Saturday, December 10, 2011

Greetings from the NICU (with pictures)!!!

Hello Everybody,

As you can imagine, it has been a crazy and hectic few days, trying to get to Delhi and the babies as quickly as possible!  The twins are at the Newborn Baby Centre in Delhi and are doing well.

This is Benjamin Dulany Brown.  He is doing well and is the more active and vocal big brother (note: he was born two whole minutes before his little sister).  Ben is now 1610 grams and is no longer taking any food by feeding tube.  He is feeding on demand orally.  He is doing amazingly well and getting the best care from Dr. Gupta and his attentive staff.

This is Whitney Anne Brown.  She is our little sleeping beauty.  I know the "experts" say that newborn babies cannot smile, but you may decide for yourselves.  I, personally believe that she can.  She is also gaining weight, but not quite as rapidly as her big brother.  She is currently 1565 grams.  However, like Ben, she is now taking all of her formula orally.

I know that there a several other new parents here also.  Please message me or email me at if you would like to try to get together.

I will post more pictures again very soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

They're Here!!!!!!!

What an exciting night!!!  The twins were born early this morning!  We are unbelievably excited to announce the arrival of our little boy and his younger sister (by two minutes that is)!

The little ones decided that they simply could not wait until January to make their first appearances.  So, we will post again very shortly (I promise - yes, I know, I am not the most prolific blogger, but I understand that this is the sort of exciting news that we all anxiously await) with more details and pictures (yes, lots and lots of pictures).

In the meantime, we are going to get a couple of hours of sleep (if that is possible since we are so excited).  Then, we need to quickly modify our travel plans and head for Delhi.

Annette & Mark and B & SJ, we look forward to seeing all of you in Delhi in a few weeks.  As the babies are so early (i.e. 32 weeks), we anticipate a long stay!

Have a great night (or morning)...we will post an update soon!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Still Here...After Being MIA for Sooo Long!!!

Hi Everyone,

Sorry we have been missing in action for sooo long!  I intended to keep everyone updated, but it was so hard emotionally when surromom #1 was having problems that I had to take a break and just bury myself in my work.  Then, once I managed to distract myself that way, I wasn't able to come back and pick up where I left off.  I have occasionally taken a few quick peeks to see how our "friends" out there in surrogacyland are doing.  It has clearly been an exciting time...lots of new babies, etc...

So, when we last posted things were looking bleak for surromom #1!  She did in fact miscarry.  We were very sad about the loss of the twins she was carrying.  In the brief time that she was carrying them, we had already become "attached" (maybe not the best way to express it, but we were very excited about them and, of course, disappointed when we knew that they were gone).

At that point, I had to find distractions because I was obsessively worried about surromom #2.  In fact, during the last few months, she has had several hospital admissions.  During those admissions, I want to mention that Dr. Shivani's staff was fabulous and kept us fully informed about everything.  But it was scary nonetheless!   

I have been counting down the weeks to the point of viability (just in case) and, now, to 37 weeks.

Today, we have reached 30 weeks!  YAY!  So, we are finally starting to breathe.  Even if the babies were born tomorrow (knock on wood - we don't want that to happen), they would probably be fine. They are actually due on January 2, 2012 (i.e. 37 weeks), but we hear many twins decide to make their entrance even earlier than that.

Now, it is time to make plans for our trip to Delhi!  Is anyone planning to spend Christmas in Delhi?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Possible Setback! :(

     Before I write a brief update, I just want to post a quick "Thank You" to all of you who have posted comments.  It is such a delight to read them.  I will start posting comments more (note:  I send lots of mental comments as I read your blogs, but I rarely actually post them.  I will actively start posting them now.).

     Now for the update...I awoke to an email from SCI stating that surromom #1, Miss D, was admitted to the hospital last night for heavy bleeding.  We are first and foremost very concerned about her wellbeing.  She generously signed on to help us in such a major way and our greatest hope was that it would ultimately be a good experience for all concerned.

     Of course, we are also very concerned and saddened because the reason for her hospital admission does not bode well for the pregnancy.  We are struggling not to jump to conclusions, but naturally our assumption is that she has miscarried.  Another ultrasound will be done in about five days.

     We are hoping that "No news is good news!" with respect to Miss J!


Monday, May 23, 2011

When It Rains..It Pours!!!

     So...I am a little speechless at the moment (in a wonderful way)!   I think I mentioned in an earlier post that Ray predicted that it was very important to go with two surrogates, because if we didn't there was a significant chance that it might not work, but added that of course, if we went with two, we would be expecting four babies!  Well....both Miss J and Miss D are expecting twins!!!

     We are trying to contain our excitement (and apprehension), because this is only week five.  It will be another week before there is a check for hearbeats...and then, seven more weeks before we clear the scary first trimester.  I am not sure if that applies to twins or if it is longer.

     I am going to go off on a tangent for a moment now and share with all of you that like most of you we had our issues expanding our family.  I may at some point write a "prequel" blog post to our story, but not right now.  It is much nicer to focus on this part of the journey.  But, that said I want to add an extra set of "Thanks" to Meg for saying that, after all else had failed, this really could work!  To us, Dr. Shivani is our miracle worker!

     It has been a really exciting week!  After the hcg results came in, we went window-shopping for the nursery (note:  my husband usually finds a convenient reason to escape the shopping, but not this time.  He enjoyed Babies R Us as much as I did).  The only problem is planning for a gender neutral nursery.  Most of the nicer sets are either girlie or decidedly boyish.  Any suggestions?

     As anyone who is reading this knows by know, I am very new to the blogging and haven't reached the point of being able to write the wonderfully informative and captivating blogs that many of the other families on this path post.  Those are the very blogs that reassured me as I was deciding on this path and the same blogs that helped me to maintain a modicum of sanity during the two week wait recently (it seemed more like two thousand years).  So, I want to say "Thank You" again to all of you in blogland who have shared your journey/ are sharing your journey with us through your blogs!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fixed It!!!

     The last post "Help!" was because I did something wrong and entirely screwed up the blog page (it listed the names of some of the blogs that we follow in large print over the blog).  Anyway...after about a long, frustrating hour we actually fixed it (still not really sure how).

     So, I deleted the "Help" post.  But as it is still listed out there in cyberspace, I thought I would post an explanation.

     Thank you for any and all of you who came to the site to help! :)

Yay!!! Yippee!!! BFPs!!!

     The last thirteen days have been agonizing!  I mean, I have been counting down the hours (sometimes even the seconds) just waiting for the big news!  Ironically, I was traveling this weekend and did not check email (after all, I wasn't expecting the email until today or tomorrow).  In fact, in two weeks it was the first couple of days that I had not spent hours poring over everyone else's blogs...hanging on every minute detail!

     So, low and behold it was quite a surprise to discover two updates from Dr. Shivani!  It was an even greater surprise to read that both surromoms tested BFP!!!  Yay!!!  Wow!!!

     After sharing the wonderful news, Ray took great delight reminding me that he told me that we absolutely had to go with the second surrogate for insurance.  Specifically, he predicted that with one surromom it wouldn't work, but with two we'd end up with four babies.  Of course, my sisters are joining him in this delight (note: they each have one son and remind me on a daily basis that they need a niece or two - no pressure whatsoever! LOL!).  Together, they have all three instructed me that I am not to buy anything pink or girly for fear of jinxing the chance that one of the babies might be a girl!

     In case it is not readily apparent yet, in addition to having no patience, I overanalyze things.  In this case, surromom #1 (hereinafter "Miss D") had a beta hcg level of 279 on what I counted as day 12 (i.e. 12 days after implantation - but 14 after egg retrieval).  Surromom #2 (hereinafter "Miss J") had a beta hcg level of 600 on what I counter to be day 13 (i.e. 13 days after implantation - but 15 days after retrieval).  So, I looked up beta hcg charts and each of these seemed clearly in the twin range.  Does anyone out there in blog land have any thoughts or opinions on that?

     Yes...I really do know better than to read too much into that first set of numbers!  But is so exciting...whether one, two, three, or four, it worked!  We are actually expecting! 

     Huge thanks to Dr. Shivani for making this a reality!  And to Meg who told me that this truly could work!  And to all the other staff at SCI for their assistance!  And, especially, to Miss D and Miss J, without whom this would not be a possibility!


Friday, May 6, 2011

The Two Week Wait

     Counting down for the next 11 days...  The exciting update is that Dr. Shivani icsi'd 17 eggs.  Fourteen of them fertilized.  After implantation, Dr. Shivani put 6 on ice.  Lots of reasons to be optimistic...

     Ray is very relaxed about it all.  He is completely confident that there will be good news in two weeks.  I am just afraid to get my hopes up and feel disappointed.  My husband worked out the statistics first...going through our chances of conception with one surrogate versus two, then of conceiving twins, twiblings (yep...we are picking up the lingo of the surrogacy, triblings, and quadlings.  LOL!  Then he proceeded to explain to me that in our case, all statistics aside, if we went with one surrogate we wouldn't conceive, but if we went with two...we'll end up with four babies!!!  Frankly, I think that is Ray's wistful thinking!

     So... about 252 hours to go until it is time to obsessively check emails for Dr. Shivani's update!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

On Pins and Needles

So...the exciting news is that egg retrieval was yesterday...17 mature eggs were retrieved!  Yay!  Now comes the wondering and waiting.  How many will fertilize?  How many will be implanted?  And so on...the waiting begins....

Next comes the 2ww, then the wait until the end of the first trimester (i.e. into the safe zone), then the next six months until the big day!  Fortunately, my wonderful sisters are encouraging me through all the waiting...they are very understanding, as they were born lacking the patience gene, also.

My husband, Ray, on the other hand, has the patience of a saint!  He simply watched with amusement as I counted down the hours until he and the boys left for India, until his first meeting with Dr. Shivani, until egg retrieval, and so on.

So...I would welcome any suggestions or anecdotes about how those of you who have been through this before us have kept your sanity during the long waits!?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daydreaming About Delhi

It is 3:30 pm in Fairbanks right now and 5:07 am in Delhi (that's right...Delhi is 13 and 1/2 hours ahead).  I am daydreaming about how my husband and boys are enjoying their trip.  They had the opportunity to meet Dr. Shivani this afternoon.  My husband had wonderful things to say about her.  We definitely made the right decision!!! 

Tomorrow, Ray and the boys have a free day and will go sightseeing!  I hope that Ray takes lots of pictures.  I will post some later, if he does. 

Meanwhile, I am anxiously awaiting more news!  I now know that our fabulous egg donor has produced about 20 follies.  I am feeling very hopeful!  Egg retrieval will be Sunday.  I am almost counting down the hours.  Then, I guess the two-week wait begins.  Lots of waiting!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Adventure Begins!!!

     Here we go!!!  In just three days, Ray and the boys depart for Delhi.  I cannot describe the excitement and hope that we are feeling right now.  It is an almost surreal feeling!  Is it possible that in a few weeks we might hear the exciting words that we are expecting!

     Our story goes back many years....where do I begin.  I could start just a few months back when I serendipitously stumbled onto information about SCI and upon inquiry, they were so helpful and understanding (a very special "Thank You" to Meg who was particularly helpful).  Or...I could go back a little farther, to the grueling, yet unsuccessful fertility treatments endured in the hopes of another baby (yes, that's right...we suffer from secondary infertility...and while we know that we certainly cannot compare our disappointment with those who suffer primary infertility, it is nonetheless devastating when you strongly desire another baby), a little farther back we tried every potential supplement and became avid followers of the ttc (trying to conceive) websites (e.g. we singlehandedly kept the company that makes pregnancy tests and opk's in business).  But enough about all of we are, packing for Delhi.

     Although we wanted to make the initial trip as a family, work obligations intervened.  Ray and the boys are going (of course, we are hoping that we will all be going back in about nine months).  Ray is very excited about the trip.  He is looking forward to meeting everyone at SCI!  He is also looking forward to seeing the sights of Delhi, after he takes care of his primary mission at SCI!
     A very special "Thank You" to all of you who post blogs about your experiences.  We have followed them for a couple of months now, sporadically at first, more than once a day at this point.  It has meant so much to experience your journeys vicariously.