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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Playing catch up...

1/2 WAY THERE...I can't believe we are already at 20 weeks! It is just amazing to know that in just 4 short months we will be traveling back to Mumbai for the birth of our sweet angel. We couldn't help but say to everyone while there, 'When we come back we will be three!' Time really has flown by and I a sure that Sept. will be here before we know it. So many questions go through my head...Will we be ready? Will our baby be happy with his/her new home? Will I be a good Mom? So many questions, stress, excitement, and wild wonderful emotions. I had to giggle with glee the other day at the store when the ladies asked about my mehndi and then proceeded to say that I was a 'glowing Mommy.' I look at the nursery everyday and imagine what it will be like when it is officially occupied. I am a Mommy, and it feels so real. WOOO HOOO, come on baby we are waiting for you!!!!

Your Baby at 20 weeks...

This is the week most women get that ever-important gender-revealing ultrasound. If your baby isn't shy, the genitals can be clearly seen at this point. Will the baby pee standing up or sitting down? Well, that depends on how you potty train—but if you're interested, you could leave the appointment knowing if you're carrying a boy or a girl.

Other highlights this week:

Your baby has established sleep patterns akin to a newborn now. Many babies even have a favorite sleep position already. Some snooze with their chins resting on their chests, while others nap with their head flung back. Many babies at this age fall into noticeable cycles of sleep and activity, so you may know before she arrives whether you have a night owl or an early bird.

If your baby is a boy, the testes have begun descending from the pelvis into the scrotum. If it's a girl, her uterus is completely formed and the rest of her "parts" are in development. (Is that TMI?)

From this point forward, your baby will put most of her energy into gaining weight and, not coincidentally, so will you! Right now your baby weighs approximately 10½ ounces and is about 6½ inches long, about the size of a can of Red Bull (which has way too much caffeine for a pregnant woman to be drinking).

Your Baby at 19 weeks...

This week your baby starts bulking up and packing on the grossly named "brown fat" he'll need to keep warm when he gets evicted from his comfortable uterine home.

Other highlights this week:

Vernix, a milky white coating that protects your baby's skin, appears all over your baby's body to keep his skin from getting pickled in the amniotic fluid. Think of it as if your baby has been dipped in yogurt, like those delicious but fake-healthy yogurt-covered raisins and pretzels. Ooh, we feel another craving comin' on. ... Under the vernix, a fuzzy layer of hair called lanugo now covers baby's body. Don't worry, your Mini won't look like Cousin It when he's born. Most of the fuzz will fall off before baby makes his grand entrance.

Good news: Your baby's kidneys are fully functioning and producing urine this week. Bad news: That means there will be lots of diapers in your future. But so far you're safe—at the moment the pee just passes into the amniotic fluid.

He or she now weighs about 8½ ounces and measures 6 inches, as long as a turkey sub from Subway on warm, delicious Italian Herbs and Cheese bread (or Honey Oat bread, or Oregano bread or ...)

Pics to follow...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Home safe and sound.

Just a quickie to say we made it!!! After 26 hours of airports and flying we are pooped. Minus one bag, once again that will be hand delivered to the house later this evening. Frankie is great, and so happy to see Mommy and Daddy again. That is the hardest part of our trips. Its off for a long shower and some rest.

Happy Birthday to my Mom today! We love you and your scan of your grandbaby is on its way soon.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saying good-bye once again.

Today is our last day in Mumbai. It is filled with a worldwind of emotions. Sad to leave, but happy to get back to my fur baby Frankie at home. We have had an amazing adventure and it has been worth every single penny we paid. I was a little concerned about coming 1/2 way through our pregnancy, as it is not cheap to come to Mumbai and take time off of work. I have to say that, I will be forever grateful to Gerry and the Docs for being insistant on us taking this trip. It has been more then we could ever have imagined. Anyone who says you can't create a bond with your surrogate, I say poohy on them! We have seen KT and her family so much this week and shared some amazing experiences together. We learned about each others homes, families and lives and shared many laughs and tears. I can't even imagine not having this special time together.

We are off to enjoy our last few hours of Mumbai and will post the rest of our amazing trip when we return to Arizona.

Here is me enjoying one of the best days of my life...our precious angel!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Namaste from Mumbai

We are here !! and like I imagined, with limited internet access. Oh well, we will make the most of the time we have to update you a bit, some from the Docs office, some from the lawyers office...

We arrived, and again hit the road running. We stayed up late visiting and catching up with the Docs at the hotel. It was AMAZING to see them again. It felt just like old times. Sunday, our surrogate KT and her sweet husband J and two boys came to meet us at the hotel. They all were a spitting image of their photos and it was wonderful to finally see them. KT told the Docs that she had been seeing all the other surrogates getting visits from their IP's and she was sad, wondering when we would come. That made Gerry and I both say, 'this is why we needed to come!' It was a full morning full of laughs, smiles and fun. The boys were very shy but immediately got wide-eyed when the camera came out and the toys were given to them. It was very touching when the youngest boy came over to Gerry and gave him the Batman toy to remove from the packaging. Both J and KT were very shy, but it didn't take long for them to open up and talk and tell us how happy they were. KT was dressed in a beautiful pink dress sari that she had bought for an Indian festival. She loves to dress up and she truly looked radiant. We had a light lunch and gave them their gifts and was able to chat via the Docs translation. KT was speechless when she recieved her gifts. If we could only give her the world...we would. Not long after we were there she asked us to come visit her home. We were honored and very grateful, but made her promise not to prepare too much food for us. J told us with a chuckle, that KT was so excited to meet us she couldn't sleep all night. I told them I was the very same the previous day at work, waiting to leave for Mumbai.

We met up with the Mike's and visited with them and their perfect little girls, Rose and Eva. It was so nice to see them and see what a light at the end of the tunnel looks like. They are just as wonderful in person,as they are in their blog. Thanks guys for allowing us to pop in and share in the joy of your beautiful miracles.

We also had a very wonderful and completely unexpected visit from one of the forum members who was here signing contracts for an upcoming frozen embryo transfer. SJB and I have been in contact for many, many months and she is the 'loveliest' (inside joke) girl in the world. Meeting her and sharing in this experience has made our vacation even that more special (if that is even possible). She is absolutely great, and we enjoyed many laughs and tears and fun together. We have yet to meet and create such a bond with another IP as we have with her. We both agreed that our friendship will definitely last a lifetime.

Tuesday,we went for our scan with the awesome Dr. Shaunak. It was like old times seeing him again. KT again looked beautiful in an orange and black sari with the watch we had given to her the previous day. What a wonderful feeling to see her wear it. J again had us laughing with stories of KT and her sisters spending hours applying the make-up and the creams that we had brought for her. What can I possibly say to give you the real, raw emotion of experiencing our scan? UNBELIEVABLE! One of the very best days of our lives. Dr. Shaunak spent time showing us every single detail, the bones of the fingers, each arm and leg, the heart with each of its 4 chambers beating away, and its perfect little spine. I began to get teary-eyed seeing our little angel in all its glory. Then Dr. S put on the sound of the heartbeat and that was it...I lost it! Full on tears and completely choked up. The video I was shooting, I am sure was full of my emotion. Even Dr. S said, 'Oh, sounds like someone is getting emotional.' I wanted both Dr. Yashodara and Dr. Sudhir to be there as it was only fitting, they have been there from the beginning. I also asked J if he wanted to join us and so it was a full room of smiles and tears. This was the most amazing experience and one we will never forget. This was the reason we came to Mumbai and we are SO happy we did. A moment in time that will forever be etched in our hearts.

We got to meet up with KT and J again later that day for their routine check up with Dr. Anita Soni at Hiranandani Hospital. She got a clean bill of health and when we went in to see Dr. Soni again (for the 3rd time now, since starting our journey) we all had a good laugh when she said that KT's fundus was measuring 20+ weeks, 'Oh this is a big baby' and then looked at Gerry as said, 'Well I should have known she was your surrogate.' She was so happy to see us and celebrate in our success this time. She is great, and anyone who meets her immediately feels her warmth, strength and passion for her work. KT couldn't possibly be in better hands.

Well this about wraps up our very emotional, superb first few days, in the city that doesn't sleep.

Stay tuned for more tales and photos of our trip...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And we are off....

We are packed and ready to go! I am weighing the bags to ensure we are under weight and doing last minute details before we leave. Gerry will get home from his 24 hour shift at the Fire Station at 7 am tomorrow and we will load everything into the car and head for the airport. I am giving Frankie lots of love and hugs and cuddles and kisses. I hate to leave her.

We are beyond excited at seeing KT, her family, our baby, the Docs and the amazing people of Mumbai. So, our next post (pending internet cooperation in Mumbai) will be from India, until then adios Arizona...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mumbai here we come...again!

Well, we are back and haven't slowed down one bit. We had a fabulous time in San Diego area and can't wait to return, as there was SO much to do and so little time to see and do it in. SeaWorld was great! It was slightly overcast, but perfect, as most of the shows and events are outdoors, so it made for a comfortable day. We did a lot of walking and sightseeing on Coronado Island and walked along the beach. Something we haven't done since leaving the coast of Florida.

We received an unexpected email from a couple who follow our blog and also have their own IP Surrogacy Forum and newly formed agency here in the U.S. They live in the Bay area and suggested we meet up. J & C (IVF land on Surrogacy World) are an absolutely fabulous couple. We had lunch and literally talked for hours (3 or so in total). We immediately bonded. They reminded us so much of ourselves, just your average couple, desiring to become a family and struggling with the disappointments and roller coaster of infertility. It was really nice to share stories, exchange information and most of all, remember we are not alone in this journey.

We leave in just a few days for Mumbai. We have been getting in some last minute shopping and what started as 'taking it easy on the number of gifts this trip' has now ended up with a bed full of gifts for all. Like we will ever be able to 'take it easy'!!! We plan on having a jam-packed trip of visiting, traveling and seeing our bundle of joy. We will hopefully be able to get to see the Mike's and their new little girls, who were both just born in the last few weeks. We couldn't be happier for their beautiful family and it would be great to see them all in person and share a little in their joy.

We got an unexpected phone call from India today. S & J called to touch base and update us on their latest adventures with their beautiful daughter Savannah. We hope to be able to see them next week, but if we don't, we will have all the time in the world to visit right here at home when they return.

We are a little late... but here is what is happening with our baby....

Your Baby at 18 weeks:

Your baby's ears are now facing forward and are completely formed so she can actually hear you talking now. You don't need to abandon your potty mouth just yet, but you might want to start thinking about it!

Other highlights this week:

This week is also the beginning of ossification. And while that sounds like some long and involved paperwork you'll have to fill out, it's really a fancy medical term for the hardening of your baby's miniature bones. And that's a good thing.

Your baby's nerves are making more and more complex connections. Her sense of smell, taste, sight and hearing are all developing. A substance called myelin, which makes nerve connections travel faster, is now coating your baby's nerves.

Your baby now weighs between 5 and 7 ounces and is about 5½ inches long—about the size of a pickle from the corner deli.

Well, its back to packing, spending a little bit of time with my hubby on our 9th wedding anniversary today, and getting a little rest sometime in the near future. I certainly will need it, because I am sure there won't be much rest time in 5 months time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cheers from San Diego...

We arrived this afternoon after Rhonda set the alarm clock wrong and we left a couple of hours behind schedule. OH WELL...don't sweat the small stuff!

San Diego is everything everyone said it would be and more! We had a little tour of the city since we were geographically challenged (not lost) and finally made it to the entrance of the huge bridge that would take us to our final destination, Coronado Island, California. Gorgeous! Our little 12 room bed and breakfast is so quaint and romantic just the perfect spot to celebrate our 9 years of wedded bliss together as a family (yes that means Frankie too). We couldn't help but reminisce about last years anniversary in Mumbai and Dr. Sudhir bringing us our little cake and candle to celebrate after my long day at the hospital having my egg pick up. Definitely a day we won't soon forget. It seems like yesterday when we first arrived in Mumbai to begin this crazy adventure and now one year later we are celebrating our baby 17 weeks (almost 18) in utero. AMAZING! We definitely owe both of the Doctors a world of gratitude for all they have done and what great friends they have become. Without Dr. Yashodhara and Dr. Sudhir our dreams wouldn't have become a reality. Thank you Docs for making this an extra special wedding anniversary to celebrate!

So tomorrow we are off to Sea World. We both love animals and so are really looking forward to a day at the park. We are practising up for many trips with our little one, YAH right, who am I kidding we are the biggest kids of them all! It will definitly be a LOT more fun though to share with our child. The weather has been superb with a slight cool breeze (a nice change from the constant heat in AZ). It will be a short but sweet little get-away for us, but definitely one that was truly needed and well deserved.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Teaching an old dog new tricks!

We finally decided after 13 years and 2 recent long trips to Mumbai that it was time to train our Frankie to use a doggie door. Gerry put his carpentry skills to work and cut the 2 holes in the wall and installed it. He needed my help for the final adjustments and tightening. After some coaxing with treats on the other side of the door, she did great! She still needs to figure out the fact that she can use it anytime she wants without our permission and that we shouldn't need to continue to coax her to go in and out. Its only been a couple of days though and she appears to be doing well in her training. Here it is, you be the judge...

We had our final celebration supper for this snowbird season with Mom and Dad this past Sunday. Every year we take our weekly Bingo winnings (Thursday nights are our ritual Bingo night at Mom & Dad's park) and put them together and celebrate with a final day at the casino and a nice supper. This year we had almost $400 to play with, YAY!. So it was a definitely a FUN day. Gerry the 'non-gambler' actually played the slots and came out almost $300 ahead when we left. We are so very sad to see them leave again, but we enjoyed reminiscing about all the things we did over the last 5 months and talking about their return even earlier next season in mid-October. They LOVE Arizona and hate to go back to the Great White North so soon. There was lots of talk of baby stuff and how our lives will change drastically this year.

We have been busy buying, planning and working on baby stuff galore. It is so much fun. I can totally relate to Carrie Jo (Procreated in India) and her enthusiasm and joy in planning for the baby. It is great to be able to share this with a fellow Indian Surro Blogger. So we got our first big purchase this week. Our convertible crib was delivered just the other day and we will recruit Dad for one last chore before they leave...building the crib with Gerry. We have been working long hours painting our murals on the nursery walls and we are pretty pleased with the results considering neither of us are very talented in this particular area. It feels great to be able to do this and have such a personal added touch to the nursery. The closet is getting full...I am officially addicted to buying onesies! Gerry's thing is books...'We will read to the baby every night Rhonda!' So no surprise the shelves are already full of books too. So much for a baby shower...we will have it all bought before the baby hits the 3rd trimester at this rate. We can't help it! We are so overjoyed and excited about our little angel coming to join the family. Even Frankie is enjoying her new hangout, the nursery!

Since so many people have been asking I decided I would share a little sneak peak at some of our hard work (OH, and one of my secret addiction) ...

We have our weekend birthday/anniversary get-away to San Diego this weekend. Hopefully I will be feeling better. No sooner did I get over my stupid cold, when I was hit with a horrendous stomach flu and stuck in bed for 2 days, BLAH! So much for a proper good-bye to Mom and Dad. They waved from the living room so as to not come anywhere close to the 'sicko' in the bedroom. They arrived home safe and sound to a whopping 28 degrees in Niagara Falls. Mom says she is chilled to the bone and will have to go into hibernation for the next week until her body gets acclimated to the cold weather. Of course Gerry couldn't wait to rub it in that it got up to 96 degrees here today in sunny Arizona (not that I would know being stuck in bed). Have I mentioned lately that my dog is the BEST? My Frankie girl stayed at my bedside for the entire 2 days I was sick, not even leaving to see Papa and Grandma off. Pet's are the greatest!

We leave for India in less than 2 weeks, and can't wait to see our precious KT and her family and of course our little belly bump! We are going to be having an ultrasound done while we are there and will get to hear our precious little angel's heartbeat for the very first time. Luckily we have been getting everything ready for the past couple of weeks and only have a few more gifts to buy. Well it's back to painting, we would like to have it done before we leave for Mumbai so that we can bring pictures to show KT and the Docs.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A moment of clarity...

I finally lost it! A down-right, all out, bawling, crying, snot flying moment. I was looking at the blog and pictures thinking about our entire journey and it finally hit me...WE ARE HAVING A BABY! After this long, crazy, emotional journey, we are finally having a baby! I am SO happy I just went and hugged my husband, who was stunned by my crying fit. I am in my happy place. I LOVE LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We chatted with the fact checker for our Chatelaine magazine article. We spent an hour going over every detail of our journey from how we met on a blind date until where we are today. It brought tears of joy to me to relive our story. I can't wait to see it in print. I think it will be a beautiful story of a couples struggle to have a family.

Mom and Dad leave in a few days and time is winding down... (insert sad face) We have had another fabulous season with them here and it is always hard to see them leave. Frankie will especially miss them this year...she is SO attached to Papa and Grandma. Mom peeked in on the nursery tonight and was REALLY excited with the work we have done. She wants it done before they leave so she can see the finished product. Too funny, sorry Mom, not likely, but when you return it will be an occupied nursery...even BETTER!!!

Congrats to S & J on their latest addition Savannah Karen born April 1st. We will see you three in Mumbai in a couple of weeks.

We leave in less than 2 weeks. YAY!!! Can't wait to see both the Docs and our precious KT.

So without further adieu...

Your Baby at 17 weeks:

Speaking of packing on the pounds, that what it's all about for baby this week. He's adding fat stores that will keep him warm and cozy after he's born. Your baby's weight will increase approximately six times over the next four weeks.

Also this week:

Your baby is hard at work honing his sucking and swallowing reflexes—all the better for eating that 2 AM (and 5 AM, and 8 AM ...) meal in a few months! The finger- and toenails are beginning to grow from their nail beds, which would explain why he'll need them trimmed almost as soon as he's born!

Your baby weighs nearly 5 ounces and is a little over 5 inches long—about the size of a baked potato (load on the butter and sour cream, please).