Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love and Acceptance

Hey Everyone,
  For the past two days I've been plagued with that dreaded morning sickness again, it has came back 10 times as bad yet I find myself thankful. I had 6 wonderful days, I felt normal, full of energy and actually sat down for meals with my family! 

 At the fist sign of nausea I started to whine, and complain. The day went on and I was vomiting more and body hurt, my throat hurt, I was cramping and my abdomen felt like I had done crunches for hours on end. Then laying in bed I thought...this is what I'm complaining about, puking? I am puking because I'm pregnant, with the babies of 2 men who are discriminated against, who are told their lifestyle is wrong and against Gods will, who have to travel to another country and pay huge amounts of money to live out the dream of being parents...and instead of sharing their wonderful news with the world they are forced to keep it a secret. I'm puking, my body hurts, and I'm exhausted, yet these are minor problem compared to discrimination, prejudice, and hate! 

  Laying in bed I am overwhelmed with acceptance...I accept that I will be sick, I accept my children may not get the attention they deserve, I accept that I will continue to miss out on things due to bed rest, I accept that I need help from friends, family, and my husband...I accept these things because this is bigger then me and my petty problems. This pregnancy in itself is's support, encouragement, it's a voice preaching "Gay Rights" "Peace" and "Love" so when you're having a bad day, when you find yourself frustrated, when you are feeling like less of a person or pushed around, know that it's going to get better, tough times will end...I have to believe this and trust in this, and so do you. I promise, when you start walking in someone else shoes and looking into the tribulations others face you will learn that your petty complaints are just that...petty! 

  Let's all work toward the bigger picture, let's all work together to accept and spread the word of love.

Here is an inspiring video I saw on YouTube I hope it inspires you deep into your heart as it did mine. Enjoy and share with others!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hand in Hand!

Hey Everyone,
  Monday, Mondays are alway the most dreaded day of the week, but this past Monday brought a whole new meaning to the word "dreaded" I can say now, on Thursday, the storm has passed and I feel so much clarity and peace! 

  After many emails sent back an forth, discussing all we needed to discuss the fathers and I came to the conclusion that we will pass on all genetic testing, because ultimately it does not matter...these babies are babies and although the couple is far removed from the complications happening they have developed the love of a parent already.  This put my mind at ease like you can't possibly imagine, and knowing how concerned they are about my health and the well being of my family just proved to me once again...these men are the most selfless and compassionate men and I am so incredibly lucky to call them family!!

  If course while discussing my health, they became very concerned about my bed rest orders. I was hesitant to discuss this topic because it makes me feel very "car salesmen" like...I had to talk to them about cost (because they will be the ones paying for childcare) and I really hated it, typically this is negotiated through the lawyer but due to the very personal relationship we have with the couple they decided to discuss all options together. I have been dragging my feet on finding a child care center, and it has kind of paid off...the couple would rather I have someone come into our home to watch the that on top of everything else I don't feel anxiety when leaving them. They also want a house keeper to cone lighten Chris' load...I have told them it is not necessary so we have reached a happy medium. We are now searching for In home child care for Monday, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 9-3. Light house work (cleaning up after meals and cleaning up after the girls) will be asked of you as well as staying later if needed on days i have doctors appointments. Of course you will be paid for you hard work...if you know anyone interested please let me know asap we hope to have someone next week. add to all the happy news yesterday was beautiful, not just because the sun was shining, or the temperature was almost 70 (in February) but because for the 1st time since November I was not bothered by Morning/Day/Night seems like the specialist gave me the perfect pill cocktail and I was finally able to relax instead of anticipating many trip to the bathroom...for your reference, the toilet seat doesn't make a good pillow! Today I feel just as good so big shout out to the high risk specialist at St. V in Indianapolis!!

Well, like yesterday today is gorgeous, so you will find me relaxing on the porch swing while the girls run off some stored up winter energy!!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time...we all walked hand in hand and I feel in my heart we made all the right choices...another obstacle over come! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait?!

Hey Everyone,

  So today was the day I anticipated or maybe dreaded all weekend. After a few days of "taking it easy" I was ready to finally get some answers from the high risk specialist. Little did I know I would be biting off much more then I could chew. 

This pregnancy has proven to go wrong and wrong again, so let's start off with some good news...there is NO amniotic band, the tissue is just scar tissue probably from a previous pregnancy. The doctor said basically it will act as a play toy for baby A! Have fun little one!!

Unfortunately that was all the good news I received. We saw the bleed again, it is directly above the placenta (which means the placenta is fully attached now) however, we found that the placenta has attached directly above my cervix. This isn't good, this means the placenta will be birthed before the baby which can NOT happen. This is what is they consider "Very high risk." I will probably be deliver via c-section and preterm.

Like a typical ultrasound they also scanned both babies. While they were focusing on baby A they found blood in her bowels. This could mean 1 of 4 things. 
1. Nothing
2. She ingested blood from the clot.
3. She has Down Syndrome.
4. She has Cystic Fibrosis.
Its likely she ingested blood from the clot, which will not hurt her at all. But there is a higher then normal risk of options 3 and 4 as well which obviously is very concerning.

After the scan Chris and I had to meet with a genetic counselor. There we were given information on Down Syndrome and CF as well as our options. We are waiting to see if the couple would prefer me to undergo genetic test called amniocentesis ( where they use a large needle to extract amniotic fluid from baby A.) there is a risk of miscarriage (1/300) so much thought will go into this by all of us but right now we all are having open discussions taking everyone in to consideration.

After talking about what MAY be wrong we had to discuss  all the "what ifs." At this point I was so overwhelmed that speaking about putting the baby up for adoption or even aborting baby A (if she had Down Syndrome) was to much to bare. So instead of going forward and talking about those "options" we are going to take everything day by day and make the best possible choices we can given all the facts once we have them.  Ultimately I signed my body up for this not my morals so I am leaving all decisions up to the parents.   

As you can imagine I have been placed on bed rest, and I will follow up with the high risk specialist every 2 weeks for the duration of the pregnancy. This day has been emotionally stressful on all of us involved. I feel like I am being pushed and pulled in every direction and mentally it's exhausting. I'm ready for more good news and I am optimistic that it will come our way. I am staying strong with the support and help of my wonderful friends and family and once again the couple is so encouraging and supportive. We know we can make it through this hand in hand like the other obstacles we have over come.  I look forward to being in close contact with the fathers of these babies as well as the doctors and genetic counselor. With all of us working together I am more hopeful then ever.

Thank you for your concerns I will keep you all informed as closely as I possibly can. I love you guys!!!

Next appointment: 
Feb 28th @ 1 & 3
Mar 14th @ 2

Thursday, February 10, 2011

To My Valentine

This blog is probably the most personal blog I will ever write. This is a thank you blog to the person who has made this surrogacy possible! 
wherever you go, I shall go,
wherever you live, I shall live.
Your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.

When I was 15 I knew I had met the man of my dreams. He was everything I never thought existed. He showed me unconditional love, and his pure heart was full of compassion. He was a gentleman, who opened my doors and wrote me poems, he showed me the meaning of love through respect and compromise. He was my best friend, my boyfriend, and the love of my life.

Over the years our love grew stronger, but that's not to say we didn't have our trials and tribulations. With any growing relationship we had our share of disagreements. But Chris stood by me and when I thought he should run, he stayed, holding my hand, and willing to build upon our problems and make only the best of a tough and sometime painful situation. His understanding, and knowledge of the meaning of "true love" has got us through so many hard times and I can't begin to express my gratitude, sticking by me can't always be easy. 

On July 22, 2006 we stood before our friends and family and said vows that would bind us together for the rest of our lives. This was a new beginning for both of us, a new Journey for us to travel together as one, this was the day we promised to live by this verse spoken by Ruth " for
wherever you go, I shall go,
wherever you live, I shall live.
Your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.
where you die, I shall die." 

The future is unknown, and neither of us could have predicted the twist in turn our journey would have taken but here we are...nearly 10 years together and almost 5 years happily married with 2 beautiful daughters who have taught us the meaning of an even truer love. 

Through the years we have endured job lose, money troubles, emotional trials, tragedy, lose, and heartache. But through it all we continue to hold hands. 

This surrogacy has tested me emotionally, and physically. I can't count on things to go normal, or even good right now but one thing I can count on is my husband and his amazing support and love. I can count on him asking " do you want to talk about it?" "is there anything I can do?" or "what can I do to help?" I can count on him wiping my tears, kissing my forehead while hugging me as if tomorrow won't come. I can count on him to keep the house clean and the girls entertained so I can take a warm bath or lay down to get rid of a headache, back pain or cramp. I can count on him 100% to tell me what I'm doing matters and that we are in this together. I can count on him to be my rock, my will, and my encouragement...I can count on that same unconditional love that I counted on 10 years ago when I was a 15 year old awkward freshman standing before the captain of the football team, the valedictorian and asked for him to take a chance on me...with me. 

Together we take walk side by side through this new journey, our journey through surrogacy. And although I'm the one who is pregnant, Chris has shared in this experience 110% he is with me through the good the bad and the even worse. Without him I wouldn't and couldn't do this so today I would like to say Thank you Chris, for being the most amazing partner a girl could ask for. You are my best friend, a fantastic father and an unbelievable husband. I truly am the luckiest girl in the entire world. Through this process I feel our love grow stronger then I had ever thought possible. I promise all your hard work and dedication is not unseen and words could never express how much I deeply appreciate everything you are.

You are the love of my life, Happy Early Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"No News is Good News"

Hey Everyone,
 The saying goes "No news is good news" and I was really hoping for no news...unfortunately I got an ear full of news today. 

 I went into my appointment with one wish, a selfish wish. All I wanted was for my doctor to come in and say "there is no need for bed rest!" after all, I have 2 daughters of my own to care for, and I can't be the best mother I can be from a bed! Needless to say, bed rest is the last of my concerns as of now.

  The first bit of bad news came from the Ultrasound tech. The clot has grown much bigger. So big that even me, an untrained eye noticed it's large size. Nearly 8cm, bigger then the top it off, my doctor informed me that it could not be in a worse spot! The bleed is located right above my cervix which means I will have menstrual like symptoms throughout this pregnancy (which included crippling cramps.) 

I started to cry a few tears as I waited for my medical bed rest orders, but then I noticed the doctors concerning eyes. What else could go wrong? Over and over the ultra sound tech focused in on one thing...coming from the clot and attaching to the sac of baby A was a odd line of tissue. The doctor explained it's called an "amniotic band" which is a cob web type band that can be very dangerous. The danger is that as the baby grows one of her arms, legs or other appendages could get caught in this web. If an appendage gets caught, and tangled it can cut of circulation causing baby A to lose that limb. 

  Due to the rarity of this situation I have been referred to a high risk specialist in Indianapolis. Next week I will see the specialist, and the following week I will have a follow up with my doctor that time we will discuss what needs to be done to keep both babies and myself safe.

I'm beginning to get very frustrated and incredibly depressed...but while driving home I began to cry due to an even more profound emotion. Guilt! I looked into my rear view mirror and saw 2 of the most beautiful girls in the world, my daughters. They were fast asleep and so peaceful, how did I get them into this situation. A situation where it takes all I have to get out of bed to make them breakfast, where I beg them to play in their room because I'm so sick and sore. How absolutely selfish of me. I cried for 30 minutes and the urge to continue is still friends, my family, the couple, they are all worried and frankly so am I. I am beginning to feel more like a burden, lazy, and useless and the emotional toll is really wearing on me.

 I know what I'm doing is worth while, and I tell myself that my kids will understand that the lack of attention is for a cause bigger then us. But right now I feel like I am squashed between a rock and a hard place. I look forward to the day when "no news is good news" to a day when I see this couple holding their daughters with a look of pure bliss on their faces. That day can not come soon enough. Until then I will try very hard to stay as optimistic as my doctor...both babies are perfect, growing, kicking, wiggling and healthy, which means I'm doing my job!

I will update everyone once I hear from the high risk specialist, he sees awful things on a day to day basis, so I'm sure this will end up being no big deal for him, which means I will finally get the answers I've desperately been waiting for.

Again I would like to end by saying thank you for you out pour of support, it amazes me every day! Thank you all for being wonderful!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Conflicting information?

Hey Everyone,
  Well I will be the first to admit that this pregnancy has had it's fair share of ups and downs...and here lately I feel a though the downs are out weighing the ups, as you can imagine this has been a struggle for everyone involved. 

Last night we made yet another trip to the hospital, it's kinda sad because I'm beginning to remember nurses by their names and they are remembering me too (mostly because this is a surrogacy and it tends to stick in peoples heads). Once again I was asked to go in due to more bleeding. This wasn't as dramatic as before but still stressful none the less.

Ever since my last "scare" the bleeding has hasn't been bad and has been very manageable yet annoying...however being annoyed isn't a medical emergency. Yesterday was different. The bleeding came with cramping so I called the Doctor. The on call doctor explained what was happening. Basically I have a loose blood vessel that was supposed to attach to the placenta. Since it has not attached it's bleeding into an open space which was created by the blood. The vessel is bleeding between the placenta and the uterine wall. The bigger the bleed gets the more the placenta detaches...if the placenta detaches the baby will not survive. So this is a much touchier situation then I initially thought. The bleed went from 5 cm to 3 cm and last night it was back up to 5 cm which mean the bleed isn't clotting. The doctor explained that when I move or lift something the vessel pumps a new drop or two of blood causing the clot to bleed again. Since it's not clotting I have been told I need to be on bed rest. Typically I would say "no house cooking...twilight marathons....Woohoo!" but I have 2 kids bed rest isn't an option. 

I have been given conflicting information by doctors. The on call doctor says bed rest, my doctor says there's nothing I can or can't do that will effect this either I'm torn! I will see my doctor on Wednesday and I will also have an ultrasound, I plan on discussing my situation (pros and cons) with my OB and hopefully get some answers. I will let everyone know how my appointment goes and hopefully bed rest will be as needed.

Thanks so much for your concerns and prayers! You guys are terrific!

*big thanks to my husband, he has so much on his plate yet made time to add a slide show at the bottom of the blog. More pictures to come! Thanks babe!