Friday, December 28, 2012

5 weeks in!

Well, I thought I'd pop in to say that things have been going so well since Fiona was born.   I know that I've been slack on updating the blog, but frankly I've had so much else going on with her and the holidays that I haven't really thought about it much.  But everything here is good.  She's now a little over 5 weeks old, and has been sleeping and eating well.  She's already up to almost 11 lbs.  And generally we're getting 6 hour stretches at night of sleep.  (I know.....amazing!)  This is what she looks like with all that sleeping...

Little mouth-breather.  LOL!

Thanks to Tonya, we were able to get hooked up with some donated breast milk for Fiona since I wasn't able to lactate.  Still haven't lost all the weight I gained from all those hormones by the way.  :-(   Other than that, Fiona has been on formula...and I think that's a big reason that she's sleeping so well.  That and we're big fans of seeing if she'll self-soothe first before picking her up during the middle of the night.  So far the combination of those two things has been working.

There are a ton of other things to say of course, but I hardly know where to start.  We just love her so much, and overall we feel so blessed.  At the start of this journey, it seemed hard to believe that we would end up with a baby.  I know that was the desired result, but it still seemed like a foreign concept that it would really happen.  And yet, here we are a year later.  And it's hard to imagine what life was like beforehand...

Someone's fox hat is still a little too big!

N has already started plotting for our next one.  Haha.  Of course, that will be several years away assuming we could even do it.  But I have to admit that we both know why people fall in love with babies.  I could just breathe her smell all day long...  :-)

Our little Christmas elf!

She's definitely the best Christmas present we could have ever asked for...

Friday, November 23, 2012

38 wks 2 days: Fiona's Arrival!

Fiona arrived the day before Thanksgiving!  She was transverse breech and B had to have a c-section (unfortunately), but otherwise it was great.  B did great and we got to be in the operating room with her.  I held her hand almost the whole time and cried.  It was very emotional.  And then little Fiona came out weighing 8 lbs and 12 oz!   We've had 48 glorious hours with her so far....and we're totally in love! 

Promise to give more details on her birth story and more pics to come.  We're operating out of a hotel room currently and still adjusting to life as new parents!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

38 week update

Fiona is in a transverse position, and the doctor wants us to wait to see if she turns before doing a c-section.  All of B's four previous pregnancies have been natural, so obviously none of us are wanting her to have to have a c-section if we don't have to.  And the baby was head down on Friday.  Please pray that she turns back down tonight!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

37 weeks 4 days update: Freakout

Big changes and No changes.  Here's the quick and dirty, starting with the least interesting.

1.  I still haven't heard a peep from my HR dept about whether or not I'm getting any pay during my leave.  I've left messages, sent emails, had multiple conversations.  I'm trying not to freak out.  

2.  B went to her 37 week 3 day appt with the delivering OB yesterday.  He's a different OB than her local one in MS.  (B/c of legalities, we are trying to deliver in AR.)  He's 2 hours from her house.  This craptastic doctor didn't check her to see how much she was dilated or give her an ultrasound.  (Note, I wish she'd simply ASKED him to check her since she felt like she should be checked.  But I'm trying not to focus any frustration onto her at this moment.)  I'm trying not to freak out.

3.  She went into her local MS doctor today for him to check her and give her an ultrasound.  On the bright side, we got 100% proof today that the Fiona is a girl.  I'll spare my child the mortification of showing photos her underside splashed onto the internet.  It was very exciting though b/c all our other ultrasound techs told us, "I'm 99% sure it's a girl."  But this was the extra 100%.  I'm trying not to freak out (in a good way).  

4.  At the local MS doctor today, he checked B to see how far dilated she is....and she's 3 cm dilated and 80% "thinned out."  (I have no idea what that means other than that we now need to change our flights and get down there much sooner than anticipated.)  Note, she's not having contractions yet.  I'm trying not to freak out.

5.  She's going back to the AR doctor on Monday so he can "check her out to see if she's 3cm dilated according to what he's seeing."  If so, then he's going to induce on Tuesday....assuming she hasn't gone into labor beforehand.  Are you still following all this mess?!  I'm trying not to freak out.  

6.  We changed our flights and are flying down Sunday.  Trying not to freak out.  Holding it together. 

7.  I'm about to be a Mom!!!!  Still trying not to freak out!!!!!!!!  :-)  

What I learned today is that things never go according to plan when you're dealing with a baby...especially when it's in someone else's belly.  More to come soon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Update: Paid Maternity Leave Drama

So it's day #2 trying to deal with the bombshell that my company won't pay for my maternity leave because I'm not the one who's technically giving birth.  This infuriates me because the company pays for other women's maternity leave.  Am I not equal to them?  Is my child somehow lesser than because I was not able to carry it?

Human Resources is currently "discussing the matter" with the VP of Benefits in my company, and I hope they can come up with a solution that allows me my pay.   But I'm livid about getting this sprung on me so late in the game when they knew my situation.  This makes me so angry.

If it doesn't get resolved by the end of the week, then I'm taking it directly to the President of the company.  This is outrageous!

Monday, November 5, 2012

36 weeks: Long overdue update

So today is 36 weeks, and I'm long overdue for an update.  A lot has happened since my last one... We set up the baby's nursery.  We decided on a name.  Hurricane Sandy hit Brooklyn.  My friend and mother-in-law threw me a baby shower.   Human resources at my job dropped a major bomb on me.

But first, let's start at the beginning...

Two weekends ago, N and I finally had a free moment to buckle down and put the baby's room together.   What started out as a simple rearranging of furniture, turned into larger painting project too.  The baby's room had already been painted and so we felt like we were in good shape, but when we started moving stuff around in our dining room (now our catch-all family room) we realized the walls needed some major help.  Anyways, the end result is great and the baby's room is really cute.  Here's a peak.

Our baby room theme is loosely based on a children's book called "Maude & Claude Go Abroad."  It's about two little fox siblings that want to travel the world and end up meeting a whale who becomes their friend.  (The book was merely a way for me to decorate around foxes, whales and travel.  Oh, and with a little vintage mixed in of course.) 

N is making the baby (who's name is 99.9% likely going to be Fiona) a mobile with characters from the story.  And I'm making her a patchwork baby blanket that consists of napkins from our wedding.  I'm getting much further along and hope to finish it this weekend.

Then Hurricane Sandy hit, and we were cooped up in the apartment for days.  Fortunately we had power so we were able to continue working on our baby craft projects, but sadly many of our friends and co-workers were not so lucky.  We feel very blessed to have come out of everything alive and well.

After spending the entire week on our sofa (attempting to work from home), we escaped to Philly for the baby shower.  It was great seeing friends and family come together to celebrate Fiona's arrival. My friend said it was the first time she'd ever been to a baby shower where the mom was double fisting champagne.  (Oh well, there's a first time for everything!!)

This cashmere blend baby blanket with a fox on it is probably my favorite gift that we received.  It's sooooo soft and it's not PINK!!  :-)  Plus I love foxes!

Unfortunately today, Human Resources at my job decided to ruin my day when they came down to inform me that it doesn't look like I'll be able to take a paid maternity leave.  What?!?  WHAT?!?!  This is news to me and coming at a very late stage in this process.   Tomorrow I have another meeting with them to further discuss the matter.  As it turns out, if you're not pushing the baby out of your vajayjay, then the world seems to want to rain on your parade.  Oh well....hopefully I'll have better news on that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

33 wks 6 days Update

Things are humming along here.  Work has been so crazy that I've hardly had time to focus on the fact that we're about to have a B.A.B.Y.!!!  Every weekend we've had something to do as well (with this weekend being a wedding in Philly that N was shooting), so we've not finished setting up the nursery either.  Talk about feeling behind!  Ay yi yi!

Anyways, I'm TRYING to not stress about it all, but this week has been extra tough with deadlines and other stuff happening at work.  And in spite of my best intentions, I have to admit that I let the stress get to me on Friday night when N and I were walking to our car and realized that it had been towed.  We had just walked three blocks with the dogs, our clothes for the wedding, a box of stuff for storage and other misc when we realized the car was gone.  Needless to say, I had a complete meltdown.  It started off about the car, but ended with work, frustration with NYC, time for planning for the baby, upcoming parenting, etc.  All I can say is that now [two days later], I'm only now starting to feel recovered from last week.  Maybe it was all the dancing and drinking at the wedding last night that lifted my spirits and made me feel whole again.  

One little bit of solace last week though was that I was on a job with an acquaintance of mine who when someone asked him about the impending arrival of his twins said..."I'm freaking terrified!!  It's two of us, two dogs and now two babies in a NYC apartment!"  I chuckled to myself, and thought..."Me too!!  But at least we're not having TWINS!"  Hah!!    

Anyways, on a VERY positive side, my wonderful friends [with kids] have been giving us so much stuff lately that it's hard to believe we're even going to need a baby shower!  Before heading to the wedding yesterday, we stopped at a friend's house in Philly and she gave us a huge box of baby clothes and toys. Clothes that had never been used and receiving blankets that had never been un-packaged!  And our shower is in two weeks!  I don't know where we're going to put it all.  So tonight I came home and began sorting it into sizes and putting the bigger stuff into plastic bins for later.  I can't believe what awesome friends we have!  I can't wait for her to get here so we can dress her up and kiss her little tummy.  And to make us laugh we dressed our Boston Terrier in a few hilarious pieces of baby finery.  Here's a pic of him trying on his baby sister's little bonnet!  LOL!!  

(You can tell he loves wearing it, right?!)  

And last but certainly not least, I chatted with B today and she says that the baby seems to be doing good and is quite the active baby!  She says that she's more active than her previous four and is always moving and kicking.  She thinks we're going to have an active munchkin on our hands.  But I just think that the baby is a long, tall sally and looking for more wiggle room. We'll see once she gets here!   

Anyways, here's a pic of B at 33 weeks and 6 days!

I think she looks small, but then again...what do I know!? I can't believe tomorrow is 34 weeks!!  Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 wks 3 days: Doctor Visit Update

Today was an awesome day!  Thanks to Tonya's suggestion, we were on speakerphone during B's first appointment with the new doctor!  This was our second doctor visit, and I was much better prepared than last time with lots of questions!  (Such as when is the induction date so we can plan?!)  But anyways, I loved feeing like a part of it all.  For any other intended moms out there, you should definitely do this if you can't make it to the appointments.  I don't know why it never occurred to me before!

At any rate, the first thing the doctor said when doing the ultrasound was, "This baby looks to be 33 weeks instead of 31."  I almost fell over in my chair.  Anyways, it turns out that our baby girl is measuring big!  She's already weighing in at 4lbs 11oz!  And I guess she's long too.  (Although I forgot to write down her measurements.)  So that was the good news.  The bad news is that she's currently breach.  Of course, we're hoping that she turns back down, and I won't worry about that one b/c we still have time.  (B's last doctor visit, the baby was head I guess she likes to squirm around alot in there!  The doc said she was definitely active on-screen!)

Not much else to tell.  My mom and I were talking tonight (as I was telling her all about the appt) and it came out that she was planning on being in the delivery room with us and B (plus don't forget B's husband).  It had never occurred to me that she thought she was going to be in the delivery room...and I don't know how comfortable I am with the thought of it.  I certainly haven't talked about it with B.  Anyways, I need to percolate on that for a bit.  I'm not sure the protocol...

So that's it for the day!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Not much to tell...

The baby is doing well.  B is going for her first appt to the new delivering OB in AR this week.  And N and I are down to the final two names to choose from.  More news as it comes in.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A whole lotta catchin' up to do...

A good bit has happened since I last I'll just jump into it.

I'll start with the sad news first.  I decided to stop trying to induce lactation.  It was making me crazy.  I just couldn't pump enough per day while working to produce more than barely a few drops per day.  I honestly don't know how anyone with a job can do it, but I'm sure it's possible.  Also, not being on my HRT was tough.  I hadn't had any estrogen in months and I was not feeling normal.  I had zero energy.  I was cranky.  For anyone who knows anything about HRT (and going off of it), you'll understand the other physical side effects too.  What put me over the edge was that I read an article online written by a woman talking about how struggling to breastfeed was causing her to not focus on her baby, but on herself and her failure.  It rang true with me, and made me realize that I wanted to enjoy these last few months with just me and my husband.  And then when the baby comes, I want it to just be about enjoying being with her.  For anyone else out there trying to induce lactation, I give you all serious props...and major respect!  When the baby comes, I think I'll look into a milkshare.  If anyone knows anything or has experience with that, leave me a note in the comments section.

Now for all the good news!  I feel GREAT being back on estrogen.  I feel like my NORMAL self again.  My energy level is returning back to normal.  I'm not on the verge of crying at work.  And it's only been less than a week back.  Yay!

As for the baby, we're now in the THIRD TRIMESTER!!!  I can't believe we've made it!!  As of today, we've got 79 days to go!  Woohoo!!

B sent us a baby bump pic on Monday to show us how big she is!!  So exciting that lil baby girl is in there hanging out just waiting to meet us!!!  B is doing great herself and doesn't have any issues right now.

Last bit of good news.  N got a new full-time job starting mid-October!!  We're super excited and will be feeling slightly less stressed about how expensive it is to raise a baby in NYC.  Now if only we could find a daycare...  The one we liked now doesn't have any openings until Sept 2013.  Only in New York.  :-\

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Inducing Lactation Chronicles: Some things aren't in the instructions!

So it's day 14 of trying to induce lactation, and things are still VERY slow going.  This morning was the first morning I got drops that actually fell off into the breastpump (as opposed to clinging onto my nipple for dear life and then drying up).  Roughly I got 3 drops.  It's felt like blood, sweat and tears getting here though.  But for this morning, I feel victorious!

Earlier in the week I'd emailed back and forth with Lenore about what was possibly wrong and why I wasn't producing any milk.  She informed me that a) I was probably drinking too much water and to only drink when I was thirsty.  b) I was probably pumping too hard and not to put the breast pump higher than medium.  c) I was probably not pumping enough times per day.  The last one I knew b/c I've only managed 5-6 times per day vs. the required 8 in the protocol.  (I seriously don't know how women with full time jobs manage to do this.) But the other two, were never mentioned in the protocol she sent me originally.  In fact, it clearly states to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.  (Sometimes I wasn't even getting that!)  And as for the pumping, well...I assumed harder was better.  Give a girl some info on how to use that thing!  Lastly she suggested that I see a lactation consultant.

Later, this week N and I were excited to visit a pediatrician for a prenatal visit to check out whether or not we'd want to use her as our PCP.  One of the big reasons we were excited was because she was also a lactation consultant(!), and I was hoping for some big revelation.  Well, the revelation didn't come although the meeting was interesting in other ways that I'll get into later in the post.  The doc had no history with a woman trying to induce lactation, so she referred me to THE lactation counselor of Brooklyn.  I've had no less than four different people refer me to her, and so I decided it was time to give Freda a call.

We spoke yesterday and she gave me a couple of additional tidbits of info that Lenore did not.  First and foremost, she was a bit dubious that this was going to work well in my case.  The main reason being she said was that she doubted my milk ducts were developed enough b/c I'd never actually been pregnant (even with a miscarriage).  She confirmed that re-lactating is much easier, but trying to get milk from someone who's never been pregnant is truly hard.  (Yeah, I know!!!  But it was just nice hearing her confirm it.)  However, she still thought it was worth continuing on, and hopefully it would get better and more milk would come. Especially since I have almost 3 months before the baby comes.  She also confirmed to start with the pump on the lowest setting, and slowly turn the intensity of the pump up.  Medium she said was a good level, and if it ever started to hurt then it was too high.  (Now I know!!?!*$&#)  She agreed that the protocol and everything else I was doing was good, and said she wouldn't change anything.  She suggested I check back in in another month.

With all that info, I have a bit more peace.  I'm not failing.  It's just HARD!  And my body doesn't turn on it's milk ducts like a light switch.  So part of me still wants to stop, but the other part wants to continue on.  Especially with this morning's victory of three drops!

So in summary here's what was NOT in my instructions for women who've never been pregnant before:

  • Drink water when you're thirsty
  • Start the pump low, and then slowly turn it up to medium.
  • If the breast pumping hurts, it means you're doing it on too high of a setting.
  • Definitely pump 8 times per day.  Very important.  (Still the most difficult one though.)
  • Don't be so hard on yourself.  
Now for a quick recap of the visit to the pediatrician's office.  

Apparently it's normal for families to meet in groups for a new pediatrician consult, so I was surprised that the doctor let us have a solo (and free) consultation with her.  The first thing she asked obviously was when we were due and did I have any medical issues.  So I told her yes, I had AIS and therefore couldn't carry a child of my own.  We went over some normal baby-related questions and things about her practice, but it seemed that the majority of the visit consisted of her asking me about AIS. This was the first time that N had ever been with me when I was getting grilled by a medical professional about my diagnosis, so it was interesting for him to watch me "educate" someone on my medical condition.  

That's basically what it's like whenever I go to a new doctor.  She said she wanted to go home that night and read up on it b/c she'd *maybe* met one other woman like me in her career.  (Don't I feel special?)  

She asked about "the mother" two different times and whether or not she had the option to keep the baby.  Which I informed her that in gestational surrogacy she is not related to the baby, and reminded her that we were using an egg donor.  She also suggested that I should look for new parent groups so that I wouldn't feel isolated.  But then said, well, you might feel more isolated b/c the other moms would be weird with you since you're not actually pregnant.  (You never know just how isolated you feel until someone reminds you of how isolated you must feel.)  

In the end, I don't think this was the right doctor for us.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting the joy back!

My aunt texted me today with the sage advice to stop stressing about inducing lactation, and make sure to ENJOY this time.  I realized that I've definitely NOT been enjoying my time lately when it comes to the baby because I've been so focused on failing.  I didn't realize that I already felt like I was failing as a mom altogether, and I'm not even a mom yet!  So I took a deep breath today, and allowed myself to fail.  I will not be a perfect mom, but I want to be the type of mom that enjoys life and her child...and takes each day as it comes.  (Now that's not to say that I haven't stopped trying to induce lactation, but I'm not putting as much pressure on myself if it doesn't work out.)

So with that in mind, I did some things today to try and help bring back the joyful anticipation of our baby!  The first was that we bought a used Kenmore portable washing machine for the apartment from a family in our neighborhood.  I'm happy to say it works great!!  And we were able to do our first load of laundry in the apartment today!!  (What does this have to do with babies you ask?  Well, babies produce a lot of laundry.  And therefore we felt this would make our lives easier!)  Here's a pic of our new machine and how it fits nicely into the kitchen.

The little black thing at the bottom is a doorstop with a mouse on it to keep the washer from rolling.  Our floor is slightly uneven in that spot.  Ha!

That's the machine back in the corner.  See it fits in pretty easily!!
After our laundry experience, we were pretty lazy...but this evening I did some more work on a quilt for the baby.  I'd started it a few weeks back, but didn't make much more progress b/c of traveling, etc.  Well, tonight I cut out more pieces from the vintage napkins we used at our wedding.  Here's a pic of some of the squares.  I'm excited to start getting this further along.
These will be mixed with white for the background fabric.  I think it's going to be really cute once it's finished!

Anyways, I needed a kick in the pants today to get my mood on straight.  Thanks to my Aunt for making me realize that this time is precious and I need to be enjoying every minute of it instead of stressing!!    

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Breast Pumping: Day 8

It's been 8 days since I started breast pumping in my goal to induce lactation.  I'm sad to say that so far I've had very poor results.  I get MAYBE a drop out of righty if I'm lucky.  Lefty is being very uncooperative and producing nothing.  Sometimes I get nothing out of both.  I've upped my domperidone dosage to 100 mg per day.  30 mg twice per day and 20 mg twice per day.  This is up from 80 mg per day.  I'm pumping about 5-6 times per day which seems to be all that I can manage at this point.  (The suggested time is 8 times per day, but I honestly don't know how anyone with a job can manage that.)

I'm trying not to let these results get me down.

On a completely unrelated and much happier note, N and I went to Milford, PA this weekend to enjoy a little mini-babymoon in honor of Labor Day weekend.  We went tubing down the Delaware River, hiking with our dogs, ate lots of delicious food and generally had a great time.  (I know it doesn't sound like an exotic place to go for a babymoon, but relaxing down the Delaware was definitely a treat.  And I am not taking days off prior to the baby coming so that I can use all those PTO days for my maternity leave.  The goal is staying out of work for 4 months!)

Anyways, here'a  pic of our relaxing weekend.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Breast pumping: Day 2

Only got a very teeny drop from each one during the pumping sessions.  I'm trying not to feel discouraged since everyone's body is different, and it's only Day 3 (this morning).  But I went back and re-read Tonya's first post about her inducing, and it made me feel even less successful.  Oh well, keep plugging away.  Just wanted to give an update.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mini nursery update

Just some toys and books we've been collecting and/or gifted.  The "theme" of the nursery is very loosely based on this book "Maude & Claude Go Abroad."  Travel + forest animals + whales + ships.  Haha.  It should be interesting once it's done.  It will probably be more about our love of vintage, whimsical and classic children's iconography.  Either way, I'm getting sooooooo excited!

25 wks 6 days: Making progress!! Plus breast pumping.

Well, a lot has gone on this weekend so far...and it's not even over yet!  N and I went down to Pennsylvania to visit his family and drop off some of our things into storage.  Out went the kitchen table, kitchen chairs, and an upholstered chair from the "office."  Back to NY came a rug for the baby's room. It's a nice gray solid wall-to-wall wool carpet that's bound on all four edges.  (If you don't have a lot of money to spend on a rug, I highly recommend going to your local carpet store and picking up a remnant and having it bound.  It's not a lot of money and you can find some really nice carpet pieces.)  We also got a thick pad for underneath the carpet which will give the baby some additional cushion during tummy time.  I'm also a firm believer in rugs & carpets to help soundproof.  Since we live in an apartment on the top floor, I want to do as much as I can to help reduce the frustration my neighbors are going to experience during middle of the night crying sessions.  :-(

Yesterday we also went over to Babies R Us and met up with some very great friends of ours for a family shopping excursion.  (Fun way to see your friends when they have kids btw!) They needed to get their 11 month old some new clothes, and we wanted to get a car seat.  (Plus they were kind enough to give us their Rock-n-Play Sleeper which is going to be awesome for when we travel to pick up the baby!)  At any rate, Babies R Us is having a trade-in event right now where you can bring in any old gear (like the old car seat from 2007 my boss gave me) and get 25% off a new car seat or stroller, etc.  I felt a little bit bad about the whole trade-in with the one my boss gave me b/c she meant well...but it was missing it's base, and it was kind of grubby.  Plus it was on the cusp of having expired.  I like saving money, but I also want my baby to be safe and snug.  Anyways, we got the Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic Infant Car Seat.  We liked it best because the hood pulls over farther than any other, and it has a velcro-on all-weather "boot" for cold weather.  Since our little girl is going to be born just a few days shy of December, I figured all that would help keep out the cold more.  The one bad thing about the car seat is it's rather ugly and has brown ultrasuede trim.  Oh well...I can't complain too much b/c we got 25% off.

While we were there, N and I decided to register as well.  Going to a Babies R Us store in the suburbs is a totally different experience than going in NYC.  The one in the city is PACKED and it's overwhelming to say the least.  The ones in the Philly suburbs have nice salespeople who have never questioned my lack of a baby bump! I love that!!!  It got huge points from me.  Plus they have great specialists who knew all about the different products.  Anyways, N was really getting into registering...especially for things like bibs and accessories.  Haha.  I liked sharing that experience with him.  And it was much better to see things in person than when I registered at Amazon.  Although I have to say that Babies R Us has less selection than Amazon, so we'll end up keeping both.  Meanwhile, our moms are trying to figure out a baby shower.  My MIL thinks it's not proper etiquette for her to throw one, and a friend of mine has offered...but has since gone MIA.  So I dunno.  I'm not too worried, I'm sure they'll figure it out b/c my mom and his mom are dying to do it.  Looks like it will be around Oct 6th.

And finally, I started pumping today at long last!  As a reminder, I've been on both Provera and Prometrium (alternately) and the Domperidone.  So far, I haven't taken any fenugreek or blessed thistle herbs.  Anyways, I started pumping and got a few teeeeeensy clear drops out of the lefty.  Nothing out of righty yet.  I'm super excited to even get a tiny bit of anything on the first try!  I couldn't believe it!   What I'm not excited about is having to pump 8 times per day for 20 minutes!!  OMG!  Especially at work.  I'm not sure how I'll get through that.  But where there's a will there's a way!!

On the baby front, I spoke with B two days ago and everything is going great!  The baby has been moving quite a bit....all the time now.  B said it used to just be at night, but now it's all day.  She's also been craving peanut butter sandwiches nonstop (which is good I suppose b/c it's one of my favorite foods too!) and she's been getting heartburn a lot.  B thinks all the heartburn means that the baby is going to have a head full of hair.  I hope that's what it means.  It would be pretty awesome to have a baby with hair!  N and I both were complete baldies for awhile.  Apparently his family used to refer to him as Uncle Fester when he was a baby.  Hahaha!!

Anyways, that's it for now.  More later as I continue to pump!  Cross your fingers that I start getting a lot soon!  I think I'm going to start adding a Guinness each night to help build my milk supply.  Apparently it's supposed to help, and also since I don't get to drink any more (partially b/c of the breastfeeding but mainly b/c of the dehydration it causes from the domperidone), I'm excited to get a little something to help relax at the end of the day!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Awkward conversations, part 2

In the past several days I have had a number of awkward conversations each involving my "belly."  My belly (or lack thereof) is the cause of much consternation in my life these days. First off, the progesterone I've been taking to induce lactation has been causing me to gain weight.  To my dismay, very little of this weight is going to my breasts where I'd expect it to go.  Instead, it seems to be settling around my midsection.  Therefore, I've been doing situps each night to try and ward off the beast.  However, on the flip side, I clearly do not have a pregnant belly...and this keeps coming up in various unexpected conversations with strangers.  For the record, here is the non-pregnant belly in question.

Let me set the first scene.  My MIL and I went to Baby Gap this weekend to use a 40% Friends & Family discount.  She was itching to buy baby clothes, and who am I to refuse, right?!  As we're in line to checkout, the conversation with the 50's something cashier ensues as such:

Cashier: "Would you like a gift receipt?"
Me:  "No thank you."  
What I should have said:  "Yes, thanks." (This would have stemmed all further questioning.)

Cashier: "Oh, are you having a baby?!?!"
Me: "Yes in December!"  (See where I went wrong there?)

Cashier: "You don't even look pregnant?!"  
Me: "Mmm...hmm..."

Cashier: "I look bigger than you do..."  *somewhat suspiciously* 
Me:  "Mmmm..."

Cashier:  "I just can't believe how little belly you have!"
Me:  "Mmmm...."

(This continues for an agonizing 10 minutes as my MIL signs up for a Gap credit card and the woman begins to pummel me for every detail including what we're naming the baby.  I keep giving her the "Mmm...hmmm..." treatment.  She doesn't really take the hint that I'd prefer not to chat more.) 

Then today, N and I are at our second daycare interview.  This time there were two other couples there with us.  The daycare owner makes us all tell the group when we're due, whether it's a boy or girl, etc.  Everyone else was due in just a short time period (like next week/next month) and so I thought I'd be off the hook with eyes darting to my stomach.  But when I said we were due Dec 3rd the conversation went like this:

Her: "OMG, you don't hardly have a belly!"  *she eyeballs my stomach suspiciously*
Me:   Mm.....yeah.

Her:   "That's unusual." 

***time passes talking about the daycare, and as we're about to leave***

Her:  "Well, the next time I see you, you'd better have a bigger stomach!"  *eyeballs my stomach again*
Me:  "Umm...well my stomach is skinny b/c we're using a surrogate."  
Her:  *dubious awkward stare* 

(This was all the more uncomfortable because N and I really liked this daycare a lot.  And I didn't like to be put on the spot in front of strangers.  The other couples looked awkward at the exchange, and I just wanted to exit as quickly as possible.  N simply suggested that I start wearing a prosthetic belly.  Ha!)  

Add this to the fact that I am now getting requests from LONG distant facebook acquaintances to post pictures of my belly on Facebook.  I am ignoring them instead.    

Having a baby via surrogacy makes for lots of awkward conversations.  And unfortunately, I'm one of those people that gets uncomfortable easily, especially with a crowd or strangers.  It's not that I don't want to tell people, but I don't feel the need to get into the whole thing at a store, for instance....or make announcements to people I knew "way back when" on Facebook.  But the constant threat of baby belly keeps rearing it's head.  I never really thought about this aspect of the process.

I know I shouldn't complain, and honestly, as thrilled as I am about us having a baby on the way(!), I'll be glad when feeling uncomfortable around strangers is over.  Hopefully I won't be this awkward once I actually AM a mom.  :-\   I'm crossing my fingers!  

On a fun note, here are a handful of the outfits we got from Baby Gap this weekend.  Shopping for baby girls is fun b/c everything is so cute!!!

(Polka dots + Stripes!! OMG!  And that dress?!  Adorable!!)
(Can you tell I have a thing for polka dots and florals?!)
(Stripes again!!)

Anyway, words of wisdom or encouragement are appreciated.  Thankfully everyone has been super great about the whole thing.  I've had very little actual negative response to this process.   Just lots of dubious or awkward encounters.  Also on a side note, the people at Babies R Us, didn't ask any questions and were awesome.  Maybe it's because I was dealing with male sales representatives?

Friday, August 10, 2012

23 Weeks 4 days Belly Pic!

B sent us a belly pic this afternoon!  It's fuzzy b/c her 8 year old took it with her camera phone.  LOL!  But you can tell how big her tummy is!  So exciting!  Our little peanut isn't a peanut anymore.  Instead I should be calling her our butternut squash!  :-)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

23 Week 3 day Update + Bernadette

I can't believe how far we've come on this journey!  It's starting to seem more real each day that our little peanut is on her way soon!  It's so exciting to think we're going to get to meet her in less than 4 months!  (Whew!  When I counted that out just now I was like, "Wait! I thought it was more than that.  It's super soon now!)  I haven't blogged in awhile, so this post is going to be a bit of a brain dump.

Not much is going on here other than the waiting game.  I've been faithfully taking my medicine to induce lactation and start pumping in about another 10 days.  I'll have to report back on that soon.  I also bought supplies to make a baby blanket for the nursery.  Some of the fabric of the quilt will be some vintage napkins that we used at our wedding reception.  I'm also mixing it with some fun new fabric.  I'm not a great seamstress though, so I'm hoping it turns out cute.

B tells me me that the baby has been moving around a lot, especially at night.  She's finally started to feel her kick.  No other news other than that.  

Lastly, a fellow intended mom and blogger Bernadette had twins in India.  One of the babies is still in the NICU after 100+ days....and they need to come home!  She's been there alone this entire time without her husband b/c he needed to stay home to work.  Now they're needing some financial assistance to get her and the babies home.  So for anyone who wants to donate, you can go HERE and learn about it.  Her brilliant, positive spirit are so'll know what I mean if you read her story on her blog rasta less traveled.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Breaking news...on the nursery

So after completely moving almost every piece of furniture in our apartment other than our bed, we've decided that we are NOT putting the baby in the closet.  Even though we technically can fit the crib in there (and a changing table), it would mean splitting my clothes into three (almost four) locations.  Getting dressed this morning almost threw me over the edge.  I realized that our baby girl (who today we're referring to as Gwenna), would not like her mom to be a mess.  So we've decided to convert the living room into the nursery.  (Mind you, not today since it's going to take more than just rearranging the furniture.)

Anyways...this means that baby will have a room and closet of her own.  I'll have my clothes in one spot (and a modicum of sanity).  And all it took was rearranging all the furniture we own to figure this out.

I'll get to actually decorate a real nursery after all.  In the end, I'm not even sad about losing the living room since we just figured out we can compress our dining area and put the loveseat in there.  Sweet!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Starting to feel those 679 square feet...

Today the hubby and I decided to get up early (8:30am, ha!) and start working on the closet/nursery.  So after a leisurely breakfast and some morning Olympics, we got going around 10am.  The goal was to put some high capacity Elfa shelving into the space that would theoretically give us room for both clothes & baby.

After a little demolition and a bit of painting, we hit the Container Store and spent $200 on Elfa bits and pieces.  We came home and installed it....after some cursing about buying the wrong wall-mounting screws (of course)!  But I'm not so sure we really gained as much as we thought we were going to.  And the new location for the clothes is pretty tight to access.   So what do I do?

Start to panic of course.

Why did we think it was a good idea to have a baby in NYC?!  Why don't we live in Wisconsin or even Philadelphia still?  Heck, we had a four bedroom house there!!  Here we have a teeny apartment with no yard for our dogs to run around in.  No imaginary chickens to get fresh eggs from in the morning!

I'm feeling slightly better after sitting down and putting my feet up to type this.  But an hour ago I wanted to jump out the window.  The reason for this is because our apartment is starting to look like a hoarder's.  Breast pump equipment sitting around.  Baby bathtub.  Baby clothes with nowhere to put them.  You name it, and it's probably sitting around my apartment right this moment.  I love to have things in their place.  We just happen to have a good amount of things. (You recall that i just mentioned we downsized from a 4 bedroom, right?  Well...yeah, a lot of that is in our apartment.)

Anyways, realizing we need to continue to purge.  And the hubby is trying to keep me sane. Thank god I'm married to such a kind, understanding man.  :-)


Feeling awkward is one of the big things that go along with being an intended mom (at least for me).  Maybe other intended moms are made of steel, but I definitely feel awkward and uncomfortable in certain situations.  Here are some of the ones that have caused me to feel weird recently.

  • Having my recently hired twenty-something temp assistant say to me, "You don't look pregnant at all.  How far along are you?"  Me: "Oh....that's because I'm not pregnant.  I'm having a baby via surrogate."  Her:  "Oh, wow!  How long does she have to keep the baby after it's born?  Y'know for breastfeeding and stuff."  *sigh*  I just didn't really feel like explaining it all at that moment.  I wanted her to do her work.  
  • Yesterday N and I went to a family daycare to look into the possibility of putting her in daycare next June.  (Yes, I said next June.  And yes, I'm having to look now so that we can get on a....waiting list.)  There was another couple there, and she was obviously pregnant. I was obviously not and wearing a close-fitting maxi skirt to prove it.  She kind of gave me a strange look...or maybe I imagined it.  Either way, I ended up blurting out that we were due in Dec via surrogate.  #awesome
  • Then last evening, we went out to a guy acquaintance's birthday party, and kept getting hugs and "OMG Congratulations!"  Thankfully I'd changed into a baggy dress (partially so that I could avoid just those types of explanations that I knew would be needed with people I'm not super-close with in a public setting).  Either way, I felt AWKWARD. 
This is the type of thing that happens a lot.  I know it shouldn't bother me, but I just have a hard time going into it all the time.  My mom (and MIL) have had an even harder time, so I've told them just to defer them to me.  Maybe I should create little business cards to hand out.  It would be so much easier.  :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

21 week update

My wonderful aunt text messaged me this evening with "No blog post!?!  Are you okay?"  So I thought I'd post just to let everyone know what's going on with us these days.

  • We're super excited about having a girl!!  To make it feel more real, cute gifts have already started rolling in...including the crib, some adorable baby clothes from my sister, and some crib bedding.   
  • Realizing that I'd better start registering to figure out the rest of what we'd need, I've been spending my nights working on our registry by comparing reviews on bottles, pack-n-plays, and looking at cute baby clothes.  We're registered at amazon b/c they have it all! (And yes, I am the type of person who compares reviews on baby bottles.)
  • I signed up for based on a recommendation from a friend...and I've already made TWO purchases in one week.  It turns out girls clothes are ADORABLE and getting deals so cheap made me HAVE to purchase them.  As soon as they come in, I'll post pics.  I love a good flash sale that plus baby stuff is lethal.  Need to stop looking at zulily asap.  :-)
  • N and I have been thinking about baby names A LOT!  It's the first question people have asked when we tell them that we're having a girl.  And yes, we have a number of names on the list.  We just can't seem to decide which one.
    • Fiona - one of my favorite names since I was a kid.  I fell in love because of an actress from Days of Our Lives.  What can I say?  Do I care that there's a green princess from Shrek with the same name?  Slightly...but not much.  
    • Gwendolyn "Gwenna" - always liked the long version, and I like the short version as something similar to Emma.
    • Kenzie - my mother's maiden name is McKenzie, and therefore have always loved it as a name for a girl.  However it's my cousin's first name too.  Feeling like it might be too close.  Still love the familial connection.
    • Rowan - I love boys names for girls, and this is one of them.  Plus I love the Irish connection which both N and I have.  
    • Aria - N really loves this name, and I like it too...but am a bit concerned b/c it's a character on our favorite show "Game of Thrones."  Could become very popular b/c of that.  
    • June - It's the month we started dating...and the month we got married.  I love it because it's simple and classic.  (Also like the Italian version Junia.)
    • Magnolia - I love this name because it's unusual but familiar.  It invokes memories of the South which is where I grew up...and where our daughter is being born.  It's the state tree of Mississippi, and the flowers smell great.  
    • Genevieve - Maybe I watched too much "Trading Spaces," but either way...I love this name. 
    • Lucinda - Lucinda Williams is a wonderful singer that we both love.  I also love the short version Lucy.   (Be glad we didn't go for Emmylou b/c we adore Emmylou Harris as well.)
  • We've been figuring out some projects in the apartment that we need to do before the baby comes...such as making more room in the closet (which is to soon become her domain.) 
  • I've been still taking my pills to induce lactation...but just this week switched from Provera to Prometrium.  Tonya convinced me that I should switch since I wasn't feeling much palpable results from the Provera.  Here's hoping it gets better soon.  And in another 28 days I'll be pumping.  Definitely hoping for something!!  
Also, I'd love to give a big hug to all the people out there that have been supporting me through this.  This blog has been amazing to connect with family and friends (both new and old).  I'm so glad that you are all here and understand.  *HUGS*

p.s. The baby and B are both doing fine.  :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nursery Ideas

I started putting together an idea board for the little Baby Squirrel's nursery.  I'm loving it so far.  The decorating idea is based around travel.  I love to travel, and I hope our little girl will get to travel with us one day and become a little mini explorer.  Plus I love bright fun colors. (No pink & ruffles in this nursery.)  I just started, but this is sort of what's been brewing in my mind for some time...

Hopefully we'll be able to find a vintage dresser.  We can't spend $1000 on the Oeuf one above.  Also, if you haven't stopped over at for baby nursery prints, then you totally should.   I'm loving their stuff right now, and three of the above prints are from there.  The one big world map print is one that we already own and bought for the baby's room months ago.  (We also have a vintage Fisher Price toy globe that is a nightlight.  And an old model sailing ship that might not make it into the room b/c there isn't room.  But hopefully it can!)  

(Oh, and p.s. excuse my very poor photoshop skills above.  I need a class pronto on how to use that program!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

20wk1d: At long last, we're having a _________ !

This past weekend we flew down to the Memphis/Tupelo area with the primary purpose of finding out the sex of the baby!  Of course seeing (and patting) B's bump in person was great too!!  We hung out with B and her family for a few days, and then yesterday went in for our scheduled visit.  I was nervous about how the doctor's office would treat us, but they were very nice.  Our ultrasound was great...mainly because we got to see the baby moving around on screen.  It was our first time seeing hands moving, mouth opening, legs kicking, etc.  Our little bean is a squirmy worm so far.  And the baby definitely did not want to show us the goods.  Those legs were very tightly closed the whole time.  For a long moment I was worried we'd flown all the way down there and would leave without finding out if it's a boy or a girl.  

Such a mixed feeling of frustration and anxiety.

Well, after what seemed like forever...the technician simply typed one word on the screen with an arrow pointing to an indefinable (to us) spot on the screen.  That word was....

[girl] --->

So yes, it seems that soon the dogs will have a little baby sister in the house!!  Or as my husband said to someone, "GURL!!!!  It's a GIRRRRRRL!"  Hahaha!

We're SOOOOO excited!!  We haven't chosen a name yet, but we do have a laundry list of names in the running though.  OMG.  There are so many!! 

And now, we can officially start looking for stuff to register for and decorating "the nursery."   (Remember our nursery is going to be in a large closet.  This is NYC after all.)

Anyways....wheeeeeeee!!  So happy I don't know what to do with myself.  :-)

Friday, July 6, 2012


B reports that she's craving cornbread, beans, watermelon, and chicken & dumplings a bunch recently, and she can't seem to get enough of them.  It appears that our baby takes after me and loves good southern food as well.  Hopefully N will be able to convince our baby to someday eat kale like he's done me.  Haha.

I just had to post b/c hearing her cravings made me smile so much.  I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful surrogate carrying our baby.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Inducing lactation, week 3 update

So I still haven't started pumping.  I am holding off for longer.  No good reason I suppose, other than the fact that my breasts just don't feel ready yet.  Others have reported a feeling of engorgment - like they needed to pump.  Mine have not gotten that feeling yet.  So I'm going to give it at least another week.  Maybe even two.

I have noticed some general side effects of the provera + domperidone combination.  They are:  general tiredness and lack of energy, slightly more scatterbrained than usual, major dehydrated mouth/body if I'm not drinking tons of water (and don't even think of drinking alcohol while taking the dom b/c you'll be double dehydrated).  I don't know how much of the tiredness and scatterbrained-ness is due to my lack of HRT.  My body is used to having estrogen each day, and now with zero estrogen, I can tell you that life isn't pleasant - the particulars I will leave out.  Therefore I upped an estrogen supplement that I used to take 3 times per week to almost daily.  It's not my full regimen, but it's helping somewhat.  So far this inducing lactation thing has not been for the faint of heart.  I'm probably also holding off on starting to use the breast pump b/c it's just one more thing.

At any rate, I'm powering through.  It will all be worth it in the end.  Please pray that my body starts responding more robustly to the meds.  It would be great to really be able to get some milk after all this craziness.  :-)

Oh, and we're 18 weeks and 1 day!  Woot woot!!  It's going fast.  Well, sort of.  I can't believe that it will be less than 2 weeks for our big ultrasound when we're going to be down South with B.  I'm so excited for some bbq and sweet tea!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

5th birthday celebration

At one point in my life I thought my dogs might be the only kids in my life.  It's hard to believe that this time next year we'll have a human baby around these parts.  But for today, I celebrate my youngest fur kid's 5th birthday.  Rolling around on the bed with this little monster and a disgusting dog toy is one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning.  I can't believe we've had the pleasure for 5 whole years already.  (Now we just have to hope he doesn't get jealous with the baby around!  But that's another post for another day.)

In another month, we'll be celebrating 15 years with our oldest.  Can't even believe that's looming on the horizon too!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hairy Heartburn

B texted last night to say, "Oh man, I think this little one is going to have a head full of hair because the crazy heartburn has started already!"  This made me laugh, and of course feel excited for a head full of hair...but bad that she's having heartburn and we're not even halfway there yet.  She said that all four of her kids came out with a ton of hair, and she got the same heartburn with each one of them.  (Am wondering if this is a wive's tale?)

Either way, I was one of those babies that didn't have hair for ages, so it would be awesome to have a baby with hair.  All the better for sooner being able to braid, spike, curling iron (j/k).  Can you tell that today I'm secretly hoping for a girl?  I can assure you that tomorrow I'll be hoping for a boy.  That's how it goes around these parts.  But no matter which one it is, I'm not-so-secretly hoping for a redhaired kid.  N's mom and brother have red hair, and our egg donor has blonde there's a chance that it could turn out.  Haha!   Oh the things that fill our minds while we're waiting on babies to arrive.

In the meantime, I'm still on the road to inducing lactation.  Nothing much to tell really.  I haven't started pumping yet.  Probably going to start this weekend.  (I went off the meds last weekend by accident b/c I went out of town and forgot my pills in another bag.  GAh!)


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sisters of a Tribe 2.0

This past weekend I went to a conference in Oklahoma for women affected by AIS and other DSDs.  It was a life changing experience for me to meet so many other women experiencing the same condition as me (or something similar to it).   I'm having trouble even putting down the words to describe what it was like meeting so many other beautiful and courageous women that just "get it" b/c they've been there too.  It definitely made me proud that I created this blog to share the truth about my story and our surrogacy journey.

Anyways...not much else to say on this topic b/c my heart is just too full.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

17 week update

Today B went to the doctor and he said everything looked great.  The baby's heartbeat was 141 bpm.  Apparently the doctor was having trouble counting the heartbeat b/c our little stinker was moving around so much he kept losing it!  I guess we got ourselves a live wire in there!  Meanwhile, both the doctor and B have "a feeling" that the baby is a girl.  We'll see soon enough!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

16 wk 1 day belly shot! (Plus update)

B sent us a pic of her belly today!!  So cute!! She's got the smallest little baby bump!  It feels more real for sure now!  And of course, now that I've had one...I'm definitely going to want more.  LOL.  I'll see if I can get her to send us one a week.  

As for me and the lactation, things are fine I suppose.  The breasts don't seem to have gotten any larger and don't feel "full" or any different really.  After next week I'm going to start pumping earlier than what the protocol says to do, but it seemed to work well for we'll see.

Not much else to tell really.  I'm meeting another woman in person this weekend who is doing the whole adoptive breastfeeding as well.  Her adoptive baby is being born in Sept so she's on an accelerated protocol.  It will be interesting to compare notes with her.'s late.  Heading to bed.  I can't stop looking at our pic though!   :-)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Inducing Lactation: Day 8, plus quick update

Today is the first day of increasing my dosage of domperidone.  It doubles today, and so far everything has gone pretty well I suppose.  This past week I had minor headaches at night, in particular.  I'm not entirely sure that it's due to the domperidone, though I suspect it is.  I'm hoping it's just due to seasonal allergies.  If it is the domperidone, then I suspect it's b/c I'm not drinking enough water.  So as I head into this second week of meds, I'm definitely going to increase my water consumption.  I'm trying to limit my caffeine intake as well.  One and a half cups of coffee a day.  I should probably have even less than that, but talk about causing a headache without it!!  OMG.  The headaches have started around 10pm and last through the night.  I usually wake up during the night and drink some water by my bed, and fall back asleep.  Then once I wake up (in the morning), have some coffee and more water the headache goes away.  The rest of the day, I'm fine.  Has anyone else inducing lactation had this problem?  Especially frustrating since I'm only a WEEK into the medications.   :-\

In terms of any visible breast change, there hasn't been a ton in just a week.  Although I've  noticed they've gotten a bit larger, they mostly feel different.  Fuller. Bouncier.  My husband is definitely liking the change!!  Haha!  (We'll see how things progress as I get further into this process.)

Not much else to tell really.  We're playing the famous surrogacy "Waiting Game" over here.  I feel like everything I do these days involves waiting.  B says the baby is growing well and doing fine.  Nothing major to report.  We touch base about once a week.  (Again with the waiting. These are the moments when I wish she and I were closer, both physically and personally.  But at the end of the day, we both have our reservations about getting too close I think.  So in the meantime, I just wait and try to fill up my time reading blogs and focus on getting my meds correct.)  Waiting is one of the hardest parts of this process, especially for an impatient Taurus like myself.

Oh, and for anyone else going through the surrogacy journey, have you recently tallied up how much $$ you've spent on the process so far?  Did it make your stomach jump up in your throat!?


Although I know we've spent less than many b/c our first attempt was successful (which I'm eternally grateful for), I will say that wow...all those meds, fees, lawyers, ivf, gifts, flights, bed rest, cards, hotels, etc add up quickly!  We're now almost at the $$ amount where I hoped we'd be at the END....and we still have 5 months to go!  Thankfully a lot of it is advance money paid out in escrow, but still.  Once again, I have to salute everyone going through this process b/c it's draining both mentally...and financially.

But even with the humdrum waiting and gasp-inducing financial revelations, I haven't lost sight (or excitement for) the end result!!  I'm so excited about meeting our little bean for the first time, that I can't stand it.  At the end of this road, all the hard stuff will be worth it!  Even our one little fur kid that is a complete terror must be getting excited because on this morning's walk, he didn't freak out at all when a little girl on a scooter rode by him with about 6" to spare.  That is a miracle indeed!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Inducing Lactation: Day 3

Just to recap, I am planning on inducing lactation for our baby that is now due in 175 days!!  (We're 15 weeks today!  Whoppppeeee!)  I'm using the Newman-Goldfarb method to induce lactation with the "Regular Protocol for Mothers over 35" also called the "Menopause Protocol."   (Though you can understand why my vanity might not allow me to refer to it that way.  Haha.) Also, to recap, I'm on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) so that factors into things a bit here as well.

First step.  Talk to my doctor.  I FINALLY got him on the phone about this b/c I didn't want to drive all the way to South Jersey for an appt.  He only knew a bit about this process, and suggested I look up the "Lenore Goldfarb method."  I laughed and told him that I already had, which is why I was calling to talk to him.  He was fine with all of the protocols, so I went on to the...

Second step.  I stopped my HRT.  Basically the estrogen in my HRT reduces the amount of milk that will be produced.  A friend successfully breastfed using this method, but kept with her HRT during the time of breastfeeding.  She said it severely limited her milk production, so she (and Lenore) recommended that I stop it during this time.  (Side note, I'm taking a Calcium supplement to help replace the calcium my bones may lose during this time.  For some reason I have always had a brain blockage against taking vitamins.  Probably b/c I already feel I have to take one everyday.)

Third step.  Start the Provera and Domperidone combination.  (Provera 2.5mg per day + 10mg domperidone 4 x per day.)  Seeing as how this is Day 3, not much has really happened yet.  I have noticed a bit of dry mouth from the domperidone, but I'm trying to drink more water...which is something Lenore suggested anyways.  Next week I'll be increasing the domperidone dose to 20mg 4 x per day.  Will need even more water. 

I bought my Domperidone (Motilium) and Provera from a pharmacy online based in New Zealand called  Domperidone isn't common in the U.S. and is only available at certain compounding pharmacies, plus my insurance is kind of sucky sometimes about I went with this option.  The meds came really quick and look perfect.  Here's a pic of what you can expect from them if you order the same meds.  (Note this pic was taken once I'd already opened them and started taking my meds. It didn't come with opened containers!)  

So yeah...not much to tell at the moment other than joking about how I'm finally going to be a Double D.  Haha.   

As a plus, my friend let me have her breast pump (and a Moby Wrap too)!  I'll be keeping everyone updated on the progress, especially since it seems to make people weirded out when I've said anything about breastfeeding the baby.    

And again...for anyone looking how to induce lactation, here's the protocol I'm using.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top 4 things you should never say to an Intended Parent, especially not an Intended Mom

  1. "Have you talked to the mother lately?"  - I AM THE MOTHER!!! YOU ARE CURRENTLY SPEAKING WITH HER!  If you are referring to our surrogate, yes, I've spoken to her and she is doing fine.  But to clarify, she's not the mother.  (This was said to me yesterday from my mother-in-law.  I wanted to punch her.)
  2. "So how much are you spending to buy this baby?"  - Seriously!  Why would anyone say that?   And yet, that is what a friend asked me last night over dinner.  First, it's soooooo inappropriate to ask someone about their finances and money.  Second, describing this process as "buying a baby" made me want to punch him as well.  Ugh.  Our surrogate is helping us to conceive...we didn't go to the store to pick one off the shelf.  
  3. "What's her salary?" - referring to our surrogate.  She's not a paid employee.  Again, it's rude to discuss anything of the sort.  And yes, because she's doing this out of the graciousness of her heart...we want to repay her as best we can.  Let's leave it at that.  
  4. "Are you afraid she's going to keep the baby?"  - No, I'm not afraid of that.  She has 4 children of her own and also, that is what lawyers and contracts are for.  Besides, see #1...she's not the mother.   And even if I was...why would you say something like that and put that energy out there?  
*Sigh* Having a baby via surrogacy requires thick skin and a lot of fortitude.  Hats off to all the other intended moms and their surrogates out there!  (Meanwhile, this list isn't even speaking to the comments that B gets as well.  One of the recent ones was a simple, "You're pregnant....AGAIN!"  Hahah!!  She was at least able to retort, "Yes, but it's not my baby this time!"

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Staying connected...

One of the things N and I have been doing to try and stay connected to the pregnancy is sending music to B to listen to for the baby.  Well, this weekend...we bought belly buds for B and we've been recording our voices reading books, singing, etc.  I know supposedly the babies don't actually hear anything until a little later on in the pregnancy...but it's nice to help me feel like we're a part of the whole thing.  (We're reading Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein books...and I'm singing whatever song I feel like.)

What have any of you done to stay connected?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Telling people...a few at a time.

Today I went to work and ended up telling three people about the fact that we're expecting...

A colleague came into my office to tell me of another co-worker's sister whose baby was just delivered stillborn.  Very shocking and sad news.  (Keep her in your prayers for any of you out there that do that.)  That conversation ended up going down a path about babies and people we knew that have them...and she asked me if we were planning on having any kids.  At which point I confessed our news.  She was elated for us and even teared up!  It turns out that she'd gone through IVF to get pregnant with her son, so she knew what it was like to have to struggle to get pregnant.  Back to our co-worker's sister though...I can't even imagine going through that.  And in fact, I have a friend that had the same thing happen to her two years ago.   Thankfully now she has a lovely, healthy baby girl.

Next I told my assistants, as I mentioned I would in my previous post.  They took it quite well, but upon revealing that we were having to use a gestational carrier, one of them said...."OMG!  That's so weird!"  I think that she didn't know how to react obviously.  Then she started with the whole, "well at least you don't have to get fat!"  I just gave her a look that said, "Yeah, I would rather do it that way...but at least we have this option." 

What I learn each time when I tell someone is that it's never easy.  I find myself a little shy about telling them just how we're having the baby.  But whatever...

Anyways...would love to hear from some of the other IMs on how you broke the news to your friends, family and co-workers.

Monday, May 28, 2012

We made it to 13 Weeks!!

Let the second trimester begin!! seems to really depend on which baby tracking website you look at as to whether or not we've technically made it to the 2nd trimester.  Parenting Weekly emailed me this morning to congratulate me by saying "Yeah!  You've made it to the Honeymoon Trimester!" but Babycenter is telling me that we don't get to the honeymoon phase until 14 weeks.  Then after some digging around for which one is correct, I found that other sources say 12 weeks.  So with all this conflicting data in mind, I've decided to split the difference and accept the 13 weeks timeframe.  After all, it feels monumental getting to this point and we're looking for milestones people.  MILESTONES!!  :-)

So the big question on many people's mind is when are we going to start telling people.  (The "many people" I'm referring to are the several people that we've already told!!)  It's funny because I suppose we've been close-mouthed about it to some degree, and yet we've also shared the news with some of our closest friends, family and colleagues.  Yesterday, while being out enjoying the sunshine with some mutual friends in Prospect Park, I casually mentioned something about the baby to our friend's wife.  She turned and looked at me...her jaw dropped...and she said, "YOU'RE PREGNANT?!"

*Insert momentary awkward pause here*

I said, "Well, yes and no.  We're almost 13 weeks pregnant via gestational surrogate...but I thought you KNEW ALREADY!" I'd mistakenly assumed that her husband (who is one of N's closest friends) had told her b/c I knew N had told him.  Well, it turns out that he hadn't told her.  And all of our prior chit-chat during the walk in the park that had to do with baby books, etc...she simply thought that I was just interested in learning about babies!  Haha!!  She was very excited for us...which was great.

That was one of the better experiences I've had telling someone that we're expecting via someone else's uterus.  A number of the chats I've had have been much more awkward with that person not really knowing what to say.  Tomorrow I'm going to be telling my two assistants at work so they can mentally begin to prepare themselves for my maternity leave during our busiest time of year -- December!  We're starting the preparations for all of Holiday's workload right now, and so I want them to be fully enmeshed in what's going on b/c they will be bearing the brunt of the workload once I'm gone.   (P.S., I can't wait for 3 months maternity leave!!)

Lastly, but not least...N and I have been thinking a lot about how we're going to handle childcare.  For those of you living in NYC (or thinking about moving here), the cost of daycare is outrageous!  Expect to pay as much in childcare as you do for your outrageous rent each month!  OMG.  I almost died when I started seeing the actual costs start to come in.  Not to mention that many daycares won't even take babies.  So after my 3 months maternity is up, N has decided to stay at home to be on daddy duty.  He's freelance anyways, so he's basically cutting way down on his work.  And if anything really amazing comes up in the process, then we'll hire a nanny/babysitter on an as-needed basis....or call in N's mom who lives 2 hours away.

After that ends, I'm looking into a nanny-share.  A friend of ours who we were out with yesterday was telling us about their situation.  It sounds GREAT.  Basically the parents split the cost of the nanny...making it more comparable to traditional daycare...but with the flexibility of a nanny.  It really does make me wish though that my family lived close by.  Growing up I always had family taking care of me when I was small and my mom was working.  It would be so awesome to have our child grow up staying with aunts/cousins/etc.  Oh well...maybe if we ever move to another state.   :-\

Okay, enough for today.  I'm breathing a big sigh of relief that we've made it to the Honeymoon Trimester.  And I just thank god for our fortune that even though we chose to do a Single Embryo Transfer, we managed to get pregnant on our first try.  We really do feel blessed and so thankful.  To all the other moms out there still trying or in-progress, know that I'm holding you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You may be as small as a peach, but you look like a baby to me!

B sent us an ultrasound pic of the little nugget today after her doctor's appt!  She is now 12 weeks and 3 days along.  Can you even believe how nicely posed this cute little bean is?!  It's like she's hamming it up for the camera like her daddy always does!  Meanwhile note, we still don't actually know if it's a boy or girl but I've been getting strong girl vibes so I've been internally referring to her as a girl. We're actually flying down to visit B on July 16th to find out the gender in person!  That will be at the 20 week mark, so hopefully we'll get really great ultrasound pics then!  I cannot wait!!!!

In the meantime, the baby's heartbeat was strong today.  I forgot to write down the actual bpm, but the doctor said it was good.  And they administered a quad screen for Downs, Spina Bifida, etc.  We haven't gotten the results yet.  Not sure when those come in.  Realizing as I type this that I need to follow up!  :-)

Anyways...just can't get over that sweet little face!

Monday, May 21, 2012

12 weeks and a quick update!

OMG.  We're 12 weeks pregnant today!  It doesn't seem real.  That's definitely the hardest part of this surrogacy process.  The "feeling real" part.  Life here in NYC is carrying on as normal while our baby is busy growing to be the size of a peach over in MS.

My mom came to visit this past weekend, and that really helped me to start feeling the baby vibes.  She gave me space planing advice on how to rearrange the furniture to include a nursery.  I've been doing lots of research on "small space nurseries" and it's laughable the photos and advice that comes up.  It's clear that the rest of America doesn't truly understand small spaces in the same way as New Yorkers.  I was about to sacrifice our "living room" area to become the nursery, but she convinced me that our very large walk-in closet (with a window) was a better option and would allow us to keep the living room for another two years.  Of course, mom is right!  So we're going to be re-configuring the clothing situation and turning half that space into the baby's room.  But we've actually decided to hold off on that for the first few months and have the baby's crib right in our room.  We've been thinking about the DaVinci Mini Rocking Crib as the crib for us.  It's got lots of great reviews from other small-space parents, and is one of the better looking mini-cribs out there.  (Let me interject by saying there are SO few options on mini-cribs.  I'm surprised.  It made me want to go into nursery furniture design to come up with some cuter options!!)

Anyways....that's where we've been.  Also been thinking about names a lot to help pass the time.  I've been having fun looking at all the names being searched on  We've got a ton of names picked out, but we can't really pick out just one that we like the best.  There are a ton that make us laugh though.  Who names their child "Wolf"?

Well, I'd best finish getting ready for work.  Have a great day!