Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry Christmas and Hopes for a Good 2014

Max is now 3 months old and I am wondering where the time has gone. I am for the most part a SAHM now and I spend much of my day just cuddling with him. Not getting much else done, but I think that is okay for now. He is growing so fast. He is so long that he is starting to outgrow most of his 3-6 month clothes already. He is smiling all the time now, especially in the mornings. That is also probably my favorite time of day with him because he always wakes up so happy.

Christmas, like the last few years was pretty mellow for us, although it was so wonderful to finally have a baby at home for it. This year we were at a friends cabin with a few of our closest friends who have been there the last couple years for us. They love Max just like they love Liam and Evelynn.

New Years Eve, tonight, is even mellower than Christmas. We are just hanging out at home working on Max's bedtime. Since losing Liam New Years Eve has definitely become one of my least favorite times of the year. It's also hard to believe that at this time last year Jessica was just starting her IVF meds and the whole gestational carrier process was finally underway. 2013 has definitely been a better year than the last couple have been and I can only hope 2014 will be good as well.

Combined birth announcement w/ Christmas card.
finally smiling

from Dereck's mom

more smiles
Max's first Christmas party.

Meeting Santa
all dressed up for another Christmas party.
3 months old already!
We love bath time!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Evelynn's Milk Remembered

The Tuesday before thanksgiving I got a call from the lactation clinic that I went through when I donated Evelynn's milk. KTUU news was doing a story on donating breastmilk and wanted to interview women who have donated breastmilk and also who have received it for their babies. They asked if I wanted to come and share my story. A chance to speak about my sweet Evelynn, of course I'll come in. The reporter and I talked for about 15 minutes about everything from why I decided to donate to Max being born with a gestational carrier.

Check out this link to see the video. They saved me and Max for last.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Timeline for Inducing Lactation With Domperidone

Here is a timeline of how the domperidone worked for me and what I all did to bring my milk back for Max who was carried by a gestational carrier. Remember that I have been pregnant twice, both times my milk came in after, and with my daughter, the second pregnancy, I pumped and donated for about 4-5 months. From what I learned I also have very good milk production.

I first decided to start pumping back in mid June 2013, when my baby was approx. 5 months gestation, after I noticed some milk appearing after I watched my sons anatomy scan back in mid May. The pumping wasn't getting anywhere so I decided to speak with the local lactation clinic and they recommended, not pumping, but doing multiple hand massages daily, taking herbs, and doing acupuncture. They didn't feel I would need any medication because of my past history and since my milk had started showing up on its own. I didn't want to do herbs so I went and a few acupuncture sessions along with some pumping and hand massages. Eventually I got on the domperidone and that is where we finally made some progress.

Mid June- start pumping and massages 3-4 x daily

July 2nd- started acupuncture- no change in milk prod. after.

July 16th- 2nd acupuncture- still no change after

August 1rst- 3rd acupuncture, still no change after. Decided I had enough, can't handle the stress of hoping this will start on its own without meds. I decided it was time to look into starting domperidone.

August 5th- Started Domperidone 1-10mg pill 3 x a day for 3 days. Tried to increase pumps and massages to 5-6 x a day.

August 7th- Day 3 of Domperidone. Started getting really warm with lots of flushing in the face. Decided to stop my birth control, even though I was on the micronor that is not supposed to mess with milk production. By day 3 I could already tell an increase in my milk production when massaging after I pumped.

August 8th- Upped the dose of the Domperidone to 2-10mg pills 3 x a day. Did my last session of acupuncture. Felt it did nothing for me.

August 10th-11th- Noticed some dry mouth and felt very dehydrated no matter how much I drank.

August 12th- 1 week into taking the Domperidone. After doing my hand massage I actually had some milk spray out of each breast.

August 13th- A little bit of milk was inside the nipple shields after pumping. Also noticed even more milk spraying out during the hand massages.

August 17th- I finally had milk reach the bottles while pumping. Only the tiniest amount, but that was a good sign. Majority of my time is still spent doing hand massages. So far I seem to get more milk out when doing them than pumping.

August 19th- Week 2 down of taking Domperidone. Really trying to get up during the night for a pump so I can get in 6 pumps/massages a day, but so far it has been pretty hard to get up most nights.

August 22nd- I decided to start measuring how much I was getting. During the morning pump I 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 next pump I got about 1/4 ounce and then added almost another 1/4 ounce with massage. So close to getting a 1/2 ounce in one session, but excited to know that at this rate I am producing at least an ounce or a little more a day.

August 26th- 3 weeks down since I started the Domperidone. Had a couple of headaches this past week, which I know can be a sign of taking this med, so not sure if they were from it or not. 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. I haven't read anywhere that pimples are a side effect of this drug, assuming its just hormones.

August 27th- It took 3 weeks but I finally was able to break 1 whole ounce during my morning pump!!! Just 5 days ago I was getting an ounce a day and now I got it in one session.

August 31rst- Morning pump I 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. I think this in itself has helped my pump work more efficiently and allowing me to do less hand massaging after.

September 2nd- 4th week of taking the domperidone down.

September 6th- morning pump produced 2.25 ounces and on the morning of Sept. 7th I broke 2.5 ounces. *keep in mind that this is just for the morning pump. These pumps are usually right away in the morning after not pumping for a good 6-8 hours. Most of the other pumps are producing on average of 1 ounce still at about 4 hours between pumps.*

September 9th- 5 weeks taking the domperidone down. Start 6th weeks today.

Sept 12th- Woke up to a soaked sports bra. I need to work on getting up at night so I don't get so engorged in between pumps. I also have completely stopped doing hand massages after my pumps.

Sept 16th- 6 weeks down, starting week 7 on domperidone today. This past week I started keeping track of how much I am producing at each pump. Right now I am averaging about 8 ounces a day.

Sept 22nd- 7 weeks on domperidone. Start 8th week tomorrow. Pumping almost 12 ounces a day now. Have even gotten 4 ounces out in 1 session.

Sept 26th- My baby is born. Made it to 13 ounces a day. Still pumped after feeding him and averaged about 5 remaining ounces .

October 11th- Been exclusively breastfeeding him since he was born. No need to supplement with formula. The domperidone has worked so far but getting concerned he might start eating more than I can provide.

October 15th- Got some herbal supplement for helping to increase milk. Also bought some Brewer's yeast and started making some oatmeal bars with that and also flax seed to help increase milk supply.

October 26th- Baby is 1 month old. Still on the domperidone, same dose as before. Producing enough milk for Max to exclusively breastfeed and/or pump and bottle feed breastmilk. We learned Max has a dairy sensitivity and so I am dairy free now. We did have to supplement with a dairy free formula for a few days until it was out of my system. 

November 26th- Baby is 2 months old and we are exclusively breastfeeding or getting breast milk from a bottle that I pumped, except of course if there is a dairy mishap and we have to supplement with formula for a few days until the dairy is out of my system. Still on the domperidone, not sure when I'll quit it or cut down because we are afraid of my milk supply dropping with it.

So far so good with Operation Bring Milk Back For Max. Hopefully between continuing the domperidone and having to live dairy free, until baby no longer has a sensitivity- I hope it goes away, we will try to keep this up until at least 6 months of age. Maybe up to a year if all goes well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1 Month Old and More

Our journey to grow our family started shortly before Dereck and I were married. On October 18th Dereck and I had our 5th wedding anniversary. For the past 2 1/2 years since I started this blog numerous posts have started with 1 month pregnant or three months since my baby past away, but today, a little over 5 years since we got married and started trying to conceive, and through the loss of Liam and Evelynn, I finally get to post that a baby of mine, my little Max, is ONE MONTH OLD! It has been along time coming. A lot of happiness, but also a lot of sadness in the these past 5 years.

It's hard for me to still fully believe that we have a living baby at home. I mean I see him, I love him, I know he's ours, but yet their is this part of me that still feels a bit of detachment to him. I don't know if its that I didn't get that first 9 months with him that I did with Liam and Evelynn, like maybe how it is for any father, or if my worry that he could still die keeps me from it. Yes, I still worry a lot, but from talking to other moms who have not lost a baby, their is plenty of the them who have the same worries. The ones that tell me not to worry, well they still just make me as mad as they did when they told me not to worry through any of my (or Jessica's) pregnancies.

I look back at this past year and half since we first held Evelynn, and said goodbye for now, we have come so far. Just under a year and a half ago I remember reading the email from Jessica reaching out to us. Some girl who we have never met is considering carrying a baby for us? Who does that? Fast forward to 10 months ago and we are preparing to do an embryo transfer. We are worried our single little embryo won't take. We are financially worried as well. Can I handle another loss? What will we do if this doesn't work? I miss my daughter? I am sad. I hate the world? Why am I having to go through this?

Fast forward to just one month ago. I get the call, Jessica's says, "It's time!" She's heading to hospital! Holy crap this is finally happening, and its actually not an emergency situation. Could things really go smoothly for us? Could I finally be holding a healthy baby in my arms that could leave the hospital with us? It is 5:00pm, the epidural is started. Jessica's water is broke. The pitocin has begun. It is 9:00pm and Jessica is at an 8. The pushing is beginning. 9:22pm Max is here. I am crying with joy. Jessica says the delivery is exactly how she hoped it had gone. She tells me that she had been preparing herself for this moment and feels better than she expected. I feel the same way though. Her and her family meet Max. Max responded so much to the sound of her boys voices. He must remember them. I would say it was a special moment having all of us, the two families, together with Max.

Here we are today. A whole month and almost a week old already. He is gaining weight so fast, about 9lbs already. And does he ever love to eat. I'd almost say he eats more than he sleeps. People often ask me if he is a good baby. I find it to be kind of a silly question when on one hand I haven't had a baby come home before Max to compare him to, but on the other hand he is ALIVE people! My baby is alive and yes their are times when I swear he is thinking, "I am just gonna scream all day unless you let me just use your boob as a pacifier." Those times are indeed quite stressful. Which I am sure the lack of sleep doesn't help, but I'll take the screaming any day knowing he alive and thriving. It sure beats the ugliness of grief that I have worked through the past 2 1/2 years. I will admit though, their are times I catch myself thinking of Evelynn and thinking how she was the perfect baby and would've never screamed this much. Talking to another blm friend recently she let me know she kind of went through the same thing, the putting her baby she had lost up on this pedestal of wonderfulness. I don't want to do that to Max. Max is Max, and I love him.

As I said above, Max is doing a lot of screaming. He has his moments, but usually during the day when he is hanging out with me while dad sleeps, he's really good and eats, sleeps, and poops. Night time is a whole other story. He doesn't want to go to sleep at night and if he does it is maybe for a half hour to an hour an then he is usually up again wanting to eat. If you don't let him eat, because he can't possibly be hungry since he just ate like 4 ounces an hour ago, he will scream at you until he gets more food. We are working with the pediatrician now to see if we can find out if he has a food sensitivity or if its just colic. So as of today he isn't getting any breast milk for the rest of the week at least and will be taking this specialty formula instead. Poor little baby of mine, now he can't even soothe himself with boob:(. I hope we can figure this out so he is happier and will sleep more at night.

I do think of Evelynn a lot though. I search for her in Max quite often. Their are times when he is laying just right that you can see this small butt chin appear and it makes me smile. I am pretty sure every time I see it I run my fingers over it and just think of her. I love it. I was hoping more and more of her would come through but Max is Liam through and through. Most people tell me they think he looks like me but I think from looking at Liam's pictures and at Derecks baby pictures, he has got more of their features. But all my babies have got their head of hair from me, which I love:). I also am still constantly thinking about our next baby. I love Max, but their is a part of me that is still missing. Maybe in time that part of me will lessen or maybe it'll only be filled or healed by trying to have a younger sibling for Max by getting another carrier, adopting a little girl, or even by attempting to have a pregnancy that doesn't result in a dead baby. I don't know what it will take, but for now that's where I am at, and who knows, maybe no matter what I do there will always be that part of me missing since Liam and Evelynn will always be missing. All I know is right now those little girl dresses that never got to be worn are calling my name:(

Operation Bring Milk Back For Max:

So we are a little over a month into breastfeeding and so far he has only gotten breastmilk. I said that he likes to eat and I can barely keep up with him. Most of the milk that I had saved, when we first got home and he wasn't eating as much, is going fast. We were able to get some donor milk but I would prefer to use my own if we can help it. He will be on this formula from the pediatrician for a few days here and so I'll get to store up some more in the mean time. Of course if we find out he has a sensitivity to something that I eat then I guess we may not be using any of that milk, but we will see what happens once we have answers.

I am still taking the domperidone and am still taking 2 10mg pills 3 x a day as I have for the majority of the time since I started it. The pediatrician doesn't want me to stop taking it or lower my dose yet because we are worried that my supply will drop with it and not sure if we want to mess with that. I have been making oatmeal bars with brewers yeast and flax in them(like lactation cookies) and was taking, but now finished, with these horrible tasting more milk herbal supplement drops in hopes to increase my milk. We think I am probably averaging about 24-26 ounces a day. I have been pumping at night so Dereck can bottle feed him, and every 3-4 hours I get about 3-4 ounces. So averaging about an ounce an hour. I really wish I could get back up to the 35 ounces a day I was getting when I was pumping and donating. Although I know it took time to build up to that as well. If we have to use some donor milk or even supplement one feeding a day, or even doing the specialty formula we are doing now, I know it won't be the end of the world. I am glad I have been able to provide him with as much breast milk as he has gotten.

I am still working on and updating a post that I will save in the Baby Via Gestational Carrier Journey tab for others who may be venturing down this inducing lactation road. Also in this tab I have included all links to posts relating to my gestational carrier journey along with a cost summary of doing this.

My little pumpkin, I mean owl, all dressed up for Halloween. This was Evelynn's. I am glad Max was able to wear it.

October 15th Wave of Light for Stillbirth and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Remembering my sweet Liam and Evelynn always, along with all other babies gone too soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

4 Weeks Old Today

Bigger post to come, but for now here is some 3 day old Max pics that we had done. Also, Max at 3 weeks with our Liam and Evelynn molly bears.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Max's Delivery 9/26/2013

Sorry it has been so long since I last updated. Max is now 2 weeks old. We have been both tired and busy, but we are well. We left the hospital about 38 hours after Max was born. We then spent the next 6 next days visiting with friends and family. We got home a week ago today and have been trying to settle in.

I'll try to post more soon, but for now here is the birth of Max in pictures taken by Dereck's sister in law.

9:22pm. Here he comes. I can't believe this is finally happening.


And he was a screaming, Most beautiful sound ever.

I was crying......just a little.
Love Jessica's face in this picture.
Jessica getting to see him for the first time.
Us in aw at how perfect he is.
Getting everything checked and hearing that he has a perfect APGAR score.
Hey baby.

Finally getting some skin to skin time.

Getting wheeled out for the first time with a living, breathing, healthy baby. Best day ever!

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.  http://www.mcrh.com/index.html

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
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