Monday, December 14, 2015

Fall Stork Activities: Cooking a bird, baking a bun

It is with great relief that I can relay to you that in the time between our UTI nightmare and now, things have progressed very smoothly. As I sit down to type, belly buddy is rolling and playing and thoroughly enjoying his uterine adventures. When I set out to be a surrogate, this was one of the parts I most looked forward to; the simple enjoyment of a baby rolling around in my belly. I think it's one of life's greatest gifts.

So we left off in early November with a 3D/4D ultrasound and appointment with Sensible OB scheduled for the first week of December. The remainder of November passed uneventfully, with a whole bunch of family fun time stuck in there at the end. Just before Thanksgiving, Scott and I took the kids (and dogs) on a 3 day camping trip at a state park a few hours away from home. As you might imagine, squeezing 2 adults, 4 kids and 2 spoiled Boxers into one vehicle with everyone's clothing and food provisions for the trip did NOT sound delightful. Instead we made a plan for Scott, my uber prompt, former military, up at the crack of dawn husband, to pack up the 3 older kids, backpacks and the camper, and head out at the first sign of daylight. Meanwhile, the little, the 2 dogs and pregnant 'ol me would sleep in take some extra time packing the SUV and head out shortly after them to meet them at the park. Two hours after they left, the late crew was finally loaded up and ready to go. We hopped in the vehicle, I hit the keyless start button and nothing happened. I hit it again; still nothing. I stared at it for a split second before realizing that my one and only key must not be in the purse sitting next to me. After digging through the purse and searching all of the usual places in the house, I called Scott:
Me - "Hey babe, have you seen the key for my car?"
Scott - "Yeah, I handed it to you and you put it in your purse last night."
Me - "Right. But it's not there now, so can you ask the kids if one of them took it out?"
Scott - "But I remember handing it to you. I don't think anyone used it this morning."
Kids in the background - "Dad, remember I needed to put some stuff in Mom's car this morning? I took the key from her purse, but I gave it to you in the driveway. Did you take it back in the house?"
Scott - "One of the kids used it this morning, but I don't think they still have it.... Oh crap. It's right here in my console. Ok, we're turning around. We'll be there in a couple of hours."
Now here's how much I love Scott: He wasn't angry or ugly. He had just done 2 hours in the truck with three-quarters of the kid crew, and he was willing to do another 5 to get home to us, deliver the key and turn back around to head to the state park. I don't have nearly the same level of patience that he does. My brain started racing with finding a way to preserve the vacation day for him and the kids so that they didn't have to spend all of it on the road. I called our auto insurance company who promptly sent a tow truck to the house that delivered us to the car dealership. There, the service department was able to program a new keyless entry/start key fob for a mere $250, and coo coo cachoo, myself, 1 little, 2 dogs, 14 pieces of luggage and 5 bags of groceries were back on our way. The side show only cost us about another hour and a half delayed in getting to our vacation destination, and provided a great source of amusement for the kids.

When we got back from vacation, I cooked the bird and we hosted the extended family for a wonderful holiday meal. I took several breaks throughout the morning, but my feet and ankles were still not impressed. At 26 weeks, it was the first sign of ankle swelling, although I can't complain because it has been minimal to non-existent for most of this pregnancy.

A week after Thanksgiving, we had our ultrasound and OB appointment. I met with Sensible OB first and we got caught up on being 27 weeks pregnant. She seems like she will be a good fit at this point. She is very straightforward and an all-business type, but she doesn't seem to miss anything, so I guess I'll forego my desire for a light-hearted comedian type. There was only one awkward moment where she asked me if Mandy, Wes and I had a detailed delivery plan that included who was allowed to hold the baby. I told her that it was not very detailed at this point, but that we have a great relationship built on mutual respect, so I feel comfortable about how things are going to go. She then spoke about it in a tone that sounded like this is an adoption situation rather than surrogacy, which was a bit odd. I'm going to have to keep the dialogue open with her in regards to surrogacy so that she clearly understands that this is not a sad occasion, and that this is very much a collaborative effort between Mandy, Wes, Scott and myself, along with her and the hospital staff. On my way out, I was able to make all of the remaining appointments through the end of the pregnancy. My overly-organized, type-A personality rejoiced. The next appointment was set for Christmas Eve at 31.5 weeks.

The next stop on the baby tour that morning was the 3D/4D ultrasound. All of us had been anticipating it for so long because we just couldn't wait to lay eyes on his adorable little face. Of course, when we got all settled in, this little wiggle worm that is rarely ever still decided that he was in a sleepy mood and wasn't going to wake up for our entertainment. He was also folded in half with his legs and feet right in front of his face. So it took a while to get a somewhat clear view of his face, and when it happened, Mandy cried out "Oh my god, he looks exactly like me!" I could hear the tears of joy coming through the phone and I started to cry as well. There are a few moments in this process that really hit me right in the feels, and that was one of them. I'm so happy for them that it makes me cry too!

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