Saturday, December 14, 2013


I had requested my medical records from my last pregnancy and delivery and they have been slowly trickling in.  Today, I got the final batch, which are my delivery records.  Right there, in black and white, it says something to the tune of thinning lower uterine segment and that while pregnancy could be achieved and end normally with a healthy baby, it is not recommended.  I expected to feel upset if I ever saw that.  I expected to feel robbed.  Instead I just feel relieved.  It's really over.  The child bearing years are over.  I know some surrogates would probably go ahead and carry because it doesn't specifically say I can't.  But for me, the risk is not worth it.  I want to see my kids grow up.  I don't want to be a danger to any baby I might be carrying.  It's over.  And that's ok.  I have grown 8 children.  I have made four families, including my own.  I was pregnant seven times and did it with grace (mostly) and serenity (mostly) and really rocked it.  I'm ok to go out on top so to speak.  I don't want to be one of those women who defines herself with pregnancy and can't move on.  I don't want to change my last name to Duggar. 

So that's it.  The blog ends here.  I'm sure no one wants to hear my ongoing updates about my child who plays basketball or my hectic crazy life.  I don't feel comfortable sharing pictures of the surrogate kids as they get older because they are not my children.  I don't feel comfortable sharing updates about my step-kids because they are not mine and it might not be ok with their parents if I shared (so if you've ever wondered why I talk more about one kid than the's because he's the only one I feel like I can really talk about...the others are all super awesome too). 

So finally, after eight years, multiple formats, multiple surrogacy journey's, enough tears and laughter and joy and FAMILIES, it is with a tear in my eye and a smile in my heart that I write

The End. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Or not?

The verdict on the knee is a tiny tear in the meniscus.  It will not hurt him to play with it that way, it's just if he can tolerate the pain.  He seems to have my pain tolerance (have C-section on Friday, leave hospital on Saturday, drive myself home in manual transmission car, go back to work on Monday) so he has decided to play as long as he can and then get it fixed in the off season.  I agreed to this only because the doctor says it won't do further damage to the knee if he continues to play with it injured.  He has adapted to the pain enough now where he no longer even takes ibuprofen.  I will have to have a talk with him about our weird pain tolerance...while it seems like a blessing and in most ways it is, in some ways it's not good because we don't have pain to warn us off from things in the way that normal people do. 

So that's that.  I took a day off from everything today and had grand plans but as usual, I've done absolutely nothing.  I can't resist the lure of a lazy day at home sometimes. 

Guys are still wanting a sibling.  I am still on the fence.  I got a gorgeous Christmas card from the Swedes.  Not much else going on here.  Basketball is our life right now. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fluid under kneecap

The boy has massive knee pain.  We took him to the doc in a box on the day before Thanksgiving because every place else was closed.  They did an xray and found fluid behind his kneecap.  Most likely cause?...torn meniscus, torn cartilage, or torn ACL.  I hate sports.  I hate my kid being hurt.  I hate watching him try to fight through the pain.  We have to see an orthopedist next week.  Praying it is something simple that won't need a surgical fix because he's my baby and never had surgery.  He is crushed because his season is likely over before it even began.  Hate seeing him sad.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What would (fill in the blank) do?

Surrogates need someone to worship so that when we have a surrogate(ish) quandary we can be all like :  What would (xxx) do?  So for the purpose of this blog entry, I will call my surrogate idol Libbigail.  She is the one with all the answers when it comes to surrogacy. 

So let's start over:  What would Libbigail do...

I guess I need a bit of an introduction before I jump right into this.  I'm hopped up on chocolate right now (a whole flipping batch of fudge if you must know).  I blame that on Joe and the kids.  They have all left and I didn't want the fudge to feel left out or abandoned or just unwanted so I was forced to eat it.  All. 

Alone you say?  Hold the phone.  I'm home ALONE.  Hallelujah.  Joe and boy #3 went to the mall.  Boy #2 is enjoying his last few hours of freedom before basketball practice starts next week.  I should be typing but my boss hates me and sent me an affidavit of someone who mumbles.  And has a speech impediment.  So every time I start typing it I have to stop because I'm laughing hysterically which is inappropriate on so many levels because I don't really hate mumblers or those with speech impediments...once again I blame the chocolate which if you go back to paragraph two, is really the fault of Joe and the kids. 

So while avoiding the mumbling speech impediment prone complainant, I checked my e-mail and there was gorgeous pictures of my most recent surrogate spawn and more talk of a sibling project.  Which brings us to: 

What would Libbigail do?

1.  Encourage the guys to find a younger, less sliced surrogate (this is obviously the right choice.  I know this is the right choice.  We are going with this choice).

2.  Go get screened because maybe I am the right choice.  (I am not the right choice.  I know I heal well but come on already.  This whole serial pregnancy thing has to stop somewhere.  It's starting to get embarrassing). 

3.  Keep pumping so that 2 is not a choice and 1 becomes the only choice.  This is also a good choice bur really, shouldn't I be adult enough to just say no to my whole "I wanna gestate forever" thing.  Plus have you ever pumped long term?  I've pumped for 8 months now.  Almost 9 months.  Every day.  7 to 8 times a day.  My nipples could have their own zip code.  I have personally donated to five babies and also to a milk bank.  Pumping is good.  But really this must end sometime.

I know what I should do.  I know what is right to do.  But I also am fairly confident that I could carry again because I heal well and my uterus "looks great" according to my OB.  I want what is best for the guys and surely a younger surrogate is better for them.  I know I'm healthy and work out and have great surrogate-friendly insurance but still.  

Maybe I will wake up tomorrow and my uterus will have fallen out.  That would fix the whole issue right there...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You worked what?

77 hours.  In 7 days.  That is the lab and typing.  If this is retirement, then it sucks.  I also pumped over 300 ounces of milk in those same 7 days. 

I really suck at quitting jobs.  I need to work on it.  Until then...I am thrilled to have two hours at the end of this weekend that is truly mine.  I am so burned out and exhausted. 

On a "wahoo" note, basketball practice starts on November the 4th....the same day I have to make a quick trip to Sioux Falls, SD.  Games start November 25th.  Can't wait.  The boys thinks he will start varsity this year.  Fingers crossed. 

And that's it for now.  Gonna use the last bit of my weekend to take a long...ok not so long, hot bath. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

2 weeks in

I am two weeks into my notice at work.  I have four (ish) weeks to go.  I got really mad at them one day and threatened to just leave but I don't really want to go out like that so I am still there, working out my notice, but more on my terms.  Since they wanted a longer leave than I wanted to give, we negotiated part time hours.  I work 6:30 am to 10:30 am and then am home typing in the afternoons.  That lasts for a few more weeks and if they hire someone it ends immediately.  I really hope they hire someone soon.  I saw my job posted in the newspaper and it seemed really weird but still right.  I think their biggest problem finding a replacement is that they don't want to pay for what they want.  I imagine they will end up hiring another assistant and not a tech like I was. 

On another note, I found insurance that will cover me for pregnancy...with no surrogacy exclusion.  Not that I'm getting pregnant...because I'm not...but just in case. 

The Swedes are headed this way for one final visit before they fly home.  We have had several long meals with them and have really enjoyed their visit.  They are wonderful, the family is wonderful, and every time I see this family I helped create I get this warm glow.  Surrogacy is awesome.  :)

Will post pictures later of the Swedes. The kids are adorable and the dads are tired but great. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I actually did it

Anyone who has read here for awhile can tell you that the one word that truly describes me when making major decisions is FLAKE.  Yes I'm a flake.  I admit it.  I will make up my mind and then start thinking of the cons instead of the pros and go around and around in circles for MONTHS or even worse, YEARS.  The hubster, understandably, has had enough of this.  He basically told me to shit or get off the pot when it comes to these major decisions.  So, in his eloquent phrasing, I shit.  I started making major decisions like I was slashing vegetation in the jungle.  It was an exciting and scary.  When the dust settled this is what we had left:

1.  I gave my notice for my lab job.  My last day is November 1st.  That will get them through my co-workers long ass vacation but not her two hand surgeries.  I feel like somewhat of an ass for that but I had to just draw a line because every time I would have a tentative date in my head, they would have something else come up. The bottom line is that my coworker is not reliable.  Her job is not a priority to her and she will admit that.  She is gone A LOT and if I were to try to find a date to leave that does not coincide with her having a medical procedure or a vacation or a life crisis, then that date would be years from now or more likely never.  The final straw came when I realized that between now and the end of the year she was going to be gone three significant chunks of time and that I was still expected to go to South Dakota for training, with a complete stranger.  Enough.  Notice is in.  No turning back now.  I am relieved. 

2.  By making choice one final, I have made choice two.  My surrogacy days are over.  I have bought high deductible (10000 individual/20000 family) health insurance that does not cover maternity.  I am ok with this too. 

So there you have it.  In six short weeks I will be at home, working only one job (and pumping) instead of working two (and pumping).  I seriously cannot wait.  My house has been neglected for 21 months while  I worked two jobs...and 16 of those 21 months I have either been pregnant or pumping.  I am EXHAUSTED.  And if it doesn't work out, it will be fine.  I have a four year degree in Chemistry with minors in Biology and Psychology.  I graduated summa cum laude with straight A's.  I did all of this with five kids at home, later in life.  I have six years of lab experience, working with HPLC, IC, NIR and ethanol technology.  I can get another job.  I am hoping I can work from home for a few years, to spend the last years with the boys until they graduate but I am flexible and if I need to work elsewhere I will.  I realize I will probably have to start over again in terms of salary but I'm ok with that.  It will all work out.  I feel decided and that is so nice after months or years of indecisiveness.  I am looking forward to working out more, spending more time with my children and grandchildren, and getting more sleep.  I will continue to pump for a few more months, until it feels right to stop that. 

I am not sure the hubster believes me...I think he thinks I will change my mind.  I can totally understand why he would feel that way, given my prior flakiness on the subject.  But as I sit here, it just feels right.  It is time.  Change is good and I'm excited and happy to find out what this next chapter of my life will bring. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's been a month.

A month since I clicked on this blog and checked things out.  There was a time when surrogacy consumed my life but now it seems to only occupy a tiny corner.  That seems weird to me after so long of having it be the focus.

The Swedes had their baby, a little girl named Amelie and they will be here in MO in the next week or so.  We are still very much looking forward to seeing them.  I'm not sure what adventures they have planned for their time here but I know that this is their great American adventure for the boys so they will surely take quite a few day trips.  The new baby apparently is a great sleeper for them and doing really well.  They seem busy but really happy. 

On the homefront for me we have several developments.  I turned in my notice for my lab job.  It is a huge step and no turning back now.  I gave them a long notice and will work through my coworkers upcoming cruise and a surgery she has planned but by the 1st week of November, I will be home, just typing and who knows what else.  It feels scary but right.  It was time.  To prepare for that we are frantically paying off a few small bills and stocking up the pantry and the deep freeze.  I am excited and scared and can't wait. 

One of the main reasons that I wanted to find more time in my life was so that I could resume exercising.  I don't in any way think I am fat but I want to be toned again.  I miss exercise.  The hubster and I have started running again but I can't wait to not work 12 hours a day so that I can have the time to really exercise. 

I requested and received my medical records from my last pregnancy in the mail the other day.  I put them in my file "just in case".  I always keep a copy of all of our medical records because you just never know when you might need that know like if you were going to do a fifth surrogacy or something crazy like that.  ;0) 

Not that I will be doing a surrogacy any time soon, if ever, because I am STILL pumping.  Still.  Seven months later.  I must be crazy.  Amelie will be getting some of my breast milk when the Swedes are here.  What can I say, I'm a firm believer in the importance of breast milk if it is possible for a baby to receive it. 

The boys are enmeshed in their sophomore year of high school if you can believe that.  Where does the time go? 

And that's our life right now.  Hubster got his inspection license and so is no longer the low man on the totem pole at work.  We are scheduled to run/walk a 5K in October.  Those are the only tidbits of info I can think of right now. 

I'm off to get ready for another week at work.  Not long and Sunday's will be just like every other day.  The biggest issue so far is finding health insurance that we can afford but I am exploring our options.  Hubster's job no longer offers health insurance so we will have to buy a private policy for the four of us.  It's hard to get quotes right now because no one knows what Obamacare will do to rates.  Fingers crossed it is not too horribly expensive, but I really expect it to be. 

I will try to check in more often though as you can see, life is pretty sedate around here right now. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Swedes are here

In the U.S. that is.  They are in Oregon, awaiting the arrival of their fourth baby.  I am so thrilled for them.  I really was hoping it would be a vaginal delivery since they never got to experience that with me but their surrogate is scheduled for a C-section.  They will be here in 7 weeks.  I have been weaning down from my pumping but want to make sure I keep a bit of the supply for the new baby for the two weeks that she will be here.  I CANNOT wait to get my hands on her and the other three kids and to hug the guys.  It has been entirely too long since we've seen them. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A month?

Has it really been a month since I last posted? Seriously, where does the time go?  This is crazy.  It's like time is just running away from me.  It's been a BUSY month.  We went on vacation, worked a ton, pumped a ton, worked some more and put a basketball court in the back yard. 


So we desperately need a roof and we borrowed the money to get a roof...and used to money to build a deck and a half court in the back yard.  How's that for a responsible, adult decision?  But you know what...we don't regret it for a minute.  The roof will last another year and until then we have this awesome deck and basketball court.  Responsible adult decisions are for the birds.  :)

The hubster and I are stealing away next month for a romantic getaway.  We are staying at the historic Hotel Frederick in Boonville, a wonderful bed and breakfast, and we will walk on the Katy trail and eat good food and relax.  The next day we are scheduled for a tour of the farm where they keep the Budweiser Clydesdales.  Can't wait. 

The hooligans return to school in 3 weeks.  How crazy is that.  Guess I better get busy on that whole school supply and back to school clothes list, huh?  Boy #3 grew about two inches this summer so he will need new pants and shirts.  Boy #2 grew 2 inches and gained 35 pounds.  In one summer.  He went from a 30x32 to a 34x34 in pants.  Egads.  He needs new everything. 

After a two week break from basketball we start back up this weekend with the Show-Me State Games.  I am not honestly thinking the team will be very good this year but you never know.  It's fun to watch them play regardless but they get so upset when the lose, I hope it's not a season full of losses.  Guess time will tell. 

On a "you are such a flake" note, I am still pumping.  STILL.  Really, Susan?  Stop already.  I am slowing it down.  Way down.  Some days I want to quit but I love the fact that the pumping completely keeps me from wanting to get pregnant.  Can I pump until menopause? 

And that is it.  Work is good.  Kids are good.  Life is good.  Can't ask for more than that. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Basketball is not a contact issues...other stuff

So the basketball team lost the starters (they graduated).  And they lost the two tall kids (also graduated).  Which leaves the tallest players at around 6'1" ish.  One of those is the boy.  So now we are back in that glorious world of him playing post.  But wait...he doesn't get to play post on offense where he might like, you know, score or something crazy.  Oh no...he plays wing on offense.  On defense he plays post.  On a positive note he has learned to play defensive post without fouling. On a negative note, he only weighs 160 at 6'1" and therefore gets pushed around A LOT in the post.  Had a tournament last weekend.  8 games in 2 days.  Long story short, the boy now has two broken ribs.  Great.  He is in a lot of pain and we can't do much about it other than bind them. 

On a positive note, we had already met our family deductible so the ER visit for him should not be quite as expensive as the one for boy #3.  We will still have to pay our share but I told everyone to feel free to get injured from now until December 31st as we have met our deductible ;0) 

Coming on the heels of all these medical expenses, the hubster and I had a family summit and he asked me to not leave my job until the boys are out of high school.  The insurance at his job is AWFUL and while mine is expensive and doesn't cover a lot it is better than nothing.  Add to that the glorious obamacare mandate that we all have insurance and that that insurance meet their definition of "adequate" which for people our ages means no HDHPs and yeah...looks like I will be staying right where I am for another three years or so.  I'm actually ok with that.  Now that I'm not exhausted all the time from pregnancy, I can work a nine hour day at the lab and come home and type for two or three hours without it bothering me.  I do very much plan to start taking days off from the lab occasionally now that I don't have to save all my time for possible pregnancy complications. 

On the other stuff front I'm getting a first one in several years.  I'm not great at this whole self-care thing but I'm going to try harder.  I'm also buying myself a motorcycle...not because I need one but just because I want one.  Boy #2 is taking the Harley Riders Edge class and even though I have already taken that, I will take it again with him just because I'm not comfortable with dropping a 15 year old off and telling strangers to teach him to ride a motorcycle. 

Still pumping but I can tell I'm almost done with that.  I have a couple of friends that have pumped long term and while I admire that, I personally have never pumped longer than 6 months and I'm not sure I could.  Dragging the pump everywhere is a serious PITA and I'm so tired of it already.  Plus I fantasize about sleeping past 5:30 am, that glorious hour when my boobs wake me every morning. 

And that's is.  Boring aren't I?  I have lots of stories regarding Boy #1 but that is a post in and of itself.  Girl #1 got a promotion at work and is happy.  Girl #2 is still working nights and exhausted.  Grandbaby #1 is now 5 and grandbaby #2 is almost two.  Wow.  So I'm old and boring.

Off to find a place to cut my hair.  I am thinking of coloring it too.  Hmmm.  Shall I? 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I said no

A few days ago the Canadians asked if I would be interested in carrying a sibling for Ben.  My first instinctive, knee jerk reaction was to say "sure, when?" but instead I made myself wait a few days before responding.  I love being pregnant.  I love being a surrogate.  So while my heart is all "oh sure when do we transfer, woohoo pregnancy, woohoo more babies for these guys I adore" my mind is more like "hold the phone, haven't you been pregnant eleventy times now and haven't you had four C-sections and aren't you 85?" 

I want to but then I don't.  I am tired of making ground at work, having things going great, and then doing a surrogacy and losing all of that.  It gets old.  I don't regret any of my surrogacies and I love the men that are now fathers and the kids that are here in part because of me.  And then I think of another C-section and another recovery. 

After a day of mind wrestling (oh the recovery...but you recover easily) (oh the guys at work treating me bad...who cares what they think) (oh the stress on my body...who needs abs or teeth anyway) I told the guys no.  Well actually I told them to check back with me in a year when they actually want to cycle but in the meantime to definitely keep their feelers out for a surrogate because my answer will likely be no and I don't want them to miss out on a perfect surrogate.  It feels weird and yet it feels right. 

Saying no allowed me to actually consider, once and for all, leaving my lab job.  I have mostly been holding on to it for the insurance, which sucks for most things (did I mention that the hand shut in the door fiasco by boy #3 is now up to 3800 dollars?  I hate our local hospital and their stupid overcharging for doing so little) but is wonderful for childbirth expenses.  So while I had pushed the idea of leaving to the back of my mind, it is now in the forefront again.  They have started to be a bit grouchy about my pumping at work which I think is crazy.  I only pump on my breaks, twice a day for ten minutes.  The problem is that the only time I have ever taken breaks is when I am pumping and they don't like it.  The more they hint, the more I am tempted to pump for 15 years.  They have no issues with someone taking 10 cigarette breaks a day but grumble when I pump twice a day for ten minutes?  Yeah...that's ridiculous.  I spoke with the mom of the baby I pump for and have verbally committed to pump for another two months and then we will reassess.  The pumping has the added benefit of curbing the surrogacy cravings.  I pump about 40ish ounces a day.  I give 30 of that to my local donor baby and then donate the rest to a milk bank.  I have a friend who pumps 80 ounces a day (egads) but she pumps at night and I am just not going to do that.  Sleep is my friend. 

Kids are good.  I have given up on the concept that there will ever be an end to basketball.  There appears to be no season once they hit high school...just perpetual basketball.  The team this year will be pretty awful.  The lost four of their five starters and all of the seniors.  No one is taller than 6'1".  Can we say rebuilding year?  They are actually at a shootout this weekend.  Eight games in two days.  I am a bad mom and did not go.  Watching my kid get pushed around in the post is not my idea of a good weekend.  He has gained 19 pounds since school got out but he desperately needs another four or five inches.  I am thinking of buying one of those torture devices to stretch him with. 

Our annual vacation to Cobblestone Lodge is approaching and then boy #2 is going to Chicago to stay with family for a week.  Boy #2 and I are going to Canada in September or October to see the Canadians too.  The hubster and boy #3 can't go because getting a passport for boy #3 would be difficult.  Also in September or October the Swedes are coming for a two week visit.  I am so excited to see all of them and meet their new baby.  They say Aurora asks about me a lot and can't wait to meet me which is cool.  I have a very unique role in their life.  L&L call me mama Susan to the kids and the egg donor is mama Savannah.  It is really nice. 

So that's our life.  We got the loan for the roof and the if it would just stop raining so we could actually fix them.  Not much else.  :) 

I leave you with this...Ben at four months.  His dad is a ER doc, his other dad is an engineer, his grandma is a nurse and his uncle is a pediatrician.  He has no worries so he is chillin. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Done and content to be that way

So here I am 3.5 months postpartum.  Usually by now the hormones are raging and my uterus is begging me to please, for the love of God, find some suitable gay men to get pregnant for already.  I don't know what is different this time.  Is the perfect journey I had last time?  Is it just a general sense of contentment?  Is it the fact that I'm 865 years old and have had eleventy seven babies?  I don't honestly know.  I just know that not only do I feel done, I feel ok and even great about being done.  Thank heavens.  I honestly was starting to worry that I would have to commit myself or cut out a body part to ever be ok with being done with surrogacy.

Life is good here.  I still continue to get updates from the guys about my last four surrogate babies.  I don't hear much about the first set of twins but it was never as personal of a relationship and I'm ok with that.  We exchange e-mails once a year, I send birthday presents on their birthday, and sometimes he sends pictures.  It's enough. 

Our latest adventure around here occurred when boy #3 shut his fingers in a friends' car door.  He was not home at the time but came right back and we hustled him off to the ER.  We were thinking his hand was broken but thankfully it was just (just?) a hairline fracture of his pinkie finger.  He had to splint it for a week and then buddy tape it for another and then hopefully all will be well.  Follow up xrays will be done in a week or so if the doctor thinks they are necessary.  This grand adventure has cost us 1800 dollars so far (gotta love those deductibles and out of pocket maximums on the insurance don't you?) and we are still waiting on the radiologists bills.  The most important thing is that he is ok and will have no long term effects. 

On the topic of hemorrhaging money, boy #2 crashed his bike into a car.  709 dollars later the car is whole again.  Needless to say, boy #2 owes me a TON of slave labor this summer.  Not a week later his phone died.  More cash hemorrhaging.  More slave labor to be done.  Gotta love kids.  Boy #3's phone is also about to die but he is almost due for an upgrade so hopefully it will hang on until then. 

We are FINALLY getting a new roof in a few weeks.  Boy #2 and I have repaired it numerous times and it just won't stop leaking now.  We took out a loan to get a new roof because we don't feel like we can wait any longer or the whole thing might cave in on us. 

So yeah...that's our life.  It's not perfect but it's pretty darn close.  We are all happy and mostly healthy and it just doesn't get much better than that.  :) 

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I get a lot of questions lately as many seem to think I have dropped off the face of the Earth (or at least dropped out of the surrogacy world).  So I thought I would give an update and let everyone know I'm here, alive, and doing great.  So let's take it in order: 

Where have you been? 

Right here.  I just haven't had much to blog about and not much time to blog if I did have something to blog about.

What have you been doing? 

Working.  Teaching kids to drive, shuttling kids, cooking, other words, being a mom.  For the first time in 7 years I'm not frantically trying to get back in shape so I can get pregnant again.  I work out most days, eat whatever the heck I want, enjoy life, and try to soak up each day with the boys since it won't be long before they are grown. 

How are you doing? 

I am actually doing great.  Physically I am fully recovered from the years of pregnancies.  I can stay up late without feeling completely physically wasted.  I am starting to be able to physically keep up with the boys when we go hiking or do other physical activities.  I started a C25K program but had to stop because my knee is still bothering me and probably always will.  I will have to content myself with walking and bike riding.

Are you thinking of another surrogacy? 

For the first time in years, I'm content to be done.  Now I do have one caveat...if the Canadians asked me to carry again I would in a heartbeat.  But for right now I'm content to pump milk and donate.  The neat thing about milk donation is that I can help multiple people at once.  In the last month I have donated to 5 different babies and a milk bank.  Originally I had planned to just donate to the milk bank but I find that so many people contact me asking for donations that I end up with almost nothing to send to the milk bank but it is so great to know that I can help babies that cannot tolerate formula. 

Do you miss the babies and the kids you have helped bring into the world?

I get pictures of all six kids and know they are with their families, where they belong.  The Swedes are coming for two weeks in September and I cannot wait.  It will be so cool to see the twins and Aurora and their new baby (carried by a surrogate in Oregon).  In addition, we will see the Canadian in November and the Boston twins in the summer of 2014. 


Sure.  First we have Ben looking adorable as he chews on his fist.  . 

Second we have the boy at prom.  That is not the boy's is his best friend.  He went with someone else, just as a friend.  He is growing up way too fast and it's hard to get 5 minutes with him anymore.  Before I know it both boys will be grown and gone.  Where has the time gone? 

And that's it right now.  Life is full and hectic and great and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I miss pregnancy some days but most of the time I'm just happy to have my body back.  It feels weird to say I'll never be pregnant again but it no longer feels wrong to say that.  I think the pumping has really helped me to be ok with not carrying again.  It allows me to help others without actually being pregnant.  I know that some day I will have to stop pumping but for now, I'm content to spend my breaks at work and my commute pumping and I'm not in a hurry to stop.  All in good time. 
The next adventures on the horizon are several summer trips that we have planned.  Stay tuned.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Member of the club

Bernadette's posts make me cry every time I read them.  Part of it is that she is an amazingly descriptive writer.  But part of it is that she and I are members of a club that no mother ever wants to be a member of.   We both lost children way too early.  Samantha would be 18 this year.  I go weeks without ever thinking of her but whenever I go past a softball game or a gymnastics meet or a girls clothing store I wonder who she would have been.  I have five kids and have given birth to six kids for others.  My heart is full and always will be, but there will also always be a hole in it, an area of sadness for the only biological daughter I ever had. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Weird but true

Weird factoid of the day:  I have pumped after every surrogacy.  The first three times, when my milk would let down, my armpits would itch.  See...I said it was weird. This time, when my milk lets down I get this incredible feeling of sadness that lasts for maybe 10 seconds.  I think I miss my armpits itching. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The best laid plans:

How postpartum life was supposed to play out:

1.  Baby and dads would go home quickly

2.  Medical bills would be paid

3.  I would quit my job #1 and content myself with job #2 and baking for the local coffee shop

4.  The weight would fall off.

5.  I would finally get a break from basketball

6.  The ever present exhaustion from the last year would recede.

7.  I would pump for a month or so, find a good family to donate to, and retire my pump.

What has really taken place:

1.  Missouri has had about 18 kazillion blizzards and the guys were stuck here for 3 weeks.  They are finally home now thankfully and settling in nicely.  As I type this, we are having a blizzard complete with thunder snow.  Sigh. 

2.  Medical bills are not paid because they have not been received.  Seriously I'm 5 weeks postpartum and have gotten a few small bills that I have just paid myself but the major bills for the delivery, etc. have not been received.  I can't quit my job until the bills are paid.  The bills can't be paid until the bills are received.  Sigh.

3.  See number 2.  So instead of living a life of leisure, I'm still working 9 hours a day at work and then typing too.  And baking.  And pumping.  But the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen on this one.  To make decisions harder, I got a raise at work...a nice raise.  And I have taken on more responsibilities at work and have been promised another raise of at least 1.00 an hour in June or July.  I would say they are trying to entice me to stay but they don't know I am leaving so it must just be that I am awesome.  :) 

4.  The weight, for the love of all that's holy, the weight.  Ok so I started the pregnancy at 137.  Gained up to 168.  I am currently 146.  So only 9 pounds to go but I have only lost 2 pounds in the last 3 weeks.  The rest fell of immediately postpartum and now I am stuck.  The dreaded exercise must be started.  Sigh. 

5.  The boys made it to the state quarter finals in basketball.  We went to that game and man, what an atmosphere.  The gym was full of fans that made the 3 hour drive and it was so loud and to know that these people were cheering for our kids was just surreal.  The look of joy on the boys face was  so great to witness.  The game was close the whole way and we ended up losing but that team went on to become the state champs so not to shabby on our part.  I got one whole day break and then the boy joined a traveling team.  I said ok, with the caveat that all games must be localish and since the schedule showed them all very close, it's all good, right?  Yeah, sure.  The boy had a tournament in Lenexa, Kansas yesterday.  I did not go, needless to say and of course the boy played 3 excellent games, scoring 20 plus points in each and making the all tournament team.  They won two of their three games (only losing to the 29th ranked team in the country)...not too shabby for a team that has never played together before.  So we have been in continuous basketball mode for 9 months now.  I think it's time to admit that basketball will be continuous for the next four (and hopefully the next eight) years. 

6 & 7.  Exhaustion, gone?  Nope.  I have PPE...postpartum exhaustion.  I think it is the pumping.  So stop pumping right?  It seems like such an easy solution.  And yet I am already retired from surrogacy, retired from pregnancy.  Pumping is my last link to my fertile years and I'm not quite ready to give it up.  So stop whining about it, right?  Check.  Whining will cease. 

So there you have it.  Life is a bit calmer than before but still not my idea of my perfect life.  However, I am working my way toward it.  I think the medical bills should be sent within the next few weeks and it' my belief/hope that by the end of April/early May I can give my notice at work and just stay home.  I feel confident that the typing will stay steady after that but if it doesn't I will find a part time job of some sort.  Once I don't work so much, I can work out more and the weight will resume it's downward trend (eat less chocolate you say?  Blasphemy).  Basketball...well at least I like to watch basketball.  And the pumping...I'm giving myself permission to be a bit flaky when it comes to that.  So if you see me in 10 years and I'm still pumping, ignore it and pretend it's perfectly normal.  We all get to be a bit flaky on some things, right?  Plus the milk is currently feeding a baby that can't take formula.  His mother just drove up to get the first shipment and when I gave her the 700 ounces, she asked what i wanted for it and when I said I just wanted a chance to snuggle that baby of hers for a moment, she passed him over with tears in her eyes, gave me a hug, and said thank you.  It reminded me of a month ago, in the hotel in Columbia, when the Canadians grandmother gave me a heartfelt hug and whispered thank you in my ear.  Sometimes the only payment you need is the way something makes you feel and a heartfelt thank you. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Adventures in...teen driving

So we have five kids.  Three live independently and have their own lives.  Two are still at home.  The two still at home are the same age.  Sort of like twins...but not really.  We actually have two sets of kids the same age...I guess the hubster and I were in tune long before we were married...but I digress.

Anywho, said boys will be 15 this year.  Enter the great debate of the driving we buy them a car or not.  Now understand first of all that insurance alone for a teen boy runs around 150-200 a month.  Each.  So yeah.  Then you have the whole car you just buy one and make them share?  If so that is not fair to boy #3 because boy #2 is so active he would literally always have the car.  So ok, buy two cars.  Hold on what?  Buy two cars?  Are you crazy?  We already have three cars and no driveway. 

But really, the only option is to buy two more cars.  Ok, fine.  Start car looking so we can find something reasonable and yet safe...times two.  In my mind I'm thinking we should be able to find two cars that are similar but not the same and yet both equally cool (the cardinal sin when you have two kids the same age is for one to have something cooler than the other) for around 3500 dollars.  Did I mention times two? 

But...did I mention that boy #2 has well off friends?  So all his friends, who I might mention are 17 or 18 but that's a whole other post, drive 20,000 dollar cars. And so he keeps showing me pictures of 20,000 dollar cars.  Times two?  I think not.  Boy #3, on the other hand, gives no indication of what he would like to drive and even tells us that he will drive whatever we get him (I always knew he was my favorite). 

So we are car hunting...times two.  And adding 200 dollars a month car insurance (times two) into the budget starting next year.  Good times.  I can't wait to be pulling my hair out, worrying about them driving safely, worrying about them not using their phones and driving, worrying when they are late, etc. 

Time stops for no one though.  Boy #2 is actually 15 already (as of two weeks ago) and will go get his permit when basketball season finally ends.  Boy #3 turns 15 in a few months but already has the drivers manual and is actually studying for his permit test (as opposed to Boy #2 who is just going to "wing it" in his words).  Hmmm. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Guys are still here, still trapped by the weather.  I am still pumping, playing my usual role of postpartum cow.  I love my pump is my friend.  I will be pumping for awhile after the Candian goes home, donating to a family that has a ten month old that cannot tolerate formula and is tube fed.  This will be the third time that I have donated milk postpartum after my surrogate baby has gone home.  So that's the only updates I have.  I guess the surrogacy updates are done for good, other than pictures of the kids as they continue to grow. 

So what will I bore you with?  Well currently it's basketball.  The JV season has ended and we have moved on to just varsity games.  They won the District championship last night.  Photo attached.  I can't tell you how many years we have been to games and the boy has been dying to be out there on the court, cutting down the net after a big win.  Last night he got his chance.  He has certainly worked hard enough for it.  When many kids are sitting around playing video games or watching TV, he's shooting baskets.  His summer is planned for him already and involves 3 day a week workouts in the weight room and three day a week basketball drills in the gym.  Last night his smile was's nice when hard work pays off for kids. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bragging...why yes I believe I am

First let's start with the requisite baby photo.  Cute isn't he?  No I'm not bragging about him...I just think he's adorable.  We had them over for dinner last night and had a great time.  Good food, good company, good laughs.  Does it get any better.  Now I just wish it would stop snowing so they could go home. 

On to the bragging.  This kid...just got an award for scoring the most points in the entire conference in JV this season.  Pretty cool.  And yes he did make this shot.  And the free throw.  :) 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quote from Emily

I cut and pasted this quote from a fellow surrogates blog.  This is it.  The essence of surrogacy.  She could be speaking of me except my surrogacy journey has spanned seven years. 

After all that I have been through in the last four years, I have finally learned what it means to be "retired from pregnancy, not surrogacy." These living children are a legacy of surrogacy. As long as they live, as long as their parents tell them the story of their beginings, I will never be retired. As long as I live, I will be a surrogate. And it is far from an obligation, it is a blessing and a joy.

I am a surrogate. I don't just grow babies, I grow families.

I don't think there's a better way to sum it up.  Surrogacy is a lasting legacy.  Years from now, when childbearing is far from my thoughts and my own children are blessing me with grandchildren, there will be six children in four families that will bee a part of my ongoing story.  Surrogacy is never ending.  It is eternal and as Emily says, it is such a blessing and a joy.  I don't know how I found surrogacy.  I don't know why I have had it in my heart to be a surrogate for over 15 years now.  When I look back on the last seven years, I'm astounded by what I have been a part of.  What an amazing ride it has been and seeing these men with their children, watching them evolve as parents and getting glimpses into their lives has been one of the greatest joys of my life. 


We have been having a wonderful time visiting with the guys, playing with the baby, and just relaxing.  I went back to work on Monday and though tired, I'm doing well.  I hesitate to jinx it but I think this may be that mythical "perfect" surrogacy journey we all want to have before we retire.  Life is good. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And just like that

It's all over.  Healthy baby born.  Back home.  Baby with his dads.  All is well.  It's always shocking how quickly you go from pregnant to not.  36 minutes this time. 

I will write the story later.  It was perfect in every way.  I am retired (yeah, I know, I know but this time I mean it).  I am done.  I am fulfilled and happy and looking forward to new adventures. 

Currently pumping and dealing with those issues but starting to get some colostrum. 

Will write more later.  Back to work tomorrow and then some major changes will be taking place with that but i will get into that later. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Still here.  Still preggo. :0)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

39 weeks

Holy crap.  Sometime in the next week to ten days I will have a baby.  And that will be the last baby I will ever have.  As the kids's about time.  40 is kind of ridiculous to be still having babies (gotta love the honest truth from the mouth of 14 year old boys). 

So how do I feel?

Anxious...about the c-section.  I hate them.  But after an hour of surgery and an hour of recovery, it's ok.  Just have to get through those two hours.

Excited....for the guys.  They sound so excited.  I try to put myself in their shoes and just can't.  It's been so long since I anticipated the birth of my first. 

Ready...I am tired of the comments at work.  I am tired of people misunderstanding the motivations behind surrogacy.  I am just plain tired.  I feel sorry for those who can look at surrogacy and only see the money.  I am done being bitter or angry about it and now just feel sorry for them.  I am glad that I can see all sides of most issues and don't go through life bitter and angry and judging others.  I am glad i am not missing out on the joy in life like they are. 

Tired...self explanatory.  I have a busy life.  I am not a spring chicken.  I am 39 weeks pregnant.  Enough said. 

Sad/happy/nervous...also self explanatory.  Sad that this is my last pregnancy and I will never feel this feeling again.  Happy that this is my last pregnancy and I can move on and find out who I am again.  Nervous that this is my last pregnancy and I have to move on and find out who I am again. 

So that is it.  I will post a pic in a few.  The belly continues to grow.  I had an ultrasound the other day and they estimated the baby at 6lb12 oz.  I will be surprised if he is that small but you never know I guess. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Everyone at work is sick
Everyone in town is sick

No big shock then that I have caught another cold.  Fingers crossed it passes before the baby comes.  I am less than amused but at least it is not the stomach bug that is going around.

I have an OB appt next week.  It will probably be my last one as I don't usually do weekly appointments unless there is something wrong.  How weird to know that I have less than a month of ever being pregnant.  The Canadian continues to take whatever I throw at him without blinking.

Hubster wanted to go to a car show tomorrow but I don't think we will.  It is 3 hours away and would involve a ton of walking.  Not smart at 37 weeks pregnant.  We can go next year.  Instead we are going birthday shopping for boy #2 and going to see a movie...Mama...which looks really good and scary.  We will be in the town I will deliver in all day so that is good just in case something happens, which I'm sure it will not.

I had six or seven real, honest to goodness contractions yesterday at the basketball game.  They piddled out when I got in a hot bath at home but it's nice to know the body is tuning up. 

Typing awaits so I will end this...just wanted to say still here, still pregnant, and still doing well. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Updated picture of the great white whale

Any guesses on size?  I think 8 to 9 pounds if we go to 40 weeks.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Time keeps on slipping.....

Come know that title has you singing the song.  No?  Ok so I am the only crazy one. 

Where have I been?  EGADS...busy is the only way to sum it up.  I finally recovered from the cold of doom and can breathe again so that's good.  The boy has played in 87 kajillion basketball games (slight exaggeration, but only slight), I have been working at the lab, typing at night, solving that pesky world peace problem in between (ok, ok, another slight exaggeration).  It's all been good, just busy.  We've been seeing boy #1 every Sunday which is weird but good.  He went down the wrong path many years ago and has not been a part of our life much ever since so it's nice to have him around again but just takes some adjusting to.  We've also been seeing girl #2 and the grandbaby every weekend which is really nice.  But all this adds up to a very full, busy, hectic life and add to that the fact that I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant and you might be able to understand my life a bit. 

I have maybe two more OB appointments to go (no, I don't do the weekly appointments, I am bad).  The guys have booked their flights and motel.  We are on the final countdown.   I still feel really good.  I'm uncomfortable and the baby is a huge octopus with arms in my cervix and legs is my ribs but he's healthy and that's all that matters. 

Mycotoxin issues continue to consume my life in the lab, taking up about 3 hours a day.  I wish it would start raining now and continue to rain every day for a month to resolve this drought but I don't see that happening so I think the mycotoxin issues will continue.  It makes for busy, busy days with absolutely no chance to sit down and we rarely even get a lunch break, meaning we have become adept at eating on the run and packing lunches that can be consume on the run. 

Better end this and get my hiney in gear...typing awaits. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

On final approach

We are nearing the end here folks.  C-section is scheduled.  We have discussed labor, delivery, breastfeeding (I will be breastfeeding the baby in the hospital and then pumping afterwards).  I have asked off for work, have my release to return to work that the doctor has to sign, have my "master plan" in my head for how my life will go after, have a set of triplets that I will be pumping for after the Canadian goes home.  I'm as ready as I will ever be.  And yet part of me is already shriveling do you say goodbye to a large part of who you are.  How do you sum up a year and a half of friendship and partnership and close it out and move on.  I've done it three times before.  I can and will do it again.  I am not sad, I am just...I don't know.  Other surrogates get one else really can.  The end of a great adventure is near, with all the drastic shifts that that entails.  All I can do is sit by and wait and watch and try to be prepared for the storm of emotions that are approaching.  Here we go again last time. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blindingly white belly is as white as a blizzard but here it is in all it's glory...33w2d.  Egads.  The end is not in sight yet but it's just over the next hill.

We made it

To 2013 that is.  I can now say "the baby is due next month."  I can also now breathe a sigh of relief since my deductible on my health insurance is 1500 dollars instead of 8,000 so the guys are now getting a "discount baby" so to speak.  Woo hoo.