Life is all about the Journey, so enjoy it!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life after Birth

Hello Hello,
It's been forever!

Babies are home and healthy. What little bundles of joy!

I had the pleasure of spending Saturday with the family: babies, parents and grandparents. They are adorable. Both re over 7 lbs  so they're still small and have that wonderful baby smell. I don't ever recall babies smelling good but Tilden and Sibley did :)

I was so smitten and am ever so grateful to the parents for allowing me to remain in both theirs and their mini's lives.

Lil Gen was sad that she wasn't able to come see the babies so she made them a drawing of balloons, stickers, and glitter!!

I'm back to work, that sucks :) The memories I had being home with my daughters for 2 months is something i will forever cherish. It was heart breaking for both them and I when i had to drop them off at daycare.

Here's an updated picture of lil Gen and Gianna:

While visiting they gave me gift which made smile and reminded me of a funny moment we shared.

Super bowl Sunday, the day before Tilden and Sibley came into this world, their mom told me she had a dream that one of the babies turned into a football. Their dad said that he had a crazy dream too and that there were actually 3. I had also had a very odd dream and shared with them that I dreamt I gave birth to a baby St. Bernard and a duck.... crickets... crickets... oops weird overload. Here are the gifts they gave me to remind me of that silly moment.

N-e-who i hope all is well with everyone! So thankful for this experience!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Their Arrival

An early Birth
Hello everyone!

As most of you are aware I have given birth to two beautiful baby girls. This blog will recall the detailed event as well as an update on the babies.

My Water Broke:
Friday 1/30/2015 at approximately 11:10 pm while snuggling on the couch with Genevieve I felt a kick and a sharp pain very low in my tummy/pelvic area, 10 seconds later came a gush of water. I was in complete shock and went to the bathroom where the water just kept coming out. I immediately called Kaiser who didn't seem concerned, even though I was 31 weeks. I called my sisters, my IPs and got ready. For some reason I was under the impression they would give me something to “fix it” and send me home. I was induced with my twins therefore had never experienced this sporadic event. Before leaving I had changed pants 3 times, there was so much water!

I arrived to the hospital shortly after feeling A-OK. They examined and determined that indeed the sack for the baby closer to the exit had ruptured. I truly think I lost 5-8 lbs of water. They checked and I was only 1 cm dilated. Due to that combination I was being admitted and put on bed rest until the babies were born, which we had hoped would be in 4 weeks (35 weeks is the maximum they will let you go with a ruptured water bag). I was devastated!! Everyone seemed pretty positive that this was doable. I received Magnesium and steroid shots (both are very helpful to the babies and necessary when they are premature). Their concern with a ruptured bag and slight dilation is infection because now the lil ones are exposed. So it became a waiting game.
                                         In triage before being admitted and before finding out i had to stay

I was very sad… I felt like I had failed… why did this happen? I was relaxing; I wasn't doing anything crazy when my water broke. I had been very diligent re exercise and eating well, how and where did things go wrong. I also was dealing with the thought of being in a hospital bed for 4 weeks, away from my kids. I didn't even say goodbye I said I'll see you in a little bit. I don’t generally see myself as an emotional person however I was a hot mess. Friends and family and my IPs visited which brought my spirits up and gave me a can do attitude.

                                 A goody bag my friend Ashley brought me... so thoughtful

Superbowl Sunday 2/1/2015 was awesome! My IPs came and threw me a party, we watched the game together from the hospital room. I am very thankful for that. They put so much thought into everything, it was great!
                              As a Niners fan there was no way i could root for the Seahawks :)
                                                 Vegan Cinnamon roll... mmm
                                                                          IF won!
                                     Super cute football with tons of cute, sentimental sayings all over it!

Monday Morning 2/2/2014 a contraction woke me up at 6:30am. I got up to use the restroom and had a very painful contraction that brought tears to my eyes, and then another. Luckily the doctor came in to check on me and I let her know, I was having painful contractions that I hadn’t had before (not even with my own kids). The doctor checked me and I was dilated 4cm, I was crushed. She told me they were going to give me meds to stop the contractions and that everything should be ok, and that I should wait to call the parents. I knew otherwise and called my IPs ASAP. This was a very brief call as I was pretty choked up. I told them I think it’s happening and they need to get to the hospital as soon as possible (they have about a 2 hr drive). Best decision of the day!
I was quickly rushed to labor and delivery despite the meds the contractions were happening and were painful, so I insisted on an epidural (Best decision #2). Life got much better once I received the epidural! My sister in law was there, I’m thankful for her support and being there so that I had someone to talk to and take my mind off things. Then my sister and IP’s showed up, ahh the relief, Mommy and Daddy were there.  Having those 4 people there made me feel like everything was going to be ok! Approximately 5 minutes after them being there I felt the babies coming. I politely (maybe too politely) told the nurse “something is happening you need to check me… they’re coming” finally the Dr. checked me which was a good 5-10 minutes. I heard the doctor say your cervix is completely gone I see the baby’s head and they began to push me to the OR. (All twins are delivered in the operating room in case surgery is needed).
I told them I need the mom with me and I won’t go in without her. My sister helped her suit up and as they were wheeling me the Dr. asked if I wanted another support person. I think she was anticipating me having my sister there however I said “YES the dad, I want the dad there too”. This was very exciting because I had repeatedly been told only one person would be allowed in. Going into the delivery room/OR I was in high spirits. The parents were there and I knew the situation wasn’t ideal but they were going to meet their babies today.
                                                As they're wheeling down the call to OR

                                                        Being silly to hide a little anxiety

The births:
Once situated on the table they said it was time to push. It was only about 2-3 pushes and lil T came into this world crying. It was a great to hear, a sign of reassurance. I took pictures of the mommy and daddy as this was happening. My IM was crying, such a happy moment.
There was a team checking on lil T and another team monitoring Lil S (still inside). The second baby was breech however the doctor was able to turn her around. Her babies sack was fully in tack, so the doctor broke this bag of water. Everything seemed great they asked that I start pushing again, which I did. Once, Twice, Three times, … nothing, I was exhausted. I was no longer having contracts which helps push the baby out. She was pretty high in my tummy, right under my ribs, I had 2 nurses pushing her down with their hands, the doctor trying to pull her our and me pushing with all my might. They decided to start Pitocin, which induces contractions,  we needed my body to help aid in this process. Baby #2 was comfy and did not want to come out. I had been pushing with all my might. We tried again, however Baby #1’s placenta was in the way. Things got a little fuzzy at this point, however I do remember my IM asking them to give me oxygen (which was helpful) and the nurse tapping me on my cheek telling me to stay awake. The baby’s heart rate dropped to 50 and I heard them say they were going to do a c-section. Up to this point the idea of a c-section was devastating, however I could tell we did all we could. One of the nurses said they’ll start the anesthesia and the Dr. said we don’t have time. At that moment she asked me multiple times, do you feel anything sharp? I didn’t (thank goodness for the epidural). I felt lots of pressure and looked up for my IPs (who had been standing by my head, and holding my hand), they weren’t there. I asked the Anesthesiologist where they were, he said they had went to the NICU with the first baby. I was so sad at that moment, as I wasn’t sure why they would leave me and their other baby. After a little more pressure and what felt like tugging I heard the doctor say she’s out. I didn’t hear her cry like her sister and started to panic. “Is she ok, is she ok, I don’t hear her” The doctor said “she’s fine, listen”, at that moment the room got quiet and I could hear her cry. It was faint but it was there, whew, a sigh of relief. And then I was out, exhausted. The babies were born 28 minutes apart.
When they wheeled me into the recovery area I saw my IPs with heavy eyes. They still had their scrubs and surgical masks on that were required in the OR. I could tell that something wasn't right. I asked them how baby #1 was and they said they did't know. They hadn't gone to the NICU, they had been told they could't be in the room for the procedure, I think things go too frantic. No one had updated them on me or baby #2. I told them that she was fine and that I did hear her cry, but could see the stress in their eyes. After a few minutes a nurse came and took them to see their lil ones. My sisters then came into the room and I could see the panic in their eyes too. They said they could see Nurses running into my operating room and they were't sure if I was ok. It was very nice to see them! I know it sound frantic but really everything worked out great. We were all positive and strong and I trusted the doctors fully... we made it!
                                                  Together as a team! Moments before go time!

BABY Update:
When I was finally able the parents took me down to the NICU to see their lil ones. I was so surprised at how big they looked. They were only 3.6 and 3.4lbs however they looked great. The first day and a half they were on oxygen however nurses concluded that it wasn’t necessary and they have been off it since. Their progress over the past 2 weeks has been amazing and they have been on “low priority”. Seeing them was amazing but what really touched my heart was seeing my IP’s with them. Seeing my IM and IF touch their babies was priceless, and solidified the experience and my decision to become a surrogate. I really cherish the photos they have sent me of them doing Kangaroo Care (holding them on their skin).
                                             Lil T 48 hours after making her debut        
                                           Lil S 48 hours after making her debut

                           For the first couple of days they weren't able to wear clothes, they needed them only 
                         in a daiper however as of feb 8th they graduated to being able to wear cute outfits!
                                             Lil S Feb 8th- sweet pea

                                           Lil T- Feb 8th Bright Eyed

                                Feb 12th- girls are steadily gaining weight and are now only needing                                                      assistance for feeding, which is the tube in their nose.
                                                           Lil S, calm as usual
                                            Lil T, getting chubby cheeks

Surrogate after birth:
I am now home pumping away! Being able to provide breast milk means a lot to me. I can’t but help feel guilty for going into premature labor. My IM researched it and reassured me that it was the babies and nothing that I did that caused this. I also spoke with my doctor and he said the same thing, and that he still thinks I'd have future smooth pregnancies. Providing milk makes me feel better as I feel like I’m helping. Recovery is slow, a c-section is no joke. I’m slightly going stir crazy (as I’m usually a woman on the go), but spending this time with my mini’s is amazing. My body is not pretty, tummy is still swollen, however i do have ankles again! My IPs gave a gorgeous pair of earrings that I'm in love with, pretty and pink!
                                  At some point I told my IPs I didn't feel like a princess, they wanted to make
                                  me feel like a princess again, and they succeeded.

                     Yes this really happen and yes I cried over spilled milk... kinda looks like batman

More to come later…


Friday, January 30, 2015

30 weeks

And this Surrogate keeps chugging...

Apparently i never get rid of clothes :)

30 Weeks was a handful. I worked from home with 2 sick kids for the whole week. Holy moly... putting in a 40 hour work week while taking care of sick 4 year olds is hard enough, but then throw on this big belly and wala, you get one rough week with swollen feet. Just have to laugh off days like this.  Now if only i can find wedge slippers... Life sure doesn't stop when you're surrogate, but needless to say we made it through!!

Lil ones are now the size of cabbage! 
Getting lots of nutrients from the Organic veggies that are still coming from the grandparents... delicious! This week I made leek soup and it was a success!! Leeks, Kale, Carrots, Cabbage, black beans, Tomatoes and celery with Basil, garlic, salt and pepper. I think my other soups failed because i didn't use salt (as i typically don't cook with it), lesson learned. They're also getting an extra boost from daily vitamins: Prenatal, Vitamin D, Fish Oil, Vitamin C and probiotic... look at those nails growing!

They are very active, especially at bed time. Here's a little video of them being crazy! I know it's not the prettiest canvas but it's my canvas... a canvas that has grown 4 children.

Here are some pictures I didn't get a chance to upload last week.

Here are the Thank you cards we handed out at the shower. I like to make things personal as I hope it shows we care!

Here are some of the gifts I received!! So grateful. I still can't get over everyone's generosity. Very glad my IM and I have the same love for Betsy Johnson, she really takes into account the things I like, it means a lot.

A good friend to my IM hand made these adorable Twinjas for my girls... In case you didn't see the blog explaining what that is (it's Twin Ninjas... a nickname my mini's earned in my womb) It worked out perfect, one's a kitty and the other a bunny, lil Gianna is obsessed with the bunny tail!

N-e-who short and sweet update for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the video


Friday, January 23, 2015

29 weeks

29 weeks
The babies are now the size of butternut squash!
 Can you imagine having 2 of those things in your tummy :)
Late post... kept it comfy for this one :)
Week 28 signified increased movement and boy do i feel it!

At our last ultrasound Baby A was measuring 2.2lbs and Baby B was measuring 2.5lbs. Very healthy weights for twins J My girls too were very different in weight, they were over a pound apart, so the difference doesn’t worry me at all. One is just a little hungrier than the other. I bet one is hogging the carrot cake J

My IP’s have come for all the ultrasounds, which is what I prefer. Although this time is only 1 hour to 30 minutes it’s their time to see their babies. On the last occasion my IF’s parents came too. It was great to see them all in aww while watching their new family members. I think it’s very important for surrogates to be flexible and understand the meaning of moments like this.
 So many body parts in this picture :)
I assume that the next ultrasound will show her knees to her chin, i really feel a growth spurt!

This past weekend I had my daughters 4th birthday party, the baby shower for the buns in my oven, and a checkup appointment… Whew!

Yesterday’s doctor’s appointment~
This was a routine monthly follow up. It’s really brief and they listen to the heart beats measure my weight and urine ingredients (sorry TMI). Everything was a go. My doctor is so confident in this pregnancy it’s awesome! We have discussed and agreed that if their growth is on track we will try to induce on March 20th, @ 38 weeks. Full term for twins is 36 weeks so technically we’d be overdue. Of course we’re always open to what the doctor requests/suggests however I think that’s what we’re rolling with for now!... Only 8 weeks to go!!

The baby shower~
I’m very grateful to have met friends and family that are so very dear to my IP’s. It was a very emotional event for me, I couldn’t help but stare at my IM, who glowed the whole time from head to toe! It was an honor to meet so many positive people and see all the smiling faces there in support of the parents to be. I was truly flabbergasted when I realized people brought my daughters and I gifts and thank you cards. If you’re reading this and I didn’t get a chance to say thank you… THANK YOU!! I was really lost for words. I love and appreciate everything! Sometimes I feel like I receive more gratitude than necessary and am not always sure how to handle it. To me this journey wasn’t something I had to think hard about and the fact that the couple I’m sharing this journey with is very understanding, respectful and grateful makes it even easier. A big thank you to the sweet woman who put the baby shower together ;) the earrings are beautiful and the meaning behind them make them very special. My daughters love the toys which occupied them the whole time (good thinking), grandma instincts are already kicking in!

Last but not least they had the name reveal! I had been anticipating this moment for a while because I’m a curios cat! When they revealed the name (one has been chosen for a while) my IM said she later researched it and found out that it originated from my last name and said that it must be fate. I cried and still cry every time I think about it. I’ve always thought this was meant to be and as time goes on that thought/feeling only gets stronger.

By now everyone knows I try to involve my girls as much as possible. At the shower I had them pass out vegan cookies to the guests as well as thank you cards. The cookies came out adorable and delicious, I hope everyone enjoyed them.

My mini’s 4th Birthday~
We chose Frozen theme… which was such a blast! I bought my girls a bounce house for their birthday, I don’t think they understand the awesomeness of the gift yet J But they will this summer, since it’s a wet/dry bounce house waterslide combo! (can’t wait for the summer, mommy friends cocktails at my house while the kids run wild) We had lots of friends and family come. I love seeing everyone and their mini’s and try to make the parties as interactive as possible. We had: a surprise visit from Elsa, a face painter, star wand candy decorating station, bounce house w/slide, pizza, cake (my attempt at a castle cake), piƱata, donut eating contest, photo booth!

 Some of the kiddos, all hyped up on sugar... sorry parents ;)
 Some of the decorations, including the picture wall!
 Girls decorating rice crispie treat wands with sprinkles and icing pens!

My mom girls and I... fellas in the back are helping hang the pinata!
Here's where I toot my own horn. This is a special picture not only because it has Princess Elsa in it, but also because it shows co-parenting at it's best. The woman on the right has been with my kids father for a couple years now and I'm so thankful that her and her 6 year old son came to the event. Although it's not ideal to have mommy and daddy apart we do what we can make the best out of the situation. My kids love her and I am very grateful for that! It's all for the kids, and how better to show them a display of love! We win at co-parenting!

Needless to say when Monday came around I was exhausted. My feet were so swollen I had to lay with them raised up. I pride myself on my generally skinny, veiny feet so this was a hard moment for me J It also helped bring to light that I am going to have to start slowing down. Maybe work, gym, girls gymnastics, grocery shopping and cooking dinner is too much for my heavy butt now a days. Hard to accept with my Wonder Woman attitude. Little Genevieve asked why I needed all the pillows and I told her mommy’s feet hurt, then she rubbed them for me. Gianna continued babbling and started jumping on the couch. However yesterday Gianna did help me rub oils on my belly. Little helpers, I think they’ve earned themselves a Disneyland trip when this is all over J

Jennifer Sibilla 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tis the season for exhaustion

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!
It's been too long. My apologies!

Growing twins while raising twins and working full time during the holiday season has been a little more taxing than anticipated.

Good news is the McMuffins are growing! I can feel them move on a daily bases. These munchkins are very active (good luck with that Mommy and Daddy to be!)

At the last doctors appointment Dec 16th I was told some interesting news. We have now reached the stage where the babies can live independently of my body! What a big milestone. Of course that's not our goal as I hope to deliver healthy babies that their Mommy and Daddy can take straight home without worry.

I have to be honest, this holiday season as gotten the best of me. Sweets around every corner and i am not as strong as I thought I once was. Here's a picture of my girls with their first banana split YUMMY. They've been busy helping mommy make lots of treats for family! Such good helpers they are!

Genevieve felt the baby kick and she said "that wasn't very nice". It was so adorable. I now say they are dancing rather than kicking.

Here's a picture from last week. Heels have been my savior. This set of twins has been a little more taxing on my body, especially my lower back. As odd as it might sound wearing heels relieves this pain. After a weekend of wearing flats in Tahoe with my munchkins I came home and did house work in heels and immediately felt like I was walking on a cloud.

My first attempt at pot roast stew, yay for crock pots. Not too bad, however I could tell it was my first attempt.

My sessions are a lot shorter and the amount i'm lifting has decreased, however i'm still going! People say you shouldn't do this and you shouldn't do that. However as long as my doctor continues to give me the go I'll continue to beast it out! Over time i have modified workouts in response to my body (as with my first pregnancy). Staying fit is important during pregnancy i wish more women would do it!

Last but not least here's the big gift for my mini's this year! They loved it!

Now that Christmas is past I will be sure to post more often. Especially after our BIG appointment 1/7/2014. We have a hospital tour and ultrasound. Excited for my IPs to see their babies again!