CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

21 May 2013

Hard to concentrate at work

- by Janelle (IM)

I've done the countdown. I officially have 18 days of work left over the course of 5 and 1/2 weeks! Oh my! This means that our baby is soon to arrive :)

The other night when lying in bed I mentioned to Joel that we had 9 more weeks until Kim was at 37 weeks, at which time game on... our little boy could arrive at any time. To this Joel replied "I think I need to start getting serious about this!" It's a little bizarre being physically distanced from the pregnancy. You go through your days knowing that a baby is growing, but not having that body connection (for me) or visual reminder (for Joel) keeps the reality more like a daydream. 

It's going to be so great having Kim and her family with us at the end of this week. I know it will be chaotic with all of the little ones but at least we have a backyard and lots of crafts to keep them occupied while Kim hopefully gets in a relaxing stay. I can't wait for the chaos! This will also be the first time Joel has seen Kim and her belly in person. The reality should really strike him then!

Tonight I'm off to a Mumford & Sons concert. I'm super excited! Some of you may remember that I wrote about one of their songs in my post I will wait for you. I wrote about taking inspiration and strength in patience from their song "I Will Wait". Tonight I'll get to see and hear this song performed live - how special for me! I can't believe I wrote this post back in Spetember of last year. Part of me feels like it was just yesterday and the half of me realizes how much we've gone through since then and how lucky we are to be celebrating, celebrating that the arrival date of our baby boy is near.

Safe travels Kim & family! See you soon, xo

18 May 2013

30 weeks!

~ by Kim

30 weeks

If we go to the end, only 10 weeks to go!!!

Lily was born at 38 weeks.
Rowan was born at 39 weeks. 
I'm hopeful this baby will follow suit, and make his appearance early as well. 
It seems only fair. 
And while I'm at it... I think I'll ask for it to be quick and painless too. 
Is that too much?

When I started this blog, I really wanted to keep it honest. I didn't want to only write about how wonderful everything was if it wasn't. I wanted it to be a genuine account of the experience, and be able to share all of the ups and downs that came along with it. A journal of sorts. I wondered if I knew who might be reading, would it influence what I wrote? I hoped not and have tried to write as openly and honestly as I can, without worrying about who's reading it.

I came across a blog really early on, I think before I'd even talked to Janelle about starting down this path, and the surrogate wrote so openly about the good and the bad throughout her journey. It helped tremendously in helping me to make my own decision, and figure out if this was something I really thought I could do. I hope that our blog might be able to do the same for others as that one had done for me. 

I write this now, because not all that I write is always "rainbows and butterflies."

You know the old underwear that's in the very back of the drawer? The ones that are so stretched out, misshaped, with the elastic blown out and they sag in all the wrong places? They are the ones you never want to be caught wearing if you're in an accident. 
They are now my favourite.
I dig for them in my drawer and seek them out. The others don't fit anymore, so these big stretched out ones have become my first choice.

I recently had my first "pregnancy sucks" party one night after a long day at work. Poor Carl was the only one invited, and the poor guy had my undivided attention the entire time. He got to hear all about the clothes that don't fit, my sore back, insomnia, cramps, fat fingers and all my other puffy parts. Since I seemed to be on such a roll, why not carry on and tell him about frustrations at work and irritating co-workers? I was having a serious episode of the grumbles. 

Thankfully, it was brief in duration, and the next morning I found a pair of underwear with the elastic completely stretched out and I felt better. It was a new day, and off to a good start already.

Since my little pity-party ended, it's easy to look back and laugh about it and chalk it up to just regular ups and downs of pregnancy. The next day I apologized for being such a bag, and Carl told me that I wasn't really that bad, so maybe it was just more magnified in my mind. (Or maybe he meant that I've been worse?!?) I vaguely recall having similar moments with my other two pregnancies. I think it was at one these moments that I talked about surrogacy and how crazy those women must be. Ha! Now I'm one of them!

Recently a couple of the surrogacy blogs that I've been following have just given birth and are coming to the end of their journeys. Or depending on your perspective, a new beginning. The timing couldn't be better for me, as I found them inspiring, and encouraging to see these happy stories and how much it meant to everyone. It really helped me to re-focus on what we're doing and give perspective back to what all this means. How much a baby means. I'm looking forward to when we're at that point, and I can see Janelle and Joel with their new baby. It makes me feel silly for all my trivial pregnancy related complaints. It's so short-lived, and we really are coming to the home stretch now. 

Another thing that has got me really excited is that we leave for Calgary on Wednesday! I'm SO excited to see everyone and share some of this pregnancy with them. It's going to be such a great trip, and so nice to get away for a little bit.

I may even get some new underwear to mark the occasion.

13 May 2013

The male perspective: what it's like for my husband

~ by Kim

It's funny how different men can be.

Early in the pregnancy, I asked my husband Carl when he thought we should say anything at work about being a surrogate. He thought we shouldn't say anything at all. Maybe he thought no one would notice my changing physique, or the fact that we wouldn't have a baby afterwards. (Hey, where'd your third kid go? ...What kid???) We both work at the hospital, and though in different areas, we occasionally work together so we know the same people, so I'm not sure what he was thinking.

Not too long ago at work, he had a bit of fun for the first time regarding the surrogacy. One of the security guards was on his ward, and offered his congratulations after seeing that I was expecting again. Carl thanked him, and then in a calm and serious voice, replied that the baby wasn't his. (Silence) I wasn't there at the time, but heard from several co-workers how they'd had a good laugh watching this poor guy's jaw drop to the floor in shock. After they filled him in, they all had a good laugh.

This month Carl and I celebrated our anniversary, and went out for dinner on our own without the kids.  As we were leaving the restaurant, our server said goodbye, and then said "Congratulations!" as we left. Walking to the car, Carl looked at me and asked, "Congratulations for what?!?" He didn't clue in, and I had to tell him that the server thought we were having a baby. The thought had never even occurred to him.

Some things my husband does still surprise me. It's amazing at how well we work together, despite how different we are. He's usually the calm, level-headed and rational one, whereas I'm usually more high-strung, impulsive and impatient. (Usually being the key word)

I often get asked how he feels about the surrogacy and what he thinks about me doing this. I think that he has has his moments, just as I do, where some times are easier and other moments more challenging. It's easy to forget what a big undertaking pregnancy is until you're right in it, and how it affects the entire family. Even though Carl is not the one going through the physical toll of a pregnancy, it still has a major impact on him and affects him in so many other ways. He's the one who's had to pick up all of the slack at home and with the kids when I haven't been feeling 100%. He's had to do more laundry, housework, cooking and childcare, as well as tolerate my not always sunny disposition throughout the different stages of this process. Hard to believe, but I'm not always a peach. (Note sarcastic undertone)

One evening after the girls had gone to bed, we were watching TV when I noticed my belly start moving up and down as the baby started kicking. I showed him and asked if he wanted to come and feel it. He said no. This caught me off guard, and when I asked him about it, he told me that this was different for him, that it wasn't his baby. He said that he didn't have a connection to the baby like he did with our own kids. It's different for me, being the one to carry this baby. I think it's impossible not to feel connected to the baby even though it's in such a different capacity from my own kids. As I thought about it more, I understood where he was coming from a bit more. If I'd had a friend visiting who was pregnant, and the baby started moving, he wouldn't be running over to feel that baby move either. I don't think that men have the same urge to feel a pregnant tummy that women do.

That moment really made me stop and think, about what this must really be like for him. It also made me appreciate how supportive he has been, and how doing this would be absolutely impossible without him on board. People tell me what a special thing I am doing. I think of what a special thing that he is doing; standing by me as we do this together.

I know how lucky I am.

04 May 2013

Welcome to the third!

~ by Kim

We've made it to the third trimester! I know I've said it before, but it's hard to believe how quickly the time is going by.

We're 28 weeks now and I'm really feeling more pregnant these days. This week I haven't been feeling well and have been fighting a cold that I'm pretty sure I caught from the girls. The worst part is that I can't take any medications, so my symptoms feel magnified, and it's harder to sleep at night. I fear I may be developing a semi dependent relationship with my jar of vaporub.

I'm also starting to experience the usual nuances of pregnancy that I'd somehow forgotten about since last time, though are not new to me and I experienced in both my previous pregnancies as well. At night I get pretty intense leg cramps that wake me up, and have me jumping out of bed trying to stretch out my calf muscles. I've  been waking more frequently with bouts of insomnia, where I've been up for extended periods of time in the middle of the night, and then feel exhausted come morning. Trips to the bathroom are more frequent as this little guy puts more pressure on my bladder, and I find myself getting out of breath quite easily now. It doesn't seem to take much exertion for me to be winded. My balance is little off, I'm favouring slip-on shoes, and I bump into things more often. Pretty normal pregnancy so far.

On the more fun side of things though, this little guy is moving around and kicking like crazy these days! There are times I'm still a little in awe as I feel him moving around and responding to outside stimulus. Last week we went and saw a movie at the IMAX theatre, and with such a large sound system I could really feel him reacting as the volume and sounds effects varied.

The past couple of weeks I've also been feeling a little more emotional. I'm not sure why, but it seems like doesn't take much to get me misty eyed. Who knew that "Dumbo" was such a tear jerker?!? When he's taken away from his mother and she goes to the mad elephant cage... heartbreaking. Am I kidding? Sadly, not. Luckily, the girls were completely engrossed in the movie and there was no one else around to notice me sitting there teary-eyed as he visited his mother and the sad music started to play. Thankfully, I could pull myself together without too much humiliation.
My colostrum has also come in, so I've come to the conclusion that I must be going through some sort of hormone surge. (Will keep this in mind when making my next movie selection.)

One thing that has surprised me lately, is that Rowan, who just turned 2, has started putting a baby to her tummy, sometimes even putting it under her shirt, saying "baby tummy." Maybe she's picked up on more than we give her credit for, which wouldn't be too hard as we don't usually give her too much to start with. We've put more of our attention on Lily, trying to make sure she really understands what's going on. She's at an age where she may remember this.

The other day, she asked me if she could talk to the baby and if he would hear her. After I told her yes, she lifted my shirt and came right close to my stomach, saying:
Hi baby,
My name's Lily. I'm cousins with you. We're not going to be keeping you, ok? You're not staying with us.
Your mommy is in.....
- Mommy, where is his mommy?
(me: Calgary)
Right. Your mommy is in Calgary. 
I think it sounds healthy. Like she gets it.

Also exciting for us is that this month we will be taking a little road trip and making our way to Calgary. One of my best friends is there, so we're usually out there just about every year, and now we have even more reason to make the trip. We can't wait to see Janelle and Joel's new house and get in a good visit with friends and family there. Travelling with the girls is pretty slow going with several stops along the way, so we always allow a few days to get there and have the drive out be part of the vacation.  "The Enchanted Forest" opens this month, so we're good to go!

We leave in 3 weeks and I can't wait to share all the baby kicks and jabs with them!

28 weeks
(I think this pic is definitely better than the 25 week shot)