Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Graduation! Martinis all around

Welp we are officially graduates of Reproductive Endocrinology. We had our final appointment with Dr. B today and it was beautiful.

We saw little Gummy Bear, and she was wiggling about like a little dancing queen. Baby Mama saw her heart just fluttering away. I'm not sure what they clocked it at, but I thought it was somewhere around 160? Maybe it was higher. Either way, Dr. B was super happy with it. Babe was measuring 8w6d, which is actually about right. I think we're truly a Friday week change, but they put us as a Wednesday week change.

When little Gummy got still and we could make out her sweet face a little bit I said "Say hi to your Mommy!" and she totally wiggled a paddle!

I almost fell off the table, and we all squealed.

It was such a great visit, and they officially dismissed me to midwife care. I brought up the midwife with Dr. B again, so Baby Mama and Baby Daddy could get her opinion on the practice. Dr. B had great things to say about midwives, which made my little heart happy. She said for low risk normal pregnancies midwive care has a lower mortality rate for pregger and baby. So that's exciting. And she said this practice is very conservative. They refer to OB at the slightest worry, and since there are OBs working closely in the practice it's a seamless transition.

I'm so excited that we've made it this far. We have our first midwife appointment next Tuesday, so until then I'll be just munching bean burritos and downing smoothies. This little Gummy Bear loves some protein and fruit. 

Speaking of fruit... I read that the baby is now a fetus and is the size of a grape! Which does not exactly explain this bump...

Baby Mama said her email said green olive. I guess that's one hell of a martini! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ultrasound Graduation

Hey kids! Sorry about the delayed update, but I've been in a war against my eyelids and they are winning. This kid is an extreme hcg producer. Like gifted for sure.
I was never this sick with my own little keepers. This sickness and exhaustion is unrivaled, so kudos little hippie baby! You're advanced.
We had our 8 week ultrasound just one day shy of 8 weeks on Tuesday, and everything looks absolutely fabulous.
There was a bit of a mix up with our appointment...I.e. they didn't have us on the schedule and the doctor wasn't even in the same city. But I did a little...ehem...gentle nudging and got them to schedule us with another doctor. I might have sweetly explained that they probably shouldn't stress my IPs out with this repeat ultrasound, since the last time we went in for a repeat ultrasound they got the harrowing news that their dreams of parenthood were dashed to bits. Ya know...no pressure or whatever. But maybe give me the wand and I'll take a gander myself.
But thankfully they found another doc to peek in and little gummy bear popped right up on the screen with a sweet little flicker of a heartbeat. 163 beats per minute and measuring exactly on target at 7 weeks 6 days.
I'd show you pictures, but honestly they all just look like mashed potatoes anyway. Baby Mama thought it looked like a T Rex, and she's not far off. All babies look like a T Rex at this age. I'm not convinced they aren't part T Rex in the third trimester when they're stomping around on your bladder and ripping your stretch marks from the inside out.
Sweet blessings.

But I know my IPs were overjoyed and breathed a huge sigh when the doc said everything looked perfectly wonderful. And I was pumped as well. Good to know all this sickness and constant peeing isn't because of a litter of kittens or something.
So we are good to go with our midwife, although our RE wants to give us a proper sendoff next week since she wasn't here this week for the glorious news.

Our first midwife appointment is the week of my 11 year anniversary and just a few days after my 31st birthday. I'm excited for the IPs to meet with the midwife. I think Baby Daddy thinks she might be a witch doctor, which I actually totally and completely understand. I thought the same thing when I was first pregnant with Sunshine. I couldn't imagine going with anyone but an OB.

But two babies later I'm in such the opposite camp. I can't imagine going with an OB again. Not that there aren't good OBs, but for a normal healthy pregnancy I just think you can't go wrong with a midwife. They can do everything an OB can do except slice me open. But I feel like their training is more comprehensive as far as pregnancy is concerned. I think OBs are totally competent as far as understanding all the technical/medical side of pregnancy. But midwives seem to be more in tune with the magic. And honestly after having an OB delivery and a delivery with a general practitioner (who was as close to a midwife as you can come without the CNM distinction)...I have to say I think things were better all around for me and for the baby with my midwife type delivery.
My OBs seemed to always be telling me "I'm not sure you can do this. You have no control over which way this will go. You should prepare for a c-section." And my lady doc just told me "You are doing this. You have already done the hard part. You will do this and I'm proud of you."
I also found out that my current midwife is a former surrogate! So I'm extra excited that she will be understanding and supportive of my IPs. I've heard some OBs can be a little judgy and weird about surrogacy. And I'm not having that. We are bringing a baby into the world, and it's a beautiful thing. Shut your yap.

Speaking of beautiful, my little Sunshine brightened my day today.
She had a friend over to play, and as I was in the kitchen whipping up snacks they sat at the table having a chat.
"Miss Crystal my mommy said you're growing a baby for another family," the friend said.
"Yep that's called being a surrogate. And (Baby Mama and Baby Daddy) are so cool. They just want a baby," Sunshine informed her.
"Well why don't they grow their own baby?" her friend asked.
"Because some mommies like (Baby Mama) have a broken uterus so they need help. So my mommy is helping them so their baby can grow," my sweet Sunshine explained.
"Well my mom says that if you are growing a baby for another family then that means you are a really sweet person," her friend added.
"Yep. My mom is pretty awesome," Sunshine said.
And they sipped their chocolate milk and moved on to planning their paint job in Sunshine's playhouse.
All the feels just punched me right in the nose and I teared up hard. I've talked very openly with both my girls about this journey, but I never knew how much they soaked in. Then in just a few minutes my little Sunshine beautifully and perfectly explained surrogacy like it was the most common thing on earth.
And neither of them questioned the ethics of it all. I know a lot of grown ups who question the crap out of it. They wonder how I could "do this to my family" and what my husband might think. (I think he'd kick my ass if I brought home another newborn. Hell I'd kick my own ass.) But these 6-year-olds get it. If someone needs help you help them. The end.

I couldn't have been prouder and more sure of this journey than I was today. I'm doing something that makes my daughter proud of me. And another family sees the beauty in it. This has sparked a conversation in another home about how some families get creative when they build. I know this family in particular got a bit creative to get that little girl here. So they get it.

Infertility affects so many couples, but it's still a bit of a taboo subject. It's quite probable that either one of them or someone they love will be affected by fertility challenges, and just maybe this experience will help them see that there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It just means you get creative when you build your family. I hope it takes some of the stigma away at least for their generation. I know Baby Mama is a little unsure about what kinds of reactions she'll get if she announces the pregnancy, which breaks my heart. No mother should ever feel scared or ashamed or nervous about announcing such happy news to the world. Her baby is just as valid and wonderful and exciting as anyone else's. Maybe even more so since she's had to walk through fire to get one! She didn't just get drunk and make some bad decisions. This one took some planning.

Sometimes at night before bed I'll troll Facebook for posts where people are spewing hate. And I try to interject a little humor and perspective in there for my own amusement.
I came across a post today about a surrogate in another country who was threatening to keep the baby she carried. It wasn't her genetic child, an egg donor had been used. And it was the genetic child of one of the fathers. But because she carried the baby, her government is trying to side with her.
It's hard for me not to completely berate the commenters on the post who are siding with this woman and saying that because she carried this child she is the mother. Even the title of the article calls her the surrogate mother.
I have news. I am the surrogate. But the mother of this baby is laying in bed tonight wondering if she's expecting a boy or a girl. She's the one going through the emotional turmoil of the first trimester. She's the one whose heart skipped a beat when we heard that little whooshing heartbeat on the ultrasound Tuesday. She's the one who will pull this baby to her breast and love and care for the child for the rest of his or her life.
I am a mother, yes. But I am a mother to two little rascally girls snoring softly in the next room.
She is the mother of this child. And when this baby enters the world, Baby Mama will be the one to give the first kisses and snuggles and love. And that baby will know who her mother is.
I'm going with her for now. I was 100% wrong with my gender predictions with my own kids. Both times I swore they were boys. But I just have a feeling this one's a girl. She's making me sick as a dog, so I'm guessing she's pumping up my hormones. And they say girls steal your beauty, and buddy am I a hot mess lately. My skin is broken out and because I have to constantly eat to keep from feeling sick I'm starting to really pork up. So I'm guessing this is one big beautiful baby girl.
I'll start some belly pics soon so you can watch me blimp right before your very eyes. I will warn you however, that I am the most hideously porky pregnant woman on the face of the earth. I have body dysmorphic disorder, but like the opposite. I think I look like this beautiful earth mama angel goddess when I'm pregnant

but in reality I look like Heffer from Rocko's Modern Life.
 
So next appointment is next Wednesday as we say our goodbyes to the lovely Dr. B. She'll be keeping up with us some since she's bros with some of the midwives in my practice. But I'm sure it'll be a tear filled goodbye as we graduate from Reproductive Endocrinology into the world of Regular Pregs!

Friday, July 10, 2015

6 Week Ultrasound

Our first ultrasound was scheduled for today, and it was shaping up to be the ultrasound that almost wasn't. They kept calling to push it back and reschedule and at one point they asked to bump it to Saturday. I already had Saturday plans in the works, so that wasn't happening. I told them I'd mosey over to the other office if we could do Friday.

So today was the day. I had to take the minions with me since my mom had to grab a last minute doctor visit. That was exciting since Sweet Pea has taken to screaming like menopausal Medusa when things don't go her way. But Baby Mama and Baby Daddy were very sweet with them, and I had a fully charged Kindle in my arsenal.

Dr. B came in looking radiant as usual, and the hunt was on.

I was holding my breath hoping to just see one big beautiful sac and my heart almost fell out of my butt when I saw two black areas. I seriously almost fainted. But Dr. B moved the wand and assured me that there was just one sweet little bean. Snug as a bug in a uterus. The heartbeat was just pounding away, and we even got to hear it!

It was such a magical moment. It's just the sweetest sound there is. We even got a measurement, and little Snuggle Bug's heart was beating 127 beats per minute. Dr. B said at 6 weeks they want to see over 100, and from 6 to 7 weeks they want it over 120. So little hippie over achiever already hit those milestones! High five Uterine Buddy!

I could almost feel the relief wash over my sweet IPs. We all know we're not even close to out of the worry woods, but this is farther than we got last time. Last time that little heart was so teeny and fragile we never even got a good measurement. This little sweetie's ticker was nice and strong.

So let's keep it that way GOT IT!? I don't want any drama from this little hippie bean. Just nice easy breezy ultrasounds thankyouverymuch.

Dr. B wants to see us back in about two weeks. So we'll have our next ultrasound on my mother-in-law's bday. They reset our due date to March 2, so Baby Mama was asking what my date significance calendar had to say about that. The only thing I can think is that it's right before Sweet Pea's and Hub's birthday. But of course I won't have Snuggle Bug on that day anyway unless it happens to be just the most cooperative child in the world. I'm trying for a Leap Year baby, but I think the IPs just want a baby with a birthday.

So after our 8 week ultrasound Dr. B is going to start weaning me from meds and we will graduate from the RE to an OB at 10 weeks! She told me to go ahead and call to get in with the OB of my choice. I told her I was using a midwife, and she said she's got friends at the office I chose. So I was jazzed at her approval.

I went ahead and called, and I got an appointment the day after my birthday. That also happens to be the original due date for our last pregnancy. I'm hoping that day will be a happy one with wonderful news. I hope it'll help numb the sting.

When I miscarried the twins I couldn't help but feel sad on their due date. But just two weeks later I found out was pregnant and lo and behold I'd conceived my Sunshine on their due date. It definitely brought a silver lining to that dark cloud.

So all is well in baby town! I'm over the moon for Baby Mama and Baby Daddy. And they seemed just as thrilled.

Dr. B said the baby looks like the perfect little engagement ring. Nice round little yolk sack with the big diamond baby sitting on top.

So my next step is to embrace all this morning sickness, fatigue and constant potty breaks. I'll take it all if it means a healthy little bean!

See ya in a few weeks for our 8 week ultrasound! And thanks again for all your prayers and good vibes. It's celebration time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pregnancy amnesia

Holy guacamole am I ever pregnant! Oh dear lord. The thought of guacamole...

BARRFFFF

So at this stage of the game last round I felt totally normal. I had one wave of nausea one day that I wanted to be morning sickness but holy balls. This. This right here is all day sickness. 

I'm so nauseated I have trouble sleeping. And if I can manage to settle my gut for a second I'm immediately awakened by my bladder. I have to pee twice as often as my potty training toddler. 

I'm also insanely tired. Not just like oh man whew I need a second! I'm talking driving down the road and I have to pull over because my eyes can't physically stay open. 

Either I have pregnancy amnesia and just totally forgot what it's like to be pregnant... Or...

Ugh I made the rookie mistake of asking Google why I was so sick and tired. Google is such a dramatic bitch. She suggested what I was already thinking. 

What if it's twins. 

The last time I remember (key word remember) being this bogged down with pregnancy symptoms was with my twin pregnancy. 

Then I asked Google again. And that B got even more dramatic. Apparently there's an increased chance of identical twins with PGD testing. Well uhh yes as a matter of fact this embryo was PGD tested, why do you ask?

I'm just hoping that we have one strong little girl in there. Because Google said morning sickness can be worse with girls. So that's what I'm going with for now. 

There's just one super dramatic little diva in there sending puking vibes up my windpipe. Right?

Guess Friday's ultrasound can't come soon enough!

Here's my last pregger pee stick 
That means I've got enough hcg to say that I'm more than 3 weeks from ovulation. I never got a 3+ weeks predictor test last round. So that made me do a happy dance...all the way to the toilet.