22 Weeks…/Is That All?

Well Baby Mamma is doing better than ever. She feels great and looks amazing! She says my little guy is moving like crazy. She says I’m in for it, because he’s so freakin active….Bring it on! I’m so excited!

We have an appointment in a week and a half, but no ultrasound. At our last appointment, our doctor started her on progesterone shots. Because she had pre-term labor with her twins, she is higher risk for pre-term again. The progesterone shots decrease the risk by 50%. The shots are weekly, but inch and a half inch needle right in the ass. OW!! Again, her sweet husband Dan, is there for her.

They are the perfect couple for surrogacy, and they couldn’t be more fun to be with through this. Love you guys!

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Fears/Dreams

I had a dream the other day:

I heard through the grapevine that Alice was having problems and was up at the hospital. It had been about four hours before I heard anything. I didn’t know what problems she was having, or if the baby was even alive. I remember feeling scarred and upset that she didn’t tell me, and confused because it somehow didn’t feel like my business.
It took me forever to find out where she was, and what was really going on. At this point in the dream, I didn’t know any details. I felt like I was panicking and running around, but not getting anywhere. (That seriously was most of the dream; you know, the dream that never ends).
All of a sudden, I was up at the hospital, and I had the baby in my belly. The doctors said I needed to carry it until Alice could get better. They said that I would only be able to handle carrying him for a week or two because of my heart. Alice was upset and disappointed that she had failed me. I reassured her that it was okay and actually a blessing because I got to experience carrying the baby for awhile. We were there for each other and comforting each other. I remember feeling him move and kick alot. It was amazing!

At first, I didn’t think much of the dream. After talking about it, I realized that all my fears were jam-packed in a long, confusing dream. Part of me, wants to stay out of her life/business. I have to remind myself that this part of her life is my life and business, at least for now. I am also very afraid of missing the birth and not being there for Alice and my baby. Obviously I long to carry and feel the baby inside me, so if it’s thru a dream that I get to experience it, then bring it on!

All the little things that have been different or weird about this pregnancy, played out in the dream. Interesting….

Dan and Alice’s Success Thru Invitrofertalization (IVF)

I had wondered if they had ever tried IVF. After pondering for months whether I should mind my business or chance digging up her painful past, my wanting to help, got the best of me. I brought it up one day, and she said they had thought about it, but didn’t know whether it was right, or even how to persue it. One of the struggles that they were faced with, was old beliefs and traditions of his family. Some of his family believed that any child conceived with any additional assistance, was not “a child of God”. Some believed that if a couple wasn’t able to get pregnant on their own, they were not supposed to have any children. Dan and Alice had the opportunity to choose whether they needed those same beliefs, or whether they wanted to create their own.

The gift that there may be another chance, and the desire to desperately become a mother, gave her another glimpse of hope. She inquisitively and hesitantly asked me about the process and how it all worked. I gave her some information, and numbers to local IVF centers. I remember asking her about it a few weeks later, and she said that she had put in calls and left messages, but hadn’t heard back from anybody yet. I wanted to call the IVF center up that very second, but didn’t want to interfere in Dan and Alice’s life and cause more heartache, if it was not something that would work for them. Being a nurse, I realized the importance of being assertive with the medical profession and explained that to her. I told her to keep calling until she got an answer, and not to give up if it was something that she wanted.

After several months of trying, thru the grace of God and the support of their families, Dan and Alice were able to conceive for the first time. She was not only pregnant, but was pregnant with twin girls. She was only able to carry them for 29 weeks, and absolutely loved every minute of the pregnancy. She was more than grateful to have them here and healthy, but felt that the pregnancy ended way to soon. She was just starting to feel them move and after having them, was terrified that she may never get to experience it again.

They are now a month away from being three years old, and are more amazing than ever!!!

Dyllan Empryss & Dani Nevaeh

Postpartum/Depression

Before I was discharged, Dr. Draper sat my husband and I down. He explained, that after everything I had been thru, I had a 96% chance of having severe depression, not just postpartum depression. He gave us specific signs to watch for, and instructed Gordon to watch me very closely. When someone goes into depression that fast, they can’t tell that they are acting or being any different, so it’s important that someone who knows them really well, be aware of subtle signs.

I was cautious and aware of my thoughts and actions. Once a week, a very special social worker would come to the NICU, and talk to me about how I was coping with everything. I was determined to stay in good health for my new baby and my husband. I talked to her about everything, I mean everything…As the weeks went on, I felt less and less okay….

I would spend several days constantly crying. It didn’t matter what I was doing or who I was with, I would cry from the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed. Half the time, I couldn’t even figure out what the hell I was crying about…It was exhausting beyond belief!

I had been in the hospital for three months, still had a baby in the NICU, lost the dream of ever having more children, and recovering from an intense surgery. I felt like I lost my womanhood. I wasn’t sure who I was, and I was very sure that I was crazy…

I often wondered if I was really a mother, if she was MY baby, and what I was still doing there…..I had decided that Gordon deserved a real woman, one who could have more children for him and build his family. I decided that the best thing for them, was me leaving so Gordon could find someone better….I knew that I would have to leave my whole family and never come back…I contemplated it for several days. Inside, I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but more times than not, my right was overruled by the crazys….There was a few days, that I would drive past the hospital. I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew I was going. Several miles past the hospital, I was redirected by God. I was confused as to what I was doing, but my better self knew that my family needed me. My sweet angel still in the NICU; I couldn’t leave her NOW….

When I was having a good day, I knew it was important to tell the social worker and Gordon the thoughts I was having and the actions I had followed through with. The social worker told me that she was actually relieved to know what I was thinking. She said it was a good sign, so I kept telling them. Gordon, on the other hand, was more freaked-out than ever.

Two Months in the NICU/First Experience of the World

We loved spending time with her. Gordon would drop me off in the morning before work, come in to see her, and then pick me up after work so he could see her again. We usually stayed there every night until they kicked us out at shift change (7pm).

Destynee had a really hard time nursing or taking a bottle. She would choke, had acid reflux and A&B’s (apnea & bradycardia) with feedings; it was so miserable for her. I was grateful to have her in the hospital, where things like that could be monitored. At the same time, my heart ached, because all the poking, proding, intruding, and laying alone had to be her first experience of the world. Although I was there with her most of the time, I couldn’t hold her much and I couldn’t imagine what that felt like to her. Abandonment? Rejection? I worried.

I didn’t even feel like I was going to be okay for about 5 weeks, so how could I expect her to. We were surviving together, and that’s all that mattered.
She started nursing full feedings at 6 weeks exactly (38 weeks gestation). The nurses told me that it usually clicks developmentally around 38 weeks, and it did. We had been forcing her to learn something damn nigh impossible, and when she was ready, she got it.
Although most of the staff was very kind and gentle, she experienced things that nobody (let alone, newborns), should ever have to face. I watched and let things happened that I felt I had no control over. It felt like she was their baby, and I just had to watch. I didn’t stand up for her, or for what I felt was right or wrong, because I couldn’t live with something going wrong….I didn’t feel mentally stable enough to trust myself….. I desperately wanted to bring her home.

My Preemie Miracle!!!

As I watched her day after day, I continued to be amazed that I was part of such a miraculous miracle! The doctors gave a 5% chance that she would make it with no complication. 5 percent!!!!! Althought she struggled, most of her complications were normal for a preemie.
The doctors weren’t sure if she would ever walk, because her feet were twisted. The therapist came every few days, and showed me stretches to help straighten out her feet. Within a few weeks, the therapist was amazed at her progression and gave us hope.

She knew what she was coming down to, and I thanked God every second that we were able to have her. I knew that no matter what she had to face, she had our full attention. She is our miracle baby!!!

Ventilator/C-PAP

Destynee was ventilated for 5 days (Wed-Sun), and on Sunday she pulled the ventilator out. The nurses panicked, and put it back in. Later that day, they realized she didn’t need it anymore. She knew what she was doing, and dammit, she just wanted it out.
My sister, Connie, brought her a bear. She has had a preemie, and wanted us to be able to compare sizes as Destynee grows.

Right after they pulled the ventilator out, she was put on a CPAP(continuous positive air pressure) for 5 days from Sun-Fri. She didn’t like the CPAP at all, and by the pictures you can tell why.

She was also in an incubator bed with phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia, and to help maintain her temperature.

Barely Surviving

After about two days, the nurses made me get up. They wanted to monitor my weight. I was so swollen from my heart, that I weighed more than when I was pregnant. They were giving me lasix (a diuretic), but were very worried about my heart and kidneys.
I got up, but couldn’t walk much. I was excited to be able to see my baby whenever I wanted. I had only seen her once, and she was three days old. I felt like such a bad mom….

Gordon took me in a wheelchair, down to the NICU. I could stand up to see my precious baby for about five minutes, and then could sit in the chair for about a half an hour. I couldn’t see her very well sitting, but it felt good to be near her. They wouldn’t let us hold her….I often wondered if she was really mine….I stared at her, wondering if I would ever be able to hold her and take care of her like my motherly instincts desperately wanted to. Through the tubes and wires, I watched her closely for each breath.

When I got back from seeing her the first day, I told the nurses that I wanted to go down at least five times a day…..I made it ONCE…… I couldn’t pull strength from anywhere. It devastated me….. It felt as though both of us were barely surviving:(

Reality or Denial?

The first few days, I was pretty out of it. I remember waking up and telling Gordon, “the baby’s moving again, come feel”. I thought that I was still pregnant. When they would tell me I had the baby, I remember wondering where she was and why she wasn’t with me. Gordon would gently remind me that I already had her, that she was doing good, and he would show me pictures of her. I felt confused, like there were pieces of the puzzle missing?????

He was worried that I wasn’t dealing with the reality of what had happened.

Mommy and Baby Bonding/The Gift of Love

It was killing me not to be able to see my baby, and at the same time, I did not realize how long it had been. All I knew was that I still hadn’t seen my angel. Destynee wasn’t doing well, and neither was I.

The NICU nurses started getting very concerned, because she started going down hill again and they didn’t know why. One of them made it very clear, that she thought that Destynee desperately needed to bond with her mommy. They knew I wasn’t strong enough to walk or even get into a wheelchair.


I remember being so excited, and at the same time, scared to death to see her. I didn’t know if I was mentally or emotionally strong enough to see her. I wanted to be strong for her, and I just wasn’t.

I wanted so bad to hold her, and tell her everything was going to be okay…..She looked so fragile, I barely dared to touch her……. After I left, I felt stronger, yet more torn than ever. I couldn’t bare to be away from her, but I had no choice. I knew that we both had a long way to go before we could really be there for each other.

Gordon came back about an hour later, and excitedly told me, that she was drastically doing better and that her heart calmed right down. The NICU nurses were amazed!!! She stabilized moments after I touched her, and she started progressing rapidly.

Gordon was our sticky glue that kept us all together. He would run from my room, to the NICU and back, all day long. He was our ROCK.