Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 32 Update

The past seven days have passed by in much of a non event as the previous seven. Both Darren and I are putting the finishing touches on Noddy's room. We have bought a much smaller light for the room as our current chandelier is now too low and we keep hitting our heads on it every time we enter the room. We bought a five arm light fixture from a local 2nd hand store that we plan of painting white and adding some white shades. Currently it's brass and has bad 80s glass shades...urgh. A little bit of DIY should do the trick and at only $45 it's a bargain. When complete I will post a photo. We have also finished painting the timber trim above our panelling and now just three pieces left to be painted (wait, four) and then...voila! Darren has had two beautiful oak pieces of furniture since he was around 19 years old that we are going to paint white, a bookcase from our dear friend Bron, who recently moved to the USA will also get the same treatment and then a rocking chair currently federation green will also get a lick of paint or two or three as I think it may need. The weekend ahead will be a busy one!

For some unknown reason I have been feeling anxious when thinking about Noddy the past few days. Most likely because our surrogate's WBC count has been a little elevated. Drs Yash and Sudhir were on the ball and quickly placed our surrogate on a five day course of antibiotics just as a precaution. This along with reading other IPs threads on the SI forum has helped me to relax slightly but I can't quite put my finger on the reason for this unwanted anxiety.

There has been some sad news this week in the surrogacy community we find oursleves a part of. Couples who have had negative results and others coming to their second trimester miscarrying. It is terribly devastating and I can not begin to imagine their anguish. This also reminded me of a client recently who came into my work place to book flights to the UK.

Their daughter was pregnant and all was well. Baby was growing as it should be and 'normal'. The soon to be grandparents were elated.

Then, all of a sudden their baby didn't continue growing. It's heart simply stopped. By this stage, the expectant mother was 35 weeks pregnant and just thinking of what awful sadness she, her partner and their families must have gone through gives me goosebumps and saddens me beyond expression. WHY, WHY, WHY?

How on earth does one cope with such sadness and loss? I am shaking my head as I type these words.

I suppose I am anxious as any new parent would be. Both Darren, myself and our families are so looking forward to this new arrival. A new life. Noddy is already so loved and cherished the fear that this wonder could be taken from us scares the hell out of me. I pray this is not our fate.

Onto a lighter and happier note, we do know that Noddy IS growing well and IS healthy and we have NO reason to be fearful or anxious. We ARE in the best of hands and our surrogate IS going to deliver a beautiful, healthy baby boy or girl very soon. I was so happy to wake up this morning and find more 3D scans from two days ago, the 23rd February. The scans show Noddy's approximate gestational age at 31weeks and 5days.

Fetal size: crown-rump 29cm (11.6 inches), crown-toes 42cm (18.9 inches). Fetal weight 1.7kg (4 pounds). This week your baby has continued to grow and his/her lungs and digestive system have also continued to mature. Your baby's senses are functioning and by week 32 the mind may have even started to function. Your baby still needs more time in the womb to continue maturation, and the build up of fat stores.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Week 31 Update

This week we reach 31 weeks in our pregnancy and are one step closer to Noddy reaching full term. Technically we only have six weeks to go right? A baby born at 37 weeks is considered 'full term' and then we can really let out a sigh of relief.

We are starting to prepare our essentials list for our return trip to India. Bottles, formula, nappies, clothes, baby sling vs carrier, cotton balls, bibs, burp cloths, bottle steriliser, hanger for drying small laundry items in our hotel room, bottle drain stand, ipod, laptop and the other gazillion items to make sure we have every possible scenario covered. Of course this can't be achieved and we will be as prepared as we can be and the rest.....we will deal with if and when we need to. You know we're not going to have a refluxy, colicy baby! PLEASE!

Our wonderful surrogate again this week has been for more check ups and scans and the latest results are looking good for Noddy's development...

A single live foetus is noted in cephalic presentation with spine to the left.

Liquor - Adequate.
Placenta - To the right and Grade O Maturity

BPD - 78.6MM
HC - 286.7MM
FL - 57.2MM
AC - 272.0MM

This week we would also like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the many people who have kindly helped us over the past 12 months plus. Many of you out there we have only ever met in this virtual world and having your support, kindness, encouragement and ever willing ear to listen to us has made our journey much more enjoyable. When we started to seriously consider commercial surrogacy in India we were just as apprehensive and trepidatious as the next person. Having people to email, talk with and allay our anxieties meant we could focus on what was really important and that is creation. Noddy.

We met Stephanie and Adam whilst in Mumbai and their cherub Micah. Chaya and her princess Ella also made us appreciate the reality of what we were about to do and that yes, it is possible!

To our numerous online supporters; M&J, Jason & Brendan, Greg & Rob (can't wait to meet you two), Rhonda & Gerry, Megan & Bob, Lisa & Nik, Jojo and the others I have forgotten....thank you. You all know the stress involved in becoming parents half way around the world and no one else can relate to these crazy emotions more than the people going through the same things as us.

To our wonderful doctors in India, Dr Sudhir and Dr Yash. Words will never express the gratitude and awe we have toward you and your staff for your wonderful commitment to Darren and I. For us, there is no other clinic we would have other than Surrogacy India and will continue to sing your praises to one and all that will listen.

And finally, our family. Both sets of parents and siblings have been amazing in their steadfast support and unwavering faith in us and the desire to become parents. Family is one of the reasons we chose to become parents. We love you all.

Fetal size: crown-rump 28cm (11.2 inches), crown-toe 40cm (18 inches). Fetal weight : 1.6kg (3.5 pounds).
The eyes are now fully formed and the eyelids have separated, allowing your baby's eyes to open. Once the eyes are open, your baby will start to see and focus (within a limited range). Your baby now has a fully developed breathing rhythm and his/her lungs begin to prepare for breathing air in the outside world. Sucking and swallowing skills also continue to develop in preparation for feeding. Your baby passes about half a litre of urine into the amniotic fluid each day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

3D Ultrasound & 30 Week Update

30 weeks....sigh....

We have had a reprieve this week from working on the nursery, most of the planned work as we now know is almost done and there are only minor cosmetic touches left for us to do. We had the wonderful opportunity last night to again chat with our surrogate and Jaya from Surrogacy India. As always she had the most wonderfully smiling face. Always laughing and happy to chat with us and also our parents last night. Both Johnny's parents and Darren's mother had their chance to say Namaste and thank her for the wonderful thing she is doing for us.

We are so eager to return to India to see her and the docs at SI and I know she is keen for us to come back too. Not a day goes by when we are not thinking of her and her family. Praying for their continued good health and happiness. We really do live in a wonderful time to be able to say we are going to be dads with the help of two beautiful woman half way across the world...

Last night we also received some scans from our long awaited 3D ultrasound from two weeks ago on the 29th January.

Wow, amazing, beautiful, tiny & perfect! Words can not begin to express the wonder we both felt at seeing little Noddy's tiny features before he/she will join us. Our hearts are so warm and full of love for our tiny baby that I can not fully express how we feel at seeing these ultrasound images. Just thinking of them and seeing our child gives us goosebumps.


Fetal size: crown-rump 27cm, crown-toe 39cm. Fetal weight 1.4kg (3 pounds). Your baby has increased in size and wont be able to somersault for much longer. Your medical practitioner will be able to ascertain your baby's position by performing an abdominal examination. Your baby keeps gaining weight and maturing. Your baby's brain has grown and the brain cells and nerves are now active. This means that your baby can now engage in more complex learning and movement. From now on there will be less and less room for your baby to move. While your baby has been moving around over the past few months he/she has been building muscle tone and learning how to orientate himself/herself in the uterus. Over the next four weeks your baby will probably lie with his/her head facing upwards, but sometimes a baby will turn upside down and 'engage' or get ready for birth earlier than usual. Your baby starts to gain weight and starts to round out as fat continues to appear beneath the skin. This fat smooths out the wrinkles in the skin. Your baby also begins to control his/her own body temperature. The hair that covered the skin now reduces while the hair on the scalp lengthens. The head and body are now fully in proportion - just like a newborn.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Nursery...A Work in Progress

OK, Noddys room is still a work in progress and not yet completely finished. But I thought I would share with you what we have done so far. Darren and I are not the most handy boys when it comes to home DIY jobs. Give us a paint swatch and some fabric though and LOOK OUT!

So the plans we had for the nursery were always going to involve a little DIY much to our dismay...but I think we have done well so far. The photo to the left is what Noddy's new room (once our study) looked like just over a week ago. Floor to ceiling gingham wallpaper, a very large bookcase, desk, filing cabinets and all of our Christmas supplies in the built in wardrobe made for one busy study. This room overlooks a side veranda on our home and has lovely filtered light throughout the day it will make a beautiful nursery for little Noddy.

Our first step involved wallpaper removal - urgh!
Both Darren and I are wallpaper mad, almost every room in the house has been glued and papered. This is the first time either of us had attempted removing paper. The study had a lovely English vinyl paper that ended up coming away in two parts. The green outer was removed in part first and then we had to steam the backing paper and scrape to remove it, what an effort! The wall was so sticky from the wallpaper paste, but I am pleased to say that it was easier to remove than either one of us had anticipated. We spent a good day steaming the walls and then washing them three times over to try and remove the excess glue from the wall.

So now, walls are free from wallpaper and washed ready to be painted. We spent the next couple of days undercoating the walls with some fantastical, wonderful, expensive undercoat that the salesperson at Bunnings said one simply had to use on walls that had previously been wallpapered if you don't want your finished wall to have a mother of pearl finish. The walls were given two coats of undercoat paint by our resident Matisse and then it was onto the next task at hand, preparing for the stripe. Originally we were headed for a circus theme and wanted a candy stripe on the walls. A thin stripe of white, red, green etc and then continuing in the same method but that idea went out the window as too tricky. Blame it on sympathy baby brain! We even spent some time trying to find a striped wallpaper as it is much easier to paper than to tape a wall and then paint a stripe! Even with industry contacts we couldn't find a paper that we liked and colour matching is also a bit hit and miss so we opted for a painted finish instead. Darren did the undercoating of the walls whilst his mum, Lynnie and I prepared the timber railing for the bottom half of the walls. I even used a drop saw (is that what it's called)???

The taping of the walls to measure the stripe took us close to three days to complete! We were both so chuffed when we started, we had a glass of wine in one hand, tape measure in the other and away we went.

"Isn't this easy" says Darren
" We're so handy" say I

....Ha! We had finished one wall and I, oblivious to any mathematical error singing along to the Carpenters was rudely interrupted by Darren telling me we had to start again. Why? Because we hadn't calculated the width of the tape when taking measurements for the white stripe between each of the green stripes. So, that was that. We gave up and took a fresh approach the following night, minus the wine.

This was probably the most arduous task so far in 'Operation Nursery'. Once this was done and we double checked our measurements we began the exciting task of painting the walls with our chosen colour. We were lucky enough to be kept in check by one of the two resident feline site managers, Billy, who ensures there was no slacking off on our part! We then had to get our hard hats back on to install the timber panelling that we wanted below the green stripe. And then this too, had to be painted and painted and painted! We also extended our handyman skills to assembling the cot we bought back in November.

We still have lots to do but at least you can start to see the nursery coming together. The timber rail above the panelling needs to be painted and we need to change the light fixture as it is far too low now. We still need to paint some timber furniture too and buy linen. We have a cot and mattress but no linen! But these are things that will happen over the coming weeks before we head back to India. At least we have a nursery that is 90% complete and ready for the newest member of our family. Tell us what you think

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 29 Update & Noddy's Stats

29 weeks! Both Darren and I are now starting to feel like we're on a train headed down hill and the driver is not using the brakes!

It's funny that even now I have small milestones in my head that when reached, I exhale and let out a small sigh of relief. Next week will be another of those milestones...30 weeks.

Noddy is doing so well and appears very content with his/her current uterine residence that we hope it stays that way for many weeks still. Last night we received the results from our surrogate's latest ultrasound and tests. She must be starting to feel sick and tired of all these darn tests, but all that we hear from Dr Sudhir is that she is always smiling and happy. What a wonderful person she is and again we are so blessed to have her helping us complete our dream of becoming parents. Our home computer has been out of action for around a week since we had a major thunder storm resulting in our modem being fried. As of late last night however, after spending a lengthy amount of time on the phone for internet support, we're back online!

We did miss the opportunity to SKYPE with our surrogate the night before last which was disappointing, Dr Sudhir said that she was so looking forward to seeing us again and chatting. Now that we are back in the land of the internet enabled, SKYPE has been booked in for next week when next she returns to SI's clinic. We were happy though to have some results on Noddy's development to this date:

BPD - 7.79cm compatible with 31w2d (head measurement side to side)
HC - 27.95cm compatible with 30w4d (head circumference)
FL - 5.36cm compatible with 28w3d (femur length, thigh bone)
AC - 24.30cm compatible with 28w44 (abdominal circumference)
EST Fetal Weight - 1293gms

EDD - 11 April 2010

Now the due date above is sooner than we had thought. The due date from conception was around 24-26 April and then our date was brought forward a month or so ago to 18 April 2010 and now 11 April 2010. Lets hope that Noddy sticks around for as close to the 40 week mark as possible. Darren and I have booked our airfares yesterday with Qantas via Singapore and we arrive into Mumbai on the morning of the 11th April. We were booked to spend all our time at the VITS but have changed this to the Renaissance Hotel at Powai as I managed to secure an amazing rate as a travel agent that could not be beat.


Fetal size: crown-rump 26cm (10.4 inches), crown-toe 38cm (16.7 inches). Fetal weight 1.25kg (2.7 pounds). Over the last five weeks your baby has doubled it's weight. Your baby grows so quickly that even a few weeks growth will have a big effect on your baby's size. A baby born between 37 and 42 weeks is considered term and full mature at birth. A baby born prior to 37 weeks is considered to be premature and requires specialist medical attention. Today, rapid medical intervention has enabled babies born as early as 25 weeks to survive, although they face many possible complications and weeks in hospital. The further a pregnancy develops the higher the chances of a better outcome for mother and baby.