Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surro Files - 27 Weeks And We're In The 3rd Trimester!!!!!


The Bun
Baby is now about the size of a rutabaga (14.5 inches) and about 2 pounds.  Right now baby looks like a thinner, redder, more wrinkled version of what they will look like at birth, but in the next few weeks more fat will fill out their appearance.  Baby's immune system is continuing to mature as are their lungs which are still practicing breathing amniotic fluid.

Photo Taken By Belle & Adam

The Oven
This belly is now in the third trimester!!!!  Woot woot!  Ok, there is debate on if the third trimester starts at 27 or 28 weeks but I think 27 makes more sense so I'm going with that.  That being said, I feel like end of pregnancy symptoms have decided to start all of a sudden right when we turned this new leaf into the home stretch.  This weekend I could NOT sleep because of acid being pushed up through my throat due to tight space limits in the belly now.  I also magically started getting leg cramps when I stretch which I hadn't had all pregnancy till now. Oh yes, the joys of the third trimester.  But I know it means we're getting close and that makes me so excited.  We're almost there Belle and Adam!!!

-Pic of my sister and I (27wks for me, 26 weeks for her)

Lately the belly has been a movin' and a groovin'.  This baby does not like to sleep at all!  Haha!  I don't mind though.  I'm quite amused by their playful side kicks and rolls.  Even got a great video of a leg, or maybe an arm doing a few side swipes across the belly while they were listening to their mommy read books on our Belly Bud headphones ... or rather bellyphones??


The Happenings In the Kitchen
Ok, do I really need to say what I've been doing this week???  Still working on the baby shower.  Haha!  Yes, it's a never ending process, but I wanted to get as much done as I could before we left on our spring break vacation.  I'm feeling really good right now.  I've gotten so much done and I'll still have 2 weeks when I get back to finish things up.  So nice to not leave everything to the last minute!  Ok, I'd post pictures of what I've been up to as far as projects, but I really want it to be a surprise for Belle when she gets here.  I promise I will post TONS of pics after the shower.

This weekend started our spring break vacation.  We headed down South to visit my family for a few days before heading to Lego Land for the week.  I only get to see my family every few months, so it's really nice to catch up, laugh, and just relax.  I'll admit it's a little chaotic getting all four kids together, but they do have fun... Most of the time.  Haha!  It's also great hanging out with my sister who is due with her own little bundle of joy just a week after Belle and Adam's baby.  We can compare notes on baby aches and pains, kicks and rolls, and everything else to do with baby making.  I just don't have the after birth tasks to share in.  I like it that way though.  Gives me more time to enjoy and talk about what everyone else is doing to get ready, while still concentrating on my own kids.  Such a great mix.

- My family with parents, sister, and her son. 

The Chefs (an update from Belle)
"This past week has been quiet, but busy! Lots of nursery organizing going on. You can never be too organized. I got the last order of my cloth diapers in the mail, as well as the rest of my Zulily order =  lots of laundry washing!
 Adam was away all week for work, which gave me time to put together the changing table and I now have it all set and ready to use. I can honestly say I feel like I now have everything ready for the baby's arrival  and can relax (even though that wont happen!!!)  Last thing on my list that I must get are mattress protectors, which I somehow forgot to buy up to this point.  
More house viewings coming up!  Maybe our move is close at hand?!" -Belle

Coming Soon !!!
April 22nd - Glucose Test - Ewwwwww!!!!!  Not looking forward to it.
April 30th-6th - Belle Visits - Yay!!!!  Baby Shower, Disneyland, 30 Week Growth Ultrasound, 30 Week OB Visit, & Meet With Doula.  Fun Fun Fun!!!  Busy Busy Busy!!!

Don't forget to check out my "Surrogacy" tab at the top of this page to catch up on any posts you might have missed

*Some of the names in this post have been changed to protect the identities of those involved in this journey*

Monday, April 7, 2014

Surro Files - 26 Weeks & We Have A Doula


The Bun
Baby is now about the size of a head of lettuce (14 inches) and 1.75 pounds.  By now baby's lungs and brain are much more developed.  In fact, the baby can likely detect light and dark through the optic nerve.  Baby can now also hear more than just my rumbling tummy (which is particularly rumbly right now), such as outside noises like voices.

Speaking of hearing...  Each night I play voice recordings to baby that Belle and Adam have sent over to me.  If you remember, last time Belle and Adam visited I gave them a pair of Belly Buds as a gift.  Basically it's a baby belly headphone set so that I can play music and voice recordings for baby.  Now their baby will already be accustomed to music they like and their voices.  I also have a few recordings of their dogs so their cheerful barks will be familiar when baby gets home.

Photo by Belle & Adam

The Oven
Well, turns out the oven is a bit bigger than the average 26 week oven.  It's actually measuring about 4 weeks ahead.  Definitely explains why everyone thinks we're due a lot sooner than we really are and why a lot of my maternity shirts are already hitting max capacity.  More about that below when I talk about our 25 week OB visit.

The belly at 26 Weeks

The Happenings In the Kitchen
Lots going on this week!  First off, we had our 25 week OB visit this past Thursday.  I gained another 5 pounds this past month clocking me in at 135 pounds.  Ack!  That's a 29 pound increase so far.  Still on track for what I usually gain, but it would be nice if we slowed down a bit this next month.  Blood pressure looked great and baby's heartbeat sounded awesome at around 140 bpm.  Only problem is like I said above... I'm measuring about 4 weeks ahead.  Not sure what that's all about, but I usually measure pretty big.  It's just the way I grow.  Just to be on the safe side though, we're going to have a growth scan next month while Belle is here.  Big baby, extra fluid, extra baby????  Haha!  Who knows, but we'll find out.  Funny story from our visit.  My nurse practitioner was saying that I look like I'm carrying a {...beep...} even though I'm really carrying a {...beep...}.  Then she made another comment about the sex of the baby saying it looked the opposite of what it really is.  Baby did not like that at all and gave her a swift kick to the doppler.  Freaked my nurse out.  Haha!  Don't call baby a {...beep...} when they're really a {...beep...}.  You didn't think I was really going to spill the beans on the sex did you????  No way!  Also got my lab slip for the glucose test.  No bueno!  I really hate that test.  Ewwwww!

  In other news this week, we also decided to hire a doula.  Brian has decided not to be present at the
Our Doula Natalie
birth because he feels slightly uncomfortable knowing that another man will watch his baby be born from me.  He definitely feels that every parent should be able to watch their baby be born and has no problem with that, but still feels uncomfortable being present.  So instead he will be on call (our house is only 5 min down the road) in case anything goes wrong.  That being said, we feel that having a doula will help bridge the gap and give me more support during labor, birth, and after.  So this week I started the interview process.  Thursday I had two interviews and they both went great!  I really liked both doulas, but something about the second doula just told me she was the one.  It might have been the calming aura that she had about her.  Or maybe it was that she seemed so knowledgeable in positions that might help my back labor which I've experience twice so far.  Or it could have been the thought of massage and essential oils that caught my attention.  Whatever it was, I just knew she was the one.  I cancelled the rest of my interviews and booked her two days later.  Yay for a doula!!!!  So excited to be working with Natalie Garvey-De Leon of Inner Balance.  Belle and I will have our first real meeting with her next month while Belle is visiting.

Lastly, I've been working on the baby shower this week.  Surprised?  I think not.  That's what I do everyday, morning, noon, and night.  Only 3-1/2 more weeks!!!!  Just yesterday I finished some Mickey & Minnie mouse headbands for the party and almost all of the hanging flower decorations.  Yay!!!!  Hopefully this week I can get even more done before I'm out of commission for spring break.

Working on Baby Shower Tissue Flowers

The Chefs (an update from Belle)
"More laundry and organizing going on for baby clothing. I have a dresser loaded full of items aged 0-5 YEARS (already)!!! Most items are now washed and put away, but I do have another load or two (or 3) to go.... 

This week I also was able to buy the last few extra little cloth diaper items I wanted, until i wait and see what i get from friends and family as gifts! One neat organization I did was arrange my cloth diapers in a door-shoe hanger for easy access and quick changes! No running around here looking for lost items (yet!) 

We also got the crib mattress in, and it is all set up, sheets and all!


The rest of our week was kept busy with a couple of house viewings we had, and hopefully we will get an offer on our house soon!" - Belle

Belle's New Cloth Diaper Storage System

Coming Soon !!!
April 22nd - Glucose Test - Ewwwwww!!!!!  Not looking forward to it.
April 30th-6th - Belle Visits - Yay!!!!  Baby Shower, Disneyland, 30 Week Growth Ultrasound, 30 Week OB Visit, & Meet With Doula.  Fun Fun Fun!!!  Busy Busy Busy!!!

Don't forget to check out my "Surrogacy" tab at the top of this page to catch up on any posts you might have missed

*Some of the names in this post have been changed to protect the identities of those involved in this journey*

Monday, March 31, 2014

Surro Files - 25 Weeks With Baby Shower On The Brain


The Bun
Baby is now about the size of cauliflower (13.5 in) and 1.5 pounds.  Baby's body parts are continuing to become more proportional to each other.  Baby fat is also continuing to fill in their skin for a smoother look and more hair is growing, developing texture and color.  Hmmmmm... wonder what color hair this baby will have?  I'm going to guess dark, but then again my little man has blonde hair and blue eyes with two dark haired, brown eyed parents.

At 25 Weeks baby is now the size of  a large bunch of cauliflower
The Oven
Not much new with the oven.  It's just getting bigger.  I keep thinking it'll slow down, but I'm pretty sure I gained another 4 pounds this month.  At least I'm consistent.  Haha!  I've also been feeling more Braxton Hicks contractions.  Not painful... they just take my breath away for a minute as everything hardens up.

The Belly @ 25 weeks.  Took my sticker photo a week late.  Boo!
The Happenings In the Kitchen
This week I've had baby shower on the brain 24/7!  On May 1st I'm throwing a baby shower for Belle.  I thought this would be a great way for Belle to meet some of my best friends and family members while celebrating the big day to come.  I've always wanted to throw a baby shower so I was super excited that she finally gave in and said it was ok.  She's not one for being the center of attention, but but who could resist a party to celebrate her little bundle of joy and becoming a mommy?  Plus I throw a pretty good party. *wink*

My Cute Little Party Invites.  Even Includes a Bookplate for Book Gifts

So far I've got my whole game plan nailed down for our Mickey and Minnie Mouse Book Baby Shower.  I've figured out what the overall look will be, what food I will serve, and games we will play.  Then I made a shopping list to get crackin' on.  That's what I've been doing all this week...  shopping, shopping, shopping.  I think I only have a few items left to buy and then I'm done!  This week I'll start on projects.  I need to start assembling some of the decorations so they'll be ready to go for the big day.  You can never start too early.

I've also finished shopping for Belle's baby shower gift basket.  I admit I went a bit overboard with the shopping, but everything looked soooooooo cute!!!!!  Now I'm just waiting for it all to come in the mail.  Can't wait to see all the cute baby stuff.  I love buying baby gifts.

In addition to the baby shower Brian and I also went to a crab feed for his work industry.  It was sooooooo yummy!  Kind of odd at first to have cold crab, but you get used to it.  Plus they had lots of prizes to raffle off and wouldn't you know it... I won!!!!!  I kept telling Brian that I really wanted to win the party drink dispenser so I could use it for the baby shower.  I didn't care about the gift certificates, the bottles of wine, or even the flat screen TV.  I just wanted the drink dispenser.  And I won it!!!!!!

Brian and I at his industry crab feed function.  Yum!
The Drink Dispenser That I Won!!!
The Chefs (an update from Belle)
"This past week was busy, but fun! I got new cloth diapers in the mail (newborn size). They are all so cute! I also got my Tula baby carrier in the mail, it looks perfect and i cant wait to use it.  I also managed to sort all the baby clothes this week, wash them, and put them away. I even have our baby's travel bag packed and ready to go! Only 15 weeks left before the big day.

In other news, Adam has his flight booked out for the first week of July! He should arrive about 10 days before the Due Date. I still need to book my flight, but I will most likely be arriving the second to last week of June.


We have also been busy trying to sell our house, with lots of showings going on. I hope to move soon!" - Belle
Belle's Cute Newborn Tots Bots Tiny Fit Cloth Diapers

Coming Soon !!!
April 3rd - 25 Week OB Appt - Meeting with the certified nurse midwife.
April 30th-7th - Belle Visits - Yay!!!!  Baby Shower, Disneyland, 30 Week Growth Ultrasound.  Fun Fun Fun!!!

Don't forget to check out my "Surrogacy" tab at the top of this page to catch up on any posts you might have missed

*Some of the names in this post have been changed to protect the identities of those involved in this journey*

Monday, March 24, 2014

Surro Files - 24 Weeks & We Have Viability!!!!

The Bun
Baby is now about the size of a cantaloupe (12.5 in) and 1.25 pounds.  With all the rapidly developing senses in the baby, they should probably be able to sense what is upside down or right side up.  Baby's respiratory system is also rapidly growing.  Lungs are developing in preparation for breathing and getting practice by moving amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs since for now baby still gets oxygen through the placenta. - The Bump  

In other news... we have reached VIABILITY!!!!  So what does viability mean?  No, it doesn't mean that baby will definitely survive if born at this point, but the odds are slowly going up with each day that baby stays in the womb.  What it does mean, (at least here in the US) is that most hospitals and doctors will at this point try to use any means necessary to deliver and keep a baby alive that is born after 24 weeks.  This is because at this point a baby has enough of a chance of survival (about 50%) and the ability to live outside the womb.

Baby is now the size of a cantaloupe @ 24wks.  - photo by Belle & Adam
The Oven
I know I talked about it before, but this week was an especially hard week for me in regards to my body image.  This is a whole new territory for me.  I've always adored my growing belly and find it amazing and cute and I just plain love it!  So it's really taken me by surprise that certain comments made and personal matters that I don't wish to elaborate on in this blog post, have caused me to see the growth differently.  I cried a lot this week because of this new outlook.  Luckily I had a long talk with one of my main contributing factors to this change in outlook and I feel much better now.  I also talked with Belle quite a bit about it and she helped to remind me why we are doing this and that with this growth comes an amazing gift of life.  She reminded me that we know that this is a beautiful experience and it just doesn't matter what anyone else says.  I might just be rambling and not making sense at this point, but I just want to say that I'm back to my positive thinking self and cherishing every moment of this surrogacy!  I even came across an old favorite song of mine that helped to put things into perspective... "I am beautiful" by Christina Aguilera.

In honor of hitting the viability mark I've created a partial belly progression video.  It's still a work in progress, but hope you like it!!!!

The Belly @ 24 Weeks at Casa de Fruta

The Happenings In the Kitchen
This has been a busy weekend for us.  Friday, Linc and I drove to Monterey to meet up with a Fertility Friend due date mommy friend and her family.  Her daughter was born the same month as my son, and although she lives in Canada and I live in California, we've still kept in contact over these years and met up twice so far.  And if you don't remember, Fertility Friend is also the site I first met Belle on while trying to conceive Linc.  Such a small world!!!!

Linc and I meeting up with friends in Monterey
On the way home from Monterey, Linc and I also stopped by Casa de Fruta.  Love this place!  Not only do they have lots of great fresh fruit, but they also have lots of other produce, dried fruit, chocolate treats (oh so yummy looking!!!!!), wine, a deli, an RV park, and a kids fun park.  The kids fun park is where we hung out the most.  Linc and I rode the train twice, the carousel once, and played at the park forever.  Wore Linc out for the second half of the trip home.  Yay!

Linc and I hanging out at Casa de Fruta
This weekend my daughters also ran in the Kidz Mud Factor 5k Run!  They had a blast!... most of the time.  Haha!  I'll admit that a few times the mud kind of freaked them out and a few of the obstacles were a bit high and pretty darn scary even for me, but I was really proud of them for completing the race and going through almost all the obstacles.  You go girls!!!!!  You make your mommy so proud.  Next year I hope I'll be able to do the run with them... or at least the adult version after their run.  At least I got a little taste of the fun when Reagan got stuck in a big mud puddle and I had to go rescue her leaving me muddy all the way up to my thighs.  Cold, sticky, dirty, and fun!

The girls getting down and dirty at the Kidz Mud Factor 5k Run
The Chefs
Another busy week for Belle out of town so I'll be writing her section this week.  Don't worry, she'll be back home next week to give you all the low down on what she and Adam have been up to.  I will say that she has been having a blast though!  Her grandma is still visiting and they had a great time in London, and are currently in Paris!  So jealous!!!  That sounds like so much fun!!!!  Sight seeing, great food, and lots of baby clothes shopping were the themes of the day I'm sure.  So glad she's out having fun in these last months before baby gets here.  So hard to find the time after that.  

Coming Soon !!!
April 3rd - 25 Week OB Appt - Meeting with the certified nurse midwife.
April 30th-7th - Belle Visits - Yay!!!!  Baby Shower, Disneyland, Fun Ultrasound.  Fun Fun Fun!!!

Don't forget to check out my "Surrogacy" tab at the top of this page to catch up on any posts you might have missed

*Some of the names in this post have been changed to protect the identities of those involved in this journey*

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Girls New Surfer Room Is DONE!!!

The Girls Are Crazy Excited!!!!
Wow!  I've been working on the design of this room since last summer, and the actual transformation of the room since the first day of 2014.  It's been a labor of love and worth every ounce of energy I've put into it.  The girls LOVE their new room!!!!!!  We've went from a tomboy styled Cars room, to a hip surfer girl room that they're excited to show all their friends when they come over.  What more can two little big girls ask for?  Sorry it's taken me so long to post pictures.  We've been go go go lately.

If you'd like to see the planning that went into this room and the before pictures, please see my  previous post ... A New Year, A New Room.  And yes, you might notice that the slide did not happen.  Boo!!!!!  Brian thought it would make the room too much of a play place instead of a sleep place.  Kill Joy!  Haha!  The girls love it anyways ... although they do bring up the slide now and then.

So without further ado, here are some pictures of the girls new room!

The bed was existing.  I really couldn't tell you who made it, but I did buy it at USA Baby if that helps.  The bedding is from the "Surfs Up Tropic" bedding collection.  I got my set off of Ebay, but you can find it several places online.  The curtains and blue accent pillows on the bed are from Anna's Linens.  The blue rug (I cut up to fit the loft and floor) is from Target.  The grass window valances are from Shindigz.com.  They were table skirts that I cut up and glued to a curtain rod.  The surfboard sign is custom cut by a friend of ours and I painted it myself.  The surfboard decals on the wall are from Pottery Barn Kids.  Sorry, can't remember where the clock is from, but I did use nail polish to paint the numbers on it.


The same friend of ours that cut out the surfboard made this awesome loft for us!!!!  Isn't it awesome?!?!  I did all the painting on it.  The little table and chairs under the loft and the stuffed animal storage hanger are from Ikea.  The Hello Kitty wall decal is from Fat Head.  The bed sheets are from Pottery Barn Kids.


The dresser is from Ikea.  The bookshelf on top of the dresser was a companion piece with the bunk beds.  The light under the bunk bed and under the loft are from Ikea.  The star knobs are from Rejuvenated Creations on Etsy.  Please feel free to ask me if I forgot to list the source of anything.  I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Surro Files - 23 Weeks & Rockin' Out To TOOL!!!


The Bun
Baby is now about the size of a grapefruit (11.5 in) and 1.1 pounds.  Baby is probably quite active by now and you should be able to feel movement or kicks in your belly.  It might even be possible to see the movements on the surface of your skin.  Overall baby is now more proportioned from head size to the rest of the body and is looking more and more like a newborn. - The Bump

I would definitely say baby is VERY active!!!  I don't know when this little one sleeps.  Haha!  Ok, baby isn't always moving, but it sure does seem like it sometimes.  Here is an awesome video I got of baby getting down and crazy with some kickboxing late at night.  Sorry in advance for the sight of my overly stretched out skin.  It's been through a lot of stretching over the years.


Baby is now the size of a grapefruit - photo by Belle & Adam

The Oven
Bigger and bigger.  Haha!  I know.  My update is always the same.  But yes, it's just getting bigger and I keep getting comments that I look way bigger than I should.  Ugh!  I think I noticed some braxton-hicks contractions this week.  Those are basically practice contractions getting ready for the big day.  They're not really painful.  Just firm pressure and the belly hardens and then releases again.

The belly @ 23w at the TOOL concert

The Happenings In the Kitchen
Ok, this week was all about TOOL!!!!!!!  My husband and I met over our love of the band TOOL, and by now Brian has probably been to about 35 TOOL concerts, while I've been to about 20.  Yes, I think we like them just a bit.  Haha!  Well it's been awhile since TOOL has been in concert, so when we heard they were doing a mini tour we were all over it.  Preggo or not, we were going!  Ok, I was a bit worried about the loud noise, but I Googled rock concerts and pregnancy, and found that there was nothing to worry about.  Baby is well protected by all my fat layers, and their ears aren't developed enough to really hear sounds as loud as we do anyways.

So last Tuesday we drove to San Francisco for my first concert of the tour (Brian had already been to two in Oregon).  What was special about this concert??  We got VIP tickets!!!!!!  OMG!  It was the most amazing day ever!!!  100 of us VIP holders were led into the venue at 1pm.  We waited awhile then were led upstairs to a room where Adam Jones (the guitarist from TOOL) held a meet and greet with Q&A at the end.  He talked all about his life, how he got started with art, then music, and then TOOL.  He also showed us how he plays a lot of the songs and some fancy tricks on the guitar (which he passed around so we could touch it).  Afterwards there was a Q&A session with Adam (although I'm too shy to ask questions), and then we got to take pictures with Adam.  When I went in the room to take my picture he was excited to hear about the surrogacy.  He gave me a big hug and asked to touch the belly.  Of course I said yes.  Maybe he passed some of his great artistic talents on.  Then we went down to watch the sound check where they played a few songs before the show.  The show was awesome!!!

TOOL!!!!!!!  We're Here!!!! (night #2)
So Excited To Meet Adam Jones (TOOL's Guitarist)
Brian and I with some TOOL video props
Wednesday we went back for round 2 of TOOL.  No VIP that night, but by some amazing luck we scored awesome seats!!!  We got there after the opening band had already started and all the seats were full.  With general admission I thought we were doomed to the nose-bleed section way at the top.  But just before I headed up the stairs someone pulled me aside and said I could sit in the handicap section.  Whoot!!!!!!  Score!  Best seats ever!  Baby bean seemed to like this night the best.  They were kicking all over the place.  Haha!

Round 3 was Friday.  One last show in our hometown of Fresno.  Another great night, another great show!  Farewell TOOL!  We'll see you next time.

The Chefs
No update from Belle and Adam this week.  I knew they were busy so I couldn't bear to ask them to add one more thing to their plate.  I will let you know that it sounds like they had a lot of fun amiss their business though.  Adam had fun at a race car event in Switzerland and Belle spent all week with her Grandma in London shopping for baby.  They're also trying to sell their current home so they can move closer to family, so lots of cleaning and getting ready to show the house this coming week.  I've got my fingers crossed for them.  Would be great to have family around to help out when their bundle of joy gets here.

Oh, I should also note that Belle has finally started her cloth diaper shopping and being a cloth diaper addict myself, I know exactly what she's going through right now.  Overwhelmed, excited, and diapers on the brain non-stop.  Haha!  Yes, we're just crazy like that.

Oh!  And they got the crib put together!!!!!  Whoo hoo!  All ready to go.

One Of The Many Cloth Diapers Already On The Way
Adam getting the crib all set up.
Coming Soon !!!
April 3rd - 25 Week OB Appt - Meeting with the certified nurse midwife.
April 30th-7th - Belle Visits - Yay!!!!  Baby Shower, Disneyland, Fun Ultrasound.  Fun Fun Fun!!!

Don't forget to check out my "Surrogacy" tab at the top of this page to catch up on any posts you might have missed

*Some of the names in this post have been changed to protect the identities of those involved in this journey*