Wednesday, August 15, 2012

silent auction.

Today, the silent auction opens up over at Ali's blog, Path To Our Miracle, at 4PM PST.
There are SO many great items featured there. Handmade baby blankets, lots of Thirty-One products, tons of hair bows and so much more! Starting bids are set at great prices, so it is a good opportunity to get yourself something at a very reasonable cost, all while helping Ali and Brian reach their goal!

Here are the guidelines for the auction:

Thank you for participating in the silent auction to raise funds for our surrogacy journey. We are sure you will enjoy the items that have been donated. To insure everything goes smoothly, and bids are counted, please follow the guidelines below. GOOD LUCK!
  • Items Posted with photos, description, and starting bid.
  • Bid is made by posting comment on the item. 
    • Whole dollar amounts only
    • Email address MUST be left in comment. (will be deleted after auction for your privacy, but bid will not be valid without an email address.
    • May not bid below starting bid. 
  • Bidding opens Wednesday, August 15th at 4:00pm PACIFIC TIME
  • Bidding will close Sunday, August 19th at 8:00pm PACIFIC TIME
  • Winners will be contacted through email. 
  • Payments made through PayPal.
  • The cost of shipping will be posted in each item. 
  • When buying more than one item, shipping may possibly be combined and decreased.
  • Items will be shipped 7-10 days after payment is made.
  • Sorry, we will not ship internationally. 
Thank you all so much for your support throughout all of this. Happy Bidding and please feel free to share the auction with all your friends and family!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

discipline sucks sometimes.

So, this post has nothing to do with surrogacy. But, it has everything to do with family and raising kids. I would guess that at least once a month I ask Ali if she is 100% sure she wants "some of these," while referring to my children! She always has the same response, "of course!" My kids are crazy. My kids are stubborn. My kids are each a handful in their own way.

Olyvia has grown up so much lately, and we love it. She can have real conversations. She loves to help out with laundry, loading the dishwasher, setting the table, and other small tasks. It is great. However, the more she grows up, the higher the expectations I have for her. That, is not so great. After all, she is still only four.

This week, we grounded Olyvia for the first time. What did a four-year-old do to get grounded you might ask? Well, she went to the neighbors house without telling us. To some, that may not be a huge deal, but it has taken a lot for me to let her go out and play with the neighbors without complete supervision. So, when I went outside to get her to come in for bath time, I was furious when she was not outside. Thankfully, she hadn't wandered off or been kidnapped or anything, in fact, she was technically under the same roof as us. She just went into the attached-neighbors house to play. However, that is one of our rules, no going in cars, no leaving our cul-de-sac, and no going in houses without telling us first. Carlos grounded her to the house immediately. She could play anywhere in the house or in the back yard, but she could not go out and play with friends, she couldn't pick movies/tv shows, and she couldn't pick songs on the radio. Basically, all decision making for two days was handed over to Ethan!

Well, at first, we totally thought she understood what it meant to be grounded. Then, she kept yelling out to her friends to let them know she was grounded. She almost sounded like she was proud! It drove me crazy, but hey, she's four. In the evening of the first day, Ethan and I went for a walk and left her behind with Carlos since she wasn't allowed outside. When I came back, she was upstairs and being very quiet. I asked her what she was doing, and she said she was changing her panties because they were wet. Okay, so she had a little accident, no biggie. Then she proceeds to say she needs to change her dress because it is wet. She had completely peed her pants, while sitting on the carpet in the playroom, playing a game. She hadn't bothered to tell her dad. She just went up and tried to rectify the situation on her own. I was furious!

It was then decided that she would be grounded to her room for the second day of her grounding, meaning that she would also miss Family Day at Carlos' work and a pool party for Carlos' friends son. This also meant that I was stuck staying home with her. Wait...why did I ground her again? Ugh! Now I don't get to go anywhere fun either! The sacrifices we make. Now I understand why there were times when my mom would give in and let us go somewhere when we were grounded. At least I got a basically "kid free" day to do some major cleaning! I keep reminding myself that consistency is the key and if I stay strong it will benefit us all later. But next time I decide upon a discipline, I just might think twice and make sure I'm not going to be punished as well.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Does one person deserve to be a parent more than another? I mean, aside from someone who has committed crimes against children and things like that, does someones struggle make them more deserving than someone else?

Only God can answer why some people are unable to have children. He is the only one who can decide. I often struggle with the fact that SO many people have children and choose to neglect them, while there are millions of people out there struggling with infertility, that would do anything to have and protect a child.

From Rebecca at Simple As That

Then we have Ali. She's never "struggled" with infertility. She's never even tried to get pregnant. Yet, she can't carry a pregnancy without risking her own life. Does the fact that she hasn't suffered from multiple miscarriages and IVF attempts make her any less deserving of this surrogacy? I don't think it does. I think she is incredibly blessed to have found out before it was too late. Had she attempted a pregnancy before making sure it was safe, she may not be here right now. She is blessed to have not had to suffer the loss of a pregnancy. She is blessed to have not had to exhaust all their resources attempting IVF and failing.

That being said, why does she feel guilty asking for help in paying for the surrogacy? Would it be great if they had the money on their own? Of course! It would be fabulous. But, they just found out last year that a pregnancy wasn't possible. That hasn't allowed much time for saving up. They also survive off of a single, military income. Everyone knows that military paychecks don't leave much room for savings. So to expect them to be able to afford a $40,000ish IVF process would be insane. No one likes asking for help and Ali is really struggling with it.

In my opinion, she has every right to ask for help. She deserves to have her dreams of being a mother come true, just like all those women out there who have been struggling with infertility for years. Now, if only I could get her to see just how deserving she is.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

fears and fundraising.

Who would have thought these two things would have gone together? I definitely never have, but when it comes down to it, they do.

First of all, fears. There are so many things that scare me or make me nervous about the whole process. I've talked about some of them before, but now I have a few to add. My friend Sam just completed her surrogacy journey, you can check out her blog here! She was successful in her journey in the sense that she baked two amazing babies and helped to create a family that may not have ever been. However, she also hit a lot of potholes along the way.

She spent the first ten weeks or so on bed rest secondary to bleeding. She suffered from hyper-emesis gravidarum, resulting in many trips to the hospital for IV fluids, secondary to dehydration from all the time she spent praying to the porcelain gods. The final few weeks of her pregnancy were spent in and out of the hospital suffering from severe headaches, swelling, high blood pressure and preeclampsia. She was finally induced at 35 weeks and delivered two very healthy babies. One week later, she found herself in the hospital again, after waking up, unable to breath. She was then diagnosed with PeriPartum Cardiomyopathy. She is out of the hospital now and doing very well, but her life has been permanently altered from the surrogacy. She will not be able to get pregnant ever again because of the cardiomyopathy. She will spend at least the next few years (possibly the rest of her life) on heart medications and will have to watch her diet for the rest of her life. That is a lot to ask of a previously healthy twenty-four-year-old woman. What if any of that happens to me?

What happened to Sam is very rare. Few pregnancies result in any of those complications and probably fewer result in all of them. I keep reminding myself that if everyone went through what Sam went through, no one would be a surrogate. Yet, I know many people that have done multiple surrogacies and would do it again in an instant. In fact, I know someone who may be transfering right before us, for her second time. First time around, she didn't spend any time on bed rest and had a great, healthy pregnancy.

If something happened, making me unable to bear more children, that would be ok. I don't want anymore children of my own anyway. My two are plenty enough! But, what if I have to spend that much time on bed rest and in and out of the hospital. Can we survive without my income? How will my children handle me not being able to do the things with them that we have always done? Will they be okay with spending a ton of time with a babysitter, if necessary? Will possible complications take a toll on my marriage? While I'm nervous about all of these things, and the injections, procedures, labor, delivery and everything else, I still want to do this. I feel it on my heart just as much now as I ever have before. I'm ready.

Now to the fundraising, which raises another fear. What if I've mentally and physically prepared myself for this, prepared my family and friends, and it doesn't happen? I keep forgetting that if the financial aspects don't fall into place, there will be no surrogacy. I want to help Ali and Brian have a baby so bad and I would absolutely hate for it to not happen because of money. That isn't fair. I didn't have to spend thousands of dollars to make my babies, why should they? I wish their insurance covered it. I wish there was some magical way to just make the money appear. Unfortunately, there isn't. The fact of the matter is, there is still a ton of money to raise and Ali and Brian are going to need help.

Ali has applied for a few grants, but sadly got notification this week that they were not the recipients of any of them. Hundreds of people apply, and only a few grants are distributed. They are also in the process of applying for more loans, but a military income isn't always high enough when looking to borrow money. I pray every night that they will be approved and I hope that is enough. The next step is an online auction. Ali is hoping to get it up and running on August 15th. We are still collecting donations at this point, and need all the donations we can get. We are looking for anything...if you have a home-based business and can donate a gift certificate or some of your products, that would be fabulous. If you don't have a home-based business and still want to help, you can always donate things from your home. Have anything laying around, still in the package even though you bought it weeks ago? Do you have any gently used decor, jewelry, books, movies, anything really that people would want to bid on and wouldn't cost a fortune to ship? If you do, please contact us and let us know. You can reach me via email at mypodtheirpea at gmail dot com. Right now, we simply need a picture and the estimated value of the item. If you don't have anything to donate, you can always participate in the auction. We already have hand made blankets, hoop art, Thirty-One bags, Scentsy gift packs, diaper covers, hair clips, photography sessions and much more!

Hoop Art by my sister!

Blanket made by Ali's Grandma!

Thank you all so much for your continued support. It warms my heart to see how much everyone is willing to help this miracle happen.