Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our Angel's Nursery is FINALLY all done...

So we updated our video with all the new changes, the final touch will be our baby's name over the changing table and on the growth chart.


We are pulling things out and packing and washing and getting ready in case of a last minute call from India. Making our list and checking it twice. My India travel Visa arrived and I am approved for the next ten years, so that means more trips to Mumbai, but this time as an entire family (well minus Frankie of course). We did some final shopping with some of our gift cards and picked up the remainder of stuff on our registry. We now have our Inflatable Travel Bath Cradle, Primo Eurobath for home, Fisher Price Space Saver highchair, Diaper Champ, Breathe Easy Sleep Positioner, Deluxe Bottle Drying Rack, Sony Baby Call Monitor, Rain Forest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym, Tubside Kneeler and Step Stool, Frog Pod Bath Toy Scoop & Drain and Storage, Portable Bath and Changing Caddy, Detachable Grooming and Health Care Kit, Avent Tempo Disposable Bottle System for the plane trip home, Munchkin Formula Dispensers x2 (one for my diaper bag and one for Gerry's), wash clothes, caps, onesies, bibs, toys, burp clothes, books, teethers, blankets, and so much more.

We got a GREAT deal on Craigslist for a Dutailier rocker/recliner combo. Its not in the dark wood like our nursery, but it was too good of a deal to pass up and chances are we will only keep it for a couple of years and it won't be a permanent part of the room. I know it will come in handy for those late night feedings. Gerry also picked up our little one's first set of golf clubs from the PGA store, so they can play a round with Papa. He/she will apparently like golf?

All of our company has left and I was a little sad. It was nice to have such a wonderful distraction from everything and to just reminisce about old times and lots of talk of upcoming events. What wonderful family and friends we have. We are so very blessed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Knock, Knock .......... Who's There?

What an amazing weekend! I believe that there are some moments in your life that are forever etched in your mind. The day you meet the love of your life, your wedding day, the day your child is born, and this past weekend for me...

I rushed home Friday after work, first stopping for balloons and then changed into my scruffy clothes all ready to work until dawn preparing all of the food for the big party. Gerry arrived home just shortly after me and as we were talking, the door bell rang. Much to my amazement there stood my Mom. The tears started to flow and Frankie got so excited (unfortunately that triggered another episode there on the front porch). Of course Mom said...'Well, show me the nursery!' We headed to the nursery and I opened the door to see my big sister Tracy standing there. I screamed in shock and then the tears really started to flow. Lately I had been feeling a little lonely preparing for this big celebration of our new arrival and it felt empty without my family there with me. This just made it all that more special. We had an amazing evening cooking, preparing and just bonding. I just kept looking at them and smiling, I was so happy.

SURPRISE!!!!


Here come the tears...


And now the tears REALLY start to flow.

The next day we were all up early and began finishing up the remaining work for the big bash. After a few hours the door bell rang once again and there stood my dear friend and neighbor from Florida, Ivonne and her family. Ivonne was there for me when my family couldn't be...my miscarriage, my time alone when Gerry was deployed overseas during the Iraq war and so much more. She is the sweetest, most wonderful person and dear friend a girl could ever ask for. I was blown away.

Wonderful friends from Florida

Every time the door bell rang that day, I was afraid to answer it!

The party was a huge hit. Everyone seemed to have a fun time and we had so much food. We even served some Indian food, chicken tikka, samosa and naans, which was a huge success. We were blessed with so many beautiful gifts including MORE clothes. Oh my, I think our little one already needs another closet at this point.

Grandma warming up


Opening gifts with my sister keeping track


Angelica's beautiful creation...and all edible


Playing 'guess the melted chocolate bar in the diaper' game


The Girls!

Sadly, Mom and big Sis left on Monday, but not before spending some much needed Mother-Daughter bonding time all day Sunday. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

We met with our Pediatrician Dr. Gentile last week. He is a soft spoken, calm and gentle man. We were very pleased with him. We found out that he has had quads via IVF, so we figured our story of surrogacy in India didn't even phase him. We talked about required tests and vaccines while in India and anything that we needed. He assured us that everything can be done once we return to the U.S and just to give his office a call from India so that they can get us in as soon as we return.

Our preparation for Operation Birth in India is getting done and we are hoping and praying for as much time as possible to be sure everything is in place. (YAH right! like that could ever happen in the best case scenario with a baby).

We recently heard from our incredible Doctors, and they said we are probably looking at the end of August for travel to India. That would put us around 38 or so weeks. It is still a little early to tell, but at this point that is just over a month from now. WOW!... with all the babies being born lately it is really getting us more and more excited. Congrats to my cycle buddy Carrie Jo. We have been chasing her heels since the beginning and we are so thrilled at the birth of their precious little girl, it won't be long until we have our little angel in our arms.

Your Baby at 33 weeks:

The big news this week is lung development—baby's respiratory system is almost completely mature. That means if your baby was born this week, odds are he'd be a healthy bouncing baby with a just a little help from his friends (aka, the NICU).

Some of the specifics are:


Your baby can now detect light and tell the difference between night and day (of course that ability will miraculously disappear once he's born and up all night screaming). His pupils will constrict and dilate in response to light.
The bones in your baby's skull are soft and are not yet fused together. In other words, now is not the time to teach him how to do a headspin while breakdancing. This pliability allows the bones to overlap; making that trip down the tight birth canal possible (and resulting in that surprising cone head look your baby will sport for the first few days post-birth. Don't worry, it's totally normal and that's what hats are for.) Your baby will continue to pack on the pounds gaining around ½ pound a week from here on out. Your baby weighs about 4½ pounds, as much as a grownup duck, and is approximately 17.5 inches long, about the same as a collarbone-length pearl necklace.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Mother's Daughter.

...well I was for one weekend anyway. June Cleaver, AKA my Mother, as she is sometimes referred to as, is the biggest clean freak I know. Gerry often jokes that those genes didn't rub off on me. She is truly a domestic Goddess in every sense. Me on the other hand...well, my favorite saying is, 'Why did God create restaurants if he wanted us to cook?' Seriously though, I love a home cooked meal and a clean home, and I can do both, BUT, I don't enjoy either (Sorry Honey). Mom on the other hand, sings her way through a day of spring cleaning and enjoys every minute of it. Gerry and I cleaned like we were expecting the Queen of England, or even better our new little bundle of joy very soon. Walls were washed down, carpets steam cleaned, every room dusted and organized, and each and every single bit of dog hair was vacuumed up. WHEW!!...it was a long and very busy weekend, but we accomplished a ton.

We are expecting a full house this coming weekend for our baby celebration with over 60 friends already RSVP'd, and I'm sure a few more will show up. The more the merrier!!! So as you can imagine, we have been busy shopping and preparing for that as well. It should be a lot of fun, getting everyone together to enjoy looking at all of the pictures from our trips to India, some Indian dishes (yes, from a restaurant), BBQ burgers and dogs, karaoke, games, swimming and just fun in the hot, hot, sun (they are calling for 112 degrees on Saturday).

We go for our consultation with the Pediatrician tomorrow evening and it will be interesting to see what his reaction is to our story.

We got an update from our wonderful Docs the other night. They were excited about their latest arrival. Chaya (whom I have been in contact with from the moment she began with SI) and her husband Sam's little girl Ella arrived via surrogacy earlier this week. Chaya is a wonderful person and so very deserving of this amazing gift. We are so happy for her and hubby. They have started the way for the many upcoming deliveries in the next few months...ours included.

KT is doing great and getting big, we begged for a picture of her belly when she came to the clinic next and were surprised to find one when we opened our email this morning. We can see her belly is really getting bigger. The docs said she looks great and continues to feel well. J her hubby, continues to take her to all of her medical appointments and is taking such wonderful care of her while she rests at home.

Our baby belly at 32 weeks.

And once again with all this preparation, of course we are falling behind in our baby updates so, here are 2 weeks in one...

Your Baby at 31 weeks:

From this week on, your baby will continue to gain around ½ pound a week until shortly before birth.

Other highlights this week:

Due to increasing space constraints, your baby's arms and legs stay drawn up close to the body now, known as the fetal position (oh, so that's where that name came from!). Plus, your baby can now process information from all five senses—so she'll be all set to smell the pureed peas, taste them, feel them as she mashes them into her hair, hear you crack up and then see the flash as you grab the camera to snap picture after picture.

By now, your baby's lungs are the only system not fully mature. And by mature, we're not saying that the rest of your baby's systems are mature enough to be out past 10 PM with the neighborhood hooligan, just that her lungs need a little bit more time to bake before they can kick it in the outside world.

Your baby weighs about 3½ pounds and measures a little over 16 inches, about the same length as that miniskirt you used to wear (and will again someday!).


Your Baby at 32 weeks:

Although your baby will still remain active, his days of trying out for Cirque du Soleil are nearly over. About this time your baby will settle into the head-down position in preparation for birth.

Other fascinating facts:


Both KT and baby are putting on some serious weight at this point. KT will probably gain about a pound a week for the next few weeks, with half of that poundage bulking up baby. He'll likely double his weight in the next eight weeks.

Ever wonder what your baby is doing in there these days? He's busy blinking, looking around, grabbing things, making faces, practicing his breathing, peeing and listening to everything around him—pretty much exactly what he'll be doing for the first three months of his life, sans the adoring audience and the flashing camera.

Your baby may (or may not) have a full head of hair now.

By the end of this week, your baby will weigh about 4 pounds and measure over 17 inches long—about the length of a hot pair of above-the-knee boots. Christian Louboutin? Manolo Blahnik? We're thinking Isaac Mizrahi for Target—you've got a nursery to furnish!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Do these crazy emotions ever end???

The ups the downs, the worry, the excitement... Its all very draining. Don't get me wrong, I am far from complaining. We are overjoyed with our upcoming trip for the delivery of our baby, but at every turn, I go from zero to 60 with my emotions. I have so much fear and anxiety of being prepared before we leave for India, during the trip and after arrival. I wonder if we will have everything we need, and will everything fall into place? Once we arrive home will we have it all together, both physically and mentally? Did we buy the best of all the right stuff from pacifiers, to bottles to diapers? I keep trying to tell myself that every new mother goes through these emotions and feelings. But, its not helping!!! I want to be the perfect Mom. I don't want to make any mistakes. I want my child to love me even though I don't have any genetic link to them. I wonder how we will explain this crazy journey of love to them when they are old enough to understand? What if I get this precious angel in my arms and I don't know what to do? I hope to be a natural, and it all come to me once my baby is in my arms, but I am scared to death. I just want to be in control and confident and I feel so out of control and stressed. I prayed to God every night that he would bring me this amazing gift and now I hope I don't let him down. My Mom is the best Mom in the world and I hope to be even be 1/2 the mother she has been to me. Always proud of me, no matter how badly I screwed up. She has given me and all her children endless love and support and never, ever gave up on us. She is my inspiration and I do not want to disappoint her or Gerry or my baby.

I suppose only time will tell and that time is ticking down week by week. Our angel will be here before we know it and I suppose I will be jumping in with both feet and there will be no looking back. Please say a prayer and wish me luck...

We finally got Dr. Shaunak's images from our visit in April...Here is our babe!

My dear sweet puppy Frankie has given me a few scares lately. She is 13.5 and not getting any younger. When we got back from our last trip to India she wasn't quite herself. I passed it off as, 'she just missed us' and figured she would come around in a few days. I was outside with her one afternoon and she had some sort of episode (she got all stiff, and and her breathing was funky and her eyes were fixed). I don't know much about dog conditions, but I thought it may be a seizure of some sort and rushed her to the vet. A million blood tests (including a $150.00 valley fever test) and a full examine later, and she came back with a clean bill of health. She went back to her normal fun, spunky self and my worry ended, up until a few weekends back when we were up at the cabin and she did it again. Every day I wake up and she is not right there beside me I panic. Every day I come home from work and can't find her I panic. I worry I may find her sick, or unresponsive, or worst of all passed away. I am so very happy for the many, many years I have had her in my life. I can't remember my life before she was apart of it. She has been an amazing companion and best friend and daughter I could ever have wished for. She and I have been through SO much over the years. She always knows when I am sad and never leaves my side. She gives me endless, unconditional love and I just can't even imagine one day, one hour or one minute without her in my life. I can't constantly worry about this, as I know it will inevitably happen one day, but I am not ready now and probably never will be ready to let her go. I want her to meet her new brother/sister. I want to have family fun with the 4 of us. Why did God create dogs to only stay with us for such a short time? They are such wonderful creatures and bring so much joy to our lives, and its just not fair to not have them last a human lifetime. If I could clone her I would. She is such a huge part of our family and I have been so blessed to have such a perfect, sweet, lovely animal to call mine. Please God, keep her with us for as long as she is healthy and well.


On the career front, I am enjoying my new job and the hours are great. I get home and don't know what to do with myself. On July 3rd I put up some American flags at my desk (thanks Honey) and it sparked conversation with one of my residents. I told him about Gerry and his 2 tours of duty to Iraq/Kuwait serving both Canada in 1999, and the U.S in 2004. He shared with me his tour in Korea. It was really neat to be able to open the mind of someone with Dementia, and for images and memories to be so clear to him. Those are just some of the reasons I do what I do ever day. These people bring such smiles and joy to my life.

Gerry loves, loves, loves his shift and Fire Dept. he has had more fires in the last 3 months there, then in has at any other Fire Dept. That is the exciting stuff for him, to be able to put to use what he is trained to do. Not to mention the capturing 6 ft. snakes, intoxicated people, getting hugs and answering questions from toddlers, picking old folks off the floor of the casino, and so much more that his does as part of his job. He has a new story for me every single day. It makes me proud that he is living his dream.

I was able to see him in Fire Fighter action this July 4th as I made the trip out to Ak-Chin, the Indian community where he works, to watch the fireworks and spend time with him. Gerry was on the Engine and had to be prepared for any firework mishaps...thankfully there were none. It was a beautiful display, and I couldn't help but imagine how wonderful it will be next year with our little one in our arms to share in the moment. We have SO many wonderful holidays and just 'every' days to come that will bring unforgettable memories as a family.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

The last Hurrah...or so to speak!

We had a wonderful weekend together. We spent the night away at one of our favorite spots up north in Pine Top in a log cabin in the woods. It was just the 3 of us (yes, of course Frankie too). We figured it was going to be our last small vacation for quite awhile of romantic, quiet, alone time. So we took advantage of it and of course ended up spending the entire time talking about how drastically our lives will be changed forever, how excited we are for our baby to arrive and what wonderful vacations we have in the coming years, which will now be the 4 of us going away for fun.

We are busy, busy (What else is new???): ...

We are preparing and sending my Indian Visa off for renewal. We are applying for a 5 year Visa for me this time and hoping they will send me a 10 year like they did Gerry.

Completing all the finishing touches on the Rain Forest themed nursery, from painting to putting up fake vines, to designing, drawing and hand painting a growth chart for our little one (I am especially proud of that one as I haven't used my art skills since high school), installing a TV and DVD player so Daddy and watch all the Disney video's with his little angel (yep he has already started).

We scheduled a consultation with a local pediatrician that my dear friend and beautician recommended to us. Ironically his name is Dr. Gentile (what a perfect name for a baby Doc) and we have heard wonderful things about his practice and can't wait to meet him and talk vaccines, baby check ups and all that new parent stuff.

Preparing for a party here at our home for family and friends to share in the celebration of our little angel. We are going to show pics of India, enjoy some Indian dishes and finger foods, karaoke, swim and have a few cocktails. Just pure celebration and fun!

We will start packing our bags this month for travel to India which will include washing onesies...oh my I certainly do have my work cut out for me there!!!!

We got our latest update on our surrogate KT. The Docs have been in contact with Dr. Soni who just did a checkup on KT and the baby last week. Both are doing great and much to our surprise KT may even go to term. Her cervical stitch is holding just fine and baby is right where it needs to be. WHEW...that gives a few extra weeks to get ready, hopefully!

We are already at 30 weeks and time is flying by.

So many baby pick ups and new cycles are right around the corner for so many of our on-line friends. Carrie Jo and Shawn, Chaya and her hubby, Stephanie and her hubby (I am sure I am forgetting a few more) are picking babies up very, very soon. Kerrie and Marc and Daria and hubby are heading to Mumbai for their first cycles. What excitement! I remember our first trip well over a year ago and it will remain near and dear to our hearts forever. We wish all of these couples and so many others wonderful, successful and safe trips to India. Just enjoy, take every moment in from meeting your surrogate, experiencing India, to seeing your babe for the very first time. It has been such a pleasure to share in all of this with so many of you all over the world.

Can't forget my Canadian buddies on July 1st... Happy Canada Day!



Your Baby at 30 weeks:

Big news for baby's brain this week: It's starting to wrinkle and fold and looks like something that grew in the back of your fridge. This is due to the rapid growth of your little genius's brain cells.

Other highlights this week:

Fingernails and toenails are finally finished—causing his or her parents great fear and anguish the first time they try to cut those little daggers (it gets easier, we promise)! Plus, the bone marrow is completely in charge of red-blood-cell production now. Trust us, this is a good thing.

Baby is starting to shed his lanugo—the downy hair that was covering his skin. Now that he's chubbier and better able to regulate his body temp, he doesn't need to sport a fur coat 24/7.

"I spy an umbilical cord and the inside of my mom's uterus!" When your baby is awake, his eyes are now wide open and he's whittling away the hours looking around, checking out his rather dark, limited environs.

Your baby hasn't gained much weight or height this week, as most of his energy's been channeled to the brain. He weighs about 3 pounds and is approximately 15.5 inches long, about the size of London, not the city, Britney Spears' Yorkie terrier. Of course your baby is less hairy and way cuter!