One Year Later

A year ago today, I had the honour to meet two little people at the very beginning of their lives.

Grade 1AA blasts...really as good as it gets!

 

Looking back over the last year I am amazed at how different things are now.  We are all a year older, and hopefully a year wiser.  But some of us, particularly those two little people who started out as just tiny little embryos one year ago…they have changed so many lives forever, and for the better. And they are just too young to understand quite yet, just how truly amazing they are.

Today I am keeping my post short, because frankly there are not words I can use to describe how happy I am to have been on this journey with C and Y.

I see pictures of their beautiful new family and I honestly can’t imagine it going any other way then how it did.  Every moment that led up to M and Y, no matter how difficult or disappointing or scary…every single moment was more than worth it for me, because it gave C and Y them.

Happy Transfer-versary M and Y!

 

(Click here to read my original post from our transfer one year ago.)

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Healing and other Post Partum “Fun”

*Just a heads up that this post is more about myself and my post partum

experiences then it is about the babies or C and Y*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On Christmas day, M and Y were 9 weeks old.  Saying that still gives me such a “Wow!” feeling.

As we approach New Years Eve, just like millions of other people, I am looking back at this whole year, and I am simply blown away by how much a person’s life can change in just a few months.

C and Y have taken so well to what I “Daddy-hood”.  They have chosen to continue having as much skin to skin contact with the babies as possible, and prefer using slings to carry them instead of a stroller or car seat carrier when leaving the house.  I love seeing the pictures that they send, or seeing the ones that pop up in my Facebook news feed.

A year ago, we were in such a different place.  We had 5 failed transfers under our belts, and the hunt was still on for the third and final Egg Donor.  (Click here to read my post from last December) I was questioning whether or not I could even continue, worrying that I was the part of the equation that was causing all the failures.

But then in January (Click here), so many things had changed. We had our egg donor, and were once again on track. The rest was history!

It has now been almost 10 weeks since I delivered the twins, and it feels like it has all been such a blur. I knew that I was prepared in case I had some baby blues after the first few weeks, but it turned out that I wouldn’t have any time for baby blues.

A few weeks after the birth, my mother ended up in the hospital needing some emergency surgery.  She stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks, which meant a lot of driving back and forth to be with her, and to talk to her doctors myself about her condition.  I did my best to continue on pumping the breast milk as all this was going on, and was able to maintain a reasonable supply for several weeks.

Around the 6th week, my supply started to drop after I developed a sore spot on one breast, as well as the stress of helping my mother, and dealing with a few issues that arose from my separation and the selling of my marital home.  I managed to make it through one more week before I had to make the decision to stop completely.

I knew that C and Y had hoped we could continue on a little bit longer, but I had to make the choice to stop.  I just had to many other things happening, and since I knew that the twins were doing quite well, I trusted that they would be fine if I let that particular ball drop.

I finally had my full post partum check-up on December 18th.  I had seen my doctor before that about the sore spot on my breast, but she had me reschedule part of my appointment  to a later date since I was still experiencing some post partum bleeding and she wouldn’t be able to get good clean samples for the regular tests.

She decided to send me to have more bloodwork done to check my hemoglobin levels as they were quite slow to rise post-birth. She also wanted to have an ultrasound to check for further issues from the placenta that had trouble detaching.  I managed to get that scheduled for December 24th.

She got the results by 4pm that day, and called me at home to discuss the next steps.  My hemoglobin was still only at 85, and the US showed that there was still retained placenta and a thick lining from the birth.  I was to follow-up with another ultrasound on the 27th at 8am, and then speak to the on call OB/GYN at my hospital to schedule a D&C.

The second ultrasound showed the same thing, but also that it would be better to take care of it sooner rather than later to prevent the chance of developing an infection that could do more serious damage.

I was sent home to wait for the call from the admitting nurse with my pre-op check in time.  The call came that I had to return to the hospital for my pre-op prep at 5pm that day.  When I arrived, I learned that there would be 3 of us having D&C’s that night, all one after another.  I was to go first at approximately 7pm.  The other 2 ladies arrived shortly after I did and started getting prepared themselves.  They had us all sharing  a ward room that we would use as a waiting/prep area, as well as our Post-Op area once we were done being monitored in the Post-Anesthetic area.

I thought it would be very awkward to share a room with these ladies who were also going through the procedure, but it was a surprisingly friendly atmosphere.  I did feel guilty though since my reasons for being there were due to a slight post-partum complication, while they were both there to deal with remaining products from a miscarriage.  I honestly wasn’t sure how to act at first because you really never know how a woman is dealing with that kind of loss.  After being greeted so friendly from one of the ladies, I decided to just relax and go with the flow of conversation.

I changed into my gown, and the nurse drew blood to check out my Hemoglobin levels again (was up to 92!) before surgery.  I then had the IV placed in my arm that would give me saline, an antibiotic, as well as Oxytocin to help my uterus contract and hopefully loosen the remaining placenta on its own. I was also given two Cytotec to take orally.

Just before 7 I was taken upstairs and then after talking to the anesthetist (procedure is done under full sedation) about my history, I was taken into the operating room to be prepped and be put to sleep.  Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the Post-surgical area, with Nurse Lynn.  I had to stay there for 45 minutes, and then I was taken back downstairs to the OB ward to where I started from with the other ladies, where I learned that they were going to have at least a 2 hour wait for their turn in the OR because of some other emergency surgery coming up.

I couldn’t believe how quickly the whole thing went.  I had to stay there until about 10 o’clock, but after one final check of the surgical area to monitor any bleeding, and then my BP and O2, I was allowed to go home with my Mom who had come to pick me up.  I felt terrible that I was able to leave and the other ladies hadn’t even been upstairs yet.

We picked up something for me to eat on the way home (I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours by this point since we didn’t know exactly when I’d be having the procedure), and then I was in bed by 11:30.

I slept for about 12 hours, and the rest of the weekend I did my best to take it easy.  Luckily I didn’t feel any pain, and no true discomfort.  No cramping, and pretty much no bleeding at all…for the first time in 2.5 months!

So now for the first time since I gave birth, I know for sure that all the placenta is out.  I know that now I can begin that final bit of physical healing.

And then they were Four

At long LONG last, I am happy to finally announce the birth of M and M!

I meant to post this weeks ago, but one thing or another kept coming up and needing my attention.  I also wanted to give C and Y some privacy to enjoy their new state of fatherhood

Here is our Birth Story:

Just after 3am on Tuesday October 22nd, I woke up in a bit of a coughing fit from the cold I had been fighting and felt a tiny gush.  Anyone that has been pregnant before knows how easily a cough or sneeze can effect bladder control when you are further along, and that despite all a persons best efforts, the occasional slight leak can occur, so naturally I assumed that was what happened.

I cleaned myself up and went back to bed…until it happened again around 5am, but this time it was all pink and had a bit of mucous.  I was not having contractions, but I knew better than to sit around for to long having seen that, so I cleaned myself up for the second time, threw a few things in my small duffel bag, threw together lunches for my kids to take to school, told my Mom I was leaving, and drove the 7 minutes to my local hospital.

Because I had called on my way there, I was checked out right away.  My doctor was away on holiday, so Dr G took care of me instead.  She confirmed the leaking was amniotic fluid, and did a brief pelvic check to discover I was 3cm dilated, and we were too late to do anything to stop labour.

They arranged for me to be transferred to McMaster Childrens Hospital in Hamilton (1/2 an hour away) because the Babies would definitely be coming, and would be needing the NICU there.  I was transported by ambulance and arrived around 9:30am.  Not long afterward, my friend Lori came to be with me until we knew which way things were going to go, and stayed with me until late afternoon.

My Mom also decided to come in case I needed anything.  I was grateful to her for that, but she looked so worried all day, and I was glad that Lori was there to break up that tension and help me distract her.

I went straight to Labour and Delivery and into their own triage area to be assessed and see just where things stood. I was now under the care of Dr B and her resident.  Their exam said I was now 4cm dilated, a quick ultrasound showed babies were still in a good position for a vaginal birth.

The fact I was not feeling any contractions was a good thing, since it meant there was time to administer some more antibiotics, as well as Magnesium through my IV.  Magnesium is supposed to help to protect the babies neural pathways and sometimes has a bonus side effect of slowing down the labour.

It was too late to stop the labour, but as long as all the monitoring showed that neither the babies or I were in distress, they would not speed it up or intervene either.

At this point, I had spent a lot of time on my cell phone trying to make sure all my responsibilities were covered.  My Ex was really great and took over immediately making arrangements for our kids to be looked after for the next few days, I told my office that I would be missing my last day of work, and started going crazy trying to reach C and Y who were on holidays in Germany!!

The guys had designated C’s sister J to act on behalf of the babies in case something like this happened when they were away, but I had a bit of trouble reaching her at first.  Luckily that sorted itself out quickly.

C and Y immediately started making arrangements to get back home ASAP, but J was on her way to be with me, and to be there for the babies when they came.

At this point we knew the chances of the guys making it home in time for the birth were not good, and I was very grateful to her for coming.  We hadn’t actually met yet, but she was about to get to know me VERY intimately over the next few hours.

The rest of that day continued slowly.  The magnesium seemed to be stalling the labour.  By 4 pm I was 7cm and stayed that way for the next 15 hours. I managed to doze on and off and the monitors started to register some contractions, I would feel them off and on, but in no pattern, or consistency, and thankfully no true pain.

J slept in my room with me, and we took turns texting C and Y throughout the night with any updates.

The next morning, I was very grateful to our nurse Sue, when she offered me a cup of tea and some toast with jam.  It was ambrosia after not having eaten in almost 36 hours.

Around 11am they checked our progress again with the thought that if there was no change, then I would be moved to the ward until things picked up.  But the extra cm we had achieved meant I could stay put in the really nice labour area.

Not to long after this I started to really feel the contractions.  They were still manageable but were definitely coming at regular intervals.  At this point, I called my sister-in-law, Nikki who was my designated labour coach, telling her it was time to come because the last couple of cm usually go pretty quickly for me.  I also told them to start seeing about the epidural.

I had hoped I could manage without one, but with all the factors we had to consider (twins, possible need to switch to a last-minute c-section, possible intervention to position Baby B properly, etc…) I was happy to have it as a preventative measure.  The contractions had also developed a pretty sharp peak, and I had a secret hope it might slow things down just a bit as well giving as much time as possible for C and Y to get there.

The epidural was in at 2pm, and Nikki showed up a few minutes later.  I’m very grateful to her for being there, and she really made it in perfect time.  The contractions quickly went from 6 minutes to 3 minutes. Not long after she got into her scrubs, things took a drastic turn, and we went from contractions every 3 minutes to…”I feel the head, get the nurse!”

J was up and out of the room like a shot, and in what felt like 20 seconds we had half a dozen people there. I was being wheeled down the hallway to the OR where I was to deliver as per the hospital policy on twin births, and just trying to breathe and REALLY trying not to push.

This is how it went with my son.  Easy manageable contractions one minute, and then BAM!  Time to push.  So I really knew what was about to happen.

Nikki was amazing, and pulled me back, made me focus and keep breathing through it.  She was the only person who could have pulled me back at that point, and help me to keep my focus, and I was so grateful to her for that.

We got into the OR, and just when they were trying to get me to scoot over to the surgical table, I remember saying something to the effect of “Its coming now, I can’t hold it.”

And that is how Baby Boy M entered the world, on a hospital gurney, caught just in time with no pushing at all on my part … I swear!  It took a few seconds, but when I heard that loud angry cry of his, the relief was amazing. I caught a quick glimpse as he was whisked off to the room next door where the NICU staff was waiting to take care of him, and do his Apgar tests.

They finally had me scoot over to the table, and immediately started working to get Baby B into a safe position to deliver.  Dr B worked her magic to move B down, break the amniotic sac, and after 2 or 3 brief pushes Baby Girl Y made her way into the world only 3 minutes behind her brother.

Again I heard that amazing sound of an angry newborn crying before she was taken to join him in the other room.

Baby Boy M – Oct 23rd, 2013 at 3:11pm weighing 4 lbs 7oz

Baby Girl Y – Oct 23rd, 2013 at 3:14pm weighing 3 lbs 15oz

The babies now safely in the care of the NICU team, it was now time for  Dr B to start in on all the Post Birth fun with my uterus.

It seems that although the babies were determined to come out, the placentas were stubborn little buggers.  Baby A’s came away after a little manipulation, but B’s required a manual retrieval.

I debated whether or not to say much about that part of things here, because to someone who has not gone through that, the mental images will not be pretty.  But then my desire for an honest blog entry seems to be winning out, so here we go.

A manual placenta extraction involves the doctor using their hands to manually enter the uterus through the cervical opening, and to extract the placenta as best as they can.  Not only is this a bit embarrassing with so many witnesses in the room including family members, but it was painful.  Not “scream your head off” painful, but that is probably due to two factors…

1) Nikki never once let up on keeping me focused and guiding my breathing

2) The epidural hadn’t completely worn off yet.  It had worn off about 3/4 of the way, but the remaining amount definitely took the edge off.  Without it,..I can’t even think what that would have felt like.

Dr B did her best to work quickly, and managed to get most of the placenta.  There seemed to be a small piece left behind, so they gave me meds to help my body to take care of it on its own, and I was kept under close watch for the next few hours to make sure the bleeding got itself under control.

By the time this was done, and I was wrapped in a warm blankets, the NICU staff was ready to move the babies to the NICU nursery.  They came and asked if we’d like them to stop so we could see the babies before they went, and I almost cried from gratitude.

I was amazed to see how big they were for 32 weeks.  When you hear of babies born that young, many of us picture babies who can fit in the palm of your hand, or who haven’t had the chance to build up body fat, and you can clearly see all their bones.

M and Y were beautiful!  Small of course, but they did not look sick.  They weren’t as chubby as a full term baby, but they looked healthy, just …smaller. I didn’t find out until a few days later that their Apgar scores were quite high.  M scored a 9-9, and I believe Y scored high as well, but I can’t recall the numbers right now.

I encouraged J to follow them and be with her new Niece and Nephew.  I didn’t want them to be alone now.  Nikki stayed with me the whole time putting up with my giddy laughing and random chatter.

When you deliver a baby (or in this case two) as a surrogate, you can go into this state of Euphoria afterwards.  It’s this amazing state where your thoughts centre around a few easy phrases.  In my case this meant I couldn’t think much past “Wow!”, “I did it!”, and “they are amazing!”.

The only bad part was that C and Y missed it by about 5 hours.

Because of the placenta issue, We stayed in the OR a bit longer then we would have otherwise.  The doctor wanted the nurse to keep some pressure on my belly, and really monitor the bleeding and check for that last piece of placenta.  Finally, once things were under control, I was taken back to the labour room that had been my home for the previous 26 hours, and a couple of hours later at 7:15pm I was wheeled down the hall to my ward room for the rest of my stay, and I said goodbye to my labour nurse Sue who had taken such good care of me for two days.

At some point I must have drifted off to sleep because the next thing I knew it was 2:30 in the morning, and the ward nurse had come to get me up and to the bathroom.  She filled me in on C and Y arriving and J and Nikki filling them in on things.  No one wanted to wake me up, so I didn’t see them until later that morning.  This was when I learned the babies names, and was finally filled in on how the twins were doing.

For babies born at 32 weeks, they were amazing everyone with how strong they were. Of course they still needed a little help, and pretty constant monitoring, but all things considered, the situation looked promising.

Those first couple of days are a bit of a blur to me.  Because of my low hemoglobin, I was extremely tired, and did little more than sleep, eat, and enjoy my visitors.  I was lucky enough to have one of my surro-sisters, Karen come to visit me, and bring me an amazing basket full of yummy treats  🙂

C and Y were back and forth from the NICU, to my room, and to their room at the Ronald McDonald House next door to the hospital.  I can’t even begin to imagine half of the thoughts that must have been going through their heads.

C and Y drove me home on Friday after I was discharged, and after I was finally able to go to the NICU and meet the babies.  I could have gone earlier, but with the low hemoglobin, I just didn’t think it was a good idea to walk around off my ward too much just yet.

Seeing those two beautiful babies was an amazing moment.  Even though they were on their UV light beds, and wearing protective eye gear that covered half of their little faces, I felt a wave of relief that I was finally standing there with them, and seeing for myself their little kicks, and how well their were breathing. Hearing the reports, and seeing for yourself are two completely different things.

And with that burst of relief to carry me through, I went home. I only had a couple of hours to wait until my own kids were home from school.  After not seeing them for 3 and a half days, I just hugged them as much as I could.  We cuddled up together under a blanket on the couch, and I told them all about what had happened over the last few days, and showed them the pictures that I had taken before coming home.

The next two days I had little to do other than sleep, eat, and pump colostrum for the little ones.  C and Y drove over each day to pick it up for the babies.  I wasn’t getting much yet, but I wanted to do what I could for the twins.

After the first 10 days, I managed to get a good supply going and was up to 20oz / day.  Baby girl hasn’t been doing well with the formula, so they have designated the Breastmilk for her use first, since the Little Man is responding quite well to the formula and supplements.

On Sunday, C and Y came to pick me up to bring me back to the hospital.  They wanted me to come and meet more of their family that was going down to meet the babies.  I still wasn’t feeling strong enough to chance driving myself, so I was grateful to them for coming out of their way to make sure I was there.

I was supposed to be meeting the family in November at a talked about Baby Shower, but since the babies couldn’t wait…we were doing things a little more backwards then planned.

I met C’s parents, as well as their niece.  J was there too, and I was glad to see her again…this time in much less of a “compromising” position!  LOL

It is such a special thing for a surrogate when they get to meet the extended family like that.  It’s not something that all of us are lucky enough to have the chance to do.  I’m so grateful to have had this chance, and hope for many more in the future!

From there, the twins were transferred at 4 days old, to a hospital closer to home, to make it easier for C and Y to care for them, and to prepare for them to come home.  Compared to many others born that early, their stay was relatively short, and at exactly 3 weeks old, they were released and were finally home…where they belonged.

For the first 7 weeks, I was able to pump milk for them, and we had frequent meetings for them to pick up what I had for them.  I’m proud that I was able to do that, and glad that there was still something I could do to help them grow.

From those meetings, and from other pictures they sent me, I could see the happiness…and the tiredness that comes from becoming a parent.  It was truly amazing  🙂  And just what I had wanted for them.

So there you have it.  The whole CRAZY odyssey that saw two amazing tiny people enter into the world, a few weeks early, but strong and determined to have their own way from the very start.

These last 3 years have been such an amazing time in my life.  When I started this blog, I know that none of us involved ever thought how long a road it would all be.

But honestly, as hard as it has been at times, every moment has been completely worth it. Seeing the pictures of C and Y holding those two precious babies, seeing the love that is already there and will just keep growing…

…That’s my happy ending.

Hello Third Trimester (30 weeks!)

Again, I’ve been a little slow in posting lately, and as I’ve had quite a few people hinting at me, I finally made myself sit down to write this. I haven’t been avoiding my blog, but there have been a few things I’ve needed to focus on in my personal life, and now that those are more or less settling down again, Here I am!

As of today (October 9th) we are 30 weeks pregnant!  Last week we officially entered the third trimester and the home stretch.

Things have been continuing on rather smoothly, much to the surprise of some of you who have carried twins yourself.  Carrying Twins definitely takes a toll on a woman, but I’ve been so lucky *knock on wood* to not have too much discomfort, or any other major issue.

2 weeks ago my doctor had me take Celestone injections.  2 of them, approximately 12CC’s in each, taken 24 hours apart.   This is a steroid that is used mostly in women with a history of pre-term labour, or starting to show signs of it.  It helps to mature a babies lungs a little quicker, which gives them a much better chance of growth and survival if born to early.

In my case, I have never had signs of pre-term labour in any pregnancy, but it is standard procedure with a lot of doctors that women are given these injections when carrying multiples.  It is purely pre-cautionary, and other than a little discomfort and restlessness for a few days, I was none the worse for wear.

Last week, we had another ultrasound.  The babies are getting harder and harder to get clear pictures for our personal albums so this may be the last set of pictures I share with you of M and M before they are born.

Baby A - 3 lbs 2 oz (approx)

Baby A – 3 lbs 2 oz (approx)

Baby B - 2 lbs 14 oz (approx)

Baby B – 2 lbs 14 oz (approx)

Baby A’s weight was estimated to be a surprising 3 lbs 2 oz, and Baby B’s was estimated at 2 lbs 14 oz. The tech joked with me that “you don’t carry twins, you carry two singles that happen to live in you at the same time.”    I can’t argue with that since they are a bit of the average growth of singletons, and so far that means I’m carrying about 6 lbs of baby already, plus whatever the fluids, and then two placentas weigh.

Most of the time I feel fantastic, but by the end of the day lately, I’m very grateful for my bed.  Even the heartburn issues have stayed pretty mild and manageable the last few weeks.  The last few days have been especially tiring, as my son has been sick.  He is really easy to care for really, but when your kid is sick that “mom” instinct turns on, and you get no sleep because you are naturally on high-alert all night long half listening to make sure they are ok.

I really wish I had more to add, but on the whole, things are going so smoothly in the health department for which I am extremely grateful.  I even had my DNA testing done today, so that is another major thing off the list.

My OB doesn’t bother doing Fundal height measurements with twins since they are not very reliable, but I keep thinking I should take out my own tape measure and see just how things have grown.  Somehow I’ve managed to continue wearing some of my pre-pregnancy clothes, which either means I really like loose-fitting clothing, or I buy really stretchy stuff!  LOL   But about half of what I wore through the summer has come to the end of its usefulness the last two weeks.

So that’s it for today my friends!  I’ll post again once I muster the courage to pull out that measuring tape!  🙂

26 weeks (only 10-12 more weeks to go!)

Each week gets more and more exciting for me!  This whole journey has been such an amazing experience, and the closer we get to the end and finally meeting M and M…I’m frankly just in awe of the whole process.  Yes, I have been living it for a few years now, but that doesn’t take away from the feeling of wonder, excitement, and incredible awe of what we can do for our fellow human beings sometimes.

As of yesterday, we are now 26 weeks along, and with our OB saying that he will not let us get past 38 weeks, that leaves us with 10-12 weeks left to go.

26 weeks along with M and M!

26 weeks along with M and M!

Every day I notice more and more movement from these two babies.  Most of the time they seem to take turns so it hasn’t been to overwhelming.  I do think that Baby B has scooted themself up a little higher than before though.  I’m definitely feeling things a bit near the bottom of my rib-cage the last few days, and have to try to coax the baby to switch position a bit to get comfortable again.

2 weeks ago, I took the Glucose test that is recommended to all pregnant women to look for signs of Gestational Diabetes.   I got a call  the next day that my results showed my level to be just a little bit above the cut-off (it was 9.2 and the cut off is 7.something), so I was told I had to take the “2 hour  test”.

All in all the test itself is no great hardship…but it is still a pain in the butt because you are stuck at the blood lab for a little over 2 hours (not allowed to leave) and those chairs are really not that comfortable at all.

I ended up doing this test last Saturday (the 7th) in the morning.  I had to fast for at least 8 hours beforehand, so I quite literally woke up, threw on some acceptable “outdoor” clothes, and made my way to the clinic.

The test itself is simple.  They draw one vial of blood, and then hand you a disgusting orange, highly sugared bottle of syrupy liquid to drink (think thick orange soda with no fizzy stuff in it).  You have 5 minutes to get this down, and then they start a timer for 1 hour.  When the timer goes, they draw another vial of blood, and then reset the timer for a second hour.  After that 2nd timer goes, they draw one more vial of blood, and you are free to go.

I got myself home, but by that time I had started to feel quite nauseous, and frankly miserable so decided I just needed to take things easy.  My kids are at their fathers on the weekends, so after I got some food in me to help settle my system a bit, I ended up falling asleep for several hours.  Not surprising really since I had not slept well the night before, and also what I’m assuming was a major sugar crash.

Yesterday (Sept 11) we had our 26 week OB appointment.  Y came down to join me again, which I really appreciated, and took some new belly pictures.  I’m a terrible model, and he seems to have endless patience for my silliness in attempting to pose, and all my awkward positions.  Basically, I never know what to do with my hands, and that makes me a bit self conscious in front of the camera.

sitting

When we met with Dr N, he told us that the results of our 2-hour Glucose test showed everything was just fine, and that he had no concerns in that regard.   HUGE relief on my part!  I know if it had come back the other way I would have dealt with it just fine, but it’s one less thing to worry about, and I’m not going to take it for granted.

He checked for the heartbeats as usual, and told us that he will be doing our Steroid injection at the next appointment in two weeks as well.

Steroid injections are common practice when dealing with a Multiple pregnancy (meaning one or more babies), or someone with a history or pre-term labour.  The reason they do this is to help the babies lungs to mature a little quicker, so that if they are born earlier then they should, they have a stronger chance of avoiding some post birth complications.  There are several different steroids used for this, but my Doctor prefers Celestone.  So I will receive 2 doses of that.  One on the 25th at our 28 weeks appointment (yes we are going every 2 weeks now) and the 2nd dose 24 hours later.

We also have our next “check in” ultrasound next Wednesday (Sept 18th)…definitely a busy month for appointments.

After our appointment Y and I were able to visit for a while at one of the few coffee shops my little town has to offer, before he had to head home.  I’m still not used to our positions being reversed these last few months, and having C and Y travel to me instead of vice versa. But I have to be grateful that we only have to go from one side of Lake Ontario to the other, and not like some people who have to travel from 3 provinces away to take part in anything!

I’m still feeling pretty good though.  I haven’t particularly enjoyed the higher temperatures the last few days, but since I’m used to being 40 weeks in the middle of summer with my first 3 pregnancies, I’m able to cope fairly well.  I’m still working full-time, and not struggling to get through the day.  Definitely ready for bed at the same time as my kids most nights, but I’m not being overwhelmed with exhaustion like many others might be at this stage.

My back is starting to protest a little more often at the added weight up front, so I am finally booking myself in for a few pre-natal massage sessions over the next while, which is something I have done in each pregnancy so far.  Seriously, every pregnant woman should do it.

And to end things this week, I thought I’d add the comparison picture I made last week taking my 40 week picture from my first journey (with a single baby) and my Belly picture from last week with M and M.  Looks pretty darn close in size if you ask me!

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Left: 40 weeks with a singleton (My 1st surrogacy, and third pregnancy)
Right: 25 weeks with M and M (My 2nd Surrogacy, and fourth pregnancy)

24 weeks…where is the time going?

I thought it might be nice to post a “progressive” belly shot this week, to see just how far we have really come.

 

progressive belly

 

Last week, on the 21st we had another Ultrasound to check in on the Babies. Everything appeared to still be doing well, and the estimated weights were up to 1.5 lbs for Baby A, and 1.4 lbs for Baby B. Well in the healthy range for 23 weeks. I had a shocking moment of reality when it hit me just how much “baby” I am now carrying around…and this is only the tip of the ice burg! This is the time when babies grow quite quickly, so I’m curious, and a bit nervous to see just how big I’m going to get!

C and Y were both able to come to that appointment, and we got to spend a lovely time together afterwards. They treated me to an early birthday dinner at a fantastic local restaurant. The babies and I felt quite spoiled, especially with the Creme Brulee!

The technician did give C and Y some pictures, but I forgot to get a copy for myself, so we will just have to wait a few weeks until the next one. Y also set up his camera to take advantage of the lovely weather, and get some group shots of us all together. I didn’t ask permission though to post the one I’ve seen so far, so will hold off on that for now, but I’m hoping (hint hint!) that he will send me a copy of the one he took of just me and the belly. I so rarely have the chance to get someone else to hold the camera, and get a picture of M and M and I without using a mirror.

This week we are 24 weeks (today is 24 weeks and 2 days) along in the pregnancy. This is another one of those Milestone weeks for us. Prior to 24 weeks, if delivery were to occur, most hospitals do not the parents to prolong or assist life. The percentage of survival jumps from 17% at 23 weeks to 39% at 24 weeks which is a huge leap forward, but still comes with a very serious list of medical concerns.

I feel very fortunate right now to be where we are, and to feel as well as I do. Yes we had that annoying Hematoma issue earlier on, but that has passed now, and in general I feel pretty great!

The last few weeks have definitely had a few more comfort issues present themselves. Heartburn is more frequent, but still manageable with regular OTC antacids, and I’m managing to balance out my physical activity level to stay active and moving, but not to overdo it. i make sure to get up to walk around and stretch out frequently when I’m at work to avoid muscle cramping. And I’m managing to deal with stairs fairly well…and by that I mean, my townhouse has a full flight of stairs you need to walk up to enter on the main floor, so that alone keeps me limber! Ha ha!

People keep asking me if I’m having “cravings”. I don’t really “crave” things in the way that you would see on TV or in Movies. I don’t go after strange mixtures of foods like Tuna and Nutella sandwiches or anything like that, but I guess I have had a few cravings lately. Its more just the intense urgent desire for a specific food that gets me (not the mixture) and lately that has been Peaches (which are thankfully in season and amazing this year from all the local farms!) and Dill Pickles, although the pickles originally started because 2 small baby dills do wonders to help ease my heartburn. Weird, and perhaps not medically proven, but it works for me!

Y came with me this week to our 24 weeks OB appointment. The doctor confirmed that things looked good on our ultrasound, and that nothing alarming or worrying appeared to be present. Since I’ve been feeling good, and not having any “warning” sign symptoms, we carried on to the heartbeat check. A was 142, and B was 148. At the ultrasound A had flipped to be head down, so that was a good thing. It can still change a dozen times between here and delivery, but the longer A is head down the better, and keeps us on track to go for a vaginal delivery.

After meeting with Dr N, we had our meeting with the OB/Maternity liaison (social worker) for the hospital. This is a regular thing done at my hospital when dealing with surrogacy, and is intended to cover a lot of things ahead of time such as our wishes towards access during labour and delivery, who the babies are handed to first, room arrangements, visitors lists, etc. They get it all down on paper, and circulate it to the staff that we will be dealing with so that they will all be familiar with our wishes, and hopefully prevent any upsetting situations during what can often be a high stress time…you know, with all the huffing and puffing and pushing and such. 😉

All in all an effective meeting in my opinion. Definitely more organized that the last hospital I worked with, and much more friendly about the whole process as well.

So now I think we are below the 100 day mark as well since we will deliver no later then the 38th week. My best guess is anywhere from 90-100 days if everything continues on as it has so far.

 

22 Weeks – Totally rocking the Belly now!

Today we have reached 22 weeks along with M and M.  The last few days I have really started “to feel it”, and considering that the babies are due to double in size over the next couple of weeks…I’m really not surprised!

Last week, Y and I attended our follow-up ultrasound to get the images that they were missing from the Anatomy scan.  Everything went well, and after a bit of poking and prodding this new tech was able to get the shots they needed.  Turns out that she is also a twin, so I took that for a good sign as well!

Y and I got to see the babies in action as well.  A is head up, and B head down, and we got to watch as they kicked each other in the face.  Apparently sibling rivalry really starts in the womb…so watch out C and Y!

Afterwards Y and I had a great chance to visit and talk before we each had to head home.  I had my 5 year old son with me that day, and he managed to get a couple of good pictures of us through the back of my van while playing with my iPhone.

21 Weeks (Aug 7th)

21 Weeks (Aug 7th)

Y and I right before parting ways for the day.

Y and I right before parting ways for the

Today we are 22 weeks, and the twins are estimated to be 11 inches long from Crown to Rump…so the size of an average Spaghetti Squash.   I can finally SEE the kicks and spins, and have been trying to get them on video for C and Y, but they are still so random and sporadic I haven’t caught them yet.

I have a feeling though, that after this week I should have more luck.

I have been trying all day to get a good belly picture, but for some reason almost every one is either blurry, or an important part of me is cut off out of the frame.  So I took this one instead.

22 weeks - My view from above.

22 weeks – My view from above.

 

I think it is safe to say that these little miracles are growing perfectly  🙂

So, now on to week 23!