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My night in labor and delivery…(Part 1)

Posted by Dalia on July 12, 2012 in Surrogacy |

First off, I want to say thank you to everyone for all your wonderful thoughts, prayers, well wishes, and awesome energy sent the way of these lovely little twins I’m carrying. It was scary, we were nervous and just knowing these little guys were in a great hospital and that so many people were thinking of them…that was just amazing. Thank you! Also I’m typing all this out and I apologize if it gets long and wordy. I really needed to both write it all out for me to see later (while it’s still fresh on my mind) and hopefully to share with others that may experience the same.

So what happened, right? I still don’t know. Monday I came home from a rather long doctor’s appointment (2 hours) and decided to skip the gym and picked the kiddos up some lunch. I’d already had to miss aquaerobics earlier that day because it was rained out so why not finish the day in a lazy way. :-) During lunch I started feeling braxton hicks coming and going and figured it must have been the uncomfortable monitoring appointment from earlier in the day. Now I’m going to throw in something that could totally be a coincidence but starting Friday (we’re on Monday) I’d started feeling icky. I know, LOL, not a fabulous word to describe how you feel but it’s the only way I can describe it. Slight muscle soreness, tired, just not 100%. I’ll admit it was slowing me down considering I had felt tip top until then. So upstairs I go after lunch to try to relax on my cool, awesome adjustable bed. I love that thing. If you can swing it, get one. It’s been amazing this pregnancy.

I was relaxing on the bed watching TV and reading, still getting BH and decided to start timing then. I figured I’d be confronted with the fact that they’re not regular, I’m just being paranoid and to just chill. Well, they were regular and intensity started to pick up. No longer the BH contractions that just make me pause for a moment, painless. They began to feel like the real thing. Of course I know the rules that my doctors have on me…time then, note intensity, and wait for 4-5 in an hour for 2 hours and call in. 2 hours later I’m in shock that while not regular in spacing I am definitely having contractions every 2-8 minutes with no breaks and intensity picking up.

I call my doctor up thinking he’ll ask me to go into his office to get strapped back onto the NST machine for some monitoring. Nope…he wants me to head straight to Labor and Delivery. That’s when it hit me. Please don’t let this be the real thing. It’s too soon. I’m only 31 weeks. But that’s exactly it…I’m 31 weeks with twins and it’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to a twin pregnancy. They tell you (and you know this, of course) that each pregnancy is different. But multiples is a whole other story. I called my husband and luckily he’s already on his way home (very early for him, he usually is headed home much later). I’d told him earlier that I was having contractions and put him on “alert”. But honestly, other than the contractions and the nerves and knowing it’s early…physically I felt fine. Perhaps that’s why it just didn’t feel real while at the same time feeling a little too real. I realize that description doesn’t make sense, but it’s just what was running through my head.

We get to the hospital and valet the car (no parking available near L&D, what the heck!) and head in, get checked in, settle into the triage area, get hooked up to different machines and there I am just waiting and desperately hoping to hear “Ma’am, you’re fine. You just have gas.” Seriously, that’s all I wanted to hear. Unfortunately, though, I’m watching the machine and these contractions are only getting stronger and now I have confirmation on that roll of paper…2-4 minutes apart and I’m hurting. I’ve obviously labored 4 times before this and it felt even that early on while I was laying there that it was time. I’m only 1 cm dilated, 60% effaced but having such strong contractions so close locks me in for at the very least a night of monitoring at the hospital. An ultrasound (both babies breech), a few lab tests later and I’m finally wheeled off to my home for the night in a private room in labor and delivery.

I’d already let my IF (daddy to the twins) know what was going on and I was keeping him updated. We were waiting to hear how things went that night and see what my doctor thought before we decided what to do. Should he stay put in NY or come straight away? So we waited. I settled in for a long, lonely night in L&D (Kenny had to go home to be with the kiddos). I got maybe 2 hours of totally interrupted sleep. I was nervous, scared and extremely uncomfortable. Contractions were not letting me rest and of course all the thoughts and what ifs running through my head. As nervous as I was I could only imagine how nerve-wracking it was for my poor IF. Morning could not come soon enough.

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Summertime!!

Posted by Dalia on June 6, 2012 in Life, Surrogacy |

I am 26 weeks pregnant this week. Wow, time flies by and yet it seems to be crawling at the same time. I feel like a full termer, but not even close. I’ve been very lucky to have had a very healthy pregnancy thus far with just annoying aches and pains to contend with, which is not a bad thing at all considering being pregnant with twins has been tough. Not complaining at all, just telling it like it is. Your body changes so quick and your belly gets big so fast that it just throws your body totally off kilter. My balance (or lack thereof LOL) has been affected and these little guys growing nice, healthy and strong have played quite a mean trick on my back. :-)

I do love to feel these little guys playing around in there, though. It’s so much fun getting a feel for them (ha…pun intended), their little personalities and seeing how healthy they are on a daily basis. I’ve nicknamed them Ricky & Stephen. I hated calling them Baby A & Baby B so I nicknamed them after Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I was watching them on TV once weeks back when I felt them both on the outside of my belly for the first time. And right now those little nicknames seem to fit. Stephen‘s just a bit bigger than Ricky and I’m telling ya, Ricky‘s a bit of an instigator and likes his presence to be known. LOL Stephen does like to invade Ricky‘s space which I feel is his little way of saying “don’t mess with me.” :-P

School’s out and the kids are in full summer mode. Unfortunately I’ve found that my body just isn’t letting me keep up with the kiddos as much as I’d like. We were at Costco last week and I couldn’t even hang…how sad is that? LOL Luckily for me Costco had some nice, comfy lawn chairs set up just for me to chill on…or maybe for show. Who cares, right? It worked out just fine for my mid-shopping break.

As for summers in our household, usually we just head down to the Valley to enjoy time with cousins and my sister. However, being that I’ve reached a certain timeframe in my contract (can’t travel out of the local area) we’re stuck in San Antonio for the summer so I’ve needed to become better acquainted with fun summer activities here in town. Just looking at our full summer, though, and three kids who need to stay active made my body wince. How was I going to keep up? Of course I was going to continue “to do” but I knew I’d need some help so my poor kids didn’t have to be held back. But check this out, I hit the jackpot, ladies and gentlemen…I was able to find an amazing “mommy’s helper” in the form of a college boy off for the summer. He’s the son of a good friend of mine and let me tell you…he’s wonderful. His sister just happens to be the kids’ favorite babysitter, but being that she’s unavailable this summer his mother suggested we speak with him to see if he was up for it.

The kids and I met with him and decided to go forward with our trial run at Sea World. So yesterday the younger two kiddos and our new friend went off to see how he was with the kiddos on an actual outing. Oh…my…gaw…he was fabulous! Collin & Cam loved him…they went out and did a lot of great stuff at the park that I just couldn’t keep up with at all. So having my new helper really does take that pressure off me and makes me feel better that the kids will get to still enjoy their summer despite my stupid back holding me back. :-) Seriously, if you’re able to find a trustworthy and active helper to make things easier on you while you’re pregnant…take advantage of that opportunity. As I said, I’m still going to get out there. But for those times that I can’t it’s great to know the kids have someone fun to take them around.

Alright, so I’ve babbled on long enough about all that so I’ll end with last week’s naked belly shot. It’s kind of scary. It’s a “sorta bikini shot”. I wanted to make sure my swimsuit would fit for our many Sea World outings (year passes, uh-huh :-) ) and decided to just make that my weekly belly shot for my wonderful IF. I think I’ve spoiled him. I send him one every week.

Done laughing at me? Good… :-P Quick, funny story before I finish today. I opted for a full top yesterday because I didn’t want to scare anyone. Yeah, totally going to go back to the bikini top you see up there next time. I don’t care who I scare anymore being that I still got a few concerned stares with the full top. It was just too hot and uncomfortable. But I digress…walking around Sea World yesterday I made some eyes bulge. Not quite sure if it was the twins up top or the twins in the belly making poor folks worry that I may go into labor there at the waterpark. Seriously, I’m that big. LOL Either way I think some people thought one set of them twins was going to be popping out yesterday. And just in case you don’t believe I’m that big, I got to leave the park via the “special exit”…the gate the guard opened especially for me so I didn’t have to go through the turnstile. Ugh! Just call me fat why don’t you, mister? :-P

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that…a whole lotta Tom Petty :-)

Posted by Dalia on May 9, 2012 in Life, Surrogacy |

I know I’ve been MIA for a bit but honestly…I just feel like I had nothing new to share. I’m getting bigger and bigger everyday, and still pretty darned fatigued. Iron pills were finally introduced into my daily routine and I must admit they’ve made a huge improvement on my energy levels. Instead of wanting to lay around and sleep away the whole day, I only feel that way for half the day. LOL But seriously, I do try to take advantage of those moments where I’m not feeling like a complete zombie. Unfortunately I’m not being the most productive mommy right now. But hey, at least the kids are getting fed and the house doesn’t look like a complete wreck. :-P

Check me out this week :-)
22weeks

A couple of weeks ago my IF visited us here in San Antonio so we could have the anatomy ultrasound, tour the hospital, and so he could meet my OB. It was a great but short visit. Luckily Kenny was in town the first morning so we were able to enjoy breakfast together before we began our day. I loved watching my IF at our ultrasound appointment. It was his first chance with his very own eyes to see his little boys (no having to wait for me to email/text pictures). We also took a tour of labor and delivery at the hospital which I must admit was very nice. I delivered Viktoria at a different hospital, smaller, and I fell in love with it there. I was nervous because the hospital I’m delivering at this time is much bigger and I felt we’d lose some of that small hospital, intimate charm. The nurses and staff definitely put my mind at ease. My IF and I are also hoping they have one of those super nice, pimped out suites available for him and the babies when I deliver. There’s no bribing anyone to get one of those rooms…it’s first come basis. Bummer!

And yeah, I know…I’m fired. I completely forgot to take a picture of us together while he was here. By the time I remembered we needed a picture, we were on the way to the airport and it was too late. :-( I suck, yeah.

Transition time…transition time…awkward and nonsensical transitioning going on here…

My IF’s visit was definitely something I’d been looking forward to for awhile there. But when that visit had passed I was very lucky to have another awesome event to look forward to. What was this amazing event, you’re asking? TOM PETTY IN CONCERT!!!!! YES!! If you know me in real life you know about my insane freakish love for Tom Petty. My beautiful sister and I were very lucky to take a fun adventure two years ago to Washington state to see Tom Petty in concert. It was an amazing trip and lots of sister fun. You can check out a video I made of our trip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hgQl7tq8R0

As much fun as that was, I really didn’t think that could be topped. But I must say this past weekend’s concert definitely took the cake for us. One fun addition was we were lucky to have been able to enjoy the concert with our husbands this time (our last trip was just the two of us). I think another element of excitement came in not knowing where our seats were until we showed up, too. We’d purchased VIP premium tickets which adds some cool stuff to our package, however, it also involves being completely blind to what our seats are until we show up the day of concert. Aaaahhhh!!! Insane! But when we got our tickets that day we were surprised to see third row center for the four of us. We were in heaven, yes…hearts pounding and nervous giggling ensued between Alma and me.

Excuse the picture, bad lighting was our foe that evening.
Alma & I

So what can I say about that night? I won’t bore you with the rest of the details since odds are you’re not huge freak fans like my sister and me. LOL I do want to say, though, that I am still flying high from that night. I love that we are slowly working are way up in rows, closer to the stage. One day we’ll be front row, Alma. I promise! :-) The energy, Mr. Tom Petty himself, sharing the night with our husbands…all of it. Beyond words. And one cool little factoid I want to share with you. This is the second time I’ve seen the man while I was pregnant as a surrogate. I was pregnant with Viktoria for our Washington trip and now the Austin concert with twins. Haven’t figured out which is my good luck charm to whom…babies to Tom Petty or Tom Petty to babies. :-P Perhaps it’s all of the above.

To check out my Tom Petty concert pics, click here. Sorry they aren’t the best pictures. As I mentioned, light was our enemy.

Kenny videoed this for me. Tom Petty peforming…enjoy. :-)

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Teach me, Culinary Institute of America…please :-)

Posted by Dalia on April 9, 2012 in Food, Travel |

First off let me just say thank you very much to the Wounded Warrior Project who made the trip I am about to tell you about possible. Wounded Warrior Project is an amazing organization that helps our injured service members as well as spouses and caregivers. This organization has been a HUGE part of Kenny’s and my life and I cannot say enough amazing things about them. If you are interested in the many wonderful things that WWP does and would like to know how you can help, please visit their website at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org. If you or someone you know is a post 9/11 injured service member, visit the WWP site for more information on their many programs and how they can assist you.

As I mentioned, thanks to the WWP I was offered an amazing experience at a Culinary Boot Camp at THE Culinary Institute of America in New York. :-) When I finally received word that I was in fact going I was so nervous, excited and after seeing our schedule a bit overwhelmed. LOL I had lists of what was appropriate wear, our daily schedule, and of course the wonderful opportunities we’d have. Being pregnant with twins and just getting over morning sickness had me both worried and happy. On the one hand I was so relieved to be done with morning sickness; I’d be able to enjoy and appreciate all the food we’d be cooking and eating at the CIA restaurants. I was also nervous because our days started at the school each morning at 6am and I was already in a perpetual state of some degree of exhaustion. These twins have been sucking all my energy, silly little vampires. :-P But truthfully, I wasn’t going to complain because above all that I was just plain ol’ excited about the whole opportunity.

So off I flew to NYC to start the journey. Almost right away while waiting for the shuttle I met one of the sweetest ladies, Katie, from Oklahoma. We waited for the shuttle together, chatted, and realized we’d been at another WWP event together. When we finally boarded the shuttle we were ready to get going. Why didn’t I google this beforehand, though? We were in for a two hour drive to our hotel. I knew it was going to be a bit of a drive but I didn’t realize it would be that long. Or maybe it was our driver who seemed to be taking all the backroads to Poughkeepsie? Oh well…we made it to our hotel just fine and our adventure continued.

Our first evening there we all (about 14 ladies) met with Bill Hannigan, our local WWP coordinator. Let me just say right off the bat, Bill is amazing for many different reasons. One big reason, though, has to be being the ONLY male in our group. LOL He put up with the many silly and different personalities of us all and was always one step ahead of us handling and dealing with it all. Many kudos to him.

Bill even had to put up with our instructors at the school as well.
Bill gets a toilet liner LOL

 

So every morning we were shuttled to the school at 6am and we were able to eat at the school cafeteria. Let me just say this…it’s not your average school cafeteria. It’s actually run by students there at the CIA. As part of their coursework they learn every single facet of the job which includes this fast paced line cooking. Yummy! That was my experience. :-P I tried to have something different everyday but I won’t lie…bacon was a a part of every breakfast. LOL Another thing I noticed about the students there was it reminded me a lot of the military. These guys can catch a pretty mean butt chewing if they mess something up. Something you’d think was minor earned you some public humiliation in front of anyone within earshot. A little awkward and nostalgic on my end.

Okay, so I won’t bore you with a play by play of my week. Instead I’ll share some of the more cool moments…in pictures. :-)

Look at me cooking there. :-) The lady on the left, Mary, was in my cooking group.
Look at me blanching them veggies :-)

 

Each day after the cooking portion of our day, we had to set out our group’s food on the table so we could all taste and eat for lunch. We had four groups, I was in group 4.

All our food ready to go (4 teams)

 

We also had to plate our group’s dishes for critique after lunch. My group’s (can’t remember which day). I made the beef stir fry. We had brown rice and mushroom soup to accompany it.
Team 4's presentation plate (my team)

 

We were also very lucky to be able to dine in one of the school’s restaurants every evening. The restaurants (like the breakfast cafeteria) is run by students at the end of their schooling to learn every aspect of the fine dining industry…chefs, waitstaff, etc, all students. I’m sharing two of my favorite things.

The first is the best mussels I have ever had. EVER. I would have eaten the entire plate but it was just an appetizer and I needed to leave room for my actual entree. But really…the BEST.

best mussels ever

 

The second was this waiter who was very, very accommodating to my “fun” table. That’s my way of saying a tad loud and ridiculous. LOL But seriously, we were having a great time and our waiter was great about it. He even let one of the ladies in our group assist him with the Bananas Foster.
Look at that flame, too cool!!

 

A full week of classroom lecture, exercises and hands on kitchen experience ended with a fun game of Culinary Jeopardy. My group got 2nd place. :-)
Jeopardy!!

 

So yes, it was a very long week. I was beyond exhausted when it came time to go home but I would do it all over again. The experience was beyond phenomenal, I am so very lucky. Our instructors, Chef D and Chef Ski were fantastic, our local WWP coordinator, Bill Hannigan, was great, and all the wonderful spouses and caregivers who accompanied me were not only inspiring but also just loads of fun. Thank you to everyone! :-)

With a couple of ladies missing :-( here is our group on our last night dining in one of the restaurants of the Culinary Institute of America.
last night's dinner group shot

 

If you’d like to see all my pictures from the trip, click here to visit my Flickr page. Some pictures are mine, some borrowed from one of the other ladies (Jennifer Cazares) and some from Bill Hannigan. Enjoy!

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Why yes…I’d love some cheese with my whine

Posted by Dalia on January 30, 2012 in Surrogacy |

Since my last post I’ve had two ultrasounds confirming wonderful news for my IF (intended father)…I am pregnant with twins. Two beautiful little beans growing nice and strong with great heart rates. I could not be happier for him.

I’m extremely excited for him as well. But with that excitement comes cold hard reality…nausea and fatigue. It sucks. With my past four pregnancies I’ve dealt with them at various degrees but I am telling you right now this twin pregnancy is a completely different animal. Am I complaining? Nope, just telling it like it is for a couple of reasons. To educate and to share as a means of support for others who will or are experiencing the same. While I know I’m very lucky to be able to experience the joys of pregnancy and surrogacy, to be able to bring a life into this world, I also believe it’s very important to share the not so pretty (don’t worry, no birthing pictures here LOL). This so we can all share and see “it’s perfectly normal” to feel like absolute dog poo at times. :-P

Nausea started right around five weeks with this pregnancy and it’s been nonstop ever since. There isn’t any point in my waking day I’m not overcome by it. I’ve never succumbed to it quite so early with my singleton pregnancies and had a feeling when I began to experience it with this one that the news was twins. The absolute worst of it is on a completely empty stomach. So even though I do not feel like eating, I need to keep something in my belly so it’s not as bad (but it’s still pretty freakin’ bad). The other night I was sitting on the couch snacking, feeling like crap and my husband turned to me and said “It looks like you’re forcing yourself to eat that.” I was. But trust me, a belly with food in it is so much better than an empty one. They both suck, but one is definitely better.

Throw in the fatigue and I am a walking zombie. I’m not talking just a little bit tired, I’m speaking of full blown extreme fatigue. I NEED to nap at least once a day and I need to lay down or be “relaxing” for the better part of the day. I am so very lucky that on any given weekday the only two things I must do are pick up and drop off the children to and from school. Truthfully, I am so glad that I am not working out of the home at the moment. Would I be able to work? Of course. Would I be be doing a good job at it? Hell no. I can barely think or talk in complete sentences most times. LOL Seriously, it’s pure gibberish most times. :-)

I’m eight weeks pregnant and I keep hoping that this pregnancy (aside from the fact that it’s twins) is as textbook as my others have been. For me that means with the second trimester comes relief from these symptoms. That’s 5-6 weeks away and I really need to stop doing doing the math. It just makes me want to cry.

And then of course there’s my bleeding issues. You might remember me mentioning the fact that I had some bleeding a week after transfer. Well, it’s returned. Thankfully it’s not bad as bad as a subchorionic hematoma, more like a light period. It’s on and off now for the past weeks. Days will go by with nothing and then hello. We’ve checked during my ultrasounds for any source of the bleeding and there is none which is fantastic news. At the moment we’re thinking increased bloodflow to the uterus (I am on lovenox) is causing the occasional bleeding. While it’s good news that it seems to be nothing harmful, it’s still unnerving to see any bleeding during a pregnancy. However, because of this bleeding I’m asked to “take it easy”, no exercise, etc. Not that I’d have the energy to do much, but there’s something about restrictions that makes it suck a little more.

So those have been my days these past weeks. I’m really bad with returning phone calls and emails and all correspondence in general. I’m trapped in my home most days as I just can’t muster the energy to do most anything. I’ve come back to this post several times as it’s been exhausting trying to make a coherent thought. LOL The good thing about all this is we have two very healthy babies growing inside me right now. The nausea and fatigue will disappear in just a few short weeks. I have an amazing support system here at home, too. My oldest has really stepped up around the house with doing my chores. She’s earning herself something real nice when these babies are born. :-)

So yes, even though I’m tired and nauseated to my core I am beyond excited and happy for my wonderful IF. He is going to be able to experience the joys of daddyhood with these two awesome little beans and everytime I think of it I get a big ol’ geeky smile on my face. And this makes all the yuckiness worth it. I just kind of wish I had a fast forward button…to get me to the second trimester a little bit quicker. :-P

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I know, I know…

Posted by Dalia on January 10, 2012 in Surrogacy |

I’ve been a bad girl and haven’t kept everyone in the loop. After my transfer in November I went into hiding…intentionally. One of the main reasons I decided to share my surrogacy journey was to share it all, not just the sunshine and rainbows portion. I didn’t do that. I apologize. I’ll share now.

My November transfer failed and quite honestly I felt like crap. We get ourselves completely med up with all these hormones preparing our bodies, we go through our own superstitious routines, and of course we go in 100% positive and knowing we will come out of that transfer pregnant. And then reality has a funny way of reminding you life doesn’t always go the way you planned. So I hid my disappointment because it was just easier that way. I belong to an amazing support group of surrogates online who made things easier for me. But I must admit my jealousy in seeing these other fine ladies coming away from their transfers with the results I expected. Of course I’m happy for them, but I wanted that, too.

Now I know this in no way compares to the women who are themselves infertile or unable to carry their own children. I will not pretend to know what they experience in life and I will definitely not compare my disappointment in my failed transfer to their struggles. I did feel cruddy, though, and I felt bad for my awesome IF (intended father), I’d let him down. I had success with my first surrogate journey in becoming pregnant with Viktoria with our first embryo transfer. I expected the same this time around and was met with the reality that is IVF…it’s unpredictable.

After I had my little pity party I dusted myself off and got ready for our next attempt. I was lucky to start my monthly visitor almost immediately and quickly got the ball rolling to cycle again. After a 16 November transfer I was able to just barely squeeze myself in for a 23 December transfer. That was quick! I didn’t even care that it had me flying home on Christmas Eve. I wanted to do it again and get me knocked up. :-) Being a frozen transfer, meds protocol is slightly different and of course my doctor had a few other tweaks to make, to ensure the best chance for success this time around. Slight changes were made with my estrogen and progesterone protocol and a new med was added, lovenox. For those of you unfamiliar with it, lovenox is an anticoagulant therapy used in IVF to help increase bloodflow to the uterus, preventing blood clots that may keep an embryo from surviving and for some women keeping them from miscarrying. The drug itself is often used in those with blood clotting disorders, people preparing for heart surgeries and other issues. Isn’t modern medicine amazing? :-)

So we’ve changed things up a bit for this second try and again we went in with our positive attitudes and prepared ourselves for a successful transfer. And guess what…we did it…WE ARE PREGNANT!! So here I sit today 5 weeks along in this pregnancy excited, nervous, and trying to take it day by day. I know those of you unfamiliar with IVF are probably doing the math right now and saying to yourselves “What…5 weeks? That doesn’t add up.” There’s that modern science thing again, a hard thing for me to get used to when I first started surrogacy. But yeah…5 weeks along. :-)

After the transfer I actually started testing at home 3 days past. I know, I know…they tell us not to so we don’t get excited or upset with whatever those results are. But let’s face it, I’m just not a patient person and I wanted to be able to give my IF some good news on New Year’s Day if we did indeed have a positive. I started getting positive results on day 4 and the lines just got darker from there. And then I had the awesome idea of taking a picture of myself with a digital test that said “pregnant” to text my IF on New Year’s midnight. It was a wonderful idea, I was so excited but it meant me holding out on him for a few extra days. But being that even Kenny (my husband) thought it was a fun way of telling him I knew I HAD to do it.

Then life decided to mess with my awesome idea and I started to bleed 7 days after my transfer. Not spotting, no tinges with a wipe, just straight up bleeding bright red blood. Oh crud…you have got to be kidding me?! Really?! I know bleeding is common with IVF but I’d personally hadn’t heard any stories of women bleeding so early after transfer. Most stories I’d heard were 5 or 6 weeks along. But there I was, bleeding and I started to feel crushed all over again. I called my doctor and let him know (truth is they can’t do anything about it, but you need to let your doctor know regardless) and I vegged out for the next few days, feet up as much as possible and lots and lots of water. What else could I do?

I also had to call my IF earlier than I’d anticipated. I was really looking forward to that amazing New Year’s midnight reveal but I couldn’t do it that way anymore. I called him and explained my positive home results but let him that I was indeed bleeding. He’s amazing, I have to tell you. He took it all so well and we went on with our positive attitudes and minds on an awesome successful transfer. Beta day came (our official pregnancy blood test) a few days later and we were greeted with a wonderful, healthy number. Two days later another great number. We did it. We made it through a nervous few days. The bleeding stopped 4 days after it started.

 One of the pictures I’d planned to share with IF on New Year’s midnight.

So what’s next? We wait. Of course. LOL :-) We have one more beta (our doctor loves them numbers) and if all looks good we will have an ultrasound next week, on week 6. We’ll see how many little ones we have growing in there (we transferred two) and we get to see heartbeats and all that fun stuff. I’ve also made a decision. I won’t hide anymore. I hid after my failed transfer and I hid while I was bleeding and scared and thought I was losing that pregnancy. I want to share it all because I’ve actually found it helps to do so. To just let it out and admit my concerns. It also helps to share for other surrogates who may experience the same. If one new or even an experienced surrogate comes across a post and is able to see that someone else had the same symptoms, fears, medical stumbles, etc…if me sharing can help someone else if even for just a short moment, well then it’s worth it.

Next week…the ultrasound. I’ll be back to share more then. Promise! :-D

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The transfer that came and went…

Posted by Dalia on November 20, 2011 in Food, Surrogacy, Travel |

Getting ready for this current embryo transfer was much like my last one…preparing the house for my absence, making lists of the things I must take, packing for the possibility of being in California longer than anticipated, and of course trying to get my nerves under control. I could go into detail on the list of all the other “fun” stuff you should do to prepare for transfer but I actually believe a sister surrogate does it best in her blog post “What to Expect When You’re a Surrogate Mother-The Transfer Edition.” If you’re brand new to surrogacy or even if you’ve been there done that already, check it out as it’s a great and funny resource for us surrogates. :-)

Now in addition to the usuals I have to add on my fear of flying. I absolutely hate it. For those of you with that same fear you know how sometimes even the most exciting trip can be overshadowed pre-trip by the actual flight. You’d think I would be over it by now, I have flown quite a bit including across OCEANS…but nope. I’d like to say it’s getting better but I think I’m just getting better at masking it. Inside I’m still terrified my plane is going down. So off I go to LAX with my way too stuffed suitcase (which I actually checked, I never do that) and I’m ready to get this party started. Nice hotel, nice town, and now I must get ready for my date with my wonderful IF (intended father). The nerves are now being redirected in a different direction. We have kept in touch since our match meeting, of course, but it is only our second time meeting. My first night there we decide to finally have our second date and I must say I put way too much time and thought into getting ready and putting together an outfit for a date with a gay man. LOL I think I did good, though.

But look, look…my awesome present from my IF. I am a HUGE Golden Girls and Betty White freak and my IF gifted me the complete DVD set of the Golden Girls. Eeeeek, this girl’s in heaven. Can’t wait to start the marathon! :D

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Now, when our embryo transfer dates are given to us by the clinic it’s either of 2 days…a 3 day or 5 day transfer. Grade and viability of these embryos are factors taken into consideration when deciding the day of the transfer. We were lucky that we had a nice number of embryos and great quality to go ahead and aim for that 5 day transfer. So Monday morning I get the call that our transfer will indeed happen on 16 November. As many of you are already aware that day is very dear to me. That is my very first surrobabe’s FIRST birthday. Numbers and dates and good luck charms are just another thing to add to the world of science for me to help this transfer be successful. Sometimes it’s all I have when things are out of my control. But come on, you have got to admit having 11 embryos created on 11.11.11 and transferring on the precious Viktoria’s birthday are pretty freakin’ cool. Oh…and the coolness does not end there.

Unfortunately before I left Texas I was not able to get my much needed massage from my good friend and my favorite massage therapist, Jessica. Our schedules just were not meshing so I was forced to leave town without my deep tissue massage. However, now that our transfer was postponed a few days I was able to schedule something locally in California. First of all, ouch! Prices are way ridiculous over there. Second, I’m so picky with my massages that I’m very nervous scheduling anything at all. But the thing is I really need that massage so I start looking for local spas. I’m kind of limited, though, as I have no car and the hotel shuttle is free as long as it’s within 3 miles. Finally I settle on what I must say was the best choice for more than one reason.

If anyone is ever in Pasadena for any reason I’m going to tell you now, go to Cote d’Azur. Absolutely one of the best massages I have ever received in my life. Cat, my therapist, was AMAZING! Tiny little thing, I was worried I wouldn’t get the pressure I needed but the deep tissue she gave me was exactly what I needed. The ambiance set was great, very new age without pretention (hate that) and so relaxing and calming. I also spoiled myself with an extra treatment which included a tummy massage and mask. I know, sounds weird but it was great. It also included another shoulder and scalp massage. I was in heaven. But here’s the cool part about my spa experience. First off, Cote D’Azur is a region in France known as the French Riviera, where the lovely Viktoria lives with her daddies. Second, the lady who finished my treatment for the day which included the tummy massage…a mom to twins. Yep, she had boy/girl twins. Oh yeah, might help to clue those of you not in the know, we’re aiming for twins. I’m sorry but all of that was just way too amazing to not share. Loved it! :-D

And what does one enjoy post deep tissue massage (besides tons of water, of course)? Why Thai food, of course. :-D Cafe Linda for any of you all headed out to Pasadena. Mmmm…so yummy. And probably some of the best Thai tea I’ve had in a very long time.

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The rest of my time there seemed to both drag on (can Wednesday just get here already?!) and fly by so quickly as well. The day of transfer I show up to the clinic ready to get this party started. I come with my phone in hand, to update my wonderful contact buddy and surrosister extraordinaire, Michelle, and of course with my bottle of water ready to fill my bladder for the ultrasound. So we’re finally here, the day we’ve been anticipating for quite awhile now and it’s time to get knocked up. I must say I love our doctor, Dr. Kolb. He has a way of putting you at ease, giving you the information you need without making you feel stupid for not understanding the science right away. I love this man. So we do our pre-transfer routine and then get right to it.

And now we’re here. We transferred two great quality embryos on 16 November, a fresh 5 day transfer. Today we just wait patiently to see if I am pregnant. Intended parents and surrogates go into this process with the best intentions and most positive attitudes, but at the end of the day we all get nervous, impatient, and yes, sometimes do a little of that “what if…?”. So that’s where I am. In my heart I know this had to be it but I’m still nagged with the “other”. I’m crampy, very crampy. I don’t remember feeling this crampy last time. Kenny, my husband, tells me I was. It’s funny the things we forget. Sort of like the pain of birth. Our official pregnancy test, the blood draw (BETA), isn’t until Monday, 28 November. Seems like an eternity away. My IF and I plan for me to do home pregnancy tests so that we can have an idea before then but it’s still so nerve wracking.

The waiting game…it sucks. Luckily I have Thanksgiving to keep me busy. My sister and her family will be coming up to feast with us. A house full of preoccupation and noise is a great way to pass the time. Food, good food, also makes me happy so there you go. LOL

I want to end this blog with a recent picture of my little surroPrincess, Viktoria. One year old, can you believe it? Seems so long ago already. Can’t wait to help give my current IF his family as well. :-)

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It’s time…let’s do this!

Posted by Dalia on November 12, 2011 in Surrogacy, Travel |

I’ve been very quiet, I know. I have been keeping busy and laying low intentionally. I’ve known our embryo transfer date was coming up but I was so afraid to get excited. Last time around (a couple of months ago) our transfer was cancelled one week before due to egg donor issues. Even though we were constantly updated on the donor and knew she was doing great, and knowing that my own numbers have been looking fantastic as well…I was still very scared something would come up to cancel this cycle, too. But we made it and we are here now. We are going to make a baby (or two :-D ). Let’s do this!!!

We have a transfer date of either 14 November (for a 3 day) or 16 November (for a 5 day). As you all know I am extremely partial to the date of 16 November and feel we MUST transfer on that date. Why, you ask? That is little Viktoria’s birthday, my very first surrobabe. I delivered her on 16 November 2010 and I feel that little munchkin’s special day is going to carry over to help a wonderful man become a daddy. :-)

So I sit here with my coffee flavored with some of this yummy peppermint mocha creamer and I begin my day by chatting it up with my sisters online. I’m making mental and actual lists of what I need to do today before I leave for Los Angeles tomorrow. Kenny and the kids will be in heaven having this hormonal lady out of the house, I can guarantee you that. For their sake this had better be a 5 day transfer, I’m sure they’re thinking. More time that Mom’s gone. LOL Oh, and they’re going to love the crappy frozen food I had to buy for them since Dad doesn’t cook and apparently even a simple Hamburger Helper is too difficult for him…okay, that’s a rant for another day. :-P

Laundry, packing and going through my closet obsessively trying on clothes to see what are the right outfits to take are on the agenda for the day. The funny thing is I really am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal and I normally couldn’t care less what I throw on my body. There is something about travel, however, that makes me antsy and I begin to second guess my wardrobe choices. Luckily the weather there will be much like my weather here so I don’t really need to over think that aspect.

I am extremely nervous, scared and excited and yet calm as well. I know that doesn’t sound possible or right but it’s true. Calm, at peace because I really do feel this transfer is going to result in a pregnancy. I feel it, I know this. Nervous and excited because I have not seen my IF since our match meeting this past spring. I know it’s stupid but I feel like it’s only the second date even though we have obviously kept in touch. I love this feeling but it makes me very nervous. LOL

Why scared? I also love to travel, take short and long trips, whatever…I am a big fan of travel. However, I am NOT a fan of flying. I absolutely hate to fly. It makes me a sick, nervous mess and I really do know it’s all good but my fear definitely does take over. I don’t cry, I don’t hug a post in the terminal refusing to be boarded and I’m definitely not a “drink to get through this” type person. But let me tell you right now, if you ever fly with me and I look calm and quiet, inside I am a nervous wreck convincing myself that it’s all going to be okay. LOL Kenny says it’s a control issue, when something (especially flying) is out of your control it can become a fear. He says that is why he got his private pilot’s license. I told him to shut the F*** up and I wasn’t interested in hearing one of his “I’m the most interesting man in the world” stories. Yeah…that’s another rant to share at a later time. :-P

So I sit here postponing what I need to be doing. I am making the excuses that I need a good 2 or 3 cups of coffee before I’m functional, that I need a GOOD working list to commence the day because it would just be insane to have an incomplete list, and that of course I need to finish bugging the crap out of my sisters online. And I musn’t forget to practice the French Birthday Song a couple of more times. I’m learning to sing it for the precious Viktoria. Who’s having an extremely procrastinating type of morning? This gal here! :-P

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Dates, dates, dates…

Posted by Dalia on October 18, 2011 in Life, Surrogacy |

Hooray!!! So I finally got new dates for this cycle and we are looking at a transfer date of either 14 or 16 November, depending on whether it’s a 3 or 5 day embryo transfer. So of course we want a transfer date of 16 November…it would be a 5 day which rocks and also it is one year after I gave birth to Viktoria. To transfer exactly one year after I gave birth to her would be amazing. You can’t beat that date. :-) So send us some of that awesome positive energy so we can make this happen on 16 November, everyone. Thanks! :-D

While I was waiting to receive this calendar I was keeping busy with little projects around the house and getting ready for Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. While trying to preoccupy my mind, one really cool thing did come up. My very good friend, Mambo LaReina, invited me to be a guest caller on her radio show on Tenacity Radio. It was such an honor as she is an amazing artist and spiritualist. With this show under my belt and me doing an okay job (I hope, LOL) she has invited me to come back on her show and contribute whenever I want. I must admit I’m so stoked about that. I’m already following some of her advice so I can come back on her show with hopefully some interesting stories and insight.

So check me out tonight, 18 October (Tuesday) @ 11pm EST on Tenacity Radio. Mambo LaReina is co-founder of Mystic Seekers Paranormal Research Investigations. Check out her paranormal research page if that’s your cup of tea and listen in tonight and please cut me a break. In other words don’t tell me if I did horribly. I suck so bad at public speaking. And yes…this counts as public speaking to me. :-P

Oh, and I start lupron today. Woohoo!!! (she says sarcastically)

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Keeping busy

Posted by Dalia on October 9, 2011 in Life, Surrogacy |

Still waiting for anything to begin on the surrogacy front. It feels like forever and a day since anything has happened. It really hasn’t been THAT long but damn if it doesn’t feel that way. So I’m trying to keep busy with everything else to keep my mind off of it. One cool fun thing we did was get me a new car. I love her already. I drive like a billion miles a week with the kids’ schools being nowhere near our home and my new toy fit the bill perfectly with her excellent mileage and all the cool crap she does. It’s a Honda Insight and looks like this picture, including color. I don’t care if you don’t like her, I do. :-P

I’ve also been occupying myself with some of the rooms in my house that really piss me off as far as organization goes. There are some things I try to leave to the kiddos to do but other things…well let’s face it, they’re just never going to do it. I went through the playroom and just got rid of scores of things. What always amazes me is that I can’t remember the last time we actually bought them any new toys and yet a few times a year I go through their rooms and come out with bags of this stuff. What the hell?! How does it get there?

Kenny and I have decided that in November we’re doing the same in the garage and getting rid of the “big shit” we no longer need. This includes two extra couches (yeah, who the heck has two extra couches…really) and some random pieces of crappy furniture we no longer need. It kind of reminds me of doing a PCS move (permanent change of station) when we were in the military and trying to purge the house of lots of unneeded crap. However when you’re in place for so long, out of the moving game, you really need to pick a date, stick to it and just do it. So if you’re in the need for crappy, really old as is couches and junk, let me know. If you can cart it away yourself it’s all yours. :-)

And just a heads up. I’m in the process of looking for my supplies and if I find them I’m letting you all know that I will be making Dia de Los Muertos sugar skulls. I didn’t get to them last year as I was always so freakin’ tired with being so fat from pregnancy. I was sad I didn’t get to do them and like an idiot who can’t read a calendar, October snuck up on me this year. I don’t know how…I love Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. My absolute favorite holidays EVER…EVER. Anyway, I’m going to go through the garage today and I hope I do find them so I can get to making them the next few weeks. I hope the gods of finding shit can hear me because I’m on this. Okay…getting up off my fat butt now to go aid the gods in finding them. :-P

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