Tuesday, April 21, 2009

30 days left!

Wow, I can hardly believe that we're so close to the day my IPs have been waiting for for so long! (And admittedly, I've been waiting for as well!) Today we are 35 weeks and 5 days!

I had an OB appointment yesterday with my soon-to-be former OB's office. My IM was there, but because they did the Group B Strep test, she wasn't back in the room with me when they listened to the heartbeat, etc. The baby is doing great. He's head down (or so I've been told, and that's how it feels...we haven't had an ultrasound since the one around 21 weeks). The doctor was measuring me when I had a contraction, so he decided to check my cervix. I'm about 1cm dilated...nothing to get super excited about. BUT...something is going on in there, and the OB said he expects me to live up to my typical birth, which is between 3 and 11 days before my due date. If I deliver 11 days before my due date, that makes the child's birth date Sunday May 10th. MOTHER'S DAY! I would love to give birth on Mother's Day! I know G would love to welcome her newest child into the world on her special day as well.

Speaking of delivering...G called and spoke with the birth center. After asking her questions of them, and finding out that she can indeed help deliver her child and then reading all the benefits of delivering without pain medication and minimal medical interventions, she set up an appointment for us to go speak with the ladies (midwives) there. I told my hubby that I found it hilarious. This entire journey G has let me set up the appointments and work with everyone's schedules...but this time she was so excited she set up the appointment for us. I was so glad! So the where and how of my delivery is settled. That makes me feel so much better! It's such a relief...and to know that G and K are so excited about this new change makes it so much easier.

I just had another contraction. Nothing major, but enough to make me stop and say "hmm". I figure that I'll have contractions on and off for the next week and a half...then I'll actually start having regular, time able contractions. (And I mean, I'll have one every 30-45 minutes lasting 30 seconds or so, until about a week later then they'll get closer and longer.) That's the way it went with my last pregnancy. Although it was tiring, I was so ready to deliver at that point, it didn't matter where or how I delivered, just so long as the constant contractions stopped!

So, I'll update again after my appointment with my midwives on Friday!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Are you serious?

It has been a crazy week. My washing machine died. My water heater is heading the way of the washer...but we managed to fix it temporarily. (Hopefully it'll last at least another 3-6 months!)

On top of that, we're still trying to figure out the whole birthing situation. I called and talked to my IM, and just let her know that I had found a birth center, but my insurance didn't cover it, so that was out. She asked how much it was out of pocket and I told her. She said that she thought they could pay that and they were willing to do that. I was so excited and told her I'd email her the information. Well, that was Friday. I haven't heard from her since. No email. No phone call.

She had suggested that we rent a hotel room up in the Medical Center near the hospitals and I can labor there and then move to a hospital when I'm ready to push. The problem is, if I holler out in pain, or make too much noise, someone is going to call the front desk, or 911, and I'm going to be taken to the hospital before I'm ready. It's just not a smart solution.

So here I am on Sunday, waiting for the delivery guys to drop off my new washer and about two hours ago I started having contractions. I'm trying to relax and not think about the fact that I'm weeks away from delivery and there is no plan in place for where I'm going to deliver. Seriously, I'm so ready to just say I'm delivering here at home, and after the baby's born, we'll all head to the hospital. I'm just frustrated.

I'm a planner. I have to have a plan for darn near everything...especially something as important as this. To be this close to the end, and not have a clue what's going on, that's so hard on me. I feel anxious and frustrated. Everyone around me keeps saying not to worry about it, if worse comes to worse I can just deliver at the hospital we toured. The thing is, if I deliver there, I can almost guarantee I'm going to have feelings of resentment toward...well just about everyone. I'm already angry with my OB. Hubby and I have talked and I've told him that my OB is being fired at the soonest possible moment. Not that it matters. I found out that she's closing her doors to become a stay at home mommy...and I'm her last patient. Which now that I think about it is probably why she has no issues not seeing me again and pawning me off on who ever has a spot open in the office.

I just don't know. I need to get some more water and put my feet up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can't stop crying...

So I think I blogged about my OB abandoning me with some other OB I've never met. Well, last night we went on the tour of the hospital. Let's just say I wasn't impressed, and in fact was scared. My IPs also weren't very happy. For starters, to even get in the hospital, you have to submit to a search (a pat down, and searching your bags). There are at least two guards at the entrance to the hospital, but you may still have to wait a while to get in.

Secondly, the hospital just seemed dirty. There were lights out in the ceilings, the elevators hadn't been mopped in a while. It just wasn't very welcoming.

We finally got upstairs to the Labor and Delivery department and walked around for nearly 10 minutes in and around patients' rooms, wandering around the open nursery (where three newborns were left unattended) and then found the lactation consultant. We spoke with her briefly, and then met the guy for the tour. The guy who did the tour told me that he received an email saying that I would be bringing extra guests with me, so he knew why I had an entourage. Then he start the tour by telling us where to park, and that we were not to bring anything with us. He must have said at least four or five times "DO NOT bring an over night bag." Finally he takes us back to a delivery room. The room barely fits four people, let alone our group of "tourists". He then says that in this room we are only allowed to have two people. He looks right at me when he says this. I already knew that I wasn't going to be allowed to have my husband and IPs in there. My OB basically told me that I wasn't going to have anything I wanted. He then goes on to say that we are not allowed to have any video equipment or cameras until after the baby is born and the doctor okays it. This means I don't get the precious pictures of my IPs the moment the baby is born.

We then go over to the post partum room and he continues to explain about visitors and how only one person can stay with me, and how I'm going to be in the hospital for at least two to three days depending on the delivery. This means I don't get to go home within 12 hours to rest and recoup at home...this also means that half the time my hubby doesn't get to stay with me, because the IPs and their family will take those "visitors" spaces.

The guy completely ignored questions from my IPs and only answered my questions and hubby's questions. We left the tour and decided that we would try to find something else that would better for us. As we walked outside we noticed something was wrong with our car...someone had vomitted on our car.

So last night, during my inability to sleep, I decided to try to find a better place to deliver. I found a birthing center right across the street from the hospital we toured, and next door to the hospital I usually go to for emergencies and such. I called my insurance who told me that they cover any birth center that has a licensed nurse on staff. I was thrilled. I called the birthing center and spoke with someone who gave me all the information I needed, told me that the birth plan I had written up was standard care for them and would be honored fully. I was so happy. I gave her my insurance information and then emailed my IM to let her know what I had found.

I got a phone call about an hour later saying that my insurance wouldn't cover me. The birthing center was considered out of network and wasn't covered...even though they met all the criteria set forth in my plan. They gave me the price of pre-natal care, labor and delivery, and 6 week post partum check up, which was all cheaper then what a hospital would be...but I know my IPs can't afford to pay out of pocket for it. I started crying. Hubby decided to call the insurance to find out what birthing centers were covered. The lady at the insurance company tells hubby that there aren't any birth centers in a 50 mile radius that they cover. She quit searching after that, and told hubby to have me deliver at a hospital.

I've been crying since. I now have to deliver in some small room without everyone important to me there. I will be stuck in bed with constant monitoring, an IV and not allowed to move. I won't be allowed to eat or drink for the time I'm there. I've also been told, per the tour last night, that as soon as I go into labor, I'm not allowed to eat or drink anything else.

So basically, I get to deliver the way someone else wants me to. I get to be tied to a bed, and end up having to have an epidural because I can't move to deal with my pain. This also means that I get to deal with the back labor I always have. I get to have the epidural migraine for days after delivery that I always get. I get to be starved and poked and prodded...all for someone else's comfort. Someone is going to have to miss the birth...and I have to make that decision. Either leave my husband out, or leave the father of the baby out. I have to use stirrups instead of holding my own legs to be more comfortable. I guess at this point I need to keep my blinders on and just keep reminding myself that as long as my IPs get there baby, I should keep my mouth shut and just deal with it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Abandoned by my OB...

I don't even know where to begin.

So about a month ago, my OB tells me I need to come back in two weeks. I'm thinking "Woohoo! I'm finally into the appointments every two weeks!" This is a huge milestone in a pregnancy. It means you're nearing the end of the road, and you'll soon see the product of all your hard work, etc. So I go out to the front desk and set up my next appointment two weeks out...only to find out that my OB is going on vacation for two weeks and won't be back until the following week. So my appointment was actually three weeks away. Ok, fine.

The following appointment ends and I'm told, "I'll see you in two weeks!" (This was a Thursday, because Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best for us.) We go out to make an appointment before we leave and low and behold we're told..."Dr. V has closed her clinic during the week. The only day she's open for appointments now is on Friday." Wait? What? How is that convenient for anyone other then the doctor?

Ok, fine, we're over a barrell...just deal with it. Then this past Friday I had an appointment, was shuffled straight from the exam room into the plebotemist's area and took off before I had a chance to make my next appointment. So today I call to set up an appointment...and the other shoe drops.

My OB's office is going to be closed for the Fiesta holiday on Friday April 24th, when I'm supposed to have my next appointment. Besides that, my OB is going on vacation until the week before my due date. So now I'm being told I have to see another OB on Monday April 20th. After that, who knows what's going to happen. The receptionist said that I'm going to have to see whatever OB is available around the time of my appointments. I asked her about what would happen if I go into labor before my OB gets back into town. She told me that I would be at the mercy of whatever OB was on call at the hospital. When I asked her if she knew what OB would be on call at the hospital (the one I've never been to, and am told I have to go to because it's the only hospital my OB has priveleges at) I was told she wasn't sure because they rotated with two other offices! I may not even have a doctor from my OB's office!


I feel as though my OB has just abandoned me. When I talked to her over a year ago about being a surrogate one of the things we talked about was if she was going to still be in practice. She was about to have a baby and I wondered if she was going to want to stay home. She said no, she would be here through the entire pregnancy, not to worry about it. And here we are now. She's closing her practice and spends more time on vacation then she does taking care of her remaining patients. Seriously, if you're going to be done with it all, at least tell me so I can find a new OB and have to do it within the last month of my pregnancy when things are stressful enough.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In it for the money...

I'm so sick of people saying that surrogates are only in it for the money. There may be a surrogate somewhere who only did her journey for the money she received but by and large, surrogates do it because they truly care about others.

I'm tired of looking through ads in my search for new IPs only to read ad after ad saying "We're looking for a surrogate who really cares and isn't in it for the money." Are you kidding me? No amount of money would make me want to regularly shove needles in my body for months on end. No amount of money would make me want to suffer the heart ache of a failed cycle, a miscarriage, D&C or any other thing that could go wrong while trying to get pregnant. And what about the aches and pains of daily pregnancy? What about the pain of labor and delivery? What if you have to have a C-section? How about bedrest? Even if you don't have mandatory bedrest at the end of pregnancy, most doctors put you on at least two days of bedrest right after transfer. How much is it worth to miss time away from your husband and kids?

Would you change your whole life, and take time away from your family and friends, risking your life and who knows what else just for a couple thousand dollars?

Yeah, surrogates do it for the money...like we couldn't get a dang job that paid better and came with way less risks, aches and pains.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quick Update...Labor scare

This is going to be short and sweet. I'm just too tired to give a big long update.

For two days now I've had some pain in my back and cramping. I've been super busy and had a ton of energy though. The kids, hubby and I completely cleaned the mini-van. I took it to the car wash and scrubbed it top to bottom. I vacuumed the inside (which if you've ever tried to waddle around in a mini-van while 33+ weeks pregnant, it's not easy!)

I cleaned and began organizing the house...or at least two rooms in the house...top to bottom. I put together a shelving unit for the family room. I cleaned the kitchen and was a supervisor as my daughter cleaned the bathroom. (It's the only room I can't clean anymore. There are no windows and I worry about the chemicals.)

On top of that, I've been dealing with school. First off, the only parking lot with spaces available is about 1/2 mile away from my building. So I walk 1/2 mile to my building, take the elevator to the third floor, walk all the way to the other side of the building, then all the way back after class. I go down one floor, and then (luckily) two doors down to my second class. Once that's done, I walk the 1/2 mile back to my car. It's exhausting! Well yesterday, I was running late, and only planned on dropping off my test and coming home to rest. I had to park in the very back of that parking lot. This meant walking 3/4 of a mile to get to the building, getting to the classroom...and then having the professor tell me that he meant to text me back and let me know not to bother coming cause he was extending the due date on our test. I wanted to cry. I walked the 3/4 mile back to the car. At this point, the cramping is bad! When I sat down in the car, I felt something wet in my pants. I nearly freaked out!

I rushed home, got to the bathroom and realized there was some watery discharge. (It was still mucus-like, but more watery then normal.)

I came out to the couch and laid down to rest a little. I had, after all, only gotten four hours of sleep the night before. I ended up sleeping all day. I fell asleep around 930 am and woke up at 230pm. I called the doctor to ask what I should do about the back pain/slightly cramping and the discharge. I was told to rest on the couch with my feet up for a bit and see if that helped. If it didn't, then I was supposed to go to the hospital's labor and delivery. I called my IM, G, and let her know what was going on.

Needless to say, after getting some sleep, and then resting the remainder of the evening, I was feeling much better. My IM offered to get me anything I needed, including a house keeper. I told I would be just fine, and promised not to do as much until the baby is born.

I keep forgetting I'm not a kid anymore. I need to get more rest. (which when the kid is most active at night is hard to do!) Anyway, I'm going to try to take a nap on the couch for now.