Thursday 31 January 2013

Happy Healthy Beginning

Isabelle is just shy of 3 weeks old and all is going well. Similar to her brother, Isabelle is a great baby. Feeds and burps well. Does #1 and #2 on an ongoing basis. Alert when she's up. Sleeps very well. Not fussy. Rarely cries - only when I don't anticipate her feeding, which is rare because she puts herself on a regular feeding schedule.

Each baby is a blessing but I thank God everyday that - so far - she is a "low-maintenance" baby. I hear stories from friends, acquaintances, co-workers, nurses, strangers, etc. about their infants and although each baby is a blessing, I'm very blessed to have babies that are happy and routine. At the hospital, there were babies in two rooms to the left of my surrogate's room and another baby to the right. I stayed overnight of course looking after my daughter but the all the babies around us were crying a lot, sometimes for long stretches. It's very normal for babies to cry and you roll with the punches, but I will admit that for me, having babies that don't cry a lot makes my days and nights more pleasant and enjoyable.

There is a slight adjustment with having two kids especially as a single parent. Although my son is the perfect big brother, helper, and independent self-entertainer, there are times I feel some guilt because I can't give him sole attention anymore. Not that it matters to him because (1) he's not a needy child, (2) he understands someone has to take care of his little sister, and (3) I still spend focused, quality time with him. So the guilt is unnecessary and self-induced for sure. In fact, I have signed up my son for swimming, skating, and gym this season, and plan on participating in the swimming and learning to skate (my bad especially being Canadian).

I also wondered if I could love a second child. The answer is definitely yes! It's different though for me because I have had five wonderful years with my son. There is a deep bond and love there. With my daughter, the bond and love is there for sure but not as deep given the newness of our relationship. For some parents, the depth of love happens ASAP and for others, the depth develops over time. In the end, it's all great.

Hope everyone is doing well! Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!

Friday 18 January 2013

Good = 好 = Hao

With my Chinese origins, I was recently reminded that my life is "good" because I have a son and a daughter. Why is this? Well, if something is good, the Chinese describe it as 好 (hăo). The character 好 consists of 女 (nǚ) daughter and子 (zĭ) son. Yes, for those of you in the know, I am using Mandarin as my reference although I grew up in household speaking Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien (including English of course). I'm not fluent but not uncommon for someone who arrived in Canada at the age of 3.

The reason why the appearance of daughters and sons in the character 好 means good or beautiful can be explained with the aid of the Chinese culture. Other websites describe it better but basically, in Chinese culture (generically speaking), parents find their children unconditionally good and beautiful and think that their children are kindhearted the minute they are born. Also, another explanation implies that a family is good because they have sons and daughters, because the children embody the continued existence and happiness of a family. Since time immemorial, the Chinese put much emphasis on the value of a family and kin, which is reflected in traditional practices of ancestor worship.

I'm sure these values are shared in other cultures around the world. Nonetheless, this provides an explanation for the link between having a son and daughter, and the why my life is good and beautiful, 好.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!

Day 6 of Life

Isabelle is now 6 days old and I basically have gotten used to her routine. She only cries when she is hungry and usually when she has a wet/dirty diaper. I say usually because those darn diapers are so absorbent these days. Good for now but not so good when toilet training. She is not fussy at all. Similar to her brother, she is very laid-back unlike their dad. OK, I'm laid-back about unimportant things but not so much with important things.

I'm getting over a one-day fever probably due to lack of sleep. At least it's not the nasty flu/cold that has been plaguing so many people. I still have to get my flu shot although I'm technically allergic to eggs. My son just got his flu shot plus his 4-6 year old immunization shots - he was such a trooper. He is an awesome big brother, helpful as always but independent enough that he can play on his own when I'm busy with his sister. Of course, he's 5 years old so not unexpected.

I am putting my SCI dreams on hold. I still have 9 embryos remaining and hopefully in the future, I can have the opportunity to try to have baby #3. I will most likely bring over a surrogate and implant her with the embryos but we shall see. Part of this depends on whether there will be drastic changes to surrogacy laws in India to prevent me from bringing baby home. For now, I am very blessed to have a wonderful son and now a wonderful daughter.

Unlike her blond and blue-eyed brother, Isabelle looks more biracial - funny how genetics can work. In fact, she looks like my sister combined with my son as infants. Also, I'm not a fan of pacifiers nor was my son but with my daughter, I use it when changing her and especially while she waits for formula - she's very happy to have it while she waits.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my life with you!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Special Package Arrived

So my beautiful baby girl was born January 12, 2013. Although she was born three weeks ahead of schedule, she was already measuring well ahead at 7lbs 5oz, 20.5inches. Her big brother is especially happy and proud to show her off.

Infant 101 is all coming back to me now! It hits you so fast, which is great but also overwhelming if it's been some time since your last baby. But you settle in quite quickly. I'm grateful that I thrive during late nights but I am getting older :) Sorry for the short post but I will write more later.

Thank you for sharing this part of my world with you!

Saturday 5 January 2013

Waiting for Baby

Happy New Year to everyone! It's been three weeks since my last post - we are at week 36 today (Saturday) with my surrogacy baby here in Canada! It's incredible how fast time has flown by.

All is well and although it's only week 36, baby is measuring way ahead of schedule. Most internet sites say that baby should be around 6 pounds at this stage. Well, on Thursday, my "little" one (similar to her brother) was measured weighing 7 pounds 8 ounces via ultrasound. She's measuring 39-40 weeks and having contractions albeit Braxton Hicks but could be anytime soon.

I was hoping for two more weeks but my surrogate feels baby might come sooner. I am more or less organized for baby's arrival - unwisely, I decided to organize not only baby areas but also the rest of the house! Crazy but it's efficient - well, it was when I thought I had more time! I'm also training and orientating my temporary replacement at work so a little more time would be nice although I can make myself available after baby is born.

I'm still waiting to hear back from SCI regarding my financial question. I assume with the beginning of the year, everyone is either off or really busy. I do hope to hear back from Meg, Margarida, or SCI soon. I will probably feel a little better once this limbo has been dealt with.

For now, I wait for the arrival of my daughter here in Canada. We'll do another ultrasound in two weeks and discuss labour induction - I would prefer to induce than have my surrogate go through a c-section because the baby is too big. Mind you, my first surrogate delivered my son (10lbs 2oz) vaginally without any tearing but still, why risk it? As mentioned, my surrogate believes baby will come before the two weeks is up. I will see her and the doctor next week so we'll get another progress report.

I hope everyone is doing well with their journeys, whatever stage you are at!

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!