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!