Tuesday, November 14, 2017

(36) Life after birth - Checkered flag

Today is Noah and Beckoms 3rd birthday. I love these two with all my heart! Even though genetically they are not mine, I feel a connection to them. I am forever thankful that Holly and Darren still let me, and Tom be a part of their life.

This blog didn’t go as I had originally planned. I wanted to be finished writing this blog by their 2nd birthday. Well, life happens, and I had two family members fighting cancer which completely threw my timetable off. I thank you all who have stuck with me reading all or some of my entries. It has certainly taken me long enough to finish!

After I was released from the hospital I had a lot of time on my hands. I felt pretty good, even though I was still having some medical weirdness going on. I will sum it up as to what I feel happened to my body. I had the Pessary placed on my cervix for approximately 4 months. So, I think because of this my cervix was kinked shut, I know weird. This is the only explanation I have as to why I didn’t bleed after my C-section. It was about two weeks later that I had this gushing of yuck come out.  TMI, sorry!  I immediately contacted the doctor’s office because it contained some very large blood clots. It wasn’t pleasant, and I ended up needing antibiotics. So, if you are reading this and you have a pessary and are scheduling a C-section – BEWARE…… This could happen to you.

I continued to pump to give Holly all the milk I could. I just wasn’t producing much milk, sigh. I would listen to babies crying on YouTube to try and stimulate a letdown. Nothing really worked. I finally gave up after about 4 weeks of pumping every 2-3 hours. I will chalk it up to just not having babies nearby. It’s like my body knew what was going on. Luckily Holly was successfully producing milk herself. She also had several friends and family giving her extra that they were producing. I am disappointed in my body for this failure, but it did grow two CUTE little boys….

I definitely went through some form of postpartum. Most likely because I didn’t have a baby near me.  Maybe this falls under a different definition, idk, I am not a doctor. I would cry for no reason or just be sad. If I received a photo of the boys in a text it would instantly cheer me up. I know at one-point Tom contacted Holly and Darren because he was so worried for me. He didn’t like seeing me so sad. He knew I would be mad when I found out he talked to them, but he didn’t care. oh, I was mad, but I was also thankful. I didn't want to bother them with my issues, they had two new babies to care for.  It took a good few months to really get over that separation period, or did it? I started watching the boys when Holly went back to work so my void was filled, hmmm.

I still to this day feel sad if I haven’t seen a post or picture of them. I can’t help it. In this time of smart phones with Instagram and Facebook, a little peek into their lives is easy. I often wonder if other Gestational carriers/surrogates feel this too. I am extremely fortunate to still be a part of their lives. I don’t think this happens for the others out there helping couples have a family. My advice to someone considering doing this, DO IT! Your heart will be full

Maybe our future Presidents!

Beckom loves the Hulk!
Noah loves Spider man!


Super heroes in the making!

Happy 3rd Birthday Beckom and Noah!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

(35) November 17, 2014 - Discharge Day

Beckom and Noah

My time here in the hospital is coming to an end.  I think they are discharging me because I am up and walking around so much, lol.  I can’t help it, I want to heal up.  I know from previous C-sections that walking around and getting that blood circulating is the best medicine.  It also might be my 24 hour bed-rest with the catheter.  That was the worst.  I don’t remember that rule when I had my son, but that was 24 years ago! But having to lay in bed for 24 hours was really hard to do.

As usual, I head over to see the Bensons in their room.  They are probably sick of me, but I hope not.  I just love seeing those two little boys.  They will forever have a special place in my heart.  When I first offered to do this, I thought back to how I felt when my children were born.  I always remember hearing people talk about having this instant connection with their babies when they were born.  I don’t remember having those exact feelings, as sad as that sounds.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved them and loved staring at them while they ate or slept.  Maybe I did have the connection, but in a different way.  Or maybe I didn’t notice because I always had my babies with me.  I wasn’t separated from my kids like I am now with these boys.  I have a strong yearning to see them, hold them, just be with them.  I’m reluctant to tell Holly and Darren because I don’t know how they’ll feel about it.  I always told them, it will be no big deal.  Ha! Was I ever wrong.  It’s also possible that I’m feeling this because of everything we’ve been through for the last 8+ months.  I have seen these little guys on a sonogram every week, sometimes twice a week, for the last 6 months.  I guess you could say even though the boys are not my biological children, I have bonded with them.

We all had dinner last night in my room.  Tom went home to get our daughter, and on their way back they stopped at our favorite pizza place down the street from the hospital.  Life of Pie, Mmmmm, so good!  Anyway, they brought back a couple of pizzas and a Caesar salad (for me).  We all dug in.  I think the ratio worked out were we all got two slices.  I started with my salad, and after a few bites I look up to see Holly sitting there with an empty plate.  The poor girl was so hungry she was done with her two slices before anyone else was done with one.  We all laughed, and I offered her one of my slices.  She said “Sorry, nutrition hasn’t been a priority”.  Plus they didn’t realize they could order from the menu like all of the other patients.  Certainly a “fail” on the nursing staff’s part.  Obviously, they need to eat, and they’re in a room with two babies!  I don’t think the nurses really thought about it, but they did apologize for it later.

Exactly one year ago today, Holly and Darren said goodbye to their first-born son Jude.  He was perfect in every way!  He was born at 21 weeks gestation, weighing 1lb 3oz.  Today is bittersweet for Holly and Darren.  They will cry for the loss of Jude, but also cry with happiness for the arrival of Noah and Beckom.  Holly reminds me as often as she can that she is so thankful for the gift I was giving her. My hope is to heal her, if only a little day by day, from her broken heart.  Jude and Brinly, even though you were born before you should have, you will forever be in all our hearts.

Today is discharge day for me.  I’m happy to go home and sleep in my own bed and OMG use my own shower!  But I don’t want to leave the Benson's.  We all gather in my room as I prepare to be wheeled down to our car.  My nurse takes a few group photos of the six of us.   I am holding the boys and they look so big.  How is it possible that they both fit in my body just three days ago?  With all my paperwork finally done, I can head home.  But my wonderful nurse informs me that I don’t have to leave until I'm ready. Although, I'm starting to feel like I will never be ready.  Tom and I walk over to the Benson’s room and hang out with them for about an hour.  I could tell they wanted to take a nap, so I called for my taxi (wheelchair)….. Tom left so he could pull the car up to the curb.  I didn’t have much to take with me, just my bag of clothes and a couple of cards I received from Holly and Darren’s families.  No flowers, which made me a little sad.  As the nurse and I went down the elevator, I started to cry - and I don’t know why.  Well I kind of do, but I’m guessing the hormones are playing a big role.  By the time we get to the car I am sobbing.  I feel so bad putting the nurse through my emotional roller coaster.  I kept apologizing for it and she kept telling me it was okay.  I just had this deep desire to hold those babies, and I knew I wasn’t going to anytime soon.  I cried more in the car with Tom.  I think I was able to get myself under control about half way home, poor Tom.  Although I suspect he was sad as well.  We both felt an instant bond with those two boys.  It was a difficult ride home.  All the while, I felt this odd combination of sadness, loneliness, accomplishment, and satisfaction.  These feelings don’t mix well.  I miss my little passengers already (tears falling).

Holly and Beckom
Darren and Beckom

WOW, WE DID IT! Noah (my Right) Beckom (my Left) 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

(34) How to lose 30 pounds in 1 day!

My first night alone in my hospital room felt strange.  Sure, I no longer have anyone kicking my ribs (Noah!) or punching my cervix anymore (Beckom!), but I already miss my little companions.  Mentally, I thought I was prepared for this. Now I'm not so sure.  There must be an unavoidable biological attachment that I'm struggling to overcome.  

Physically, I’ve experienced a huge change.  My formerly large belly is no longer protruding out, and what is there is now jelly-like.  Because I had a C-section I have to keep the catheter in for 24 hours, sigh….  It is a weird feeling not being able to get up and walk to the bathroom.   Although, I really can’t feel my legs so therefor I don’t miss the walking too much.   I do have these wonderful warm air massagers on my lower legs to keep my blood circulating while lying down.  My nurse comes in every 2-3 hours during the night to check my vitals.  That is probably the absolute worst about hospital stays, the constant monitoring.  I realize it’s for my safety and I appreciate all medical staff and their roles.  But for the love, please let me sleep!  My overnight nurse also has the nerve to complains about my continuous urine output.  I scrunch my shoulders and say “I just had two baby’s and I like my water” “sorry, not sorry” Of course I think that last comment to myself!  I’ve also had a breast pump with me since I’ve been in my room.  I’ve been pumping every 2 hours to get the colostrum for the boys.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like I am getting much.  My poor girls are not too happy right now, and I think it will only get worse before it gets better.  I’m trying to pump every two hours to get things moving.  But it seems a little slow!  Again, sigh….  The nurses are very encouraging, telling me every little drop is liquid gold to those boys.  I have a feeling it’s because I don’t have them in here with me.  It’s like my body knows they were not mine to keep, so why produce much.

Morning finally arrives, and although I'm tired, I’m eager to see the new little family.  Since I am officially bed-bound until 6:30 pm tonight, I have to rely on Holly and Darren to come over for a visit.  Holly and Darren pop over around 7 am with the boys.  Oh my word, they are about as precious as they come.  I know part of it is because I carried them for the last 8 months.  But, damn, I am instantly in love with these little guys.  I don't think the new parents got much sleep last night.  But you would never know it because they are beyond thrilled to be here with their new little boys.  Smiles for days!!

Tom went home last night to sleep.  They have a little bench here but it looks really uncomfortable.  Plus, Tom needs to take our dog to the kennel where we board her.  Unfortunately, they live in Estacada and with the Icey roads, Tom has to meet them because his car won’t make it to them unless he chains up.  So, yes one more thing to worry about.  I’m usually the one who drops her off too.  Unfortunately, I have a medical crisis while Tom is lost looking for Lisa and her husband.  He’s trying to call me, but I can’t answer the phone in my condition.  He would FREAK out!

I am lying in my bed because I still have my catheter for several more hours, ugh.  Holly and Darren and the boys just left.  It was fun visiting with them, seeing the boys and hearing how night number one went.  I gave Tom Lisa’s address, so I’m ready for a nap.  As I’m lying there trying to relax I start to feel this weird pain in my upper abdomen, right under my lower left rib cage.  Now, I had a C-section only about 16 hours ago.  I haven’t really needed any pain meds except for Tylenol with Codeine.  My discomfort has been minimal, I have a high pain tolerance.  But the pain I am feeling now is starting to become unbearable.  As I lay there I am thinking “what in the world did I do to deserve this kind of pain?!”  I finally meet my breaking point and call my nurse.  I am in so much pain I am crying uncontrollably and out of breath.  It’s like that hiccup crying/breathing type of sob.  Of course, my nurse isn’t at her station so another takes her page and after she finally deciphers my sobbing she says she’ll find her immediately.  While I’m in the throes of this pain this little elderly lady comes in to clean my room.  The look on her face was pure horror.  I am sure she thought I was dying or possible she thought I was grieving.  I am after all in the post-partum section of the hospital and clearly, I have no baby in my room.  I felt so bad for her having to see me like that.  She asked me if she could do anything, so sweet.  I told her I had called the nurse.  Hannah comes into my room about 5-10 minutes later.  I really don’t remember how long it was but it felt like hours.  She is really concerned because I am crying so hard I can barely speak.  She runs to get me some Morphine, luckily I can have it since I’ve only been taking Tylenol3.  She gets back and puts it in my IV as quick as she can.  It takes about 5 mins and the pain lessons but by no means is it gone.  I can at least coherently tell her what is going on.  I had a pain that traveled from my lower ribs all the way up to my shoulder where it meets my neck.  It was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt!  I seriously thought, “please, just kill me I can’t take it anymore”.   I am so happy Holly didn’t come over at that time.  She would have been horrified and then felt guilty.  My nurse explained it was an air bubble.  Anyone is at risk for this happening after having surgery.  Most of the time your body absorbs it and releases it in the form of gas, either by burping or well you know…lol.  For some reason, I wasn’t so lucky.  She told me it happened to her husband, but maybe not as severely.  All I know is that I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone, EVER!  Tom shows up a few hours later, luckily he missed that freak show.

At around 5 pm Hannah decides part of my problem earlier with the air bubble was because I can’t get up and walk around.  She gets approval from the attending on duty to remove my catheter early.  All I can say is Halle-fricken-lujah!  I can also now take a shower, yay!  But first, I need to be able to sit myself up and walk to the restroom.  Remember I just had my lower abdomen sliced open.  I think sitting up is the worst part.  Luckily I have an adjustable bed that can do half the sitting up for me.  I know, I know, lazy!  I sit on the edge of my bed for a few minutes while Tom gets my slippers in place.  My first trip to the bathroom is a little wobbly.  It was more like shuffling.  It’s amazing how quickly the leg muscles weaken.  Once I have made a couple of trips to the restroom, I’m ready to venture further.  I remember after having my son that the quickest way to heal was to get off your butt and start walking.  I wanted my first trip on my new found legs to see Holly and Darren.  I give Darren a quick text to make sure they are awake.  Unfortunately, they didn’t respond so I didn’t get to see them as soon as I’d hoped.

I couldn't be contained once I was able to start taking walks. Tom and I did a few laps and while doing so I came across a scale.  I decide, what the heck, let's see how much I weigh now.  I turn it on, it’s a fancy digital one.  I step on after it zeros out and I weigh in at 162lbs.  I lost 30lbs giving birth, DAMMMNN!  Darren finally gets back to me and Tom and we were able to go visit with them.  Those little boys were so good.  It was so comforting to get to hold them.  I held Noah and Tom held Beckom.  We even got to feed them their little bottles.  Holly was able to induce lactation but it isn’t giving her enough just yet.  So the hospital is providing donated milk until she gets a better supply.  I’m still not getting much either, which is weird because I was a cow with both of my kids.  

It was an eventful day after for sure.  I'm feeling both physically and emotionally better.  Seeing those two little boys helped a lot.  I am certainly looking forward to being their "Aunt Becky".

Mom and Dad with Noah and Beckom

Darren and Beckom

Me holding Beckom and Noah

Noah and his perfection! You wouldn't know this is a newborn only hours old.

Tom holding little Beckom with his worried face 😍

Friday, August 4, 2017

(33) Todays the day!

I am feeling a little apprehensive lying in the hospital bed all by myself.  This is not how I envisioned things would be today.  I guess I thought I’d be surrounded by family and ‘extended family’.  But I suppose that will be the case soon enough.   Tom left to help Kaela.  On her way home from Corvallis, she got stranded on an ice-covered road behind a driver who partially slid off the road.  Like I need something else to worry me!  After rescuing Kaela, he plans to head back to work, mainly to wrap up some things and get his laptop.  If I have these guys soon, Tom will be taking a few weeks off to help me.  I have a feeling the boys will be delivered today, but despite all my current pregnancy discomforts, I really don’t want this yet.  I know the longer they stay inside of me, the better the chance they’ll not need to go to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  I am 35 weeks, 6 days along -- well beyond any significant risk -- but if born today, they would still be considered late-preterm babies.  Babies born at this time can be less physiologically and metabolically mature than full term babies, but because they are twins, they naturally mature faster than a singleton.  So despite the possibility of early delivery, I really feel the boys are perfectly fine.   Once again, I am trying to stay positive.  My ongoing motto is B Positive!   

The nurses check on me periodically.  My blood pressure is elevated, but this time not from “white coat syndrome.  It’s real.  The results from my “pee tank” confirm that I am in the beginning stages of preeclampsia.  It’s starting to look more and more like today, Friday November 14, 2014 will be the birthday of Noah and Beckom Benson.

Then I meet Dr. Warnock for the first time.  He is working surgical births tonight.  He works for the hospital, not for the group of doctors I have been seeing for the last 8 months.  He’s really nice, but I’m a little sad because I really wanted Dr. Winkler to deliver these boys.  Based on the preeclampsia results, he announces “Today’s the day.  These boys need to come out or you are all at risk”.  I guess I knew this was coming.  The doctor asked me if I wanted to try a vaginal birth.  From the beginning, I was prepared for (and requested) a c-section.  I had one before with my son so I knew I could handle it.  I politely refuse.  To me, having a vaginal birth is really personal and it just didn’t feel right to me as a Gestational Carrier.  Plus doing it with twins scares me.  He says, “Okay, then you’re on the schedule for 6:30pm”.  Holy Crap, here we go!  This is really happening!

I immediately text Holly with “Todays the day!”, and   “I’m next in line for surgery”.  She calls right back, crying and giggling with excitement.  She says “Really?!  We have been waiting for this day and here we go”.  Next I text Tom, asking him to please come back since it’s a go.  Tom didn’t expect this, and is maybe little mad at himself for leaving me.  I assure him all is well.  I’ll be right here when he gets back. 

When the Dr. Warnock came back in to check on things, I asked about Dr. Winkler.  I really want him to do the c-section.  I let Dr. Warnock know that I had nothing against him.  It’s just that Dr. Winkler has been a key part of this very special journey.  He says he understands, but unless Dr. Winkler (who is not on duty or on call) magically shows up to do it, he’s the guy.  Sigh…   I also take this opportunity to ask him about who can be in the delivery room.  He tells me it is all up to the Anesthesiologist.  Luckily, we’ll have the same Anesthesiologist Dr. Merrill had already talked to 4 or 5 months ago.  I hope he has a good memory.  He said yes to Holly, Darren, and Tom then.  Hopefully it is still a yes today.

Holly, Darren and Tom all show up at the hospital around the same time.  I can’t even describe the expression on Holly’s face.  She simply can’t suppress her ear to ear smile, and her dimples are fully out on display.  She’s nervous, but so so so happy.  We take a few pre-birth pictures.  When the  anesthesiologist comes in, we all ask with huge smiles “can all of us be in the operating room?”.  We didn’t say it out loud, but our faces were saying “pretty please…pretty please…pretty please!”.  To our relief, he had no objections, quickly answering with “Sure!”

About 6:00 pm they wheel me into the operating room to prep for surgery.  I leave Tom, Holly and Darren to gown up for our “extreme event”.  It’s a little surreal to think this is all coming to an end, and in less than an hour we will all get to meet the boys who have been growing inside me for the last 8 months.  I arrive in OR3 to bright lights and a whole lot of fancy equipment.  I can see two warmers off to one side that in just a short while these two will occupy.  When we get in there, I’m told to carefully slide over to the operating table.  Yeah, haha okay, I’ll just shimmy my 192lb body over (I stepped on the scale at my Dr. appointment) so yeah, final weight = 192!  Eeek!  Then they tell me I need to roll into a ball so the anesthesiologist can do his magic.  Again, I laugh to myself.  Roll into a ball?  I am already a ball!  I do the best I can.  It is the most awkward feeling.  I can’t help to feel like I’m squishing the poor boys to death.  Luckily, it was over pretty quickly.  Then my lovely nurses tell me it’s time for the catheter.  Oh boy, I forgot about that gem.  So even though I’ve had my lower extremities invaded on multiple occasions for the last 8 months, this feels the worse.  The room is so bright, and all I can think right now is thank goodness I recently went to my sugaring appointment.  If you’ve never been sugared, Google it. If you are in the Portland, OR area I recommend Sugar Bee's All Natural Hair Removal! Lacie is AWESOME!  You’ll thank me later. 

After I’m all prepped and covered up, they bring in Holly, Darren and Tom.  They direct Tom to stand by my head and Holly and Darren to sit in chairs at my feet.  As we’re waiting patiently, our nurse informs us that Dr. Winkler is scrubbing in to help with my C-sec.  I am so happy I seriously want to dance, but obviously I can’t at the moment.  Apparently he was checking on my status, since he sent me for observation.  (Afterwards, the nurses whispered to me: “You must be very special.  Doctors NEVER do this.”).  The actual caesarian and delivery occurred quickly.   Dr. Winkler and Dr. Warnock really don’t mess around.  They give a few instructions, check to make sure I am numb then start cutting me open.  They are calm, confident, and even chat about a conference they are both attending. They also find out that some of my Rn’s are also attending.  They started making plans.  Yeah, no big deal, we’re just birthing some babies here.  We find out later that when the doctors are chatty during surgery, it’s sign that everything is looking good! 

When Dr. Winkler has my belly open, he says “All right, we’ll have babies in less than a minute”.  Tom is peaking over my drape to watch.   I thought he’d be too be grossed out to watch, but I find out later that he couldn’t see the actual incision anyway.  First out is “baby A” (Noah), as he is closest to the cervix.  Then Dr. Winkler announces “baby B will be out in less 39 seconds”.  It is such a random time, that we all remember it.  I can’t see anyone but Tom, so I’m trying to move my drape to see the warmers.  If I could JUST MOVE THE DRAPE!  My sweet anesthesiologist gives me a hand by moving my drape a little so I can see.  I think he really just wanted me to stop moving.  I don’t see much, but I can tell they have each baby at a warmer.  When I finally hear the cry of a newborn babe, my tears start flowing.  I can also hear Holly softly sobbing with joy.  It’s a comforting sound because I know she is watching her LIVE little boys take their first breaths.  I learn later that Noah struggled a little to take his first breath.  So even though Noah was born first, Beckom was the first to breathe.  I faintly hear the nurse with Beckom say to Holly “Come here momma and carry your son to the scale”.  Soon after, as I’m still lying on the operating table, Holly comes over so Beckom and I can meet.  I am instantly in love!  He has this squishy little worried look on his face that just melts my heart.  He is just perfect! 

They have Holly and Darren carry the boys to my recovery room so Holly can nurse them.  Tom stays with me while they staple me up.  All the while, the doctors are still chatting away.  I think to myself, these guys would all be so cool to work with.
When they wheel me back to the recovery room, Holly and Darren are there admiring their beautiful new little boys.  Holly has nursed both of them and Noah is in her shirt for the skin contact.  The nurses ask Holly if they can put Beckom on my chest, and she says yes.  This is something they didn’t do back when my children were born.  Newborns can’t regulate their temperatures very well, so having skin to skin contact is a good way to help.  The nurse unbundles Beckom and lays him on my chest.  Even though he is small, I think “How did he and his brother fit in my stomach?”  It doesn’t seem possible.  

Amazingly, even though they were born 4 weeks early, they didn’t need any Neonatal assistance.  Once Noah started to breathe, it was never an issue again.  Noah was the “heavyweight”, weighing in at 5lbs 13oz.  Beckom was two ounces lighter at 5lbs 11oz. I had almost 12 POUNDS OF BABY IN ME!

Oh my god, we did it! 🎉👐

Here we go!
Last picture of them inside of me

Mom and Dad - You can see the pure JOY of this moment!


Monday, July 24, 2017

(32) Two weeks to go.....

I’m up bright and early as usual, because I have two little alarm clocks.  One kicks my ribs while the other punches my bladder.  Somehow, this wakes me up every time.  They’re getting ready to be born, since both have been “head down” for a few weeks now.  Their positions don’t matter though, since my little passengers are scheduled to disembark by cesarean two weeks from today.  Woot woot!  

My usual daily routine is a little different today, since I have to prepare for the COLD and ICY weather outside!  The roads are icy too, which makes me nervous because we live in a hilly area.  Our daughter Kaela decided to drive home from Corvallis for the weekend, and her driving in these conditions makes me even more nervous.  Nonetheless, I dutifully prepare for my 11am doctor appointment.  My “Pee” tank is ready to go, in a large paper bag.  Poor Tom is going to have to carry that when we get there.  I have enough extra poundage to carry…. Sorry Tom.  As we make our way to the doctor’s office, I get even more nervous about Kaela driving home.  The roads are definitely not ideal.  Luckily, Tom grew up in Minnesota, so he handled it like a pro.  Fingers crossed for Kaela.

When I first get to the office, I supply them with a fresh pee sample as usual.  But it sure seems redundant since I just handed them a gallon of my pee!  Then Tom and I head back for an ultrasound.  Tom really likes getting to be there for these.  I haven’t counted how many ultrasounds I’ve had, but I’ve had a lot!  After seeing the little guys again (they’re pretty crowded in there!), we see Dr. Winkler.  He’s a little concerned with my elevated blood pressure, so he decides that today they will take out my pessary and do the Beta Strep Culture.  This doesn’t sound fun, but what choice do I have?  Everyone leaves the room so I can undress, oh boy.  Dr. Winkler reappears with his nurse, and like the veteran that he is, the pessary is out within a second.   Then he informs me that he is sending me to the hospital to be monitored.  He says it’s routine -- nothing to worry about -- but when you are carrying multiples, you can never be too careful. 

So Tom and I head over to Legacy Emanuel.  The roads are a little better, but when we get to the parking garage, it is an ice rink!  The only parking available is at the very top, where the worst ice is.  As Tom and I are walking to the elevator, I almost fall on some slippery ice.  Let me tell you, this is really scary even when not pregnant.  I am so rattled that my first stop in the hospital is the security desk.  They take one look at me, listen to my story, and are immediately on the phone to have the ice situation taken care of.

Dr. Winkler phoned ahead so they already had a room prepared for me.  It’s now about 1pm so I decide I should let Holly and Darren know what is going on.  Instead of calling, I send a text (that is what we do nowadays!)  I tell Holly “I’m at Emanuel being monitored just to be safe” and  “don’t worry I’ll keep you updated”.  They get me all hooked up and I can see I am having contractions.  Just by removing the pessary, my uterus is saying “all righty then, let’s have these babies”.  I haven’t felt any contractions up until this time, and I barely even feel these.  The boy’s heartbeats sound awesome as usual.  All the nurses are super nice.  They all know my story, and how special the births will be when it’s time.  I have my copy of the birth contract with me.  I started carrying it full time about two weeks ago.  Once these boys take their first breath, they are legally adopted by Holly and Darren.  But we have two weeks to go, right?  Tom heads back to work, leaving me at the hospital for monitoring.  The wait begins…

Hospital selfie

Tom taking secret picture before leaving. Look at my belly poking up!

Friday, July 7, 2017

(31) Just a Wee little Pee

I am a few days into my 35th week of gestation.  I have a doctor appointment with Dr. Robertson today because again, Dr. Winkler is off saving the world elsewhere.  I am a little worried he won’t be able to deliver these boys.  I know it isn’t a big deal to most but for some reason I just think this is what will make the story of their birth that much better.  Holly plans on telling them everything, when they are old enough to understand anyways.  I officially have booked the OR for their permanent Birthday!  Bright and early on November 28th 2014, 7:30am sharp.  1 day after Thanksgiving!  I have to be there 2 hours before (sigh) and I can’t eat or drink after midnight.  I can go without the food, but no water, that is impossible!

Anyway, I’m off to my Tuesday appointment.  Tom is accompanying me because I’m to the point that driving myself just isn’t safe.  My huge belly just doesn’t fit behind the steering wheel anymore.  The office is on the third floor and the elevators are down around the corner from the office.  I finally get to the office, and I am huffing and puffing.  Now, come on!  I’m carrying an extra 50 pounds with me so I think a little huffing and puffing is warranted.  But Dr. Robertson is alarmed by this as she walks by me heading toward the bathroom.  I reassure her it is just a little exhaustion from walking from the car to the office.  She feels a little better after I give her some pee and it’s normal.  They take my BP and it’s a little elevated as it has been this entire time (white coat syndrome).  She decides she wants me to do the 24 hour urine time and volume test.  Let me tell you, this does NOT sound fun!  I have to catch my urine, every time I go.  And guess what, in a top hat, which I just recently learned about, imagine that.  I tell her my next appointment is Friday and ask if I can hold off until Thursday to start the test.  She reluctantly says okay, which I am relieved.  I definitely understand her concern but I feel great other than my 2 ton belly in front of me.

My Doctor appointment on Friday is at 11am so I start my 24 hour urine catch around 9am Thursday 
morning.  I didn’t want the pee sitting around for too long, that is just gross.  Bad enough it will be sitting around at all.  I get into a rhythm, hahaha.  Luckily we have a half bathroom so that is where I do all the important stuff, wink wink!  Except at night, cuz well I pee a lot at night and I’m certainly not trudging up and down the stairs every time.  It is bad enough I almost don’t make to the on-suite in the wee (wink, wink) hours, lol.  I couldn’t imagine running downstairs to the ½ bath.  So Friday morning rolls around and it’s only about 5:30am and guess what?  IT’S FULL!!!  I have no more room to add my pee.  So of course I panic a little thinking this might be a bad sign.  Of course I start Googling!  This is a bad habit, I don’t recommend.   I can’t really find anything about my subject so I relax a little, whew.  I have always made sure my water intake is above average because I read (Google, obviously) that if a pregnant woman doesn’t drink enough water it might affect the amniotic fluid levels.  Well there was no way I was going to jeopardize that so I drink, drink, drink, lots of water!!  

The pee tank


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

(30) Leaky bladder and Top Hats

I knew this would be challenging.  I told myself I could handle it.  I convinced myself everything would work out.  Everything would be fine.  But at 34 weeks and some change, I’m not sure how much longer my body can do this.

Be positive.  Be positive.  Be positive.  Repeating this used to help.  But I’m so tired.  Everything seems so difficult now.  Sleeping is almost impossible, and not just because I’m feeling huge, but also because I’m a little paranoid.  The doctors say not to sleep on my back, not to sleep on my stomach (like that would even be possible right now!), and not to sleep on one side for too long – or I might block the blood supply to one or both of the babies.  I wake up constantly, subconsciously knowing I need to “flip over”.  If you’ve read my prior blogs, you know I’m a rule follower.  And when it comes to my precious passengers, I will not risk their safety.  For now, it’s miserable, but I know it’s worth it.  This is all temporary.  I can catch up on my sleep after my extreme babysitting is over, which I think is going to be soon.  Sleep is not the only problem.  With about 40 extra pounds surrounding my bladder, I have an almost constant urge to pee, day and night.  At night, I try to align my potty breaks with my “flip” times, but the synchronization is never perfect.  So I’ve even started to wear a pad.  Yes, a menstrual pad.  Sometimes I just can’t make it before, yep, a little leakage (Insert sad face here!).  Believe me, it’s better than changing my undies every time.  Even that is a challenge now too.

Several weeks ago Holly and Darren arranged for a maid service come every other week.  At first I didn’t feel it was necessary, but it sure has been nice, especially lately.  But I think she has it pretty easy.  Her biggest challenge is wrangling a few dust bunnies which have accumulated in areas we don’t use very often.   But I appreciate it.  Pregnant or not, dusting is a sucky job!  I’ve never had a maid service before, so I’m not really accustomed to this lifestyle change, and I don’t know the “protocol”.  It might sound crazy, but I’m not going to have her come to clean a dirty house, right?   Anyway, I always tidy up a little before she comes.  If she scrubs the toilets, vacuums and dusts, I’m  happy camper.  I just try to stay out of the way.  Plus, my husband says I’m not crazy, and I choose to believe him.

I still have my 2x a week doctor visits, which now include blood draws.  They monitor for preeclampsia when you approach the end of the pregnancy.  Preeclampsia is a combination of two things:  Gestational-induced high blood pressure (hypertension) and a protein in the urine (proteinuria).  If they don’t catch it and treat it properly, then it can be harmful for the woman and the baby.  So far I don’t have the protein in my urine, because they check that at every visit.  Now don’t get me wrong, I really do love all of the people in the office, but I had to shake my head in frustration during my latest visit.  I commented how difficult it’s been peeing in the cup lately.  Without missing a beat, the front desk girl said “Oh, we have a top hat you can use”.  When I gave her my “what the hell is that?” expression, she explained “It’s a plastic pan that goes in the toilet to catch your pee.  Then you just transfer it to the cup”.  Inside, I’m fuming a little, and thinking “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!”  I have been peeing on my hand for a month now.  Sigh.  I’m sure I’ll laugh about this later.  Be positive…

November 1st - 34 Weeks

Yikes, my tattoos!