Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where is God in Infertility?

And by virtue, where is God in surrogacy? 


Chris and I have been talking a bit over the past few days about these questions. While I have been incredibly blessed to have been met with an ocean of support from my family of Faith, I understand that the choice to support a surrogate is not always so simple for the religious. In fact, I am positive that many of the strongest of Faith that I know are silently dissenting my choices. That's OK.

Many people ask, "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?" My answer has always been, "God doesn't just "LET" anything happen." So if you're wondering, yes, I do believe God guides us to (and through) the worst moments of our lives. Remember, he also brings us to the BEST moments of our lives. God is not Santa Claus, delivering only happy times and gifts. You can not praise the good without learning from the bad. God needs us to learn to trust him in ALL things, not just life's blessings.


That said, I believe God is ever present in infertility. In fact, The book of Revelations gives me steadfast assurance noting,

Revelation 21:4

New International Version (NIV)
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain,for the old order of things has passed away.”

I have a faithful friend who supports me, but not this decision 110%. It is her belief that those who are unable to conceive and carry on their own are being guided away from parenthood by God's plan. And that I might be interfering with His plan. To which I say,

"You're right. I am interfering. But I think that's PART of the plan."


God intercedes in the natural order of pregnancy through the bible. I knew of a few stories myself, but did a little research before penning this blog. Aside from menopausal Sarah, there have been so, SO many scriptural women left struggling for a child.

 (Check this link for more details: http://www.infertilitysurvivalguide.com/issues/chapter13.htm)  

The women come from different stations, but all seem faithful and worthy of a child. In the end their outcome is all the same (with just one exception). God may never use the same methods twice but these women are all eventually healed by God and lead to parenthood. Why is it such a stretch to accept that modern medicine could be doing the same thing today?

I choose to believe that God uses his faithful in a multitude of ways. I also think I serve a creative God.

He places us near the people we need in the instant we need them. That's how I believe God is present in surrogacy. The obvious line of thought is, God has placed this beautiful fertile uterus in the rose lined path of struggling parents to restore their faithfulness. Sure, that could happen.

Probably more likely, is that God has placed a couple with deep faith in the direct line of vision of someone else needing reassurance. Perhaps it is that this story brings a neighbor of the couple to God. Or maybe teaches the surrogate a lesson in patience and faithfulness under impossible odds. Who knows?

I just choose to believe that God uses the strangest of ways to bring His people together, and always with the goal of bringing those people to Him. 

As it relates to Chris and I, we are so excited that God is trusting us to help Him create a new family. Allowing us to help another of His children. Because none of this is possible without Him.

Conditioning

I walked to work this morning, which I haven't done in several weeks.  Pregnancy (or trying to become pregnant) for a woman involves so many preconceptions and misconceptions about what your body is supposed to be like, and how you are supposed to take care of it, what you should or shouldn't eat, how much exercise, on and on.  That mentality does tend to drift to the husband, in my experience.  Realistically, there is little I can do to my own body to help with this process, but I can't help but think that I ought to be doing the things she is doing.  Maybe I'm trying to set a positive example, or perhaps I'm just moving toward the ideas of the person I love.

Think about sympathetic weight gain.  With one or two notable exceptions, every man I know has gained weight along with his wife during the pregnancy process, unless she was prone to a great deal of exercise.  Then the baby is born, and poof, (some of) that weight is gone, but not for the guys!  Considering I'm already over where I probably should be for mobility's sake, the last thing I need is another 10-20 pounds.  At least this time, I won't be waking up in the middle of the night to take care of the new baby; thank goodness for that!

Mandy says we should be finalizing plans very soon for our trip to Cali in another two weeks; I do hope I can manage to take care of my job in the midst of all this personal business.  Still, this will be the most I have spoken to GG about anything, so this will be a big step for me.  Not that I don't already have opinions!  Mandy has just seen fit to communicate them herself :P

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Do I need a seatbelt for this?

Just got an Email from Anna (my Growing Generations contact). Not going to lie, when I saw an emial from Anna with "Ready, Set, GO!" in the subject line my heart skipped a beat.

Maybe two. 

I thought I was about to see a profile. But alas, none such just yet. The news was still exciting though. Insurance gave my final approval and I should be hearing from the travel agent soon to book travel to LA for medical and (gag) Psych screening.

She also let me know she shared my blog with antoher surrogate. One having some tough issues in her early stages. Can't even begin to tell you what a compliment that was. She didn't tell me the surrogate's name, or her issues (and I respect the agency's discretion) but whoever you are, mystery surrogate.. if you're here and reading this now- I'm thinking of you and hoping you find whatever it is you need here.

So as the email closed I'm left feeling like I am at the top of a roller coaster, just before the first big drop. I'm wondering, do I need a seat belt for this ride?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Asked, and Answered

I asked my case worker at Growing Generations how they thought they could have a match for me so quickly, as they've yet to meet me in person. I'll be quite honest (as I always am) and admit I was a bit worried that they might just speed match in an effort to get things moving and start the cash flow. Because, and lets just be honest, they are a business. Perhaps one that is doing an admirable thing, but they are a business.

I was pleased to hear her answer, and learn I was wrong.

Apparently this blog is getting around. The fact that I have been so open here has given them a great glimpse into my personality. And that is so, SO cool to me. I never even gave that idea a passing thought when I started this blog, but now I am even more happy that I have chosen to be so transparent here.

That said, I have purposefully withheld things that Chris and I think are important in IPS. We wanted to consider my future IP's privacy. While I have no problem talking openly about how I feel about certain controversial line items of surrogacy (i.e. selective reduction) they might not share that level of transparency. Posting our beliefs here could compromise their secrecy around those issues, as you'd all assume I'd only choose someone who agreed with me on these key issues.

Anyway, I just thought it was cool to know this tool, which started as nothing more than a diary I envisioned 5-10 people reading ever, is becoming so productive and helpful. As a writer, I am surprised at how cool it is to know people are reading my work. That's been happening for decades. But my "work" has never been so personal, and I've never gotten such positive feedback from my writing. I don't think that will ever stop being cool.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bittersweet Boobie

Newborn Baby Adelia
Emrys hadn't asked to be nursed in nearly 72 hours. So instead of being a strong mom, I became a sentimental sap.

Fearing my time as a breast feeding mom had slipped away without much notice, I decided to cradle my baby in my arms one last time and nurse her. I wanted a moment to look back at my journey, and recall Emrys' and Adelia's times of nursing babies.

Anyone who has nursed for an extended period of time will understand and appreciate fully when I say this moment was so bittersweet it left me in tears. Yes, nursing can hurt. And yes, it is difficult. But to say it is rewarding is an understatement I won't bother explaining it.

"From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. 

From the inside looking out, you can never explain it."

Newborn baby Emrys
As Emrys did what is most likely her final nursing (and by default mine as well), I couldn't help but think of what nursing has meant to me over the past three years. How it has shaped me. Both in the literal sense as well as the metaphorical one. How it has changed me. How desperately I am going to miss these incredibly intimate moments. How breastfeeding advocacy, awareness and empowerment has become so deeply ingrained in who I am as a mother, friend and woman. 

As Emrys finished she pulled away, smiled at me and initiated her favorite toddler game of head shake and giggle. It was a sweet goodbye to this chapter of my life. A baby becoming a toddler, and a young woman forever changed. 

I Am SO Excited I Can Hardly Type...


I honestly did wake up today expecting to hear SOMETHING from Growing Generations. I just had a feeling I would. Honestly.

But I did not expect to hear THIS:


"You should receive an IP profile between now and 2 weeks after you have screened. J  I think we might have a potential match, J  But they should have finished it (their profile) by now.  I will ask."

I am a bit worried that they think they have a match before my screening where I tell them what matters to me and what I am interested in finding in my IPS. BUT- I have been pretty transparent and up front with what we're after. So who knows, maybe they're just that good. Either way, I am excited. 

Upcoming Flight

I think we all imagine that our lives are busier than anyone else's, but the truth is, we only know our own reality.  Work has been exceptionally busy, and with two small children to take care of when I get home, the evenings and weekends has been no respite either.  I love my babies, but sometimes it is very difficult to look into the future and imagine what life will be like with two babies AND a pregnant wife.

Mandy and I got our sailing orders, so to speak; we will be flying on the 15th to California to meet the Growing Generations staff in person.  This is cool for many reasons; firstly, the children will be with my parents, so we will be able to really focus on the situation.  Secondly, I have never been to Cali, save one time that I was running through LAX like a banshee, so the climate will be a new experience for me.  And thirdly, one of my best friends from high school lives in Long Beach, which is not a far throw at all from where we will be visiting.  So there is a lot to look forward to other than the actual reason for the visit.

Oh yeah, about that.  WE'RE GOING TO DO IT!!!!  I already knew that, but every successive step makes the reality a little more concrete, with a little more paperwork and more people involved.  I have only been lightly involved up to this point, interjecting my opinions and wisdom where asked, but this will be my first chance to really experience these personalities up close; these people who have been personally touched by the experience of surrogacy.  It should be an enlightening experience, to say the least.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Single Largest Fear of Becoming A Surrogate

This post has no comic relief, no photos, and no brevity. Just soul baring honesty. You have been warned.

Somehow Chris and I got to talking this evening about my single largest fear in this entire process. The pysch computer test. And now I am so scared, paranoid and worried that I can't sleep. So I am up and writing. 

Many of you know I began writing as a senior in high school as a way to conquer my eating disorder. It was a method of control and outlet that was so therapeutic and effective. In exchange for the disorder I gained a career and a life long passion. So just as I have done for the past 15 years when I've been upset, I will write about this problem. The only difference is that this time I am sharing these thoughts and words with an international audience.  This is personal. This is sensitive. This is in many ways an open wound. 

I have and will continue to approach this surrogacy with complete honesty. From admitting to (and having no regrets about) consuming a glass of wine now and again through both my pregnancies, to the experimental hit of a joint in college (this is even news to some of you now). I feel like the agency and, more importantly, my intended parents are entrusting me with so very much and deserve to know where I've been. 

In less than one calendar month I will be sat in front of a computer and asked to answer a miriade of questions.This computer pysch test is meant to identify and disqualify liars from a candidate pool. I know this because I have submitted to these tests twice before. And twice before I have failed. 

Both times were for jobs. One for CATO clothing and one time for Boy Scouts of America. Both times I answered each and every question honestly. I do not understand why I failed these tests. The questions that were asked of me included calling off work for trivial means, shoplifting, drug use, and failure to report gifts acquired in a professional setting. I know I have a clean slate in each of these areas. But I've still failed. 

I have speculated in the past that these screening exams are only given to candidates who would have otherwise not been awarded the job, and are used simply as a means of excusing the candidate without solid reason or explanation. Simply just, "The test did not come back on a positive note." I wonder if that is indeed the case, if these two companies have any idea what-so-ever the total and permanent damage they have done to me. Probably to others as well.  I doubt that they do, or would care even if they did.

It is no secret that I believe I am answering a calling on my life from Heaven in the quest to become a surrogate. My single largest fear is that I will once again answer every question with honesty and integrity, and I will once again fail this computer based psych test. I will also talk with the agency's staff Psychologist  and I am not afraid of that one bit. I have no doubt she will see my sincerity and honesty. But I am so scared that the computer test will not and that I will be disqualified. 

How will I even begin to atone that? I believe with my every fiber that God wants and intends me to help create a family through surrogacy. I've been so certain of this for years now. Years. Not months. Not 12 months. Years. And if a 20 minute multiple question computer application determines I am a liar, I am out. 

I've been praying over this test since I realized I would have to submit to it. I have to have faith that if this is indeed God's will, a simple computer test will not detour the maker of the universe. I've been trying to remember Grandma telling me, "If God is for you, who can be against you?" And my grandpa telling me, "Fear and Faith can not coexist, Mandy. One will banish the other. Which do you have?" 

For now it appears that answer is clear. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Moving Right Along...

What I am learning about this surrogacy thing is that it is a big ole game of  HURRY UP ... and wait... and then a whole bunch of stuff happens all at once.

I received a couple more emails yesterday. One confirming that the days we want to go to CA  are OK and to keep my eyes peeled for confirmations of flights, hotels and my rental car. Apparently usually you get a driver for this visit, but because Chris and I want to take a couple extra hours in LA to see Yoshi, we are getting a rental car instead. I'm not sure I want the responsibility of driving in LA, But I do appreciate the freedom it will give us.

20 weeks pregnant with Adelia.
In Roatan.
Next Email was from New Life agency letting me know that my application was sent to underwriting. I don't really know what this means, but I'm told it's a good deal. I'm pretty sure this also means that my own insurance agency has a surrogacy exclusion cause. That has NO impact on me, but it does mean my IPS will have to spend a bit more money than if I had been able to use my own insurance policy. Sorry, guys.

Super exciting to know that I could be reviewing profiles within the next 6-8 weeks. But, I do want to wait till May 7 or so to do my first transfer. I'm taking an Alaskan cruise and while it won't be party central with two kids and my aunt and uncle... I so enjoy the banana daiquiris and wine at dinner. That said.... sigh.... this is a far bigger and better cause. So if it works out that way, it works out that way. I've been pregnant on a cruise before. But if I am too far along I'd also have to skip my Glacier climb, and that WOULD stink....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Plan, God Laughs

But what happens when GOD does the planning? 
Am I supposed to laugh? I did smile...


One of the few stress issues with the initial stages of this surrogacy are the trips in which I have to go to California for appointments, and what to do with the kids.

Well, God did some planning for my initial California excursion.

Looks like I'll have my psych screening and medical evaluation while my babies are on holiday with grandma and grandpa in Ohio. Well played, big guy :)

So I've got about a month, give or take, until that process. 

Things to pray for... 

  1. That my uterus checks out OK. Given the previous indications of a severe tilt, I am asking for prayers that the fertility docs will deem it upright enough to make me a viable surrogate. 
  2. That I pass the psych test. LOL. I am seriously really anxious over it. I have failed one of these before when I took it for a job working at CATO clothing. It asked me in about 100 ways if I do drugs (never) if I steal (never) and if I call off work (not ever, unless sick). But I failed it. I was honest. And I failed. I'm more scared of failing a similar type test again when it matters so much than I am of any other element of this surrogacy. So please pray that the test is fair and yields a positive response. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Just In....

"Hello Mandy!

Just wanted to let you know that I got your medical records. J  Sending them to New Life now and hopefully you will be sent to their underwriters soon!  Then onto screening! J  I’m still waiting on your background check too.  But once we have both, then I can book your travel arrangements. 

So if you want to start looking at dates that would work for you in the next 2-3 weeks, that would be great!"


As if my March wasn't looking busy enough....
Sunny California, I may just be seeing you twice in one Month....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Miscarriage

When Adelia was about 7 weeks along or so, they told me she was something called a blighted ovum, and that I would miscarry. Many of you know this story.

I was due to fly to Florida that day (a Thursday) for a job interview. They told me to go, and come back to the office for another blood draw on Tuesday of the following week. At that visit they planned to confirm the receding hormone levels and schedule the needed procedures.

I prayed. I cried. I refused to believe it. 

On Tuesday my hormone levels had more than tripled, in fact they went up by about 100x. It was a God thing.

I've been reading other blogs from surrogates lately. I am not vain enough to think I was being original in my blog, but I am surprised by just HOW MANY other surrogates do blog. One blog I follow experienced a loss last week. On Valentines Day of all days... This is someone I hardly know a thing about. And it's breaking my heart.

I'm sure loss isn't uncommon when you're messing with fertility in such a scientific and synthetic way. With the exception of those 6 days with Adelia, I've never feared or given much thought to loss. I guess I will have to now. I didn't expect that.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Valentine I Ever Received

Happy Birthday to the best little three year old I know!!!
3 years? I can't believe it's been 3 years! 

On every birthday I love to remember the birth story. I hope it becomes a tradition when the girls are older to tell them how they were born (with age appropriate details, of course.) I am such a major fan of pregnancy and, yes, even labor and delivery. :)

This year I thought I'd blog Adelia's birth story so that my IPs could be a part of it too. Hold on guys, you're in for this experience yourself... in some form... soon enough!

Let's Go!

We headed into the hospital for the first time about 6 a.m. or so on Feb 13. My contractions were fairly regular and I was ready to go. The first sign that it wasn't really time to go should have been when we were driving to the hospital and I said to Chris, "I hear they'll only give me clear liquids at the hospital. I don't wanna get hungry, so lets stop at Big Boy for breakfast."  ...Sigh... Yes, I did that.

Once we got to the hospital and I strolled into labor and delivery like, "What's Up?" They put me in triage and monitored my contractions. After a whole night of regularity, they out and out stopped. The nurse encouraged me to walk around the hospital to see if they'd start again. So I did. I walked around the -whole- hospital. Looking back on this I laugh. I thought I was in labor. HA!

They decided to discharge me. Shocker, I know. They did give me an Ambien though, and said if it were real labor that I'd sleep through the easy stuff and have plenty of energy for the rough stuff. In hindsight, this was the smartest thing ever. I LOVE sleeping early labor away. :)

Went home. Took Ambien. Slept. 


About 4 p.m. I woke up drogy. I said to Chris, "Well, the contractions aren't gone... but They're manageable " However, I knew my sleep schedule was way off and that I'd need some tylenol PM to sleep through the night. In hindsight... this was stupid.

The contractions didn't stop. They got worse. Much, much worse. And my body was trying to sleep due to the tylenol PM. It was rough.

About 3 a.m. Valentines morning Chris said, "I can't listen to you like this, anymore!" We packed up and headed for the hospital.

In a blizzard. Our car was stuck. And I couldn't help dig it out. 


We called best friend Dave Cherolis to come help. But after about .. oh, 20 or so phone calls we gave up. Here we are, a woman in labor and her husband working overtime to get the car dislodged.

Once the car was free we went back to the hospital. No stopping for food this time. And I needed a wheelchair to get up to L&D.

Despite all this, I was still just 1 cm dialated. They said again, this isn't labor honey. But we'll put you in a room and leave you there, maybe things will progress.

So that's exactly what they did. Put me in a room and ignored me.
For hours. Because one more check without progress and they'd have to discharge me again. 


Dave and Mary came to visit. Dave thought it was funny. I muttered to him, "There is nothing funny here, David." and, "I'm never having sex again. It's too risky." ..ah, lines I'll never live down. Mary held up an outfit she brought as a gift for the soon to be baby. I was like, "Yeah, uh huh, thats great. Thanks." The look of dissapointment and hurt on Mary's face... HA! She understood better a few months later when she was having Luci.

Dave tells me when they left Mary said to him, "If that's only one cm, I am in no way attempting a natural birth." 

Here's where things get good.


Moments after they left I went to the restroom. Going potty was so so painful. I hated doing it. I remember sitting on the toilet and feeling like I had to poop. The thought of pushing and the pain made me so mad...
I punched a tile wall. 
Hard.
I'm lucky I didn't break my hand. 
And I screamed in frustration. Chris came running in to see what was wrong. I said to him, "My body wants to poop. Right now. Seriously?" Mix in a whole bunch of curse words...

We got me back to the bed and he insisted on calling a nurse. They came in and wanted to check me. Probably so they could send the violent, wall punching pregnant lady home. Instead, they found a 9 cm woman ready to push. 

Things went very quickly after that. I signed some forms, got some IVs, had my water broken and even started pushing. It felt so, so good to get that relief.

The doc came in and felt the head, and decided I needed to wait 4 MORE HOURS before delivering. He wanted me to lay on my side for 4 hours to get the baby to roll to a more favorable position for delivery.

Having made it this far naturally... I wanted to complete a natural birth. But the idea of ignoring that urge to push for four hours was just unfathomable. I opted for an epi-light... It would give me a break and be mostly worn off in time for delivery so I'd still have the experience of an all natural birh- with a break in the middle.

So that's what we did. Four hours later I started pushing. It lasted two hours. At one point they suggested a C-Section... my response was violent. I did not just labor to and push through a natural birth to take that option to, "have it over with quickly" as the doctor put it.


24 stitches and some forceps later- Little Miss Adelia Paige was here. 

There was some concern over merconium in the fluids and the fact Adelia was born silently- no crying, but reactive and alert. But that all passed and there was no incident.

And a journey began. :) 



Monday, February 11, 2013

What's in a number anyway?



The weight roller coaster continues. And believe it or not, this is actually pretty relevant to my surrogacy journey. But I am curious, when is enough, enough?

I'm down 15 pounds now, which is awesome because:

  • I'm back in my skinny pants- stored in the shed since May of 2011. 
  • I weigh less than I did at my wedding. 


And in another 5-7 pounds...

  • I'll be smaller than my husband has ever seen me. 


But, I am still not satisfied. 

I started to loose weight for a handful of primary reasons.

  1. I have been told it is more difficult to match a heavier surrogate than a fit one. 
  2. If I carry twins, I'll really pack on the pounds this time (as opposed to 32 lbs with D and 28 lbs with Em)
  3. I wanted to look hot one more time before getting pregnant...again... (Yeah, I'm vain. But at least I can admit it.)


So here I am, down 15 pounds and I can liken the stretch marks that ripple across my belly courtesy of the blondsters (I'll save you the photo image) to an accordion. It's actually kind of cool looking.
So, even with all of those positive things to say about my weight loss, I still surge forward with the goal of losing another 10-20 pounds.

This is because a long time ago I put this arbitrary number in my head. And I need to loose the 15 pounds to hit it. And if I can squeak out to 20 more pounds I'll hit my ideal BMI.... and yes, I know BMI is a bunch of garbage. But if I like what I see, and my clothes fit nicely, why do I still feel so motivated to see a lower number on the LCD readout?

My caseworker at Growing Generations tells me I'm a fine size. And she tells me a little extra padding on the gut and butt can actually help ease the discomfort of the injections. I wonder if that's true, or if she's just trying to bolster my self esteem a little bit.


I would like it if other surros reading this could share their opinions though....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

HIV Surrogacy Answer

Is it possible for an HIV positive person to have a baby? Through surrogacy it is. But will my surrogacy be HIV positive or negative?

I received a few LOT of personal messages regarding our choice in this matter. Please know that I heard them all, but as I always do, made my own decision for what's right for my life. 

I just issued my formal response to Growing Generations on their request to join the HART program. Word for word, here is my decision: 

As for Hart... and I've given this so very much thought, prayer and
consideration...
While we are not opposed to being a part of the program, I just don't
think this is the right time. I would be OK if my match wound up being
an HIV positive couple, but I would rather start my match process in
the standard pool as opposed to the Hart pool. As that is the opposite
of how the program works, we've decided to opt out of the HART
process. That said, if I am unable to match in the standard pool of
Intended Parents, I am open to revisiting the HART program. I am
hopeful to do more surrogacy journeys in the future, and perhaps once 
I've traveled the road once I will be more open to this idea

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Done, and DONE

That's all she wrote, folks. The paperwork leg of this journey is done. We just signed the last document and Chris is faxing it right now.

I received SO much positive feedback on the photo I posted earlier that I did use it in my profile. Additionally, I used these others as well.
Here's hoping they're a hit.

What's A Picture REALLY Worth?

I heard from Growing Generations today. They need my profile pictures for my surrogate profile.

Insert heavy sigh here. 


What is it with women and pictures anyway?

One of my first interactions with Growing Generations (well over a year ago now) resulted in my asking if a surrogate ever failed to be matched. I was told yes, one. She was heavy and IPs didn't like her looks. This is adding to my stress over choosing a portrait for my portfolio big time. Then I'm told this is the FIRST thing the IPs will see of me. Not my well crafted letter to them. But this one image. And what if they don't like it?

Most of you know I've been dieting. I've lost about 15 pounds, and I'm halfway to my 30 pound goal. I think I look pretty darn good right now, and in 5 pounds I'll be smaller than my husband has ever known me. Smaller than my wedding day. And so 10 pounds after that I'll be a supermodel.

Insert BMI test. I need to lose 25 more pounds just to be in the "healthy" range. Let me tell you, me minus 25 more pounds is not what I would consider healthy. I think I'd look fragile and like I need a sammich. I'm athletic, and I don't think I have another 25 pounds of fat TO lose, even if I wanted to. I have no intention of losing another 25 pounds. So I sure hope the IPs are not waiting on an "ideal" BMI Mandy. I'll never match.

I snapped a few shots this morning, and I must admit, I see the difference in my 15 pound weight loss already.



 For Facebook, I think these shots are pretty great. But for a first impression shot to my IPs? I'm just not satisfied.

Leads me to wonder, will I ever be satisfied? Should I just snag one and go with it? Should I hire a pro to snap a headshot? (I think that stinks of trying to hard, and I won't do it.... but the fact that I'm even considering it...)

UGH!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

From Russia, With Love

Know what I think is amazing? 


YOU. 

Seriously. I know that a large portion of those reading this blog are people who know Chris and I personally. But that's not all of you. Not by a long shot.

I must admit that I am a little bit fanatic about checking my stats. Seeing what posts are being read, when and by whom. The coolest thing to me by far is watching my international readership soar.

So what foreign country loves my story the most? The title might be a tip off. Here's a look at this week's foreign hits:
Russia
20
Canada
13
Germany
12
South Korea
5
Malaysia
3
Sweden
3
United Kingdom
2
India
2
Norway
2

I also get visits from Latvia fairly often, but not this week. If you are one of my foreign readers, please hit follow or leave a message. I'd love to see more than a number in my stats section!

I'm not sure how people are finding my story, but I'm glad it is reaching people all over the globe. It drives home to me the fact that what I am doing matters. That what I am doing has an impact. Perhaps globally.

And that is amazing.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A surprise came in the mail

I havent heard from growing generations in a hot minute,  but i got this cute little welcome gift today.  A personalized keychain reading "growing generations"  on one disk and "surrogates deliver families"  on the other.  My name is pressed on the back.  How sweet.