Saturday, July 30, 2016

Slaves to a Coffee Cup

When I was in elementary school, I learned this song. It's called coffee cannon, and it was my first ever vocal audition. I killed it, by the way. 

For those of you who won't watch the clip (you really should because it's awesome and funny) the lyrics go as follows:

"Coffee is not for me. It's a drink some people wake up with. That it makes them nervous is no myth. Slaves to a coffee cup, they can't give coffee up." 

The tune and words have stayed with me over the years as I've morphed into a slave to the coffee cup myself. I've developed a solid cup to two cups a day habit. On especially hairy days I've been known to polish off a whole pot. Blame it on the years of graveyard shifts.

I do have doctor's and intended parents' permission to continue to self caffeinate (so no hate mail, please) but I do try to temper my habit when expecting.  But it seems I've been asking the wrong people for permission in this pregnancy. Because apparently the cubs are 100% anti coffee. 

I've been increasingly sick the last two weeks or so. I've now puked three times... a number that comes close to matching the amount of vomiting I did in my prior pregnancies... combined. Every time coffee has been a factor. I've either just had it or smelled it. I've learned my lesson. Avoid coffee at all costs. 

This lesson has developed into a full fledged case of Tourrette's Syndrome. 
Allow me to explain. 

There I was just enjoying a delicious warm, cinnamon rich bread pudding topped with sweet caramel goodness. It was a perfect sweet that cried out for a bitter balance to complete the palate. So, at a table inside a well packed restaurant, I said, 

"This is delicious. I think I'll get a cup of coffeeNNOOOO!" 

Every head within 5 tables snapped to the crazy woman at table 6. My husband jumped. 

And this wasn't the last time this would happen in the next 24 hours. 

Just 12 hours later I awoke at a beautiful Equine farm bed and breakfast; my birthday gift. I walked out of our tack house accommodation to the front porch where I was greeted with a brisk breeze and the sweet aroma of morning dew. Out loud I said, 

"All I need to make this perfect is a cup of coffNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO"

I may or may not have startled a nearby rabbit. 

Sigh. Guess I'll go make myself a nice, warm cup of no, thank you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Many Times Are You Going to do This?

I took the girls to their annual pediatrician check up last week.  During the delightful visit I shared that I was pregnant with twins in a second surrogacy journey. His reaction was along the lines of:

That's so wonderful!
What a great gift you're giving! 

and... of course...

How many times are you going to do this? 

It is not an uncommon question for surrogates who choose to do more than one journey. While most people will still cheer you on, it sometimes feels as though the assumption of your motives goes from truly altruistic... to somewhat greedy. I've heard tale of multiple time surrogates being on the receiving end of comments such as, "Wow. Do you really need the money?" and "Got yourself a nice little side job there, don't ya?"

For me, the motives to do this again are pretty much the same as they were the first time. I still love being pregnant. I still don't mind the labor and delivery process. I still have a perfect record of complication free pregnancies and deliveries.

The only difference is, this time, I have the gift of hindsight. It's not scary this time. I know I can do this. I know how it feels to give the child back after birth. And, most importantly, I know just how INCREDIBLE and life affirming surrogacy is for everyone involved. It's safe to say it's a high, and I'm kind of hooked.

So, how many times am I going to do this? 

I've always felt like, if possible, I'd like to know at the start of a pregnancy if I intend for it to be my last. Emotionally, I'd like to say goodbye to each phase as they go. I've always known, deep in my bones, I'd be at least a two time surrogate.

When Chris and I started the road to our second experience, we started with the thought of, "What if M & T want a sibling?" Would that be our last experience, or would we still feel pulled to help another family, too?

We decided that we'd want to help a second family. That meant that, had M&T wanted a sibling, we'd have had to have our hearts open to a total of 3 surrogate experiences. That seemed doable. Realistic. Noble. 4 just seemed like too many. For us, anyway.

As it turned out, M&T felt their family was full enough with just Ellie. But, by this point, the idea of three journeys was ingrained my heart and head. So, if all things go to plan, we are hoping for 3 surrogate experiences. I have a little "surrogacy bucket list" with just one or two more things I'd like to accomplish before I retire.

That said, carrying twins, in my 30s, might be cause for me to say enough is enough. I reserve the right to say I'm done after this journey. Also, as a surrogate I look up to and respect very much often says, "When it comes to surrogacy... you're retired...unnnnnnnnntil you're not." So while I say the idea of a 4th is something we're in no way interested in- never say never, I suppose.

The summary here is that the choice to become a repeat surrogate is as incredibly personal and unique to each woman as the initial choice to become a surrogate. Just as you "know" when you are done building your biological family, surrogates have an instinct to  "know" we're done building our surrogate families. Some women know they're a, "one hit wonder." Others know they'll do this until someone tells them they can't.

For me, my uterus isn't ready to retire just yet.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Difference with Twins: Part 1

Can you believe we're 2/3rds of the way through the first trimester already? I must have slept through that fact. Just 4 weeks to go!

Lots of people have already started asking me if I notice a big difference in my singleton pregnancies and the twins. The answer is yes and no. It's pretty much the same experiences, but everything is just kind of "turned up."

Or, in the case of heartburn, "turned on" for the first time. Most days the heartburn doesn't bug me anymore. I've been told that this is not likely because it's stopped being a problem. More likely that I've just gained a tolerance to it. I will say though, on the days that the heartburn is bad, it's B-A-D.

Chris says I'm not any more tired that I was with my previous three pregnancies. I'd argue it with him, but I'm just too tired.

The biggest "difference" I've noticed thus far is in my waistline. For comparison sake, here's a photo of me at 8 weeks with the twins (left) and...  13 weeks with E(right).

See what I mean? I'll be fair. I'm fatter at conception this time than I was with E. But, at 8 weeks, I'm already feeling uncomfortable in my jeans. It's time for more yoga pants... and maternity band pants aren't far off. I have real self esteem issues with that. But, 4th pregnancy. 2 babies. Cest la vie. 

OK, Time for another nap.