Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year...


Just wanted to wish everyone a 2013 filled with blessings and good health.  




Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas


Just finished hanging stockings and laying out carrots and cookies for Santa and I just wanted to take a few minutes to wish everyone out there a very.....








Friday, December 21, 2012

Double Digits

Well, I feel like I am being run ragged with the holidays but the one thing that puts me at ease, at the end of the day, is that I get to tick another day off the pregnancy countdown.


Tomorrow starts the double digit countdown.  For some reason I have been looking forward to this day - on all the blogs I follow the countdown seems to just go faster once they hit the 99 day mark.    Although to be perfectly honest I'm still holding my breath until 28 weeks.   


Friday, December 7, 2012

23 Weeks

Hi All - Just a quick post to let you know that we received our 22 week scans and all is well on the baby front.  We are super busy here getting ready for Christmas, as well as, preparing the baby room.  When it is done I will post pictures.  Right now I am putting in closet organizers - something I wish I had had with my first two.  The room is on the smaller size and not having a big bureau will make it so much more roomy.  Well, here are the scans - hopefully nursery pictures will be coming right after the holidays...

Baby brains and possibly a lollipop - although 
how it got in there I don't know!!

Baby brains #2 - no lollipop in this picture :-)


Very technical but all I see is normal, 
blessed normal!!  Yay!


Wishing all of you out there in blog land a very happy holiday season!  



Friday, November 2, 2012

Week 18 Surprise

I opened my email this morning expecting to find advertisements and found an email from Neha with a 3D scan.  I was so thrilled to see the pictures and hear that everything is going well and that Dr. Shivani is pleased with our surrogate's progress.

Hello, little one!

This one looks like he/she is deep in thought or scratching his/her nose.



We will be 19 weeks on Monday - wow!  WOW!  Well I decided to paint the nursery next week.  I think I am going to go with a light grey and the cribs will be white.  I found an online store that sells wall murals.  I wanted to get a tree with blowing leaves but then I found this store with quote decals - the only problem is picking just one.  ugh! Maybe I'll just stick with the tree :-)  

We are also going to send off for our visas next week.  We were supposed to go to New York a few weeks ago but plans were changed and now with half the city in a blackout we are just going to mail off our applications.  Anyone have an opinion on travel or medical visa (from the U.S.)?
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Halloween after the storm.  We were lucky that our neighborhood did not get hit very badly from Hurricane Sandy.  There are neighborhoods north of Philadelphia that are not expected to have electrical power until next week.  We only lost power for 12 hours and very little damage in our neighborhood meant that the kids could still go out and enjoy trick-or-treating.  In some areas Halloween has been postponed until next week - but in our house it was pumpkin carving and dreaming about how much candy they were going to bring home and try to hide from Mom (because I toss it out after a week ;-)

You know they are engrossed in a project when they are not yelling at each other - haha!

Boo! 


Sending a prayer out for all those waiting to celebrate because they are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sweet 16

We finally received our 16 week scans.  According to Dr. Shivani all is within normal limits and our babies and beautiful surrogate are doing fine.

I love the profile shots!

It looks like this one is playing with its toes or maybe calisthenics?!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Citizenship and Other Stuff

Well, we are still early in the pregnancy but I have decided to start the process of finding out what to do in order to get the babies home.  I figured it will help the time pass a little faster because it is certain that I will not be able to find anything that we need - considering we like to file paperwork in piles and then just pick up those piles and either shred them or put them in blue Rubbermaid containers which get stored in the basement.

First I contacted DNA Diagnostic Centers (DDC) to find out what I needed to get started on the DNA testing.  (Do any U.S. readers have a testing centers they recommend?) The gentleman I talked to was quite helpful in telling me that I need to contact the U.S. Embassy first to start the process.  I need to get a request for DNA testing and a reference number or at least an email request from the Embassy before DDC can ship anything over or even take Brian's DNA sample.  He did say that it takes usually a month from the start of the process but I am assuming that means from the onset of shipping and Brian's collection which will be done before the babies are born.  The DNA test takes 2 complete business days to process and then the results will be sent to the Embassy.

We are going to New York next week to get our Visa's.  We were also lucky enough to get tickets to The Chew.  I am so excited.  The Chew (in case you haven't seen it) is a daytime talk/cooking show that is taped in New York.  I get the best recipes from this show - my most favorite is a Butternut Squash soup that is amazing!!!!   The one thing I look forward to with colder weather is Butternut Squash soup - yum!!!  

We are due for 16 week scans next week - I swear it feels like months instead of a few weeks since our last update.  Looking forward to the end of the month - Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas - the holiday rush should make the time go faster, right?!?  ;-)


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bunnies and Hormones

Well, I finally made the first baby purchase!  When my other pregnancies reached 12 weeks I ran out and bought a tiny stuffed animal to put in the nursery.  After the 12 week scans came in last week I ran out and went from store to store until I finally laid eyes on these two cuties...


I ask you - who could resist these two little floppy-eared bunnies?  Just right for watching over sleeping babies.

The other part of this post is to send out a request for information on inducing lactation.  I breastfed both of my older children and I would like to do the same with the twins.  I have read a few articles on inducing lactation without the help of hormones - which is something I want to try.  The other option is hormones and Domperidone (which sort of sounds like fancy champagne).  I figured I would start the pumping within the month and then if nothing comes of it stop and go for the hormone therapy - which is supposed to start 6 weeks before the birth.  Any insight from moms who have tread this path before would be most appreciated.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Twelve Weeks!

Well, we have reached the twelve week milestone and so far so good.  I will have to say that by far this was the worst 2ww that I have been through - even worse than the pregnancy test 2ww.  I woke up this morning and checked the email - nothing.  Then got the kids breakfast and checked the email - nothing.  Mind you that I normally do not get the scan results from SCI until around 8:30am and the clock had not reached that time yet.  I decided to jump in the shower and then the phone rang - OMG - nobody calls me this early.  That was the shortest shower in history but it seemed to take forever.  I got out checked the caller id and it was my Mom - ugh!!  Checked email and there were the scan results - Mrs. K is doing very well and the OB is very happy with her progress.  The twins are fine. ------->



Nice side view of the little munchkin!

This one is laying sideways and looking over the shoulder.  See the little toes on the left. 



I don't know why I have been freaking out for the past few days but I have and it is so good to have a received a good report.  Phew!! I can't imagine what I will be like in four weeks.

Monday, September 3, 2012

10 Weeks down - 30 to go!

Well, just received our scan on this - our last unofficial day of summer, since the kids go back to school tomorrow.  I am hoping that with the start of school the days will go by faster.  Once my kids started school the days seemed to fly by at an unbelievable rate.  I think this is because of holidays and vacations - and assignments that come due so quickly you are scrambling at the last minute to find pictures of cell reproduction online.

Dr. Shivani says that everything is looking fine and that our surrogate Mrs. K is doing well. The babies are starting to look like babies instead of pickles.  According to The Bump our babies are the size of prunes - which is gross.  Who picked that fruit for this week?  A prune, really, I am going to override that observation and go with strawberry.  My babies are the size of chocolate covered strawberries - the kind you can get from the Godiva store in the mall ;-)

Here is a picture of our two little strawberries. One seems to be looking right at the camera and waving - I bet she/he is even thinking "Hi Mom!!"  Such smart little strawberries - we can't wait to meet you!

Hi Mom! from Strawberry #1

Strawberry #2

Monday, August 20, 2012

8 weeks and all is fine!

We received our 8 week scan today and everything appears to be normal with the babies and Mrs. K.  According to the Bump, our babies are the size of raspberries, however, they look more like tiny pickles to me....

Pickle #1



Pickle #2


Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Dance!

Happy Dances are cool for people my age, right?  We are so excited to get the confirmation of two, yes, two heartbeats.  Thank you Samoza Baby for Googling 150 bpm and finding it normal - I just looked at the numbers and knew they had to be fine because I had read your blog :-)  Now on to the next step - waiting for the next scan in two weeks.  I feel like I am on the start of a roller coaster ride in the dark.  Have you ever ridden a roller coaster in complete darkness?  Disney World's Space Mountain  is completely in the dark.  You buckle in and the coaster takes off slowly down a dark tube with strobe lights.  You can hear the clack, clack of the chains pulling you up into the darkness and then you reach the top of the hill.  How steep is it?  Well, you are about to find out as you plunge down unable to see anything - that is how I feel right now.  Excited and yet, terrified.

All is normal!  Yay!  Normal never sounded so good!



Bubble #1 


Bubble #2


Our bubbles!  Apparently, our big bubbles.  Anyone else get a 6 week ultrasound where their bubbles measure almost 8 weeks?

Monday, July 30, 2012

An Amazing Birthday Gift!

Well, once again we woke up to a wonderful email.  Which is made even better since we are celebrating birthdays.  My mom, daughter, and I have been celebrating our birthdays yesterday and today and this was an amazing birthday gift I opened this morning.



We are keeping our fingers crossed that we hear two heartbeats next week.  This is so amazing.  I truly thought that this would never happen to us.  We are over the moon with joy and went still grounded in the reality that this is a fragile process.  Keeping our fingers crossed and praying hard!  Thank you to everyone that sent such wonderful words of congratulations last week.  This is such a wonderful community to belong to - we feel truly blessed!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good News!!

I am not a morning person but today I was dancing around the room!!  It is wonderful to wake up and find good news waiting in your email.  

cOnGrAtULaTiOnS...!!!

We would like to inform you that as per our schedule we have done a Beta HCG test for your Surrogate.

We are happy to inform you that her beta value is 549.20, which is very good.

Please find the attached file for the same.

We would like to congratulate you as you are pregnant now.
We will now do a USG scan for her within a week to check the pregnancy sacs.

Once her scan will be done, we will get back to you at the earliest.

SCI wishing you good luck for this beautiful journey ahead.



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Killing Time

Well, we are in the middle of our 2WW and the days are dragging by slowly.  When faced with the task of filling the empty hours between chauffeur duties, cooking, and housework my daughter came up with a fun way of killing time..... doggie makeovers.  We enjoy it, however, Ruby Rose does not seem to enjoy it as much.   Ruby Rose is a patient little dog - she fits into small dolly clothes and I think she secretly likes being dressed in frilly outfits - I mean, who doesn't like to be pampered, right?! Here are a few pictures that we took after her shampoo and blow-out.  We were trying a few hair accessories.....

Pink is my color!

I think this looks like a tiara!

Ruby is hoping we find some different ways to kill the time while we continue our wait ;-)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The 2WW is upon us...

Well, the 2WW is upon us - finally.  We officially started counting last Wednesday 7/11. Why does this feel like a dream?  I keep waiting for someone to wake me up.  I am just hoping that this dream does come true!!

It is almost 1am where I live and I am going to go outside on this hot and steamy night and find myself a wishing star.  I am going to wish as hard as I can and when one goes over it will take my wish halfway around the world and drop it off with our lovely surrogate mommy.  Then I am going to start praying that in a nine months I get to follow that wish halfway around the world to pick it up and hold it in my arms and whisper in its tiny ear how I would have followed it to the ends of the earth.

                     

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting Closer

Well, we are getting closer to the 2WW.  While I was supposed to be relaxing on the beach in Ocean City I was actually checking email every 5 minutes to see how if our egg collection was successful.  Saturday afternoon I received an email from Dr. Shivani that our wonderful donor had produced 26 eggs of which 21 were mature.  I was ecstatic - I am sure the couple sitting next to me were wondering why I started screaming to Brian that we had 21 eggs.  Here is hoping that Brian's part of the equation does its job correctly and we end up with some wonderful little embryos.  Then a wonderful baby.... please, please, please, please, please!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wait, Pray, Wait

Well, we are standing on the threshold of the ominous 2WW.  This Friday our beautiful ED is scheduled for her procedure. Dr. Shivani has picked the surrogate that she thinks is the proper match for our cycle.  A wonderful woman who has the most beautiful eyes and most lovely smile.  Hopefully, our ED will give us a lot of little eggs - which will turn into little embryos - which will turn into a healthy, little baby.  That is a lot of hoping.

Friday seems like a long time off.  It is the Fourth of July tomorrow and I was hoping that with the holiday the wait would go faster - wrong!  Each hour seems to drag on and on.  We are headed down to the Maryland shore Thursday to spend a few days at the beach.  Maybe the gentle loll of the ocean can calm my nerves.

I am just finding it hard to grasp the fact that I have made it this far and now am faced with another of many waiting periods.  Wouldn't it be nice to just put your order in for a nice healthy baby and then have the stork drop it off the next morning?  No waiting, just a peck at the window and you get handed the pink or blue blanket filled with your precious baby.  Oh well, no stork landing strips at my house.  Guess we'll have to do it the old fashion way and just wait and pray and wait.

Also, just wanted to send a special prayer out for all the people going through the 2WW now and those, at home or over in Delhi, preparing to undergo egg retrieval.  Praying that we get to meet you all next March for baby pick-up!

Friday, June 22, 2012

What was I thinking?!

Well, I was at one of the many "superstores of stuff" (as I like to call them) today - Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I was buying - of all things - an insulated tumbler to keep the ice in my iced tea from melting.  Okay - it was 100 degrees here today and the ice was not doing its job - so I thought an insulated Tervis Tumbler with pink paisley decals would help.  Plus, I had a coupon for 20% off!

Anyway, right next to the cathedral sized building full of towels, kitchen drawer organizers, and a million other things that we can't seem to live without was another cathedral sized building full of baby stuff.  I don't' know what I was thinking - it must have been the giddy joy of getting 20% off of my tumbler - but I decided to go into that baby superstore.  I think the only thing they weren't selling were babies.  I had forgotten about all of the "stuff" that you can buy for a baby.  Wow!  I started to get a buzzing in my ears, shortness of breath, and oohhhh - look at those strollers, how cool.  Look at all the accessories.  Wow, they didn't have those when my kids were babies.  Why do they always have the cool stuff when your kids won't use them anymore.  (you get the picture)

In the middle of this amazement over the amount of baby car seats one building could hold, I realized I needed to get out of the store or I might never leave.  I headed for the door and in my rush to get out  I ended up going out the entrance.  Apparently, the automatic door sensor won't open the door if you go out the wrong way.  You have to push according to the sign that reads "in case of emergency - push to exit.  I started pushing but it would not open - I guess the door didn't think it was an emergency!  I must have had this desperate look on my face because some really nice man walked over and triggered the sensor on the outside of the door to open it. Aha!  I had managed to escape despite the best efforts of the baby superstore!  A quick "thank you" to my knight in shining armor for opening the door and I was hurrying back to my car.

I have decided NOT to enter another baby superstore until we are at least 6 months pregnant.  I am going to need at least that amount of time to save up all the money I need to buy the store out - just kidding!!  Actually, I am a totally superstitions ninny and think I will jinx myself if I do go into one, which I know is absurd but I never said I was the brightest light in the chandelier now did I?

I came back home and found our schedule for treatment.  If reports are okay then stimulation started yesterday.  That means in about two weeks we could be going for egg retrieval and fertilization.  It seems so surreal after so many years of waiting.  If all goes well we could be pregnant in a few weeks. Wow!
I think that tiny word says it all :-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Successful Parenting

Well, sometimes I feel like a successful parent.  Its the little things that matter in the beginning like clean diapers, full bellies and the belly-laughter - as I used to call it.  When they get bigger and start making decisions on their own then you know that you are really doing a good job when those decisions reflect what you have taught them about right and wrong.  Then you get into the situations were they are trying to do what they want (be cool) and yet some little voice in the back of their mind is telling them they better do the right thing because "mom will kill me" if I don't!

video
This says success, why?  Because you can live without a toe but not a brain!  Always wear a helmet! Shoes are apparently optional.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Patience is not a virtue

Well, it has been quite a while since my last post.  Not much has happened.  It is now a waiting game of getting everything in order.  It seems to be taking forever!  As per the title - Patience is not one of my best virtues.  However, I think I will be getting a lot of practice over the next year!!

Brian's frozen deposit has made it over to India safe and sound.  We are due for egg retrieval around the 4th of July.  It seems like a long time but in reality I am sure the time will fly by - (sarcasm).

 I am in the midst of taking two 6 week summer courses.  I need the credits so I can substitute teach next year.  Our state mandates that every 5 years teachers must take a certain number of continuing education courses.  So I (being of not so sound mind) decided that I should take not one but two courses because I have nothing to do all day but sit on my behind and write papers.  Hahahaha!  Brian just keeps shaking his head and saying - "why are you doing this now?".  If a baby comes next year I won't be able to substitute but I figure that there is no way I can take a college course.  So I dived right in and here I am sitting at my kitchen table all day writing about why the Restraining Act of 1767 was threatening to colonists.  Ugh! But on the bright side I don't have to take any more continuing education credits for another 5 years _ hooray!!!

My study buddies - I actually think they want to eat my stapler
but they do provide mental breaks every once in a while!


Monday, April 9, 2012

All Clear...

Hooray, we just received the all clear.  Brian is free of all diseases and his swimmers are healthy and numerous.  We just need to send the information over to SCI and then on to the next step.  Is it just me or does it seem like time is going really s...l...o....w.....l.....y.......

If time goes this slowly even before we get pregnant I can't imagine what it is going to be like waiting 9 months for the baby to arrive.

Yikes!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Important Delivery

Well, I had quite a day yesterday.  It was deposit day to see if Brian's swimmers are still swimming.  I didn't think I would be worried about it, but now I am - because I have put too much thought into it.

Thought one: ever since becoming a parent it seems as if he has had a bullseye right over his most important parts.  Little league, backyard piƱata, tennis lessons - how much punishment can a man take before it stops working all together?  Friday - the day before our appointment, I am in the backyard planting lettuce and all I hear is "Dad, you okay?"  I get up and see Brian doubled over because where did the tennis ball go after being hit by my son's whiffle ball bat - you got it, right towards that invisible bullseye!

Thought two:  Brian turned 40 a few months back.  I am a few years older than he is - and when I turned 40 it seems like everything started going wonky.  All I can picture in my mind is an illustrated picture of a sperm that looks freakishly similar to Mr. Magoo.  Sorry, honey! I can't help the way my twisted mind works - it might be the stress!

There are more thoughts but those two were enough to rob me of my sleep last night.

Well, if I haven't scared you away with the visual of Mr. Magoo then let me share my experience of dropping his sample off at the Fertility clinic to get checked.

My sweet hubby was in no way going to the clinic to make his deposit.  He talked me into taking it there for him.  That was fine by me and it was okayed by the clinic receptionist - as long as it was there within an hour of making an appearance.

Well, I made the appointment at "our" clinic which is very close to our house but for some reason a few days before our drop off appointment we received a call changing our drop off to another location.  Okay, fine with me.  They gave me the address and assured me that if there was any problem to just call.

D-Day arrives and I take off to the clinic with the package hidden it the white paper bag that has been decorated with butterflies and rainbows.  I know - you are thinking - what?  but our daughter thought it was Dad's lunch bag (since it had his name on it) and decorated it the night before.  Far be it for me to offer any other explanation and off I went with Daddies "lunch bag" to the fertility clinic.

Well this other location is a bit farther than our local clinic and time is of the essence so I knew I had to hurry.  Guess what, no gas!  Stop for a few minutes to put enough gas in my tank to get me there.  Back on the road with still 25 minutes to go.  I am starting to sweat!  I know I am still okay on time but nothing else can happen.

We (the package and I)  make it to the hospital where the clinic is supposed to be and after the third trip around the block I decide to park and go into the hospital.  There should be a directory or someone who can tell me where to go, right?  Nope!  Apparently, nobody works in the hospital information booth on Saturday.  I check the directory and there is nothing listed for this clinic.  Well, I decide to call their phone number and guess what - their phones are forwarded to the answering service.  Are you kidding?   I explain to the poor woman on the other end of the phone I just need directions.  Well, she can't help me - all she can do is take my information and page a doctor.  Are you kidding again?  Tick, tick, tick ---

She starts to take my information, name, date of birth, is this an emergency (YES!!!!)  but not life threatening, (it could be if someone doesn't get me some gosh darn directions), phone number, "okay you should receive a call back within 20 minutes"  - WHAT! Are you kidding - in 20 minutes all the fragile, little Mr. Magoo sperms will be 6 feet under and then we have to do this all over again in another 48+ hours. - UGH!!! Double UGH!

I hang up and start frantically walking around this surprisingly empty hospital.  Aren't there any sick people in this part of town?  That is when I spot a desk with a sign that says "Please Sign In - Someone Will Be With You In A Moment"  great that means that someone will come to check and see if someone has signed in, right?  Yes!  In a few moments here comes this sweet woman with a clip board.  She looked at me a little funny but I imagined that by then I might have looked a little frantic.  Plus, I was holding a white paper baggie with butterflies and rainbows drawn on it.

I told her my issue - she looked at the baggie again (very differently this time) and told me to follow the hallway farther down to the security guard office and they could show me the way.  A few minutes later I was in the fertility clinic.  By the way they do have a sign - the receptions pointed out when I told her my story.  I felt I shouldn't point out that it was the size of an 8x10 piece of paper and partially obscured by an azalea bush so it's kind of hard to read from the road which is 250 feet away, at least.

Well, the receptionist has me take a seat and in a few minutes I am saying goodbye to my little baggie.  That is when all the thoughts start popping into my head. The final thought is what if I didn't make it in time and they look at his sperm and say it is not any good because of all the delays that occurred when I was trying to make my delivery.  I guess we will find out tomorrow.  Now onto another sleepless night with all my thoughts whirling around in my head.

By the way - I never did receive a call back from the doctor.



Friday, April 6, 2012

Here goes......

Well, I am finally taking the leap and starting my own blog.  Now that I have sat down to do this I don't know where to start... so I will start at the beginning...  My husband and I have been married (mostly happily.....haha, honey) for almost 13 years.  Wow - that seems like a long time.  We have been blessed with two children, who are happy and healthy - and love spending time with each other (well, some of the time, I can always wish can't I   ;-)

My first pregnancy was smooth and uncomplicated right from the start and nine months later we were blessed with a big, big, bouncing baby boy.  The second time around not so smooth or uncomplicated.  My 18 week ultrasound revealed to our doctor that I had a complete placenta previa and that I was having a girl.  I was over the moon (about the girl part).  The previa - not so much.  My mom had had one with my brother and almost died - but after some "nothing to worry abouts" and "just take it easys" from the doctor I was okay - until about 2 weeks later when I woke up covered in blood - I know - yuk!  Believe me it was as gross and as terrifing as it sounds. The rest of the pregnancy was spent in the hospital on my back praying that I would not loose this bundle of joy.  
Even more good news - my previa was now an accreta.  Basically, my placenta had attached to my c-section scar and grown through my uterus and into my body.  Ugh! By the way - I was now thinking to myself - this little diva is making a lot of trouble for mommy!  

Well, luckily I had some angels sitting on my shoulder because 16 weeks and only a few scary moments later I had a bouncing baby girl.  I still remember the operating room filled with doctors (because apparently, this was a rare condition and also a learning moment for would-be obstetricians) and my OB leans over and says "I'm sorry but you have to have a hysterectomy - we can't save your uterus".  At the time I thought it was a fair trade - my uterus for a baby girl and I still think it was a fair trade. 

I have two beautiful children - I should be happy right?  I totally am - but I have always wanted a big family.  Not Duggar-sized (American reality TV for all international readers) but three or four little rug-rats running around and terrorizing the neighborhood would have been nice.  Well, I have spent the last six years looking at ways to expand our family.  International adoption - nope.  Domestic adoption - nope.  Surrogacy - yes!  Unfortunately, unless you are a movie star, have a Great-Aunt Gertrude who passes on and leaves you a mattress filled with $100 dollar bills, or have the good fortune of picking six willing Mega Millions numbers you are out of luck.  My husband absolutely refused to mortgage our house to the nines and drain our kids college funds.  He is the level headed one in this relationship - thank God!  Anyway, about two years ago I am trolling the internet looking for ways to make a few million and come across Surrogacy in India. What! Surrogacy where!  India!  Read a little more and hope is starting to blossom again.  Maybe......we.......could......still......have......another......baby!

Well, after some thorough research and budget analysis and plenty and plenty of praying we are finally about to start our journey.  Hopefully, our journey goes smoothly and successfully and along the way maybe we will make a few new friends.