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Sunday, March 29, 2009

होम जहाँ दिल है. (Home is where the heart is).

WHEW...time to take a break from preparing the nursery, painting murals, buying baby gear and researching the best baby stuff, to catch everyone up on what's been happening with us on the home front.

Well, the Docs and Gerry all got their ways (was there really any doubt?)...we are officially off to India. From the moment we booked our flights the excitement that we felt on our very first trip, all started once again. This time though, no needles, no tests, no hospital food for me, just time to truly enjoy. We leave April 17th and return home on the 27th. Anyone looking for flights from the U.S to Mumbai, Continental has the best rates right now. We can't wait to meet KT and her family and most of all see and hear our baby. WOW, it gives us goosebumps to think about it! We are going to plan a short get-away again, hopefully this time to see the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra. India has become our second home and the Doctors are our extended family.

Sorry, we interrupt this blog posting for a call and video chat from Dr. Sudhir, Dr. Yash, KT and her husband...

We are smiling with delight at seeing our surrogate KT and her husband. The smiles on their faces just lit up the office. KT was at the clinic for some scheduled blood work and she is looking as beautiful as ever. It's so true, pregnant woman do have a lovely glow. She is feeling well and she says her belly is showing, 'just a little bit.' The Doctors just told them that we are coming very soon to Mumbai and their smiles grew even bigger (if that's possible). They truly are a stunning couple. We can't wait to meet them. To top it off we asked them what they would like from the U.S.A and they very modestly stated, 'they have 2 children, ages 7 and 5, and you can bring them something if you'd like.' Little do they know the boys are already stocked full of gifts and we are working on buying for both of them as well now.

Okay, back to our regularily scheduled blog posting...

Earlier this week we attended a 'Clean & Bright' workshop at Babies R Us and even dragged S & J along. We had fun at dinner last weekend and even more fun when we brought them into our nursery and asked them if they liked 'our' stroller and matching car seat?

Purchase of a stroller and matching car seat... less than $100.00.

Supper with friends... $30.00.

Seeing their shocked faces when learning the stroller and car seat was theirs...PRICELESS!

J leaves for India on the 5th of April and S will follow shortly after to pick up their new little one. (aka The Bombay Baby, check out their new blog)

Mom and I have been busy sewing (well mostly Mom) curtains, dust ruffle, fitted sheets, receiving blankets, and more. I have been sick with a cold all weekend and Mom called today to say she is all done everything! Darn I forgot how good she is, Mom's are the BEST!!!

A shout out to our fellow bloggers and friends,The Mike's, their surrogate delivered their first little one Rose Avani a few days ago. We wish them a huge Congratulations and many, many years of joy to come. One down, one to go...

As you may have noticed by now, we gave our blog a bit of a face lift. We recently saw that another blog had the same template and almost the same title as us, so we decided it may be time to get a bit adventurous and make ours a little more unique, hope you like it.

Gerry's daughter Kristin is doing well, in India. She recently received a phone call from Dr. Sudhir who was just checking in on her to see if she needed anything. Have I mentioned lately that our Docs are AMAZING???

Well, one more week has passed and we are progressing along well in our pregnancy.

Your baby at 16 weeks:

Your baby is already mugging for the camera as she practices all sorts of facial expressions, such as squinting, yawning and grimacing, which will come in handy when you introduce her to pureed spinach.

Check out what else is happening in utero:
You're just getting comfortable with being a new mom, but you're actually on the road to being a grandma. If your baby is a girl, her uterus is fully developed and the ovaries already hold primitive egg cells. Did that just make you feel a thousand years old, or what?

Your baby's skin is still translucent and wrinkly, not unlike an old man's, but more fat will soon accumulate under the dermas to plump her out. If you could peer inside right now, you'd be able to see all of her veins under her skin. And speaking of veins, your baby's heart now pumps about 25 quarts of blood per day, and she hasn't even seen Orlando Bloom yet!

Also, her eyes are now locked and loaded at their final destination, facing forward rather than to the sides. (Whew!)

This is the week women get an amniocentesis, if their doc recommends it. In addition to supplying doctors with a boatload of info about the baby's health, amnios are also more than 99 percent accurate in determining what version of baby you'll be having. So if you want to know and you're getting an amnio, now's a great time to find out for sure.

Your baby weighs about 3 ounces this week and measures between 4 and 5 inches, about the length of your mascara.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

HI HO, HI HO... it's off to work we go!

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!! That's how I can sum up how the time has been since our last post. Both Rhonda and I have been very busy at each of our respective jobs. Rhonda, being the Director of Nursing, has been spending countless hours getting everything in order for the annual state survey at her Skilled Nursing Facility. I have been studying, taking written tests and completing practical evaluations for my Driver Engineer certifications for all of the numerous pieces of firefighting apparatus. And on top of this, on many of my days off, I have also been working extra hours at another firehouse with intentions of using the extra money to purchase things for our baby (with that as the goal it helps to keep me going when I am exhausted) So overall, with both of us being so busy, this week has really flown by. We are now at 15 weeks.

Your Baby at 15 weeks:

Although many women don't start feeling the baby move until the 17th week (or later), your baby has been having his own party in the amniotic sac he calls home. If KT feels a little flutter in your belly this week, don't discount it as gas or hunger. It could be your babe banging around.

Here's more to look forward to:

Baby's head is now resting on his well-formed neck instead of directly on his shoulders like Igor. He's beginning to grow eyebrows and eyelashes this week. (All the better to give you that "Mom, you're crazy" look when he's a teenager.)

The hair on the head also begins to grow and, with some creative styling, you'll be able to turn those locks into a Maddox Jolie-Pitt faux-hawk some day.

Although baby's eyes are sealed shut, he's now able to sense light. His eyes and ears finally look like real baby features now. As your baby practices sucking and swallowing actions, he may actually hiccup. You'll know he's had one too many shots of amniotic fluid by the steady thump-thump you feel.

Over the next month, baby will grow faster than ever. Your baby now measures nearly 4 inches, about the size of a Kit Kat "finger" (regular-size, not the Big one you get at the movies), and weighs almost 2 ounces.

This past week we received the results of our Triple Marker test and it showed that our baby was at low risk, which was another hurdle that we have overcome in our journey.

One of the things in life that brings me happiness is being able to surprise someone that I care about with an unexpected gift or gesture. Rhonda and I have been thinking for sometime about getting something for our friends S & J that will be traveling to Mumbai in early April for the birth of their baby. We met through our blog and found out that we live very close to each other. We have been able to meet several times to talk and have fun and to share our experiences as well as help to answer each others questions. Well I was able to find a couple of very important items that they still need for their baby and can't wait to surprise them. We plan on meeting them at our house tomorrow to spend the day around the pool, enjoying the gorgeous Arizona weather we have been having (Mike's, today it was 91 degrees, sorry!), and I can't mention what we got them since we know that they check the blog several times a day.

Rhonda and her Mom have been working almost all day sewing blankets, crib sheets and curtains for the baby's room. It is so great for her to be able to spend time with her Mom, especially working together making things for the baby, they are so very excited for us.

We are making plans for a short trip to Mumbai next month to spend some time with our surrogate KT (and our baby) and her family and are hoping for a quick getaway with our wonderful doctors. Dr Sudhir just got a brand new car and can't wait to take us all for a drive.

Well it's soon off to bed, Rhonda is very tired from a day of sewing, a busy day comes to an end.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Coming out of hiding...

Okay for those that were wondering... Yes, I let Gerry take all his baby stuff out of hiding and put it in the nursery (hence, the shelves and closet full comment, in the previous post).

We went for a 'Plan & Scan Registry' workshop at Babies R' Us last week. We got to set up a baby registry and do the 'aim and shoot' thing at all the neat stuff we liked,. The best part is that Arizona is having a special promotion and everything that is spent on our registry, we get 5% back, once over $500.00 total is spent, so... the lady suggested that we put everything on the registry before we buy it ourselves, and it goes into that deal. So, anyone who looks at our registry, please don't think we want, or for one minute expect you to buy us our lifetime crib or any high priced item (well unless you are feeling REALLY generous, LOL), we are just trying to save money. The next workshop we plan to attend is the "Clean & Bright" coming to a Babies R' US near you March 24th, where they will be going over bathing and diapering.

We both find it so amazing all of the outpouring of support, well wishes, excitement and gifts we have received so early in our pregnancy. We never anticipated it. In fact, when we got married, we went to ,the court house in Miami, so wedding gifts were a no-brainer. I suppose we just thought we would be doing it all ourselves and so planned for it. Everyone is coming out of the woodwork to share in this experience with us and we couldn't be happier. Family from so far away is already buying for the baby and others are planning trips to Arizona once the baby arrives. I suppose when it has been this long in the making, people are pretty darn excited!

The lady at Babies R' Us also asked if we wanted to sign up for the 'Pump & Go' event, but we kindly told her "no." Well, I did, Gerry loves these opportunities to go into his spiel about "how we are doing surrogacy and our baby is being born in India..." His face just lights up every time (I love it!) and I can't deny him these moments, he is so very passionate about India and especially our journey .

And then the next 2 questions these days we always seem to be getting are..."How far along are you?" and "What are you having, a boy or a girl?" This is another opportunity for Gerry to educate others. Most people do not know that sex determination in India is illegal, so we tell everyone the same answer...that we won't know the sex until the baby is born, and really just pray for a healthy baby.

It is amazing how times have changed. I think there are only a chosen few people who don't want to know the sex of their child and so it makes it twice as hard for those of us who don't want to, or in our case won't know. Try finding gender neutral clothes and colors for babies these days...its really hard (for us and apparently other people who have said they were out shopping for us). I was trying to search on-line for some unique onesies. These are some of the ones I found. The more I searched, the more outrageous they got. Gerry and I were laughing our butts off.

I had a "Mom and Me" day this past weekend. It was wonderful! Mom and I don't get to do just "girl stuff" with the men around and it was nice to chat and just spend time together. We went to lunch and then to the fabric store and went crazy on material for curtains, bed skirts, sheets and binkies. It was SO much fun! Here is a sneak preview of what we bought:

So, I am really excited to start sewing and giving our baby's nursery our own little personal touch.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2 weeks in one!

We can't wipe the perma-smiles from our faces...

Your Baby at 13 Weeks:

Your baby can make a fist and even suck his or her thumb this week—both skills that are über-cute during infancy ... and not so much at the age of 9. If you're really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of baby's thumb sucking on an ultrasound photo. That's a framer!

Other exciting developments include:

Your baby's eyelids are fused shut to protect his eyes as they develop. His bones and skull are solidifying and soon itsy-bitsy ribs may appear. (Baby ribs! How cute is that?!)

Baby's intestines are finally right where you want them—in his or her belly instead of poking out into the umbilical cord. Baby's tooth sockets are all loaded and ready to pop out baby teeth six or seven months after baby is born (causing baby a lot of pain and you a lot of lost sleep).

Who's that singing? Elton John? Could be your baby: His vocal cords and larynx are completed now. He won't be able to make any sound yet, however, because sound waves travel through air and baby is submerged in fluid.

Your baby-to-be now weighs about 20 grams and is nearly 3 inches long, or about the size of a Nutter Butter, covered in chocolate. OK, it doesn't have to be covered in chocolate, but isn't everything better that way?

Your Baby at 14 weeks:

Think of it this way: You're a third of the way through and baby's a third of the way cooked. Now that the "big stuff" (like skeletal and organ development) is taken care of, your baby starts a period of rapid brain growth, fat buildup and detail work.

Highlights this week include:

Your baby now has fingerprints! Book 'em, Danno! Believe it or not, he actually created them himself while swimming around in the amniotic fluid. As he moved his hands, the skin on the tips of his fingers formed unique ridges and folds. That's why no one on earth has the same fingerprints, not even identical twins! Cool, right?

Baby's arms are now in proportion to his tiny body, but his legs are still on the short size in comparison.
Meconium, that tar-like, sticky first baby poop, is now loading up your baby's intestines, which means you might want to set aside a bottle of olive oil, one of the few things that will get the gooey poop off of baby's bottom.

Your baby continues to gain new and impressive skills such as practicing and controlling voluntary muscle movements (this will help him fling food across the room later in life). Your tiny dancer's movements are no longer the jerky, uncontrollable twitches of yore—he now moves with graceful control.

Your baby is now weighs about an ounce and is the length of a flip phone, or roughly 3.5 inches—he's tripled in size from a mere three weeks ago! Luckily, you haven't done the same.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Our little thumb sucker....

What a week we have had... busy, busy, busy!

We received our ultrasound pictures and report on Thursday and found out we are in fact now one week ahead of schedule. So we missed week 13 altogether and moved right into week 14 starting today! Out of all of the ultrasound pictures we received from this last report, this was the best picture we had. We really liked this one since he/she looks like they have their hand or foot in their mouth, AWWWWWW!!. The nasal bone is visible and the heart rate is at 165 bpm. Our new due date is now, drumroll please............ Sept. 16th, 2009.

Yesterday was Gerry's Birthday. We celebrated it at a Japanese Teppanyaki grill (they cook right in front of you) for supper with Mom and Dad and then since it was his special day afterward he decided what he wanted to do... go to a baby store. So off we went to do more window shopping. My actual birthday gift for him is a weekend bed & breakfast get-away to Coronado Island in the San Diego area. It is scheduled for early next month, and I am so proud that I was able to do all of the planning and booking by myself and best of all undetected. He got lots of phone calls and messages and 2 very special calls from our wonderful Doctors, wishing him a very Happy Birthday. Gerry told them they gave him the most wonderful Birthday gift he could ever ask for...'our baby.'

We are busy getting the nursery ready. We have decided on the Fisher Price Rainforest theme, and we are using bright beautiful colors (pictures to follow once we are completed). It is coming along nicely and we are so excited. The closet and shelves are already getting full of toys, onesies, receiving blankets, books, and such. We bought a cute little onesie the other day...we couldn't resist, it was so cute. There are so many cute clothes that we like, even though it is a bit challenging to find them in gender neutral colors. We had lunch today with my good friend Danielle, her hubby and her son. They were here visiting from Texas and she surprised us with a beautiful and very useful baby gift. They got us an infant travel bed, which will totally come in handy when we are in India. I laughed this week when I got a call from one of the girls who used to work with me but recently moved to another job. She called to say she had it marked on her calender that it is now 'okay' to buy baby gifts! Too funny!

We got our first call last week from the SurrogacyIndia add on Gerry's truck. It was really neat. What a wonderful feeling to be able to help others in need. We also have recently been contacted by another local couple who are interested in surrogacy and have so many questions that I have been able to try and answer for them. Hopefully we will get together with them and the other local couple S & J, before they leave to pick up their baby next month.

Frankie had her teeth cleaned last week and the vet found a broken tooth and so they pulled it. She was back to her usual happy self within 24 hours. Poor baby had to have a week of antibiotics, but the peanut butter chaser seemed to cover up the taste pretty well.

We are now counting the days down until my Mom and Dad return to Niagara Falls. It just seems like yesterday that they got here. They have had a fabulous winter and even made time last week for a quick last minute Vegas get-away. We don't want them to leave, but the nice part is when they return next winter, we will have the new addition to our family to greet them.

Kristin, Gerry's daughter, is having a great time in northern India near Nepal, and doesn't want to leave. She says there is so much to do in the orphanage.

So in closing, we leave you with a 13 week ultrasound (not our baby) that truly says it all!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

ABORT/ ERROR MESSAGE, use Mozilla Firefox





Sorry for those who are unable to access. All I can figure out for now is that it is a problem with Internet Explorer. If you have Mozilla Firefox the blog comes up no problem. I am trying to fix it. I will try and get the bug out, but so far have been unsuccessful. Sorry for any inconvenience.

2nd Trimester here we come.....

Whew!! Another milestone reached. We are just waiting on our latest scan which KT had on Thursday the 5th at Hiranandani Hospital. We are both on pins and needles, and I literally check our site every hour to see if its been updated even though Dr. Sudhir said it would take a couple of days before they get the results. We are just so anxious to see how our little one is growing and seeing the ultrasound makes it all seem so real. We heard from KT the other day via personal video and she was again, all smiles, telling us she is good and the baby is well too. She just wants us to hurry up and come to Mumbai to meet her in person. What an amazing feeling that gives us.

Your Baby at 12 weeks:
Baby's face is looking more human as his eyes have moved to the front of his head and his ears are in place. Hooray!

Other amazing fetal highlights this week:

Your baby is able to swallow this week and practices on the amniotic fluid he or she floats in. (And you thought baby food was kind of nasty!) And in case you're wondering how your kid can breathe in all that fluid, here's your answer: Fetuses get oxygen from the blood pumped into their bodies by the placenta and don't breathe with their lungs. Mystery solved!

This is kind of gross, albeit fascinating, so feel free to skip ahead: Your baby's intestines are well under way, but they aren't all where you'd expect them to be. Instead of all being locked away in the body cavity, some are dangling on the outside, in the umbilical cord. Ewwww.

Don't forget to put a baby nail file on your registry—your little nugget's finger- and toenails are forming this week. The chin and nose are also becoming more defined.

Junior has doubled in size over the past two weeks and now weighs almost ½ ounce. He's also now around 2 ½ inches long, about the length of your pinky finger or a Vienna sausage, which, in a few months, will be indistinguishable from one another.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

GREAT news from Australia!!!!


Our dear India surrogacy buddy, friend and faithful follower got the wonderful news that, she is PREGNANT!!!! We couldn't be more happy for Jojo and her hubby. First attempt with SI and her egg donor and tah dah...their pregnant! CONGRATULATIONS Jojo and Tim it couldn't happen to nicer people.

Kristin, our daughter/step-daughter has arrived in India safe and sound and her 3 month journey is just beginning. We know she will absolutely love India and they will love her too. We can't wait to hear updates.

Just got our copy of our week 9 ultrasound and it brought tears to our eyes... Our little angel actually is starting to look like a baby. Gerry's first response...'It's a BOY!' Okay, so we have no idea of the sex...yet, but if that's what he thinks then I will definitely let him go with it. Boy or Girl they are already so dearly loved and we can't wait to meet them!

As per our itinerary we are schedule for our next scan sometime this week! We are on baited breath to see how much our little one has grown. Thank you Docs for making this feel so real and so close to our hearts.