Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Surrogacy

We have been asked quite a bit lately (and I'm sure many others wonder without asking) if we plan on having any more babies.  Everyone from family to friends to doctors are curious what we're thinking after having two challenging pregnancies and it's a valid question that I would certainly wonder myself so I figured I'd share our thoughts here.  

When we did IVF three years ago we came out of the cycle with three "healthy" embryos that were genetically tested for SCID as well as many other chromosomal abnormalities.  Two of those three embryos have become Austin and Victoria and we have one remaining.  We always knew we would use all three embryos but we never anticipated me becoming Rh Sensitized and struggling through pregnancy as much as I have.  When Victoria became so sick so early on, Logan and I agreed pretty quickly that it would be unwise to attempt another pregnancy with my body and risk putting another baby through an even worse situation.  As time goes on, each pregnancy will get harder and harder for the baby so the prognosis for another baby wouldn't be very good at all.  Each time we have told our doctors that this was my last pregnancy it is easy to see their relief and that has confirmed our decision.

Despite all of that, we still know our last little embryo is meant to be a part of our family so we are extremely grateful for the gift of surrogacy.  There are a lot of different opinions/feelings on surrogacy but we think it's a wonderful thing and plan to pursue it in order to get our last baby here.  I have a good friend whose babies have been born via surrogacy and it has been such a neat thing to see.  When the time is right, we plan to hire someone to carry our sweet little baby so our family can finally be complete.  We are so grateful to live in a day and age when medical technology is so advanced otherwise we might not have been able to have any babies at all after Eli.  Until the time comes for us to start working on getting that last little bean here, we are going to love our newly expanded little family as much as we possibly can!  




Sunday, June 11, 2017

May 2017 (Birthdays and Babies!)

What a long but wonderful month!  Logan's graduation, Austin's birthday, and of course Victoria's arrival highlighted our month but we also had some unexpected bumps along the way that made it feel extra long at times.  We have so many great memories to look back on so here it goes!

A few months ago I scheduled Austin's 2 year pictures and crossed my fingers and toes that I would still be pregnant the first week of May so I could be there while he had them taken.  I was so happy when that wish came true and I couldn't be more thrilled with how the pictures turned out!  I was a bit nervous when the photo shoot started that we wouldn't get anything decent because he was in an awful mood but it ended up being a lot of fun and a great success!  (Don't mind his blue hands...mom fail!  I was trying to do his hair at home and let him play with those crayola bath things that change the water colors and I hadn't realized that they stained his hands blue until we got to the park to take his pictures.  Thankfully I hadn't gotten him dressed yet so his clothes were fine but if you look closely at some of the pictures you can see his blue hands haha.)
"Forget feeding the ducks.  I'm starving!"
Trying so hard to break the stick!
Almost there!
Aha!  Success!
One of Austin's very favorite things to do is play in any car he possibly can.  I think he asks us at least ten times a day if we can go play in the car so you can imagine his excitement one day when we were playing outside and he saw the neighbor's giant van doors open.  He ran over there as fast as he could before I could stop him and hopped right in!
Tinny loves Jemma :)




























Another event we had on our calendar that I was praying I would still be pregnant for so 
we could go was Logan's graduation from the U.  Even though it wouldn't have been the end of the world if he couldn't walk, I really wanted him to experience it.  I remember feeling such a huge sense of accomplishment when I walked so I was really hoping he got to as well.  Thankfully I was still pregnant so we were all able to go support him and it was such a great day!  I was so proud watching Logan walk and shake hands with everyone.  Our little family went through a lot while Logan was going to school and he always put us first but kept his commitment to finishing school when the time was right.  Well done, babe!  I'm so proud of you!
A few days before Austin's birthday we took him to the zoo and then had a little party with our families.  This was another event I really hoped we could take care of before Victoria came and it too was a success!  Tinny was so adorable as he opened each present and made everyone feel like they got him the best present no matter what it was.  Every time he opened something he would say: "Oh wow!" His favorite present though was his truck from my parents.  He has always been obsessed with our neighbor's car like this so I knew he'd be in heaven and he hasn't stopped loving it since!
He could have stayed in here for hours!
We took Austin to the zoo on his first birthday as well and it's crazy how much they grow in just one year!  I couldn't get him to look at the camera this time for the life of me but it's easy to see how much bigger he is!
Austin was running from one place to another and fell and hit his head on this log thing and instantly had a massive goose egg.  The pictures definitely don't do it justice but thankfully he was fine and couldn't see the damage.







So embarrassing!

Is the song over yet?!
You've probably noticed by now from pictures that Austin puts his hands over his eyes when he's embarrassed but my favorite is when his hands are "busy" so he just closes his eyes instead.  One of Logan's uncles was trying to talk to him recently but he doesn't know him too well so he got all shy and closed his eyes like this until he left haha.
Austin loves all of his cousins so much and we've been lucky enough to live around the corner from three of them so we get to spend a lot of time together :) This was one of our fun play dates a the Cinderella Park with Mimi!
On May 9th our sweet little boy turned two years old!  The first year of Austin's life seemed awfully slow at times because he was so sick but this second year absolutely flew by!  He is growing into such an opinionated, smart, and fun little kid and he brings so much happiness into our home!  He doesn't have a well-check until 2.5 so I'm not positive how big he is but I think he's about 28 pounds and around 33ish inches.  He rarely sits through a whole book but I hope that changes as he gets older because I have so many good ones I'm dying to read to him!  He still loves Daniel Tiger and Car City (kill me now! haha) and his favorite toys are his cars and trains.  More than anything Austin loves playing outside or in the car and he could go on three walks a day if we'd take him.  He's still a pretty good eater and would eat cheese for every meal if he could.  His very favorite foods are most fruits (especially berries) and tomatoes.  He's still a decent sleeper but he recently started waking up at 6 every morning so that has been an adjustment for sure.  Thankfully he makes up for it by taking longer naps again.  He has the cutest little language and is saying new things all the time.  My favorite word that I hope he doesn't grow out of for awhile is "aye" in place of "yes".  It's so darling and people can't believe it when they hear it.  I have no idea where he picked it up but I love it!  Happiest Birthday, little buddy!  We can't wait to see what year three brings!

I don't have any pictures of Austin's actual birthday because we had planned to do a few things with him that evening when Logan got home from work but unfortunately we never got the chance.  That afternoon I started feeling like Victoria's activity had slowed down a bit but I couldn't tell if I was just being paranoid because we were so close to my induction or if it was something I needed to take more seriously.  Logan is typically really laid back about things so when I called and told him my concerns and he told me to go in I knew I needed to.  I took Austin over to my parents' house and as soon as I got to the hospital they got me right on the monitors and found that she was okay but they wanted to do a non-stress test to check how her activity was.  Her NST looked decent so I thought they would send me home but my doctor came in and said: "She looks okay but we're keeping you here.  If you feel like her activity has slowed down we aren't going to risk it with only a few days left before your induction.  It isn't worth it.  I'm so glad you came in." And just like that we were preparing for her arrival the next day!  At 36 weeks exactly, I was only dilated to a 1 and about 60% effaced so I knew it would likely be a long labor.  The plan was to insert a foley balloon to help me dilate (if you haven't had one consider yourself lucky) and then they would start the Pitocin early the next morning when the balloon came out.  I had my suspicions about the balloon working because it didn't with Austin but thankfully it worked quite fast this time and fell out after just 6 hours or so.  When the balloon came out I was dilated to a 5 and it was just after midnight so they started the Pitocin finally to truly get me into labor.  With my first two inductions I got the epidural right away so I didn't have to feel a single thing but I wanted to wait a short time this time around just so I could see what true labor felt like since I had never experienced it.  After having pretty strong contractions about five minutes apart for an hour I couldn't stand it anymore and got my epidural.  Thank goodness for modern medicine!  The rest of my labor went quite fast considering how early I was.  I'm sure it helped that this was my third time around so my body knew what to do.  By 8am I was complete and needed to get her out ASAP.  None of our babies have stayed in the birth canal very long at all.  As soon as I'm complete they slide right out so I only ever push a couple times and the same thing happened this time!  We had to deliver in the OR which was a bummer because it feels so much less "homey" but they wanted to get her right to the NICU.  We had asked if we could have just a few minutes with her before they took her but the Neonatologist wanted to get her right away.  Logan was able to cut the cord and take a few pictures and just like that she was gone.  It's so hard not being able to bond with them right away but I'm glad they wanted to be safe and make sure she was okay.  At 8:35am on May 10th Victoria Elizabeth Jorgensen was born and made our lives so much happier than we ever could have imagined!  She weighed 6lb 4oz and was 19.5in long with darling fuzzy hair like her brothers :)  She only spent 6 days in the NICU and aside from coming home on a bit of oxygen didn't have any other challenges at all.  Nobody could believe how healthy she was after having five transfusions and we were so proud of her!  
Because she was in the NICU Austin was unable to meet his sister until she came home and that was something I was looking forward to so much!  I had no idea how he would react and it was better than I could have possibly imagined!  We had talked about sissy a lot but being just barely two years old it's hard to know how much he really understood.  As soon as we walked in and he saw her he was immediately smitten!  I thought he might be shy but he was so sweet and gentle with her and just wanted to stare at her.  I'm sure their spirits recognized each other and had a sweet reunion (with their brother present as well).  That is a moment I will remember forever!
After a blissful four days at home, I woke up on Saturday morning to feed Victoria and felt like she was warmer than normal but I also knew it was uncommon for newborns to fever so I wasn't too worried.  I checked her temp just to be safe and my heart sank when it came back at 101.  Even though that isn't very high, I knew it was too high for a newborn so I called our doctor's office right away.  I figured they would have us come in so they could look at her so you can imagine our discouragement when they told us to take her straight to Primary Children's.  We immediately went into auto pilot since we've done this so many times but it was extra disheartening this time around.  We were so sad to be taking her back to the hospital right after we had gotten home and we were also praying it wasn't something too serious.  At PCH if a baby less than two months old has a fever of 100.4 or higher they do a complete septic workup which includes a lot of labs, several different cultures and tests, and a spinal tap.  They told us right away that she would spend at least 24 hours in the hospital but depending on what the test results showed we might be there longer.  We were so thrilled when she came back positive for Rhinovirus (the common cold) because we knew it could have been much worse than that.  I think they would have let us go home the next day but she went from needing 1/16 liter of oxygen to 1/2 liter and that perplexed them.  Logan and I felt like it was obvious--she was sick with a respiratory infection so it only made sense that she needed more oxygen support.  The team wanted to be sure they weren't missing anything so they ran a bunch of tests on her heart to make sure nothing was wrong there so when it all came back normal we were able to go home on Monday morning after two nights in the hospital.  It was so good to be home!  She stopped fevering on Monday afternoon and by Tuesday afternoon she was back to her baseline oxygen needs of 1/16 of a liter.
I have spent way too many nights sleeping in this type of room.  101 nights with Eli and several more between Austin and Victoria.  I hope I never have to again!
Austin was so sad and confused when his sissy left after such a short time and asked about her many times a day.  He was so happy to have her back again!
Always wants to be as close as possible!
 Poor Tinny was confined to our house for most of May because it's so obnoxious taking Victoria out with oxygen so he was thrilled anytime his cousins came over to play!










And just because life wasn't already crazy enough, we moved a few weeks ago shortly after Victoria came home from PCH.  My grandpa passed away in February and it was time to sell his house so we needed to move.  A couple in my home ward left to serve an 18 month mission in Russia so we're living there for the next little while.  It is SO nice being so close to both of our families!  My parents are a 30 second drive or 5 minute walk around the corner and it has been so great with everything we've had going on.  We have been married six years almost and lived in both places for three years each and that time flew by so I know 18 months will pass before we can even blink but we're going to love it while we're here!

May was pretty hard for Austin with everything we had going on.  Between me and Logan leaving him overnight for the first time when Victoria was born and then us going back to the hospital just a few days later and then moving to a new house he was thrown for a huge loop.  He seems to be settling back into his normal self again and it makes us so happy to see him happy again!
Austin LOVES animals, especially cats, so he was thrilled when he found our new neighbor's two cats that are super friendly!  He asks nearly every day for the kitties and is really sad when they're not outside.
 
Last, but most certainly not least, on May 25th we remembered Eli's 4th Angel Day.  It's hard to believe our boy has been gone four years already.  Now that we're busier with more kids the time is passing quickly and it hurts to think he has been out of our lives for so long.  Thankfully his presence has been felt in our home even more since his sister was born and we know he is with us more than we even realize.  There are times that we'll be doing the most mundane things as a family and I can tell he is right there with us and it makes my heart so happy.  Just like Austin, Victoria is enamored with pictures of Eli even at this young age and I'm sure she has the freshest memories of just being with him.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of Eli and what he might be doing if he were here today but I know he is performing a great work on on the other side that couldn't be done by anyone else.  Fight on, little buddy!  Miss you more than ever!