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Sometimes, things go wrong

Sometimes you do everything.

You take the meds.
You center yourself.
You avoid stress.
You think positive thoughts.
Your lining in extra thick.
You say “when i’m pregnant” instead of “if I get pregnant”.
You tell yourself you are made for this.
You tell yourself your body is perfect.
You feel love.
You take more meds.
You drink water.
You eat healthy food.
You eat 3 meals a day.
You talk about the future.
You test your levels.
Your body is perfect and ready.
You take a trip.
You thaw an embryo that has been waiting for you.
You think more positive thoughts.
You tell the embryo you love them.
You tell them embryo, welcome to their new home.
You follow the restrictions.
You continue to eat healthy.
You pee on 30 pregnancy tests.

but you don’t feel pregnant…

You get a positive BETA.
You tell people you’re pregnant.
You pee on more sticks, because

you know your body,… and you don’t feel pregnant.

and then you get your second BETA,

and it’s less than half the first one.

because, you’re not pregnant, and your body has played a horrible and cruel joke.

and you wonder if you did something wrong, because you are supposed to be the hero in someone elses story, and you’ve let them down.

why did my body fail me this time?

Brookes Story

It was Mardi Gras weekend, February 2001, and I was a few weeks shy of my 21st birthday. I was a sophomore at The University of Texas. It was a festive night out, but for some reason, I was not in the mood to drink. I could barely sip my beer because I felt a tightness in my chest. I could not sleep that night, and I found it so hard to breathe, that I had to prop myself up on several pillows just to get air. The next day I went to the doctors office. They did a chest x-ray and found my lungs were filled with fluid. They rushed me to the hospital.

I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Basically, my heart was weakened and became enlarged in an effort to pump harder. They don’t know what caused it. Later we found out that I had genetic predisposition to this condition, but they did not know how or why it came on so suddenly. Usually this is a death sentence for people, but because I was young, and otherwise healthy, and because of a new drug on the market called Coreg, the doctors said I would be able to probably lead a pretty normal life. Just a few little adjustments to keep my heart healthy, and one major one. I would never be able to have a baby.

Of course this was a shock to hear. I was devastated. I had always assumed that I would just have kids whenever I thought the time was right. Probably 2 or 3. Now I was being told it wasn’t really an option. I mean, it was an option, but an option that would have a good chance of killing me. I immediately thought of Steel Magnolias, and how the Julia Roberts character wanted a baby so bad, that she had the baby against her doctor’s wishes. Then she dies. Nope, I thought. Not worth it. Not me. As much as I was upset to hear this baby news, I was just overwhelmingly grateful that I was going to live. As a 20 year old kid, I had never thought too much about my own mortality, and now I was in a hospital bed, talking about life expectancy with multiple doctors?! No, I was going to live. I was going to enjoy my life and appreciate it. And I made good on that promise.  Not one day has gone by in the 16 years since then where I don’t feel extremely grateful and  lucky just to be alive.

I still knew I’d always be a mom, but I would just have to find another way. I read everything I could about surrogacy and adoption and continued to read studies about pregnancy outcomes in cardiomyopathy patients. I was in no rush though. I knew a lot of this stuff took a lot of time and money and I wasn’t anywhere near ready. I knew that when the time came to think about having kids that it wouldn’t be easy, but that I would have options.

A few years later, in 2005 I moved to New York City to pursue my ambitions to work in film and television and to reunite with my best friend turned boyfriend (and future husband!) Joe. It was a great time. We were young and broke, but in the most fantastic city in the world as far as we were concerned. We got married in 2006 when we were 25 years old. Everyone we knew thought we were nuts. In NYC, 25 is basically a child bride. Most of our friends didn’t wed until their early and mid thirties. But we knew what we wanted. We knew each other well and we were in love, it was a no brainer.

The early years of our marriage were fantastic. I was getting jobs working on tv shows and began working my way up, and beginning to make decent money. Joe started writing online and getting more and more recognition and eventually getting hired to blog for a living. We began to settle into our life in New York. We made lots of friends, went to fun parties, did fun weekends away at the beach with friends and travelled abroad on vacations. We wanted kids, but the thought of starting the process, with so many unknowns, was daunting. Plus, all of our other friends our age were single and having fun and working long hours at their jobs, we were already married, so we were ahead of the game in a sense!

But as the years went by, we began to talk about our kids more often. We would name them. We would talk about what they would be like, their little personalities, their talents and dreams. We would talk about it more and more with every passing year. Then babies started showing up. Not our close friends, but friends of friends. I’d see a baby picture on Facebook and melt. I started feeling very jealous of people who could just decide, “ok, let’s have a baby” or of people who could just get accidentally pregnant and have a happy surprise. That would never be us. We had to do some work. So we decided to get started.

I read Dan Savage’s book “The Kid”  that he wrote in 1999 about the adoption of his son. It was an amazing story of love- with a happy ending. But it really opened my eyes about all of the hurdles there are in adoption. Before reading this, I assumed like many people, that there are tons of babies that need homes, and not enough people to adopt them. But it is just not true. People wait years to adopt babies. The demand is greater than the supply. Some people never get selected.Yes, there are many kids in the foster system, who need homes. Many of these kids are much older, and have special needs and most have suffered real emotional trauma. These kids need help and love too of course, but it’s different kind of commitment and training. Not every person who wants to adopt is equipped for that.

Any idiot can have kids, but if you want to adopt, you really have to prove yourself. You have to be interviewed, have references, take classes, have your home inspected, write essays. You also have to pay- potentially a lot of money. But the real kicker, the real heartbreaker that I could not get past was, that you could do everything right. You could be a perfect candidate, you could pay, you could be chosen, and then a birth parent could change their mind even after the baby was born, and there’s nothing you could do about it.

It’s this lack of control that really got me. How cruel it felt. To not have any control about your situation, just because you can’t have kids. You are always at someone else’s whim.

So I started looking at surrogacy. Yes, I liked the idea of having a baby that looked like me (I was a cute baby!) But more importantly, I liked the idea that the baby would be mine. Meaning, I wouldn’t be taking a baby away from a mother who might have mixed feelings about letting her go. I liked that no one could change their mind, because the baby would be ours. I knew that having a surrogate meant giving up a lot of control, I would be his/her mother, and that I could control.

Joe, my husband, felt that same way I did. I did most of the research, but we came to the same conclusions. We wanted a baby and we would figure it out together. The more I researched surrogacy, however, the more I got discouraged again. The laws seemed really murky and unclear. Surrogacy was not even legal in New York! And the COST. I just couldn’t believe it. Sites were saying that you needed $100,000 at least!! WTF, I thought! So, you can’t have a baby unless you are rich??

After my initial research, I got very depressed. It didn’t seem like this would ever be something we could afford. We had good jobs, we had IRAs that we contributed to, but we didn’t have anywhere even close to that in our savings. We didn’t have a house, we didn’t have any assets really, even if we cashed in what little stocks we had, we would be no where close. So I put this on the backburner again. We focused on our careers and our friends and i tried not to think about the baby stuff.

I kept up with my research, however. We continued to save our money every year, I thought I could maybe find a way to do this if I just got started. I found a surrogate message board online. I started chatting with a woman in Colorado who wanted to be a surrogate. She was 25 and a mom of 2. She seemed really smart and nice and we began emailing back and forth. I found a clinic near her house, and made an appointment to get checked out. Joe and I flew out, met her family and began talking about making this a possibility. Everything was going smoothly until I got a call from the clinic saying that she was not a good fit for a surrogate. That’s all they told me. No explanation, nothing. I had already spent thousands on the tests at this clinic (surrogacy and IVF is not covered by my insurance). Now we were back to square one, but worse than square one, because we were out several thousand dollars. I got the call from the clinic when I was at work. I ran out the door and met Joe at Bryant Park. We just sat there and cried. I felt so down and hopeless. And just when it felt like things couldn’t get any worse,  a homeless man walked by and threw a muffin at us. It was something out of a movie. It so absurd that we just started cracking up laughing. At least we never lost our sense of humor!

Then we had some good luck. Joe got a fantastic job offer. It was a super cool job where he would be on TV every day and get to do really fun work with great people. And it paid. A lot. Not only did he have a huge salary now, we would have great insurance that would cover the IVF part of the surrogacy process. Because we now had the money, and because I was still so traumatized from what had happened in Colorado, we decided to hire an agency to find us the perfect match. We decided to work with an agency in Texas, because Texas is a surrogacy friendly state and we have family and strong ties there.

It was fun getting to look through profiles of people who were already vetted, so I knew they had a background check, were healthy, probably not psychos, etc. Because it was Texas, or perhaps because of the spiritual aspect of surrogacy, there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of very religious Christians as candidates. I come from a religious family and was raised in the South, so even though I am not religious, it is definitely something I am familiar with and comfortable around. However, in this case, I became a little uneasy. When doing a surrogacy contract, you are forced to think about a lot of worst case scenarios. When to terminate a pregnancy, what if it’s a threat to the mother (or surrogate’s life?) what if it’s going to be born with severe birth defects? Many of these women’s answers to these questions were guided by what they thought God would want, not what was the most pragmatic, and this was something I was not comfortable with. I needed to be on the same page as someone when it came to the big matters.

Then I found Chelsea. She liked Nirvana, loved books and considered herself a Buddhist. I was in love. She was young and intelligent and knew how to write well and had a good sense of humor. I was stunned that she had 3 kids and was only 23! And still with their father! I had never heard of a relationship where a  teenage pregnancy (much less 3!) turned into a healthy, loving marriage. But Chelsea was unlike anyone I’d ever met, and still continues to impress me. We chatted on the phone. She seemed nervous, but I was thrilled. She was into natural childbirth, and had clear ideas of how she wanted a surrogate birth to go. I just wanted a baby and for her to work with us. So as we talked about preferences, and ideas about childbirth, I told her, “honestly, whatever you want! We just want you!” Birthing Center? Sure. A tub? Why not. Midwives, Doulas? The more the merrier!

A few months later Joe and I flew to Ft. Worth to meet Chelsea and her husband, Curtis, and their kids. We had a great time. The kids were so kind and smart and well behaved, which only confirmed my suspicion that these were awesome people. They clearly were doing a great job raising their kids and had good judgment. And for me, that’s all that’s important. If someone else is carrying your child, you cannot monitor every little thing- especially from a different state. You just have to do your best in selecting someone who you trust, who has good judgment and trust that they will make the best choices, even if they aren’t the exact choices that you would make.

The process took a while, coordinating doctors visits, getting the right evaluations, contracts, etc. It is a process. During this time we didn’t really tell a lot of people what we were going through. We didn’t want to potentially have a public heartbreak. Even with the best conditions, IFV rates (in surrogacy or not) are 70% at best. That means that there still was as 30% chance at best that it would take. Joe and I are both cautious, so we decided to keep the experience on the DL until we knew everything would be fine.

I flew to Austin in June and we implanted one of our embryos (we had 2 good ones) in Chelsea. Immediately she was convinced it took. I was afraid of getting my hopes up. We had a fun weekend in Austin eating Mexican food and shopping at the Herb Bar and just hangin out. I was so accustomed to disappointment that it didn’t seem real that this could actually work. I made Chelsea swear to not tell me the results of her (many) pregnancy tests until we knew for sure at her 2 week doctor visit. I wanted to be 100% sure.

Two weeks later Chelsea told Joe and I the news via Skype. She was pregnant and we were finally going to get our baby girl. I was overwhelmed with joy. I cried. Joe cried. I couldn’t wait to tell our friends and family.

Throughout the pregnancy, I was still super cautious about telling people. I had a good friend suffer a very late term miscarriage, so I knew that there were never any guarantees. We told our family and a few close friends. I visited Chelsea a few times during the pregnancy, but mostly we just texted and talked on the phone. The beginning part of the pregnancy was super tough. Chelsea was having bad reactions to the injections and she was in a lot of pain. Our doctors, however, insisted that nothing could be done and any change in course of her medication could cause her to lose the baby. I didn’t know what to do. I did not want to cause another person undue pain, especially one who was going out of her way to help us, but I couldn’t do anything to risk my child’s life. It was a terrible position to be in, and one not that most mothers never find themselves in. Most mothers are accustomed to sacrificing their health and comfort for their children, but to force someone else to do if for you is a moral quandary that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Fortunately for us Chelsea soldiered on and kept me in the dark about the misery she was going through (thanks Chelsea). The pregnancy progressed smoothly, and our bond with Chelsea and her family grew.

Its funny, for Chelsea, she was constantly explaining our situation to people, because the evidence was on her body. She was educating the general public about surrogacy on a daily basis, and for me, I was about to be a mom and no one knew! I could go out and travel and drink and see my friends, and generally live my life as I always had. I hired someone to paint our nursery and when the painter asked when the baby was coming, I just said, oh, 2 months. He looked at my stomach confused, but I didn’t see the need to explain.

I had a baby shower. My friends planned it and just wrote a little note on the invite “Brooke and Joe are using a surrogate, that’s why she has no bump and is drinking tequila.” It’s funny how no one really questioned it. It’s very strange. No one in my family or friend group has had a baby via surrogate before, yet everyone just accepted it as a given. I would have been happy to answer questions, but not that many people had them. Or maybe they did, but were just being polite. That’s fine by me too. My good friend Alice came over to my house during this time, she was very pregnant and was complaining about the normal aches and pains and general uncomfortableness of pregnancy. “You’re not missing anything,” she said to me. And I believed her. While I did feel a little bit guilty about not having to go through the pregnancy and childbirth experience, I was also relieved. It’s like I gotta get out of jail free card. I got the baby and didn’t have to go through the physical stuff?! Fantastic. No, I couldn’t feel sorry for myself about “missing out” on that experience. I was incredibly lucky, and I knew it.

The week before June’s due date, I headed to Texas. We had a few false alarms and Joe flew down and back a few times. He only had a limited paternity leave, so we didn’t want to waste it before the baby was born. So we waited. I rented a crappy motel in Ft. Worth, and spend most days hanging out with Chelsea and waiting. I felt weird to be taking off work, but not taking care of a baby. It seemed I had so many hours, and there was nothing I could do but wait. I know it’s irrational but I really thought the baby would never come. Chelsea and I made multiple trips to the midwives, did every natural and homeopathic remedy in the book. June just would not come! My mom flew down and kept me company in my sad hotel room that faced a Hooters and a highway, so that was nice.

Then it happened. I got a call in the middle of the night. Chelsea was in labor. I rushed over to her apartment and she called the doula and midwives. My sister rushed up from Austin and Joe booked the next flight out of New York.

The birth was amazingly special. Chelsea, her husband Curtis, my mom and my sister and the midwives and I were all there through the night hanging out, helping Chelsea, and my sister was keeping joe in the loop with texts (he was on the plane.)

Then she was born at 7:03. Or maybe it was 7:08. She didn’t make any noise and I was terrified. Then she let out a cry and I feel like I exhaled for the first time in several years.

The midwives helped Chelsea and they handed the baby to me. She was beautiful. More beautiful that I expected. I was shocked. It was surreal and fun and happy and the best morning of my life. Joe arrived shortly after the birth and held her for the first time. He was so nervous! It was sweet. Chelsea’s kids came and we all ate breakfast together in the birthing center suite.

And then we were parents. Joe and I always joke that we can’t remember what life was like before June. It’s funny, it seems like she’s always been a part of our family. It’s so hard to talk about your child in a non cliche way, so I won’t even try! She is the light of our life and the best thing that ever happened to us. I honestly believe there has never been a better baby! She is well behaved, gorgeous, funny and sweet. And most likely a genius.

Meeting Chelsea was the best thing that happened to us on our journey to become parents, and we have been so lucky and blessed to have met her! And we are excited about doing it all over again!

International Women’s Day, My experiments in equality

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
-Anne Lamott

I sat on the title for this post for a long time.
“Sexism experiment”
“The problem with a dirty name”
“My own social experiment”
“How to loose a guy in a month”
“My body, my choice”
“Nature Vs. Sexism”

But in the end, I decided to post on international women’s day, so I shall honor that.

Let me start by saying, that I do intend to “throw people under the bus”. But hey, like Anne Lamott said, you should have behaved better, and I won’t hold back my story, my feelings, or my writing for anyone. I also have no apologies for being blunt or honest about parts of my body. Just throwing that out there. I am not ashamed of any part of my body or any way that *I* choose to handle *MY* body.

Months ago I started a low key social experiment, I stopped wearing make up to work. The first day, I had just woken up late and decided not to take my make up bag with me to do on my break. I just went au natural. I got so many comments on how I looked different, tired, that my face was broken out, and that I looked better with make up on. So I did it again, and again, and again. Then randomly, one day I wore make up, not a lot, just enough to look different but not to actually tell I had make up on. And I was told how beautiful I was, how rosy my cheeks looked. The next day I went all out on make up. I was told I was wearing too much. I went without it, and told I should wear it. All by my male coworkers. I started to reverse the roles. I told them they looked tired, and that maybe they should start wearing make up. I got laughed at. I asked them why it was different for them than it was for me, the only answer they had was: “You’re a woman”.

The next month, I decided to try something else. After reading a new study showing that bras actually increase your chance of getting breast cancer, I stopped wearing them. right away I got remarks, but not what I expected. People started asking me if I put on weight, if I was pregnant again, if I should really be eating that. You see, I am a small chested woman, so without a bra making my chest look bigger, my chest and stomach are about the same size. Not wearing a bra made my boobs look smaller, and my stomach look bigger. These comments came from male AND female coworkers, on a daily basis. Always without couth. Always without thought or care of my feelings. It was perfectly okay to tell me that I looked fat, even months after giving birth. It started extending further, my family told me I looked fat, and I started to believe them. My self-esteem started to drop, and hasn’t truly recovered. But I refuse to start wearing a bra again. I’ve had days here and there where I felt ashamed, and put a bra on, but I took it off within hours. Why am I going to put myself in pain, and increase my chances of literal CANCER for other people to enjoy looking at me?

Last month I started a new experiment, I knew I needed time for this one, that I wouldn’t be able to put it into play until summer. I stopped shaving. As a young girl, I was taught as we all are that we need to shave, and that body hair on a woman is gross. When I came of “shaving age” I was obsessed with being “beautiful”. I shaved my legs, my privates, my arm pits, my arms. I wanted no body hair at all. I thought it made me beautiful. I look at my husband, or my brothers running around with body hair and wonder why their hair is natural, but mine is disgusting. When it physically hurts to shave, when I spend way too much damn money on a razor, when it literally doesn’t improve my happiness or quality of life at all, why do I do it? So I stopped. I just stopped. I figured I wouldn’t see the full extent of my social experiment until this summer, when I was in tank tops and a bathing suit and everyone could see my awesome leg and armpit hair. But after only a week, my own husband asked me if I was going to shave. When I explained to him that I was not and why, I was met with backlash. Will writing this and calling him out create more backlash? Probably, but that’s exactly why I need to talk about it. He said I needed to shave, and when I asked why he didn’t need to, he said because I wasn’t disgusted by his body hair, but he was disgusted by mine. That if I was disgusted by it, he would shave it. But it still didn’t answer my question, why was my body hair disgusting to him, but his wasn’t disgusting to him? Why is it, that when I stop doing as I’m told, and I let my body, MY BODY be natural it’s disgusting? We haven’t talked about it again, but I continue to rebel against what society has always told me. And you know what? I’m so comfortable! My skin is no longer red, and bumpy. No more cuts, or ingrown hairs. I feel, for maybe the first time ever, totally empowered by my own body.

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And yes, I do plan on dying it a crazy color when it’s long enough. Because it’s my body, and I want to.

So what does feminism look like to you? Are you a feminist? Have any of the above things ever happened to you? Have you ever questioned why you do some of the things you do? Do you actually enjoy them? Are you stuck thinking that you have to do something, just because you always have, and not because you actually want to? Question your everyday things. Fight back when people continue to tell you what you should do, man or woman. Keep moving forward, it’s the only way to show other people the inequalities that are at play every single day. So go out without make-up. Burn your bra. And stop buy $18 razors that hurt you. Or keep doing them, because YOU WANT TO. Be you.

Happy International Women’s Day. Today, Tomorrow and everyday.

Some things are worth waiting for: The Story of Junes journey Earthside

The Birthing Center looks different at night than it does during the day. It smells different. It has an energy, it’s welcoming and understanding.

Brooke, Curtis, Carla, Dana and I made our way into the Center and up the stairs to the birthing suit. I mention that I have yet to call Laneys back up birth photographer, Eva, and that I was unsure of when to do that. I hand someone my phone and tell them her name. That’s the last time I saw my phone for many hours. It was glorious to not be attached to it or to care about it. I knew that all updates from this point on would be taken care of by all the wonderful people who surrounded me. I felt safe, I was unafraid.

I could feel all my contractions in my hips. Dana was awesome putting counter pressure on them, helping bring that pain down so I could focus on the contraction it’s self to help baby move down the birth canal. Carla wanted to check and see where we were. Earlier in the day I was 2 1/2cm, 80% and -1 station. Carla smiled at me, “You are definitely in labor!” I was at 4cm, 0 station and my waters were broken, just leaking slowly. They put a giant Depends diaper on me so I didn’t leak everywhere… it was pretty sexy if I do say so myself.

We put on Classical music on Pandora and I get on the birthing ball to do hip circles. It feels much better than it did at home. I think their ball was bigger and better inflated. Either way, it helped a lot. I remember hearing Danas voice behind me, talking to me and gently asking questions about being comfortable and asking if I needed anything. At 3am Eva, the birth photographer, arrived. It was the first time we had met. But I am an open book and easily opened myself and our space to her. I was grateful to know that someone was there who would be able to document this experience with pictures for us.

Soon after that Dana starts asking about other positions, I just remember saying “sure” to everything she said. Curtis came over and I hung from his shoulders during a contraction. I felt safe, but it was uncomfortable and made me nauseous. I went into the bathroom and threw up a bit. I remember being angry that I was throwing up. I wanted to eat and drink and stay as energized and hydrated as I could. I would never be able to do that throwing up. Dana brought in some peppermint oils and the smell helped so much, it really surprised me.

I remember asking about Joe a few times. Brooke had called him when we first got to the birthing center, but it was still hours before he could get a flight from NYC. I remember asking where her mother was (who had been staying at the hotel in town with her the whole time), but I guess she wanted to sleep through most of my labor and would come later. And I remember asking about Alex, Brookes sister. I am always concerned when people travel, wanting to be sure they get where they are headed safely. I asked about Alex a lot.

When I left the bathroom I went back to the ball and everyone started hanging my birth affirmations. They looked beautiful and I felt proud of all the hard work I had put into them. Dana and Carla asked about my favorites:

 

“Birth is not only about making babies. It is about making mothers.”

For me, as a mother of three beautiful children who am totally in love with, this quote hits me in the heart every time I look at it. I wasn’t just growing little June Bug, I was growing a mother and a father too. Dana and I talked about what I looked forward to most. “The look on Brookes face when she sees her daughter for the first time”.

At 3:40 I agree to get in the shower, hoping it will help to warm me up (I always feel like I’m freezing while in labor), and hoping the water will help with my contractions. The water feels amazing. I look at Dana and tell her “Best idea ever”! In between contractions she asks me if I want Brooke or Curtis to come comfort me or help me. I knew that they were there and that I could count on them for emotional support, but Dana was exactly what I needed for both emotional and physical support. During each contraction she talked to me, telling me to relax my body, to let the waves come to bring June to shore. She helped me steady my breathing and knew just the right  counter pressure at the right time to help me. When counter pressure wasn’t needed, rubbing my back or arms while continuing to help me focus.

I labored standing up for awhile, continuously asking if Alex had made it from Austin safely. She arrived around 4am. I tried different positions in the shower, squatting, sitting. Nothing felt right and I went back to standing until 4:20 when Carla suggested we try some more moving around to help speed things up. I am zen. I am happy to do anything to help bring June to her family faster. I get dressed and Dana, Carla, Eva and I head for the stairs. I take them two at a time, sideways (so there is a lot of widening in my hips). It didn’t last very long before I started to feel nauseous again. I end up on the bed, smelling peppermint oil to calm the nausea when I overhear Curtis. He’s in the kitchen with Brooke and Alex, telling them the stories of my previous labors. I’ve never heard them from his point of view before. This ups my spirits a lot as I get a nice rush of Oxytocin, feeling so in love with my husband, and so thankful that he is there. His voice is the calm in my storms.

I know sitting on the bed isn’t going to help progress labor at all, so I get up and stand next to the couch, squatting during contractions. The pressure is unreal but I continue to do it, I know gravity is my friend. I don’t remember why, but I end up sitting backwards on the toilet, with a pillow on the back of it. It’s comfortable and I can feel transition coming. We must be in the home stretch! I can feel pressure in my bottom and can feel myself baring down during each contraction. It’s 5am and they start filling the birthing tub. Curtis comes in and checks on me often, not wanting to get in the way, but making sure I know he’s there. He is supposed to be at work at 6am. He is a supervisor and has to go open the store but promises he will be back as soon as he can. I don’t want him to go but know that he has to. Carla checks me to see where we are. No one tells me the numbers but Carla says we are close.

I get in the tub and it feels great. Brooke is by my side, sitting on a stool, updating her family and continuing to check to see where Joe is. I believe at this point he was just getting on a plane. The contractions during this time are intense and I can feel everything in my butt. It makes the pain more intense and I can’t get comfortable sitting in almost any position. By 5:45 I’m throwing up again. I feel bad because I can hear everyone else trying to hold it together and not get sick too. Everyone laughs and jokes that Brooke may need her own bag to be sick in. She was such a trooper. Brooke becomes more involved at this point, seeing me splashing water on myself they give her a cup and she poors water over my back and belly. Dana suggests I do a seated lunge to keep me from being in one position, I comply, and its nice to get off of my butt. It’s now 6:10 and Curtis is finally back. I feel like I can relax again, I just don’t feel safe without him there. I feel so much better I joke that I feel like a frog in my current position. Yeah, I can still joke, even in the throws of labor.

This is where things changed. I’m starting to push, I can’t control it, my body is ready. Carla wants to check me again so she knows where we are. She checks me and I hear the words I’ve heard twice before. “There is an anterior lip remaining.” She starts to explain but I already know all too well what is going on. June might have been born already, but shes caught on a piece of cervix. This happened with both of my boys. I am overwhelmed with emotion and fear. I look for Curtis. “I can’t do this. I can’t do it again.” I can’t even comprehend what I’m going to have to do.

The anterior section of the cervix is nearly always the last part of the woman’s cervix to be finally taken up into the lower segment of the uterus. An anterior lip occurs when the top of the cervix swells, but the rest of the cervix has completely dilated. An anterior lip can slow the woman’s progress from the 1st to 2nd stage of labor, because the swelling will usually take time to reduce, before enabling the woman’s cervix to be pulled up, and around the baby’s head.

With Collin I pushed for four hours before his head could pass the lip, and with Lex my midwife manually removed the lip during one excruciating contraction.

Carla offered those two options, to continue to labor and wait for the lip to move on it’s own, or she could manually remove it for me. I begged that she move it even though I knew the pain that came along with it. I was taken out of the tub and put on the bed where I got into the “normal” position for pushing in a hospital. On my back, knees up, someone holding my feet, chin to chest. Literally the worst position ever and painful without someone pushing part of my cervix out of the way. THREE contractions. It was torture and my zen was gone. I screamed and tried to not cry, I tried to not be defeated. Finally after those three contractions the lips was gone.

It’s 6:55am and I get right back in the tub. I’m on hands and knees and I reach down to feel her head, it’s there. I hear Carla telling Brooke to look and hear Brooke gasp and let out a small cry. I push slowly so that I don’t injure myself, but I am motivated again. I hear Brooke behind me. I push again and most of her head is out, I reach down and I can feel her little ear, I say this out loud and hear Brooke even louder now. One more small push and her head is born. Carla is doing something behind me, I ask her what shes doing and she says nothing but I can feel her touching me. I ignore it and give one good big push with the next contraction.

At 7:06am on March 15th 2016 June Bell is born.

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You can’t rush perfection

March 1st 2016. Brooke had finally arrived in Fort Worth for the birth of her daughter. Our plans were all laid out. Birth plans, birth affirmations, hotels, when the rest of the family would come, how long everyone would stay. We thought we had it all figured out.

Prodromal labor. Better known as “false labor”. False labor isn’t really a fair term. It isn’t active labor, but every contraction is doing something for your body, and the baby you hold inside. Even experienced moms can have a hard time telling the difference.

Two weeks. Two weeks little miss June kept us on our toes, kept us waiting, kept us wondering. It got to the point where Brooke and I were convinced that I was going to be pregnant forever. Was there REALLY a baby continuing to grow inside me, or was it a figment of our imaginations?

March 14th 2016. We have an appointment at the Birthing Center before they even open. They are so accommodating to us. They know our situation isn’t the “norm”. They know that it’s not just an anxious mom waiting for her baby to be born. Our story is so much deeper, and has been going so much longer.

Shannon was the midwife we were seeing that morning. She checked Junes heart and then gave me a membrane sweep/strip with Evening Primrose Oil, twice. After we had some hard things to talk about. I was 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant. At 42 weeks, you can no longer deliver at the birthing center, as your risks for complications go up. We talked about some more natural ways to kick labor into high gear, and what we would be doing if we went all the way to Friday (42 weeks). At the mention of an increase in the chances of stillbirth, Brooke and I agreed that was not a risk we were willing to take. We set up for an induction Saturday morning, hoping we wouldn’t have to use it.

I went home to rest but felt some good contractions, so I decided instead that I should get dressed and go for a walk. Be alone with my thoughts and maybe encourage my contractions to pick up. As I went to put my headphones on and walk out the door Brooke called me. We talked about what we were both comfortable with as far as interventions and length of the pregnancy. I talked to her about my current set of contractions and my plan to walk, as always she offered to come walk with me.

I just want to pause my story for a minute to talk about Brooke. We are totally different personality types and come from different worlds. But I truly love this woman. Waiting (almost) two weeks later than we expected June to come was hard, demanding, exhausting. But I am so grateful for those two weeks. Brooke and I got to know each other on a whole different level. I got to see her soul in a new light. Each day came with new challenges, and we seemed to be on an optimistic/pessimistic pendulum ride. But we were riding it together, holding tight to each other for strength and courage.

While I was on the phone with Brooke, Shannon popped up on my call waiting. She asked me about what Brooke and I had decided on a number of things and I shared our thoughts and wishes with her. She said that when we left the office that morning she could feel the disappointment and defeat come off of Brooke and I. She was determined to help us get the birth we’d been dreaming of and to keep me out of the hospital. She asked how I felt about castor oil, and if I would want to come back in as the last appointment of the day for another sweep. I agreed to both.

I drank 3-4oz of castor oil as fast as I could and ate as much as I could. It can’t irritate your insides if your insides are empty. I knew it would hurt and I knew I was in for a long night, but I was SO beyond ready to give birth. Brooke picked me up at 4ish and we made our way back to the Birthing Center. Shannon gave me another two GOOD ROUGH sweeps with the EPO and I started bleeding  (which is a good thing). While we were there this time we talked to Carla (the midwife in charge at the Birthing Center), and Shannon went over newborn care things with Brooke. When we left Brooke mentioned how exciting it was that she had had that talk with Shannon, because we always talk about the pregnancy and labor, but talking about the baby just made it feel more real, and made her feel like her baby was finally going to come. We had made plans to go to the store to grab some things I needed after the appointment, but I could feel the castor oil taking effect and didn’t feel up to the trip.

Once home I texted with Brooke a couple times. I was still bleeding, in and out of the bathroom and having some contractions but I down played them because I was sure it wasn’t labor. Curtis and I headed to bed at a decent time that night, around 9pm. I slept hard, like I hadn’t slept in days, but for only a short time. I woke up around 10:30 and thought I was still having cramps from the castor oil, I got up and used the bathroom but was still having the pain. I tried to lay down and go back to sleep. I soon realized the cramps were actually contractions, but still I tried to force myself to sleep. At around 11 after failing to sleep, I had one really good contraction and found myself trying not to make noise so I didn’t wake Curtis. In the middle of the contraction, I physically felt a “pop” and immediately my contraction stopped.

I was extremely confused. Was that my water? I sat up in bed and felt just a little trickle. I got up and went to the bathroom. Still bleeding, and now there was fluid, but not enough to be my water. I must be crazy. I put on a pad and went back to the bed. I tried to convince myself to go to sleep. No such luck, the contractions were on top of each other and I was starting to make noise. I grabbed my body pillow and went to the living room. I refused to wake up Curtis and it end up not being labor. I sat on my exercise ball, brought up some music and tried my best to relax. I was unsure on what to do first. I wanted to call my Doula Laney but she had to go out of town to take care of some very important personal business.

At 12:12am I texted Laneys back up Doula, Dana. I told her what was going on and decided for myself that this really was the real thing. I called the on call midwife, Carla at 12:15 and updated her. She said to wait for Dana and then we would re-evaluate and decide if it was time to come to the birthing center.Dana called me at 12:27 and said she was on her way, but she was about an hour away. I decided it was time to wake up Curtis and stop sitting alone in the living room. I woke him up and told him to make himself some coffee, it was going to be a long night. I also decided it was time to call Brooke and tell her that he daughter was finally coming! I called her at 12:31… AND SHE DIDN’T ANSWER! I was shocked! She had been so on edge and on top of her phone for weeks! I couldn’t help but chuckle. I gave it a few minutes while I gave Curtis the full rundown of what was going on and texted Brooke hoping maybe she would hear that. After another five minutes with no reply I called again. When she didn’t answer the second time I called her sister who answered on the first ring. I told her what was going on and that I was freaking out a little that Brooke wasn’t answering. She promised to get a hold of her and said she was going to be leaving Austin and be on her way soon. Brooke finally called me at 12:55 and I had her talking to Curtis because I couldn’t talk through contractions. At 1:09 Dana sent me a text saying she would be at the house ASAP and wrote some encouraging words. Brooke arrived at my house at about 1:15. I labored there in the living room trying to find something comfortable between the couch and the wall and the ball. Nothing gave me relief. I called Carla back and told her I couldn’t wait any longer and needed to come in at 1:46. She said she was going to hop in the shower and then go to the birthing center, she would meet us there in 30 minutes. I was anxious waiting for Dana, and more anxious questioning myself on where I was in my labor. I told Curtis and Brooke to grab our things, and we head out the door at 2am just as Dana is getting there. At the bottom of my stairs I have a good contraction, I hear a car door and feel Danas hands at my waist, she speaks to me and I don’t remember what she said, but all I know is I let go of the anxiety I had a short time ago.

We make the 15 minute drive to the birthing center, I make Curtis drive slow because every bump we hit makes the pain so much more intense. I see Danas vehicle speed up around us. I have a good three or four contractions on the way there. When we pull up, for some reason I think Carla isn’t there yet and I’m going to have to labor in my truck. Dana comes straight to my side (where she stays until long after the baby is born, Doulas are awesome). I look up after a contraction and see Carla.

Relief. It’s time to have a baby.

Long over due: Baby Watch 2016

It came out of no where. I knew it was coming, I started Maternity leave at the end of January. But still, it came out of no where.

Mama B flew from NYC to Austin, Texas on the 23rd of February where her sister lives. On March 1st, she drove into Fort Worth and I breathed a huge sign of relief. Knowing that she was right here made it so much more real, but also relieved a lot of my stress. My biggest nightmare has always been going into labor, and her not being here when her baby arrives. Her mother flew in the same day from NYC so she could also be here when June arrives.

That night I was craving sea food so went and checked out a place called “The Flying Fish”. Mama B, Curtis, all three kids and myself. It was so great just being all together.

As we ate I started having contractions. I tried to ignore them but they seemed to be rather close together. Then in the middle of a conversation I had one that kind of took my breath away. I couldn’t hide it, so both Curtis and mama B decided it was time to start counting contractions. We went home and I timed them for an hour. They were pretty consistent. Six minutes apart. After an hour I called my midwife and asked what she thought I should do, they weren’t strong, and I could even talk through them. But I was feeling anxious because Daddy J still had to get in from NYC and June Bugs Aunt had a three hour drive from Austin to be able to be here. The midwife said it sounded like labor was coming, and to give them the go ahead to come to Fort Worth. Mama B was ecstatic. I called my doula and she said to sleep, if it was labor, it would still happen but I needed rest to have all my energy for labor. So we all went to bed, Curtis called into work, Junes Aunt hopped in the car and dad bought the first ticket he could.

The next morning (March 2nd) I was still having consistent contractions but they hadn’t gotten any more intense. We decided to go for a nice long walk to try to encourage baby, so we went to the zoo.

 

After walking for a few hours we went to lunch at Risckys BBQ. My doula called me and set out to find a chiropractor who would see me to be sure that June was in a good position and that that wasn’t delaying labor. We went home and I called the midwife to see if I could get in to check what position June was in. I got right in. June was in optimal position for a smooth labor. I went to the chiro anyway. After being readjusted, my contractions totally stopped.

The next day (March 3rd) felt like a bit of a let down. We had rang the bells and set off the alarms, and everyone was just waiting. Waiting for me to pop. A pop that didn’t feel like it was coming. I tried to relax all day, and invited “the family” over to watch the GOP debate and hang out. They brought Chicken Express (we eat a lot ya’ll) and we watched the circus, I mean, debate. It was hilarious.

The following day was my due date, March 4th. I had been so sure that I wouldn’t be pregnant anymore by this point! I was slow moving, each day sleeping less and becoming more sore. At 1;30 we had an appointment with the midwives. The entire crew came (mom, dad, grandma, aunt). June was perfect, measuring on point, still in perfect position, and she kicked the heartbeat doppler. We asked for a membrane sweep, but at 10% effaced, 1 1/2 CM and a “-3” station, I knew it wouldn’t do much. June bug is holding on tight.

 

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Due Date Belly

I had some contractions after that, but I ignored them. I knew it was not Junes birthday. We went to Central Market for some lunch and had some great laughs. My anxiety started to go down. I knew everyone was waiting on me, but the more time we spend together, the more loved I feel, the more comfortable I am, the less anxious I am.

March 5th was Mama B’s birthday! Curtis had drill so I was home alone, over due, tired and sore, with all three kids. We made some birthday cards and watched some Harry Potter. The kids helped me get the whole house clean and then Curtis and I got dressed up (which we don’t get to do often) to go out to a nice birthday dinner. It was amazing! We were there for three hours. Talking and laughing, all getting to know each other even better. We talking about our pasts, about June bug, we even talked about what our futures looked like. Where we see our journey going from here. How we will be involved in each other lives after this. After all, how do you go through all we’ve been through together and not be family after. This was by far my favorite day all week.

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I bet I can guess what she wished for.

That night daddy J said he was flying back to NYC in the morning, and Aunt A was driving back to Austin. Dad only has so much leave and as much as we love hanging out, we all agree it’s better he gets to use his leave for when his daughter is born. And Aunt A has a business to take care of. They’ll be back when I’m REALLY in labor.

Yesterday was a quiet day for the most part. Mama B came over to watch the Dem Debate, but we ended up watching close to none of it. My close dear friend Kelly was in the area and she stopped in and we sat and talked and laughed and reminisced. It meant a lot to me that mama B got to meet Kelly. I hold them both is very high regard, admire their drive and respect their knowledge.

So here I am, March 7th, 3 days over due. I don’t get more than two hours of consecutive sleep. My hands and feet are swollen. I’m always hungry, but no matter what I eat it gives me horrible heartburn. I’m hormonal and cry over just about everything. But you know what? I’m feeling pretty great. Yeah I just made a list of over due pregnancy complaints, but I’m fine. I’ve been waiting for June Bug for about a year, but her family? They’ve waited YEARS.

I wish more than anything I could hand them their baby girl right now. I’m over all my anxiety, I don’t care how uncomfortable I am, or even if it gets worse. In the moment I may complain, but really, what I’m feeling is so trivial in comparison. Over due. This little girl is for sure over due, but not because she’s still in my womb. And every day is one day closer to her finally being where she belongs. In the arms that have longed for her for so long. I’m just a little piece of this puzzle, but I feel honored to have it.

Whenever you are ready June Bug. I know that you will get here on your perfect day. You’ll be surrounded by so much love, and joy. No rush sweetheart, we all know you can’t rush perfection.

Looking toward the future: 2016

2016 will be great!

I’m not making any “new years resolutions” this year, no promises to anyone that won’t be kept or will be forgotten in the weeks to come.I made no promises last year, and 2015 was an amazing year in every way for me. I have goals that I’ve continually set for myself over the past year that I plan to keep moving toward.

  • January 19th is Curtis and I’s 10 year anniversary. TEN YEARS! I’ve been putting up with his crap for an entire decade! It’s amazing and astounding but not surprising. Curtis and I have had our bumps, but we aren’t quitters. We promised to put everything into each other, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
  • In late February or early March, I will be giving birth for the fourth time. Maybe the last time, maybe not, I won’t pretend to know what my future holds. I’ll be surrounded by support and love. And I will hand my little womb mate to parents who have waited years for her. This is what I look most forward to in 2016. And yes, I will have wine ON HAND to celebrate! haha!
  • After June goes home and I’ve had time to recover I’ll be going back to back work full time and working toward a promotion that I desperately want and am dead determined to get. If after a per-determined amount of time it hasn’t happened, I’ll be moving on. Up or out. I’m ready to further my career.
  • For the first time in almost two years I’ll be going to NY in June. I’ll be stopping in NYC to see J&B and little June Bug for the first time since giving birth. And then flying on to CNY to prepare and celebrate my mothers wedding. I’ll be able to see family and friends I haven’t in SO long and I can not wait!
  • Curtis and I have set goals for ourselves when it comes to money, and the future. We are working towards being debt free, and getting our ducks in a row to buy our first home. It may not be in 2016 and we’re okay with that, but the momentum has started so that we can finally find four walls to call home.
  • And last but NOT least, in August… my baby, my youngest child, will be starting school. This is a whole new chapter in the Kimball home. All three of our children will be in school all day. No more lazy baby days. No more snuggles in the middle of the afternoon. And on our days off, the house will be quiet and empty. I’m so conflicted about this! I’m happy to not have tiny babies in the house anymore, but where has the time gone!?

So no, no resolutions, no promises or goals. Just life. My life, our life moving forward. I look forward to seeing how our plans pan out, and to see what life has to throw at us this next year. So here’s to 2016! May it bring all my dear friends and family abundance in love, health and wealth. May you be able to look back at 2016 with the same awe that I now look back at 2015 with.

Happy New Year.

Saying good-bye to 2015

Every year for as long as I can remember I have written a blog post saying good-bye and looking back at the past year on NYE. This year is no different.

2015 is a year that I will never, ever forget.

I brought in the year working, working more than I have in my entire life. Busting my fucking ass.

A few weeks into the new year I was sent B&Js profile. I read through it and found similarities that I was sure I wouldn’t find with anyone else. At this point, they had already said they liked my profile. When I opened their pictures, I fell in love. I knew, I am going to have these peoples baby. Crazy right?

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I met them in March and my dreams of a baby called June Bug were validated when they told me they wanted a little girl, and her name would be June Belle. Destiny.

In March I also decided that I needed to step away from work a bit, and eventually I decided it was best for me to go part time. A career choice that scared me, but looking back, the best thing I could have done. During this crazy time, I decided it was time for a personal, physical change… which obviously means chopping off 3 feet of hair!

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The next three months were full of trials in both my personal life, work life, and the surrogacy. Set backs, paperwork problems, needing extra vaccinations. It felt like it would never end.

June 17th, in Austin Texas, we transferred one perfect girl embryo, hoping she would make a temporary home with me. I took SO many pregnancy tests! SO MANY! Every day it got a little darker, and I got a little more tired. Every day is got a little darker, and I couldn’t tell J&B! They had sworn me to secrecy until BETA (blood draw) day! On June 29th, almost 2 full weeks after transfer, I finally got to call J&B, and tell them myself that they were going to be parents!

Cue morning sickness. Cue intense pain due to hormones. Crippling, can’t get out of pain, literally in tears pain. Maybe the worst pain I have ever been in. I pushed through. I complained of course, it’s human nature. But I still took that damn shot, every, single, day.

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After a scare where I started bleeding at work, and ended up in the ER, we finally got our first sonogram. SURPRISE! IT’S TWINS!!! shock.

We were pregnant with twins for another three weeks, all of which we were told conflicting things. It will survive, it wont survive, it’s not viable, oh look a heart beat. By our 10 weeks appointment, it was just June Bug.

I took the entire month of July off of work, between the emotional ups and downs and the physical pain, I needed rest.

When I went back to work, I was back in full swing. And the rest of the year has been spent putting all my effort into work, and taking care of myself/June.

Not a whole lot going on with my kiddos. Of course they are growing everyday. We have good days and bad days. Emma is determined to be a scientist, Collin still wants to be batman and Lex wants to be a rock star. Emma and Collin excel in school in most (if not all) areas. Both of their teachers are constantly bragging about them and they are both up for the gifted program.

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I am saying good-bye to 2015 with a kiss on the cheek and my sparkling juice raised in the air. It’s been a good year, no, it’s been a great year. And I have a very good feeling, that 2016 will be even better.

Navigating the world with a bump that’s not my own

Life is good right now. The holidays are coming, fall weather is actually happening in Texas. Big things are happening at work and my children are just as wonderful as ever! June bug is a normal part of my every day. I think about her mommy and daddy every single day, every time she kicks me. I don’t ignore her, I rub my belly lovingly and tell her how loved and wanted she is. I tell her that her birthday will be the best day in so many peoples lives. I tell her that I love to take care of her, but I can’t wait for her to go home. My kids talk about her sometimes, sometimes the feel her kick and talk to her. Mostly they ask her if she’s doing good and not to kick their mommy too hard. Curtis interacts with her when I get super excited about major movements, and as she grows he’ll play with her (with lights on my belly or making funny noises on my belly or even playing music for her).

We are all very content with our life and our little visitor.

But now that my belly is expanding more and more people are starting to notice that I am without a doubt “with child”. I know that my pregnancy is not the “norm” so I have no harsh feelings toward people.. but I am more aware of people being intrusive on pregnant women in general. “When are you due” “How many kids do you have” “Did you mean to get pregnant” “Is it a girl or a boy?” “You’re tiny!” “You’re huge!” Just to name a very few things I have already heard.

When my kids are with me, they are the first ones to say “June isn’t my sister, my mom is just holding her for “mama B” which is the truth, but just leads to a whole new slew of questions. “Are you gay?” “Are you her sister?” “Why would you do that?” “What about your poor confused children?” “How does your husband feel about all this?!”

So I guess I really just want to take a minute to put this out in the universe somewhere. This belly is mine, what’s growing inside is not:

22weeks
22 weeks

My husband and my children adore J&B and little June. We were all WELL aware that we were not going to have another child (AND DON’T WANT ONE). My children think nothing of it other than mom is getting fat. They are not confused, they are not scared, they are happy to help another family. This woman is going to have a beautiful daughter in a few short months:

Mama B & Collin
Mama B & Collin

Doesn’t she look beautiful!? Glowing even?! Because she’s having a baby! She’s going to be a mom! YAY! You know what else? She trusts me. She trusts me with the most precious thing in the whole world. So next time you ask me “Are you aloud to eat that?” or “How could you do such a crazy thing?!” Stop it. Because not a single person who has said anything like that, has been someone who has struggled with infertility, or simply can’t have their own baby. So just leave me be to grow a little human while I raise my own little humans. I’m very happy to say that my family is NOT normal and I like it that way, thank you very much!

June Bug says mind ya own!
June Bug says mind ya own!

June Bug is on the move

It’s funny how life can get away from you sometimes. Or maybe it doesn’t get away, but you’re so caught up living it! So much has happened since my last post in MAY! We transferred one beautiful embryo on June 17th in Austin Texas. I got to spend some more time with mom and met pretty much ALL of her family. It was a really amazing trip.

Me, mom and June Bug! Ready to get pregnant!
Me, mom and June Bug! Ready to get pregnant!

When I came home from Austin, it was a waiting game. I felt the morning sickness and exhaustion start almost immediately and started taking home pregnancy tests. I got my first faint positive on June 21st, fathers day (just four days after transfer)! I wanted so desperately to call mom and dad and tell them the news!!! But alas, they had decided they wanted to wait for my blood draw which wasn’t until June 29th (12 days past transfer). I peed on 2-3 sticks a day! Watching that line get darker and darker and I knew, our first try was a success!

How many sticks can someone pee on!?
How many sticks can someone pee on!?

July 29th came, and mom called me early that morning. I told her I had been testing, and we both just couldn’t wait until the blood draw came back, I told her over the phone that she was going to be a mommy and I could feel her joy all the way from NYC to DFW through the phone. My blood work felt like it took FOREVER to come back, but when it finally did! BETA was 550!!!! I was ecstatic! I skyped with mom and dad and got to look them in the eyes and tell them both the great news. The emotion was overwhelming. It is truly a moment that I will never forget and treasure my entire life.

Since then we’ve hit a few little bumps, and had some shocks. Turns out that our one little embryo SPLIT into TWO baby girls! We were all in shock! Just as much as we were when we lost the twin around 9 weeks.

Medications turned into a huge challenge, making me unable to move without being in extreme pain. I ended up bed ridden for most of July. Since then it has been smooth sailing, outside of some major nausea and morning sickness that lasted until about 15 or 16 weeks.

Today I am 19 weeks pregnant and as I type this, June is belly dancing while we listen to some grunge music (which seems to be her favorite). My belly is smaller than it was with my boys but I’m glad to be able to still sleep comfortably and fit in MOST of my clothes. I haven’t seen dad since we first met in March (though he works a lot), but we do communicate sometimes via messenger on facebook. I talk to mom almost once a week over the phone. She’s coming for a visit next week for the anatomy scan. It’ll be the first time I’ve seen her since transfer.

My everyday life both is and isn’t effected by my surrogate pregnancy. I don’t work even close to the 50 hours I was working before I got pregnant. I do miss work, but I’m cherishing this time with my youngest child who will start Kindergarten next year. I’m also taking this time to figure out my own career and long term plans for my families future.

Some funny irony is that it was one year ago, in October that I filled out my application for the Surrogate agency. I’ve been actively on this journey for a year now, but only halfway through my pregnancy.

Little 17week bump with June Bug.
Little 17week bump with June Bug.

So now it’s a waiting game of growing a chubby healthy baby and living life. Planning her grand entrance and enjoying all the people who will be there to help welcome this miracle into the world.

Keep growing little June girl.