Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Farts On A Plane

To quote Samuel L. Jackson... 

Ok, so there are no snakes on this plane... but there are farts. Like, a LOT of farts. And most, OK all, of them are coming from seat 8A.

Afraid of passing gas in the cramped quarters of a plane? A new research study suggest the real damage comes from keeping it in.
Me about now...

This isn't incredibly and totally unexpected. Studies have proven that your gaseous actions can as much as double while on a plane. It's part of your body's way of regulating internal pressure changes. No lie.

And, well, I'm pregnant.

And in fact, recent studies have shown that it's not only normal, but HEALTHY to let 'em rip at 30,000 feet. Here's an article published in the New York Daily news giving me legitimate permission to fumigate this aircraft.

So to the lady next to me who bathed in Christian Dior's J'Adore before today's flight,
#1- Thanks for reminding me I love this scent.
#2- Thanks for the convenient exhaust cover-up.
#3- Sorry.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Huffington Post

I just read an OP/ED short on The Huffington Post website. It really got me thinking. Here's a link to the story.

It praised surrogates and narrated the story of when the author found out a distant friend was preparing to be a G.S. She made a Facebook announcement, and the comments field went crazy. The author was stricken by one comment in particular that highlighted the compensation portion of this journey. The author said this must be the single most offensive thing you can ever say to a surrogate.

Once upon a time I believed the same thing. Here's a blog I wrote about it.

But now, several months later and nearing the end of my first trimester, my opinion has changed.

I feel like most people who assume we're in this for the money aren't being hateful. They're just uninformed. First of all they think we're getting 10 times the amount that we are. They also all assume we're working with A List celebrities. I have found that these people are open minded and willing to learn the error of their ways. Therefore, I'm no longer offended by compensation accusations.

What really offends me now, are the people who assume surrogacy and myself (as a surrogate) are going against religion. That the only people who would make good (biological) parents are those who are able to conceive and carry naturally. Perhaps that's because I've crossed paths with so many people in this journey who will make AMAZING parents. They are gay couples, straight couples, single parents, survivors of disease and leaders in their fields and communities. They'll make great parents.

All you really need to be a great parent is a heart willing to love. 

I'm not even angry with people who just don't believe in surrogacy, to each their own. It's the people who so vocally attack surrogates, intended parents and even the children born of surrogacy. I've not encountered these people in my own dealings just yet, but I know surrogates who have.

So in closing, I say thank you to my support network. Thank you to those who may support me, but not my decision, and thank you to the surrogates who do endure hate at the cost of their love.

And the worst thing you can say to a surrogate? That the people she believes in, the family she's sacrificing her body to help create, isn't worth its salt.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

First OB

It's so odd to choose an OBGYN based on the OB part, not the GYN part. I daresay I'm not the only woman out there who is with her OBGYN because it's the doc mom used, or the doc closest to their first apartment or some combination of the two. In 2005 I needed an annual pap smear, and went to the office across the street. 5 years later they delivered Adelia, 2 years after that; Emrys.

But now I've moved cross country and need a new provider. As a 30 year old mother of two, there are things more important to me than proximity to home. There are deal killers for me now too. For example...

  • I would NEVER work with a care provider who doesn't allow a woman carrying multiples to attempt a vaginal delivery, for the sole reason of "you're carrying multiples." As a surrogate, there was a high chance I' carry multiples. So when searching for a care provider this was one of the first questions I asked. 

  • It was very important to me to find a doctor with a voice and an opinion on c-section delivery. It was important that her opinion mirrored my own. With Adelia, after pushing for nearly two hours, the doc suggested, "Why don't we just do a C-section and finish this up, dear?" I was so PISSED off... it wasn't even an option for me, especially when the reason was seemingly that the doctor was bored with my slow progress, and I told him as much. Adelia was born 20 minutes later. I'm anti C-Section in ANY situation where it is not absolutely essential to life preservation of mother, baby or both. This isn't a blanket statement for all mothers,but for me- it's absolute. I needed a doctor (and IPS, by the way) who would respect this. 

  • I also feel strongly about finding a doctor who believed in a woman's ability to deliver naturally. I have experienced both medicated and natural labor/delivery, and see merit to both. I'm nearly 11 weeks pregnant and don't know which route I'll take this time around. But I wanted a doctor with a natural approach. Someone who liked to see moms go natural so that if I do go that route, she won't mistake 8cm Mandy for someone who needs drugs for survival... mine or hers.

  • Finally, I wanted a nursing advocate. While this baby may nurse, or may get pumped milk from a bottle (I'm open to either, up to the dads) to start, it will be formula fed after he leaves for Australia. Much as I hate it, it's just logistically impossible for me to nurse an extended period of time. Despite this, I am a major nursing advocate, and I want a provider who is to. I'd want someone who believes strongly as I do that breast is best. 

I feel very excited with the provider I chose. She made me excited for the next phase of this process. She's already going out of her way to accommodate me as a surrogate and the parents. We made a point to schedule a time for her to meet the parents when they're here in December. I just know that will give them both great peace. I feel so, so good about adding her to our team. Our surrogacy team. The close knit family of people who are making this baby happen.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Call I Never Thought I'd Get

Two weeks ago my nurse told me that I'd likely be released from injections today.

I heard her. I made it my truth. I told everyone who'd listen. But deep down, I didn't think it would happen.

I even got corporate clearance to bring a banned heating pad on next week's cruise to help with the injections. Deep down I thought they'd call me tonight and tell me, just a few more weeks Mandy. You can do it.

And yes, I suppose I could have. I suppose the needle would still go in, and it wouldn't kill me. Although, according to Chris, my knots were getting so tough the needle was having a hard time breaking the skin.

So tonight when the nurse call came, it was a mix of feelings when she said the news, "stop all injections immediately." It was a rush of emotions. Disbelief, joy, confusion, excitement.

So how did I handle the news?

I honestly cried. Tears. 

And even now I sit here feeling like I'm breaking the rules by not icing, injecting and heating.

My back is still incredibly sore. But I'm no longer perferating my back muscles. The healing can begin. The hurting is going to stop.

Was the pain worth it? DUH. Has the pain detoured me from the knowledge that I want a second journey, God willing? Nope. Even so, I'm so, so glad it's over.

Oh, and we also got to take a peek at the lil Joey today. Here's a glimpse! Measuring right on track and hb 176 bpm.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The truth about surrogacy hormones

Overheard on 137th this morning:

Chris: I can't wait until they stop pumping you full of hormones into every orifice you have. Hell, you don't even have enough. They're making new ones.

Me: Oh, don't be silly. They're not putting anything into my ears, nose or bottom.

Chris: I wouldn't put it past them.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slimming Down

I'm pregnant and losing weight. And it's great. 

I packed on ten pounds the 4 weeks leading up to the transfer. 10 freaking pounds people! In like a month! I was getting so scared of what I'd look like by 40 weeks pregnant. Hell, I was worried about what I'd look like at 12 weeks pregnant at that rate.

But, since transfer I've lost 8 of those ten. From what I'm told, most surrogates start their weight gain count at med start, because it doesn't usually come back down. So, I am one of the lucky ones.

This means I'm closing on 10 weeks pregnant and up 2 pounds. I'll take it.

Considering my appetite and inability to finish so much as a salad these days (I'm just NOT hungry) I think I'll wind up losing those last two pounds before I gain anymore. Again, I'll take it. M&T- This is GREAT news. I didn't gain a pound till week 14 with Emmy, despite being obviously pregnant. So nothing to worry about now.

Which brings on the next question.
 "Are you showing?" 

Well, I say no. But it could be any day, really. I didnt show until 19 weeks with Adelia. It was torture. With Emmy I was clearly showing at 14 weeks... which means if I follow the same schedule, I should pop on out any day. I love that part. When we stop playing, "Is she pregnant or just fat?"

I've shared a pic from last Sunday, 9w4d. I had just eaten a decent (for the moment) sized lunch, and no one was expecting to see the baby bump that we caught on camera. It was a shock. And by the time we lost welcomed this week's challenge, I was back to a flat front. So who knows. But for now, I'll keep the maintained (or slowly dropping) weight and slowly developing bump.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Alllllllllllllllll ABOARD

I leave in a little over two weeks for vacation. 
So what does this have to do with surrogacy?

Well, a lot it turns out. 

You see, I set sail on 10-23. And right now the plan is for me to STOP these darn PIO injections on 10-18. Of course, this could all change. But, I should be needle free by vacay. Which is sooooooooooooo nice. If I can't have fruity cocktail drinks, at least I don't have to take a second suitcase full of needles and oils and ice packs and .... drumroll please..... heating pads.

Because that's where the real issue is here. A heating pad.

There is some chance that my RE will extend my PIO time until after my cruise since I'll be out of contact with a monitoring clinic so soon after my injections stop. And heating pads onboard are against Carnival policy. Crap.

So, I've logged an inquiry with Carnival, in writing, requesting permission to bring my heating pad aboard along with doctor's orders deeming it necessary medical equipment.

I'm sure Kolb would write the note. But it'd be easier if he'd just axe the injections. Fingers crossed!

11 needles to go.

Friday, October 4, 2013

One Handsome Little Fella

Or perhaps little lady. Who knows.

Heart rate was 164 bpm today. Certainly following the girl line, as opposed to the boy line of our first scan. I still think boy though. I had a cup of coffee on my way to the scan. Maybe it had an impact.

The scan didn't really tell us much more than that today. But it was fun to have a scan done on such high tech equipment. We got an incredible side profile of the little Joey. I wanted to share it.

So what's next? Waiting on a phone call to see how great my numbers were yesterday. I'm expecting the word that I can start to wean from my meds this week or next. That would mean I'll be off of them by vacation (19 days... but whose counting?) And that would be AH-MAING.