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