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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oh what a night...

SO here it is..the BIG one.  This is the story of how two baby loves came storming into this world...literally.
It was a dark and stormy night..No really, it was.
T arrived into town around 11 am on the 14th.  We ran around, had some VERY spicy food, picked up my kids from school and then went to the park to play (and get this show on the road).  After an hour the darkest clouds rolled in..the sky turned a strange but beautiful hue of orange and hail began to fall with heavy rain.  We made it home just in time to avoid being pelted and I began to wonder if maybe just maybe all of this weather could bring on some labor...you know, like a full moon.

I was encouraged by my Dr. that these babies would be healthy and safe if delivered.  We had seen signs that were indicative of impending labor so we thought, "hey, let's do this".  The babies were measured via sonogram and it was estimated they both weighed approximately 6lbs a piece.  Though I wasn't feeling anxious or even uncomfortable, I was on board with delivering these sweeties.

T, myself and my family hopped in the car and headed to Target and the Mall in search of little Christmas outfits for the babies.  We were determined to wear me out so we walked and walked and walked...nothing.   We decided to go and relax over a nice steak dinner and wait for tomorrow to see if anything happened.  We laughed and joked with the kids and in my head I just kept thinking how lucky the babies inside of me are...I was sitting next to my most favorite man (Shane) but looking into the eyes of a man who had quickly climbed into a top 5 rank in my book.  This man is so amazing with my kids and he has no reason to be...I knew that night that though he may tire, he would live every day giving his best and all his love to his kids.

Okay. back to that night.  I said we were going to wait but then it's our prerogative to give it one more shot...of castor oil.  Excuse me while I gag just a little...T assured me that if I swallow this most viscous (and trusted labor kick-starter) that he would take some too...he lied :-)  I did find the most palatable way to get it down and then I thought "well, that's never worked before but we'll see".  T went to bed (he drove nearly 15 hours the day before) and Shane and I decided to do the same.  That was 11 pm.  I finally drifted off by 11:30 for what I assumed would be an uneventful evening.  WAS I EVER WRONG!!!!

12:47 am. I woke in the most excruciating pain.  I tried to roll out of bed but was unsuccessful.  I used a hand to stir Shane and at that time was crying out in pain.  We have NEVER been through this before...my labors are generally pain free until 8-10 centimeters...What in the world was happening?  I made it to the bathroom and sat down as Shane ran some bathwater.  At this point I wasn't sure if I should wake T or not. I was in so much pain I couldn't count my contractions.  I couldn't talk.  I couldn't get in or out of the bath (my desired spot for labor).  I realized my contractions were coming every 2 minutes and lasting around 1 1/2 minutes.  That gave me 30 seconds to throw up in between...Now I have just finished my Obstetric rotation and though I had been medicated and not experienced this personally, I knew exactly where I was...I was complete!  A 10!!!  At HOME!!!

Shane knocked on T's door (Halle's room, next to ours) and he was awake.  He heard the bath and his instinct had already kicked in.  My mom, who was staying nearby, made it in 5 minutes and by 1:15 we got into the car.  My water broke.  We are 28 minutes into this thing and I am certain these little ones will be born in my front seat.  I am doing everything possible to pant or breathe or whatever I can to keep from pushing though I knew that is what my body wanted me to do.  I called the ER and told them we were coming and as best I could what I was feeling...

We arrived at the door of the ER at 1:30am.  If you are counting that is 43 minutes from waking up with my first pain.  They promptly wheeled us upstairs, T following close behind, and attempted to get vital signs on me and monitors on the babies.  Again, I have never done this without drugs so the pain and urges were new to me.  I kept insisting that they check me to see my dilation and Shane kept saying, "my wife knows her body put your stuff down and check her".  (ps, I love him) The Charge nurse came into this tiny triage room, seeing my terror and hearing me scream that I wanted to push, she checked me..."You're complete.  10 centimeters ..I feel the baby and you CANNOT push."  That was the mantra for the next round of contractions.  "Breathe" "Relax" "You can do this" "The Dr. isn't here and we don't want to have these babies in here".  1:39am (roughly) I am breaking Shane's hand with every contraction and kicking T to the hall.  I love him but my body took over and I didn't want him seeing me so out of control.  1:41 am Shane and T are both in the hall and I am being wheeled to the OR because that is where all twin deliveries take place in my hospital.  The nurse tells the boys that as soon as they get me settled she will bring back some scrubs for them to change into...1:42am...My left leg and most of my right were transported to the OR table...my head is still on the other...1 push...1:43am... Catchen Courtney W. is born.  56 minutes after I woke up and now 13 minutes after my arrival to the ER "Baby A" is born. T and Shane heard the cry and thought there was no way it was me who had delivered.  They missed it :-(  So did the doctor!!  A sweet nurse, Andrea, caught "Catch".  How perfect is that?   Finally, relief.  I pushed and though it was a painful few seconds, she was out and I DID IT!!  Naturally!  I was thrilled.  I watched as they laid her on my belly.  She was little at 4 pounds 12 ounces, but feisty, pink and crying "I want my daddy".  The Dr. walked in around 1:50am and just laughed :-)  He broke my water and for a moment I was relaxed and pain free. I waited to feel the urge to push and within a few minutes it came.  Pushing seemed much harder this time and we realized this baby was facing up (normally they face down).  I gave 2 very painful pushes and at 1:57am Curtis Brooks W. was born.  T and Shane were both here this time and I watched as everyone marveled at what had just taken place.  Curtis was 5 pounds 15 ounces and was also pink, feisty and crying.  T walked over to show me the babies swaddled in his arms but I became distracted...I was hemorrhaging and fast.

I had no IV in place so no access for pain meds or emergency meds should I bottom out.  The anesthesiologist started an IV in one arm and the nurse started the second IV in the other arm.  I was quickly given injections to try to cause my uterus to firm up and stop bleeding.  My Dr. was very vigorously massaging my uterus from the outside and inside (ouch) but I just wouldn't firm up.  He kept looking at me saying, "Do you feel okay?  Dizzy?  Cold?"  I didn't.  I was still enjoying the elation of delivery and if he didn't mind, I'd like to get back to that instead.  He called for 2 units of blood and said I would need a curettage (scraping out of the uterus with surgical instruments) and would need to be sedated for a bit.  I woke up in recovery, blood infusing wondering what the heck had just happened to me.

I was weak but I just kept thinking of T and his sweet darlings.  I wanted to see them together.  I wanted to see if his face had changed now that he was a papa.  I slept most of the morning and afternoon and by the evening I was up and around.  T came to see me and updated me on the babies.  They both had a drop in their blood sugar so they were taken to the NICU....this was my biggest fear and yet here we were.  I went to visit over the next several days and saw these most spectacular creatures.  They were strong and healthy and never needed any medical assistance other that blue lights for jaundice.  I was so proud of what we had done.  T, Shane and I were a great team.

Yesterday, just 6 short days after birth, T packed up his "mannyvan" with C & C and headed home to LA.  I had such mixed emotions as I held Curtis and Catchen and as I hugged T goodbye.  I cannot call it sadness or grief...I don't know if there is a name for "I've come to think of you as family, I love you and now your babies too...my family loves you..."  This time last year we got a negative pregnancy test and yet here we are waving goodbye.  Of course I cried and I will certainly cry again but this morning gratitude and satisfaction is what I feel.  I was fortunate enough to be chosen by T to carry his most precious babies.  He came to my town and stayed in my home and made a gingerbread house with my kids...In return I nurtured and grew C & C the best I could.  I finished school.  I grew even closer to the man I love and came to appreciate my children in a way I hadn't before...This journey was beautiful.  The relationships formed ARE beautiful and C & C are worth it all!

T- There are no words to express to you just how much love we feel for you!  You have been the most amazing IF and friend and we are grateful to know you.  Watching you be a daddy this week makes me forget any pain or trial my family went through as we defended surrogacy.  You are proof that love abounds in many different forms and fashions.  There is no "right or wrong" way to make a family, LOVE makes a family!  Thank you for choosing me to carry for you.  For enriching my life.  I am forever grateful for this experience and hope that we remain lifelong friends.

C & C- You are as precious as I knew you would be.  You made this pregnancy SO easy on me.  Thanks for your sweet kicks and hiccups; your squirms and stretches and for growing big and strong for your daddy.  I will remember your tiny faces and all the love that surrounded you this week forever.  You are the last babies I will ever deliver and you are so special to me.

Shane- You are my ROCK.  My everything!  Surrogacy is do-able but you made it wonderful!  Thank you for your most tender words when I was weak.  For foot rubs and back rubs and just holding me when I was exhausted.  Thank you for taking the lead with the kids and not complaining.  You sacrificed so much...things that people will never know, so I could fulfill this dream of mine.  You are a gift that I cannot repay and you show love in it's most perfect form.  I cannot wait for the rest of our lives.

Thank you all for reading and following.  Thank you for your words of support and encouragement.  Thank you to my fellow surro-sisters who compel me to grow and change.  Love to you all!
36 Weeks

Delivery Day


Daddy's chin :-)

Sweet Catchen

Catchen 1 day old

"Uncle Shane"

2 days old


5 days 

T kept telling us how to feed :-)  So cute!

4 days PP, new hair cut

little man

can't stop smiling at that chin

saying goodbye

saying goodbye

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still Pregnant just less busy...finally!

Hi to all out there in the blogisphere...I hope you haven't given up on me.  Remember my last post I said I was beginning to feel flutters??  That was then...This is now.  Here is a look at the last 24 weeks--

Today 34 weeks and 4 days

Other than my ever expanding belly much has taken place this surrogacy.  I cannot believe how perfect a journey this has been.  No really!  Other than a little morning sickness early on, this has been an uneventful pregnancy.  I have been in school full time since the summer.  I've managed 3 nursing classes.  2 clinical rotations. 6 big exams and a family.  I was very afraid my grades would suffer and I would potentially go into pre-term labor due to the physical and mental stress.  Instead I maintained my 4.0 AND (the best part) I'm still pregnant.

T was able to come and visit around 20 weeks and we found out that he is expecting a boy and a girl!!  I loved meeting his mom and introducing them to my family and close friends.  We have had great communication throughout this journey and for that I am so thankful.  This past weekend, 34 weeks, T came out again and stayed with Shane and I in our home.  He was able to see who we are and how we live our lives.  We were able to watch him with our kids and see just how much of a natural father he is.  We spent the weekend just talking and doing skits (with the kids) and eating and wondering just when these babies will make their grand appearance.  It was a memorable weekend that none of us will soon forget.

Right now:

Babies are 5-5.5lbs
Me: I'm not telling:-)
 Little girl (baby A) is head down and moving all the time.  She gets the hiccups the most and loves to poke me in the hips and kick me in the ribs...She is gentle and I'll bet she is a delicate little cherub,

Little boy (baby B) is also head down and moving all the time.  He is the roller and pusher.  He pushes his knees into my sternum letting me know he'd like a little more room:-)  He is always poking his sister in the belly/face on our ultrasounds.

I am LOVING seeing my belly stick out...I love how they kick and squirm.  It's like having a house guest (or 2) all the time.

I am 34 weeks and 4 days and treading lightly...Linnea and Marius decided to some out on this very day...I am thankful they did so well but I am also nervous as I do not want to deliver so prematurely and see these babies go to the NICU.  So I am planning to take it easy (VERY easy), drink lots of water and try not to think about anything but the holidays, my kids and hubby and all the joy that surrounds me this season.

I am THE happiest I have ever been.  The most grateful surrogate because I have had two incredible (and different) experiences with the most deserving families on earth.  I feel so calm and settled compared to two years ago.  I feel prepared to bring this part of my life to an end and I am eager to see what is in store.  Thank you all for your support and kind words to me and my family.  It is my hope that maybe just 1 other woman will be moved by my two stories and decide to give the gift of surrogacy.

Here is to the next big milestone 36 weeks...I'll keep you posted (at least I hope to)...


Thursday, June 28, 2012


So, I am absolutely the WORST blogger ever!  I think about blogging and then I think "hey, I could blog or eat...", clearly the latter wins and then before I know it, I'm in a food coma and falling fast asleep while watching Nickelodeon with the kids.

Seriously, I am sorry for being so quiet about the journey lately.  Truth is, Shane is in a 16 week training course for his new job and that pulls him away around 6:00a and keeps him away until around 6:00-6:30p. I am taking a summer Microbiology class (not good to study worms and parasites while fighting morning sickness) and my days are pretty full.  My boys were in Virginia with their grandparents for two weeks and returned just last week.  Note to self-2 weeks = 2 long!

Onto the babies.
I am still surprised every time I see them on screen.  I cannot believe our good fortune.  These little honies are growing perfectly!  I mean they are completely formed with hands and feet, eyes and ears, and now belly-buttons (the placenta is now providing hormones and nutrients directly to them).

I have had two ultrasounds since I last posted and boy have they grown...

9 weeks 4 days (2 weeks ago)

Baby "A"

"A" again

Cuddle bugs

Baby "B"

11 Weeks 4 days (Today)

Don't beat yourself up...I couldn't see it either..feet!

Baby "A"

Already just alike:-)

"B's" feet, how sweet.

Aren't they GORGEOUS???  Heartrates are at 166 and 168..Anyone want to place bets on what the genders will be???

So the babies aren't the only ones growing.  My uterus (a veteran now) has decided she will not be upstaged...
11 Weeks 3 days (yesterday)

While some of you may be thinking "awwww, how cute".  I assure you the kids at the pool point and stare.  My belly button is already more of an "outie" than it used to be and a bikini may just not be the way to go anymore:-)

Finally, I saw my OB for the first time today ( 2 appointments in one day..these babies are getting lots of attention) and he and his nursing and office staff were so glad to see me back.  They are on board a hundred percent and can't wait to watch this very special journey unfold.  I am now off all medication and am carrying this pregnancy on my own...NO more shots.  NO more suppositories.  This is a very rewarding day!

"T", we made it!  We are 3 days away from the 2nd trimester!!!  I get teary as I remember late December.  I was crushed we were not pregnant...but now I celebrate because these sweet babies knew what you and I didn't.  They knew they wanted you to be their daddy.  We just had to be patient.  I am giddy when I talk about this journey.  I couldn't stop smiling today as I encouraged a friend to look into surrogacy. "T" and "C" and "C" and "M" you are all so wonderful!  I cannot wait to see your eyes light up when you feel these twinlets kick you in August.  Xo until then--

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Seriously, these kittens are getting more lovely by the day!  With those big blue eyes...Mommy and Daddy probably have a hard time ever saying NO!  Precious twinsies at 15 months!

In my head I hear her cheering...

So you all know that sweet little basketball cheer "2, 2 we want 2. clap, clap, clap, clap, clap..."???  This seems to be the theme song playing in my mind daily.  Halle cheered this all winter and it is funny that her little squeaky voice sings to me even in my dreams.  Well we've all had a sort of "gut feeling" about what (who) is baking in this oven of mine..the numbers were taunting us all but we had to wait for the ultrasound to confirm our suspicions.

Thursday morning I woke up early (and eager) to get a peek inside.  I was wrought with mixed emotions because I knew what T was hoping for...one healthy bouncing baby, but I was feeling nearly certain there were 2...I have done this before, lol.  I hadn't spoken with T for a while so I wasn't sure what he was feeling or thinking...wanting...I hopped up on that all too familiar table and took a cleansing breath as the technician began.  Only a half a breath passed before she looked at me and said well there THEY are..2 sacs both with embryos thriving.  Not like I was surprised but wow, my breath was gone.  I felt panic, (sorry T) elation (because T is going to have a small litter), pride in my uterus for doing her job once again and most of all relief...ahhhh not 1 but "2, 2 we want 2" healthy babies!!

Wanna see 'em???
Again, the cheering:-)

Little tadpole

First photo
I sent these pictures to T and he passed them along to his, and I am not exaggerating, AMAZING family!  Seriously, these folks know how to make a girl feel loved.  I have not even met T's momma but she sends me little emails of support and I am in tears.  T's sis just makes me feel happy because every note begins with YIIIPPPPPEEEEE:-)  These little babies are already so adored!

So today I am 7 weeks 2 days with twins and so far my symptoms are mild.  A little nausea (ok, alot) early in the morning and in the evenings and fatigue pretty much all day.  I'll take it!  I see exhaustion as a good sign.  It's no little task growing 2 people!!

Super Cute alert***  T is looking at minivns.  My heart is bursting!  That IS love.  Stay tuned, I have my second ultrasound this Thursday and we will see growth and even stronger heartbeats.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The numbers are in...

     Well I have known I was pregnant for just over a week but this week we had blood work done to confirm.  My first draw was done on May 8 and that number was 496.  This morning (2 days later) my number was 1519...That means my numbers tripled in 48 hours...I'll post a link so you can see what the numbers mean.
Beta Numbers Calculator

     Ahhh!  I finally feel like I can relax and revel in the fact that this is no longer just a dream...this is now our reality and in 9 short months a very loved and long awaited someone will make his or her entrance to this world.

     I have been submerged in the world of surrogacy for the last 2+ years.  I have so many friends who are on their own special journey..I'm a part of so many facebook groups...so many websites.  It seems like my second language (if you will).  What I have come to realize, though, is that not all of you are in this world.  Many of these things may be foreign to you.  I will do my best throughout this process to explain the terms used in an attempt to make what may seem fuzzy much more clear.

    What's next???  In a week I will have my final blood draw which will again confirm the viability of this pregnancy.  Then a week after that is our first ultrasound.   I will be just over 6 weeks gestation and I am hoping that it will confirm what we are all hoping for...a thriving healthy baby with a strong heartbeat.  Pictures will of course follow.

    Here is a really helpful website for those who just want to know more.

Terms used today:
1.  BETA-This is the blood test that measures the amount of  hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) or embryonic growth hormone in the body.
2.  IF- Intended Father (or "T")

As always thanks for reading.  Thanks for supporting me and my family and "T" and his family.  This is familiar to me but is uncharted territory for many.  I hope that you will gain insight as you follow along.  I hope if your mind is closed that it will become open as you watch true joy unfold.  If your heart is hard, it is my hope that a life lived to serve the needs of another may soften it.  My greatest hope is that by January 12, 2013 1+1+1 will equal 2..."T" and "Tiny T" together at last!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Good News!!

Hello to all my loyal readers..I've missed you so!  As many of you know (and some of you don't), I have been cycling (for a second time) with a single IF in LA.  We had our first transfer in December and we were unsuccessful.  We revamped some things.. made arrangements to have a new egg donor and hoped this go round would render a BFP (big fat positive).  My hubby and I have said since late March that we "just knew this felt better".  It was a better time.  My body had healed from the previous journey even longer and it was GO time.  I started with Lupron daily and was on that for nearly 5 weeks.  I was (am) also on Estrogen injections every 3 evenings and progesterone injections nightly...there is other protocol but I'll spare you that..(surro's know).  Shane and I headed to LA April, 18 and awaited the news of the transfer.  We got great news..This time the embies looked great and we were on for a 5 day transfer!  This was great as we were able to spend time with 'T" at the Getty Center.  We had a nice afternoon and evening getting reacquainted with our very special father-to-be:)  The next day and night Shane and I had some much needed ALONE TIME!  Surrogacy isn't always easy.  There are sacrifices a family must make occasionally but the transfer trip..that is a great perk.  We enjoyed Pasadena and all of the great shops and restaurants!  Here is me..the night before getting knocked-up:)

The next morning we woke up EARLY and headed over to the clinic with "T".  We were all very excited and ready to get started.  "T" decided with our doctor just how things should go down to give us the best shot at achieving pregnancy.  Once that decision was made, it was time to make the magic happen!!  Here are the little embies we were working with...

That day I rested as much as possible but I also enjoyed meeting some of "T's" friends again for dinner.  We headed home the next morning for the dreaded, the awful, the nearly UNBEARABLE two week wait.

Transfer was on Friday, but on Tuesday...

and by Wednesday I had......

and Wednesday night yet another and by  Thursday....

This one made it REAL!

Holy Moly, T is gonna be a daddy!!!!

SO in blogging fashion I will post my 3 weeks pregnant picture-

Watch this baby bump grow

 While on my trip I met to fellow surro sisters..couldn't leave these gals out.  Xo to you both Jo and Misti :-)

I have scary eyes but this is our only shot together.