Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It Has Been Awhile...

Well, it has been awhile since I have updated everyone on how we all are doing. I think this part of my pregnancy makes me very unsociable.  I remember from my last pregnancies how I dreaded making human contact and stayed within my home as much as possible.  I don't know what it is, but I just hate seeing people and talking on the phone!!  So, this update is taking a lot out of me ;)

So, I am about 9 1/2 weeks along now.  We had an 8 week check up and all 3 babies are looking awesome.  They all were measuring equally and on target.  We found out some good news as well.  The identical twins have their own individual sacs, within their shared sac.  This means there will be less of a possibility of twin to twin transfusion syndrome.  We have our final appointment with the fertility doctor this Friday.  If everything looks good, we graduate from the fertility clinic and get to see an OB at Loma Linda Hospital from now on.  We got the best of the best, so we will all be in great hands.

The big question is- How am I doing?  Well, this is not easy.  It is so unlike a normal pregnancy and I feel like I am faced with new challenges everyday.  There is not a day goes by where I feel 100%.  Whether it's nausea, vomiting, dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, constipation, diaherra, bloating, stomach pains, or spotting, it seems I never get to catch a break.  I'm trying my best to not let this all affect my duties to Jackson and Max, but there are times where I just can't do it all.  I hate for them to see me like this, but I know this will soon get better and I can get back to being a good mommy.

I do my best to force myself out of the house.  This past weekend, I took the boys to the beach.  As you can tell, my baby bump popped out already!!  It was so nice to be able to see my boys run around and it helped to keep my mind off of all the pain I have been going through.  It did take a lot of energy out of me, but it was well worth it.

So, now I am on bedrest for 3 days.  I had some spotting over the weekend and am ordered to rest until my appointment on Friday.  I'm sure everything is okay, but we can never be too careful with triplets.  I just have to be so thankful for everyone who is supporting me through all of this.  I have the BEST husband in the world, who works 12 hour days and still comes home to help with house chores and takes care of the boys.  I have the GREATEST mom and sister, who would drop anything to come to my rescue.  And I couldn't ask for better IP's!!  They have been so willing to help with anything that I need.  They are always there to talk with and have given me more support than necessary.  I am so grateful for everyone in my life right now. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Three Buns in My Oven!!!

Well, it was the moment we all had been waiting for.  How many babies did we have?  Four weeks ago, we had 2 perfect embryos transferred.  Rarely does a fertility doctor transfer just one, since the odds of a pregnancy would make it more unlikely.  With 2 excellent embryos, we have a good chance that one would take.

Waiting for this day, I definitely felt the pregnancy.  I couldn't believe how bad the nausea had gotten and how the exhaustion never stopped.  Something was different than my other pregnancies.

This past Friday was another big day for us.  My husband was there for support, who has been so wonderful, to say the least, throughout this whole process.  The intended parents were out of the country on business, so we had arranged a conference call with them so they could hear everything that was happening.  The doctor began the ultrasound, screen out of my view.  As soon as he placed the tranducer inside, my agency rep gasped and yelled "twins!!"  There were 2 sacs, with 2 heartbeats.   Everyone was so happy and congratulated the couple over and over again.  My husband looked at me in shock, but I knew that was going to be the result.  Both looked perfect and we even got to hear their heartbeats.  The doctor continued with the ultrasound, measuring and checking appearance.  He was in there a good few minutes, and just as he was about to finish, the look on his face changed and everyone looked a bit closer.  "Wait, I think we have identicals," he said so calmly.  "Wait. That means there are three!?!" I asked.  No one knew what to say; we let him do his job.  He finally confirmed what he found, and I finally got to see the screen with 3 beating hearts (one had been hiding in one of the two sacs).

Now that it is a few days later, I am still in shock.  The intended parents couldn't be happier, but they too are still in amazement.  No one expected this to happen; splitting of an embryo is very rare (<1%).  Having three babies inside of me now changes everything, especially because we have a set of identical twins.  There are so many health concerns for both the babies and myself.  This pregnancy is not going to be easy for anyone.  We all have to be very cautious of what might be ahead of us; twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, brain defects, pre-term labor, low birth weight, etc. 

Everything happens for a reason.  I guess God had a plan for the intended parents, and 2 just wasn't enough!!  Splitting of the embryo was beyond any of our control.  Since we are so early in this pregnancy, 6 1/2 weeks, anything can happen.  I just ask everyone to pray for the best health for all of us.  I know it has and will continue to be a constant struggle, but I have to continue to remind myself that I am strong and can get through this.    

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Surrogate Mom Steals Her Babies

Surrogate Mom Faces Her Critics

So, I finally caught the Dr. Phil special on Shelly Baker.  If you get a chance, click on the link above to watch some clips.  As a surrogate, and as a mother, I do feel for both sides, but in the end, Shelly Baker has stolen these twins.

Shelly Baker, an experienced surrogate and mother of 4, became a surrogate for a couple who could not have children.  Using an egg donor and a sperm donor, Shelly got pregnant with twins and gave birth about 6 months ago.  After the couple had the babies for a month, they all went before a judge to finalize the adoption.  Since the surrogacy took place in Michigan, the state automatically places the birth mother (Baker) on the birth certificate, making her the guardian until an adoption takes place.  At the adoption hearing, Baker becomes aware of a mental illness the intended mother has had.  Although the intended mother had gone under a specific evaluation by a psychiatrist and was given approval to become a great mother, Baker felt these babies were now in danger.  Under the Michigan law, Shelly took the babies back and began raising them as her own.  For the past 6 months, the intended parents have been fighting to get their babies back.

This situation is so difficult and impossible to solve.  Many people argue that the twins are not biologically the intended parents and therefore should not automatically be granted custody, but I believe that is a very harsh argument.  This couple was unable to have their own children, and for 9 months they grew to believe that they were finally going to be parents.  These babies belonged to them.  Should we then believe that an adoptive parents child is not biologically theirs, therefore, we can take the child from them anytime we please?  Also, these babies are not biologically Shelly's whatsoever.  Why is she able to choose where these babies go?

The huge problem here, is where the surrogacy took place.  Every state has different laws regarding surrogacy.  Michigan has one of the strictest laws prohibiting surrogacy contracts, not only holding them unenforceable, but also imposing fines and jail time on anyone who enters into such a contract (up to five years and $50,000 for some).  It was the mistake of both parties to undergo surrogacy in this state.  The intended parents now have no rights to these babies, and Shelly Baker has all legal rights to them.  However, if this would have taken place in California, the intended parents would have been immediately placed on the birth certificate (no matter who was the biological parents) and would have been given full legal guardianship where Shelly Baker would never be able to take the children.

I do not agree with what this surrogate mother has done; she committed to carry these babies and give a couple a gift they could not receive on their own.  If we were to judge each and every mom out there based on their mental status, we would find many women who have had troubled pasts but were able to become perfect parents.  Shelly Baker is now raising these babies and they have become apart of their family.  Although the intended parents should never stop fighting for them, we now have to think of the children.  What is best for them?  They have now bonded with the Baker's and every day that goes by they are becoming more and more attached to them.  This situation is impossible to solve.  My advice to anyone out there considering surrogacy is to definitely research laws and regulations in your state.  It is best to work with an agency and get legal contracts.  Without that, you are risking the future of yourself and the surro babies.