MicroblogMondays: Babymoon Number One?

We are in the middle of our babymoon, or what I call “an excuse to go play”.  Or should I say “Babymoon Number One”?  I will explain later.

We wanted to go away before the babies come.   When we planned it a little while ago, May seemed like a good month to go because we would be well into our second trimester and things should be going pretty well.  (That was before the whole anxiety attack saga went down.)  The destination of choice is an area a bit over an hour from home.  Our niece is a freshman at a local college there so I really strived to visit before her quarter ends.  I feel so lucky that we found this quaint bed and breakfast in a very quaint town.  Restaurants and shops are within walking distance to the inn.  The room rates are reasonable.  The town is a short drive to everywhere we would want to go.  And how blessed we are that the world an hour away is totally different from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The trip started with a massage that both Bob and I desperately needed.  My left shoulder had been hurting and Bob had been complaining about his upper back (and also been asking for a massage from me daily).  That turned out to be the best way to set the right tone for the rest of the weekend.  I was hoping and praying that my period would stay away until after the massage.  I knew that my last period started on May 1st, so it was highly likely that Aunt Flow would visit around the first day of our trip.  To my very pleasant surprise, AF was nowhere to be found and I got to have the most amazing massage ever.  I know massages.  I am picky.  So for me to say that it was amazing I really am not joking.   After I informed the massage therapist my preference of firm pressure, she got to work.  I knew to breathe through whatever she was doing so we were in unison.  Have you ever had a massage where you don’t have to tell the therapist what to do and he/she does exactly what you would like?  My massage was exactly that.  She was so intuitive that I felt like we were in sync with each other.  Every stroke felt so good and intentional.  To say that I was in paradise was an understatement.  I am already plotting to return someday hopefully even after the babies arrive.  And guess what?  My body knew exactly what I wanted.  My flow started about 15 minutes after my massage concluded.  It was weird and wonderful at the same time that my body knew to hold off on the flow.

We checked in to the lovely bed and breakfast.  It is a tiny four-room inn and I have no complaints about it.  The innkeepers are warm and welcoming.  The wife of the team kept on calling my husband Cutie Patootie which was hilarious and fun.  We picked up our niece and saw her dorm for the first time before she leaves for the year and returns to another dorm next year.  She had picked out a Mongolian/Russian restaurant in town and we enjoyed a very delicious meal with lamb riblets, dumplings, and this amazing carrot salad.  I am not usually a carrot fan but it was so good that I requested an extra order of this dish.  We caught up with our niece about her school life, about her summer plans, and our babies.  It just amazes me that my niece has grown into this mature young adult and we are just starting our own family with the babies that are still baking.  It just boggles my mind sometimes how the life paths of siblings (me and my brother in this case) could be so different.

We slept 9 1/2 hours.  Many people joke about how much sleep we won’t get and tell us to sleep as much as we can. We know that you cannot store sleep but we still cherish the chance to sleep as many hours as we want right now.  Breakfast was home cooked and delicious:

After breakfast, we headed to a local state park for the highlight of our trip: meeting up with Rain, McRuger, Cadet, and Pumpkin.

I had been following Rain at Weathering Storms ever since before I became Isabelle on Binky Moongee.  I started reading even before they were matched with Cadet and his birth mother.  I feel like I know her and her family because I do.  I remember the details of that adoption and subsequently with Pumpkin’s adoption.  Seeing the boys grow up with such a wonderful couple  just warms my heart.  Knowing that we live in the same geographical area always made me want to get together with her.  I knew that she recently moved to the area where my niece goes to school.  Once I knew that we were going to spend a couple of days there, I immediately contacted her to see if she’d be available.  And I had been so looking forward to this weekend ever since we made plans with her.

I have got to tell you that meeting up with a fellow blogger who knows you has got to be one of the most marvelous experiences in the world.  I have been blessed with meeting quite a few bloggers and this experience never ceases to amaze me.  There was basically no awkward period to get through because you know them and they know you.  I didn’t have to update Rain about the things that were happening now because hey guess what?  She read the latest blog post already.  It was simply hanging out, “catching up” (although we really just met in person for the first time), and marveling at our fortune of seeing and touching the real person behind the screen.  Pumpkin and Cadet are just so adorable.  They look exactly like their photos.  I just love Rain and her husband.  I wish that we lived closer to one another so we could have a walk in the park every single weekend.  I am so happy for Rain that she is living the life that is so good for her family and her health.  It looks like small town life really suits her.  I feel so blessed to have met this wonderful soul in person.

Sunday afternoon was as lazy and relaxing as could be.  Bob took a nice long nap in the room.  I sat in the back porch of the bed and breakfast and wrote this blog post while listening to the breeze gently blowing the leaves and the subtle sound of the nearby creek.

I even managed to read a few chapters of my novel uninterrupted as I had the open area of the inn all by myself.  This is my definition of a perfect vacation.  Some active time and some down time.

Things on the food front were great on this trip as well.  In additional to the dinner with my niece and the breakfasts, we had a leisurely lunch (over 1.5 hours) and a relaxing and slow dinner (over 2 hours).  Bob had a beer flight at an alehouse for lunch.

The German meal for dinner was within walking distance to our inn.  My pork shank was such a delight: flavorful and tender inside, crispy on the outside.  I did Chinese people proud by cleaning all the meat off the bone.  The mushroom sauce on Bob’s dish was delicious.  I thought we didn’t have room for dessert, but I was totally wrong.  We had crepes with chocolate and hazelnut sauce.

We are going home today.  As far as a long weekend goes, this has been one perfect one.  So why am I calling this Babymoon Number One?  A few weeks ago, Bob asked me if he could go to a work conference in Hawaii in July.  Initially I was a little hesitant about it because we would be about 30 to 31 weeks into our pregnancy.  But then I thought about it, and thought what the heck.  Let’s just enjoy life and plan for it.  Bob went ahead and bought his plane ticket.  And then this thought crept into our heads.  What if I tagged along and went with him?  Hotel will already be paid for.  I would just need to purchase a plane ticket.  After a lot of contemplation (such as using up vacation time, the babies’ possible early arrival, and the cost), we decided that we should just take this opportunity for me to play before the babies come.  So I did!  I bought a plane ticket along with travel insurance (just in case we need to cancel) for me to go for about 6 day to Honolulu!  Bob will be very busy with his work conference even on the weekend.  I will most likely be playing by myself one last time before our babies take up our lives.  So should I even be calling that Babymoon Number Two if we are going to have fun separately?  I’d say so!  It will be our one last chance before we enjoy having two extra little people enriching our lives.  I know I will thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the downtime before craziness starts.

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Help Us Out: Tell Us About Your Pregnancy

In light of our recent development, Bob and I are asking for your help.

Since I have frequent contact with Annie, I get a more detailed description of what she is going through.  Bob is more far removed from it all as it is not his wife who is carrying his babies for him.  He does not see first-hand the struggles that she has.  He does not get to witness her day-to-day moments in order to appreciate how difficult a pregnancy can be at times.  This is where you can help.

Could you share with us the physical and emotional struggles that you had or currently have during your pregnancy(ies)?  Turtle (Torthuil) described in her comment to my last post that pregnancy was a great time of emotional vulnerability for her.  Did you all experience that?  How will you describe your experience?

Hopefully your input will help us relate to our surrogate more.

Thanks in advance.

MicroblogMondays: Challenges of Surrogacy – Anxiety Attack

 

(Warning: Another very long post)

After months of honeymoon, we have entered into a difficult phase of this pregnancy with our gestational surrogate.

Everything had been going well up until our 20 weeks ultrasound.  My trip was good.  Physically Annie felt great.  The babies were well.  The OB (not our regular one) who was seeing her for the first time said, “You are pretty darn healthy.” And it was exactly it.  She is very healthy.  She commented that the only thing that she was afraid of was the hemorrhoids coming back as she suffered so much from them at the end of her last pregnancy.  She was out of commission for seven weeks and could not even take care of her newborn.  She was traumatized by the anxiety of having hemorrhoids.  She said as long as they stay away, she’d be fine.  I remember standing in her kitchen hanging out with her and asking her if this pregnancy felt any different from her last three.  She shook her head and said she felt good.  I was feeling blessed that this pregnancy, other than the headaches that she had for a period of time, was going well.

Everything came crashing down two days later on a Saturday.  She messaged me several times asking for prayers as she was emotionally weak and super anxious because she could feel an internal hemorrhoid forming.  In the mean time, I continued to plan for things that we discussed about, such as asking for an ultrasound scan for the 24 weeks visit as well as to plan for a maternity shoot to coincide with the 28 weeks ultrasound.  Let me back up a little bit. The OB we saw the last visit wasn’t the regular OB.  I don’t know what he was smoking, but he told us that an ultrasound wasn’t needed at either 24 or 28 weeks as long as Annie feels good.  I distinctively remember our OB mentioning 24 and 28 weeks ultrasounds especially because this is a twin pregnancy. But I wasn’t going to argue with this substitute OB.  I messaged our regular OB and the response was to schedule the ultrasound.  I then wrote Annie telling her that we’d schedule an ultrasound the day we had scheduled for the 24 weeks appointment.  I also mentioned about the possibility of doing a maternity photo shoot plus the 28 week ultrasound.   The response from her shocked me.  She asked why I needed an ultrasound at 24 weeks, and said she wouldn’t do one because it would be on a day she would have her children with her, and that’d stress her out too much.

When I read that message, I was shocked that she said No to me, as well as feeling turned off by her.  The Annie that I knew had always been agreeable to what is the best for the babies.  And we have been doing ultrasound scans at every single visit.  I know that she does not like to leave her kids with babysitters and often prefers to schedule appointments on the days her husband has off.  But her monthly allowance is exactly what this is for: to pay for babysitting when necessary.  And this is necessary.  We need to check the growth of the babies to make sure that they are fine.  I sensed that it wasn’t a good day to speak with her.  She must have had a very very difficult day on that day.  So I told her that I would talk to her later about it, but I was so turned off that I didn’t even want to fly over at 28 weeks for the ultrasound or to pay for the maternity photo shoot.

Later that afternoon, Annie sent me the saddest bump photo ever.  I haven’t posted it on the page yet, and probably won’t because I don’t want to be reminded of how sad she was.  I know that you guys don’t get to see her face anyways, but in this one, she looked away from the camera with a very disturbed, sad look on her face.  I messaged her back saying, “You are really struggling there, aren’t you?”  She responded, “Yes.”  I really needed to understand what exactly she was going through, so I connected with the person closest to her: her husband.

I just have to say, I adore Kenneth.  He is even-keeled and very clear on how he expresses himself.  We spoke on the phone for about 15 minutes for me to understand what exactly Annie was going through, why she seemed to be a changed person suddenly, and what we could do to help her.  Kenneth said that this is basically Annie’s biggest fear in life, even bigger than the possibility of him losing his job.  She was hospitalized twice in the past with the pain of hemorrhoids, and like I said, couldn’t even take care of her newborn for weeks when she suffered from it last.  The fact that she started having them so early in the pregnancy rather than when they usually show up in the 3rd trimester means that she is anticipating the pain and suffering for many weeks to come.  This is something that just comes at any time, and there is no prevention if one is forming.  The pain is sometimes so excruciating that she can’t even bend down to pick up a toy without it hurting like crazy.  It diminishes her quality of life and prevents her from doing her job as a mom, a teacher (she homeschools her kiddos), and a wife.  Hence her anxiety of the pains and suffering that may come is extremely high.  Annie is proactive about it and had gone to the specialist but there is nothing much he could do because of the pregnancy.  So he banded the ones that she had on that day but couldn’t treat the ones that may or may not be coming.  Kenneth was very nice about it.  He acknowledged how hard it must have had been for me because I had been feeling so helpless living so many miles away.  He said that there is nothing anyone can do but to pray that the hemorrhoids stay away and do not come back.  He told me that Winnie, our surrogacy agent, had the same issues during her last couple of pregnancies and would be a good person to talk to.

Winnie, bless her heart, picked up the phone right away. She explained to me how debilitating this condition could be and how much Annie had been proactively treating it: drinking lots and lots of water and taking fibers. But it is what it is.  We need to give her a lot of grace, time, and space.  She told Annie to take it one day at a time, celebrating the good days and give herself grace on the bad days.  I am so thankful that Winnie is there to support Annie.  And for her to give me the perspective that pregnancies are very hard, and I can’t expect zero drama during this pregnancy.  Again, we celebrate when things are good, and hang in there with each other when things aren’t.  She did confirm with me that 24 and 28 weeks ultrasounds are standard so I could just send Annie a friendly email asking her to reschedule it at a time when her husband can watch the kids.

This is one of the moments when I think that having an agency as a third party in a surrogacy situation is so important.

But at the same time, I have been feeling down about it.  That was exactly the moment that I just wished that I’d be like a normal person with a normal uterus so I could just dictate my own body and my own life rather than relying on another person’s help completely.  It is a very vulnerable feeling.  I am not going to lie.  It has been extremely difficult for me.

Things went way downhill the next day.  I didn’t sleep well the night before.  I drafted a very nice email to Annie asking her to schedule an ultrasound on a day her husband is available because it is very important to me and Bob.  I didn’t send it until noon time.  Shortly after, Annie wrote me back telling me that she called but the doctor’s office didn’t even have us down on the original date.  And she would go see our OB on the following Monday (today) to discuss about her anxiety, so she could reschedule then.  Not even five minutes after I got her email, she wrote me a FB message with one word: “Pray”.  I didn’t understand as I had been praying for her.  She wrote another word “Now”.  Then she typed up a message that I didn’t understand, which had her husband’s name and the word “hospital” in it.  It alarmed me so much that I called her.

On the phone, Annie was sobbing and a bit incoherent.  She said she was feeling good all morning, making phone calls to doctor’s.  Suddenly, she felt like she couldn’t breathe.  The more she wanted to breathe, the more she panicked.  She said she wasn’t thinking about anything.  It just came.  I was calm but at the same time freaking out.  I didn’t know what was going on.  So I spoke to her as calmly as possible and told her to call an ambulance.  Her 6-year-old had run over to grab her neighbor who rushed over and took over the phone.  I instructed her to call the emergency medical services in town.  She hung up and did that, and called me back to let me know that the EMS would be there any minute.  I told her to give me an update when there was one.

I hung up and called Bob to let him know what went down.  I also wrote a few texts to people who would pray for us.  In these moments of uncertainty, I still had to do my job as a therapist and took my kiddo in for his session.  During the next 1.5 hours, I got a few updates.  The first one was Annie’s 19-year-old who rushed home from work to be with his mom.  He said that Annie by then had calmed down and he was going to drive her to town 35 minutes away to the hospital to our OB.  A little later, Annie’s husband called and told me what happened.  He rushed home in time to be with her before her trip to the hospital.  She didn’t end up going to the hospital.  Kenneth knew exactly what was going on with her.  She basically had an anxiety attack and her body was reacting to the accumulated stress and anxiety the previous few days by shutting down.  When she had that attack, her body was going into a panic mode, and because of the feeling of shortness of breath, her hands and feet were tinkling.  He called it a seizure which scared me half to death.  Later, he said that it wasn’t a real seizure but something called carpop.edal spasm.  He said that she had it once two years ago.  She was prescribed with a low dose of Ati.van back then.  He then complained a little saying that if he had given her a small dose of that when her anxiety started coming back, this whole incident could have been avoided.  But everyone (and I don’t know who he was referring to) was afraid that the meds was going to affect the babies so he didn’t give it to her.  Kenneth said that he had spoken to Dr. OB on the phone who was okay with her staying home that evening as long as she was calm and was breathing fine.  The EMS confirmed that her vitals were all back to normal.  She was scheduled to see our OB the next day to figure out the short term plan (for the duration of this pregnancy) and long term care (after the pregnancy) of this issue.  Kenneth had taken the next few days off to be with her.

I am not going to lie.  I was concerned about the babies.  So I asked if she had felt anything.  She doesn’t usually feel them much, but that evening she texted me saying that she felt movement.  She didn’t know if it was just moving or kicking but she did feel movements.  If I were the one carrying, I would probably have made my way to the hospital just to make sure that the babies were fine.  But I am not the one carrying, so I had to resort to trusting her for taking care of my babies.  But it was super difficult for me as the intended mother to completely trust this process and to completely trust God.

At the appointment time the next day, I was sitting there at lunch on pins and needles.  I mean, again, deep down, I wasn’t that concerned about the babies as I felt and continue to feel that they will be fine at the end.  But I am just not good with the uncertainty and new challenges and for things all of a sudden to go downhill.  With my new App.le Watch, I could see that my heart rate was over 100 the whole time waiting for an update.  Finally, Annie wrote me a message simply just saying that the babies were good and the appointment times for the 24 and 28 weeks ultrasound scans.  I asked to speak with her on the phone if she felt up for it.  A few minutes later, her husband called to give me an update.  He said that the babies looked good with great heart beats on the ultrasound.  They looked fine.  Annie’s vitals were good.  Our OB had put her on a low dose of Zo.loft so to take the edge off of her anxiety and heightened emotions.  I asked how Annie was doing.  He said, “Horrible.”  So he would drive her home and have her rest for the rest of the day.

I was feeling relieved but at the same time a bit worried.  I remember Dr. E said that the biggest indicator of preterm labor is stress.  And our surrogate is currently under a lot of stress.  I know that she can’t control how she thinks and what she feels, so I want to be as compassionate and empathetic as possible and to give her a lot of time and space.  So how does one balance that while still getting information from her about the pregnancy.  I don’t want to bother her too much and bombard her with asking her about how she is doing and how she is feeling.  At the same time, I’d want to know, because her emotions may or may not directly affect our babies.  I simply don’t know how to navigate this new and uncharted territory.  I just feel that Satan is using the one thing that she’s fearful of to get to her weakness and attack us.  On Saturday I decided to just write her a message telling her that we were thinking of her.  I didn’t expect an answer from her.  This sudden change in the direction of this pregnancy has thrown my mind into chaos, and it takes a lot of effort to live my life normally and to carry on a loving and trusting relationship with Annie.  I just can’t wait for the next milestone (24 weeks) and the next next milestone (28 weeks) to arrive.  I have to remember to:

  1. trust God
  2. trust Annie
  3. take it one day at a time
  4. pray for peace and strength
  5. breathe

Having a baby (or two) via surrogacy is a very difficult thing.  But I know that the reward will be worth it.  I just hope that Annie will be able to enjoy the rest of this pregnancy, and our joy will not be marred by any of these setbacks.  The challenge is to learn how to best support her without feeling negative or threatened by this situation.  When the babies finally come, Bob and I will be able to finally breathe more easily.

MicroblogMondays: Announcement

After our normal and uneventful anatomy scan on Thursday, Bob and I felt safe to announce our pregnancy the next day.  I had thought out the wording quite a while ago.  I wanted it to be simple but also to the point.  The first decision was that ultrasound or bump photographs were never going to be part of the plan as I myself would not have wanted the trigger either.  I am not going to lie.  I was a little nervous Friday morning.  Once the cat is out of the bag, there is no turning back.  But with the normal development of the babies and healthy surrogate, we have more confidence that the twins are going to join us in September.  So bright and early Friday morning, I posted the following:

“After years of waiting, prayers, and heartaches, Bob and I are so blessed to announce that we are expecting twins via the wonderful and selfless gift of surrogacy.  Baby A [Last Name] and Baby B [Last Name] are due to be born in September. I do not get to carry them, but my heart is full.  Bob and I are very excited and cannot wait to meet them face-to-face.”

With this picture:

Another less formal, even simpler announcement was sent to everyone at work (about 35 people): “I would like to share some wonderful news with you.  My husband and I are excited to let you all know that a surrogate is carrying twins for us, and they are due to be born in September.  I thought I would share the joy with you all, my work family. “

The response has been overwhelming.

My Fac.ebook post exploded.  Everyone has been so happy for us.  The love that everyone shows us has been overwhelming.  Some of them commented and said that the announcement made them tear up, which was super heartwarming.  After I posted, my oldest cousin in Asia made a screenshot of my announcement and posted on our family group on Whatsapp so every single one of my relatives in Asia knows as well.  She saves me the trouble of telling everyone myself.

At work people came by to say congratulations and gave me hugs.  People’s reaction was that Wow you’ll have your babies very soon, because September is right around the corner.   We have known about it since January so we have had a lot of time to process it.   To them, it’s such a brand new thing that they feel that I don’t have a lot of time. It’s all perspective, yeah?

There was one particular coworker with whom I considered sharing the news prior to the announcement but there wasn’t a good time to do it.  So when she saw me in the morning, she asked me “What’s up?”  From the look of her face, I knew that she hadn’t read the FB announcement or the work email.  So I said, “Ahh, you haven’t read my announcement.”  She looked very alarmed and was probably thinking that I was going to quit this job or something.  When I told her, she burst into tears and gave me a bear hug.  She just couldn’t stop crying.  It was two minutes prior to my next client so I told her to stop, otherwise I’d cry too!  I totally shocked her and caught her off guard as I know she didn’t expect something like this in a million years.   An hour later, I went to apologize for shocking her.  My boss happened to be in her office.  I’d imagine my boss to be the person that was the happiest on that day because she didn’t have to keep a secret any longer!  She had learned about the pregnancy at 12 weeks and had been so good at keeping it to herself for the next 8 weeks.  She in fact also burst into tears herself and was so happy for us.  Anyways, so my coworker whom I shocked kept on asking questions while crying a second time for us.  She told me how much we deserved to be parents.  I said I couldn’t wait until I see what the babies look like.  Then this coworker started asking if it was my egg.  I don’t think she meant any harm or anything. When people hear the word “surrogacy”, they are little bit confused of what it all means.  I thought about writing gestational surrogacy on my FB announcement but decided against it because I wanted to make it even simpler.  Plus, I don’t owe anyone any explanations.  So somehow, with my boss and my coworker there, I decided to tell the truth.  For other people, I’d usually say something like, our surrogate is just carrying for us, and it is our embryo.  But with the way she asked the question, I had to answer that it wasn’t my eggs but our donor’s.  It was a quick decision, but one that I don’t regret.  My honesty didn’t faze them.  But I told them two times to keep it to themselves and explained that I would tell the twins early on about it but I want me and Bob to the ones disclosing this to them, not anyone else.  They swore that they wouldn’t tell and that it was a personal thing.  Later on, I told Bob, and he supported my decision to tell them.  He was happy that I was able to be honest about it.

That evening happened to be a huge event for my work’s anniversary.  I didn’t plan the announcement so that I could tell many people, but the timing just worked out.  So at the event, I saw many former coworkers and I was able to share with them one by one.  It was just so touching to receive such warm and joyful responses from everybody.  There is a certain vulnerability in sharing with the world as it points to our struggles in the last few years.  But the reward is also big.

The most surprising revelation was my best friend from my 20s.  We used to hang out all the time, meaning every single weekend, for years.  Her then boyfriend was best friend with my then boyfriend.  After we were no longer dating our boyfriends, she and my ex-boyfriend started dating, and that put a strain in our relationship.  After they got married, we grew apart.  I knew that she didn’t have children until I saw her pictures with a little girl this year.  She wrote me some private messages after she saw my announcement, telling me that she was very happy for us, and that it was the greatest news in her 2017.  We exchanged a few messages.  She said that she understood how I felt as she went through infertility for 13 years, having miscarriages and having suffered from many treatments that didn’t work.  I didn’t ask if she finally gave birth to her baby or if she adopted.  I said that I was sorry for what she had gone through, because it is truly a lonely journey if not for the support of people around us.  She told me that she wasn’t as lucky to have support from peers, but God is full of grace as He carried her through all those years.  I just feel for many of the people that I know who are very private and not as open about their journey, and they often suffer silently.  I am so happy for her that she is parenting a precious little girl, but I can’t imagine 13 years of going through this alone (and with her husband).

Mother’s day at church was good and interesting.  I was a greeter at service as usual on Mother’s day, since we always greet on second Sunday of the month.  Last year it was tough and we didn’t go to church as we just returned from Hawaii after we were told that I needed a surrogate.   It was just too much and I couldn’t handle going to church witnessing baby dedication.  This year I was feeling good.  Not overly joyful that I’d soon have my children in my arms, but also not sad at all that I am not the one carrying them.  Since many people learned about our twins on FB, many came up to me to hug me and say how happy they were for us and to congratulate us.  Baby dedication was okay too.  I didn’t feel jealous or negative about it.  Some of my friends also privately messaged me or wrote me on FB wishing me Happy Mother’s Day.  It was just a little strange to hear people tell me Happy Mother’s Day as it is a brand new experience.

Now that we have made an announcement, I can talk about our babies more freely at work and at church.  I am just so grateful that we have reached this milestone.

MicroblogMondays: Half Way Point

Today, we are at 19 weeks 5 days of our pregnancy.  Since our OB won’t let Annie go past 38 weeks (C-section scheduled for 38 weeks 2 days), we are over our half way point.

A question I get asked a lot: “Have you bought anything yet?” meaning to prepare for the babies’ arrival.  The answer is, No.

I will be flying over to attend the anatomy scan on Thursday.  Bob has a new job which doesn’t allow him to be off any time during the month of May.  Fortunately he got to witness the mini-anatomy scan at the last ultrasound, so hopefully he isn’t going to miss a whole lot.

I don’t know why, but I have a difficult time letting myself buy anything before the 20-week scan.  In fact, planning anything related to the babies has been hard for me.  Maybe a part of me still doesn’t believe that the babies are coming.  Maybe that part of me thinks that if I prepare for anything, I’d be more devastated if things don’t work out in the end.  But whether or not I am in denial, the babies are growing and in less than 19 weeks, we’ll get to see them face-to-face.

It freaks me out at times that maybe I don’t have time to get ready for them.  Four months will pass very quickly and I will be responsible for these lives.  What if I am not ready by then?  My to-do list in my head was growing longer and longer so I eventually typed it up on my Google tasks.  I want to do window treatment for the whole house especially for the babies’ room.  We need to move all the junk out of our second bedroom so we can set up the nursery.  We need to start looking into a new car.  My sister-in-law asked me about the baby shower so I have to give her a date.  With the baby shower date comes the need to start a baby registry.  And how does one begin to have a baby registry for twins?  And what about classes to learn about how to take care of babies especially twins?  In person classes or online classes?  We also have to decide on how to bring the babies home.  Road trip that will take a few days assuming that we’ll have to stop every two hours?  Or a two-hour plane ride with newborns?  I need to book a photographer soon if I want to do a maternity photo shoot.  And what about birth photography?  Do we do both or just one?  When do we do the maternity shoot and how to do it?  Do we fly home and do newborn photos back home or do we do it there?  We’ll make an announcement on Fac.ebook and I will also announce at work.  Is it going to be scary to let everyone around us know?  Where do I find a person to cover for me for my maternity leave?  Someone who speaks my native language so he/she can see all of my clients?  And how do I tell the parents of my existing clients about surrogacy and maternity leave?  Do we have to find a pediatrician soon?

So many things.  My head spins.

I know not to get ahead of myself, but sometimes my mind just goes and it doesn’t stop.  So I need to focus on one to two things at a time.  So window treatment and photographer it is.  But even with just two things, I feel overwhelmed contacting people while working a full-time job.

The one positive spin of not carrying the babies is that I have all the energy in the world to get ready for them since I don’t have to fight back pain, pelvic pressure, or frequent bathroom visits.   It is still overwhelming but I know I can get all the things done.  I guess I need lots of deep breaths and yoga to get everything done the next few months.  If pregnant women can do it, I can too.

(By the way, my previous post was my 400th post.  It took almost four years to write this many posts but I’m very glad I continue to blog.  I wonder what will happen after the twins are born.  I hope I will still have the time and the drive to blog.)

Being Annoyed and Then Freaking Out

We are 19 weeks today.  (Woohoo!)

So this is what happened today.

I was super happy celebrating 19 weeks.  We are practically half way through since our C-section has been scheduled for 38 weeks 2 days.  Annie’s headaches seem to be under control (Praise the Lord!) as she has not had them constantly and when she has them, essential oils help to get rid of them.  I get to go see the babies next week.  All in all, things are good.

My therapy kid’s Chinese nanny whom I have known for about three years took one look at me and asked, “Are you pregnant?”  I looked at my little tummy in disbelief and said in Chinese that loosely translates to: “Are you calling me fat again?”  Why I said again was because this wasn’t the first time she had done it.  She had said something similar to me before and I thought that she’d learn from her experience.  Nope.  I guess middle-aged Chinese nannies don’t learn when they have the need to be nosy and ask inappropriate questions.

I kid you not.  The following happened within 5 minutes of the conversation with the nanny.  I got back to a person regarding something that he asked me.  This person happens to be my guy best friend’s brother, and the ex-husband of my brother’s ex-girlfriend (who I wrote about here.)  We hadn’t been in touch but he wrote me a couple of days ago out of the blue asking for help with something.  I finally gave him the information that he needed.  Maybe it was a need for small talk?  He went on to type the following: “How are you these days?  Making a baby?”  My first reaction is, what in the world are these people thinking?  How do they feel the need to ask about someone’s private life without a lot of consideration, especially to a person with whom they hadn’t talked to in maybe 10 years?

I was super annoyed with him, probably more so at that moment because I was just mistaken as being pregnant by someone else five minutes ago.  Instead of letting it go like usual, I wrote, “Ha we are doing well.  And I don’t think that’s a very appropriate question to ask.”  He immediately typed “Sorry”.  I thought about saying more things, like “It’s okay” or some other things for more educational purposes.  But I decided to not respond.  Because it is really not okay for someone to just nonchalantly ask such a question to an acquaintance.  It is simply rude.  Maybe my response was rude.  But I feel that it was necessary for me.

Fast forward this afternoon.  I wrote Annie a message wishing her happy 19 weeks.  Did not hear back from her, which was okay.  Then at 3:45pm, I got a post visit reminder email from her OB/GYN practice thanking her for her visit with them today.  Cue immediate freak out.  I had no prior knowledge of this visit that she had today and my mind went wild.  I wrote her a FB message and then a text.  I then decided to give her a call.  When the phone was connected, there was a little voice that sounded very far away.  I said, Hey are you okay?  I got a post visit reminder from the OB office.  That little voice said yes.  I didn’t realize that it was someone other than Annie so I freaked out even more because in my ears this little voice sounded like he/she was crying but he/she kept saying he/she was okay.  I was like, What was going on why did you go see the OB are you really okay?!?!?  Then Annie’s voice came on the phone.  It was her son who picked up!  In my freaking out mind I just assumed that she picked up the phone.  So this is what happened today.  She said that she had been feeling emotional the last few days feeling stressed out.  A few weeks ago, our OB told her that whenever she feels uncomfortable and feels a need to go get checked out, just go and they’ll do an abdominal ultrasound.  She said that she had felt flutters of movements a couple weeks ago but she hardly felt any movements this week.  Since she’d be going away this weekend on a trip, and she was going to be in town today, she just wanted to go check out the babies and make sure that they were okay.  She didn’t want to tell me ahead of time so that I wouldn’t freak out, and she planned on telling me afterwards.  But the post visit reminder got to me first and caused my freakout session.  I’m not gonna lie.  My heart was about to jump out of my chest when I waited for her to pick up the phone.  She said that the nurse picked up one heartbeat and didn’t bother to look for the other one because both babies were moving and were punching each other.  So obviously they would both have a heartbeat if they were doing boxing together.  LOL.

I am very relieved that everything is fine.  But it goes to tell you that I probably won’t be able to relax for a really long time.  I guess that’s just how motherhood goes?  That I’ll worry about everything?  At least I can sleep well tonight knowing that the babies are alive and well and are already showing sibling love to each other.

MicroblogMondays: Our Last Wedding Anniversary Just the Two of Us

We had a very low-key 6th wedding anniversary this past weekend.  Compared to our trip to Hawaii last year, this year we decided to keep it simple.  No fancy trip.  Just the two of us hanging out.  On Saturday we were super productive in terms of chores and got ready super early for dinner.  Since we hadn’t had a good Japanese meal in a while, that was the dinner of our choice.  The restaurant that we wanted to try is very popular and doesn’t take reservations.  It’s located in a neighborhood that is notorious for the lack of street parking.  It was our mission to arrive early to wait before the restaurant opened at 5pm.  This was definitely our lucky weekend.  We landed a prime free street parking spot not far from the restaurant.  We were the second in line for a table.  The food was super delicious:

The fish was so fresh and the panko crusted oysters were crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

I loved the parking spot so much that we walked around the neighborhood just to occupy it for longer.  After some frozen yogurt, latte, impulse purchase of a cool hat, and Bob petting a neighborhood dog at a funky shirt store/cafe, we headed home with great satisfaction.

On our real anniversary yesterday, the weather resembled that on our wedding day six years ago: sunny, breezy, in the 70s.  It was such a glorious day for a celebration.  My morning was relaxing and peaceful: reading in bed with a cup of homemade Indian filtered coffee while Bob chatted with his parents on Skyp.e.  Our pastor’s teaching at church was great and to the point.  The afternoon was restful and rejuvenating.  Plus some intimate time without any concerns regarding making a baby is always welcome on an anniversary.  A walk around the beach and pizza dinner at night with champagne concluded our anniversary weekend perfectly.

We do realize that this is our last wedding anniversary celebration before the babies come.  Last year things were very uncertain in regards to our fertility journey around this time.  What a difference a year makes.  I really cherish what we have right now, but I look forward to and cannot wait to experience what is to come on our next wedding anniversary.  Maybe on that day our biggest concern would be to find a good babysitter?