Saturday, October 21, 2017

I have no words

Friends, I promised I'd be back on time with an update. I'm here as I said with an update -- but it's not a post I ever wanted to have to share. I feel the need to warn you readers that this post will be very long (and still not say enough) and may be hard for some.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Oct 17, I awoke with a fear and the notion that I had not felt the little guy move in some time. I searched my brain to to recall that the last distinctive movement I remember occurred the day before around 7:30a'ish. I hoped that I had just missed his movements throughout the busy day I had had. I poked the belly, gave a little wiggle, changed directions in bed all in an attempt to get some movement out of him. Nothing. As I laid in the dark, I tried not to worry - perhaps he's a hard sleeper. As time passed, all my prompts were met with stillness. I made a call to my office's emergency line. The on-call doctor encouraged me that sometimes little ones move quite a bit less in the third trimester. She instructed me to eat or drink something sugary and lay on my left side and do kick counts. I was to count at least 6-8 movements of any kind in that hour. I was back to laying in the dark trying to will his stillness into movement. After 45 minutes of waiting and praying, there were no kicks to be counted. It was time to head to the hospital.

I called P on our way as I thought it best to let her know what was happening, assuring her that all was fine and that I was likely being overly cautious. I even felt a little bit like a silly worrier going in, but better safe than sorry. And I told P I'd call her just as soon as I knew anything.

My husband drove me to my OB's office (he never left my side). We arrived at 9:15a and were immediately taken back to an exam room where I was promptly hooked up to a fetal monitor. The nurse could not pick up the baby's heart right away, so she called in another nurse "with more experience." She could not find the heartbeat either. She said to us, probably reading the concern on our faces, "We should just get the ultrasound monitor out. It'll be much easier." The doctor (although not MY doctor as she was out of the office that week) came in with the bedside ultrasound and began to scan my tummy. "I'm sorry. There's no heart activity," she said with tears in her eye. My first thought was for P and how I was going to have to call her and tell her that everything was not fine. Oh how I wished for someone else to make that call for me, but I knew it only right that I call - it was my place. "I don't know how to say this. I'm so sorry to tell you that there was no heartbeat." Tears.

A more detailed ultrasound was performed and showed nothing unusual. We began to prepare for delivery that afternoon, at 31 weeks & 6 days gestation. I began pitocin at 3p - how very odd it was for us to be in a delivery room as we had been so many times and not to feel the excitement and anticipation as before. Just stillness and grief.

P and Z arrived at the hospital around 4p and my water broke just before 5p. I received an epidural shortly after as we all agreed that we had enough pain already. My mother was able to arrive to be with me at 6p. She was looking forward to meeting P one day but certainly not under these circumstances.

Baby boy arrived at approximately 8:30p, weighing 4lbs, 3oz. The irony of an eerily quiet room after the birth of a child was not lost on us.

An examination showed that this sweet boy's umbilical cord has become wrapped and tangled creating a kink or knot that stopped the flow of blood and oxygen to his little body. We are told this is very rare and was nothing anyone could have seen coming therefore could not have been prevented. His cause of death will likely be recorded as a cord accident. Although we are thankful to have a reason, the pain remains the same.

We all got to spend some private time alone with him: P and Z alone and Theo and I alone. He was such a beautiful boy, a perfect mix of his mom and dad. I am so humbled by the trust given me to carry him for every second of his precious life.

He was laid to rest forever a baby in a private service with his family on October 19.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

I totally forgot about you

I completely forgot to update after our appointment a week and a half ago! I thought I had updated, but hopped on today to discover that I actually did not make a post. I guess I only shared with you all in my head. Sooooo, pregnancy brain? 😆

this is my life now
Super sorry about that one, friends! My last appointment went great. P was able to come and see her little guy. And we were fortunate to get some great 4D pics.

isn't he cute!
My blood redraw came back normal - no anemia. Yay! Our next appointment is in about 5 days, and I promise I won't forget about all my readers again. At this point, I begin appointments every 2 weeks, then will begin weekly check-ups in 4 weeks. We are really in the homestretch!

I am currently 31.5 weeks. My last belly pic was taken at 30 weeks, so I definitely need to take another. I'll leave you with the 30 week bump...

more than a bump!
I swear by my pregnancy brain to come back NEXT WEEK with an update!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

28 weeks - almost there really!

We have made our way into the THIRD and FINAL trimester! Tomorrow will be the official 28 week mark. We have 12 more weeks until due date, 11 more weeks until the max date for delivery (according to my OB), and possibly only 9 more weeks until actual birth given the last delivery that came early at 37 weeks. This time will pass fast, friends!

My last doctor's appointment was great! I'm happy say that I passed the glucola test and the sugary drink was even tolerable until the sugar rush hit! Thankfully it was short lived. My blood cell count came back low which could be a sign that my anemia may be returning as we head into the homestretch of the pregnancy. I'll be retested next month to determine if any action is needed. On the brighter side, we got to see photos of the little guy in 4D. His face is pressed against the placenta; he must think it's a nice warm pillow since he never turned from it during his photo shoot. I love how you can see his sweet little fingers!

super cool!
I was able to text the photos to P before popping them in the mail to her since she couldn't be there that day. She is able to come to the appointment in October so we are looking forward to that. I hope the little guy is more cooperative for his pictures! We plan to tour the hospital next month as well.

The legal side of things has been quiet since the initial contracts. Yesterday we received the final draft of the parentage documents for all parties to sign and notarize. Those documents, when submitted and accepted by the courts, will legally name P & Z as the parents and their names will be placed on the birth certificate at birth. We know the baby is all theirs, but having the legal paperwork complete is a nice bonus! 

I made an announcement in the last post about my entry into the world of real estate, and that entry has been quite successful already! I spend most of my days in training classes at my brokerage firm - even though I passed the exam, there is still SO MUCH to learn. I also host open houses on the weekend for other agents where I get a chance to meet potential buyer clients. I currently have my first ever buyer client and we are working on finding him a home for his family. Such an exciting time! If you are in the market in middle TN or know anyone who is, you can find me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/RealtorTashaBrown/

This belly I have now also makes for quite a talking point at the open houses too! Take a look at these bump pics........

26 weeks
27 weeks
28 weeks
The pics don't seem to show too much change but I feel like I grow every day! I'm not able to get as much good quality sleep as I'd like because it's so hard to get and STAY comfortable at night. I'm a natural stomach sleeper so that means I may not sleep well for the rest of the pregnancy.  I'm still at the gym every morning and my energy is still good at the moment. I have no weird food cravings to report, but I've never really had those in any of my pregnancies. I guess I have "boring" pregnancies! 😃

Our next appointment is October 5 - I hope to have a very boring update then as well, aside from some cute baby photos we hope to get! I'll check in then, friends!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bigger bump and an announcement

25 weeks down already and we are just bumpin' right along! (See what I did there)


I grow a little bit more each week, as is to be expected of course. I'm still in non-maternity bottoms although I am having to fasten the button together with a ponytail loop. I'm in maternity tops a bit more regularly although I find that some of the looser, flowy tops and dresses do just fine.

If this little guy decides to arrive early like the last one (and it's very likely he could!), we may only have 12 weeks left in this pregnancy. I think that will go by super fast as the holiday season approaches. I know P is super anxious to meet her little man!

I have nothing really interesting to report as far as the pregnancy goes - everything is pretty much par for the course: too much peeing and never-ending baby kicks. However, I do have some BIG personal NEWS...

During this journey, I have been considering what to do with my time after this little one arrives. This will be the 8th child that I have carried and delivered, and it's very likely he will be my final carry. As my little ones are growing, I am finding myself with some free time on my hands. With the support of my family and friends, I decided to get licensed as a professional realtor! I am officially working for my local Keller Williams office while completing this surrogacy journey. It's definitely a change of pace and a new venture I'm very excited to begin.

Thanks for letting me share this news with you all! I'll be back next week with an update from the next ultrasound as well as that awful glucola appointment.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

23 weeks!

We are 23 weeks into this thing already, and I have the bump to prove it!

Early AM messy hair - please excuse
I am still getting by with my regular (stretchy) clothes at the moment; maternity clothes are still a bit to big in the waist/belly. They're coming though, promise.

Little guy moves ALL THE TIME! We got to take another peek during our recent ultrasound a few days ago. We met with the perinatologist who performed the fetal echo to check on baby's heart development. Everything looked great - doc says he saw exactly what he hoped to see at this point. He did share with us (P was present) that IVF babies - all IVF babies, not just those carried via surrogate - have a slightly higher risk of still birth, therefore regular monitoring would be necessary as studies show that a health decline is usually gradual rather than immediate. So baby boy will continue to be monitored via ultrasound monthly for growth checks until 34 weeks, then we will proceed to weekly growth checks after that until delivery. This was also the protocol for my prior carries as well.

At the appointment, P was so sweet to think of me and bring me a treat from a nearby bakery...


This is a vanilla bundtlet with cream cheese frosting. I promptly took a bite as soon as I got home! It was a perfect after dinner dessert (I may have a bit of a sweet tooth!) and I did not share it with anyone.

Appointment day was pretty great as baby is doing well and the treat was just icing on the cake. 😉