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.


Off To Surgery…..

I showed up at the Emergency Room at about 3AM in more pain than I could ever remember but yet somehow I had managed to convince myself that there was nothing wrong. So much so that I hadn’t even let anyone know I had left for the ER. I didn’t bother to wake Jayde, call Jen or notify my parents; all because I had convinced myself that this was all a normal process of being implanted and the pain would subside once the doctor pushed on my stomach a few times.

After getting pain medication via IV every hour on the hour and not a minute late for five hours without the pain subsiding, the doctor did an ultrasound and knew he needed to discuss what he had found with the on call OB Surgeon as well as Dr. Liberach from CReATe. My left fallopian tube was massive and the ultrasound indicated there wasn’t a viable pregnancy in my uterus. The ER doctor was baffled since I had been implanted, IVF, he sort of figured there was no way I could have an ectopic pregnancy since the embryos were “implanted.” His reasoning were they were placed where they needed to be and that should be where they stayed! Guess even doctors learn something new every day.

The surgeon came in and informed me that I was going to be taken into surgery for a salpingectomy to have my left fallopian tube removed because I had an ectopic pregnancy. This would be done via laprascope and I’d have three small incisions. There would be a very small chance that I’d need to be cut open but this would be a “small” chance. I told the doctor that while she was in there, go ahead and take both tubes because there was no way I was going to have any more children of my own. apparently people say things when they are in pain and no matter how many times I insisted that she seriously take BOTH, she would only take one. Now there is only 1-2% of 1-2% that I will ever have an ectopic pregnancy via IVF for surrogacy again. If it should happen on the right side on my next implant, I think I need to buy some lottery tickets!

Surgery went flawlessly. I woke up in pain but the nurse was there feeding me ice-chips. What is the purpose of that anyway? Hello! I’m in pain and you think a few pieces of frozen water are going to help? Awe it really wasn’t all that bad. I was uncomfortable, but only when I would breathe. I know a bad habit; in and out, over and over again, every day! After about an hour I was taken back to my room where my dad was waiting for me. I found out from a friend that he said it was really hard to see me in pain, laying in a hospital bed. Once the doctor came in and gave me pain meds, I was all giggly and dad was able to breathe a sigh of relief again.

Dad stayed with me for a few hours until I fell asleep. I woke up and it was time to go home.  I think it’s crazy how they cut you open, expect you to get up and move around and then send you on your way with a bottle of narcotics. Specific instructions to come back if things aren’t “normal.” How are you supposed to know what is normal or not when you’ve never had a procedure such as this? I guess I will find out……


All About Lucas Part III…..

I don’t know exactly when it was but I began to refer to Lucas as “My Lucas.” It was such a natural progression that I can’t really pinpoint when it happened either. Someone would ask what I was doing and I would indicate, I needed to take pictures of “My Lucas” today and they ultimately knew exactly what I was talking about. Lucas was shaping me into a better photographer and all around better person. Anyone that really know me, will be able to tell you that I generally have one emotion and that’s happy. Nothing really touches me, nothing moves me, I generally just keep to myself and am “unmovable.” Except when Lucas is in the room. When he is in my presence, I am able to experience so many other emotions. Bizarre, I know!

Teresa so graciously allowed me into her little family and I allowed them into ours. I took Christmas pictures, was invited to birthday parties, attended karaoke parties, was there for laughter and tears, I was honored when Teresa invited me to her wedding not only as a photographer but also as a friend. I was called when Lucas lost his first tooth because this was a milestone Teresa had waited endlessly for. Now besides the contagious crinkle nose, drool-y smiles I would get upon saying his name, I would get to experience the gap tooth smile we had so eagerly awaited.Lucas had his seventh birthday party at a bowling alley and I saw so many smiles and so much excitement from Lucas. It was such a wonderful day and again I was so blessed to be asked to join them on this special day.

Now to the part I really don’t want to discuss. Lucas isn’t doing so good. He is in the hospital awaiting a very complicated surgery tomorrow that the doctors have never attempted on anyone else before and it is unknown what will happen during or after surgery. I’ve taken the following information directly from his Caring Bridge site because I could never begin to explain the things Teresa can so eloquently state:

The future –  on monday he will undergo and very extensive and intricate cervical spine fusion surgery lasting up to 10 hours.

His rib will be harvested for proper bone fusion, he will enter the world Christopher Reeves, minus the vent, with some crazy headgear called a halo where barbaric nuts and bolts are screwed in his skull. We hope that with Lucas’s history of weakened bones, it holds.    After the surgery, he may regain what he lost but it’s doubtful. The main purpose of the surgery is to prevent further damage, mainly keep him alive. If his cord gets damaged further, he’ll stop breathing and end up on a vent or worse.

It is the best of the worst options.  I try to stick with the old tried and trued saying that everything happens for a reason but I’m not sure I’m on board with paralysis in a kid who is already in a wheelchair due to  other undiagnosed developmental delay.  I guess the good news that we are already well eqipped to handle this.  It would be much different but equally devastating if Lucas were a normal healthy 7 year old.

Did I mention that Lucas also has what appears to have a tumor in his brain?  We’ll figure out the status-quo of that issue at a later time.  Right now it’s on the back burner with his hip dislocation.

Gillette, now part of my medical heart, has built-in compassion and caring that can only be replicated by other specialized childrens facilities.  Their kindness has kept me from jumping over the edge of insanity.  I’m still teetering though.  When I asked the pediactric neurosurgeon how many surgeries like this he has performed.  He smiled nervously and said “none.”  Trust is imperative.

So now I’m going to be selfish! I’m not ready by any means to take Lucas’s last images. He needs to make it through this surgery just as he has many others. He needs to open his eyes and smile when he hears his name or when someone says “Ouch!” If he is in the halo, it will just be part of his Super Hero costume and it will be decorated appropriately.