Thursday, September 26, 2013

He's Here

Maximilian arrived tonight at 9:22pm just a screaming. He's a perfect 7lbs. 7.9oz., 21 inches long, and was ready to eat the milk I had ready for him. He is beautiful, just like his brother and sister. Jessica is doing well. Thank you to everyone for your support. More to come later.

Update 2 and Pictures!!!

Jessica let me know she had a rough night last night. Her Dr. checked her out this morning and she has now dilated to a 3 and for the second time he stripped the membranes. Not much happened after the last time he did that, but maybe this time will be different. Her Dr. is going to check things out again in a couple hours. Hopefully things will have progressed.

I feel like I have been on the emotional side lately. Between that rude comment on my last blog post, waiting for Max to come, the worrying that he will be okay, and thinking a lot about my sweet Evelynn it is breaking me down. Even pregnant women seem to be everywhere again. It is driving me crazy. I want Max here and yet I just want my little girl. My little girl who should be almost a year and a half old. I am scared something will still go wrong with Max. I am scared to have a living baby. I'm anxious for his delivery and how things will be once he's born. I'm excited for him to be here. I really, really, really miss my Evelynn. I am tired of just being "here". I want to finally move forward, to parent a living baby.

Here are some of the pictures we took back on Sept 15th at 37 weeks.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother

Already a momma to my Liam and Evelynn, but love this for what it is.

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.
I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books,
but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.
Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.
Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.
I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body, I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.
So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immerse power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes I will be a wonderful mother.

Author unknown


Contractions were strong for 3 hrs and then they were just gone. Ugh. I may go crazy. I paced and paced some more only to end up having to just go to bed and hope for maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow is here. Jessica called me this morning and she went in for a check with her ob. We went along. Everything still looks good I guess. Good heartbeat, he's lower and in place, but he's not ready to come quite yet.

This wait is going to mess with me so much. I keep picturing me pregnant with Evelynn. The dr is telling me for the millionth time to stop worrying. Evelynn fails her stress test. We almost do an u/s. Then she passes it and we go home. Then I get lots of abdominal tightening feelings but assume its just being 9 months pregnant. Then my daughters born because my uterus ruptures. Ahhhh! Jessica tells me this morning she is having a lot of uterine tightening and maybe we need to do a non stress test. Hearing that just brings me back.

Why can't the dr. just induce now for my mental health?

The good news to all of this is that our prebirth order is finished!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our Carrier is Pregnant- 38 Weeks

Nothing to new to post. We've reached 38 weeks and really wishing Max would decide it is time for a break out. Dereck and I are beyond ready. Jessica is ready as well.

Dereck got into ND last night and though a small part of me wanted Max to come whether he was here or not, because I am super anxious, he is here now and today would be perfect birthday.

Today Jessica has had on and off contractions. Last text from her was that they were 10 minutes apart and she was going for a walk. I hope they keep coming and get closer and closer together. She thinks tonight. Hopefully the next post I write is the one where my baby is here.

Prebirth order isn't finished yet, but it's almost done. My lawyers office got the documents back from the hospital on Friday afternoon. The prebirth order was then immediately sent to the judge that will be reviewing it for us. Even if Max does come before it is done, I feel okay about things working out now as it is at least in the judges hands. The clerk was also informed that it is urgent that it gets approved asap.

Eeeek! Come on Max, momma is getting so anxious. I don't even know what to do with myself.

Operation Bring Milk Back for Max:

Hopefully this will be my last week on the domperidone since Max will for sure be here in a week. Milk production is still slowly increasing daily. Right now I am close to getting almost 12 ounce a day. I have some milk saved but I am feeling pretty confident I won't need it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Carrier is Pregnant- 37 Weeks

We made it to 37 Weeks!!! We have never been this pregnant before! Actually, I have never been this pregnant before, Jessica has, but this is our baby who she is carrying and we have never had a baby live this long! That sounds so bad and good all at once. 

Eeeeek! That's where I were at right now and it's getting real.

Jessica had her 37 week appt yesterday morning. I wasn't able to go with her because I drove back down to MN to see my family for a few days. Well jessica let me know after her appt that she has now dilated to 2cm and is 75% effaced. She said that is what she was at when she went into labor with her second baby. Also, today is 37 weeks and 4 days which is when she went into labor as well. So I am now back up in ND. I drove up last night afraid that Max would be born today. Because you know that if I didn't come back for another few days he would surely be born without me there. 

On Friday the 13th we did the hospital tour. I made it through it fine. I never really did one with Evelynn. I knew I needed a C-section, I knew where triage was, and I figured all that mattered is that she was fine. Well this time around things are a little different since I had no idea how things were going to work once Jessica went into labor and I knew nothing about this hospital. We saw one of the delivery rooms and the little bassinet that Max will get put in before he gets rolled off to our room for us to spend time with. We then saw a room similar to what we would have to be in with Max until he is able to leave. I was also told that after he is born that they want him to go skin to skin right away and since I am breastfeeding as well I should try and wear a lose fitting top so he can get as close to me as possible.

On Sunday the 15th Jessica and I did a mini photo shoot together. I had seen quite a few awesome ideas for pictures from other gestational carrier blogs and pinterest. I never got into doing any pregnancy photos beyond belly pics, but thought that this was something special that Jessica and I could together with Max to remember this time by. It was fun and I'll post pictures when I get them all from Jessica.

I forgot to mention that at Jessica's last appt the Ob Dr. took a look at Max for us and was able to show me that he has a full head of hair. I know out of all the things I should be concerned about having a full head of hair, like his brother and sister had shouldn't be it, but I love knowing that he will share that same trait as Liam and Evelynn when they were born.

I haven't wrote much about the law side of this but I need to vent about how things are going. We are really annoyed, actually quite pissed, at our lawyer. Max could come any day and the prebirth order still isn't finished. I asked my lawyer about getting it done months ago. In the state of ND you can do it as early as you want,  which is what I hoped would happen. I just wanted everything done in advance so I had less to worry about later, but here I am stressing the F out because my lawyer isn't doing his job. Even my ivf clinic called me wondering what is wrong with my lawyer that they are just now getting paperwork to do the affidavit. They asked why we didn't do this right after the transfer. Also, when jessica did the hospital tour by herself before I got there they told her to tell me to have it done before I left the state. I told my lawyer that and also mentioned to him that dereck had to go back to work and it'll be a lot easier for dereck to get his end of the paperwork done if we can do it while he's still in town. Well that was mid august. Nothing is done. From the start all he keeps saying is that we have time. I don't know what his deal is. I am paying him lots of money here, just get it done! It's not hurting anything having it done sooner. He just keeps bringing up the due date. Well I'm sorry buddy but I live in the land where babies can come long before their due date and sometimes they even die. Fuck! Plus, Jessica doesn't want Max put in her name anymore than we do. I can't even imagine the amount of paperwork we'd have to do to get things reserved if its not done by his birth. So stressed right now. This isn't what I needed. Ugh!

Operation Bring Milk Back for Max:

I have now been on the domperidone for 6 full weeks. Started week 7 on Monday. I've been keeping track of what I have pumped this past week and it looks like I am averaging about 8-9 ounces a day. I really wish I would've kept my log book of when I was pumping and donating last spring so I could see how things compared. Also, this is probably too much tmi but waking up to a soaked sports bra a few days ago made my day. Guess it's time to sleep with nursing pads.

I wanted to write about this right away but now will do. Back on September 9th I got to meet up with a few more blm's who live in MN. I got to meet the Julie's. I had not met Julie or Julie until shortly before our meet up. Julie S. had been reading my blog and knew I was coming to MN shortly for Max's birth. She started emailing me and we found a day that could work to meet up. She then contacted the other Julie and invited her to come over as well. The meet up was great. Both of them had their rainbows Bode and Catherine along and we talked about Evelynn and how she should be here too. They asked about Jessica and Max and I learned a little about their stories of becoming a dreaded blm. Overall it made for a good afternoon and I hope to see them again at the next blm get together next spring with my rainbow Max. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Then and Now

Since we are so close to the end of this long road that is pregnancy, after multiple losses, and with a carrier, I thought I'd take a stroll back to where it all began and introduce everyone to the person who is helping us make our baby dreams happen.

The beginning:

The emails

May 14, 2012
Subject: Re: Evelynn & Liam


I know I don't know you, but I felt a need to send you an email.  I read your sweet baby Evelynn's story in the Herald tonight, and found her blog.  My heart aches for your losses and I am so deeply sorry.  I worked as a clinic nurse in OB for almost 5 years at Altru and while everyone thinks OB is happiness and roses, new beginnings, many forget that so many mothers have pain, emptiness and loss in that department.  I'm sorry you have to know this kind of pain.

Reading through your blog as well, I am excited to know you are considering surrogacy for your next pregnancy, and that you have already met with somebody!  There was just this inner voice inside telling me to email you, to let you know that it was laid on my heart to tell you I would consider being a surrogate for you also.  I know this sounds completely crazy and is straight out of left field, not to mention it sounds like you already have a plan in motion.  But I have for many years known that surrogacy was in God's plan for me - I just don't yet know how.  :-)  I would forever regret not contacting you, to at least tell you that this was something I felt reading your story.  In fact my heart kind of skipped a beat while reading!  I had looked into surrogacy websites a few years ago, but I didn't like the "selling" of yourself to couples, as well as charging a "fee."  I don't plan on making this a repeated thing or a money-making adventure - I just know at some point I am going to be able to offer this to a couple. 

I am sure I am coming off 100% crazy and maybe even a little creepy, (I'm kind of creeping myself out ... I have never done anything like this before!) but please know my intentions are good.  :-)  I am a married mother of 2 boys, Oliver and Liam.  Liam was our baby following a miscarriage.  While my loss is completely different than yours and I don't dare compare the two, my heart was broken with that loss.  I will forever love that baby and look forward to holding it in my arms one day!

I know you have a lot on your plate right now and I do not mean to add to that.  I just needed to email you - your pain does not go unnoticed and you are being prayed for.

Most sincerely,
May 14, 2012

Hello Jessica, 

Can I just ask how you found my blog? 

Yes, we are looking into surrogacy now. That is definitely our preferred option if it works out. That is sweet of you to say you would consider wanting to be our surrogate. Can I ask how much you know about surrogacy. We are finding out more and more about it and we weren't even aware just how much the surrogate has to go through. We have met with a surrogate in alaska, thats where we live, but according to the lawyer we have been speaking to she is not a preferred candidate. In alaska I would have to adopt my kids from the surrogate where as in MN or ND they would be mine from the start. Also can I ask your age?

Anyways, we definitely have a lot going on with my daughters burial these next couple days but if you are serious about this my husband and I would love to meet you and chat about it.  

May 15, 2012
Hi Becky,

Sorry I didn't mention how I found your blog -- after reading Evelynn's story on the Herald's website I Google'd her name and one of the websites listed was your blog.  I very much appreciated your writings and honesty with everything. 

What I know about surrogacy is mostly from the medical side, (and with my previous job I have a decent idea of what all goes on), but as for the legal side I know nothing!  When I worked at Altru, I worked as an LPN directly for Dr. Lachance, an OB/GYN, and she has since moved out of state, and that's when I switched to the nursing home for work.  I answered phones for her (answering patient questions) as well assisted with procedures.  She was considered a 'high risk' OB, and we worked with many IVF patients, as well as a few surrogates.  I do understand it is quite involved for the surrogate.  We essentially would need to first verify my uterus is in fact capable (usually with a saline sonogram or HSG, depending on which facility you choose) and then after that a lot of hormone level testing, a lot of hormone drug taking!, and then probably more testing to make sure the environment is just right.  I am comfortable with the in's and out's -- for the most part.  I'm not going to lie - thinking about all of it is overwhelming, to a point.  But as for the actual procedures themselves, I feel comfortable with all that they entail. I'm not sure what facilities you've checked into - but we had worked with Randle Corfman several times - his office is great and so is his staff.

As for me, I am 30 years old and have had 3 pregnancies - 2 vaginal deliveries.  Oliver was born at 41 weeks 1 day by induction, weighed 7 lbs 8 oz.  Liam was born at 37 weeks 5 days, and was 6 lbs 7 oz.  There were no complications out of the ordinary with either delivery.  I am also healthy with no medical conditions - the only medication I take is an oral birth control pill. 

I would very much like to meet you and your husband, and bring my husband along as well!  You have a lot going on in the next few days.  I don't know what your traveling schedule is like or what you were thinking, but we will try work with your schedule as best we can.  I'm not sure where you're at or where you're staying - but Grand Forks is about 45 minutes away and we go quite often.  Let me know what you're thinking and we can go from there!


Even just rereading all of this stirs up so many emotions. In the mist of all of our sadness this brought that little glimmer of hope back. Something for us to hold onto.

And now what I am sure you have all been waiting for, besides seeing Max alive and healthy of course, here she is.

Meet Jessica

12 weeks

17 weeks

20 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

27 weeks

29 weeks

34 weeks

37 Weeks

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our Carrier Is Pregnant- 36 Weeks/9 Months

Eeeeeek! We made it to 36 weeks. At this time in my pregnancy with Evelynn she was alive, then my uterus ruptured, and then my girl was gone. It is nerve-racking, but I am handling it pretty well I think. I would still say that a lot of it is still what I said before about being out of sight, out of mind. I think about it, even more so since I am back in North Dakota and have seen Jessica, but it is still very different than from being the one pregnant. It's weird in a way, like I see her and I know the baby she is carrying is mine, but yet it's different because that physical attachment isn't there-which by the way also sucks that I don't have that with him.

So today I met with Jessica for her 36 weeks appt. Last time I saw her we had just done the embryo transfer. All I have seen of her since then is in pictures. I know Max is my baby, yet the crazy baby loss mom side of me kicks in with this overwhelming, nervous, crazy, jealous feeling of how pregnant women bother me. I got annoyed/sad and tried not to show it. It really was hard to see her rubbing her belly and even meeting her coworkers who have all felt Max move before me. I don't want to make her feel bad about being happy. I am glad she is happy and Max is in a low stress environment, it just hurts that it is not with me. I suppose it didn't help that I was on the ob floor and they were everywhere, even some newborn babies. Ugh! I guess maybe it doesn't matter if you're the pregnant one again after a loss or if someone else is doing the carrying for you, your heart doesn't forget the hell, heartbreak, and love of what you once had and possibly could never experience again- at least not joyfully and without major risk:(.

As I said I am in North Dakota now. Before my drive up from central MN Jessica had informed me that she hadn't slept much that night because of nausea, heartburn, and lots of contractions. I was ready to drive up instantly if she would have said she was for sure going into labor, but they got really irregular and for the most part went away. I kind of almost started crazy worrying though with the flashbacks of Evelynn's last days with me and still wondering if the pains I was feeling were those of labor and I didn't do anything about them until it was too late. Glad things have calmed down in the mean time, but I would still be okay if Max wanted to make an appearance before Sept. 30th.

As far as the weight game goes, I love that so many of you put your guesses in as well!

A crazy connection was discovered the day before I left Alaska. Apparently the Radiologist that reads most of the mri's from the clinic I work at, who also is super awesome, came to my fundraiser, and is a fellow Minnesotan like myself, well his wife has a sister who apparently works at the same hospital that Jessica does. It just so happens that this sister is an Ob Nurse Practitioner and she was telling her sister, the Radiologists' wife, that one of her nurses at the hospital is pregnant but is carrying someone else's baby. Can you believe that the Radiologists wife's sister works with Jessica? Super, small world.

Also, the day before I left Dereck and I went in had a "prenatal" appt with the Pediatrician. Now I have talked to him and his wife quite a few times recently since they are the ones who have helped me with the domperidone, but they thought it'd be good to just sit down with both of us and figure out how to go about things once Max is born and since we will be seeing an on call Pediatrician right away. It was kind of a hard appt as all the thoughts of Evelynn and my appt with her there came back to me.
Operation Bring Milk Back for Max:
On August 31rst my morning pump produced 1.75 ounces! It seems that out of nowhere my milk production has just taken off. And if anyone is wondering if breast size has increased, it finally has as well. Woot woot, lol! I think this in itself has helped my pump work more efficiently and allowing me to do less hand massaging after, which is great because I was doing a lot of it.

At the beginning of September I started the 5th week of being on the domperidone. It is seriously a wonder drug in the producing lactation dept. It really does keep getting better and I am stressing a lot less now about having enough milk in time for Max's birth. By Sept. 6th my morning pumped produced 2.25 ounces and on the morning of Sept. 7th I broke 2.5 ounces. Woot woot! Of course these numbers look good but they are just for the morning pump. These morning pumps happen after not pumping for a good 6-8 hours while I'm asleep. I am still having a hard time getting up during the night. Most of the other pumps are producing on average of 1 ounce still since I try to keep them around 4 hours apart. I think real soon, at the rate things seem to be moving lately, that all the pumps will be getting up to where they used to be when I was pumping and donating Evelynn's milk. At least I hope they will.

Starting tomorrow I plan to start keeping more of a record of what is being produced at each pump. I am probably going to start saving and freezing some of the milk as well, you know just in case it decides it wants to stop or slow down once Max is here.

Oh, and the zits are going away thankfully. I was getting in my head about them big time that they were going to turn into my old rash and all my hard work was going to go down the drain.

Our Carrier Is Pregnant 34 Weeks/8.5 Months

That's right, just a few days ago we hit 34 weeks! So I thought I would give you all another update because we are getting so close. I leave town in just 7 days. Eeek! Max's is bag is completely backed, other than that I need to throw in a few more pumping things before I leave. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts on what I should and should not bring along. I took everyone's advice and decided to wait on the cloth diapering then until we get back. I have so many newborn diapers that I had bought for Evelynn that I might as well just bring those along and use them up anyway. Dereck's sister is also super awesome and has already brought up a whole bunch of baby stuff to Dereck's grandmas, who we will be staying with.
Jessica had her 34 week appt a couple days ago as well. She said that Max is still high but cervix is about a fingertip. Apparently that is good news, especially because their is softening already. I honestly don't know what most of this means, but I guess it will help make everything go smooth if we do make it to the induction date. Which did I mention is just 5 weeks away!!!
Jessica will be heading out of state for the holiday weekend and I am a little nervous. Her Dr. gave her the go ahead, and I trust her completely, but the "something is going to go wrong" thoughts seem to come nonetheless. Trying to breath and believe things will be okay.
I also can't believe I am doing this but somehow I am doing a "how much will Max weigh at birth contest". So all my Alaskan friends and many of my coworkers know about it and are taking part in it. The crazy thing is that I feel okay about it, actually kind of excited to see who is going to win. I really didn't think I would ever get comfortable enough in this pregnancy to do anything like this, especially since I refuse to do any sort of other baby celebrating until he's here.
But you know how I said in my last post, the "Right Where I Am" one where I wrote I was mainly just jealous of others and their babies? Well the evil "oh I hate you and your perfect little baby girl" came out the other day. Guess maybe I am still a little bit more bitter than I thought. It still gets me how some women and babies can bother me more than others.
Operation Bring Milk Back for Max:
Last week I decided I should start trying to measure my milk since it seemed I was actually starting to get a pretty significant amount out while pumping and massaging. I recorded the amount from my morning session on August 22nd and was able to get about 5 ml(so less then a 1/4 ounce) of milk in the bottles between pumping and massage. Four hours later at the next pump I got about 1/4 ounce and then added almost another 1/4 ounce with the massage. So I was close to getting a 1/2 ounce in one session. I was excited to know that at that rate I should be producing at least an ounce a day now.
Then 2 days ago, 3 weeks into taking the Domperidone, I got a little over 1 whole ounce during my morning pump!!! I can't believe just 7 days earlier I was getting just a little over an ounce a day and now I produced a little over an ounce in one session. Love this drug!!!
In the past week I have had a couple of headaches, which I know can be a sign of taking this med, so not sure if they were from it or not. Also, a week ago I noticed a few zits on my face. I rarely ever get pimples, and they are getting worse. I have them all over my face and even on my chest, and they itch. I haven't read anywhere that pimples are a side effect of this drug, but not sure what's causing them. Maybe its from my hormones being so out of whack?? But even in the past 2 years after all I've been through I've never had this happen. Plus, I get worried because when I donated last summer I broke out in a huge rash all over body and wondered if it was related to lactating or pumping. I wasn't on this med then, but getting a little concerned if my body has issues with producing milk. Anyone else have any kind of an increase in pimples or rashes on their body during breast feeding or pumping? I look like I am going through puberty again.
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