About Me

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I'm Alison, a thirty-something, married, mother of two girls, with a passion for animals of all kinds. My family adopted our goofy, lovable dog {Charlie} from a local shelter. It breaks my heart to know there are countless animals out there being mistreated {to say the least} and I would love more than anything to help even one animal find a loving forever home. Think adoption first. Find a local animal shelter or animal rescue... don't buy your next pet... rescue him/her!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Getting back to me...

Well, now that things have settled down and I am pretty much back to normal, I thought I'd share a bit more about me and my family.  : )  We live in sunny Southern California and are very thankful for the wonderful weather and outdoor activities we enjoy here pretty much year round.  I am married to my best friend, S, and we have two beautiful little princesses of our own, B & O, who are 6 1/2 and 5.  We love to go camping, usually to the beach in the summer and the desert in the winter- and then some parks and campgrounds here and there through out the year as well.  We also love to take the boat out to the lake on nice spring, summer, and, heck- even fall days (it is So. Cal. after all)!  Our girls are girly, for sure, and love to dress up and play with make up (I wonder where they get that?) but don't mind getting dirty and running around out side, too.  We have a lovable pit bull/great dane mix dog, C, who we adopted from a local shelter, and we are possibly looking for a brother or sister for him.  We also have chickens... 12 hens at the moment, that provide us with fresh eggs and the occasional entertainment watching them run around the front yard just being chickens.  The dog and the chickens have not met... nor will they ever... I don't think it would end well for the chickens.  ; )  Luckily we have plenty of room for the dog and chickens to have their own space.
Now I thought I'd share some pictures of my family!

 Here we are on a camping trip to the desert.

B, age 4 (she's now 6 1/2!)

O, age 2 (she's now 5!)

C, our 4-legged baby

Can't leave the girls out, here are some of our chickens.  : )

Crazy O & B (ages 5 and 6 1/2)

Me and S  <3

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Delivery Day

Long overdue, but I am finally here to tell you all about the day we welcomed my surro twins into the world!  So, first let's recap a bit.  
This was my second twin pregnancy (in a row) and these girls were measuring big.  I had been in the hospital once already for pre-term labor that they stopped with multiple doses of two different medications.  I was still having contractions on and off.  There was no way I was making it to 38 weeks this time.  Or so I thought.  ; )
I had my last NST and OB appointment on December 27th and I was 37 weeks.  I thought for sure the NST would show contractions that would send me to L&D.  Nope.  Borderline, but she said she was ok sending me on my way since I was going straight to my OB appointment.  Then, I thought, for sure they would check my cervix and I would be dilated more than last week and they would send me on over.  Nope.  Still 1cm and 90%-ish, no need to go anywhere.  What were all those contractions doing?  How could I not be dilated more than that?  Oh, that's right... neither baby is head down so there is nothing pressing up against my cervix, causing it to dilate with all of the contractions.  So I'm having them for no reason.  Fantastic.  lol!  : )  Really, I was glad to be heading towards 38 weeks.  The longer they bake, the better the chances of them being big and healthy with no NICU time.  Plus, wouldn't it be so much easier for everything to go as planned and on schedule?  ; )
New Year's day came and my IPs were in San Diego.  We thought of going to dinner, but I decided that I would eat a big lunch and light dinner in preparation for my c-section the next morning.  My IPs told me that they would be at the hospital at 5am with me to check in, even though they didn't need to be there until closer to 7am.  If I had to be there that early, they would too.  So, the next morning, January 2nd, we all met at the L&D check in desk so early it was still dark out.  We got the paperwork filled out and copies of insurance forms and legal paperwork all in our files.  Everyone had it straight that I was the surrogate, my husband was my husband, and the IPs were the babies' parents.  The staff at this hospital (where I've delivered all of the babies I've carried, my own included) is wonderful.  They are sweet, caring and very surrogate friendly, if I might add.  I got my hospital wrist band and was off to a room to get ready for surgery.  My husband and the Daddies were to wait in the lobby until they were called in by the nurses.  
After changing into a stylish hospital gown...ha!...and some poking and prodding, I had my blood drawn and an IV in place.  I had filled out the anesthesiologist's questionnaire and my husband and IPs were called in to join us and wait for the OR to be ready.  As we waited, my IPs started asking about the possibility of them being allowed in the OR.  I have to admit, I got a bit nervous.  I had warned them that since it was a c-section, my OB only allowed one support person in the operating room, and that would be my husband.  This was the way it had been done with my last surrogacy as well.  Since my PIPs were not in the OR, as soon as the babies were out and wrapped up warm and cozy, they were brought into the nursery where their daddies were anxiously awaiting them.  There they were cleaned up, weighed, measured and evaluated in front of their parents, so they wouldn't miss a thing.  But, now my IPs were asking and telling every nurse around that they wanted to be in the OR when their babies were born.  I was afraid they would be disappointed or upset if they weren't allowed in, so I was getting more and more nervous the more nurses they asked about it.  Finally the anesthesiologist came in to talk with me about the process and surgery, and while he was there the nurses asked him.  He said that he didn't think it was a good idea to allow any more than 1 person in the room, but that it was not only his decision, so he'd talk it over with my OB.  Then they took me into the OR to get ready for surgery to begin.  
Now I was out of the loop.  I wasn't there to know what decision was made or to hear the discussion going on, so I had no idea who would be joining us.  Luckily, the anesthesiologist came in shortly after and told me it was all settled.  After a few mix-ups with who wanted to come in and who would be allowed in, they finally had a plan.  I was given the spinal and laid on the table, ready to have some babies!
Anyone who has had a c-section knows that they wait until the very last second to allow your husband (or support person) in the room.  I remembered from last time that I was laying there wondering if they had forgotten to bring him in.  They are pretty much already cutting you open by the time he's by your side.  Well, it was the same this time, but I was prepared, so I just waited.  Soon enough they were starting surgery and there he was, by my side.  Well, actually by my head.  ; )  Along with him was one of my IPs, J.  They had agreed to allow one more person in the OR, so J & T were going to take turns.  J would be in for the first part of delivery and they would switch and allow T in for the end and to see the babies.  It ended up working out perfectly.  Since they were there for delivery and in the room, the babies were cleaned up and weighed, etc. there in the OR.  It was wonderful, because I was able to see them meet their babies for the first time, hear the weights as they heard them and witness it all.  That was pretty exciting.  J was able to cut baby A's cord (well, not when she was delivered, but he "trimmed" it up once she was with a nurse in the warmer) and T did the same with baby B.  As I was being put back together...lol...I heard the nurses announcing the weights.  "baby A, 6 pounds, 4 ounces"  Ok, not bad, I thought.  Pretty good size for a twin.  Then I heard "8 pounds..." and didn't hear the rest.  "Did they just say 8 pounds?!"  I asked my husband.  He confirmed that the nurse had, in fact, said 8 pounds 6 ounces.  Baby B was one healthy girl!  They were bundled in their little hospital blankets and had hats placed on their heads, then T and one of the nurses brought them over so I could get a better look.  Next, J, T and their new baby girls were off to their room to get settled in, and I was all sewed up and off to recovery to wait until I could feel my legs again.  : )
Later that day I was able to visit with my own girls and my mom (who my girls were staying with), and they were able to meet the babies and their Daddies.  I was also able to meet some of my IPs friends, who came down to meet their new baby girls as well.  One of the visitors was the egg donor for the babies, who happens to be a good friend of my IPs.  It was great being able to spend time with them while they were in the hospital.  Their stay was a short one, and the day after delivery the babies were released.  They didn't leave until the afternoon, so we did get some more time in with them and I was able to feed and hold the babies while they packed up to drive home.  While I am thrilled that the babies were healthy and didn't have to stay in the hospital at all, I do wish they had been around a bit longer for some visiting time once I was able to be up and around a bit more.  The time we did have was wonderful, though!  I'm so happy to have been a part of making J & T daddies.  Just like my first surrogacy journey, this part is the best... seeing the people you've gotten to know over the last year (or more) become parents and have this dream come true, and you were a part of it.  It is truly amazing.    
So, as for me and my hospital stay...in recovery (right after surgery) my blood pressure had gone up very high, very quickly and I was put on magnesium to prevent a seizure or stroke.  My OB explained that it was pre-eclampsia, which is more common before delivery, but can sometimes happen after.  Because they are not able to cure it by delivering the baby/ies like they do when it happens during pregnancy, we just had to monitor it and manage it with medication... then wait it out and hopefully it wouldn't last long.  I ended up being on the magnesium a little over 24 hours and having very high blood pressure even when given medication, so my hospital stay was extended to 6 days.  I was sent home on BP medication and, unfortunately, now at 7 weeks, I am still not off of it.  I am weaned down quite a bit, though, and hope that next week I'll be off of the medication completely.  : )
I am so thankful that you have all been here to follow and share in the experience of my second surrogacy journey!  It is so wonderful to not only be a part of this, but to also be able to share and, in turn, hear about other's experiences in surrogacy, IPs and surrogates alike.
Now for the fun part!  PICTURES!  Here are the beautiful girls, Sophia Catherine and Emily Anne at 8 days old... 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

They are here!

Of course they are...and this post is way over due!  I am so sorry!  It's been a bit of a bumpy road to recovery, nothing too bumpy luckily... but I am pretty much recovered and ready to get back to myself. And back to you in lovely blog-land.  This will just be a quick update- and I will get back here to post a full birth story soon, with all of the details.  For now...
My surro twins were born, as scheduled, January 2nd (at 38 weeks) and their stats are:
Baby A, Sophia Catherine, weighed in at 6lbs 4oz and measured 19"
Baby B, Emily Anne, weighed in at 8lbs 6oz (you read that right...8lbs!) and measured 20"

They are healthy and happy girls, home with their so-in-love-with-them Daddies!

Sophia (left) and Emily (right)

 A few hours after they were born, the first time I got to snuggle them!