Archive for December, 2009

2 weeks later….

Let me just say that the month of December has been just a flash!  It is going by really fast and I do not want it to, gee I need some time to enjoy it!  This Dec. might just  be the most special month of my life, seriously.  It has been so special and packed full of so much wonder!   Too good to be true, I can not thank God enough for how he has blessed me.  

K and D said my kids were welcome to come over and see the babies since they did not get up to the hospital.  So, my plan was for all of us to go see them that Sunday Dec 6th, but my kids had a birthday party to attend.   My son decided it was way more important to see the babies.   He really wanted to see them.  I told him we would go the following week, and not to worry.   But he would not accept that and he even got upset.  He looked at me with elephant tears in his eyes and asked me to please take him.  Now, what could I say, but of course I will.  My daughter on the other hand wanted to go to the bday party and she was completely fine with waiting till the following week.  So new plan, drop Madison off at the party and  Anthony and I would go to D & K’s to see the twins.   Andrew would have to stay behind and pick Madison up from party.   Anthony was so excited and kept thanking me for taking him.   When we got there, K got Castle up and let Anthony hold him.   It was adorable and Anthony lit up.   He really loves babies and toddlers, he just loves to watch then and play with them.  He was  amazed at how tiny the twins were and he took off Castle’s socks to check out his tiny feet.   Soon the boys had to eat, so D took Castle and K took Ryder.   Anthony got to help K change diapers, or really just stand next to her for support…LOL.  It was funny, we were only over there for about an hour and a half and Castle messed up two diapers!    He is doing so good and even though he is the “little brother” he is a little piggy.  After we left, Anthony was already asking me when we could go back and visit.   This meant so much to him and I am so very thankful D & K let us come 🙂   They are just so wonderful 🙂

I planned to get back to work on Monday, but my sweet husband insisted that I stay home and rest for once in my  life.   I felt great, honestly it was ridiculous how good…ok except for my neck, back and boobs, ouch the milk coming in hurts!    I thought it over and finally around 10pm I gave in and put in for a sub at work.   I know my husband is right and I needed to rest and take it easy even if I felt good, my body had been through a twin pregnancy and delivery!   I did go back on Tuesday and everyone looked at me like I am a complete psycho!  

Now Madison was just dying to see the twins and I was not sure if we should go see them when we had just been there, and I know that D& K need their own time with babies and to adjust to everything.    Plus, this was so completely new to me.    I have never had the opportunity to see my surro babies again once I have left the hospital.  I was not sure how to act or what to say.   How often I might get to or how the parents felt about it all.  I also knew that the holidays were around the corner and D&K were going to have family in town.   So really if we did not go that week then we might not have a chance for a month or so and I know Madison was looking forward to seeing the babies and the parents.  I asked K and she said Saturday night would be just fine.   So all of us went for a visit.   It was fun and sweet.  Madison is still a little small and too carefree to handle the babies by herself.    The boys are getting so strong it had only been one week and Castle was already trying to hold his head up as he layed on his belly.    Also while we were there, K showed me proofs of our surro portraits, they are so good.   I can’t wait for them to come in, I am not sure when.   I know that they also had portraits of the babies made so all of the pics need to be organized and stuff.    I am so very thankful for D&K and our journey!   How neat that I was able to see them and the babies again.   When a journey ends, I totally miss it, the pregnancy and the parents.   Of course I want to see the babies but you know that is not the biggest or hardest part.   You are partners with the parents and you go through the adventure together for about a year.   In that time you go through soooo much and you get to know each other and share something so unique and so special.   It is difficult when it ends and to think you might never really have contact again.   You do get through it no matter the outcome, and either way it is still so wonderful.  All 4 of my adventures have been completely different and significant.   However it really is cool that this time, I will be able to see parents and babies again.  

After I had Trace, my last surro baby, I was able to run 8 days later.   I was not sure how long this go round since I had twins.   The Houston Half Marathon is only 5 weeks away on Jan. 17th, D, Andrew and I are running it.  I am pumped but not ready so I need to get training.   Well I did it, I was about to run on Sunday 8 days later…totally awesome!   I ran 2.5 miles and it felt good no pain, except for my neck and back, which are still very strained from pushing baby B for 30 min.   It is painful but not enough to keep me from running.   I then ran 3 miles the next day Monday, then 3 more on Wed and Friday…..then on the weekend my husband and I ran 5.5 miles together.   I did not expect to be able to do that…it is not at the pace I use to run in but at least I can.   So, then yesterday I was able to run 7.3 miles.    I went out for a run unsure of  how far I wanted to go or how far my body would go.  I felt fine so I just ran for awhile.    Lets just say I am now enduring some serious back pain…ouch!   My lower back near my tail bone is the worst spot.    I am not sure I ever remember having pain like this before, I know it will heal just may take a few more weeks.   All part of puting your body into a pretzel to deliver…LOL

Oh I forgot, on Saturday we went to my husband’s cousin’s wedding.  It  was a really nice wedding.  It was fun and I got to see my husband who never dances…dance with Madison and he danced with me.   I got to dance with Anthony.    Andrew asked Anthony to dance with Madison and he said no….then he said for $5 he would, my husband knew it would mean the world to Madison if brother danced with her and that I would love it, so he said yes, then my son said not make it $10…ha, he is crazy!  Andrew turned him down and Anthony settled for the $5.   I have pics….

December 3, 2009….Twinkies Arrival!!

Here we are after all the wait and the wonderful journey,  the Smith Twins will arrive today…D&K will be parents!!   I called the hospital at 6 am  and the nurse said we were set for induction and to arrive at 7am.   I called D&K to tell them to get ready to see their boys!  Poor parents had not gotten much sleep, too much anticipation for delivery day 🙂   On the way to the hospital, I began having increased contractions and I was thinking…hmm, maybe I will end up in labor on my own after all!

Andrew and I arrived at the hospital behind schedule at 7:25 am, but no big deal.   They showed us to the room and I met Cat our labor nurse.   She was a tad bit frazzled and excited, this would be her first twin delivery and a surrogacy on top of that.   Plus, she has only been working in Labor and Delivery for 3 months.    Lots of action and new things headed her way.    Lucky for Cat, I am probably one of the easiest patients she will ever  have to deal with, according my husband.   I changed into my fabulous hospital gown, perfect for a delivery 🙂    Then, we got all the monitors in place, one for baby A’s heart rate, one for baby B’s and then one to monitor contractions.    Cat did a really good job and  found the heart beats on the first try.  Ok , I did help her with their typical location.   Soon, D & K arrived and then Dr. Lloyd arrived at 8.   Doc checked me and I was 4 cm…wow I have moved to active labor on my own.   However, the plan is to go ahead and start pitocin to increase my contractions and get them on a regular pattern.    Also, Dr. Lloyd wanted to break my water.   He tried to break my water but was not successful.  Seems like that always happens to me.   I have some tough bags of water.    Except for with Wynter and my early rupture of membranes.    Pitocin was started at 9am and the wait for arrival was on!  

As we waited, K worked on my necklace she  made me.   Yes, she brought to the room her jewelry stuff.   I suspect this was a good trick to keep her preoccupied on this huge day of excitement and nerves.     One of my charms had fallen off from the necklace over the past month and she planned to replace it for me.     In the meantime, we all chatted away and just chilled.    As I layed there, I was thinking that not much was going on, I worried that I was not making progress.   I was feeling some contractions but they did not really hurt and seemed like they were so far apart.    Andrew got up to check  the monitor of the contractions…..turns out it showed that I was having plenty of contractions and some huge ones on top of that.   Cat decided at 11am she would check me to see if we have made any progress.  I sat there in doubt and then she said 6 to 7 cm.    I was totally shocked, first of all I felt great and was not in any pain at all and secondly we had just started pitocin only 2 hours ago!    Dr. Lloyd arrived around noon checked me and agreed that I was 7cm and he then tried to break my water again….success!!!    Knowing that my water was actually broken this time, I knew it would not be long  now.    Cat called for the anesthesiologist to get the epidural started.    I would rather deliver without and epidural, but delivering twins can be difficult, might take a while and I might need a c-section.    If I needed a c-section and did not have an epidural, they would have to knock me out.   That would not be good, I would miss the joyous event.  

So, epi is now in and I soon begin to shake.   For me  that means….it is time!!   I told the nurse she might want to check me….she did and said yep you are complete!     Time to head down to the operating room.    As they wheel me down, I asked if Dr. Lloyd was coming and the nurse said she got anxious she forgot to call…it was funny, but no big deal he was nearby in a different OR.     D, K and Andrew were sent to a waiting room while they got me set up in the OR.    Wow, that was a new experience for me.    As they wheeled me down, there I was shaking like crazy and I kept thinking surely I need to deliver the baby and if felt like it was taking forever to get there, then when we got there they transferred me from the big bed to tiny tiny bed, it was so thin.    I do not see how me or anyone else can stay on and not fall off!    There was so much going in the OR, nurses everywhere.    Dr. Lloyd arrived and told them to get an ultrasound machine and the radiologists.    Then he came to check me, he said ok we are ready.   The nurse reminded him that we needed the parents.     After all my worry about who would be in the delivery room, because the normal rule is one person, all three were allowed in!!!  D, K and my sweet husband were all in there with me.    Andrew was on the right side of my  head and D&k were on my left side.    K held one of my legs and the nurse held the other, which was odd because Andrew has always held one of my legs.   But it was very crowded in the OR and I also had the radiologist on my left side with the u/s machine wand on my belly to see the babies position the whole time.   

Everything was happening so fast yet so slowly at the same time…weird.    Dr. Lloyd told me to push with my next contraction and I said “I am not having any or I have no clue, I can not feel them”   That is one reason I do not like epidurals and the other is that I can not feel what I am doing.    So, the nurse would keep her hand on my belly and tell me to push.     I pushed and pushed again, out came baby A so fast at 1:52 pm.    As he came out I saw his feet and they were so tiny!    He was loud and crying very well.     So, now they were searching for baby B’s position, he was still head down, however he was not fully down birth canal yet, he was still at station 4.    So we would have to wait for him to come down.    I say wait but I did not get to wait, I had to work…LOL…yep I would have to keep pushing along with the nurse pushing down on my belly on the top of my uterus.   In the meantime, they weighed baby A and he was 5 pounds 4 ounces.   That surprised me I thought he would be at least 6 pounds.    I got sad because I did not want him to be so small, but he was very healthy and lungs were great.    If babies are not at least 5 pounds 5  ounces they have to be sent to NICU for observation.    Luckily they did not take him right away, instead the parents were able to spend time with him in the OR.    After taking a few minutes to see baby A, K came back to check on me and baby B.    Dr. Lloyd then sent her back to be with baby A.  He told her it would be a few minutes and she should spend time with A.  It was cute.   So, as I lay there between pushes I was able to see the happy new parents with there new tiny son, it was wonderful.    K even got to sit and rock him.   

Well, I was pushing and pushing and frustrated because I could not tell what was going on, but boy I was working  hard.   They said I was doing amazing and I am a great pusher but gee, I am thinking why is he not out yet…LOL.    As he came down Dr. Lloyd noticed that he was sunny side up, so we might need tongs to help get him out .   Thirty minutes after baby A’s delivery I pushed and baby B turned at the last minute and came right out at 2:26 pm.     I did it, I just delivered two babies and no c-section!!   Wow, truly amazing!    And joyful parents now had two babies to see and hold and love!    They were tiny and adorable.    Baby B appeared bigger then A and was, he weighed 5 pounds 15 ounces, so almost 6 pounds.    The good news is that he would not have to be observed in the NICU.    Now that B was delivered and did not need  to be in NICU the nurses decided they should go ahead and take A to NICU.    D went with them and K brought B over so I could hold him and see him.  It was so sweet 🙂     I think I was still in shock that all of this happened and went so well.    I am so lucky, how easy it was and no complications.    Well, not completely easy, I was exhausted and sore from the pushing.    

Oh and before I forget, I believe I am now allowed to announce their names…Baby A is Castle and Baby B is Ryder!

We went back to our previous room and K fed Ryder for the first time….

D & K got a room at the hospital so they could stay with their new babies.    Castle was observed in the NICU but since he was perfectly healthy he got to  join brother and mom and dad at 2 am.     Dr. Lloyd came to check on me the next morning and said I could go when I was ready.    After I showered (finally), I got a text from K letting me know that the babies were in her room and we were welcome to come down.    So Andrew and I went to see the new family.    Dad was in bed feeding Castle…

Mom had Ryder and was trying to feed him, but he was not cooperating or just not very hungry…

Andrew holding Castle and Me holding Ryder…

Mom and Dad holding their precious boys….

Mom and me with the boys….

Ryder and Castle (he has his eyes open)..

Me and the two sweet gifts…

It just fills me up with abundant joy to see the family together.    The amazement of the journey never ends, to share this experience is beyond words.    I am so glad that God has surrogacy in his plans for my life, I am honored to be able to help others.    It is all kinda surreal though, almost like a dream, you can see it all but it just does not seem completely real.   It just happened and  yet it seems like it was a long time ago.    This journey was incredible and I am so very thankful.    My kids are anxious to see the babies and K said we could come over soon, so I can not wait to take them this week.   I will definitely share pics.  

Another amazing thing  happened yesterday Dec. 4th….it actually snowed in Houston!    Not just little flakes, it snowed and it even stayed on the ground, it was so beautiful.   I was very sad to leave the hospital, I could stay there with the parents and babies as long as they would let me….but it was time to go and time.   As we headed home I was anxious to see my kids and play in the snow with them.   What a wonderful addition to the surrogacy journey!    Andrew and I picked the kids up from school and here we are enjoying the wonder of snow in Houston…

Time to Catch Up…

I did not realize that I have not updated since Nov. 18th.    So here we go…

I had an appointment with Dr. Lloyd on Monday Nov. 23rd.    This would be the first appt for him to check for any dilation or signs of labor.   Turns out I was 1cm and 30 % effaced, all this basically means is that I am in extremely early labor but there is some progress.   You can stay at 1-3 cm for weeks before entering active labor especially if you have been pregnant several times.  This was still a good sign, since we were all hoping to induce on Dec. 4th, less than two weeks away 🙂  Since I have made it to 35 weeks, I figured it is time for me to start walking and stirring things up.  Plus I really want to go into labor on my own with having to be induced.    So on Thursday, Thanksgiving morning, while my husband ran a 10K (6.2 miles), my kids and I walked/jogged a 5k (3 miles).    I felt great and it was so nice to be moving and getting some exercise.   Later in the week on Friday… D, K and I had professional pictures made.   It was fun, we took some of just my belly and their hands and  them some of all of us, K and I and even D&K took some cute pictures, I guess the last ones of them before becoming parents.   Wow, that is not far away for them!!

I have been feeling good but more crampy than normal that week and then on Saturday night, I just could not sleep at all.    I feel extra crampy and seemed like I was having more contractions than normal and there was no way I could get comfortable.    I literally only got about 2 hours of sleep, maybe it was all in my mind and I was anxious and preoccupied.   However, nothing come of that…no babies yet!!    Monday, we reached 36 weeks…WOW!    This is a fabulous point in a pregnancy because babies born after 36 weeks have huge chance of being completely  healthy.  Plus, it meant that we have entered our goal week for a delivery on Friday Dec. 4th…oh my only 5 days away!    On Tuesday, I actually walked bleachers for 3o min before school started.    My fellow coaches were laughing and calling me crazy.   But what better way to bring on labor and of course a great way to pee  your pants…LOL, sorry TMI but true!   

Ok, on to Wednesday and another appt with Dr. Lloyd.   I was very curious to see if any more progress had been made, if I was further dilated.    He checked and said I was 3cm….that is very good .   I asked him if we could go ahead with an induction on Friday, if I did not have the baby before then.   He said that was fine with him but the hospital might be a zoo on Friday.    He left the room to call the hospital and see if they could fit us in.   He walks back in and says “Minyana”….K looks surprised and puzzled and says “tomorrow, did you say tomorrow?”   He said yep.   So I gasped and said wow.   K was too cute , she seemed shocked and so very excited.    She had the greatest expression on her face.   It really did not sink in with me until about 2 hours later, these twins were going to be born in 24 hours and another family will be created…..I had made it…again!     Plus, it all seemed to work out for everyone as far as our goal and D having time off to be at home with K and 2 new sons.   Only one minor detail….I would have to call the hospital at 6am to be sure they had room for us. 

My last belly pics…