Category Archives: Prego Update

2016 Christmas Letter

…or is it a New Year’s Letter at this point? Either way, we didn’t get cards or a letter sent out this year, so I thought I’d do a year-end update here.

This last year definitely came with its share of changes and challenges, but in so many ways, things stayed the same. Our family took a few small trips, we attended Aaron’s 25 year class reunion and celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.

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We are blessed to continue to be healthy and Aaron continues to provide for our family at a job he likes – at a company he loves 😉  While his job title is the same, the second half of the year brought lots of travel for him, which has not been a regular part of his job in the past. Since June, he has been to Bozeman, Detroit, San Diego, New York City, Washington DC, Akron, OH and Newport News, VA. While most trips were strictly business, he did manage to fit in some hiking in Bozeman, a baseball game in San Diego and a trip to Times Square and a taping of Stephen Colbert in NYC. There is more travel on the horizon for him in 2017, but hopefully the kids and I will get to join him on a trip or two.

We are homeschooling Chloe again this year, and in addition to the standard subjects, she’s loving cursive and Spanish. Now that she’s in 2nd grade(ish), she gets to pick classes to take through the homeschool assistance program. During the first half of the school year, she’s taken outdoor games, Spanish, virtues and art. She has enjoyed all of them, probably as much for the content as the chance to see friends, but really enjoys art and is happy she’ll be taking it the two remaining quarters as well!

This fall, Devon started going to preschool 4 days a week. It has been a great opportunity for him to spread his wings a bit. He really enjoys the playtime they get at stations and often brings home creations out of boxes, masking take, pipe cleaners and whatever else he can find. I enjoy that most of the mess involved in creation is taken care of at school 🙂 He’s a math rockstar, without any help from us or his teacher, and has really enjoyed learning the letters and their sounds the last few weeks. It’s been fun to hear about all of his preschool experiences (they went on a field trip to a local pizza place!), but I’m looking forward to having him home for kindergarten next fall.

Both kids became semi-obsessed with watching American Ninja Warrior last season and loved creating their own obstacle courses in our backyard all summer and fall. For Christmas, we signed them up for Kid Ninja classes at a local gym and they got to spend time this last week learning skills and doing obstacle courses. They were pretty excited! At the same time, *we worked on transforming their playroom into an indoor gym. We now have indoor monkey bars, a small trampoline and a hammock chair. (The hammock chair is for me and not really for swinging. My thoughtful daughter heard me talking about wanting one when we saw one on a walk this summer and convinced her daddy it would be the perfect Christmas present for me!) Additionally, we have a foam balance beam, an agility ladder and a gymnastics mat on the way from Amazon. I’m hoping this makes another Iowa winter a bit more tolerable!
*Just to clarify the use of “we”: I came up with the ideas and my amazing, handy husband made them a reality!

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Aaron and I spent our last ten Thursday nights taking the PS-MAPP classes. Those letters all stand for something, but basically they’re the classes you’re required to take before you can be a licensed foster or adoptive parent in Iowa. We just finished the classes this week, and I’m sure all 30 hours of classes have sunk in… 🙂 Shortly after the first of the year, we’ll have a final meeting with our licensing working and be official. We plan to offer respite care at first, which is when you have kiddos in your home temporarily – overnight, for the weekend or maybe a week or two – while their current foster parents are unavailable or in need of a break. Our long-term plan is to keep an open mind, and at some point may offer long term foster care or adoption, but we’re starting out small. ‘Foster care’ and ‘exciting’ don’t really go together, because it’s a tough situation all around, but we are looking forward to being able to help out in a small way.

And, finally….

After several delays, failed transfers and many needles, I am pregnant with a ‘surro-baby.’ (A baby I’m carrying for another couple as a surrogate.) I’m mostly over the morning sickness and have started to look pregnant, instead of looking like I just ate a few too many cookies. I’m looking forward to being able to deliver this baby to the waiting parents in 2017. (Get it?! Deliver!! I still think I’m pretty punny :-D)

In addition to starting foster care and having a baby – but not losing any sleep afterwards, we’re also looking forward to traveling more, homeschooling both kids and working on some updates to our house in the next year. Hopefully 2017 is as good as 2016!

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Filed under Prego Update, School, Surrogacy

He’s here!

And a week old already…

Here’s the story of his arrival.  There isn’t a lot to tell, because (luckily) it was fairly quick.

On Saturday night, I noticed I was having contractions about 6 minutes apart.  However, I managed to sleep that night, so they obviously weren’t too intense.  By mid-morning on Sunday, they were 4 minutes apart, but still not too uncomfortable.  Aaron only knew I was having them, because I was timing them on my phone.  By naptime (about 1:30) I decided to call First Nurse and see if they thought I should go in.  They recommended it, so I called my mom and she came over to stay with Chloe until she woke up from her nap.

I got to the hospital (around 3pm) and they hooked me up to monitors.  They confirmed that I was having contractions and said I was about 6.5 cm, 100% and that BabyD was at a -1 or possibly 0 station.  We moved into a room, called some people to head to the hospital and answered about a gazillion questions.  My cousin arrived about 4:30.  After a while, and having the nurse, my husband and cousin all comment on how calm I seemed, I decided the contractions just weren’t strong enough, so I asked to have my water broken.

The doctor came in about 4:50 to break my water.  Afterwards, she said that BabyD was looking up and to the left, so she suggested some positions that might help him turn.  The contractions were immediately more intense.  My mom arrived about 5:10, with a bag full of things to keep her busy.  It wasn’t needed.  After about 7 or 8 contractions, I felt the need to push.  I told the nurse and the doctor came back in the room.  I was 9.5 cm and she said I could go ahead and push.  The nurse told me that was at 5:32.

Devon Kenneth Mortvedt arrived at 5:37PM on September 25.  He was 8lb, 9oz (75th percentile), 20.5 inches long (75th%) with a 14.5 inch head (90th%).

Chloe Mae’s main concerns at the hospital were what foods I currently had in the room and making sure at least 1 recliner had the feet up so she could climb up, down and all around.  She did briefly check out her brother each time she visited and always made sure to give him a ‘little, tiny kiss’ before she left.

More updates to come.  For now, just know that he’s arrived and we’ve survived the first week 🙂


Filed under Baby D, Labor & Delivery, Prego Update

39 Weeks

I’m pretty sure the doctor wasn’t expecting to see me at my appointment today, but there I was.  I’ve progressed a little to 5cm, but still pregnant – just in case anyone was worried they’d missed an announcement.  I was reminded again that I could be induced at any time, so we decided to get me on the schedule for my due date.  If Devon hasn’t made his arrival on his own, we’ll be headed at the hospital on Wednesday the 28th at 7:30AM.  I’m sure most of what we heard was for our benefit, to egg us on a bit, but apparently whoever the doctor called to schedule the induction thought it was unnecessary, because obviously I’ll have him before then.  The doctor said he did think about trying to get me to cough – thinking that would jumpstart labor at this point.  Eventually he said something like, “All bets aside, just write her down.”

The plan is to break my water that morning and hope that everything else takes care of itself.  My doctor thinks we’ll have a baby by lunchtime.  I hope he’s right!!  He did list off several ways I could try to get labor started on my own – raspberry leaf tea, castor oil (because it would give me the runs so bad, that I’d get dehydrated and go into labor) or cocaine (which would probably kill me and/or the baby, but I would deliver first).  Always so helpful, Doc.

I have allergies and/or a cold right now and haven’t slept more than a total of 4 or 5 hours each of the last few nights.  I’m really hoping to get a good night’s sleep in before Devon makes his arrival, but I’m not counting on it at this point.  You combine this massive belly with congestion and a 2 year old who’s also sick and sleep doesn’t seem like a good possibility.


Filed under Baby D, Doctor's Appointments, Prego Update

36 Weeks

A few quick updates:

  • At this point, I’m trying to be prepared for BabyD to arrive any day now.  Chloe was 2 weeks early, so I know there’s a good chance he’ll also arrive early.  I’ve been having contractions several times an hour every day  for weeks now, which I never did with Chloe, so it makes me impatient.  However, I’m also trying not to expect him to arrive any time before 40 weeks.  Sounds easy, right??  We have clothes washed and ready, a carseat ready to go and a place for him to sleep.  So all-in-all, he could come any day and we’d probably do okay.  However, we do still have a whole list of things we need to buy – I happily discovered that if you create a Baby registry at Target you’ll get a coupon for 10% off anything left on your registry.  We have the coupon in hand, so hopefully we’ll have a chance to finish up our shopping soon!!  We are working on stocking our freezer so we’ll have meals ready to go and I’ve been working on deep cleaning the house so we’re in a good spot when he arrives.
  • MissK had her baby last week.  When we went to meet him, Chloe took a quick peek and was off to play with her friend.  I’m happy she wasn’t upset at the sight of me holding a baby instead of paying attention to her.  She’s also still very excited about the idea of her baby brother arriving. Don’t worry though – I’m not naive enough to think it’ll be easy once Devon arrives, but it could be worse 🙂
  • Although my weight gain is about what it was with Chloe, about half my maternity clothes don’t fit any more.  I’m not sure how that works, but I’m pretty sure it’s not fair.  Either way, my impatience combined with being tired of cycling through the same 7 outfits every week, resulted in me getting a new haircut tonight.  Here it is – along with my double chin and ice cream on the belly shelf:

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This is totally normal…


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Filed under Baby D, Eating, Prego Update

26 weeks

I had a check-up this morning, complete with the lovely glucose test.  I didn’t get any ominous phone calls from the doctor’s office today, so I assume that came out just fine.  My weight is up a total of 23 pounds so far.  (For some reason, that doesn’t sound too bad, but the actual weight itself freaks me out a bit, so we won’t talk about that.)  My blood pressure was fine and his heartbeat sounded marvelous.  My uterus measured at 28 cm. I think those are all the stats.  Here’s what the doctor said:

“You’re measuring 28, should be 26.  If you measure 2cm off, 2 appointments in a row or 3cm off once, there’s a 5% chance that something’s wrong.  That gives us a cheap way to get another ultrasound in, but usually everything’s fine.  You’re up 23 pounds. At this point, you should be up 16 pounds, plus or minus 5, so ehhh…. The normal range is 15-50, so unless I think you’re going to go over the 50 pound mark, I won’t yell at you.”

I think he even said that all in one breath – or so it seemed.  Then I blamed my additional weight gain on the discovery of ‘Stacker-mallows’ which lend themselves to microwave S’Mores.  My Dr. asked what kind of chocolate I was using.  When I said I was just using the standard Hershey’s, he said I needed to grow up, start being an adult, and use dark chocolate on my S’Mores.  Then he gave me my card to make another appointment in 4 weeks and we were done.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure you’ll have to read it again if you read this frequently, but…  I know there are many women who would not appreciate his style, but I really like my Dr’s sense of humor and his straight forward, matter of fact presentation of information.  If I had questions, I know he’d answer them, but he’s usually pretty clear on what’s going on, so I’m not left with any gray area.

Here are a couple pictures of my belly, with comparisons to when I was pregnant with Chloe Mae.  Even before I measured big today (which I don’t think accounts for most of the actual size of my belly) I was feeling huge, and the pictures made me feel even bigger.  I was looking at a picture from when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Chloe and decided I’m at least that size now.  So we recreated that picture last night, and sure enough, I think I look at least the same size.  And I have a couple months to go.  Oy!!

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Filed under Baby D, Doctor's Appointments, Eating, Prego Update

Halfway there!

I’m 20 weeks pregnant today.  That means we’re at least halfway there!!  Chloe was born at exactly 38 weeks, so I’m counting on the fact that Devon won’t keep me waiting any longer than 40 weeks.  He might surprise me, but I’d rather spend the next 20 weeks thinking he’ll be out by then 🙂

Everything’s still going very well, all things considered.  I’m starting to have some heartburn at night and have ridiculous aches and pains in my lower back already.  I’m not feeling him move yet, but I was told at my ultrasound that I have an anterior placentra – which basically means it’s acting as a cushion between Devon and my stomach, so it’s not terribly surprising.  I’m hoping he’ll power through sometime in the next few days though!!

With all the excitement of finding out that we’re having a boy, I neglected to post ultrasound pictures or my belly shot from 18 weeks.  So without further ado…

18 weeks

3-D image of his face is on the right

His handsome profile 🙂

The ultrasound tech was pretty sure of herself!

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Filed under Baby D, Labor & Delivery, Prego Update