CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

30 January 2013

14 weeks and feeling good!

~ by Kim

"You're so small!"

"You're so big!"

"You're so nice!"

"You must be crazy!"

I hear so many things and get so many different reactions about the pregnancy and surrogacy. It really shows how different we all are, as are all of the varied perceptions.

I'm 14 1/2 weeks and feeling great! As we've come into the second trimester, I feel more and more like my old self. The nausea has subsided and energy is back. This is by far the best part of any pregnancy. We've past all the tough parts of the first trimester and haven't gotten to the physical discomfort that comes with the third.

At times, it's easy to forget that I'm pregnant. There are small things, like if we go for sushi and I think, "oh....I'd better not eat that," and will order a California roll or prawn tempura roll instead. At home I'm usually in sweats, and I wear scrubs at work - so between the two I don't even notice my changing physique. I don't need to make plans or do any shopping for the necessities of a new baby. Instead, I can shop for the fun things and impractical stuff that are fun to buy for other people's kids, but you would never buy for your own. I'm hoping we find out the gender... because then it will be even that much more fun!

Janelle is coming to town in 6 weeks, and I've scheduled a lot for when she's here. We'll have the 20 week ultrasound, an appointment with the hospital social worker and she'll also get to meet with the midwives. I'm excited and can't wait for her visit! I hope that she doesn't miss the snow and cold weather too much while she's here - it's a whole different world out here on the island! Though... I think there was one day where I had to scrape the car. Maybe we'll get some frost while she's here so she'll feel more at home.

Doubt it.

Not in March.

The city's annual *flower count* is next month.

21 January 2013

Baked Potatoes & Red Grapefruit

- by Janelle (IM)

Now that we are officially into the second trimester I feel as though the dust has settled. The long preparation checklist is complete, the "will this work? will the embryo take?" anticipation is gone, Kim is not tied to her massivo pill box and the clock, and she is feeling much better! So here we are and I'm still feeling like this is all so surreal.

I must admit that it's strange for me to think that in 6 months we are going to have a baby in our arms. Since I have experienced pregnancy, it seems that there's this part of my brain that's saying "uh, where's the belly?" I can understand why some men let their beards grow as a way to connect with their wives through a pregnancy. I'm definitely feeling the need to connect with the growth of my child in some way. Here is how I'm going about it:
  1. Downloaded the Baby Centre App so that I get weekly notices about my baby's development - so cool to read that right now he/she is the size of half a banana and her/his fingerprints are noticeable.
  2. Wrote down the weeks of pregnancy on my calendar at work so at a glance I know where we're at.
  3. Made an appointment with a breastfeeding physician to discuss how to get my boobs to produce milk.
  4. Thinking of getting this shirt (my friend found this photo on pinterest):

For those of you equally interested on how to go about inducing lactation, please check out this link and above all, consult with a physician:

The Protocols for Induced Lactation — A Guide for Maximising Breastmilk Production
By Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC and Lenore Goldfarb, Ph.D., CCC, IBCLC

The idea of getting this process going really excites  me! For one, when I read over the general protocol I realized that I've been on the medications before and my body responded well. This was after the birth of my son Asher. I had extreme blood loss but my midwife did not give up hope that I'd be able to breastfeed so based on Dr. Newman's expertise, she had me on a high dose of domperidome and also had the ICU nurses pumping my breasts while I was in recovery. This may sound crazy to some, but I am ever so grateful that she went to such great lengths to give me the chance to breastfeed my son, and I did so very successfully – never needing to supplement once I was out of the hospital! So with this in mind, I'm feeling good that once again I can breastfeed this little one.

The other reason why I'm excited to try and induce lactation, is that I feel like it gives me a strong connection to the pregnancy. I will have something to work towards for the next six months and my body will be preparing for the magical day that our baby is born. I hope all goes well with my appointment next week! I'll be sure to keep you informed of any progress I have on the lactation front.

To wrap things up I want to explain the title of this post. The other day my cell beeped and the following text came through:
Your baby's favourite foods are baked potatoes and red grapefruit.
She makes me eat them everyday :)
Love it! I went out and bought some red grapefruit to eat :)

On a final note I want to say thank you to Skype and FaceTime. I'm not sure what I'd do without this technology. It means so much to be a part of Kim's appointments here and there. To see ultrasounds and to stay in touch with Kim and see her smiling face!

16 January 2013

12 weeks already!

~ by Kim

I'm officially 12 weeks and 4 days. Seems like a lot has happened since my last update.

My nausea and fatigue were finally starting to subside, and then I got hit with a cold. I'm hoping that by this time next week, I'll be a completely new woman - having overcome both. I'm also off all my hormones, and feeling great about that. It's such a relief and a weight off my shoulders to not always be watching the clock, setting alarms and having a small pharmacy in my purse wherever I go. I've also met with the social worker at the hospital, which was really informative, and I got an idea of what to expect at the time of delivery and how it works at the hospital with a surrogate delivery.

I had another appointment with the midwife this evening and Janelle and Joel got to join us for part of it via the computer. It was really cool to have them "there," and be able to share the experience with them. The midwife had a hard time finding the heartbeat with the doppler, so she did an ultrasound instead - which of course, is so much more fun! The baby actually looks like a baby now! Not a seed or a nut or a bean, but a real baby. We could see the body: with its head, trunk, arms and legs and even a little face. A face!!! There was even a comment made about baby's lips! We could see the lips already! Amazing.

For me it was really a surreal moment, and I think the reality of what we're doing really hit me. There is this little person, this little life that is growing inside of me.

It's such a different experience to do this - to go through a pregnancy for someone else. From the beginning, I've sort of detached myself somewhat, that taking care of the baby and myself is an important "job" of mine. It's hard to explain, because it's not that I don't care about him or her, because I already do. I don't know how you couldn't. It's more a feeling of protectiveness rather than one of falling in love, as you do when carrying your own child. I don't think that really explains it very well, but right now words are eluding me to give a better explanation. Seeing this baby so clearly on the screen, gives me new feelings entirely, and I'm not sure I can even articulate them well enough yet to even try to explain it. I'll have to get back to this in a later post.

So for the time being, I'm ecstatic to say that things are going as smoothly as we could hope for. I'm feeling better, and am noticing a difference as we approach the second trimester. Energy and appetite are both on the rise, and I'm welcoming them both back with open arms.

Here are 2 pictures of me from today. One was taken early on in the day and the other one at the end of the day. It's amazing how different they are, and how by nighttime the pregnancy "bloat" is in full swing!

Depending what I'm wearing, I think some clothes make me look more pregnant as opposed to just "thick." 

Time to start wearing those more often, I think, as "thick" isn't really the look I typically try for. 

10 January 2013

Goodbye Estrace...See ya later Prometrium!

~ by Kim

Dear estrogen and progesterone pills,

We are DONE! Through! Finished! There will be no more hormones for us!

It is time to end this bittersweet relationship. Though we appreciate all you have done for us, my placenta and I are now strong enough to move on without you - and we couldn't be happier about it. I would say that we would miss you, and the constant interruptions you added to our daily routine, but we both know that would be a lie. Popping pills (one route or another) was happening 8 times a day between you and the other pills, so it is time for some to go. Much appreciation for all your contributions, to help us get where we are at today.
Truly, we couldn't have done it without you.


04 January 2013

Looking back and looking ahead

~ by Kim

2012 has been quite the year! 

The girls turned 4 and 1, we took a family trip to Hawaii, went on our first trip without the kids, and started on this adventure with surrogacy. It's hard not to be a little reflective as I look back to where we were, just a year ago. It was this time last year that I started really thinking about surrogacy, and if this was something I thought I could do. Sometimes it seems like such a long time ago, and at other times it feels like just yesterday. I find it interesting looking back at where we were, and it makes me realize how far we've come. This was the second post I'd written, when were just starting our journey.
Early thoughts of surrogacy.

2013 looks like it's going to be just as busy and exciting of a year. I'm in a new job, Lily will be starting kindergarten in the fall and we have a couple of small getaways that we're hoping to do, both before and after the baby comes that I'm really looking forward to. Of course, the biggest thing this year will be the birth of this baby and Janelle and Joel expanding their family. Afterwards, my life will go back to normal as we continue our regular daily life as a family of 4, and Janelle and Joel will adjust and settle into their new routine as the same. They'll be busy and I'm excited for them, for what will be their next adventure.  

As for my New Year - I rang it in at work. I worked the night shift (7pm -7am) and got glimpses of the countdown from the TV in the waiting room. I had a moment where I felt a little down, I think from a combination of small things. I didn't want to be at work, the girls were both sick and spending the night at their grandparents' house and I was feeling guilty, I was wanting to be with hubby for the New Year, even though we rarely make it to midnight anymore, and then thinking, man....I can't even have a drink. I think I was just feeling a little lonely being away from everyone. At midnight, one of the nurses came and gave me a New Year hug. Instantly, I felt better. The big picture came back int sight and I know how fortunate we are. It's amazing, the power of a hug, and what it can do. I'm sure that nurse has no idea how the simple gesture had such an effect on me that night, and I don't know if I'll ever say anything, as it's not someone I know well. 

I'm also now in the single digit countdown to stopping all these meds and hormones! Hopefully then, I won't be such an emotional mess, tearing up at things like the extended ASPCA commercials that have been playing over the holiday season, about all these poor animals that need me. Or watching movies and getting emotional before even getting to the sad part in anticipation of what I know is about to happen. Sad. Can't wait for the return of my sanity. (It will come back, right?!?)

So, I'm excited for this upcoming year! I have various appointments this month, with another ultrasound appointment, a few more blood draws, another appointment with the midwife and even meeting with the social worker at the hospital, who will facilitate everything there. Should be a busy month and I'll keep you all posted. 

So, like Janelle said: "Bring it on 2013!"

01 January 2013

Happy New Year!

- by Janelle (IM)

Last night we rang in the new year with our close friends and my brother who's in town for a visit :) I kept thinking about how 2013 is already a big and exciting year for us. I definitely don't feel like one year has come to an end and we're onto another, rather my calendar is now measured by the baby...

My big year started 10 weeks and 3 days ago and it's growing!

No New Years resolution for me. All my energy is going into wishing for the best possible pregnancy & birth for Kim and a healthy baby.

Bring it on 2013 - you're already one of my best years ever!!!