Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Extended blessings through surrogacy

I know many of you are curious about my adventures in surrogacy and have many questions. I will talk about what I can in other posts. For now I want to say what a blessing it is for me as a surrogate to be a part of something so amazing. Those moments stay with you forever.  When you get to see a couple become a family, it's a wonderful sight. When you are sincerely appreciated and thanked because you were the key to opening that door, it's an overwhelingly awesome feeling! Your heart becomes so full. It's an uplifting experience. All I have to do is think about it and I smile. If you're lucky, you get a great set of intended parents who keep in touch.

With my first surrogacy I had a pretty good experience. Towards the end however I felt I would be tossed aside. Now, there's nothing saying that either side has to keep in contact. It would be nice, but it's not mandatory. I knew that going into this. I didn't need the contact, I just hoped for it. But when she was born, I thought it would be, "Thank you very much, have a nice life.". "Goodbye".

It's been 3 1/2 years now and I still get e-mails, pictures, Christmas cards, etc. What really touched me was the Christmas card I got about a year and a half after she was born. They thanked me  again for everything I had done and were so grateful because without me they would not have their daughter. Because of their culture, I was  a secret to some. A lot of people didn't know they had a surrogate. Maybe that was part of the reason I thought I'd be "tossed aside". afterwards. But I wasn't. They have become long distance friends. (none of my couples have lived close) I knew they were happy and grateful the day she was born, but I feel so special that they have chosen to keep in touch and that they still think of me. The mom actually said that every time she looks at her she thinks of me. Not because she looks like me. (I only contributed my uterus)  She thinks of me because she wouldn't have her without me. These are her words, not mine. I had no idea that could feel so important, essential even. 

When S______ was born, it felt so natural to have her handed to her parents. I felt blessed to be the stork. I didn't want to feel left out, but I didn't want to impose on the parents bonding with their baby either. I didn't know how I would feel after she was born. Well she wasn born at about 4:00 AM, and I was happy and exhausted. She was my first natural birth and all I wanted to do was sleep. I was a 1st time surrogate and I wanted to do things right. She was not mine. The parents were set up in their own room in the hospital with her. My mom was there and my kids were there. They all got to hold her. My friend  (a surrogate too) even came to visit and got to hold her. I hadn't held her yet. My mom told me that S_____ wanted me to hold her before I left the hospital. I think it was about 10:00 PM when we went to their room to meet her and hold her. It didn't feel like I was holding the baby I had carried and delivered. It felt like I was holding my friend's baby and I was so happy for her and her husband. I had worried that I might get depressed after she was born, but I felt so uplifted. I felt overjoyed. I had never felt happier.


My 2nd set of IP's were wonderful. I just fell in love with them. I adored the mom and we emailed constantly.I got pregnant on the first try, but I sadly miscarried. They moved on and couldn't bear to try again. They had already been through so much. But they kept in touch. I'm so sad that I didn't get to see their dreams come true. My heart broke right along with them. But I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know such great people and to have shared such an intimate part of their lives.

My next IP's were great too. So nice and friendly. We all got along so well. They were very comfortable to be around, almost like old friends. The first embryo transfer failed, but we tried again and it was well worth it. We were not surprised to find out it was twins. I was so excited for them. Each surrogacy is different in it's own way. I felt pretty special to be a surrogate pregnant with twins. It wasn't the easiest pregnancy, but it was still very enjoyable. To feel two seperate babies moving inside of me, it was absolutely amazing. For awhile I couldn't tell them apart. But soon I knew that one was more quiet and calm and the other was the life of the party. I was so grateful to be a part of that experience. They have also kept in touch and I just feel honored.

You enjoy the surrogacy, you move on with your life and then you get reminders of the miracle(s) you were a part of. All of these parents have blessed me more than they know. My heart is so full. Here I am thankful for so much this year and I find a beautiful e-mail this morning:

"Jill and L____ -


I wanted to drop a quick note and some pictures of Mr. H______ and Mr. O______. Of the many things I am thankful for in my life, these two delicious boys are near (at) the top of my list. They are such a joy and are doing so well. While I don’t think we have it all under control yet, things are slowly getting easier. At 7 months (wow time has gone so fast), the boys do not require the minute-by-minute attention they used to. It is not always easy, but it is so satisfying. (The boys look serious in these photos, which is amazing, because they are giggling and smiling almost all the time.)

I thank Jill so much for helping us get these delicious monkeys and L_____ for helping bring it all about.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may God bless and protect you and your families.


Regards,

M_______ "

I was so touched and got a little choked up. This is above and beyond what I expected when I first wanted to be a surrogate in 2005. I have been blessed to be God's helper and those blessings just keep coming.

I am grateful to these families for choosing me to be their surrogate and for treating me like an angel.

*I decided to add pics. I apologize, I can't really show the precious babies.

1st surrogacy:



I can share this one, since you can't really see S____'s face.



Twin surrogacy:




This was towards the end- I got even bigger than what you see! I swear I gained 10 pounds in the week I was in the hospital before they were born.

This was the day I checked into the hospital 32 weeks. They were born at 33 weeks.


You should see the pic of my belly on the operating table.

Well ok, here ya go:



Sorry no pics of the boys. There faces are too distinctive and you can see them too well in each pic.
 I wish I had a pic of me holding the 2 of them I could share. You'll just have to use your imagination.

Update: (I got permission to share a pic of me and the boys on another post, so I'm adding it here as well)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!





Things I'm thankful for: 
My Blog and my readers!  :)
Licking egg beaters.
The smells of the season.
Lot's of food for good reason.
My family extended.
The mistakes that I've mended.
The memories through pictures.
The truth of the scriptures.
The songs of the Beatles.
My non-fear of needles.
Pumpkin treats a plenty.
Feeling loved ten times twenty.
The ones that call me Mother.
My sister, my brother.
Our cars that aren't broken.
The signs and the tokens.
My husband- out of the Navy.
Turkey , potatoes and gravy.
My sanity when it's around.
The new friends I've found.
My creativeness.
Days without stress.
Modern day technology.
My two eyes that help me see.
The love of my Savior.
John's funny behavior.
My mom and my dad.
The fun times I've had.
A belly that's full.
A life so undull.
Friends from the past.
A marriage that lasts.
Dr. Pepper and frogs.
Fans of my Blog.
Those who are silly.
All who love Jilly.
The roof overhead.
The life that I've lead.




Post it Note Tuesday week 2






 
 
 
 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Mingle for Nov. 23, 2009 (my first time, come meet my husband)



I am so excited to participate in Monday Mingle for the 1st time. It was so fun to bring hubby into it as well. I've been thinking about having him join me in vlogging, so this was a great start.
I apologize for the crappy sound quality, my computer is loud. (background hum) Turn up the volume so you can hear us, but try not to get too upset about the background noise. We'll try to do better next time.

Here are the questions we had to answer:

We're mixing it up a bit this week - ALL ABOUT MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIPS:


Speedy Cop would love to see the husband/partner's answers too - either via vlog or through you!

1. Men: When your spouse asks you "how does this outfit make me look" - how do you respond?

Ladies: Do you really want him to answer honestly?

2. Both: What is one thing you should always do to keep your spouse/partner happy? What do you do/say to avoid friction in your relationship?

3. Both: What were the first thoughts about your spouse/partner that came to mind when you first met him/her?

4. Both: What is your favorite physical feature of your spouse/partner?

5. Both: What are the key ingredients to a successful marriage/relationship?

6. Are you ready for more Speedy Cop movie quotes?

We had fun doing this. Hope you enjoy watching it.

~ Mormon Surrogate

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lucky #25- Are you ready to win? (My very own giveaway)







Giveaway is now closed!
 
Thanks to everyone who played/entered. 
That was fun!

Huge congratulations to: 
You are the lucky winner!





 Click here not on picture (I'm not that clever yet)


Wanna Play?

Here's the deal:

Christmas is coming. December 25. What do I want for Christmas? Well in Blogland, I'd like 25 new readers.What do you get for becoming a new reader (follower) or getting me a new reader? A chance to win $25 in Scentsy products. You could get this or this (for those who may already have a warmer) or there's always this or whatever totals $25. (lot's of choices) You can get holiday merchandise or any day styles. It's all up to you. You can keep the prize(s) for yourself or give it to someone else for a Christmas gift. You decide. Whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed.


Deadline is: November 25, 2009.  The winner will be randomly chosen at 11:25 PM. (see how clever I am?) Please comment to this post and make it 25 words. Sure you can ramble, but please be creative.
(Also you need to mention if you are a new reader or if you have referred a new reader)

Some of you haven't quite followed the "25" rule, so here's the deal:
If you comment on this post, you get entered. If you commented the 25 words like I asked, you get 2 entries.

I apologize, but I must limit shipping within the United States.

Feel free to tweet about it, shout it out on Facebook, post it on your own blog, it's all good. Just let me know you've done that and you can get extra entries.

Thanks!

P.S. Find me on Twitter and Facebook if you haven't already.
P.P.S. I need some way to contact you if you are a winner.

Excitedly Happy- Found my long lost poem- Pepperbird

I've been searching for a lost poem of mine. It's all about my unique nickname and how it came about.. well for the most part. I'm happy and excited because I found it. I looked on both computers and found nothing. I'm sure it's in a binder somewhere, but I was pretty sure I typed it up at one point. I've been looking for months. Anyway I found it on my old web cam site.

So here you go: (This was written at least 6 years ago)

Pepperbird

A combination of Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
and good old Dr. Pepper.
A nickname of Jilly Bird.
A combination of things I love.

My personality shines through the gloomy clouds and comes out through my nickname.
I sing to Red Hot Chili Peppers when I'm mad, hyper or just plain feeling good.
I sing to The Beatles when I'm sad, depressed, deeply in love, or when Im happy.
I sing to Rod Stewart when I'm feeling romantic, sexy, lovely, or wild, or while I'm driving.
I also sing to all kinds of other music while I clean, write poetry or while I do just about anything.

Dr. Pepper tastes best with friends, but hell, I'll drink it anytime.
I obviously like to write poems,
and I hope to get better at it as I write more about life, death, daydreams,
lovers, friends, and all that this groovy world has to offer.
I try so hard not to judge people, so I get along with mostly everyone.
Of course there are those few that no one can really get along with.
So, love me for me and take me for who I am.
Because deep down, I really like myself, and don't wish to change.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Prayers are welcome

My husband was having some crazy back pain a few weeks ago. He told me it was probably his kidneys. We went to the dr. and sure enough, kidney infection! He was put on antibiotics. Well the antibiotics were kicking his butt and knocking him out by 1:00 PM. Not the best thing for someone who works with heavy machinery and needs to be on the ball and focused. So he didn't take them twice a day, he took them once at night when he remembered. I think he got 1/2 the bottle taken.

Then he started getting nasty headaches with fuzzy eyes. This went on for a few days, so we made another Dr. appt. I wrote about this in another post, but here's the rundown:
He was sent from Family Dr. to Eye Dr. to hosptial for MRI and bloodwork. I do believe the MRI showed nothing, we're still waiting on the bloodwork. The Eye Dr. did say he had double vision and it could be from a few things and to call back if it got worse.

This morning he wakes up and he could hardly see. The double vision was worse than ever. I asked if he needed to stay home from work and rest his eyes. He mulled it over for a bit. He said the Eye Dr. told him to call if it got worse, so he'd go into work and then call. That's the military in him. No matter how sick you are or what is wrong, go to work first. In the meantime, he was told it might help if he covered one eye. So he found our daughter's eye patches and headed to work. He asked me to call the Eye Dr. for him.

I called and talked to the Dr. He was still waiting on the results from the MRI and bloodwork. He suggested that John stay home and rest his eyes and take it easy. John is on his way home now. Because he has to cover one eye, he said he almost hit a deer earlier and then didn't see a truck backing up. He cannot do his job with one eye. It's not advisable that he drives with just one eye. He just can't see everything he needs to see. Sure, he may adjust to it, but for now, it's not a good idea.

The Dr. called me back and said all the test results were negative. We just love a good mystery here- NOT!
It could be something he was born with that is showing up now. It could be from extreme fatigue or stress. I know he doesn't get enough sleep, and there's definitely stress at work. (Maybe it's from the kidney infection? But that would probably show up in the bloodwork)

Our daughter had surgery on both eyes when she was 5. She has Amblyopia, Strabismus and Astigmatism. She has worn glasses since she was 2. At first the Dr's thought it would correct itself or go away with glasses. But at the age of 5, they had to perform surgery. Her eyes were twisted and crooked.

Now he's being referred to a Neuro-Opthamologist. He can get in next Thursday. I don't know what he'll do until then. His job is far too dangerous to do with double vision or one eye. Maybe he can get a few days off with pay? We can't afford for him to miss work, and he's already having to miss today.

I want to know what's wrong. I want to know it can be fixed. I want results. I know John feels the same. Even if it's bad news, he'd rather know what's going on.

Please, please, please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you Vets and current Military!







I wish I had something profound to say on Veteran's Day. I will try my best. First I want to say that I think all veterans should get Veteran's Day off with double pay!

I am thankful to all military;, previous, current or future. For those that don't know, my husband is a veteran, disabled even. Not in a profound way, not because of war, but he is a disabled vet. I am grateful for all the benefits, services, etc. offered to veterans!

My husband was in the Navy for 10 years and 2 months. He went on 4 deployments. He missed our 2nd daughter's birth while on his 1st deployment. His ship (USS Shiloh) was one of the 1st ships out and back during this current on-going war. They were the 1st (or at least one of) to shoot off missiles. That deployment went from a 6 month to a record-breaking 10 month deployment. I got the call Christmas Eve I believe, that they were not headed home in January, they were going back, indefinitely. I know that the sailors are safer than the soldiers, but that was a hard time for me. I was constantly worrying and watching the news. It was a wonderful feeling to stand on the pier when his ship finally pulled back into port in San Diego. There were many news reporters and photographers there that day. We were surprised and thrilled to see a picture of my husband and son on the front page of the LA times (and in other newspapers) the next day. We later found many other pictures of them and even hubby and me in other newspapers and online. Very proud moments. 9 months later, Jessica was born. Probably one of the 1st post-war babies. Although the war was not over.

John lost one of his great captains on September 11th. Robort Dolan was the captain of his 1st ship, the USS John Hancock. He was working in the Pentagon on the 1st floor. That really hit home. I think a lot of our military know it could happen, but when you find yourself in a war and actually know people who have died in that war, it is far too real.

I am so proud of my husband and all he has done for our country and for our family. We started out as a young couple out of a high school with a baby. We did not have a lot of money, and really struggled. Because of the Navy, we have a house, we have 3 cars (they may not always run, but we have them), we have a better relationship. With each deployment, we became stronger and closer. We were able to reconnect and almost start over each time we saw each other after being separated. We appreciate each other more. It's made us both strong in ways we never imagined. We have memories to last a lifetime.

Thank you John and all of our other military!

P.S. I got a little teary-eyed remembering some of that. Those proud moments really stay with you. If you're a military spouse, parent, or child, you know what I mean!


Pictures include: John meeting Tristan for the 1st time. (she was 3 months old) He had just returned home from his 1st deployment. (USS John Hancock Mayport Florida) Someone took that picture of us. They said, "You are such a cute little Military family. Can we take your picture?" I am so thankful, because they captured that moment for us. I wasn't taking as many pictures back then for some reason. We were even lucky that they were able to find us later to give us the picture.

The other pictures are from the USS Shiloh out of San Diego. I believe the picture of John on the ship was probably on it's way in to port after the 10 month (war) deployment. The others are pictures we've found in newspapers and online of the day they returned.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nitro Circus Premiere and all the connections that led up to it.


Let's back track to last year:

My husband has always been a Travis Pastrana fan. John was still in the Navy last year when he told me about a movie all about Travis Pastrana. Sounds cool. It's only playing in a few theatres for a few days. Awesome! John came home for a few days and we got tickets to go. Great movie. I just fell in love with what a cool, down to earth guy Travis is. Just an all around good guy. So talented in so many ways. Someone you could hang out with. I totally became a fan. There seemed to be at least a few scenes in the movie that were filmed in Utah. Even our governer Jon Huntsman was in the movie. So many connections to Utah.

After the movie, we ran into John's old boss. (from before his Navy days, back when he was a welder) We had been wanting to catch up with him and had been talking about him. We were excited to run into him. So we're talking about the movie and how John's such a huge TP fan. We find out that the producer who is also in the movie lives accross the street from this guy. Apparantly TP hangs out there a good amount and more. John was just in awe! John tells him he's getting out of the Navy soon, and "old boss" asks if he wants a job. Yes! This was about June 2008. Old boss says to keep in touch. He wanted to hire John right then, but John still had till the end of October with the Navy. So on his way home from San Diego, October 30th 2008, he called "old boss" to let him know he was out. He was asked again if he wanted a job. Yes, of course. He started the next week.

So,"Old boss" tells John about these shows/movies about TP and the Nitro Circus gang. The crew was coming to Utah for a premiere of their new movie, "Thrillbillies 2: Double Wide". We looked it up and got tickets. We could go to the premiere and meet TP and the crew. Well for the previous months John had shown our family just about anything you could see TP do. Our kids became fans. So we got tickets for our little family. I was pregnant with the surrotwins at the time and All Day morning sickness was pretty much in full swing. However, I wanted to go and try my best to have an awesome time.

We rode Trax down which was a fun little thing for our family. I don't think we had ever done that, the 5 of us. We didn't get there as early as we wanted to, but still we were there before the show started. There was about 150 chairs and about 500 fans. I could be off, but that was about the ratio. Well I HAD to have a chair to sit in. I could not be on my feet with the twins. So we got hooked up with a few chairs. We were in the last row and couldn't see the screen all that great, but we could see Travis and the group make their way to the front and announce the movie and talk a little bit about it. Woo hoo! Fun movie, we got a little taste of the Nitro Circus craziness. After the movie, we lined up to get autographs. We got free posters, stickers, hats, shirts. We got to meet TP and the crew (Nitro Girl- Jolene Van Vugt, Gregg Godfrey and his wife, Jim DeChamp, Everyone's favorite Redneck-Hubert Rowland, Eric Roner, Scott Plamer) and we got autographs. We might have met more people, and caught a glimpse of others. We didn't really know who everyone was last year. I didn't know we could take cameras, so we just had our cheesy phone cameras. We got one pic with TP and then a small video. I had TP sign my maternity shirt on my belly. Not sure why lol. Someone in the group asked if that was the same as signing a baby. Which led to the conversation of well there's 2 babies, I'm a surrogate, etc.

On the Trax ride home.. Little Jessica kept trading seats. She'd go from sitting by me to sitting by Jeremy or Tristan or Daddy. Well she was changing seats once again (2nd to last stop) and the train took off before she got a chance to sit down and she fell on one of the vents and cut the inside of her lip. So we got to take her to the ER which we usually get to visit every 6 months or so between our kids.

This year we were excited to hear about the Premiere of Nitro Circus Country Fried. We didn't have enough money to take the kids this year, but we were able to get tickets for John and I. We couldn't wait. The Premiere was Friday, November 6th, 2009. John was having issues with his eyes and we weren't sure if he was over his kidney infection. So I got him a Dr. appt. for the same Friday. His appt. was at 1:30. That would give us plenty of time to get to the Premiere at 6:oo when the doors opened. John went to his appt. where they did a few tests and was sent to an eye doctor, who did a few tests and then was sent to the hospital for blood work and an MRI. I met him at about 5:30 at the hospital. They didn't have time to do an MRI, so we had to schedule one for Monday morning. We then got his bloodwork done and we were on our way.

We decided to ride Trax again and got on at about 6:30. We made it to the Premiere at about 7:00, movie was to start at 7:30. We were happy that we had time to meet the crew and get autographs. We walked in and noticed a table set up with some of the crew. We headed in that direction. I started looking around and saw my uncle. Hey cool. Well he was pretty much working the premiere as the photographer. I said hi to him and he said my cousin was there as well. I hadn't seen him in years. I guess they were hired by Andy Bell and had taken all kinds of pictures for Nitro Circus. So cool. We talked about that for a bit.

Somehow we were kind of upfront and at the right place at the right time for just about everything. We got to meet and chat with Jeremy Rawle, Special Greg (TP's cousin) He noticed John's Navy jacket and chatted with him about the Navy. We had everyone sign the arm of my jacket. We met and got autographs from: Jeremy Rawle, Special Greg, Andy Bell, Travis Pastrana, Nitro Girl, Erik Roner and Scott Plamer. Everyone was really cool to just sit and chat with us. They were all so nice and even cooler in person. I think I might have a small crush now on Special Greg, lol. We just seemed to talk to him the longest. Later I was told by a few people I was lucky to get Travis' autograph. Not everyone got to meet him or get his autograph.

I think it was when Travis was at the autograph table, that we got stuck in the crowd. We were trying to get away, and people were trying to get in, but they were pushing in the wrong direction. I couldn't move. I was stuck in a crazy crowd. I was trying to let them know that if they let me out, they could get in...but they just weren't listening. John had to pull me through the crowd.

There was a raffle and John's name was called first.(he won a t-shirt) So funny, I wasn't really surprised, and he was right there by the stage when his name was called. Speaking of being right by the stage, that's where we sat to watch the movie. It's just where we ended up after meeting everyone. Later we noticed there was a bunch of chairs set up. How we missed that, I don't know, but I guess they were all taken anyway. We were up front on the floor. No big deal. A guy was sitting by us with a cup of beer. He had set it down and a girl walked by and knocked it over. So close to getting on me and John and my camera bag. We probably smelled like Beer all night. Ick! I know I could smell it all through the movie. There was just this little puddle of it sitting in front of us. After awhile it evaporated.

After the movie, we just kind of hung out and mingled. We had heard of an after party. I had gotten photos of me with everyone and got pictures of TP, but for some reason, I didn't get a pic of me with TP. I was bummed and wanted to get one, so I hoped we could at the after party. We headed over and waited in line.. it was at the Tower at the Gateway. There were some guys in line behind us that seemed pretty cool. They ended up sitting with us at a table in side. They were nice to talk to and hang out with and they didn't drink or cuss. We got some free Red Bull which was cool. We saw a few people from the NC crew, but no Travis. After about an hour and a half I asked another photographer if he was there or would be there. He had already left. :( I was so bummed I didn't get my picture with him. I did get his autograph though and we did talk to him for a bit. It was a fun night and I didn't want it to end. I wanted it to go on for a few more days.

My youngest daughter was telling me how she wanted to meet Travis Pastrana, and I explained to her that we didn't have enough money to take everyone, plus she wasn't feeling good. She said, "Yeah. That would suck if someone got Travis Pastrana sick!" I said, "Yes it would." lol
Then I was putting the pictures on the computer and she saw one of Nitro Girl. She said, "Is that Travis Pastrana Girl"? SO cute...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And Satan hates my husband

Sunday November 1st, John received his patriarchal blessing. I was so excited for him. It was awesome, just me, John and our close friend Jake. Of course the patriarch was there as well. We got to meet his wife too, and they were a very neat couple. I got my patriarchal blessing when I was 14. I have treasured it since and will treasure it always. Mine said I would marry in the temple one day... and after 11 years of marriage I thought well not in this lifetime...but then lot's of wonderful things happened this year which led us to the temple. :)
I was excited to hear his at an older age. It was very neat and a good amount was what I expected to hear. What's cool is there is a part in his that is very close if not the same as mine.

One part that took me off guard just a bit... was to hear that Satan hates him. I mean Wow! What strong words. But it's true. Satan thought he had him in his clutches, thought he had him fooled. Thought he had tricked him into false happiness. Satan is pissed that he is following a better path, that he took his family to the temple, that he is a righteous man. He will do all in his power to try and get him back. John needed to hear that. Now it will be a constant reminder. We got the printed version in the mail today.
John told his mom, "I don't want anyone to hate me!" Of course who would want Satan to like them? On the other side of things, his Heavenly Father loves him and is so proud of him! I would have to agree!

Trunk or Treat






I had an awesome time helping John and Jake set up and scare at the famous Buntjers Haunted House. If you live in our neighborhood/ward, you know what I'm talking about! :)

I was so excited to scare kids. Of course the "older" kids didn't scare as easy as the younger ones. The line was crazy to get in and the kids were waiting before we were even "open" for business.

It was too dark and foggy to get pictures of the inside, but I tried to get pics of the progress and the line.

If the picture editor will work for me, I'd love to post the pictures.