Friday, November 14, 2014

35 weeks!

My "stay positive" face!
11/14/2014 - 35 weeks & 1 day
Cheers to 35 weeks! Flip baby girl FLIP!! Next appointment is on Monday. Hoping to hear that she's now head down. She's been very active and I've felt a lot of big movements. *Crossing my fingers* Will update on Monday.

Happy Friday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Surrobabies Growth Update!

Today's appointment was about 3 hours long. I had a non-stress test (NST) plus a growth ultrasound to check on the babies. I'm 34 weeks and 4 days strong.

Baby girl weighs approximately 5 lbs, 11oz. And baby boy weighs approximately 5lbs, 14oz. I say approximately because ultrasounds are not always accurate. I know they will be good sizes when they are born though, which is awesome! Baby girl is still breech and baby boy went from transverse to head down. I know there's still time for her to flip. My doctor gave us a 10% chance of her turning at this point. I'm holding faith I'm in that 10%! I've been seeing my chiropractor every week, getting prenatal massages every two weeks, will see an acupuncturist tomorrow, moxibustion, spinning babies techniques for twins, and envisioning her flipping head down.

Both babies passed the NST and everything else looked great on the ultrasound. They have a lot of fluid to move around. I had a couple contractions during the NST which was a first for me. My body is just getting ready for the big debut.

I'm definitely feeling a lot more tired lately. The weather has cooled down completely and it's now winter weather here. My weekly appointments will soon be two times a week when I get to 36 weeks. I'm thankful that the babies are cozy in their wombspace and aren't trying to come early. They just need to stay put until their fathers arrive in a couple of weeks.

Grow babies grow!

Friday, October 31, 2014

33 weeks - Happy Halloween!

I scored this super cute shirt from another local Mom who was pregnant with twins last year.

Wow. I can't believe I'm 33 weeks along right now with my surrobabies. Time is going faster as we get closer to my due date. Everything is going really well. Just the normal aches and pains that comes with being pregnant, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I've been seeing my Chiropractor Dr. Sarah Conroy every week for the past few weeks to help the babies get into a better position. Last Monday, baby girl was transverse and baby boy was still transverse. So baby girl went from breech to transverse since we last checked. I'm really hoping baby girl will go head down and stay that way until I go into labor. IF she doesn't go head down in a couple of weeks, they want to schedule a c-section around 38 weeks. I told my doctor that we would discuss all of that when the time comes and until then I'm trying everything I can to get her to go head down. It doesn't matter what position baby boy is in, just baby girl since she leads the way. If I end up with a c-section, it will be my first and to be honest I'm very nervous about it. But that's all I'll say for now until I have any updates. I don't want to worry or stress over it now. I'm just so thankful that both babies are growing great and everything is going well.

I have my second NST monitoring tomorrow morning. Hoping for good results like last week. I also started packing my hospital bag, which is also new to me. With my home births, I didn't have to worry about packing anything. I'll probably finish up packing this week (hopefully!)

Until next time....

Surro-Mama Angela

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ultrasound Update!

I had my monthly ultrasound appointment today. As always, I was nervous right before going. It's not that I think anything is ever wrong, but because it's such a HUGE responsibility to carry someone's precious children, I'm always nervous before my appointments.

I Skyped with the papas, even though it was 1am there time they still stayed up to see their babies. After the ultrasound, my Dr. came in and talked with us. Baby girl is 3lbs, 10oz and baby boy is 3lbs, 12oz. She said their weights are great! Baby girl is back in breech position and baby boy is still transverse laying across my belly right under my breasts. That explains why I have to catch my breath at times, he's right on my diaphragm!

We have a good 4 weeks or so to get baby girl to move head down. As long as she's head down, I'm good to go for a vaginal delivery. If she's not head down by 35 weeks, we will schedule a c-section around 38 weeks. We will continue to check on her position each week. Crossing my fingers that she flips. I will be trying everything I can naturally to help her turn.

I start the Nonstress Test (NST) next week and will continue to do them every week until 36 weeks then it will be twice a week until the babies are born. It still amazes me how fast time is going. I can't believe I'll be 31 weeks on Thursday. My doctor thinks the time frame when the fathers arrive is good timing, I'll be 36w5d then. The goal is 38 weeks!

Cheers to another good appointment! 


Friday, October 10, 2014

30 weeks strong!

It's hard to believe that I'm 30 weeks along right now. It was just yesterday we transferred two embryos and now they are strong growing little babies. I have an ultrasound on Monday to check on the babies and their growth. I always get excited for my ultrasounds to see how the babies are doing. I also Skype with the papas during the appointment as well.

Yesterday I signed all the pre-birth documents and got that taken care of. My attorney kept mentioning having the babies at the end of November, which is crazy because it's NEXT month! When the father's arrive, I will be 36 weeks and 5 days along. It's hard to predict when these babies will make their appearance, but Brandon guessed they would come shortly arrived the papas arrive.

I sent the ladies at my agency an e-mail with a belly photo and an update. I also wanted to thank them again for matching me with a wonderful couple who we consider family now.

I will update again after our ultrasound on Monday. Happy Friday all! Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Why I chose to be a surrogate and what it means to me.......


Photo taken 4/1/14 the day we transferred two beautiful babies into my uterus

This journey has been such an amazing learning experience so far. A lot of people who aren't familiar with surrogacy usually have a lot of questions or make assumptions, which at times can be very ignorant. The very deserving fathers that I am carrying for are from France, a country where surrogacy is not accepted. They have to constantly fight for their rights to have a family of their own. It breaks my heart to see such discrimination in our world. I never gave it a second thought to carry for a same sex couple. In my eyes, they are no different than myself and my husband. Love is love and they deserve to have their own family.

I decided to write this blog post about WHY I chose to be a surrogate and what it means to me.

After having three amazing children of my own, it truly makes you realize that we are on this earth to make a difference in some one's life. I knew that I wanted to help a couple in a extraordinary way so I looked into becoming a surrogate. A couple years of research and after having our last baby, I knew it was my time to help another family.

I don't take this journey lightly. One thing that means a lot to me is to have a close relationship with the parents. I want to be a part of their lives, not just for the 9 months I'm carrying their babies for but for a lifetime. I want to watch the children grow up, have them know who I am and that I helped their parents become a family. This means so much to me that it's difficult for me to find the words to describe how I feel, but I can tell you this.... I am SO proud to be a surrogate for two amazing people who are going to be incredible fathers to their babies. This has been far from easy for them and I know what a journey it has already been. I'm so happy to be heading into my 30th week of pregnancy with their babies.

With so many advancements and miraculous achievements our world has created and a country such as France with great accomplishments all throughout history, one can only hope that sooner rather than later one of the greatest medical achievements of modern science (in my opinion) would become just as normal and accepted as it should be.
The papas recorded a bed time story for them so they can hear their voices.

#proudsurrogate





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

29 weeks tomorrow!

This is why I don't blog, it's been over a month since I posted an update! Shame on me.

I'm happy to report that everything is going well so far. The babies are constantly moving around.

Last week I did the two hour Glucose Screening. After I drank the glucola drink, I felt like I needed to throw up. I kept gagging. Brandon had to grab me some water as we were waiting. I didn't want to start over again. Unfortunately my fasting glucose level was 95 and they want it at 93. My levels after drinking the glucola came back as passed both times. Now I have to poke my finger 4 times a day and monitor my blood sugar levels at home until I have the babies. Not going to lie, I'm not too thrilled about it but I'll do whatever I have to. Once I get in a routine, it's easy. So far my numbers have been good.

Only 55 days until the papas arrive to Portland! And 77 days from my due date, December 18th. Time is flying by with this pregnancy. Between all the appointments, the kids, and just being busy it's going by quickly.

At my last ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, both babies weighed over two pounds each and baby girl was head down and baby boy was still transverse right underneath my boobs. They still have a lot of time to move around. Hoping and praying that they both get in good positions to have a vaginal birth. As long as baby girl is head down, we're good to go!

I've been doing a lot of thinking on my birth plan and what I would like to decline etc. Hospital births are SO much different from home births. I'm learning a lot as I go. I'm excited that the papas would like to be in the room when their babies are born. I made sure to ask just in case. I wasn't sure if they would feel uncomfortable or not. I'm totally fine with it and I'm glad they are too. To see them meet their babies for the first time is going to be priceless! I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

N & F are in Portland!

Yesterday we had the pleasure of spending half of the day with N & F. Our trio got to meet them for the first time. It took them a little while to warm up to them, but once they did the girls wouldn't leave them alone! (in a good way)

We went to my ultrasound and Crystal, my Doula & friend met us there. She met the guys for the first time and sat in with us during the ultrasound. The ultrasound went beautifully. Both babies are doing great and growing well. Baby B, the boy is measuring a little bigger but he has been this whole time so it wasn't a surprise. Both babies are over a pound each! They got some great photos of both babies to take home with them.

We took them to Benihana's for dinner. We thought it would be fun and entertaining for them and the kids. They've never been to Benihana's before and really enjoyed it. Before we ordered, they gave gifts to us and the kids, so sweet! The kids loved their gifts. After dinner we took them to Lake Oswego and we walked around and took some photos. Then we took them to Tryon Creek to go for a little hike. Even with a maxi skirt and flip flops on, I made it! It was a lot of fun and heart warming to seeing N & F with the kids. So many smiles and laughs throughout the day. They are going to be amazing fathers! The babies are so blessed to have such loving papas. I'm so excited for them!

A little collage I made that sums up our day together. 8/19/14

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Any Difference?

So I thought it would be great to post about the number one question people ask me which is, "Do you notice a difference carrying twins versus one baby?"

Yes and no. Going into this journey, I knew carrying more than one baby had more "risks". So I almost feel like I'm overly cautious with this pregnancy because of that. I'm definitely more tired and feeling "big" already at 21 weeks (tomorrow!) but other than that, there hasn't been much difference.

There's definitely a party in my uterus though. Every night when I lay down for bed, both babies just start dancing away. They must know I'm trying to sleep. =)

I'm excited that in less than two weeks the papas will be in Portland visiting!!! I'll be sure to update and let you all know how it goes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Almost half way there!

One of my guilty pleasures is surprising people. I LOVE surprises myself so I know the feeling of getting something unexpectedly and it makes me feel SO good inside.

I sent the papas a goodie box with the ultrasound photos of their babies, some clothes for the babies and a candle for them to enjoy. It took about a week to get there, which isn't that long for sending something international. I didn't realize that for customs you have to complete a form and list everything in the box you're sending, so much for a surprise!-haha they loved it anyways.

I was surprised, yet so happy to see that both fathers announced the pregnancy on their Facebook pages. I know how much of a big deal this is so it made me feel so happy for them that they are at a place now where they can shout it out to the world. They are going to be fathers soon!!! YEAH!

This is the photo they sent me when they received their package
They will be coming to the states in less than a week to have a last vacation before the babies arrive. I'm excited because they will be stopping by Portland before they head back to Paris. They will also be at my next ultrasound on August 19th which will be awesome! We always Skype during the ultrasounds, but this time they will actually be in the room. I'm so excited for them!

I've been feeling pretty good lately. It's warming up again, but I've been staying in and enjoying the air conditioning. I can not wait for the Fall and Winter to be here already. Thursday marks a big milestone, 20 weeks...Half way there!

Taken yesterday morning 7/28/14, the surrobabies and I enjoying a mocha

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Almost 19 weeks strong!

Time is flying by! With keeping busy with my kiddos, appointments, getting together with friends and spending time with my family time is just going by quickly.

In September it will mark one year of the start of this remarkable journey. It will be bittersweet when the babies arrive. It will be the end of my pregnancy, but the beginning of their papa's lives of being parents for the first time. To be a part of this, is such an honor. I say this a lot because there's no other word that defines it better.

I will be 19 weeks in a couple of days, almost halfway there! I've been feeling pretty good. The weather was warm for about a week and I wasn't the happiest camper, but now that it's cooled down a bit it's much better. It's a nice break from the heat. Pregnancy + heat = no bueno.

The anatomy ultrasound a couple weeks ago went perfectly. Both babies look great! Baby A is definitely the girl and Baby B is the boy. Our next ultrasound is on August 19th. And I'm so excited that the guys will be in town to be there for it!

Taken on 7/20/14, 18 weeks and 3 days



Sunday, July 6, 2014

It's been one month since my last post!

Yikes! Sorry it's taken me so long to update... Fortunately, it's been an uneventful month with the pregnancy which is a great thing. I am now 16 weeks and 3 days strong with the twins. I'm definitely feeling them move a lot, it's really a party in there. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because they are moving so much. I think they take turns moving around so there's constant movement. It's nice and reassuring though so I don't mind.

I had my OB appointment last Thursday and everything is looking good so far. She did a quick ultrasound just to see the cardiac activity of the babies. They are getting so big!

I have my anatomy ultrasound this coming up Friday 7/11 at 17 weeks and 1 day. They are doing it early to get good measurements of both babies. They always have a hard time getting clear shots of baby B because of the position he's in. Hopefully they are able to see them both clearly on Friday.

My IF's sent me Belly Buds so that they can send over recordings of their voices for me to play for the babies. It's an awesome invention! Especially for surrogacy in my opinion. It will be nice for the babies to know their father's voices.

I feel like time is going by quickly. I'm almost halfway there, how crazy! It was just yesterday that I was meeting my IF's for the first time. And soon enough they will be meeting their sweet babies! So exciting.

Taken on 7/2/14, almost 16 weeks! *excuse the messy hair* bad hair day =)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Officially OFF of meds & Ultrasound!

Today I am 12 weeks & 1 day along with the twinies. My last day of medication was yesterday, YAY! What an awesome milestone to be done with.

This morning I had my Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound. We dropped the kids off at our daycare lady and headed to my appointment. We didn't realize how long this appointment would take, but it was all for good reason. We Skyped with one of my IF's during the ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech performed my ultrasound. She got Baby A's measurements easily, but Baby B was right under my belly button and she was having a hard time getting good photos of him. I say "him" because she said she thinks baby B is the BOY and baby A is the GIRL. We'll find out for sure at my next ultrasound on July 11th. 

All looked great! Baby A is measuring 12w4d and Baby B is measuring 13w3d. Both babies are growing and thriving well. Chances of chromosomal abnormalities are very low for both babies.

I feel like this pregnancy is going by pretty quickly. I'm so excited to spend some time with my IF's in August when they come for a visit. I'm feeling pretty good, slight headaches and minimal nausea. I think I'll be feeling even better now that I'm off of medication.

Photo Credit: Elora babe, my 4yo

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weaning off of medication!

This is a huge milestone that I totally forgot to blog about. As of the 16th, I started weaning off of the hormones that I've been injecting in my lower back. After my blood work came back, my hormone levels are high enough to start weaning.

The placentas will be taking over now and producing these hormones naturally so I will no longer need to stay on the medication. I am VERY excited about this! Lots of credit to my fabulous husband, Brandon for doing the injections for me everyday. This is a big deal since he HATES needles. He's been a trooper for the past few months.

June 5th will be my very last day on meds! 14 days left, but who's counting ;)

10 weeks today!

I meant to post an update sooner but I kept postponing it. Sorry for those of you following my journey. I didn't realize how many have been following my blog so I want to say thank you for your support.

I'm 10 weeks along today! We are now in the double digits baby! WOO HOO! That's definitely something to celebrate. So far I've been feeling pretty good. I'm hungry all the time and sometimes it's a pain in the butt to snack all the time. I've been drinking lots of water as well. I get full pretty quickly.

Here's the ultrasound from last week on 5/14 at Kaiser....

It was hard to get a good picture of both babies but this one is great!
Baby A
Baby B
My OB wanted me to do an early glucose screening since I've had "big" babies and I'm pregnant with twins plus I have a higher BMI. After doing some research, I decided to ask my OB for another option. I read this great article about the "Glucola" drink that they give you for the test.

http://avivaromm.com/dont-drink-glucola-gestational-diabetes

She gave me the alternative to check my blood sugar levels at home with a monitor. I picked up the monitor and everything for it on Tuesday and met with one of the diabetic nurses to go over how to do it. It's surprisingly SUPER easy. It's been two days so far and my levels have been great according to what they are looking for. I check my BSL (blood sugar level) first thing in the morning, then two hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Four times a day for a week. It sounded like a lot at first but it's really not. I will email my OB after a week with my readings and she will go over it. I encourage all pregnant women to do the alternative instead of the Glucola drink.

My next ultrasound is June 6th for the NT scan. I'm already starting to show a little bit and my clothes are surely tighter. This photo is from last week. I love it because Elora, my 4 year old daughter took it for me.


Surro~Mama Angela

Monday, May 12, 2014

First OB Appointment!

I was so nervous for my first OB appointment. A little background with my previous pregnancies, I've had three home births with Midwives so this is my first experience with an OB. I had high expectations for this particular OB since Dr. Hesla recommended her and a few moms in my mom's group mentioned that she was really great. I knew going into this journey that I wouldn't have a home birth and it would be a whole new experience for me. But reality really has started to set in and my anxiety is elevating.

My appointment was at 2pm. I arrived 15 minutes early like they requested. Checking in was a breeze and the lady was very nice. I didn't wait very long before a nurse called me back into a room. She asked if I had my forms that they mailed me, but I told her I mailed them back last week. Unfortunately, they didn't receive them yet. It's a bit weird since it should have only taken a day or two to get there. So I had to fill it out again.

Dr. Ann Stanek came in and she was so sweet right off hand. Great first impression. She spent a lot of time talking to me about what to expect as I told her this is my first experience with an OB/hospital and my first time with Kaiser. She assured me that I would be in good hands. She did a breast exam and did a vaginal swab for chlamydia and gonorrhea. We did a quick ultrasound but the machine was terrible. It was super grainy and you couldn't see much at all. We did see both babies' hearts beating away but she couldn't get any good pictures for us. She said she would order me an ultrasound at the Kaiser ultrasound facility in Beaverton to get better measurements and photos. She said that I would be seen more often since I'm having twins. She mentioned that they would do an ultrasound at pretty much every visit since they can't palpate the stomach like they normally do with a singleton. Ultrasounds is their way of monitoring everything.

It took me the whole weekend to process everything we talked about at my appointment. There was so much information, it was very overwhelming. I was there for about an hour and a half. I'm just going to take this pregnancy day by day and hope for the best. I don't want to stress over anything at all. I have my ultrasound scheduled for this Wednesday 5/14 first thing in the morning with Kaiser. Then I have an appointment with ORM on Friday 5/16 for another ultrasound and blood work. I will be doing the First Trimester Screening blood work and a glucose test on Friday for Kaiser as well. They are wanting me to do the glucose screening early due to my history of having 'large' babies and my higher BMI level. It's a precaution protocol for them. If these were MY babies, I would decline it. But since they aren't mine, I am going to go through with it. I've never had gestational diabetes before with any of my pregnancies. I hope I don't get it this time around just because it's twins.

I'll update more when I can. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around everything. This is going to be one heck of a journey!

Surro~Mama Angela

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hungry Hungry Hippo!

Wow, carrying twins is no joke. I swear I am constantly hungry. And if I don't eat right when I feel hungry then I feel nauseous. I have to be consistently snacking throughout the day. 

I'm 7 weeks and 1 day today! Symptoms include: nausea, exhaustion and laziness. But I've been pushing myself to stay motivated and keep busy with my kiddos. 

I've been craving fresh fruit a lot lately. Today the girl's and I shared some fresh strawberries while their brother napped. 

These were delicious and refreshing!
Then 10 minutes later I was starving again, haha! 

My first born, 4.5 years old Elora babe. Love her!
Today was a great day! Nothing particular happened. I just enjoyed spending quality time with my family. I am very blessed and so grateful. God is good. I'm so excited to be giving this precious gift to my IF's, times TWO! 

I received paperwork from my OB with Kaiser and filled it out right away and put it back in the mail. My first OB appointment is next Friday, May 9th at 2pm. She was recommended by Dr. Hesla and Brandon and I did some research online and she seems great! I hope I love her. And I hope they give us an ultrasound so we can see the babies! 

Happy Friday all! Enjoy your weekend with your loved ones!

Surro~Mama Angela

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Me + 87 degrees = No bueno!

Happy May Day!

Crazy heat wave has attacked and I'm not loving it one bit. It's funny because so many of my friends LOVE the sunshine and warm weather, but I'm totally over it. San Diego born and raised, I've had enough. I'll take rain and clouds any day.

I was drinking water like a fish today. I was feeling a bit puffy from the heat so I kept drinking more and more water to flush it all out. It's important to say very hydrated, especially while pregnant. (& with twins!)

I had about 10 of these or more today!

Surro~Mama Angela

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Sweet Surprise from my IF's!

I usually don't get very many surprises, but we do get necessities from Amazon.com delivered to us a lot. So when I opened our front door today, there was a big black box sitting there. I brought it inside and opened it. It was a box from FTD so I knew it was flowers. As I was opening it, my first thought was that my Mom sent us flowers. She's usually the one to send us random goodies. But then I read the card and it was from N & F showing their appreciation for being their surrogate. It truly put a smile on my face and made my day.

How gorgeous are these?! They made quite the trip on a warm day.


Who knew Vera Wang designed flowers?!


Gorgeous!
Surro~Mama Angela

Monday, April 28, 2014

First Ultrasound! And the verdict is....


Brandon and I waiting to be called back at ORM for my ultrasound
Today has finally arrived... all the anticipation and nervousness has paid off. I didn't think I'd be able to sleep well last night but surprisingly I did! I've actually been sleeping really well lately. I do have to wake up at least once to pee already.

Once they called me back, I got my blood drawn to test my hormone levels to see if we can lower my dosage of progesterone or estrogen. Then we were taken into the ultrasound room. Shortly after I undressed from the waist down, Dr. Hesla came in with a big ol' smile.


The infamous ultrasound machine, waiting for action.
Marissa, my Coordinator came in shortly after Dr. Hesla and had the ipad with my IF's on Skype. We said our hellos quickly and Dr. Hesla inserted the ultrasound probe. Within seconds this is what we all saw....


TWINS!!!
Both babies are there! My initial instinct was right all along. But to see it on the screen was AMAZING! How exciting. Everyone was thrilled. Baby A's heart rate was 119 and Baby B's heart rate was 129. Both measured beautifully and healthy. Dr. Hesla measured the sacs and they both measured great. He said that all looks wonderful! He did mention to the guys that sometimes one of the twins doesn't make it, but he said they both look GREAT.


Another great shot of both babies
My next ultrasound will be in about 2-3 weeks. Hoping for sooner than later! I love being able to see the babies, plus I'm sure my IF's would love to see them again too. Brandon took a nice 10 minute long video of the ultrasound that we sent to them.

Now I'm just waiting to hear back from Marissa on my blood work to see if we're making adjustments to my medications. She will also need to order more since I'm going through it all quickly.

Brandon and I went to breakfast after my appointment to celebrate the occasion. We are so happy for my IF's and beyond excited! Cheers to hoping that I have an uneventful twin pregnancy. Praying that all goes well and both babies remain healthy and thriving.

Surro~Mama Angela

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let the nausea commence!

Small update: Today is the first day that the nausea has kicked in and hasn't left. It comes in waves. It's not terrible yet but I can definitely tell it's there. I'm embracing this new symptom since it's a good sign that things are going good in my uterus. I'm super excited and anxious for our first ultrasound on Monday! I'm so glad it's in the morning. I'm so impatient as it is! My IF's are so excited and can't wait for the ultrasound either. I will be sure to update as soon as I get home. I hope to have beautiful pictures of their babies to share with you all!

Surro~Mama Angela

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Third & Final Beta Results!

Went in this morning at the same time to get my blood drawn. She got my vein on the first try again! YAY! That's when you know it's going to be a GOOD day. 

I sent a follow up e-mail to Nikki & Marissa (I know I'm impatient) and Nikki responded shortly after with the following e-mail:

"Hi everyone,
Angela, you have been so patient! I know how hard it is to wait for results. Your progesterone is 43.27 and your pregnancy level is 4633. These are great rises for both. I have your new dosing instructions. You will stay on the same dose of Delestrogen at 0.35 on your Mon/Fri schedule. You can decrease your progesterone dose to 1 .5ml. You will stay at twice a day for your Endometrin. We will see you on 4/28 at 9:15am for your next ultrasound. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Have a great rest of your day."

One of my IF's responded with: 
  
"Hello everybody,
Good figures, good mama surrogate, good luck, good energy ... Keep doing it that way :-)
Happy upcoming fathers !
F & N"

YAY! My numbers are rising great! Doubling time =1.6 days or 38.95 hours I'm so happy. I talked to one of my IF's today and he was telling me that he never thought he would be reading online about HCG numbers and pregnancy blogs. They are very excited! We are very much looking forward to the ultrasound in less than two weeks now.  So far, so good! I hope it continues to go well. I am one happy Surro~Mama!

Surro~Mama Angela

Monday, April 14, 2014

Second Beta Results are in!

I went to ORM this morning at the same time as last Thursday. My appointment was for 9:30am, but I arrived around 9:10. The same nurse drew my blood and she got it on the first try this time (YAY!) I was so happy. Marissa, my coordinator came in right after and gave me a hug to congratulate us on the pregnancy. It feels so surreal right now. I think once we have our ultrasound, it will feel more real.

We took our oldest daughter to watch Rio 2 and when we sat down in the theatre, Nikki called me with my results.

My second beta was: 1972! 

My doubling time is 38.34 hours. (which is GREAT!)

We set our first ultrasound appointment for Monday, April 28th. I will be 6 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I hope that my IF's will Skype into the appointment to see their baby(ies) for the first time. I'm so excited to finally have an ultrasound date! Two weeks from today.

My third and last beta will be this Wednesday, the 16th. Same time. They will also test my estrogen and progesterone levels then. I thought they were testing that today, but they just did my beta.

I'm definitely feeling the exhaustion already. But I try to keep my energy level up by walking and dancing around. Nothing too strenuous but it feels good to keep my blood flowing and releasing endorphins. 

Surro~Mama Angela



Sunday, April 13, 2014

12 days past transfer!

Today has been 12 days past my embryo(s) transfer. I decided to give my left over tests away to some of my surro friends since I won't be needing them anymore. But I did keep one. I took this one today since tomorrow is my second beta. As you can see the test line (on the left) is MUCH darker than the control line which is AWESOME! I didn't think these cheapie tests could get this dark so when I saw this I got very excited--just had to share!

I'm anxious to see what my beta results are tomorrow and see if we will be adjusting my medication at all. I'm still on Progesterone and Estrogen injections and just started Progesterone suppositories 2x a day(which I'm not a huge fan of by the way) but whatever I have to do to keep this pregnancy going strong, I shall do!

I've been super exhausted this weekend, which I'll take it as a good sign but wow it hit me out of nowhere. I've also been walking a lot with my Mom in the evenings which has been really nice. The fresh air and endorphins have been helping me feel good.

I shall update tomorrow after I hear back on my results. Hoping I won't have to wait very long! *crossing my fingers*

Surro~Mama Angela

Friday, April 11, 2014

More Medication... It's like Christmas!

I got a shipment of more medication today, YAY! This is what's helping to keep the baby(ies) thriving right now. It's amazing how scientific this is. I love organizing all of my meds and having it nice and neat. I'm OCD like that.

Those that know me, know that I never take medication. I've had three home births, med-free, all natural. I don't take tylenol when I have a headache and I don't take anything when I'm sick. I usually ride it out or use natural remedies like essential oils. But this is a very special case. To be able to help two people become a family, the medication is worth it. So worth it.

I've been pretty tired lately. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the medication. Also feeling very bloated which the medication can do that as well. Nothing out of the ordinary though.

My Dr. will be monitoring my hormone levels to make sure all is good. I'm looking forward to more blood work on Monday and Wednesday next week. Hoping for HIGH numbers! *Crossing my fingers*

Time to enjoy the weekend with mi familia!

Surro~Mama Angela

Thursday, April 10, 2014

First Beta Results are in!


This was taken yesterday 4/9/14 around 7pm - 8dp5dt this test measures the level of HCG in your system and determines how far along you are. So this is saying 2-3 weeks past ovulation, about 4-5 weeks pregnant. I took this same test just three days before and it said 1-2. Great progression!

The day we've all been anxiously waiting for has finally arrived. My first beta blood draw was this morning at ORM. My appointment was at 9:30am but I arrived around 8:45. The nurse who is usually the one who draws the blood, poked me three times then had someone else do it. The other lady got it in the first try. This has happened twice already. My arms are not happy.

Around 1:30pm I decided to call ORM to see if the results were in. It was SO hard waiting! I thought I'd try to keep busy and not worry about it, but I had to call. Luckily, I got through to Nikki, who is Marissa's assistant and super sweet and understanding. She knew that I was very anxious! She said the results were in.....

1st beta 9dp5dt (9 days past 5 day transfer) is: 354.9 

Estradiol level: 1166

Progesterone level: 32.98


I am officially PREGNANT! 


Nikki put me on hold to verify a few things with the doctor. I will be lowering my dose of Delestrogen starting tomorrow, continuing the same amount of PIO (progesterone) and starting vaginal suppositories tomorrow. Yay, I get to join the leaky vagina club! She also ordered more medication for me as well that I should be getting delivered tomorrow.

My next betas will be on Monday, April 14th 13dp5dt, then again on Wednesday, April 16th 15dp5dt. They just want to make sure my numbers are rising well. I should be able to book our first ultrasound around 6 weeks, so the end of April. Today I am considered 4 weeks pregnant! I let my IF's know the great news. They are traveling right now so they have limited access to the internet.

I was pretty surprised how high my beta number was! A lot of my surro friends are thinking both babies are hanging out in there. It's hard to tell with the beta numbers so we will find out at the first ultrasound. The waiting is the worst! It's like the biggest waiting game right now. But it's okay, it's all worth it!

Thank you all for the continued support and good thoughts-they are working!

Surro~Mama Angela

Sunday, April 6, 2014

San Francisco!

We are in San Francisco until Wednesday for Brandon's work. He has a team meeting here so Ethan and I decided to tag along with him to explore this crazy city. It has been an adventure so far that's for sure! Ethan did awesome on the plane ride here (his first flight!)


And he's been doing so well exploring the city...




So I do have some news to share... I took a pregnancy test before our flight to SF Saturday morning and saw a faint line. We were in a bit of a rush to get to the airport so I didn't have much time to dwell on it. So when we got to our apartment where we are staying I decided to take a First Response (FRER) pregnancy test and one of my cheapie tests. Again, faint lines on both.

This morning I felt pretty confident in taking my Clearblue digital test. I wanted the word "Pregnant" so that I could show my IF's.


And here we have it folks........


I am happy to announce that I am pregnant! I had a feeling a day after transfer and the feeling kept getting stronger and stronger each day. Lots of action down there, I can honestly say I felt the magic happening.


I also have to share with you what happened at my acupuncture appointment on Friday afternoon. I went to see Morgan again for some after transfer acupuncture. When she sees me she always checks my pulse. She said my pulse sounded "really strong" and she had a good feeling. So this morning I emailed her the good news and this was her response....

"Angela! Congratulations!!!! This is wonderful news:) On Friday when I saw you I had a very good feeling based on your pulses that you were pregnant:) Thank you so much for sharing. I feel very thankful to get to be part of this process with you:)! I hope you are feeling well.
Have a great rest of the weekend!"

How amazing is that?! :) love it! I adore her and her positive energy she has given me since the first day I met her.

I also let my IF'S know the good news. They were so surprised but of course so excited. This is just the beginning so lots of good thoughts and prayers are always welcome. On Thursday, the 10th I go in for my first beta, which is blood work to see what my HCG level is and they will also test my estrogen and progesterone to see if they need to make any adjustments to my medication dosages. Then I will go back in for blood work on Monday, the 14th to make sure my numbers are doubling. We won't find out if both babies nuzzled in until our first ultrasound which will be around 6 weeks. Today I am 3 weeks, 3 days pregnant! So the ultrasound will be around the end of April, beginning of May. Once we know my beta results we will schedule the ultrasound.

Thank you all for your love and support. I am so excited for my IF's. Like I mentioned, this is just the beginning so good thoughts and prayers are welcome and appreciated.

Today has been an exceptionally good day.

~Surro - Mama Angela

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bed Rest!

I have never been on bed rest before so to be honest I was a little excited about it. A whole day of doing nothing but relaxing! I wouldn't have been able to get through it without my wonderful Mom and Husband. Brandon took half a day off from work again to help with the trio.

The kids came in and out of my room to say hi and see how I was doing. My oldest, who's 4.5 years old asked me to go for a walk. I told her that I couldn't walk today. She of course asked "why?" I explained to her that there is a baby boy and baby girl inside my belly and I needed to relax to help them grow. This was her reaction....

She's quite the actress
 I showed her the photo of the Fathers that I'm carrying for and she totally gets it. I told her that it's their babies and I'm helping to grow them in my belly. Needless to say, she was pretty amazed.

The day seemed to go by fast for some reason. I thought maybe it would go slow. I had a peanut protein smoothie from Emerald City Smoothie that Brandon got for me. It was delicious! I also had the Mediterranean sandwich from Potbelly Sandwich Shop. It's one of my favorite veggie sandwiches with roasted red peppers, hummus, cucumbers, artichokes hearts and feta cheese. DELICIOUS!



I spent some time on Facebook and chatted with a few surrogate friends. My friend Crystal, who was also my Doula for Ethan's birth came for a quick visit. It was great to see her.

Towards the end of the day, Brandon, my Mom and Ethan went to the mall while the girls and I took a nap. It was seriously the best nap of my life. I slept so well and woke up feeling good. 

I do feel for women who are put on bed rest for days/weeks/months. It's not easy, that's for sure. It's definitely something I had to consider when I said I would carry twins. Let's see if both of these babies are sticking around. I can't wait to find out!

~Surro-Mama Angela

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TRANSFER DAY!



After all of this preparation today is finally here. It's still so surreal to me. As I'm laying here in bed thinking about how it all happened today, I'm so grateful for the experience.

Brandon got off of work early and picked me up. I was a bit nervous.. actually I was really nervous. Brandon asked if I was going to be okay. I just kept taking deep breaths in the car ride to ORM. When we arrived, Brandon took a photo of me outside in the parking garage.  Then we headed inside.



My lucky green shirt! LOVE it!

I was drinking water all morning so when I arrived, I had to pee. I checked in and asked the front desk lady if I could pee first before going back. She said I could as long as I drank two bottles of water. But someone was using the restroom. Then a nurse called me back to prep for transfer. I asked the nurse if I could pee and she said she'd rather have me wait until they can check my bladder. Morgan, my Acupuncturist arrived right as they brought us back.

Talking with the nurse

They brought us into a room and they had me change into a hospital gown, hair cap and booties. Morgan began the acupuncture right away. Right after she put the needles in, Marissa my Coordinator came in to say hi and to wish us the best. Then shortly after, the Embryologist Rebecca came in to talk about the embryos. She confirmed that we would be transferring one boy and one girl from each father. She said the embryos were perfect and they dethawed great. They were frozen on Day 5 of being created. Rebecca seemed very optimistic about the embryos. After Rebecca left, Dr. Hesla came in to say hi and to see if we had any questions. The nurse came in with an ultrasound machine to check how full my bladder was and she said it was good. After she did the ultrasound I had to pee even more after the pressure on my belly. When Morgan came back in to remove the acupuncture needles, I let her know that I *really* needed to pee so she let the nurse know. They let me empty a cup full and I felt much better.

My Acupuncturist, Morgan with Willow Tree Wellness
I laid back on my bed until it was show time. The nurse came in and asked me how many embryos we are transferring and I said two. She said okay, I just want to make sure before I give you Valium. I took the Valium and laid there for a bit. They rolled me into the "Transfer room" and it was mainly dark with the light for the doctor to see and the ultrasound machine. There was a screen to my right that was off but then turned on with a photo of the embryos. The boy embryo already started hatching which is great! He's a little overachiever! And the little girl looked like Minni Mouse. I wish I had a photo to share. They mentioned e-mailing it to me, but I haven't received it yet. Dr. Hesla explained what he would be doing. The nurse and embryologist, Rebecca confirmed my name and the Father's names with me to confirm that we transfer the right embryos. The nurse checked my bladder with the ultrasound and my bladder was still a bit too full so they had me pee a cup full again. And even after that it was STILL full but not uncomfortably full thankfully.

After Dr. Hesla cleaned my cervix, he gave the embryologist the "Okay" and she brought out the catheter with the embryos. He inserted the catheter carefully watching on the ultrasound screen. And within two minutes the transfer was complete! Rebecca stood on my right side with her fingers crossed and smiling. He said that he placed the embryos in a really good spot in my uterus and everything looked great. He asked me not to move and to stay laying flat while they rolled me back into the room I was in before.

After transfer acupuncture


I love this photo Brandon took of my hands after transfer acupuncture. My lucky bracelets.
Now we wait... the waiting game is the worst but I hope that both babies get cozy! My first blood draw, beta is on April 10th, 9 days! I plan on taking home pregnancy tests before the beta and asked permission from my IF's that it would be okay. They would like to know soon! I'm sure they are so anxious. 

~Surro-Mama Angela

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Last blood work appointment before transfer!

This morning I went to ORM to get my blood drawn for the last time before transfer. I should hear back from Marissa by the end of the day with my estrogen and progesterone levels. Then she will let me know how much Delestrogen to inject tomorrow evening. I do my Delestrogen injections on Mondays & Fridays. Hopefully we're all good for transfer day!



I started my Progesterone injection (PIO) : Progesterone is the hormone necessary for the preparation of the uterine lining for the implantation of the embryo and the maintenance of early pregnancy. last night. It went well, Brandon did it for me. Some of the medication oozed out a little bit but that's normal. I'm so thankful for surrogacy groups on facebook. The women on there are wonderful and have been very helpful with the process. If I ever have a question, they always have answers and experiences to share with me.

I started my antibiotics this morning and will continue to do so until transfer day. I also start Medrol tonight: Medrol is a low-dose steroid pill to suppress the autoimmune system from interfering with embryo implantation. and will also continue taking Medrol every evening until transfer day.

I'm feeling a bit tired today.

I just got the call from Marissa about my levels: (she usually calls later in the day so I was a bit surprised!)

Estradiol level: 554
Progesterone level: 8.8

They are upping my PIO injection tonight from 1ml to 2ml. And Delestrogen 0.4 tomorrow. My progesterone level is a bit on the low side so they are having me up it tonight. All is good to go for Tuesdays transfer. Marissa is planning on being there for it too. Whew... here we go!

~Surro-Mama Angela

Monday, March 24, 2014

I got my PINEAPPLES for transfer!

Brandon and I went grocery shopping last night and we picked up my pineapple for transfer day. Sounds silly, but I've read some awesome things about pineapple.

They say that pineapple is an implantation aid, and the rule of thumb after an embryo transfer is to cut the pineapple into 5 pieces, and eat a piece of pineapple, including the core, for five days, counting transfer day as Day 1.

So what is it about pineapple that makes it so special? Apparently, there are indications that the bromelain in pineapple increases cervical mucous. This increase in cervical mucous can make the uterus “stickier,” which can lead to increased rates of implantation. Most of the bromelain in the pineapple is found in the core, so it is important to eat that part along with the meat.

For IVF: one pineapple, divided into 5 pieces. Consume one piece each day for 5 days, beginning on the day of embryo transfer.

I got all of this awesome information from this blog: http://withgreatexpectation.com/infertility/three-days-post-transfer-plus-whats-the-deal-with-pineapple/

Good thing I love pineapple! I'll be eating it everyday after transfer until I'm sick of it-haha!

~Surro-Mama Angela

Saturday, March 22, 2014

2nd Acupuncture session!

I met with Morgan again today with Willow Tree Wellness for my second acupuncture session. I was very much looking forward to my appointment. We briefly talked about my week and how everything went at ORM on Thursday for my lining check and blood work. I let her know how everything is going really well. It just seems like it's all falling into place, which is a great feeling. She proceeded to do the acupuncture and added a few more points to help stimulate my uterus. I also mentioned that I've been having more cravings from the estrogen so if she could help me with that. So she added some Vaccaria seeds for ear acupressure for me.

 9 days until transfer! (we're now in the single digits, YEAH!)


I also got my awesome shirt from Super Love Tees in the mail today. I *LOVE* it!!!  I'm feeling great, just more tired some days. I'm so glad my body is processing the hormones well so far. Let's hope it continues!


~Surro-mama Angela



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ultrasound-Lining Check & Blood work!

This morning I had my first lining check and more blood work at ORM. Brandon wanted to come with me for support. I've been thinking "fluffy" lining thoughts and hoping for the best. Thankfully, the ORM location that I go to for my appointments is pretty close by. Only 15 minutes away without traffic.

I checked in, got my blood drawn (I made sure to drink lots of water when I woke up to help the blood flow) then went to the exam room for my ultrasound. Dr. Hesla and one of his assistants came in and asked if we had any questions. I just confirmed that we were checking the thickness of my uterine lining. The ultrasound took less than 3 minutes. He said everything looked great and my lining was measuring 12.4. They want it at least a 7-8 at this point. Looks like the Delestrogen injections are working well and that's the goal!



We briefly met with my Coordinator, Marissa and went over the game plan until transfer day. I am off Lupron next week on the 26th and I start Progesterone injections that day as well. I will continue Delestrogen on Mondays and Fridays. I also have another appointment next Thursday the 27th to check my estrogen and progesterone levels to make any adjustments to my medications if needed. That will be my last appointment until transfer day! I'm so EXCITED.

11 days until transfer!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Great info on 5-day transfers!

I was curious as to what goes on after the embryo transfer, since my transfer is in 14 days from today... From looking at this chart, I'm putting myself on bed rest until day 5 after transfer. My clinic requires just after transfer and the day after for bed rest, but I'm going to be more cautious. I have a whole game plan ready, I'm so excited! Plus adding acupuncture in the process is going to help.


5-Day Transfer (this was taken from http://www.nyufertilitycenter.org)
Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
Embryo Development
One The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
Two The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
Three The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
Four Implantation continues
Five Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
Six Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
Seven Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
Eight Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
Nine Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

20 days of medication & first acupuncture appointment success!

I just wanted to give a little update on how things are going so far. I've been on medication (Lupron & just started Delestrogen on the 10th) for 20 days now. I've surprisingly haven't had any crazy side effects. Don't get my wrong, I am very thankful that I haven't had headaches or insomnia but it makes me question if the medication is working-haha! I'm sure it is and maybe my body is processing it well.

Last night was my second dose of Delestrogen. This is the one where Brandon has to inject it for me in my backside. I felt pretty good about it since the first one went well. But last night after pulling the needle out, it started bleeding. I of course had to ask my surrogate friends if this was okay. And it's completely normal. It just threw my off guard since it didn't bleed the first time. Right after the injection, I massaged it and put a heating pad on it so it would absorb better. It's really been helping! I've heard if you don't massage the area, you can get lumps, bumps and aches. So I don't want to chance it.

Today I met with the Acupuncturist that will be at my transfer. Her name is Morgan with Willow Tree Wellness. I was completely impressed! She is so sweet and easy to talk to. We went over my history and any concerns I had. We talked about the surrogacy and how I'm feeling. Then we proceeded onto the acupuncture. She focused on stimulating my uterus and helping with relaxation. I felt amazing afterwards! I love holistic healthcare. Although I am doing acupuncture for the surrogacy, it's also a wonderful treat for my well being. I have another appointment next Saturday and every week until transfer day and even a couple days after transfer. I want this to be successful so I will do whatever I can to help. I'm still going strong with drinking my Red Raspberry Leaf tea everyday. 3-4 cups a day. My uterus is going to be strong and ready!

I'm so anxious for my appointment this coming up Thursday to check my lining and do more blood work. I hope my lining is nice and thick! Fluffy, fluffy thoughts!

~Surro-mama Angela

Monday, March 10, 2014

Moving right along!

Going on week 3 of medications and so far so good. This morning I had an appointment at 9:30am at ORM to test my Estradiol level. (needs to be low to start Delestrogen) at 2:45pm I got a call from Marissa, my coordinator saying that my level is 32 and it's low enough to proceed with Delestrogen, yay!

When I went in for blood work this morning, the lady had a hard time getting my blood. She tried 3 times between both arms and finally handed me off to someone else. She got me her first try (thankfully!) it's the worst when they poke, wiggle around and nothing comes out! I also had them draw circles on my lower back with a sharpie pen to give Brandon a guideline to do the Delestrogen injection this evening. I'm nervous but excited! Everything is moving right long as planned-whew!

22 days until transfer!!!!!


I have blood work and an ultrasound on 3/20, 10 days from now to check my lining and hormone levels. Crossing my fingers my lining is THICK and ready to embrace some embryos! I've been drinking my Red Raspberry Leaf tea everyday now, hoping that it will help thicken my lining. Plus it's very hydrating too.

I will update next week after my appointment. Until then....

Peace, Love & Surrogacy,
~Surro-Mama Angela