Posted in Personal, Polyamory, Surrogate, TTC

I’m Gonna Be A… Surrogate!

This is something that I really need to keep track of, that really needs an outlet. And so, like many times before, here I am starting anew. This is a very important journey and time in my life. I know I will have a lot of feelings and a lot of things will be going on with this, so I think it’s very important that I have a place to document all this.

I recently met a couple in a polyamorous relationship. They are in a closed quad, and I absolutely love their dynamic. I’ll be keeping their names out of this for their privacy, especially since they aren’t out yet. For various reasons, the two women of the quad, M and B, can’t have any more children. Both m/f couples in the quad have children from previous relationships but neither of them have children together. While both couples want a baby, it was M who originally approached me about being a surrogate for her and her husband K. If all goes well, I will likely end up being a surrogate for B and her husband J.

We are still in the very early stages of all this. I have tried to be as open and honest with them as possible and I feel they are doing the same to me. We have talked and exchanged pictures. The conversations are still slightly awkward, but I have no worries about asking them questions whenever they pop into my head. I think that we will get along and hopefully can bring a baby into the world for them.

The current plan is to meet in December about halfway between our two cities in Austin and then start trying in February after Frankie and I move to Dallas, which is only four hours from where they live. I am tracking my periods and they sent me some opks so that I can track my ovulation as well to see if the predictions are matching up with the actual time that I ovulate.

I’m so so excited about this as I have wanted to be a surrogate for a long time. I wish they weren’t so far away and we could start trying immediately. It seems like distance is always the problem in these kinds of things.

For now, I just have to hold onto that excitement and wait. I know that the time will fly by with everything else that I have going on, which I also hope to update on this blog. I always say that I hope I can keep this blog active but never do. I have to do it this time though. I need to chronicle this amazing journey I’m about to start.

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Posted in Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

33 Weeks!

We just had our 33 week prenatal appointment. Before that, we also had the last ultrasound of this pregnancy. We wouldn’t have gotten another ultrasound, but at out 20 week they could not see all of the baby’s heart and suggested we have the ultrasound redone just to be on the safe side, even though everything else looked great and very normal. We got to see all the parts of little Treble and get a couple of pictures.

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Bottom half of face

Treble is head down and slightly engaged, but I can tell from his movements that he engages and disengages all the time. This is a relief as he was stuck in the oblique position for a while and it made me a little worried he might have the umbilical cord around his neck like Note. He seems to be favoring the ROA position, that is that his spine is on my right side but he is mostly facing towards my back. Note was posterior and that caused back pain, which hurt tremendously while in labor. I’ve done a little work to help get Treble into an optimal position. While I do know there is still plenty of time for him to turn whichever way he pleases, this has been the position he is most in so I am hoping it is the position he will be in for labor and delivery.

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Sex check!

Treble measured right on track for everything, even down to the day on most things. The only thing that he measured differently on was his head. It’s measuring almost a week and a half bigger! He’s estimated to weigh 5 lbs right now, so a little bigger than Note at this stage. We could see his hair in the ultrasound. It was much longer than Note’s at this stage. We could see it waving in the water. It looked like little spikes coming off of his head. I can’t believe how much hair he has already. I really want to see what pattern it naturally falls in. Note had amazing baby hair as hers stood up at the back naturally and made for a very cute little face. We did also get another shot of Treble’s junk. I actually didn’t ask for it this time! But I am glad to be able to see it as I still sometimes get paranoid we will have a surprise in the delivery room.

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Note helped find the heartbeat at our appointment.

Right after the ultrasound, we went to the midwife for our prenatal appointment. It was pretty short, as the last ones have been, and there was really nothing new to report this time. We did meet the newest midwife fellow named Carly. She was a delight and it really was a pleasure meeting her. I do hope that she is one of the ones at my birth as she definitely made me feel comfortable. I do hate that Heather isn’t around anymore, but I hope that she is having a great time with her new husband in a new city!

Overall, a pretty good day. I moved back in with my grandma a couple of weeks ago and I just came over here to spend some time with Frank but I’ll be going back now that I had my appointment. I probably won’t come back again until I have my next appointment, but I will probably see Frank on his days off. I’m not too sure how it will all play out with how the vehicle he’s using now. It isn’t the most reliable, so we shall see if it can make the drive!

I need to make sure to post more updates as I do want to document my pregnancy with Treble better than I did my pregnancy with Note. It is challenging with a toddler around, but I’ll at least need to post pictures!

Posted in Frank, Personal, Relationships

Emotional

I can’t even talk about what is going on with Frank without wanting to cry. I’ve been trying to talk about the situation with my aunt, but I just tear up and can’t type out any words.

I know they must think I’m exaggerating or crazy for staying with him. I do feel crazy for staying with him. I’m so indecisive. I do feel like I want to leave him, but I also feel really shitty for thinking about leaving him because he’s struggling.

But I wanted a divorce before he started with all this. I was ready to leave, and I feel like all of this was now just a way to make me stay. Because he’s told everyone about what he’s going through, and I haven’t told anyone I want a divorce. So, of course, I’ll look like an asshole if I leave now. How could I leave someone in his situation?

I feel so lost. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know which way is the right way. I just want to be happy again, and I’m very tired of everything that’s going on. Maybe that’s why I feel this way.

I just want to focus on my little baby who will be here in about 12 weeks. I want to focus on the things like what I’m going to name him (yep. he still doesn’t have a name), what he’s going to come home in, the diapers he’s going to use until his umbilical cord comes off, where he’s going to sleep. I want to be able to take these last 86 days and focus on my baby and get ready for his birth. This was supposed to be the pregnancy where I didn’t have stress, and, instead, I’m more stressed than I was with Note, when my mom decided to disown me and threaten me.

I just want to be happy. I just want all this to go away. I’m so overwhelmed. This is the last thing I need.

Posted in Frank, Health, Personal, Relationships

Depression Lives Here

Depression lives in our household, and some days the smothering effects of the dense cloud of mental illness becomes hard to escape. Today is one of those days.

Frank has the most problems right now, and I try to push my own aside in order for him to be able to focus on himself and get better. He has tried to kill himself three times — that I know about — in the past month and a half. With the first attempt, he crashed my truck into a post without his seat belt on in the hopes that the airbags would deploy and kill him. Luckily, that didn’t happen.

Since then, he has tried twice to overdose on his medication. He seems better on this medication after his most recent stay in the behavioral center here in Edinburg. I’m hoping he stays more or less stable, but some days he has his downs and that triggers my own mental illness.

I have OCD and depression. I was diagnosed back in 2010 with depression and 2011 with OCD. My OCD manifests itself in the form of “Pure-O”, which basically means I do not have as many compulsions as “typical” cases of people with OCD. My mind races with thoughts and obsessions that I can’t control, leaving my mind to be a prison for my consciousness all its own.

I am one of the cases where medication greatly improved my symptoms. However, I am not comfortable with taking medication while pregnant, which is purely a personal preference as many medications are mostly safe to take while pregnant. So, in 2013 when I became pregnant with Note, I quit my medication. I actually quit my medication shortly before becoming pregnant for the first time, which ended in miscarriage. As I have talked about before, I had very bad depression during that time that was a struggle to control. I have been off medication since that time, and my depression and OCD have become harder and harder to combat on my own, but I have found a few coping skills that help me manage. However, the stress of recent events has made it absolutely necessary for me to be back on medication

It was a difficult decision for me to make as I am not a fan of the effects it has on babies in the womb. I will be quitting the medication in my third trimester due to the breathing distress it can cause in a newborn, but, for now, it has greatly helped my mental state.

Still, even while I have struggled with mental illness for a good portion of my life, I struggle with understanding and accepting someone else’s mental illness, specifically Frank’s. I have attempted suicide before, but never in the intensity that Frank has attempted (ie 3 attempts in 1.5 months). The fact that everything seemed fine that day, and leading up to that day, and then our entire life was turned upside down by this, is a concept I am finding hard to understand. But it makes sense. Of course it does. One of the most common things said after a suicide attempt — successful or otherwise — is “they seemed so happy”.

Why is it so easy for me to forget that?

I have been as supportive, understanding, and caring as I possibly can. I have struggled through and suffered in silence, besides what little I share on this blog (and the only reason I don’t share more is because I don’t have time to write more).

But some days I am certain I will be crushed underneath this weight. Some days I feel like this mental illness is going to get the both of us. Even with the medication, of which I only have a few weeks left to take before the third trimester comes, the days can be hard, harder than I think I can manage.

And yet here I still am.

And here I’ll be.

Posted in Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

Anatomy Scan

We had our anatomy scan on the 22nd. It was a little late due to me having a problem with the company that Holy Family uses for their ultrasounds. I was supposed to receive a call from them to set up my appointment, but I never received said call. Well, on a Friday afternoon, I received a call from them and they were asking my about the appointment I missed. Of course I would miss an appointment I didn’t know about. I told them I had never been informed of the appointment and they told me they tried to call me but apparently I didn’t answer (I do not remember getting a call from them, and my phone didn’t show any missed calls from their number). So why didn’t they try calling me before I missed my appointment? Instead of after? Whatever. I rescheduled, but the earliest they had was three weeks later, so on the 22nd.

The wait was pretty long, longer than I would have liked even though I chugged their required two glasses of water within ten minutes. They took me to the back and into a room where they lowered the lights. The tech put the wand to my belly and I could see the ultrasound image on the screen in front of me. Frank and Note sat in some chairs in the corner. Frank was pretty drugged up and ended up falling asleep for part of the ultrasound, but that was okay. That’s just what happens with these kinds of things.

Seeing Treble on the screen was amazing, as always. I’m always in awe of how much he grows in between scans. Of course we made sure to ask if they could check if Treble was still a boy, even though we had genetic testing done so he is definitely a boy! The picture definitely cleared up all the doubts and it was an interesting angle too. I love that I can see his feet in it. His feet look extra huge, which is so cute because Note had big feet too, but Treble’s feet look even bigger than Note’s did.

There was a scan that didn’t make the print of the bottom half of Treble’s face with his little puffy lips and his nose. Judging from that, he’s going to look just like me, just like Note looks just like me. He’s got very large, chubby cheeks already even though his baby fat is barely starting to fill in. He was measuring a bit bigger than expected for every category, but not enough to cause a change in my due date.

I can’t believe this pregnancy is over halfway done. It won’t be long now before I’m holding this little one in my arms. I really can’t wait for that moment.

Posted in Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

It’s a…

March 28th was my birthday. I turned 24 years old! Woot! We didn’t do anything too special to celebrate it. We went out to Salt to eat and went to watch Batman vs. Superman after. I didn’t really enjoy the movie, but that’s another story for another time. I loved Wonder Woman in that movie however! She stole the show.

IMG_7639On the 29th, we had an appointment with the OB. We went in and it was the usual stuff. Urine sample, weight, all that. Then came the part for the ultrasound. We had decided to find out the sex this time around because we thought it would help make things more real for Note, although we will still be raising the child gender neutral like we did with Note. The tech asked us if we wanted to know the sex, and we said yes. I thought she was asking as a conversational thing, like for future reference. Well, immediately after we said yes, she said, “It’s a boy!”

We were completely shocked but very excited. We didn’t think we would be able to tell this early, but she was completely confident. We get the genetic testing on the 4th next week, which will help confirm, as well as another ultrasound in four weeks where we will be able to check again for a little penis on the screen. I’m so excited that we are having a boy, but also don’t want to believe it in case it is wrong and then I’ll be disappointed.

IMG_7644At least the genetic testing is 99% certain, so we know there will definitely be no error there. She was very confident though, so that gives me some reassurance. I guess our future son is packing if you could see this on the ultrasound screen already! At the bottom of this post, I’ve included some stills from the video we took during the ultrasound. We didn’t get to tape the actual sex reveal part because Note began crying. I’m thinking next appointment, I might just leave them at home or have someone else take care of them for a little bit so Frank and I can go. I really like having a video of the ultrasound. I didn’t have one with Note and it’s something I regret. Actually, I do have a 20 week recording with Note, but they were asleep and didn’t move at all. In this video, we got to see Treble having the hiccups. It was so cute! Treble is very active already.

We also revealed the sex to Frank’s mother. I did the above then left the bottle of detergent in the laundry room on top of the washer. I thought it was a cute and different way to do a simple sex reveal. The next time we will be announcing Treble, they will have been just born! We have decided not to announce this pregnancy on social media and we will have a sip and see instead once Treble is here. We think that will be a much better option the second time around.

Only 198 days to go! I really can’t wait to hold Treble in my arms and these next four weeks will feel like an eternity as we wait for a confirmation on the sex. Fingers crossed this “stays” a boy!

Posted in Health, Note, Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

Time For an Update!

img_5631Ah! I kind of fell into old habits and stepped away from this blog for a bit. I had another appointment two weeks after I got my official due date just to make sure everything was okay. I went alone to this appointment because Frank was tired. He stayed with Note and I enjoyed my time to myself. I was able to hear the heartbeat, which was 120 bpm. Note’s heartbeat was always 160 and above. Treble measured an entire eight days ahead of where I am based on my due date. Note always measured right on time, so this is an interesting twist, and I wonder what it will mean as far as delivery goes.

By the time I have my next appointment with the OB, I’ll be 11 weeks 3 days, but Treble will be measuring 12 weeks 4 days if the measurements this time weren’t just a fluke. That’s such an exciting time because the baby will definitely look like a baby, and we should be able to see all the limbs flailing around. That was one of my favorite things about my appointments when I was pregnant with Note. If it wasn’t for that, I would probably cut out the OB care.

img_5632We also had a visit with the midwife. That helped immensely in helping ease my worries. They said I could deliver there despite my herpes. I was worried that would disqualify me from being low risk and I would be forced to deliver in a hospital. Of course, I still will need a c-section if I am having an outbreak at the time of delivery. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Honestly, I think I will go so fast this time I won’t even have time to go in and get a c-section. I have to be hyper-vigilant for signs of labor when the time comes. Hopefully I can recognize it better now that I’ve been through it once.

The midwife visit was pretty standard. A lot of history and “how are you feeling?” I’ve forgotten how long those visits take.

In other news, Note has officially stopped breastfeeding. Note would ask me occasionally if they could have milk. We tried breastfeeding again and they latched on. It hurt me immensely and they gave me this look while latched, a smile on their lips, but I think they knew it would be the last time that we would be doing that. The next day, the led me to the fridge and asked me for “milk”, then took out the gallon of cow’s milk from the fridge. So, that’s it. At 23 months, our breastfeeding journey has come to its natural conclusion. Its a very bittersweet thing.

So, that’s pretty much everything that’s been going on around here. Nothing to report but me getting more pregnant and Note getting bigger. They’ll be two in about a month. I’m not 100% sure what we’re going to do as far as a party. I’m thinking a very small, subdued get-together at the park. Nothing big, and Frank will make sausage and burgers on the grill. Quick and easy. Not sure if we will do a theme or anything yet. I need to talk to Frank about it a bit more.

213 days to go!

Posted in Note, Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

Official Due Date!

img_4602We went to our first prenatal appointment today! I thought I was 9 weeks 6 days, but when they did the ultrasound, the baby only measured 5 weeks 6 days. I have been using September 15th as my due date based on my period, but I was giving my new, official due date of October 15th. That means that I caught this pregnancy super early! We did get to see the heartbeat, but it was too early to hear it. We should be able to hear it at our next appointment on 1 March. Now that I am getting further along, I’m getting some of the nausea like I had for Note. I suppose with Note it came so much quicker because I was carrying twins in the beginning. Definitely only one baby this time around, unless I lost the twin very early like I did last pregnancy, but I really don’t feel I was ever carrying more than one this pregnancy. Now that I’ve seen our newest addition, I feel a lot of that dread has eased from my heart and I’m properly excited about this pregnancy once more.

 
img_4582I’m kind of sad to lose about a month off the time I had thought I had completed for this pregnancy. That means it will be one extra month before I get to hold this little one in my arms. I know this pregnancy will pass by much faster than Note’s, however, now that I have a little toddler to chase after. I’m also excited by the fact that Ramzi Method says this baby should be a boy. Gender doesn’t matter much to us and we are still going Team Green, but it is something fun to guess. We will know in eight months!

Overall, my symptoms have been getting stronger and stronger, particularly the morning sickness. I found that milk really upsets my stomach more than other foods, so I’m trying to avoid it and get my calcium from other sources. Maybe I will try some kind of almond milk or something. I’m sure Note would like to try that too. Regular milk upsets their stomach.

I had some tenderness in my breast, but that has disappeared. Perhaps in the beginning it had to do with quitting breastfeeding. The weaning went pretty well. Note still asks me for milk sometimes, but I usually just distract them with something else or say “not right now” and they forget about it. I miss breastfeeding them though, and I am considering starting it back up once they get over their yeast infection, as they do have it in their mouth as well, and the last thing I need is for yeast to cultivate on my nipples.

Overall, I’m really enjoying pregnancy! I hope that the morning sickness goes away. I can’t handle it if I have morning sickness as severe and for as long as I did with Note. It will be way too hard to keep up and keep functioning!

 

 

Posted in Personal, Pregnancy, Treble

Week 9: What Makes You Anxious?

This was actually the week eight prompt from my pregnancy app, but I didn’t have much time to sit down and write last week. We went to El Paso to pick up Note, and that really took a lot out of me as it was 12 hours each way.

So, the answer to that question… Although with this pregnancy I’m feeling generally much better than I did with Note, both emotionally and physically, I can’t shake this feeling of impending dread that’s stuck in my heart. I’m so excited about this pregnancy and the chance to be a parent again, but something in my heart tells me “you won’t be taking this baby home.”

It’s very strange. If I had these feelings with Note, I would chalk it up to being afraid of being pregnant right after having a miscarriage. But with this one, I don’t really know why I’m so anxious about it and why I have this feeling. Perhaps it’s because by this time in the pregnancy with Note, I had already had a handful of ultrasounds as well as blood testing done. With this one, due to insurance issues, my first appointment is tomorrow. I’m ridiculously excited to get checked out and make sure that everything looks alright so far. I’ll also get an official due date, as I suspect that I ovulated late and my due date is off by as much as two weeks, which makes a big difference when it comes to birthing time.

If everything looks alright tomorrow, I’m sure that I’ll be counting down the weeks until I hit 24 weeks and baby hits viability. At the very least, they’ll have a chance then.

Here’s a shot of my belly! I think I look much bigger than I actually am when I have clothes on. Usually the belly pictures I take, I’m naked.

 

Posted in Note, Personal, Pregnancy, Treble

Week 7: Excitement

So I have that little WebMD Pregnancy app and it has like a journal function and gives prompts for every week. This week’s prompt is “What are you excited about?” I’ve decided to answer those here since this is more of my pregnancy journal and much easier to give my future child access to if they should ever wish to see the ramblings of their pregnant parent.

So, what am I excited about? I’m excited to have a newborn in my arms again. I’m excited that Note is going to have a sibling. I think that Note will love growing up along side someone and being an older sibling. I’m also excited that Treble has someone as wonderful as Note to look up to. Note is so patient and kind, even if they can have a temper some times.

I’m excited to have two children earth side, and navigating the challenges that come with having more than one child to raise. Generally, I’m excited about this whole pregnancy. It’s much different than how I felt with Note, but I do think that I had a severe case of pre-natal depression when it came to Note. The situation we were in while I was pregnant with Note didn’t help either.

I’m so happy to finally feel excited and in love with a pregnancy. We will not be finding out the gender again, but I do know some “tricks” for predicting gender, and I hope that doesn’t mess me up with gender disappointment. I believe that happened when I was pregnant with Note as well, even if I didn’t get a confirmation until Note was born.

Generally, I feel great except for some general fatigue/exhaustion. That could have to do with working again though and not being used to that. I won’t be working for much longer though, so then I’ll be able to rest up and chase Note around again. Can’t wait to have them back home!