Monday, December 28, 2009

time is coming to a close.....

Today, the passport arrived.......Early. The family had tickets for the 9th. Now, they are leaving on the 3rd. As the parents were at their condo and I at home watching Mikayla, they called to ask if returning on the 2nd or 3rd would be better. My obvious choice was the third. One more day with this little child that I may actually never see again. One more day nursing the baby that I carried for 9 months. One more day of smelling her, feeling her and being with her.

And as I sit here, tears streaming down my face, typing, I can see her wise little eyes staring at me and wonder if some how, some where in her, she will miss me even half as much as I will miss her. My heart is breaking at the thought of losing her and I feel the totality of what everyone is so free to say, 'it will be so tough', 'I could never do that', and I wonder, maybe I am ignorant and I really couldn't see the pain coming in giving a baby over in surrogacy, or maybe, I knew I would be brave enough to accept that pain. And then I let go of making sense of it all and I just Feel what comes. Right now, it is sweet sadness. Actually, just sadness. After some sleep I will again have some of the sweet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

TWO weeks old today!


Sweet baby girl (that was my name for her during pregnancy, so the new one hasn't stuck). She is TWO weeks old today. Each day seems a little easier to be away from her and I don't think of her non-stop any more, but I am very grateful that we have a few more weeks as their tickets are to return on the 9th...........

Speaking of which, I am 'baby-sitting', and she is calling......... ;-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Adjusting to normal life..........



Well, on day 3, I went into the hospital for fever and dehydration. It seems recovery under stress and with my blood loss was too much. So, recovery slower than normal.

Day 5, the new family moved out and I cried as much as possible in private, not sure how my family would feel about my tears. I knew nursing her would make it tough to part, but I feel I owe it to her. I will give her every ounce of me until I no longer can, which would be when she returns to Australia in a couple of weeks. They are near by and come for a couple of nursings in the afternoon, which is the highlight of my day. The rest of the time, I am expressing and storing milk for her parents to give her.

My book has been my constant companion as I can write and organize my thoughts about surrogacy. My outlook is good and I feel that this journey has been perfectly designed for us all and I am extremely grateful.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

isn't she a doll?

IP and baby Mikayla still at my house. The plan was/is to nurse her until milk came in and then they take her to condo and I will pump for them. The problem is that she nurses so frequently that pumping has been near impossible. She is beginning to adjust to this new life and IP are adjusting to her. Don and I have had the pleasure of observing and at times guiding the process. And I simply am cherishing nursing for the last time in my life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It was quite a journey


Mikayla arrived on Monday, December 7th at 3:05 PM. She weighed 7 lbs and 2 oz and is 20 inches long. The labor and birth were surprising and unlike any of my other four. We believe that the difficulty was in that she presented 'military' style, with her chin forward and looking straight ahead instead of tucked and presenting the crown first. The labor was hard and furious and the birth came off with out complication for the baby, but I hemorhaged pretty well and am required to be flat in bed, leaving for NOTHING until I can rebuild some of the blood loss and regain my strength.

As we had all suspected, I was unable to get to the hospital. I have a history of four home births previously, a couple extremely fast, but there was a point in the furious labor that I was saying I should have scheduled a cesarean and that I wanted an epidural! On the other side of it, I am just thankful that the midwife was there and provided her excellent care. The parents were able to make it into my bathroom (she was born in my jaquizzi tub) just seconds before their little girl was born. I repeatedly aplogized to the mother for being loud and screaming(we had previously discussed this topic and I told her that in my previous births, I was quiet).

My dear man was of impressive fortitude and compassion as he tended to all of my needs, never taking his hands off of me. I truly could not have made it through without him as he held my bowl and hair as I vomited, and as I cried and swore I could not make it through. As I pushed and pushed and screamed, Don re-assured me at every turn although I can only guess how frightening it must have been for him to see me like that. I am so truly blessed with an amazing man........

When the cord had stopped pulsing, it was cut and I was able to hand this sweet little girl over to her parents. As I lay in the tub, gazing at such a sacred site of these parents accepting their daughter with joy and love and appreciation, I felt so fulfilled and know that whatever I have gone through, beginning to now, it has been a worthy journey that I will take to my grave.

As I lay here in bed, I thank God for his hand in it all.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Arrival day

The IPs just landed in Portland and I am so excited to meet them. I haven't been able to relax all day and as you might have figured, the contractions stopped (almost) when I went to bed. I had a great night's sleep and not much activity to speak of. I already know that when I am anxious, things don't happen toward birth........................so, here's to a nice dinner with a couple who I am so intimately connected to but have been world apart.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Many practice runs and IP are in the air :-)

Tonight is the eve of the arrival of the parents. My body has been pre-laboring for 2.5 weeks. I'm wondering if it is just girls that do this as I went through this also with my girls, but not my boys.

As I soaked in the tub tonight, I was filled with awe and wonder of how our first meeting will go? Will it be at home, or hospital? Will it be with babe in my belly or arms? The parents, being so busy to get out the door for such a long and important trip only text me today and didn't call. They have no idea how eager my body seems to be to give them their gift!

It's 6 PM now and the parents will be here around 5 PM tomorrow. We're hanging on to see if things stop again, or progress..........more updates to follow.......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday was practice day!

So, on Sunday afternoon, I began having contractions that were averaging 5 min apart. I'm never one to have a typical labor and I was just waiting for something to tell me that it is or isn't the real thing.

Don and I went to dinner as I was craving fajitas and NOTHING else. As Don saw the frequency and concentration on my face, he got nervous in a very cute and lovable way. After a warm bath, things quieted down and we felt pretty sure that this would not be the night.

And it wasn't...............so on to waiting and wondering.............

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Here we are in the last stretch apparently

I typically go through 2-3 weeks of pre labor. Some call prodromal labor. Some call false labor. I call it exhausting, but is the cause of my very easy labor and births, so I will strive to be greatful. Until then, it is restless nights, contractions, back discomfort and more........time to rest again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

34 weeks


My friend, Carol who is a midwife of 30 years stopped by for a visit and when I shared with her how I am feeling, she offered to check my hemoglobin. The result is I am anemic. She asked to see what supplements I am taking and then offered advice on what to take to balance myself out and feel better. Amazing the wisdom and care of a midwife vs a DR.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

back to self portraits.......


Here is a before bed, or was it early morning photo? Tired and look it. She is grrrroooowing! 28.5 weeks here.

Swollen ankles and sore feet like an elephant is walking on them. On the bright side, I am glowing according to everyone I am around..........hmmm. Think it is consolation for being so tired. I thoroughly enjoyed a water park today and letting my body float weightlessly :-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

INDUCING because you have FAST labor???


Had an interesting visit with the OB today. This woman was harsh (physically, when she scrubbed the gel off of my belly), and the epitome of western maternity care. She even suggested that inducing me would be a way to avoid a 'surprise' birth as I have had a couple of very fast labors. 28 weeks and she brings up induction.

I'm just in shock contrasting midwifery care (which is my only experience), with modern medicalized maternity care. How sad a state. And these women and babies get robbed of such a beautiful part of life. That's why I am so excited to publish my book on the normalcy of birth.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

88 days and counting


I feel that I really shouldn't be posting as my attitude is rotten as I am overwhelmed with work and responsibilities. As I sit here at 9:30 PM, my day began 14 hours ago and I have not had a break (other than eating dinner with the kids), all day. It's obvious that my life needs some adjusting and I am ready for it. Throwing pregnancy on top of what I am already responsible for is kind of unfathomable today.

This reminds me of the first trimester in that I am tired of hearing myself complain! So, I will go to bed, say my prayers, my affirmations and believe that I will wake up refreshed and ready to hold on to the roller coaster of my days.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm just so tired.....


Tired and headaches. Complainy, right? It is bedtime, and I get whiny. Thankfully, my boyfriend is very tolerant and patient with me. Why is it that this pregnancy is so much harder all together than the others? Everything seems more intense. Is it the difference in it being a surrogacy or the difference from being a single mother to being married? I certainly have more responsibility and obligations now. These all keep me quite busy. But, altogether, it is just more intense. Maybe if I were able to slow down more often. Maybe if I could relax longer and more frequently.

I'm simply praying now that I just have the ability to accept the differences and just roll with the punches as much as possible. So, because my head hurts and I am exhausted, that is all of the pondering even though it is a only a most 9:30, goodnight.

Monday, September 14, 2009

26 weeks and still self portraits


As we have been consumed with many work projects plus home projects like paint prep, my desire to have photos taken of me has not come to fruition. so, how about this silly self portrait? As I sat in the tub, elevating my swollen feet, I couldn't help but laugh at my view. I've actually always loved this view. Hard for me to believe that I actually have 14 weeks(ish) left. I'm so busy and active and deliberately still doing handstands, headstands and deep backbends, I am not sure how to imagine doing them then.......but I intend to keep practicing and you can see them in my yoga book next year!

As I wrote earlier tonight in my surrogacy book (another one you can read next year), I just felt that I poured my heart out and it felt so freeing. I can only hope that I have the strength to not edit my journal entries, but portray a raw and honest presentation of my journey. It's up. It's down. It's in between, but the driving force for me now is seeing mom and dad hold their sweet baby girl for the first time and know that I was a small part of that miracle. So, for tonight, this overworked and overtired mama is going to lie down and cheerfully wrestle between the two possible sleep positions left available with this body.......left side, or right side..........

And, BTW, my thighs are NOT that big! Distortion from the water, I promise!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

24.5 weeks


We had another ultrasound and this little girl is a beauty! Her face looks like a girl! Way to go mom and dad :-)

So, work has been consuming and my mother is visiting. No nap times. Getting so incredibly tired. Feel nauseaus because I can't seem to find a happy balance of animal protein and vegan. Working on preparing for my Prenatal yoga video and and Prenatal Yoga photo shoot for my book. Whew. Wish I had more time and energy for practice.

Kind of looking forward to being 50. Surely my life will slow down by then........

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

22.5 weeks photo



Are you tired of the self portraits yet? One day soon I will actually have my sweetheart of a boyfriend take some pix of me. Bad hair day, but the belly saves me, right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

she's a wiggly one


So, little girl has her back against my back most of the time, which means that her limbs are facing my belly. Which means.........I feel EVERY movement! She has a habit of waking around 6 or 7 AM but the other night I was restless, tossing all night. Apparently it affected her sleep too because she didn't stir until 8:30 AM! Glad to know that for the first time, I will get to SLEEEEPPP after having a baby.

I am now 22.5 weeks and am eagerly looking forward to the birth, but have a long time to go. There is this feeling that I have that it will be very fast. I have had two that were quite fast. Hmmm. We'll see.

Although I am feeling well now, I do feel ill still if I splurge on meat or dairy too much. So, still working on vegan and really looking forward to a burger.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

21 Weeks


I really do need to get a new camera. I dropped mine in a bowl of water and it doesn't so much work any more.......

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

here's a pointless picture, but you can see the bump .....

I just love this bright cheery color so much that I took a bunch of self portraits......

A bubble bath night.....


So, back from a neighborhood pick-nic and actually chilled, I climbed into a tub of warm water......nice. At this event, I ran into someone that I had met a couple of years ago and her response to the surrogacy was typical, but tonight I find myself wishing I could just keep it to myself sometimes. But, with the fact that I am a divorced woman of four and very obviously pregnant, I feel that I must explain to everyone. Not sure if that is right or not, but I am kind of tired of the implication that it would be tough to give the baby up. I just don't see it that way, AT ALL. I do love babies and adored my own, but I have never felt like this baby is anyone else's other than it's parents. I look forward to the day when I hand her over and feel the joy in giving. I realize that I will have typical hormone shifts after birth and there will likely be tears, as there always is, no matter the circumstance. BUT, the resounding sentiment will be that of huge honor and maybe even pride that I was able to give a deserving couple their own child.

I guess what I am saying is that tonight, with being tired any way, I am tired of explaining myself. I realize that I think differently than a lot of people and I really do like that about myself. However, sometimes it leaves me feeling like retreating......

Going to do some writing in my book and lay down, watching this little girl roll around in my belly with awe.......

Monday, August 3, 2009

so, one of my friends said........



That I should do posts more often. So, all I can say is that I am finally really feeling well (as long as I don't eat meat and dairy). I am enjoying feeling the baby move lots and actually saw my belly jump recently.

I still lllooooovvvveeee pickles and am thankful that I can eat at all, but am having frequent heartburn and indigestion. It's no fun, but WAY better than nausea!

Right now, I am working on another book about the normalcy of birth and am enjoying collecting unassisted birth stories. My intention is to empower women toward an unhindered birth no matter where they choose that birth to be!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

19 weeks!



Here's the little yogini growing in my belly!

Friday, July 24, 2009

last one. Isn't she cute! What a pretty little face :-)

Here's photos







The technician said that he ALWAYS puts the word 'probably' on the picture of gender. He said that the three little lines together mean girl. He was confident. ........?

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!

OK, so we were all surprised because everyone thought it was a boy. After a 40 minute ultrasound, they are quite sure that it is a girl! Here are some pics and a video of the doppler. They wouldn't let me shoot in the ultrasound room...... :-(

Mom and dad are SOOOO excited and I know they feel that I am giving them a gift, but it really goes both ways. It feels so amazing to be a part of this creation. What an honor.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tomorrow is the day


That we find out if it is a boy or girl ( I think Boy. We'll see). As I am enjoying the summer, my focus on different areas of my life shifts. I am playing more with the kids and trying to be out doors as much as I can. With fall around the corner, and work projects currently in full force, I wonder how beginning home-schooling and all of the children's activities will fit in to my tired, pregnant self.

Since I teach prenatal yoga, I have the opportunity to create relationships with soon to be and new parents. Because of this, I get to follow them (if they are a friend on Facebook) and be reminded how beautiful that sacred space and time as a new parent of a newborn is (thanks Julie ;-). I am recently reminded why I have a heart for surrogacy and how excited I am for the day that I can give this little one over to it's eager parents. To be a part of helping a family change their lives forever feels more like a gift to me. I'll carry it with me forever.

All of this is being followed and written about in a book to be published next year. I look forward to having that as a legacy of this beautiful journey.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

18 weeks.....

Finally did a picture.......


But I don't like it. Here's to a trooper of a man-friend who took my photo. Thanks mom and dad for the great tops! 18 weeks and four more days to the gender ultrasound! I'm still feeling sick if I eat dairy or animals of any kind......waiting for energy to return. Apparently it will be next year ;-) So happy to be feeling better and able to function, but still coming to terms with being weaker. Tough to accept from a strong yoga girl!

I think the yoga is affecting the baby. It is VERY strong and does yoga itself! I swear it feels like it is twice the size the way it stretches and poses. Pretty sweet feeling the movements, but some-times startling and uncomfortable already. Good thing I can handle it! Can't wait to SEE baby rolling around.

Monday, June 22, 2009

14 weeks and feeling .........beter


Well, it is like a cloud is lifting and I do miss being my energetic self though. I will settle for just not feeling like I would rather not wake in the morning! I am actually unpacked completely and settled in. The next task is to tackle the yard.

Tonight was my first yoga class since the bleeding a week ago and I am happy to be back at it, but find the change in practice with my changing body challenging. I do, however, firmly believe that it will make me a better teacher. And now, this summer's great task is putting together another yoga studio! Always big projects to keep me busy..........

Monday, June 15, 2009

bleeding


So, today I began bleeding. I went to the OB and had an ultrasound to find no problem with the baby. He was actually active, as usual. I was told that I could teach yoga and did so. As I returned home, I began bleeding again. The OB is not concerned, but I would certainly rather not have this problem. IM asked me to take a couple of days rest and I agree that is best.

An interesting side note is that I felt the baby move for the first time today. I have always been able to feel the baby move early and just haven't been paying attention to it yet. Now, I am paying attention.

Still feeling sick, but just as sick as I felt with my own. It is manageable. So tired of feeling sick and eager to be enjoying life again.

Monday, June 8, 2009

baby heartbeat 12 weeks

12 week ultrasound and genetic screening


I went up to Portland for a Nucheal Translucency scan. The results said that our risk of genetic defect dropped down to that of a 20 year old! We are ALL jumping for joy.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Not only did I move,,,,,


But on move day was our 10 week ultrasound. The baby looked and measured perfect. I even saw little feet kicking and hands waving. The sad part is that I was not allowed to photo or video the ultrasound. IP were understandably disappointed.

I am still very sick and struggling so much with not being depressed. About everything. Moving while I feel like this has by far been one of the toughest experiences of my life. Now, I am in my house with boxes everywhere and no energy to do anything about it.

Teaching my classes has been very tough and I'm not always able to pull it off. I am really blessed to have a circle of teachers who are supporting me. I am 11 weeks today and look forward to providing a positive report on next entry!

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm moving!!!!.............


So, not only am I busy feeling sick, but 10 days before the end of the month, I decided to move back into my house, as it was being used as a rental and the tenants had to move out. SO, I have had to pack and be moving while spitting constantly (sorry for the details) and feeling nauseous. I am 10 weeks and one day! Count down to 12 weeks is ON. I figure by the time that I am settled and comfortable in my house, I will start feeling better.

Interestingly, move day is on Wednesday, which is when my ultrasound is. I will post the video........until then, pack, pack, pack.........

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!


I wanted to share something of pride on Mother's Day. Go to my son's blog to read a letter from him.

I am so thankful


First of all, I am thankful that I have four amazing children that were born in my own home, into my own arms. Nothing will ever top that!

Second of all, I am thankful that I finally do not feel so ill that I didn't want to wake up in the mornings! I had to begin taking Zofran and higher levels of B6. It's working although I don't feel great. It is manageable. One of the most unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy for me is excessive salivation, which means that I must spit constantly. YUCK! However, I have talked to several women recently who share their stories of sickness for the WHOLE pregnancy! I have never had that and am thankful that it is usually gone at the end of the first trimester.

This week we are 8 weeks and have the first OB appt on Wednesday, along with another ultrasound and blood draw. I am hoping that I can begin easing up on the hormones soon. I really don't mind giving myself shots, but the Progesterone pill makes me feel kind of yucky.

My lack of yoga over the last week certainly doesn't help me to feel well and I look forward to resuming my teaching this week.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Vitamin B, PLEASE rescue me!.........


I am remembering what nature makes us forget and that is how bad the first trimester is. It is a constant effort to work on my attitude. Prayer is continuous. I'm thinking a beach retreat for two months would be ideal.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's a BAAABBBBYYYYYYY!!!!

We (Brandi and I) went for the first ultrasound today and saw One healthy little bean growing. It was so cool to see the heart just pumping away (Nothing else was discernable). When you see that, it makes it so real. And to talk with the baby's mama and share the good news of a healthy, viable child was such a joy! I almost didn't feel sick for a while..........I also went to get a shot of B12. Hope to feel better soon. Can't wait to see the video that Brandi is loading!

First ultra sound (April 30, 2009), 6 weeks, 4 days

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why do they call it MORNING sickness?

Because my body apparently doesn't know the difference in times of day. Apparently, it DOES know if I eat meat, or poultry however. For some reason, my body's wisdom believes that it is not good for me in the first half of pregnancy and I can't seem to fool it. So, for now, I go to sleep with nausea as a result of fantastic chicken fajitas and wake on the ultrasound day! IP want me to be on the phone during the procedure so they can hear straight away. How exciting!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am currently............

Six weeks and two days pregnant! My IP (Intended Parents) are international and flew in to meet me in San Diego for the transfer. We transfered two 5 day embryos and were blessed to have a pregnancy with the first try! In two days, we get to have an ultrasound and see if there is one or two little hearts beating. Either way, we are thankful and humbled to have quick success. The morning sickness is here and does not feel compelled to be present in the morning only. All of the symptoms of pregnancy are a reminder of years past, carrying my own babies and I am so excited to give that joy to my IP in December! They are so excited and wonderful people, it makes it even more exciting for me.

Our prayers are on the next couple of months that the baby grows well and I can still run my busy, busy wonderful life with morning sickness all day! Teaching yoga is certainly challenging with my weakness, but keeps me healthy..........:-)

Welcome to my Surrogacy Journey

I have created this blog for my close friends, family and students who are interested in following my journey. Follow me, as I am honored to bless a dear couple and their parents with their first child/children and grand children.