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.

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37 thoughts on “Help Us Out: Tell Us About Your Pregnancy

  1. You are such an empathetic and truly special person. You and Bob are amazing. I love how you are being so caring to Annie but I did want to say that she knows what pregnancy means and made this decision on her own. Affording her grace is alway good but it’s ok for you to feel frustrated and upset. Those are YOUR babies. Soon enough they will be home where they belong. So all that being said, here are some of my thoughts:
    – as the baby(ies) grow and you can feel these little lives inside you the real ness and responsibility of bringing them safely to this world can feel stressful at times. Usually it just feels like an honor but sometimes it feels like your body is being rented out in the most high stakes manner
    – physically you feel kind of like a permanent mild hangover at best and often horrible heartburn, aching back and joints and tough sleeping. It is worse for some than others.
    – the hormones are all over the place. I have found myself almost cry because we don’t have ice cream left and I am a pretty even keeled person. It is strange to feel a little out of control emotionally.

    Finally I just want to share to both you and Bob that once I had my son the entire pregnancy kind of faded. It feels like a little step I took to get me to this giant new world of being a Mom. It felt so important at the time to be pregnant with him but once he was here it was like his existence is all that mattered, not the months leading up to it. Just want to share that perspective. Hugs.

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    • Thank you friend. That’s the thing. It’s hard to juggle my feelings while caring for Annie. We all try our best, but at times we fall short. Knowledge is power, though. Without knowing what a pregnancy entails, it’s hard to feel empathetic. I honestly don’t think she knew what she was getting herself into because her prior pregnancies were all textbook perfect. I know we can’t expect every pregnancy to be like that but that was her frame of reference. And this is a twin pregnancy. So it’s more shocking for her. But again, thank you so much for your perspective. It’s very very helpful. I really appreciate your support.

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  2. The dumbest stuff made me cry. Puppies, commercials. Just about anything. There was some stupid dog commercial that made me bawl my eyes out. And sometimes if I laughed too hard I would start crying for no reason. These behaviors were odd for me. I’m usually very calm and collected.

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  3. I know I wanted more than anything to be pregnant for so long. But when I actually got (and stayed) pregnant, I was pretty miserable. I tried not to blog about it bc I felt bad, but physically I was incredibly uncomfortable for most of the duration. Especially as it progressed. Im assuming Annie is facing this now with her hemmoroids, and at the same time she doesnt want to upset or worry you. It would be tough. Just know this too shall pass, & like MJ said, pregnancy will seem like it was a fleeting moment when you finally have them here.

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    • I know that many bloggers are uncomfortable with sharing about their pregnancy struggles because they may be viewed as being ungrateful. So I can totally see why you didn’t share as much. But I think it’d have helped with your emotions as well as to educate others on the difficulty of pregnancies. Thank you so much for commenting. I sure hope that the next few months pass by quickly and we can hold our miracles in our arms while Annie recovers from all these ailments that are plaguing her now.

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  4. I dealt with a very large amount of anxiety and depression in my pregnancy, but mine was mainly about how my life was going to change, fears of motherhood, fears of failure, etc. I’m sorry she (and of course you) are struggling right now.

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  5. Oh, I will say, that after they handed her to me all of that anxiety faded, at least for the first few months. I did end up with PPD and PPA, but the first few months for us were pretty golden and magical.

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  6. I have no advice. Although I do remember our sons birth mom struggling at times while she was pregnant and me just wishing I could help her somehow. So I can empathize with your feelings right now. Maybe you can give her a gift card for a massage to help her relax and let her know you care? (We weren’t allowed to with the laws around adoption but this is the one thing I wish I could have done while she was pregnant).

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    • Yeah I tell Annie that I feel very helpless these days because I don’t know what else to do other than telling her that we care for her and praying for her day and night. I think I may take the suggestion of offering house cleaning services and go from there as she tells me that she sometimes doesn’t even want anyone to be touching her (so massage is out of the question). Thank you for your support!

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  7. When I am not pregnant, I cry once every couple of months. When I am pregnant, I could cry at the drop of a hat. During my first pregnancy, I cried at a funny video of dogs. During my second pregnancy I was SUPER emotional which my husband didn’t know how to handle. I was also anxious and wondering how I was going to take care of two kids. There are so many hormones running through your body that it can be quite tough.

    Physically my second pregnancy was easier than my first. I had lots of trouble sleeping, lots of random pains in my crotch, it was hard to bend down to pick things up/tie shoes, etc.

    It is going to be hard for Bob to grasp what is going on simply because he is a guy. My husband had no clue what was going on and I was sitting next to him, not a state away.

    One thing that I did want to mention was that I had two painful hemmorhoids during my first pregnancy so I was so worried when they were still there when I got pregnant again. They always say that each pregnancy is different and it is true- I did not have any problems with them while I was pregnant with my son. Hopefully this is the case with Annie.

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    • Thank you for the perspective of your husband, coz that really helps Bob to know that he’s not the only one. I am so glad we asked these questions and you and others who are experienced can shed some light in the situation. Thank you again.

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  8. I have been a gestational surrogate and have had awful hemorrhoids and terrible pelvic pressure in my own pregnancies and my surrogate pregnancy. I’d be happy to email you personally if you want more info. There is a VERY delicate emotional balance being held by all in these situations. It can be quite difficult to manouveur for all, the boundaries are blurred and it can be terribly confusing. I hope today’s been better ❤

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  9. I have had 2 sets of twins, one my own and one as a surrogate. Being pregnant with twins is more difficult than anyone can know, unless they have had multiples before. When I was 27 wks with my last set, my stomach measured 40 wks–this means my body felt OVERDUE for 2.5 months. Most women while about being 1 wk overdue-2.5 months can feel unbearable! I certainly never went into any of this with my intended parents, as there was no need to–I signed up for this, obviously–but it is so hard emotionally to deal with how bad you feel for so long. I think the first set was even a little harder b/c I had been so THRILLED to get pregnant with twins and had NO idea how hard it would be, then it hit me like a Mack truck & I had no idea how I was going to make it. At least the 2nd time I knew that, although horribly difficult, I COULD & WOULD make it. The hardest thing for me was breathing. With babies taking up every inch of extra space from your breastbone to your lady parts, there is no room for your lungs to expand! And there is nothing you can do for this and nothing to make it better. There is also VERY little room for food and what you can eat usually causes horrible heartburn. i was also too big those last couple of months to do really any household chores (couldn’t bend over to reach the bottom of the washing machine, to get the dishes out of the bottom rack of the dishwasher, etc). My IPs actually paid for me to have a weekly housekeeper from week 24 on and that was INVALUABLE…best, nicest thing they could have done. It’s also a hard time bc you feel like you can’t be a fun mom to your kids, esp when you are big pregnant in the summer like your surro is going to be. Maybe sending something fun for the kids or passes somewhere for the dad to take the kids to go to do would be fun. Any restaurant gift cards would also be great, as those last couple of months she will be literally too big to stand facing the counter cooking, plus it is just SO HOT. And with all of this said and as hard as it was, both sets of twins I carried were full term, great weights, and delivered vaginally. It was horribly hard but 100% worth it!!! Best wishes!!

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    • I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog. The perspective that you offer will be so invaluable to us in understanding our GC and to learn how to best support her. I will take your suggestions to heart and will offer accordingly. So happy for you that you successfully carried all of them to term. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your experiences. I offered yesterday to go early to help out with things at home. So we’ll see how that plays out.

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  10. A lot of my anxiety was related to being infertile (subfertile, as it turned out) and feeling like the pregnancy was my ONE chance to beat the odds and have a child,but also feeling like so much potentially threatened that child. (Perhaps you feel similarly). It was horrifying to feel like my body might betray me at any time, at such terrible cost to my child and the future we dared to dream of. I imagine since Annie hasn’t had fertility issues, she might not have that particular anxiety, but her previous experiences of pain during pregnancy might cause a similar feeling of being out of control and her body betraying her. Basically when you are pregnant it means somebody takes over your body and uses it for their purposes. Even if the pregnancy is 100% wanted it can still be an unnerving and unpredictable thing to live with. I wish the best for all of you!!

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    • Thank you friend. Annie was infertile until she conceived her second one. I do have that feeling that there are things that could threaten my children’s well being. And it gives me anxiety at times. We have to give ourselves grace as well as to give each other grace at this trying time. Third party reproduction is so complicated at times.

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  11. My singleton pregnancy was the most amazing experience, I feel like I could do 5 of them. But my twin pregnancy has been very different. My husband recently told a friend he has never seen me cry in the past 8 years as much as he’s seen me cry this pregnancy. My emotions are everywhere. I have painful varicose veins on my right leg that make it difficult to walk. I have vaginal varicose veins (that I only had with my daughter the last few weeks of pregnancy). This time I started to get them at 14 weeks. The veins are so debilitating that I can’t walk without my support belt. I wear it from 5:30am until bedtime. I’m only 28 weeks with twins and can feel them getting larger and spreading to different areas in the same zone. I can’t imagine another 10 weeks of this. It makes me anxious thinking about it. I can feel Annie’s anxiety as she anticipates the pain, my pain is in a different location but essentially they are the same thing. With all my pain and emotions, I feel like a horrible mom to my daughter. I feel like I dont have patience for her, I can’t pick her up and give her love. She doesn’t know any better but it makes me cry that she might feel slighted by my pregnancy and lack of love. When I lose my patience because I’m in pain, I cry. Then she cries. Maybe Annie feels this way too. Pregnancy this time around (probably because there’s two in there) is awful, I’ve struggled through ivf and infertility for years and I am very confident I never want to be pregnant again. You are a very empathetic person that has shown great patience and support. You are almost in the “husband” role, Trying to figure out what Annie is going through and trying to support her the best way you can. You feel lost. Many husbands feel lost.

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    • I think Annie is feeling exactly the same thing. Her singleton pregnancies were all glorious. This is why she wanted to carry for someone else. And I think this is why her system has been shocked by the current circumstances because it never happened before. I am taking to heart what you said about your feelings as a mom currently to your little girl as you don’t have enough patience for her. I’d imagine Annie being the same way, feeling guilty for not being able to take care of them the way she is used to. I think I am almost in the husband role, but it’s harder to be in my role than a husband because I don’t live with her so it’s hard for me to just listen to her tell me her life without witnessing it in our day to day life. I just pray that her hemorrhoids will ease up and she feels better the rest of the pregnancy. It will take a miracle. Thank you so much for your input. And I am sorry that twin pregnancy has been so tough on you. ❤

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      • I keep telling myself this is a short time (even if it feels long). It will end! I’ll be praying for you, your family, Annie and hers. I can’t imagine the difficult situation and emotions this brings up. I liked someone else’s idea of a house keeper coming to help out if that’s in the realm of possibility.

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  12. I never lost perspective of what the whole thing was for, and feeling them move helped salvage the experience because it helped me maintain that perspective by reminding me of their physical realness, but I mostly hated being pregnant. It was like invasion of the body snatchers. I vomited for 35 weeks straight. Until about 5 months, that part was debilitating. The sickness came with a headache, and I had to keep a spit cup nearby because I was overproducing saliva and the thought of swallowing it was enough to make me retch. At about 3mo along, I developed pregnancy rhinitis, a preggo cold that lasted until the day I delivered, replete with bloody noses and laryngitis that had me in and out of the ENT’s office several times over the winter. I was teaching classes with no voice, drinking tea with lemon round the clock to abate sharp, painful dryness in my throat that wound launch me into eye-watering coughing fits, several rounds of steroids and antibiotics to stay functioning and the accompanying anxiety/guilt for taking a category C drug that might hurt my babies but having little choice if I wanted to keep working and subsequently coughing up weird sheets of plasticky blood as my voice returned only to lose it again 2 weeks after the meds were done. There were days I cried about it: you really take your voice for granted until you’re keeping it on life support for 5 months. The swelling from the preeclampsia and subsequent carpal tunnel that made more than 2 hours of sleep a night impossible really sent me off the deep end. In fact, I sleep more now as a mother of twins than I did in the final weeks of pregnancy, which left me ill-equipped to cope with the life-threatening potential of the rising blood pressure that landed me in the hospital for monitoring three times in the final 2 weeks, 3 hours at a clip after a full day’s work on my feet. My legs were so swollen from my failing kidneys that you could press visible dimples into my shins with your finger tips that would stay for a good minute. Male students mocked me for being “fat” at the end when I was swollen. The whole thing was a mess, and the physical strain of it made the emotional stuff harder to cope with. I don’t know how I could have managed all that if I didn’t have the promise of my children to propel and motivate me, which must make surrogacy so challenging.

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  13. Hello! I want to also let Bob know he is not alone. My husband had no clue what to expect of how to understand pregnancy, although he certainly tried by reading the books and asking questions.

    As for Annie and the hemorrhoids, I think that the anticipation of something that caused you great pain at one time can really be hard to deal with. I am a nurse and I’ve seen so many patients have severe anxiety leading up to a procedure or activity that they know has caused them pain in the past, or has impacted their life in a negative way. There is so much fear of pain (understandably) that people will put off necessary treatments because of it. I don’t know if that comparison helps you at all but I thought I’d throw it out there.

    Honestly pregnancy was so hard for me because of the anxiety I felt that something would go wrong (just as you are anxious as well)! The unknown is the worst, and I always wished I could have looked at it with excitement and anticipation. I liked the pregnancy symptoms bc I felt that it made it real and that things were “normal”. I had a hemorrhoid and it was pretty uncomfortable so I can only imagine what it was/is like for Annie right now.

    You are in my thoughts as always! I hope Annie feels better and your anxieties are reduced greatly. I’m glad the babies are looking good!

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  14. You guys are the best and I am sure you are being there for Annie as best you can! She knows that you would rather be pregnant and going through all the discomfort yourself!

    I’ll try to sum it up…exhaustion. I was just sooooooooo tired. Showering was overwhelming cause I needed an hour long nap after each (not this time tho!) Stretching and growing. I could literally feel my uterus growing everyday. I got round ligament pain so very early and it even hurt to sneeze. (Again, only with the twins). Worry. So much worry about every new feeling and twinge. Both pregnancies- need to pee. Pee. Stand up and leave bathroom. Hmm, kinda still feel like I need to pee. Try to push more out, in a different position. Maybe get more out, maybe not. Never quite feel like you can get bladder empty, ever. Not mater what you do. Hate feeling like you ALWAYS need to pee and making back to back trips to potty. And then feel guilt about feeling annoyed cause it’s important to stay hydrated.

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  15. I have a two month old after struggling with infertility myself.A baby very much wanted and dreamed of! When I found out I was pregnant I couldn’t believe it and was very very happy as it was really a miracle.Our daughter is a godsent baby.This though did not make my pegnancy any easier. From 4 months into my pregnancy I experienced great hip pain and walking was agonizing.Baby was very low and made things even worse. Was always feeling extremely tired but could not sleep because of the pain.Eating was a task because nothing had the taste it used to and sleeping after eating was a big no no!At around month number seven came the hemorrhoids meaning that I couldn’t sit down going to the toilet meant spending more than an hour on the toilet crying from pain.All this while your body is growing a person and takes all the energy out of you.So it is difficult.This doesn’t mean though that you should be left out of what is happening or it should steal your happiness as YOU are the mom to be!!!! You deserve this so much and no one should spoil it for you.Hope everything takes a turn for the best outcome!

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  16. I am not emotional normally but I found myself getting very upset on and off over nothing. I had a couple of total public meltdowns that I was mortified by because it’s so not me. I also felt tired which led me to be more irritable than normal sometimes. I wonder how much of my anxiety was IF related but either way I was definitely more emotional. Thinking of you… you are so thoughtful and kind. I hope Annie is feeling better soon x

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  17. It took me 4 years to have my now almost 6 month son. Because of this,I also hated complaining about my pregnancy because it was so hard to get there. I also experienced a lot of anxiety due to previous pregnancy loss (which made me absolutely dread ultrasounds, as this is how we discovered we lost our first pregnancy). I believe my anxiety was heightened by all the hormones (I have a history of anxiety but had it well under control). I never really discussed my infertility with my co-workers and had several other people pregnant at the same time as me. It was interesting as I found they took the process for granted and seemed to complain more and also not see the point of any additional testing (so in most spontaneously conceived pregnancy you only have ultrasounds at 12/13 weeks and then at 20 weeks and a urine pregnancy test at the doctors office). One co worker didn’t realize she was pregnant right away and received no prenatal care till 12 weeks! So I am guessing that Annie is not used to having so much testing and is perhaps seeing it as an unnecessary burden as she doesn’t understand the anxiety of infertility and pregnancy loss. It still amazes me that most people get pregnant spontaneously and have totally normal, healthy pregnancy (I think when you’re in this world it skews your perception of how often infertility and loss happens). I often told my husband throughout pregnancy (and I was blessed finally with avery healthy, normal pregnancy) that it was a lot of work and I really couldn’t understand how women did all this work and then gave the baby away (adoption/surrogacy). I would imagine that this must make the pregnancy symptoms harder to bear as you don’t have the same payoff at the end.

    That being said, you are not carrying your babies and have the right to objective information (aka ultrasounds and testing) about how your babies are doing. What Annie is doing for you is a gift but also a job she signed up for. I feel so terrible for you that she is putting you through this!

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  18. I don’t have anything new to add but I wanted to share too. I had a very smooth twin pregnancy but it was 100% exhaustion and brain fog every single day. My back hurt unless I sat exactly right in a stiff back chair. I got out of breath just walking across the room. I napped alllll the time. I can’t even imagine having a twin pregnancy with kids running around all the time like Annie.

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  19. When I had my first baby I was sick all the time. For the first six months everything smelled and would make me want to vomit. I was convinced my husband smelled of maple syrup. He would come home after working the night shift, shower, then climb into bed and I would tell him he had to get out of the bed because he smelled. Then his mother would start boiling beans about noon and we would have to leave the house because I couldn’t handle the smell. I would vomit all day long. it got to the point I had to go to the ER every other day for an IV as I was dehydrating. This went on for nearly 6 months. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant I found out that I had an STD. Apparently my husband contracted it from his ex and neither of us showed symptoms. I had to be trated multiple times because I couldn’t keep the medicine down. After I got over the morning, noon and night, sickness all I could only keep very greasy food down. I lived on McDonalds, Taco bell, and Wendys. I developed pre-eclampsia and was so very swollen. I had insomnia. Not to mention I was so big I couldn’t reach to wipe and someone had to help every time I had to go to the bathroom. In my 8th month I fell down a small flight of stairs. My baby was fine but had to be delivered a week later. That pregnancy was one issue after another from beginning to end.

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  20. I was lucky in having an easy pregnancy (one baby), only experiencing the brain fog and very few other symptoms. A few headache spells in the first trimester felt awful though, as I didn’t want to take meds and thought ‘wow if this is going to be frequent it will be hell…’ – the fear made it seem worse, in the end they were only occasional and one paracetamol here and there helped.
    Then my labour was 40+ hours long and painful with some very unpleasant medication side effects and left me shocked by the experience.

    I hope that with the all the help you’re offering and her prescribed medication, Annie will be able to feel a bit calmer and better, and so will you. One day at a time! Once the babies come, ‘one day at a time’ and ‘this too shall pass’ may often be on your mind…

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  21. I am infertile and got pregnant with a singleton via donor eggs. Pregnancy for me was absolute bliss, the happiest I have ever been (until my baby was born, and then I was so much happier). I felt powerful and in peace with the world. I didn’t have any nausea. I was very tired the first trimester and it felt like a blessing because I was happy not to have insomnia. When I entered the second trimester, I noticed that I could focus better, thus realizing that I HAD had brain fog (it just never really became an issue while it was there). The third trimester I found it harder to sleep and sit long hours because of body size and weight, apparently I started snoring and some positions were really uncomfortable. None of these things really upset me: I just switched positions, tried to sleep sometimes in the sofa, sometimes in bed, sometimes in rocking chairs.

    I have to say that I had to work REALLY hard all throughout my pregnancy and times were very stressful at my job. And yet, even though times were stressful, I was not. I felt calm, in peace, powerful.

    I have no doubt that this had all to do with the way pregnancy lifted the weight of anxiety and fear for me, the two things that were making my life miserable during years coming up to this moment. If Annie is feeling anxiety and fear over her hemorrhoids and other pregnancy-related symptoms, that is probably what is being difficult to deal with, more than the pregnancy itself.

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  22. hey, my page is all about my pregnancy so far. ive tried to be as real and raw as possible. Even though babies are a blessing, baby growing inside me is the hardest thing i’ve ever been through. much love to you both

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  23. i commented last week but just came to read again and realized i had not read the previous post about the anxiety issues. as a surrogate myself, one who has been pregnant with twins (twice), & as one who now works in the infertility field as well, the way annie is acting is not fair to you. it’s just not. if her VERY WORST FEAR is these horrible hemmeroids, then she had no business transferring 2 embryos, knowing that a twin pregnancy had an increased likelihood of making them return. to me, being a surrogate and transferring 2 embryos is being willing to take on WHATEVER comes along with it. i did not want to get pregnant with twins as a surrogate (bc dang it is HARD), but we went ahead & transferred 2 bc they weren’t great quality. but when it got so so hard that i could barely function around my house, i still answered my phone every time my IM called, smiled in all the belly pics i sent her, and let her know that i was so happy to be having 2 sweet healthy babies for her (which i was). yes it is harder than heck but she took this on knowing what COULD happen, and she is stealing some of your joy by acting like this. and yes i am so so glad you are with an agency and think a 3rd party is invaluable when it comes to stuff like this!

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