Their Lovin, My Oven

My Journey as a Gestational Surrogate

Happy Birthday Gabriel and Davide! December 18, 2012

In January of 2011, four strangers met for the very first time – And none of our lives would ever be the same again.

 

From our very first time spending the day together:

LA Zoo, April 2011

LA Zoo, April 2011

 

To beyond full term with two very special little boys:

38 Weeks - The morning I went into labor

38 Weeks – The morning I went into labor

 

To the day two amazing men became two of the worlds best Dads:

Hanging out while in labor

Hanging out while in labor

DSC04998

Meeting Gabriel for the first time

This journey has been one of the most special parts of my life and I will never forget a single moment. Esteban and Michele – Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your family – And allowing me the HUGE honor of helping you create your family. I am so blessed with the four of you and you will forever and always hold a very special place in my heart!

Gabriel and Davide – Watching you grow brings me so much joy. You have the best Dads two little boys could ever ask for. You are two very special little boys with family on more than one continent that loves you to the moon and back. We can’t wait to see you and your Daddies in January!!!!!! <3<3<3<3

Our first time all together - One day shy of 3 weeks old

Our first time all together – One day shy of 3 weeks old

 

6 months old

6 months old

 

6 months old

6 months old

 

And Today – Today my sweet surrotwins – You celebrate your first birthday. Such a memorable day for your Dads and your surrofam. Happy Birthday my loves, Happy Birthday ❤

1 year! Davide on the left, Gabriel on the right <3

1 year! Davide on the left, Gabriel on the right ❤

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Beautiful Things… December 9, 2012

Twas just over two weeks until Christmas, and all through the house, this surromama was busy and neglecting her blog. LOL.

 

BUT, there is a TON of good news to share.

 

LT is growing perfect and is amazing and beautiful. Her Mommy and Daddy visited a few weeks ago for an OB appt and our NT scan, both of which were perfect ❤ And no, I don’t know for sure LT is a GIRL but I’m putting it out there, on the record, that I am pretty sure she is LOL. Her Mama is Team Pink too but both M&T will be absolutely THRILLED with either a boy or a girl. Speaking of baby parts, we will be having a 3D/4D ultrasound next Saturday!!! Eeeeek!!!!! Here is a pic from our NT scan. I was 11 weeks, 5 days 🙂

M&Ts precious LT - 11 weeks, 5 days

M&Ts precious LT – 11 weeks, 5 days

We got preliminary results from my first trimester blood screening and baby tested negative! All of our NT scan results were better than good as well! GO LT! I am still throwing up every morning but that’s par for the course with my pregnancies so we’re surviving. Most surrogates have easy peasy pregnancies and no morning sickness, etc but that’s not how I roll LOL. Sure, it’s not fun BUT it’s only a few months and the end result, seeing M&T holding their baby, is MORE than worth it.

 

In other news, I got to Skype with my Italian boys today!! They just moved into their new house a few weeks ago so I got the grand tour courtesy of Esteban and Gabriel (who are excellent tour guides, btw) and everything is BEAUTIFUL! They even showed me the room for us to stay in when we visit 🙂 The twins are getting SO big which is to be expected since THEY ARE ALMOST ONE YEAR OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy cow. I seriously have NO idea how so much time has passed and how in the world they are SO big. It’s such an amazing feeling to see them together and know I had a small part in helping make that family. My heart has a very special place just for the four of them ❤ They are coming to visit in January and I feel like a kid on Christmas morning every single time I think about seeing them 😀 😀 😀

 

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the Christmas season!

 

-Love, Danielle and LT! ❤

 

PUPO October 6, 2012

I know I owe you all an update and you have my most sincere apologies that it has taken SO long. Without further delay, here’s our transfer story – How I got PUPO – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise.

 

After nearly missing my flight due to a ton of unexpected traffic on the 405 (thank you SoCal fires! NOT) I made it to SF in the evening on Friday September 14th. M&T picked me up at the airport and we all went out for an amazing Italian dinner. That day was the 1 year anniversary of when I lost my Papa so I welcomed the distraction of such an exciting day to come. After dinner we got all checked into the hotel (which was beautiful) and spent a little more time together talking about everything under the sun before M&T headed home and we all turned in for the night.

 

Our transfer on Saturday September 15th was not scheduled until 1:00p (well that’s the time they asked us to be at the clinic) so we were all a little lazy at the hotel, enjoyed a breakfast in my room, talked some more and then it was time to get all decked out in our good luck gear. And boy, oh boy did we have the good luck charms covered. We both had lucky socks, mine the rainbow ones I wore when I got pregnant with my surrotwins and M’s four leaf clovers – I had my lucky BumpFairy shirt – M had a lucky sock monkey from a group of friends she and T have that are also fighting infertility – We had a very special bracelet from our Sassy sisters – And we had bracelets that I had made by the amazing Sabrina at BangleSnaps (click on the company name to check her out on FB!) The bracelets each had several stones that symbolized various good luck, calming, healing vibes and even IVF success. They were beautiful and it was wonderful to surprise M with them. Here is a pic:

Our beautiful BangleSnaps transfer bracelets ❤

The very special Sassy bracelet and journal plus a First Response Pregnancy Test with lots of preggo dust on it! LOL

 

After getting dripped in luck, we headed to a local deli for a light lunch. The sandwiches were delicious and the perfect thing to be full but not too full before it was time for Little Tot to snuggle in with Auntie Danielle.

 

We arrived at Zouves Fertility Center just before 1pm, filled out some paperwork and then the wait began. Before too long we were called back into Dr. Zouves’ office. He gave us a report on how beautifully M&Ts Little Tot had been thawing out the day before and she was just perfect! She scored as high as he scores embies so we were all very pleased with that!
Once we all got suited up in our fancy scrubs and head gear, we were taken back to the transfer room. We got to watch Little Tot being placed in the catheter and it was THE coolest thing I have ever seen. He/She was MOVING around like crazy in the petri dish! M&T are going to have their hands full! 😉

 

Ready for Transfer!!!

 

Transfer of M&Ts sweet Little Tot was completed right around 2pm PST on 9/15 and couldn’t have gone any more smooth than it did. Once transfer was done, the weekend of being completely LAZY was in full swing. T was amazing to M and I – He went out and brought us back food, the Wii, laptops, etc. I wasn’t even allowed to get up and get my own ice! Since I’m used to being a full time Mommy, it felt SO weird to be the one laying around doing nothing but T assured me I was doing something very important and working much harder than him to bake their sweet baby 😉 M&T spent a TON of time at the hotel with me which I LOVED. We talked about so many things, gave Little Tot aka LT so much love and I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment.

 

After an incredibly lazy and blessed weekend and some lovely flight crap (don’t fly American Airlines, people) I was headed back home on Monday afternoon. It was SO hard to say goodbye to M&T but I felt so positive that things were going to be great and I promised to take great care of LT until we saw them again.

 

At 5dp5dt (5 days past our 5 day transfer) I got to talk to M on the phone and give her some pretty great news.

 

Does this even need a caption?! LOVE it ❤

 

10dp5dt we had our beta blood draw to tell us how much HCG Little Tot was producing. Keep in mind that my beta on the same day with Esteban & Michele’s angels was 153…. Imagine my surprise/shock when M called me to give me the good news – Beta was 193!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are as pregnant as we can be right now! LOL. My friends and family definitely have been making the multiples jokes but I don’t think lightning can possibly strike the same surro twice and give M&T identical twins LOL.

Two days later at 12dp5dt, we had another beta. A doubling time of 48 hours is ideal so we were looking for a number of approx 390. Imagine my surprise/shock YET AGAIN when M called. Did we have a 48 hour doubling time? No sir/ma’am we did not. LT is an over achiever! With a doubling time of less than 31 hours, our beta was 574!!!!

 

After two very positive betas, we got a date for our heartbeat ultrasound! On October 14th, in ONE WEEK, I will be headed up to SF to see M&T and we will all get to witness an amazing moment.

 

Nothing is for sure with IVF/Surrogacy/Pregnancy and it’s been a long road for M&T so I’m staying 100% positive for all three  four of us that everything will be great and sometime around June 2 2013, M&T will be holding their precious baby. Please send us your good thoughts and extra prayers if you have them. I will update again after u/s.

 

Love, Danielle

 

Stay Tuned… July 31, 2012

For some news on the surrogacy front!!! ;o) I promise to share ASAP.

 

I recently got to go with one of my best friends Rachelle to her embryo transfer. It was such a great day and such an amazing moment to witness! Rachelle is a first time GS for Intended Fathers in Italy who happen to know my IFs! She also lives about 30-45 minutes away from me which is AWESOME because we get to spend a lot of time together 🙂   They transferred one beautiful little boy embryo and have had beautiful HPTs and two awesome beta #s! I’m SO excited for her and her IFs! They are at such an exciting place in their journey. On Thursday I have the pleasure of going with her to her first ultrasound to check the development of the embyronic sac! (If you have some spare time, click on her name to be directed to her blog and catch up on their story!)

 

In my own journey news – Esteban and Michele’s sweet little boys are already 7 1/2 months old! Where in the world is the time going?! It seems like just yesterday I was at my embryo transfer, first ultrasound, taking weekly belly pics, in the hospital, in the OR pushing for what seemed like years, handing Gabriel to his Dads, seeing them off at the airport when they went back to Italy, whew! The year is just going by SO quickly!

 

Esteban and Michele’s ADORABLE angels! <3<3<3

Until Next Time,

Danielle

 

Story Tellers July 8, 2012

Guess who I got to Skype with today?! And guess who is sitting up, rolling over, telling TONS of stories, smiling, giggling and just being overall adorable babies? That’s right, my surrotwins.

 

This morning I was lucky enough to Skype with Esteban, Michele and the twins. It was so wonderful to see all of them and catch up a little. I miss them like crazy and though I wish they were closer, it’s amazing how modern technology allows me to keep in touch with them. I’m so very lucky that Esteban and Michele keep me involved and send me pictures of the twins several times a week and make time to Skype. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – They’re the most amazing IFs I ever could have asked for. The twins are too cute for words and it’s hard to believe how big they’re getting and how much time has passed. Even though they are just under 7 months old, Gabriel weighs about 19 pounds and is wearing size 12-18 month clothes and Davide is right behind him wearing 9-12 month clothes! Gabriel is also in SIZE 4 diapers! That’s the biggest size our girls have ever gotten to before they potty trained LOL. There is nothing cuter in the world than two adorable, odds defying identical twins. I’m so in love with the family I helped to create. It makes me blush when people tell me what an amazing thing I did and I wish that I had the words to describe how amazing it is for me. I never know how to get across to people the emotions that just overtake me anytime I see the four of them together. It’s such a blessing to have been able to be a part of something so miraculous. Such a blessing. No matter how much time passes, I will never stop thanking God for taking us all on this wonderful journey.

 

I’m so looking forward to my future in surrogacy and what it might bring. Stay tuned, I’m far from “out of the game.”

 

I hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July and are enjoying your summer.

 

Much Love! – Danielle

 

Who Isssss? June 20, 2012

6 months old?! I know it hardly seems possible but my sweet surrotwins had their 6 month “birthday” just a few days ago! 6 months ago, we were all anxiously awaiting their arrival – Esteban and Michele for their lives as parents to begin, me to hand their sweet angels over to them for the first time and finally get to see them as a family… I still remember that day with vivid clarity and probably will for the rest of my life. We’ve all come a long way from these sweet, TINY little angels that I held so lovingly right underneath my heart for 9 months until they were ready to meet their amazing Daddies ❤

 

Esteban, Michele and I with their sweet, sweet baby boys ❤

 

The twins are growing and thriving and life is back to normal for the most part in our house. As our two year old puts it, we all miss Ban (Esteban,) Cele (pronounced Kell-Ay aka Michele,) Gabiel and Dabide. We LOVE to have Skype sessions and try to make sure we still have Skype visits at least once a month. We talk via WhatsApp (a must have app for anyone trying to keep in touch internationally) at least every other day and I am SO lucky because I get pictures nearly that often!

 

I love and adore seeing pictures of the twins but I have to admit that there is one other type of picture I love seeing even more… Picture of my 4 boys as a family. Gabriel and Davide are too cute for words and their pictures always make me smile but the pictures of them as a family just tug at my heart strings. I can’t help but see them and beam with pride at this amazing family that I had the PRIVILEGE of helping complete. I love to talk about my journey and can go on for daysssss to anyone that happens to ask. Surrogacy and the families these journeys help create are just miraculous. I’m still so awestruck that I got to be a part of it all.

 

In my own news, I did a lot of soul searching and after watching television specials (Giuliana and Bill, anyone?) reading blogs and keeping active on surrogacy forums, I decided that I wanted to talk to Esteban and Michele about pursuing another journey while they prepared for a sibling journey. I was nervous… Me “moving on” so to speak wasn’t what we had talked about and a part of me felt like I would be cheating on them. When I brought it up, I couldn’t have been luckier with the way they responded. Let me just remind you all again that Esteban and Michele are AMAZING and I’m such a lucky surromama to have them as part of my family. They said that I 1000% had their blessing and they couldn’t wait to hear about a future journey. They would love to see me with a big ole preggo belly when they come to visit later this year. So, stay tuned on a new journey front… I might have big news soon 🙂

P.S. Esteban and Michele, “who isssss” is still one of the girls’ favorite games. They love and miss you all SO much too ❤

I’ll leave you with some amazing pics. You’re officially warned, there’s a TON of cuteness involved. Pretty sure this level of cuteness is illegal but I’m putting it out there anyway 😉

-Danielle

 

Just look at those cheeks! Those rolls! Those smiles! MAN my IFs make some ADORABLE babies!! ❤

 

Brotherly Love ❤

 

I just want to squeeeze those cheeks!!

 

And this folks, THIS is why I became a surrogate. THIS family is so beautiful and all 4 of them will always hold a special place in my heart. <3<3

 

Happy Month-Day!!! May 18, 2012

Another month has passed…. Though I’m not entirely sure how! It doesn’t seem quite possible that my adorable surrotwins are 5 months old but alas, today is May 18th which makes it exactly 5 months ago that I brought those sweet boys into the world and helped make two amazing guys Daddies <3<3<3<3<3

Esteban, Michele and the twins are doing amazing! The twins are both healthy, happy, thriving ADORABLE bundles of joy. We are still getting to Skype with them usually once a week and they are SO full of personality now. Last time we Skyped, they were cooing and babbling and smiling and just all around melting my heart. I swell with pride every time I see my 4 Italian boys and what a beautiful family they are. It still amazes me to this day how lucky I am to have been a part of something SO utterly amazing. Are you ready for the best part of this post? That’s right folks, I’ve got pictures!!! Hang on to your hearts, they’re going to burst with love at  how adorable my surrofamily is ❤

 

Davide

 

Gabriel

 

Esteban holding Davide, Michele holding Gabriel ❤

 

Esteban holding Davide, Michele holding Gabriel 🙂

 

Love them <3<3