Tag Archives: “Mary”

39 Week Update

 

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I’ve pretty much reached that stage of pregnancy where I’m “done.” Just a few hours into each day I’m tired, my back aches and I’m MORE than ready for labor to start. Of course, Miss Swann really should hang in there until 40 weeks; it’s the best for her development. And, yet, I’m not ready to NOT be pregnant. I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy, this surrogacy, this whole journey. My job as gestational surrogate is almost over and then it’s up to the boys to raise Miss Swann, to love her, to teach her, to nurture her. I’ve fulfilled my part of the bargain: provide a safe place for this little baby to grow for 9 (10) months so she can be raised by two people who love her so much they’ve been planning to have her in their life for a long time.

Pregnancy agrees with me: I had a relatively easy pregnancy with Em and this one seems to have been just as easy. Sure, I’ve whined about heartburn, not being able to put on my own shoes without assistance, swelling, the lack of sushi… But those all fade away and I can focus on the lack of morning sickness, being able to teach my daughter about love and babies, the support my family, boyfriend, church, friends and coworkers have given me, the opportunity to teach people in my life about surrogacy and of course the wonderful relationship I’ve developed with Miss Swann’s daddies.

In regards to the pregnancy, this week was less eventful than the last. I have only had intermittent Braxton Hicks contractions that are eased by rest and water. I lost part of my mucus plug Friday. I experienced one moment of seemingly random and sudden vomiting Sunday afternoon, but was able to eat lunch right after and have only felt some mild nausea on and off since. My lower back started to hurt Monday afternoon but that also went away once I was in my recliner with my feet up. Miss Swann’s movements have been less frequent but with the same intensity that she’s had all along. Her favorite spot is about 2 inches below my belly button, causing discomfort that is VERY similar to cramps/contractions, so every time she stretches I go on full alert! I woke up Tuesday with my lovely swelling, so I put on my maternity support belt, took some Tylenol and drove to the office with an ice pack; by lunch I could actually sit comfortably. The support belt is a bit uncomfortable now that I’m bigger, but it’s better than staying home JUST BECAUSE I cannot be in any position other than lying down on my side.

In regards to the surrogacy, this past week has been amazing! The boys joined us at church Sunday morning, had a wonderful NOH8 photography session with Em and me Sunday afternoon and had dinner with my family Sunday night. The relationship between us all is just beautiful, like long-lost friends reconnecting after years of separation. Our conversations are a mix of love, laughter, and language lessons: we keep discovering phrases that don’t really translate well or even exist. We are also learning about some cultural expectations that are complete opposites of what we are each used to. The boys were quite shocked to learn that their daughter will only stay in the hospital for 2 days before they take her home, which is MUCH different from the ONE WEEK babies usually stay in the hospital back home!

The deadline for my mom to be my birth coach is slowly closing in as she leaves this Sunday to be with my sister; of course my friend Mary is ready and excited at the prospect of being there for me.

Em and I both have bags packed, ready for the big day: mine for my hospital stay, hers in case my labor starts at night so neither she nor I have to pack her “tomorrow” clothes while she’s sleepy and I’m breathing through contractions.

Brad is still unsure about where he will be when I’m in labor. In the beginning I told him his only job was to make sure I had sushi ready for me in my recovery room. But as this pregnancy has progressed, so has our relationship. He’s very important to me and I feel like I need him with me during this. But this is not his baby, so it’s not like he HAS to be there. Only he can decide what is right for himself and I’ll support that decision no matter what.

“Stats” from today’s appointment:

Station: -2
Dilation: 2 cm
Effacement: 70%

My weight gain in the last week is a bit surprising to me, though it could just be water/fluid retention. As of the writing of this post, my ankles are still swollen, even first thing in the morning. My waist gain, however, doesn’t surprise me. Miss Swann has moved around a bit and isn’t quite as up-and-down as she usually is.

My blood pressure was 136/78 and I had a small amount of protein in my urine. Doctor sent me over to Quest for blood work. IF my labs are abnormal, I’ll be sent to labor & delivery today; if they’re normal, I have a 7:30 AM induction scheduled for tomorrow! So I may not get to go out with Brad for Valentine’s Day, but… WORTH IT!!

Of course, I’ll update more as I find out more!

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35 Week Update

Had another OB appointment today. Dr. “Anderson” did a swab check for group B strep (common to have but not safe for baby during delivery) and checked Miss Swann’s heartbeat; she sounded great! The good doctor said she’s getting into position and her size indicates that barring any complications I should be able to avoid a C-section. He again (we had a longer talk last time) asked if I was going to have an epidural, this time just reminding me that it’s an option and that he’s not going to push it on me. I’ve explained to him that my plan is NOT to have an epidural, but to do my best to have Miss Swann naturally.

I didn’t have an epidural while in labor with “Em” (though I eventually did ask for it but was denied it as she made her debut 20 minutes later) and I think I’ll be fine without it this time around. Of course, I may change my mind, but for the time being, I’m OK doing this on my own. It’s not about being brave or having something to prove. I just don’t think I’ll need it. I figure if the pain was such with Em that I only finally felt like I “needed” it right before she was born, I don’t see why I should need one for Miss Swann. Just my personal preference.

As far as the pregnancy is going, I’m feeling good. Definitely feeling HUGE, despite what my weekly bump pictures show. Miss Swann continues to take up ALL available room in my belly; when she really gets dancing I can feel her simultaneously under my right rib cage and under my right hip bone. Meals are still a slow process; if I eat the way I normally do, I swear that food sits in my esophagus for 2 hours and I freak out with every little hiccup or burp.

I started Prilosec OTC last week for my heartburn: I’ve taken a total of 5 Tums in the past 7 days; what a change! Now the only thing waking me up in the middle of the night is my bladder!

Laying down for more than a few hours is getting uncomfortable, but in a strange way. If I’m laying on my left side, it’s my RIGHT hip and gluteus muscle that ache and burn, not the left.

It’s funny the different  comments I get from people when they see my belly. Some say I don’t look like I’m 5 weeks from giving birth, others say I’m getting so big! I feel huge and I think I look big when I see my reflection but when I look at a picture of myself, I look smaller than I feel. Many of the people I deal with in my office are just now realizing that I’m pregnant because usually they just stop by my cubicle to ask me a question and my belly is hidden behind my desk; it’s only when I stand up that they can tell that I’m pregnant. That makes me feel good because I know that I’m not gaining weight anywhere other than belly, which is not what I did with Em. I weigh more now than I did at full-term with Em, but that’s because my starting weight was higher this time. But my overall weight gain so far is less than half of what I gained with Em. Kinda silly, but I’m proud of myself for only gaining “baby weight.”

I still have not had any swelling in my feet or hands – knock on wood – and the only waddling I do is when I stand up and she shifts down to RIGHTONTOP of my bladder and I make a beeline for the ladies’ room.

“The boys” are scheduled to arrive in a little less than 3 weeks and my mom is planning to fly out to be with my sister 2 weeks after that. I’ve already “tapped” my alternate birth coach in case Miss Swann decides to hang out until after my mom has left; of course we’re hoping that she “bakes” for the whole 40 weeks, but I would love for my mom to be with me as she was for Em’s birth. But my alternate, “Mary,” is a fabulous friend whom I trust to be calming and helpful to me, capable of telling me when I need to consider alternative pain-control methods and standing up for me with hospital staff if needed.

I keep telling “Brad” that his only job is to make sure I’ve got sushi and sake waiting for me in my recovery room (things I love but have had to do without since we started dating), but a little part of me is unsure of whether or not I want to ask him to be in the delivery room with me. Having him there with me would add that extra bit of comfort, love and assurance. Dr. Anderson said I can have as many people in the room as I need – as long as there’s still room for him and the nurse(s). I haven’t discussed this with Brad yet, and ultimately it’s his decision on whether or not he’s comfortable being in there. This is not his baby, so it’s not like he has to be there. We’ve only been together for 6 months (7 by the time Miss Swann arrives) and while he’s been incredible during this pregnancy, it’s a lot to deal with – seeing your girlfriend go through something like that. I don’t know. I think I just want him to know that IF he wants to be there I won’t stop him, but if he doesn’t, I won’t be hurt (ok, I’ll probably “hate” him for a day or so with all the hormones and emotions, but in the long run it won’t ruin our relationship). Of course, this is all assuming that my labor isn’t faster than his drive to the hospital and that he can take time off work if I go into labor on a weekday.

The highlight of this week (so far) is the fact that I’m still well-balanced. Literally. I use my Wii Fit Plus to weigh myself each week. The Wii Fit Plus not only weighs you but also checks your center of balance. Sometimes the software has you close your eyes as it weighs you, as visual cues affect your sense of balance; it did this to me yesterday. As long as I’ve owned the software and board (what you stand on to weigh in), I’ve only a handful of times ended up with my front-to-back balance being dead center. But I’ve almost always been pretty darn close to center when it comes to left-to-right. Of course, pregnancy has a way of changing how you stand and carry yourself. But THIS made my day:

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35 weeks pregnant with a little girl who LOVES to hang out on my left side and I’m PERFECTLY BALANCED!! Yeah, baby!!

All’s Well

Took the day off from work and drove to the fertility clinic in L.A. with “Mary.”

One vial of blood was taken, testing 3 different hormone levels.

“Dr. Singer” examined my uterine lining and told me its perfect, measuring between 8.5 and 10mm.

The egg retrieval will happen on Friday, so my transfer date was moved up by a day!! I’ll have my final Lupron injection tonight, keep my Estradiol Valerate at the same level, tomorrow I start my daily Progesterone injections and on Saturday I’ll halve my Estradiol Valerate amount.

It seems that the plan will be to have “Mary” take me to L.A. next week for the transfer (as Mom will be needing to pick up “Em” from school) and she’ll drive me home so I can be on bed rest at my own place rather than in a hotel. And the timing still works as my folks will keep Em over the holiday weekend.

It’s happening! It’s really happening!!