Their Lovin, My Oven

My Journey as a Gestational Surrogate

Worth the Wait May 21, 2013

I apologize for my absence – Instead of excuses, I’ll offer you up tons of pictures of what’s been going on in our world. I’m currently 38 weeks, 2 days along with sweet LT! I got to join in his Mama & Daddy’s wonderful baby shower celebration and now we are counting down the days. M&T will be arriving to Southern California on Monday (just 6 days!) to await the arrival of their sweet boy. As long as he stays put until they are here, he’s welcome to come anytime after that. I am very excited (and only a little nervous) about the birth. I’m confident the team of wonderful people we have, including our two doulas, will give us the perfect natural, unmedicated experience that I’m hoping for. *Fingers crossed*

 

Without further delay, here are some awesome pics from our family shoot with my IFs and the twins and our maternity shoot with M&T by the amazing CDC Photography and M&Ts baby shower ❤ I hope you enjoy them!

 

First up, pics from our AMAZING visit with Esteban, Michele, Davide & Gabriel in January. I’m SO thankful to have these photos and look forward to repeating the photo shoot annually when we get together <3<3<3

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Now some of the beautiful shots from my maternity shoot with M&T. Loving how these turned out ❤

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And last, but not least, some shots from M&Ts amazing Peter Rabbit themed baby shower. I am so blessed to have been included in their special day and had the opportunity to meet so many family members and friends who are anxiously awaiting LTs arrival ❤

Baby Shower

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Myself, M, T and M’s beautiful Mama ❤

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M’s stepmom, their first surro C, my beautiful Mama and myself ❤

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With my own beautiful Mommy ❤

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C, myself and M 🙂

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A very special 33 Weeks belly shot with LT’s amazing Mama and Grandma <3<3

I’m off to finish up some special projects I’ve got in the works that need to be done before M&T arrive on Monday… I hope everyone who reads this is doing well ❤

Until Next Time,

Lots of Love – Danielle & LT

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Twinkies and LT! March 25, 2013

I’m a horrible blogger this journey, I know. I promise I’m calling myself into the office and documenting my terrible performance as we speak. I’m on the brink of firing myself. Thank you to those of you who have stuck by and emailed asking for updates that I’ve failed to post here. Life keeps getting in the way and just when I think I have a night to sit down and write out a blog post, something comes up. But, I’m back! With updates! Great ones!

 

First things first – My adorable Italian surrotwins are WALKING and TALKING and as cute as ever. In January we spent the most AMAZING week with them and their fabulous Daddies. I will FOREVER be grateful to Esteban and Michele for keeping myself and my family involved in their lives. To be able to see the twins grow, to have been able to snuggle and cuddle them for a week and most of all, to see the family that I helped create in action – Priceless. Absolutely 100% priceless. To say that I am blessed doesn’t even begin to describe how lucky I am. There are few surrogates out there as lucky and not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for bringing Esteban, Michele and I together for what has turned into not just the creation of their family, but the permanent expansion of my own ❤ I am already counting down the time until we get to see them again! We are hoping to get together at least once per year and again, I’m so thankful for the effort that is made to keep me a part of the twins’ lives ❤

 

In pregnancy news, LT is doing FABULOUS and we are currently rocking the 3rd trimester! J I am officially 30 weeks and 1 day along so we have 10 weeks (maybe more, maybe less) until this sweet baby BOY is in his Mommy and Daddy’s arms. That’s right, M&T will be welcoming a little BOY. Apparently I am meant to carry boys for everyone but myself hahaha. I couldn’t be more excited for them and they are both over the moon. All of our scans have shown a happy, healthy and adorable little boy who is growing perfectly. My OB appointments are all short, sweet and uneventful which we love. I’m being seen every 2 weeks for a quick visit where they check my weight, urine and blood pressure, measure my uterus and listen to this little boys heartbeat.

 

This weekend M&T came for an amazing visit and we accomplished a TON of things in addition to them having lots of time to feel LT’s kicks, punches, rolls, his HEAD and his hiccups! It was amazing ❤ They flew in on Friday and that night we met with our two amazing doulas – That’s right, TWO! We have two Mama’s this time so it’s only fitting that we have two doulas 😉 We talked, ate dinner, talked, ate ice cream, talked, felt the baby, talked, listened to his heartbeat and then talked and talked some more – For over 4 hours! Christy and Shannon are truly WONDERFUL and we all adore them so much. They are going to be absolutely instrumental in this labor and birth being different from my others. We are going to labor at home as long as possible (ideally until I’m 6-7cm dilated) and then move to the hospital for delivery. I am hoping to go completely natural aka no epidural. Though I am slightly nervous, I know that with my Hubby, Christy, Shannon and M&T by my side, I will have all the support I need to get through. I am so excited at how different this labor is going to be and loving the idea of letting LT control how things go, when he arrives, etc. Saturday morning we all watched my oldest daughter at gymnastics and then headed to a 3D/4D ultrasound. LT, who had been head down Friday night, was suddenly transverse!! He is definitely taking advantage of his suite and moving around a lot! LOL. He started out the ultrasound with his feet in his face. We encouraged him to move them so he did – But replaced them with his little hands! We were able to wiggle him around some (to which he responded with kicks/punches strong enough that the ultrasound tech felt him LOL) and got the most adorable pictures. He was yawning, swallowing and even smiling in one! It was a lot of fun to listen to M&T pick out what features belonged to who, etc. I am convinced that he is the perfect mix of both of them and can’t wait to verify that when he’s in their arms! Sunday we had the privilege of having my best friend who owns CDC Photography take our maternity pictures. The weather was perfect and the scenery was so beautiful. I cannot wait to get to see the photos when they are all finished. Once again, I feel so blessed that I have such a special relationship with M&T that we are able to have precious photos to remember this very special time in their lives.

 

In just over 2 weeks, I’ll be headed to Central CA for M&Ts baby shower. I’m so honored to get to be included in their day and can’t wait to meet some of their friends and family. This little boy is already so loved by so many people!

 

I hope that everyone is doing well and enjoying the start of Spring! We have had some crazy weather but I’m looking forward to it warming up!

 

Until next time,

Danielle & LT ❤

 

Pregnant Forever? December 16, 2011

If I weren’t already scheduled for an induction, I would swear that I would be pregnant forever LOL. These little boys are SO comfy! Today marks 38 weeks!!! I had my very last NST and the boys are still trucking right along with plenty of fluid, great movement and great heart rates. I had a few contractions but nothing major.

 

If I haven’t gone into labor on my own, we will head to the hospital at noon on Monday to serve these boys their official eviction notice and start packing their luggage for them. I promise to keep everyone updated as best as I can. We can’t wait to meet Esteban & Michele’s precious angels ❤

 

Lopsided Baby Belly LOL 🙂

 

 

Until next time, Lots of love from Danielle and the Bambinos

 

 

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it’s my Belly! November 27, 2011

Here are my weekly pictures of the ever growing Bambino Hotel 🙂

(Sorry I can’t get them to be more than one on each line.. I’m not tech savvy enough LOL)

Halloween Pumpkins for D&G

 

Home Stretch

That’s right – We’re in the home stretch! In 22 days or less, E&Ms precious angels will be evicted from my Bambino Hotel. We’re 35 weeks & 2 days along.. We’ve hit so many milestones and passed so many goals. Each day that I can keep these precious boys baking for their Daddies is a miracle. I am still being seen by the perinatologist every 2 weeks and now have a Non-Stress Test (NST) 2x per week to check on the boys. The NSTs monitor the boys heartrates and movement along with my contractions for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to make sure that they are still tolerating their stay at the hotel well 🙂 So far they have all been great. TONS of movement, beautiful heartrates and only a few contractions here and there.

My cervix is still “long and strong.” While your cervix shortening doesn’t always mean labor is imminent, it’s a great tool to keep track of progress and having a long measurement is always a good sign. I’m continually amazed at how good my body has been to me and these precious little boys. With a twin pregnancy, especially an identical mono/di one, there are so many risks and possibilities for things to go wrong. We spent the first few months worried about twin-to-twin transfusion. Once we were out of the woods for that, we had to worry about complications like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, shortening cervix, etc. And yet, God has looked out for the boys and I and we have avoided all of the possible complications. No bed rest, no preterm labor, no early contractions, no premature rupture of membranes (water breaking,) etc. All we need now is to “keep on trucking” along until at least 37 weeks. That is my personal goal and not too shabby of one with twins 🙂

The boys both weighed 4lbs, 14oz at my last appointment so their combined weight has officially surpassed my chubbiest child (8lbs, 4oz.) If you do the math there is 8lbs, 28oz (or 9lbs, 12oz) of baby in the Bambino Hotel! It’s amazing to me that they still have room to do flips. And yes, I have proof that they can still do flips LOL. For the last 3 appointments, the babies have both been head down and I was SO excited. Two head down babies means my chances for a vaginal delivery are huge. At my last NST though, one of the darling angels has decided to turn semi-sideways again. I knew something had happened because the night before, my stomach looked like rolling mountains LOL. I have asked him, politely I promise, to please get his head back down by his brothers where it belongs haha. If you don’t mind sending them your head down vibes, I would greatly appreciate it!

As for me? I’m hanging in there. I am FINALLY on maternity leave. I wanted to “stick it out” as long as possible but working 40 hours a week plus being a full time Mommy and baby baker was getting exhausting. No point in pushing it, it’s not like I get an award for each week that I work LOL. I finished my last day of work until after the birth of these precious babies at 34 weeks along. Personally, I’m proud of myself. I have gained about 30 pounds and am still feeling good for the most part. I won’t lie and say that I’m not tired – I am. But, every day is well worth it to me. Each day that I stay pregnant is one day closer to creating a family for two people that are so amazing. Esteban & Michele fly in from Italy on TUESDAY and we CANNOT wait to see them. I’m so excited for them to watch their boys in action inside my belly LOL.

I’m going to dedicate another post to belly pics since I haven’t posted on since 28 weeks. Enjoy 🙂

 

Until next time – Lots of love from Danielle & the Bambinos 🙂

 

 

Evictions & BumpFairy Goodness November 1, 2011

Happy November 1st everyone!!! I cannot believe how quickly this year (and this surrogacy journey/pregnancy) is flying by! It seems like only yesterday we were meeting E & M for the first time and here we are, just over 6 weeks away from them meeting their precious angels!!

Let’s start with the bambino updates because we know that’s why we’re all here LOL. We are officially 31 weeks, 4 days along. At my last appt at 30 weeks, 6 days both Gabriel & Davide were measuring perfect with how far along we are. Gabriel weighed 3lbs, 10oz and Davide was right behind him at 3lbs, 7oz. That’s right folks, I’m carrying around the equivalent of a FULL TERM SINGLETON. I have a total of 7lbs, 1oz of baby in my Bambino Hotel! There are babies born full term that weigh less than that! Not my babies of course (They were 7lbs, 10oz & 8lbs, 4oz LOL) but some people’s babies! Craziness! That definitely explains why I feel like I’m full term pregnant. It’s been hard to swallow that even though I have just over 6 weeks left, I really have to slow down otherwise I pay for it. My back hurts, my feet swell, getting comfortable at night has become impossible, I have to get up an average of 5 times in an 8 hour period to go potty LOL – Bottom line though? This is all so incredibly worth it and I wouldn’t change a moment. I know that at the end of all the back aches and bathroom trips are two beautiful little boys and an even more beautiful family. Seeing E & M hold their babies is going to be the best moment – I can’t even describe how excited I am for them. ❤

I will continue seeing the perinatologist every 2 weeks for the month of November and then depending on how things are going, she will most likely move to weekly appointments. With an identical mono/di twin pregnancy, the doctors prefer that you not be pregnant too far past 38 weeks. We have set an eviction date for D&G! Yep, they’re being KICKED OUT of this womb on Monday DECEMBER 19th (38 weeks, 3 days) if they haven’t made their appearance already!! That’s only 48 days from now! Holy Moly! I have had a long talk with them and we all agree that they are not coming until at least December 9th. On that day, I will be 37 weeks along which is considered full term for twins. Any day December 9th and on they are more than welcome to show their adorable little faces. Their Daddies will be flying in to CA on November 29th so that we can spend some time together before delivery and so they can get all set up to welcome their boys into the world. I’m SO excited to see them but have NO desire for them to have to come earlier *Ahem Davide & Gabriel, I hope you’re listening! Don’t even try to come into this world before December 9th! We have a deal! LOL* I also found out that if both little darlings cooperate and turn head down, we can attempt a vaginal delivery!! Gabriel has always been head down (thank you, Gabriel!) but Davide is a “mover & shaker” and he flips around A LOT. So, everyone send him head down vibes if you don’t mind. Birthing two 6ish pound babies would be a piece of cake since my little chunkers weighed much more than that haha.

For Halloween, I decided to take full advantage of being a hugely pregnant, proud surrogate so I borrowed the amazing Sabrina’s  name (bumpfairy.wordpress.com) and dressed up like a BumpFairy. My costume was a hit with pretty much everyone and I’m pretty sure it was the world’s most comfy Halloween costume EVER. 🙂 Here’s a pic (I apologize for the quality, it’s a cell phone pic LOL.)

BumpFairy – Like the tooth fairy, only fatter 😉

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! We’re definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving and what the next month has in store for our family.

 
Until next time, Lots of love from Danielle & the Bambinos ❤
 

Hidden Strength October 12, 2011

First things first – WE ARE IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER, FOLKS!!!! HOME STRETCH!!! 🙂

The past month has been one of the most challenging of my life. I am still dealing with losing one of the most important people in my life, and some other events have taken place that have really tried both mine and my IFs strength. I won’t go into details right now, but just wanted everyone to know that we’re all hanging in there and moving right along. “Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer.”

At almost 29 weeks along, the boys both weigh close to 2 1/2 pounds and are growing big and strong for their Daddies. My goal is still to stay pregnant as long as possible and things seem to be in our favor for making that goal a reality. These little boys are staying put until December! They are starting to really interact inside my Bambino Hotel and there is nothing more amazing than feeling two little miracles moving around inside of you ❤

I am still seeing the perinatologist every 2 weeks and I never tire of having an ultrasound to take a peek at E & Ms angels at every visit. Our perinatologist is amazing and I’m so glad that she is so focused on making sure these babies and I stay healthy.

Here are my two latest belly pics from 27 & 28 weeks. The boys growing is DEFINITELY evident by my ever-growing waistline! LOL.

27 Weeks

 

28 Weeks

 
Until next time, TONS of love from Danielle & the Bambinos ❤