Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Now that I have the energy to move around and gets things done, nothing in this house is safe! I am often inspired by articles that I read in some of my favorite magazines and today's inspiration comes from an issue of Women's Day. I used to keep magazines thinking I would go back to them to retreive the information that I felt would be helpful to me, but the truth is the magazines would just start piling up until I eventually threw them out. So, keeping it all here was a better solution to me.

Now more than ever I feel the need to get rid of things that are not useful. Last year me and some of my other family members did a bit of an intervention on my grandma's home while she was away. Grandma is a hoarder, but it wasn't always like that. Knowing this, I am fearful of becoming like grandma someday. Anyway so here are some of the things I got from that article.

Often we have an emotional attachment to things that are just not functional in our lives. There are five main reasons we don't toss things out:
1. "Someone special gave it to me"
For example: When I was 10 and my dad passed away my dad didn't have much to pass down, but what he did have we gratefully accepted as a reminder of him.
The collection of keys he had were one of those things I kept for years, but as I grew older I realized I couldn't keep them forever just because they belonged to him, so I finally parted with them.

It is helpful to keep in mind that our loved one would have wanted us to keep the items that we would get use out of, not things that will sit around and collect dust or clutter up otherwise useful space.

2. "It's irreplaceable"
As a mommy I have been given enormous amounts of priceless art from my little ones. Surely they are all special but there is just no room to keep everything. So I have begun to save the very special ones.

Something that can be done to save these precious pieces of art is to take digital images, that way you can always look back on them.

3. "It reminds us of a specific time in our lives"
A great example here is my wedding dress. We are coming up on our tenth anniversary and I had held on to my wedding dress up until a couple months ago when I added it to the donation pile. I am the mom to three boys so there is just no reason to keep it. Now, had I had a daughter I may have kept it for her. Sometimes giving up things like this make us feel like we are losing a piece of ourselves.

In reality the object is not a part of us, it is just a piece of history, an object taking up space. The memory of that special time is what should be held onto, not the item. I can always look back on my wedding pictures to reflect on that special day.

4. "We might need it"
This one is the hardest for me, you know because I MAY need it someday. What if I did get rid of that item that I needed to keep just in case and found myself needing it a year later? Easy, borrow it from a friend!! Putting it that way makes parting with those items much easier for me.

5. "But it's pretty"
Lets face it, we only have so much room for pretty little knickknacks and they aren't something that we exactly use. I am not sure about others but I know that too much clutter of anything sends me into a little bit of a panic, so that helps me to not collect too many knickknacks, this goes for holiday decorations as well. If you have noticed for the last three years that you have passed up certain decoration during Christmas, it is time to let go of those decorations. Other things that fit in this category could be clothing or anything really. Just be open minded when attempting to rid yourself of things you know you just don't need.

It took quite some time for you to accumulate all these items, so it will take some time to declutter. Giving yourself one week per room should be an ample amount of time if you schedule two-four 2-hour time slots to work on it each week. Going through things can be an emotional time and you can put too much thought into it to the point of not being able to let go of anything. So try not to think about the things that you are going to get rid of, sometimes a friend being there for moral support can help you part with some of the items.

The best thing to do is to build your own decluttering plan that will work for you. Perhaps a week by week table that will show what your plan of attack is. The first thing you will want to do is go for the obvious, you know that area of your house that makes you cringe when you walk into it.

Once you have successfully decluttered, throw yourself a party to give away all those items that someone else may need. Happy decluttering!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Birth Story of a Proud Surrogate Mother

As I have said this pregnancy flew by so fast. June 1st I went into the hospital at around 9:30 am. The doctor came in to see where I was at as far as dilation goes, depressingly I was at 1cm long and high. So the decision was to give my cytotec to soften the cervix and hopefully get some contractions going on. They said I may need two doses before anything happened and the doses would be 4 hours apart. Within an hour of the first dose the contractions began and they were about 2 mins apart.

By 2 o'clock I had only progressed to 2cm. That was a bit depressing and I was beginning to think that little miss Shia's birthday would end up being June 2nd. There was lots going on in our room to help pass the time. Through watching some funny breast pump videos I found that laughter eased the pain of the contractions. There were quite a few people in there to keep me entertained. There was my husband, my mom, my cousin Tati came by for a brief visit but didn't stay for the birth, my sister, Mike and Rudy (AKA the daddies)Sara- she was documenting the whole day, Darcy- Mike's mom and Gina- Rudy's sister. The hospital was very great about everyone being there which was not originally the plan, there was only going to be a total of 5 people.

As dinner time rolled around there wasn't much of a change in my cervix, so almost everyone headed out for sushi. That was around the shift change of the nurses. MJ was our first nurse and Cheryl was our second. Right at the end of MJ's shift the contractions seemed to slow a bit. It wasn't until Cheryl took over that the contractions began to pick up and my water bag began to trickle.

It was about that time that I opted for the epidural, the contractions were so strong and at one point one of them lasted for 3 minutes then there was a less than 30 second time period that it started to taper off only to go right back up again for another 2 minutes. That was probably the worst pain I have ever felt during labor. I had my sister call my husband and let them know not to come in until I had the epidural and that I was still only at 2cm so there was no rush. My pain level was so intense I did not want anyone to see me like that. At this time in the room with me was my sister. The anesthesiologist seemed to take forever and of course I really couldn't get a break between contractions during my wait. Right in the middle of all this intense pain my mom came back from tending to my kids. I really felt bad for them to see me in that much pain. At one point the nurse had me sitting up and I felt this hard thump, it was the baby's head dropping. Cheryl checked me and there wasn't much of a change except for the baby's head had decended further into the birth canal.

After the anesthesiologist got there it was still quite some time before I felt any kind of relief from the epidural. My doctor came in right after the anesthesiologist and checked me. He looked back at my sister and told her that she better call them that I was at 7cm. He also said that they better run. I was so surprised that I had dilated so much within minutes! At the same time I was glad that we were almost there because the epidural wasn't completely working just yet. Within 10 minutes she was born. She came into this world at 8:29 on Wednesday June 1, 2011 weighing 6lbs 5oz. After she was all cleaned up from her bath I nursed her and she nursed like a champ! She is such a little angelic looking baby girl I could hold her and stare at her for hours.

It was such an amazing experience and I feel so blessed with our entire surrogacy journey together. Mike and Rudy have been amazing the whole way through as well as their families. Getting to see them interact as a family and the love they all have for one another assures me of all the love this little girl will have throughout her lifetime.

I have been blessed with two wonderful journies and had the pleasure of blessing two sets of parents with their dreams of having a baby. There is just no greater feeling than that.