Friday, July 27, 2007

1 Week Post Partum Today! :)

Wow!! It's been a week today since Miss Fiona arrived!! I can't believe it, it's gone by really quickly! I am doing great, adjusting to my new schedule and being a full time stay at home mom again; boy that is weird - in a good way!

Kent and I are enjoying spending time together, I'm getting caught up on my TV shows and movies, pumping a ton, resting quite a bit, and catching up on household chores, running errands, and getting Kent to soccer and swim practices! WOW!!

My wonderful IPs sent me an e-mail the other day to let me know they were home, Fiona's first pediatrician appointment went well and she was given a clean bill of health, her grandparents adore her, and the furry family members are adjusting! They sent some very cute pictures of her as well, she's getting some pudge on her already!! So cute!

I have lost about 15lbs so far, and have quite a bit to go, I've noticed my appetite is really decreased, which is good - I just need to start excercising regularly as well. I think pumping is helping too - and because of the pumping I'm drinking a ton more water than normal which is also helpful and good for me.

Anyhow, not too much to report, just wanted to post a quick update on how I'm doing!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

She's HERE!!

I posted a long entry on SMO, and I am cheating by copying and pasting the majority of that here to give you all the details of the birth!!

Fast forward to my OB appointment on Thursday, July 19th 2007. I had been experiencing pre-labor signs and symptoms for about a week, wimpy irregular contractions, nesting, back aches... At my 38 week appointment I was dilated to a 2 and still not effaced, so I was anxious to see what our 39 week appointment would reveal. The midwife checked me and said I was at a 3.5 and about 50% effaced! Yay for progress! She went ahead and swept my membranes during the exam since everything was looking good.

My IPs had been in town since early Tuesday morning and we were all wondering about scheduling an induction in the next couple days; but the Hospital will not allow it without being medically neccessary until 41 weeks! We were told if I showed up on a slow day with contractions, being dilated to a 3.5 they would probably admit me and get things going though, so we left planning to go to L&D the next day.

IPs and I went for a nice early dinner at an Italian restaurant and I enjoyed my spaghetti and meatballs, wondering if labor would start soon after the membrane sweeping, and knowing we'd probably be going to the hospital tomorrow one way or another! I was not, however, expecting to be woken up around 11:00pm with some fairly painful contractions... I dozed between them at first, they were about 15 minutes apart, rapidly shortening to 8, then 5-6 minutes... by 12:30 they were solid at 3 minutes apart and I started thinking this wasn't a false alarm and I needed to call my IPs. They came and picked me up at about 1:00am, and we were off to the hospital. My son got towed along as I didn't feel comfortable calling family in the middle of the night, and I kept worrying that this was a false alarm - plus his labor was 26 hours, so I thought someone could come get him in the morning before I actually delivered... HA!

We got checked in by about 1:30am, I was dilated to a 5 by then and the contractions were pretty painful, but not lasting too terribly long yet. I told the nurse I didn't want an epidural, but signed all the paperwork JUST IN CASE!! By the time they moved me to the laboring room, I pretty much went into work mode, shut everything else out, curled into the fetal position on the bed and just labored. I soon asked for some IV meds, as I was having a hard time resting between contractions - I'm not sure what I got but it really helped me make the most of the time between contractions and I was able to just shut everything out and relax. My mouth got really dry, but I was so focused on working through the contractions and then totally relaxing between that I probably only had about 3 or 4 sips of water... my IPs watched anxiously, and my son was hanging out in the chair next to me playing his GameBoy pretty much oblivious to what was going on. He'd come over and ask if I was ok when I would moan occassionally.

It was an intense labor, I experienced so many feelings and emotions throughout the contractions. I questioned my ability to do it SO many times, but I had a FANTASTIC supportive nurse who kept telling me how great I was breathing through the contractions, and that I could do it. She really helped me stop second guessing myself and just DO it! I didn't loose it until the VERY end, I'm guessing about that last half hour. They hadn't checked me in awhile... I was still a 5 the first time she checked me, and I think the next time she checked me I was complete and I heard her on the phone trying to find the OB. I NEEDED to push by then, it was really intense, it hurt to NOT push and I wanted to push dang it! She kept telling me NOT to push, just to breathe through it and I remember saying "I CAN'T"!! I remember hearing her say something to another nurse about this must be it, because I was so out of it and prior to that point had really great control between contractions.

I pushed anyway, even though they said not to - I didn't care if she caught the baby or the OB did!!! I felt this INCREDIBLE sensation of something passing, and said I think my water broke or her sac came out... It was her sac, completely in tact - a lot of it apparently because at that point they really got frantic about finding the OB!!! They were still hollering at me not to push, and I wasn't listening, I think right then is when Dr. Lee came in and got into position and very thoughtfully said I could push when I was ready. Well, just then I got about a 60 second or so break from the contractions so I just rested for a minute, and then when the next one hit I pushed and I felt her head slide right on out still in her sac!!! They were yelling to stop again!! I could've pushed her the rest of the way out then, but I made myself slow down... I could see that the OB had scissors in his hands and remember looking at him and very sternly saying "Don't cut me." He said it was for the umbilical cord and then the next contraction hit, I pushed again and felt her body slip out... wow... what a beautiful sensation... I remember right then and there looking up at my IPs who were standing next to me, watching their daughter enter the world, and take her first breath, wanting to memorize the look in their eyes, as their faces lit...

The OB was all smiles as he brought Fiona to my stomach, she was gray and slimy and gorgeous!!! He flipped her onto her back and let Dad proudly cut the cord!! Then they moved her off to be cleaned up and weighed under the warmers... She was born at 5:54 am on 7/20/07, 39w2d, weighing in at 6lbs 12oz and measuring 19" long.

I told my son to grab my camera and I started snapping pictures of my IPs watching their daughter, and the little princess in her first minutes of life as the OB delivered my placenta just 6 minutes after Fiona's grand entrance.

I felt SO amazing!! I was filled with this huge happiness, I just can't tell you how wonderful I felt watching them all together, listening to her cries... I am all smiles now as I sit here typing the words reliving the moment... She was really finally HERE!! They finally could see and touch their baby girl!!!

I felt really great immediately, was ready to get up and move around, was STARVING for breakfast and very happy that I was able to get something to eat within about 3 hours of delivery. Fiona very kindly didn't even interrupt a single meal! I think part of feeling great is that I didn't have pain meds so I wasn't loopy after (which I had been with my son's delivery), and I also didn't have an episiotomy and no tearing, so no stitches!

I think around lunch time or shortly after I had showered and put my own clothes on, and had made most of my phonecalls and was just enjoying watching my IPs and their baby girl. We roomed together, and by evening my IF left to try to get some sleep at the hotel while IM spent the night there at the hospital caring for her daughter. How precious it was to be able to witness so many beautiful firsts between mother and daughter - picking Fiona up, holding her, feeding her, burping her, changing her, putting her first outfit on... it just touched my heart to be able to see those moments in person, to witness first hand what I have been dreaming for them for so many months, since I first began my surrogacy journey... seeing how nervous they were with her, and remembering those same feelings when I looked down on my son for the first time! I felt so proud, I FEEL so proud, and just SO happy for them!!

I can't say enough about the hospital staff as well - they were all fantastic. Maybe 1 or 2 people we interracted with weren't aware of the surrogacy, but most everyone was informed and really considerate and kind and happy for everyone!

Every single thing about the delivery experience exceeded my hopes and expectations. I was discharged around 10:30 am today - Saturday, and am home and enjoying a quiet afternoon with my son and my puppies and am thankful for this time to reflect on the journey, thankful to SMO for allowing me to share my journey with so many who have come before and are in the midst of their own journeys... what a fantastic community. This experience wouldn't be the same without all of you here; I feel a part of something so much bigger than myself, and connected to you all through it.

Congratulations to my wonderful IPs, Happy Birthday beautiful little Fiona Margaret... and thank you surrogacy... for touching my heart, and my life in such a unique and profound way. I will forever be grateful for this adventure.

Me and Kent in the hospital bed!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

39 weeks today! :)

WOW! I made it to 39 weeks!! This little girl is going to be bigger than I thought she was, I bet!

T&I took Kent and myself to dinner at Texas Roadhouse on Monday night and I had the yummiest chicken fried chicken with gravy; oh so bad for me but SO good!! It was great to see them after all these months and spend some time catching up.

We decided to try Mexican last night and I ordered something HOT on the menu - I think I ate about 3 or 4 jalepenos total... WOW!! However, that didn't do it either!! Miss M is too comfy cozy in her little cocoon. Tonight I'm going to suggest Italian and order the eggplant parmesan... they're old wives tales, but I figure it can't hurt! :)

We talked about discussing an induction on the 23rd if Miss M is still hanging out by then - that's next Monday so its really not THAT far away!! I have an OB appointment tomorrow and will ask the midwife if she will strip my membranes while I'm there, and find out what we need to do to get an induction scheduled just in case. I'm really hoping my body does it all by itself - the human body is just incredible, and I am looking forward to having labor start on its own - knowing that is the baby's way of saying "Ok, NOW I'm ready to come out"! Plus, I am very curious to see what kind of labor I will have, when I will know its the real thing... all of that!

I'm having a few contractions today, not much this morning but they (and the back pain) is picking up this afternoon. My stomach feels even more tight today - I feel like she's really filling up all the space in there!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

38w5d - It's Monday!!

Ahhh!! It's Monday!! Still no Miss Munchkin, she's hanging in there!! I've had contractions off and on all day, and this afternoon I feel like she's about to fall out - she's low and putting a lot of pressure on my cervix which feels sore.

My IPs are HERE!! I am so excited! We're meeting tonight for dinner in town - they're staying at a hotel that's really close by the house which is GREAT! I can't believe I haven't seen them since NOVEMBER, and now they're here to meet their baby girl and take her home! WOW!!!

I really hope we don't make it to Thursday's OB appointment, but if I do I am going to ask the midwife to strip my membranes... I am so ready to deliver this baby girl, all the symptoms and uncertainty of when are driving me a little crazy! :) Mostly I'm just excited and so ready! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

38w4d Today's Happenings! :)

I really think she's coming soon - I woke up yesterday with this NEED to clean, and spent a couple hours washing dishes, mopping the floor, tidying up... running around like a chicken with my head cut off. :) My poor hubby, he didn't know what to do with me.

I had a couple hours of contractions again yesterday afternoon, had the same thing Friday afternoon and I think Thursday evening as well. Warm-ups I guess! Yesterday afternoon I had a huge gob of cervical mucous, I really think that was part of my mucous plug - it was more than I've had at one time before, and not stringy as much as a gob... gross, I know! But its exciting! :)

This morning I had another gob of mucous and some diarrhea, and a few pangs but I'm not sure if they were contractions or not.

I have to take Kenneth to the airport this afternoon - I know I'm going to go into labor right after he leaves! :) Oh well, it was nice to have him home for a week even if he wasn't here for the delivery.

I've had lots of back pains lately and have been using my heating pad while resting on the couch for about an hour at a time, the heat seems to help quite a bit. It's harder and harder to get comfortable when my back is acting up, but its not all the time - it comes and goes.

I guess that's it for today - still really excited to see when labor starts and feeling every day like I'm closer and closer to the big day! I can't wait to make that phone call to my IPs! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

38w1d Just Checking In

Wow, just past the 38 week mark today!! Woo hoo!!! :)

The PBO is going before the judge tomorrow, so that should be all set finally - YAY! :)

I am really sick and feeling pretty miserable still; came down with this cold on Monday and just haven't been able to shake it yet. Kenneth kindly gave it to me, and yet he seems to feel almost completely better. Though the doctor did put him on antibiotics which may have sped things along for him.

I'm feeling ok, a little out of it and a little "off". I had very little appetite last night, and my stomach has been aching off and on with various pains and pangs; I'm pretty sure at least some of the pains are contractions but it is really hard for me to know for sure! Today I'm having a lot of menstrual like crampiness and upset stomach.

I don't really want to go into labor while I'm sick, but I would still be happy if things got started today! I think its the not knowing that is driving me the most crazy - not that I really don't want to be pregnant anymore; I just hate the torture of not knowing WHEN labor will start! :)

So, on the 10th I had an OB appointment and everything went fine. I am dilated to a 2 now, but still thick. My weight gain has slowed down quite a bit (yay), blood pressure was fine, no protein in my urine, and I'm measuring 36.5 weeks now. It seems my uterus isn't growing much more, but this little girl is sure filling up the space nicely! My abdomen feels really tight across the top most of the time.

I guess that's it for today's update! Not too much back pain this morning - mainly just crampiness, some low pressure, and feeling tired and congested from my cold!

Monday, July 09, 2007

37w5d No Sleep!

Ok, I'm exhausted this morning (and grumpy)!! For various reasons I kept waking up last night, mainly discomfort and having to use the bathroom. But the last straw was at about 4:00am when our dog, Max, decided he needed to go outside and was whining. So, I let him out and couldn't get back to sleep after that. At about 5:00am I gave up, got up, fixed myself some breakfast which I then realized I wasn't hungry for and proceeded to get ready for work.

I think I waited to long to go to bed last night too, even though we were in bed by around 9:30, I was dragging by the time I went to sleep. I had another cleaning rush last night, swept, cleaned out the freezer, and baked banana bread!

I'm having a lot of pressure/discomfort/sensations low this morning, but that's about it - well that and a lot of back aches that seem to come and go.

My throat is also feeling scratchy, I really hope I'm not coming down with Kenneth's cold! He's not feeling well at all, and sounded pretty bad this morning. I guess if I am sick, it probably wouldn't hurt to just have a day to stay home and rest - I know my body would certainly appreciate that! We'll see if the itchy throat goes away or not! I'm having congestion in my ears again as well. I've heard flu like symptoms can be common before labor - maybe (cross fingers and toes) that's what's going on?! :) I've also heard PMS type symptoms can mean labor is on its way - that is ME today!! Crabby and irritable along with a few of those lovely lower menstrual like cramps. However, along with these being pre-labor symptoms, everything I've read said that can mean labor is imminent or 2 weeks away!! Come on now! Give a girl a break!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

37w3d Check In! :)

All is well today! We had a pretty good day, we went to the bank and got the PBO affidavits notarized (they were sent to us yesterday afternoon via e-mail)!! :) Then we stopped at the Post Office and sent them Express Mail for Monday delivery to the lawyers office. I can't wait to hear that is all taken care of! That will be such a huge relief!!

Then we all went and saw the new Transformers movie - I really liked it, and it was great on the big screen! I think I ate half the huge tub of popcorn at the theater!! Yummy!!

Ok this may be TMI, but this morning after my shower I found a really huge string of cervical mucous, it was about 4-5 inches long and the clear/white stuff - I had another huge glob this afternoon. I've had quite a bit of CM this pregnancy, but that was the most I've seen at one time! Still no blood or anything else though. I have had increased bowel movements the last 2 days or so as well. I also woke up with completely stuffed up ears - no other congestion, just in my ears. I keep wondering if she's coming soon, or if this is just a long lead up! :)

So, nothing too exciting today - but that's my update!

Friday, July 06, 2007

37w2d - Not Too Much Going On (yet)! :)

Just doing my daily check in with how I'm feeling and what's going on.

So far today I have had off and on lower back pain, pretty intense lower pelvic pressure (especially just sitting here at my desk), some fun upper abdominal pains and a few bouts of nausea (and its only 8:00 am)! :) We shall see what the rest of the day brings.

I am finding it interesting to keep track of everything I'm feeling, mostly because I'm curious what the time relationship will be to when I actually go into labor. I'm very curious to figure out if anything I'm experiencing is because labor is coming, or if its all just normal third trimester aches/pains, etc.!

I slept pretty well last night, though I'm tired as per my usual by Friday. Thank goodness for Wednesday off, otherwise I can't imagine making it through the day!

I think we are going to get the PBO affidavits e-mailed to us, so Kenneth and I can go get those signed and notarized tomorrow morning!! (Crossing fingers, and toes!!) I am glad that he's here to sign them, I just feel so bad for my IPs that its taken so long to get everything together, and they have had to do so much groundwork to get this all to come together!

Kenneth isn't feeling well, but maybe I can convince him to come with me for a walk at the Silver Comet Trail - or maybe I can go wallking while he's napping or something. I think he is coming down with a cold from the stress and traveling - this usually happens when he gets back from being gone for so long and he pushes himself so hard while he's out on the training missions... anyhow, hopefully some R&R at home will have him feeling better soon! :)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

37w1d - Biophysical u/s and not feeling so great

I had a ultrasound this morning at Dr. Potter's request; a biophysical... it was probably the most boring ultrasound I've had so far! Nothing exciting, didn't really get to see much of Miss Munchkin, the tech didn't even measure her to see how big she is today since they just did that last week... she pretty much measured fluid levels, looked at her heart a minute, and listened to the blood flow in the placenta (at least I think that's what was going on)!! :)

My stomach is hurting so bad right now - very achy across my upper abdomen accompanied by occassional waves of nausea, and seeing little white spots again today. My b/p was 110/64 at the Peri's office, so they aren't worried about high b/p... I wish I knew what was going on with me!

I am extra tired today, which maybe is the sole cause of all these various things - Kenneth showed up at 1:45 in the morning!! I wasn't expecting him until this evening, but they got in early. I was SO happy to see him!!! That was a fantastic surprise, but I didn't sleep hardly at all once we went back to bed - I was uncomfortable or my mind was racing... So, today I am sporting two lovely big black circles under my eyes... It's already 1:00 and I only have to make it to 4:30 so I'm trying to tough it out for the day!

I've been pretty busy all morning which helps the time pass.

Now, if my stomach would settle down (or if I would just go into labor!!) all would be well! :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

36w5d - Oh the pressure! :)

Wow - on the way home today I had VERY painful pressure down low, I felt like she was pushing her little head HARD against my cervix!! That was really uncomfortable, especially being in the car and not being able to move around much!! I had to push my hips up off the seat at the stop light to help take a little pressure off.

The other fun thing I discovered that was new today is a lot of looseness in my lower pelvic area - I stood up from my office chair and felt this weird sensation down low between my thighs, high up - I don't know how else to descibe it except that everything felt so loose... I could feel things sliding as I walked!! Weird!!! But good! :)

3 days until the next ultrasound and 8 more days until my next OB appointment!! I keep wondering if I'll make it to the OB appt... I think we will, but you just never know!

Tomorrow night we're going to see fireworks, Wednesday I have a vacation day for the 4th, and Thursday is the ultrasound and Kenneth's return home! Yay!! The next couple days will go quickly I'm sure.

I have an ExpectNet guessing game for weight/length/birthdate, etc. for anyone who wants to join in:

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Yay for Hubby Calling Home!

YAY!! I got to talk to my hubby today!! I am so happy to have heard his voice - its been 3 weeks since he left now! We got to talk for about 16 minutes! He will be home from July 5th - 14th then gone again through September 20th (or thereabouts). I keep wondering if this little ones appearance will be timed just right and he'll be here! I would really like it if he was, just for his support and love during and after! (But I'm pretty sure he'd rather miss out!! :) )

I've had a couple contractions today, but overall I'm feeling good/normal. I alternate between energy and wanting to get things cleaned and accomplished to feeling really tired and ready to crawl into bed!

I washed all my bedding today - so that nice clean bed is calling my name!! :)