Friday, March 26, 2010

Two Week Countdown

Tomorrow, Saturday will mark 14 days until our departure from Sydney and more importantly, our return to Mumbai to see Dr Sudhir, Dr Yash, Team SI, our wonderful surrogate and finally meet our darling Noddy.

Giving myself over to the thought of finally becoming a parent gives me unbearable pins and needles throughout my entire body. Goosebumps, dizziness and tingling in the base of my neck are just some of the sensations when I imagine our child in our lives. A child that no one can take from us. A child that will call us it's parents. A child that will wake in the morning and want us, it's daddies to hug and take care of them. My mind is racing at a million miles an hour and I keep repeating to myself that WE ARE ABOUT TO BECOME PARENTS!!!

Last night we had the opportunity to again chat with our surrogate on SKYPE and see her happy smiling face. Having such fantastic technology available to us and a willing surrogate to chat regularly has made the past nine months seem all the more real for Darren and I. We have been encouraged by the positive news and feedback during the course of our surrogate's pregnancy for us. Some IPs have chosen to visit India mid pregnancy which is a great way to stay in touch with your chosen surrogate but for us we opted not to do this. SKYPE had made the many, many miles seem not so far and our surrogate closer to us which we are grateful for. We asked our SM last night how she was feeling and if baby Noddy was moving much to which she replied that our baby likes to dance of a night time! She cracked up laughing and so did the other girls in the room with her. Every time she laughes it is so contagious and makes us happy. A happy pregnancy = a happy baby!

Below is a screen shot from our chat last night on SKYPE. SI clients will recognise the happy smiling face of Jaya in the background, one of the members of "Team SI".

Fetal size : crown-rump 34cm (13.5 inches), crown-toe 46cm (20.7 inches). Fetal weight 2.75 kgs (6 pounds). From about 24 weeks it is possible for your health care professional to determine what position your baby is in. This may change quite a few times as your baby grows, until some time between 32-36 weeks, when the baby runs out of room. A baby usually lies in the cephalic position, that it head down and legs curled up towards the ribs. This is an ideal position, as a baby's head is larger than the rest of it's body, so if the head fits through the pelvis, the rest of the body will. On less frequent occasions, the baby can be in a breach position, where it's head is under the ribs and the feet pointing toward your pelvis.
This is when the baby's head has entered the pelvis. It usually occurs at around week 36 for a first time pregnancy and later if you have already had a child.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why The Questions?

Is this normal practice when you congratulate expecting parents? I know that when family, friends or work colleagues announced they were expecting we never asked these sort of questions or made such comments. Perhaps it's because we're a same sex couple. Maybe people think because we don't have a traditional 'mother' in our family unit that some how we won't be able to cope and people seem to be counting down the day til our demise. It could be that after 13 years together, people think Darren and I are looking at impending parenthood through rose coloured glasses? Or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive and perhaps they are right...

Am I crazy and delusional?

Are we wrong to be so excited about Noddy's birth that smelly nappies and sleepless nights don't come into the equation? We know that with a newborn baby comes sleep deprivation. We know that our time is no longer our own. We know that for the rest of our lives we will have a life depending on us as parents. We know that we may never again be able to leave the house, hair perfectly quiffed and shirts vomit free and you know what........we can't wait!

Some of the questions and comments I'm referring to that some people seem to be throwing our way include:

" You won't know what hit you" - Thanks, I never thought of our baby as a hazardous projectile!

" Give it five to six weeks and then I'll ask you again" - The reply when asked if we're excited.

"Just wait til the baby won't sleep and stop crying" - Response to Johnny's excitement of being a stay at home dad.

Then there's the chuckle from mothers. A chuckle similar to a secret handshake as though they are members of an exclusive club and now that we have 'signed on the dotted line' there's no turning back. A chuckle so sinister that it's true meaning will only be understood by us when Noddy arrives. Then and only then does the reality of membership to this club reveal itself.

I now want to ask a question. Does this happen to you dear reader? Is this normal and have you had to answer such questions or had similar comments thrown your way? Like I said, perhaps I am the crazy, delusional and overly sensitive one here?

What do you think?

Noddy's room is not quite 100% complete but we are almost there. The timber has all been painted and the prints we bought at Disney Land in 2005 finally have a home in Noddy's room. There is still a bookcase and toy box to paint and then that's it. No more painting of furniture. YAY! All of Noddy's clothes and bed linen has been washed and folded and we have his/her bags packed for our return to India. We on the other hand will most likely pack a few days prior to our scheduled departure.

Fetal size: crown-rump 33cm (13.2 inches), crown-toe 45cm (20.25 inches). Fetal weight: 2.5kg (5.5 pounds). Fat has continued to build up under your baby's skin and is responsible for providing energy and regulating body temperature. These fat deposits have also changed the appearance of the skin, making it pinker (rather than red) and less wrinkled. Fingernails are developed on the fingers, but still may be growing on the toes. Eyelids can be opened and closed and blinking is possible. The irises are also now light sensitive and will dilate and contract depending on exposure to light.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 34 Update

34 weeks! You can't begin to imagine the smile from ear to ear on our faces at the moment; well, I know that some of you can! Noddy's impending arrival is becoming very, very emotional for us and every time we hear from Drs Yash and Sudhir with a photo, report or ultrasound scan we're elated. Daily we're being greeted with "not long now" and "is the baby here yet", from friends and extended family.

This morning for instance, I woke as usual and first thing was to turn on the computer. Every morning I wake, check for emails, photos, scans, then it's off to blogger to see what's been happening to our surrogacy buddies world wide, then the SI forum for new posts and updates, then the Australian Embassy website in New Delhi for any changes to requirements for children born in India from a commercial surrogacy arrangement and then my work emails. Once this morning ritual is complete I can then feed the cats, change their litter trays, iron shirts for work, make the bed, have breakfast and then feed myself and get ready for work. Usually it's Darren who is the first to leave for work but not today. When I woke and saw the above photo and the latest email from Dr Yash I ran upstairs smiling to myself and thinking, "we may be soon be waking up to an email or phone call that our SM going into labour"!

We're on the one month count down folks!

This wasn't the case this morning though. Our dear surrogate had an ultrasound two days ago and we were reading the results and an email from Dr Yash telling us that from next week, week 35 our SM will be moved to the SI clinic for the remainder of the pregnancy to monitor her so that should she go into labour early she is being cared for and looked after. We re-packed Noddy's bags last night, nappies, bibs, bottles, singlets and what seems like a thousand other items for such a small person. At least we'll be prepared!

Latest results on Noddy's development are;
BPD - 8.94cms compatible with 36w1d
HC - 32.77cms compatible with 37w2d
FL - 6.58cms compatible with 33w6d
AC - 31.48cms compatible with 35w3d

FHR - 114bpm
Average Gestational Age - 35w5d
EDD - 08 April 2010

Fetal size: crown-rump 32cm (12.8 inches), crown-toe 44cm (19.8 inches). Fetal weight: 2.25kg (5 pounds). Your baby is now perfectly formed and has the proportions of a newborn. Now it's simply a matter of your baby gaining some weight and doing some further maturing before he/she is ready to be born. It's becoming more cramped in your uterus as your baby continues to mature. Consequently your baby curls up more and starts to move a bit less. Everything is mature now except for the lungs which will continue to prepare themselves for breathing air after birth. Although the lungs are not fully developed, almost all babies born at 34 weeks will survive, but will probably experience some breathing difficulties.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our Baby Shower

Yesterday we had a great group of 35 family and friends celebrate an afternoon of 'Bombay Baby Madness', our baby shower. We had planned a garden party but the always unpredictable Blue Mountains weather had other ideas and we ended up indoors.

We had a wonderful afternoon celebrating with some close friends and family and we're sure everyone had a great time too. Not everyone we invited was able to make it but we know those of you that couldn't make it in person were there in spirit, sipping bubbles from afar! How great do our cupcakes look!

Johnny's younger sister as you know from earlier posts is a cake decorator extraordinaire! Beck did such a wonderful job and the cupcakes were yummy. Thank you to all the wonderful people who came and shared our day with us. I had very, very grand plans and some of them had to go out the window at the last minute. We did want to arrange somebody to come to the shower to apply henna to our hands but at more than $300 that idea was given the flick. We did purchase some henna cones ourselves and made stencils and were ready but ran out of time on the day. I did though have time the day prior to try my hand at some mehndi on our two nieces Emerson and Makayla.

We had a yummy Indian themed lunch consisting of saffron rice, chicken tikka, dhal and eggplant curry, vegetable samosa and a selection of naan and pappadums.

The day could not have been the smashing success that it was without the help of our wonderful family. Our parents who have been helping us over the past months leading up to this day, helping us with purchases, organising and decorating the house and Noddy's room. To our sisters who helped out immensely on the day both in and out of the kitchen enabling us to mingle and enjoy the company of our friends, thank you! We have a wonderful family and to have you share this day with us was a dream come true for the two of us and one we will remember fondly when Noddy is harassing us to borrow the car!

Noddy's room is almost complete. We're 99.97% there. We have one piece of furniture left to paint and Darren has offered to do this. We have managed to empty the wardrobe in his/her room and put our Christmas ornaments in storage boxes. Darren has framed some wonderfully cute pictures of Pooh Bear, Snuglepot and CuddlePie (Australian gumnut babies) and Big Bird to hang on the walls and finished painting a mirror we had in our old study which now finds a home in Noddy's room. When complete, we'll post a few photos here for you all to admire!

It's true that dreams really do come true and we are so very, very grateful to have reached for the stars and manged to find Noddy. I hope that those of you out there contemplating surrogacy take the plunge and reach for the stars too. You may get a pleasant surprise just as we have.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Week 33 Update

Have a look at that wonderful belly! I wish we were already in India. We really want to spend some time with our surrogate before she goes into labour and Noddy joins us. I pray we have this chance. Noddy is developing beautifully and it looks like the elevated WBC count from last week is decreasing which is a relief both for us, the docs and our surrogate. From this latest photo sent to us by Dr Sudhir, you can really tell that our surro. has put on weight, especially in her face. I hope she is happy and healthy. She must now be really starting to tire and be coming to the end of her patience with Noddy growing so well. When we last spoke with her on skype, she said the baby must be very hungry as she is eating lots! If those chubby cheeks on our latest 3D scans are anything to go by, she is right!

The latest results from Drs Sudhir and Yash on Noddy's development are:

BPD: 8.32 cms
HC: 30.00cms
FL: 6.45cms
AC: 27.45cms
FHR: 131bpm
EST Fetal Weight: 1955gms
EDD: 14 April 2010
The placenta is anterior and grade II in maturity
The amniotic fluid level is adequate
The internal os is closed
Cervical length 3.56cm

We are hoping to chat with her again tonight, our home PC has been done....again! Our replacement as been couriered to us today and I'll set it up after dinner. This Sunday we are having our baby shower and I'll be sure to post photos for those of you overseas or interstate that can't be here in person. Currently the weather forecast is a little stratchy. Not sure if we'll have sunshine and warmth on an Autumn day or not. I hope so. We've been getting gift packs ready for our surrogate's kids for our return to Mumbai and want to find something special for her too. We are thinking a piece of jewellery (maybe ear rings or a bracelet)?

Noddy's room is almost complete. The light we bought and painted has been installed and looks great! We have one last piece of furniture to paint and then that's it. No more painting! YAY!When everything is in it's place we will post a few pics to share with you all. Tomorrow will mark the five week count down until we fly back to Mumbai. I hope Noddy can hang in there until our arrival and that he/she is kind to our dear surrogate in these last weeks of her pregnancy for us.

Fetal size: crown-rump 30cm (12 inches), crown-toe: 43cm (19.4 inches). Fetal weight: 2kg (4.4 pounds). Until week 20, your baby spent most of it's time in a wakeful state. Between weeks 20 and 28, he/she started to have periods of activity and quiet. After week 28 your baby started to experience active sleep (eyes and body moving, heart rate speeding up then slowing down, facial expressions changing and changing breathing patterns). From week 28 onwards, it is likely that your baby starts to develop a pattern of deep sleep and active sleep. During the active sleep periods, your baby's brain undergoes stimulation, which probably helps it to mature.