Saturday, November 26, 2011

Halfway through the teens...

15 weeks on this Thanksgiving holiday weekend and there's so much to be thankful for.  For expanding bellies (from too much turkey and babies growing), for good friends and family, for our super surrogate "M" who is breezing through the beginning of this second trimester like a champ, for my wonderful partner Bill, and as always, for our health.

By Christmas we'll hopefully have a scan that will reveal the gender of our little guy/girl.  Currently we have that scheduled for December 22nd and then we'll open the "envelope" on Christmas Day.  "M" is already planning how to creatively do this with our friends who will be visiting for the holidays.  Exciting!!!

If I don't get any gifts this year I'll be happy.  The gift of a healthy pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby is all we need!



Saturday, November 19, 2011

14 Weeks and Hola from Spain!

Today makes 14 weeks!  Depending on who you are talking to, this is the start of our second trimester...but that could have been two weeks ago, overall, just really celebrating where we are at right now.

Bill and I and four of our close friends/uncles (Scott, Asher, Marco and Todd) are in Spain for about 10 days and it's been an absolute blast. Mostly we are in Barcelona but we spent two wonderful days in Mallorca.  We've been texting with "M" every day and we talked to her just a couple days ago via Skype.  She said everything is going well.  She actually had just a general OB appointment on Thursday, and they quickly checked the heartbeat with an ultrasound, and everything looked good.

Below are a couple photos of our trip.  We go home on Monday morning...making the super long journey back to Hawaii.  And then back to work for a couple days before Thanksgiving.  Thank goodness it's only a two day week...I'll be super pooped from the jet lag.

Happy early (American) Thanksgiving to all!


Bill and I in front of La Sagrada de Familia in Barcelona

The motley crew in Valdemossa, Mallorca, Spain

The Cross at Santa Catalina in Valdemossa

Scott, Asher, me, Marco, Todd and Bill after a wonderful paella lunch in Mallorca

Rooftop sunset at Gaudi's La Pedrera in Barcelona

Todd, Asher, Marco and I down the street from Gaudi's La Sagrada de Familia

Supporting the Spanish economy at the Camper Outlet in Mallorca (where these shoes are made, I just figured out), with Scott's friend and our wonderful tour guide, Isa (who is 8 months pregnant and showing off her baby Camper shoes!!!)


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

There is comedy everywhere in life...

I’m fascinated with my ability to see the "funny" in things that may not be obvious to the naked eye.  It happens way too often, and it's probably my curse, but I have to share the musings in my head before they get tossed in to the recycle bin of my aging memory.  Hopefully someone, somewhere, will appreciate what I find funny, ironic and so serendipitous in life.  It’s quite possible that no one will find this even remotely laughable but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and hoping you will…

So the story goes...

Bill has been very busy planting an herb and vegetable garden.  It’s been his little "baby" of sorts for the past couple months now.

He interviewed and hired the rock wall builders to create a garden bed on some 
unusable land behind our home...


The Samoan and Tongan workers built a beautiful wall and bed that was ready for dirt and soil...

Bill chose the best herbs and veggies to plant AND installed an irrigation system (on his own, I might add)...

He tilled the earth, and brought in some rich soil.  

And he planted...
and he was extremely proud to show off his new garden.

And me?  I stood by and watched it unfold...mostly because this is just not my expertise.

But I did, however, notice something very funny and ironic after all was said and done...
What does the shape of this garden bed resemble?

A pregnant belly perhaps???

All of this happened without either of us realizing it.  And then one day it dawned on me -- as our perfect little baby is growing in our perfect surrogate 5,000 miles away we subliminally and serendipitously created a garden bed in the perfect shape of a pregnant belly.

And now we watch our gardens grow.

And how cute is it that Bill carved our initials in the wet cement?

A little history on the word serendipitous: We are indebted to the English author Horace Walpole for the word serendipity, which he coined in one of the 3,000 or more letters on which his literary reputation primarily rests. In a letter of January 28, 1754, Walpole says that "this discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word." Walpole formed the word on an old name for Sri Lanka, Serendip. He explained that this name was part of the title of "a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of...."

(Kind of like our quest over the past two and a half years, to San Francisco, to India, to Los Angeles, to Washington, D.C, and even more surprisingly, to Blogland, where we discovered some super cool people that we now call friends).


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Thanks to our good friends Maureen and Andres who gave us the book "What to Expect in the First Year". It's our new bedtime reading...and Bill looks just too cute in those glasses.

Monday, November 7, 2011

NT Blood Test Result Came Back Great!

Big sigh of relief all the way around.

Next appointment is next week Thursday, 11/17.  Don't think we get another ultrasound until December, where we are pretty sure we'll find out the gender.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bring on the food parade!!!

Today we are 12 weeks pregnant...can you say "COOL!!!!"

This is how our baby's growing...

The most dramatic development this week:  REFLEXES!!!

Our baby's fingers will begin to open and close -- toes will curl, eyes will clench, and his/her mouth will make sucking movements.  In fact, if we prodded our surrogate's abdomen, our baby will squirm in response, though she wouldn't be able to feel it.  The intestines, which have grown so fast they protrude in to the umbilical cord, will start to move in to the abdominal cavity now, and the kidneys will begin to start excreting urine in to the bladder.

Meanwhile!  Nerve cells are beginning to multiplying rapidly, and in our beautiful baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously.  His/Her face looks unquestionably human; the eyes have moved from the side to the front of the head; and his/her ears are exactly where they should be.  From crown to rump, our baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs a half an ounce!  WE LOVE LIMES!....

...but it won't be long until this baby is the size of other foods such as a medium shrimp, a lemon, an apple, avocado, a large heirloom tomato, a bell pepper, and the length of a banana...

We can't wait for the food parade.
Bring on the buffet!  :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Preliminary Results from NT Scan

Presence of a nasal bone = CHECK!
Space in the back of the neck measuring normal = CHECK!

We should know more about the blood test results early next week.  Doctors did not think that this would show anything abnormal based on this morning's scan.

We did get another report of this baby being very took one u/s tech and one physician almost a half hour to get the pictures they wanted.  Sounded more like a wrestling match.  I quote from an email from our surro "M":

"I got to see a lot of movement. I saw arms, hands, feet and legs. I saw skull details, like plates, eye sockets and jaw bone. I saw ribs. It even mooned us at one point. It was very active initially and then took a nap at the time they actually needed some movement. This prompted the doctor to comment "C'mon, dude!" and "OK,!"

Thanks for the pictures "M"...and thanks for being a trooper and enduring all these pokes and prods and one super wiggly (and not so shy) baby.

I think if you look closely you can see an eye socket.  It looks like our little guy/girl is just chilling (but apparently that wasn't the case...we've still got some aerobics going on in there!)

11 weeks, 5 days

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nuchal Translucency Test Tomorrow

We have our NT test tomorrow (see below for description of test).  Just a bit nervous but excited to have another ultrasound and take a look around. Everything seems to, up to this point, be progressing well with our pregnancy, and this is just another hurdle to get over.  After this we will be 12 weeks (on Saturday!).  Which means we're headed in to the second trimester and I'm extremely glad to report that time is actually starting to move fast.  In fact, I was noticing the other day that I was more panicked about actually having a baby then any complications.  I don't want to jinx anything but it's funny how there's always something to be preoccupied and/or worried about in this process.  And I know, I know, the worry never ends.
Overall we are just super, super excited and on our trip to Los Angeles this past weekend, we got to check out some very modern looking strollers.  Those LA parents sure know how to cart their little bambinos around!  I'm kinda liking this Stokke Xplory stroller at the moment.  With my height, I think it'll do well for me to not be having to bend over all the time!  Cool huh?!  You can click the photo to see the full site.

During our trip, which was to visit our very good friends in California for the Halloween long weekend, we actually got to meet Jason and Adrian of the Stalking the Stork blog.  It was so cool to hang out and catch up, talk about our anxieties, hopes and fears, and GET EXCITED!  They are just a few weeks behind us...and as many of you know, they've got FOUR in there!  You guys are gonna be awesome dads, Jason and Adrian...but maybe it's time to build another room, or two, on the house?! It was also just a fabulous experience to meet a fellow blogger.  I'd post a photo but I lost my phone over the weekend in West Hollywood (don't ask) and so this will have to suffice for now...

UPDATE: Here's the photo...thanks Jason!  (I had to de-red eye my eyes and it didn't work too well! LOL)

Please say a little prayer and think good thoughts for our test tomorrow.  We are all staying positive on this end....!  Take care and good luck to everyone.

What is the nuchal translucency screening test?
This prenatal test (also called the NT or nuchal fold scan) can help your healthcare practitioner assess your baby's risk of having Down syndrome (DS) and some other chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart problems.

The NT test uses ultrasound to measure the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the back of your developing baby's neck. Babies with abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their neck during the first trimester, causing this clear space to be larger than average.

The NT scan must be done when you're between 11 and 14 weeks pregnant. (The last day you can have it done is the day you turn 13 weeks and 6 days pregnant.) It's usually offered along with a blood test in what's known as first-trimester combined screening.

Like other screening tests, an NT scan won't give you a diagnosis. But it can assess your baby's risk for certain problems and help you decide whether you want to have chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis to find out whether your baby is actually affected.