Monday, January 31, 2011

"We Are All They Have Right Now"

Hey Everyone,
  I hope everyone had a great weekend spent with your family and friends, and for those about to get a lot of snow and ice I hope your prepared...we aren't but we will hustle and bustle today be sure we are ready for the worst.

While we did have a weekend full of friends and family it was Sunday night at home that got me thinking. Laying on the couch, with my shirt raised to show my belly, Chris came over to rub on the stretches skin. He looked up at me and asked a simple question "Can I tell them I love them?" I immediately said "NO!" then he said something that has changed my whole emotional outlook on this pregnancy. He said "but we are all they have right now"

After hearing Chris say those 8 words "but we are all they have right now" It repeated itself over and over again. I laid in bed trying to sort out what that meant, and what it SHOULD mean and what it COULDN'T mean. Here's what I came up with...for those of you with kids, when you leave them with a family member or daycare provider do you trust that your kids are taken care of? Do you trust that someone will show your child/children love and compassion while under their supervision? I am these babies caregiver, family relative, daycare provider...I should care for these girls, show them love and compassion...this has been a struggle because I am afraid of what loving them could mean, loving them means missing them when they are gone and I'm not sure how to handle that...I won't be sure until that time comes.

What I am sure of, is I do love these twins, if I didn't love them I wouldn't have willingly gave up my body to them. I loved them before I knew there would be a "them" I loved just the thought of "them" when that's all they were...a thought! Along with the love I have for these babies I have a deep love for their fathers which makes my role as a gestational carrier much easier to understand...I am to love, care, and provide for these twins while they grow inside me, and when I have done my job, the babies will be here, healthy and happy. I will miss them when they are gone but I will know I did what I said I would do and now they are with their amazing fathers striving and growing into amazing children who I am sure will make a difference in this world....

Writing this blog has been very therapeutic, because until now I didn't let myself show any emotion toward these babies and toward this pregnancy. Although we talk about the babies all the time, and explain the process to our kids almost daily, I have kept any feelings very distant and considered myself very detached because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. The truth is, every time I see those babies on the ultrasound monitor I tear up and can't wipe the huge grin off my face...the truth is, thats okay! These girls are not mine, but over the next few months I will be their caregiver I will show them love and compassion, I will sing to them in the shower, an yes...I will let Chris tell them he loves them, right after I get to say it, and when the time comes to hand these gorgeous girls over to their dads I will know that my work is done and now the couple can show them the love only parents can show their child and in that moment I will know that I did exactly what I was supposed to do!

You all have read blog after blog about my physical state, I have been incredibly sick, I've been exhausted, and I have had one to many "scares" because 1 scare is to many! I hope now you have an idea into my emotional state. It's confusing and scatterbrained I know...but remember this isn't a "normal" situation so normal feelings are far and few! I hope to keep you all updated on how I feel emotionally and physically so you have a better idea how this journey through surrogacy effects me and my family on a very personal level.

Thank you guys so much for sticking with me and showing an outpour of support.  Thank you to all the people, even strangers who have asked how I am feeling, thank you to Autumn Smith who has generously donated her time as a photographer to take maternity pictures to complete our scrapbook. Thanks for all who have made my blog their Facebook status, showing support and and sharing it with others. Thanks to my friends and family willing to write heartfelt letters to show support and encouragement to the couple. Thank you to the couple for giving me the chance to know such amazing men and giving me the opportunity to love and care for your children, they have literally trusted me with their lives! And a big thanks to my amazing husband who works so hard all day to come home and take care of the girls, make dinner, clean the house all while making sure I am relaxing and comfortable. One more thanks, thank you to my beautiful kids, at 2 and 3 they have been so understanding and so helpful. I truly am the luckiest girl in the entire world

I can't say thank you enough! So one more time Thanks Everyone! I love you!

Autumn Smith, please feel free to leave your Photography website in the comment section, I would love for everyone to see what excellent work you do! Thanks again!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Hey Everyone,
  I want to let everyone in on a project I'm working on and give all of you the chance to help make it special!

As a gift to the parents to be and babies I am making a scrap book. In the scrap book I will include pictures, ultrasound pictures, journal entries, and fun tidbits like cravings and comments made by my girls.

In addition. I am hoping to get at least 20 letters of support, encouragement and advice given by you for the couple. Please please help make this scrap book complete and extra special. I will need the letters asap so I can get started! Send you letters to:

Thank you so much for your wonderful support and help. Please tell friends and family member who know of our journey to feel free to send there letters as well. The more the more special and the more impact YOU have on this family's (and my) life! 

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All We Need is LOVE!

Hey Everyone,
  After a 5 day vacation I can honestly say it's good to be back home again in Indiana...and on flat ground. I think being in the mountains and being in much higher altitude I experienced "morning sickness" like never before and I must was miserable! To top it off both of my daughters were sick with a sinus infection.
  It wasn't all bad though, I got the pleasure of being surrounded by some of the most fantastic supportive understanding people, it proved once again that I truly do have the best friends ( who I owe big time).
  Also on this vacation my heart was warmed like I never knew possible. Ruby reminded me in the most surreal way why I'm am doing this surrogacy...this is why I blog today, to share the inspirational conversation I had with my brilliant 3 year old. So let me set the scene for those who weren't there.

While on vacation we met a terrific couple...2 women who are raising two children together. This strikes my interest on many levels, one being The men we are working with will be in a similar situation, and this gave me a look into the future...and I loved what I saw. 2 supportive moms, caring and loving their children, 2 striving kids who showed deep care and love toward both moms...I'm sure this family goes through trials and tribulations but their high spirits and and pure happiness was very inspiring and very rewarding to see.

After meeting this couple my 3 year old Ruby came up to me and sat on my lap. She asked who these women were. I told her they were related to her little friend. "They are "noah's" aunts." I said "Ruby, you know how Dru is your Aunt? Well these women are "noah's" aunts...he has 2, isn't that so neat?" Ruby proceeded to shock me by comparing these women to the men we are surrogating for. She said "Mommy, they are like are friends in France!"

Knowing her understanding of the situation floored me. Growing up I knew gay couples but as many of you can agree it was taboo, and not talked about. I grew up with a family who taught me acceptance, and knowing that through this surrogacy I have taught my children the same gives me an overwhelmingly amount of pride! Not only does Ruby accept and understand that love is and can be experienced by same sex couples but here in 2011 it is not taboo! It's a subject we talk about openly and daily in our house hold and I am so proud to say that in the Cummings house even at the young age of 3 we promote equal rights and love for all!

Through this surrogacy I have learned so many things from so many different people and it is so humbling to know that while I learn, my kids learn. This short conversation with my daughter gave me once again the reassurance that this is what I was meant to be doing. I hope that reading this sparks conversation in your house, I hope it gives you a reason to talk about acceptance an equal rights to your children, no matter their age. We are our children's teachers...let's teach them LOVE!

 (Ruby is proof it's never to early to start this important conversation)

Well, I hope you all have a fantastic Hump Day, until I write again...stay safe!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby A...mazing

Hey Everyone,
  A weight has been lifted, both my family and the couples family can breath easy knowing both babies GIRLS are in perfect health! 
 These past few days have been emotionally straining on everyone involved. A wave of feelings have come, gone and come again. I have felt sadness, guilt, hope, happiness, relief, and frustration among other emotions I can't quite explain. Through everything this pregnancy has brought I have never questioned my decision to be a surrogate. I would like to share an email written by the couple so you get a feel for the love we share for one you fully understand why, through the hardship this is the most rewarding experience.


We are really sorry about all that bad things and stress you have experienced.
The most important thing is that you, Chris and the girls are fine. Whatever happens you 've done more than your best, more than any other woman would have done if she were in your place.
You were right : at the beginning  we chose you because you had 2 successful pregnancies, we didn't know you, and it was so strange to chose someone you don't know for something so important.  Then we discovered the person you are ... an incredible person, you are better than anything we could have dreamed of.  The more we have gotten to  know you, the more we realize how lucky we are to have the chance to know you. So once again don't feel bad for us, whatever happen happens and  there's nothing you could have done better.
 You've been through so many bad things, all to give us the chance to be parents : needles, bad exams, pain... we owe you so much, more than anything we could give you back.
We are sorry too, for the girls and Chris, it's so hard for them, it must be so painful for your 2 lovely girls to see their mom sick and so stressed. Sometimes we consider ourselves as really selfish to ask you and your family for so much, to put through such a hard pregnancy.
Tonight I've prayed for baby A, and i pray for you too. I haven't prayed for 22 years, when i was 14 I lost a friend in a car accident and I thought god couldn't take such a young girl. Tonight I prayed my way, I'm not sure god exists, but I asked him to save that little baby... if the way you pray matters ... I'm not sure it will be effective, but I did it with all my heart and soul....

That is just a SHORT portion of an email that possibly changed my life. These 2 men are 2 of the most amazing, loving people I have had the pleasure of knowing...they are the reason I'm doing this, they are the reason after having my head in a toilet all day I go to bed feeling good. This has taken an emotional and physical toll on me and my family and I can tell everyone right's been worth it!

I really hope everyone who reads this feels the love that pours from these men...

Also thank you, thanks for your help, comments, text, calls and concerns, it's the most humbling feeling to know you care so much. Keep praying for a fast recovery. Already the hematoma is down 3 cm and the placenta is reattaching. I can't say thank you enough, your support has made this process that much more enjoyable! I love you!

Now, just what the doctor ordered..a vacation! Enjoy the Indiana snow and I will be enjoying the snow while relaxing in a cabin in the smokey mountains! Stay safe through this horrible weather and stay tuned to "our journey through surrogacy" there's much more to come!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rollercoaster ride

Hey Everyone,
I just wanted to fill all of you in on what's been happening during the past few days. This pregnancy has taken a very painful turn but with some steering we hope to direct it back on to the right path.

Friday was a great day! I had a doctors appointment and I was so excited...I have been experiencing the most horrible non stop morning sickness, and I had waited for this appointment in hopes the doctor could give me some relief. The appointment went well. The Doctor heard a heartbeat (with twins the doctor can't distinguish two separate heart beats so one heartbeat is as good as two) I was measuring great and the only concern was my calorie intake. With twins I should get about 2000 calories a day and between being sick and my loss of appetite I haven't came close to that. Before taking extreme measures we were going to try an "anti diet" where basically I eat everything and anything. Pizza with extra cheese, big macs, ice cream for every meal...the idea is to eat a lot because even though I will throw it back up some calories will be digested. Even bad calories are calories at this point I guess. Of course I would only do this for 3 weeks to see if I am able to put on a little weight without a more dramatic approach (like a PICC). I left that appointment feeling better and hopeful that this awful morning sickness would fade. Plus the doctor was going to monitor my case more closely, seeing me every 3 weeks instead of 4 and doing ultrasound every other appointment...what a relief!

Later I went to dinner with a friend and after eating I felt great, not sick, not tired just great! I really thought the days of throwing up 15 times a day, the days of begging the kids to nap because I couldn't bare to go on without a nap was over...I am 13 weeks after all, good bye and no thanks 1st trimester!

I came home a laid down on the couch, and around 11p.m. I felt this cramp...or a contraction I wasn't sure. It was crippling though, and I was pretty scared. Normally a Braxton hicks contraction only last a few seconds but it had been minutes, felt like hours so what was going on? Chris picked me up to my feet, we had hoped standing and walking may help the pain let up, and it worked! I walked to the bathroom and walked problem. I sat down on the couch and immediately felt a warm gush.
I knew right away what the gush was...blood. Chris stood me up and another gush. At this point my legs feet, chris's arms our couch, everything was covered in blood. I ran to the bathroom where for 10 minutes blood was pouring out of me. This was terrifying...for me, for my kids who were in the room and my husband who was calling the doctor. I think at this point I was in shock. I was shaking, my legs and arms felt numb and all I could think about were the babies....the babies who aren't mine, the babies I am carrying for someone else, someone who deserves these babies.

The doctor called us back with in a few minutes, and A's we already suspected the outlook wasn't good, miscarriage! I was advised to go to the ER so they could further investigate what had happened...but already I felt beat and discouraged. The ride there was painful, I felt like I was giving birth, plus I was still bleeding, and puking at this point. I couldn't even get out of the car when we arrived, my legs felt like jello. We skipped the routine check in and went straight back for evaluation. I passed a huge clot which I could only imagine was a fetus. I was given an IV for fluids and pain medication, while waiting for the ultrasound tech. The ER doctor came in and told us what we already knew...this looked like a miscarriage. I was trying to wrap my head around what had happened in such a short amount of time, and I was trying to figure out just how to put this into words for the couple who's baby was just lost. I was in and out of sleep and shock but never was my concern anything but these men, these soon to be dads.

Finally the ultra sound tech arrived. As she did the ultrasound I saw a look of relief on Chris's face "is that two babies I see?" HOPE, I had hope, I didn't pass a baby. I didn't miscarry! I looked at the screen and there they were 2 wiggly dancing babies, I couldn't believe it! I felt relief and hope and happiness...we just watched them move and wiggle in disbelief for 10 minutes or more. What a weight lifted...but what was wrong, what was bleeding and why?

The admitted me to the maternity ward over night so I could speak with my doctor in the morning. With pain medication I was able to get a few hours sleep, but worrying kept me awake most of the time. When the doctor came in at 9:00a.m. He explained to Chris and I what happened. The pain I felt when i was "cramping" was the placenta for baby A detaching. It had ripped away from my uterine wall and cause a large hematoma (blood colt) to form between the placenta and the uterus. Meaning baby A's air supply wasn't attached, leaving baby A in jeopardy. This wasn't the good news I had hoped for.

Our doctor said he only sees this maybe once a year and typically they baby is fine. As the hematoma heals the placenta reattaches itself to the uterine wall and all is well. With IVF the chances are lower because the placenta is weaker and was build using drugs. He hopes that since I am only 13 weeks and since the hematoma is only 5 cm (which is the same size as the baby) that as the hematoma heals and the placenta grows stronger only the best case scenario will occur.

As of now there is no way of knowing what direction this will head. I'm considered high risk and have been assured that nothing I do or don't do will effect the outcome. The doctors will monitor the situation with an ultrasound on Wednesday, but won't know anything else for about a month (when the hematoma has healed) so now with baby A in Jepordey we wait and hope and pray he/she will hang on and fight for life.

This has been an emotional roller coaster and physically painful but I am remaining optimistic. The couple has been informed and would appreciate prayers for their precious baby A. They have been so amazing and so concerned about my well being, and the well being of my family. They are very anxious to see what will happen and very nervous, they have told me many times how much they love me and how they want nothing but for me to get's amazing how close our families are (even while they are in France) and how much we have grown to love and care for one another. This terrible situation has brought us that much closer and I hope like other bridges we have crossed hand in hand this will only be a distant memory with another happy ending!

One more thing, I want to thank my husband. This was hard on him. To see me covered in blood and not know what was happening...he was worried and scared but remained strong and took excellent care of me. He is and always has been my rock. Having him through this has been a pure blessing. I love you Chris!

And thank you to my friends, you say "I am here whenever you need me" and hold true to that. Thank you for your love and support you all have been wonderful and without our weekend bonfires and dinner and a movie dates I would have no reason to want to feel better! Thank you.

I will let you all know what I find out in the coming days, in the mean time keep your thoughts with baby A and pray baby B remains healthy! Thank you!