Thursday, May 28, 2009

ONESIE Fun...




Your Baby at 25 weeks:

Get ready for pat-a-cake! Baby's hands are now fully developed and he spends most of his awake time groping around in the darkness of your uterus. Brain and nerve endings are developed enough now so that your baby can feel the sensation of touch.

Other highlights include: Your baby's arms and legs have grown to almost the proportions they will be at birth, which is still sort of short. So don't be alarmed when your newborn's arms barely clear his waist.

Baby's nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, clear out (like he's taken a super-dose of Sudafed) and he can practice breathing through the nose. The structures of your baby's spine are now made up of 150 joints, 33 rings and some 1,000 ligaments.


The capillaries, the teeniest blood vessels, are now forming in your baby's body, giving his formerly translucent skin a pink glow. The blood vessels in the lungs also develop this week. You'll see how well that worked out when your baby gives those lungs a workout while you're on line at the bank in a few months.

Your baby weighs about a pound and a half and is about 13½ inches long—roughly the length of one of those recorders you played in elementary school music class. Who's up for a round of "Hot Cross Buns?"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A POST FOR MY SOLDIER

When I met Gerry in 1998 he was not in the military. Very soon after moving to the U.S.A he joined the Coast Guard reserves. I thought, "Good for him, if that's what makes him happy. It's only one weekend per month and 2 weeks a year away from us, that's a piece of a cake."

A few months later, Gerry was called to active duty to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. My heart stopped. Thoughts of fear and the unknown filled my mind. I was never a soldier's wife! I don't know what to do all alone! What if he never comes home? etc. etc. This wasn't supposed to happen to us, but it had. February 2004 Frankie and I drove to the West Coast of Florida to drop our guy off for what would be a long flight to the border of Iraq and Kuwait. It was one of the most emotional and terrifying times in my life, one I will never forget.

What started out as, "Oh, the Coast Guard never does more then 3 month deployments." Turned into almost a full year away from home for Gerry. I spent little time watching the news as I was scared to know what was happening so far away and out of my control. I waited for my daily, YES daily phone calls from him. My amazing soldier would walk 2 miles and wait in line 2 hours (sometimes more) every day to use the phone, just to hear my voice. In 10.5 months he only missed one day (which was out of his control). Some calls would end suddenly and I would hold my breath hoping and praying all was okay, till the next day when I could hear his sweet voice again.
While Gerry bravely fought for our country (even if neither of us were actual citizens yet) I tried to keep things status quo on the home front and stay strong and calm for him. It seemed like nothing compared to the sacrifice he was making to protect me and our friends and family from terrorism here in America. In the end it truly made our marriage stronger and gave us both a better appreciation for what we had...each other.

Memorial Day makes me remember his sacrifice and duty to his country, and I couldn't be more proud of my man and what he has done. He has served in Desert Storm for the Canadian military and Operation Iraqi Freedom for the U.S military, 2 wars for 2 countries...What a wonderful thing to share with our children some day!

God Bless all of those men and women who have served so bravely and selfishly for their country so that we could live a life of freedom.

I love you Staff Sergeant Wile and I am proud to say, ' I am a military wife, and wouldn't want to have it any other way.'

Monday, May 25, 2009

Couldn't have said it any better myself...

One dear surrogate friend recently posted on another blog, and I am overwhelmed with emotion at how fitting her words were. Quite often I am asked, "How does it feel to have used an egg donor for your cycle?" Or, "What will you tell your child?" Trea's words really hit home and I couldn't have said it any better myself...

It might be a lot or it might be a little, but we would also tell them mummy's tummy was broken but her heart was not, and that we loved them so much we traveled across continents and oceans to be with them and that no matter what, they will always be our children.

Giving birth to a child does not define you as a parent - it is how you raise them. Make the way they were conceived and born a source of pride. If you are open with them, no one has anything to feel bad about. Children are amazing and all they want is the truth.


Finally we realized we needed to stop concentrating on 'getting pregnant' and start focusing on 'becoming parents' and if that meant that our child was not biologically related to one or either of us, then so be it - we would still be parents and love them unconditionally.


Thank you Trea for taking the words right out of my mouth. I am truly proud to call this child mine and she or he will never feel anything but pure 100% unconditional love from their Mommy.

We got to chat with KT on the phone a couple of nights ago. She is now resting comfortably at the SI clinic and it was so wonderful to hear her voice. We could picture in our minds, her sweet face as she told us that she was having a roti for lunch and she was "good", "feel good" and "baby good", she "missed us" and "loved us" and ended with "You come?" Although limited, it was a great chat and to just hear the joy in her voice and know that she and our baby are both doing well, means everything to us. We only wish we were closer and not 1/2 a world away, to travel and see her. Dr. Yash says KT's tummy is getting bigger and we can't wait to see it.

We Skyped with the Docs on Sunday evening and got to see our growing 'baby belly'(and boy has it grown since we were in Mumbai) and of course, KT's beautiful smiling face. She didn't stop smiling the entire time (and neither did we). She said the baby was kicking and it made her very excited and happy, YAY!!! The Doctors are keeping her a few more days at the SI clinic to allow her to rest some more and then she is moving into a place even closer to the clinic then she already was, just as a precaution. We are so very pleased the Doctors are taking such good care of her and our baby. We remind ourselves almost daily how grateful we are for both Dr. Sudhir and Dr. Yashodhara and the entire SI team. Without all of them, our dreams would not be coming true.

24.5 week Baby Belly




















19.5 week Baby Belly

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Angel's Nursery in Progress...


We have done a lot of hard work...but we think it has paid off.
We can't wait for our baby to see their new home!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our life in BABY...

First of all, Thank you everyone for your prayers and encouragement for our Angel and our wonderful surrogate KT. It truly means so much to know friends and family from all over, are thinking of us. Both KT and our little one are doing well. KT had her procedure Monday and Gerry called Dr. Soni Monday night and before he could say anything, Dr. Soni said, "Hi Gerry how are you?" What a wonderful feeling it is to be recognized by his voice, as we have had the opportunity to get to know her during our visits to Mumbai. She said that the procedure went well and KT is resting for a few more days in the hospital to monitor for bleeding. Dr. Soni told her we were asking about her and thinking of her and sent lots of love. She said that made KT very happy that we were thinking of her. We thanked her for taking such good care of KT and she said, "I will take care of KT, you just take care of Hanna Montana (with a chuckle)." We had promised on our recent visit that we would bring some Hanna Montana items for her daughter like we always do for Dr. Yash's daughter. It truly broke the ice in a tense moment. We so love Dr. Soni! Our wonderful doctor's, Dr.Sudhir and Dr. Yash, even went by the hospital to check in on KT. Another added surprise, it appears we may be expecting a sheduled c-section now as 'baby' is big. We aren't surprised, as 'Daddy' is pretty big. We are SO confident that she is in the best of care and amazing hands of all our Doctors.

We are overwhelmed with baby! Baby names, baby clothes, baby furniture, baby registry, baby formula, baby diapers, baby books, baby, baby, baby!!! We can't get enough of BABY! It seems we eat, sleep, dream and live baby right now. Gerry had to laugh when the guys at the Fire House were all searching Craigslist on the internet, for deals on car parts, guns and motorcycles , ... and then him, searching baby stuff! Too funny! I am so proud of him, he has gotten some GREAT deals, on some next to new baby stuff, a car seat (my favorite), a baby bouncer, numerous cans of Similac formula...he is on a roll and saving us a ton of $$ on some awesome deals. I am so lucky to have him. So is our baby, he will be the greatest DAD. Our check off list of baby items is ticking down. So far we have:



DaVinci Kalani Convertible Crib in Espresso



Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile





Peg Perego Aria stroller in green bubbles...LOVE IT!







Sorelle - Nicki Changing Table in Espresso (that is great for us taller people)






Similac powder formula




Peg Perego Primo Viaggo SIP 30/30 in green bubbles...LOVE IT TOO!




Eddie Bauer Infant travel bed (thanks Jay and Danielle)





Baby Trend Play Pen (thanks Jack and Wynne)





Eddie Bauer Sling and hip Carrier





Fisher-Price Rainforest bouncer





Aveeno baby care products (wash, lotion, sun screen, etc.)






Pampers Swaddlers diapers in regular and sensitive







A ton (no I am not kidding) of onesies in sizes NB to 9 months(my addiction)... We love Ross Stores!






Avent IQ 24 Electronic Steam Sterilizer (thanks E-bay)





Avent IQ baby bottle and food warmer


A bunch of Avent bottles (4oz and 9 oz)




Avent pacifiers





Blankets, bibs, hooded towels, caps, socks...





Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe infant wraps


A bunch of Rainforest stuffed animals



Books, books and more books (Gerry's addiction)





Diaper Dudes camo dragon diaper bag for Gerry and a Skip Hop City Chic Columbus circle diaper tote for me (love, love, love them)



Not my City Chic, just yet, but I got this as a back up and it is sooo cute!










...we are having a BLAST!!!

I suppose we are not alone with these 'all things, all baby' thoughts as most pending parents would be. We hoped and prayed we would be right where we are right now, but never imagined it would feel so absolutely incredible and be SO much fun.

We had supper the other night with some friends of Gerry's who are 10 weeks along. Gerry and I have had our names picked out for years now and just recently changed them (but its a secret). Funny enough when they told us their boy name it was our original pick for a baby boy name with the exact same spelling. We realized we all had A LOT more in common then we thought not just the obvious. We already knew Gerry and Cyndi are both Fire Fighters, and Chantelle and I are both nurses. We truly had a blast, they are awesome people and it will be so much fun to share our pregnancies together.

Only 11 more working days for me and I am all done with DON work (for now at least!!). YIPPEEEE! I am getting more and more excited as the days pass and the decrease in stress has allowed me to really start enjoying this pregnancy like I should have from day one. Gerry is waiting for some fantastic news, hopefully by the end of the week. So all is going good in the career department.

We are jumping ahead with leaps and bounds and weeks are passing faster then we thought. We are due in less then 4 months now and we know it will be here before we know it.

Your Baby at 23 weeks:

Your baby's got a while to go before her lungs will be ready for air and is practicing her "breathing" on the amniotic fluid—sucking it in and out of her lungs. Other highlights this week:

Fat production is in overdrive at this point. Your baby will basically double in weight over the next four weeks!

Your Mini is starting to look more like a newborn as her skin becomes less see-through. Her body is looking more proportional now, although her head is still kinda big compared to her cute little body.

Your baby is about 11½ inches long and weighs 1 pound, or about the length and weight of a Harry Potter book.

and it appears now that our due day has moved ahead again, so has our weeks...

Your Baby at 24 weeks:

Your baby isn't just sitting around doing nothing, he's working hard preparing for life outside the womb—perfecting his lungs and packing on the pounds. He'll gain ½ pound this week alone.

Other highlights this week:


Things are starting to get a little crowded inside the old womb as baby grows bigger and bigger. KT's ribs are probably pining away for the good old days when they didn't have a foot permanently lodged between them. Hate to break it to her, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Your baby's ears are fully functional now. And since they are, you may notice that loud noises and sudden movements can startle the little bugger. He's getting used to the everyday sounds inside the womb: the sound of KT's heart beating, her lungs inhaling and exhaling air, the growling of her stomach.

Baby's got a fully developed inner ear now. This means his sense of balance is working and he can tell whether he's hanging upside down or right side up. He can also feel KT moving, so go ahead, pop in your favorite tunes and boogie.

Your little Wiener schnitzel is about the length of a foot-long Chicago hot dog and weighs about 1 1/3 pounds.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Half a world away.

We got a bit of scary news this week, KT had some spotting and had to be admitted to Hiranandani Hospital for observation. She didn't have any further spotting after 8 hours from being admitted, WHEW! They did a scan and our baby is fine. KT's placenta is lying slightly low and causing some pressure on the uterus. As a precaution they are going to place a cervical stitch to ensure all is taken care of, and our Angel will stay in it's temporary home until the right time arrives. KT will stay in the hospital for the rest of the weekend and Dr. Soni will do the procedure on Monday and keep her for a few more days of observation. She then will head to the SI clinic for some further bed rest and observation. We spoke with both Dr. Yash and Dr. Soni via phone. Dr. Soni is so amazing, giving us every detail and ensuring us all was fine and she stated, "I didn't expect her so soon, but now that she is here, I will take great care of her." She will give us a complete update Monday night after the procedure of how things are going. Dr. Yashodhara called us Saturday evening to ensure that we had a chance to speak with Dr. Soni and asked if we were 'okay' with them doing this recommended procedure. We absolutely trust both Docs and know that they will do what is best for KT and our baby.

Dr. Sudhir updated KT's medical records with all her recent tests and scans on our personal itinerary site the Docs arrange for all their IP's. Everything is looking good and we are thrilled to be kept so well informed.

These are unfortunately some of the difficulties in doing surrogacy in India. We feel so lost and helpless and only wish we could be there to hold KT's hand and tell her we are with her. To just be able to see her and know that she is okay. To be able to touch her belly and feel our baby move and know it is okay. We know she is in good hands with Dr. Yashodhara and Dr. Soni, but it is still so hard to sit here and wonder if KT is scared, or hurting or sad.

We have been truly blessed with a very uneventful pregnancy up until now. So we can't complain what so ever. Its just hard feeling so helpless and worried for our angel and our wonderful KT.

We told both the Docs to send her our love and let her know we are thinking of her. We can only hope and pray that gives her some comfort and the next 17 weeks go smoothly. Our due date has moved ahead once again by 3 more days. We are now due Sept. 13th.

Please say an extra prayer for KT and our sweet Angel.

I have been chatting on the phone with some very special surrogate gals and I am learning of stories of courage, strength, hope and joy. What amazing woman these girls are. We are from different countries, but all have one common bond. Its so nice to be able to share our journeys.

My wonderful assistant Barb and dear friend Jo are planning a going away/ baby shower for me/us at work. It is the buzz of the facility and everyone is so excited...me included. Gerry will be away for some military training in Florida (our old stomping grounds) for a week, so they are waiting till he returns on the 6th of June (the day after I finish at work).

An update on 'teaching an old dog new tricks'...Frankie is using her doggie door like a pro finally. She had to learn that it was okay for her to come and go as she pleases without getting our approval. Standing by the door staring at us appeared to be getting old, so she decided it was okay, and now we know she is using it routinely. I came home from work and couldn't find her anywhere in the house, after a short panic I went out in the backyard to find her sniffing around. I was SO excited, first because she was okay and second, cause she used her door all on her own! Oh boy, do we need a kid or what????

We just can't get enough of our baby:

video

Friday, May 15, 2009

TRULY AMAZING...

Our long awaited ultrasound cd finally arrived from India today. Here is our beautiful angel smiling away. Guess they are enjoying their temporary home. Hopefully this is a good sign that we will have a happy baby! Either way he/she looks healthy and amazing. We can't wait to meet them.

Thanks to Dr. Yash and Dr. Sudhir for truly making our day...


Our 22 week 3D scan:


video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Opening up our hearts to tell our story.


Yep, our Chatelaine magazine article is out... its the featured story in the June issue (an 8 page spread). We were SO surprised! We both feel it was well written, considering most articles about surrogacy tend to be very negative. We especially like how it told 'our' story. Both Gerry and I have received a lot of positive feed back, mainly from

people who live in Canada who have seen the article. A bunch of people didn't even know about it and wrote saying the funniest things. My mother-in-law got the one and only copy of the magazine saved for her at the local pharmacy in her little town in New Germany, Nova Scotia. Here is a bit of what people are saying...


Looking at your article in Chatelaine. Our office gets the mag. Lovely photo of you two!

We just bought your Chatelaine! Its so cool. Very proud. :) It made my life a little...teehee!

Finally got the magazine today, hot off the presses. The author did a wonderful job of capturing your emotional journey, and your and Gerry's love for each other. Beautiful! September can't come soon enough.

I loved the Chatelaine article Rhonda! I realize how lucky my wife and I are, to have 4 healthy kids (and 2 miscarriages). Your commitment to becoming a family is heartening. I wish you all the best luck and hope you enjoy parenthood!

amazing article... i just read the whole thing and cried several times.. we love you guys and are so happy for you.


I was reading my Chatelaine magazine and was looking at the picture of a couple, thinking how in love they look and OMG it is you guys!!! I read your story, you have been through a lot.

I was surprised to see you in the copy of Chatelaine that arrived yesterday. I almost missed it, I was quickly flipping through and then looked a little more closely at the photos! I ended up reading the whole story out loud at the dinner table. We especially liked the happy ending!

I've asked family back in Canada to pick up a copy of this edition for us...so proud to say I "kinda" know you two!

We never imagined it would make such a statement. We hope it opens peoples eyes to the world of surrogacy in India as a possible answer to their longing for a child.

Thank you to our wonderful journalist Lisa for a job well done and to Lana for some great photos. Here is the link to the on-line version (minus some of the photos). Chatelaine article Let us know your thoughts...

Friday, May 8, 2009

CHANGES

Today was a good day. After much soul searching and discussion, I resigned from my current position as Director of Nursing. For the first time in 8 years I will be punching a time clock, wearing scrubs and just being responsible for me and my patients. No long days, constant stress, calls in the middle of night, responsible for everyone anymore!!!

I am SO excited to be taking a break from all of this and finally just be going to work, doing my job, coming home and being able to concentrating on just me, my husband, our puppy, and our upcoming family.

I have to give a 30 day notice, but it is nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My staff has been so incredibly supportive and all have said what a wonderful job I have done and how I will be greatly missed. That makes the last year so worth while.

I am getting my priorities in order and Gerry always says it best, "We work to live, not live to work." A job, is a job, is a job, and they come and go, but family is forever and you only get one shot to do it right. I'm going to do everything in my power to try and get it right my first go around.

Everyone keeps reminding me that this is my first official Mother's Day. WOW...I keep forgetting that I am a Mommy. Won't be much longer before it is a constant reminder. I can't wait!

I am amazed we are already at 22 weeks. We are still without pictures of our scan done while we were in Mumbai. Dr. S's computer crashed and so we are patiently waiting for our keepsake photos of our precious angel. Looks like so far you think its a boy...

Your Baby at 22 weeks:

Your Mini's hands have grown bigger and stronger and the nerve endings in her fingers have developed her sense of touch. She's in there testing out her newfound abilities by touching her face and grabbing the umbilical cord.

Other cool developments:

You're already raising a little Einstein. Your baby's brain is developing at a clip this week and will continue to do so until she's five years old (so load up on the Omega 3)! Baby's hair is now a short, bright white crop (Billy Idol, eat your heart out!). No matter what color it will end up—red, blonde, black—all babies' hair lacks pigment at this point.

Your baby has started growing taste buds and may be able to detect strong flavors in the amniotic fluid. If you could see inside, you might catch her sticking out her tongue for a taste and then grimacing, a sign that perhaps you should chill on the chili powder.
(or curry powder in KT's case)

Your baby now weighs almost a pound and measures almost 11 inches from her head to her heel, which is how the Stretch Armstrong in your uterus will be measured from here on out. Up 'til now your baby's legs were curled tight up against her torso, so she was measured from her head to her bottom (or crown to rump) and not head to toe. This week your mini is about as long as a package of Oreos and as heavy as a large bag of tortilla chips. Who's hungry?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

More pics of our Amazing trip...

Friday, May 1, 2009

What a truly perfect vacation.

So much to tell.

We had a jam-packed week full of fun. Mid-week we ventured out on our own since we are getting to be old pro's at getting around Mumbai by now. We took a cab close to where KT lives and J met us to direct us down a long dirt road to their home. It was truly a scene from a movie when their eldest son (7 year old H) yelled with excitement to see our cab and ran along the path of the sidewall that separated us from their community. J told us the 'whole colony is awaiting our arrival.' What a wonderful welcome it was.

KT has 3 younger sisters who were all at her home welcoming us with open arms. The next oldest to her speaks English very well and was able to help to translate for us. She was waiting with her henna tubes in hand, ready to decorate my arm and hand. First KT had to serve us the food she had prepared. Of course she didn't listen and cooked way too much! It was a traditional meal of curry chicken (that she didn't spice up too much for me...how very sweet) with rice, parathas (small round bread) and finished up with a delicious mango desert. Every time Gerry's plate got near empty one of the girls would come out of no where to place more food on it. The meal was truly amazing.

We met KT's Mom and Dad, and we could see how very proud they are of their daughter. I told her Mom she has a very special daughter and she replied that she was there to take great care of her daughter. It was apparent the entire family was there to lend support and that made us so very happy.

Their home was a one room loft with a separate bathroom. SI requires all surrogate homes to have electricity, running water and a separate bathroom. KT and J decided on this place as it was close to her family. Each surrogate has the ability to find their own place or have SI arrange one for them.

We felt very special to have been invited to their home. It was truly an unexpected honor and for us to experience it on our own was a great bonding experience for both families.

A couple days later, KT and family came back over to our hotel for the boys to enjoy the swimming pool. We found out that it was their first time ever in a pool. The kids squealed with delight as Gerry joined them in the pool.

KT's sister came along, which we were grateful for, as it helped us to really communicate. We had lunch and chatted for what seemed like hours. She asked if we have servants and Gerry jokingly said, 'yep I am her servant.' We learned so much about each other. KT loves clothes and jewelry. Her and J had an arranged marriage where they met on their wedding day, but fell in love. She smiled and asked, 'yours was a love marriage?'

She has been feeling great so far in the pregnancy. She has been 'just a little bit sick', and craving 'spicy foods.' When Gerry offered her apple juice she politely refused telling us that she had prayed to the prophet (a Muslim belief) that you give up something you really like for your dreams to come true. She sacraficed apples, as she loves them, until her dreams of the baby being born and having her home come true.

The kids enjoyed riding up and down with Gerry in the glass elevator. The hotel staff was so wonderful and accommodating. Both boys held our hands when walking to the pool and even gave us kisses good-bye. We were so touched.

We purchased a fold out mattress and 2 fluffy pillows for KT to sleep on at home (it is quite common in India to sleep on just a rug on the floor). We told her we wanted her and the baby to be comfortable, and I'm sure that the boys will snuggle up on it as well. It was quite the scene earlier in the day to see us on the Rickshaw returning to the hotel with a mattress and pillows and bags jammed in between the two of us.

We spent more time then we had ever dreamed of with KT and her family. They were so wonderful and wanted to spend as much time as possible with us as well. This was one of the main reasons that we decided to stay the entire time in Mumbai this trip and not venture off for a few days. She wanted to see us off at the airport but when the Docs called her, her husband said she was sleeping. I guess that mattress came in handy after all, and we probably wore her out from all the visiting during the week. It was definitely more important for her to rest.

We took a day trip to Elephanta Island, finally after 3 visits to India, and it was well worth it. Its only 375 INR (less than $8.00 US) per person and a really nice time.

We are back home and almost a week has already passed. We knew that when we got back from our trip, time would fly. Tomorrow our little angel is already 21 weeks.

Your Baby at 21 weeks:

Chances are KT is feeling someone performing a round-off back handspring in her uterus by now. Is there any other feeling this cool?

Other highlights this week:


By now your baby looks like a mini-version of what she'll look like when she's born. All her facial features are formed and hair is growing on her head. She's even acting like a baby and will occasionally suck her thumb or yawn. Aww ...

Baby's heartbeat is getting stronger and can be heard using a good old-fashioned stethoscope. Ask for a listen at your next prenatal visit! By 21 weeks, fetal bone marrow starts making blood cells—previously done by the liver and spleen. This may not sound that exciting, but it's good news.

The amniotic fluid that has been cushioning your little bean now serves another purpose: Your baby uses it to "practice" chowing down. Yes, it sounds gross (as many aspects of pregnancy do), but it's an important step for your baby toward being able to chow down in the real world. Your baby has been swallowing amniotic fluid for a while now, but now the intestines are finally developed enough that she's absorbing small amounts of sugars from it. And let's face it, being able to effectively digest sugar is important at every stage of life.

Your baby now weighs between 10 and 11 ounces and is approximately 7 inches long—the size of a delicious, cold, frothy bottle of root beer. Float anyone?

Pics of our trip...