Friday, August 24, 2012

Long Hot Summer

As the summer comes to a close, I realize that my house isn't a complete dump site yet even with three kids, one of which who is up half the night with gas (poor munchkin).

With the kind of heat we've all been getting this year (above normal at any rate), it's amazing any of us mommies are surviving!

Luckily, I have amazing intended parents, they've been visiting all summer when they can, which definitely helps me keep sane (human contact is great!). They came last week, and they brought me fresh veggies and the baby two ADORABLE suits and they even scrubbed my kitchen down!! Best gifts ever include food and cleaning after you've had a baby!

Here is a picture of their last visit, holding our little milk monster and our oldest :)

We're so lucky they live so close! The kids LOVE when they come visit so it makes it that much better!!

They're coming Tuesday, so I'll add more pictures then! They're still in the "we have to be gentle in case we break the baby" stage, but that'll wear off after the baby is a bit older! Almost no one sees newborns, and no one seems to realize that just because they're small doesn't mean that they are any more/less breakable haha

That being said, it really is driving me crazy that people think that he is "tiny"...when now, he's bigger than a lot of babies are at birth.

He's gained 21 ounces since 3 days old, which is crazy and great! 21oz in 9 days was amazing and I am so proud of my mommy milk!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Going Back In Time

Well, I know that I haven't updated on the twins in SUCH a long time!  I have a few pictures of them recently that I'm more than happy to share with you all!

Haley is already 29 inches tall and Gavin is 31!

Their parents have kept me in the loop, for which I am forever grateful for. The love you have for a child that you have carried, birthed, and cared for is undescribable and I'm not sure how well I would have coped if their adoptive parents had gone against their word and not kept in contact. I will be forever grateful, even if I only hear from them once a year for the rest of my life, and it is obviously the risk any birth mother takes.

Here they are!  They are perfect little angels!

They are both very healthy and happy, and they're showing a lot of personality!
Seeing all of these pictures and getting updates on them makes me realize that there are just soo many people out there who would love to have the chance to be parents, and won't be able to without the aid of either adoption or surrogacy. It certainly makes me feel as though I'm part of something bigger, possibly something more important. Even though I will never be a traditional surrogate again, and with 5 biological children in this world, I will never pass my genes on again, I can't wait to get started on my next surrogacy journey!
That being said, we haven't even started on testing or contracts. We don't know for sure if we're doing a fresh or frozen cycle. We don't know if we're using a donor if my intended mother can use her own eggs. No contract has been started.
The good news is that we have about 16 months to get everything in order! It seems soo far away, but to think that I can start counting down the months gives me something to look forward to, and of course, I have our little guy to worry about and be completely and utterly grateful for!
Life throws us a LOT of unexpected curves, I have personally experienced more than my fair share in the last two years, but so far, they've all ended up much better than I had hoped for, and I hope that everyone can look and see the positive aspects in our lives, it seems like every stage of our lives is a hard part, or a speed bump, or simply hard. Yes, it's true. However, we have come from rougher places, experienced worse scenerios, and we've outsmarted and defeated many obstacles. Every single one of us. There is just soo much to be thankful for.
...This is how I will cope with the fact that summer is coming to a close haha.
Thank you all for reading my blogs, and thank you all for following my story and my life.
I promise that I'll be updating more often, I miss blogging SO much!!
Just so that we all remember, this was a picture taken just over a year ago of the twinkies and I!
And here they were almost exactly a year ago in their new home with their new parents, who love them SO much!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Birth Of Our Third Child

Well, I know I didn't really update throughout our pregnancy, but it wasn't because I didn't care to, but because it wasn't really surrogacy related.

The pregnancy went really smoothly, and we certainly couldn't have asked for a healthier baby!

Our son was born August 11th, 2012 at 0241hrs.

I'll share some of the pregnancy pictures that I have  of the last few weeks :)

They were taken at 32 weeks, 34 weeks, 36 weeks, 37 weeks, 38 weeks and 39 weeks in labor!

We were going out for 3-5km walks nearly every day of my pregnancy, so we expected to go a bit earlier than we did, but on the day I was 38 weeks a nd 6 days, on my way upstairs to check on the kids who were playing in my daughter's room, my water started to break. It started to gush once I hit the top of the stairs. Looking at the time really quickly, it was 10:05am. 

I yelled down to Josh, who was in disbelief (literally, he didn't believe that it was my water, he asked me three times if I was sure it was my water and not me peeing myself. After giving it 4 more gushes, I confirmed with him that it was time to look for someone to watch the kids, we were having a baby!

We had to clean up a bit before going in, so we left about an hour after the first gush.

Upon arriving, I was hooked up and all that good stuff and the monitor was showing some contractions, but I wasn't feeling them at all. They checked me and I was about a 4cm to 4.5cm without them stretching me, still about a 5.5cm with stretching, so I wasn't getting any stretchier, but I was dilating slowly.

So, after a blood test, and me telling them that I wanted to do this delivery completely natural, including no IV (I had to sign wavers saying that I was going against Dr's recommendations for that one), we decided to start walking around. It still wasn't bringing on any pain at all, so we were a bit frustrated.

We were still walking around at 3 with no pain. I was starting to get a bit nervous, and finally asked Josh to go get the breast pump to see if that would bring anything on for us. After 20 minutes, we walked a bit and we were having some good contractions finally. They weren't strong enough though, but I had gotten to about a 5cm with no stretching. Very small defeat.

At 4pm we started to finally feel the contractions coming and going like we should and contractions were painful. After 20m of walking we went back for another 30m of pumping to get things hyped up. We were slowly progressing, but something is always better than nothing!

By about 6pm we were at 7+cm to 8cm dilated and 70% effaced. We were starting to get excited!

We walked through horrible contractions, 180 seconds long, 60-70 second peaks. It had been two hours so far. Longer than anyone thought I'd be. We walked through these contractions for a full hour. Then we got checked. Absolutely zero change. I felt a little defeated but I was determined.

We got up and started to walk again. Got checked at about 745, no change.

I started to think maybe I just need a bit of rest. We laid in the bed and sat during contractions, breathing, concentrating, and keeping my whole body relaxed during contractions. I felt amazing after each one and I felt empowered that I was doing it. Josh held my hand through each and every contraction, just holding it, not moving, not talking, not even breathing too heavy so I could concentrate. He was amazing. I never want to birth without him again. He was so encouraging and kept pushing me to keep going. I was starting to get exhausted.

845 we were checked again. No change. I started to cry. Why was this happening? I was doing everything right. The contractions hurt soo much and they were getting so bad. Why was my body failing me.

930 came, still nothing.

The Dr came in, it had been almost 12 hours since my water broke, infection rates were going up. I knew what that wasn't safe to keep going like this. I agreed to putting an IV in through many tears to start pitocin. I knew what pitocin meant, the last time I had had it, I had to do it for 4 hours with no meds since meds were stopping contractions. I started to uncontrollably cry while telling them to call someone in to do an epidural.

Four busted veins later, the Dr got an IV in, started fluids, and then she did the epidural. I didn't stop crying the whole time.

My mom and my aunt stopped in sometime here. I dont' really remember when, I was sucking back gas when they were doing my IV's as I would scream every time they would try to put one in. She left shortly afterward, but I was uncontrollably crying still.

Pitocin started after the epidural was started. I laid down and just cried for another hour. I wouldn't let them check me, I knew there was no change yet. It had all started at about 1030pm.

The time and checks from this point on were blurry because I was in such a distraught state of mind. I stopped texting one of my best friends during this time as well, a wonderful woman who I typically text over a thousand times per day, shared everything with for over two months.

She offered me all kinds of support once I started to text again at about 1130.

At which time, we were at 8cm and 70% effaced. Not much progress, but something. I had rolled onto myside and hte baby's head could come down a bit more. Now sitting up in bed, and the epidural wasn't working as well though.

It was completely worth it.

1230am we were at 8.5cm. Finally some real progress. I cried when I heard it, as talk of Csection had already started.

1am we were at 9cm and 97% effaced [I laughed at this, but she said we were REALLY close to being completely effaced, but just not quite].

130am we were at 9.5cm and fully effaced, it was getting very very difficult to not push now, the pressure was unbearable. Still, I had complete support from Josh who was at my side the whole time, through every contraction, telling me I was doing great and that we were going to have our baby in our arms at any minute. Thank God for him.

145 we finally hit complete. I never thought I'd hear those words. It had been almost 10 hours since contractions had put me into the "active labor" category. 10 hours of hell. 10 hours that seemed like an eternity. 10 hours where Josh held my  hand, counted to 10 over and over and over again through the contractions to help me get through them. 10 hours where a woman 6000+ miles away was worried, supporting, comforting and pushing me emotionally. Even though she wasn't there with us, she really was my second birth partner.

We started to push, but I was honestly emotionally drained. Physically drained. I was tired and fed up and...defeated. Contractions were sometimes over 5 minutes apart. Josh held my hand as I half-ass pushed our baby down.

As we were pushing, the Dr noticed something. Something that could have stalled everything for all these long hours. Actually, two things. 1. The baby had a SECOND sac to break. Yep. That's right. TWO sacs. 2. The baby wasn't only sunny side up, he was tiled about 25 degrees, making it that much harder to push him down. We couldn't move his head any, but they did break the second sac.

We pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. Finally, she said she could see the baby's head when we pushed. She said I could feel if I wanted to, but I just didn't want to. I didn't realize I had been pushing for so long either. This was almost 55 minutes into pushing.

At this point, we were getting in three pushes per contraction.

I felt like I would never have this baby.

I started to reflect on how I felt about this pregnancy and baby this whole time. I was devastated when we found out but learned to live with the pregnancy, but never came to terms with a baby, the actual acceptance that we were having a baby. We were going to bring a baby home. I'm sure it was due to the lack of oxygen/energy at that point, but it all came to me at once. For the first time in nine months, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love and joy for this little tiny creature. I have no idea what came over me.

The next contraction came as all other did. I pushed 10 seconds, breath, pushed 10 seconds, breath and the Dr said okay, one more. Pushed for 10 second nice and hard, breath, the Dr leaned back to wait for the next contraction, everyone let go of my legs. I pushed again really hard, breath, the Dr started to encourage me, Josh looked at me as if he was worried. Again I pushed hard, as hard as I could. The baby's head emerged, the Dr looked at me shocked and said "okay, stop pushing!". I did. She said "okay next contraction we'll work on the body." were doing this now. I pushed one more time, out came our sweet little boy and we heard a cry.

The baby was placed on me right away. Love rushed over me, I started to cry and forgot about the last almost 11 hours. A full hour of pushing. I could have totally had him out in 2 contractions. I didn't care. I looked at him while bawling my eyes out. He was absolutely perfect. No cone head. Josh kissed me, and our baby. Happiness was taking its turn taking over my body. The placenta was soon behind him.

We nursed right away, he was full of vernix (well, honestly just on his back) but I didn't care one bit, he was completely naked against my body and was so quiet. He was taking everything in. He was happy as long as he was on me.

I barely wanted to let him go long enough for him to go get weighed and put a diaper on after that, but of course I did.

After about a half hour of him and I bonding, we decided to weigh in.

Everyone took their guesses, the overall estimate on guesses was 7.5lbs. My guess was 6lbs 12oz, the nurses all thought I under estimated.

Evan Edgar Robert MacKenzie weighed in at 6lbs 11.7oz and was a full 20 inches long and born at 2:41am. He was born sunny side up and was absolutely beautiful and wide eyed.

We finally got to a room by 530am and I was wide awake but could barely move still.