Monday, February 28, 2011

Beware....picture to follow

So here I am 8 weeks into p90x. Loving my results so far. Wow. Picture 1 is 12 weeks ago. Picture 2 is yesterday. Wanna place bets on which one I more closely resemble in a year (my bet would be pic1).


Sunday, February 27, 2011

What might have been...a story of the wrong road being chosen

I moved back to my hometown in 2001 after living in Chicago for five years. I was fleeing a bad marriage and had my two sons in tow. I bought a small house across from the local Catholic school, got a job, and moved on. My oldest son was in 3rd grade and my youngest was only 3. The boys missed their father alot but he had found himself a girlfriend and was struggling with a drug problem. I had stayed for almost twelve years, had put him through numerous rehabs, and had just had enough. If he could not see his way fit to love me and his sons more than he loved the drugs and the women, then I was done. Looking back I should have left sooner, if not for me then for my sons. Looking back I would have done so many things differently. But that is all we can really do in life once a moment has passed...look back and wish.

My oldest son became friends with a group of boys and remained friends with them from age 8 to age 14 or so. They all played traveling basketball together. They all went to catholic school together. They hung out together in their off time. Then, for some reason, when he was 14, my son decided he liked drugs better than friends. Over the ensuing 4 years I have sent him to rehabs, tried tough love, tried understanding, tried ignoring, sent him to live with an uncle and his grandfather so he could have a fresh start. I have tried every single thing I could think of, other than moving to Alaska and living off the land. And yet, just like his father, he seems determined to walk this road. I kicked him out of our main house over a year ago when he turned 17 and kicked him out of the back house three months ago. I'm sure I seem cold and heartless to many but I simply cannot walk this road again, knowing what the end will be. Should he ever decide to change, I will be his biggest cheerleader but I simply do not have it in me to stand by and watch him kill himself. He is a raging alcoholic and has a serious drug problem. He turns 18 next month.

On Friday, my younger son and I went to watch the district championships in basketball. The core of the Mexico team is made up of the boys that were my older sons' first friends when we moved here. They won the championship in double overtime. As I watched those boys out there, struggling and fighting and clawing their way to a goal they had dreamed of, I couldn't help but think what might have been had my son chosen differently. Sitting in the bleachers near us was another boy from that group who has also chosen badly. He got three DWIs last summer and was banned from high school sports. He was crying inconsolably and while I felt awful for him, I also felt good for his parents because at least their son finally "got it". He was crying because he understood the gravity of his mistakes. My son, on the other hand, has yet to make that journey. I only hope that he eventually will. His father never did. I will always wonder if his dad finally realized how badly he had chosen when he took the fatal overdose that killed him. Did he have a moment of clarity when he thought "oh crap" or was he too far gone by then? Will my son wake up one day and realize he is throwing his life away or will he too end up like his father? I am tired of drugs. I have never smoked a cigarette, never tried any drugs, drank 3 times in my life (a single drink each time), never had a beer. And yet drugs have been such a huge part of my life. I am tired of it. I wish...well I wish for so many things for my son. But I also wish for things for me. My heart broke when my husband died. It never really recovered but I went on. I wish for an end to the pain for me and my son. I know better than to wish for him to get better since I don't believe addicts ever really do. And I certainly don't wish for his death. I just wish for a miracle I guess.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Woo hoo and boo

Short, concise, and to the point, since our life is unbelievably busy:

Woo hoo:
Got a raise at work. And got a good review. Wow.
Boys 2 and 3 have good grades
Girl 1 is getting married
Boy 1 is almost 18
Got a massage that was so good it gave me a reason to go on living
Getting ready to start week 8 of p90x

Still working 45 to 50 hours a week
Still weighing 10 pounds too much, in spite of all the p90x
Girl #2 is an adult now and has celebrated this passage by getting pregnant
Boy #1 is treading on thin ice and has 21 days until he's an adult
Feeling the surrogacy cravings big time

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finally a birth story

I woke up at 2 am on 12/2/2010 thinking I had to go to the bathroom. Since I was 1 day shy of 41 weeks pregnant, needing to go to the bathroom was a normal state for me. When I got up, I had a contraction. Hold the phone I thought….that felt real. Hallelujah…I hadn’t had a contraction in weeks.

I stayed in the bathroom for awhile and rode out several contractions that were about ten minutes apart. Finally Joe asked me what I was doing, and I said I was in labor and to go back to sleep. I took a hot bath and rode out contractions for the next four hours. My previous labors had all been very fast so we knew (or thought) I should go to the hospital pretty early.

I left for the hospital around 6 am. My contractions were 3 minutes apart and had been for an hour. The drive to the hospital took about 45 minutes. The plan was for Joe to get the kids off to school and then follow me to the hospital. I checked into triage at 7am and they walked me straight up to OB since I was 41 weeks pregnant and this was baby number 8. Contractions were still 3 minutes apart. They put me on the monitor and checked me. I was dilated to a…….0. Yep that’s right. I could have gone home but I was already scheduled to come in the next day so that they could break my water if possible and do a c-section if not possible.
The docs tried four times to start an IV and finally had to get anesthesiology to get one in. Meanwhile, I was still contracting hard ever 2 to 3 minutes.

At 9 am they checked me….no progress. At 10 am…no progress. The contractions felt wrong and I began to suspect that Aurora was malpositioned and not putting any pressure on the cervix. I had wondered how I had managed to work until 41 weeks, standing all day every day, without dilating at all. And these contractions were all in my back. I finally decided that Aurora must be posterior and it would later turn out that she was posterior and that her head was hyper extended and she had a nuchal cord (cord around the neck).

Anywho, about 10:30 am they checked and still no progress. So I consented to the c-section. By this point I had been riding hard contractions for over 8 hours with absolutely no progress and no pain medication. I asked that the epidural be put in for the section and they informed me that they would be doing a spinal and that I would have to wait until we got into the operating room… noon.
Now, to someone not in labor, an hour and a half wait for pain meds might not sound like a lot. Trust me. It was. I rode out the next 90 minutes and finally walked down to the OR. I had four contractions during that walk and three while they gave me the spinal. When the spinal finally took effect, I almost cried in relief. I had warned the docs that I tended to bottom out my blood pressure and get super nauseous during the surgery and they acted very pro-actively so I didn’t actually feel bad at all. They cut Aurora out and took her into the next room. She screamed immediately and it was wonderful to hear. They brought Lennart into the room with her and Joe could see them through the glass. He gave me a play by play and when he said that Lennart was crying, I started crying. Up until that point we did not know that Aurora was a girl and they had both wanted a girl.

Post surgery, I went to recovery for an hour and Lennart came in there with Aurora. I got to snuggle her and we all took some pictures. That night, Aurora stayed in the room with me and I nursed her and snuggled her. The next day I fled the hospital just as the hormones hit.

Ten weeks removed from her birth it all seems like a dream. I had a wonderful pregnancy, a wonderful journey, and a wonderful postpartum. I was hormonal for a brief period of time (two weeks or so) postpartum but that is to be expected.
Surrogacy has been such a huge part of my life and I feel like this is a perfect journey to end my surrogacy career.

Be warned:

I have started crafting a long, sure to be incredibly boring post about insurance and surrogacy. To be covered:
1. should private insureres be forced to cover surrogacy (ie no exclusions allowed).
2. should the ips insurance or the surros insurance cover the pregnancy
3. should medicaid cover surrogacy (yeah I'm gonna go there)

But while I work on that blog I will give you something hopefully a tad bit more interesting to chew on right now. What shall I discuss?

The mercedes debacle of 2011? That would be a doozy of a post. Lets just say it involves me, a mercedes I did not buy but was forced to deal with, 2500 dollars, 200 dollars and a junk yard. How's that for a teaser?

I could talk about boy #2 turning 13 tomorrow.

I could talk about boy #1 turning 18 in 28 days (where is that darn time machine...March 12th can't come soon enough).

I could give you baby updates. Aurora is huge and 10 weeks old. She is by far the biggest baby I have ever grown. Georg & Adrian have moved "up" to the next class at preschool. Dylan & Ella are preparing for kindergarten.

I could talk about the upcoming wedding. Girl #1 is getting married in 2 months. I will be a mother-in-law. How weird is that?

I could talk about how I have managed to get within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight and I'm stuck here and can't seem to lose anymore. I have stopped pumping (yay) and that is usually good for a 5 pound weight loss but NADA. Grrr.

I could talk about the fact that even though I was sure last week that I was quitting my job, this week I'm not sure. Indecisiveness is the new sexy you know.

And because indecisiveness is the new sexy, I am also pondering one more go round in the ole (and old) uterus. But that pondering is all I will probably do.

But I won't talk about any of that. I will simply say how thankful I am for a warmer day (woo hoo it is 41 here) and melting snow (we have 20 inches on the ground)and a somewhat peaceful day at home. Life is good for now and that is good enough for me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I hate making decisions, especially big ones. I tend to postpone decisions until I am forced to make one which, as you can imagine, is not always good. So it comes as no surprise that I'm having trouble deciding whether to quit my job or not. And I'm sure my poor readers are getting sick to death of me writing about my inability to make this decision. But you see, tied up into the decision of whether to quit or not is another huge decision, whether I am retired from surrogacy or not. If I quit, then I lose my insurance which has no surrogacy exclusion and a low deductible. I can buy private health insurance if I quit but in MO, you can no longer buy private health insurance with maternity benefits (thank you for that health reform are making things SO much better). So if I quit my job, I also quit surrogacy. I have been pondering doing one more surrogacy and then quitting my job. If I do my medical screening in June or July and then match and then transfer, hopefully I would be matched by September, transfer in Dec or Jan, deliver in the Sept 2012, and then retire. That would mean working at my job another year and a half which is certainly do-able. I like my job and my co-workers, I just dislike some of their attitudes towards me since I was a surrogate and I dislike the 50 hour weeks.

Speaking of my job, we just won the award for best QC program of the 26 plants in our company. We rule.