Friday, June 28, 2013

40+ Weeks

 40 Weeks to the day, the last pregnant picture I ever hope to take.  This is me on my way to the midwives' yesterday, where they attempted to strip my membranes then declined because I was "so close."  I came home for another day and... nothing.

Dinner with Susanna and Maria.  Assistant on my right, nanny/baby nurse on my left.  It has been really good getting to know her, and Susanna has been having a blast with the kids.  They've been sharing in the house work and cooking, as well as taking the kids on walks, to the lake, to the movies, and just generally making themselves available to us in any way we need them.  Dad will fly in at the onset of labor.  I feel bad having them "on hold" for so long but they truly have been a blessing for me and seem to be enjoying their time up here.  It's such a change from L.A.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

39 Weeks

Well, I woke up pregnant.  Today was a really good day.  We've hit 4 parks in 2 days and ran into some great people along the way.  I'm determined to stay busy until these babies come. :)

Yesterday I came full circle in my surrogacy story, and felt like I was able to pay it forward in a small way.  Sometimes I wake up and in my morning prayer ask Heavenly Father to guide my path for the day.  Usually I ask him to help me accomplish the things I set out to do, but when I feel like I lack direction I ask him to guide me.  Yesterday was one of those days. 

I knew we needed to get out, but I didn't know where.  My kids all started asking to go to Christa McAuliffe Park, one of our favorites from down the hill.  At first I was reluctant, but then agreed.  We didn't see anyone we knew there, but I ran into a mom who had a 4 month old and a 20 month old.  I told her my last two were close in age as well, and she responded, "And you're pregnant again?!" 

"Yes, but I'm a surrogate, so I won't be doing the work for these two."  (I've gotten good at responding to that question.)

What she said next was a first: "I want to be a surrogate and just applied last week.  I haven't heard back yet but have lots of questions for you."  We headed over to the swings and talked for another 30 minutes.  I feel like I answered a lot of her questions and got her headed on the right path.

This was the first time I had ran into someone who was actively seeking out the process of becoming a surrogate, and furthermore it reminded me of the time just over a year ago when I "ran into" that someone who set me on my journey as well.  It was a day not unlike yesterday, lying in bed praying for guidance when I felt prompted to go the Goodwill store (Goodwill, of all places!)  She was there, telling me all about how her daughter had just come home from the hospital after giving birth to her surrogate twins.  I listened intently, clinging to her every word, as an exciting energy buzzed through me, the Spirit confirming to me this was something I needed to do.  I didn't come off that high for the rest of the day.

Anyhow, it was kind of neat that here I am at the end of my journey, about to give birth to my surrogate twins, and receiving the opportunity to pass on information that may set another on her path.

Today we met up with some friends in El Dorado Hills to peruse the farmer's market and play at the community park.  We came across the *most delicious* white peaches of the season and the kids had a blast playing while we moms chatted and relaxed in the sunshine.  The weather was perfect.  Afterwards we met up with some CP friends and played for a while at Blue Oak, then their mom treated all the kids to Slurpees.  We all came home tired and I don't feel guilty letting them veg in front of T.V. for the rest of the evening. :) 

Life is truly good right now, everything feels right, and I just relish in this time awaiting the birth of a new baby(ies.)  I have been in good contact with everyone who I need to for the birth, and every day I receive words of comfort and pieces of information that put everything into place.  I am very excited for these little guys' journey and to get back to my family for the next chapter.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wisdom in the Timing

So I was asked tonight: if I were to reach deep down inside, what would I need to bring these babies here? As I learned with Anthony's birth  there is wisdom in the timing, yet I feel myself sinking into a struggle on certain days.  I never should've set myself up for that 37 week mark; then I wouldn't be feeling this way.  Dang obstetrics and the stigma about twins coming early.  Medical induction doesn't factor into the statistics of homebirth, and thank goodness for it.  I have been reminded repeatedly that it is a healthy body that is keeping them in so long; a blessing in disguise.  Knowing that doesn't make the days (or nights) feel any shorter (especially when they're riddled with heartburn.)  But I digress...

A huge factor was meeting the dad.  That was a big unknown that had to bear closure.  Part of me thinks I was (am) keeping them in so long until I know the safety of who's open arms they'll be going to.  I felt those connections being made in my heart as we sat down to lunch last week.  Do you know what he said?  As a highly successful doctor, he did not know what or whom he was working for.  The moment he found out I became pregnant, his work took on meaning.  He now knows he is working for his children.  He wants to keep them close and train them in the medical field; they will most likely be homeschooled.  As if that's not a small world.  He, himself, was born at home, another similarity that is too obvious to be written off as coincidence.  Being raised an only child, his twins will never know the loneliness he knew.  That is a blessing.

I was reminded that I have never given the birth with the pretense of having to say hello and shortly thereafter goodbye.  Could I be holding onto them for just a bit longer?  For where my journey ends, theirs begins.  I will use my postpartum period to compile a book for them, documenting our journey together, the pregnancy, birth, and my thoughts for them.  I will offer it to the father to share with them at his discretion.  It will be a part of my reflecting and subsequent closure.

If there is one thing I have learned in this journey it is this; Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers.  He is watching over all, is more aware than I am aware of, and answers with greater blessings than I could ever anticipate.  My gratitude will be shown in the labor I perform to bring these two special spirits here.  He has answered the deepest desires of my heart in very specific and direct ways on this path and I have kept a mental tab of all the miracles He has performed.  When I have found myself in times of darkness, I have clung to the faith and been shown greater light.  One of my favorite quotes is "never doubt in darkness what God reveals in the light," and that has been very true on this journey.  I have had much to ponder in my heart.

Above all I am grateful to have had this experience, to have been chosen for this journey, and to bring this man and his family the gift of these two babies.  I don't know exactly what their journey will be from here, but I have a glimpse which is enough to give me peace of mind and to be excited for them.  I do know they will be well-traveled, well-trained, well-supported, have lots of love surrounding them, and be given many opportunities in life.  They will never go without.  They will know their story, and their upbringing will truly take a village.  I will always be available to them and have hope for visits.  They will always be "mine" in a sense as I will always be their surrogate mother, even if I never see them again.  My love and my energy will follow them for a lifetime.  At the same time I know there will be an art in letting go, for 'tis the nature of surrogacy.  There will be no strings attached. 

I am grateful to those who played a part in my journey; all those who served as instruments in the hands of the Lord, mouthpieces for the Spirit to whisper promptings to me and bring me to the head of this trail.  It is true that God hears our prayers, but often answers them through another person.  From those surrogates who have gone before, to my mentor and friend who gave me very specific referrals and led me to the agency who made the match, thank you.  I will also never forget the man in Round Table who showed me it would be okay to be matched with a single father.  That was a sign and a miracle for sure.  Where I fail to see the big picture, God fills in the missing pieces.  It is through faith in Him alone that I was able to complete this journey.

On a more practical level, I put my faith in the moon.  The family will be coming into town on Saturday and this Sunday marks the "super" full moon; the closest the moon will be to earth all year.  Maybe it takes a "super" full moon to bring twins earthside. :)  May the journey be safe, the cycle complete, and wisdom in the timing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Keep Calm * Birth is Normal

Love this sign... and my talented husband. Thank you honey. xoxo.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Very Special Lunch Date

This is a very, very special picture that was taken yesterday. I will probably stare at it for a long time. I don't think this will mean quite as much to anyone as it does me, but yesterday we were able to meet the babies' daddy for the first time. Although the two hours passed so quickly, what was said in that time spoke volumes. My heart is full, and I feel complete in this journey. These last 9 months have required me to step out in faith, and this meeting has filled a void. I am still a-buzz from it. I wish I could write down everything that was said in those two hours, but I walked away with an even stronger feeling that this was a match made in heaven. I am honored to be bringing children to this man, and Heavenly Father has been watching over all. One day I will have to record all the miracles of this journey because there have been many. I now feel complete, and whole, and so many other things that I can not put into words. I very much look forward to being a part of these boys' journey.


Lest you think I fail to count the days, this picture was taken at 38+1. Today marks 38+2... yes, we're counting. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

This and That

It's on the docket: Tough Mudder for September and the Folsom Blues Half Marathon in October.  Anyone who knows me knows that I need to have something on the calendar to look forward to; a goal of some sort.  I feel it will be especially important this time around as I move past the surrogacy.

I was speaking with Susanna tonight and making arrangements for the family to come down for the birth.  How do  you make someone who just bought a house in the Hills of Hollywood comfortable at the Best Western in the backwoods of Pollock Pines?  Not quite sure yet, but lack of luxury is at the forefront of my mind...

I have gotten over the "hump" and don't mind being pregnant anymore.  Today was the best I've felt in the past week.  I think the thunder storm helped to clear the air as well as the stagnant energy surrounding it.  I have now shifted my focus to "I am grateful to have carried these babies so long" and know it will be better for their overall health.  I can do anything for 2 more weeks.

I received a Priesthood blessing tonight and officially feel ready for the birth.  It's about more than just a clean house.

These babies are moving tonight in a way I've never felt them move before.  Bigger, more pronounced.  I think they are excited to meet their daddy. :)

Oh, and I cooked dinner tonight.  BBQ'd terriyaki chicken, baked beans (recipe here,) cucumbers, and cream cheese swirl brownies (here.)  Forrest went back to work and I think it was a good kick-in-the-pants for me.  It's good to remember I can still function on my own.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beat the Heat Part II

Yesterday we took the kids to Bridalveil Picnic Area, a beautiful little swimming hole on the river about 10 minutes up the freeway from our house. The beach was crowded but the water was oh-so-refreshing. The current was a little strong but Forrest and the 3 oldest kids made it across. I swam across and back and enjoyed the feeling of buoyancy on my belly.

I woke up depressed from the heat today, so Forrest and I drove up to Tahoe to escape it.  We had planned on swimming but it was actually raining and thundering up there so we ended up perusing the shops instead.  It was a nice little break and took my mind off of being pregnant. :)
My Indian blood.  I think I've got his belly beat though.

Forrest's New Commuter Car

We came across a good deal on a commuter car for Forrest.  This is going to be a huge blessing for our family as it will save him so much money on gas each month, driving to and from job sites, running errands, and giving bids when he does not need his work truck to cart tools around in.  This has been a long time coming.

Beat the Heat Weekend

Much to my dismay, I am still pregnant. So, trying to beat the heat on Friday, I took the 4 youngest to Livermore Community Park in Folsom. It was a great time.  There were just enough kids there and I got to socialize with other moms.  I love this place.  I even ran into a girl I know, Jackie, who organizes volunteer doula work at a maternity home and happens to be due with her 4th child two days before me; planning a home birth as well.  We had a lot to talk about. :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

37 Weeks

Have I really made it this far!! I woke up this morning feeling "different," like a buzz of energy going through me. I think the babies felt it too. Not so crazy about the fact that it's going to be 100 degrees this weekend with no air conditioning, but we'll see...

Henna Tattoo

Yesterday I had the fun experience of getting a henna tattoo. Her name is Audrey from Bodhi Henna and she is very good. She's been doing it for 17 years.  Traditionally henna is a ceremonial blessing for mother and baby.  It is typically done at a baby shower / blessingway with a circle of friends, but I just brought Forrest.  He was good company and took all the pictures. :)
Getting acquainted


Treating with a lemon/sugar solution.
Trying to see the bottom.

With any luck it will stay on until the birth.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

More Daddy Projects

Just when I thought he couldn't produce any more creativity he came up with this: (I think he's the one who got the nesting instinct...)
painting the dressers midnight blue and polishing the hardware silver

building a custom headboard for the bed

a mirror to accent the living room

and this little fountain I found on Amazon... my Feng Shui contribution to the birth haven

If I have time I will frame this and hang it above the dresser, as a reminder to everyone who walks into the room

a couple of random pictures from over the weekend that show just how "ready" I am

c'mon babies!!