Friday, December 2, 2016

A Memorable Thanksgiving (and a new match)

Long time, no type. Hope you are all doing well. Happy December!

Let's backtrack a little-

What an awesome Thanksgiving. Not only did I get to spend it with a lot of extended family, (breakfast with my dad & step mom's family & lunch/dinner with my husband's extended family) but we also had a special visitor from far away. I have a new independent match with an awesome international couple who found me through my blog. We've been getting to know each other the past 2 months. (We are currently waiting on medical records/medical clearance)
The IF was visiting family in CA and doing some traveling and made a stop in Utah. He spent his first Thanksgiving with us. It was so nice to meet him and introduce him to John's family. It was a very neat experience. He ended up spending the night with us since it would have been too cold to sleep in his RV and would probably have been difficult finding a last minute hotel on Thanksgiving.


We thought his RV was pretty groovy. Lol




We took a little tour of Salt Lake in the evening and froze when we got out to see the Capitol building. We got back in the car pretty quickly. I thought the lights were already up at Temple Square, but they weren't. Oh well.





In the morning John (my husband) made him some Apple Cider which was new to him. He seemed to like it.
We Skyped with IM and while we were talking to her, we heard a weird noise and then felt the house shake twice. We had a 3.2/3.3 earthquake. It was crazy!

IF brought us some awesome German Christmas candies/goodies.
The almonds are delicious! We're saving the rest for Christmas. I can't wait to have the kids put the ornaments on the tree. For now, they're hanging where our stockings go.


I am so excited for this journey. I definitely feel like we found each other for a reason. (Like God had a hand in it)  We have a very comfortable connection.  They are very easy and fun to talk to. Honestly, I feel like they are ideal IPs for me. We are excited to learn more about each other's cultures and this past weekend was a great start to that. Fingers crossed that I will be medically cleared and we can officially move forward soon.

IM and I were talking the other day about nicknames for them. We decided to keep with the Beatles theme like I did with my last journey, so you will know this beautiful couple as Paul and Linda.
😎 Hopefully we will get to meet Linda in person soon. Thanksgiving was our 2nd Skype session.

P.S. I'm still pumping and working on weaning this month, making it 24 months of being a milk mama for other babies.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What Now? (Edited update at bottom)

It's been 16 months since sweet Baby CiCi was born. I'm still pumping for babies in need.

And...

I'm so excited I could scream! 

I have a potential match with an awesome couple.

I kind of feel like we were in the right place at the right time to have found each other.

So far everything is lining up nicely.

We've been talking for over a month. We get along great and talk about pretty much everything. We did a video call a few weeks ago.

They are everything I would want in a couple- kind, loving, respectful.
We agree on all the important stuff. We pretty much have the same vision.

They don't have any children, so this will be their first. 

They have really done their homework and researched a lot of clinics. They recently decided to go with the one we used for Baby CiCi.

10 days ago I got the call from the clinic!
😊
They have me scheduled for a phone consult today with the Dr.
😃

The clinic still has to approve me , but I'm cautiously optimistic that this will work out and be an awesome final journey. I can't really see why they wouldn't approve me when I was approved last time through them and had an awesome, uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery.

I'll have to wean soon and I'm ready. I can't believe I've been pumping this long.

Wish me luck.

*UPDATE, 5/10/16:
The call with the clinic went well, however, the match didn't end up working out. We were both bummed and wished each other well. So, now I'm looking again. I'm in the process of signing up with an agency and have also been in contact with a few couples who are looking independently. It is so hard to find the right match. A connection is so important to me as well as other factors. It's also hard when I've had such amazing experiences with awesome IPs. I don't want to settle now. I feel that my final journey should be pretty damn spectacular. I'm not in a hurry, but I'm not getting any older either and I was looking forward to a break from pumping.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's up? (After the birth)

So, what have I been up to since the birth? About 1300 oz in breastmilk. (That's how much I've pumped since Catalina was born)



Yep, I've been pumping away. I've been fairly casual about it and I even sleep through the night. But I make sure I pump at least 4-6 times a day. (It feels like I'm always pumping)
I enjoy it though. I mean, it takes a lot of effort and I have to keep at it, but I do what I can to make it enjoyable. If we are running around, I pump in the car. Whatever it takes. I'm a milk mama.


While I was still pregnant, I hoped to be able to pump at least 25 oz/day. I got to that around 6-7 weeks postpartum. I am now up to about 30 oz/day and seem to be increasing still.

I haven't finished pumping yet today, in fact, I'm pumping now.
;-)

So far I have fed 5 babies with my milk and given a taste to a 6th. I have been donating to local families and will soon be donating to a milk bank. 

It's a wonderful feeling, but sometimes I feel bad like, this is Baby CiCi's milk, it belongs to her! It would absolutely go to her if my IPs lived closer or if shipping milk wasn't so expensive and such a pain in the butt. I'm glad she got some in her first 24 hours and I hope to get her more somehow.

And, in case you're wondering, IPs have stayed in touch and sent pictures which makes us all happy.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

A little pat on the back and thank you

I did it!

I have a dream job helping others.
(For those that don't know, I am co-founder and co-owner of Utah's first surrogacy agency) I get to do something that I have a love and passion for, something that I know and understand. This didn't happen overnight. This is something that I had worked up to over the past 9 years without even knowing it. But then one day, the timing was right and I got the ball rolling.

It hasn't been easy. There have been times that I didn't know if I could go on. But there are people who believed in me, people who encouraged me to do it in the first place, and people who have joined me in the process. 
THANK YOU!

Of course there were those who tried to stop me or at least slow me down and discourage me. But that just made me push harder. It made me more determined. We all have things to overcome and I'm so proud that I've made it this far and am
still going strong. I'm grateful for so many people who have supported me along the way and for those that have given our agency a chance.

I believe that you get what you put out. I believe in Karma and the golden rule and they have both treated me pretty good. 

Trust and respect are earned. The truth will shine through, even when people try to cloud things and spew their filth. I'm not saying I'm perfect. I am just proud that I've overcome anxieties and obstacles.

When I really set out to do something, I make it happen. When you choose to be honest, respectful and positive, it pays off. I feel lucky and blessed. It's not all luck though. You get what you put out and when you're doing the right things, things will fall into place. 

I started this all at the beginning of my own surrogacy journey/pregnancy when I was super tired and nauseous. But I didn't give up.

Now, 10 months and a few changes later, the agency is growing and doing well. I work with the Intended Parents and it's amazing. Of course it's heartbreaking to hear of their struggles, but it's inspiring to help them in their family goals and to look to the future.

We are working on 3 matches right now and it's very exciting. 

We are a great option for local couples and surrogates, but we are not limited to Utah. We have connections and resources worldwide.

We have a wonderful professional team that works great together.

If you want to learn more about the agency, or if you are looking for a surrogate or interested in becoming a surrogate, please visit 
www.DeliveringDreamsSurrogacy.com

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My doula's version of the birth story

I am not the same person I was when I first wanted to be a surrogate in 2002. I'm not even the same as when I first became a surrogate in 2005. Each journey has been unique and I've learned different things along the way. Even people I've met throughout the surrogacy community have helped shape me and opened me up to new things. 

One of those new things was a doula.  At one point I almost said forget it, do I really need one? Well, I'm glad I decided that whether I "needed" one or not, I certainly wanted one. And just like with surrogacy, I found my match. 

Terra was certainly nice and came across as knowing what she was doing. But as we met more often, I looked forward to our next meeting and I felt a friendship growing. She became a great support and someone I could talk to about personal things with the pregnancy. She helped me prepare for my natural VBAC and helped me achieve it! I can't imagine it any other way.
At one point I told her she was going to have it easy with me.

This is her beautiful version of my birth story. It absolutely moved me to tears. I am so grateful to have found her.

The Story of a Stork


Usually these stories are easy for me to write....they are filled with LONG labors where everything one person can think of was attempted. They are filled with stories of calm before storms and roaring babies earthside. This story is one of complete peace and acceptance...it is quick and beautiful...something I am not as used to seeing.

When I met Jill she was instantly someone I wanted to know more...Her story was AH-mazing! She has 3 beautiful children and has devoted the years after her own children to giving the gift of life to babies that would not have had the chance without her. She has given her time and her body to families all over the country so that they can have the gift of family. How many women are willing to do so much for someone they did not know?

As we got to know each other over the course of what seemed like only a week to me but months to an expanding woman who was so busy growing a baby and running a business while also being a wife and mother to 3 remarkable children I was astounded by the strength Jill had. As labor came and went, so did the temptation to give baby a little push to come. Jill remained calm and strong, she knew what she wanted for this baby and this family that she gracefully continued being pregnant and enjoying the exciting things she was experiencing. 

At her last Doctors appointment her Doctor pretty clearly laid down the law. She needed to have this baby and relatively soon. Jill knew what was best for this child so she set a date for her induction...she did not want it to end that way but again was happy to give this baby the safest and best outcome...no questions asked. Jill had a previous C-section and through lots of research and education she was planning a VBAC. She knew she could do it...she just needed one last piece to the puzzle...LABOR.

Jill went home that day and resigned to the fact that Monday she would help this baby with the final steps and be induced.....but of course there were bigger hands at play and her resignation meant something bigger had to take over. Sure enough at 4:28 AM on Saturday December 20th I got “the text” I just knew...this was it. We talked a little back and forth, I tried for one last cat nap. At 6:30 I was getting dressed and headed out. There was a misunderstanding and I met Jill and her family at the hospital...although I should have met them at a local gas station...I am sure they loved arriving at that gas station in labor...to realize I was 15 miles away sitting in the hospital parking lot. But all the same they made it and we got them upstairs and into triage. Jill seemed to me that she was in early labor but nothing major....I only saw 1 contraction and she curled her toes and said it was strong...but hey....if she could vocalize that....it HAD to be early? The nurse got her all checked in and checked her cervix she had what is called a bulging bag of waters and was a 4 or 5 cm. The nurse was positive...as was everyone else...this was it...so on we moved to a labor room. Jill got to the room just in time and crashed into the bed to have a contraction. As I scoped things out....I realized...there was no tub...Jill wanted a tub...so we waited that contraction out and moved to a HUGE corner room with a beautiful bathroom and a nice big tub! Now this was the place to labor! I asked for a birth ball and sprayed the room with some yummy citrus spray and began my set up for a LONG day of laboring beautifully and peacefully.

Soon enough her doctor came in and explained that he only felt comfortable with things moving rather quickly and that he would like to break Jills water. This was not what we wanted and Jill pleaded to have some time. She explained things were moving quickly and would happen soon....just a little more time. Her doctor reluctantly agreed but explained contractions were far apart so labor was likely to move very slow and an hour would not make a difference....but he would give her some time. So we began hoping things would progress at least a little in that hour. 

Jill was so calm and peaceful during her contractions and they were about every 5 minutes so we all assumed again that things were moving slow and steady and we would have a baby in the afternoon. But about 45 minutes later baby had a very large heart deceleration...all at once, without any indications. Nurses rushed in and paged Dr. Twede...he came in and they decided it was in fact probably a change in her cervix. They checked her and we were left amazed! She was and 8+! It was now 9:00 AM and we knew this was going to happen quickly. Dr. Twede then broke Jills water and told her she could just do what she needs to and he would be back when she felt “pushy”

From here things went quickly. Jill obviously felt things more intensely but continued to stay calm and peaceful. She listened to her playlist and when one of her kids would turn it down of off she immediately noticed and asked to have turned back up. She would smile and laugh as different songs came on. She would explain to us why different songs spoke to her. I would tell the story of Under Pressure...but it has been told a few times...and Jills version is the best...But I will say this. We watched a HUGE contraction build and take over the monitor...we expected Jill to become agitated but she just smiled and laughed as those lyrics were sang.

Shortly after that things felt different to Jill so Dr. Twede came up...it was time. Who knows how Jill did it...but transition: the time commonly depicted as moms screaming and hitting their husbands was so calm with Jill...she never made as much as squeak to let us on to the intensity she was feeling....she just sat and swayed and smiled...what a way to bring a baby into this world!

Pushing was intense and quick but she had her husband by her side and before you know it...a baby was laid on her chest and a pair of scissors was handed to Jill...that is right...she got to cut the cord! How symbolic that moment was....A woman severing the last tie before she places that baby into her parents arms. It was lovely. Jill was able to nurse and pass the baby to her children to say hello. It was amazing to see her strength and willingness. 

The following day was a whirlwind and I was not around to witness much....but I can say it was beautiful. CiCi's parents were amazing and wonderful! Their son was a ROCKSTAR celebrating his birthday via Skype. I doubt any of us will ever forget those moments and the beauty of what Jill has done. It was an honor serving those families:)

With that...I guess that concludes Jills Birth Story...It was amazing....I cant think of a better describing word. Such a wonderful day and moment in history.

Love to the Reeder family!