Saturday, December 24, 2011

30 pounds lost in 2 weeks!

I went for a 2 week follow up for them to check my c-section incision. Everything looked great. I topped the scale the day before the due date at 212 pounds and on Thursday, I weighed 181 pounds! Damn! awesome! I'm still supposed to take it easy for 4 more weeks. It would be great to lose around 10-12 more pounds AND be in healthy shape. I am feeling good.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Where is that big belly?!

gone, gone, gone! Instantly, so is the tailbone pain and acid reflux! hallelujah! I got out yesterday to visit my mom. Today was a cool, but beautiful day, so we took a walk around our pond and the kids played outside. Felt good to get some fresh air!

Here is a reminder what I looked like 2 weeks ago! :)

I am doing pretty good. The last few days, I have done little housecleaning tasks. My husband, Brian, worked from home all week. I am not supposed to drive for 2 weeks. Brian did go in to the office Friday morning for a quick meeting and things did not fall apart. :) I have weaned myself down from a ton of pain pills to only 2 Ibuprofen every 5-6 hours. The last few days, I have been transitioning (from sitting/standing and getting out of bed) without grimacing in pain. My incision area is still sore, but manageable. My sister had her c-section a month ago and said there are days that she will pick something up and still feels pain in her incision area. I want to take the recovery seriously as I don't want any problems to develop.

I still have a little belly pooch, of course, but I am feeling skinny already! I have yet to try on my jeans since I have been wearing comfortable clothing to not bother the incision area, but feeling good! I am interested in seeing what my mood and physical state is after all the crazy hormones subside. With the addition of thyroid medication, I am excited to see what my energy level will be. (They discovered I had low thyroid early on during the comprehensive medical exam and after getting levels where they wanted, I started on other hormones to get ready for the embryo transfer.)

My hormones have flared on and off the last couple of days. I have been weepy at nothing or minor things. For example, I read an obituary for an old couple that the woman died on Thursday and her husband died the following Saturday. Then, someone posted a clip from the movie The Notebook (one of my favorite movies) and it got be crying. Just stupid, random crap. Oh, oh, oh, and Brian used the words hormonal in a conversation with me and I was offended and started crying. Poor guy! lol I can still laugh at myself and realize that it is crazy hormones taking control, so I am not all worried. I always like to pay attention to my emotions though. I can't go and get all depressed - got too much stuff to get done!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

1 week ago

1 week ago, I delivered a beautiful baby girl to a wonderful family.

BEFORE Grace arrived, her mom often times stated it felt surreal. During that time, it felt very real for me as I was carrying her. Now, I think it probably has switched. I feel that surreal feeling. It has only been a week, I am still recovering from the delivery, so it should still be very real for me. However, sometimes it feels like a world away, like a dream is surreal.

I have spent my recovery time relaxing with the kids, watching shows on Netflix, reading some quilt magazines and books, putzing slowly around the house doing minimal tasks, and contacting friends online.

I think surrogacy will be in my blood for awhile. I appreciate my friends that have been there since the very beginning, offering words of encouragement. It is awesome that some people have followed me from the time I expressed interest in it to the the delivery. Truly awesome! Thank you friends for sharing in my experience! I have enjoyed reading other people's blogs and connecting with new people. Just this past week, I have met 2 new people because of this adventure.

I have communicated with Grace's family via e-mail and everyone is doing very well.

My breast milk came in and my breasts were VERY uncomfortable for 2 days, but it has started to fade. I still have some sore areas and need to further dry up, but nothing like I imagined it was going to be. I am feeling a bit more hormonal these last 2 days. Weepy at nothing and silly, minor things. Looking forward to that passing!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Very happy mom and dad!

LOVE this picture!

My labor/delivery/recovery

I called Thursday morning to Labor & Delivery to see if they had room for my scheduled induction. They did. I called the parents who had to travel approximately 3-4 hours. They started on their way. Brian (my husband) and I arrived at the hospital at 7 AM. They started Pitocin, I started walking around the halls.

I kept in touch with the parents until they arrived around 10:30-11 AM. Things were progressing nicely. Contractions started getting uncomfortable - I received an epidural sometime in the afternoon when I was dilated to 6.5. The dilation kept increasing nicely.

It was time to push. Mom grabbed my hand, we looked at each other, and both started crying! I pushed through 3 contractions, then was asked to push through 2 more contractions. After the 3rd contraction/pushing, they were having trouble picking up baby's heart rate. The pushing was not moving baby far enough down - she kept slipping back up. They tried to put monitors on the baby's scalp - she had a ton of hair! Every time they did pick up the heart rate, it was very low and had them very worried. They discussed vacuuming, but baby had slipped back enough it was difficult to grab onto anything. I vaguely remember catching a glimpse of momma's worried face in front of me. I felt disoriented, they put an oxygen mask on me to help both me and baby. After 5 hard pushes, they felt an emergency c-section was needed. I shook my head yes, that was fine, but had already turned inward to my own world. I vaguely remember being wheeled away to OR.

It was REALLY weird. I could hear little bits of pieces of everything that was going on, but mostly kept my eyes shut, and remained in my "safe world", so I would not panic/freak out. I could hear them saying I was one of the most calm patients they had ever worked with. I opened my eyes once, could see the real world, the bright lights, the blue cloth in front of me, felt weird, and quickly closed my eyes again. I felt my hair being rubbed and hand being held, most likely all by Brian. They gave me a Benadryl shot in the left arm, but then I felt tingly in my right shoulder. Nobody knew what that was about. I tried to massage it a bit. I could feel the pressure of the cutting, tugging, sewing me back together. Brian was impressed with being able to see my pink eggplant uterus just flopping around outside of me - he has commented about it several times.

Supposedly, it was like the wild west baby draw. They were very impressed with the response time and how quickly they got baby out. I could hear the baby crying, the mom apologizing to me and thanking me for giving her a baby girl, everyone commenting how BIG she was after weighing her in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces! Her APGARS were high - she was very responsive. She was okay! They named her Grace.

I could hear Brian talking to someone on the cell phone filling them in on the events. I then apparently slept for 2 hours in recovery. The nurses were all very nice and praised me for how hard I tried, how calm I was, and what a great gift I gave.

While wheeling me from OR recovery to my extended recovery room, they stopped by the nursery and held up baby Grace. She is BEAUTIFUL - wonderful olive skin and head full of hair! At that time, the daddy was able to get Grace and bring her back to their room for the family to hold for the first time. The hospital was able to set up the family in the room next to mine, so nice! They brought Grace over to meet me later that evening and I held her for the first time. ABSOLUTELY PRECIOUS!

I pushed the morphine button a lot that night and got some good rest. The next day, they took the morphine drip away, started on Narco and Ibuprofen, took the catheter out, and had me walk to the bathroom. SUCK - it hurts! One good thing about c-sections is that they irrigate and suction your uterus out a bit while they are in there, so there is a lot less bleeding afterwards. My vaginal/vulva area is not sore either, so that is nice. The pain in the incision area sucks though!

I stayed for 2 nights in the hospital. The family was able to take Grace home after 24 hours. before they left Friday evening, they brought Thai food to my room and shared dinner with me and presented gifts to my family - super sweet! I also got to feed and hold Grace again.

Many nurses were interested and asked questions about the surrogacy experience. Everyone was really nice and helpful.

I came home Saturday evening. It feels good to be under warm blankets and answering e-mails. My husband is being wonderful and supportive. I feel very loved and cared for. I continue to move around like a 90 year old woman, but feel that the incision area is slowly decreasing in pain. I have LOTS of gas build up from surgery and look forward to all this passing! It helps to get up and walk around and work some of this through. My breast milk has started coming in today - that has been uncomfortable! I have kept a snug bra on and put ice packs on them tonight! I imagine tomorrow will NOT be pleasant!

It makes me smile when I think of Grace with her perfect family. They are all beautiful! I am very proud to have been a part of this journey!

I am surprisingly feeling alright about the c-section. I may have felt differently if this was my first child and having a chance at a vaginal delivery greatly decreased afterwards. I don't like the unexpected change in recovery...I know what to expect with a vaginal delivery and this recovery is keeping me from things I would have otherwise done more quickly. It is all okay though, as I believe I will recover eventually and a beautiful, healthy baby is with a deserving family.

Now, I am off to take more pain pills, go pee, rid some gas, and all that fun stuff! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hold you over till I can post more. ;)

me and surro-baby Grace, delivered 12/8: 9 lbs, 3 oz!
she is beautiful! Look at those chubby cheeks and head FULL Of hair! Amazing lil' girl!
I am waiting to hear from parents if they are comfortable with me posting pics with them in it and I will post about the birth story soon. As for right now, I am going to take my sore belly to bed and get some rest. :)

Baby Grace is here!

Hi All. Just a quick note to say that Grace was born Thursday evening at 5:49 PM via emergency c-section, weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces! Everyone is healthy. Baby Grace is home with her wonderful, loving family. I am home as of this evening and recovering. I will provide more details and some pics when I get a chance. I am very honored to have been a part of this journey! Looking forward to posting more later.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baby coming today, I think!

We will be going to the hospital here in a few minutes to hopefully have this baby sometime today. Parents are hopefully driving safe and staying sane on the way here. I will update as I can. YAY!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

40 weeks - no baby yet!

Had an appt today - I gained 3.5 pounds in 3.5 days!!!!! My blood pressure was 131/84. I was dilated only 1 cm, but they said later pregnancies can move quick. I was 80% effaced - she said my cervix was thin and she could feel the baby's head low in my pelvis! After poking around on me, the baby's heart rate was running high, around 180, so they had me do a fetal stress test. They monitored baby's heart rate, movements, and any contractions. Everything checked out okay - she just guessed it was from poking on me. I had some contractions, 2 - 14 minutes apart, 2 - 8 minutes apart while being monitored. They said it does not distinguish between REAL and Braxton Hicks though. She stripped my membranes, initially it hurt like crazy, but after taking some deep breaths, she was able to rotate around the entire cervix. I have felt crampy since leaving the appt. and have had some contractions, but nothing regular. I would say tonight in the middle of the night real labor will begin, but I have felt this way for 2-3 weeks, so only this baby knows!!!! OMG! Anytime now!!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

39.5 week belly pic

still no arrival of baby, so these belly pics from today will have to do..... :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

39.5 week doctor appt

We all want to meet this baby!!!!! Today I had a doctor appt.
I gained 2 pounds since last week's appt!!!! My BP was 118/82. Baby's heart rate was 145. The doctor made a guess that this baby will be 8 lbs, 6 oz! OH my!
I have extra mucousy discharge, but still no bloody show. My "contractions" are more crampy. My next appt. will be with a midwife on Tuesday, the 6th. The doctor wants me to have dilation checked and possibly strip membranes. He has scheduled an induction for Thursday, Dec 8 if baby has not arrived by then. I will need to call early that morning to see if there is room for us and if there is, we could go in. The doctor thinks I will go into labor before then, but we will see.....He said he would really like to be there for this delivery and plans on being gone Friday the 9th for a week, so if we are comfortable with inducing then he would like to do it on Thursday before he leaves.I bet it will happen this weekend! ;)