Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jesse the Surrogate Q & A - Part One

A fellow blogger, (Mo at Life and Love In the Petri Dish) did a recent blog post on FAQ's she receives regarding what she's going through and her blog.  I thought it was a great idea--so I'm stealing it (hope you don't mind, Mo!!). 

Now that I consider myself quite visibly pregnant, I often get the typical "when are you due?", "how many other kids do you have?" questions.  I'm very quick to explain what I am doing and can usually see the questions churning in the eyes of the asker.  Some are complete strangers, some are people I've known for years.

So I wanted to get them out there and answered for you.  And if you have additional questions I may not "discuss" below, please feel free to post a comment and ask it.  I LOVE talking about what I am doing and no question is too personal or weird, I promise.

This will be part one (of at least two) I'm typing these up, I keep thinking of new questions I get asked on a regular basis.  Rather than have you read a blog post for the next 2 hours, I'll break it up for ya :)

Q.  Aren't you going to have a hard time giving up the baby?
A.  No.  For a few reasons.  First, it's not my child.  It's not my husband's child.  This is a baby that was created using the sperm of one of my IF's and the egg of a donor.  I literally have no biological ties to this child whatsoever.  Secondly (and please don't take this as a horrible thing for me to say), but I don't want another child of my own.  My family was complete with the birth of my last daughter (London) who will be 3 years old in a week.  I've been through the baby phase 3 different times and I'm completely fine with not having that again.  Thirdly, the thought of being able to provide two people the love and amazing feelings of welcoming a child into the world takes every emotion away from me ever thinking that this will be difficult.  To see their faces the moment they meet their son will be the most ever awesome feeling on the planet--to know that I helped create that.  Wow.

Q.  How does your husband feel about all of this?
A.  If my husband wasn't on board, I wouldn't do it.   Any surrogate will tell you that you have to have a support system behind you.  Now, that doesn't mean you HAVE to be married, but you have to have people surrounding you that can support you through the process.  Back when I signed up with Circle Surrogacy (my agency), they made sure I had that support system--even had a social worker speak with my husband for a good amount of time to make sure that he knew what he was getting into.  This affects him too.  His wife is pregnant for 9 months with a child that's not his.  That's gotta be weird.  But he's been great and is fully on board with everything.

Q.  Okay, so your husband is cool with it, what about your kids and other family members?
A.  Honestly, I've gotten no negative feedback from any family members.  Everyone appears to be very good with the idea that I'm a surrogate.  And everyone is cool with the idea I'm a surrogate for a gay couple.  I was a little worried about my father--he's more on the religious side; but, once I explained to him WHY I was doing it and the fact that I did get this all "cleared" by our church, he was much more accepting.  Now, I think he thinks it's pretty neat.  My kids think it's neat too. Elliot (6) is the only one that understands it most.  And he gets it.  Emerson (4) and London (2) know what's going on, but I'm not sure they will fully understand it until they're a bit older. 

Q.  Are you getting paid?
A.  Yes.  Am I doing it for that reason?  No.  I've heard of surrogates (none that I know personally, however) that become a surrogate strictly for the money.  I am not one of them.  However, I do feel that any surrogate needs to get compensated for what they do.   Becoming a surrogate was one of the easiest decisions I ever had to make.  Money had nothing to do with that decision.

Q.  Why are you doing this for a gay couple?
A.  Why not?  When I did the application process with Circle, they asked if I had a preference--gay or straight?  American or international?  Prior to filling out the application, I hadn't really thought about it that much--actually I didn't really think about it at all.  I just wanted to become a surrogate--to help someone, regardless of of what their sexual preference was or where they lived.  So, they hooked me up with the most amazing gay couple from the Czech Republic.  And I couldn't be happier!

Q & A Part Two will be coming in a few days.  And really, if you have a question for me, ask it.  If you don't want to post your question in a comment, e-mail me--  jesserulli at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

25 Weeks!

Whoa.  It's just weird for me to think that we're that far already.


Only 15 more to go.


All is well in preggo-land.  I'm not one to complain a whole lot, but if you begged and pleaded with me to tell you all of my ailments, they would be the following:
  • Having to pee a lot
  • Slight lower back pain
  • Sudden onset of heartburn.  The foods that do it the most?  Bananas and grapes.  Weird, huh?  Throw me a spicy piece of pizza and I'm good to go.  Down a banana and I'm in agony.
That's about it.  If those are my only issues through this entire pregnancy, I think I'm good to go, eh?

I've been experiencing a few braxton hicks contractions here and there.  I don't remember having them with my own kids this early--but I'm not too concerned (they're pretty few and far between).

Next week I have the dreaded glucose test.  Ugh.  Prayers for me, please!!

Belly pic for 25 weeks (sorry for the craptastic quality):

And for kicks....the view from above:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jeni - Part 32

Don't worry, you didn't miss parts 2-31, I promise.  But if you didn't read Part 1 please feel free.  Just please roll with me on the "part 32"'s an inside joke.

So back to Jeni and our weekend together---

Did I mention it was full of awesomeness?  Here were the highlights:
  • Jeni learned I designed much of Milwaukee including the airport, many buildings, and Miller Park (where the Brewers play).  Disclaimer:  I did not design anything, but it was hizzlearious to say I did.
  • I introduced her to a Friday Fish Fry.  A MUST if visiting Wisconsin.  And it was not disappointing.  Jachym was digging it too.
  • She learned about the maple syrup process and I made her cakes of pan to sample the goodness. (My family makes maple syrup--check them out:
  • Our toes are very pretty due to a fantastic pedicure from Azana Spa.  Jeni even got her toes painted in honor of my birthstone (sapphire). 
  • Piggy Wiggly is really a place.  She now has proof.  And a t-shirt.
  • She felt Jachym move!
  • Or course I have to give a shout out to our awesome transportation for our Sunday excursion, Cheesehead Limo baby!
Jeni did a blog post about the trip--you can visit that here.  She even has photos!  Check it out!

Overall, I don't think the weekend could have gone any better.  It could have been much longer, but that's about it.  We had a super duper awesome time and I do truly miss her company.  We laughed a lot, may have peed my pants a bit--and I will forever hold those memories.

Thanks for the great time, girl!!  Miss you already!

I'm already planning the trouble I can get into in Colorado when I visit her...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jeni-Part I

This weekend I met Jeni in real life.  In the flesh.

And she was awesome.  I knew she would be, but she was more awesomer than I thought (and yes, that's a word).

Let me back up a bit and give you a brief history...I "met" Jeni on February 17, 2011.  She posted a comment on this very blog (back when I had the failed transfer(s) with B & T).  She seemed sincere and offered her e-mail to me to correspond with her.  So I did.

And we clicked.

Then we exchanged phone numbers.

We clicked more.

Jeni was the one who turned me on to Circle Surrogacy to pursue my dream of becoming a surrogate.  And I will forever be grateful to her for that.  Let's not forget what an amazing surrogate she was, giving birth to twins (Gustavo and Milena) in November of last year for a couple that live in NYC.  (you should check out her blog for photos of those little ones--but consider yourself warned of cuteness overload.)  Her surrogacy journey was so inspiring to me.  She's inspiring.

So Jeni was pregnant nearly all of last year.  Then right after she had the babies, I got pregnant with our successful transfer.  I know we mutually agreed that we wanted to meet, but it was hard to find a time.

Until this past weekend. 

She trucked (well, flew in a plane) her way out from Colorado to Wisconsin to visit with me and my family.

And boy, did we have a great time.

I've met many people online and then met them in person, so I was no stranger to this process.  But still, while I was waiting at the airport to get her, I had a few butterflies floating around in my stomach.  My biggest fear was that we wouldn't recognize each other and she'd walk right past me and think I forgot to pick her up!!

But that was not the case.  We saw each other at the same time and from there, all was good.  It was like we had been friends for years. 

To be continued shortly....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

If you're the praying type...

If you're the praying type, I ask that you please say a few for these people in my post below.  They need every one they can get.

Prayer Request #1
I belong to a surrogacy message board (All About Surrogacy).  I've learned a lot regarding the surrogacy process and have met some great people along the way.

There's one member on the board (a man) that was having twins (boy and girl) via a gestational surrogate.  They transferred the embryo's 2 days after we did and everything was going great.

Sadly, the surrogate recently went into labor and delivered both babies-and neither made it.

There are no words that I can use.  I am so very sad for this man, his partner, his surrogate.  I ask that you say a little prayer for all of them, including the babies. 

Prayer Request #2
I used to show Arabian horses (beginning when I was 6 years old, stopped when I was 18).  In my later showing years, I had a horse trainer named Richard.  He was amazing and helped me tremendously. 

Richard has a huge love for horses and is truly a talent in the Arabian Horse world. 

A week ago, his farm had a fire.  18 horses died in the fire and Richard lost everything.

Here's a news article regarding it.

Please say a prayer for these horse owners and especially Richard.
It appears no people were hurt (physically), thank goodness.  However, many people lost their horses (he boarded/trained them) and my heart hurts for them.  I was closer to my horse than I was to my own family at some times.  I imagine a loss like that is awful.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why I love small towns...

I grew up in what some would classify as a "small town".  But it really wasn't all THAT small.  I mean we had a McDonald's, a Hardees and a few cheese factories.  My high school class was around 200 (I think...).  So yeah, not all that small compared to some. 

The town I live in now has a Mobile station.  And a Piggly Wiggly.

So yes, I'm in a really small town at present.

Anyway---I subscribe to my hometown newspaper (The Plymouth Review) because I like to know what's happening--I like to see who's getting married, who's having babies and who is having the best fish fry on Friday.

The latest edition had this story, and for whatever reason, it put a little grin on my face:

This just makes me smile. 

...And kind of makes me want to see what a goat show is all about.  A multi-county one at that.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

23 Weeks!

All is well in preggo land!

I had a doctor appointment earlier this week and all is good!  The baby actually kicked the doppler as the nurse was trying to get the heartbeat--it was kinda funny.  I'm assuming he had no idea what he was doing, but had pretty good aim!

Nothing else new on the pregnancy front.  Just trucking along, loving Mr Jachym moving all over the place!  He's most active at night-as I'm trying to get to sleep.  Maybe he's digging the late night TV I like to watch??

I've had him jamming out to the belly buds at least once a day.  I've found him to be a fan of Pink Floyd, Coldplay (which is cool because Tomas and Honza love Coldplay) and Usher.  This kiddo sure likes an interesting choice of tunage!  He's not hooked on Styx yet, but I'm working on it.

Belly pic for the week:

I feel like my photo makes me look more like a cow than what I really am.  Crap to that.

Monday, April 9, 2012

MY's a steal! (But the bell is missing.)

Some of you may remember the post I did some time ago about my childhood home.  You can read it here if you'd like (gives you a little background on what I'm about to post about).

So I was browsing through the local newspaper on Thursday evening and just as I was about to close it up and throw it away, my eye caught something very familiar in the realty section.

A photo of my childhood home.

It's on the market.

I didn't know what to think.  Should I cry?  Be happy?  Be upset?  Buy it?  Call Century 21 and prank them?

The newspaper was pretty vague--an outside photo and very brief description.

And the price?  $69,900.

Okay, I know the market is kind of crappy right now, but that seems awfully low to me.  My memories of that house are worth MUCH more than that.

Yes, it needs some work.  The asbestos in that house is probably the highest on the block.  There's a room that's missing a hunk of drywall and the "wood burning fireplace" that they advertised in the ad hasn't worked since I was 2 (something to do with having to replace the chimney).

But still.  It's a big house and totally liveable.  And it's MY house.

If I had $70K laying around for fun, I'd buy it.  Not sure what I'd do with it, but at least no one else could have it.  I don't mean that in a mean way.  I mean that in a "I don't want anyone else to live there" kind of way.  I came home from the hospital to that home.  I lost my first tooth there.  Got dressed for prom, had my bridesmaids sleep there the night before my wedding and saw my son pull himself up for the first time there.  I don't want anyone to trump my memories in that house.

But I don't have that kind of money.  With some deep breathing exercises and understanding that it's JUST A HOUSE, I will overcome my emotions and move on.  I will. Just give me a minute.
So if you're interested in moving to Plymouth, Wisconsin, here is the Zillow listing for it.  Plymouth is a great place to live.  You'd like it a lot. 
 But be warned--the bell on the front lawn that was holding the house numbers is missing. 

Who knows where that ended up....(as I snicker a bit)

For more info on the bell (which involves some pilfering), click here. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

22 Weeks

Wow, so I've neglected the blog for nearly a week.
And yes, I feel really guilty!  Sorry, faithful followers!

I'm feeling not so creative tonight and don't think I can come up with a witty blogtastic post, so I'll just leave you with a belly pic.  Literally, a belly pic is all you're gettin' this evening.  It wasn't an awesome day (just horribly busy) and I may scare you with the make-up-all-gone/hair wildly not cool look.

I'll spare you the fear.

I'll spare me the embarrassment.

22 Weeks, 3 Days

Better posts to come have my word. 

Peace out, friends.  You all rock and I hope you know that.
May the Easter Bunny bring you lots o' chocolate.