Archive for December, 2011

Two Weeks after Twinkie Delivery…

When I stepped into my house, 4 days after the delivery, it felt really strange.  I looked at my husband and said “I am suppose to still be pregnant.  I should still have a huge belly and babies should not be here yet, it is just too early.”  He told me it is ok, they are here because it was their time and you did a great job.  He had to remind me I was not in control of everything and that not only are the babies alive and healthy, so am I.   

I have been pumping milk every 2 hours for 20 minutes.  This is what the nurse suggested at the hospital, because I need to provide for twins.   The first 5 days of pumping I was trying to stay positive and get use to it all, I was getting some clostrum but not a good amount and not full milk.  I was getting a little discourged, so asked about it and was told it might take a week due to a c-section delivery.  Ha, sure enough at day 7, there it was good milk.  Each day I gradually began to get greater amouts of milk with each pump.  I love it and I am really just too happy that I decided to provide breast milk for the twins.   And now that I am getting much more, there are times when I can actually wait 3 hours in between pumping.   B and D have thanked me several times for taking this on, and it really is my pleasure 🙂   B also tells me that the nurses in NICU say that my milk is really good milk, just perfect.   I had to laugh because I do not understand all about that or how  you would even know the difference from one milk to the next.  They say you can tell by color and stuff.    If that is the case, then oh I just hope it will help these babies get home next week!    They are still doing good and making strives, and luckily no more set backs since that belly button tube issue with the girl.   

The past two weeks were difficult not getting to help out around the house much.  Hard to watch my sweetheart do all the cleaning and help me and the kids.  Oh and hard not cooking, I love doing that for my family…but then again sure was a little less stress, no planning meals..ha    I had help from my mom and my sister, who drove me to finish up Christmas shopping and allowed me to get out of house and get some walking in.  It is good for my recovery to get up and walk some.   And good for me mentally, as I will just go insane sitting around.    I have never had a c-section or any surgery that has cut me open.  I had to figure out how to get up without using my abdominal muscles much.  I sleep in the recliner so that I can use it to help me get up.   Also since I get up every 2 hours even through the night, I can sleep in living room and pump in kitchen and not wake up my husband.  My pain has gone away alot the past two days , in fact today and yesterday I only took one pain pill.  My kids are happy that I can drive again. 

After the first week, I was and emotional disaster.   There are several reasons, hormones and post delivery, but also some nasty comments made on a surrogate message board I use, www.surromomsonline.com and some family issues.   I just broke down and cried and cried one day.  I would get up in the middle of the night and cry each time I pumped.   The first week, I did my best to push back all my bad thoughts like feeling so quilty the babies came early and just not understanding why.  Hating that the parents have to go through this and the babies being in the NICU for weeks.  Plus parents are having to stay here in Houston and not at home.   In addition, having to adjust to the c-section all that goes with it.  I suppose if you have a c-section and never had a vaginal birth you can’t know the difference.   The nasty comments also just insensified my insecurties, but I have to stay positive.  I did all I could and did the best I could every day.   Lots of people have said “it was just their day, they needed to come”   But sometimes it is hard to accept…why??   When does that get easier and go away?   I love seeing the parents and the babies it is beautiful and fills me with joy, but sometimes when I leave the hospital or when I just sit here I get sad and upset with myself.   I thought after my two bad emotional days it was gone…but still there a little.   And then I feel bad for being sad, it seems kinda selfish.  After all, so many other terrible things could have happened and so many people have struggled with these tragedies.   We were all blessed, although it was early and I have to be thankful and recognize it and its significance.    I also wonder if my emotions are more intense then they have ever been because I am not able to run or exercise.   That has always been my outlet and helps me mentally and physically.   Not to worry, I am still going to be taking it easy and not going to run a risk of hurting myself.   I have no idea when I will get to do that stuff but I am accepting it 🙂   In the mean time I get to pump for the babies which is one thing that helps me, it truely does 🙂   and then it passes on to those babies and helps them..how great is that!

Merry Christmas!!    Gee, seems like part of my post was such a downer, and I did not mean for it to be, I just like to share what is going on and be real.  Please note that I am truely happy and blessed!     I hope to be back very soon and report that babies are about to transition home!!

Sluggish, Stubbed Toe, Stupid, Silly, Shock, Surgery, Suprise!

Those are just a few Super Saturday S words to describe how that day December 10th, 2011 went for me!    This blog entry might take me forever to write , it has taken too long for me to just sit and start it.  

I usually have lots to do on Saturdays, shopping, sports ect.  Andrew went to play golf with my dad and I just decided I might actually Sleep in and then just stay around the house and be a Slug.   Sleeping in for me is about 8 am max, so I got up, ate breakfast and then searched around on the internet for a bit.  When I got up to walk to my bedroom for a shower, I ran right into the corner of livingroom and hallway walls.  I Stubbed my toe big time!   It brought me to my knees, it was very sore!   My son came over to check on me, which was a quick glance and laugh and then said he would go get dad.  I quickly said dad was playing golf .   Anthony looked at me and said, “well its not that bad is it?  What a goof”.   I felt really Silly for walking right into the corner there and of course my son had to let me know I how Stupid I can be…LOL  He was playing around with me of course, along with my sister’s son Brady. 

I had to laugh after my shower, because now not only am I wabbling from 32 week twin pregnancy and always trying not to pee my pants…now have a sweet little limp to go with it from my Stubbed Sore toe!  Oh what a Sight I must be.   Next , on my Sluggish Saturday list was to wrap the Angel Tree present to be taken to church later in the evening.  While I was at it, I decided I might as well wrap the Christmas presents I already had sitting in my closet, one less thing to do later.   I noticed my back sure was achy and I was feeling crampy with mild contractions.   This to me was not new or unusual, I have had several of those kind of days and I just sum it up to more good practice for delivery day.  Also, on those days I always text B to let her know her babies must be cranky with me and they sure are not afraid to let me know about it!    When I finished with gift wrapping I hung out with Anthony and Brady I joined them in some Mortal Combat!  

Finally, Andrew got home and we got ready for Church.   As I got ready I noticed the contractions hurt just a bit more then normal.  I guess it did make me a little nervous, when I thought about the whole day, but I also knew it was too soon for babies.   We went to church and it was difficult and very uncomfortable for me to walk as pain was really low on my abdomen.  I think my mind started to wonder and get  more nervous about pre-term labor, but then I would feel Silly if not,  it is just 32 weeks and we still have a long way to go.  I do not  typically worry and I don’t like to get my self worked up or feel Stupid if my mind is just playing tricks on me.    Funny thing though, as we walked to the car my husband and I chatted a little.  I mentioned I sure have been crampy and achy today.    It then dawned on him that he has been feeling anxious and nevous.  This is not new for him, with all pregnancies about 6 weeks from due date or what he refers to as “Go Time”  he feels anxious.  I totally understand and I think it is so cute and sweet.   Delivery has several risks and every time it is different and you just never know.   I drove us to Jason’s Deli for dinner, which was quite an adventure.   Andrew seemed on edge as I drove and with good reason, I sure was Silly/Stupid driving.   I was in a little daze and so I almost missed a stop sign and Andrew thought I did not see a few cars or that I was not being careful.   I thought I was fine, but now as I look back, ha I can see what was wrong with me.   At the restraunt,  I was playing with my iphone and discovered there is an app that will count your contractions.   I felt the urge to get it, so I did.  However I did not mention it to my sweetheart, as I did not want to add Stress to him. 

Later, at home I just could not get comfortable which again is nothing new….been that way for months.  Have  you noticed that belly I am carrying around 🙂    That wonderful back ache had not gone away all day, so at about 9pm I decided to get in a warm bath.   While laying and trying to relax I began to feel several contractions, so I figured I might as well play with my new Contraction Counter App.   Turns out I had several that were 5-4 minutes apart.   At this point my nerves were shaken.   I got out of the bath and standing up was difficult as I was feeling pain down really low.   I managed to get dressed and tried to ignore the  issue.  I had started laundry earlier, so I took a new load to the wash room and switched out the clothes.  That was a Stupid idea and a painful task, not sure how I did it.   I was still counting contractions with my phone and at this point they are 2 min apart and pain was getting worse. and now I am just in Shock.  Is this the real deal?  No way, it is super early and I do not want to have babies today.  No, no not happening.  So I layed down and tried to relax, as I did around 10 pm I sent a mass text to my close surro friends and told them what was going on and get advice.   As texts came in telling me to call doctor or get to the hospital, I was already dialing up Dr. Lloyd.   He told me to come on in and get checked and monitored.  Now came the hard part…telling Andrew 😦   I am slowlying moving out of the bed and calling him to the room.   As he comes in I am on edge of bed in big pain, I look up and tell him, that I called Lloyd and we need to head down to Hospital.   He looked at me shocked and worried and said “right now?”   I did my best to be carefree and said “yes, we need to go make sure all is ok, and they will probably just give me some meds and send me home, its most likely false labor.”   My nephews Brady and Nathan are over at my house staying with Anthony, so I called my sister and asked if she could come pick up Brady and Anthony.   I decided I could drop off Nathan at my mom’s house on the way (he lives at my mother’s house).    Nathan was not happy to go home, but he could see something is wrong with me and he stopped complaining. 

Andrew and I headed off on the 45 minute drive downtown to Women’s Hospital.   I have delivered there will all previous 5 pregnancies and Dr. Lloyd has delivered all the previous babies.   Anxiety and worry was all over Andrew’s face and as he talked, I felt really bad that he was in this Situation.   I tried to be as calm and unshaken as possible and told him all is gonna be just fine.  He knew better.  My contractions were now right on top of each other back to back no space or pause in between them and we are not even out of my  neighborhood yet.   I have delivered 5 previous times and even unmedicated, but I was in serious pain this time.  I do not remember such intense pain with my others.   I was leaning over the dash trying to get releif, I held on to the “oh, shit” bar above the window (sorry for language but that is about the truth…LOL)   Nothing was helping, yep this was the real thing and no Stopping it.   I kept thinking my water might break from all the pressure and it was unbearable, to the point I was getting that urge to push.   Andrew is doing the best he can not only to help me, but to focus on driving.  He was going 100 miles and hour with hazzards on.   We approached Kingwood Hospital, which is 15 min from the house.  Andrew asked if we should just stop there, he did not think we would make it downtown and there was no way he was gonna deliver me.   I told him we are fine, and I need Dr. Lloyd.   Then I began to get a little dillusional and things were Spinning and I was just trying to stay focused and not let the pain take over.   So I begin to say “well maybe we should Stop”, “no I  need to get to Women’s”, “oh I hurt”… just back and forth and back and forth, I said if you think we should Stop then Stop.  We are about to pass  the exit, Andrew turns quickly and said we are Stopping. 

He pulls up to the hospital entrance jumps out, leaving the car door open and tells me he is getting someone right away and a wheel chair as there is no way I can attempt to walk.   I guess it was taking a while for him to explain the urgency of situation to nurse, so another man comes out with wheel chair to get me.  He helps me in the chair and then laughs and says, should I turn car off and shut the door?   I said yes.  I was in so much pain, that I had my legs straight out and ankles crossed, maybe I thought it would keep babies in..ha.  

From this point things get extremely chaotic and unorganized!   Forgive me if my thoughts match the situation, and I get Scatterbrained while writing.    I finally arrive at a room, it is not a private room so there was already one women in labor in there.   I guess this is an early labor room and they move you to a private room when you reach active labor.   If you can image, I am frustrated and uneasy.   I am not at my normal hospital and I already know I am not going to have my own doctor.   The nurse hands me a plastic package with a urine cup inside.  She tells me she needs a urine sample.  I look at her in confusion and say “I can try but I am not sure I can.  I am in extreme pain and contrating”.   I take the package and as I stand by toilet, more frustration hits me because the pain sure is making it almost impossible to open this package to even get the cup out.   I finally do and sit down, but as odd as it sounds being pregnant and always having to pee, I can not pee, nothing…..  I open door and say “I am sorry but I can not get any urine” and then I look and blood is running down my leg.  So I say, ” you need to help me, look blood”.   I can berely stand and I feel really close to pushing.   I then walk myself over to the bed as she stairs at me and another nurse starts in with questions.   She asks my name which I tell her and then she needs me to spell it which is understandable, but I just cannot focus on that and I am having a difficult time breathing much less getting words or even letters out.   I tell her that, I said please stop asking me questions and stuff, I cannot speak, I am struggling.  I asked her to get info from my husband .  He was not in the room, I think he was on the phone with family or giving info to a nurse outside the room.   She said “mame he is not hear and I need this information”.   I again said,” I am trying and I am sorry, but this hurts and why isn’t anyone checking me or helping me”.   It was the craziest thing….I am Struggling and there are two nurses doing nothing but looking Stupid and very unorganized.  I began to wonder if they were even labor and delivey nurses.   Seriously.  I was having  to tell them what to do.   Finally, one of them checks me and says “oh, the head is like right there.”  I was a just a bit Sarcastic and said “I know”.  She did not even check my dialation, so at this point I am still clueless as to how far along this labor is.  I was a bit relieved to hear that her head was there because she was breech two weeks ago at our ultrasound.   In the back of my mind, I did wonder if it was really true and I also wondered how the boy was and if he was still head down.  I was also Scared because these nurses did not seem at all prepared and I thought the baby was going to come at any minute and I would be all alone with out their support or even my husband.  Still no monitors on the babies for heartrates, which also had me worried.    I was so upset, irritated and alone!   One nurse starts to take me to a private room, and I was still confused because I know I need to get to the OR.  I said “this is twins and things are happening so fast and no one knows what is going on or what to do here”.   I really missed Women’s hospital at this point and my Dr. Lloyd!!  This nurse pushes the bed into the private room and is talking to someone at the same time.  I guess they are giving her directives all at the same time, and every one is confused.  She then quickly turns the bed and I see my sweetheart again, he was trying to get to me.He  had to help the nurse push the bed out the door.  Now, we are finally headed to the right place….the OR.   Andrew helps her push me down there, and then all of a sudden she says “oh wait you can’t be in here”.   He said what do you mean.   Another nurse says he needs to have on scrubbs and so she takes him to find some.   I then get pushed into the OR which is empty it is just me in there laying all alone.   As I look around I notice there is only one little baby bed in there.   A new nurse is now with me getting vital signs and trying to hook up an IV.  She is not a labor nurse so she is not much help for me, but I am asking her for help anyway.  I told her that I still need someone to check me again and I know I cannot push but Oh I feel like I need to.  I also said we need to monitor these babies.  Like I said, she could not help with any of that, not her fault.   Finally, a nurse comes back and they move me onto the Operating Table.     This all seems to be taking forever and I am about in tears and I just keep asking for my husband, I say his name and then I keep saying where is my Sweetheart, where is my Sweetheart!  No one will answer me.  I am scared and alone.  There is not even a nurse helping me, consoling me, explaining anything to me,  no advocate.   The doctor arrives.  He looks very puzzled as he approaches and says “no one has monitored these babies?   Do we have an ultrasound on thsese babies? ”  I guess there was not even an ultrasound machine nearby because he asked for one and then we waited.  As we wait I tell him that it is so difficult not to push and I am trying but we need to hurry.  He then rudely says ” we are going as fast as we can”, not a normal response that I would expect and I was shocked and very upset!  I said” oh I am sorry I do not mean to be demanding but seriously I have never been in this kind of pain and I am worried.”  I also added since I have been here, I have not gotten much help or information.  He said ” what do you think we are doing”.   At the same time  he is viewing babies on ultrasound and he says we need prep for c-section.  He said baby B the boy was transverse or laying across the top of my belly.   He did not mention baby A to me.  The nurses kept  putting an oxygen mask over my face which is driving me banannas because I do not like those.  After the last ultrasound a few weeks ago, I actual came to terms and found peace in knowing that I was going to have a c-section.  Although, I really wanted to be awake for it via local anesthesia.  I know that it will be disapointing not to be awake when the babies are born and see them.   At this point in the madness, I was just wanted them to hurry up and put me out since I knew it was too late for local!   It seemed to take forever, but finally I was out.   No more worry, feeling all alone, no more confusion, Sadness and irritation!      

I tryed to wake up, but  I would fade in and out.  As I did I was sticken with extreme pain.  I remember, saying “hey I am in pain”, “ouch”, ” I am in pain”.   I looked around and finally noticed a man to my side that said “hello, I am trying to get you some pain meds”.  I said ok, and then I said “why would anyone choose to be in this kind of pain, why would you choose to have a c-section…oh no!”   The guy laughed.  As I layed there I noticed the button that you can push to give yourself meds.   I layed there, saying random stuff and continuously pushed that button.  I told the guy that button did not even work 😦   He said “I am trying to get meds and put in your IV and you can only push that button so many times to get meds”.   Ha, I am Stupid.   As I am still really out of it and going in and out of my fog and sleep, they wheel me to my room.  Finally, I see my Sweetheart!   By his side is my mom, thank goodness because he must have been a mess full of worry.   They told me babies look wonderful, are big and healthy.   Then, once again the questions come.  Some one was in there trying to get information from my husband and mom and I guess me too, now that I am out of recovery.   I don’t remember all that was said but I do remember all of a sudden getting paranoid about insurance and what the hospital is going to report and write on my paperwork.    So I kept saying do not write down this a surrogacy,do not have it anywhere on papers.   Then, I worried about all the paperwork from Women’s hospital.   Did they get it yet, is everything organized now?   My mom said I was fighting the meds and she just wanted to Slap me and say go to Sleep….she is so funny!  Andrew mentioned that I came in the room crying and looking terrible.   I was upset about the whole Situtaion and going on and on.  The fact that I came in crying and in sever pain, certainly did not calm his nerves, and he was still very worried.   

I later found out that while I was in the OR, Andrew was trying to deal with lots of things and I know it must have been so difficult for him.   He called my mom and she asked if he wanted her to come to the hospital and he quickly said, “yes, please”.   When she got there he was still trying to figure out if he should B&D or wait for more information and details.   And then he was worried not even knowing what he should even say.  My mom told him yes, he needs to call and just be honest and calm about the Situation.   Oh how I love my husband and so thankful God gave him to me.   How special and significant he is.   And how amazing he can put up with me and Support me beyond belief .   I know making this call was Scary.   How do you call a women waiting to become a mom and all the Struggles she has been through and tell her things are not going according to plan.   He did it though, he informed her that I went into labor fast and unexpected and we were at the hospital and I was about to have an emergency c-section.   He told me that was one difficult phone call but what was so nice and Surprising was how calm and peaceful B was.   He said she was not upset or emotional, she just wanted him to update her as soon as he could and they would be trying to find the earliest flight in from Utah.   Turns out that while I was in the OR, my mom and Andrew kept waiting and waiting for an update.  Everytime someone came out of OR they would ask, but not one would give them any information.  One time they came out, they were on a hunt for a baby bed warmer thing, they only had one in the room.  Two other times they had to come out because they did not even have the OR stocked with drugs they needed.   SoAndrew and my  sat, worried with no clue what was happening.  Then finally they brought out the babies and Andrew and my mom saw them.  They were big and looked so  healthy!   Although seeing the babies and knowing they were stable was great news it did not reasure then or take away their fears.   Yes, they were concerned about babies but  their daughter and wife was  in there having a major emergency surgery they desperately needed an update on my status.   Soon the doctor, came out and told them I was stable but in recovery for about 2 hours.   He said baby A “the boy” was coming butt first….hmmm, very inaccurate information as it was the girl that came first and was butt first.  They did not tell them, only later on the next day did B find out that the girl was not breathing and was in arrest when she was delivered. They actually had to give her CPR right away.   The boy did come out crying, which was great.  

The stats at birth:  Decenber 10th, 2011 @ 11:20pm and 11:21pm

Baby A—Girl, E— 4 pounds 4 ounces 16 inches, needed CPR and oxygen

Baby B—Boy, B—4 pounds 13 ounces 17 inches, came out crying

I called B as soon as I had control of my thoughts and was not going  in and out of Sleepyness.   It might have been 5am my time but 3am her time…LOL  I knew she was not asleep, but most likey up with worry and impatient waiting 🙂   I was able to tell her, she now has two beautiful healthy babies and that I am doing ok but in lots of pain.  I also told her I was sorry it was too early.    I really do not remember much else except that they were packing and getting ready to leave for their flight and would be in Houston at Noon.  

My husband and I tried to get some Sleep but that was impossible, I was dealing with intense pain along with so many thoughts and emotions Swirling around my head.  He was stuck trying to sleep on one of those small hard couches in a hospital room.  Normally with my vaginal births, I tell him to climb in bed with me, sadly that was not happening this time.   I needed to hold it together and not let everything become too big in my mind, I had to keep my emotions in check. Which has been a Struggle everyday since the delivery.   It is very difficult to accept it, that the babies came way too early.  Why?    I was being so lazy not only that day but over the last 2 weeks.  Then again, maybe that put my body in Shock, it is use to me being busy and running around.    Also, I was so frustrated with myself for not Seeing Signs earlier in the day.  I was either neive or denying them.  After all it was too early!!   I just kept thinking there was something I could have done, but everyone says that is Silly and God planned for them to come that day, it was their day.   But then you go back to why.  Unfortunately, they did not really monitior babies when I got to hospital so I do not know if one of them was in trouble inside my belly and babies know this and they do decide to come.   Maybe baby A was in  trouble as she did need CPR.    It hurts to know that they have to be in the NICU and parents missed the birth and they are having to stay in hotel and do not get to take their dreams home yet.  They have to wait to truely enjoy and experience parenthood.   Wait to hold babies in their arms, or feed them or fall asleep with them.   Writing this is tough, just so many feelings.  I also know it is going to cost so much to have the babies in NICU for at least 3-4 weeks, plus cost of hotel and food ect.  Not to mention I know the parents were not fully ready.  Mentally yes they have been ready but they are in process of moving from one state to another and the nursery is not set up and that is part of the fun getting ready and decorating it.  I missed my husband, he was not there to hold my hand, he always holds my hand.   In the end, I know this is all small potatoes and I should not even let myself drift there.   The most beautiful amazing thing happend on December 10th.  Two babies were born, in fact even though it was on at 32.3 weeks gestation, they were stable and strong.   In addition, I was great no complications.    D&B are now parents and have babies to love and dreams have come true.   Nothing else really matters, right 🙂

D&B arrived along with B’s parents and her little sister.  Oh I can not even begin to tell you the joy that came over me when I saw them.   And even more so when I was able to watch them set their sights on the babies for the first time, just beyond imagination.  It was also the first time I was able to see the babies too.   The family was so grateful some even full of tears with excitment.  I had not met her father before but the first thing he said as he walked up to me was “Thank You” a really sincere thank you.   Wow, that was Special and I needed that for sure.   By this time, both babies needed oxygen he actually needed it through a tube in his throat, but she was a little better only needing it in her nose.  Seems odd since at birth she was more critical, but they say boys tend to be lazy and  even though he did good at birth quickly he needed to be taken care of.   I will also add that she is a little fiesty girl, I knew that even while she was in my belly.  So fiesty that she took out her iv and stuff a few times so they just had to put it in her belly button.  This is fine, but later we would find out that that one tube in her belly botton would prevent the parents from getting to hold her.

I made a very important decision that  second night in the hospital.   B&D had informed me after talking to the Neonatologist that breast milk would be so vital for the preemie twinkies.   Of course it is recommended for all babies but being a preemie leaves babies so much more likely to get sick and develop and grow just a bit slower.   I did not breast feed myown children, I did not pump milk for any of my surrobabies.  Without a second thought, I told my husband that I wanted to pump milk for E and B.   I thought he might say I was completely insane and that would be way too much to take on and just question my decision.  Not because he did not respect it or me but because I have never ever done it before and I had just been through major surgery and everything else.   Instead, he smiled and said “why not, sounds good if you want to”.  After all, I already have 2 weeks off from school for Christmas vacation and I had a c-section so I will not be going anywhere, I will just be home and have the time to do it.  Later, B&D and B’s mom came to say goodnight before they left the hospital.   I told them that I was going to pump milk for the twinkies.  They looked at me with delight, and I do believe the B’s mom even had tears in her eyes.   At that point, I do not know exactly what I am in for but I was excited and ready to get started.   I feft confident it was an important thing that I could do and help not only the babies but B&D also.  Sure you can use a service and get breast milk but I carried the babies, the parents already trust me, I am right here near them and it will not cost them a thing 🙂

I stayed in the hospial for 4 days (Sunday-Wednesday).    What was surprising to me is that I was able to get up and move around even on Sunday after having the c-section Saturday at 11pm.    Yes, it was painful but not as I had imagined.  Plus, I thought I would not be able to get up and move for a few days.  They even let me shower that first day.   My sister and my friends said they had to wait a day or two.  I think that first nurse I had was agressive and a go getter, but that works for me.  The pain at first was just like the most sore muscles you have ever had in your life.    As if I had done 200o crunches at one time.   I will add that I was also still druged up for the first 2-3 days while in hospital.   That helped 🙂    I am so very blessed, that first day I had a few visitors and it meant so much to see them.  My mom sister and neice came up there.   Also two of my closest surrogate friends Susan and Stacey.   Susan text to ask if she could come by, but in Stacey’s typical goofy fashion she just showed up and Surprised me!!  Stacey gave me two hummingbird ornaments, they are colored glass one to represent each of the babies.   It was so very significant and special to see Susan as she is near and dear to this journey with B&D as she was their former surrogate and the glue that allowed me to be D&B’s surrogate.   She even came back the next day for a quick Surprise visit.   My sister also came back the next day and brought me lunch and some new PJs… good thing because I needed a clean pair for the next day.  B brought me some flowers.  It was a purple arrangement of flowers with a purple bow and purple vase!   Purple is our color!!    It also has a balloon, which a turtle and reads, “Have a Speedy Recovery”  too funny!   Stacey laughed becasue when she got me the humming bird orniments, she was really looking for turtles because I always need to slow down!

Over the week, the babies just thrived.  It is hard to remember each single day and the progress, plus it is alot of information.   But I will try to sum it up as best I can.  Both babies actually came off oxygen on day 2 but the boy being lazy, had to have the tubes put in his nose because he just did not maintain his levels adequately.  The girl was taken off and amazingly did not  have to go back on it.  They were both jaundice, so they placed lights above their beds.  While they bake in the light they had to wear these stick on shades over their eyes.  It was cute and B called them “Malibu Babies”  The lights were used for about 2 days.  They were given nutrition and antibiotics via tubes and IVs.  Both of them remained stable and I believe on day 3 or late day 2 they were tube feeding.   E was able to get her tube down her nose because she was not on oxygen but B still had oxygen tubes in his nose and was fed through his throat.    It was successful and the babies ate all their food, in fact the nurses were able to keep increasing their amount throughout the week.   Luckily B&D were able to hold B, several times but it is almost like a scheduled thing depends on when he has eaten or when he will be eating again next.   As I mentioned before, they could not hold E due to that tube in her belly.   They did get lucky one night though, while in the NICU and holding B, E peed and made a mess in her bed.  The nurse had to change all the stuff out in the bed, guess who she had help her with E?   Yep, B was able to hold her while the nurse was busy.  Oh what a fun and cherrished time, parents holding both babies for the first time.  God really loves them because these babies were born at 32 weeks, quite early and yet, they were making be Strives daily and were Stable on day one.  B was still in a trial and error phase with oxygen on day 2 and 3 but was able to come off oxygen on day  4 or 5 completely.   He also began to regulate his own body heat, another big hurdle for preemies.  The nurses were puting little clothes on him.   E is also regulating her own body heat she took and extra day do it, but for some reason they still have her in just her diaper.  

Day 6 brought with it little scare.   B went the NICU and saw nurses hudled around a bed that was surrounded by plastic and other protection.  As she got closer, she could see it was her precious E.   E’s abdomen was swollen and red, indication some kind of infection and fluid build up.   Typically this is a tear in the intestine or colon and bowel can get out into the abdomen.  This is toxic and does not end well for babies.   They examine E and get test done.   Good news, she is going to be completely fine.   The problem occured because the tube in her belly was pushing on a vein or something causing irritation and maybe a small tear.   They gave her antibiotics and expect her to completely heal with no complications.   The tube was going to get pulled out on day 10 or so anyway.   They had to take it out that day, so now the new parents can hold both babies everyday!   Once again, this fiesty girl jumped another hurdle.  Oh my, I just can not imagine all the crazy things she will do as she grows up 🙂  And B is so laid back and calm, might be quite the little charmer. 

There are 3 main requirements for preemies to reach and get to evacuate the NICU.   The twinkies have already accomplished 2 of them in one week.   They are breathing on their own and regulating body temperature.   The third issue is feeding with a bottle.   I have some great news….B was bottle fed for the first time today, day 7 and he ate the entire thing.  Even more exciting is that B was able to feed him that bottle.   I think they will try to give E a bottle tomorrow day 8.   They will gradually give them more bottle feedings each day, for example B might get two bottle feedings tomorrow.  I am thrilled beyond belief.

Along with all the joy of  two healthy babies, there was some chaos with the hospital staff and rules.  Warning..these situations and problems may not be in a sequential order as my days in the hospital run together 🙂   After Igot  out of recovery from the c-section, a nurse came in my room and asked about the ” car accident “.    My husband and I looked puzzled and told her we had not been in a car accident.   We had no idea where this information had come from, it was strange.   Unless while I was “high” I said some outragious things.   We laughed it about it and then we still had 3 other people come in seperately and ask if we had been in a car accident!!   Oh so silly!!    During our first visit to the NICU, Cheryl (I think that is her name)  was monitoring E.   As we came over to look at the babies, she looked at B and said “You can not be in here, only the mom  can be in here”   I was shocked and could not believe how abrupt and rude she was.   It is one thing to ask who someone is  and it sure is another to just blurt out comments like that.  I know surrogacy is not a common occurance at Kingwood Hospital, so the staff could have been confused and nervous about it all.  But they need still need to treat people with respect and mannors.  We explined that yes in fact B was the mom and I was the surrogate, little did we know that little miss Cheryl would be a constant thorn in our side for a few days and I guess it is just her nature to say whatever pops in her mind!    Shortly after that, the “Hospital Band Controversy” started.   At most hospitals when babies are born, two wrist bands are given.  Typically one is put on mom and one is put on dad, I am sure if there are not two parents they work it out in another fashion.  When we met with Woman’s hospital  several months ago we had this organized.   I will say that Women’s Hospital deals with surrogacy on a regular basis and have planned for those situations.   They understand those are Special circumstances and Special accommodations can be arranged for the parties involved.  They were going to give us 3 bands so that I could have one also.   Ok on with the Kingwood “Hospital Band Controversy”  HBC … LOL   I had a band for each baby on my wrist already because it is standard proceedure to immediately put bands on you.   The bands are a great thing and safety procation so very important that the hospital have the rules and proceedures with bands.   Since I had the bands on , I had to go into NICU and D&B would come in as my guest.   While we were in NICU Rebecca, Labor and Delivery Director, came in to discuss bands with B.   They wanted to take my band off and only give B&D a band.  B did not like that idea and said I should have one too and be able to come in and see babies when I would like to.  I guess they debated for a bit and then the director said she would be cutting mine off when I get discharged and that means I no longer can come into the NICU.   B told her that is not how she wants it, but did not continue to discuss the matter because she needed to see the babies and also be with her mom, sister and dad.   Rebecca also told B that only one guest can enter the NICU along with someone with a band.   Ok, that seems simple enough right.   As we came in at different parts of the day, the staff seemed on edge and looked at us Strangely.    Finally at one point, there was a remark made about guests.    We were confused and then someone said, ” only grandparents are allowed in with a person with a band”.  We had no idea that was the specific rule, head of Labor and Delivery only said 1 guest.   We appologized to the staff in there and said we had no idea and now we know so thank you.   Another person said that a sibling of the babies can also come in if they are over a certain age.   But then of course others said no only grandparents.   I was puzzled by the only grandparents rule.   What if you do not have grandparents, what if you live far away and they can not come visit but you sister or aunt or something is with you??   Why would you limit to grandparents only seemed strange to me.?  I could understand if you have set only a specific person when they give you your band, that would be ok.    We all took a deep breath and accepted the rule.   But lets just say the HBC was not over yet.   Each day that Cheryl was peranoid about who was coming in and when my wrist band would be cut off!   She would make a comment everytime I came in, seriously.  And she would say things like, once that band is cut of you can never come in here again!  She would say it in such a high and might snotty tone.   I could deal with it no big deal and laugh it off in my head, although I though it was disrespectful and tacky.  I think it really struck a nerve with B and her mom though.   Honestly, for me, I just figured it was already a blessing that I had even been allowed in there and if I was not allowed soon, I could handle it but would prefer to be allowed.  I honestly would even be just so excited if the rule was that I was either B or D’s guest.  I really was not concerned with having my own band.  However, it was so sweet for the parents to feel it nessassary that I have one.  And that they stood their ground on it, oh it really made me feel so appreciated.    The next situation we can call “Breast Milk Control” BMC.   As I mentioned earlier, the neonatologist explained to B&D that breast milk would be extremely beneficial for the twinkies as they are preemies, and Idecided to pump milk for them for at least a month.  It was late at night when I discussed that with the parents.   I asked my nurse if the lacatation nurse was still working and as expected she just works during the day.  I told my nurse to let her know I needed to speak with her as early as she could that next day.   So I wake up and waited and waited, it is now about 10am so I call my nurse and ask if the lacation nurse was there and did she let her know I need to speak to her.  My nurse then sounded hesitant to talk to me about it and said “well there is some confussion an debate about the situation and weather they would even take your milk.”  I was floored and thought that was ridiculous.   Also it made me feel awkward and bad inside, after all it is very common for surrogate to pump milk for the babies.  In addition, some surrogates even breast feed the baby in the hospital.   That is out for me, I would not feel comfortable with that but there is nothing wrong with it and kinda special for those who can.  I told my nurse that I expect the lacation nurse to come see me and also that I had not even talked to anyone about this so I did not understand why there would be confusion in the first place.   The lacation nurse did come by maybe around 11am.  She walked in and told me that the NICU was not sure they would take my milk.  They were debating it and everything.  They did not understand ect.   Then, I told her it was very normal for surrogate to give milk and she agreed that the breast milk is best for the baby and especially from me since I just carried them for 8 months!   So she said she was on our side and would back us.   She then gave me information about pumping and showed me how to use the pump.   I started right then with my first pumping cycle.  I was very upset about what was going on and the attitudes, plus why is it that no one even came to talk to me about the situation?   Why do they feel the need to talk and make decision amongst themselves without even talking to the parents.   When I finished pumping, I took the tiny amount of clostrum that I had to the nursery and B was there in the hall, she was on the phone so I did not bother her.   I gave the container to Cheryl, who then said ” I am not sure if we can use this but I guess I can put in the fridge for you”.  I thanked  her and walked out discouraged and sad.   I was excited to do this for the parents and the babies and now I may not even be able to.   Plus, I just did not understand why so much debate over it.  They even have breast milk banks people can milk from, and this seemed simpler, and safer.   I waved at B  and motioned to her that I would be in my room.   After she got off the phone, she came to my room and shared a story with me.   Turns out when she was in NICU, the neonatologist said they would not be able to take my milk unless it is pasturized and if I have a blood test taken.   What? !!   B said I do not understand what your talking about, she just carried those babies why would need to do that with her milk?  She also asked them if they take all mom’s blood before they give breast milk.  The doc said no, and so B said that they would not need to test me either.  Then the doctor said well I need it in writing that you wish for them to have her milk.  B said ok great that is understandable and easy.  She grabed some kinda of paper and jotted down a small note to give permission and signed it 🙂  Sure would have saved so much mess if they would have just asked for something in writing at the start.  At this point, I am in complete shock and I was stumped.  I felt like I was in the another world.   First, the rude comments and looks for staff there, the HBC and now BMC!!    I was very hurt and frustrated.   I also just felt terrible that the parents were having to deal with so much stuff.  First of all they have twins in the NICU, they are also far away from home and family and have to stay in a hotel and now they have to deal with so much confussion, Stupidity, and rudeness.   Just not right, not appropriate at all.  I also felt helpless, all I want is for things to be beautiful and easy for them.  I hate to see them upset and even more stress added.   I did not want make things worse, to me it would not look right or help, if I go have a talk with the staff.  I felt it really needed to come from the parents so it was definite that it was their wishes, plus they were going to be there for weeks and as best we can it needed to be peaceful.   I prayed about it and just tried to make the best of it all.   However, a thought did come to mind.   I decided to call Sylvia the Labor and Delivery Director at Women’s hospital.  I should also add that both Kingwood and Women’s hospitals are ran by the same company HCA.   So they are linked in several ways, and even all the info one hospital has can easily be accessed and transfered to another.   Sylvia has helped me with other surrogacies and she also helped B&D with their last surrogacy and is familiar with all of us and our stories.   I asked her if she knew anyone at Kingwood and if she could possibly help us out.  I told her about the different situation.   She she said she would love to help as best she could. She would call Rebecca.  This was not to be mean or put anyone down, but just get some help so people are not freaking out acting like surrogacy is so Strange and there are proceedures to help everyone out ect.    She must not have taken too long before calling because shortly after that Cheryl was acting different toward us (it did not last long…lol)  also Rebecca and the neonatologies asked if we could all sit and have a meeting…duh, about time!  Should have been done day one.  OK, that was a bit sarcastic.   We all sit and discuss the bands first.   It was decided that I would get a new band and I could still have access to NICU but I was not allowed to have a guest.   Also B&D would have a band and could both have one guest.  They explained the grandparent rule but B mentioned that they are not from here and that other family would come and grandparents could not always come.  So why does can’t it just be two people but not specific. They really did not give an answer and basically skipped over that one while also saying ok they would allow others.  However I am not certain we were all on the same page.  Then the breast milk topic came up, and they said now that they had her statement in writing they would take my milk.  However I must use their specific container and mark time and date on each one.   Later, when I was in the NICU once again Cheryl was preoccupied with bands and made another comment about me getting it off and not coming back in. Craziness.   That evening, a nurse from NICU came to my room and cut off my baby bands, I had one for each baby and put just one band on me.  That was nice because I already have 5 other wrist bands on.   Funny thing, she left the room only to walk back in seconds later.  She said I need to ask you something…and I said ok great.   She asked what was said in our meeting about me and bands and who could come in with me.  I told her that I get a band to go in when I need to but I am not allowed to have a guest.   I then thanked her for simply asking me, seems like everyone is treating us funny and just making judgements or assumptions and not just talking to us or asking a question.  She just smirked a bit and said well we just understand or know about this surrogacy stuff.   I said oh really, well it has been around for a long time and I know there have been other surrogates deliver here.  She said no this is just a communtity hospital and small.  Silly lady it is a big hospital and ran by HCA!    I do understand that this was a rushed situation an that yes there will be issues but I think by this time my feelings had been hurt and the treatment over the past few days was just difficult and unnessessary.  I stayed in my room even though I really wanted to go vistit the parent and babies in NICU.   I was beginning to get quite emotional, I did just finish a twin pregnancy and give birth 🙂   B&D are alwasy so sweet and they came by to check on me, plus they had yet another story!   Appearently, not too long after Amy changed my bands, they were in the NICU telling B that things have changed, yet again!!   I would no longer get a band and have access to NICU.   This was just too much.   We just had a meeting a few hours ago and thought we were all happy and had a plan set.   Now they go and change it again.   Not acceptable.  If they wanted it that way then they should have said it in the meeting and we could have taken a breath and accepted it but now it is like a bouncing ball going up and down.   Just petty additional stress added to the parents .  At this point I am doing all I can to control my emotions.  All I really wanted todo was just lay there and cry and cry…ok along with running down there to explain to Rebecca that this is so cruel.   I began to feel like there must be some individuals there that are having a hard time personally with surrogacy but it is reflecting on the hospital and also on how they were treating us.   I was able to stay calm and just chat with B, but when she left uh oh….I was an emotional disaster!!    I just felt bad for being Stupid and not seeing the signs of labor and waitign until it was too late to get to Women’s hospital.  I felt like I had done something wrong for babies to be here early and I could not figure it out.   I was sad that the parents were enduring all of this and I could not fix any of it.    I missed my husband so very much and really needed him, but he had to take care of our family and be at work so it is not his fault.  I also was hurting from the major surgery.   Anyway, the emotions go along with delivery so not a big deal, just so silly.   I just need to keep remembering the important things… two precious healthy babies, what more can you ask for.   And the parents have been nothing but grateful beyond measure.   Wow, just thinking about it makes me cry with overflowing amazment, they think I have blessed them but have no idea how much they have helped me and changed me and blessed me.

I will end this by saying that the last day as I waited for my husband to pick me up.   I called someone above Rebecca.   I had no intention on getting anyone in trouble or going crazy and causing a scene.  I just wanted to chat with them so that hopefully no one has to endure the oddness like we did.   Hopefully with contructive comments and also the good ones a plan can be organized for the next situation.  As I waited for Toni to come talk to me, her assistant came by to let me know she sorry that Toni had a phone conference but has not forgotten about me and plans to come as soon as she can.  Well my husband arrived and we were getting ready to leave.  I could not leave with out saying good bye to D&B and B and E.    The parents had not arrived at the hospital yet.  I was also hoping Toni would come soon before we leave.  As we waited I filled my  husband in on all the insane details, I did not tell him throughout the week because I would rather share with him face to face then on the phone.   He was in amazement at some of the things and then was not happy with how people treated us.  He is so cute my hero all the time.  He said “do I need to speak to someone, get them straightened out” 🙂   I told him no all is as it should be, babies are thriving and parents are delighted.   I still have my band so I can go when I need to, but I will just keep things simple and go when B or D are in there.  He was able to come in with me to say goodbye and I could see him on edge trying to figure out who the “mean people” were.   Oh I just love him so, just too lucky!! 

Now that I have written this book, I need to go back through and add some illustrations!   So, I am adding pictures now 🙂

I also need to add another update on babies!    I am so fired up on how strong those two are.   Both of them are breathing on their own 100%, they can maintain body heat and THEY HAVE EATEN WITH A BOTTLE!    Yep the third major hurdle is almost jumped.   They start them on bottles gradually so the first day they only get one and then they add bottles until all feedings are with bottles.   The doctor feel good they will stay 2 more weeks and then head home to Dallas! 

Last Belly Pictures before the Grand Escape (32 Weeks)

 

 

Babies-E and B over the first week….

Day 1

New Mommy and Daddy!!

 

E

  

B

Day 2

B and E

 

Mommy and Daddy and Me……My cute Flowers from Mommy!

 

Holding B…Daddy Holding B, Mommy secretly holding E after she wet the bed

 

Holding B

 

 

Day 3

B and E

 

Day 4

E and B

 

Day 5

E and B

 

Little Turkeys!!

My kids really had fun painting the little pumpkins on my belly for Halloween, so I thought it woudl be fun to paint for Thanksgiving too. Here are the Little Twin Turkeys they created, Anthony did the big boy turkey with green and blue feathers and Madison did the little girl turkey with purple and orange feathers.  This is at 29.5 weeks….

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Here is a side view of belly at 30 weeks….

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Today we have reached 31 weeks and we are all so thankful and excited!   D&B flew in to visit their Little Turkeys.  I picked them up at the airport around 9:45am and we headed straight over to the hospital for an ultrasound.   It was actually scheduled for 1O am but we got there late (we expected to) and did not even go back until around 11 or so.  When the ultrasound Tech came to get me, I said “you again” and she said ” you again”, so silly…I ended with the same Tech that I had the last visit at 24 weeks.   I told her I would behave and do my best not feel sick again, ha.  The babies have gotten so big!  The ultrasound can not even get one whole baby on the screen!   Just funny, how it changes.   Early on you can see several babies or sacs at one time on the screen, So we have ultrasound pictures of both babies at the same time.  Then, as they grow  you can only get one entire baby on the screen but now not even one whole baby 🙂   Both babies looked just perfect.  Baby A the girl, weighs 3 pounds 6 ounces and is in trouble.  Yep, the little stinker turned on us in the past few weeks and is now breech!!  We all had a little talk with her to inform her that she must flip before D-Day!!    But this does explain the painful kicks right in my bladder and the big bump that started popping up on the left side of my belly button.   Her brother baby B is being a good boy and is still head down.  He weighs 3 pounds 12 ounces and is still kinda shy 🙂     During the ultrasound we were able to see the girl open and close her eyes,  the boy wave and we also got to see the twins kicking each other!   They are basically laying with their feet at the other twins head.  So while trying to get a view of the girls face the boys legs were in the way and it appeared that he had her in a head lock with his legs wrapped around her neck.   Then as were trying to get a view of the boys face his sister proceeded to kick him in the head several time.  It was really funny.   Always so reasuring and joyful to see the babies growing thriving.  Oh and I was wrong, I felt nauseous during the ultrasound again.  I managed it better then last time, I did not have to get up and run the bathroom, but yes laying on my back is constricting and causes and very icky feeling. 

Crazy how long a twin ultrasounds takes, when we finally finished it was already 12:45.   Our original plan was to have some lunch after ultrasound before we went to the doc appointment at 1:30, but the timing was not very good for that.   We also needed to run over to the Post Office so D could mail off important work papers.  By the time we finished at Post Office it was the exact time for appointment 🙂   The nurse called us back and as usual needed a urine sample.   I said gladly as I needed to empty that bladder anyway.   Well as I about finished I realized I never did “pee in a cup”  what a goof ball….luckily I was able to get a little bit in the cup…ha.   As this was the first time for my IPs to be at the doctor with me, the nurse smiled and said “they are just so cute” refering to D&B.  I laughed an said I know, it is so special.   After all our attempts over this pregnancy they finally met Dr. Lloyd.  I am so glad because I am sure if helps to know who will be pulling your babies and they were able to ask him question directly.   One of those questions was of course when we could possilbly try to plan a delivery.   D&B were thinking Jan 20th would be great as I would be 38 wks, the babies would be very strong and healthy and they liked the date.  Turns out Dr. Lloyd feels much better with a 37 wk delivery, but again only if my cervix and body is favorable (that means already thinning and possibly dialating).   So now it looks like Jan 12th will be a most fabulous day for these Little Turkeys to arrive, 1-12-12 🙂   We will  go with that for now, but who knows what is really in the plans we have no control over, ha.   Dr. Lloyd also wants another ultrasound in 3 weeks so that will be a fun Christmas present for D&B to see them again, and it is during the week of Christmas.  

I think D is soaking it all in and not fully out of the shock of it all.   B and I mentioned that today and I mentioned it might flip when they arrive.  D might be fully ready and jump right in, while B might be the one in shock…hehehe.  No seriously they are the sweetest and greatest couple and will be simply amazing as Mommy and Daddy.   I could not be more thankful to have the ability to help them, it is significant and so special to me.   I am doing well, but boy I am growing so fast and so huge!   Of course as I thought about it today, at this point it is like being full term with one baby that weighs just about 8 pounds and I still have 6-7 weeks to go!    I am still having trouble getting comfortable and I am not sleeping much at all.  Dr. Lloyd did prescribe some Ambien today so that I am sure to get some much needed rest.   Just hope it works my surrogate friend was still not sleeping even while taking it.    I also have a difficult time breathing when I lay down to sleep or for the first 15 min of driving.   It is strange kinda like a panic attack, which maybe it is but I do not feel anxious…hmmm.   I am still able to exercise.  I did stop running at 29 weeks and now just do the bike and eliptical machines at the gym.   All in all, I am doing way too good and I am very thankful.  I just love this!!