Saturday, October 22, 2011

10 Weeks Today!

How our baby's g r o w i n g!!...

Though he's barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, our baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development.


This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.  He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout our pregnancy.
If we could take a peek inside the womb, we'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.

In other developments:   Our baby's limbs can bend now!!

(YAY again!!!)

His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Our baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, our baby will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches.  WOW!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Older Parenting: A Modern Day Fountain of Youth

I found this article on the internet.  Yes, I Google'd "older parenting" and this came up.  While we are not fathering in our 50s, I have moments of wondering how this experience of raising a child later in life is going to effect me, my relationship and my life.  I ask many parents how old they were when they had their first and last child.  Don't get me wrong, I am not having second thoughts AT ALL.  But this was a great read and very refreshing -- had to steal it as one of my posts.  

If you want to see the online article click here.

Older Parenting: A Modern Day Fountain of Youth
Fathering in Your 50s: Is There a Difference?
My first psychology professor was Dr. Dick Bruce. He told a marvelous story about his family during Psych 100: When home for the holidays, one of his siblings complained that earning a Ph.D. seemed an impossible goal. The degree would take so long. Dr. Bruce's reply was "In 4 years you'll be the same age whether you go to school or not."

Fathering in your 50s is much like Dr. Bruce's thinking. If being older is the only reason we decide against having children, then we have allowed ourselves to be enslaved to age. Certainly anyone should consider factors like health, energy levels, or financial capacity when making the choice to have children. We can decide to have, or not to have, children in our 40s or 50s, but we will end up the same age, in 18 years, either way. When we magnify the negative meaning of age, we don't balance the benefits of having children at an older age. Once we place age into its proper perspective, we can see that there are many reasons to become an "older" father.

Staying Young
Fathers, like everyone, create beliefs about the meaning of age. How we define age then affects other parts of our lives: athletics, diet, vacationing.  My young children demand that I stay young. They want to play on the floor, run in the back yard, eat ice cream, and go on family vacations. I find that having young children keeps my perspective young, and my daily life more energetic. I have a youthful perspective, and my life shows it.

Feeling Connected
As we grow older, experiences can reduce our feelings of attachment. Deaths, and other losses, push older men away from the vulnerability of deep connection. But, children express their love and affection so freely, so that avoiding a bond with them is impossible. I am not closed-off in other relationships, because my children keep me open to connection every day.

Enjoying Life
The older we get, the more life feels like a grind. We ask ourselves, "Is there anything thing new or exciting in the world?"  Young children feel joy and are excited about just-about everything. They see fun in the mundane as boxes become forts. If we let them, they will take us along for the "joy" ride. Fathering in my 50s gave me back life's fun. My children make well-worn activities feel exhilarating again.

Learning Fearlessly             
All adults know the pain of embarrassing themselves while trying to learn something, but not doing so well. When men hit middle age, we discover how our bodies and minds have begun to falter (even when we try something well known). But, children approach learning new things (sports, reading, games, etc.) without fear. For example, my son is learning to read-and mastering a new word puts joy on his face, with no signs of worry. My son and daughter show me daily that I have nothing to fear if I try something new. I took up golf, as a serious pastime, last year.  And, I have fun learning to play. I thank my children for the courage to learn the game..... to enjoy the pars and the double-bogies.

A Final Word from an Older Dad
Yes, there are plenty of reasons to become a father in your 40s or 50s: Youthfulness, Connection, Joy, and Fearlessness are but a few. Parenting has challenges in your 50s, just like it would at any age.  But older parenting can reset the aging clock. You live a younger life, and your children benefit from your years of wisdom. Older fathering might not be a fountain of youth, but it will add years of happiness to your life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It's been a week since our last super positive ultrasound.  We are so grateful for everything.  This Saturday will be 10 weeks and we've got a couple more to get through before we can really celebrate and plan for this little one...but I have to say that my mindset has changed over the past few days.  I walk our dog Chloe and I think about pushing a stroller alongside us through the neighborhood.  I think about our baby's first day at the beach...his or her little toes in the sand, the ocean, feeling the sun on his or her face.  I think about the day of his or her birth and I'm overwhelmed with emotion (Will we be able to handle it?  Will we both just stand there, dumbfounded?  And not know what to do?).  One thing we have been instructed to do (by our surro "M") is to "follow the woman with the baby"..."don't stick around after the birth with me"..."it gets ugly" -- haha...sorry "M" but those words that came out of your mouth months ago have stuck with me.

I'm sure we'll be able to handle it.  Waiting for that day.  And so, so grateful for all our surrogate is doing.

I know you check this blog, so this is our public THANK YOU.  You ROCK.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Power of Moving Pictures

Just as I left work today, our surro "M" sent us one of the most amazing things I've ever seen...the ultrasound video. WOW!!!...I can't even tell you how real EVERYTHING became in just two minutes! 

That heartbeat is awesome, the yolk sac is awesome...the little curled up baby is awesome...and I can't believe that this is our little guy/girl...just pumping along in there. I can't thank "M" enough. I told her she's doing a top notch incredible job. We so appreciate her and everything she's doing.


One day and many beats ahead...

As we led up to this third scan I was a wee bit nervous than most times, which means I was ultra-nervous because I'm always nervous...go figure. I don't know what's wrong with me but I think it's taking some time to get all the failed attempts and m/cs out of my head before I can truly embrace this awesomely perfect pregnancy. Besides low progesterone issues early on, everything has been going extremely well. However, as each doctor's appointment looms ahead of me I throw myself in to a panic, thinking that something could be wrong........

...and then the day comes, and the scan detects a gestational sac. A reason to celebrate! Yay!

...and then days before the second scan I feel like I'm getting an ulcer worrying about a heartbeat. And the day comes, and our scan detects a strong heartbeat at 135 bpm, a yolk sac and fetal pole. Boogie Down!!

...and on this third scan I knew that if things looked good, that we could relax (yah I know, don't I'm gonna relax!) for the next few weeks until we pushed through the first trimester. Naturally this put way more pressure on the appointment, since if something didn't look right I would most likely spin out of control and become a basket case (like I'm not now?).

And then today came, and the scan indicated that we are actually AHEAD of the game. The baby measured 8w5d instead of what we thought was 8w4d. Crown to rump length = 2.06 cm! I had to break out the ruler and see exactly how big or small that's small but BIG!

And the heartbeat was 180!...I'm thinking there must be some serious cardio going on in there with our olive-sized little one.

All that jazzercising is paying off little guy because you're growing like crazy...and doing such a great job!

Check out today's ultrasound that actually LOOKS like a baby now, though he/she is a little shy and facing away from the "camera" -- but looking good...BIG SMILES.

Now the wait for the first trimester to be OVER. Waiting for that day...but a little more relaxed. Promise.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sleeping with one eye open...

We have our third scan tomorrow early east coast time (can you say @ 2:50 am???) -- so I know I'll be sleeping with one eye open .-)

This will be the last ultrasound for a little while since the doctor just wanted to keep an eye on our surrogate as she had low progesterone and has been supplementing. Tomorrow will be 8 weeks 4 days. And no, I'm not counting...

And just to say, super excited about all the success out there with everyone. Albeit early, a positive IS a I say you gotta STAY POSITIVE. Keeps the insanity at bay. Works for me.

Think good thoughts and say a prayer for good news tomorrow. Grow baby, GROW!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

8 weeks!

Today makes 8 weeks and I am ready for this next month to fly by...and then we can take a huge sigh of relief. Everything seems to be going well for our surrogate. She has another appointment this Wednesday so we get to see another ultrasound. Excited to see how things are coming along in there.

I found this wonderful website called the Endowment for Human Development and the movies are absolutely amazing! You should check it out...thanks to Meg for listing it on her blog. Super cool.

Good luck to everyone out there...keep the faith. We are!!!!

D & B

Saturday, October 1, 2011

7 Weeks Today!

We are 7 weeks today and I'm loving that every week falls on a Saturday.

I also found this great quote about not giving up. SO TRUE. Good luck to everyone out there looking for their baby. Remember what Johnny and Darren said, "The only people who end up without a baby, are the people who give up...Here's to never giving up!"

And here's what happening with our little guy/girl:

The big news this week: Hands and feet are emerging from developing arms and legs — although they look more like paddles at this point than the tiny, pudgy extremities you're daydreaming about holding and tickling. Technically, your baby is still considered an embryo and has something of a small tail, which is an extension of her tailbone. The tail will disappear within a few weeks, but that's the only thing getting smaller. Your baby has doubled in size since last week and now measures half an inch long, about the size of a blueberry.

If you could see inside the womb, you'd spot eyelid folds partially covering her peepers, which already have some color, as well as the tip of her nose and tiny veins beneath parchment-thin skin. Both hemispheres of your baby's brain are growing, and her liver is churning out red blood cells until her bone marrow forms and takes over this role. She also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. A loop in your baby's growing intestines is bulging into her umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from her tiny body.