MicroblogMondays: Babymoon Number Two, Playing By Myself

Here I am, in Honolulu.  Bob has been busy going to his work conference from 8am til almost 6pm.  Me?  It’s been so much fun to walk around doing whatever I want to do.  This is (hopefully) my very last time roaming around all by myself before the babies come.  I am savoring every moment as it has been a long journey to finally have this “last”.

Since I’ve been trying to figure out the logistics of transporting the twins home once they are born, it was extra interesting to watch parents travel with their babies and toddlers on the plane.  I was moving around quickly through the security check points and terminals, and can’t help but notice all the strollers and babywearing moms and dads with their bags and how slowly they were moving.  Many of these little angels started to scream during takeoff.  There were these dads who circled around with their toddlers over and over and over again in the cabin.  I can imagine that this will be my life and Bob’s life in the future.  Pregnant women with toddlers and older kids are everywhere as well.  I guess “paradise” is a great babymoon destination?

When Bob first booked the hotel room, he was debating if he should go with partial ocean view or none.  Honestly, the little bit of the extra cost for a partial ocean view makes no difference to his company.  So he went with partial ocean view.  When he checked in, he got upgraded to the complete ocean view.  I mean, we can still see the building across the street but when you lie on the bed, the ocean is right in front of you.

The room itself is quite nice and spacious.

I’ve been here since Friday.  And I haven’t gone to the beach (which is just across the street from us) or for a swim at the pool yet.  Since day one, I have just been doing whatever I feel like doing.  Going swimming hasn’t been one of them.  I set my own rule, right?  Who says that you have to go to the beach or go swimming in Hawaii?  I will eventually go.  The first day I arrived, I just walked around looking for good food to eat.  There was one udon place with a crazy long line.  I was too hungry to wait, so I was determined to have it for breakfast the next day.  Seriously, it was the best udon I had ever had.

 The noodle itself had an appropriate amount of chew in it.  I am usually a ramen fan instead of udon fan, but that seriously was one fantastic bowl of noodles.  I was so full at 9 in the  morning that I had to walk to make myself feel less full.  I walked more than a mile and  reached a huge shopping mall.  I had an idea to go to the MAC counter at Nor.dstrom.  You see, we will get our maternity photos done in a couple of weeks.  When I get professional photos done, I usually just get my makeup done for free at a MAC counter.  However, logistically that doesn’t work in Annie’s town.  I usually don’t wear makeup so the makeup that I have at home is very old.  I thought that it was a good time to update my makeup inventory.  Plus, I hadn’t had the time and probably won’t have the time to do that when I am home.  Going there on vacation seemed like the best way to use my time.

After a little bit of wait, the makeup artist there put makeup on my face and taught me how to do it myself.  I was looking very pretty on that day.  I also bought a bunch of makeup so that I can do it myself on the photo shoot day.  Since I was looking pretty, we didn’t waste it and had a very nice meal at one of our favorite restaurants.  We really like this restaurant in San Francisco especially the butterfish dish.  So we decided to try its original location.  I called and was able to secure a last minute reservation.  The food was so delicious and it was a great to have a date night looking pretty and spending quality time with my husband.  We had a blast!

The butterfish was so flaky and it just melted in my mouth.  It was heavenly and exactly how I remembered it.


The chocolate soufflé was the highlight as usual.  The chocolate was oozing out from the center.  It was one decadent goodness.


The beauty of going around by myself is that I don’t have to answer to anybody.  The next morning, Bob left for his conference and I decided to head to Diamond Head for a hike. Before that, I walked to a popular place for some musubi.  If you have never had it, it’s grilled spam on top of a piece of rice.  I went at 8 and the line was already long.  I am telling you.  There is a line everywhere from the airport to restaurants to hotel.  I don’t think Bob would have the patience to wait in line with me.  But since I had all the time in the world, I just waited.  And had rice balls with chicken and salmon/salmon roe, and bacon egg musubi and eel egg musubi:

The Diamond Head Crater hiking trail was extremely crowded.  I know it was the weekend in the summer.  But really, it was crazy to be up there with so many people.  The hike itself wasn’t too bad.  It was going up and up and up, but it was short.  Only 0.8 miles to the summit.  Many tourists just had flip flops and sandals on.  Those would be very uncomfortable shoes to walk up to the summit even if it was just less than a mile.  I had on my sunscreen and hat, and kept on sipping my water because it was getting hot.

You see all the people going up to the summit? Those little dots on going up and up?  They were all people that looked like ants, and I was one of them.  This has been the theme so far.  Honolulu is full of people, especially Japanese.  I think other than being in Japan, I had never seen so many Japanese in one place in my life.  Anyways, I made it to the summit after climbing a lot of stairs.

The view at the top was great, but it was very very crowded.  It was hard to avoid people, and there was almost no room to stand.


So my honest view of Diamond Head?  I’m from California and am very used to the spectacular ocean view.  While the view on the summit was great, it didn’t wow me like many reviews talked about.  Don’t get me wrong. I am very glad I went up, and had a fantastic time, but the view itself was nothing out of the ordinary for me.  I thought that the sunrise on Haleakala last year on Maui was a lot more impressive.

I am always up for good food.  I had a very good bowl of ramen inside a Japanese supermarket.

A few poke dishes:

And few cocktails.  Look at this $5 pina colada at happy hour.  It was such a steal.

At our hotel poolside, there was no happy hour on Sunday, but we had some very yummy cocktails:

Last night I had a 90-minute massage that was quite good.  Today I am going to join a tour to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  I am super excited about the food tour I’ll take on Tuesday.  It will take me to the North Shore of the island trying a few different dishes at a few different places.  Since we didn’t rent a car, I thought that this would be a great way to see the other side of the island and try some Hawaiian dishes.

So this is my visit to Honolulu so far!  I hope that today Bob gets to get off a bit earlier so we can do something together. Two more days before I go back to reality, and five more days until our baby shower!

MicroblogMondays: Cribs!

When I started putting the baby registries together, I decided that we wouldn’t order fancy cribs.  Just something with simple design and a nice color.  I didn’t want to buy those convertible cribs that would turn into a twin bed.  Who knows what we would like to do in the future with the twins’ sleeping situation, right?  I didn’t want to commit ourselves to 4-in-1 expensive cribs.  One of the websites that is devoted to baby stuff recommended this particular crib.  I liked its color and its simplicity.  So I just added the cribs on the registry fully expecting ourselves to be buying them after the baby shower with the completion discount.  Little did I know that my brother and sister-in-law considered buying the cribs for us.  They looked one night and became tired, so they decided to look the next day again before they ordered them for us.  When they went back to look, it was too late!  Someone else already bought them for us!  This lady from our church is super nice and love babies.  She wasn’t originally on the guest list for the baby shower.  She hunted down my sister-in-law at church one day and asked about our baby shower.  She expressed her desire to come and offered to bring food.  She was so excited about being able to babysit for us in the future!  (She lives five minutes away from us.)  Of course we added her on the list because she was just super sweet about it.  She bought us the cribs the next day.  It was such a surprise that she was so generous with us and bought us these big ticket items.  A dear friend of ours offered a long time ago to help us put together furniture and do any childproof/home improvement projects before the babies arrive.  This past weekend, he came by and helped Bob put together these for the babies:

They are now lying on the floor sideways to save room.  My dear blog friend Maddie is going to come all the way from another state to attend our baby shower in a couple of weeks. (Can’t wait to meet her!  Exciting!)  After her stay in the babies’ room, we will set up the cribs and purchase an 8-drawer dresser from Ik.ea.

I can’t wait to see the babies sleep in their cribs!

Pediatrician

I’ve been really busy the past few days but I feel I should write an update on this topic.

Finding a good pediatrician for the twins has been on my list.  I just don’t want to wait until the last minute to scramble when we return home with the babies.  So I took some time to think about what I would like in a pediatrician.  My work place is about half an hour from home.  I don’t know my childcare plan after my maternity leave, but I would probably prefer a daycare close to home.  So then I’d prefer a pediatrician close to home rather than close to work.  All my coworkers with kids live in the city so no one can give me a good recommendation for a pediatrician in my hood in the suburbs.  I searched for all the pediatricians within 10 minutes of my house and looked each one of them up online to find reviews about them.  There is one particular practice that is 8 minutes from home and it belongs to one of the biggest hospital systems in the area that is non-Kaiser.  One of the doctors there has the most 5-star reviews.  But that kind of turns me off because it means he is very busy and he doesn’t look exactly young, so he may retire some time soon.  He is also the only one who does not accept new patients except for newborns.  And he is the only one in that practice who does not have an option to make an appointment online.  So given his popularity, I would pass.  The reviews on another doctor in that same practice attracted me.  He seems experienced and has very positive reviews from parents.  They all praise him for being compassionate, caring, willing to listen, quick but not rushed, and being responsive to emails.  I had been putting off contacting anyone but on my birthday on Monday I just felt like it was the right time to call.  The representative who answered was going to schedule a meet and greet appointment for me.  When she heard that I wanted to schedule with this particular doctor, she said she’d have to talk to his team and have someone call me back.  I left her with my contact information and patiently waited.

Bob and I were taking an online class to learn about taking care of twins Monday evening when my phone rang.  I don’t usually pick up the phone from an unfamiliar number anymore.  But I quickly did an online search on the phone number and found that it was associated with the pediatrician that I was trying to schedule!  It was indeed the doctor himself who was calling me back after hours to try to schedule a time with me for meet and greet.  I mean, that is enough to impress me.  What doctor would call you back himself these days?  His voice message was nice and welcoming.  He said that schedule wise it has been a busy month for him for meet and greet but since we are expecting twins, he’d accommodate me any way we need. After the online class, I called his number back and he promptly picked up the phone.  It sounded like he was driving home from work.  We had a nice chat.  He asked me for my schedule so he could accommodate me. I asked him what he had available.  He then mentioned about the next day at 5pm he had a cancellation as the woman who was scheduled at that time just gave birth so she could no longer come to that appointment.  I was happy that he could see me so soon, but I couldn’t make it at 5pm.  He was so accommodating.  We scheduled a time at 5:30pm so I could just leave work at the regular time to meet him there.

The next day I was super busy at work.  Right before I left, I printed out a list of questions online to ask the doctor.  The clinic’s location is convenient enough for us.  It is exactly 8 minutes from home.  The building looks very new.  I walked into the waiting room and saw on the left side that there was an area for newborn only.  First impression was good.  The front desk lady was very friendly.  I was led to an exam room by the pediatrician’s nurse who took down some information from me.  And the the doctor came in.

Let’s call him Dr. Easygoing.  He is truly friendly.  He introduced himself to me by his first name.  The whole time, he looked me in my eyes and chatted with me about everything, just like a new friend trying to get to know me.  He asked me questions about me, my background, and Bob’s upbringing.  He told me a bit about himself.  He joked that he is the “newbie” in that practice as he was the last hire.  But he has been there for 21 years, so doctors there stay for a long time.  He said I might wonder if my babies would be able to stay under his care for a while.  He is in his early 50s and started a family in his 40s.  He joked that his kids are still young and he is not going anywhere.  He still needs to take care of them.  Dr. Easygoing has many twins under his care.  He said it was by accident.  About six years ago, some twins were referred to him.  After that, he started to see a steady stream of twins.  Later on he met a fellow pediatrician whose last time resembled his.  This pediatrician said he used to have a lot of twin patients, but the referrals started dwindling at the same time Dr. Easygoing started getting the twin referrals.  So it seems like the nurses who made the referrals mixed up the two doctors’ names!

We talked about bit about the practice.  This is a brand new clinic that has been there for a couple of years.  It’s about 10,000 square foot big.  There are 7 doctors in the practice.  The doctor who started the practice is the super popular one.  He’s probably not taking new patients because he’s in his 70s now.  The clinic’s hours are from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday, there are clinic hours from 8am to 5pm at another location that is about 15 minutes away from home.  He said that if we choose him as a pediatrician, the twins will most likely see him at every visit even at sick visits.  They provide same day visits for sick kids.  All I will have to do is to write him an email and he will respond promptly and get us in.  This is unlike my friends’ experience at bigger practices where they’d see different doctors every time.  When the babies are born, we will schedule an appointment with him for them to be seen at around 5 to 6 days old provided that we go home right away.  He told me that one of us can check in while the other person stays with the babies outside.  Once checked in, we can take the babies in the exam room directly to avoid being in the waiting room.  This is a practice with 99% of the patients getting vaccinated on scheduled, which is important to me.

Dr. Easygoing is really easygoing.  He said that he hopes we consider choosing his practice.  But if we decide to go somewhere else, he will have no hard feelings. And in the future if we choose to go with another pediatrician in the same practice after seeing him for a while, no hard feelings either.  He is just very friendly and nice.

He asked me about the donor egg and surrogacy experience.  So I told him briefly about what happened.  At one point, he mentioned about Annie by saying “the mom”, and he caught himself and self-corrected right away, saying that “I shouldn’t call her the mom because you are the mom.  She is the surrogate.”  Thank you doctor for catching yourself!

I asked him about the whole question about colostrum at birth vs. going directly to formula.  He told me that he’s seen so many babies in his life. It really makes no difference.  So if Annie is willing to pump the colostrum, let her do it. But if I feel better going directly to formula, no problem either.  As long as the babies are fed and loved, that’s all that matters.  I asked him about skin-to-skin right after the C-section before the babies get cleaned up.  He said it doesn’t make a huge difference either.  If we would like to bond with the babies immediately after birth, by all means ask for skin-to-skin before clean up.  But the other way is great as well.  The key is to consider what I want and not to feel bad or guilty about not choosing the other option.  The babies will be loved no matter what.  When the babies come home, he said that we will forget what they ate at the hospital as we will be focusing on their life at home.  Then the most important thing would be to have them on the same schedule to sleep well and be fed well.  Other things that did or didn’t happen at the hospital won’t matter much anymore.

After we chatted, Dr. Easygoing showed me around this huge clinic.  He showed me all the exam rooms and where he stores the vaccines.  He told me that he does all the shots himself because he wants the continuity and consistency.  There was an x-ray room and a room for doing stitches and stuff.  They also do in-house lab as well.  I asked him about formula and he gave me a bunch of samples so we can try with the babies once we get home.  When we said goodbye, he gave me his business card and told me to give him a call on his cell phone any time from now until the babies are born if I have any questions.  I looked at my watch when I got out of the building.  Dr. Easygoing spent a whole hour with me.  I didn’t expect that at all because I have read that pediatricians usually spend about 10 minutes at meet and greet.  I was thoroughly impressed.

So it seems like we’ve found the winner!  Dr. Easygoing will be our twins’ pediatrician.  I firmly believe that the babies will be well taken care of under his care.  I am so happy to be able to cross one more thing off my to-do list!

MicroblogMondays: Breast Milk

Today is my birthday.  The fact that we are finally expecting our two babies makes this year’s birthday super special.

But, this is not what I want to talk about.  Today, I want to talk about breast milk.

One of the topics that was discussed during our interviews with surrogates was pumping breast milk for the babies.  At the time, Annie said yes to pumping, although she has never pumped before for her children and breastfeeding wasn’t that successful for her.  She said she would try her best to pump and was also quite insistent on me trying to induce lactation.

I did my research on induced lactation and talked to my friend who used a surrogate and nursed her twins for two months following induced lactation.  After reading a book on this topic and serious consideration, I made a decision not to breastfeed.  I believe that I will bond with my babies without nursing them and feel that this is the right path for me.  It is a very personal decision that one has to make for themselves.  I am aware that this is a very sensitive topic.  Recently I have received my fair share of mean comments regarding my surrogacy journey so I want to make it clear that this is my decision to make and I would appreciate readers to keep their negative comments or opinions to themselves.

Throughout the pregnancy, it had been my understanding that Annie would not breastfeed the twins at birth but she’d pump for them as long as she could.  After our 28 week ultrasound last week, she wanted to chat with me on the phone about breast milk.  One night last week we finally found the time to do so.  She told me that after praying about it for the last two months, she decided not to pump for the twins.  Given how difficult this pregnancy has been for her, she would like to heal as soon as possible after birth and go back to being a mom to her kids.  Since she has never pumped before, the thought of pumping every few hours, storing the milk, packing, and mailing it sounds very daunting to her.  She had felt very guilty about it because she wanted to do what is the best for the twins, but she also needed to do what is best for her and her family as well.

My initial reaction was disappointment because this new development wasn’t what I expected.  At the same time, I could understand where she was coming from.  I know that breastfeeding is not easy.  Many women live a guilt ridden life because of difficulty breastfeeding their children.  Pumping for someone else’s babies is a lot of work and can be stressful.  I know some people take the position that breast is best.  Breast milk is wonderful.  But I also believe that it’s perfectly good to give our babies formula.  I don’t want me or Annie to feel guilty for not being able to provide breast milk for the babies.  After my initial disappointment, I feel fine about it now.  I did request for Annie to pump or hand-express colostrum after birth.  She said that she would do whatever we ask her to do during her stay in the hospital.  She mentioned that a fellow surrogate in her support group offered to pump for us.  I know that I have to be careful with unscreened donor breast milk so I need to do more research on that.

I wrote Dr. E about the situation and asked how many days Annie should try to give us colostrum.  Dr. E said if it were her, she’d skip the colostrum and get skin to skin with the babies and bottle-feed them.   She said that she bottle fed two babies and breastfed two babies.  And to her, there was no difference whatsoever.  She didn’t want me to feel even an ounce of guilt at all.  She said that if we want, we could always buy from a bank.  She also has a local carrier who is 12 weeks pregnant now.  This carrier doesn’t want to pump for the family for personal reasons but she plans on donating her breast milk to a bank anyways.  Dr. E said that she could always ask this carrier to pump for us if we would like.   We would have to find an alternative way before this carrier gives birth to her surro-baby.  But it is an option for us.

So this is where we stand.  I will explore the possibility of getting breast milk from a bank or from a known or screened donor.  We will also try formula with the babies and see how they do.  I am glad that Annie told me this far in advance so I can get myself mentally ready for what to do when the twins are born.

Again, I know this is a controversial and sensitive topic that many feel strongly about.  So, I would appreciate your support for us as this is not the place to assert your position on this topic.  Kindness goes a long way and it is welcome here. 

Third Trimester Starts Tomorrow

The ultrasound scan yesterday marked another milestone for us, although we did it two days before we reach 28 weeks.  Annie’s local hospital has a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit and can take babies that are born at 28 weeks and weigh as little as 2 pounds.  Any time before that, we risk having to go to a hospital with level 4 NICU in the neighboring state an hour away where surrogacy is illegal.  Needless to say, Bob and I have been waiting for this day when we can breathe a sigh of relief.  This day is almost here.

At the ultrasound yesterday, Annie was there with Kenneth and the boys.  It was very unusual for them but they were 15 minutes late.  I was patiently and not so patiently waiting at home for Annie’s video call as my mind was going to bad places, like accident or something.  But I also knew that it was going to be fine.  After a long time, Kenneth finally Facetimed me outside of the building as the reception was so bad in the ultrasound room that he wanted to work his way back into it.  The video was going in and out with a message telling me that the connection was poor and the video would resume.  I could still hear what was going on there but I could barely see the grainy black and white on the screen.

So here are the stats.  Baby A had a heart rate of 141 and weighed 2 lb 10 oz.  He/she was measuring 28 weeks 1 day.  Baby B had a heart rate of 159 and weighed also 2 lb 10 oz.  He/she was measuring 28 weeks 3 days.  Considering that yesterday was 27 weeks 5 days, both of them were measuring ahead.  Apparently since they are so much bigger now, the ultrasound tech had a difficult time measuring their length.  Kenneth said that the babies’ foreheads were touching, with one lying on the side to the right and one lying on the side to the left.  It sounds like there isn’t much room in there for them.  Kenneth said that the babies seem to be resting but he said, “Trust me, they have been very active.”

I still think that Baby A is a girl and Baby B is a boy.  But again, who knows, right?  I could be all wrong.  🙂

After a little while, Annie called me in the exam room with Dr. OB so we could talk about the scan and the delivery date.  Dr. OB is against moving the C-section date any earlier than 38 weeks.  He really wants to give the babies a chance to grow and be mostly fully developed before we take them out.  He told me that we could stick with 38 weeks 2 days like we have planned for all along, or he could call to reschedule for 38 weeks exactly.  He didn’t know if it was a possibility because the hospital only allows three scheduled C-sections a day.  I made a decision to just stick with September 15th since we have all been used to that date.  I just like the sound of September 15th if the babies allow us to wait until that point.

Dr. OB told me that Bob and I need to get the vaccine for whooping cough in the next couple of weeks for it to be effective at the time of the birth.  I’m thinking we should get my mom to do it as well.  

Since I won’t be doing a tour at the labor and delivery at the hospital, I asked Dr. OB if I should call the hospital to speak with someone about the arrangement for me and Bob as intended parents on the day of the birth.  He said that it would be a good idea and gave me the name and phone number of the director of that department.  I will be calling the lady tomorrow to speak with her about the room available for us and the arrangement during the C-section.

In terms of the scan, Dr. OB said both babies are doing well.  They are at 57th percentile, which to me is perfect.  I don’t want them to be too small or too big.  Right about the middle is great for Annie to carry them.  Their breathing score (that’s what I call it) is good too, just like last time.  They are basically very healthy and right on track.

Annie did her glucose test a couple of weeks ago.  She passed this test with flying colors.  She had no anemia, no protein in her urine, and no contractions.  Her blood pressure was great.  Basically, she is rocking this twin pregnancy so far with a clean bill of health.

I am just so grateful.

The next appointment will be two weeks from yesterday where Dr. OB will check on the babies’ heart rates and Annie’s general health.  In four weeks, we’ll have another ultrasound to check on the growth.  Bob and I will be there in 5 weeks to visit, and I will stay on that Monday to attend an appointment.  Dr. OB and I discussed whether to postpone the ultrasound to 5 weeks from now so that I can see the scan, but he feels better to have the scan in four weeks.  When I attend the appointment, he will do the nonstress test and maybe a bit of scan to show me the babies.  He said that from 32 weeks on, Annie will have 2 nonstress tests each week, on Monday and Thursday.  I like the sound of that.  Basically, Annie will be monitored closely and regularly until the babies come to this world.

Tomorrow is 28 weeks when the 3rd trimester starts.  We basically have 10 weeks left.  Can you imagine?  In 2 1/2 months, we’ll have Bunny and Okra in our arms….. It just sounds so crazy and amazing!

MicroblogMondays: Almost 28 weeks, and Things Are Looking Up

Almost 28 weeks here.  Today, at 27 weeks 5 days, we will have our ultrasound at 10am.  We were all supposed to be there with Annie this weekend for this appointment.  Ever since Annie’s anxiety and hemorrhoid problems, we canceled this trip that was also supposed to be for our maternity photo shoot not knowing if she was going to up for moving around and smiling in front of the camera. I was bummed about not being able to go or to have my photo shoot but didn’t want to force things on anybody.  So I was okay with canceling.  As usual, I will be attending today’s appointment virtually by video conferencing Annie in the ultrasound room.  I hope that we will continue to have good news all around.

Speaking of Annie, she seems to be doing so much better these days.  Interactions with her remind me of the Annie pre-anxiety attack.  She is slowly going back to being her old self.  I am so psyched to see that we can freely contact her without feeling as if we are walking on eggshell.  I felt that Bob had become a little guarded with his feelings after the whole thing with the anxiety attack.  We talked a few times about going to visit Annie one weekend and spend time with her as well as to feel the babies’ movements, but nothing really materialized.  Two weeks ago, Bob and Annie were exchanging emails with regard to something computer related that he was helping her with.  Annie mentioned that the babies were saying hello by moving around a lot while she was writing the email.  This must have touched Bob’s heart somehow because after that he told me that we should really find a time to go visit in July or August.  We can’t go in July as all the weekends have been booked.  Plus the plane tickets are pricey.  The first weekend of August seems to be a good choice.  We finally booked the tickets to arrive at Annie’s town the first Friday in August late evening.  Bob will come home that Sunday so he doesn’t have to miss work.  I have arranged for myself to fly home a day later so hopefully I can attend an OB appointment with Annie that Monday as we will reach 32 weeks then and Dr. OB wants to see her twice a week for non-stress test.

Remember that maternity photo shoot I have always wanted to do?  Annie is totally up for it.  So I contacted the photographer that we have booked for the birth photography and she can do a session for us the Sunday morning of our August trip!  I know that the light before sunset is the best, but we don’t have that kind of time as the photographer is already booked that Saturday.  But it doesn’t matter.  I am just so grateful that we still have a chance to do this barring the babies deciding to come any time before that.  (My hope is that they will stay put until much later.)

Getting my hair colored and cut was one of the items on my to-do list called “Before Twins”.  White hair has sprouted all over my head the last six months.  I had never highlighted or dyed her hair, so getting it colored was a bit scary.  But, I would like to look more youthful for my babies, so I finally made an appointment with my usual hair stylist and got my hair colored dark brown for the first time in my life.  I love the new hair color!  It looks very natural on me, and it does make me look a lot younger as it covers up all my white hair.

This new hair color and cut is totally photo shoot ready.  Now I just have to figure out what clothes to coordinate with everyone and the style of photography I want.

Our C-section was originally scheduled for September 15th, at 38 weeks 2 days.  Annie picked out a Friday because her husband was originally going to attend a 3-month training 9 hours away starting in late August so she thought that a Friday might be easier for him to take time off.  Apparently, her husband’s supervisor decided to postpone his training to January 2018 because he does not want Kenneth to be distracted by the birth and what’s happening at home.  I know that Kenneth is a bit bummed about it, but right now at least he’ll be around during the last few weeks of the pregnancy to help out so Annie doesn’t feel stressed about single-parenting anymore.  Annie asked us if we could move the C-section date to a Sunday or Monday so that Kenneth could stay home with the kids on his days off while she recuperates in the hospital.  Originally we were okay with moving it earlier to that Monday prior, which will be 37 weeks 5 days.  However, Bob doesn’t want the babies to be associated with a birthday on September 11th.  Today, we will ask Dr. OB if 37 weeks 4 days (Sunday) will be too early or 38 weeks 4 days (the following Sunday) will be too late.  You know, we can plan all we want, but the babies may decide to come earlier.

On the home front, we have made a ton of progress.  All the furniture that needed to be moved out of the babies’ room got moved.  We put one of the book cases in our bedroom, which has made our room look so much nicer somehow.  The shades that we ordered should arrive any time and we’ll have them installed.  We have kept all the books that we want and put away the ones that we don’t need anymore.  The house is looking better each weekend.  The car seats and the extra bases that my mom bought for us are waiting in the garage.  We even have the cribs!  A church friend totally surprised us and bought the cribs on our registry for us.  I never expected anyone to buy them for us let alone a friend.  Having these baby items in our house makes it all very real that we will have some new members who will occupy (invade?!?) our otherwise very tidy and clean space very soon.

Can you believe that we are almost done with the second trimester?  If all goes well (and the twins stay put for as long as possible), we’ll meet our babies in about 10 weeks.  It is still so surreal but at the same time so real.  It is a little scary to not know how things will all unfold, but I can hardly wait to have the babies in my arms!  In a matter of weeks, our lives will forever change.

Chinese Parents’ Reactions

We are 27 weeks today.  Woohoo!

In order to best prepare for my maternity leave, I have started to tell the parents of the kiddos that I work with about the gestational surrogacy and the twins’ scheduled arrival in September.  Majority of the kids on my caseload are Chinese, so majority of the parents with whom I share the news are Chinese.   The dads are more practical.  Most of them didn’t say congratulations and just took whatever I said as facts.  They were more concerned about the schedules in my absence and whether their kiddos can be seen by me again when I return from maternity leave.  One of the dads has boy/girl twins.  With a nervous smile on his face (I don’t know why), he just said, “You will be super busy”.  I just have to take his word for it because he is the one with the experience of twins (and one with disability).  Most Chinese moms were more typical.  They were a little surprised at first, and they usually congratulated me, especially after I confirmed that we are indeed expecting a boy and a girl.  They all said, “You are so lucky!”  I get bugged at times by this reaction.  To me, a person who has been longing for a baby, I would feel blessed if God gives me a boy, a girl, two boys, or two girls.  I just want a baby.  It really doesn’t matter to me if it’s a boy or a girl.  But I can understand why many people feel that this is a lucky thing because I will have an “instant” family in one shot.

And then there were these two Chinese moms.  Chinese Mom Number One’s reaction was the most peculiar.  This is how it went down:

Me: [My blurb about having a surrogate carrying twins for us]

Mom: Have you given birth before?

Me: No.  These are going to be my first children.

Mom: Beware of breast cancer.

Me: ……

Who in the world would respond to another person sharing baby news by warning that person of the risks of breast cancer??!?

She went on and on about her sister who had never given birth and got breast cancer.  She truly believes that her sister’s sickness was due to never having given birth.  I mean, I had heard that before, and it could be true(??), but this is not a normal reaction to another person announcing baby news.  What about a simple congratulations?  And how can someone be “careful” about getting breast cancer?  Regardless of me telling her about my annual checkup and mammogram, this mom still insisted that my chances are higher as her sister also did annual check up and still got it.  And if I said that I don’t have family history, she responded by saying you don’t have to have family history to get breast cancer.  At that point, I gave up.

Chinese Mom Number Two was a bit more normal.  After I told her the news, she congratulated me.  However, as we discussed the schedule, she blurted out, “How nice for you that you don’t have to carry the babies!”  Wow.  Just wow.  I was speechless for a few seconds.  Who in the right mind would say such a thing?  How could she not think even for one second the reason why we needed to pursue surrogacy for a baby?  Who would go to this extreme measure to have a baby just so that she doesn’t have to carry the babies?  She didn’t consider for one second that I would feel that it’s my loss not to be able to carry my own children.  It just blows my mind.  I simply answered, “If I could carry, I would, but since I can’t, this is the path we have taken” and left it at that.

The parents’ reactions have been my entertainment/drama for the past few days.  I haven’t told all the parents yet, so we will see what else I will be told.  But I guess I won’t be surprised by what anyone says anymore.  Who can top these two Chinese moms, right?