as promised, this weeks update will be full of fun stuff! photos, sentimental texts, and pregnancy mishaps that will be sure to give you some good entertainment (at my expense).
so, let's start with the laughs. don't worry friends this will only be embarrassing for me, you just get to sit back, read the comedic events of this week, and laugh....a lot.
pregnancy is a beautiful thing, i really believe that. pregnant women often have a glow about them, our hair gets thick and shiny, our skin is clear and our nails are long and lovely. at the same time, pregnancy can also make us feel less than pretty, huge, and exhausted. we even lose the energy to get up and fix our hair in the mornings, do our make up and shave our legs. keeping other.....umm....."areas" ....tidy is even more of a chore. in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy i admit, i am guilty of not maintaining anything as i normally would. yep. that's right, i am going there. deal with it, or scroll down a couple paragraphs to avoid it.
in a matter of weeks i am going to be laboring and giving birth with more than a handful of people in the room. besides my midwife, nurses and my husband, we have invited the fathers of this baby, one of my best friends and our professional photographer to be present for the birth. yes, i know that no one is going to be paying attention to the hair (or lack there of) on my body, and yes i know that nurses and doctors see these things everyday, but i prefer to be groomed to my preferences knowing i will be naked in a room with more than half a dozen people. i thought about getting a wax this week, but the esthetician i see is all the way across town and it isn't exactly an affordable service. plus, i am only in my 35th week, i thought to myself "i should be able to manage trimming up my lady parts like the grown woman i am right?" wrong. oh, so so wrong. shaving my armpits was a breeze, my legs were more difficult, but still doable. i figured using my bikini trimmer after my relaxing bath was the best bet, but soon it was clear that my growing belly made this task much more challenging than i was expecting. i couldn't see much...down there, i couldn't push this big belly to the side far enough to be able to see much more, and there was no way i was taking a mirror out. nope. that was just not an option. so instead i decided to stretch and twist my body as much as i could to get the job done. the entire mission i was on was unsuccessful and i am sure would have been hilarious to watch. not only did things not get neat and tidy, i actually pulled a muscle in my shoulder while attempting this and although i continued to push through the pain in my shoulder, my bikini trimmer died and forced me to abort the mission prematurely. and then there i was sitting on the side of the tub in our bathroom naked, with useless bikini trimmer, a sore shoulder, and lady parts that were partially trimmed in some areas and still overgrown in others. luckily the sore muscle recovered, my bikini trimmer got charged, and a couple weeks later i was able to complete the mission without injury. even so, note to myself (or any pregnant woman reading this): if your 30 + weeks pregnant and want to get things neat and tidy down there...just schedule the damn wax.
as if that adventure wasn't laughable and embarrassing enough, i had another unfortunate pregnancy mishap this week. only this time, it was in public. a short trip to target on my lunch break to pick up a prescription ended up with me walking into a meeting late blushing, with new pants and $30 less in my wallet. no! people i did not pee my pants. i guess that's the silver lining of this story, although i've still got 5 weeks left so let's not shut the idea down all together just yet. ok, so you would think maternity jeans would be pretty flexible right? well the pair i wore that day didn't have much give, or maybe i just have that much ass right now. either way they couldn't handle the stress put on them when i squatted down to grab something. i could hear it loud and clear, and i am sure anyone in the aisle on either side of me could hear it as well. an obnoxious "rrrrriiiiip" echoed up and down the aisle and i knew instantly it was bad. i knew the jeans wouldn't be salvageable and that my underwear were surely showing through the wide hole on my backside. of course this is the day i decided to wear a standard fitted t-shirt instead of my usual longer and loose tunic. a tunic would have covered me while i finished grabbing my groceries, got my prescription and searched the maternity section for a new pair of jeans. instead i was trying to hide myself with my shopping cart and over the shoulder bag that really didn't help cover my ripped jeans at all. standing in line for 10 minutes with countless eyes and other shoppers behind me wasn't ideal. the entire time i was wondering if they were discreetly laughing at the big pregnant lady in front of them with the purple underwear and new jeans in her shopping cart. i couldn't even bare to turn around and look. when i got back to work i had to run into the bathroom, change my clothes and walk into a meeting late. i was still blushing from embarrassment and even though no one knew what had just happened at target i felt like all eyes were on me and they must have noticed that my pants were different and come to their own equally embarrassing conclusions about what happened.
needless to say, this week was full of adventure and i am laughing about it now because it really was quite comical. the excitement this week also included some time with our family photographer paul, owner of paul rich studio. he has been gracious enough to share some of these images and so many kind words on his blog here. we ventured to downtown portland over the weekend with him and stephanie and despite some crazy weather, we were able to put smiles on our cold faces, trump through the wet grass, and avoid slipping in the mud for a maternity photo shoot. with cherry blossoms in full bloom and paul behind the lens we were able to capture some images of this growing belly of mine and of this amazing little family of ours.
the text messages between paul and i that morning were ridiculous. due to the questionable and constantly changing weather, i think we changed the time of our photo shoot 3-4 times before finally just saying "lets do it" and meeting downtown about 12:30 pm. the clouds were dark and gray and the wind was blowing hard. there was some rain, but it was light enough that we were able to avoid umbrellas most of shoot. the girls were such troopers and were not phased too much by the extreme conditions.
paul and stephanie were awesome, they braved the conditions with us, took breaks when we needed to hide from the wind, and in just a short 40 minute session were able to capture some amazing photos of our family and of this pregnancy that i will treasure forever.
i love that we were able to get these photos and that i have something to help share a part of this story. i mean, how blessed am i? i have this amazing husband who has given me the opportunity to be a mother to these two incredible and beautiful little girls, and now the three of them are supporting and encouraging me in this dream i have to help another family have a baby. toby has stood by me, his hand wrapped around mine during invasive medical exams and testing, the girls have witnessed and even on occasion helped with the injections i had to give myself to prepare for the embryo transfer and to keep this pregnancy viable. they have all sacrificed time, energy, and their feelings to help me get through the hard parts of this journey. they have had to adapt to my changes in mood, energy level and physical abilities. they have taken the brunt of my exhaustion, frustration and emotional lows. and they haven't complained once. our family of four has been entrusted with a fifth member of our home for the last 8 months. we have been asked to care for him, provide for him and nurture him in all the ways he needs before he is ready to go home with his daddies in april. and i am so proud of my husband and my daughters for being everything i have needed them to be during this time so that i could keep this baby boy safe and healthy. i could not have done this without them and their constant love.
these images don't just show a surrogate mother and her family smiling under the cherry blossoms on a cold spring afternoon, they show the love and support that is around me everyday, the same love and support that this baby has been surrounded with for the last 8 months. when i look at these photos, i see the greatest blessings i have surrounding the greatest little blessing that A&B will have very soon.
as i began the 35th week of this pregnancy i sent the guys the picture below and a text about what was going on with their little guy this week.
"baby boy is the size of a canary melon, pineapple or coconut.
he's active almost all the time and is kicking me in the ribs and punching my cervix on a regular basis.
he has two little girls who talk to him everyday and remind me how big i am getting by often saying "mommy you are so pregnant!"
your little guy is almost ready for his arrival, he's putting on weight, he probably sucks his thumb occasionally and his lungs are almost ready to breathe on their own outside of this warm and cozy home he's had the last 8 months.
he's only about 5 1/2 lbs of cuteness right now, but he will be the biggest blessing you'll every have. he's going to challenge you, amaze you and bring you more joy thank you could possibly dream of.
we are getting closer everyday and are just honored to be caring for your baby boy until he's ready to be in your arms!
i am nervous, i am excited, but mostly i am just looking forward to his birthday next month and for you guys to get to hold your son for the first time.
sorry to get all sappy on ya....blame the pregnancy hormones!"
the guys loved the update and sent back an equally touching text that made me smile and was yet another reminder of the amazing story we are all a part of.
and in closing out this update and the amazing week i have had, i want to share one more thing with you.
by the end of this week, i realized that exactly a year ago i just had a failed embryo transfer with another couple. we were thinking and praying a lot about whether or not we would continue pursuing me becoming a surrogate. ultimately that failed transfer, and every other obstacle that has come along the way in this 4 year journey just made me more certain of what i wanted to do.
i wanted to help someone have a baby that otherwise would not have been able to. that's all there was to it. it was that simple.
so we pushed forward, looked at more profiles and in april found another match. that was almost 11 months ago and in another month we will finish what we sought out to do over 4 years ago by helping A&B welcome their son into their world. the closer we get to this little boys birthday, the more humbled we feel to be here. this pregnancy has had some ups and downs, but sitting here finishing this post all i feel is happy, content, and honored to be here; able to write about this journey and our part in this little guys story.