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.