Saturday, January 3, 2015

22 months

22 months! Wow, coconut is really almost 2 yrs old. 

It's no secret I haven't heard much from the family this year. It has been difficult to understand and try to move on from a dream. I walked this journey in love and trusted that through friendship I could give someone the greatest gift known to man. However my hopes, expectations or plan did not come to complete fruition. Accepting that hasn't been an easy task but I've come to grips with it and have learned not to dwell on it. 

I love having been a surrogate and milk donor and hopefully one day God will grant me the opportunity to do it again. 

Today I'm grateful that in December I did receive a Santa email update and a Christmas card. That was really nice and was not expected but was sooooo needed. I know he's doing well and looks happy. 

I'm wishing all you other surrogates a happy new year and please do your research for your IPS, your agency, your lawyers, your doctors, your plan and don't jump to soon. I'm anxious to hear your stories of selflessness and to see your beautiful creations. I wish you all happy healthy pregnancies and wonderful relationships with your IPS/IMS/IFS. Sticky thoughts my loves

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Deteriorating health

Over the past few months I've fallen into bad health. On jan 1, I had a horrible hemorrhage that hospitalized me for a few days. I lost a massive amount of blood and truly thought I was seeing my final hours. Since then I've continued to bleed even through intense medication to stop the loss. Testing after testing has occurred. 

On Feb 19 I went in with the help of my mom to have a endometrial biopsy. It was extremely painful, like having a natural birth. Intense pain with only ibuprofen on board, boy was I hating life and so glad my mom came to stay with me. Once the results came in I was a wreck, could I really actually have uterine cancer? Would it show other things? Questions after questions swirled through my head and were asked by my many concerned friends. I was numb. But anxious. 

Well doc called on a Sunday afternoon. Oh boy, this can't be good. So I listen closely and hear the words "it's not cancer". Oh my the relief. I was so happy and grateful until he said the magic word BUT.  Not again, What now? He says I believe you have uterine polyps. The test is not definitive but showing high probability. Yikes, I didn't even know what those P thingys might be. After I got off the phone saying a quick prayer of relief and nerves I googled polyps. Less than 14% of women under 40 ever experience these little invaders. 

Doc said I needed a saline infused ultrasound, a test where clear sterile fluid is pushed through a tube into the uterus. Then a probe is inserted to see if these little polyps can be seen.  It took several days to schedule and get it on the books, thankfully Zeus was able to get the time off as well to drive me. 

That test was this past Friday morning. It was a different doc, a very thorough, informative, relaxed and honest doc. She was so amazing. Made me feel so comfortable, well as comfortable as you can be with tubes, clamps and probes hanging out your lady parts. She insisted Zeus stand up and look over her shoulder to see what she was seeing. She said he and my uterus were good friends already, always have to have a little humor. It was merely seconds after two healthy, clear ovaries were discovered that she stumbled upon my polyps or in her words a forest of polyps. I asked how many, she said too many to count. She showed my the screen and I was shocked, maybe more stunned. What should be a smooth oval looked more like bumpy, massively curvy oval with no smooth straight lines. Nope, imagine a forest all chopped to stumps . That's about what the inside of my uterus looks like. Wasn't the best news I've heard in a while, my heart sank as the sadness  overwhelmed me. Here I am waiting for the hammer to drop, thankfully doc believes a two part surgery can be successful to remove these little invaders. I most likely will be able to save my womb. I'm beyond terrified of a hysterectomy. I'm emotionally attached to this organ and can't lose it anytime soon. I might even want to use it again.  A D&C and polypectomy both done in the same time to remove all the foreign matter still wrecking havoc in my uterus. This will be an outpatient, IV sedation surgery with a Recovery of 2-3 days. All this will happen pretty quickly. I'm hopeful that with this surgery and medication change that I'll be able to get back to myself and lose the over 30lbs I've acquired since my Jan episode. I'm looking forward to returning to physical labor, shopping, workouts without embarrassing wardrobe messes which occur all too often these days. I'm ready to return to the 
strong, tough person I used to be. I'm ready to be a wife and Momma without fear of what my body will do to cause me to back out or back off my ambitions. Please say a prayer these stubborn polyps will quietly leave my body and that recovery will be fast and smooth. I'm hopeful. I need something really positive here. The past two years have been such an emotional roller coaster and wild health ride for me. I need a bit of time for me to get comfy in my own skin. Let's do this, who's with me?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The end of a 24 month journey

This week has been one of the harder weeks of my life. I've developed a medical problem that has jeopardized my everyday heath. Because of this, some tough decisions have to be made. I shutter trying to understand why this is happening and where this could go. I just trust God.

So, for the last 12 months following the birth of my sweet lil Coconut 3/6/2013 I have been a breast milk donor to preemie babies across this country. I have donated 10's of thousands of milk to the sickest of sick to the tiniest of tiny babies in NICUS all over America. All of these families will never know my name or why I choose this. It has been a lifelong dream to do this. I've grown up with the idea that I would become a surrogate and then donate my milk. I'm thankful to God for granting this dream, goal and gift to me. Its awesome. I'm grateful.

But this week my medical issues have not gotten better with other treatments, meds and tests show its not much better. That is serious. I have to be healthy. I have 4 babies of my own that need me and that has to be the most important to me at this time. I made the tough decision to begin weaning myself off the pump. It has not been easy. There have been some incredible tears and emotions. Its been 2 full years of dedication of my heart and my body to other families. Something I believe we all must be, supportive and helpful to those around us.

As I washed my bottles and cones for the last time I cried in grief, the fact that I may never do this again. Packing the box of bottles and pump parts made the tears flow harder. Cleaning out the pump bag and winding up the tubes and cords continued to fuel the sadness. It was tough. As I moved to the Garage to pack the boxes of frozen milk that sadness turned ugly. Those tears now had a voice, they once silent were loudly speaking of the unexpected decision that was taking away a love. A deep love of babies and families. I packed those 2 boxes as tight as I could with every last drop of milk. There it was, my milk, the creamy life saving medicine babies rely on so desperately and I may never see a drop leave my chest again. Its so hard to let go. I just stand staring at the boxes wondering will I ever be able to actually let the postman take these away. Will I still be able to look at a pump, a baby, a bottle brush, a bottle, a breast without tears of sadness, without anger of letting go not on my terms or in my time? I don't know. What I do know is that I gave 2 full years of my life to so many others. Each and everyday I grew that baby or pumped that milk while my family waited or did things without me. It was lovely. But it was not fair to my babies and it wouldn't be fair if I let it kill me. Nope.

So today I site typing this wondering what is next for me? Where do I go from here? Will God have another crusade for me? I don't know, but I know these 2 years have been an amazing roller coaster for me. A roller coaster ride I will never forget. I'll never ever underestimate the love a stranger can have for a baby that's not hers. They are in my heart forever and always.

Monday, May 6, 2013

2 months old

Today sweet baby coconut is 2 months old. Unfortunately I don't know much about his milestones. Being thousands of miles away keeps me from knowing a whole lot. It makes me sad but this is the way it is. I do get pictures every now and then and for that I'm so very grateful.

I did get to send him some gifts and a homemade diaper cake along with a handmade blanket just for him. He had his first baby shower yesterday so I was lucky be able to share some special books and such with him.

I'm sad but today was a good day for me as I was nominated as key spouse for Scott AFB and I also won key spouse for for the 688 information operation wing. It's a great honor as I love this job. So that kept me smiling.

We are now less than 3 weeks before we depart St Louis.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A lot to leave behind

WOW, Its been a tough 7 weeks. Coconut is growing so big and has topped 8 pounds already. He is doing well, I hear. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of him and hope he is doing well.

We are moving! In less than 45 days. Its crazy. Being a military family moving is always something we must do. This time will burn. You ask why? Well all the fun memories, hard days, special times with coconut were experienced here, in St. Louis. The first and last time I felt him, saw him and held him will be here. The first sonogram, the last sonogram, the first heartbeat and all those other pregnancy feelings were all felt and lived here. So a part of me doesn't want to leave. A part of me will always be here. I'll take those memories and my scar with me wherever I go, this I know.

I look forward to the new memories that South Texas has waiting for us but it doesn't make leaving any easier. My life as a surrogate has been an awesome journey. I do think I could do it again. I'm just not sure I want to. I'll leave that decision to God and just listen to him as he guides me through the rest of my days. On a side note I am down almost 40 pounds since birthing that precious boy. I think the pumping of the breast milk has really helped shed the pounds. I will send my first shipment of milk out within a few days. It's pretty crazy how much I have pumped, we are talking over 3000 ounces. Isn't that nuts. I know it is. But I try to keep an every 3 hr schedule. It's working though. The milk continues to flow and lots of it.

I'll update more soon about the upcoming move and possibly some new pictures of the lil guy.

Thanks for all your continued prayers and positive encouragement and support. You'll never know how much it helps and how I appreciate sharing my story with all of you. I hope this story never ends.

Blessings to all you Bloggie Buddies.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pumping station AKA Momma Milk Depot

Hey there we are 4 weeks postpartum now and coconut is officially 4 weeks/1 month old. Wow, that's just crazy. I'm healing but it's an extremely slow process. Still very painful but I'm managing.

So I'm pretty busy these days. Every 3-4 hours I hook myself up to this little machine, (Breast pump) even in the middle of the night. I stay attached for about 15-20 minutes. After that time I have anywhere from 8-12oz of liquid gold, or breast milk. All the bottles get emptied into bags. I write the date and my famous number and they go directly into my freezer. Over the past 3 weeks, since Coconut left I have frozen some 300 bags of milk. Very soon the shipping will begin.

What am I doing with it, you ask? Well as I am always trying to reach out and help others around me. This time I will use my milk to help. My milk is being donated to a milk bank, tested, and broken down into smaller packaging and distributed yo hospitals across the country to NICUs and used for preemies weighing less than 3lbs. My breast milk will help those mothers unable to produce and babies too sick to eat anything else. It's a dream I've wanted to do for many years. It's a calling from God. I thank God that I'm an over producer. I'm a lucky girl who got to breast feed my 4 children problem free with leftovers. Today I get to be an angel to thousands of babies who'll never know me but who'll have life because God allowed me to help them and their families.

How long will I donate? I don't know. We will see how I can fit it into our lives. I hope for several months. But I'll leave that to God and his will and I'll just follow.

Here's some pictures for your delight. We now have 3 shelves in our freezer full of this milk. Enjoy

Friday, March 29, 2013

3rd month, 3 weeks, 3 sisters, 3 babies

Well today it's been 3 weeks since I delivered that sweet baby coconut. I'm recovering very slowly but making progress everyday. It's the small things that show my improvement. But today I wanted to share something unique to my family and our journey.

So I don't have any blood sisters, I have many, many brothers. But thankfully those brothers married women, who have become my sisters. It's the next best thing. My little brother and Zeus' little brother have beautiful wives who I love dearly. After I talked of getting pregnant with someone else's baby, months before we did I think I put a bug in my sisters ears. I thought how cool it would be to be pregnant with family members. But never really thought about it again.

Once I started the process of shots, hormones and readying my body for IVF I shared a lot of info with my sisters. Our families were very supportive of my decision to help another couple become the sought after family they hoped for. As time went on and I became pregnant it was obvious that my brothers families wanted to each extend their family with one more. Amazingly enough several weeks into my pregnancy both sisters shared they were pregnant. As we learned days later that one was due late Feb, the other late March and me early April. S was due about 5 weeks ahead of me and C was due just a few days ahead of me.

Now that March had arrived S was late and thankfully went into labor on her own on March 4 delivering a healthy baby girl naturally, Kendall Grace 7lbs 3oz and 18in.

Terribly, two days later I woke to a huge water puddle in my bed. Yes, my water broke at just 36 weeks pregnant. Since Coconut was breach I was forced to have a c-section that morning. So on March 6 at 8:23am weighing 5lbs, 9oz and 18.5in, Luke Timothy was born.

Just a few weeks later my darling sister C had a scheduled C-section. On March 25, at 8:17am weighing 9lbs and 21in, Burke Levi arrived.

Amazingly enough on both sides of our families we have a new niece and a new nephew and Lil Luke will also be called our nephew.

It was an amazing story that for the rest of our lives we will remember and these 3 babies hopefully will meet some day, at least that is my hope.

Here are the pictures of the pregnant Mommas and the babies. Which one is which?