Family, Surrogacy

When You Don’t Know What To Say…..

You know how there are those times where you have nothing to say but at the same time have everything to say? I’m really at that point right now.

Days slowly creep by and I find myself wondering where I’ve gone in all of this. There have been days, weeks, months and probably even years since I began this process that I’ve wondered just that. I became so engrossed in the process, devoting my every moment to making R&G the parents they so deserved to be. In doing that, I was the happiest I’ve been. I felt I was doing what I was meant to do. In this, I also couldn’t imagine anyone else taking my place.

Guy became a big brother before his third birthday……how did that happen? I mean I know how it happened, but how did it happen without me? How did he grow up so fast and how is there another little boy in their family?

the boys
My Guy with his Guys…..

I had convinced myself over and over again, that I would be the one to start and finish their family. When this was no longer an option, I felt more broken than just the bones in my body. My world had shattered along with my hips. Don’t get me wrong, I am still in their family on a constant basis. Guy even reminds me that he loves “money AND Christina”. I guess I’ve made some sort of an impression, if I’m right up there with the whole loving money aspect.

I spent some time with them in December when they were here for little boy #2 and it was just like we hadn’t spent time apart. There was no hesitation on the part of Guy. He knew me and loved me and was ready to start up right were we had left off the last time I was in Israel. Seriously……could it be any better than that?

I have made new family AND I get to travel to Israel! We are always planning the next trips. Whether it be me going to Israel (likely) or the boys all coming back to ND (highly doubtful….its North Dakota!).

I’ve been procrastinating in writing Guy’s second birthday letter. I believe this is because I don’t want to tell him whats all happened in my life from March 5 2015, to March 4 2016. I don’t want the malady of medical issues to overshadow how I felt about the situation during that time block. So many amazing things happened, but yet; so many more scary, painful, bad, confusing times were there.

How can something so utterly perfect, bring anything to my life but happiness? I’ve asked this exact same question a million times in the past few years. As the night moves on, I seem to have run out of words. There is so much more rattling up in there, but I just don’t know how to get it to the screen.

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Family, Post Partum Depression, Surrogacy

Guy’s First Birthday Letter…..

Guy, for you on your birthday I wanted to let you know first, how much you are loved. Love is what brought you into this world and love surrounds you from places you may not know. I met your daddies in a very unconventional way, but nonetheless, it was meant to be. I read through endless profiles of people trying to explain how important it was in their life to have a son or daughter or even both. I flipped through pages and pages of people always feeling so disappointed in the end. Prior to working with your daddies I had the honor of working with people that had tried to have a child for over 20 years! At that time, it was more than half of my life. It’s amazing to see how strong their relationship grew through the pain and disappointment of receiving the news that they were not yet having a child of their own.

I chose your daddies profile because the agency that we were both working with indicated it was far more difficult for two daddies to be chosen for the process, than it was for a mommy and a daddy. This made me so mad! I wanted to be able to help anyone have a baby regardless of who they were. It didn’t matter to me that they lived so far away or that I didn’t know everything about them. I don’t know if they have told you or not, but our first conversation together was spent with far more laughing than asking questions. It was like they were part of my family that I hadn’t yet met. We met face to face on June 17, the day they got married. How crazy is that? We spent such a magical time together in Toronto. I knew after that trip that your daddies would be in my life forever.

I had a few struggles along the way, and ended up needing a year off. Your daddies were so patient and kind to me during this time. They were always more concerned about how I was feeling than I was. They never wanted to hear my apologies for not being able to have a child for them. They only wanted to make sure that everything with me was the way I needed it to be. I’m sure you already know it, but your daddies are so amazing. They are loving, considerate, honest, goofy, patient and sincere. It’s not a common combination when it comes to daddies; you are so lucky, so fortunate.

A lot happened while I was pregnant with you. Most of it was pretty boring; I went to work, I came home from work and napped because you made me so tired. My taste in food changed so much because there were only a few things that you really enjoyed me eating. Most of those things, I ate while in Israel spending time with your daddies. The food in North Dakota seemed to anger you and you made sure that I threw up everything you didn’t like. After I went to Dr. Doyle’s office to get pregnant, I spent a few days lying in bed talking to you. I told you how happy you would make your daddies even if you were a girl. I told you that I wanted you just as much as they wanted you. I pleaded with you to just hang on long enough to be born safely. I was nearly to the bargaining point to where I was going to be willing to give up anything other than Jayde just to have you.

When I flew home from the appointment with Dr. Doyle, I’m pretty sure that Bijou knew you were growing every day. She just knew something was different with me. We don’t have her anymore due to some other issues I had after you were born, but you will probably hear a lot about her. She kept me company while I napped and while I spent endless hours lying on the bathroom floor because I was overcome with morning sickness. She protected you from everything surrounding me. She wouldn’t let people come close to my stomach or lay next to me in bed. She would take her paws and hug my stomach. As you grew, she also believed that she was pregnant. It’s crazy that this can happen with dogs. The vet let me know that she would be fine and not to worry about how oddly she was acting with everything involving you. She would often times put her ear on my stomach and just listen to you moving. You loved to kick her face whenever she did this. I’m guessing you really weren’t sure if you should be sharing your space with a dog that was a bit over protective.

The time I spent in Israel with your daddies was yet another reminder for me just how amazing they were. They introduced me to friends and family and never made me feel out of place. They gave up their bedroom to me so that I was more comfortable. They even had your grandpa come over to fix the bathroom door so that it would close properly. I never closed the door though. It was something that I was never able to do at home because of Bijou. She always got really stressed out if I shut the door at home so it became a habit of mine to never close the bathroom door. I learned so much about your daddy Gadi in the ten days while visiting. I was always so close to your daddy Ronen; we tend to chat quite often because we have the same bizarre sense of humor and can always make each other laugh. Gadi showed me who he really was. He referred to me as his “pregnant wife” and rubbed my stomach and talked to you. Although he didn’t think I was eating enough to keep you happy. We spent a day together doing the typical tourist things. It was really something I needed to learn more about how he was the “outgoing” person as listed in the profile through the agency. Apparently your daddy Ronen is shy and quiet, but I’ve not yet seen that side of him.

During my trip to Israel, I let your daddies know that you were going to be a boy. There were tears and laughter because I kept them thinking they were having a girl. I know they would have been delighted regardless of if you were a girl or a boy, but they really wanted you just the way you are. They knew, just as I knew, that you would be absolutely perfect. I never wanted to leave Israel and return to North Dakota. I loved every second spent in your home, even when I was napping.

I became so sad when I returned home. I just kept dreaming of being someplace so much warmer than it was here. I kept talking to you and playing you the music I loved so much. I was trying to keep things light, but you seemed to be the happiest when listen to Bach! Mozart played a close second, but you were definitely a Bach man. I would turn on the music and you would start to dance. My entire stomach would shift from side to side and to me, you seemed happy. I also learned that you really disliked when I was at work. You would play soccer with my insides until my ribs were sore. Maybe that should have been a lesson to me that you were trying to let me know I should be working somewhere else. That you could hear how unappreciated I was through co-workers insults and bribes. You did love when people would bribe me with ice cream though, just not chocolate! That was another one of those foods that you absolutely hated. Your daddy Ronen and I used to joke that you were definitely your daddy Gadi’s son. He is just as picky about what he eats as you were making me.

A few months before you were born, I started to feel a lot of pain in my hips. The doctors originally thought it was because of your size, or because of the chair I was sitting in at work or how I was trying to sleep at night. In the end, they found that the bones in my hips weren’t doing so well and that I would need to have them fixed after you were born.

I started working from home at that time because the doctors felt it was best that I stayed in bed as much as possible so that you could continue to grow, and you did such a great job at that. You were born on one of the coldest days in 2014. It was a Wednesday and so cold that no one wanted to even leave home. It’s hard to explain how cold it really was, so I will show you one day. I will bring you back to where you were born and let you experience how cold, cold really is.

The doctor that delivered you was so amazing, because of her, I didn’t need to have a c-section. She believed, when the hip doctor didn’t. There were so many people in the room with us when you were born. Both daddies took care of me. I even wore my good luck socks to ensure everything went perfectly. They were the same socks I wore when Dr. Doyle got me pregnant. I’ve not worn them since the day you were born. They are special to me and I need to make sure they don’t get worn out from wearing them. If there is ever a day where I need everything to be perfect for me or for you, I will wear them again. Phil and Jen were also in the room with us. Phil played candy crush and other video games a large part of the day and Jen was there to ensure I was able to voice my concern if we had a nurse or doctor that wasn’t listening to what I was trying to say. Everyone was so anxious but yet at the same time I think we were all calm knowing that this was the day you were making your entrance. At 6:19 pm, you decided it was time to meet your daddies. I can’t tell you who got to hold you first, but I think it was me. I got to give you to your daddies and that’s what was most important.

Every single person that came to visit you said the exact same things as I did. Everyone knew just by looking at you, that you were perfect. You were alert and not crying, you slept well and I think you knew that you were surrounded by so much love. My parents came to see you but didn’t stay very long. They really just didn’t know what to say or what to do so they just sat beside me awkwardly. Jayde held you and was so in love. She reminds me from time to time how the top of your head smelled. Even typing that last sentence, I can remember. It was something that I wish I could bottle and have whenever anyone asks how perfect you are/were. Yes, it was that good! Jen left shortly after you were born, and I’ve not seen her since. It’s been so hard on me because she had been the only person that’s been with me through all of the disappointment and all of the hurt that surrogacy brings. Teresa and Jason came to see you and it made them want a baby so much more than they already wanted one. They even asked if they could use me as a surrogate because of how perfect you were.

I didn’t sleep for the first two days after you were born, because I didn’t want to miss anything at all. I knew at some point that you would be leaving the snowy tundra of North Dakota to go to New York for a while, and then back home to Israel. I told you every secret I’ve ever kept. I told you my greatest fears and my proudest moments. I cried while you just looked at me and listened. I reminded you how special you were and that you were so lucky. You were chosen; your daddies wanted you for so much longer than I could ever try to explain. I reminded you of how many people loved you even before you were born and how many more people would love you now. I reminded you to keep the easygoing perfect nature that you had while I was pregnant and that sometimes you just need to go the direction least expected when it’s something that really matters. I let you know that you didn’t need to be just like everyone else in the world because you are you. I let you know that not everyone has a family as special as yours and not to take any of them for granted. Life is cruel sometimes and you may get hurt far more than you think you can recover from, but then something so amazing happens and you remember how fortunate you are.

I had my first surgery two short days after you were born. It was scary but your daddies kept coming to see me and sometimes they even brought you with. We had made so many plans of what we were going to do with my time off of work, but I needed to cancel all of those plans due to some medical issues. I had planned on spending Passover in New York with your family. I had also planned on another trip to Israel to spend the most time possible with you. In the end, I spent months in bed healing. I’ve tried to plan many more trips back to see you, but none have worked out. We continued to share pictures of how things were changing and we had our Skype dates. The best Skype dates for me were when you seemed to recognize my voice. I loved it even more when you would try and kiss the screen. These Skype dates will forever be ingrained in my mind. I can close my eyes and see your slobbery kisses, your smiles, your excitement and how perfect you still stayed. I love your daddies so much for sharing your time with me. You were helping me to heal.

As your first birthday approached, I was sure that the doctors would allow me to come see you. I was reminded again that due to additional issues or additional surgeries that it wouldn’t be safe for me to fly that far in my condition. This was so difficult for me. I wanted to hold you so much. I just needed to see you again. I felt like something was missing in my life and the more I thought about it, I understood that it was you I was missing so much. I researched the process of surrogacy for nearly 10 years before I signed the original paperwork, I figured I knew all there was to know about being a surrogate, including how to feel after the birth.

I realized shortly after you were born that there was so much I never knew. I know our story is so different than anyone else’s story. Not everyone has health issues following pregnancy or during pregnancy, not everyone is required to be on “bed rest” even after the delivery. Not everyone has Murphy’s Law and has everything continually go poorly. I need to remind you again, like I did on those first two days of me sharing everything with you, that none of this is your fault. You didn’t cause any of my issues. You made me a better person. You taught me so much while I was pregnant and have taught me so much since you were born. I now understand something that I never thought possible, that there is another emotion other than laughing everything off, or being stressed out all the time. I have feelings again and understand I don’t need to continually push everyone away. It’s good to allow people to help me when I need it and that I need to learn when it’s time to ask for that help. Thank you again for helping me grow over the past year. I will forever be indebted to you.

I’m thinking this is plenty for your first year of life. It’s a lot to take in and a lot to read. If there is anything I can ask of you, please remember how much you are loved and that you have family in more places than you know. I hope by your second birthday that I’m able to hold you and kiss you. I’m going to wait patiently and listen to the doctors so that I’m able to be on a plane for that long. Keep smiling and laughing and try not to break too many remotes. Keep going to the park and swinging so that everyone in the park can hear your perfect little laugh.

With all of my love,

Christina.

Yes, I know this is seriously over due. I find it very difficult to get anything done, when the only thing I need to do is “heal”.

Family, Surrogacy

What I needed to hear today…..

A wonderful friend shared this with me today. It was seriously exactly what I needed to hear and it really hit home!

“Let whatever you do today be enough!! Let go of the judgement you have about what you should be or could be doing, and today, allow yourself to simply be.

Comparing yourself and your journey may be habitual, but it gets you nowhere. It makes you feel worse and it keeps you STUCK. So stop fixating on where everyone else is, and start giving yourself permission to be exactly where you are.

Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and trust that in this moment, who you are, where you are at, and what you are doing is ENOUGH.

You will get to where you NEED to be in YOUR OWN TIME. Until then, breathe! Breathe and be patient with yourself and you process. You are doing the best you can to cope and survive amid all of your struggles and pain, and that’s all you can ask of yourself.

It’s enough. You are enough.”

Family, Surrogacy

Starting Over……

Just a little over a year ago I was able to complete the long, complicated journey as a surrogate. I gave birth to Guy on March, 5, 2014. I really felt that it was the beginning of what was to come, rather than the end of my journey.

I struggled with surrogacy for a number of years. No matter what we tried, we ended up with negative responses. Chemical pregnancy, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, negative pregnancy tests. It really felt that there would never be a light at the end of the tunnel. What R&G didn’t really know was that the more I am told I can’t do something or the more negative responses I receive, the more it pushes me to complete the task. To end up with a positive result. After seven years, I heard the heart beat more than one time!

It’s terrifying to be pregnant and be totally on edge thinking something is going to go wrong. I was totally stressed out with wondering if I took estrogen a few minutes early or if it was late. I worried with every progesterone injection that it wasn’t exactly the proper amount or I didn’t rub the injection site long enough to disperse the progesterone oil.

Getting passed that first trimester lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and allowed me to breathe a little. I was able to stop the injections and pills and just focus on keeping my body healthy for that little guy growing inside. If anyone is wondering, a pregnancy as a surrogate is definitely NOT the same as your own pregnancy. There are so many other components involved with surrogacy than a natural birth that it becomes a job rather than just being pregnant.

The second trimester was supposed to be the super easy part of the pregnancy. The entire second trimester was spent with all day sickness. It got to the point that the dog wouldn’t even remain in the bathroom with me while I was vomiting everything I had eaten or anything I had drunk because of how violent the projectile vomit was. My previous pregnancy was so easy; I never had any morning sickness or any real issues. I was losing weight as Guy was gaining. I was taking naps as he felt the need to try out for soccer or kickboxing or hip-hop dancing. It was insane that at the size he was, I could totally see my stomach moving because of the strength he had. I was still napping daily! Yep, daily. When I wasn’t napping I was working and when I wasn’t doing either of those I was on the bathroom floor. My life was totally consumed with these few items.

I finally made it to the third trimester and it was much like the first and second. I was continually taking Zofran so that I could keep a little bit of anything down. There were still so many days that the Zofran wasn’t nearly enough and I was still spending time laying on the bathroom floor so that I didn’t need a bucket next to the bed. The dog would lay with me on the floor until I got up to vomit, then she would run and hide under the bed and cry! At the beginning of January, I knew that some things weren’t quite right. The pain I was having in my hips and legs was something totally unexplainable. I saw a number of different doctors, had PT for a few weeks and had an MRI completed. The physical therapy really wasn’t the right decision. I was being stretched, massaged, had ultra sound on my hips, back and legs. The stretching the therapist was doing was making things so much worse. So much so that I went from being able to sort of walk a little on my own as long as it was really slow and I convinced my legs to just let me go a few more feet before resting yet again, to not being able to move my legs to walk. I was unable to bear weight without collapsing. I was unable to get my legs from the side of the bed, to being in bed. I was unable to move my legs under the weight of the sheet on the bed. I’m not really sure what a king size flat sheet weighs, but I’m not thinking it’s more than a pound or two. That sheet may as well have been a cement sheet based on my ability to move with it covering me. The MRI was able to determine what the real issue was and I was told on January 18th that I needed to omit any additional movements in hopes that I could save my hips. They were broken and had multiple fissures. They were moving in and out of the socket as I was “trying” to walk. The diagnosis from multiple doctors was AVN in both hips. Who knew this was even possible?

A few months of lying in bed and endless hours of terrible television brought the day that Guy was born. He really wasn’t in a hurry to be born early; he took his time after I was induced. We were all hoping for a speedy delivery since Jayde was born in 25 minutes. I showed up at the hospital on Saturday, August 9, 1997 at 11:00 am, and Jayde was born at 11:25 am. My water hadn’t broken and I didn’t feel that I was in active labor, but Jayde knew that it was time to come out! My due date with her was July 27, so she was definitely cramped in the small space she was hanging out in. The delivery was so fast that there wasn’t time for an IV, there wasn’t time for me to do anything other than getting my pants off. Back to Guy though…..we had numerous monitors hooked up to ensure he wasn’t in any distress based on my condition. There was an internal monitor stuck to his scalp after my water was manually broken. I also had multiple external monitors for him. I was required to have an epidural since the doctor was going to be required to move my legs and we didn’t think that the pain I would be in would necessarily be safe for him.

The epidural took just under three hours to be properly inserted. Seven different people “tried” to get it hooked up. I was poked and prodded 26 different times. The final attempt ended up working, but it felt like it feels when you hit your funny bone. My spine, neck and both arms were tingling the entire time the epidural was “working”. I was told that someone would be able to get the epidural inserted in the first or second try, and not to worry even after I had voiced numerous concerns from previous spinal taps that didn’t necessarily work so well. I shouldn’t complain though, it was a small price to pay to have a happy, healthy little Guy.Perfect little GuyPerfect little Guy

I was visited by friends and family shortly after Guy was born. People that I never expected to bond with him were ogling over how perfect he was. It’s crazy what happens when someone holds a baby.

I was visited by the hip surgeon just as he had explained he would the day following delivery. The x-rays that were done the day he was born were inconclusive so he needed to move me in a totally different position to be able to get the best possible images. Those x-rays were far worse than anything experienced during the pregnancy or quite possibly my entire life! I had always heard that the bones in your pelvis or in your hips sort of hold you all together, to say I totally came apart during those x-rays was a total understatement. I was asking the radiologist to chop my legs off. I had asked, rather demanded that they stop because I was vomiting from the pain and was covered completely in sweat. I generally don’t raise my voice or use choice language but the position the tech insisted I needed to be in totally pushed me over the edge. This position was to hold one leg about six inches off the table so that the side angle would show both hip joints (think a really low leg lift from lying on your back). I think about it now and it seems crazy that this small difference from one leg to the other caused so many issues. There was even someone standing next to me holding the weight of my leg because I was unable.

The only good part was that I was allowed to take a bath in a tub that was long enough for me and was jetted. It had been so long since I was able to take a bath since I was unable to lift my legs over the side of my tub at home. The tub at the hospital was about half the height and my baby belly was near gone. Phil still needed to lift me over the side and to lower me in the tub because I couldn’t hold my own weight yet. About five minutes into what I thought was the best feeling bath in my entire life, I was told the hip surgeon was in my room needing to talk to me. I thought that odd because it was close to 10 pm. Apparently the x-rays showed far more damage than the surgeon thought possible. The reason I knew this was he insisted on talking to me immediately. Even though I had just gotten in the bath, I knew it was important to discuss the issues with the surgeon personally. He joined me in the bathing room at the hospital to have the conversation with me that surgery was scheduled for 5 am the following morning. I figured there were a ton of people who were in the room for the delivery and it wasn’t like he was just standing there staring at me. He had his back turned to me, which I thought was an acceptable compromise.

I’m sort of happy that he didn’t provide me a long time to think about whether or not the following day was the perfect day for surgery, because I would have probably postponed due to being terrified of what my life was going to be like after that particular day.

Family, Surrogacy

Completing Something…..

Everyday I wake up and think “today is the day I will be able to write my final post.” In reality though, I can’t make that final entry. I worked so hard to get to handing a baby over to indented parents. I researched endlessly on what would happen as far as the legal involvement. I researched the best place for the intended parents to stay while visiting the snowy tundra of Fargo. I planned out a party for the guys so they could feel the love and support I had from friends and family through all the YEARS of failure. I’ve used up every minute allowed in my mind to focus solely on getting through this process successfully that I forgot to figure out how I was supposed to feel after the end was really The End.

I never really thought that one child would be The End though. I always thought I would bless Ronen and Gadi with a second child and then I would have enough time to help one more family. I had until the age of 42 based on Dr. Doyle’s assessment of my uterus. He told me it was beautiful and made for carrying babies. Is there really any doubt on the perfection of the babies from my uterus? I mean really; look at the perfection I have in Jayde and look at the perfection in Guy! How anyone could create perfection twice really baffles me but I will just accept it that it is….no questions asked.

The End approached without me being able to protest, question, whine, complain, ask nicely or demand a second opinion. In fact The End came even before Guy was born. The second week of January when I was put on full bed rest, The End laid in bed with me. Me not knowing I had something creeping into my body preventing another beginning. The End was prominently there when I was unable to move my legs to get out of bed. The End was screaming at me when I needed someone’s help to get off the toilet because the weight of my body was too much for me to balance on crutches for the seven steps back to my bed. The End was hanging out with me during every ultrasound to ensure Guy was perfectly safe. The End was there as I was crying in pain in the car knowing I needed to be transferred back to a wheelchair so I could get back inside and back into bed. The End had a way of laying on my pillow at night to catch my tears because I felt like I was failing.

I felt like a failure because I was only able to give someone ONE child in the course of nearly seven years. The End was even there before the beginning had begun. Somewhere deep inside The End had determined that I would sit through all the surrogate socials as the only person that was unable to get pregnant or stay pregnant. The End had decided that Guy would be the only one before any of us were able to determine when the beginning would actually be a beginning. It’s so scary time after time seeing negative results on a pregnancy test. It begins to wear a person down when all they see is “Try Again!”

In all of my researching, in all of my searching for answers for years before I even signed up to be a surrogate. Added to all of the years I spent trying to find an answer after I signed up to be a surrogate, Jayde turned 12, then in a blink of an eye she was 15, as she’s nearing 17, nearly an adult; all she knows is me trying to have a baby for someone else. All she’s able to remember are shots and pills and doctor visits and IVF and technical terms that normally don’t visit everyday conversations. She knows that plans were put on hold just in case I needed to be implanted. That celebrations turned into disappointment and that many times her needs weren’t my priority because I needed someone to take care of me. These are the times that I wish I could provide a bonus to her. Whether it be a day of something exciting to a day of nothing that ends up being memorable. I’ve apologized to her for always needing to get to The End and that being my primary focus but she has never once asked for me to do anything different from what’s been done.

As The End took hold in my body, it started to eat away at the bone in my hips. I’m sure that it was hungry for something and me trying to have a successful pregnancy wasn’t feeding the ravaging beast. As it gnawed and chewed and tore and scraped, it took my hip bones with it. Who knew that AVN was even a possibility during pregnancy when I was of normal weight, not a smoker and never used steroids. Who knew that something could be The End when it was never heard of in my case?

Guy was born healthy and happy on March 5. I was in terrible pain because of my hips but the emotional pain was more than I could handle. As we drove to the hospital on the day that was supposed to only bring happiness, I was hurting because I knew it would be the last day I would ever feel the movement of a baby, it was the last day that I would ever have a pregnant belly. It was the last day that I would wear hideous maternity jeans.

 

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Would I Change Anything…..

I’ve been asked many times in the past few months if I’m regretting my choice to be a surrogate. I’ve been told by many that they think I regret my decisions. The answer is really easy for me. I’m not regretting any of the decisions to be a surrogate and I wouldn’t have changed the outcome. I don’t sit around and feel sorry for myself on what has been happening. I’m just grateful that I’m able to help intended parents wanting a child and that all of the issues I’m experiencing are able to be fixed.

I do wish that it wouldn’t have taken seven years to get to the end result but I also understand that things don’t always happen in the time frame that I choose. There is a reason that things have taken as long as they have and there is a reason that I contracted AVN (Avascular Necrosis) during pregnancy. I can’t dwell on the reasons why, I can only accept the fact that they ARE.

I’ve made the decision that I will not be able to help any other intended parents wishing to have a child though. I think my body is telling me that this little Guy is the only surrogate baby I will be able to have. I had originally wanted to help multiple intended parents obtain their dream of having a family so this was not an easy choice to make. I know that I can help people without carrying the child for them though. I can be part of a support system they need and I can answer any of the questions that are confusing throughout the surrogacy process. I’ve worked with multiple doctors and understand the protocol that is needed to get pregnant as a surrogate. This will be my main goal moving forward.

Family, Surrogacy

Third Trimester and AVN…..

At the beginning of the third trimester I started having a stiffness in both hips. I brought up the concern to my doctor and she thought it was based on the baby’s position being so low and my hips had started to spread a little. She said the hormone relaxin is released right before birth which allows the ligaments to stretch just enough to give birth. There are instances where this hormone is released early in pregnancy causing a discomfort in hips and pelvis.

I started physical therapy right away to help hold things together as long as possible (strengthen the ligaments and muscles to relieve the pain). After weeks of physical therapy the issue became progressively worse rather than getting any better. The physical therapist suggested that I see an orthopedic surgeon in hopes that cortisone injections would ease the pain and allow for better movement. I had the injections on a Monday afternoon and by Wednesday I could no longer walk (or rather limp as I had been doing for the past few weeks) and started using crutches. I was placed on bed rest at this point (a little over two weeks ago).

I had an appointment with my doctor that Friday and after researching my symptoms and consulting many other doctors she believed I had AVN (Avascular Necrosis). The only way to determine whether or not this was what the issue was, I needed to have an MRI. She had taken the liberty of scheduling the MRI Saturday morning at 7am. I was a bit confused so I asked why on Saturday and why not wait until a weekday. She believed it was crucial that I had the MRI still on Friday but couldn’t get anyone to perform the test and also read the reports until the following morning.

I was also provided pain medication at this point. I struggled with taking the medication because of the potential side effects and the fact I wasn’t convinced it was 100% safe for the baby. I took one pill on Saturday and was able to sleep for more than 20 minutes. I was able to lay in bed without wincing when I would breathe. I understand why she wanted me to have it but I felt I was being selfish in taking care of my pain and not being concerned about the baby at all.

Monday morning I was called by the orthopedic surgeon and was told to come to their office immediately. Upon getting there he let me know that it was definitely AVN and that I needed fluid removed from my hips right away and needed cortisone injected directly into the hip socket. The previous cortisone injections I had were into the bursa area as a sort of  padding to the front portion of the bone. The fluid needed to be removed from my hip socket first because they were both so swollen that they wouldn’t be able to inject anything else to the area.

After the injections were complete, I could feel the cortisone being expelled from the joint as I would try to move my leg in any direction. It’s definitely a bizarre feeling to feel anything moving in or out of the hip socket. I was told after a few days the pain would subside and I should have more range of movement.

By Wednesday, I was no longer able to move either leg unless I picked it up with my hands first. This makes it REALLY interesting getting in or out of bed, in or out of the shower, on or off the toilet. You get the picture…..

I saw my doctor again yesterday for a progress report on the baby and any additional information on what can be done next. The progression of my AVN was explained in stages (similar to that of Cancer stages). Stage one – the beginning stages where the bone begins to die and you are uncomfortable enough to get the issue checked. Stage four – your hips are no longer able to remain in the hip socket and there are many breaks/fractures. I am currently advanced stage two. I have some fractures but the hip socket is still able to hold the ball of the hip in place.

We are delivering the baby early because of this. The doctor doesn’t want him to be too large that I damage my hips further during delivery but yet we need him to be full term. I will be delivering at 37 weeks (March 5). After delivery I will need to have both of my hips completely replaced.

We discussed many different options of surgery ranging from a bone graft to a complete replacement and in my case, the best option is to have both hips totally replaced. The hips will last anywhere from 10-25 years depending on how I care for them.

I was reminded again at my appointment on Friday that I need to be taking the pain medication. That it is safer for the baby for me to take a medication than it is for him to be in distress based on my level of pain. Reluctantly I am taking it in hopes that the limited times I am taking the medication will be low enough that he won’t be born with any of the prescription in his system.

I am very impressed with women that can be on bed rest for long periods of time. I’ve been in bed just over two weeks and I’m going crazy. I can’t imagine months of this.

On the bright side, the baby is totally healthy and seems to be happy in the position he is currently in. His heart rate is always perfect when it’s checked. His movement is crazy, he never stops moving. He is not in distress and his growth rate is perfect from week to week.baby_28Weeks  Here is what their little guy looked like at 28 weeks. I’ve thought all along that this was Gadi’s baby based on how picky he’s been but after seeing this particular image, I’m thinking he may be Ronen’s. Something about the roundness of the head/face that has me leaning towards Ronen. I guess we will know in a few short weeks.

I can’t wait to meet him…..