so she'll be cold and wet)....

And then tomorrow night I really need to check out a few places to decide where I'm going to have the baby shower. My aunt and mom are hosting it (absolutely no offer from my MIL, no surprise there) but since I want it by where I live I need to do the footwork). I'm excited that things are finally starting to move.

But boy are things busy! So I can't have a thrown out back!!!!!

Phew, I'm exhausted just writing about all of this. I probably won't have anything else to say for a week!

But there's one more thing! Gabby had another appointment today (that we didn't go to).

Everything still looks great!! The doctor said she still looks great, the babies still look great! (They have now changed positions and are breech, but Doc is not worried yet, they have plenty of room to move still). He says everything is going perfectly and I just can't believe it. Things never go perfectly for us. But all of a sudden, everything is. I'm almost afraid it's a dream and I'm going to wake up soon!

She's doing so well she doesn't need to go back for another appointment for two weeks!

Ok...I think I'm done now, haha.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Babymoon

Welcome ICLWers!!

After 4+ years of struggling with infertility and recurrent miscarriage, my husband L and I are finally expecting twin girls (!!!!) through a gestational carrier! Right now we are on our "babymoon" (really just our last trip together before our girls are (hopefully) born in February! You can take a look at our history on the timeline pages I have.

We (of course) made it safe to CO and now I just need to worry about the plane ride home. The meds definitely helped and luckily I have two left for the way back on Tuesday! So far the trip has been AWESOME and it helps that we're doing things we will never be able to do with kids for a VERY long time!

Yesterday we went to Saddleback Ranch, an 8000 acre working cattle ranch for a trail ride. It was so so cool! One of the owners took us on this 2 hour ride all over their ranch and the views were beautiful and we could gallop our horses and didn't need to ride in a straight line at all! Today my muscles are totally paying for it, but it was so worth it!

Look at that view! All their land!




After the ride we took our aching bodies to these hot springs just outside Steamboat Springs. It's so amazing how the water bubbles so hot out of the ground and you can sit in it for as long as you want! They keep the place looking very natural looking and after nightfall you can go nude if you want (no, we did not want :) We went in and out until after dark because we wanted to see the stars in the dark. We weren't disappointed and saw a shooting star! I call that a good omen :)

A few of the hot springs pools

I've actually "forgotten" all about baby stuff on this trip and that NEVER happens. Today I went, "Oh wow, it's 21 weeks!" That certainly hasn't happened in about...forever :)

I think this trip has been VERY good for us. So glad we went on it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Paranoid and Morbid

Tomorrow morning we leave for our "babymoon" to Colorado! This is going to be our last trip before the babies come! It's been nearly 10 years since I've last been there, and I'm a little nervous about the change in altitude and my oxygen! (I weigh so much more now than I did in law school). But more importantly, my anxiety about planes is ratcheted sky high. I am so terrified of planes. Not terrorism, not even mechanical stuff so much, but plain (ha) old pilot error.

Plus then I start thinking, it's been a long time since the last U.S. plane crash - we're due for another one. I mean, you never hear about 2 close together. Yeah, I'm both morbid and paranoid.

Because I just emailed the surrogacy agency to let them know of a change in who we're picking for guardians for our babies. I mean, we don't have a will yet or anything, but unlike most pregnant women, my babies will not be with me if anything happens. Some provision needs to be made for them. So now they know who we would like, even if it's not exactly legal, they can at least tell our families of our wishes.

OMG, I know how crazy I am. Nothing is going to happen right?

But I have some xanax waiting for me at home tonight and before the plane ride tomorrow. I know my limits :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

20 week ultrasound

I feel bad I didn't post on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I knew it was Monday and I thought about it the whole way to our ultrasound appointment. I thought about the irony of where we are and where we have been. As usual, I wore my Mother's Day gift from my close friend last year (a charm necklace with baby footprints) and the ring that L gave me after we lost our twins (with two tourmalines in it) because whenever we go for an ultrasound I am always thinking about all of my babies.

And then we got to the ultrasound and I didn't think about it again. How I could do that? I don't know. This day was such a good day for us, and I feel bad about it. I will never ever forget the babies I've lost.
The ultrasound was fantastic. We got a nicer tech this time who took the time to explain things to us. Our babies have been 100% confirmed as girls (we were already positive about one and 90% about the other but of course I've been wondering). They are measuring beautifully, and there are no issues so far.

Baby A - love that Baby B's butt is practically in her face!

Kiss my a**, sister! LOL!

Baby B - upside down! She is really facing downwards.

Baby B - formerly known as Baby Boxer, still has her fists up by her face! Love it!

We've nicknamed the babies Aisha (A) and Beyonce (B) because we are not telling any names until they are born! :)

We met the MFM Gabby has been seeing and we've only spoken with once, on the phone. He was super super nice and I'm glad he'll be delivering our babies (if all goes to plan of course).

Gabby looks great, a nice big belly now. Her cervical length is great, her blood pressure is wonderful - she's even still going to the gym! The doctor told her to keep up whatever she's been doing because it's working for her! Even though she's carrying my babies, I still am a little jealous that she's just so awesome at being pregnant. Walking to our myriad of appointments, I had to ask HER to slow down because I couldn't keep up. That's just sad. :)

We then had fetal echoes done on both babies in the afternoon. And once again, their hearts look perfect. They did not get my heart! I am so so glad for this! The doctor said they can't guarantee 100% there's nothing wrong, but there is definitely nothing major wrong and it usually means things are just fine!

The day was just so wonderful - definitely our best ultrasound yet. And we are over the hump now and on our way down the slope - 20 and a half weeks today! I am starting to get more and more confident about us having babies in February and it's starting to make me nervous!!! Hahaha. I think I would be very confident if there were one but having twins is making me nervous about being able to take care of both of them (logistically) at the same time. We have a condo and basically live on the second floor (we have a first floor but it's just a foyer, closet and garage) and there's no way I'm going to be able to carry two infants in car seats down the stairs to get to the car. So I'm going to have to carry one first, and I have to leave the first one alone?? Then have to go back up and get the second. Oy!

But I love that I'm starting to worry about THESE kinds of things now. It is just awesome.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The News is Out

I've come full circle. Me, the girl who swore up and down she would never ever post anything on FB about this pregnancy or gestational surrogacy, basically came out on Monday. It was my birthday and it felt great.

I honestly don't know how it happened. I think it was after reading the umpteenth pregnancy announcement in a week, those posts that always result in a flurry of comments of Congrats, and well wishes, and I just got jealous. *I* wanted what they had. And those people announcing were several weeks behind me, and I just became an attention whore myself :) Before I knew it, I had posted a thank you to the people who'd already wished me a Happy Birthday on my wall, and said I was looking forward to a day off work thanks to Mr. Columbus, my last year in the "young" demographic (18-34, ugh) and our twins on the way!

And then I cowered behind my computer like a wimpy girl, afraid of what would happen. Seriously, I'm a baby.

And then well-wishes started to trickle in, first there were some, "Wait...what?" then "Does that mean what I think it means?" then outright, "OMG, congrats!!"

I did not mention gestational surrogacy on my wall at all. Where questions were asked, "When are they due?" I answered truthfully. But when I started to get private messages asking more direct questions that would require lying, I mentioned it - even to people who I'm not THAT close to.

And you know what, it wasn't such a big deal! I don't know what my problem is (I think it's a little bit of my dad in me, unfortunately [and I love my dad]), but I really thought people would look down upon me. And at least to my "face" they were overjoyed.

I remember once a few years ago, a woman I was talking too about infertility attempted to commiserate with me. I was telling her how it makes me feel like less of a woman, and she went on to compare having a c-section with infertility, how she felt like less of a woman as well.

At the time, I thought, "Hell no. If I could have kids I could care less if I gave birth vaginally or with a c-section, as long as they were my kids!" But it made me feel judged - if having a c-section wasn't womanly enough, how could gestational surrogacy possibly be?

I think that has stuck with me since then, that all the mothers out there (which is really who I'm "afraid" of) would look down on me and go, "Ugh, she took the EASY way out." And I know it's not the easy way out at all, so why do I care? But I have cared.

But so far, it doesn't seem like anyone else has cared. All this insecurity I've had, for nothing? Part of it has been protection, to protect myself from people who can say mean things, but part of it is that "second-class citizenship I have taken upon myself. *I* don't feel worthy, so how could anyone else think I'm worthy?

It's a slow go. But maybe eventually, I will start to believe it.




Saturday, October 6, 2012

Getting Real

I wanted to title this post "This S*** Is Getting Real" but I held back. I do have a potty mouth at times when I'm left to my own devices.

The other day we received an email from our surrogacy agency regarding the parentage petition!! I cannot believe we're at this point already. Basically, it's a legal petition to the court to ask for an order that recognizes us, legally, as the parents of our babies, and not Gabby and her husband.

Under common law, a woman who gives birth to a baby is automatically considered the mother for birth certificate purposes, and in many states, the husband is considered the father, even if he isn't (i.e. she slept with someone else). Seriously, even today, some states will put the legal husband as the father, even if the mother says, "Nope, I slept around! Definitely not his."

Luckily we are doing gestational surrogacy in the state of Massachussets which recognizes Pre-Birth Orders, which will legally tell the hospital when we arrive for the birth and after birth that me and my husband are the legal parents, and it is our names that will automatically go on the birth certificate. Gabby and her husband will never be on it, and it also entitles me and L to those parent wristbands to go see the babies in the ...nursery (is that what they call it in the hospital?). Gabby will NOT get one of those, even though she is the one giving birth the babies, because of this pre-birth order.

Not that we would care if she did of course! It's just that they only give them to the parents of the babies.

The pre-birth order is one nice thing that a few states do that helps you feel like you really are the parent of these babies, which is hard to feel at times. If we weren't in a state that did this, we'd be treated more as a "second-class citizen" at the hospital, and would have to legally adopt our genetic children back from Gabby. It's not something I would ever worry about, she doesn't want two more kids!! (haha) but it is nice to get the recognition that we're the parents before they are even born.

So we were sent some parent questionnaire which asks obvious stuff to put in the petition. In the first section, it's pretty straightforward: names, birthdates, social security numbers, etc. of the mother and father. And I have to tell you, when I looked at the sheet initially and saw the columns for "Mother" and "Father" - my first thought was that it was referring to MY mother and father. Man, I have been childless for way too long :)

Gabby and her husband also have a section to fill out, and it includes a place for how many children she has and the name and address of her OB.

In the third section it gets a little more wonky to me. Asks the name, and address of the IVF clinic used, and the doctor's name. Ok. Then it asks whether an egg or sperm donor was used and if the donor was anonymous. For us, this was inapplicable, but  I wonder what other information must be given if it is. And then it asks for retrieval date, number of eggs retrieved, number of embryos transferred (and my heart caught a little, as I wrote down 3). Why is that necessary? Then it asks if it's a singleton, twin, triplet, or quads, etc. pregnancy? (I especially liked the "etc." they put there). Estimated due date, hospital planning to deliver at - and then two additional question that I don't know why they ask the intended parents:

1) Will you be in the hospital delivery room at the time of birth?

Um...I hope so? If I'm allowed to be? If both the hospital and Gabby say it's ok. If it's not a c-section which I *think* limits the number of people allowed in the room. I mean, who knows? I think it's a dumb quesiton.

2) Is the GC going to pump breast milk at the hospital?

Why isn't this question on the GC part of the questionnaire? Isn't that up to her? We've briefly discussed it and I'm fine with (actually would love it) but it's totally up to her.

The only thing that sucks about this process is that after the baby is born but before the birth certificate is actually filled out by us, we have been told that in order to track the baby at the hospital, the name on the babies' wristbands and files will actually say Baby (last name of Gabby). Boo. It's nice to be forewarned though. And our agency says -->this isn't limited to children born of surrogacy. If the mother of a child has a different last name than the father (i.e. she kept her maiden name) the wristband will also say Baby (mother's last name).  Even if they are legally married and the husband is the biological dad :)

So I filled out the forms and sent them back to the agency and can't wait until we get that order! That will also make me feel better in case, God forbid, anything happens. Then we will legally considered the parents even if they're born too early.








Thursday, October 4, 2012

More Photos

It seems like Gabby has gotten huge this week! She sent me a pic yesterday with the words "Holy moly!" and she's right. What is she going to look like at 30+ weeks if she's this big at 18 weeks? And this girl was skinny when we started! I am still jealous of her abs, which are better at 18 weeks pregnant than mine have probably ever been :)

Now if I had HER bump, I would be so proud to stand in Babies R Us looking for baby stuff!

Here's the progression since the last time I posted baby bump pics.

14 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks
Yay, my babies have undergone a growth spurt recently! They're actually measuring a couple of days behind but the MFM says they are perfect so far.

And Gabby sent me this picture from the last u/s session last week, that we didn't go to. We haven't really gotten any fabulous pictures I think, but look at this hand!



Haha, I know it's just a hand, but it is amazing to me!