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


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!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gender Reveal Party!!

I think I'm just getting more sick. Went to the doctor today because after three days of a really bad sore throat,  I was worried about strep. Luckily, no strep. Just another bad cold. I have the immune system of an amoeba, I swear!

Anyway, after spending half the day in bed, I'm finally posting gender reveal pictures. It was so much fun putting together this party. I feel like I bought out Etsy trying to get cute stuff :)

My door to welcome the guests!

Cake pops from Etsy. They were fabulous!

Homemade cupcakes with fondant cake toppers from Etsy!

Pink cake!

The blue and pink spread!

So much fun!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sick Again

I'm here...sick for the umpteenth time again this year. I promise I have not been "sulking" about my bro for a week now :) I was actually fine by the next day (I just tend to get emotional and have to vent first and then feel better about things afterwards).

We had our gender reveal party this weekend and I can't wait to put up some pictures.
But right now I feel like crap and hoping my NYQUIL kicks in very soon.

We had another u/s on Thursday and the babies are still looking great! I think I may tell work this week...now THAT makes me nervous. "Hi, I need to go on maternity leave in 4 months....and no, I'm not pregnant. Nope, not adopting..." I hate having people know my private business but obviously I need to share this.

My parents visited on Sunday and my mom wanted to go to Babies R Us so badly and buy some things. I managed to keep her to two little dolls. And told her to leave me the receipt just in case. All these women with nice sized bellies were in there and I felt so fraudulent. I hate that I feel that way and intellectually I know I shouldn't. Unfortunately, my heart doesn't always obey my head...

18 weeks and 1 day!