Thursday, January 26, 2012

The 1%

All last week I felt like I was on a death watch.  Just waiting for my next ultrasound so I could see that the last baby had stopped growing, waiting for the next step, waiting for it to be over.

I was 99% certain that Baby A was not going to make it.  I prepared myself emotionally for the worst.  I felt a black cloud hanging over me.  I felt like when people looked at me they knew what was going on and I wanted to defend myself.  "It's not my fault!  I did everything I could!  I followed all the rules!  I didn't want this to happen!"

When I went to the ultrasound on Wednesday I was ready to hear the bad news that I was 99% certain I was going to hear.  I tried to shut out that little voice that said "But maybe?  What if? Could there still be hope?"

The ultrasound started and right away I thought I saw a little flicker of movement.  Then nothing.  I must have imagined it.  The technician worked for a while without saying anything.  I watched the screen closely.  There it was again!  Movement!  And suddenly a lot of movement!  The technician laughed and said "That one is letting us know its still ok."

And oh, she's so ok.  She moved and wiggled and bounced around for the rest of the ultrasound.  Her heartbeat is good and her gestational sac, while a little on the small side, is still in the normal range.  She's a little fighter and I feel like she's going to beat the odds.  She blew away that 99% of uncertainty and sadness.  Every time she wiggled I felt a little happier and a little lighter.

You guys?  I think she's gonna make it.  I think in 30 weeks or so my IPs are going to have the baby they've been wanting for the last 15 years.  Eeeeeeeeee!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Sadness hurts.  It physically hurts.  It settles into you bones and weighs you down.  It stiffens your muscles and makes your joints ache.  I am hurting right now.

We are facing the fact that this pregnancy is not going to last much longer.  Baby A is not going to make it.  People are being very kind and saying there's still hope and that miracles happen but I know that's not going to be the case here.  There are issues with these embryos that make it almost unbelievable that all three implanted.  The fact that I've made it to almost 10 weeks pregnant with one of them is statistically nearly impossible.

Obviously that doesn't make things any easier.  I'm angry with the doctor who made the choice to transfer these embryos.  I can't go into a lot of detail out of respect for the privacy of my intended parents but I will say that I feel like we were all led into a bad situation by a doctor who was either careless or incompetent or ... something I don't have a word for.

So now we wait.  I'm still pregnant and as far as I know Baby A still has a heartbeat but we'll have more ultrasounds to see when that changes.  I'm not going to lie.  This sucks.  This a million times harder than a failed transfer.  I can't even imagine how my Intended Parents must be feeling right now.  My heart breaks for them.  I wish I could do something to ease their pain.  I'm very emotionally invested in the pregnancy but they are having to deal with the loss one, two and then all three of their babies. 

I will be ok. Yesterday was hard.  Today will be hard.  This next week will be hard but I have the support of an amazing network of family and friends and fellow surrogate sisters.  If you're the praying kind or the good vibe kind or the well wishing kind please direct all of that to my IPs who I know are going to need to heal from this. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nobody said it would be easy but no one that it would be so hard

If there is one thing I have learned as I have gone through three surrogacy journeys it's that nothing is simple.  You never move forward in a straight line.  It's one step forward and two steps back.

This pregnancy started out with a one in a million shot of triplets.  That was scary but there was relief at the next ultrasound when we found out only two babies still had heartbeats.

Today I had another ultrasound and we discovered that only one of the babies still has has a heartbeat.  The other one looks like it stopped growing a week ago.  Pretty much right after my last ultrasound.

The good news: I saw the heartbeat and saw the little baby wiggling around.  It's measuring right at nine and a half weeks like it should.  The bad news: The gestational sac is only measuring about seven weeks.  Of course it's too early to tell what's going to happen and if there's something wrong.  If there is nothing can be done so we just have to sit back and watch and wait.

I don't have a good feeling about this.  I'm scared that this last little one will not hang in there.  My heart is broken for my IPs.  I never wanted to carry a litter of babies, one is enough.  If I can just hang on to this one little baby I can be happy. 

So for now I wait and I rest and think good thoughts and I look forward to/fear what the next ultrasound brings.  Please think good thoughts too.  Not for me but for my IPs who have so many hopes pinned on this last little heartbeat.

Friday, January 06, 2012

And then there were two

One of the benefits of my best friend working at the clinic where I get my prenatal care is that she gets to do some of my prenatal care.  Another benefit is that if if I text her to tell her that I'm about to get an ultrasound she might text back to tell me her patient for that time slot didn't show up and do I want some company?  And I can tell her that I do and then she can come to my ultrasound with me.

So that's how we came to find ourselves (plus Elle) in a little dark room staring at an ultrasound screen together and waiting for the tech to tell me what we were looking at.

Baby A looked great.  Measuring right on track with a good heartbeat.  Baby C looked great too.  Everything was it was supposed to be.

I knew as soon as he skipped measuring baby B that there was something going on.  I looked closer and I couldn't see a heartbeat but I thought maybe it was just the angle and that perhaps I wasn't seeing it.  As the tech finished up with Baby C my friend whispered "Jen, there's no heartbeat there."  The tech nodded.

I don't remember exactly what my reaction was but I burst into tears and started shaking.  I'm going to be honest here and say something that might surprise you.  I was crying from relief.  I wasn't sad or upset, just relieved.

There are a lot of risks associated with carrying triplets and my IPs were facing some hard decisions.  We were facing a long, scary pregnancy and it was not something that I was completely overjoyed with.

Now I feel like everything has fallen into place.  I can DO twins.  I know I can carry twins for a long time and deliver them as big, healthy babies.  When I saw that ultrasound I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.  I slept better last night than I have since the first ultrasound.

That's why I was so glad to have my best friend there. Not everyone will understand why I was ok with seeing that empty dark spot on the ultrasound but she gets it.  I think most other people will understand too sooner or later but not everyone could stood there in that dark room, hugged a pantsless, lubed up me and said "I love you. I'm so glad it worked out this way."

Now I get to focus on growing a perfect set of twins for some very excited parents.  As I said on facebook, this is probably the last time time I'm going to be pregnant (unless a certain set of dads ask me to have more babies for them (hint, HINT)) and I want to enjoy every moment of it.  And right now I'm going to enjoy eating homemade mac and cheese for three.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Three times the fun!

So I'm pregnant with triplets.  That's still a thing that is happening in my life.  Things have gotten interesting since I found out how many babies I've got on board.

The nearly universal reaction to this news has been "Holy shit!".  I myself go back and forth between "What's the big deal?  It's not like I'm the octomom." and "Holy shit!".  My mood swings, let me show you them.

The other reaction I get a lot is "Since you carried one the first time and two the second and three this time are you going to do four next time?"  If you know me in real life and have not yet said this to me, I beg you, please don't say it.  It kind of pisses me off. It's really not funny.  If I have to explain why then that's just going to annoy me more.

That said, it's not all Serious Business.  There's also a lot of sleeping involved.  I sleep ALL THE TIME.  Most days I get the kids off to school and then go back to bed.  I get up around lunch time when I try to eat and get a little done around the house.  After I pick up the kids I spend a little time with them until around 5 when I crash again.  Even when I'm awake I'm still tired as heck and if I miss a nap, watch out!

Then there's the food.  By some miracle of miracles I have not really had bad morning sickness.  I have yet to throw up and a lot of the time I have a pretty good appetite.  Cooking smells sometimes bother me but mostly I'm ok.  I eat a lot.  A lot.  I mean, a whole lot.  I can finish off a regular sized dinner and then have a bagel and then a handful of nuts and then a cheese stick and then a spinach salad and then a Christmas cookie and then a spoonful of peanut butter and then a spoonful of nutella and then a handful or pretzels and then maybe a piece of steak.  I don't believe in having shame or guilt about what you eat but even I am kind of embarrassed by how much I eat some days.

In (what I'm certain is unrelated news) my pants are already getting tight.  I've made a goal of not switching to maternity pants until 9 weeks (no, I don't know why so shut up) so now I just wear my "fat jeans" or yoga pants.  My breasts have also grown like the mighty oak.  Only they're not tall.  Just big.  So not so much like the mighty oak I guess.

So I'm getting by.  Life is good.  Christmas was good and I managed to stay awake for most of it.  My children continue to be the most delightful people on the planet.  Joseph had some friends over for a sleepover (his first ever!) and they were adorable and fun and the loudest of all the possible things.  Today Elle was looking at me through a cardboard tube and she said "Mama, your head is really small.  Go look in the mirror to see how small your head is.  You won't even believe it."

See?  Life is good.