Monday, March 30, 2015

Surrogacy Update-- 32 (almost) weeks!

I suck at updating!

This is going to be a giant one so grab some lemonade and some lunch because you're going to be here for awhile.

I left you at 9 weeks I think so it's been a LITTLE while.

This pregnancy has gone by so fast for me and it has been such a BREEZE in comparison with the twins that I just don't even notice the time moving!

I'm going to go over the main points and I'll link back to my YouTube videos so you can have more details if you want.

9/10 Weeks Video!

11 Week Ultrasound

12/13 Weeks + Gender Reveal Video

13-22 Weeks Pregnant Video (See you weren't the only ones left hanging :/ )

23 Weeks Pregnant Video!

24-26 Weeks Pregnant

27-30 Weeks :)

31 Weeks

Okay, so now that you have all the links, I'll give you the abridged text version.

You're going to have to forgive me for being lazy but I don't have all the exact dates memorized, so some may be off.

I was around 10/11 weeks when I got in to see my OB for the first time. They did the initial ultrasound for their records and confirmed there was still just the one baby in there. I was kind of expecting a hidden twin. From there I started my every 4 week appointments.

Around the same time IM sent me a doppler! Which was awesome because those first few weeks make me paranoid. NO constant kicks to the bladder and cervix to assure me that the baby is still alive and well.

At 12 weeks and a few days, I had a blood test done that would tell us if the baby had any genetic abnormalities. To my knowledge, this wasn't really available with the twins, as I had to go through the long N/T scan with them. A bonus to this blood test was that it also told GENDER.

By this point I was pretty sure it was a boy. This pregnancy felt a lot like my own with Cody. I wasn't sick as often. I had food aversions but I wasn't constantly throwing up. I blamed the girl twin and rationalized that this must mean this one was a boy.  A few days later the blood test result confirmed my thought. This was a boy, and he was, as far as the test could tell 'genetically perfect'.

Morning sickness stopped right around 12 weeks and at the same time I started to feel what I thought were the first little tiny flutters of this little guy.

Between then and my 20 weeks appointment things were pretty boring, which is AWESOME in a  pregnancy. No scares, no tests, not really any big appointments, just growing.  I started describing his kicks, and they were so different then what I experienced. They were definite kicks, and he kicked and moved all the time. Still does. Yet somehow they felt different and I could only explain them as "deeper". They didn't feel as shallow as the twins' kicks or even my sons. I started wondering if maybe I had an anterior placenta.

At 20 weeks the parents came down for the 'big' ultrasound. Everything looked awesome! And baby boy was still a boy (although he didn't really want to show us). He was measuring (as always and at EVERY ultrasound we've had-- 4 days bigger.) I also had an anterior placenta. However, it was high and not-low lying so there wasn't any additional risk. I had an awesome time with the parents even though we were only together for a couple hours. They have a toddler at home they needed to get back to, and I had Cody along. Cody loves them, especially the IF. He sat in IF's lap most of the appointment.

From the very beginning of the pregnancy, I knew I wanted to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). So I made sure to find a doctor that was okay with that. At 20 weeks I finally started digging more into what would be allowed and what would not be allowed. I still come up with questions about it at each of these appointments.
  • He needs the baby to be head down-- he won't do a version (where he manually pushes on my tummy to turn baby) on a VBAC mom. 
  • He wants me to deliver before or by my due-date (no going over). I wasn't in love with this because judging from my prior pregnancies my body doesn't like to deliver early. The twins were 37 weeks and I was showing no real signs of labor (I had dilated to a 3 but wasn't having contractions) and if you've followed me for longer than that you know that Cody was induced at 39 weeks and I wasn't even dilated to a 1 at that point. I think I bake babies longer than average... or I would if given the chance. 
  • He will/would induce me to avoid a c-section but only if I've dilated to a three by that point. 
  • Similarly at 38 weeks he'd do a membrane sweep if I've dilated to a three to see if that throws my body into labor without actually 'inducing'. 
I don't want to induce if I can help it. My induction with my son was horrible.

They checked my uterus height for the first time at 24 weeks and I was measuring 26 weeks. At 27/28 weeks I had another ultrasound just to check how everything was looking and  baby was breech. I knew it was still early, but I couldn't help but feel a little bummed. I needed him to be head down. That was a vbac requirement.

My next appointment was at 31 weeks, just last week. Doctor measured my uterus again and it was 2 weeks ahead. He also felt around my stomach and confirmed that baby was still breech. What a stink.

My next appointment is at 34 weeks, followed by one at 36 (another ultrasound), 38, 39 and 40. I have a MAX of 5 appointments left, and really probably only 4 as my '5th' one would probably be when I went in for induction or c-section.

In the meantime, I'm walking and trying to sit upright and trying to do things that encourage the baby to turn head down.

I've gained about 18-ish lbs this time. A bit more than my last two pregnancies at this time if I remember correctly, so I'm guessing I'll be gaining about 5lbs more than the last two times, but hoping I keep my "25lb streak" alive.

In other news--
In January I started college. I'm majoring in English.
I've started a little home busineses doing homemade crochet items.
I've just bought tickets for Glen and My first trip/vacation. (3 weeks after my due date (I'm clearly crazy). It's nothing big, just going for a week with some friends to California, but I'm excited :)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Surrogate Pregnancy #2; Week 9

Wow, the last few weeks have gotten away from me when it comes to updating, so I have to apologize for that. I had my son's 3rd birthday and had family members up here for about a week, so I was constantly on the move. Week 8 was halfway over so I decided to start again with week 9 and then I forgot that yesterday was Thursday. This is the first pregnancy I haven't worked through, so I don't keep track of the days as well as I used to.

This week, baby is about the size of an olive. I'd probably find that more cute if I actually like olives.
Although small, he's starting to look more and more like a baby. He has arms, legs and even fingers and toes. 
Dr. Google says the uterus doesn't start to peek it's way out of the pelvis until week 10, but I'm pretty sure my super small bump is now baby, and not bloat.  Wanna know why? Funny story. I "show" early every pregnancy. By "show early" I mean that around the same time I get a + pregnancy test, I start to bloat up. If you don't know me, you probably just think I ate too much dinner. When I was pregnant with my son, I would go into my husbands work and lean over this counter thing to say hi to him. I first started realizing I had a bump (not a bloat) when I leaned and my stomach didn't squish, but more felt like someone had put a tennis ball between the counter and my belly.

With the second pregnancy, I noticed the same thing happening (and earlier-- because.. twins) and I knew I was on to something. So this time, I wanted to know, but as we've moved... I've no counter to lean against. Improv time, I just tried a wall in the house and wa-la. It works. And I feel the tiniest bit of non-squishy pressure. Yea.. I'm nuts. It's okay though, at least it won't pass on to the baby ;)

Pregnancy wise, nothing TOO exciting has happened in the last few weeks. No appointments, no ultrasounds. It's so weird to compare to the twin pregnancy because by this time I'd had 3 or 4 ultrasounds. I stop meds  in SIX days. Count 'em, six. My backside is exceedingly grateful. You know you've done a FEW shots when your three year old comes upstairs to remind you it's time for "your ouch mom". He even can point to which pills I take. I'm not sure whether to be scared or proud.  (Btw, they are not in his reach, but when I taken them down to TAKE them, he's usually watching. )

I've been *knock on wood* fairly lucky with morning sickness this go round. I've been queasy here and there, but only have been sick a few times. Baby does have an aversion to meat, but I hope that's a short term aversion because I'm missing it. I picked up some "preggie pop drops" at a local store and am happy to report they are just as amazing as they were with the twins. Pretty much guaranteed to stop my stomach from turning if I have one near by.

I picked up some maternity clothes from another surro for a bargain. I can't remember if I mentioned that or not. I ended up with 5 pairs of pants and 14 shirts?  In most surrogacy journeys you get an allowance for maternity clothes. I remember getting the one for the twins and blowing 3/4 of it in one shopping trip. I wasn't getting top of the line maternity either, but maternity clothes are SO expensive. This allowance is less as it's a single pregnancy (usually more money for multiples because you grow out of maternity clothes with them haha) so with the clothes from the surro I shouldn't have to spend as much. I'll probably break up my shopping as most of the clothes I got are more fall/winter and I'll need a few to tide me over the spring months as I'm due in late may.

I also scheduled our first OB appointment. It's on Nov. 10th. I'll be about eleven and a half weeks at that point, which seems so LATE, but whatever. I'm both excited and nervous. Excited to get things rolling, and nervous because I'm not sure how to express my urge to vbac (vaginal birth after Caesarean) . The doctor is supposedly vbac friendly, which is a plus, so everything should go smoothly. I don't think I'll breathe out until I get the yes from him though.

That pretty much catches everyone up to speed.  Next blog I'll be TEN weeks. Double digits.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Surrogate Pregnancy; Week 6

Okay, so first, don't scold me. I know I'm late. My weeks turn over on Thursday and on Thursday I was busy prepping for a trip we were making Friday. I planned to blog Friday and didn't even get into our hotel until almost 10pm, by which point if I'd tried to write this, you guys would never be able to decipher it. Saturday the whole day, minus 3 hours at the end was spent loading and un-loading stuff and making a 5+ hour drive. So, here I am today.

Today we are 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant! Baby has grown from an apple seed to a pea in 1 week! S/he is roughly a 1/4 inch long.

I've been pregnant before... obviously, and 9 months is always a killer wait, whether or not you are the one bringing home the baby. I realized the other day, that in reality, 9 months is so SHORT a time when you consider all the things happening in that time. Around the time of your first positive pregnancy test, baby is smaller than a sesame seed. In those 9 months, the baby turns from a sesame seed into a squirming 7 lb baby. (Or in my case, 5lbs, 5lbs, and 8lbs). That is an INSANE amount of growth and so many super things happening all to form one super baby. (or two... or three?!).

I have never gained weight this early in my pregnancy. EVER. I usually don't gain weight until I'm around 22-25 weeks. I should probably purchase a scale some time soon to keep track of that... but I move on. Whether it's because this is my third pregnancy, or there are 12 babies in there...  I cannot button my jeans comfortably anymore. I've always shown early, even with my son, but as it's not really possible to be showing yet... I have to reluctantly remove the blame from the baby to fat. Haha.

In reality, I've probably only gained maybe 10 lbs since starting on the meds in August. I only gained a few lbs before, so this time I blame the Lupron. So, I've unpacked my maternity pants and plan on rocking them for the next 8 months. I need to find one of those bands that you can put around your pants so you can keep them unbuttoned and still wear your regular jeans. The jeans fit everywhere else, just not my belly currently. :/

Moving on from my lack of being able to button my pants---

So far.. smooth sailing. I know around 10 girls that transferred within a week or  two of me and a lot of them have had bleeding scares already. So I'll count us lucky on that. I went through that around 10 weeks with the twins, and it's not fun! I'm telling myself the odds are in my favor. I can't believe it would happen twice in a row.

I have days where I very definitely feel pregnant, and days where I almost forget.  I have yet to actually be sick, so I'll be thankful for that. Every other day or so though, I swear this baby taunts me. I'll be sitting in bed and feel sooo queasy that I don't want to move, then I finally do and accept that m/s has struck.... and it goes away.  Little things though are constant. As weirdly hilarious as it sounds, every pregnancy of mine has had one major "symptom" in common. The sight of food that WAS warm and is now cold... makes me gag. Weird right? To give a better example.. if I've cooked something, served it, ate it and have waited a little to clean it up say maybe an hour (?) I CANNOT stand the sight of it. It makes me soo sick. Luckily, my husband is used to it so when I call him in to dump it in the trash he knows what to do before I even tell him.

In THREE days, L & E(or at least I THINK E) will be coming down for the ultrasound! Most importantly, we'll be looking for a heartbeat to confirm the pregnancy continued to grow past those betas we got.  Secondly, we'll be seeing if one or both embryos took.  L will then have an idea of whether she needs to buy a bus, or her current car will work fine ;)

I'm pretty excited about it all. I've been trying so very hard to relax and not do anything to stress out the pregnancy, while also trying to make sure the house is in shape for when my parents come down a few days later for my son's THIRD birthday. Hopefully, with the sight of one or two or twelve nice beating hearts, I'll be able to take a breath and enjoy a nice walk around the zoo for his birthday!

And that, everyone, is where I leave you for this week. I haven't yet decided if I'll do a separate blog for the ultrasound results, or just wait a day and combine it with the 7 week blog..... I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: Solid Cordz; 6-foot Extension Cables

Solid Cordz; 6-foot Extension Cables
Rating: ★★★★☆
When I moved into my current town home, I was pretty happy with what seemed like a TON of plugins throughout the house.  As we slowly set up everything (who am I kidding, we're still unpacking and it's been months...), I realized the cords were in really odd places. Either that, or maybe I just make really odd choices about where things should go. I like to believe the former.  We had several surge protectors lying around so we'd been using them here and there when an extra foot or two was needed. When I sae the opportunity to review these cables for free, I jumped on it. 
I thought 6 foot seemed a little long for your average indoor use, but so far, I've been quite happy with them.  They are small enough, and not bulky, to allow a quick roll up and tuck away for various reasons, and long enough to guarantee I always can have things plugged in when I need. 
I'm not sure exactly how much you can say in a blog about extension cords without repeating, so I'll just say that I really like them, and the company has done a well job at making a cord that is small enought to tuck away and tough enough to deal with whatever we've put it through. 
You can buy these, or the ten foot version of them, on Amazon here. They are only  $19.89 for the a two pack. 

Thanks for reading!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

REVIEW: InstaNatural Argan Oil Hair Mask

InstaNatural Argan Oil Hair Mask

Rating: ★
I've never used a hair mask or even a leave in conditioner for my hair, as I don't normally have problems with dry hair anyways, my hair tends to run more on the oily side. I was a little apprehensive, but was still ready to give it a try. I didn't want to use it for the 15 minutes that was recommended because I was afraid of getting my hair too oily. Instead, I used it as a normal hair conditioner, and loved the results. It has a nice smell, a little in tense at first, but the sent fades, and what does linger is pleasant.

After, as I was styling my hair, I think my hair was actually easier to style. There was no heaviness to my hair, and it cooperated with what I wanted it to do. I not dying my hair for a few months, but I look forward to trying this when I next dye my hair. Whenever I go lighter my hair feels a little coarse for a few days and I' betting this will be a great deep conditioner.

Right now, the product is selling on Amazon here, for only 19.95. I do not need much conditioner at all when I use conditioner, and I probably won't make it a daily routine, more like a weekly or bi-weekly routine, so I imagine this will last me quite a while.

If you're curious, here's what the company has to say about their product:

You Are Just 15 Minutes Away From Soft, Shiny, Brilliant Hair...
Growing up, our hair is soft and shiny and oh so effortless. However, years of blow drying, styling, and dyeing different colors can wreak havoc on your poor hair and scalp. Treat yourself and your hair to InstaNatural's Argan Oil Hair Mask and feel the difference!
The Product
Open the jar to reveal a creamy aromatic blend specially designed to transform dry, damaged hair into luscious locks. Massage the deep conditioner onto your clean, damp strands of hair and let it soak in for just 5 to 15 minutes. During this time, our treatment is working hard to penetrate your follicles to deliver ultimate hydration, as well as key nutrients such as Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter that rejuvenate your hair.
The Results
After applying the Argan Oil Hair Mask, you will be left with healthier hair - guaranteed. The blend of moisturizing ingredients found in our formula helps to repair damaged hair and creates softer, shinier, more voluminous hair that is easier to manage. Not only does this treatment repair existing damage, but also it strengthens hair to protect it against future damage from heat and styling.
Manufacturer Guarantee
InstaNatural backs their products with a Lifetime Money Back Guarantee, no matter where you buy our product. If you're not satisfied, simply contact us and get a full refund.

Thanks for taking a moment and checking out this product with me!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.