Friday, July 30, 2010

27 Weeks... Getting Closer!!!

Today we are 27 weeks!!!  You know what that means... one more week until we have reached a huge milestone.  I can't believe that next week we can safely have these babies.  I know they will be cooking for a few more weeks, but ya never know.  If you have read an old post of mine, you should remember me telling you all that a friend of mine delivered her triplets at 28 weeks 1 day.  They are now about 7 weeks old, getting bigger, but still in the NICU.  They appear to be doing great and should be going home in the next few weeks.  Thinking about how she delivered at 28 weeks makes me so anxious and nervous at the same time.  It's almost D Day!!!!

27 weeks here... 25 pound weight gain so far!!

Life hasn't gotten any easier... surprised?!?

I feel my body screaming at me everyday saying, "What the hell is going on here??  I don't know how much more I can take... these babies are sucking the life out of us!!!"

Recently, I have had horrible ligament pain in my lower belly.  It isn't a constant pain, but every couple days the returning pain brings me to my knees!  I don't know what brings it on, but it is the worst temporary pain ever!!!  It only seems to last about 30 minutes or so and I have managed to breathe through it, but man does it hurt =(

I'm not sure what to do about my sleep, or lack there of.  Of course it is absolutely impossible to stay comfortable, or let alone get comfortable, for more than 3 minutes.  Laying on my side is killer!  Since the babies are already crammed so tight in there, laying on my side only makes room much smaller.  Immediately, they start digging and kicking (or should I say beating) my sides and ribs.  I do my best to position them around, but it sure is painful.  I attempt to sleep on my back, of course in a very upright position.  No matter how much I am upright, I can't breathe!!  They put way too much pressure on my lungs and spine that I think I might stop breathing!!  So, nighttime is a hassle.  I feel so bad for my husband, who occasional has to resort to the couch so that he can get enough rest for work.  I do try to take Tylenol PM, but most times the pain and discomfort is so bad that I still don't get enough rest and I am left with the lingering drug in me all morning, making me a walking zombie!!  I have learned to just accept the lack of sleep and take full advantage of naps, which my boys are great at!!

I also have had a really tough time eating.  I guess this is why gaining as much as you can in the first 2 trimesters is so important.  My stomach is in my belly somewhere, and probably is completely squished!!  It never seems to want to be filled up.  Every meal I seem to be forcing down and I so regret it after.  I feel miserable after I eat, no matter what it is or how big/small it is.  It makes me feel completely stuffed and miserably nauseous.  There's not much I can do.  I think the girls are taking what they need, leaving me with very little.  Guess in the long run that's good for me... less weight I will have to battle with after they are born!!  In the meantime, I guess I'll starve =( 

I've made it a priority to stay in bed or on the couch as much as I possibly can.  The boys have found great ways to entertain themselves when mommy is no fun.  As we speak, they took every single pillow and cushion off of the couch, jumping onto them, pretending to be Buzz Lightyear.  Hey, whatever entertains them meets my approval!!  Hopefully we just don't end up in the ER with a broken arm!!!

We did finish up Jackson's t-ball season and I managed to make it to every single practice and game except for one!!  I know I was worried that my health/bed rest was going to prevent me from seeing his first baseball season ever, but it didn't and I am so thankful for that!!

I have limited my activities tremendously and choose to go out occasionally, especially when I feel like I am about to go insane locked up!!  But going out sure does wear me out and I now know why my doctor wants me to rest as much as possible.  My husband and I took our oldest to the circus last weekend and I felt every effort I put into getting there and staying there!!  Let me just tell you how hard it is to simply take a shower, put makeup on, blow dry my hair, and get dressed.  By the end of that, I just want to lay down and die!!!  Getting in and out of the car makes my heart race.  Oh, and this heat!!  I guess I should be lucky that this summer hasn't been a HOT one, but anything over 75 outside makes me constantly sweat!!  Anyway, I made it out of the circus alive.  I felt it for the next 3 days... I had to climb a flight of stairs and my calves were killing me!!!  Ha Ha... I am soooo out of shape, it's hilarious!!

So, next week we have a big appointment.  Another LONG ultrasound.  We will see the size and weight of these girls... I wouldn't be surprised if they were almost 3 pounds each!!  The doctor is going to really start watching my fluid levels and make sure there is enough for the babies.  We are getting so close everyone and I am so excited!!  All we can do is take one day at a time and we will be in that delivery room before you know it.   

Saturday, July 24, 2010

26 Weeks...

We hit 26 weeks this past Friday!!  This week was another big one for us... we no longer have to worry about Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  Baby A and Baby B (the set of identicals) continue to measure equally and by 26 weeks this isn't a worry anymore.

Our next goal... 28 weeks.  Most triplets born at this time survive.  This BIG milestone is coming up so fast and I am sure I will pass it with perfect health =)

I had a short, but very LONG appointment on Friday.  You never know what is going to happen when you visit the peri doctor.  They are very busy people!!  Let's just say, when I am this huge and uncomfortable I HATE waiting, especially an hour here and then an hour there just to be seen for a short amount of time.  Lately I have been completely impatient with everyone and everything, and I don't keep it inside!!  Anyway, they measured my cervix once again... still at an amazing 4.6cm!!  We checked the babies heart rates and positions... perfect!!  My uterus is measuring 38 weeks pregnant... almost full term and I am definitely feeling that.  I only gained 2 1/2 pounds since last visit... a little low, but as long as the babies are getting what they need I guess that is all that matters.

My doctor (who I have grown to absolutely LOVE... don't worry honey, he is a bit too old for me!), pressed the whole modified bed rest issue.  I guess he saw right through me that I have been taking advantage of my so-called freedom!!  Okay, okay, so I have had a busy month!!  With the holiday, Jackson's 3rd birthday bash, the end of t-ball season, my nanny catching bad pneumonia, I tried my very best to rest but not as much as I should have.  I promised him I would try much harder and limit my activities to a minimum.  Although I am doing fabulous, he doesn't want me to take advantage of that and, as a result, end up in hospital bed rest.  So, I will rest more... PROMISE!!!

I can't believe how close we are getting.  Oh, and to those of you who keep telling me that I have so much longer to go... SHUT UP!!!!  Let's see... I am 26 weeks along and the goal is to get to 32 weeks, my doctor said he would not let me go past 34 weeks.  Wow, we could have these babies anywhere from 2-8 weeks!!  This process has been so long for me, so a few weeks seems like nothing!! 

My IP's will be moving down here in a couple weeks, so that they do not miss anything.  I'm so happy that they are able to do this because I would hate for them to miss D-Day!!  It is really a relief to have a couple who really cares and are completely involved in the entire process.

So, next appointment is in 2 weeks.  This is a long one, checking all the measurements of each baby, toenails and everything!!  I also have my glucose screening... oh, do I hate waiting for these results.  Let's hope that is something I won't have to worry about... PLEASE!!

Anything can happen at any moment.  I'm just taking it day by day and soon enough we will get there!!

Pics of the growing belly will come next week... not feeling too pretty this week =(

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reactions to the Big Belly!!

I am officially embarrassed to go out in public.  I have never gotten so many stares and comments from perfect strangers before.  With my other 2 pregnancies, people smiled and congratulated me, sometimes asking when I am due or what I am having.  Now that I am very pregnant, looking as if I am about to pop any day, I am not getting the same reactions.

I think when people first glance at me, my gigantic belly, my 2 toddlers, and then notice how young I am, they think I am absolutely INSANE!!  It's not the same smile ("Awww, she is having her first baby" or "How cute, they're going to have 2 little boys"), it's a forced smile (like, "Wow, when is she going to stop?!" or "This was definitely an accident!!").  Some people are totally oblivious to their reactions, and it is starting to get pretty amusing.

My husband has really gotten some fun out of the whole triplet thing.  When we are out and people are dying to know what I am having (for some reason rooting for me to have a girl), he immediately says with a complete straight face, "3 girls."  The look on people's faces is priceless!!  At first some think it is some kind of sick joke, "Really, what are you having?"  When my husband's expression doesn't change and they notice that he is serious, they have a difficult time reacting; they don't know whether to congratulate us or not.  About 50% of the time, we don't feel like going through the entire surrogacy story, and plus, hearing people's comments towards us having 5 kids under 3 years old is so entertaining:

"Do you really know what you are in for??"

"Girl, you better get your tubes tide after this one!!"

"Wow!  Was this natural or did you guys plan to have triplets?"

"You guys won't be going anywhere for years!!"

"Tell me you guys have help.  There is no way you can do this alone."

"Did you ever think about selective reduction?  You know what that means, right?" 

Not one person seems to have a positive response... if they only knew these girls weren't ours!! LOL!!!

For the other half of strangers we do end up telling about the fact that I am carrying the babies for another couple, we get mixed responses:

"Wait, a what??  I don't understand."

"Oh, well that changes everything.  Congratulations!!"

"I've never met someone like you before."

"That is the most kindest thing I have ever heard... I just want to hug you!!"

"What kind of person can just give away their babies??" 
"They're not biologically mine."
"I know, but you are still giving them away.  How could you do that??"

"I hope they are paying for a tummy tuck after."

You can never win with some people.  But, I have to forgive them all because surrogacy is such a rare topic of conversation and most people will never know someone to do what I am doing.  It takes a lot of research and education in order to grasp a full concept of the entire process.  One short conversation or two can leave people very confused, so I just keep reminding myself of that.

Hopefully, one day surrogacy can be a more accepted and knowledgeable process, so people like me won't have these random, awkward conversations with complete strangers.  Now that I think about it, I still can't get some of my closest family members to fully understand and accept my situation... some things are just a lost cause. 

Here's to approaching week 26... so close to winning our bronze medal!!!! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

24 weeks, 3 days, and a Little Bit of Bedrest!!

We have reached a very important milestone... 24 weeks!!  We have 3 viable baby girls and the chance of survival outside of the womb is highly likely.  Not that any of us want to have these babies any time soon, but the possibility is always there, so we have to look at the positives each and every week we reach.

Our 24 week appointment went amazingly well.  My IP's got to come into town for a visit and were there to support all 4 of us during that long ultrasound.  The girls are back to their "correct" positions, making it easier to determine who is who.  Baby A is weighing in at 1 lb 8 oz, Baby B is 1 lb 9 oz, and Baby C is 1 lb 11 oz!!  Wow... that's a lot of baby weight in this tummy of mine already.  They are all measuring between 24-25 weeks, which is awesome!!  My cervix is beyond perfect... measuring in at a whopping 4.3 cm!!  My uterus is measuring comparable to a 34 week singleton pregnancy; in another couple weeks, I will be full term (and huge!!).

Still smiling!!

Total weight gain= 22 pounds (I'll take it!!)

Ok... another bare belly shot (I'm so brave!)

The doctors and nurses cannot believe how well I am actually doing with this pregnancy.  The babies couldn't look better and my body couldn't be doing a better job.  The doctor had said a pretty funny thing at our appointment; "The most beautiful thing about you is your cervix!! You really were born to carry triplets."  Born to carry triplets??  Hmmm... I thought this was some sort of punishment from God!!  LOL!

At 24 weeks, carrying triplets, my doctor, more often than not, puts women on bed rest.  No matter her condition, it is just a precaution to force them to rest at this point in their pregnancy.  So, since I am doing better than expected, I got a get-out-of-jail-free card and was directed to modified bed rest.  Modify my bed rest, what exactly does that mean??  Well, basically I need to listen to my body more and my priority is to rest in bed, feet up.  I need to pick and chose my battles, limiting my activities.

This news seems to be perfect at this point.  I have been experiencing tons of contractions and am beyond uncomfortable.  The doctor assured us that these contractions are completely normal for a multiple pregnancy and I should prepare myself for them to get worse and more frequent.  They are not a sign of premature labor and will most likely not cause me to go into labor.  So, I just have to deal with the pain as best as I can for now.

Appointments are still every 2 weeks, but probably will increase in another few weeks.  I can't believe that we are almost there.  We will be 31 weeks at the end of August, so we can very easily say that I can have these babies next month!!!

Lastly, thank you all for your support and comments.  Although I have no idea who more than half of you are, I appreciate the feedback.  You have great advice and it helps me more than you know.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rocky Emotions...

So, after some people read my latest blog post, they got a little worried.  I did realize the amount of frustration and misery I expressed, but the purpose of this blog is for me to be able to share my experience without holding anything back.  Honestly, I am in a very bizarre situation and being able to express myself to the fullest helps in so many ways.

Although my body has completely reached it's maximum, I know God wouldn't give me more than I couldn't handle.  I really have no idea how my body is going to react to the next several weeks to come, and that makes me really nervous.

I know everyone says I'm doing great and will make it through this, but they have no idea what it is doing to others around me.  I have the best supporters here at home; I'm so thankful for everything they have done for me in this time of need, but I can see how it is effecting our relationships.

My husband has never been more appreciated.  I have been a total wicked person in the past couple months, I have no idea how he has handled it.  He has been my last priority lately and I can't believe I let it get to that point.  It is impossible for me to take care of myself while being a stay-at-home mother and a really good wife.  There is just not enough energy.  I know this is only temporary, but it is going to take a lot of work to mend what I have broken.  I love him more and more every day and I know after this experience, we can get through anything.

My sister, my best friend, my nanny... she has become my right hand whenever I need her.  Without her I could not survive while my husband is at work.  We have definitely gotten to know each other more than I have ever imagined... and that isn't always good!!  She has seen me at my worst, and all I can be thankful for is how forgiving she is.  She treats my boys like they are her own, and I will never be able to thank her enough.  I hope after all of this, our relationship can go back to the way it used to be.

Lastly, and most upsetting for me, is the way my boys have been changed.  My boys are so young (Jack just turned 3 today and Max is approaching 2), so they absolutely have no idea what is going on.  They used to be the most well behaved children, but due to the fact that their lives have suddenly been dramatically altered, all the parental success I had has now vanished.  There is no stability in their schedules anymore, they have multiple people telling them what do and when to do it, and they notice my daily frustrations that sometimes I can't help but control.  These guys are so innocent in this whole thing and I feel horrible letting it lead to a change in their lives.  That's the last thing I wanted to happen going into surrogacy, but I have to do the best that I can when this is all over.  I know it will be a challenge for me to get them back in focus with mommy, but I'm a stubborn person and I will not give up on these guys... they mean way too much to me.

This whole experience has tested a lot of patience for me and my loved ones.  I am physically and emotionally exhausted, but I find a way to keep on as best as I can.  I hope one day I can look back on this and say I miss it (maybe??).

So, please don't think I'm a raging ball of hormones waiting to explode... I do have happy days and am really proud of how far I have come.  We have a big milestone on Friday... 24 weeks!!!  I will update on the girls' health after our appointment and hopefully I will still be off of bed rest.   


Saturday, July 3, 2010

23 weeks down, 9 more to go!!

I wish I could say that I was doing GREAT and that this experience has been AMAZING...

But, the truth is, I just hit HELL!!

I did get a fair warning from my doctor weeks ago that around 24 weeks I would begin to face misery and complete discomfort.  Man, was he right!!  I also remember speaking with a woman who has gone through a similar experience and she summed it all up perfectly... if she could have just gone in a coma in the last few months and woken up when it was all over, that would have been a huge burden lifted off of her!!  At first, I could not imagine that this could all be that bad.  But, now that I am experiencing this myself, a coma doesn't sound half bad!!

Most of you reading this will NEVER know exactly how this all feels and will not even come close to knowing.  Yes, a singleton pregnancy may seem very hard when you are in the moment, but now that I have experienced being pregnant with triplets, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PITY FOR YOU!!!  Looking back, my first 2 pregnancies were a piece of cake, a walk in the park!!  Sorry ladies, but until you have more than one bun in the oven, stop your complaining!! (Okay, hormones are raging just a bit)!

It seems as though I have done nothing but complain throughout this pregnancy, but do you blame me?  I did have a really good couple months there, but that ended all too soon.  Oh, what I would give to just breathe again, walk without the constant pain, or even enjoy a simple meal with some sort of consequence. 

Everyday just seems to be getting worse... as my IP's enjoy an AMAZING vacation in Hawaii (which they truly need and deserve), I am sitting here experiencing the hardest challenge of my life:

  • Do you know the feeling of being really sick with a fever, waking up in a bed full of sweat at night?  Well, that is what I feel like 24/7.  As little clothes as I can find to wear, I am beyond HOT and constantly sweating!!  It doesn't help that it is summer here in Southern California and I can't run my a/c as I please for the sake of my children, so I just have to face the misery at night with the feeling of over-heating!!  
  • I know most of you know what heartburn/acid reflux feels like.  Well, I have been dealing with this pain since the first weeks of pregnancy.  And no, it's not from eating certain foods or laying down after eating... it is a constant issue, all day every day!!  I have it when I go to bed- it's there when I wake up.
  • Well, what do you know?  The nausea has returned and appears to have no plans of leaving.  For the past 2 weeks, I am dealing with the same early pregnancy morning (more like all day) sickness.  Some days it is so bad, especially with the heart burn involved, that I have no choice but to throw up on an empty stomach.  Most women at this stage are enjoying chowing down on chili cheese fries and cheeseburgers, but eating hasn't been worth what comes moments after.
  • A couple nights ago, I thought I was having the worst, ever-lasting contraction.  However, as a result of picking up my son, I pulled a ligament or 2 in my lower belly.  The pain was so excruciating, it brought me to my knees.  As some of you know, this pain will remain until the end of pregnancy.  Nothing that can be done except a daily dose of Tylenol.  And yes, I know I shouldn't be picking up my 30 pound son, but as a mother, that is just impossible.  I do my best to avoid straining myself that way, but I can't lie and say that I never do.  These are my children, one who is not even 2 yet.  I have already neglected baby Max in so many ways, I'm not about to not pick him up in his biggest times of need.  Sorry!!
  • Sleeping is completely lost.  Not only does the sweats, nausea, and heartburn ruin a decent night sleep, but my body has completely been taken over and there is no position comfortable for me.  Sleeping on either side is almost impossible.  The babies are so squished in my belly, that laying on my side only squishes them more, causing horrible pains to my sides.  Laying on my back just sucks, no matter how elevated I am.  The babies put so much pressure on my spine, I can't breathe easily.  Don't ask me how I ever sleep, cause I have no idea!!
  • You would never know that simple things like going potty would be so miserable.  That white porcelain seat seems like it is a year way down to the floor!!  When that time comes, I just basically fall to the seat, dreading getting up.  After finding a way to get out of the bathroom, my body feels like I just did 100 squats!!
  • And lastly (but I'm sure I left out a million more discomforts), being able to walk is just a miracle!!  I always hated those women who waddled during pregnancy, but I cannot help that anymore.  As soon as I go to stand, it feels as though a bowling ball has been placed in my uterus and is pushing it's way out.  My inner thighs feel as if they are being ripped apart.  My lower back is in desperate need of a cracking.  And my feet and hands begin swelling in matter of minutes.

Oh, the joys of pregnancy!!  I think all of this pain and discomfort is getting to my emotions more because I am a surrogate.  There is no baby shopping to do to keep me busy.  I have no nursery to prepare to make the time go by faster.  I'm looking forward to the delivery more than anything; not because I get to see and hold the babies, but just because I want to BREATHE!!  The truth is inevitable; if I was pregnant with triplets of my own, I think this experience may have a different effect on my emotions.  As much as I am dying to make my IP's parents, my perspective on this rough experience would be completely different if I were bringing home 3 babies.  I think that is the biggest encouragement for women having a difficult pregnancy- the light at the end of the tunnel is being able to meet their baby/babies and enjoy a lifetime of happiness with them.  Yes, my light is being able to give the most amazing gift of life to someone less fortunate.  But because I have been given this huge challenge, accepting the fact that I went through 32 of the worst weeks of my life and having to leave the hospital with empty arms, may be a little tougher than I thought when I originally began this process.

Anyway, that's enough venting for the week.  Next post, I promise to have a more positive outlook (or so I will try).