Their Lovin, My Oven

My Journey as a Gestational Surrogate

Home Stretch November 27, 2011

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 🙂



Babies, Bed Rest, Beautiful News August 31, 2011

I’m totally firing myself. It’s been one month (longer if I don’t get this published in the next 30 minutes  okay, longer than one month) since I posted! I swear there have been so many times that I have reminded myself I am WAY overdue for a blog post, but, it’s just been impossible to find the time to sit down and write it all out. So, here goes. Get your reading glasses on, pour a good glass of wine (and have one for me too, eh?) and enjoy a long overdue update 🙂

When the bambinos and I left you last, we were 17 weeks along. So much has happened since then! When I was 18 weeks, 5 days along I had a terrible scare. I was at work, went to use the restroom, and saw what every pregnant woman hopes to never see. Bright red blood. To say that it scared the crap out of me is the understatement of the century. I was terrified. No one ever wants to see blood they are pregnant, but it’s a whole new level of worry when you’re carrying babies for someone else. As I sat in the waiting room at urgent care (I was there within 10 minutes of going to the bathroom) all I could do was pray to God that he would keep these precious little boys safe. Their Daddies, grandparents, uncles, cousins, friends, etc were already so excited anticipating their arrival and I couldn’t possibly let them down. It’s my job to protect Gabriel & Davide and I felt like I was doing a terrible job. The doctor finally came in (just a regular urgent care “genius” doctor, not an OBGyn) and had the nurse try to find the babies heartbeats with the doppler. She was able to get a great reading on Baby A (Gabriel) but couldn’t get a very good reading on Baby B (Davide.) They consulted with an OB who was in the office late who requested that they send me over to our local hospital for an ultrasound. After waiting several more hours and yelling at a few nurses, I finally got in to see the ultrasound tech. Of course the tech kept the screen turned away from me – I squeezed Hubby’s hand and he immediately knew his job – Squeeze mine back when he saw the boys’ heartbeats. I watched his face like a hawk looking for any indication of what he was seeing – It was the best news I had ever “heard” from someone’s facial expressions when he gave me the sign that both boys were not only looking great, they would hardly hold still long enough for the ultrasound tech to see them. I have never in my life breathed such a huge sigh of relief. I was put on bed rest for at least the next 2 days, instructed to call the perinatologist first thing in the morning, and sent home. I parked my butt in bed and stayed there! Our peri kept me on bed rest for the next two days and kept our regular appointment that was scheduled for almost 20 weeks along.

At that appointment, it was discovered that my placenta was a little low. The peri wouldn’t call it placenta previa yet, but wanted to keep a very close eye on it. She kept me on pelvic bed rest (sorry Hubby) but allowed me to return to work since I sit down most of the day. The boys were super active and she didn’t have any concerns at all about their growth or health. They cooperated and let her do the vast majority of the scanning she needed to finish the “developmental” part of the ultrasound since we were just shy of 20 weeks. Fast forward just a little ways – ESTEBAN & MICHELE FLY IN TO SAN FRANCISCO!!! That’s right folks, my IFs are in the beautiful state of California! They spent 3 days in San Francisco and then flew to LA. On Monday 8/15 my family and I got to see them for the first time since April. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how we were feeling. It was SO good to see them live, in person and better yet? At a restaurant for a yummy dinner! LOL. We spent the entire time at dinner talking about so much and just catching up. Tuesday morning was a very special day – E, M and I headed to family court for their pre-birth order hearing. Long story short, this was a short hearing in front of a judge with both of our lawyers and a “guardian” for the twins present. End result? Esteban & Michele were officially, legally declared DADDIES!!!!!!!! I’m not going to lie, I cried a little bit when the judge said those words. This is what we’re all working for here folks, and now it’s legal. When the boys are born, Esteban & Michele’s names will immediately go on their birth certificate and they will be forever responsible for these precious little boys. It was a momentous day to say the least.

I had to work the next couple of days but Thursday marked the start of our amazing vacation. DH, our little girls and I headed to San Diego bright and early Thursday 8/18 (My Day of Birth) and met E & M at our GORGEOUS hotel. Our room overlooked the marina and couldn’t possibly have been more breathtaking. We walked around the hotel a little and then headed to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. My darling husband kindly informed the waitress it was my birthday and proceeded to tell her it was special birthday #21. (It’s NOT in case you don’t know me in real life LOL.) Soooo, said waitress proceedes to bring me to the middle of the VERY crowded restaurant, announce at the top of her lungs that I’m celebrating my 21st birthday, and get the entire place singing “Happy Birthday.” As I stand there. With our 4 year old. VERY pregnant. Celebrating my “21st” birthday. LOL. It was quite the spectacle and one that I will surely remember come March 2012 when it’s DHs birthday. The next day we woke up bright and early to head to SeaWorld. It was absolutely amazing and tons of fun. We got to meet up with a surrogate that I “know” from an online community and it was very nice to spend a little bit of time with her. (Our kids weren’t too condusive to us spending a massive amount of time together unfortunately.) We headed back to the hotel before E & M because I was getting mighty tired and couldn’t really take the walking around anymore. I highly recommend waiting until you are NOT preggo to attempt SeaWorld LOL. Just my humble opinion ;o) Saturday morning we had to check out of the hotel fairly early to head home. We had work to do!

A few months ago, I asked E & M if they would mind if we had a little bbq/swim party when they came in August because my family and many friends/coworkers were anxious to meet them. They of course didn’t mind, so plans began. I decided that a bbq wasn’t good enough and that I wanted to turn that day into a surprise baby shower for my oh-so-amazing, oh-so-deserving IFs. So, that’s precisely what I did. One of my amazing friends made the invitations and made a special one just for E & M that said it was just a bbq. Saturday we got busy with last minute party prep, picked up the cake, got the favors all set up and decorated. Sunday afternoon at 12pm, guests started arriving. We had told E & M to arrive at 12:45pm instead of 12 so that people had a chance to show up. Several of E & Ms good friends came as a surprise and even our agency coordinator. The agency is doing a short film to show to other prospective international IPs so the film crew was there as well! DH sat outside around 12:40 and was officially on “Baby Daddies” watch. He called and let me know they had arrived! I grabbed the cake, DH opened the door, and we all yelled “SURPRISE!” It was an amazing moment. They were completely and totally shocked and it was well worth every moment spent planning and telling them little fibs. We all ate, talked, took millions of pictures, watched E & M open a ton of adorable gifts and had a blast. I wouldn’t change a single part of that day ❤

The next morning we had an appt with the peri. It would be their first time seeing their precious little boys in PERSON rather than on a video or in emailed pictures. When the peri started the ultrasound, E & M were so excited that I again teared up. It’s just so amazing to see these two men that I have come to absolutely love and adore be so excited for their angels. Because we are considered high risk, we got to spend nearly an hour with the peri just enjoying the ultrasound and all the shots of the boys. Once she had seen everything she needed to see, the guys left the room so she could check my cervix length and the location of the placenta. GREAT NEWS! For my cervix, she was hoping to see at least a “3” and my cervix measures 5.2! Super cervix! YAY! EVEN BETTER NEWS! The placenta took a drastic turn in the RIGHT direction and moved right back up to where it should be! No more pelvic bed rest! Yipee! Tuesday we went to Glendale for a 3D ultrasound. The film crew was there to document the guys reactions to seeing their boys on the ultrasound. Again, it was absolutely amazing. I will never get tired of watching how excited they are for their boys and for their family to begin. They’re too adorable for words to describe ❤ After the ultrasound we got down to business – SHOPPING!!! I took them to the Carters store and they had SO much fun picking out the cutest little clothes EVER. Now that I know what they bought, and what they got at the baby shower, I can start shopping. YAY! Shhhhh. Haha. I know they read my blog so I will keep mum about some of my plans ;o) That night we went to our local fair and walked around, ate LOTS of yummy food (Yep, I’ve finally got my appetite for twins HaHa,) and had a blast. The next day, Wednesday, was their last here in California. *insert picture of me balling my eyes out here* so we did the hospital tour (YAY!) and had an amazing dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, complete with fried ice cream for dessert. The two weeks they were here honestly couldn’t have gone any better. I am so blessed that these are not just two men that I’m carrying twins for. They are family and always will be. It’s okay to be jealous. I would be. ;o)

It’s been almost a week since they left and things are getting back to “normal” in our house. My girls definitely missed them and our 4 year old kept asking when Esteban & Michele would be coming back. As much as we all love and miss them, they have strict instructions to NOT return to Cali until December because their twinkies and I have an agreement that they are NOT allowed to come before then. That’s right, I’m asserting my surromama rights and telling the boys to STAY PUT until at least 36 weeks. Don’t question my authority! LOL. Things have been going really well, the boys are SUPER active (most often when I’m trying to sleep – The little darlings are already on Italian time LOL) and I’m eating like crazy. Since I’ve only gained 4lbs up to this point, I’ve got a little wiggle room in the weight department. Here is my latest “belly” pic from 22 weeks. Enjoy!


22 Weeks with the Bambinos


I promise I’ll do my best to be better at updating so that you don’t have such a novel to read next time.

Until then – Lots of love from Danielle & the bambinos 🙂


Yes, actually, there are 2 babies in there! July 8, 2011


I know people are usually well meaning, BUT, I’m too sensitive right now to handle that crap. Yesterday I was in line at Panda Express to get lunch and had a very short exchange with a woman standing behind me that left me feeling like I’m huge. Giant. Ginormous. FAT. And not Fat With Life. Just FAT.

Woman: “Awwww how far along are you?”

Me: “Almost 4 months”

Woman: “WOWWWWWWW. Are they sure there’s only one baby in there?!?!?!”

Me: “Actually, there are two babies in there. Anything else you want to talk about?”

Sure, I might have been a little snippety, but COME ON PEOPLE. First of all, what if I wasn’t pregnant? Second of all, what if I really was only carrying one baby? Don’t people know not to mess with pregnant hormonal people? SHEESH!

AND THEN today a coworker, who I see every single day Monday-Friday, decides to say “Hey, you’re pregnant!” And I said “Yes, have been for a while” and he had NO response. So basically I just look fatter today than normal? LOL.

I know I’m just being uber sensitive but man. If people think I’m huge now, just WAIT. I plan to get GIGANTIC and keep these babies in until at least 36 weeks. Bring on the comments people, I’m ready for you!

E & Ms precious twinkies are now 15 weeks! We’re so close to the halfway point! The boys’ legs have grown longer than the arms and the body is now longer than the head. The bone and marrow that makes up their skeletal system is continuing to develop this week. The bones and muscles are continuing to grow.  Their ears are nearly in position, and the three tiny bones in their middle ears have begun to harden. By the end of the week, the roof of their mouths will be completely formed. They have an adults taste buds and may be able to savor meals. Their crown to rump length by this week of pregnancy is 4 to 4.5 inches and they weigh about 2.5 ounces. The twins are close to the size of a SOFTBALL.

Note to E & M. I’ve got some things to add to the list of foods/drinks that your boys do not seem to be fond of LOL. #1 is iced tea. No iced tea for these boys. Guess I’ll have to wait to try out McDonalds “famous” Sweet Tea until I deliver. #2 is my hubby’s homemade chili. I’m actually really upset about this one so I might have to make them try it again later on. #3 is Chinese food. I may never, ever, ever touch Chinese food again after last night. Just some fair warning 😉

Until next time… Lots of love from me and the twin softballs that are expanding my middle 🙂


Yep, I’m going to go there.. March 17, 2011

Filed under: Gestational Surrogacy — Danielle @ 1:07 am
Tags: , , ,

In the past few weeks, more and more people have become aware of my journey as a gestational surrogate. As a result, I’ve been blessed with an enormous amount of support, but, I’ve also encountered some not so positive feedback.

This post is not intended to call out any specific person, family or friend, but rather to in general address some of the things that have been brought up by multiple people.

I’ve read other surrogates blogs, and I’m not naïve. I realized long ago that not everyone was going to agree with my decision to be a GS. Regardless of how much I prepared myself, it doesn’t feel good to be called a “baby seller.” The amount of monetary compensation I will be receiving, quite frankly, isn’t anyone’s business. I will answer any other questions but that’s not something people need to know. Any fellow surrogates reading this can attest – We aren’t in this for the money. I’m not “selling a baby” to E & M. I’m helping them complete their family, realize their dreams. Who are we to judge how a person(s) decides to go about creating their family? No one ever asked me why I didn’t adopt instead of having my own children. E & M want to have a child genetically their own, and yes, that costs money. Does that make them less deserving? Does the fact that I will be compensated for the things I will endure throughout helping them have that child make what I’m doing less respectable? The answer to both of those questions ought to be no. If it’s not, feel free to give me your reasoning. We’ll talk about it however long you want.

The second issue I’ve encountered is regarding the fact that E & M are a gay couple. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this subject, but, it never crossed my mind for that to be an issue. I wasn’t raised to believe that true love and families only exist with a Mom, a Dad, 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence. Had I been raised that way, it would have been a hypocritical mess. I never knew my “Dad.” I still don’t, and more likely than not, never will. Did that mean my family wasn’t “normal?” Did that make me any less deserving of societal acceptance? No.

I’m not raising my children to judge others. I’m not raising them to believe that love only comes in one cookie cutter perfect mold. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. My hope is that my children will not be tolerant – They will accept others for who they are. No questions asked. E & M being a gay couple doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter to my husband. It doesn’t matter to my kids. E & M love each other and that’s clearly evident from spending 5 minutes with them. I’m truly blessed and honored to have met them and to be going through this journey with them. They are going to be amazing parents, “traditional” or not.

If you’re reading this and feel like it’s directed towards you, please don’t take offense or instantly get on the defensive. I’ve dealth with the two above issues from several people and simply hope to shed a little light on my feelings about the subjects.

Thanks for reading…