Smuggling a Bowling Ball at 33 weeks

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Life remains to be very active. I had another prenatal appointment this week but at the last moment had to switch to see the Nurse Practitioner because Dr. Langley had to run over to Labor & Delivery. I’m always happy to accommodate those changes though because I hope that I will be on the receiving end of one such run across the parking lot in the near future.

The appointment went well, my weight went down a tiny bit so my overall total gained at 33 weeks is 17 pounds from day of transfer (woot!). Surro baby boy’s heat beat was good and strong galloping away on the Doppler. He is still measuring about three weeks ahead on the fundal measurement but since I had a good growth ultrasound so recently they aren’t sending me back. The next appointment is in two weeks then after that I increase frequency up to weekly appointments until delivery.

I’ve been working on questions for the big meeting but did find out from the IP’s that they plan to arrive at the beginning of December. We are all very excited to see each other in person and even more excited to officially meet surro baby boy. Another big task I started working on is my birth plan. This is a little different than previous birth plans I have written as my decisions are solely for my body, not the baby once he is born. I keep having to remind myself that and eliminating points from the document. It is a little surreal thought that we’ve reached the point that I am working on things like a birth plan and making delivery and postpartum care arrangements. The pregnancy seems to have flown by! Hopefully the final weeks of pregnancy will continue to fly at such a supersonic pace.

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8 Months

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This past Wednesday marked 32 weeks which means about two months left before surro baby boy goes from my foster womb to his parents’ arms. I continue to wonder just how big I will end up getting but am thankful for a clean bill of health and an active baby. The last prenatal appointment (and all future prenatal appointments) was with my actual OB. What a dream! He is amazing, attentive, remembered me, and cared to sit and talk with me without any pressure. That was the experience I remembered and was so looking forward to receiving. It would be wonderful if he finally gets to be my delivering doctor but it all depends on what happens. My labor track record is a speedy delivery so the reality is more one of whoever can run to the foot of the bed the fastest.

The IP’s are getting really excited and love hearing little updates from me about his activity level and reaction to music. I was able to get a video of baby boy having a party and moving my belly all over the place. They loved it!

There was a little bit of a shift at my agency because my coordinator is now on maternity leave which means I now have a new coordinator. One of the things that has been really forefront on my mind is setting up a meeting with the IP’s, coordinators, and a translator to discuss the end. Some of the things I will be asking about include:
* When will the IP’s be arriving to the area?
* Do they want me to receive a fresh TDAP vaccination?
* Will they be present for the delivery if possible?
* Would they like to have birth photography?
* Do they have any birth/postpartum wishes?
* Would they like me to pump for them?

I have several other questions as well but those are some of the big ones. My new coordinator will be contacting the IP’s about setting up an appointment next week. Hopefully we are able to get something on the books soon as this is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time.

Growth Ultrasound (30 weeks)

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What do you know, the growth ultrasound went really well! The tech was very nice and took all of the key measurements three times (midwife only took one fundal measurement…). Surro boy measured at 31 weeks and 2 days, just barely a week ahead and that put him in the 59th percentile. The tech went on the say that normal range would have been anything between 27 weeks and 32 weeks. She also got several great images for the IP’s. As with all of the more recent ultrasounds surro baby boy was more than happy to give a clear view to confirm his gender. We also saw that he has enough hair to pick up on the ultrasound as a fuzzy line. The parents were thrilled to see him again and are getting more excited with each update.

Upgrade!

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20151008_184037[1]Here are a couple pictures of the wonderful new surroundings we find ourselves in. We are now in a condo complex with controlled access, assigned parking by permit, wonderfully kept lush grounds, amenities, and short walks to various ocean views. We have been a lot more active since being here too as the girls LOVE feeding the giant koi fish that are in the center of the complex then go walk on the beach. There are also a few restaurants on the harbor a short walk away which we have taken advantage of. Not to mention the actual unit is more in line with what I had envisioned when we initially agreed to this temporary move. There is an actual full kitchen, separate bedroom, huge shower, and comfortable lay out for our family. We have raved about the complex so much that my parents have started to look into it. I am so thankful that we were able to make this change! The reduced stress alone is huge but being comfortable where we are has put a stop to me dreading the remaining weeks to come.

Honesty is the Best Policy

We had a bumpy start to our time in California. Unfortunately when you have to find a place that is furnished for a nearly four month stay and are out of state you have to rely on the advertiser’s honesty.

I spearheaded the search for a place because we were fast approaching our deadline of having to be in California before I reached 27 weeks pregnant and we still didn’t have any viable options for a living situation. There were two hopefuls that fell through which led to me finding the unit we ended up selecting. I called and spoke with the landlord to discuss our situation and everything before sending any information on the unit along to my coordinator for booking. It was small in square footage but sounded like the perfect layout and set up for our family. The vacation rental was advertised as a 500 ft2 1 bedroom guest house with a queen size futon in the living room. There was a full kitchen, bathroom, AC/heating, access to free laundry, pool, play space for the girls, it sounded perfect! It was a little over budget but we were able to allocate savings from another part of the contracted budget to the living expenses to make it work. Finally, a place to live while in California!

Fast forward a few weeks to our arrival.

We arrived to discover that the unit may have been described in an overly favorable light than it deserved. To start, it was actually a studio space where the “bedroom” was a narrow set of three stairs into a low ceiling den with a bed somehow wedged into it. We had to crawl onto the foot of the bed in order to get into the space. Need I remind you how largely pregnant I am and that involves many midnight bathroom trips? Not a safe or ideal situation for that.

The AC was a window unit that would bring the main living space to a crisp chill but left the bedroom den space more of a sauna. We requested a fan and put it at the foot of the bed to help funnel the AC into the den space but that also meant one more obstacle to overcome when hurdling my way to the restroom. We did purchase a small tension rod and curtain to hang across the opening to the den so that our girls could attempt to go to sleep while we finished up our day sweating in a huddle on our bed.

The other discovery was that there was no ventilation. None in the kitchen or bathroom. And the fully stocked kitchen was lacking some essentials which made it impossible to cook in the unit, not to mention the whole lack of ventilation. We ended up eating out for all of our meals except breakfast. That adds up very fast.

We also found out that there were two other vacation rental units on the same property. This might not seem like a big deal but when we were led to believe our unit was the guest house and instead we are greeted with a steady stream of cars coming and going… Plus we weren’t even sure if we’d come home to a parking spot or not, it started to become a big deal. One night we were blocked in by a big party and I had to go find the owner of a vehicle to let me out so I could make it to an appointment. A similar situation followed the next morning.

At first we thought all the issues were just a matter of getting used to living on top of each other when we came from such a large house. But over the weeks that we were there it become glaringly evident that the landlord was not fulfilling her large promises for her little space. She is a very kind person but should not be in the business side of things nor should she be managing properties that she’s too emotionally invested in to handle them properly.

Long story short, after some negotiating back and forth with the landlord, my coordinator, and me, we were able to break our lease and find a new vacation rental through the end of the year. The new unit is managed by a vacation property management company and is in a HOA complex with amenities and assigned parking. We check in today and I am really looking forward to smooth sailing for the next three months and the return of some sense of normalcy.

Honesty is the best policy and emotions should not be involved in real estate.