My Thoughts on Surrogacy

I can’t believe that sweet little Knox was born 11 weeks ago already! The time is flying by and I often forget that I just had a baby since I don’t have a newborn around!

I wanted to write a post for you guys to hear my thoughts on surrogacy now that it’s been a few months and I’ve had time to process it more.

Here’s the short version: Surrogacy was AWESOME. If you want to hear the long version, read on. ūüôā

Being a surrogate¬†was such an amazing experience¬†and I really loved it. Before even starting the process of becoming a surrogate the part I was most unsure about was how I would feel after the baby was born. Of course I¬†prepared myself as much as I could and thought I would be ok but how do you really know how you’ll feel after you grow a baby that is not yours inside your womb for 9 months and then one day head home from the hospital without them? Amazingly, it was not at all hard for me to come home and recover post-partum¬†without a baby. I did not fee like I wanted to bring Knox home. I did not feel like he was mine. I did not feel attached to him like I did my own children. I knew from the very beginning that he was not mine and I worked hard at mentally preparing myself to leave the hospital empty handed. Of course, I’m sure that Knox will always hold a special place in my heart but he does so as the children of my close friends and siblings do, not as if he were my own child. I honestly left the hospital with so much joy because I was just so incredibly happy for Ben and Kristen to finally have their baby boy in their arms. From the very beginning I knew why I was doing this and what the end result would be. When Knox was born, it was so rewarding to finally see the culmination of all the years of waiting (for Ben and Kristen), the weeks of paperwork, testing, and injections, the months of pregnancy and pre-natal visits, and the hours of labor. Sweet little Knox was finally here!

Recovering without a newborn was easier but I am pumping my milk to donate to a milk bank and so I am still up in the middle of the night pumping and I am not getting much sleep even without a baby to wake me up. =) ¬†I did not have any post-partum anxiety or depression to deal with so that was good. I really just went back to life as usual – with a greater sense of fulfillment for what I had just done! I am feeling all back to normal – with just a few reminders that I recently had a baby (like a little extra tummy pudge. ūüėČ )

Many people have asked how the kids have handled everything and the answer is that they have done amazingly well. The transition from Knox being in my belly to going home with his family went SO smoothly for them. They never once asked why we didn’t keep him or if he was their brother or where he went or anything like that! We were very open and honest with them from the beginning that this was not their brother and that he would not be joining our family.¬†We talked a lot about surrogacy in terms they could understand. They got to know Ben and Kristen throughout the process and they knew that they were¬†Knox’s parents and that he would be going to live with them. When the kids came to visit Knox in the hospital after he was born they never thought he was our baby or that he would be coming home with us. It’s been so amazing to me how they have adjusted to everything. In their minds what I did as a surrogate was normal and they don’t think anything weird about it! When I get pictures of Knox from his parents I will show the kids and they will say “ooooh, he’s sooo cute” and there is no hint¬†of thinking or wishing that he should be ours. I think that kids take so many of their cues from adults as to how to respond in certain situations and¬†because Drew and I sailed smoothly through the whole process they were able to as well.

It was very rewarding to be a surrogate. It left me feeling so proud and happy that I was able to help somebody in an incredible way. I had a great experience from start to finish and I would definitely do it again! (I’ve just got to decide if I want to be pregnant again… ūüėČ ) For now I am on to my next adventure which is that of a full time exclusive pumper. After having Knox I wanted to be able to do something with my breast milk because I knew that in the past I had been a very large producer and I knew my milk could go to babies in need if I was willing to pump it. I knew how badly I had wanted Eloise to receive breast milk and how hard I worked to induce lactation in order to breastfeed her (and what a rewarding experience that was for me) so I couldn’t bear not to offer my milk (that would come so easily compared to inducing lactation!) to babies in need. ¬†I found a milk bank that works exclusively with surrogates who are willing to donate¬†their milk to help sick, premature babies. It has been a learning curve as I figure out how to fit pumping into my daily routine. I currently produce 85 ounces a day and pump every 2-3 hours,¬†including in the middle of the night. Between pumping, bagging and freezing my milk, and STRICTLY washing and sanitizing all my pump parts (I have to be very careful about contamination since my milk is going to micro-preemies!), I calculated that I spend almost 8 hours a day collecting my milk! It’s like a full time job but I love being able to¬†continue helping to grow the babies of others!

Birthdays, Disney World, Graduations, Oh My!

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and for a while now I have been wanting to post a follow up blog post with my thoughts on surrogacy now that I’m 10 weeks post-partum and have had more time to process everything. But March and April have been busy months for us and I haven’t had the time to sit down and write. I’m finally making the time, but before I do that I’ll fill you in a little on what we’ve been up to the last few months.

We made two trips to Disney World! It was the kids’ first time to Disney World and everyone had a blast. Since we live so close we’ve just been making weekend trips and visiting one park at a time. We’ve been to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom so far and are going to Hollywood Studios in June. We’re skipping Epcot this go around but maybe next year! We went with Drew’s parents and the kids’ cousin, Gavin. It was SO much fun and we can’t wait to go back!

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Olive turned 3 and Eloise turned 5 in April. Olive didn’t have a big party this year since she’s too little to have many friends to invite yet (but as a family we did have the Barbie cake that she wanted!). But Eloise, now that she’s in VPK, had a big party with lots of friends invited. She wanted a mermaid party so we did our best and everyone had a blast!

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Isaiah got his Kindergarten graduation pictures taken in preparation for his graduation later this month. I can’t believe that my baby boy is already almost done with Kindergarten. The years fly by so fast. He had a Mother’s Day Tea at his school last week and made some sweet things for me to cherish. ‚̧ This boy has a sweet and tender heart!

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The card says: “Happy Mother’s Day! You look prettier than a rose. I love you. You are as pretty as sun. Love, Isaiah” ‚̧

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Both the girls got their first hair cuts last month! Yes, I waited until they were 3 and 5 to get their hair cut for the first time….that’s ok, right!? Eloise also got her first blow out and is in love with how long her hair became once it was straightened. It will stay straight as long as we don’t get it wet….which is hard to do when you have a fish for a daughter but we’ll see how it goes!

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The kids and I took a trip to Indiana to visit my family. I was nervous about flying with all three kids by myself but they honestly did GREAT and I was so proud of them! It was so easy I’m actually crazy enough to be thinking about when we can do it again! This visit was extra special because my sister-in-law and her kids were also visiting from Wyoming so we got to spend time with them as well. The kids haven’t been able to spend much time with their cousins on my side of the family since we live so far away so it was a great time for them to catch up. We were able to get some cousin photos taken as well and even though the weather was freezing and the kids were crying – we managed to get a few good ones. ūüėČ

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We finally got a new roof put on our house! There is no official record of how old our roof is but our best guess is that this house still had the original roof from when the house was build – over 30 years ago! It has served us well and actually wasn’t leaking or having any issues but it was becoming a bit of an eye sore so we decided to replace it. =) I asked the kids what color roof we should pick and Olive picked pink. She was quite upset to come home and find out we had chosen charcoal…She’s disappointed but Drew and I are pretty happy with our choice. ūüėČ

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Drew took a trip to Omaha, Nebraska to go to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting. He has been wanting to go to a meeting for years and it was an amazing trip for him. He wants me to go with him next year but I’m not sure how interesting it would be to me. ūüėČ

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So that’s what we’ve been up to these days. This turned into a much longer post than I anticipated so I’ll write my post on my thoughts on surrogacy later this week. Stay tuned! ūüôā

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The Birth of Knox

I am so excited to announce that Knox Marshall Berry made his grand entrance into this world on Friday, February 24th at 4:59 pm! He is the cutest, chunkiest little guy and everyone is doing well! ‚̧

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On February 23 I had gone in for my 40 week appointment and had high blood pressure so it was decided that we would induce the next day. I was very nervous about an induction as I knew that my body was not showing any signs of being ready for delivery. I was only dilated to a 1 and 50% effaced so I was afraid that the induction process would be long and difficult. We checked into the hospital Thursday evening and tried Cervadil to ripen my cervix overnight but saw¬†no change from that so that was also discouraging! But thankfully when we started the official induction on Friday my body responded well to just a small amount of pitocin which dilated me to a 3 in just a few hours, my doctor broke my water and after that things progressed very quickly! It wasn’t long before it was time to push!

Doctors and nurses thought the pushing would be quick and easy with this being my third baby but Knox had other ideas. This little guy had a big head and broad shoulders and we also think he was posterier for most of the labor which made pushing him out a long, tiring process. Once his head finally came out one of his shoulders got stuck under my pubic bone which created a very scary scenario. He was only stuck for about 50 seconds but it seemed like forever! With the help of the vacuum, a nurse, and some intense pushing, I finally got him out! When he was born he was rushed off to the NICU due to the difficult delivery.

Thankfully Knox just spent one night in the NICU and was released to his mommy and daddy’s room the next day. He was a little champ and was doing great! I rested and recovered in my room and the hospital gave Ben and Kristen their own room nearby with Knox. It was perfect!

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First picture with Mommy and Daddy. ‚̧

The kids were able to come to the hospital to see Knox on Saturday and that was such a great experience for them. They LOVED seeing him and it really helped them to understand the situation when they saw him with his mom and dad.

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The whole crew minus Knox’s big brother Blake.
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We joked that we headed home from the hospital with three of the world’s biggest babies. Ha! =)
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Holding Knox for the first time. He’s such a doll baby!! Look at that perfect little face!
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Me and Kristen. ‚̧

Knox and I were both released from the hospital on Sunday and I got to go home to my sweet babies and the Berry’s traveled home to their home state with their sweet baby.

So far I have been doing really well emotionally processing the surrogacy. I did a really good job of separating myself emotionally from Knox during the pregnancy. The mind is a powerful thing and I really worked the whole pregnancy to remember this was not my baby and I would not be coming home with a baby! When I held Knox¬†in the hospital I really felt like I had just gone to visit a friend’s baby. I didn’t feel any attachment at all. It was amazing really! The kids have been doing really well too; I think we did a good job of preparing them and talking things through with them. They haven’t seemed bothered by it at all – they are just glad to have mommy back to themselves.

I am pumping for Knox and sending the Berry’s¬†my breast milk -which I am so happy about! Because of that, the only thing this whole process had made me miss so far is nursing. I really loved nursing my babies so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic about that! =)

Being a surrogate has been an amazing and rewarding experience and I feel so much joy at having helped bring little Knox into this world. ‚̧

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My favorite picture of all! I love how surrogacy joined our two families together!

Curious About the Surrogacy Process and How it has Affected Me? Read on!

It’s baby month! Well, at least we hope it’s baby month! Hopefully Knox won’t make us wait until March to¬†make his grand entrance. I am now 37 weeks and he’s welcome to come anytime in the next few weeks. =) I had Isaiah¬†at exactly 37 weeks and¬†Olive at almost 41 weeks so we’ll see what little Knox decides to do…maybe somewhere in the middle!?

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37 Weeks!!

I can’t believe that my journey as a surrogate has almost come to an end! It has been an amazing thing to experience and I’ve loved it all! As I near the end of this incredible journey I thought it might be helpful to put together a little FAQ about surrogacy to help you better understand the process and how it has affected me. So… here you go!

SURROGACY FAQ’S

Q. How did you get matched with your Intended Parents?

A. Sometimes a woman becomes a surrogate because a close friend or family member is unable to carry their own children and so she offers to do it for them. Though I had the desire to be a surrogate I personally did not know anyone who needed one so I applied to an agency to be matched. I feel so blessed to have been matched with the intended parents that I did! The agency that I am going through allows each surrogate to make the decision for themselves who they would like to be matched with. When applying, I filled out a form about what type of parents I would be willing to carry for as well as a profile with details about myself. The intended parents did this also. After reviewing each other’s profiles you can choose to meet (usually via skype since most matches are long distance) and see if you feel comfortable with each other and want to move forward or if it doesn’t seem like it would be a good match. My agency was very great during this process and didn’t pressure me at all to match with anyone I didn’t feel comfortable with. I almost matched with a different family before Ben and Kristen and I’m so glad it fell through! I got blessed with really great IP’s!

Q. What kind of relationship do you have with your intended parents?

A. Although we didn’t know Ben and Kristen at all before this process started we have now become friends and I am so thankful we have a close relationship. Surrogates and intended parents all desire different levels of communication and closeness during the process. Some develop amazingly close relationships and some treat the process more as a “business transaction.” I was definitely hoping for a close relationship with my IP’s! I was so grateful to be matched with a great Christian couple who we have a lot in common with! They live in a different state but are not too far away so it has made travel to and from Florida relatively easy. We talk regularly and they have been able to make it to many appointments. They will also, hopefully, be here for Knox’s birth! I love knowing that baby Knox is going to a great home with great parents!

Q. How can you carry a baby for 9 months and then give up “your” baby?

A. This is a pretty easy answer – Knox is not my baby! I’m not genetically related to him in any way and so he was never mine to begin with. Since the very beginning both Drew and I have been very cautious not to bond with this baby. It is a delicate balance because while I’m pregnant I, of course, need to protect and love on this life inside of me yet still remain distant. I think I have done a really good job of that! Honestly, I do not feel sad at all to think about giving Knox to his parents in just a few weeks – this has been the goal all along! I started this journey to help make the dreams of a couple come true by being able to carry a biological child for them when they were unable. I am so excited for Ben and Kristen¬†and the joy that they are going to be experiencing very soon and that is what makes the journey worth it. Also, I do not want a newborn and all the work that comes with one right now so that is very helpful. I am very content in knowing that¬†I am not the one bringing a baby home this time. ūüėČ

Q. Wait, what do you mean it’s not “your” baby? How does another couple’s baby get inside you?

A. Most surrogates get pregnant using IVF. The process and procedures are generally the same for any woman undergoing IVF – weeks of meds, blood draws, injections, ultrasounds, etc – it’s just that when it comes¬†time for the transfer the doctor transfers the intended parents’¬†embryos and not the surrogates.¬†The embryo transfer itself is a quick and painless procedure in which the IVF doctor uses a small catheter to insert the embryo(s) into your uterus.¬†Some doctors require a few days of moderate bed rest afterwards or some, like mine, actually tell you to get out and walk around to get the blood flowing and increase the chances of a successful transfer. Many women (surrogates or not) undergoing IVF experience many failed transfers and often transfer more than one in hopes of at least one sticking. We were blessed that we only went through one transfer and only transferred one embryo – and it was successful! Baby Knox is on the way!

Q. But won’t Knox think you are his mom?

A. It is true that babies born via a surrogate do not know at birth that the woman carrying them is not their mom, which may result in feelings and struggles similar to those of an adopted child.¬†However, Knox (unlike many adopted children) has the advantage of growing up¬†knowing that his parents went to such extents as using a surrogate to bring him into this world because he was SO¬†wanted and SO loved.¬†I doubt he will¬†have any trouble knowing exactly who is mom is and how much she loves and wants him! ‚̧

Q. How do you explain surrogacy to your children?

A. Our children have done amazingly well with me being a surrogate. This is the way that we explain it to them in terms that they can understand: We tell them that Ms. Kristen’s tummy is broken and she can’t grow her baby¬†in her own tummy so I offered to keep Mr. Ben and Ms. Kristen’s baby safe in my tummy until he is big enough to go home with his Mommy and Daddy. Of course that’s not quite accurate and is such a simplified version of what surrogacy is but it has made sense to them and they have not questioned it. We talk regularly about how Knox is not their brother and how we would never “give away” our own baby. We are planning on the kids coming to the hospital after Knox is born to see him with his parents to help them understand that he went to be with his loving Mommy and Daddy. We will see what questions arise afterwards but we have been very open and honest the whole time with them and¬†think that the adjustment afterwards will go smoothly.

Do you have any questions you’d like to ask me about surrogacy? E-mail me via FaceBook or at drewamhutch @ gmail.com and I’d LOVE to share more info with you! =)

Surrogacy Bump Date: 35 Weeks!

Oh my! The final countdown has begun! Thirty-five weeks!! This week was extra special because Knox’s Mommy and Daddy and Big Brother got to come down to Florida! They came for my¬†35 week OB appointment and ultrasound. We got to see sweet little Knox on ultrasound again and everything is looking perfect! He has cute chubby cheeks and even has hair on his head already! He kept pursing his lips together as if he were blowing a little kiss to his Mommy! And, as usual, he was very shy and kept putting his hands up in front of his face. =) Won’t be long now until he’s here!!

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We had such a great visit with Ben, Kristen and Blake! Knox doesn’t know how lucky he is to have such a great family!

 

How far along: 35 weeks

Size of baby:¬†Baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and about 5 1/2 – 6 pounds. He’s about the size of a honeydew melon. Most of his basic physical development is now complete. He’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

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Stretch marks: None! (Well except for the little tiny one that I got right above my belly button right before Olive was born!)

Gender: It’s a sweet baby BOY!!

Movement:¬†Lots of movement, especially at night once I get the kids down and actually have a few minutes to sit down! That’s when he likes to wake up and play! Ben and Kristen bought me a pair of Belly Buds last month and Knox loves them! I just stick the speakers on my belly and connect them to my phone and Knox listens to messages and songs that his family has recorded for him. I LOVE that he is hearing their voices on a daily basis and hope that it will help him to recognize them when he is born.

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Knox listening to the Belly Buds!

Sleep:¬†Not sleeping the best. Starting to get a little uncomfortable. I’ve started sleeping with a pillow underneath my belly and that seems to help. I have to go to the bathroom multiple times a night so I don’t get many consecutive hours of sleep.

Cravings: No cravings. Boring, I know, but I have never really had cravings in any of my pregnancies.

What I am looking forward to:¬†This week my goal is to get my hospital bag packed and ready to go! Still have a couple of things I need to buy for the hospital and afterwards so working on getting those things checked off my list. Also we’re planning¬†who will watch the kids while we’re in the hospital and working out all those fun details.

Symptoms:¬†Starting to feel my energy drain as I get closer and closer to the finish line.¬†Drew keeps reminding me to “rest not nest” and I really am trying to follow his advice. It’s hard because the nesting instinct comes on strong! Even though I am not preparing to bring a baby home I still have several things around the house that I’d like done before I have the baby. I’ve been able to get several things done but now I can feel my energy and motivation waning¬†as I enter these final weeks.

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35 Weeks!!!

 

A Graduation, Christmas, and a Dog. Warning: This Post Contains Excessive Pictures! =)

Two thousand sixteen ended in a whirlwind and the beginning of 2017 has been just as crazy! Things are finally starting to slow down a bit around here and so I thought I’d update you on what the Hutcheson household has been up to these last few weeks!

Drew graduated from Jacksonville University on December 17 with his MBA! Over 2¬†years of hard work and perseverance finally paid off and he is DONE!!!¬†Going to grad school with three small children and working full time is not for the faint of heart. It’s been hard but it’s been worth it! We have seen God’s hand of faithfulness to us throughout the journey and it has been an adventurous ride. Not only does Drew now have his Masters but, through a series of events only God could have orchestrated, he’s also already landed his dream job as an Equity Research Associate at Deutsche Bank. God is so good!!!

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Just in case you were wondering Olive is not a red head. She was a pumpkin for Halloween and we spray painted her hair orange and STILL cannot get it to all come out!!!!! =)
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So proud of this man and how hard he works!! ‚̧

 

The surrogacy is going great! On December 19 I had my 30 week doctor’s appointment and Ben and Kristen were able to come down for the ultrasound! Baby Knox is growing away and looking great! I’ll be 34 weeks this week and can’t believe we are getting so close to the finish line! I am so excited for Knox to join the Berry family!!

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I did tons of baking over the Christmas break. The messiest baking adventure was when the kids and I made Christmas cookies. The kids had a blast.

But cleaning up was not quite as fun. Whose idea was it anyways that making Christmas cookies should be an annual tradition? Dried frosting, cookie crumbles, and sprinkles everywhere. Whew…. I need a nap just thinking about all the cleanup involved.

A few days before Christmas my¬†parents and two little sisters, Janae and Adelynn, came to spend the Holidays with us! They live in Indiana so we don’t get to see them much and it was a real treat. We LOVED spending time with them and had a blast. We packed a lot into their week and a half here and were so sad to see them go!

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These kids love their Meema and Papa!

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Christmas was great except that Livy got sick on Christmas day and threw up 3 times so that was no fun! But we were still able to have a great day and she was better by the next day, thankfully.

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I spy a present that we couldn’t wrap…. Yes, the dog is a Christmas present! (More on that below)
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Each year on Christmas Eve the kids get to open up two presents. One is new Christmas jammies and the other is a new book with their name on it!
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Our Christmas morning tradition is that, before we open up any presents, we read the Christmas story, light candles and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! It helps the kids (and us) remember why we are celebrating!

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My favorite Christmas gift – a deep freezer!! My husband is an AWESOME gift giver. ‚̧

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Poor, sick girl couldn’t even make it through opening up all her presents before she needed a nap.

Speaking of presents, the kids got an exciting Christmas present this year. We got our first dog! Meet Cheza! Cheza is a two year old Double Doodle (mix of a Labradoodle and a Goldendoodle). “Cheza” is the Swahili word for “play” and he definitely lives up to his name. He is the perfect addition to our family and fits right in with our crazy kids. He is a very good and obedient dog and plays great with the kids. I have been putting off getting a dog for a long time because of the extra work involved… despite the pleas of my husband and children! But I finally gave in and am so grateful that Cheza is such a great fit for our family.

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Why yes this is Cheza dressed up in some of Drew’s clothes. Sorry, boy, you have joined a crazy family!

Well I think that about sums up our life these past few weeks! We saw the Lord’s hand of faithfulness throughout the ups and downs of 2016 and we look forward to watching Him at work in 2017. To HIM be the glory!!!

The Third Trimester and a 3 Hr Glucose Test – Surrogacy Bump Date: 28 Weeks!

Hello third trimester!! It feels so good to be here! The third trimester brings a lot of great things like…. the birth of baby Knox! However the third trimester also brings some not so great things like a bigger and bigger belly which causes more aches and pains, the return of the tiredness felt in the first trimester, and…. the dreaded 1 hour glucose test.

Some of you may remember that I passed my 1 hour glucose test with Isaiah but failed it with Olive and so had to take the 3 hour. It was a terrible experience which you can read more about here. I ended up passing my 3 hour test with Olive but I really did not want to repeat that experience again so was hoping to pass the 1 hour again this time. No such luck. I failed it again and had to take the 3 hour. Thankfully this time I had a much better experience! Although it wasn’t the most fun thing in the world, I didn’t get as shaky and nauseous as I did last time and I didn’t feel like throwing up or passing out. I was actually pretty comfortable (albeit hungry from fasting for 12 hours) …. which then led me to worry that I was going to fail the 3 hour this time because I didn’t feel as bad as I did last time! =) However, I did pass my 3 hour – with flying colors! You are allowed to fail one of the blood draws and still pass the overall test however I not only passed all 4 draws but passed them with levels on the low end of normal so not even a tiny bit of concern of gestational diabetes! Wahoo!!

How far along: 28 weeks

Size of baby: By this week, baby weighs about 2 1/4 pounds (about the size of a large eggplant) and measures about 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels.

 

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Stretch marks: None yet! I didn’t get any with my previous pregnancies so hoping it stays that way! =)

Morning Sickness: All gone! Feeling great now!!

Gender: It’s a sweet baby BOY!!

Movement: ALL THE TIME. This little boy is seriously going to be some kind of athlete. Oh and by the way, he LOVED that sugary glucose drink I had to drink for my glucose test. He was kicking and punching away for the whole 4 hours!!

Sleep:¬†Not getting much deep sleep as I’m either waking up to go to the bathroom or to try and get comfy. Having three children has taught me how to get by just fine on not the best night’s sleep so it’s all good. =)

Cravings: Pretty much anything sounds good as long as it’s in small portions! Knox is squishing and squeezing¬†everything in there, leaving little room for my stomach to expand so I have to eat little meals at a time. ūüėČ Also big meals or meals late at night give me terrible indigestion so trying to avoid that too!

What I am looking forward to: Ben and Kristen are coming down for our next ultrasound in December! We are so excited!! We are looking forward to seeing the little guy again and also getting a hospital tour and making sure everything is all set to go for delivery!

Symptoms: Sciatic¬†nerve pain has been a little better this week. I can feel myself wearing out more easily as I enter the third trimester though I can’t complain because I still have lots of energy and motivation so far! Thankfully still feeling good!

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28 Weeks!! Third Trimester!

Surrogacy Bump Date: 25 Weeks!

Twenty five weeks down!! Wahoo! Time flies when you’re having fun…can’t believe I am 25 weeks already! Time is about to fly even faster too with the holidays coming up. Before we know it, it will be January and we’ll be able to say next month is baby month!

I celebrated my 30th birthday on November 5th… can’t believe I am in the 30’s club now. Thirty used to sound so old but now I think it’s really quite young. ūüėČ I can’t think of anything I’d rather do in my first year of my 30’s than help bring little Knox into the world for the Berry family. Surrogacy has been an amazing journey and I have loved every step!

How far along: 25 weeks

Size of baby: Head to heels, baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches and weighs about 1 1/2 pounds.

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Stretch marks: None yet! I didn’t get any with my previous pregnancies so hoping it stays that way! =)

Morning Sickness: All gone! Feeling great now!!

Gender: It’s a sweet baby BOY!!

Movement: Knox loves to move! He is most active in the morning right when I wake up and then in the evening when life starts to settle down around here again. He kicks/punches me on both the right and left sides of my belly at the same time so I was thinking he was still laying sideways but at our last ultrasound he was head down already. So the jabs I feel on either side must be his elbows or hands. We thought he was going to be a soccer player but maybe he’s going to be a boxer. ūüėČ Either way I love feeling him move and be so active in there!

Sleep: Have I ever mentioned how much I love master bathrooms?!?!? Golly gee, I have to frequent ours several times in the middle of the night these days and I am very glad it is attached to our bedroom. =) Other than waking several times a night to pee I am sleeping well!

Cravings: Not really any cravings… Lately I’ve been obsessed with cheese and crackers and apples and peanut butter but it’s not really a craving, just what has been sounding good for lunch. =)

Symptoms: Still feeling good with lots of energy.¬†I am having some¬†sciatic nerve pain in the lower left hand side of my back. With each pregnancy it seems to start up earlier and earlier. I’ve had it a few times already in this pregnancy but this week has been the worst so far. Stretching and rest help but I’ve found it’s just something I have to deal with in pregnancy! It will all be worth it. =)

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25 weeks!

Surrogacy Bumpdate: 21 Weeks!

As of yesterday I am 21 weeks!¬†We are now officially closer to the end than the beginning! Wahoo! I love getting¬†closer and closer to Baby Knox joining the Berry family – I’m just so excited for them!

How far along: 21 weeks

Size of baby: Baby Knox now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long ‚Äď about the length of a carrot.

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Stretch marks: None yet!

Morning Sickness: All gone! Feeling great now!!

Gender:¬†It’s a sweet baby BOY!!

Movement: I feel more and more movement each day. You can now see and feel Baby Knox’s kicks from the outside which is fun! He’s a little soccer player!

Sleep:¬†Not able to sleep in (not that my kids give me the option anyways!)¬†and I wake up a couple times to go to the bathroom but can’t complain yet. Still sleeping well for now!

Cravings:¬†No cravings really. I didn’t really crave much with my first two pregnancies either though so I’m not surprised. I did want more sweet things in the beginning with Olive and more salty/carby things with Isaiah and now Knox but after that first trimester passes and I start to feel better it’s usually just back to normal eating for me!

Symptoms: Just cruising along in the second trimester. No big belly yet to get in the way and I’ve got so much energy. Loving it!!

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21 Weeks!

Surrogacy Update: It’s a…!

I can’t believe I’m 20 weeks today! Half way there! Wahoo!

Last week Ben and Kristen came down for our 19 week ultrasound and we were able to find out the gender of Baby Berry!

Can you guess what it is?

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IT’S A BOY!!!!

 

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Ben and Kristen have named the baby Knox which I think is the most adorable name ever.¬†I am so thrilled for Baby Knox to join Ben and Kristen’s family in February! He has the sweetest big brother waiting for him at home and all 4 of them are going to make the cutest family. Please pray with us for a healthy baby and a smooth rest of this pregnancy! February is going to be here before we know it! ‚̧