Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy One Week, Little Guy!

Yeah, he's a week old already. I can't believe it either.


Didn't I just have a positive pregnancy test like a few weeks ago?  Sheesh!!

As you've read in my previous posts, this past week has been quite the roller coaster ride of emotions. Yup, I'm still trying to process them. Yup, I still cry sometimes. Yup, I love my new little family more and more each day and yup, it's going to be extra hard on me when they leave. T & H, just warning you—I will be sobbing when that time comes. Likely inconsolable. You’ve been warned.

I've been able to see the boys nearly every day, which has been beyond awesome! My kids are smitten with the baby—they can’t get enough of him. Every day they ask me if they can see baby Jáchym. I think it’s going to be extra hard on them when they leave as well. Ugh. I hate thinking about it.

Little Jáchym is already changing so much. I can see it in his face-so cute!  He’s such a sweet baby! The guys did good…and are certainly doing a fantastic job in the parenting department! I love to see T & H interact with him-it’s such an amazing thing to witness such love between a family.

Last night, baby Jáchym had his first limo ride!


We went out for frozen custard and decided to go in style (if you’re ever in WI, you must have frozen custard at least once…and if you’re ever in Wisconsin, look me up and we’ll see about taking you to get said frozen custard in a limo). The boys came with us and we had a lovely time. Little Jáchym slept the entire time. Just a sweetie!

Happy one-week birthday to my little surro dude!




Goodness, he's cute, isn't he?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

4 days ago...

4 days ago I gave birth to a beautiful little boy for a beautiful family.

4 days ago my life changed forever.

Physically, I'm doing great.  Mostly great.  I have no complaints except for some pretty annoying lower back pain.  I had some of this pain at the very beginning of the pregnancy, but nothing in the last few months--so why now?  I have no clue.  Will likely hit up the chiro soon.  Even the Ibuprofen isn't helping.  Other than that, I feel good.  I think I'm mostly caught up in the sleep department and that is fantastic. I've been pumping every 3 hours and that's going good too.  Now to lose this baby weight...


I'm still trying to deal with the emotional aspect of it all.  I'm taking these emotions day by day.  No, minute by minute.  My life has been consumed by this surrogacy process since February of 2011.  Once I was pregnant, I spent every second of every day concentrating on carrying this miracle child for the guys.  And then on Tuesday, I was done.

Done.  The process is over.  Just like that.

The guys have begun their new life with their new baby and I will revert back to my old life with my own family.  That's not a bad thing, but the last 18 months I had been so involved with everything, to go back to something that's not this journey is weird to me.

And here's where I can't process the emotions.  Should I be happy about that?  Sad?  I feel like I'm both...and then about 17 more feelings show up too.

And all in the back of my mind I am thinking...

...the worst is yet to come.

At some point, they boys have to go home.  And it hurts to think about it.

So, I'm not going to think about it right now (but I will in about 13 seconds).  I'm going to enjoy the time I have with them while they're still here, even if it's for a quick "here's some milk" drive-by.  I will treasure every second I get to spend with this awesome family and know that this really isn't the end of my journey, but the beginning of theirs.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Birth of Baby Jáchym

At 4:50 am on Tuesday morning (July 24, 2012) I checked into the hospital with my husband (Jesse) in tow, ready for my scheduled induction at exactly 38 weeks.


After answering 817 medical questions, I received the first dose of Cytotek at 6:10 am…I was still 3 cm dilated, which I had been for a couple weeks.

Tomas and Honza arrived at the hospital at about 7:15 and shortly after they arrived, my doctor broke my water. A little while later, I had started to contract a bit more, but nothing quite regular. Definitely stronger, though.

As soon as my friend Kelly arrived at about 8:00, I sported the fancy fish-net panties along with the very fashionable hospital gown and decided to walk the halls for a bit. As I walked around with Jesse and Kelly, my contractions picked up…considerably. After about an hour of walking and contracting, I decided it was time to wave my white flag. It was time for the epidural.

I went back to my room and the nurse checked me—I was 6 cm at that point. Not thinking of anything else, all I wanted was Mr anesthesiologist to hook me up with the good stuff…which he did pretty quickly…but in contracting pregnant person time it seemed like eternity. While he was placing the epidural, I recall my nurse making a call to another nurse to “set up the table” in the room because I was “progressing quite quickly”.

Not 15 minutes after the epidural was placed, my doctor walked in and that’s when the whirlwind began. They started breaking down the table, putting up the stirrup’y things and all this time I’m wondering what the heck is going on…I didn’t feel like I needed to push (and in my past births, I’ve always had that “feeling”).

The doctor, meanwhile, is all gowned up and now sitting in front of me, spotlight on the who ha, telling me to push.

Uh, what? Now? I’m ready?

So I pushed. And my pushing was wimpy. I knew it. Doc knew it. I barely tried because I was just in shock I was even ready. So, I was lectured and told to push a little better next contraction.

And that, I did.

One more contraction and one hell of a push and baby Jáchym was born at exactly 10:01 am (yes, that was less than 4 hours since my cytotek…and no pitocin)! As soon as he came out, Tomas cut the cord and the baby was handed to Honza. Cue the tears. What an amazing thing to see their faces, their eyes light up, their smile…to see the look of excitement and awe and wonder as their son immediately fulfilled an unnoticeable void that one could only now observe by seeing this one very moment.

That moment. That moment will be with me forever. That moment was why I did this. That moment made up for any pain or swelling or complaints I may have had for the past 9 months. That moment is what being a surrogate is about.

Jáchym was born 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long…being 2 weeks early, he was a big boy! I wonder what he would have weighed had he made it to term? Of my own children, my largest was 7 pounds, 10 ounces—so Jáchym wins the biggest baby prize for me!

Shortly after he was born, the guys stayed with their son to do all the new born baby “stuff” that is usually completed. They couldn't take their eyes of their own son. When you have your own child, you know the feelings that come over you with a new baby…your baby. This was different. To be able to witness those feelings from across the room with a completely newly formed family was truly amazing. Truly. Indescribable.

The guys went with Jáchym to the nursery and I hung out in my room with Jesse and Kelly. I didn’t realize this, but they had actually started the Pitocin AFTER he was born—I understand it to help the uterus contract back down after delivery. Being there without Jáchym was kind of surreal. I had just had a baby, yet here I was without a baby. It wasn’t a bad feeling, it was just odd. It certainly was kind of nice, being able to recover after the delivery by just “hanging out” with my loved ones and talking about the experience that we all just went through.

Jáchym checked out just fine. He was 100% healthy and perfect. Besides my own husband at our own children’s births, I have never seen happier men than Tomas and Honza. You wouldn’t have been able to wipe the smiles off their faces even if you tried.

Minus one little hospital legal issue (which I won’t get into quite yet), everything went perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal delivery. Everyone that I wanted to be there was there. The nurse I requested was there (she was my nurse for my other deliveries….all 3!) and my doctor was the one to deliver Jáchym. My husband and friend were there for my support. Perfection.

That moment right after the birth was my favorite. However, later on in the day I heard from both Tomas and Honza separately that this was the happiest day of their life. Can anything top that? Really? And to say that I had a part of that…there are no words.

Physically I feel great. I had a minor tear that only required one stitch, but thankfully it hasn’t been painful at all. I am cramping a bit here and there (especially when I pump) but nothing that a little (or a lotta) ibuprofen hasn’t taken care of. That little legal issue I mentioned above has caused some sleepless moments for me (literally) over the course of the last 48 hours but I can deal with that-I’ll have plenty of time to sleep at home.

Emotionally I’m having a bit of a hard time. The word that comes to mind is overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions, not one specific one. No, I’m not sad that I don’t have a baby to bring home—it’s nothing like that. What it is is the amount of people that have made comments to me about how awesome I am to do this. How amazing of a person I am. How selfless I am. I wasn’t prepared for this response from virtually everyone I ran into-in person, via e-mail, on Facebook. I did not do this for that kind of response and I just wasn’t ready for it. Plus, the hormones are all wacked out anyway, so after a few days I’ll be fine. I just have to process everything, take it all in and know that I did the ultimate. I helped create a family. I helped the dream of two men come true. No words can describe that.  None.

And now for the good stuff...PHOTOS!!

Look at that Hair!!!  Thanks for the heartburn, kid. :)


Awwwww....

The new dads.  Yeah, that's awesome, huh?

Me and the little one.


Leaving the hospital.
I've got plenty more on my mind right now, but I will leave you with the above for now.  Stay tuned for more updates and, of course, more photos of this new and very awesome family.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

He's Here!!!!

Just doing a quick drive-by....

Jáchym was born at 10:01 this morning!

8 Pounds, 3 Ounces

21 Inches

He's in perfect health and both Tomas and Honza were there for the amazing moment.

And amazing it was....

More details to come, but here's a teaser:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tomorrow...

Tomorrow at 5:00 am, I will be induced into labor.

Tomorrow, I will lay in a hospital bed surrounded by nurses and IV's.

Tomorrow, I will give birth to a baby boy.


But I'm not thinking about that at all...


Tomorrow, Tomas and Honza will become parents.  Tomorrow, I will be part of this amazing family coming together.  Tomorrow, it's not about me, it' not about the IV's or the nurses. 

Tomorrow, it's about them.  It's about their new family.

And I'm ready to see this amazing miracle happen.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

37 Week Bump Pic and Update!

First and foremost, here is the 37 week bump pic...


I think that will be my last belly pic...which makes me kinda sad!

If you haven't read the 37 week big update post I did yesterday, you may want to do that.

And here's an update to that--Tomas will be in Wisconsin tomorrow!  Yay!  And Honza will be arriving in Chicago on Monday afternoon!  Another Yay!!   So, if all goes according to the plan that is there at this very moment, both guys will be there for the birth of their son.


And that, my friends, makes me very happy.

I'm getting everything in order with the kids and my hospital bag and what not and am feeling pretty good about everything.  I was pretty shaken yesterday, but have since breathed a bit and am back on track.

Friday, July 20, 2012

37 Weeks! Big update!

A lot can change in a week…

I actually had a blog post all ready to go with a “normal” 37 week update; but I’m not going to post it because as of this morning, things have changed.

Significantly.

I had a routine check-up this morning. Normally my doc does not do a cervical check at 37 weeks, but in light of our international “situation”, I asked for one. I’m still 3 cm dilated and am thinning. No huge biggie, right?

Here’s the issue. I’m still quite swollen and my BP was elevated. True signs of pre-eclampsia.

Doc wants to induce on Tuesday.



If your jaw just dropped, you did the same thing I did. And when he told me this, I may have started to hyperventilate just a bit, too.

This wasn’t a quick decision for him, either. He sat there for some time deliberating. He knows we have a unique situation and he’s conscious of that, but also conscious of my body and the baby and that’s his concern right now. We’re not in immediate danger, but at this point it’s better for him to get evicted.

I have another check-up scheduled on Monday morning and the final decision will be made, but my gut is telling me I’ll be having baby Jáchym on Tuesday.

Cue the freak out.

Tomas is still in the US, so that’s good-and looks like he’ll be there for the birth. Honza I’m not too sure about. He’s a physician in Prague and likely has surgeries scheduled up until the time he was originally supposed to leave the Czech Republic.  Not sure how easy it is for a doctor to just get up and leave the country for a few weeks.  Ideally, I’d love for them to both be here Monday. That’s 3 days from today. So we’ll see….

Freak out some more.

My mother in law has taken my kids for nearly the entire weekend, so I will have some time to re-group and make sure everything is in order.

I certainly feel better now than I did sitting in my doc’s office this morning…
…but I’m still freaking out a bit.

Pray we can get Tomas and Honza both here for the birth of baby Jáchym!! 

Belly pic coming tomorrow--will likely be the last one!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

36 week bump pic

Here you go...36 weeks!!
(more swollen than normal....)


And guess who I got to see yesterday?? TOMAS!! It was a lovely visit--we had a birthday party for my husband at my mother in law's house and Tomas was able to meet us there to join us for the celebration.  He was lucky enough to feel a contraction as well as Jachym moving :)  It was great to see him, but now I'm kinda freaked out because the next time I see him, I'll be pushing out a kid! EEK!

And just to prove it, here's a photo of us



And just because my husband amuses the heck out of me and I'd love for him to amuse you too, here is a photo of his birthday cake from yesterday:


Yeah, imagine the looks I got when I ordered it!!

Let's just say the photo was taken while he was just a smidge bit inebriated.  His favorite phrase while wearing the coveted fall sweater was "I love squash"...so what better way to celebrate a man's birthday than to bring back some fun memories?

Friday, July 13, 2012

36 Weeks!

36 weeks. My goodness. As that great 80’s song goes…


It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN!

I had a routine checkup today. All is good—BP, urine, weight is all excellent. Jáchym ’s heart rate was 133 and sounded beautiful. Yes, I’m still swollen (mainly the feet) and still instructed to keep them up as much as I can. Good thing, too, because they’re swollen enough that they actually hurt.

I had to have the Group B strep test done today (let’s just say the “swab” a certain area) so while I was unclothed and available in that certain position, I asked the doc to check ye ‘ole cervix, just to see if there was any action down there. As he was checking, I heard a “wow” escape from his mouth.

Okay, usually a “wow” when someone’s got their hands in this particular area may be a good thing when you’re a lady, but let’s just say my heart skipped a beat in a “what the heck did that mean” way.

“Wow? Uh, doc, what do you mean by that little phrase?” I asked.

“You are a good 2 centimeters” he responded.

Excuse me??!?!? 2 cm dilated?!? EEK!

He calmed me down right away and said that doesn’t mean I’ll be going into labor in the next 18 minutes—it more means that I’ll have a quick labor. My body knows what the heck it needs to do (good thing, too).

I do remember being 1-2 cm for a couple weeks with my own kids, so I’m not overly concerned either; but, knowing that my body is definitely getting itself ready for the birth is very exciting, strange, freaking me out, etc…

Holy crap. This is happening. And it’s going to happen in the next 4 weeks, likely. Probably sooner.

I can freak out just a little, right?

I told Tomas and Honza not to change any travel plans quite yet, but just be alert and ready for a message from me with some labor updates. This is the time that I wish they lived right down the street from me.

I am not contracting (well, not regularly), so I will continue with this regularly scheduled program until my body decides it wants this little being to come out.

I am slightly bummed because I learned my doc will be on vacation the week of July 30. I mean, really, he couldn’t plan his vacation around my due date a little better? Sheesh. As much as I would like him to deliver Jáchym , I understand there are just some things out of my control and it is what it is. And who knows, maybe Jáchym will decide to make an early or on-time entrance.

I'll get you guys a belly pic over the weekend :)
And don't forget to enter your guess in the baby pool!! 

Baby Pool!

No, not the kind you can swim in....

(though today it might be kinda nice--anyone else annoyed with the craptastic weather and drought conditions??)

I set up an online baby pool!  Thought it might be fun to see some of your guesses for length, weight, etc...

So, if you'd like to participate, please just follow the link below or to the right on my blog!

GOOD LUCK!!  I think there may be a really cool prize for the winner!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

And so our vacation ends...

Our time in Door County was pretty great.

Lots of resting.

Lots of family time.

Lots of a/c.

To end it all, Jesse and I were able to have a date night and headed up to Sister Bay (nearly to the tip of Door County) for dinner and a sunset cruise.  It was so nice to get away from the kids for a night and have some adult time (my mother in law came up for a few days and was "granny nanny" for a few hours).

In Sister Bay, there's a Swedish restaurant called Al Johnsons.  We didn't eat there (I have in the past, though) but there's no way to go there and not take a photo of one of the coolest things in Door County (for you, Whitney)...


Yes, those are goat's on the roof of the restaurant.  They are up there all summer long!! (but do come down at night for proper rest in a barn nearby). 

Pretty cool, huh?

And here were our views from the sunset cruise...could it get any more pretty?






Normally after a week-long vacation, I'm ready to go home.  I wasn't ready to head home after this one.  It was so nice and peaceful (minus a few whiny kids every so often).  But....real life calls.  My work e-mails have piled up, limos need to be fixed and bills need to be paid.  I can't help but think of that early 90's techno song...

BACK TO LIFE....BACK TO REALITY

Oh, but I do have one great thing to look forward to--I get to see Tomas on Sunday!! Can't wait!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

35 Weeks!

I'm gonna keep saying it.  Holy crap.  We're this far already?? 

As of today, the countdown says 30 days to go.

I'm sorry, what?!?!  30 days?!?!?

Everything pregnancy wise is going good.  For the most part, I feel decent.  But I can definitely tell there's a big baby in my belly.  I am very curious how big this baby will actually be when he's born.  I think it's time for a baby poll!!  (watch for that soon!!)

I lay in bed wanting to roll over and I have to seriously think about whether or not I really want to.  Truly, it's becoming quite difficult just to move even a little bit. 

And then when it gets to be about 2:00 am and I have to pee, I curse a little...because I have to get out of bed.  And walk to the bathroom.  And then walk back to the bedroom.  And that's a lot of work when you're half awake.

To those that have had twins, I commend you.  You are my heroes.  I can't imagine what this would be like with 2 babies in the belly. 

But I won't complain any more.  Like I said, for the most part, I feel good.  I know many women that can't stand being pregnant and hate every second.  I am not one of them.  However, I am not going to lie...I am pretty uncomfortable at this point. 

I don't wish this pregnancy to be over, though.  Because I don't want this experience to end.  I know once I have the baby, Tomas and Honza will start their life with their new child and I know I'm going to miss it.  I'll miss the baby.  I'll miss their family.

I know there will never be a true end to this journey, but thinking about not being pregnant anymore definitely makes me a little sad.  We're not going to think about that quite yet, though.  I'm going to enjoy every last second of this wonderful experience I am on and treasure every moment.

And I know once Jachym is born, there will be no better moment than to see this truly remarkable family come together and know that I had a part in making it happen.  And that, my friends, makes up for any and all sad feelings I have.

I had Elliot take my 35 week photo today, so the angle is a little off...but you get the idea.

Yes, my belly is that huge.  At least I feel that huge.

I had a women come up to me the other day and asked me if I was overdue. Uh, thanks.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What we did in Door County....

I hate to say it, but we didn't do a whole lot.  I stuck to my "chill out" doctor's orders for nearly the entire week-long vacation.

And I loved it.

You see, like much of the country, Wisconsin is getting hit with this crappy really really really hot weather.

And I don't like crappy really really really hot weather, especially while carrying around a 5+ pound child in my belly.  It's not called an "oven" for no reason.

Prior to arriving at our place, we weren't sure if the central air worked or not.  We never really had a reason to use the a/c since we acquired the place a couple years ago; but, we made a call and "Tom" came out to take a look.  An hour later and a bill we have yet to see, we are sitting in the coldest central air I've ever felt.

And I'm a happy girl. 

Your geographical lesson for the day...this is Door County, WI:

See where it shows Sturgeon Bay?  Our place is about 15 miles southwest of that, right on the water.
We took a couple day-trips up one side of the peninsula and down the other.  Stopped at "off the beaten path" restaurants and had a grand time.

On the 4th, Sturgeon Bay was the place to be for the fireworks.  So, we headed up there, laid out our blanket and prepped for an awesome show, along with about 500 other people. 

And then the announcement came that the fireworks were to be cancelled due to a storm rolling in.

Bum to the er.

It did end up storming-we got caught up in it on the drive back to our place, hail and all.

So we missed out on fireworks this year.  Oh well.  The kids didn't seem to mind and I still got my kettle corn fix for the week, so it's all good.

One of the things on our list to do was the Door County Fireboat Cruise.  London, of all kids, has been the most excited about it.  So, we did that today.  It's an hour and a half boat tour down the canal (between the Bay and Lake Michigan).  

Some photos from the little boat trip:






Tomorrow starts the last couple days we'll be here.  My lovely mother in law is joining us, giving the hubster and I a chance to escape the children for a few hours tomorrow night for some much-needed adult time/dinner.

I'll do a 35 week post in a day or two, but everything is going well.  Jachym and I are doing great. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Photo Randomness

I was laying in bed with London last night and we were browsing photos that were stored on my phone...and I thought perhaps I would share a few with you.  Hope you enjoy a nice little photo break.

Those on Facebook may remember a photo similar to this a few weeks ago.  This is what my shopping cart looked like the other day at the grocery store.  Normally one might get an eye, but when you're 8 months pregnant, you get more than an eye with a cart full of champagne.  I just tell everyone I'm drinking for two.


A couple weeks ago we were eating breakfast at a hole in the wall in Door County.  I grabbed a pamphlet on the Antique Power Association's 30th annual festival.  In the calendar of events I noted the above at 5:30 pm.
Only in Wisconsin can you have an evening Polka Mass.


For years my mom has had the same neighbor at the nursing home (right down the hall).  For years we walked by this persons room and never paid much attention.  A couple weeks ago the family and I were hanging out in the hallway and Elliot said "Mom, what's that say?" and pointed to the above, which was placed right outside this person's room.  I looked and told him it said "welcome".  He replied "no, it doesn't".  After looking again, I had to laugh.  He was right.  How did I never notice this?  And I was amused that it appeared no one else had either.


I was reading the kids some nursery rhymes from my Richard Scary book I had as a child.  Not sure I'm a fan of this one.


What a nice discount, huh?


What we do for fun in the boonies.


3 of the cutest kids ever.