Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Michael Christopher has arrived!

Tuesday August 17th just before 2am I woke up because I felt a little off. I went to get out of bed and my water broke. I called my midwife and let her know that my water broke, but I wasn't having contractions. She said to call her back when I started having contractions. We hung up. I decided to wait to call my IM as nothing was happening and there was no use in her losing sleep. I figured I would call when I started having regular contractions.

I tried to rest, but was a bit uncomfortable. I was having some contractions but they weren't regular. They were fluctuating between 3 and 5 minutes. I probably should have called my midwife, but I felt that because she has three kids she shouldn't be called out of bed until they were regular...boy did I learn something about that logic!

At this point I was sitting at my computer playing games. I realized the contractions were much stronger and taking my breath away. I got up and walked from my desk to the bedroom to wake my hubby and then to call my midwife. I had a contraction on the walk into the bedroom, and another when I got in there. They were two minutes apart and lasting about two minutes. I called my midwife (who, BTW, lives an hour and a half way). She told me she would call her assistant (who only lived 30 minutes away) and let her know that it was time to head over. Because of issues with my bank card, my birth kit hadn't been ordered yet, so Alisa, the assistant midwife stopped by her birth center to pick up one of her kits for me. This was at 4 am.

As soon as I got off the phone with my midwife, I called my IM. She said she would book the first flight she could and would be there in ASAP! Hubby fielded a call from Sam, my midwife, who told him to keep me in bed on my side until she got there. I told him I had to pee first. I had a contraction walking into the bathroom. Hubby had run and grabbed the sheets to make the bed so I could labor there if I wanted. While in the bathroom I had another painful contraction. I got down on all fours because I couldn't stand and I was afraid if I sat on the toilet I would start pushing. Hubby had already told me I wasn't allowed to push. Well, while I was on all fours, I had another contraction and felt the urge to push. Between contractions I didn't have to push, but during them, I wanted to so bad. Instead, I tried to breath.

It was at this point, while in the bathroom on all fours, that hubby looked in from making the bed and realized what was going on. Now I blame on the TLC birth stories and such that I watch for educating this man on different birth positions...either way, he told me to get up because I wasn't allowed to do anything that would progress labor before one of the midwives got there. He got me out of the bathroom and into bed. I laid on my left side and tried to breath. He pushed on my back and talked me through each contraction telling me to blow. Between contractions, he ran to the dryer to warm towels and prepared the bedroom. The entire time he was on the phone with Sam telling her what was going on.

Sam kept telling me I was doing great. I felt like I was losing control. My body went on autopilot and no matter how hard I tried, it did what nature taught it to do on instinct. With each contraction I would blow and pant and squeeze my husband's hand...and with each contraction my body would slowly start pushing him further out. I could feel him move out, and then as the contraction ended he slid back up inside. Sam kept saying I was doing great. Kenny was giving her moment by moment updates. He kept trying to get me to breath...and I kept trying to hold him in until someone arrived.

Have you ever seen the movie Rat Race? You know when the family is in the car and the girl says she has to use the bathroom. The tells her to hold it, and she says she's "prarie dogging." Well, I told Kenny I was prarie dogging and he kind of laughed...until the next contraction. He immediately told Sam the baby's head was poking out. About 1/4 of it was showing. She asked what color it was. He told her flesh colored. I said that he was moving between contractions, which is a good sign and I remembered this from my midwifery books. I had another contraction and didn't think I could wait another minute. That was when Alisa came walking in!

Because of my history of postpartum bleeding she drew up a shot of Pitocin, had me roll onto my back and with one breath (literally, I breathed through and barely pushed) Michael's head was out. Sam came running in, and with that last push (I actually got to push on that one!) his body was out. I couldn't believe I had managed to keep him until the midwives arrived. It was 504am.

I got to cut Michael's umbilical cord. I didn't bleed at all. I delivered the placenta and was doing great. Alisa and Sam held Michael while Kenny ran and got coffee and breakfast. I started to feel a little off and got a shot of Pitocin to slow the bleeding that had started.

That's when things get a bit more fuzzy for me. I know that I had a slow trickling bleed that was well maintained by my midwives. I got two shots of Pitocin and then a Methargine. I lost enough blood to make me going into shock...but just less than enough to need to be transported and have a transfusion and all that crap. I'm so glad I had Sam there to help me maintain my composure. I trust her fully, so when she told me I wasn't going to die, I just needed to relax and drink some more, I believed her. (Although there was a moment when I was on my back, getting oxygen and it sounded like I was underwater and I couldn't focus that I wondered...)

When T, my IM arrived, I was so proud to hand her her son. I had already said my was time for her to say hello. I gave her a hug and she admired her little man. He immediately showed her what has become my favorite thing about him...he clasps his hands together across his chest, interlocking his fingers, as though he were praying. It's only appropriate considering his name. Michael means "who is like God" and Christopher means "Christ-like." Maybe all those prayers I said all those months ago while being sick on the floor in the bathroom had more influence on him than I thought.

I'm healing well. Kenny is following the midwife's orders to a T. I'm not allowed to do much of anything today. Tonight I can take a car ride. We're going to ride to Sonic for slushes. If I'm lucky tomorrow I'll get to go to my youngest's Meet the Teacher night at school. It will be a little walking around, but I think it'll be good for me to get out.

I'm still not sure what this journey was supposed to teach me, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. Either way, this chapter in my life is coming to an end. I'm excited to see what the next chapter brings!

Sunday August 8, 2010

Oh what a night!

So yesterday I wasn't feeling well. I thought I was dehydrated as no matter how much I drank I wasn't urinating. Then it started to feel like if I didn't go I was going to explode...but I still couldn't pee. My back started to ache and no matter what I tried, I couldn't get comfortable. When I would go into the bathroom only a few trickles of urine would come out. I was really starting to get worried!

Around 1030pm I took two Tylenol, a Holy Basil, a melatonin, and a nightly routine. (Well, I don't normally take Tylenol, but the pain was growing so intense, I had to!) I was hoping to be able to fall asleep and wake in the morning feeling better!

I dozed off for about 30 minutes. I woke around 1120pm and was in so much pain! I just knew I was in labor! I tried to time the contractions, but they were constant...there was no break! I sat on my birth ball in order to progress things and figure out what was going on and that's when it hit me. While I was having contractions, that's not what the pain was from. My back was killing me! My bladder was on fire! And to top it off, I swear I felt a direct line from the pain in my back to my bladder.

It was then it dawned on me. I had a kidney infection. I gave myself an hour to start peeing (because I still hadn't all) and then I was going to the hospital. I drank three more glasses of water and around midnight I went to the bathroom because I felt (again) like I had to urinate.

...and boy did I go!

Have you ever seen A League of Their Own? You know the scene where the girls are in the locker room and Tom Hanks comes in drunk and goes into the bathroom and starts peeing...and one of the girls starts timing him when it seems as though he's been peeing forever. Yep, that was me! I must have easily released half a gallon of urine! Every drop of it burned coming out, but I felt so much relief in that moment!

When I went to wipe, there was some puss with pink tinge. There was more in the bowl. There were also two floating "balls" surrounded by puss. (They weren't that big all...about the size of well of the period on this page. I probably wouldn't have even seen them if not for the fact that they were literally coated in bloody puss.) I grabbed a cup and fished them out of the bowl. I had just passed two kidney stones.

About an hour later, around 1am, I passed a third one. After that I slept like a rock. I felt so good! Today's a little bit of a different story. I feel like someone punched me in the kidney. It's nothing like it was yesterday...more like it's bruised. I told my husband that when I got up off the birth ball last night to try to go, I had already put clothes on because I fully expected to be leaving for the hospital a few moments after. He said he did too. I called my PCP (primary care physician) and he told me to save the stones and set up and appointment for Monday. He's going to send me to a urologist as this is the fourth time I've passed a kidney stone. (This being the most severe with me passing three stones at once.)

What I can't believe: This little guy managed to stay put through all of that! He's been moving just fine today with a regular, strong heartbeat. I'm so glad that it didn't affect him! There was a point last night where I was certain he was going to make an appearance. I had everything prepared and the list of phone numbers for hubby to call ready. The only thing I was waiting on was a good set of contractions to show I was in labor and it was go time. I can't imagine how bad I would have felt calling everyone and getting them all up and ready to go...only to pass some kidney stones and have it be a false alarm!

The day is coming though. And when it does, I'll be prepared. (As I'm sure his parents will be!)

Saturday August 7, 2010

I'm going to write quickly as I'm not feeling well.

I finally got off bed rest today. We decided to take the boat out to celebrate. The kids had fun riding the tube. I even managed to convince hubby try knee boarding. It was a great day on the lake!

I have a headache and I think I may be slightly dehydrated. I drank six bottles of water and two Gatorades, but...well, putting it bluntly, I'm not peeing.

The little guy is doing great! He's been active today. He seems to know when I'm in, on or near water. He always gets more active. He's slowed down a bit over the past hour, but he's probably exhausted!

...speaking of exhausted. I'm getting tired. I'm going to go try to catch some zzzz's!

Wednesday August 4, 2010

After talking to a prominent surrogacy lawyer in Texas and getting her advice and take on things, we finally have the PBO. I don't know what was going on with that, but it was completely and utterly ridiculous!

The reason I stopped writing my blog was because something I had said in it seemed to upset my IM and she emailed me about it. Whatever her truth was, it wasn't the same as the lawyer's truth...and now that we've had to deal with both of them, I don't think either truth was reality. I think they both had some reality to their truth, but each had bits and pieces missing. I don't think any of it was done maliciously, I just think that no one really stopped to think of the long term consequences that this could have on me and my family.

Whatever the case may be, PBO paperwork is finally finished and I don't have to worry about that anymore.

I'm still stuck on bedrest. Hubby emailed my IM to let her know, and so far as I know she hasn't emailed him back yet. She certainly hasn't emailed me. That hurts. I'm carrying her child and she hasn't bothered to ask how I'm doing. Screw me...she hasn't bothered to email and ask her son is doing even. I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. She's visiting family right now, so I assume she's probably busy.

Only two more days of lying here bed and I get to get up! I'm so ready to be done with bed rest. I have no idea how women can do this for weeks on end. I'm a fairly active person and not being able to sit up, or get up, or do anything but lay here in bed is driving me nuts!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

No longer blogging

For reasons I can't get into right now, I will no longer be blogging during this pregnancy. Once the child is born, I will publish the blogs I wrote during this time.

Lastly, I'm asking for prayers. I'm currently on bed rest until next weekend. I started having contractions that were hard and close together. Being that I"m only 36 weeks, we want to keep the little guy in for (at the very least) another week.

Thank you!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I found out....

So I found out today that no one had bothered to tell the attorney why there was such a sense of urgency on the PBO. No one told him we're trying to complete a step parent adoption...

My husband spoke with him today and they've come to an agreement in an attempt to get this finished quickly. The attorney apparently apologized and said if he knew all of the circumstances he would have made sure it was finished sooner. This is now his number one priority and will be taken care of within a way or another.

I just frustrated that my life, and how all of this would affect me and my family didn't seem to be taken into account. On top of that, I'm under undue amounts of stress because of this drama. I just want to be able to sit back and enjoy these last weeks of pregnancy...not having to worry about who is going to be responsible for what if this child is born early...not having to worry about what if this screws up our step-parent adoption, putting us even further behind schedule, and my husband dies (my kids would be torn away from me to live with their biological mother...a woman who they don't even know and has serious mental issues) or if my ex-husband finds out that the adoption has been postponed yet again and comes after me (legally or otherwise).

I'm just trying to process this whole day and I'm having trouble doing it. I need to get all of this out, otherwise it's going to cause me to explode.

Hubby decided we're leaving this weekend for a mini vacation. We're going to parts unknown until Monday (maybe only Sunday depending on how we're all feeling). We're going to get the boat and hopefully spend the weekend on a lake. The kids can tube and ski (I can't wait to have this little one so I can ski...and ride my motorcycle!). We might do some fishing. Whatever we do, the phones will remain locked away for emergencies only.

That's just what the doctor ordered.

It just keeps getting better...

I've contacted an attorney. I'm at a loss right now. I've tried twice to rest and relax but every time I start to settle down I feel like I have to get up and move, to do something. I'm so on edge and stressed out.

I digress.

I contacted an attorney that does surrogacy arrangements in Texas regarding our situation. I'm considering retaining her in order to protect myself and my family. Anyway, this is what is on her website:

"Intended Parents should not only have a contract with the Gestational Surrogate and her husband (if married) but the contract should be validated by a Court of Law prior to the embryo transfer. In Texas, validation is not required; however a contract which is not validated prior to the embryo transfer is UNENFORCEABLE and the Intended Parents would have to establish the parent-child relationship between themselves and the child through a family court proceeding after the child is born. Validating the Contract prior to the transfer simplifies the process and legally establishes the parent-child relationship between the child (or children) and the Intended Parents before the embryos are ever transferred. This process is far preferable in the event of any complications.

Texas is one of a handful of surrogacy friendly states and has enacted a surrogacy statute which specifically allows surrogacy agreements to be validated by the Court on the following basis:

1. The Intended Parents must be married
2. The Gestational Surrogates egg may not be used; a donor egg or the egg of the Intended Mother may be used;
3. The Intended Parents must show they have a medical need for the gestational surrogate;
4. The Gestational Surrogate must have achieved a successful pregnancy and birth.

Under these circumstances, the Texas Court will validate a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement. Additionally, Texas law does not require both the Intended Parents and the Gestational Surrogate to be residents of Texas to validate an agreement. In order for a Texas Court to validate a gestational agreement, either the Intended Parents or the Gestational Surrogate must have resided in the state of Texas for at least ninety (90) days prior to filing the petition. The Court also has the discretion to order a home study prior to signing a pre-birth order."

I need a massage. I need to do something to try to relax. I'm having mild contractions. They're not regular and they're not strong so I'm not worried at this point. My midwife told me to relax and try to alleviate the stress.

No good deed goes unpunished...

So my IPs' attorney kept telling them they didn't have to be in court to validate our surrogacy contract and get the PBO. I had never heard of this, and expressed my concern. I was assured it would be fine. (I blindly trusted this attorney despite the fact that with the last surrogacy we all had to be in court. Maybe things had changed...)

I was then told the PBO couldn't be started or done before I reached an age of viability. According to all medical standards this could be 24-26 weeks gestation or later. (Meaning the child could/would survive with medical intervention if I were to give birth at this time.) The attorney decided to wait until I was much further along.

We signed all the paperwork and were told that everything would be taken care of. When I mailed the paperwork many weeks ago, we were told that was it. It would be done. I was highly skeptical and I expressed this concern. I thought we HAD to go to court to complete this. That's the way Bexar County does it, and requires it to be done. I was assured it would be fine...and I tried to push aside my fears and just let it go.

Then about a couple of weeks ago in the mail, without any notice, I get more paperwork (affidavits) and a sticky note from the attorney saying my husband and I have to sign these papers and send them back immediately in order to complete the PBO. They were the same papers we had signed weeks before. We immediately went and signed them and had them notarized and mailed them back the same night. I was frustrated at this point and again told my IM that this was ridiculous. The attorney told her not to worry, it was going to be taken care of Tuesday of this week.

Tuesday came and went, and no one heard from the attorney. My IM emailed the attorney to find out what was going on. He writes her back saying he tried on Tuesday and again on Thursday and that all four of us have to appear in court in order to complete the PBO. He then goes on to tell her that he has never heard of this and, in fact, had "one approved this morning over in Seguin." (Um, that's great...that's Guadalupe County. This Bexar. It's different rules/laws.) He then goes on to tell my IM that "The important thing to remember is that it is not required in Texas to get the pre-birth order. Your contract is enforceable." Actually, in the State of Texas, surrogacy agreements are not enforceable. They are recognized as to their intent, but they're not enforceable.

This is where it gets really bad. I'm 36 weeks pregnant. We have no PBO, which means my name has to go on the birth certificate. Because of Texas' laws, my husband has to go on the birth certificate as well because we are married and he is legally presumed the father. This means that when the time comes, both my husband and I have to sign over our parental rights so that my IPs can adopt their child. Until then, we're legally responsible.

Ok, that's not that big of a deal right? Wrong.

My husband and I are in the process of doing step parent adoptions. He's adopting my daughter, and I'm adopting his son and daughter. (I technically only have two children...but I've raised all four since they were very little and consider them all to be my children.) We've talked to our attorney who told us that if we sign away rights to a child I gave birth to in the process of this adoption then we run the risk of the courts not approving our adoptions. I've told everyone involved this. The attorney doesn't care. He keeps leading on my IPs and telling them it's all going to be ok.

At this point I have to be sure I don't give birth until my IPs are able to make it here (which at the very earliest would be over a week from now). I also have to wait until we get a court hearing, which in Bexar County could take weeks. The only chance we have to get in immediately is if we go into an open court on a Friday...which means my husband has to take two days off of work. (He works third shift, so he'd have to take Thursday night in order to sleep, and then Friday night off.) That means there are two days he won't be able to take off after I give birth to help me take care of the kids.

This has been the hardest pregnancy ever. This is not what I wanted for my last journey...and certainly not for my last pregnancy. This is completely unfair...and now our adoptions are in jeopardy. I'm just lost and hurt. I have tried so hard, in everything I do, to give selflessly to others. I figure it's what God would want of me. Call it karma. Plus, it's just the right thing to do. And now, here I am, risking everything in order to give someone else what they want...and this time I don't think the reward is greater than the risk. I am legally, financially and morally responsible for this child until the paperwork is filed...and that's not something I was willing to take on. My responsibility was supposed to be done when I delivered him...because we were to have a PBO that protected me and my family.

UGH! I'm so lost right now. I'm so stressed out! I have literally hundreds of emotions running through me and I'm trying to remain optimistic. I have to keep reminding myself that no matter what, I have to do what is in the best interest of the baby...and right now that means going and making a grilled cheese sandwich and relaxing on the couch with some comedy that will make me laugh till I almost pee myself.

I'll keep ya'll updated when I know more.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Yes, the title of this blog is a reference to the Beastie Boys...Sorry, my age is showing...hehe

Well, I'm officially at the stage in the pregnancy where this little guy is putting me on a schedule. Thankfully (and I kinda feel bad saying this...but) I'll get to sleep after he's born! His mother on the other hand...she'll be up every couple of hours if my sleep patterns are any indication. Last night was really bad. I would sleep for about 30-40 minutes then I'd be up for about 2 hours. I'm hoping to get a nap today. These are the days when I wish we had family closer to watch the kids for me.

I've been nesting lately. I've been trying to get a lot of cleaning done. I'm talking cleaning the baseboards and taking light fixtures off the ceiling to wash them down. It's not your normal sweeping and's a serious deep cleaning.

The little guy has been really active yesterday and today. About an hour ago I had my hand on my belly and felt his foot push against it. I know it was a foot cause I could feel his toes. It was surreal. Usually it's just his knees and his butt he hits me with but today he decided to kick me.

I've actually gotten big. I need to take another picture for T and when I do I'll post it here.

Other than sitting and waiting for the final weeks to go by, there isn't much going on here. I just figured I'd update quickly so people didn't think I was ignoring my blog. I've started another one "Adventures in Baby Catching" to document my journey into midwifery. I'm a student midwife now! It's interesting because right now all I'm doing is reading and studying. Soon enough though I'll be able to start helping other women the way my midwife has helped me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How do I do it?

I was talking with a friend the other day who asked me how I could give away a child I had carried for nine months and not even show signs of post partum depression (which I had with my two).

I told her I learned a few things about myself having done this once, that I will probably take with me into the final weeks and days of this journey...and into the days after this little guy is born.

First, I am a strong woman.  I can do things I never thought were possible.  For instance, I can help another woman realize her dream of a complete family and do it with grace and dignity.

Secondly, postpartum depression is exasperated by exhaustion caused by getting up with a newborn every coule of hours.  Eliminate the newborn, and you may have only slight depression.  Occupy those days and hourse after delivery with affirmations of love from family and friends and what was once a crippling issue is no longer even a blip on the radar.  (At least for me...for other women, this may not be the case and for them, I urge them to seek professional help.)

Lastly, I have realized that by spending too much time with the infant after I have deliver would muddy the waters for me.  I think this is one of the main reasons why I left the birth center within two hours of delivering Jason.  This time around I don't know if it will be the same or not.  I can only assume that watching his mother and father cuddle him and beam in his presence will help as it did last time.  Now please don't mistake this as me wanting them to take child and leave as soon as he is born.  I'm simply saying I won't hold him for too long or spend time in the days after delivery holding him and cuddling him.  I've talked with my husband and midwife and said that if at anytime I become overwhelmed I will be excusing myself and going to my bedroom.  (I'll probably need a nap too, so that'll help some.)

Speaking of plans after delivery:  Since I had issues with bleeding last time, Kenny is planning on having a BBQ after I deliver in order to get some red meat in me.  He's going to make steaks (or hamburgers, depending on what I"m hungry for) and potatoes.  He figures at the least we'll be feeding the of us, my midwife, and my IPs.  (I doubt the kids will be home yet.)  It'll be nice being able to sit around and enjoy a meal in my own home with my friends before they leave.  I don't know if they'll want to, and that's ok.  I imagine they'll tired and want to head back to where they're staying to count fingers and toes and give lots of kisses!  (And of course nap while they still can!)

Well, it's almost 5am and I've finished my midnight snack and juice.  (Who would have though, just a few months ago, that I'd be eating!  I certainly hoped it, but I couldn't imagine it...that would have made me sick!)

I'm heading to bed!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So on Thursday I started feeling sick. Not nauseous, but sick as in head cold sick. By Friday I had a full blown cold/flu or something. Then my right kidney started hurting. That's when I went to the ER. They said that the kidney pain wasn't because of the cold it was because little Mike had rolled into such a position that he was kneeing my kidney. They said I may have also strained a muscle. I was told to go home and rest for the next few days.

That's when the cold really started kicking my butt! I haven't been that sick in ages! I would run a low fever, then it would break and I'd be sweating up a storm...then I'd start in with a fever was a vicious cycle! On top of that, I couldn't breathe through my nose and I was coughing up a storm. It didn't seem to affect little Mike though! He was still kicking and moving as much as he possibly can!

My midwife says he's growing wonderfully. She suspects I may go late. I don't know, we'll see. Nothing in this pregnancy has been easy, and I fear that labor and birth will be hard too. I've continued to do my pelvic exercises. My body is preparing itself for labor. I'm just hoping that he comes quickly (although not so quickly that no one makes it!)

We'll see. I have 7 more weeks before my due date!

Quick Letter

Dear Little Mike,

I'm pretty sure you're going to be a soccer player...or a boxer...or maybe a MMA (mixed martial artist). Either way, can you please stop kneeing my kidneys, punching my bladder and kicking my ribs? I'm sure it's boring in there, what with it being so dark and you not having a whole lot of stimulation, but come on! I'll make you a deal. You lay off the kidneys and the ribs and I'll give you an extra hour of music a day. Better yet, I'll stop patting your bottom when you start beating the crap out of me.


Ms. Jenni

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quick Update

Well, not much has changed here. I haven't been feeling very well lately. The hyperemesis is starting to come back and that scares the hell out of me! I haven't been full out vomiting, but I have been feeling really nauseous and have dry heaved quite a few times. I've been eating several small meals through out the day and when I feel especially sick, I eat some crackers and have some tea.

I've become a lot more holistic over the past several months. I'd rather take herbs to fix things instead of using medications manufactured in a lab somewhere. I have all sorts of herbs in the house and will be ordering (hopefully within the next week or two) herbs in bulk in order to make salves and tinctures of my own. I have found several very helpful websites that teach how to do it (the basics) and then I have found websites that tell me what herbs do what and how to use them. I'm just really excited!

We went to the beach on Monday and while we were there a couple of the kids got stung by jellyfish. My son got stung pretty bad on his foot and was in near hysterics. I gave him some "Rescue Remedy" which an herbal tincture that helps relax a person. Once he was calm, we were able to see that the sting wasn't that bad at all...he just has a very low pain tolerance. It just re-affirmed that herbs are the way to go for my family.

Well, the kids have been asking to go swimming all day, so I'm going to get my suit on and go out back. I tell you, we've gotten more use out of that pool this year then we have in any other summer.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


So things are trekking right along. I've started eating 5 smaller meals a day rather than three big ones because I can't eat like that anymore. It makes me nauseous. It's like I'm trying to stuff too much food in there and and there isn't enough room for it all. I've lost three pounds in the past week. I've been told though that it's not uncommon to lose weight in the last trimester and it's nothing to worry about so long as the little guy is growing normally. Well, he's growing like a weed! So I'm not worried. I figure if I lose a little weight now, it's less I have to lose after he's born. ;) (Not that I'm going to have much to lose anyway!)

I was thinking last night and I thought of something really interesting when it comes to weight. I was 120 until I had my second child. After I had her, I started putting on weight and stayed around 150. I'd love to get down to 130 as that is a healthy weight for me...but I was never able to lose those last 20 pounds. Well, the way things are going this pregnancy, after I deliver I might be down to 150 right off the bat! That would mean the typical 15 or so pounds I lose after pregnancy cut into that 20 pounds I can never seem to lose! I doubt it would work like that, but I can dream right?

So the pool is a wonderful respite in the middle of the afternoon. It helps take the pressure of my hips and lower back and it cools me down. Plus I love being outside in the sun! It's so nice!

I've been sleeping a lot more lately...when I can actually sleep. Last night I slept almost 12 hours! The night before I slept only about 4 hours. I guess it balances itself out in the end, but I'd prefer to sleep 8 hours each night instead of 3 or 4 then 12...that's just irritating! At least I can still pseudo sleep on my stomach. I'm able to halfway lay on my stomach (partially on my side partially on my stomach) and that's how I sleep.

So that's where we are right now. I have about 10 weeks left in this pregnancy! I can't believe it! Only 10 weeks!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's the little things

Sometimes it's the little things in life that get you through. For instance, this is my 100th blog entry. Better yet, we're in the third trimester! This pregnancy is nearly over! I don't think I've ever been so happy to be done with a pregnancy. I know it probably sounds bad, but I'm starting to resent this whole situation. I was so sick for so long and I tried so hard to keep it together but the short term and long term effects have taken their toll. I lost weight and am finally gaining and keeping it on. Then yesterday my back tooth chipped. I can't imagine any reason why it would chip other than the acid from constant vomiting ate away at the tooth. I'm hoping to get into the dentist today to see what he can do to fix it. At least it isn't hurting anymore. It is sharp on the one end and cutting into my cheek if I'm not careful.

The last thing that it effected is one that I'm having major issues letting go of and dealing with. I've wanted another child for years, but my husband didn't think we could afford one, etc. (There were a lot of reasons why he didn't think we should have another one.) Well, he thought we were ready and could afford one and all the obstacles were gone for us having another one. We researched a vasectomy reversal and what all that would entail, cost, etc. We figured that some time next year he would have the reversal and in about two years we'd start trying for another little one. That dream is gone now though. I can't carry another child. I'm sure I could carry a child, it's not that I can't physically carry one (at this point) but this pregnancy has taken so much out of me I don't think I can mentally do it. I worry that I probably won't be able to physically do it either. Either way, my husband has decided it's best we don't have another we won't. That is depressing to me. It's made me cry regularly.

I ordered some more herbs. These herbs will keep my body and mind balanced. I also ordered herbs for the kids. I'm so glad to be getting off most of the meds (I'm staying on the Reglan for now...thanks again Dr. Pandya!!!) and to be getting back to more natural remedies.

The best thing through all of this is the fact that little Mike is doing great. None of this seems to have affected him at all. His heartbeat is perfect. When we've laid eyes on him he looks perfect. In fact, he's measuring ahead of schedule. I'm 28 weeks and he's measuring just over 30 weeks! Apparently he's doing just fine! That makes me feel good. No matter how I feel he's not being affected. Drinking protein shakes, Boost, and all the other little tricks I learned to get calories in and vitamins down seem to have helped him...even if they did nothing for me!

My midwifery training has started. I can't wait to really get moving on this new track in my life. Kenny reminded me that I have all the credits I need to start med school and that's still an option if I'm interested. I told him to let me finish with my midwifery training first so I'm at least bringing in some money before I decide about med school. He knows me though. He knows I'm always wanting to learn something new and move forward. I'll never be content to just have a job/career...that I'll always want to try something else. We'll see what the future holds.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

88 days!

I was checking my blog looking for something I posted a while back and just saw that we only have 88 days left! Holy crap! Time flies when you're not barfing!

So we spent all weekend outside in the pool and hiking. It was a lot of fun! It's so nice to finally start getting energy back. Sunday night and part of the day Monday I just in the shade of my patio set and watched the kids play, but it was still great! Dr. Pandya is a saint. He's the one who changed my meds (I'm now on Reglan) and I am feeling so much better!

Well, there really isn't a whole lot to update right now. I'm still waking up around 3am and not falling back asleep until after 730am. I have a feeling this little guy might be born during that time. We'll see!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One year ago

So yesterday was a different sort of milestone for me. Jason, the first child I gave birth to via surrogacy, turned one. It was crazy for me to think that one year ago I gave birth to a child over nine pounds that was the pride and joy of his parents...and I wasn't one of them. It fills me with a sense of pride to think that I helped another family in such a huge way.

I'll be getting together with G&K and will get to see Jason in the next few weeks. I'm so excited at the prospect of seeing this little man.

On a lighter note, I went to see this new doctor: Dr. Pandya. I think I'm in love with him. He changed my meds. I'm now on Reglan, Unisom/B6 and of course my prenatal vitamins...and I'm keeping food down every time I eat now! I'm so excited! I just can't believe that this medication has been out there and I didn't know about it. I'm starting to feel so much better! Dr. Pandya told me that I can start doing yoga or low impact exercises here soon. Working out always makes me feel better. I know some people have said I shouldn't work out because it'll make me lose weight...that's not why I do it. I exercise because it lifts my moods and increases my appetite. I just feel better overall if I work I'm looking forward to being able to do yoga again.

In the meantime, I have friends helping with Reiki attunements and other wholistic means of getting my mind and body back on track helping me out. I've been working on my hypnosis for the birth and am looking forward to the last trimester. Hopefully it will go by smoothly and I'll be comfortable. Kenny has been working to get the pool in tip top shape so I can start swimming this week. It'll be nice for when the summer months get really hot...and I'm huge and uncomfortable!

Well, I need to get some housework done. It's amazing the amount of dust that piles up when you're spending most of your life hugging the commode!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I noticed today that we've hit a milestone! We're down to double digits! According to the little ticker over there <---- I have 99 days left in this pregnancy!

I tell you what. This pregnancy has been hell on me. I don't think I've put on here yet just how bad the hyperemesis is. I haven't wanted to worry a couple of the people who read my blog. Well, it's time I come completely clean. It's time that everyone knows just how bad it is, and what I'm sacrificing.

On an average day, I vomit between 12 and 30 times. I have gotten sick more than that. On the days when I don't get sick I still feel sick. Most days I can keep down water and other fluids. Some days I can keep down solids. Today I'm struggling to keep down liquids. I've had some onion soup broth and some orange juice. I feel so sick! I'm trying so hard not to vomit...but I fear I'm going to lose the fight.

Some days I have trouble standing without getting dehydrated. Other days I do just fine. I'm always tired though. My body aches. I just don't have the strength to keep pushing forward. I'm getting sick and tired of people asking if I'm ok, "how's the barfing", "what's wrong"...seriously people, my life is consumed with trying to keep food down and keep everything on track...I don't need to be reminded of it all. Yesterday I picked up my son from school and (after having slept most of the day away) had enough strength to run to the grocery store. We needed just a couple of things for dinner. Someone I know (an acquaintance) looked at me and says "You like shit. What's wrong with you?" I lost it. I started crying. Then I got mad. I told her that I answer that question every time she sees me. The most recent time being Saturday. I told her that I hadn't kept food down in days and was living off of protein shakes in the hopes that this little one would grow strong...and that I would just survive. I told her I was tired of having do it all alone because no one else actually helped. Well, then asked what I needed. I told her I needed someone to help clean the house, and take the kids to and from school. She tells me that she can't. I started laughing. I told her this was the same thing everyone else said. "What do you need?" I tell them. "Oh, I can't do that." And then I want to ask "Well why the fuck did you ask if you weren't actually going to help me!?!?"

I have a doctor's appointment on Saturday with an OB that is going to give me better solutions for this situation I've gotten myself into. (Yes, I say I got myself into this. I chose to do another surrogacy. I chose to put myself at risk, thinking like so many women do, that pregnancy isn't anything serious. Most of the time it's not.) I've been told the chances are very high that he's going to put a PICC line in and give me a Zofran pump which will give me a continuous dose of Zofran. I'll also be taught how to keep fluids going so I'm not dehydrated. Hopefully this will at least keep me going until the end of the pregnancy.

For those who don't know, a PICC line is (basically put) a long term IV that is placed in a large vein. It'll stay in for the duration of the pregnancy. My biggest fear is that by going to the OB and having myself taken care of, I won't get the birth I want. That I'll be forced to deliver in a hospital. At this point, I don't care though. I need help...physically, mentally, emotionally. I just need some relief.

I hold on to the hope though that we're under 100 days and we've only got double digits left...well, that and the fact that as I write this little Michael has horrible hiccups and is also punching my bladder. He's a strong little bugger!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An interesting article

I found this article today and thought I would share.

I took a zofran before bed last night along with my Unisom/B6. Then, as soon as I got up this morning, before even getting out of bed, I took a Zofran. I ate some oatmeal and have drunk some milk. Here's to hoping!

I had been doing so well that now that I've had a bad day I feel as though it's never going to end. I have a local doctor's number though, and I'm going to give him a call. Hopefully he'll be able to help me. Otherwise, I'm stuck drinking my dinners from here to delivery. At least I'm keeping liquids down! (There's my silver lining!)

I need to go rest. I'm so tired today~

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sleep? We don't need no stinking sleep!

Well, this little man has already started with his schedule...and it's one I'm fairly familiar with. It also has me a bit nervous!

I wake every morning around 3:30am and can't get back to sleep until (usually) around 730am. That would mean I should be getting tired

Nope, nothing. Oh well! It was worth a shot right? Yeah, well, there are days like today when I'm tired, but I'm not tired enough to sleep. This little guy has decided that today we're going to be up a bit later! (Yeah me!) At least hubby's been home to help me out with the kids. He's been taking them to school in the morning so I can rest if I need to. He goes back to work tomorrow though, which means that Wednesday is all me! Let's hope I can hold out long enough to get the kids school!

So, the reason this has me nervous? Well, Jason, my first surro-journey, was the same way. I went into labor at 3am with him. Yep, so we may be looking at an early morning birth here as well. At least if he makes his appearance by 7, as Jason did (actually Jason was born just after 7am) then hubby will be home in order to take the kids school by 730!

Speaking of the first surro-bub: I got an email this weekend from his mom saying they'd like to come visit me! His first birthday is a week from tomorrow. I can't even believe it! I'm sure he's so big by now! I'm going to email her today and set something up.

Well, I'm actually starting to get tired now, believe it or not. I'm going to go and try to sleep!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shh...don't tell anyone...

I have a confession. It's been 2 1/2 days since I last got sick. And before that it was a whole 2 days. Don't tell anyone, but I think the worst is slowly coming to an end! (And if anyone happens to bump into me, please for love of all that is holy, don't tell the little guy!) In addition to not getting sick multiple times a day, I'm also putting on weight! Finally! I weighed in this morning and I'm holding steady at at 170! I was 167.5 at the beginning of the week. It could be a combination of not being dehydrated and eating regularly...but I figure since Michael (his new name) is kicking harder, he's probably putting on some weight too.

Let's see, what else is going on here. Oh! I graduate today! *bows* Thank you! Thank you! I actually just walk today and I receive my diploma this summer when I finish my last two classes. I've actually been trying to decide whether or not to complete those two classes. You see, I've decided on a career change. I'm going to be a midwife. I was so impacted by these wonderful women who came into my life and helped me when I was at my most vulnerable that I want to be like them. I want to help other women through this journey in their lives.

I'm so excited about this change. I took my CPR course this weekend and passed I finished filling out the application today and will mail it in this afternoon. I have a list of books to read, and as soon as they get my application I'll have more study materials, etc. Then I just start reading and studying. My beautiful (inside and out) midwife, Sam, is a preceptor and I'm hoping that she will accept me as a student midwife. My first module starts in October, so that gives me several months to read up and prepare for this new path I've set out on. It's also about a month after I'm due, so I'll have time to heal before I get started on the module!

I'm just really happy and at peace right now. What more could I want? (Well, I guess I could ask that the hyperemesis officially be over and not leaving me guessing...but I'm content just knowing that for now, I'm eating and healthy!)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Is it worth it?

I read a blog post today that made me stop and think. There is a man who is giving away $10 everyday to a random person and blogging about it. I've been reading his blog for a while now. This particular post is about how much you are willing to sacrifice for a total stranger. It asks if you are willing to sacrifice your body for them.

It made me think about surrogacy. Surrogates sacrifice their bodies for a year (longer in some cases) and in most cases it's for a stranger they only met within the year. Surrogates give themselves shots daily in the beginning, and end the journey with labor and birth. Most births aren't horrible, but you still end with pain that you will have for at least a week or two afterward.

"But most surrogates are compensated, so that makes it worth it right?"

I ask you this. Have you ever met someone and decided to help them achieve their dream? In the attempt to achieve that dream, have you sacrificed a part of yourself and done so with very little expected in return? Sure, most of get compensated...that doesn't mean it's easy. We'd make more money working part time at McDonald's...and it would be less sacrifice.

This journey has been full of sacrifices for me. I have spent most days sick beyond belief. I vomit several times a day. I spend more time in the bathroom then I do anywhere else in my house. I try to hide how sick I really am. I still go to school and keep my grades up. I still take care of the kids. I smile and act like everything is great.

It isn't.

My body started aching several weeks ago. I figure that's because of lack of sleep. (I used to sleep on the floor in the bathroom.) I get lightheaded and dizzy on occasion. I carry water with me everywhere I go in an attempt to stay hydrated. My throat hurts. Those are just the physical symptoms.

I've been exhausted for weeks. I'm dealing with depression. (Although not all the time, because I still try to remain positive, but come on, when you spend at least 2 hours out of 15 waking hours in the bathroom...and occasionally sleep in get the point where you just can't keep smiling.) I've gotten to the point where when I get sick, even just dry heaving, I cry...and then when the hysterical crying is done, I get sick again and kind of zone out because I just can't cry anymore. There are days when I swear this child hates me. I know he doesn't, because he's a precious innocent child incapable of hate...but I wonder sometimes.

Hubby was teasing me tonight. He asked if I came to a truce with the little bean. I was eating Taco Bell with fire sauce. He wondered if I had told him that if he didn't stop making me sick this morning that I was going to eat something really spicy. I told him yes...and the little guy broke his end of the bargain, so I was going to enjoy every bite of that burrito and taco supreme. The little guy got his revenge though...I got rid of most of the dinner within an hour. *shrugs* There is always tomorrow.

But it brings me to my point. Is all of this vomiting and exhaustion and stress on my body worth it? I've thought about it a lot over the past few weeks and I've come to this conclusion: HELL YES IT IS.

I know that within a few months, T and M will hold this little guy (probably while I'm still high on the endorphins!) and I'll get to see that amazing, unconditional joy and love that can only come from a parent the first time they hold their beautiful innocent little one. In those moments, all of this will fade away and it will be worth it.

So tonight, when I'm laying in bed, hoping I don't have to get up again to puke, I'll remember that one moment that I will get to experience and remind myself that it is so worth it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hold out hope!

Well, we had an ultrasound this week. Finally laying eyes on the little guy made everyone happy. He's growing wonderfully! He was about 15ozs. and everything looked perfect. The lady said I was measuring a little small but that was probably because I've been so sick.

Speaking of being sick...I finally pushed the nausea aside last night and fell asleep around 1am...only to be woke up at 230am feeling so far beyond sick there was no hope of coming back. It was about 645am when the combination of constant vomiting (and then when nothing was left dry heaving) and just over an hour of sleep finally caused me to pass out.

I had gained a little bit of weight. I was up to 167.5 the end of last week!! But now I'm back down to 166.5. :( I just keep reminding myself that he's growing right as he's supposed to and if I can feel him moving regularly then he's keeping what he needs from me.

Sadly, it gets to the point when you spend so much time in the bathroom bent over a toilet that you can't stand it any longer. The constant sickness slowly starts to erode your soul and no matter how hard you try to keep a positive outlook you're going to have moments when all you can do is cry. I apologize to all who read my pity party. That was one of those moments when I just didn't think I could take it any longer. I wanted to scream, or reality I did both. I've been very guarded about what exercises I do cause I don't want to lose weight, but I made an exception last week. I did kickboxing. I screamed and I cried and I beat the crap out of my heavy bag. It helped some. Last night made me want to cry again...but I'm holding onto the hope that someday soon I'll stop getting sick and be able to enjoy the pregnancy.

Till then...I guess I'll just keep writing my feelings out here so I don't lose all of me in the swirling vortex that is the toilet.

Friday, April 16, 2010

So much for sleeping...

I haven't slept well in over a week. Welcome to pregnancy right? This little guy has put himself (and me) on a schedule. He's up and moving at 1030pm, 1230am, 330am, and then again at 530am. This usually forces me awake to use the bathroom and occasionally to eat. Sadly, even though I eat in the middle of the night, I'm not putting on much weight.

I have an ultrasound on Tuesday. We'll find out how this little guy is growing and make sure he's doing ok. I'm sure his parents will be happy to finally lay eyes on him.

That's about it for now. I'm still feeling frustrated and a bit down, but I'm sure once I get some uninterrupted sleep I'll be around September, lol!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pity Party

I apologize now for the pity party post...I'm feeling a bit frustrated and I need to let it out.

Ok, so you may or may not know that I'm a biker. I am now the proud owner of a 2008 Harley Nightster. I bought it about two weeks ago. I've never ridden it because...well, I'm pregnant and can't ride. I sold my old motorcycle about two years ago so I could get pregnant for G and K...and here I am still not able to ride cause I'm pregnant for T and M.

As if that weren't depressing enough I find out that my favorite artist is once again coming into town and I can't go see her. Why? Because I'm pregnant! To add insult to injury I found out I can get seats center stage, 29th row...but I can't go. A "friend" of mine (and I put that in quotes because we only seem to be friends when she wants something) got to go to the Country Music Awards because of an essay her daughter wrote about her. She got to go as a guest of Alan Jackson's. Well, as she was backstage, she met Reba, my favorite artist, and had her picture taken with her. Now whenever she talks to me she brags about she got to meet her and how wonderful she, thanks for adding insult injury.

I just feel like crying right now. I've done so much for other people and sometimes I wonder why I've given up some of my loves in life so that others can have what they want.


So I've been resting in bed for the past couple of days. I was sick Sunday night (will it ever end!?!?!) and then yesterday I was...intimate with my husband and my chest started hurting. Come to find out I may have pulled a muscle, or stretched the ligaments that attach the ribs to the sternum. And then there's the back pain. I've started wearing the pregnancy belt in order to pull some of the weight off my lower back. My hips are already widening. I've talked to friends who have had pregnancies really close to each other and they all said that things started happening sooner. Because of that, very few of my pants fit. It's frustrating!

To top it all off, I've been super cranky today. Hubby's been trying to cheer me up. I'm just getting irritated though. I've been so sick for so long that when I have days when I'm doing well I want to get things done. I called today to get the ultrasound set up to make sure this little guy is growing properly...and that was about all I could do. I sent some emails. I had hoped to get things for this summer scheduled, but I still don't have any information about the PBO. Last time we had to go to court and I expect that this I can't plan a whole lot until I know what's going on there.

T and M decided to change baby boy's name. He's no longer Joseph Alexander. Who knows what his name will be. We'll find out soon enough.

I had figured I'd have a tape of this little guy's parents to play for him, but we don't have that yet. In the meantime I've been reading and talking to him. I decided today though that I can't do that anymore. I mean, I'm still going to talk to him, but that's it. I've found myself being even more protective of him then I was with Jason (my first surrobub) and I want to make sure that I'm not getting attached. I do, however, worry that he's not going to hear his mom's voice but once before he's born and that is going to cause him stress when he's born. (Meaning that suddenly not hearing my voice anymore and only hearing his parents' voices is going to cause undue stress on him.) I've been told though that infants are extremely adaptable and that he'll be fine. I hold on to that hope.

Well, hubby's heading off to school and I have to make dinner, otherwise this would be much longer! *hugs* Go M.A.D!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Halfway there!

I'm 20 weeks today! Woohoo! We're halfway there! I'm so excited that we've made it to this point. This is a huge milestone! T and M are thrilled I'm sure. I'm so glad I get to be a part of this. T and M went through so much to just get to a transfer...and now here we are this guy growing strong and healthy. I can't wait to see the look on T's face when she sees her son for the first time. Or the first time M gets to hold his son. It's going to be so awesome!

So I'm watching 20/20 and there is a story about a woman who gave birth and didn't even know she was pregnant. Not only did the poor woman not know she was pregnant, but her husband had a vasectomy and they thought they were covered. I assume that something happened and the vas defrens grew back together and that's how she got pregnant...but the poor family. I can't imagine suddenly giving birth and not having a single thing for the little one.

There was one comment that irked me. One of the paramedics said that when a woman gives birth at home the outcome is never good. I beg to differ. I hope he meant that when a woman gives birth at home unassisted, without a trained professional, that the outcome isn't good...because I'm planning a home birth and have the utmost confidence that everything will go smoothly and that both the baby and I will be fine. Then again, I have the best midwife in the world (ok, I'm a bit biased). Either way, I'm not worried at all about me or this little guy. I'm more worried about M passing out if he happens to walk in. (He's uber-squeamish. God love him.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

The half pound dilemma and other weighty issues

So I have a dilemma (if I weren't pregnant I would writing "God has blessed me with a miracle!"): I'm losing a half pound or so every day. I lost another half pound from yesterday to this morning. This morning, in an attempt to combat this issue, I went to Jamba Juice and got oatmeal with bananas and brown sugar. I also got the largest size of their Berry Protein Workout shake. It has whey (or soy) protein and then an added boost. I got my vitamins. I'm not sure how many calories I consumed this morning, but hopefully it'll be enough to maintain my weight. I'm not sure what I'm doing for lunch or dinner yet, but I'm hoping to keep the calorie count for the day around 2000. I've been eating around 1600 calories a day...apparently it's not enough.

I've made some major decisions in my life recently. It's amazing how you think you're on one course and suddenly something happens to change it all. Mine was a series of somethings. I decided to become a surro for so many reasons. Some I've mentioned here, some I haven't. My major thing is that I want to help people. That's part of the reason I wanted to become a lawyer. I figured I could do family law and help families through hard times, help with adoptions and even surrogacy. The more I've talked to my Criminal Justice professor (who went to law school) I don't think I'd be able to help the way I want to. There is one other thing I've been researching and looking into for over a year now...midwifery.

Ever since my last birth I knew this was one way I could truly help families, and specifically women. My husband and I talked about it and we've decided that we could do this. I'm so excited! The only real issue there was going to be was whether we wanted to cut back our lifestyle in order to deal with the cut in income. Once hubby ran the numbers we figured we would actually come out ahead because we won't have astronomical student loans to pay back. We've also talked about if I decide years down the road that I do want to go back and go to law school, I can.

So, I go get my CPR certifications renewed this month and then I'll submit my application for the midwifery program through the Association of Texas Midwives. The first class is in October. It's two days right here in San Antonio. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's kickin'?

So I was laying in bed last night and I had my arm over my belly. The baby was wiggling and such and all of a sudden he kicked...and I felt it on my arm! I moved my hand over where his feet are and waited. He kicked my hand again!

This morning on the shuttle to school I saw a friend of mine. We were talking and the little guy started kicking. I asked my friend if she would do me a favor. She put her hand on my belly and within a few seconds he kicked her. She smiled and told me that was now I know it isn't just my imagination. He actually is kicking hard enough to feel.

I'm sitting outside of class in the hallway right now waiting for my professor to get here and start class (I have another 30 minutes). He's moving a bit right now. I suspect he'll settle down here soon. He's usually fairly quiet during the day. Or at least I haven't noticed him during the day. We'll see if today is different.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm selfish...

I must confess. I've been a bit selfish lately. I've been sleeping when I'm tired, and eating when I'm hungry. And I don't offer my snacks to anyone else, or care if anyone else is tired. I look at like this though: I'm creating a whole human being out of just a few cells. What are they doing? Homework? Oh yeah, I do that too. I'm in school full time. I know what it's like to have tests and homework. On top of that, I do housework...and just helped finish remodel our house. All while creating a human being out of a few cells that were put into me in December.

Ok, I'm not doing it all alone. I've got the grace of God keeping this little guy safe in me and reminding my body what all it needs to do. But come on, I'm the one who is exhausted, starving and thirsty all the time. (Yep, thankfully it looks like the days of hyperemesis are behind me! *knocks on wood*) I'm eating regularly and drinking almost a gallon of water a day. I'm dealing with the little guy putting his head, butt, feet, fists or whatever else into my stomach while I'm eating. I'm the one who gets up in the middle of the night to pee.

I think I have the right to be a little least for today.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bladder Bouncy House

Apparently the bladder bouncy house is all the rave in prenatal fun these days. Step 1: Locate Bladder. Step 2: Kick it and bounce on it until the woman who owns the bladder empties it. Step 3: Wait til it fills again. Repeat steps 1-3.

Yep, that's how I wake most mornings now. This little guy is either having fun on my bladder, or pissed cause it's taking up his limited space. Either way, he kicks it until I empty it.

I officially outgrew all my clothes this weekend. I'm going to have to go buy a few extra maternity pants today. I have three pairs of jeans and some dresses that fit. I have tons of shirts. I only have one pair of shorts. I don't know if they fit because I haven't tried them on yet. The majority of this pregnancy is going to be in the summer. Well, the majority of being big. I'm also going to need to buy a bathing suit. It'll be the first time ever needing a bathing suit during pregnancy. I'm also going to need some extra sun tan lotion. My belly is going to need to be fully covered.

I officially popped this weekend. I took some pictures. T has seen them, so I can post them now. As you can see, at just over 17 weeks (17w2d) I'm showing. I'm all baby though and I haven't put on much weight. Poor T's diet plan of losing as many pounds as I put on has kind of petered out.

As I write this, Jay is pushing his head against my left side. I think he's trying to find more room. Unlike all my other pregnancies, he doesn't kick and jab at me. He's very slow and methodical about his movements. It's almost like he doesn't want to waste his energy right now. I've been dreaming about his birth already. That makes me nervous. I didn't dream about any of my other births until I was mush further along. I hope that doesn't mean anything. It probably just means that I'm excited to see the look on T and M's face when he arrives. We'll see.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

And I was doing so well...

Yesterday set me back several days. It was a bad stressful day and because of the stress, I got sick. I mean I lost everything I had eaten in several days.

I woke up and was feeling queasy to begin with but I ate and that kind of subsided. The kids helped me clean the livingroom and I let our two dogs out back into our fenced yard. I finished cleaning and sat on the couch to put my feet up. The German Shepherd scratched on the door to be let in, so I let her in. My Chihuahua (a tiny teacup that I've had for about two and half years now) wanted to stay outside. Ok, no worries. She'll often stay outside when Sasha, the German Shepherd, comes in because she's able to do what she wants without the puppy wanting to play. Sasha is only a couple of months she's still a puppy.

The kids went out to play about two hours later. When they came in they brought Sasha with them. I asked them to bring Patches. They said she wasn't out there. I stopped and asked them what they meant. She had been out there earlier. That's when it all began. We went looking for her. The only way she could have gotten out of the backyard was to go into one of the neighbors' yards. Who knows from there. I went our neighbors that moved in the day before we did and they hadn't seen her. We knocked on the other neighbor's door and no one answered. I prayed that she hadn't gotten in their backyard. They have two pit bulls and she's so tiny they would have torn her to shreds in a matter of moments. She barely barks, and they bark all day so I wouldn't have heard anything different. We drove around the neighborhood, but we never found her.

I came home and promptly got sick. I know that stress is a trigger for vomiting. I wish I could relieve all stress, but sometimes it just happens. That's life. We're going to put up signs around the neighborhood today. She's not wearing her collar because I was going to give her a bath so I took it off. That was stupid. I just wish I knew where she was. At this point I'd be happy knowing that someone found her and is taking care of her. I'm just worried that the neighbor's dogs chewed her to shred. Plus, last night it stormed horribly here. She's out there somewhere, all one and a half pounds of her, alone and without help or someone to take care of her. My poor baby.

Speaking of babies. This little guy is doing well. I've gained half a pound. I'm still dehydrated no matter what I drink. I carry water or Gatorade with me every where I go. This little guy wiggles around and gets the hiccups regularly so he seems to be doing ok...even if I can't keep food down.

Well, I need to go put up lost signs. Hopefully some one calls me this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quick Update

So nothing new has happened really. We're 99% finished with the home renovations. The new furniture is in, the projector and surround sound are installed and the house is almost put back together. I have been working to refinish my new dining room table. A friend of ours gave us a solid oak table. We bought new chairs for it and they were a dark wood. So I sanded down the entire table and re-stained it. I just have to put the clear coat on it and it will be done. The problem is it's been raining and I have to do it outside. So it'll be a day or two before I can finish it.

The baby seems to be doing great. I think he wiggled closer to my back because I hadn't felt him move in several days. This morning though I felt him kicking some. At least he's snuggled in and comfy. His mom and sister went to Disney last week. T is looking forward to taking him someday. I'm sure she'll have tons of fun with him there!

With spring break this week I'm hoping to take the kids out to the zoo or something. The morning sickness has let up a little. I've still been dry heaving a lot. I don't get sick quite as often though. It's been almost a week since I brought anything up, so I guess that's good. I'll have another appointment with Sam, my midwife in about two and a half weeks I believe it is. I need to check my calendar to be sure.

That's about it though. Nothing really new going on. I'll have to get a picture of the little baby bump posted soon. He's a little guy so far. Maybe if I'm lucky, this one won't be over 9 pounds! Even if he is though, his mom and dad will adore every inch of his chubby little body and I'll proudly give birth to him. (I don't know if I'll be as proud of the aftermath of a kid that big though...but that's another story, lol!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I don't have gas!

You know when you have gas and you feel that little flutter in stomach...and then you fart? (Yes, that's not very lady-like...then again when have I ever been lady-like?) Or how about when you're hungry and you feel that rumbling.

Well, I'm not hungry, and I don't have gas! The baby has officially made himself known! Friday I had an appointment with Sam, my totally awesome midwife. She showed me where the baby was and let me hear the heartbeat. I called T and she got to hear her son. I then called back and left a message on their answering machine so M could listen to his son. (And so T could hear him whenever she wanted.)

I am officially showing. If you see me wearing a regular tank top, I have a little baby bump. I'm all baby. You know those women (who I think are few and far between) that have that baby bump that's round and little and is all baby. You know the ones. They complain about how they're so big, and they look like you did when you were two months pregnant...and they're eight months along. Yeah, the girl you'd like to throttle because she looks so tiny pregnant. Well, I'M ONE OF THEM! Ok, the rest of me isn't tiny, but I have that little baby bump. I'm over 15 weeks and just started showing some. Usually I'm four weeks and showing.

The hyperemesis isn't too bad anymore. I have moments where I feel queasy, but *knocks on wood* I haven't vomited in six days! I did dry heave a few times in the past several days, but I haven't brought anything up. I'm also starting to put on some weight. I'm up to 165.5...I had been a little heavier, but I lost a few pounds. It's ok though, because I can feel him in there wiggling and his heart rate was perfect, so he's ok. I may actually end this pregnancy lighter then when I started. That would be too weird.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I'll be posting more often now. We're done with the home remodel, and midterms are nearly over. Next week is Spring Break for me and the kids. We don't have any plans, just to enjoy the house.

Go M.A.D!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chaos, Drama and a Nap...

Well, it's been a little bit since I posted. I apologize for that. Life has gotten crazy!

We're remodeling the house and this week the carpet gets torn up in preparation for the hardwood floors. We're also getting rid of the couches, a desk, and two chairs to make room for the new furniture. The house is in chaos!

It's midterm week, and I've been super busy. I had my first midterm today and I think I did fairly well. I have four term papers due this week as well. One of them is completely written and done. *phew* The other three have been researched and most of the work is done. I just need to get them written and out on paper. Hopefully that won't take too long.

And lastly, my ex-husband took me to court and today was the date of the hearing. He wants to have child support terminated. My husband is adopting her, so it's really not that big of deal it's just the way he did it. I swear there are times he likes to stir up drama just to irritate me.

I came home today after school and was so tired. This little one is making me so tired. It could also have something to do with the fact that I haven't been eating much. At least I'm keeping down what I do eat. Now that I think about it, I'm eating more than I think I am. I snack fairly regularly. Oh least I'm not puking every 10 minutes!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Second Trimester...

Friday begins the second trimester. I'm so excited! I'm hoping that with the second trimester comes a wave of...well, anti-nausea. I'd be thrilled if I woke up Friday morning and the sun was shining and birds were singing and I didn't have the overwhelming urge to puke.

Hey, I can dream can't I?

Actually, I've been doing pretty well. The nausea is only around in the evenings right now. Which means I can eat all day long and then around 9pm I start getting sick. By 11pm it's gone. It sucks cause it cuts into my sleep, but hey, I have to make some sacrifices right?

I had a nice chat with T today. I feel like such a horrible surro because this time around I have been so busy trying to keep my head above water that I haven't stopped and given her as many updates as I should. She's so cool about it though...and that makes me feel even worse.

But yeah, we had a nice chat today. I emailed her while on the bus heading to school. She emailed me at the exact same time. Then she called. So I talked to her while waiting for class to start. It was really nice!

(Oh, just as an aside...if you're sitting in the hallway, surrounded by 19 year old kids, don't talk about how you seriously didn't think things would back to normal after giving birth to a 9+ pound baby. The looks you get are hilarious. Actually, go ahead and do it. Maybe they'll think twice before having unprotected sex again, plus you get a chuckle from it.)

So after all is said and done, I've gained 3 pounds this pregnancy. I'm holding steady right there. I haven't felt the little guy move. I thought I did...but then I farted. I'm sure I will within the next few weeks though!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Personal Record!

w00t! I managed to make it 12 hours without vomiting! Sure, nine of those 12 I was sleeping but that doesn't matter, I've woken up to vomit before. I'm just so excited. I woke up this morning and ate...but I got sick within 10 minutes. I ate again about 30 minutes later because my stomach was growling and I've managed to keep that down for an hour and a half now.

A week from tomorrow I'm officially in the second trimester. I worry so much about this little guy. Kenny keeps telling me that he's taking what he needs from me and not to worry, but I do. It's my job to make sure he's ok and safe for the next 30 weeks. (Wow, 30 weeks sounds like such a short time! I'm sure T thinks it sounds like an eternity though.)

I've been dehydrated so I've been trying to keep as much fluids in me as much as possible. Yesterday I kind of zoned out behind the wheel of the van as I was pulling in the driveway. I steered wide and ended up on the curb. Kenny hasn't let me drive since and I haven't wanted to. It was a wake up call for me though. I emailed and called all my professors. They've all agreed to give me extensions for this week's work. I've been sleeping most of the past two days and eating as much as I can keep down whenever I can eat. I've been drinking as much as possible too. I ordered a tincture called Stress Relief for Pregnancy and I'll be taking that when I need it. I'm also going to continue resting whenever I can.

Beyond that, I'm doing well. I'm going to go rest some more. Hopefully I'll feel like eating again soon. I hope so.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A crazy week

It's been a kind of crazy week. I've been on bed rest...or at least trying to rest and take it easy. I haven't had anymore bleeding so that's good. The past two days I've had horrible morning sickness and haven't kept anything down.

I had kind of a meltdown last night. I threw a fit after vomiting for almost ten minutes straight. I asked my husband if he had any idea what it was like to vomit at least once a day, every day for over two months straight. He said he didn't. I tried to explain to him how daunting it can feel sometimes. How hard it is to know that you're carry this little life inside you that needs you, and you can't give him the very thing he needs most right I know he's safe and still in there though because I'm still vomiting this morning.

Oh well...beyond that I'm doing well. I have three tests to take for school today. I have to log on to the websites and get those done soon. We're also starting the remodel of our livingroom today. We're taking the baseboards off and we're going to paint. In two weeks we're pulling up the carpets and laying hardwood floors. Kenny laughs at me when I say we because what I really mean is him and a friend. I'll be wearing a mask trying not to go crazy.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bleeding and Bed Rest

It's been a crazy 24 hours.

Yesterday afternoon I went into the restroom and (sparing all the details) found out I was bleeding. After wiping 6 times, there was no more blood. I called my RE because I hadn't received any notification from them that I had been released from their care yet. The nurse coordinator (aka Tittie) told me that I was no longer under their care, that I had been released weeks ago and that I should have seen my OB already. I told her I hadn't received anything saying they had released me, and asked what I should do. She told me to call my OB and that she would call the Dr and ask why I hadn't been released yet. I called my midwife and left a message. Then I called T. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore T? Well, I do. She told me to relax and that everything was going to be fine. Here she was worrying about her child...and me. She was calmer than I was. (At least she sounded that way!) She, just as I was, took comfort in the fact that I wasn't in any pain.

In the meantime, I decided to rest in bed and just take it easy. I wasn't cramping or in any pain, so I figured it can't be that bad right. Another six or so hours later, when I went to the bathroom, there was a bit of normal discharge, but it was streaked with blood. I was nervous, but decided to lay down and sleep.

This morning I woke, and wasn't bleeding, so I went to breakfast with my family. We then took the kids bowling. I sat and watched them bowl. While there, I went to the bathroom and there was some blood. I told my husband that I wasn't going to wait any longer and I was going to the hospital. He did the same thing he did yesterday and held my hand and told me to relax. I was a wreck.

I got to the hospital and they took me back and got my vitals. They started an IV. The nurse told me that if I was having a miscarriage they would have to give me meds. I said ok. I tried really hard not to cry. The nurse wasn't even done and the doctor was already in asking questions. Within about 15 minutes the doctor came back in with a portable ultrasound machine. He put the gel on my stomach. (On a side note: that stuff is cold!!!) He put the probe on my stomach and began looking around. I couldn't read his face. I started to get nervous with his minor adjustments and not saying anything, so I closed my eyes. I realized I was crying. This is where my doctor freaked me out without meaning to. The doctor says "Ut Oh!" I opened my eyes and he looked at me. I said "What?!" I just knew that something was wrong. He tells me "Well, he was moving around so much and I finally got him to hold still and started timing his heartbeat...and you started crying and I lost him again."

I smiled at him. I knew at that point, that at least Jay was moving and he had a heartbeat. I could relax some after that! So the good news: Jay's heartbeat was 166. He looks great. The doctor says he's doing great. He then said the bleeding could be caused by any number of things. I just stopped the meds two days ago, so it's possible that my body is getting rid of some unneeded lining. It's also possible, because my cervix is slightly swollen that that is what is causing the bleeding.

The doctor sent me home and put my on bed rest for the next 24 hours. I'm also on pelvic rest for the next three weeks. (That means nothing is allowed in my vagina.) I'm supposed to do everything possible to reduce my stress. I was also told that if I start bleeding heavily, or cramping, or a myriad of other things that I'm to go back immediately. The doctor said that I'm doing well though and so long as I relax, I should be ok.

Kenny's been taking really good care of me. He's been helping me over the past couple of days with whatever I need. I've emailed my professors and asked for extensions, and some leeway on assignments. I'm hoping they'll be understanding.

Beyond that I'm doing ok. I have a migraine that just won't quit. I think it's because I've been clenching my jaw. So long as I stop that I'll be ok.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happier Post

Today has been a pretty good day so far! And by good day I mean I kept breakfast and lunch down! I may even eat a snack soon. Imagine that, me eating a snack and not getting sick. It's a novel idea, I know.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm! I'm sorry I'm just excited that I'm not feeling too nauseous today. I'm even more excited that I haven't vomited. When you've felt as sick as I have for as long as I have it's the little victories that make a world of difference!

I think I told you that T, my IM, has decided that for every pound I gain during this pregnancy, she's going to lose a pound. Well, she said the holidays have been horrible to her and M, my IF. She was baking all holiday season and they put on a little weight. I wanted to tell her it was ok because I had lost weight, so maybe we balanced each other out, lol!

T is too precious though! I love the fact that she keeps me so informed of all the preparations she's made for the baby already. She bought a swing the other day. She said it was to get the dog used to the sound so he didn't bark at it, but I think it's so she has something to remind her that her little man will be here in just 30 short weeks. (Give or take...if I go overdue again!)

Which reminds me: We're exactly 10 weeks today! I officially stop all meds today! No more suppositories! I'm not quite as happy as when I stopped the shots (even though I was nervous) but I am very happy to be done with all meds. I need to call my midwife in the next week or so and get an appointment set up. The RE is going to release me from his care within the next couple of days so I want to get Sam ready to see me. She's been such a supporter of mine since I told her I was doing another surrogacy.

Bad Surrogacy Story Revisited

I made the mistake of watching the Dr. Phil show yesterday. I haven't watched Dr. Phil in years (literally), but I saw the advertisement for the story of Amy and Scott and their "surro" Lashell.

While I was impressed with Dr. Phil's stance (he seems to want Lashell to give the babies back) I was really irritated with both sides. They acted like children. Lashell constantly rolling her eyes, and then the double talk from her. "I kept the babies because Amy said she had a mental disorder." Then saying that she kept the babies because she was lied to. Then Amy and Scott making comments like whenever you're done ruining the children's lives we'll take them back and fix it...or the comment about people at Lashell's church hating her. Totally uncalled for.

First of all, from everything that was said, this wasn't a surrogacy. Surrogacies do not start off like this. They have contracts. There are very specific things that need to be done, and lawyers are involved!

The couple, Amy and Scott used donor eggs and donor sperm and paid for a third party to carry them. You would think that would be a surrogacy right? No! A gestational surrogate doesn't put their name on the birth certificate, ever, for any reason. Once you do that, you muddy things. You get a PBO...a pre-birth order. The problem is in Michigan, you can't because surrogacy is illegal. I'm not sure exactly how surrogates in Michigan do it, but I know of several successful Michigan surros. I will defer to them to explain how that works.

Amy had several independant people say she was perfectly fit to take care of the children. They had a home study done for the adoption and jumped through all the hoops to make this happen. I understand that Lashell had done two previous surrogacies for the same family and they went off without a hitch. I have a feeling though that this time, she may have gone through some PPD (postpartum depression) and she wanted a baby to hold. Especially a little boy, which her and her husband have always wanted, but never had on their own. So she decided because her name was still on the birth certificate that she could take them back and use Amy's previous mental issues as a reason.

Let me make it clear, that is just my opinion.

When you go into a surrogacy you have to have a certain mindset. These children aren't yours. they were never yours. You have no rights to them. I know my role in all of this. I'm simply a babysitter for my great friend, T. This is her baby. I'm simply watching over and taking care of him until he's born. Once he's born, I'll send him back home. Do I love the first little boy I gave birth to? Absolutely! But like an aunt loves her nephew. I'll spoil him when I see him and on birthdays and holidays...but beyond that I'm not worried about him. Same with this little guy. I'm amazed and fascinated by him. His growth, who he's going to be, and what he'll think of his cool older sister are all things I think about...but do I want to keep him? NO! I have already done my stint with dirty diapers and late night feedings. I'm so over that. Let his mom and dad deal with that! (Well, from what I've heard his dad has such a weak stomach he won't be able to change poopy diapers!)

Ok, I've said my piece about this particular cluster fuck of a wanna-be surrogacy. That is all the time I will dedicate to it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quick Update

It's been at least a week or more since I've posted so I thought I'd drop in and make a quick post. (Well as quick as this long winded Italian girl gets!)

The Zofran is...well, it helps. It's not getting rid of everything, but it gets rid of enough of the nausea and vomiting to keep me going...most of the time. I'm also taking the Unisom/B6. The combination of the two helps me get through my day. Today was especially bad though. I woke up sick and when I wake up sick, it doesn't usually go away. Today has been one of those days. I've vomited twice. Really though, that's not that bad.

I stepped on the scale, which I am starting to think is not a smart idea, and I've lost another 2 or 3 pounds. I've lost count at this point. I'm thinking some of my weight loss could be the fact that I'm off of most of the meds. I only have the suppositories left for another two days, then I stop those. Anyway, I'm thinking the reason I'm losing some weight is because of the meds. Last surrogacy, I wasn't sick enough to lose a lot of weight, so when I started losing the medication weight, I was gaining baby weight and it all balanced itself out. (Basically the scale didn't move in one direction or the other.)

This time though, I'm losing weight because of the hyperemesis issue and I'm losing because the medications are working themselves out of my system. So it's scary when I step on the scale and see it constantly going down.

I'll get through it though! I've been told it could last until 20 weeks, or it could end like normal morning sickness at around 13 weeks. We'll see!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Help is on the way!

Just a quick update:

The RE's office finally has decided to call in a prescription for Zofran! If they didn't help me by 5pm I was going to go to my Dr's emergency care clinic to get some relief.

By breakfast tomorrow I should be eating without any troubles!

Hyperemesis and other Weighty issues

Hyperemesis gravidarum means extreme vomiting in pregnancy. It's severe morning sickness essentially. Morning sickness to the point of losing weight, not being able to keep anything's really bad. Well, I have it. I can't even keep water down. I've had morning sickness since two days after the transfer, but I was always able to keep liquids down and usually able to keep other foods that I craved down.

Wednesday that all changed. I was doing ok. I tried to eat several small meals/snacks through out the day. I had class and in this class the professor won't let anyone eat. So I missed my 1130am snack. Then I got to my next class, which starts at 1230pm. I need to snack as soon as I get in there...well I was already feeling nauseous. I tried to snack, but I ended up getting sick. I decided just to drink the water I had with me and hope that would be ok until the nausea passed. Class let out and I got to my car. I ran by McDonald's (it's about 230 by now) and grab a fish sandwhich and went to the kids school. I ate in the parking lot and then grabbed the oldest three from school. By the time I had gotten home I had vomitted twice already. (It was 3pm) I didn't keep anything else down that day...not even water.

...And it just got worse. On Thursday I didn't even want to try to eat, but I forced myself to...and it promptly came backup. I even tried drinking protein shakes/smoothies. Nope. It all ended in the same bent over the toilet, getting rid of whatever I had in me. Thursday night, while laying in bed, if I tried to roll over, I got...well basically motion sickness.

My midwife told me to try one Unisom at night and 25mg-50mg of B6. Then in the morning half of a Unisom and the B6. In the same email though she told me to get a prescription for Zofran.

I've always had some morning sickness in my pregnancies, but this goes beyond morning sickness. I've actually lost weight!

Speaking of weight: I always gain weight because of the meds. I think just about every woman on these meds does. Well, I gained 15lbs from the begining of meds until a week and a half ago. I evened out and was doing well. (I hate to gain too much weight in the beginning of pregnancy.) Then the hyperemesis really took hold and I started losing weight. I lost 9 pounds, but in the past two days have gained 4 back. I think the majority of that weight was water weight.

Which brings me to my last point. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but T, my IM, has decided that for every pound I gain, she's going to lose one. So I've gained a total of 10lbs...that means that T needs to lose 10 to catch up! She's busy though, planning the baby's room and getting everything planned, so I can understand if she's not worried about weight loss! ;)

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm so mad!

**Warning: This post contains strong language.**

Good Morning America is doing a story on a surrogacy gone wrong tomorrow. This story has been played out on some of the surrogacy boards and I'm sorry I'm just done with it!

Why is it that only the bad surrogacy stories are shown on the news?


There are literally thousands of good surrogacy stories but even when some of the good surrogates are put on the news they try to twist their words around to make them sound crazy. If a woman does more than one surrogacy the news tries to say that she's only doing it for the money, or that she has some sort of mental disorder. Are you fucking kidding me? Is there something mentally wrong with me because I decided that I wanted to help one more family? Am I money grubbing bitch because I ask for compensation for my pain and suffering?


I understand that negativity sells newspapers, and that more people will tune in if the story is sensationalized, but in this day and age, don't you think that people need the positive stories? Why don't we focus on the neighbor who saved the older gentleman from a burning house last night? (This actually happened last night in San Antonio...but it only got a blurb in the news.) Or how about the fact that when someone's house burnt down, the local school banded together and collected donations (both monetary and household goods) to help the family? (This happened to my neighbors several doors down...and it was my children's school that collected for them.)

Maybe I'm hormonal but it's about damn time that someone focuses on the positive of surrogacy. I do not want, and have never wanted, to keep the children I have carried. This little boy I carry now already has a mom and dad...why the hell does he need me? (Other than to carry him for the first 40 weeks of his existence.)

I've already posted to GMA's Facebook and said that I'm saddened by the fact that they never accentuate the positive. I'm half tempted to give them my blog address and tell them this is how a good (dare I say great?) surrogacy goes. Quit rewarding bad behavior and making a bad situation worse...start showing the good too.