Thursday, February 9, 2012

I've missed you

Its been so long since I've blogged. I have a lot to say, but haven't known how to put it all into words. Heck, as I sit down to type, I still don't know how to put it all into words.
The last few weeks have been going very well. I'm feeling back to normal. I'm all recovered from my c-section. Every once in a while, right below my incision, I get a sharp, almost burning pain. Its just one little spot. I'm thinking its nerve damage and hoping it stops soon. I see my OB on the 21st for my 6wk PP visit. I saw him 2 weeks ago and he said everything was looking very nice. I expect the same thing at my next visit. I'll go back on birth control then too.
The girls are still in the NICU. They are doing very well. They are gaining weight nicely. They are still on tube feedings  but have started oral feedings too, which they are tolerating very well. Hopefully they will be out in a couple weeks. The have changed in looks so much since birth. There little faces are fattening up and they are looking less preemie like and more newborn like. (I can't post pics of them, per the request of their parents, so trust me when I say...they're super cute)
I stopped pumping for them last week. It was a hard decision for me. I felt like by stopping I was being selfish. I had planned to pump their whole hospital stay, but it was just becoming too time consuming. I had to be home every 3 hrs and with me feeling better, the kids and I were busy. I weaned down a little then just kind of quit cold turkey. Anyone who's been there knows that stopping pumping SUCKS!!! My boobs were hard and painful. The worst of it lasted a good 3 days, but after the worst it really wasn't too bad. The last time I took milk into the hospital, the nurse told me they had 57 bags of milk. (each bag had between 4-6 or more oz). That was a week ago and the nurse told me today they still have quite a good amount. It wasn't an easy decision to stop but I do know that I provided well for the girls. I know that my milk was such a great start in life for them. I'm so happy that I could provide that to them.
Emotionally...How am I doing?? I get that question a lot. I am doing well. I wasn't sure my whole pregnancy how it would be at the end. I always knew the babies weren't mine. I cared about them a lot but felt very differently from when I was pregnant with my kids. I have no parental attachment to the babies. When I look at them, I feel like I'm looking at my best friends kids. These girls will always hold a special place in my heart. I do get sad when I think about them leaving and heading home. I know that that will be a happy day for them. But I wonder if I'll ever get to see them again. I feel like a little piece of my heart will be leaving too. I hope that I'll get to keep in touch with their parents and maybe one day go visit them. (anyone up for a London trip??)
I have struggled a bit with guilty feelings though. As much as I know its not my fault that they came so early, its still hard. My Dr has reassured me that its actually a good thing that the babies came out when they did as we would have had a very different outcome had they not. But for some reason I still harbour a little bit of guilt. I wonder if I'd of done something, anything different, could we have avoided the cord accident? And consequently early delivery? I also feel like if I do just accept that they had to come when they did, and that it was a good thing, that I'm letting my self off the hook. I don't know when these feeling will go away. I thought with knowing how well the girls are doing would make me feel better, but then I wonder...will they have any long term effects, that we just don't know about yet? I try to not let my mind go there, but I still wonder about it.
On the other hand...I have such a sense of pride right now too. Being a surrogate and delivering these 2 girls has got to be one of the best things I've ever done in my life. It was easy for me to get pregnant with my own kids, physically and emotionally, but its not so easy to do that for someone else. I know that being a surrogate isn't for everyone, it takes a strong woman...and I'm one of those. When I hear the mother and grandmother tell me how much of a blessing I have been to them, its almost hard to hear that with out getting emotional. I know I'm not conceded, but I know I changed these people lives. I made a woman, who wanted nothing more than to be a mother, and who had a hell of a time getting there, a mother. And a mother to 2 beautiful twin girls.

Will I ever do this again...its another question a lot. At this point, I really don't know. Right now, were just enjoying life as it is. Shawn and I do want to complete our family first. But after that I'll still have plenty of child bearing years left in me.
After delivering the twins so early, I wasn't sure (and still not totally sure) if I'd even qualify, but if I can carry my next baby or babies to term, I might. My OB told me he feels very confident that I won't have a repeat preterm delivery. He recommended I not carry twins again. If I do become a surrogate again, I'd only transfer one embryo. I just don't know where life will take me. I'm just not completely closing that door right now.
Well that gotten a lot off my chest for right now. I'm not sure where this blog will go, now that my surrogacy journey has come to a close. I'm going to turn my focus to my family and my self now. Since giving birth, I initially lost 23lbs, but in the last couple weeks, I've gained back 5. I typically don't get a lot of cravings during pregnancy but I get a lot after. And I don't gain much either, but if I'm not careful, I could easily gain a lot after. So as soon as I see my Dr next and get his clearance to start exercising, I'm going to hit the weight loss hard. I want to get this body in shape. Wish me luck...maybe I'll blog about my progress.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2 weeks

2 weeks ago this was me...
This was taken the night before I went into labor. My belly button has never popped out like that before. I guess that was my clue, my timer had popped and I was done. 

And now...
I've lost 23 pounds in the last 2 weeks. I feel really good. I can breath, I don't have to pee every 30 minutes and I can touch my toes again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting back to normal

Its been almost 2 weeks since the girls came and life is starting to get back to normal.
Its nice to be home with my family. Shawn was home all last week which was so nice. The kids were glad for us all to be back together.
Physically I'm feeling pretty good. My incision site is still sore and sometimes burns, but I'm told that that is just the nerves starting to fire again. It hurts sometimes when I first wake up, I think maybe I sleep on it or something. I'm only taking ibuprofen for pain. The Dr gave me some norco, but I haven't needed to take any since last week. I'm still moving a little slower than normal, and bending down will sometimes hurt a little. I'm technically still on driving restrictions but I've driven a couple times. A "single" moms' gotta do what I gotta do!!
I've officially turned into a milking machine. I'm pumping for the girls. The hospital told me to try to pump 8 times a day, but no matter what I do, I can't seem to get more than 7 times a day in. I'm getting between 35-40ish oz a day. Last I heard the girls' were each eating about an oz at each feed and they're eating every 3hrs. So luckily I'm ahead of the game. I want to try to build up a stockpile, in case I can't last their whole nicu stay.
At my last OB visit which was a week before the girls were born, I'd gained a total of 18lbs, and when I walked into L&D to give birth, I was up a total of 20lbs. I've lost it all and more. I'm down 21lbs so far. Its probably from their birth and mostly from pumping. I'm drinking a TON of water (about 120oz a day) to keep my milk supply up and that's helped flush my system out. I puffed up a bit in the hospital, from all the iv fluids they gave me.
My belly is still a little poochy. I ordered an abdominal binder to try to help put everything back in its place. Maybe in another couple weeks, I'll take an "after" picture and post it. (not feeling quite that confident yet)
The girls' mom and grandma came in on Saturday. They are staying at the Ronald McDonald house. They are over the moon for their little ladies. The girls are continuing to thrive. They are slowly putting on some weight, still breathing on their own, no longer needing the billi light, have had their IV lines removed. They are unbelievably cute. They are fraternal, and already have quite different looks. They are also developing their own little personality.
I'm loving every minute of my time with my kids. Having just helped someone become a mother, makes me realize how fortunate I am to have my children. The emotional side of this whole journey is going to be a whole other post that I'm not yet ready to write.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Babies just couldn't wait any longer

Yep...I delivered!! The girls just couldn't wait any longer I guess. Let me back up and start at the beginning.
Wednesday the 4th, I was hanging out at home with Rylee. We were having a lazy day. At around 5 in the evening I started getting braxton hicks. Nothing out of the ordinary for me. I layed on the couch and started drinking a glass of water. That has always made them go away before. Well this time they didn't go away, instead they started to get a little painful. My back started to ache. That is when I made the decision to head to the hospital just to get checked out. I dropped Rylee off with the babysitter. I really wasn't in pain. Just wanted to get these braxton hicks to stop. I drove my self to the hospital. Walked in, got checked in. The nurse put me on the monitor and within 5 mins she was on the phone with my Dr. I was having contractions one every minute. She came back in to check me and I was dilated to a 5.5.   I was SHOCKED. I had no idea that I was in true labor. Within the minutes, I had 4 nurses rushing into my room. It was very chaotic. At that point in time I texted Tess, she is the lady  who runs my surrogate agency, and someone I now consider a friend. She was on her way down to be with me. She also called the parents to let them know what was going on. They gave me a shot of terbutaline to try to stop the contractions, they started me on Magnesium and gave me my first shot of steroids to help mature the baby's lungs. They also dropped the head of my bed down so I was laying sort of upside down, to try to keep the pressure off my cervix and to hope that gravity would help us. I stayed like that for about 2hrs. They kept increasing my mag. The Dr at that point was hoping to just buy us 24-48hrs to get the 2nd dose of steroids in for babies lungs.
The pain was starting to get pretty bad during that 2 hrs. After midnight I told the nurse that I was feeling a lot of pressure and felt like I needed to push. I was checked and was told my bag of water was right there and bulging. They said I dilated to about an 8 and we weren't going to be holding delivery off any longer. I had an ultrasound done  when the 4 nurses came rushing in. Baby A was breach and baby B was transverse (laying right across the top of my uterus sideways.) So we were heading into a c-section. At this point I was SO scared. I had no idea what to expect as far as how the babies were going to be. The NICU team had come into talk to us and what they told us sounded pretty scary. I was also scared to have major surgery. My Dr was amazing and very comforting toward me. I survived the surgery. Baby A came out first, she was born at 0115 Thursday the 5th. She came out screaming and weighed 3#3 and 16in long. Baby B was more difficult to deliver. The Dr said her cord was wrapped around her neck. She came out very quiet and limp. She was born at 0118, weighing in at 2#14 and 15 3/4in long.
This was definitely not the delivery story I expected to be sharing with you all. I never thought I would have these girls this early.
My Dr came in Thursday morning after I'd had some rest. He told me after he went home he thought and thought and couldn't figure out why I'd delivered so early. I had no warning signs, no infection, no bleeding. Then he told me that it hit him.
Baby B's cord was wrapped SO tightly around her neck that he is convinced that she wouldn't have had much more time. If the meds would have stalled my labor by even a few more hour's, we would have a totally different outcome.
My Dr told me that he felt like God had a plan for these babies and that they needed to come out when they did. After hearing that, a lot of guilt was lifted off my shoulders.
I am so grateful that my body gave me a warning sign and that I listened to it.
I have so much more to share, but it will take some time to get it all out.
A few thanks...Tess, she was amazing. She got right down to the hospital, when I needed her. She stayed with me until middle of the night, she held my hand through surgery (which was one of the scariest times of my whole life) and she checked up on me the whole weekend. She went way above and beyond for me and I'm forever grateful.
Also to J, the mom of the babies. I was so worried that she would question me, what I did or if I could have done something differently to have a different outcome. I've skyped her everyday since the girls were born and she's never made me feel like she blames me. She was thankful I told her what my Dr said and she is so thankful that we have the outcome that we do.
I have tons of amazing friends and family. They all prayed for me and the babies, visited, called and facebooked me.
The staff at the hospital was more than I could have asked for. Every person was more than nice, helpful and no one made me feel awkward, esp in the nicu, being only the surrogate mom and not the biological mom. They've let me come and go as I please, the nurses and Dr's have also jumped on skype everyday to update mom and dad. They were all just so awesome.
Were not going to be sharing pictures of the babies right now, as they are just a little too little. As they get bigger and healthier I may get to. Take my word for it...there super cute!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

29 Weeks

Here we are...29 weeks. The 2nd week of the 8th month. The babies this week weigh a little more than  2 and a half pounds each. About the same as a butternut squash. They are also about 15in long.
I think I look pretty good from the front. :)

The babies muscles and lungs are continuing to develop. Babies bones are sucking up lots of calcium now. I've added 1000mg of calcium a day. I read that adding calcium will help with leg cramps in pregnancy. And oh boy have I had some nasty leg cramps lately. I'm still feeling pretty good. I tire out very easily and I can't do much with out getting out of breath. My house work is taking a hit right now. I do what I can and Jackson has been a pretty good help too. Somehow, together, we'll all get through this.
I can't believe that sometime within the next 2 months we'll be meeting these little ladies. I'm hoping its later rather than sooner. I want them to keep growing for a while longer.
As uncomfortable as I am right now, I will take it, to make sure these girls get to stay put. I feel like I felt the last couple weeks of my own pregnancies. Like "I'm done". Its easy to get through then knowing you only have a couple weeks to go, but when I think I have close to 7 weeks it seems daunting.
Here is a picture I found online...its twins at 28 weeks, but it gives you a good idea of what they may look like.
Oh ya...except these girls aren't head down. There both laying kind of cross ways.
I see my Dr a week from tomorrow. Hope everyone has a good week. Did you all have a good New Years?? We did!! Despite a sick little girl, we spent the weekend up in the mountains and had a lot of fun!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm back

I didn't disappear!! Its been forever since I've updated this. We were pretty busy over the holidays. We had a great Christmas. The kids got what they wanted. Shawn got to be home with us. Couldn't have asked for more.
As for Operation Twins....were all good. I went to the Dr today. As expected all went well. Nothing new or exciting, which is always good. I'm 28 weeks and this big 'ol belly is measuring 38cm. Which means I'm measuring full term and I have over 2 months to go. Also...with my own kids I never got bigger than 37cm. so I've never been this big. We're treading in uncharted territory here as far as belly goes. This might get interesting.
Here it is....

At my last appt, 2 weeks ago, I was measuring 31 cm, so I've had quite the growth spurt.
Today, my BP and urine were both good. I'm still having some swelling in the evenings but its nothing to be concerned about. My weight was up 2 lbs, bring the grand total to 15lbs so far this pregnancy...not bad!!

Neither of these girls are head down; I think baby A is transverse breach and baby B is transverse so Dr said its pretty much guaranteed a c-section. I really don't care how they come out. It bummed me out for a while but now I don't care. I just want to get them here healthy and safe.

He said again he doesn't think I will go all the way to 37 weeks but if I do, that's the latest he'd let me go. I told him by that time I wouldn't want to go any further than that. That would be Feb 25th but since that's a Sat, I would bet they would go to Feb 27th.

I will have another u/s in 4 weeks to check on the ladies. I go back to my Dr in 2 weeks and after that it will be weekly. Good thing I like him, I'll be seeing a lot of him pretty soon.

That's about all I have to report on right now. I'm so glad I'm feeling so good right now. Fingers crossed it stays this way for a while longer.