About Me

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Caledonia, Northern Illinois, United States
I am a Thirty-Something mother of four beautiful girls. My love for them, and the joy I've experienced during this crazy ride called motherhood, has inspired me to help make the dream of a family become a reality for couples through gestational surrogacy. I've proudly helped A&T, as their lives were forever changed when they welcomed a son in April 2010 and K&S were blessed as parents in Sept 2012 when we welcomed their twin boys. I completed my final surrogacy journey Nov 2015 when I helped a wonderful local couple J&W and Big Brother add their family with the birth of twin boys. I am so very fortunate to have wonderful relationships with each one of my surro-families and continue to share in their lives.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snuggles with the Christmas Elf

The family and I had a great holiday visit with A&T and Baby G. On Wednesday we went into Chicago for the evening and enjoyed a nice low key night with the surrofam. Mr. Giovanni greeted us at the door and before I even had my coat off was reaching out to me. **love** Either this lil man doesn't have a hint of stranger anxiety yet or he still recognizes me. We've been keeping our visits so regular, the longest has been 6 weeks, that I wouldn't doubt he finds me familiar. He spent a lot of time in my arms as we chatted in the kitchen while FIF prepared dinner. We then went downstairs to get my girls comfortable in the family room where I set Baby G down on the floor to join them. He didn't hesitate in showing off his crawling skills. He's got his own individual style, one knee on the floor and but he uses his foot on the other side to propel himself, it gives him a lil more speed. :) He's getting more steady when he stands and still loves to jump. I see steps in this guys future before his first birthday for sure.

After some visiting Giovanni went down for a little snooze, the girls played with all his toys and the adults enjoyed a delicious dinner and some great conversations.

After awhile baby got up from his catnap so we decided to exchange gifts. FIPs gave the girls some fun toys that kept them busy. They generously gifted me charms for my Pandora bracelet and a Pandora necklace so my collection can continue to grow. They are beautiful and I'm so thankful for their generosity. Jason received a book "1001 MOVIES You Must See Before You Die" so that should keep him busy for awhile. LOL They also gave us a copy of Cinema Paradiso, the movie they watched together on their first date. The movie is set in 1980s Rome, Italy, and tells the life story of a famous Italian film director through flashbacks. I know a bit about the movie because it was playing on the DVD player while I was in labor ... I didn't get to watch much of it though. Perhaps now I can sit down without any interruptions. ;) I do remember the soundtrack to the film was beautiful, that was playing during the actual delivery and one the nurses even commented on how lovely it was.

The evening ended with some more chit chat over dessert. Finally about 12:30 AM we decided it would be best to head home with our sleeping brood.

It is always so great to spend time with A&T and of course get in snuggles with Baby G too. This past year has brought them so much joy and I know they've treasured every minute and I'm so honored to have been a part of it all. Seeing them as a family enjoying the holiday season just makes my heart so full. I am very grateful to have them all in my life and that they continue to share Giovanni with me. It has been an amazing year with so many blessings.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Preheating the Oven (again) !!

Today I met with K&S and I'm very excited to say we are matched!!!! Our face to face meeting was great and we both expressed we'd like to move forward before even leaving Family Source Consultants [surrogacy agency]. I know for Jason and I it was very relaxed and warm and we enjoyed getting to know this wonderful couple.

I mentioned before that they are from Chicago which will allow them to be very involved in the journey. I'm excited to share another close relationship with my IPs, something we both seem to agree on. We have a lot in common too so I have no doubt we will have an easy time developing a friendship over time.

They've been through a lot in the last two years while struggling with infertility but have such a positive attitude and outlook. Unfortunately K&S have been dealt more than their fair share of disappointments which have included two dangerous ectopics, an early miscarriage as well as several failed IVF attempts. They've come to a place where they can either continue to gamble with the odds - which haven't been in their favor - or go with an option that has a more predictable outcome. Surrogacy will allow them the opportunity to still have a biological child and hopefully avoid more heartache. The decision of using a surrogate is not an easy one I am sure and I was impressed with how at ease and comfortable K&S are with the decision. There are still many variables and unknowns but hopefully with some faith we can see their dream of a family come to be. I'm very honored that K&S are willing to put their trust in me to carry and care for their lil miracle(s).

So where do we go from here? We will begin getting all the preliminary things checked off the list; medical clearance, psychological evaluations, contracts and more. The process is a little overwhelming but from experience I can say it's not all that bad. Once we complete all that it may be a bit of a wait before we transfer in the spring (my request) but hopefully it will go by quickly.

Here we go!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Searching ... Finding ...

Over the last week my profile has been viewed by a few different couples. Exciting! I've gotten great feedback from each one which was wonderful but, a lot goes into a match so sometimes although every thing seems great one small detail can mean not being a perfect fit. For me the one thing that's setting me back is that I don't want to transfer till spring, after my surrobabes 1st birthday. Realistically May isn't all that far away but, to a couple anxiously ready to get the process started, waiting even an extra month to transfer after getting all the preliminary details out of the way can feel like a lifetime.

So, this Thursday I got a call from my agency to say that one couple in particular is very interested in meeting me and willing to wait on my time line. They [FSC] thought we'd make a very good match so late the other night I was forwarded their profile and some pictures. After looking it over Jason and I had a great feeling about moving ahead and setting up a face to face.

My only hesitation was wondering if I should, for lack of a better phrase, "shop around". Not because I'm unsure about them, only because this is the first profile I've viewed since I started working with the agency again. However, I reminded myself this is one of the reason I'm working with an agency. They look over a number of IP and GS applications alike and then present each party with only the potentially good matches dismissing the ones that aren't a good fit. There really is no need to view multiple profiles if all the criteria are there. Getting an initial good vibe after looking over a profile is just icing on the cake. With that in mind I have no problem jumping in with both feet and making the next move. Besides, A&T were the first ever IP profile I saw and look how amazing that turned out.

I'm looking forward to meeting K&S, a Chicago couple in their mid/late 30's who have gone through so much in the past two years trying to achieve their dream of a family. It is stories like theirs that inspired me to be a surrogate and I'm honored that they are considering me to help them create their family.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Anniversary of Sorts

Today couldn't have been a better day to wake up on an air mattress in my surrobabes nursery. Three years ago today A&T, two ladies from FSC, Jason and myself all sat around a large conference table for a match meeting. It was awkward, it was emotional, it was exciting. I remember it like yesterday. Three years ago we began working on a dream and the beautiful journey that brought Baby G to A&T's arms.

I enjoyed a slumber party with my surro family last night following a concert attended by myself, a good friend and FIM. The music was great, the food good, and the company was perfect. We ladies had a wonderful time sharing margaritas and then back to join FIF (who was on baby duty) for some late night (morning) conversation. We woke up early and I was happy to get in some snuggles with Baby G and gush over some goofy baby grins & giggles before heading home.

Three years ago ... Wow, once again amazed.

Also just a quick Baby G update. His 6 month appointment went well ... still at the top of the charts 18lbs 12oz (75th) and 28 inches (90th). His new highchair has arrived and he'll be enjoying his first home cooked meal tonight, butternut squash. He also got to test out the new bouncy I got him .. pretty fun stuff!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Journey ???

I wasn't sure where I wanted to share this ... Here? Another separate blog? Well, for now I'll keep everything in one place ... somewhere familiar.

Let's see where do I want to start. First I'll begin by saying ... I shared some news prematurely on my last entry and have since edited it. Here is where you will find "the latest" so read on.

I guess I'll first rewind to a few months ago when I was contacted by a wonderful traditional couple about being a gestational carrier for them. We talked via email and phone multiple times and began to get excited about potentially matching but, after some consideration we decided we were not perfect for one another.

Then in the midst of that I was contacted by another individual seeking a surrogate. This time it was a single intended father who is currently working with a GS friend of mine. His baby boy is due in March and he wanted his family to continue growing with out much delay and was interested in starting a second surrogacy, a "sibling project" in the spring. We discussed matching and decided to move forward with a "match meeting". Over dinner we got to know one another, it went great and we decided to move forward. My desire was to not start the process till after the New Year so for the time being things were on pause. In the weeks following our match I began to do some soul searching and decided I wasn't entirely comfortable with my choice. My original inspiration to pursue surrogacy was my heavy heart for those couples affected by infertility. I realized I wasn't passionate about my new match and it was missing something. I made the hard decision to contact the IF and express that I just didn't feel I was the right surrogate for him.

So that brings me up to present times. I'm proceeding cautiously after now talking with two IPs and realizing that neither was my perfect match. It was just so easy the first time ... I think I expected it to be the same this go around especially considering I'm "experienced" and know (or at least thought I knew) what would be my ideal match. I try to remember that although I felt connected with A&T from the beginning we weren't instant friends. Our relationship was built over 2.5 years and shaped by our journey; the ups, the downs and everything in between. I'm anxious to find my perfect second match and have decided to go back to working with the agency I used the first go around. I know one thing, I want to be a surrogate again ... the questions is for whom?

~ Tiffany ~

Friday, October 29, 2010

" So Big "

The family and I had a great visit with my FIPs and 'Lil" Giovanni Monday night. They spent the weekend in Wisconsin and had to come through our area on their way back to Chicago so they stopped in for dinner and a quick hello.

OMG the boy is huge! I can't believe he was 6 months old already this past weekend and growing like a weed. He's mastered sitting up and has his first two teeth (bottom). Sooooo cute! His new favorite thing is to jump, jump, jump! This kid needs a Jumperoo before he wears out mommy & daddys arms. (Shhh, I already have one on the way for him **wink**)

I'm looking forward to seeing pics of him at Halloween, they are thinking he might be a baby Superman with the signature curl in the middle of his forehead or a lil Prince. IM also mentioned a classic Pumpkin but IF doesn't seem keen on the suggestion. Whatever they choose I'm positive he will be adorable.

I'm going to be visiting again next weekend already. IM, my very good friend Daisy and I are all going to enjoy a Ben Folds concert together and since the venue is just blocks from FIPs home Daisy and I are staying overnight. I get to have a slumber party with the lil man on what will be the 3 year anniversary of A&T, Jason and I all sitting around a large conference table meeting one another for the very first time. (Nov 6, 2007) Wow look how far we've come.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Visits with the "Lil" Guy

So it has been awhile since I updated. Let's see ... not long after the last entry the surro family came out for a visit. We had a great time, served up some tacos and margaritas, and chatted into the early hours of the morning again. We [my IPs, my husband and I] all tend to be those people that close out parties/gatherings so when we get together nobody wants to be the first to call it a night. LOL Baby G was a real treat that visit, he was vocal and smiley and just a joy to snuggle with.

Then a couple weeks later, the evening before our flight headed to Jamaica, Jason and I visited with them in Chicago. We had a fabulous dinner at a Korean restaurant downtown. IF reserved us two ducks and brought a couple bottles of wine and we all stuffed ourselves. Baby G was such a good boy at dinner. At one point he needed a diaper change and Jason volunteered me for the job. He was so cute talking and smiling at me on the changing table. After we got back to the others I kept him occupied so mommy & daddy could finish their meals. Eventually he gave into sleep and passed out in my arms. Following dinner we all went back to A&T's place for more conversation. It was of course another late night, I think we were back to our hotel around 3am. I have some pics of our visit together so next time ya see me if you wanna peek at the "lil" guy let me know. (Out of respect for my IPs privacy they won't be posted here.)

Speaking of the "lil" guy. Baby G recently had his 4 month well baby check. His measurements came in at 16lbs 14oz and 26.5 inches! Considering he was 10lbs at birth he had a great head start but I still can't believe he is nearly as big as my girls all were at a year, and he's not even half way there yet. Way to Grow Baby G!!! He's not a chubby baby at all though, just solid and long. He's such a handsome little boy with his round cheeks, full head of dark hair and gorgeous blue eyes.

No plans yet for another visit but we intended to keep in touch, until then I'll cherish the giggles and cuddles we last shared. Feeling Blessed.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What an Amazing Year!

No other word can describe this past year ... it has been nothing short of AMAZING! One year ago today my IM and I held hands as we went through a third transfer, a third chance to dream, wish and hope. After two failures it was hard to not wonder if we were in for another disappointment but we all stayed positive and prayed. One year ago today a lil man, literally only cells big, came into our lives and we didn't even know it yet.

Happy Transfer Anniversary A&T and Baby G.

Today also marks the end of a chapter. I had decided that this week would be the end to me providing breast milk. Over the last 4 months I've supplied him with nearly 30 gallons of liquid gold! I'm very proud of this accomplishment and want to thank my IPs for the opportunity to stay connected and continue providing for him beyond the womb. It's a little bittersweet but after 365 days of nurturing sweet Baby G I'm glad to have my body back. Besides the chunky rolls to show for it I'm hoping the benefits keep him healthy through his first cold and flu season.

The surro family will be out for a visit and final EBM pick up later this week. I'm looking forward to some cuddles and seeing how big he's grown in the last month. His four month well baby check is just around the corner too so I'll update again soon.

This is happiness

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cuddle Up

The surrofamily came to visit yesterday. We had a very nice time chatting over a delicious dinner at our home. It's always so nice to see them and check in on how big the lil man is. He was quite bright eyed and alert and very busy checking out the girls and sharing smiles with us all. Baby G was such a good boy while we enjoyed our dinner, just gazing around the playroom, I imagine thinking how fun it will be to visit Miss Tiffany's house once he can move about and play. LOL

We caught up on the last few weeks over a couple bottles of wine and talked into the very late hours of the night.

Baby G has had a few babysitters in the last month and A&T have been able to enjoy a few short evenings out alone. Sounds like everything went well, they have a lot of friends and family who can't wait to help out, he's been in very good hands while mom and dad are away.

IF just wrapped up work for the next month so they all have a bit of time to enjoy a couple laid back weeks before IM's maternity leave ends. She'll go back to work in August so it'll be just the guys hanging out at home for some male bonding until early fall when IF returns to work too.

IPs have a couple of their first trips with "baby on board" coming up. They'll be visiting friends & family in Michigan next week and then early August it is off to their favorite city, New Orleans, with Grandpa and Grandma along too. Wishing them lots of luck with their first adventures away from home!!

I'm in disbelief that Baby G will be 3 months old this next week! Where has the time gone! Can't believe that tomorrow (Friday) marks 12 weeks ago that I went into labor and the second phase of this journey began. I know I say it nearly every update but I can't express enough how blessed I feel to have been a part of helping such a wonderful couple create their family. My heart is full.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Months (and a visit)

Another update for you all. I'll start first with Baby G's 2 month well baby check-up. He's doing great! IM said the appointment went well and his stats are 13lbs 3oz (90th percentile) and 25 1/8 inches (95th percentile) so he's keeping up with the curve and staying high on the charts. He had to have five vaccines which didn't make him a very happy camper so it was a bit of a rough night following the doctor visit. Poor baby.

Baby G is making little sounds, smiling and giggling, and seems to recognize his mama's voice. He can easily hold his head up and he holds onto rattles and toys for small amounts of time. He's starting to focus and follow things with his eyes and he loves to be in his bouncey chair and to kick!

We got in a visit this week which of course is a nice treat. Yesterday we went for a quick lunch at a locally owned fast food joint, Beef-a-Roo. There was one down by the hospital that we delivered at and IF commented a couple of times that he wanted to check it out ... YUM cheddar fries!! After wards we went back to the house to sit on the patio, it was a gorgeous night! We all enjoyed a little red wine while the kids played in the backyard. Our daughter Chloe (10) is taking an acting class this week and A&T helped her rehearse some lines and give her a little direction since that is their area of expertise. She was eating it up!! I was able to get in lots of snuggles and was excited to get some smiles too! I held the little guy while he took a short cat nap, so peaceful & precious!

A&T brought along a gift from Baby G's grandma & grandpa (IF's parents). It was a beautiful Llardo angel figurine from Spain (Angel Dreaming). It will be the perfect memento of our journey to display in my curio cabinet. My deepest thanks for such a special gift L&F.

After awhile we had to come in (darn mosquitoes) and visited for a little longer indoors. Baby G was getting tired after not getting much sleep the night prior thanks to the shots, so it was time for them to head home.

I feel so lucky and blessed, I never would have imagined a year ago that the relationship with my IPs would be all that it is today. As A&T were leaving we briefly discussed when we'd be getting together next. The trend has been every 10-14 days, mostly due to the EBM pick ups, but it has been great that we see each other so frequently. IM commented that we weren't gonna be able to get rid of them now ... believe me the feeling is very mutual.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Visit in the City

Spent the day with the surro family today, the weather didn't really cooperate for a day on the town (Chicago) but we made the best of it.

We met A&T at their condo and headed out for lunch. We enjoyed some burgers and drinks together on the patio and caught up on the last couple weeks. Of course as most lil ones do, Baby G decided he didn't want to be left out of the meal and began fussing just when the food came. He was much more content after getting a full tummy.

We decided to go down to Navy Pier, we had never been there with the kids. Of course the girls saw the big Ferris Wheel and had to take a ride. All the ladies went up and enjoyed a dreary yet exciting view of Chicago and Lake Michigan. The girls and I also went through a fun house, they enjoyed it despite it not taking very long to navigate through.

I got to cuddle with Baby G a bit as we walked around. A&T say he's smiling now but he didn't share any with me on this visit. I'll likely see them again in a couple weeks, hoping to see that toothless grin then. He's growing and losing that newborn look now. He's still got that full head of hair, his eyes are staying their brilliant blue and he has the most adorable baby cheeks ... he's a cutie pie for sure.

Here's a family pic (snapped by IF). I didn't get a pic of the "new" lil family, maybe next time. ;)

Lauren(5), Tiffany, Chloe (10), Brie (16), Jason & Isabelle (3)

Monday, June 7, 2010

6 Weeks Postpartum

I had my six week postpartum visit with my OB today.

Of course the nurse asked me a whole bunch of stuff to rule out PPD ... nope no issues here, couldn't be more happy that A&T have their lil man in their arms and it is NOT ME dealing with the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes. LOL No really in all seriousness I feel GREAT emotionally and am so happy that I was able to be a part of such an amazing miracle.

I'm down 28 lbs since delivery, another 15-20 to go to get to my goal. I gained way more weight than I wanted to but 15 lbs is realistic I think. Joined WW again last week and went back to the gym on Wednesday. Jason and I have planned a trip to Jamaica in September, a little honeymoon for us (10 years later). I'm using that as my motivation right now and it seems to be working.

Of course you all know what a stink the Dr. made about c-sec vs. vaginal delivery because of his size. Well you may remember it ended up not being my regular OB that delivered so this was the first time she saw me since that last 37 wk appt. First thing she said was "Wow 10 pounds huh!" Then, sorry if TMI, as she was doing her exam she commented "No episiotomy either?" and I said "Nope" which she followed with, "Guess your body was just meant to have babies". Couldn't help but think to myself ... I'll take that as a compliment thank you very much. ;)

So I got the all clear, back to life as usual I suppose. :)

The family and I are planning to head into the city to visit with the surro fam on Sunday. Looking forward to enjoying a day in Chicago with the hubby, the girls and seeing A&T and Baby G for a bit.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Man Standing

Baby G came for a visit yesterday. Jason and I hosted a "little" party to kick off the start of summer and I was delighted that A&T were able to join us. Many of our friends and family were anxious to meet the big guy so it was great to show him off and of course to get in some cuddles too.

He's doing well, still has a bit of that newborn look but getting more and more alert and he's quite strong for only 5 weeks. This past week he was seen by the pediatrician for his one month check up. I don't recall the exact percentiles IM gave me but I believe it was something like the 95th for height and 90th for weight. His stats were 11 lbs. 1 oz. and 23 inches ... healthy and happy and big.

They arrived at our home in the late afternoon and spent hours visiting and mingling. It was wonderful for so many of our friends and family to have the opportunity to meet this very special little family we are always talking about. The day passed by rather quickly, before long it was night fall and as we talked we lost track of time. The night then turned into the early morning hours and it was 2 AM before our visit came to end. Baby G was "the last man standing" since by this point everyone had either headed out or gone off to bed. We said our goodbyes but we know it won't be for long ...

As time passes it's hard to even remember that I carried him. Of course I remember the pregnancy but what I mean is, now that he has been in the loving arms of his mommy and daddy for over a month it almost feels like he was always with them. Life continues to return to normal around our household. My maternity leave is coming to an end Tuesday so it is back to work and I'll be hitting the gym again after getting the all clear at my postpartum visit next week. Time for life to resume as normal. Now that the girls have finished up school for the year we are looking forward to a busy yet fun summer.

Yesterday was a perfect day for many reasons but of course these special visitors were one of the highlights for me. My heart is full.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Precious Baby Boy

I had a great visit with my lil surroman today. I got in some cuddle time despite him being a bit fussy. Since IPs ran out of EBM a couple days ago they had to use some forumla and it doesn't entirely agree with his system, poor lil guy had to poop but couldn't. IM was comforting him, rocking and patting away for some time when I offered to take over to give her arms a rest. He fussed a bit more but did finally settle down in my arms and slept there for a awhile, it was sweet. He's just adorable and makes the cutest lil noises. IF said he sounds like a lil piggy hunting for truffles. LOL The girls got a chance to cuddle him for the first time today, they really enjoyed that ... well that is until Lauren got spit up on!!

IM and IF caught me up on the last two weeks. They are adjusting and learning the ropes of this new parenting gig. Besides a few long nights things seem to be going well. They both already seem more at ease caring for him, before long they'll be pros.

I sent them on their way with a good stash of EBM, 5 gallons worth! (642.5 oz) It all didn't fit into the large Coleman cooler had to use a second one to get it all home. Just call me the "Dairy Queen".

We are planning to see one another again soon and I'm already looking forward to it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In Honor of Mother's Day

I wanted to wish my favorite new mom a Happy Mother's Day!! Celebrating this day has been a long time coming and I am just thrilled that I had a small part in making that happen for "A". I'm overjoyed that there is another wonderful woman enjoying this special day with her precious child close by.

Here's a favorite lil poem that my mother gave to me when I became a mommy for the first time nearly 16 years ago. It's has hung on the wall in the girls nursery throughout the years as a reminder of those early days.

To A First Time Mother

Relax my dear ... your
little elf is just an amateur

So if your hands so newly filled
with tasks seem somewhat less
than skilled ... Relax, I say,

This little pinkling
doesn't have the slightest inkling
that you are new to baby lore ...
He's never had a mom before.

author unknown

God bless all the moms out there and have a very
Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Snuggle Time

Baby G came for a visit today (on what was our original due date). It was so nice to see A&T and the lil guy and hear how their first week has gone. Sounds like they are getting settled into their new life as a family and enjoying parenthood.

I got in some cuddles which was nice, he's such a cutie. Really what makes me smile most though is watching IM (and IF) hold and interact with Baby G. When I think about how long they waited for their child and reflect on our journey over the past two and a half years I am still amazed at what a lil miracle he is.

Besides snuggles the other purpose of their visit was to pick up the EBM (expressed breast milk) I had for them . I was pretty excited about the supply I had, I stashed over 350 oz. in the last 6 days . We're gonna see each other again in the next few weeks for another EBM pick up. I'm glad I can do this for them, gotta keep that big boy well feed ... and it also helps me continue to feel useful.

Today A&T gifted me a beautiful Pandora bracelet. The bracelet is sterling silver and included seven beads; the Journey charm, Teddy Bear, Baby Carriage, Block w/ letter G, Silver Heart, Baby Booty w/ blue diamond and my favorite the Kangaroo with baby which is a symbol of surrogacy. This is something I will cherish and appreciate forever.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nearly a week ...

... has gone by since all the excitement. Wow that went by fast! Here's a little update on how everything is going.

We were all released from the hospital Monday afternoon. A&T and Baby G stopped by our house on their way out of town to drop me off, have a quick bite to eat and prepare for the ride home. We said our goodbyes knowing it wouldn't be for long, but not without a few joyful tears.

I am doing really well. Besides an achy back, which I attribute to readjusting to walking without a bowling ball in front of me, and the swelling I'm still experiencing in my feet my recovery has been quick and easy (thank goodness for no c-section). Emotionally I'm doing great. I am still just in awe at what we all accomplished together. Life is getting back to normal here in our household; time to renew, refresh and refocus.

I've been able to talk/text back and forth with IM a couple times in the last several days. Baby G had his first doctor appointment on Tuesday and all went great. He's dropped a bit of weight, down to 9lbs 6oz, but doing good. IM sent me a pic of him in the outfit I gave them, he was just too cute. IM also emailed me yesterday and thought I'd share a lil excerpt from her message (it made me smile) ....

First few days and nights have been a little tough while we figure everything out - pretty much goes like this...

Baby G cries, he looks hungry, I feed him, he falls asleep while I feed him, I stop feeding him 'cause he's asleep, I burp him, his diaper needs changing, I change it, he wakes up, he looks hungry, and then it all starts over again...there are some variations - sometimes we both fall asleep after I feed him and burp him, sometimes he eats and then looks around, then wants to be held. He mostly wants to be held...he doesn't like being put down in the bassinet unless he's completely out of it. I think that's about how it is with all newborns though, isn't it?

We will be seeing one another again this coming Monday (our original due date). I'm looking forward to a few snuggles and time with the new lil family.

Life is good.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our Birth Story

The days leading up to delivery day had been full of questions and indecision. As you know our OB had some concerns about baby’s size and was recommending a scheduled c-section. We struggled with this recommendation wanting the vaginal birth that we’d all been planning for. The final decision was to schedule the section but if we went into labor on our own prior to that we’d follow natures cues and go with it.

On Friday morning(38w4d)I woke up to feeling crampy, not much different then how’d felt for the last week or so but I could recognize somewhat of a pattern in the contractions. An unfortunate thing was they were not increasing in duration or intensity. My friend Daisy came over and we walked for a bit around the neighborhood with five kids in tow. Once I returned home I tried not to be idle and got the girls overnight bags packed and finished up some stuff around the house. All the while still feeling contractions but not yet convinced it was time to call in the troops.

A few days prior I broke out the electric breast pump to help “naturally” induce so since I was contracting thought I’d give it a try. I pumped for 10 minutes still feeling some contractions and when I stood up from the chair I heard a “pop” and felt a “gush”. OMG, this was just the sign I was waiting for, my water broke!! (11:40 am) I made the calls and everyone was on high alert and also had to make some quick calls to my childcare backup & daycare parents too (this was supposed to be my last day of work). I had a few last things to take care of, curling my hair was a priority before going to the hospital. LOL I took care of that and grabbed the last items for the suitcase and we were off. (1:15 pm)

We were just getting settled in at the hospital when A&T met us there and not long after that our doula. After getting on the monitors and getting situated they decide to check me and I was already 5cm and in minimal pain. Wow, was I excited … half way there and still “comfortable”. (2:58 pm) About an hour to an hour and a half later I was 7cm so things were progressing at a nice pace. All the while our doula was by my side along with IM & DH keeping me as focused and relaxed as possible. I was working my way through contractions and finding comfortable positions with some success (sitting, dancing, rocking, etc) hoping the intensifying contractions were being productive. The OB came in after awhile and required me to get into the bed and lay flat to do an exam which was nearly unbearable. She was having a hard time getting a good estimate and after 30 minutes in this position I was so uncomfortable. Based on her check there had been no progression even though contractions were getting more intense, to say the least the news was disappointing. The doctor went over some options, one of which was introducing Pitocin which I was hesitant about, so we decided to give it another hour and see. That time passed and she did a recheck ... once again it was intense in the laying down position & still only 7cm. I was very discouraged by this and began to feel emotionally and physically drained. It was decided to help labor along with Oxytocin but I didn’t want any part of that stuff without an epidural so the anesthesiologist was called in. (8:00 pm) An internal monitor was place to measure the power of the contractions and Pitocin upped every 20-30 minutes to keep a regular pattern going. I was very comfortable, the epi was perfect since I still had full movement of my legs/feet but no pain. We all relaxed, the grandparents were all invited to come in and say hello and we sat back for awhile and waited for the show. We began to note that there were more "scratchy lines" on the monitor printout and asked the nurse if baby was tolerating labor ok. She said that the activity on the printout wasn't from contractions but rather the monitor picking up my tummy tightening each time I laughed. Needless to say we were all having a good time while we waited. Everything began to pick up again and I progressed at about 1cm an hour until complete. (11:35 pm) Doctor decided it was time to try some practice pushes which seemed productive so everyone got into position.

Pushing was going ok but my epi was working a little too well and I wasn’t feeling much. I mentioned to the doctor that I might be more efficient if we backed off the epi but she said I wouldn’t like her much then. This is probably true but I was afraid if I couldn’t feel the contractions I’d have a harder time pushing which I knew was time sensitive phase considering his estimated size. I was really concerned about being effective. My body began taking it's sweet time contracting despite the Pitocin so we waited, and waited and waited for each contraction so I could push. Anyway, we kept at it and with lots of positive encouragement, from IM & IF who were on either side of me, baby crowned. Things did get a bit intense for a few moments. He did get a little wedged and had the cord was wrapped around his little neck twice but the doctor handled it with great composure and baby was delivered. (Saturday 4/24 at 12:38 am)

It took him a little time to become fully responsive, but after a moment he was letting out those first cries and scored Apgars of 7 & 9. To everyone’s surprise when it came time to get his measurements he was 10 lbs. and 21 inches long!! Oh my!!! He’s a chunky monkey for sure and so cute too. He did have some bruising on his little nose and one arm but otherwise healthy as can be. A&T were absolutely wonderful through it all as were Jason and the doula too. It was so wonderful having such an amazing support system there for me. The delivery was a little “complicated”, his size did present some real challenges and risks and was likely the reason labor stalled, but I think we all feel it worked out the way it did for a reason and I personally don't regret a moment of our birth experience.

The grandparents were all welcomed back after awhile to meet their handsome grandson. The paternal grandparents F&L were excited that he was delivered not long after midnight, making his appearance on their 45th wedding anniversary. IF opened a bottle of red wine right there in the delivery room and everyone celebrated and became acquainted with him during our two hour recovery time before being moved to the Mom & Baby unit.

IPs and I are in separate rooms but right next door to one another so we are visiting while all still getting time to ourselves to rest. IM is keeping him close and enjoying every moment of motherhood so far, I am so happy for them. It has been an absolutely amazing journey.

 Congratulations to my wonderful IPs and welcome Baby Giovanni!!!

Guess What! ~ He's Here

Baby G was delivered safe & sound (vaginally) into the arms of my wonderful IPs A&T at 12:38 am this morning (4/24) weighing 10lbs even and 21 inches long!!! OMG I can't belive he was that big and 10 days early to boot.

I'm doing great and A&T (and his grandparents) are all over the moon to have him here. It's 5am, I've been up just shy of 24 hours but still doing good. I'm relaxing in my quiet room while Baby G gets his bath next door making a fuss while IPs look on.

I'll post the full birth story soon. A huge congrats to the new Mommy & Daddy!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

38 weeks ~ The Verdict

Well after today's 38wk appointment and follow up to discuss the suggestion by our OB to do a scheduled c-section I can't really say we left feeling any more "guided" then when we came in.

IM, IF and I spent the weekend perusing information regarding fetal macrosomia (big babies) and the proportion issue that was brought up by our OB. Last weeks u/s indicated that his torso/chest/abdomen was measuring a week ahead of his head presenting the risk that he could get "stuck".

So we asked the OB some specific questions and I think we all kinda got the impression that she was representing the worst case scenario. There was no mention that all could be fine, which we know from reviewing statistics and percentages a positive outcome is very likely. Never once did she say, “These are the risks and what could happen but then again a vaginal delivery could go smoothly as well.” Of course with any birth/delivery there are risks, even with smaller babies there can be complications, but she made it sound like big baby equals some kind of negative outcome whether that be shoulder dystocia or worse.

She did end up doing a cervical check and unfortunately the results didn't help us along in the decision process at all; cervix is still closed and long, baby's head is down and in position but still high. So, that removed the possibility of being induced sometime this week in an effort to not allow him to get much bigger before delivery. If my cervix isn't favorable it's not worth it right now.

We left the OB office still undecided and went back to our house for dinner. We continued to discuss things and over dessert we came to this verdict.

I am calling the OB tomorrow to schedule the c-section for next Tuesday, April 27th (this is her surgical day) but if labor comes on its own before then we're gonna follow natures cues and go with it. So please keep us in your thoughts. I'd love if we could avoid the c-section but I also want us all to be 100% comfortable with the decision that is made. I'm ok with the Cesarean in another week considering the OB is estimating he'll be well over 9lbs by then. My IPs are comfortable with following my body's lead if it happens that way in the upcoming days since we are still probably looking at a baby in the 8lb. range minimizing complications due to his size. What's really most important to us all is that he arrives safe and sound and I cannot wait for him to be in his mom’s arms where he belongs.

A&T are having a baby in a week or less!!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

OB Appointment

I'm gonna keep this kinda simple and try not to go off on tangents. We've got some decisions to make and options to weigh but won't have a final verdict till Monday so here is the gist on our appointment today.

First things first, things are looking ok for me. BP was 114/72, urine a-ok, weight gain up a little but that's expected with the water retention (edema) I'm experiencing. Other than the normal pregnancy woes all is good.

We had a growth ultrasound today, we were all very interested to get an idea of how big this "lil" guy is but were a little surprised by what the doctor had to say. Apparently Baby G is a linebacker, he's measuring in the 90th percentile!! The Dr. brought up a concern, his abdomen is measuring 40wks already but his head isn't measuring that far ahead yet so, that raises a slight problem. Dr. explained that during a vaginal birth the head is typically the biggest part of the baby and "paves the way" for the shoulders/body but in this instance she is afraid he could get stuck in the birth canal since his body is proportionally larger. Considering this a vaginal delivery poses some risks that we need to discuss and then decide if a cesarean section might be the best option.

We all know these u/s are only an estimate. I hesitate having a c-section only to find out in the end he would have fit just fine but I also have to remember my IPs have been waiting 8 years for their baby and the most important thing is a healthy outcome for both myself and their child.

We go back for another appointment on Monday and will make the decision then if we should deliver via c-section in two weeks (39 weeks)or induce next week (38 weeks) to avoid him getting bigger (but this doesn't necessarily change his proportions). Waiting things out and letting him come any later than that doesn't seem like an option right now. Whatever way you look at it he’s a big boy and making an appearance in the next two weeks, the question now is how is he gonna get out of here?!?!

Monday, April 12, 2010

37 weeks ~ Baby Shower & We are FULL TERM!!!

I don't even know where to begin with this weeks update. It was a whirlwind of a weekend! I had the absolute pleasure of attending A&T's baby showers and meeting many of their friends & family.

The first was a couples shower Saturday evening with their friends, all of who where very friendly, inviting and wonderful. Thank you so much to all those who attended and made me feel so welcome and special. It was a beautiful night enjoying every ones company on the patio with cocktails (that is drinks for everyone but me of course). It was amazing watching IM beam as she opened up gifts and imagine all that is to come. Dinner was wonderful, thank you so much to the hostess/host for all you did to make the evening perfect for A&T and opening your home to all of us.

It was early morning before we headed back to A&T's for some rest. Once there we changed into some comfy clothes and visited some more while IF prepared the next mornings breakfast. It was 3:30 am before we all headed off to bed for the night. :)

The ladies shower was the next day. I'll admit, meeting everyone at once (40 women) was a bit overwhelming but it was incredible being introduce to so many wonderful people who were there outpouring their love for A&T and Baby G. We enjoyed some more amazing food (the menu is always important to a pregnant woman). After lunch I think it took well over an hour for A&T to open all the gifts. The job of "card reader" was given to IF - IM just couldn't get through most of them without crying. She was just glowing from all the attention and love, it was very obviously emotional for her to realize their dream of a family was finally coming true. Following the shower we were invited back to "Grandpa & Grandma's" (IF's parents) where we were treated to yet another great meal before heading home at nightfall.

It was just amazing to meet all the friends and family who are anxiously waiting to spoil this baby and love on him. I want to thank everyone again for all your kind comments and for making Jason and I feel welcome. A&T and their son are so very blessed to have you in their lives and again I feel so very honored to be a part of this journey too.

So now that we are in the final weeks the update could be "HE'S HERE" any day now! Until then though, the next appointment is this coming Thursday (4/15). We'll be getting a final u/s and our OB will check to see if I'm making any progress yet and maybe take a guess at when Baby G will arrive. Stay tuned!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

36 weeks

Ok ok as "good" as I am at being pregnant and regardless of how smooth the last several months have gone I think I'm ready to be done. During my own pregnancies by this point there was no doubt but it's a little bittersweet this time around. I'll be totally honest though, I'm getting uncomfortable and ready to have the "old me" back and ready to refocus and renew myself and I can't forget to mention how excited I am for A&T to have their baby boy in their arms!! OMG that moment we have been waiting for is just weeks away!

I'm looking forward to spending time with IPs this weekend. They'll be celebrating the impending arrival of their son with two baby showers and I am so honored to have been invited. Jason and I are staying overnight instead of making two trips into the city, I can't wait to just hang out with IM for a bit, hoping Lil G is cooperative and lets her see/feel how wiggly he is during the evening hours.

I'm also beginning to get anxious and excited about delivery day. It's hard to imagine it is only 3 to 4 weeks away. We've decided to let nature lead the way and wait for labor to come on it's own so it will be a surprise to see when it finally all happens. I've been having frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. They've been a bit more intense too, to the point Saturday night that I almost started watching the clock. After I got up and walked around they tapered off though. Won't be to long and it will be the real deal!

Monday, March 29, 2010

35 weeks

Today was another appointment day and it was uneventful and quick. Hoping baby went through a lil growth spurt because I was up a few pounds ... I'd feel better knowing we shared the gain. ;) Everything else looked good, his heart rate was 144 bpm and the doctor reminded us that in two weeks we'll be full term (37wks) so after that if I go into labor the show is on! Wow, when did we get so close?!?! Today I also had the Group B Step test done...oh joy! Although I've been negative in all my previous pregnancies that could change so once results come back we'll know if antibiotics are necessary before delivery. We'll be doing a final u/s for growth and a cervical check at our upcoming appointment second week of April. The baby showers are just days before that so hoping he stays put till then so A&T have some time to organize and prepare all the new things for his arrival and to ensure he is fully "baked".

Yesterday a few of my closest friends, my mom & sis and IM enjoyed brunch together in "Celebration of Motherhood". It was so nice for those that have been my support system throughout this journey to have the opportunity to meet her and share their excitement and best wishes. Thanks again to all you special ladies, you mean the world to me.

Just weeks to go!

Monday, March 22, 2010

34 weeks

I'm getting fat! I'm over 5lbs and quickly running out of space in here.

The comment above was from baby but I you could say the same about me ... whoa I'm feeling huge. The days are getting longer, the nights more restless and the floor and my feet are just too far away these days. LOL Don't get me wrong though, I'm still so excited to be a part of this miracle!

A&T and I all attended a birthing class on Saturday. I found it to be entertaining being in a room of a bunch of first timers. IM and I found it funny that the other moms-to-be seemed most terrified of the IV and spent a good amount of time asking questions and fretting over it ... believe you me the IV will be the least of their worries when it comes time to deliver. LOL

I don't know what it is about me but the thought of labor/delivery actually excites me, it doesn't invoke any fear at all. Of course I could do without the pain part but really it is such an amazing experience from beginning to end. The human body is just incredible!

We are down to just a few last appointments and a couple showers/celebrations before he arrives. After that all we need to do is pack our bags and wait!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

33 weeks

Since there were two updates last week I don't have much to share. Thought instead I'd post the video to a song that makes my heart swell each time I hear it. I'm so excited to be sharing in this miracle with A&T and can't wait for them to begin their journey as parents. Only 6 weeks to go Mom & Dad !!

Please excuse the advertisement ... I couldn't find a clip without one.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Countdown is nearly here!!

Today we had a great 32 week OB appointment with an u/s too. The "lil" guy is measuring in the 77th percentile and a good two weeks ahead. His estimated weight was 4lbs 14oz with another 7 weeks to go (any guesses?). The fetal heartrate was 166bpm. He was a bit more active this time, last u/s he was sleeping. He must have been getting tired though, he was yawning throughout the u/s and it was too cute. I've shared a couple images with you. The top one is of his face head on, you can see his right eye, nose, lips and chubby cheeks pretty clearly. The other image is of his profile. You can't really see it in either picture here but he has hair and looks like quite a bit of it too.

As for me things are going well. I have started to slow down a bit and I am getting a lil more uncomfortable doing daily tasks. I'm so blessed to have a husband who helps out a lot and a wonderful daycare assistant (my sister) who both take over for me when I'm just not feeling up to it. Everything checked out great at the appointment; urine, blood pressure and even weight gain are all on target.

We also had the opportunity to go over the birth plan with our OB and she was on board with most all of it. Following our appointment there we headed over to the hospital (RMH) and had a Pre-Admission Interview. Everything went great. A&T got a lot of useful information and we were able to discuss our expectations with the staff, lay out all the details before the big day and get a tour. It was reassuring to know they've worked with surrogacy situations before so hopefully everything will go smoothly and we all have an amazing experience.

Afterwards A&T, Jason and I went out to an early dinner. We always have lots to talk about and enjoy chatting about anything and everything ... and now there is lots of baby talk too. Sounds like they are getting things ready and have a couple of baby showers to look forward to as well. How fun!!

Next weekend we'll be seeing one another again already, we've decided to all take a birthing class together. Just a little over a week after that is another OB appointment so they will be visiting a lot from here on out. Just another few weeks and it will be time to pack the bags and start the official countdown!!

Here's my latest pic taken this morning at 32wks 3days.

Monday, March 8, 2010

32 weeks

My skin is turning from red to pink!! My fingernails really need cutting soon!

Into the 8th month we go! I know I say it ever week but man, I just can't believe we are here already. It feels like just yesterday we hit the halfway point (20wks) and IPs were beginning to share the news with friends and family. To think that was nearly three months ago now really puts into perspective how quickly the end is approaching. Of course the plan is to get to full term (37wks+), which shouldn't be an issues based on my previous pregnancies, but to think that realistically he could be here and in the arms of A&T in as little as 5 - 7 weeks is just amazing.

We have a big OB appointment coming up on Thursday so I'll be sure to share the details about that later on this week. At that time we have another growth ultrasound so I'm excited to see his sweet lil face again and to get another estimate on his size.

More to come on Thursday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

31 weeks

It's been a quiet week here. Everyone keeps commenting on how close we are getting, OMG 9 weeks or less!!! I'm not ready for it to be over, I really am enjoying most every moment but I'm sure A&T are getting impatient and excited for their son to be in their arms. I'm getting bigger but he still seems to have plenty of room to move around. It's fun trying to figure out which baby bit is poking me, sometimes it feels like he's got his hands,arms, elbows, knees and tiny feet jabbing me all at once. He also gets hiccups on a regular basis.

I haven't talked to my IPs this week. They decided to take a trip to their original honeymoon destination before baby arrives and I didn't want to disturb or alarm them with a phone call or text. :) Looking forward to hear how the trip went. We'll be seeing one another next week and nearly every week after that until the end.

Sending out some birthday wishes to "T" (3/3) .... Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

30 weeks

I am gaining fat and muscle now. I have toenails and weigh almost 4 pounds!

Ahhh 10 weeks or less to go!!! I can't believe this milestone is here already, seems long overdue that we reach this part of our journey but the pregnancy itself is going very quickly.

We had an uneventful OB appointment this morning. As for me, urine and BP look fine ... I was up a pound from last week which I am a-ok with especially considering he's putting on weight too now. Baby G is looking great, his heart rate was a bit high for him. It was 150 when it's usually in the high 130's to 140's. Must have been the OJ I had with breakfast. All is looking good and we'll go back in two weeks for another growth u/s and check up.

A&T and I also meet up with the doula for some coffee. We went over the birth plan we've worked up and over a few expectations and what not. That's all taken care of now so unless we'd like to meet with her again to go over some birthing techniques we'll see her again on D-day!!

Sounds like A&T have been making preparations. The "nursery" is being cleaned up and they made a stop into BRU over the weekend to do some "research". IM and IF were discussing baby showers and I was very honored when they asked me to be a part of the celebration. No need to go shopping ... I already bought a "little something". I'm excited to meet some of their friends and family ... this lil guy is SOOOOO loved already!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Glucose Testing Update

I'll be honest I was a bit paranoid at the thought of having gestational diabetes. This "lil" guy is likely gonna be bigger than any of my girls just based on genetics so the possibility of having to manage diabetes to ensure he didn't get too big made me nervous! Plus I really feared being labeled if I am to do any future surrogacies.

So, I got my results this morning and big sigh of relief, I passed ... thank goodness!!!

The nurse said my numbers looked really good for the 3hr tolerance test. 84 after fasting, 160s after 1hr (same as other day), 130s after 2hrs and back down to the 80s after 3hrs.

Looks like my body is taking a bit longer to break down the glucose but it's getting the job done and no gestational diabetes diagnosis. So with the all clear I can breath again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

29 weeks

I can see light, taste, hear voices and smell. I weigh almost 3lbs!

I spent today in my Obstetrician office taking the three hour glucose tolerance test. Ugh! I got the results back from the one hour on Friday, my blood sugar was elevated and they needed me to fast starting Sunday at midnight and come in at 8:30 AM Monday (today) for the longer test to rule out having gestational diabetes.

Anyway, I guzzled my lovely morning cocktail and had blood drawn every hour on the hour. Baby G must have got a good buzz from the drink because he was super active and kicking the crude out of me. I texted IM to let her know her son was entertaining me with all the intense movements. I got a good sugar high too that was followed by a pretty big crash. When I got home I nearly passed out, no joke! I started sweating and the room began to spin. I got some food in my stomach and was able to lay down for about an hour and am feeling a much better now.

Not looking forward to the call tomorrow and just hoping for the best. Fingers crossed all is ok.

Friday, February 12, 2010

He's Adorable !!

Today we had our 28 week appointment and were surprised with some 3D images of this lil guy. He's such a cutie!! Cheeks are getting a bit chubby, a precious little nose and even some hair atop his head.

All the measurements looked good and he's even sizing up a week or more ahead. Right now he's estimated to be about 3lbs 3oz which puts him in the 76th percentile. The doctor was pleased with how everything is coming along. I was instructed to start those kick counts, 10 movements in an hour period and also to call if the Braxton Hicks become to frequent (more than 4-5 in an hour). So far I'm having some but only a couple times a day so no worries there.

After the OB visit we headed back to the house. We played a little Wii with the girls and had some good laughs. Jason whipped up some dinner for all and then we chatted for quite awhile over dessert and coffee.

IM gave me a compilation disk of some songs that have touched her in one way or another throughout their journey to become parents. She included some sentiments about why each song was chosen, brought tears to my eyes. I'm looking forward to listening to it all and enjoying the songs too.

Because I'm so stinking impatient I decided to give them a little ... well actually big item I purchased. I wanted to take the opportunity to gift it to them before anyone else did. My IPs now have a glider and ottoman to cuddle their lil guy in. It means a lot to me to think of them rocking him comfortably in their arms in it for months if not years to come.

Before the night ended IM did get the chance to feel him mov'n around and a good kick. Wish he had been a bit more active but we have several more opportunities for that coming up soon. Now we are back to every other week visits ... so glad I'll be seeing A&T on a more regular basis again.

Monday, February 8, 2010

28 weeks

Since there isn't much of anything new to report just yet, and we have a big appointment this upcoming Thursday (growth u/s and glucose screen) I thought I'd post some ramblings this week and then add a "baby update" later after the OB visit.

So the reoccurring question from strangers who see me out and about with my four girls is, "Are you finally having a boy this time?" To this I usually answer, "Yep it is a boy" and leave it at that but then sometimes they decide to continue the conversation with more questions or comments about me having a boy after all girls. These comments lead to me just telling it all as it is, "He's not my baby, I'm carrying him for a wonderful couple as their surrogate". The majority of people are impressed, excited, amazed but then there are the few that seem sympathetic, "Oh you finally have a boy and you have to give him away!". I don't even know what to say to that, usually I just add that he is not biologically mine so I'm giving him back to his mom and dad, not giving him away. Seems simple enough but there are those who still don't understand.

I like to equate my experience as a surrogate to that of being a daycare provider. I love my daycare children. I've bonded with them, care for them, love & nurture them when their parents are away but I am more than happy for their moms & dads to come get them and to collect the tuition payments each week. **LOL** I'd never dream of wanting to keep the baby I am carrying anymore than I'd dream of keeping one of my daycare children. In this respect I consider my role as a surrogate to be that of a "prenatal nanny". I have a family of my own, four beautiful girls and we are complete. I have no yearning for another baby and to be honest at this stage with our youngest soon to turn three, I'm glad it will be my IPs experiencing the sleepless nights and seemingly endless diaper changes and not me. **wink**

Yes I'll always have a special place in my heart for this little guy but A&T will share that special place too. I've become attached to them as a family, not attached to just baby. When I feel him kick I think first of his momma, waiting and preparing for him. When I talk to him I tell him how excited his daddy is to meet him and snuggle him. I can not wait until the day when I see them holding him for the very first time, to see their tears as all their dreams of family come true. I am so very blessed to have had this opportunity and as the end of the pregnancy draws near I'm looking forward to what the future holds for the family I've helped create.

Monday, February 1, 2010

27 weeks (Hello 3rd Trimester)

My brain is quickly growing and my eyes will open soon. I can hear voices outside the womb.

I can hardly believe it, we're now into month 7 and beginning the 3rd trimester.

This baby keeps busy and active that's for sure. I'll notice him get the hiccups from time to time and even startle at a loud noise. I continue to talk to him each day, making sure to let him know how very excited his mom and dad are to welcome him and how much he is loved. Sounds like A&T are beginning to get ready for their little guys arrival. I can't wait to see them in another week and hear about the preparations.

My pregnancy discomforts are pretty minimal, just the usual heartburn and shortness of breath or the occasional leg cramp. I'm finding my sleep to be a bit more restless, rolling over in a smooth movement is almost impossible and can't be done without me waking up to do so. Otherwise all is good. I continue to go to aqua aerobics twice a week and can't wait for things to warm up so I can get some walking in too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

26 weeks

Well we are in a double digit countdown now. 99 days or less to go! I can hardly believe how quickly it has gone by.

As the 6th month ends and we approach the third trimester we've been working on getting some things organized. I think I mentioned already that the doula has been hired, the PBO is in the works, an appointment to do the hospital tour needs to be set, maybe even taking part in a crash course birthing class and before long we'll be scheduling those weekly appointments.

Really not much to report this week. Baby G is very active and I feel him all the time. He still has plenty of room to flip flop around which makes my whole belly shake. Still waiting for IM to feel these movements, hoping when we see one another in a couple weeks he'll perform for her. I've beginning to feel some Braxton Hicks contractions ... it's practice time!

Monday, January 18, 2010

25 weeks

My spine is forming and I'm 9 inches long! My lungs are becoming mature.

Time is flying ... 25 weeks down, 15 or less to go!

Today was a great day! IM and I spent the afternoon being pampered with massages and manicures ... perfect! IM had an interesting conversation with her masseuse. The woman was engaging her in a lil small talk and asked if "A" had any children. IM responded with "No, not yet". Then the woman asked, "Do you just plan to spoil Tiffany's baby?" IM's response, "Well that's kinda an interesting story." LOL The ladies doing our manicures were just as interested in everything. Sometimes I'm not sure how much or what to tell strangers but usually all the details just end up spilling out.

(Edit: 7/8/2012): I had to share that one of the nail techs mentioned above is now my great friend and surrosister!  She was inspired by mine and A's experience and decided to contact the agency.  She moved forward with them quickly and her journey as a surrogate began.  She delivered a baby boy in early 2011 for IF "J".  She went on to do a second journey and just this past week she delivered "firecracker" boy/boy twins on the 4th of July for her IPs "M&M".  I just love all the wonderful people that I've been introduced to thanks to surrogacy.

Afterwards we went out for a nice lunch. We had plenty of time to chat and even looked over the birth plan I've been working on the last couple of days. Later we wandered around BRU for a good while just looking at all the baby stuff. I thought I could be some help when it came to looking at all the gear but was surprised how much has changed just in the last 3 years since my "baby" was born. So many more gadgets and all the options! I can totally understand why IM would be completely overwhelmed. After all that we came back to the house for some coffee while the girls entertained us with their silliness.

It was so nice to spend time with "A" today and hear her accounts of everyone's reaction to the news that they are expecting. Time to start thinking about getting everything ready now that the word is out! I gave Baby G a little gift, a newborn sleeper and a romper for when he's a bit bigger and these are the very first items they have for him!! Sounds like there may be some baby showers in the works though so I'm sure all will be set by his arrival.

I was really hoping IM would get a chance to feel him moving about some today. It didn't happen, by the time we sat down for a lil bit he was pretty quiet with just a couple random thumps that we missed, but next time for sure!

I took a couple pics to show off this belly, it's pop'n on out there now!

Monday, January 11, 2010

24 weeks

Had a nice but quick visit with A&T today when we went in for our appointment. Today's appointment seemed pretty uneventful, especially since we've had an ultrasound at every appointment leading up to this one since 12 weeks. Baby G is doing well, I'm feeling lots of movement these days which has really allowed me to relax a lot the last month or so. His heart rate was 148 bpm and my belly is measuring on track.

Downside to the appointment was getting reprimanded for my weight gain. Let's just say I've almost gained already what I was hoping to the entire pregnancy. Yikes! I'm feeling a bit bummed about it because I really don't feel that I've been over indulging, I just can't help that I'm so darn hungry all the time! I've gotta start drinking more water and eating more regular meals. I tend to starve myself till 2pm when the kids go down to nap and then I eat and snack the whole rest of the day. I'm also trying to get back into the routine of some exercise, it's hard though in winter and when home alone a lot of evenings with the kids.

Our visit today was short and sweet and I feel there is so much I wanted to chat with IPs about that we didn't get a chance to. IF had a plane to catch to Spain so their time was limited but IM and I are trying to plan a lil spa day before the next scheduled OB visit. In four weeks we'll go back for a growth u/s and I also have the fun glucose test as well. Hopefully then we can all catch up and enjoy some time together.

Thinking it's about time for another picture. When IF saw me today he said, "Now that's impressive" LOL I'll be sure to add one soon.

Monday, January 4, 2010

23 weeks

My bones are harder and I'm viable outside the womb! I weigh more than a pound.

Just a quick update. All is great here ... besides missing my IPs everything is going well. I think we all got accustomed to seeing one another every week or two, now that we've been communicating through just email and text for the last few weeks I miss them.

I'm beginning to feel more cumbersome but keep reminding myself there is a long way to go yet. I'm finding I have to scoot myself to the edge of the couch before getting up, I roll out of bed and even bending down to tie shoes has started to become a chore. I did lighten my load a bit recently, I made the decision to hire my sister back as my daycare assistant so having an extra set of hands is going to come in handy over the next few months.

I'm certain this lil guy is growing and doing just fine. He moves A LOT and even gets the hiccups from time to time. I can finally feel the movements from the outside too, but you have to be poised and waiting in the right spot to get a good thump.

We've got a lot to accomplish in the coming weeks. Time to get the pre - birth order ready, this is a document so that A&T's names go directly on the birth certificate. I also need to set up an appointment with the doula I plan to use and before long it will be time to meet with the hospital and staff to take a tour, go over expectations and the particulars about out situation.

The next OB appointment is Monday. A&T will be coming out but only for a quick visit since IF has to be on a plane to Spain in the afternoon. Can't wait to see them both ... I think they'll be surprised by how I've grown in the last month! Maybe it is just me but I feel like I'm really poking out there now. LOL