Wednesday, December 14, 2016

One Year Ago..

Today is the one year anniversary of our third and final transfer! Finally we had success!!!

One year ago today, we transferred two embryos into my uterus.  Two tiny microscopic embryos that finally decided everything looked (i) just right (/i) and snuggled in.  Today those little totsicles are adorable, giggly, precious 4month old baby girls.

See those tiny little dots in the top picture?  Those are the little embryos..  Not that they weren't cute and all but I like today's picture much better.  Adorable beyond belief!!

 I am forever blessed to have been able to carry them and hand them over to their Mama & Daddy.

One year ago today I went in with cautious hope and a little bit of faith.. Today I am astounded by their every accomplishment and so proud of those little blessings.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Final Birth Story....

Hey peeps..  I know, I know. I left you hanging back there in July.  Let me start by saying the Twins were born healthy- full term and no issues whatsoever!   I kept meaning to post over and over but I would find something else to do.  I think perhaps with this being my LAST surrogacy and all, I didn't want to let go.  Writing my birth story seems a little like the last word on the last page in the last chapter of a really good book that you just don't want to put down.  But today is 16 weeks since the babies were born so I figured it was kinda now or never.  You have to let go sometime, right?

So we left off at 34w5d and dilated to 4.5cm.  My dr was sure labor was imminent.  Let me just say now, my dr was pretty much wrong every single time she swore I'd have those babies before my next appointment.  I went in the next day 34wk6d and still the same 4.5cm.   The dr and I discussed the likelihood of needing to be closer to the hospital.  I think this was the biggest worry for all of us in the last days. With the first set of twins I was in L&D and went from 5-9 cm in a matter of minutes. So being so close, we were pretty much all afraid that once I went into real labor (vs the inconsistent contractions that became the bane of my existence)  the babies would pretty much be born in the car on the way to the hospital (remember I live 1hr from my delivering hospital).   Back and forth we went, whether to book a hotel and stay close by or just go home and risk it.  Ultimately we decided that I would just go home. Logically with all factors involved it just worked better. Plus there is a decent hospital halfway to my delivering hospital (although no NICU) that would work in a pinch.   My dr decided that seeing us a few times a week would be best but every visit she swore she'd see me in L&D before my next appointment.  Every visit she was wrong... lol.  It became a running joke. How many times can the dr guess wrong?? lol 

So fast forward 2 weeks.  YES 2 weeks.  Apparently when someone asks how long can you walk around 4.5-5cm dilated and not go into active labor??  Well I don't know the exact answer but we will say AT LEAST two weeks. 

Monday Aug 8 - by this point everyone who had guessed in the baby pool had to pretty much guess again.  This was my date.  8/8/16.  What an awesome birthday for twins!  I had a dr appt that day and asked about doing an u/s because at our last one (2wks prior) baby b was slightly smaller than baby a. She agreed (fyi- still dilated to 5cm and holding).  At this point, DH came with me to all appointments and we always brought the hospital bag - just in case. lol.  This was the first u/s he had been able to come to, so his first time seeing these little ones 'in person'. Long story-short, the u/s showed that Baby B had not grown in the past 2 weeks.  This was slightly concerning since she was already the smaller twin. They looked at the cords and all looked okay but with 2 babies jammed in there, it's sometimes harder to see everything clearly. Plus the fact that laying flat on my back for any length of time was enough to make me want to pass out.  Not the most fun experience.  My Dr came back in said that if we still wanted to induce (we had asked at what point induction would be advisable) then she thought that baby a measuring smaller and not growing for 2 weeks was enough to warrant an induction.  So we agreed to induce on Wednesday - Aug 10 - exactly 37weeks.  Naturally Aug 10th was Baby Mama's pick in the baby pool.  I told her she didn't win if we induced though. lol :) 

Surprisingly enough, we actually made it to induction day.  I figured these girls did not like being told what to do the entire pregnancy so they would come on the 9th just to be contrary, but they were nice and compliant.   We all arrived at the hospital at 8am for induction. Finally!! 

 We got hooked up to the monitors and they checked me -- still 5cm.  Not a contraction in sight. lol.  They ordered the pitocin and my epidural at the same time.  Again from the last twin pregnancy I was worried that once it got started it would go fast..  ha ha ha. Silly me.  I did ask about breaking my water and letting nature take it's course vs the pitocin route but little miss baby A was hanging out too high up and there was a risk of the cord getting pinched.  Little booger.  So we settled in. Pitocin came and got hooked up.  Then my epidural lady came and placed that.  I had only had like 3 good pitocin contractions when I got my epidural and I think that's probably why it was the most painful. Normally you've had hours of labor and pain is a thing of the past by then.  This lady kept saying boy your vertebrae are close together, I'm having a real hard time getting between them.  I'm like Lady, this is my 5th epidural and no one has ever told me that before. LOL!  Eventually it was in and we all settled in to wait. 

And wait we did.  The excited parents eventually went off for lunch and came back again.  Still waiting.  Lots of checking in between, me changing positions trying to make monitoring 2 babies easier b/c those babies were stinkers. Eventually they broke my water on Baby A and put a scalp monitor on her b/c she was always my little mover and would NOT stay on the monitor.  Stinker!!  Actually truth be told, they put 2 scalp monitors on b/c the first one didn't work. lol. Like I said, she's the troublemaker.  I could bore you to tears with the waiting but pretty much it went really smoothly.  Finally I got to 9cm and had to spend some time on my side since Little Miss Baby A was not keeping her head down properly (she wanted to turn sideways instead of head down) and there was a darn lip on my cervix.. sigh..  Troublemaker I tell you.  We all laughed that these girls were trying to be so convenient for the dr, they waited until her office hours were over before my nurse even had to call her to come to the hospital!  Yep - all day long.  Rotten kids, so much for my worry about going fast! Lol! 

 Finally it was time to head off to the OR (all twin births at my hospital must be delivered in the OR) for the birth!  We gathered around for a quick picture of all of us together - because naturally all these hours in labor, no one thought to take a picture. lol. We are lame. ha!  But at least we all look cute in our scrubs. 

When we got to the OR, Baby Daddy stayed just outside the room (per hospital rules only 1 person is allowed in the OR, we stretched the rules by letting DH & Baby Mama in).  Once Baby A was born she would immediately be taken to the hallway to be checked over anyway so he would get to see her right away (they had a little set up there with the bed and all for her).  So we got into the OR and I had to transfer from my bed to the OR bed.  I love how these people think that a woman with a good working epidural can just move themselves from bed to bed.. That may have taken a few mins. lol.  Our room was packed. My dr, the NICU staff (just in case) , nurses for the babies, my nurse plus her mentor nurse b/c my nurse was new and wasn't allowed to do everything yet.  Then the pushing started. and went on and on.  I was beginning to think this kid was not going to come out AT ALL and we'd end up with a c-section after all.. I did learn that I cuss a LOT during delivery.  Ooops.. lol. Finally Baby A came out - sunny side up!! ARGH!!! No wonder she was so hard to get out. I swear this child- TROUBLEMAKER.!! Apparently when she was sideways and finally turned she turned head up instead of head down. Always something with this girl!  But she was here and looked wonderful!  Super quiet though! She came out all cone headed. Poor thing!! I told Baby Mama to go on out and visit with her for a few minutes b/c the Dr was going to do a quick ultrasound to make sure Baby B was still head down.  

 My dr was highly amused when she did the ultrasound b/c it was the first time she saw her own fingers on the ultrasound. lol.   Baby B was head down and ready to rock and roll!We called Baby Mama back into the room. Baby Daddy & Baby A also snuck back in!  The dr tried 3 times to get her water to break but it wouldn't budge, so she decided we would go ahead and push with the water intact.   Baby B was smaller and actually facing the right direction so she came out much easier!!  The water finally broke as she was coming out!  The entire pregnancy I always commented how BabyA was the mover and Baby B was always content to just hang out in her little corner, usually curled up.   We found out at delivery that Baby B's cord was much shorter than Baby A's.   I'll spare you the sight of fresh baby covered in goo pictures but I do have one of Baby B (Baby A's cord was still hanging there attached to placentas b/c in a twin delivery both babies are delivered and then both placentas) which shows her freshly born before her cord was cut and it is pulled tight.  Yet Baby A's freshly born picture shows her in the same position and her cord is laying loose and looped around.  Poor Baby B just couldn't move around as much as her sister b/c her cord was holding her in place. lol.

Stats :
Baby A - 6lbs 6oz, 20 inches long , born @ 5:23pm 
Apgars 6 & 9

Baby B - 5lbs 6oz, 19 inches long, born @ 5:42pm 
Apgars 9 & 9

Exactly 1 lb and 1 inch apart!!  

   The babies were 100% healthy! There was a slight jaundice issue but nothing huge. The parents were given their own room down the hall from mine and were released after 2 days :)  I hung out at the hospital for my entire 48hours (vacation!!) and went down to their room to hang out, or they came to mine.   I pumped for the twins for the first few months, they had to supplement with formula anyway while I built up a supply.  Now that they no longer want any milk,  I am still pumping and donating to Preemie Milk Bank.   I do get pictures all the time and even went to visit right before Thanksgiving :)  I love this family to pieces! I'm so glad to be a part of it in a small way =) 
And that, my dears, is that.   My 3rd surrogacy is over and while my dr keeps trying to convince me that I should do just one more.. I'm 98% sure that I'm officially retired.  Do I miss it? Sure. About 2 weeks after giving birth to the twins I was already missing the pregnancy. lol. But three great journeys is a blessing and I hate to jinx myself.  So I'm calling it - I'm out. 

Thanks so much for following our journey. I'll always be around to answer any questions anyone might have.  I may occasionally post updates on the 2 sets of twins :)  Until then, take care!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A major catch up !!

And yet again I have failed at my blogging duties.  I blame twin brain.  #1. I can't comfortably reach the keyboard anymore. #2. I think up all these great posts but when push comes to shove,  Oh LOOK!! Squirrel!!    lol!  I swear these babies have made me soo ADD it's not even funny!

So here we sit at 1 day shy of 35 weeks!  Further than we made it with the last set of twins (born 34w3d).  My Doc assures me that typical gestation is 35 weeks and each day is a victory.. So I'll take it :)

Let's try to play catch up...

Naturally having preggo brain I've probably forgotten half of what I should have posted but we'll just have to deal with it.    This pregnancy has been super smooth!  No bedrest whatsoever!!  Remember last time?  Bed rest at 29weeks!   It still amazes me that I got away with none this time!  Awesome!

So let's go back to 25wks preggo.  We had been trying to figure out a time that both parents could come and do a 3d u/s but it just wasn't working out.  So I went with my bestie T and we did one and gave them the pics/videos for their baby shower present! Lol! 

Things moved along fairly well. Every ultrasound showed each little girl in a different position but never head down.  Stinkers!  I actually contributed this towards not dilating and contracting early like I did with the Spanish Twins.  They were always head down and that pressure on the cervix had to be doing something.   Not these girls, they are happy to float along, usually transverse and almost always with their little heads together like they are telling secrets!  We have soo many pics of just their little heads together. I LOVE IT!! :)

28 weeks came and the lovely Glucose test -- which I failed by 9 measly points! ARGH!! What the heck?? I've never failed one!  So I got to do the lovely 3hr at my 30wk appt. Which I PASSED!  Ha!  Take that stupid glucose test!! :)

The fun thing at my 30week appt was that I was able to schedule it so I got the awesome u/s tech!  She even gave us a little 3D pic preview! Woohoo!  She is awesome!

For some reason no one seems to be able to see Baby B's pic but to me it's perfectly clear. lol.  It's a side shot and she has her arm curled up under her head..  Aren't they adorable?!   I love how much they look like real babies in these pictures!!! :)

 Our next appt was at 32w5d - after having had some contractions off and and the dr decided to check my cervix.  It was just 1 cm so we weren't too concerned! :)  This is my 5th pregnancy after all !  All in all things were going good!

Fast Forward us to last friday ( 34wk2d).  Jill (IM) and her MIL were able to come to the appt!  This one was especially nerve racking because I had to work soo hard to make sure that I didn't slip up and say the babies names.  Only Mom, Dad & I know the names and Gma was hoping with everything that we would slip up. lol.   We made it thru the day with no slip ups though! HA! :)   So we had another u/s with the great u/s lady!  Both babies were measuring right at 5lbs (A was 5lb 2oz, B was 4lb 14oz) and both were head down!  First time EVER!  How cool!  Of course these girls like to do somersaults like there's no tomorrow so I wasn't confident that they'd stay there. lol. They are soo active it's not even funny!  After the u/s we saw the dr.  We discussed the pros & cons of getting the steroid shots (I feel nervous not having them if I'm dilating at all b/c I constantly worry about when to go to the hospital with contractions -- soon enough for shots but I hate being sent home.) Dr told us that they are only good for like 2 weeks which we didn't realize so she would give them if we really wanted them but would prefer we wait until she felt we were closer to delivery so they didn't wear off too soon.  We all agreed with that! :)   Then we discussed birth options.  We have always been pro- vaginal birth.  I've never had a c-section and don't particularly want one.  The last twins were vaginal births, so I'm hoping these are as well.  Still we went over the scenarios.

1. Baby A Breech = c-section

2. Baby A & B head down = go for it! We always have the risk that B flips after A is out but the do their best to prevent that.

3.Baby A head down but B transverse -- now this one I don't recall which as which but dr says if B is transverse but facing down then she could try to rotate her into position and deliver.  If B was transverse but facing up then it was risk to rotate and would do a breech birth. (note- those two scenarios could be flipped, I don't remember which was which now. lol).

4. Baby A head down but B breech = could do a breech extraction b/c they don't rotate a breech baby due to possible cord issues.  I did not know this!

So after researching breech extraction (eek) and the possible complications for both the baby & me, Jill and I agree that we'd rather not risk it.  I worry about Baby B's spine getting injured or her head getting stuck and ending in cuts that could cause me more issues too.   So as of right now, the plan is if both are head down we are going for vaginal.  If any other scenario, then we'll opt for the c-section as the safer option.   Whew..

Anyhoo after this long discussion with the OB,  Jill & MIL stepped out so she could check my cervix. Fun times!!  After a few moments, dr looks at me and says well you are getting steroids today!  Apparently my cervix was now 3.5-4cm!  oops!! After a few minutes of discussing, we decided that I would head to the hospital on Sunday (dr was on call then) and get the first shot and another check, then back to the office on Monday for my 2nd shot.   You know what they say about the best laid plans, right??

After the fun cervical check (at 9am!) I spent the rest of the day with my back just killing me. I could not get comfortable and had some noticeable contractions but mainly just a horrible back ache.  MIL had mentioned that she had back labor for Nate (dad) and we all wondered if that was what was going on.  So after talking to the nurse line, I headed to the hospital just in case for a check. 

L&D trip #1 -  We got triage 3 (ha! same a with the last twins!) Now by the time we went in, I wasn't feeling a lot of contractions just mainly back pain. Just pretty uncomfy.  We got upstairs and got all hooked up to the monitors. My BP was a bit high for me (130/77) which I guess just proves I wasn't comfy? lol.  Our nurse was super nice but I feel maybe a bit new? She put the contraction monitor way high where it wouldn't pick anything up anyway.  After a bit of no contractions she went ahead and did a cervical check - announced my cervix was really hard to find (my dr says WTH? you have the easiest cervix in the world to find!) and decided that I was still the same dilation as this morning with the dr.  We did go ahead and get the first steroid shot and was told to come back the next night fo the 2nd one.

Horrible backache , some contractions on Saturday until it finally tapered off that evening (Go figure).  I arrived at the hospital for the next shot.

L&D trip #2 - We showed up for our shot and another very pg lady showed up with us and let me just say I think she waited a tad too long before showing up.  This woman was ready to go! lol!  She got in the wheelchair (I elected to walk) and we waited for the guard to show up and escort us up to L&D.  Meanwhile her husband said he'd just run out to the car and turn it off but he really went to the car, parked it, grabbed the bags ect.  So our guard showed up and the husband was MIA.   Our very pg lady said a few choice words and we decided to leave him behind and get her upstairs!  So off we go!  We just got into the elevator when the guard shack calls to tell our escort that the husband is on his way.  Again more choice words (and lots of moaning) from our pg lady.  We waited a minute or so but apparently the husband got lost and we left him. lol.  Poor woman, I felt for her.  I know that husband is going to get it when she gets her hands on him!  She kept saying- he was just supposed o turn the car off. *&^**&^&  lol.

So we arrive up in L&D and they whisk pg woman off to her room.  They asked me if I was having any contractions to which I said nope, not at this time!  So they decided that rather than go thru an entire triage process again, I could just go down to the ER and get my 2nd shot.   Works for me!

Downstairs to ER we went.  While we were waiting, a man came in all hyped up telling the receptionist that his wife was in labor!! (apparently he didn't do a tour and didn't know that you don't go to the ER b/c L&D has it's own entrance).  He went back to get her out of the car with a wheelchair.  In comes this calm woman. She calmly tells them she's 41wks, having contractions every 3-5mins. Her husband comes bouncing back in with a bag of McD's (omg ya'll ! They stopped at McD's for food on the way! LOL) and they are taken upstairs.   It was just hilarious the complete difference between the two situations.

So I got my shot and home again we went.    Sunday was another day of some back ache... some contractions (about 20mins apart) which eventually just tapered off.    I woke up Monday feeling great! I had actually slept for 7 hours and no contractions or back ache! Wooohoo!!

Onto our next dr appt  (now 34w5d). BP was up a bit again (135/80) but I had a headache.  Dr assured me that it was a bit high for me but wasn't high enough for them to be worried yet.  Belly measured 46weeks :)   Then for our cervical check --  apparently all those sporadic contractions over the weekend were doing something.  From 3.5-4 on Friday to 4.5 (possibly 5) on Monday.   Ooops!

And that's where we sit today.  Another appt tomorrow, if I get any further dilated my dr suggests a hotel close to the hospital b/c I have an hour drive from home. She thinks they will arrive within a week....  We shall see.  Things have been pretty calm the rest of yesterday and today so I think these girls are just chillin out.  Get everyone riled up and then sit back and giggle together.. lol.

Until next time...