Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 months

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our First Thanksgiving as a Family

Thursday, November 25, 2010


We have so much to be thankful for this year. I do not take for granted how lucky we are for our two special gifts and say quiet thanks to K so many times throughout the day. Thinking of all of you and wishing you a safe and happy holiday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

9 months old

Better late than never ... it's getting increasingly difficult to get these busy little boys to sit still to take their monthly photos.

Liam kept signing "all done" and finally just tried to crawl off the chair.

Silas was content on the chair, but wouldn't stop examining his 9 month sticker.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Silas the sea otter and Liam the ring-tailed lemur

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Photos

Two weeks ago we had family photos taken by a photographer friend of ours. Although it's pretty tough to get both boys to look at the camera at the same time, I was pretty pleased with them! Today the boys are 9 months old already! It's so crazy how fast the last 9 months have gone. I am so lucky and feel gratitude beyond words to K and her family! There are still days when I look at the boys and can't believe what an amazing life story they have to tell!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Birth Certificates

After 8.5 months we finally received the boys' birth certificates that list me as the mother and J as the father. We had hoped for a pre-birth order (PBO), but the judge wanted DNA testing after the boys' arrival. We did that and jumped through the other hoops to finally have the official documents in our possession. I knew all along the boys were ours and that K wouldn't be contesting that, but it's still nice to have the official documents. It feels like the final step in the surrogacy journey. I feel so fortunate to have had such a great experience with surrogacy and hope that others who take this path to their children find similar success. Life is good!

Monday, October 11, 2010

8 months old

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Miracle Baby" Birthday Party

This past weekend we went to a birthday party hosted by our RE and his clinic. They do this every year to celebrate all the "miracle babies" they helped to conceive. The boys were able to meet their first babysitters, the embryologists, as well as some of the nurses and of course, Dr. S, our wonderful RE. The party was hosted at the Mall of America's aqaurium, Underwater Adventures, and the boys absolutely loved watching all the fish. While walking through the aqaurium tunnel Liam laid back to watch the sharks, rays, and large fish swim over our heads and also enjoyed standing up next to the sides with his hands on the plexiglass watching the fish swim by. Silas seemed to enjoy looking at the jellyfish in the small tanks, but seemed a little scared when J put him right next to the plexiglass of the tunnel. It was so much fun to watch them taking it all in. I love seeing life through their eyes where everything is new and so amazing!

A family photo at Underwater Adventures: (it's blurry but the only one we took)

The four of us with Dr. S (who's eyes are closed):

The boys with Dr. S:

Underwater Adventures Family Photo:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Still here

I am still here and enjoying life. Being a full-time working mom of twins is a lot more work than I expected, particularly when you're a high school teacher and have work to do outside of the normal workday. I vowed not to do any schoolwork while the boys are awake, which means that I'm busy in the evenings when they go to bed and during naptime on the weekends, and so far I've stuck to this plan. My biggest challenge since going back to work aside from being away from the boys is trying to cook well-balanced healthy meals. I've started using the crockpot more often and am prepping my meals on the weekends. Also, I try to make double batches of soups, lasagnas, etc that I can throw in the freezer for another week. It seems to be working well. My other big challenge is keeping my house as tidy/clean as I like it to be. As a Type A I have very high expectations for things, including the state of my house. I'd love to have a cleaning lady just once a month to alleviate this stress and am still lobbying for that with J.

The boys just got over a cold (as did their mommy) and are doing quite well. It's hard to believe that in a few days the boys will be 8 months old already! Neither of the boys has teeth yet, but I can see them just under the surface and they are constantly tongueing at their lower gums. Although they get around quite well by rolling, turning/pivoting and rolling, they haven't started to crawl yet. We've observed both of them on their knees for brief moments, but nothing beyond that. Before I started school we babyproofed the house, so we'd be ready the day they take off. Liam has taken to babbling with anyone who'll listen and Silas is a little more shy. Both boys have smiles that melt my heart and everyday I race home as soon as I can to see them.

Last week I celebrated my 34th birthday (I'm not too proud to admit my age) and our wonderful nanny surprised me at school with the boys. When they arrived at my classroom I was in the back of the room helping a group of students and heard a quiet voice say "Happy Birthday Mommy". I turned around to see our nanny with both boys in tow. They were wearing matching onsies that said "Happy Birthday Mom". I was so happy to see them and couldn't get over the cute onsies the nanny had made. She truly is a wonderful person and we're so lucky to have her caring for our boys!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Return to Work

Tomorrow I will return to work after having been off with Liam & Silas for 7 months. I have been dreading this and have cried on and off all week anticipating the end of my maternity leave. Tonight while putting Silas to bed I rocked him and bawled because I I kept thinking about how I won't see my boys awake until 3:30pm tomorrow. It's not that I'm worried about the boys not being well cared for or that I dislike my job. I love teaching and feel confident that my boys will be in good hands. My mom will be with them here at our house two days a week and our wonderful nanny the other three days. I'm just sad that I won't be the one who's with them. I'm sad that I'm going to miss all the smiles, giggles, kisses, hugs, cuddling, and new milestones. This week is going to be tough, so wish me strength as I return to work.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Studio Photos

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

6 Months Old

The boys enjoying a stroller ride:

Liam got his first haircut:

Silas having fun with his daddy:

The boys playing:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our personal contribution to stem cell research

**IMPORTANT NOTE: I know that there are people opposed to using embryonic stem cells and I respect your opinion/position on the issue. It is obvious from my post title that I am supportive of embryonic stem cell research. I hope that my position can be respected and that my blog doesn't become a battleground to debate the issue. We all have to do what feels right to us personally and really should try not to judge others when we haven't walked in their shoes. I appreciate your understanding and thank you in advance for not making my blog your personal debate forum.**

Today is a very bittersweet day for me. We signed the paperwork to donate our 3 frozen embryos to the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota. Both J and I thought it was important to hand-pick where our embryos were going. We both strongly support embryonic stem cell research and were pleased that we could give them to a local research institution. This particular facility is "evaluating new methods of isolating and culturing embryonic stem cells (ESC) from excess embryos obtained by IVF, so that large number of cells can be made available for patients in a reliable and reproducible manner. Additionally, all new ESC lines will be made available to researchers worldwide."

Although I feel a great sense of pride for doing my part to help advance stem cell research in an attempt to treat and/or cure diseases (e.g., Parkinson's, heart disease, diabetes), I do feel a little sad at the same time. I know our family is complete and that having more children isn't something that we ever plan to pursue, yet I feel attached to these embryos. Well technically I'm not attached to the blastocysts themselves per se, but rather to their potential for life. As I drove home from signing the papers and having them notarized I couldn't help but daydream about "who" was among them. My thoughts drifted to a little girl with curls and big blue eyes wearing an adorable pink floral dress and I became teary. The reality is that I'm a little sad I'll never have a daughter and I think I'll always wonder if there was a girl among those three embryos. I think there's even a piece of me that's still a little sad I'll never carry a baby and when I think of those embryos I wonder if one of them could've become a healthy, living baby by growing inside of me. I sometimes daydream about becoming unexpectedly pregnant on my own, which of course is highly unlikely and definitely not wise, yet I still think about it.

Clearly there's a multitude of issues coming together to create my mixed emotions today, but honestly the sadness is fleeting. I look at my precious boys and know that I am lucky. Actually I am very, very lucky! My life finally feels complete and I feel that I have finally defeated infertility. I know that there are so many women (and men) who would give so much to have what we have, so I hope I don't come off as sounding ungrateful. I am beyond grateful--more than you will ever know. Sometimes it just helps me to move past such emotions by putting a voice to them and it helps me to find peace with major decisions to discuss them (sometimes at great length much to my husband's dismay).

I am trying to look at our donation in the most positive light. We may not be giving these three embryos an opportunity of life, but we very well may be giving an opportunity of life (or a comfortable life) to hundreds if not thousands of people who are stricken with horrible diseases. I truly believe that this is our gift. We are giving back and paying it forward by donating our embryos to stem cell research. We are giving in a way that has huge potential to improve human life and for that I can feel good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The boys started solids!

On Saturday the boys started solids. We opted to begin with oatmeal. It was very clear to me that the boys were ready to start eating food because they would grab at our food and watch us put food in our mouths while opening their mouth to give them some. It was actually pretty funny to watch and clearly it was time for them to try something new. All in all starting solids when pretty well. Liam made a few faces and spit out the first couple of bites, but after that he was off and ready to eat. We'd spoon up some of the soupy oatmeal and as soon as the spoon moved towards him he'd open his mouth wide, gum/chew, swallow and stare at the spoon/dish for more. Liam actually ate his entire dish of oatmeal and part of Silas' (less the little bit that was on his face and bib). Silas didn't seem to get the hang of it as quickly and kept spitting it out. Eventually Silas was able to eat some, but didn't seem nearly as interested as Liam. However, at one point Silas grabbed the spoon out of J's hand and acted as though he was putting into the dish of oatmeal. It was as if Silas wanted to feed himself. We were able to catch it on video and it was hilarious! At supper today the boys are going to try bananas and then tomorrow for breakfast they can have bananna oatmeal.

Liam's first experience eating oatmeal:

Silas' first experience eating oatmeal: