Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Family!!!

Again, nothing to do with surrogacy, but I just really LOVE my little family =)  After the holidays, it really makes me know how blessed I really am.  We had a very interesting year to say the least.  I am just wondering what 2011 will bring us.  Maybe we will have a very relaxing one, but who knows?!?  We could be preparing for baby #3 or surrogate baby #4!!!  We will just have to see. 

I do have a couple HUGE projects up my sleeve that I can't wait to share with all of you... and yes, it has everything to do with surrogacy!!

Oh, and our Santa pics just keep getting more interesting every year!!
Max almost had a stroke when he saw Santa... this is the best we could do.
He had no idea Santa was behind him!!

And my BIG surprise was VERY big!!!  My husband gave me a brand new car!!
Wow!!!  This was one awesome gift =)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Very Merry Visit!

If you live in Southern California you know how bad this weather has been this past week.  No, we aren't knee deep in snow or experiencing tornados or anything like that, but for us year round sunbathers, this rain is out of control!!! 

No matter the weather, it didn't stop me from visiting the girls so I could give them their Christmas gifts that I have been working on for forever!!

They have grown so much and continue to surprise me.  It had been a month since my last visit and they were completely different babies to me.  They are eating twice as much, growing out of newborn clothing, in size 2 diapers, making eye contact, pushing their heads up off of the floor, cooing, and lots of smiling!!  They are very healthy and happy girls =)

Lily, Eve, May

Wearing the outfits I got for them
My momma had these bows made for them... And I am loving Eve's grin here
 May was just so happy!!
Tummy time... LOVE baby booties!!

 Lily fell asleep in my arms ♥


So, I have been working on these photo books for the girls even before they were born.  There are over 40 pages detailing the pregnancy, delivery, and couple months after their birth.  I have so many photos of my growing belly and lots of memories of the pregnancy (all positive ones!!).  Of course I made one for each of them... and one for myself!!

The girls' parents were overwhelmed with joy when they received this gift.  Lots of tears of joy!!  It is something that we can all cherish forever.  I know I am going to be apart of their lives for a very long time, but it is just amazing for them to always have something to remember me by.  Merry Christmas, girls!!

Well, it is almost Christmas and my boys couldn't be more excited.  Holidays are really starting to get fun with them... they are impatiently anticipating Santa's arrival and they were so interested in our rituals as we celebrated Hanukkah.  Yes, we celebrate Christmakkah!!  We have yet to go visit Santa.  I'm not sure why parents subject their children to this torture.  Last years visit was hysterical...

 I'm thinking this year they will be better... can't get much worse than this!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.  I hear I am getting something pretty BIG, so I can't wait to see what my husband has done this time... he's the best =)  

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Tree Memories...

My Christmas tree is full of ornaments, all with special meanings.  We are not the type to put up tons of bows and bulbs, so our tree may look bare to some people.  But, as our family and children grow, we will gradually add more ornaments.  We have cute ones hanging; a preggo girl with "2007" on the belly from when I was pregnant with Jackson during that Christmas, framed photos of the boys' first Christmas, a wedding cake with our date on it, family group with our names on hats for every year that our family grew, a school boy for Jack's first year of school, etc.  This year I added a very special one... 3 peas in a pod for my surro girls!!  They will always be apart of our family and they get to have their own special ornament on our tree every year =)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dairy Fairy!!

Yes, I am still pumping!!

The girls are 3 1/2 months old now and still enjoying every drop I can supply.  I never thought I could continue this long, but I guess I have just become accustomed to it.  Not every surrogate donates their milk to their IP's and I think more often then not, the intended parents are not interested.  I think it is a very interesting subject.  Some people look at breast milk as the ultimate nourishment that is necessary for their baby/babies no matter where it comes from.  And then there are other people who find it absolutely appalling to give their newborn another woman's breast milk.  I'm not sure how I would feel if I was in this predicament.  Yes, the nutrients you get in breast milk is so important for growth and development, but, at the same time, I think I would feel an extreme sense of jealousy.  It would be a very hard reality to face and I think that is why many couples refuse the donation. But, that just makes those couples that do appreciate the milk that much stronger and at peace with their infertility or inability to naturally conceive.

People keep telling me how amazing I am for my dedication.  Don't get me wrong; sometimes it isn't so easy.  I try my best not to let this "job" of mine get in the way of my day.  I am able to find time to pump 3-4 times a day, but it is definitely a hassle when I am away from home for long periods of time.  Most of the time I can handle those days where I am away from home up to 5 hours or so.  I try to ignore that painful "letdown" women get when it is time!!  What does this "letdown" feel like?  Well, to put it as best I can- imagine a million needles stabbing your boobs all at once while your nipples freeze up making any sort of movement feel like they are going to rip off.  Painful?  Yes, but it doesn't last too long.  And then there are the noises that makes it all worse... from babies crying to dogs barking, any loud sudden noises just kills me!!!  I can't believe how mother nature works.  Boobies have a mind of their own and prepare for nursing all on their own.

But, when nature calls and I have no choice but to pump, I do the best I can.  I was in shock when I found that Disneyland had a pumping room for women!!!  My husband and I took the boys last week and I really wanted to stay longer than we usually do.  Our trips to places are usually cut short because of me needing to empty myself, so I didn't want this to be the case this time around.  I brought a manual pump and planned to sit somewhere, or anywhere, with a little bit of privacy.  Much to my surprise, inside of the Mother's Room, there is not only a nursing room but a pumping area as well!!  What will they think of next??  I'm glad the fortune I spend each time I go is being put to something that is useful to me!!

There isn't much privacy in my house anymore, now that my tatas are out all day long!!  In the beginning, I was really worried what my boys would think.  Jackson was too young to remember when I nursed Max and neither of them have seen a woman breast feed a baby.  As funny as it sounds, they were fascinated!!  They did have this look like, "What in the world are you doing??", but I explained it to them as best as I could.  Now, they have become just as accustomed to it as I have and they really don't notice it much more.  However, they have yet to catch on that this is personal business!!  Jackson loves to just randomly bring up to perfect strangers that I have milk in my boobs!!  It can be quite embarrassing to say the least =)

So, is my breast milk making an impact?  Well, see for yourself!!  These girls are growing so fast and are becoming quite the chunky monkeys.  I am officially convinced that I have an abnormal percentage of fat in my breast milk.  The girls are growing at the same rate as my boys did when they were breast fed.  My stuff is potent!!

 Lily, May, and Eve

How much longer am I going to pump for?  Well, my goal in the beginning was to give them milk until they were 6 months old.  I am pretty sure I will reach that goal.  There is a possibility I may go longer, but there are no guarantees.  As for my IP's, they will take it for as long as I will give.

I will have another big update soon... I get to visit the girls again on Sunday and I have something really special for them!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just Some Pics...

Wow, ever since I gave birth to the girls I feel like my life is overloaded!!!  Mixing moving, holidays, and having a 3 and a 2 year old really is challenging.  But it is nothing I can't handle =)  I have so many things on my mind to blog about, from my "beautiful" body to the joys of pumping (yes, still) to the identity of my IP's, but I will get around to it someday, promise!! 

In the meantime, I am leaving you with some photos.  Let me just tell you how much they are growing.  Well, see for yourself!!!  They just turned 3 months old just a few days ago.  I'm not sure exactly how much they weigh but I am pretty sure Lily (in pink) is around 11 1/2 pounds.  And Eve (in purple) is trailing right behind her.  May (in white), who was the smallest of the 3, is around 10 pounds!!  It's so funny because once I report on how much they weigh, the next time I hear from the IP's I learn they have grown another pound or 2!!  I think I have the worlds fattiest breast milk, which I will address on one of my next posts!!

Lily, May, and Eve

 Identicals: May and Eve


Friday, November 26, 2010

The BIG Visit!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  There was so much for me to be thankful for this year, especially for the 3 little girls I brought into this world just 2 1/2 months ago.  As promised, I have updates and photos of Eve, May, and Lily...

This past Sunday, I finally got to visit the triplets for the first time since they have been out of the hospital.  My IP's have decided to stay down here in Southern California through the first of the year to avoid any problems during RSV season.  So, as of right now, they aren't too far from me so it makes visiting very accessible!

My momma and sister tagged along.  I can't believe how much our families have grown together.  It is the greatest thing to not only be able to share this experience with my loved ones, but it is more amazing that they really want to be apart of the girls' lives and watch them grow.  I really see my IP's and the babies apart of my family now.  I am so fortunate to have formed such a fulfilling relationship.

We arrived just in time... girls were ready to eat!!  It was amazing how much they ate.  Huge improvement from when I saw them last.

My mom fed Baby May.  May was the smallest of the 3, but caught up to her sisters in no time!  She is keeping up and eating lots.  She is close to 9 pounds!! 

Cassie had her favorite, Lily!! She is still the chunkiest and her cheeks keep growing.  Lily is approaching 10 pounds!!


And I got to feed Baby Eve!! She still had those beautiful eyes that followed me everywhere.  She is almost as big as her chunky sister, Lily, almost 10 pounds!

After the girls ate, we only had a short visit before they had to go back down for a nap.  Their parents have them on a very strict schedule which is so unbelievable to me.  They are great parents to these girls already and are handling this overwhelming parenthood so well.  Putting 3 preemie babies on a schedule that actually has been successful is awesome.  I bet it makes sleeping so much easier.

I finally got to do what I have been dying to do since they were born... hold all 3 at once!!
This was the first time we have all been together since they were in my belly!!
What an AMAZING feeling!!

My mom loves these girls so much!!

So, how did it feel??  Well, words cannot describe how happy I was to be able to see them all home and healthy.  They are twice the size as when I saw them last and they have changed so much.  Holding all 3 at once, I could still not believe that I grew all of them inside of my belly.  How did they all fit??  Being able to see the girls in their new home and seeing their parents interact with them really made this whole journey mean more to me than I could ever imagined.  I really couldn't imagine life without this family of 5.  I am so blessed to have had such a fulfilling experience that I can share with the world.  Looking into each of their eyes, I am so much in love with Eve, May, and Lily.  As silly as it sounds, I really think they remember me and recognize my voice.  They were giving me this look like, "Hey, I know you!!"  

I am so glad I got to make this big visit and see how much these miracles have grown.  I really got mixed emotions after holding the girls.  I immediately got a feeling... I feel like I need to have another baby sooner than later or become a surrogate again.  I can't get it off of my mind, but whatever it is, I will make it wait until my body is ready!!  

Oh, and this body of mine... well, that definitely needs its own post, which will come very soon!! 

BTW, I just got an email from my IP's... Lily and Eve slept from 7:30pm-7:00am last night, and May woke up only once for a feeding!!!  I cannot believe it!  What amazing parents they have =) 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Role of the Husband... I could have never done this without you!

I have a few issues about post surrogacy to write about since having the girls.. the role of the husband is a very important one to me.  Some of you may think to yourself, "What did your husband have to do with any of this??"  My answer... EVERYTHING!!

From my own experience, as well as many stories I hear from women exploring the world of surrogacy, husbands usually react the same way when that first conversation arises about the desire to carry someone else's baby.  I remember when my husband, Cameron, and I first got together.  I had mentioned that someday in life I was going to try and become a surrogate.  Because this was years ago and we were very young, neither of us took me seriously.  The years went on, and after being married with 2 kids of our own, the subject got brought up again.  The first time we really discussed it, which was 2 years ago, Cameron had so many thoughts and opinions: Was this risky to my health?  What if something happens to me?  Am I going to go through some sort of depression when giving the baby up?  How are our boys going to react? And so on.  Like many men in this sort of situation, my husband wasn't all for it in the beginning.  So, I gave him some time...

Over the next year, I researched agencies, read up on stories of surrogacy, and really thought about whether I should do this or not.  I shared all of this information with Cameron over a period of time.  Because neither of us were fully educated on the entire process, he offered to sit down and speak with an agency about it.  I think this was the best thing we did to start the process.  From the very first step, he was with me.  We learned together and I wasn't alone on any decisions I had to make.  As we walked into the agency, he still was not sure about the whole thing.  But, walking out, he had never been so happy to help a stranger in his life before this day.  No... the agency wasn't like a car sales man trying to push you to make that huge purchase like a lot of people may think.  They were completely honest in the way things worked and never pushed us to make any decisions.  The moment when my husband fully committed, was instantly after we read up on a couple's story and their desire to have a child.  I get chills just thinking about those few minutes where Cameron and I came together and wanted nothing more but to help this couple, or any couple.  We never really knew how bad people have it and how much the ongoing struggle effects their lives.   

So, the process began.

The husband does more than just sign the bottom of the 35+ pages of the surrogacy contract (which they must do in order for the contract to be legal).  In the beginning, he must undergo screening for any health issues or drug use, be evaluated by a psychologist, administer your injections, and follow some strict temporary rules.  A major rule that most men don't completely agree on is NO SEX!!!  Surrogates are to be on "pelvic rest" for periods of time throughout the process; the beginning is the most challenging.  Although with all of the hormone medications you are on, you could really care less, but for the husband it can be a huge frustration.  This is the first test of his loyalty to the entire process.  It becomes very difficult for them to accept that he has to commit and honor the rules even though he is not the one pregnant.  They may begin to feel somewhat neglected as you tend to this baby's needs before him, especially when this baby is not his.  Cameron did sooo well with this and I thank him so much for the support.  I'm not saying it wasn't hard for him, but he did his best not to let it show. 

During the pregnancy, it is up to him whether or not he wants to be apart of meetings with the IP's and doctor appointments.  I really think my IP's were appreciative that they got to know Cameron and actually get together on a few occasions.  Cameron and I didn't feel it was a necessity for him to attend every doctors appointment like he would if it were our own child, but he did go as much as possible.  As you really get into the pregnancy, it's really nice to have someone on "your side" when going into see the doctor.  Not that my IP's didn't care about my health, but it is only natural for them to be extremely concerned about the babies and focus on their outcome the most.  I respected that at each appointment, but when Cameron came along I knew both me and the babies were being cared for by our loved ones.

As many of us surrogates fear they might form some sort of attachment to the baby/babies, I think the surrogate's husband should be aware that this could be possible for them as well.  I know that it was hard for Cameron to see me pregnant.  All of those feelings he had when I was pregnant with our boys started to come back.  Although we were so not ready to have a third, seeing me pregnant made us both want another baby sooner than we thought.  I think Cameron noticed these oncoming feelings and put up a barrier between himself and my growing tummy.  He avoided touching and kissing my belly.  He wasn't interested in feeling their kicks or watching them all do somersaults.  He tried his best to treat me like his wife and not cater to me as much as he would if I were pregnant with our own.  Don't get me wrong, he did his best in helping in every which way I needed it, but I noticed how he didn't "bend over backwards" for me, I guess you can say.  I remember laughing at him some times because he didn't help me out of the car or he walked way too fast through the mall, leaving me yards behind him.  It would always take him a minute to realize and remember that I was pregnant with triplets!!

I think the best advice I can give women becoming a surrogate who is married, is to allow your husband to be involved in the process so that you don't feel alone, but at the same time respect the distance he forms throughout those several months.  Invite him along with some meetings with the IP's and some doctor appointments, but whatever you do, don't force the issue.  It took me awhile to learn that my husband wasn't being less attentive to my needs because he was punishing me for my decision.  Over time, I learned that this was the best way he coped with the situation and how he was able to walk away from the babies, unattached.  Surrogates, don't give your husbands a hard time or give them any guilt trip about him not being there for you physically and emotionally as much as they would if you were carrying his baby; yes, he is apart of this journey too, but needs his own way of accepting it.

The delivery is when I needed him the most, and he was right there with me.  I couldn't imagine doing that alone and I am sooo thankful he was there.  I think the hardest part after the delivery is how we both managed my recovery.  In his mind, I was done.  I wasn't pregnant anymore and he was relieved that those days of misery were over for us.  Because I wasn't bringing home a baby to take care of, his expectations were a little too much at the beginning.  He didn't realize how much I needed that time to heal and he was so ready to have me back to being the mommy and wife I was before all of this.  It definitely was a challenge to balance it all after having the babies, but I did my best to communicate with my husband and assuring him I would be back, but it was still going to take time.  I think husbands are just so excited to have their wife back that they forget about the recovery time.  But, it doesn't help getting mad or disappointed with them... you need to be just as understanding of their needs as you want them to be with yours.

So, it has been 2 1/2 months and I am officially back to normal.  It took forever for my bleeding to stop (a good 9 weeks), but I have gotten so much energy back!!  It was a struggle at the beginning to get our lives back on track, but I think we are just about balanced now.  There are not enough words I can say to tell you, Cameron, how much I appreciate your dedication and support through this entire process.  You were right there with me as those babies were being made and stuck with me until we both saw them come out, one by one.  Yes, my emotions were a complete disaster through the past year, but you never walked away from it and you gave me more support than I could have ever imagined.  Thank you for helping me fulfill my dream.  Thank you for giving this gift to an amazing couple.  Thank you for everything!!

Aren't husbands the greatest?!?! Well, mine is =)

On a side note... I am visiting the girls tomorrow for the first time since they have been out of the hospital!!  I will have lots of photos to share, so look for an update soon.

Friday, November 5, 2010


It has been just over 2 months since I had Eve, May, and Lily.  They are doing sooo well and I have every right to brag about how well I bake buns!!  Not only have I had 2 ginormous baby boys, whose health and weight have never been an issue, but I have also carried triplets who came out as healthy as can be with no health concerns in the slightest.  I remember at one of my doctors appointments several months ago, the doctor and nurses tried to convince me of how perfect my uterus was and how I was made to do this, made to carry lots of babies!!!  If there is such a thing as a "perfect uterus" I guess that they are right.  And yes, I may be made to do "this", but I do have my limits...

So, as time has gone on, the question gets more and more frequent: Will you do this again??

As I think about my answer every time I am asked, it becomes more and more likely that I plan to do surrogacy again.  Yes, some of you may think I am nuts, especially my family members, but no one knows the feeling you get after you have given someone the greatest thing in life... a child, and in my case, 3 beautiful ones!!  There are not enough words to explain how rewarding this experience was, how fulfilling it made me feel, or how my entire outlook on life has changed.  It has made me a better mother and taught me to love and cherish every moment I have with my family, big or small.  Many of you may think you already experience these feelings and appreciation for life, but I also thought my life was near perfect before I became a surrogate.  I guess only the other surrogates out there really know what I am trying to explain.  But, take my word for it, I am anything BUT nuts for wanting to do this again.

So, do I really think surrogacy is addictive?

Well, in a way, yes!!  When I set out on my journey I told myself and everyone around me that I was only going to do this once.  It was something I have always wanted to do, but I couldn't imagine myself going through this tough process more than one time.  When I heard about other women having babies for two, three, and even four families, I thought they were absolutely CRAZY!!!  Why in the world would they want to put themselves through that, that many times?!?  And then the injections came, which was a pain in my a**... literally!!  After that, the nausea... blah!!!  And then followed the "WTF, I am having triplets!!"  Months following, I was in the most unbearable position of my life, with the list of discomforts that I will spare you this time around!!  And finally, a delivery where my life was at stake and I scared everyone by the amount of blood that I lost.  And now, I want to do this again?!?

These emotions, or need I guess you can call it, completely change the moment a surrogacy comes to an end and the baby/babies are born.  Throughout this journey of mine, I have met some amazing women who have been, or are currently, a surrogate.  I was so lucky to have come across Kelly's blog one day, I'm not the Mom, I'm just the Stork!, and read about her past and current journey.  Ironically, I remembered the pictures of her first IP's when I was at the fertility clinic when they were there visiting the doctor with their twins that Kelly delivered almost 2 years ago.  From then, Kelly has virtually become a huge support system for me as well as the other surrogates she introduced me to.  So, just need to give her a quick "Thank you!!"  Anyway, through this little virtual group we have as well as other blogs that I have read up on, I notice a consistency with many surrogates.  Without disclosing any names, here is what some women felt after their journey was over:

"In the past I've compared it to planning a wedding . . . how you spend almost a year planning for your wedding, this one day and in a matter of hours it's over. Yes, you're happy but later you're left with a 'now what do I do' since you spent so much time on the planning . . it's like you feel empty in a way."

"It's like the anticipation that builds up for Christmas morning - shopping, planning, hours of wrapping, and in 15 minutes, it's all over."

"They were so thankful, but it is definitely like closing a chapter on your life."

"I hate to say it's 'addictive' because that's not it, but there's all the attention, you're doing such a wonderful thing, you're pregnant, you're special and then it's just over. BAM! All those great feelings you had are gone, mixed with all the hormones, well it's just such a huge loss right after."

"I feel as if something was taken from me in a blink of an eye; not specifically the babies, but I think I am missing all of that hard work I did. I put in the hardest year of my life and dedicated a ton of energy and sacrifice, and all of a sudden, it's gone!!"

I really feel that although I had a rough journey, it was all over too soon.  Yes, a pregnancy is less than a year, but I feel as though in that year I met some amazing people and formed incredible relationships.  It all happened so fast and even though I prayed everyday for those last few months to fly by, I would love nothing more than to do it all again.  Just to experience all of the emotions from myself and the IP's again would be beyond wonderful!!

So, I really can't say whether I am going to do this again or not.  But I do feel like a newly recovering alcoholic right now; I just finished my rocky journey and now I am just itching to say "yes" and make that first move.  But, I have to do what is best for me and my family right now.  I need to be that loving wife to my husband, comforting mommy to my boys, and lively daughter to my mother.  And my womb may not be available for the next few years anyway (my husband is already starting to ask for another one!!).  But, as of today, my hope is that I will be able to be a surrogate one last time in the next 5 years.  Who knows... maybe 3 isn't enough and my IP's want to go another round!!

Updates and pictures of the girls next time, I promise!!  But, here is a pic of me and my boys on Halloween...

Max was Buzz and Jackson was Woody!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy 2 Month Birthday, Girls!!

Just wishing my girls a happy 2 month birthday!!  I can't believe how fast the time is going.  They are all doing fantastic...  Lily and Eve are about 7 1/2 pounds and May is catching up and is almost 7 pounds!!  These girls look like full term babies... keep it up, girls.

Left to right~ Lily, Eve, and May

First Halloween, 3 peas in a pod!
Eve, May, and Lily

Wearing their Sunday dresses!!
Lily, Eve, and May

As you can tell, they all are filling out and getting a little chunk on them (especially Lily!).  May and Eve are starting to look more "identical" as May catches up to Eve's size.  They are still enjoying delicious breast milk, compliments to me, and are officially eating more than I pump.  But, with my huge supply I had in the first few weeks, they have yet to consume any formula!!  Looking forward to visiting them all soon.

I have many topics about post surrogacy that I want to blog about.  I will try and post my first topic in the next week, "Is Surrogacy Addicting?" But until then, I am trying to complete a move while taking care of my 2 sick baby boys =(

Friday, October 22, 2010

All 3 Girls Are Finally Home!!!

I guess it has been a few weeks since I posted last and I'm sure you all are wondering... how are those baby girls doing?!?  Well, I am happy to say that Eve, May, and Lily are all home together and loving life!!

I have been visiting the girls weekly, but had my last NICU visit on October 11th.  Funny thing was, when I was there, the NICU doctor stopped in to give his report on the 2 girls.  He estimated the time he thought the girls would have left there, and he told us at least 4 weeks!!!  Well, he was wrong...

Just 2 weeks after Lily went home, and 4 days after my NICU visit, Eve made her exit!  Then, one week after Eve went home, May followed right behind her.  The total time my IP's spent in the NICU was 7 weeks... not bad for 32 weekers.  I could tell they were absolutely exhausted; they spent every single day at the hospital, missing maybe one day.  After Lily came home, they found it to be extremely difficult splitting their time between home and hospital, especially that they live at least 40 minutes away.  Every time I saw them, I gradually saw the exhaustion on their faces.  Some times they had their days mixed up and had no idea what day of the week it was.  But, now they have the joy of staying home with all 3 girls!!

Eve (left) and May's last days in the NICU
Just like in the womb!!

Lily, waiting for her sisters to come home, but getting spoiled in the meantime!

Eve's first car seat ride... had to say goodbye to May and hello to Lily!

Eve (left) and Lily reunited (totally not the identicals!)... waiting for baby May.
And finally... all 3 are together again!!!
Eve (on chest), May (top), and Lily (to May's left)
Lily (right) explaining to May how great it is to be home!

Eve and May (the identicals) together again!!

Lily pondering why her cheeks are so chunky!!

I can't tell you enough how lucky I am for the most amazing IP's.  Before having the girls, I really had no idea how our relationship was going to work out.  I didn't want to be the surrogate that stuck around when not wanted and continue nagging, asking how the babies were.  I wanted to respect their space and give them the time they deserved with their little ones without having to worry about answering to me.  But, everything has been working itself out beautifully.  Just about every night I get an email from them, updating me on the health of the girls along with the most precious photos.  I always look forward to waking up and seeing their cute little faces =)  It still amazes me to this day that all 3 of them were inside of me and I grew them from little, tiny peanuts to big, beautiful babies.  I am so thankful I get to see these girls grow.  And so far, they are doing just that.  They have been growing so much since they were born, and their pediatrician expects them to look like full term babies in the next few months.  Must be all that delicious breast milk!!  Yes, I am still pumping.  It has been 7 weeks and I hope to keep it up until the girls are about 6 months old.  It isn't the easiest thing to do at times, but I am trying my best.  The girls haven't caught up to my supply just yet, but that time is so near.  It's inevitable that I won't be able to supply enough for all their feedings very soon, but whatever they can get in the next few months will be so beneficial for them.  And besides, I'm burning tons of calories here... it beats dieting and exercising!!

Well, now that they all are home safe and sound I feel like the journey is now complete.  I hated thinking about them in the NICU and wished I could have done something differently so that they didn't end up there, but I guess I did all that I could.  It makes me completely satisfied and overjoyed knowing that they can now start their lives as a family at home.  They are such healthy girls and should have a wonderful future.  I am soooo proud to have been their surrogate mommy!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy One Month, Girls... Welcome Home, Lily!!!

It has been one month since I gave birth to 3 BEAUTIFUL baby girls.  Time has gone by so fast... much faster now that I am not pregnant!!  It has been 2 weeks since my last blog post and so much has changed since then.  Where do I even begin??

I have been making weekly visits to the girls in the NICU.  This past Monday was a very special visit for me... I got to hold one of the girls for the very first time!!  Because the girls have been hooked up to all sorts of machines, I was always too nervous to hold them.  But, Lily was without any sort of tube or wire on the day of my visit, so I jumped right in and held her.    

She is just so patient and peaceful!!  I had to say my temporary good-bye to Lily... she went home on Wednesday!!  Her parents said she had a really good first night.  She ate and slept like a champ!  She is definitely getting spoiled, but that won't last too much longer... she has 2 other sisters waiting to come home!

Lily, who is always grinning, is about 5 1/2 pounds now.  She may have a few more weeks to wait to be reunited with her sisters, but they will be home before you know it.

 Baby Eve (Baby A)
Baby Eve, who weighs about 5 1/2 pounds as well, was being a little diva when I came to visit.  She kept throwing her hand in front of her face every time I went to take a photo!!
Eve has the most innocent big eyes!!  She is always looking around, so wide-eyed.  She actually is off the oxygen completely now as of today.  She is doing so well and now all she has to do is conquer that bottle and she will be following right behind Lily!!

Baby May (Baby B)
Little May has made the biggest improvement.  Look at her in her open crib!!!  Monday was the first time I saw her outside in open air and without all of the head and eye gear on.  I just couldn't get over how much she improved.  She is the smallest of the 3, but almost to 5 pounds.  She needs the most help with her oxygen, but other than that, she is doing great.  She is starting to be introduced to the bottle, which she is doing surprising well with.

Her parents sent me these pics of her.  She makes so many different expressions!!  These girls are definitely gaining their own personalities and really starting to grow into little people... I LOVE it!!

I am really thankful for the most amazing IP's a surrogate could ask for.  From day one, they have been more supportive than I could ever imagine.  After I delivered and saw them as P's rather than IP's, my entire outlook on them only got stronger.  They waited a very long time for a family and went through a lot of ups and downs.  Now that they finally are able to hold their babies in their arms, they have become the warmest and most inviting individuals I have ever met.  Some people wonder how long we will be in contact with each... in all honesty, I can't imagine life without them anymore.  This family is so special to me- I consider all 5 of them part of my family now too =)  Looking at what I helped create makes every day of those 32 weeks soooo worth the misery!!

As for me, my life is gradually getting back to normal.  Although I am struggling with a 3 and now 2 year old and trying to get them back on mommy's schedule, I am feeling more and more like myself everyday that goes by.  I am enjoying all the small things in my every day life and appreciate the little tasks I am able to do now that I am not pregnant any more.  As we leave September behind us, I get to thinking and realize that I began my surrogacy journey exactly a year ago.  Max had just turned 1 year old when I was matched with my first couple.  This past year went by super fast and last week Max turned 2 years old!!


Lastly, I would like to answer the 2 questions I get asked on a daily basis.  Not that I mind answering them, but I would just like to explain my answer in detail so that everyone understands my point of view:

Was this all worth it?  Would you do it again?
(here is my answer I sent to a surrogate friend yesterday):

This is a very difficult question. I have so many different thoughts about the entire process, but let me tell you honestly what I think. As you know, the pregnancy was extremely challenging for me and I put my family through hell. In that moment, I questioned myself and at times I thought it was a huge mistake. When people asked me if I was going to do it again, I told them "absolutely not!!"

However, now that I have had the babies, my outlook has completely changed. As each baby came out, the feeling was one of the greatest. When I saw the parents with them, I just felt so much pride and couldn't be happier.

I was so blessed with wonderful IP's. They were so supportive and have remained so close to me. I feel like we are family now and we are always going to stay in touch. It seems that every day that goes by I feel more and more accepting of the decision I made to be a surrogate. I have so many people interested in the details and many more people telling me how brave and strong I am. Now, when people ask if I would do it again, my answer has changed. I would definitely consider it!! Of course it would all depend on the situation. For one, I would want my kids to be a bit older so that they didn't have to rely on me 100% of the time. I would hate to put them and others through it all again, but if my boys could do more like potty and change themselves, I wouldn't have to rely so much on outside help in the case that I was on strict bed rest again. So, I'm not really saying that I'm gonna do it again, but I'm definitely not saying that I wouldn't. Only time will tell. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2 Weeks, So Much Has Changed...

Well, tomorrow the girls are 2 weeks old!!  Now that I am not pregnant anymore and actually able to get things done, time is going by super fast.  It seems like I was just in the hospital having them. 

These past 2 weeks have been the greatest... I got to send Jackson off on his first day of preschool, I cleaned my entire house myself for the first time in months (no, I do not miss my maid just yet), I got to go grocery shopping just me and Max, I was able to drive anywhere I wanted to go, my husband got to hug me with both arms wrapped around my entire body, I got to attend Mommy and Me preschool with Max, I have cooked so many homemade fresh meals for the family, and I was able to pick up my boys and comfort them when they needed mommy =)

I had a check-up with the greatest peri doctor ever on Monday.  Guess what... I have lost a total of 33 pounds so far; only 5 more to go to get to my pre pregnancy weight!!  I was so afraid to step on that scale when the nurse asked me to.  I didn't expect too much from myself... I did just have triplets.  So, I closed my eyes, stepped on the scale, and heard the nurse say "Wow!!"  As soon as I opened my eyes, I let out a squeal and did a victory dance in the halls! I was very satisfied.  The nurses and doctor could not believe how well I am recovering.  The doctor just kept laughing at my urge to start exercising (only brisk walks for now) and he could not stop smiling; he said he has never seen me so happy and energized before.  He could not believe how fast my spirits had changed.  Hopefully at my 6 week check-up I will be in even better shape, but again, I will not expect it.

12 days post delivery day.  Just a little baby bump left, but fit into my pre preggo jeans! Oh, and no stretch marks!!!

Besides me, the girls are doing absolutely FANTASTIC!!!  I went to visit them on Monday and could not believe how much of a difference a week made for them.  I am also getting daily updates on their progress with the most beautiful photos... thank you, IP's!!  They are so lucky to have the parents that they have; they visit them every single day, all day long.  Although it is at times emotionally and physically draining, the parents would never miss seeing their girls any chance they get.  I see a complete change in them as parents and witnessing their admiration for their babies is just overwhelmingly beautiful!!  I am so proud of my choice to help this couple.  Seeing how much they appreciate these 3 little gifts, makes my journey as a surrogate one I will NEVER regret.  Kind of makes me want to do it again... okay, I said kind of!!

Eve, who was baby A, is growing so much and is the biggest of the 3, reaching 5 pounds first!  She is in an open crib, controlling her own body temperature.  She had some ups and downs with her breathing.  When I went to visit her on Monday, she was intubated.  But, the following day, they took out the tube and now her oxygen level is perfect.  
Wow... if you go back to the post before this and compare her photos, it's amazing how much progress has been made!!

May, Baby B/identical twin with Eve, is struggling a little bit than the other two, but has made so much progress over the past 2 weeks.  She isn't in an open crib yet and isn't tolerating food as much as her sisters.  But, her breathing is improving every day and will be out in open air soon enough.
She didn't like the flash too much!

Lily, who was Baby C/fraternal, is exceeding every one's expectations every single day!!  She is doing amazingly well; the day after I visited her on Monday, they removed her oxygen help (completely breathing on her own now) and removed her IV.  She now is in a real crib, with no tubes or wires except for the feeding tube.  She is now starting to drink from a bottle.  If she can conquer that task, then she is ready to go home!!!  I'm sure that will be very soon.

Does she even look like a triplet preemie?!?

I have been doing my best in pumping breast milk so that the girls can strive even more.  The nurses and doctors say that it makes a world of difference to get these nutrients, so I have been pumping away!!  You would not believe the supply we have for these little girls.  Since they aren't consuming too much right now, I have been stocking up because I know they will soon catch up with me!!

This is what I get in only 4 days!!  Thank goodness the parents have a deep freezer.  Milk, anyone??

Well, I am hoping the next couple weeks are nothing but great for the girls and hopefully one or more will be home or well on their way.  I plan to visit again next week and possibly not be too nervous to hold them!!  I know I did carry them all at once for months, but I just get so nervous because they are so small and fragile (my first baby was 10.5 pounds!).  Oh, and I will definitely post more pics!!