Sunday, January 29, 2012

This is So Last Week

I have been busy doing "stuff" lately.

Like Working.

Which means I have had less time for other "stuff" lately.

Like blogging.

Which means: (1) I am finally catching up on everyone's news-- and there is quite a bit lately-- so please accept my congrats, sympathy and/or sheer delight if any apply-- I will attempt to resume commenting this week, and (2) I am finally catching up on the "Liebster" wildfire and would like to extend my sincerest thank you to CC for the nomination.

It looks like by now everyone has got the idea, but for those of you who like me may have been on hiatus the past few weeks, a little blurb about the Liebster.

Liebster is a German word, meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favorite. The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is that it is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to create new connections and bring attention to these wonderful blogs!

And now, a little blurb about why I love CC:

1. She gives crazy hormonal infertile women whom she has never met her cell phone number while they are cycling and tells them to call her "any time."

2. She is a true surrogacy in India pioneer who was brave enough to share her story way before it became in vogue, and as result, has led countless couples who would have otherwise remained childless to their families.

3. She excels at Numbers 1 and 2 while simultaneously excelling as a mommy to twin almost-toddlers.

And now, from what I understand, I am supposed to pass the torch onto another deserving blog, a task which I found relatively easy. I am proud to highlight a VERY important bog, which in turn, highlights over 50 other VERY important blogs:

That is, the blog of Surrogacy Centre India.

What makes this blog so VERY important, is that it is the sole reason many of us on this crazy roller coaster of a ride called surrogacy in India were even able to find the ticket booth in the first place.

Indeed, the Surrogacy Centre India blog gives new meaning to "word of mouth" advertising-- and seeing as international surrogacy is one of the best kept family building option secrets out there, it serves a VERY important role.

Not only does it proudly list links to those blogs of intended parents at all stages of "the journey", it regularly highlights "success stories" of intended parents all around the globe.

It screams "you can do it" "never give up" and "you are not alone."

For all of these reasons, I believe it deserves an award. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Ultimate To "Not" Do List

I still can't figure out why I did it, but I did.

When our surrogate was approximately 12 weeks, I created an account on BabyCenter.

A new account.

For this pregnancy. You know, the one where someone else is carrying my babies.

And as we approach Week 22 of "our" pregnancy, I still can't pinpoint exactly why I did it. Maybe I just wanted some acknowledgement that I am part of "the club", or maybe I was hoping that once again I would be bombarded with daily deliveries of sample baby swag and actually be able to use it (for something other than target practice)... or maybe, just maybe, I wanted to see how close I could get to becoming that girl again. (You know, the blissful, infertility-ignorant, post my pee stick on Facebook girl. Yes, that girl.)

Whatever the reason, I have come to the conclusion that it was....stupid, stupid, stupid.

Indeed, rather than making me feel a part of  "the Birth Club" it instead serves as a constant reminder that I am Not pregnant, that aside from my bimonthly wire transfers I have no impact on this pregnancy whatsoever, and most recently, that I am seriously slacking on the baby preparations-- because, naturally, I am too terrified to make a move.

Of course, like most infertility downers, sometimes all you can do is laugh. Which is why I have taken the time to assess my progress on the most recent anxiety-inducing email I received from BabyCenter-- The Ultimate Pregnancy To Do List. You can check out my status below.

1. Make sure you're really pregnant. This one totally cracks me up. For the past five months I've been trying to figure out the answer. The evidence (aside from my once a month emails) is seriously lacking, hence, the verdict is still out...

2. Try a home pregnancy test or two in the week after your
period normally arrives. Did it. It was negative- shocking, I know.

3. Take your prenatal vitamin. The folic acid in these is especially important now – it reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Ahhh, one of those great infertility "bonuses." Four years and no baby but darn if I don't have some great lookin' nails. 

4. Investigate health insurance. Done. As you can imagine, it was pretty rough choosing from amongst those plans that cover out of country infertility treatments. 

5. Know what your health plan covers and where to get help if
you don't have insurance. Nothing and Nowhere.

6. Choose a caregiver. Thankfully, Dr. Google was still accepting new patients.

7. Ask friends, relatives, or your doctor to recommend an OB,
family physician, or midwife – or search online. Let's just say I think we've given new meaning to the "search online" option. 

8. Make a prenatal appointment. Get on your caregiver's calendar – but don't be surprised if your first appointment isn't until 8 weeks or later.
20+ weeks and still waiting...

9. Make sure your meds are safe. Ask your caregiver about any prescription and over-the counter medications you're taking. Rest assured the "meds" are safe. (Liquor cabinet has a lock.)

10. If you smoke, quit. No need to. Smoking raises the risk of a host of pregnancy problems, including miscarriage and preterm birth. You don't say. So do five prior miscarriages. Thinking I should've taken my chances with cigarettes.

11. Stop drinking alcohol. Start drinking alcohol. 

12. Make sure your activities are pregnancy-safe. Some everyday things may be hazardous now. Like signing up for BabyCenter, hanging out with visibly pregnant women and opening my email every morning.

13. Do your best to eat well. Nearing the third trimester and haven't gained pound!

14. Drink water. Drink wine.

15. Go to bed early. To compensate for staying awake all night worrying.

16. Learn the signs of a pregnancy problem. Like too much wine?

17. Cut down on caffeine. And just how exactly am I supposed to stay up all night worrying if I do this?

18. Think about when you'll announce your pregnancy. Oh I've thought about it plenty. Settled on sometime between "on a plane to India" and "when the babies are born." (But still feeling this might be a little too early.)

Note that this is the Trimester One List. For details on when I will brave opening the Trimester Two List, see above answer to No. 18. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Adults Say the Darndest Things

Conversation with My Contractor 

Me: I'd like to have you measure for some carpet in the spare bedroom. We're expecting twins this spring and want to begin getting their room ready within the next month or so.

Contractor: (awkward glance at my stomach)

Me: With a surrogate. In India.

Contractor: Ohhhhh. (Puzzled look.) Can I ask why two?

Me: (Best "you must be kidding" look.) Oh, you know, they sent us the catalogue and it was a big decision, but eventually we decided, what the heck, let's check "2." 

Contractor: (Puzzled look returns.) Um, ok, I'll be out soon to measure.

Sometimes I just can't help myself!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Which One of Them is Not Like the Others?

My boss's daughter came into the office today.
She's pregnant.
20+ weeks.
With twins.

My other boss's daughter called the office today.
She's pregnant.
20 weeks.
With a singleton.

My coworker in the office next to mine is not pregnant.
But she has twins.

Not surprisingly, there was a whole lot of discussion in the office today about being 20 weeks pregnant and having twins. Discussion, which I am totally qualified to participate in, but can't.

Why? Well,

1. Nobody knows I am 20 weeks "pregnant."
2. Nobody knows I am having twins.

As a result, my asking if they were aware that babies are measuring roughly the size of a banana at the moment would have would have been completely out of line.

Of course, add to the situation that another coworker who is aware of my infertility (but not our News) was giving me a pitiful "so sorry you have to sit through this conversation look" and I was too busy worrying whether my deceitfulness might result in my bursting into flames at any given moment to be concerned about what I could contribute to the conversation.

And while I do intend to share our News in roughly one month or so (I just need one more ultrasound to feel a wee bit more confident), as my weekly BabyCenter email  reminded me today, I still will not have anything  to contribute to the whole "pregnancy" portion of the conversation.

No, my ligaments are not aching this week, my palms are not red, and though my facial skin tone is a bit uneven, I can assure you that this is the result of one too many summers spent lying on the beaches in Aruba and not, our little May miracles.

Yes, surrogacy in India is a whole different ballgame. Indeed, it is one with a very unique set of "signs." For some dead giveaways, see below:

Top 10 Signs Someone You Know is Pursuing Surrogacy in India
  1. They shower with their smartphone.
  2. They have an uncanny ability to divide by 44 on the fly. 
  3. They start using phrases like "only $30,000.00."
  4. When asked their OB's name they say Dr. Google.
  5. Lakshmi and Gupta have made their top 10 baby names list.
  6. Their "hospital bag" consists of 7 suitcases, 400 diapers, 30 bottles and several weeks worth of onesies.
  7. They celebrate a positive pregnancy test with a bottle of wine.
  8. When labor begins their doctor calls them.
  9. When asked their due date they give a 2 month range.
  10. Upon entering the bank, the wire transfer rep hides.
anyone else?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Halfway There!

As the lyrics (and the enthusiastic crowd reaction) imply we are...


THERE as in Delhi, babies, becoming parents, and the big 37 week mark-- a/k/a "full term" for twins. 

Earlier this week we were VERY excited to receive our ultrasound report which showed both babies still measuring ahead with Twin I measuring 18 weeks 4 days and Twin II taking the lead at 19 weeks 4 days. 

We also received our first 4D pictures which totally melted our hearts. Luckily I had the day off and was able to re-download them roughly every 7 1/2 minutes ALL DAY LONG!

Also accompanying the report was an email reminder from my doctor that "everything is on schedule, hence, you do not need to worry." 

Ohhhhhhhh, so that's what "everything is on schedule" means. Good to know. Next time I will not stay up all night worrying. 

Ok, that's a big fat lie, however, as part of my New Year's resolution I am going to give it a try. 

Because even though I really wanted to share with you how 2012 will be the year I  religiously attend that 5:30 a.m. Boot Camp class or actually mail those hundreds of greeting cards I write, I have been "challenged" to tackle something far more difficult. 

Thank you Avey, for suggesting that I BELIEVE and ENJOY, and to Doug for "owning it" and challenging me to do the same. (Yes, I run with a tough crowd over here in Blogland.)

Nevertheless, I am always up for a challenge. Which means I promise I will start BELIEVING and ENJOYING just as soon as I reach that 30 week mark. 

What? No fair? You think I should start NOW?!? Now, when I've yet to cease sleeping my with smartphone? Now, when I am still adhering to a strict "look but don't touch" policy in the baby aisles lest I "jinx" anything? Now, when I am only half-way there, hence (as my doctor would say) I still have a "whole" half-way to go?

Well, I suppose if it would make certain fellow-bloggers happy, I could try

After all, what's a New Year's resolution if you can't break it? 

I'll keep you posted on my progress...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mummy in 2012?

Ok, I swear I meant to put an exclamation point after that title. Darn key is always so sticky!

Because it's not like I'm the least bit uncertain about this actually, finally, after all this time, maybe, possibly, hopefully working out? Hmpfff. There it goes again. I really need to get this keyboard fixed.

What's really funny is back in September somebody promised me that I would be a "mummy in 2012." I know, crazy, right?

Everyone knows that the last thing you ever promise a crazy, hormonal, serial fertility treatment failure is... a baby!

But I kid you not, that's what she said:

"I promise you will be a mummy in 2012."

And of course I laughed it off and figured sooner or later she would figure out just exactly who she had taken on as a patient and quickly retract her statement just as all the other doctors had done...

but darn if two weeks later I didn't get an email with THE most wonderful news ever!

And sure enough, underneath THE most wonderful news ever were the following words:

"Mummy in 2012."

Hindi to English translation? "I told you so."

I love this lady. I love the worldwide friendships I have formed as a result of this lady. And I LOVE that today is the first day of 2012. Because  although I may still be having a hard time believing it, according to someone (who apparently keeps her promises)

I am going to be a mummy in 2012! 

Happy 2012 to All! Love, Bernadette & Duane