The Other Side of Fertility

When I say I was obsessed with pregnancy when I was little is probably an understatement.  I mean really….like looking back it was weird.  If a 10 year old was as obsessed with it today as I was, I would think they are nuts.  But none the less, it was my reality.  I even remember picking out shirts that made me look pregnant bahaha….oh past self, you are silly.

But in that obsession I always dreamt of being a surrogate mother.  At the time I think it stemmed from my fact that I wanted to be pregnant but as I grew it became a way to want to provide the BEST gift to a family who couldn’t provide it for themselves.

As my fate of infertility became my reality I realized I may never even have a baby of my own let alone be able to carry someone elses.  And now here we are… my twins are almost 11 months old and I am realizing this may be in my cards again.

When I went to my annual with my OB in April I told her I was interested in being a surrogate and she was SUPER excited. She said she needs them all the time (really?!) and would put me on a list and be in touch.  I also messaged our fertility clinic and asked if they used surrogates.

Well 2 nights ago I got a message from the ultrasound tech at my fertility clinic that she has a friend looking for a surrogate.  She gave me her number and I text her immediately. Here’s what I know

*I stalked her hard on FB (Judge me all you want, you would do it too)

*She has kids….but is recently married to a new man.  So my guess is, this is a problem with them and not her as she has had 3 kids….or maybe she had her tubes tied…I am guessing…again, I don’t know.

*She is a teacher at a school very much like mine.

*She owns a yoga studio!

*Her texts and messages have been super upbeat and excited.  We are talking today on the phone at 12:30.

I am beyond excited to follow this dream and make someone’s dream come true to be a parent.  I know how hard it was for us to get our miracles and I love the idea of being on the other side of fertility.  Wish me luck 🙂

 

 

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Mother’s Day

I am guilty…..

I am guilty of seeing the stay at home, appear to have their lives together, hair done with make up and kids eating organic food mom and thinking I will never be that amazing.  All while never knowing their back story. Not knowing anything more about them than what I see at Target.

I am guilty of forgetting some of the pain I felt when I wasn’t a mother yet.  I try to tune into that and be present with how painful it was.  I look back at that stage of my life.  That hell I lived for 3 years trying to make my dreams of a family come true.  I hate that some of that pain has been lifted as I want to use it to be there for other women.

I am guilty of still feeling a sting when I see pregnancy announcements or hearing “we weren’t even trying.”  It’s a double edge sword to never ever ever ever wish infertility on anyone but also be hurt by the ease they have of pregnancy and children.

I am guilty of seeing people my age have amazing relationships with their moms and being so jealous.  I will never have that and I want it so badly.  It’s tough.

I am guilty of feeling jipped that Karen’s mom wasn’t the support for me that I wanted in a mother in law. She is fighting her battle with dementia and needs her family support and here I find myself selfishly wishing she was the kind of mother in law that could fill the void of my own mother.  It’s wrong of me and completely unfair.

I am guilty of having my own kids and often not feeling like a mother.  Feeling like I am not worthy of these two beautiful miracles that God gave me to raise and protect.  Praying I am doing it all okay.

I am guilty of taking for granted that we have people here who want to be mamas to us and grandmas to our babies in a unique way.  Family by choice is amazing and we are so lucky.  Yet I fear that one day they will want to walk out on us the way my mom gave up on me so abruptly and unexpectedly.

So I am guilty-…I am guilty of getting everything I wanted- to be a mother- and still feeling so much sting on Mother’s Day.  I feel it, I hate it, and while we shared a truly perfect day on Sunday, I was ready to get to Monday….fast.

 

Here they are….the 10 pounds and 8oz that changed my entire world and made me a mother.

“They are twins! Are they different?”

…..just a little 😉

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9 Months

So that’s a lie…we are 8 months and 3 weeks old but if you follow me you know I suck at this post birth blogging life so let’s call us 9 months 🙂

We crawl backwards and I think it’s the funniest thing I have ever seen.  My kids won’t. stop. eating. Seriously!  Eggs, fruit, veggies, mashed potatoes, bread, avocado, I could go forever. There is nothing they don’t love and it makes feeding them so easy and fun.

The purpose of this post to think/talk about something I never thought I would even think about and that is the idea of having one more baby.  To be honest- I feel greedy even considering it.  I prayed and prayed and hoped and wished and cried and all the other things for one healthy baby and I was blessed with 2 perfect, happy, healthy, life changing babies.  Who am I to think I should get another one?  Sooo many struggling couples don’t even get one.  Which, let’s face it….is bullshit and so unfair and I hate it.  UGH.  Why is infertility a thing?  Maybe it’s because my annual OB appt is today so it has me thinking….maybe it’s because we have 4 frozen embryos that I think about so often or maybe it’s simply because I loved being pregnant soooo much!!!  *Another post coming soon about possible surrogacy situation*  But who knows… we will see where today’s appt leads. I want to ask about future deliveries.  I had a vaginal and a c-section delivery for my twins and that c-section recovery SUCKED.  I at least want to know I have the option of a VBAC.  My doctor personally had 4 VBACs so I know she isn’t against them but I wonder how much begging I will have to do in order to get her to agree to a natural labor.

New topic- Date Night.  If I ever wrote a book I think it would be about marriage after babies….the good, the bad and the ugly.  I have never loved my marriage more than I do as a mama and I think it’s because it was so obvious so fast that it was going to take work to keep our marriage healthy.  It was going to take effort, time when I was tired, going out of my way for my wife and so much more to keep our marriage what I want it to be.

I read a statistic that parents of multiples are 18% more likely to divorce within the first 5 years than singleton parents and I get it.  It’s so easy to each take a baby and….survive!! That is all we are doing some days! haha.  We are feeding, changing, playing, loving on, and growing 2 humans!!!  While we do it next to each other, if it wasn’t for our intentional devotion to each other, we could EASILY devote our nights and weekends to our babies and never even say “how was your day.”

My wife and I have had weekly dates since our babies were 3 weeks old.  Every Wednesday we take our babies to friends who treat us so much better than we deserve, and we go to dinner and usually do some kind of activity like a walk or a shopping trip etc.  IT’S AMAZING.  I completely recommend it and I would be a mess without it.  I look forward to each Wednesday.  I LOVE my kids but I was a wife before I was a mama and I don’t take that for granted.  Love your spouse, love your marriage, and do whatever it takes to make your marriage matter.  I would love to hear ideas of what you to do to show your #marriagematters! Share away! I will probably steal it!!

Lastly- I few milestones we have hit so far..

*babies first plane ride- amazing

*babies first ear infections- easier than I expected

*In laws spent 5 days with us and met the babies- so sweet

*Cousins visited every month and took the monitor so we could sleep-priceless

*babies sleep through the night- MAAAYYBBEEEE next update haha !

*Weight- Landen-20 lbs! Noelle- 18!  Preemies? PLEASE! 😉

xoxo

Amber

Okay, Just Kidding

I refuse to start every post with “I am going to get better at keeping up” because the truth is I really want to! I am thankful for facebook and timehop to remind me of events of pregnancy and babies’ lives but I do miss posting on here as often as I was!

Maybe one of these days it will come back!

Man…. to sum it up- mommying aint easy ya’ll!!!!  I am exhausted but the love out weighs the exhaustion about 1000:1.  The babies are 7.5 months old.  SEVEN AND A HALF MONTHS OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I HAVE TWINS THAT ARE SEVEN AND A HALF MONTHS OLD!!!!  How in the actual hell did that happen??  More importantly-how have I not slept for 7.5 months haha 🙂

The babies are amazing.  They are the happiest people I have ever met.  Landen has a curiosity for the world that is so exciting to watch.  He understands what is happening around him and is always looking to learn.  He rolls from one end of the room to other to get whatever he needs.  He is completely adorable and has stolen my heart.  I never thought I wanted a boy but Landen Lee has proved me completely wrong.

Noelle- God bless my hot mess!  She is a total nut and thinks anything and everything is hilarious.  Like you guys- it’s bad.  OBSESSED WITH OUR CATS!  Nosey beyond nosey.  The whole world needs to be a little more like Noelle.

As far as health- they are perfect.  They have both had their first round of antibiotics after catching the dreaded first ear infection.  I honestly had no idea they even had them and never would have if our pediatrician didn’t tell us at our 6 month wellness visit.  All vaccines have been total cake. They haven’t even needed tylenol.

As far as food- Noelle was breast fed for 5 months and Landen for 4.  I pumped exclusively from the NICU on.  Neither them or I ever had a desire to nurse.  I was a freak about them gaining weight and I am a numbers girl. I had to know what they were gaining.  I wish I would have stuck Landen on formula from day 1 – he was meant for it.  He is a whole different baby (the beginning with him was ROUGH…POST ABOUT THAT LATER….after I get past the PTSD haha…but really)  and Noelle did well but pumping was taking over my life and my schedule and I was too exhausted.  She made the switch flawlessly and rocked it out.  We are on to solids and they love EVERYTHING.  I make their foods *because I am cheap, not a health freak*  We have chosen organic fruits and veggies and we freeze them in ice cube trays.  They have organic yogurt and fruit in the morning.  Then a veggie at lunch and a veggie at dinner.  We have had sweet potatoes, squash, peas, green beans (those hurt our bellies so got thrown away), strawberries, bananas, peaches, and one mac and cheese noodle lol.  There is nothing they won’t eat.  We introduced peanut butter and found no allergies.  Total champs!

Sleep- Noelle sleeps 7-4:30 which works with our work schedules well.

Landen- oh sweet boy…..he wakes up and CIO for usually 10 minutes-1 hour every night.  He is getting better each night and I hate that he cries but he honestly does worse if we soothe him and won’t be rocked to sleep.  Neither of them have ever really liked being rocked. So we listen to him cry and count the minutes until he falls back asleep.  It’s not for everyone but it works for our family.  They have been in their rooms since day one and in their cribs since 3 months.  They go to bed awake after their last bottle around 7 and typically talk to each other for about 5 minutes and then go to sleep.

We both roll and sit up, developmentally they are right on cue.  Landen rolls better than Noelle and Noelle sits up better than Landen.  At their 6 month appt Landen was 18.4 and Noelle was 14.15.  He’s our big bubba and she’s our tiny peanut.

Life is so good and why do I miss being pregnant soooo much that I have actually thought about doing it again?  Ahh!!  Someone get my ovaries in check!! haha

I love watching and reading your updates!! One day I will write about my post partum struggles.  It was real for a bit!  Not for the weak!! Two babies alone during the day was tough on me but it’s so much better now!!

All my love and wishes to those of you fighting the beast of infertility!!!

Amber

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Happy New Year

Part of my 2017 mission is to get back to my blog. I miss it tremendously and have so much in my head that I think I would feel better if I was able to release it into words. For now tho- our babies turned 5 months old yesterday. They sleep in their cribs, still wake up to eat every 3 hours at night (occasionally we get a 4 hour stretch.) part of me hates it and part of me loves the time with them. I know it won’t last forever and our babies are only 3 months and 3 weeks adjusted. For that, I’m okay with their feedings at night. We are up and back to bed within 15 minutes. They smile, grab toys, splash in the tub, and love to play together on the floor. I’m so obsessed with them and love being their mama!! 

My birth story

There are so many reasons I am posting my birth story while the babies are nearly 13 weeks old.  Mostly because twin life doesn’t leave much time for blogging but I’m going to work on that balance so I have the memories! Let’s be honest… all new mamas are swamped! The other reason is it was pretty traumatic at the end and I think part of my mind tried to forget. 

We went to our routine appt on a Thursday (I don’t have a calendar in front of me and it’s 6 in the morning after a long night of feeding for an extra hour.. thank you daylight  saving time) my blood pressure was high again and I pretty much knew we were going to be sent downstairs. Sure enough, we were sent to be watched for 24 hours. 

24 hours later my BP was normal. At some checks in the night it was as good as 118/76. Dr came in the next morning to tell me I could go home as long as my labs they took came back okay. I would be on bedrest there. She was heading to the beach and would be gone until the following Friday. So I was set to stay pregnant and wait for my doctor. She left and we started cleaning up to go home. Our nurse came in about an hour later to tell us some labs were not great and I wasn’t going home. 

For the next 24 hours we waited again and still thought we were going home pregnant. It wasn’t until Saturday morning that the high risk dr came in and said “you aren’t going home until you have two babies.” We honestly were fine with that. We can’t even begin to explain how amazing our care was. One nurse told us “my job is to keep you happy so you need to sleep and I need to feed you.” Who the heck would want to go home? Haha. Not to mention my back pain at this point and swelling was impossible to put into words. Ouch!!! 

Saturday came and went, we had an ultrasound, kept up with BP checks every 2-4 hours, monitored the babies 2 times a day for 20 minutes each and all was good! Sunday came and we re-did blood work. Platelets were dropping, Uric acid was high and it was officially time to think about having these babies. Dr said we didn’t need to have them Sunday but we would have them Monday. Insert. Panic. Before then it just seemed like I would be there and pregnant forever. We now had a real birthday. 

Sunday I took a shower, ate a good meal that karen picked up and brought us, and prepared for our birth. They came and gave me two pills to soften my cervix around 10pm Sunday night. I didn’t have to do the suppository because Landen was sooo low and my cervix was already super soft. I was put on the monitors though and Landen would not stay still so my idea of getting one last night of sleep was not a reality. She was in there every 15-20 minutes trying to get him back on. 

6:00am came and they started pitocin. I expressed I didn’t want an epidural or at least didn’t want the medicine ran through. The doctor who was going to be delivering us came and explained she would recommend at least placing it in the event we need it in the OR. At this point the plan was still to deliver both vaginally but we knew there was always the chance we could end up in c section for one or both babies. I agreed to have it placed. They placed it around 11 that morning. Oh… they broke my water at 8. Gross! Had no idea how long it took for that gushing to stop.. actually… not sure it ever really quit. 

They checked me every 2-3 hours and I was making good progress. I was usually 2-3 more centimeters every time they checked me. My back pain was excruciating but the contractions were manageable. Around 3:30 I felt like there was soooo much pressure. Sure enough we were fully dilated and ready to start pushing. 

We pushed for about 10-15 minutes in our labor room before being ready to move to OR to delivery. The only way to describe what pushing was like is that I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement but no matter how hard I pushed… nothing was happening. They kept saying he was coming and I was so close and I thought for sure they were lying to me. And about 5 contractions later, maybe 20 minutes of pushing in delivery, we had a baby boy! 5 lbs 6 oz and the sweetest eyes I have ever laid my eyes on.

Up until now my delivery was going so well. Everyone was upbeat and talking. Our favorite nurse, Erin, surprised us and showed up for our delivery. She had been our nurse every day until our delivery day. I was sooo sad. So I was thrilled that she asked to scrub in and be with us. She was cheering me on and telling me I could do it and was everything you want in a labor nurse. 

Then the mood shifted. I could tell there was a new feel in the room. After Landen came out, my dr said to relax and we were going to wait for Noelle to come down a little bit on her own before I started pushing again. So we enjoyed snuggling Landen after he was brought to us. The dr said his initial check was good. He didn’t need anyhing in terms of oxygen or IV’s. As we were loving on him I kept feeling the doctor checking for noelles head. I saw her talk to anesthesiologist and things got quiet and busy, fast. I heard her say “we are going to c-section, stat” The anesthesiologist told me he was going to give me some medicine and in about 5-10 minutes they would check me to be sure I was numb and then they would do the c section. As he was finishing telling me this I saw the doctor pick up the scalpel and start cutting me open. 5 cuts across my belly to be exact. While she was doing this I *as politely as I could* kicked and told her I could feel all that. She looked at me with love and sorrow and said “we don’t have time, honey… her heart rate is dropping.” That’s the last thing I remember. They masked me and karen was asked to leave because I was losing a lot of blood and noelles heart rate was in the 60’s. I woke up on the OR table and they took out my epidural there and told me I was going to need a blood transfusion. I barely remember all that but I do remember waking up in recovery with karen next to me holding my hand and my other hand was hooked up to a bag of blood going in. She told me she got to see Noelle and she was healthy and doing well in the NICU. My blood pressure was about 190/90 for an hour. It finally started dropping and I was able to go back to my room after an hour and a half in recovery. I also remember after waking up in recovery being asked to sign permission for the babies to get donor milk in the NICU. I would LOVE to see what that signature looked like haha. I wonder if it was even on the line. 

As I rolled into my room after recovery, my 2 best friends were there and I remember telling both of them to adopt. I’ve since told them I didn’t mean that…ish. But I do recommend one baby at a time and one method of delivery haha. Healing from a 2nd degree tear and a c section was an adventure but honestly it wasn’t as terrible as it sounds. I was done with pain pills before I was discharged. I ended up getting 2 units of blood as my hemoglobin dropped to 6 after delivery. 

I met Noelle the next morning as I was in no place to get to the NICU that night in my condition. The doctor came in the next morning and explained that her cord prolapsed and was coming first. She tried to push the cord up and have her head drop (hence why I kept feeling her check me) but it wasn’t happening. Delivering a cord before a baby is not the way to go so we ended up in a c section . Her heart rate drop meant it had to be fast. 

I pumped through the night and karen took them the drops (literally) that I was producing. They put it on a paci and supplemented with donor milk. Here we are 13 weeks later and I’m pumping about 10 oz every 3-4 hours. 
That was the end of our delivery and the beginning our NICU stay. 11 days for Noelle and 13 for Landen. That’s a post in itself. For now… that’s how they got here. I wouldn’t change a single thing!! 

Still alive … thankfully 

I haven’t posted anything since the babies were born so now I feel like I’ll never catch up. I’ll post my birth story soon as I think I still remember it all! For now, a quick update that the babies will be 3 months old on Tuesday, they are healthy, beautiful, and we couldn’t be more in love…. I’m back to work…I hated most of maternity leave… and sleep isn’t as necessary to survive as I thought it might be. Also… I hate pumping. HATE it. Call me a bad mom… it’s the freakin worst! I have not stopped reading and following everyone! I’m loving the baby updates and new pregnancy announcements. I swear I’ll do better! We are still alive and adjusting to this crazy new life together!