A surrogacy journey, jointly documented by Surrogate and Intended Mother.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Drama queen

Anyone who knows me will agree that I rather like the limelight. I also have a rather special way of attracting the most attention possible, by doing things such as rupturing my achilles' tendon at a 3rd birthday party. Consequently, I think it's very safe to assume that LMHH is definitely her mummy's daughter.

We'd all been convinced that the huge amount of pains Niki was having low down were LMHH engaging as she should be so were pretty taken aback when the midwife told us she was breech. Poor Niki was clearly shaken but as always was so calm about it all and we talked through it and agreed that all would be ok as we'd look after each other, whatever the scan revealed. I was pretty worried, not for LMHH's safety as I knew that she'd be looked after and kept safe regardless, but for Niki and the fact it would probably throw the birth plan right out the water (excuse the pun). We all know that a C-section is a possibility in any birth, but obviously we're hoping for our ideal scenario and I'm desperately wishing that even more so for Niki. When someone does something this amazing for someone else, surely that's the least she deserves? 

A day or two before the scan, Niki sent me a bump pic which looked suspiciously like a transverse little monkey. This was obviously a good sign as it meant she was having a good old shift around, and boy could Niki feel it. We drove up early Thursday, apprehensive but hopeful that she might have turned. As we have found consistently with Walsgrave, all we had to do was explain our situation and the midwife was more than happy for Adam and I to go into the scan room with Niki. Sure enough, having got everyone to drop and rearrange everything and caused a week of worry, there was LMHH, head down as she should be, smacking her lips and sticking her tongue out as if to say "mwahaha fooled you!" I felt a mixture of absolute relief, and obscure pride for my naughty little monkey. The sonographer was yet again wonderful, and then spent some more time showing us our baby in greater detail. I really feel lucky to be under such a lovely hospital with such warm and caring staff. 

Huge relief and joy all round; for now at least, the birth plan was back on and we could all relax a little. Adam stayed for some lunch and teamie time and then had to return home. I essentially moved in with Niki and Steve for the next few days as we had the SUK conference on the Saturday, which took place in Warwick. At this stage in the pregnancy, the IM should really be looking after the surrogate as much as possible. Instead, Niki & I make quite a pair as she's waddling and I'm hopping. Steve did an excellent job of looking after both of us and really is a star. 

The conference on Saturday was fantastic. It was so lovely to catch up with lots of surrogacy friends, and even more exciting to meet some new long awaited babies. I walked around the entire day grinning like an idiot. I have been to 4 of these conferences now, but this time, Niki is next in line to give birth, which makes us (according to due dates) the next in line to become parents. SUK is a wonderfully supportive organisation and now we are further along in our surrogacy journey it feels great to be able to give something back and support newer members.

Whizzing back in time to my baby shower...it really was the most magical day. I sat there, drinking it all in, barely being able to contain my excitement that this was a baby shower for me, because I am going to be a mummy. I considered Niki as much of a special guest as I was at this shower, however typically she considered herself as one of my friends, shying away from any attention or praise and bringing gifts to spoil LMHH with.

I was surrounded by my wonderful friends and family, eating cakes, playing games and being thoroughly spoilt...I just felt incredibly lucky. And it really is all down to Niki and her family. None of this would be happening if it wasn't for her. This is a life-changing chapter for Adam and I and it's being created by this incredible woman and her generosity.

We really are on the home straight now and essentially, just waiting for things to start. We're 37 + 4, so full term, and it could be any day now. Are Adam and I ready? As ready as we'll ever be; we've waited so long for this and I cannot believe the day is nearly here, when I'll get to hold my baby in my arms for the first time. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Where do I start?

A month since the last post and what a month it has been!

The run up to Easter was getting exciting, Beth's birthday was coming up along with her party and more teamie time, followed by our teamie break to Bournemouth the week afterwards and Em's baby shower after that. All great fun, right?

The day the kids were due to break up Beth got rather poorly. My lovely, bubbly, chatty girl turned into a sleepy ball of heat with the flu (I suspect). Cue lots of cuddles and an unhappy Jack as a heavily pregnant Mummy struggled to split her time between poorly girl and unsympathetic energetic boy! She was just recovered enough to enjoy her birthday party and faith in an enjoyable Easter break was restored.
Teamies invaded the Evans' household on the 1st for the party and off we all trotted to the community centre...then disaster number two struck. Em hurt her foot, rather badly, on the bouncy castle (yes in hindsight the circumstances are quite amusing...sorry Em!) and a trip to A&E the next day confirmed she had snapped her Achilles tendon and would be in full plaster cast for up to 8 weeks :(
After telling her off for thinking she'd ruined everything (plaster casts and water births don't really mix well) and her coming to terms with the fact this was just a minor blip and things really weren't going to change much we all relaxed again...for a day or so anyway...until disaster number three arrived. Em really wasn't well and ended up with a week long stay in hospital for an infection (the upside to this being at least we knew she was resting the aforementioned foot and not trying to do too much!). Hopes of Teamie break away quickly vanished and we were all disappointed to be missing out on Teamie time, but obviously Em's recovery was much more important and we repeatedly told her not to even consider worrying about it.

As usual the hospital knew what they were doing and Em was home in time for a few days rest before the Evans' invaded Surrey and the time for the baby shower had arrived. We all piled round in our florals and tea dresses for a beautiful afternoon tea at Emily's Mum's house (complete with 60 yr old china tea set!!). Everybody had worked so hard to make the day perfect for Em and so much thought had gone into the planing of it. It was so magical to see Em so excited and if the realisation that in as little as five weeks she'd be having a baby hadn't hit before now, it certainly did at the shower!
The boys ran 'Daddy Day Care' from Adam's parent's house and they had a lovely afternoon enjoying some sunshine too.
 Joy had been restored and by the time we left Surrey we were all back to beaming again...

Of course that couldn't last. The next day brought disaster number four- a midwife appointment and the news that little miss monkey is breech...
A whole mixture of emotions followed for me. Obviously there is the risk of needing a c-section in any pregnancy, but things had been so perfect up to now, and with the hopes of a water-birth being in our minds for nearly as long as the pregnancy, the idea that a c-section could now end up being a possibility was a very tough thing for me to get my head around. Sticking needles in my belly was more than enough medical intervention for me so the idea of what is essentially major surgery terrified me. Being nearly 36 weeks the window for natural turning is quickly closing and although I know babies can turn as late as in labour all hope suddenly seemed very lost.
I have a funny way of dealing with things. I have a certain cycle that I always go through on the receipt of anything remotely negative. First comes what I call the 'woe is me, everything is lost' stage. I worry,I fret, I might cry, I sulk....a lot, I won't talk about it rationally, as there can be no possible rational positive.
Seconds comes the Google stage involving filling my head with as much information as I possibly can. After this I feel remotely better, well informed is well armed and all that.
Third comes reflection. After this I usually manage to talk about things rationally, I feel much better about everything, can finally see the positives and take a 'what will be will be' attitude.
So by the end of Monday I felt fine, after making sure Em was OK with me trying it I started an acupuncture therapy called Moxibustion in the hope that we can encourage little madam to shift on her own. Next Thursday will be scan day and we'll find out how stubborn she is being. If she is breech we will meet with the Doctor on the same day and go through all the options. Obviously avoiding c-section would be the ideal aim, and it's been suggested that with this being my third pregnancy, providing it was a straightforward breech position, a natural birth may still be an option. There is going to be a lot for us all to think about though, both for mine and baby's safety and whatever we decide it's certainly not going to be an easy decision.
Emily and Adam are being fabulous as usual though and although I know the decision would be huge, I also know there is no pressure and that we'll all be able to see each other's points of view and come to the right decision for all of us.
Fingers crossed we won't need to make it and Little Miss Hitch Hiker is just trying to keep us on our toes.
Meanwhile I shall continue being stabbed and heated by the acupuncturist and send positive (and slightly stern) turning vibes to my little house guest.

So yeah, it's been eventful. Maybe the term disaster is a little much in the grand scheme of things but as I said above, my way of dealing with such issues is to immediately treat it as one and then deal with it gradually.

For now, it's back to remaining positive for Cheese Teamcake. Teamie relations are stronger than ever and however Little Miss Hitchhiker makes her entrance, none of us can wait to meet the monkey.