Thursday, January 29, 2009

The "Better You, Than Me" Award

I'm sure you have all heard about the woman who just gave birth to a litter, uh, I mean 8 babies. I could not even imagine! What I find so extraordinary about this story, aside from giving birth to EIGHT babies is that this is the first I've heard about it. I mean, don't you think she looked really huge? Wouldn't someone have noticed? Clerk at store- "Hey you're huge! Due any day?" . . . Incredibly large bellied woman, "Actually I'm due in 6 months". (Clerk's mouth drops). Although, I bet she was on bed rest since they found out early in the first trimester so many embryos stuck.

Reports state that this same woman already has six children between the ages of 2-7! I know, I know! How did they all keep it a secret? My 2 year old tells people I have "boobies", my 5 and 7 year old will tell their teachers my business all the time. How did not one of her kids not "slip". Or maybe they did and no one believed them. Seven year old to 2nd grade teacher, "My mom's going to have seven babies" . . . teacher to student, "You and your crazy stories . . . I'm going to have 13 brothers and sisters, yeah right, now go to the Principal's office Mr. I can't tell the truth." Do you think she's kicking herself right now for being so quick to brush him off? Now some of you may have caught the number 7 . . . yes, they thought she was having 7 but in the delivery room there was an 8th one. How is this even possible . . . Baby A, B, C, D, E, F and G were seen and Baby H was hiding behind 28 arms and legs?

I just think it's crazy, 8 babies? If I didn't know any better I would think she read my blog and wanted to "one up me". SHOW OFF! (me rolling eyes).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Scars are cool!

All my surgical tape has fallen off (okay, some of it pulled) to reveal a C-section scar about 5.5 inches long. This is one of the things my OB, Dr. Knight will be checking this Tuesday at my 6-week follow up appointment. This got me thinking about scars in general.

The definition of the word Scar:

1. A mark left on the skin after a surface injury or wound has healed.

2. A lingering sign of damage or injury, either mental or physical.

I agree with the first meaning but I'm not quite "on board" for the second (regarding my own experience). When I look at my scar the last thing that comes to my mind is "damage or injury".

I look at My Scar and see a lingering signs of Hope, Joy and Family.

I'm not going to say I don't have any vanity, because I do, but I am a bit bummed that my days of wearing bikinis are over. This has nothing to do with the scar from my surrogacy pregnancy, it has to do with my belly from my own three pregnancies. The last time I wore a bikini was probably the year 2000. The scar is so low that even with a bikini on (when Hell freezes over) no one would see my scar. It's kind of a bummer because it could be a great conversation starter.

The subject of scars even takes me back to the night before our embryo transfer. I was watching The Replacements on TV while trying to "talk myself down" to administer the shots. There's a great line from the movie that comes to mind. The Quarterback is in a huddle trying to say something inspirational to his teammates before a win or lose play of the game. What he comes up with is . . ."Pain heals, Chicks dig scars... Glory lasts forever".

Well, the pain is gone . . . I'll have to get back to you on the other two! ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm not the only one on Earth!

One of the coolest things that has happened as a direct result from this blog is meeting another Growing Generations Surrogate. We connected when she left a comment on my blog and we have become friends.

Stacie's picture is above. In her arms is her surro-baby Alexandra and her own daughter. Stacie just gave birth last week and I'm sharing her story (in her own words) below. You will see first hand why Stacie and I get along so well. Just the other day I asked her how she was doing and she said, "I'm feeling pretty swell. Healing seems to be pretty good (I'm like Claire on Heroes, if her vagina tore)." While reading the email I spit out my drink! So I know you'll love her too.

There were several similarities between the two of us: We both were Growing Generations Surrogates, live in Northern California, were due in December and carrying girls (she with one, me with twins).

*Oh, and Stacie was also told she had a "Beautiful Uterus" . . . she's a friend, so I will agree, but if she were a stranger, I would insist on a "Uterus-Off" . . . think dance off with ultrasound machines.

There were a few differences as well. My Intended Parents lived close enough to come to most appointments, Stacie's lived on the East Coast. I would've been begging for induction by week 37 and Stacie made it to 42 weeks! Can you imagine? Well, I can and I'll tell you one thing, I would've been trying to strip my membranes on 37 weeks 2 days . . . and I think you all know me well enough now to know I'm not kidding.

Below is Stacie's Delivery Story (only changes are the IPs names to initials) You'll see her birth was very different than My Surrogacy Birth Story so I wanted to share.

"So, I had a NST and AFI test on Friday and the doc checked my progress: 4cm and 70%. Not bad for no signs of labor. She schedled me to be induced on Sunday morning, but said she thought an ounce of castor oil would do the trick if I wanted to take matters into my own hands. The dads were with me for the tests and chatted with the doctor and Sunday was decided for the deadline. We agreed that Saturday I'd try the castor oil. Warning, too much information coming your way!

I put off swallowing that shit until almost 5pm. It was nasty and I have this mental block with swallowing liquid medicines. I had to put it in a syringe and have Paul squirt it into the back of my throat and chase it with pepsi. And that took about 30 minutes of coercing on his part!

So I finally get the oil down and nothing happens. 4 hours later we do it again- much easier this time- and go for a walk. I start having some tummy grumbles on the way home and have to poop when we make it home. Could have been the oil or might have been the enchilada I had earlier. After about another hour, I have some mild contractions, like I've had for two weeks now. We started timing them at 11:45- they're mild but 5 minutes apart, and I've been passing more tinged mucus. I check with the midwife on call at 12:30 and we decide together that I should head out- if I'm not really in labor, I was scheduled for induction later in the morning anyway. We leave just after 12:45 and call the dads. They text me at 1:00 that they're on the road.

In the car I started to panic. The contractions were regular, coming faster, and actually hurt at the peak. My other labors were slow enough that I was able to get myself into hypnotic relaxation, so I had very little discomfort. Not this time. I was afraid how quickly everything was happening.

We arrived at the hospital by 1:30 and things were moving along. The dads arrived by two and I got in the tub at some point. The midwife broke my water when I was complete in the tub, which must have been around 4, but there was light meconium, so I got out and back onto the bed. This part all sucked- I though her positioning was off because my hips were BURNING. She was low and the monitor wasn't picking up her heart rate well, so I moved to my hands an knees, but she didn't like that position, although I did. I flipped back over and just though, "I've got to hurry this up," so I pushed HARD for a few contractions and, shit, there was that burning (and some shit- that was great, BTW- crapping in front of the guys). I slowed the pushing and her head popped out (best feeling EVER once that was out) with her arm across her chest and up above her head, and her cord around her neck.

She pinked up immediately and squealed. Dads were right there with their hands on her, loving her, goop and all. I had to be stitched inside because of that arm, but had a "beautifully" in tact perineum. The nurses and midwife were SOOO accommodating with all of us. They're big on natural birthing in Davis, and they were so delighted about the two dads, and stroked my ego about the whole surrogate thing. The nurses are being so helpful with the dads, too, during their stay. It's nice to see.

M has to head back to NY today and D has to stay with the baby at the hospital until tomorrow morning because I tested positive for GBS and didn't manage to get two doses of abx before the birth. I'm going in to see them this afternoon and breastfeed Alexandra again. I did it yesterday at the hospital and it was not big deal at all. They bottlefed her first, the later I did it. You're right about the bonding- she is so clearly their baby that it's not even an issue. I see her and she's beautiful, but so not a part of me. I feel something special for her, but it's more like she's one of my friends' babies who I helped birth as a doula.

Anyhow, there's the long and short of it! The guys are kind of private, so I can share, but can't shout it from the rooftops like it's my nature to do!"

Again, the delivery story above is Stacie's experience as a Surrogate, not mine.

My surrogacy delivery is in November Part 1 and Part 2. My own Children's Delivery Stories are also posted in my "Memory Lane Posts" but Ruby's is by far everyone's favorite of the three. Although Preston and Sawyers were good too.

*Now that it is 2009, all the past posts about my surrogacy are in 2008. If you want to start from the beginning just click on the arrow next to 2008 (it's to the right) and all months will be displayed. Then start from March and work your way up!