Wow! This is the longest I have gone without blogging. Here is a list of my excuses:
1. We are living with my parents this summer while we build our new home
2. Darren hurt his back really bad and is currently getting spinal surgery
3. I have twins
Jessah at Dreaming of Dimples has been in the blogging world forever and recently brought home a gorgeous baby boy. She is inspiring and has been fighting this nasty battle for years. She recently posted something that I could totally "amen" to. She wrote about how she will never forget the struggles and doesn't want her blog to just turn into another "mommy" blog. She feels a bit at a lost of what to do with the space. She wrote "Pain inspires more than happiness."
I never really thought it about that, but it's so true, at least for me. When I was in my weakest moments of failed treatments, early miscarriages, and then losing Jude and Brinly, I personally could only relate to pain. I know there are several women with different personality types that are struggling with infertility and are genuinely happy for anyone who gets pregnant, but I was in a much darker place. For mental health I had to unfollow blogs of people even going through treatments because it was too much for my heart. I just needed the mommies who had known loss this tremendous as well. I know my case was extreme, but I'm so sensitive to those old feelings that I don't want my blog to turn into a place that followers cannot relate to. So I'm a little lost myself in my own blog. Here's a little update on our life the last year...
August 24th marked the 1 year anniversary of when we spread Jude's ashes with the family and then surprised everyone with our gestational carrier Becky for the first time.
We are nearing Noah and Beckom's 1 year birthday which will be November 14. I can't believe it. We tried for 4 long and hard and nasty years to be parents to live babies, and here we finally are 9.5 months into it.
I have been MIA for so long, I wanted to answer some common questions people ask me (I'm an open book and love helping spread awareness about infertility and options). Feel free to email me or ask questions in the comments to, I love answering:
Are they identical?
Nope. 2 embryos were transferred. Beckom has blue eyes and is about 1 inch taller, Noah has brown eyes.
Are they genetically you and Darren's babies?
Yes. When I did IVF the 2nd time, we had 9 embryos. We transferred 3 and froze 6. Noah and Beckom were frozen. It is literally the situation of our bun, her oven.
Typically the term surrogate means the surrogates eggs/husband's sperm. Gestational Carrier is when the woman carries the couples embryos. Many people do not think the babies are connected to me, which is fine. It's a confusing situation (specially for older people). Science is amazing.
Was it hard on you that you could not carry your own child?
No. If you would have told me when I was 20 I wouldn't carry my babies I would have been sad. When I held Jude in my arms knowing he would have survived in someone else's healthier body, I wanted so bad to have given him that. Becky was an answer to prayer in the most amazing way. I knew my babies were safer with her. I cried once, feeling bad that I could not provide that for them, but out of love for them, I wanted them to be in the safest place they could be and that happened to be someone else's body. She worked really hard to include me in their kicks and flips. It gave me a really unique experience because essentially I got to "feel" like how the husband usually does-excited and out of control watching babies grow in someone else's body.
Did you nurse them?
Kind of. I was able to induce lactation and got a full milk supply, but wanted to make sure I was dividing it evenly since they were preemies. I pumped 97% of the time, 6 times a day, and would sometimes comfort nurse at night. I weaned once the boys turned 6 months, to give my body a break from the 8 pills a day I was taking to keep the supply going.
Do they sleep through the night?
Miracously Noah and Beckom started sleeping in 8 hour chunks through the night at 3 months and are still going strong (about 12 hours now). We never get up once we put them to bed. I know we got lucky in this department but we deserved easy babies!
Will you use a carrier again?
I am planning on doing an FET soon. We are so done with infertility and treatments that we want to move forward and close the door on all the "what ifs" forever. I always wanted to have my kids back to back. After much research and thought, I'm going to go an extreme route and get a surgery called a TAC. Basically, they do a C-Section cut and tie my cervix shut with a thick band. Apparently my water breaking early is almost impossible with this surgery-which would allow me to carry to term. I could do a traditional cerclage and was given a 75% chance to carry to term (I could do this cerclage in 1 day); the TAC takes up to 2 weeks to recover and eliminates my chance to have a vaginal birth, but it gives me 95% success rate to carry to term. Honestly, I would have done IVF this summer, but the TAC isn't covered by our current insurance and costs 7k out of pocket. Darren and I both felt that patience would be a good choice. We have 2 babies. We are not in a rush. I can wait till January to get the surgery and then a few months after that to TRY. Notice the all caps on TRY, we know there is no guarantee an FET will work, and we accept that. Any child now is an added bonus.
Does the carrier see the boys?
As we were friends before we wanted to keep a very close relationship. Becky and Tom love our children to death and we love them for it. We see them a couple times a month and Becky will actually be watching them 1 day a week when I return to work.
Are you afraid to be pregnant again?
Of course. Its kind of like people that have been in horrible car accidents-they are scared to drive. This time though the doctors know the issues and precautions will be in place. When we made the decision for me to get the TAC our MFM said it was like I was putting on a helmet and bubble wrap to be extra safe. I did love being pregnant and would love the life experience of being able to carry a baby to term. I never have lost that biological desire.
So many topics I want to write about-their sweet baby dedication at our church, their relationship, my heart, but another day <3