Surrogacy Series #9- Nesting in the Nursery

Hope your week is going well, everyone!

I am inching my way through our surrogacy story and thought I would use this post to share a little bit about my nesting experience as an intended mother (the term for me in the surrogacy world) and to share some pictures of Ivy’s room.

As I have shared in previous posts, having someone else carry your baby is a bit of a surreal experience.  It was often difficult for me to process that our biological child was the one kicking, growing and wiggling in there! Pregnancy naturally makes a woman stop, slow down, and often face the reality that a baby is on the way.  But since I didn’t have morning sickness, backaches, and sleepless nights, I had to consciously decide to prepare myself for this baby.  I threw a lot of that energy towards her nursery.

After our adoption fell apart, the nursery was a very tender place for me.  A few months after we lost her, I chose a night to clean it out.  My dad and father in law had kindly taken down the crib for us when we had left town and I had shoved some things in boxes, but it was largely untouched.  So that night, I put on some of my favorite music and locked myself in there for a few hours.  I sorted clothes and packed up the baby gear.  I put things in large trash bags and labeled them for the future.  I took down the pictures off the walls and when it was all said and done, I sat in the silence of the room and cried.  I thought about the special memories we had made in that room with that sweet girl.  I remembered bringing her home for the first time and seeing the IT’S A GIRL sign and pops of pink that my in-laws had surprised us with. I remembered rocking her.  I remembered her first bath and the sweet outfits she wore.

I remembered losing her. (more…)

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Surrogacy Series #8- The Second Trimester

Hi everyone!!!

I have happily had my arms and my heart full the past 8 weeks with one very special little girl.  Between diaper changes, middle of the night feedings and the very best baby snuggles, I have taken a little break from blogging.  But as always, time seems to go SO FAST and I am afraid I am going to forget things about her birth….so time to catch up!

But since I only announced her birth on social media and not on here, I would like to formally introduce the newest little love of my life.  Ivy Rae Kent was born on February 9, 2016 and every detail about how she came into the world was miraculous.  It is the only word I can find to describe this whole thing. I am looking forward to telling you all about it!

Baby_Ivy_020

But for now….I need to get back to telling the rest of our surrogacy storyIn my last post, I had just found out that we were having a little girl at our gender reveal party.  That was certainly a jittery, crazy, unbelievable high.

But as the second trimester unfolded, Stacy and I seemed to get into a routine.  As with any pregnancy, it is LONG and many average days and nights pass by without much notice.  And especially in my case, sometimes it was easy to forget that OUR baby was on the way.  I wasn’t pregnant.  I continued to drink wine, eat as much sushi as I wanted, and didn’t have to compromise my insane cheese obsession in any way.  I continued to work, take care of Jack including potty training and many tantrums, struggle through my own grief over the past few years, and TRY to wrap my head around what was actually going on.

One highlight of the second trimester was feeling Ivy kick for the first time.  I received a text message from Stacy in the beginning of September saying that she was pretty sure the flutters she had been feeling were indeed Ivy kicking!  I was thrilled to hear this because I had been looking forward to this part of the pregnancy.  Now, I could actually feel her with my own skin…with my own hands.  If she couldn’t be in my belly, this was the closest thing to getting to experience her before birth.

And with it, came a wave of sadness.

I would never feel my baby kick in my own womb. (more…)

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Surrogacy Series #7- The Gender Reveal

Happy Wednesday!

Well, we are two days away from our due date and I absolutely cannot believe that our baby has not been born yet!  We were at risk for pre-term labor and thought for sure we would not make it to February.  But alas, here we are!

I am working my way through our surrogacy story and hoping I am able to capture all the details about this amazing experience.  Today’s post is about one of my favorite memories so far!

During our first OB appointment, our midwife told us that we were eligible to take a blood test right away to screen for chromosomal conditions.  The test would also reveal the baby’s gender. In my excitement, I had already scheduled a gender reveal ultrasound at an elective ultrasound place at 14 weeks.  But when they told us we could take this test right away AND that it would be 98% accurate, we decided to cancel the ultrasound.  We met with a genetic counselor who explained the test and she let us know that they would call Stacy with the results. (more…)

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Surrogacy Series #6- Finishing the First Trimester

Hi all!  As many of you know, Baby Kent may be here ANY DAY NOW!  I am going CRAZY.  We were so busy during the holidays and it went by so fast.  But now that January has hit, time seems to be going by….so…….slowly.  I am praying for loads of patience because I know every day she is still in utero, she continues to grow and develop.

BUT, with all this extra time, I can get caught up on our surrogacy story!

Our story picks up after our first, successful ultrasound.  Again, we were THRILLED, but the thought of an impending miscarriage kept trying to steal our joy.  During these precious weeks, I trained myself to focus only on today and pray for grace and strength to live out whatever was going to happen.  It brought me some peace, but it was hard not to be on edge.

Thankfully, when you do IVF or a FET, you get TONS of ultrasounds.  Our doctor let us come in every week until we “graduated” at 10 weeks to our regular OB.  Each week, our baby continued to grow and I began to take a deep breath.  It was amazing to see how much had changed each week! (more…)

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Surrogacy Series #5- Pregnancy Test and First Ultrasound

Happy new year, friends!  Can I tell you how happy I am that 2016 has arrived?  Like many of you, it is time for a fresh start.  The turning of a new year reminds me that there is always a chance to begin again.

If that’s you….start today.

Begin again.

You may have noticed that in the new year, my site has a brand new look!  One of my goals this year is to take my writing and my blog a bit more seriously.  My brother and hubby helped me give my site a makeover and the beautiful images from our friend, Aaron Huniu Photography, were a very special addition. Thank you, guys!

Also, you may notice I have a brand new logo!  My good friend from high school, Jenny, has since turned her passion into her profession and I pretty much love everything she does.  She graciously designed the logo of my dreams and it was such a pleasure to work with her.  If you need a new logo, have an upcoming wedding, or would like some stunning art pieces, you NEED to check out her site, Graceline. Thank you, Jenny!

My last post in my surrogacy series told the story of our Transfer day. We were now in the dreaded “two week wait”  (the term those of us in the infertility world use to describe the agonizing time between treatment and the pregnancy test).

This waiting period is never fun, but this time we had so much at sake.  We had spent thousands on the medical and legal fees. Stacy, her husband Justin, and their family were invested.  Our friends and family were waiting with anticipation.

Please, Lord.  Let this work…. (more…)

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Glitter- One Year Later

It is 11:12pm on 11/29/2015.  There are 48 minutes left until her birthday.

I am sitting in the nursery that I have worked on the last few months preparing for my daughter who is due to be born in a few short months.

But tonight I am thinking about another little girl I gave my heart to one year ago today.  I want so badly to type her name here.  To tell you the name we gave “our” little girl.  To tell you that her middle name was my Grandma’s name.  I want to say her name out loud to remind myself and anyone listening that she was once a part of our family.

But she isn’t mine anymore.  And it doesn’t feel right to say it out loud. (more…)

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Surrogacy Series #4- Transfer Day!

Hi all!  Apparently, last time I got a little too confident about blogging weekly.  Justin started a new job and it has been a bit of a struggle adjusting to our new schedule and all the moving parts that come with having two full time jobs and raising a three year old.  But writing is important to me and I am going to need to learn to squeeze it in somewhere!

The story so far has led us right up to Transfer Day!!!

Stacy had been faithfully following the protocol leading up to this day.  She had graciously been administering drugs and shots to get her body ready to actually transfer the embryos.  She passed all the requirements and we got the green light to proceed with the transfer as scheduled.

This day has always been a day full of many powerful emotions for me.  I had experienced 5 of them at the time of this story, so I knew the drill by heart. I knew about getting the call from the embryologist in the morning, the long drive up to Del Mar, sitting in the waiting room with clenched hands and nervous minds, meeting the embryologist and seeing a picture of our little babies, the relatively painless and fast process of transferring the embryos, laying in the dark and quiet room alone in my thoughts and prayers afterward, and the equally long drive home with the astonishing feeling that there were now more than just the two of us in the car.

But today would be different.  (more…)

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Surrogacy Series #3- Medical and Legal Screening

Hi all! I am hoping to get back in the groove of writing every week.  I realized that if I don’t keep up, I will have a NEWBORN before I know it and time for writing might not be as readily available.

But believe me, I won’t be complaining.  I can’t wait until this baby is born!!!

But now I am just getting ahead of the story! Back to where we were….

In my last post, I talked about the difficulty we had in making the decision to take yet another risk to build our family.  But ultimately, we decided to go for it!  Justin and Stacy had waited patiently.  When we finally told them that we wanted to move forward, we all couldn’t believe it was actually going to happen!

But first, we had to get through the screening process. (more…)

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Our Surrogacy Journey- All the Links

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!– Our announcement video

Surrogacy Series #1- The Offer

Surrogacy Series #2- The Decision

Surrogacy Series #3- Medical and Legal Screening

Surrogacy Series #4- Transfer Day

Surrogacy Series #5- Pregnancy Test and First Ultrasound

Surrogacy Series #6- End of the First Trimester

Surrogacy Series #7- The Gender Reveal

Surrogacy Series #8- The Second Trimester

Surrogacy Series #9- Nesting in the Nursery

Surrogacy Series #10- Our Baby Shower

Surrogacy Series #11- Our Surrogacy Maternity Photo

Surrogacy Series #12- Third Trimester Festivities

Surrogacy Series #13- Waiting for Baby…With Complications

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Surrogacy Series #2- The Decision

Welcome to the second installment of our First Trimester Surrogacy blog series! I apologize for the break.  It has been a busy summer!

If you haven’t read the first post or gotten caught up on our story, you may want to check those out first!

Alright…back to the story….

We had just received the generous and unexpected offer from Stacy and her husband, Justin for surrogacy. I was in the in the middle of a FET round (although our official baseline appointment wasn’t for a few more days), so we told them that if this round didn’t work, we would talk to them about it for our next and final round. (more…)

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