And so begins the most politically incorrect — possibly borderline rude — post to make onto Guestwomb.com thus far.

At least I hope so. I’ve typed out other, even more controversial posts intended for this space. Here were a few of the working titles/topics:

Baby, Space Alien or Human Turducken? You make the call.

Back to the bargaining table? Michelle’s surrogacy fee didn’t cover MY pain, suffering and sacrifice,and how am I gonna cover the hookers, ‘blow and bail money for those last few weeks of her pregnancy when I’m in Vegas?

19 Bizarre Habits of Pregnant Women, and the Men Who Start A Secret Blog In Order to Write Rude Insensitive Comments About Them.

I have NO idea who the father is? It could be one of a dozen guys….” — rib-splittingly funny ways to shock complete strangers about Michelle’s pregnancy.

Sadly Michelle, the official blog censor, squashed each and every one of them.  She’s just not a good sport about such things.

But I digress:

This post concerns one of the two most sensitive topics to every woman on the globe. Age is one of them, but I’m not going there. (Yet.)

A lady’s weight is the other. I think every man knows these are quicksand topic areas, and should do his best to avoid discussing at all costs. But am I just any guy? No. Way. 

I just have to weigh in here, truly awful pun intended. First let’s set the record straight: By all apparent and not so apparent signs, Michelle is having a normal, healthy pregnancy. The alien baby is growing right on schedule, already 12 inches long, well over 2 lbs himself, all signs good. Thumbs up, everything AOK.

And outwardly things look…well normal. I’d like to phrase this next part most delicately: As she’s now just starting on month 7 of this pregnancy, Michelle is beyond just ‘glowing’, and having that cute little ‘baby bump’ that everyone talks about.

No, she’s beyond all that. (And here’s where I spend just about all the goodwill capital I’ve built up with my loyal and tiny audience. You’ve come to recognize me as the ultra supportive husband, who is 100% behind my wife’s decision to embark on this journey. Right? Well, remember that as we progress down this slippery slope.

So let’s speak the plain truth. She is now…ripe.

Bountiful.  Abundant. Temporarily Zaftig.

Parentally Plump. She’s a SBABW — Semi-Big All Beautiful Woman.

Michelle has a bun — plus three cupcakes, a prune Danish and quite possibly a bundt cake — in her oven.

I think I’ve made my point here. There is roundness which cannot be denied.

Enter the magic.  Our truly magical bathroom scale. Because despite all outward evidence to the contrary, our trusty scale has only moved a couple of pounds north for her. In fact less than five. FIVE POUNDS?!?!

Each time she exits the bathroom and proudly announces her weighty findings I paste a happy smile my face and utter something profoundly supportive such as:

“Oh, no way in hell,” or something else endearing.

And yet I’ve seen it for my own eyes. It’s truly magical. Maybe even a miracle. I’m wondering if her wet foot prints are somehow forming the silhouette of Mary and Jesus when she stands on the scale pads, and that could be a contributing factor.

Michelle has her own theories, some of which she’ll allow me to share with this blog. “Every pregnancy is different,” she maintains. As for her…uh…measurements, that is very true.

With our oldest Emma, M gained a grand total of 45 lbs. With our youngest Sara, that number was down to 19. I’m thinking that the way these numbers are trending, she could launch her own diet plan empire.

I mean if Taco Bell and Subway can really market their crap as being part of a healthy weight loss plan, would it be so crazy to make this claim:

Surrogate Away Those Unwanted Pounds! Michelle’s “Have a Kid and Lose The Weight” plan — Guaranteed results in 9 months!

As for me I’ll go with the magic theory. And hope that a little her witchcraft and sorcery can rub off onto my OWN weight struggles.

(Writer’s note — let it be known that Michelle did listen to me read this draft and approve of its posting. The fact that she was barely awake as she listened has nothing to do with her approval.)


In Michelle’s own words:

I feel I must update anyone who may be reading this as I may have left some people hanging.

I mentioned before that I was going to receive additional testing to see if there was  a placenta previa. And so I worried and worried. For about three weeks. Followed all the doctor’s orders. Didn’t do any heavy lifting or the like. Learned all the ins and outs of it.

And then….my fears all went away. I was tested again — this time by a new (and improved!) set of doctors. No placenta previa.

And through all of this stress and worry and extra doctor appointments, the IPs were there every step of the way. Michelle and Barb have gone to every appointment even though it meant driving 90 minutes plus out of their incredibly busy days to get there.  I so appreciate their support —  and even more the lunches we enjoyed after all those tense appointments!

The baby boy, who so nicely strutted his stuff on the ultra sound monitor, is healthy and very active.  He even did a hgh kick to show off as he must have known that he was being watched.

He is a healthy pound and a half and 12 inches long. So with 17 more weeks to go I am feeling more confident that everything will be just fine ……in spite of my age.


I’ve spent a couple of evenings trying to explain our ‘setback’ in Michelle’s journey as I alluded to in this post. And not doing so well. Maybe it’s because I’m much more inspired to write about light, whimsical and amusing topics. Not potentially serious stuff.

As a result, I’ve really labored (Ha. Labored. A pregnancy reference! See, this is what I mean about my problem of sticking to difficult topics. And being too easily amused.) at recording this little bump in the road.  So the last couple of nights have consisted of: Write, delete, write, edit, delete, play an online game, read ESPN, read about Conan and Leno…… And get nowhere. I even fail at describing accurately her latest situation above. It’s not a ‘setback’ or a ‘bump in the road’ at all. It’s a…..

Ah, to hell with it. Let Michelle tell the story and I’ll just get out of the way.

When I had been pregnant before (Ha, in the last century! Alright, that wasn’t fair. Or helpful. And I’m supposed to stay out of it.  Let’s start over.)

When I had been pregnant before  there wasn’t as much information available about tests, ultra sounds, diseases etc as much as there is today.  It was easy to think that everything was going to be fine, picture perfect becuase you were a little more in the dark. Ignorance was bliss in my case. I just assumed all was well. And it was.

But 14 years can make a differance.  There have been great strides in medical testing so that you can know everything about your baby, defects and all. And I mean everything.

Along my journey these last few weeks, there have been a couple bumps in the road (Oh, maybe it IS a bump in the road. I stand corrected.) starting with a blood test that came up a little  high for spina bifida.

So I did that natural thing, just retest……it too came up a little higher than normal but not by much. So additional tests were conducted.

The results were that all was well with the baby, No spina bifida was seen on an super 3-d ultrasound, but now they might have seen a placenta previa.  That is where the baby plants itself near the cervix opening or right on it, making it difficult to deliver later on. This will be confirmed later this week. 

So far there has been a lot of worries and stresses that I had never experienced before….I had always assumed that everything was going to be fine, and they were.

I am older now and have to come to terms with that, even though I feel 29. I am more than halfway through this pregnancy and feel very hopeful that all will be well, but am also being well cared for, cautious and informed. (Maybe too informed?)

The gift of life is just that, a gift….there are no guarantees in life, for life.  I dont believe in perfection, the perfect baby or perfect pregnancy.  I believe in being healthy, carrying a healthy baby and experiencing a healthy pregnancy. 

That is what I hope for now.


Or does it?

Now that we’re almost 1/3 of the way down the road, how have our lives changed? 

Well, for one thing I’ve allowed Michelle to cut down her sewing workroom hours from 10 hours a day all the way down to 9.

And because she’s a little fatigued these days, I’m OK if she doesn’t jump out of bed at 5 a.m. to have my coffee made, breakfast on the griddle, fire roaring in the fireplace and my shirts ironed before I wake up. 5:45 is fine.

In all seriousness, you’d think that being 3 months pregnant might make for a lot of changes. Especially if it’s been 10+ years since her last pregnancy. And…how do I put this delicately… if she’s closer to her 30 year high school reunion than her 10 year. 

If that’s the case, you don’t know my wife. Because the real answer is: it’s pretty much business as usual. And that doesn’t surprise me one bit. 

Because you see I’m fairly confident that in a past life Michelle was one of those hardy pioneer women. She’d be traversing the Oregon trail in 1848, carrying one child on her back, another in front, leading the team of oxen pulling the wagon, all the while wearing that heavy woolen garb that was the fashion of the day. Oh, and singing a country song out loud.

Beneath the sweet, friendly, empathetic persona she shows to the world, there’s a thin veneer of steel that is a part of her heart and soul. She’s one tough lady — mentally and physically. That’s meant as a compliment and  she knows it’s one of the many qualities I admire about her.

This strength carries over into the way shes goes about her life. She’s always prided herself on staying busy — sometimes insane multitasking busy — juggling the needs of the kids, home, her thriving business and me. You think that a growing little baby bump is going to slow her down?   

It didn’t happen during pregnancy No. 1 or No. 2. In fact she was still doing rigorous step aerobics classes until about her 8th month the last time around. Never had morning sickness, swelling or any medical issues that sometimes mar a pregnancy. It’s probably the main reason she was likely accepted so easily into the Surrogacy program — they recognized good hardy pioneer stalk when they found her!

But she isn’t Superwoman, so I have noticed a few changes.

She is pretty fatigued — a lot now. Around the time we finish dinner….she’s about finished herself.  As I work on my GuestWomb entries late into the night, she’s working on her full ten hours a night of rest.

Her appetite and eating routine is all over the place. It’s not so much a question of weird cravings that are the ‘ol pregnancy cliché. She describes it as walking a tightrope, veering between intense hunger…followed by nausea.

And lots of heartburn. Almost everyday. For that reason she thinks she’s carrying a boy. More on that with her next entry.

You know, she IS hard at work, providing the miracle of life that only few in this world have ever — or would ever — sign on for. Even while she’s sleeping her body is nourishing and growing a new soul.

Maybe I’ll let her scale back to just 8 hours of work a day. And heck — she can take the weekends off too. That’ll be like my early Christmas present to her! 

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Game on.

And now that Michelle is official ‘with child’, what’s different in our lives? Not much in some ways. In others…a whole lot.

Michelle has turned into ‘Ms. Health Zealot’ as I expected. No more Diet Pepsi or anything with artificial sweetners.

10_3aspartame

No more coffee. Of course no alcohol or anything harmful. I really doubt that B and M realize the kind of determined and dutybound woman they’ve chosen to carry their little one! This is going to be one healthy kid.

Now I’m not saying Michelle is taking better care of herself now then when she had Emma and Sara. But somewhere in her pregnant past, she forget to eat the kinds of foods/nutrients/vitamins that would prevent teenage sass.  

But because nobody really knows our little secret — or at least not many — we go through life pretty much the same as we have been. Course that’s going to change in a couple of days when I announce the existence of this blog. And even more so when the baby bump starts blossoming out.

For now Michelle and I just share a knowing smile every once in awhile, amused by the happy little secret we’re harboring.

And then there are differences from the other times Michelle was pregnant. We aren’t putting together a nursery, shopping for baby clothes, picking out prospective names. (Well, except here in the blog. : ) No budgeting for diapers.

And yet we are both aware of this life-on-the-way. Well, of course M is. But I am too. It’s not in a possessive sense…and in this baby is ours. Of course it’s not. It’s more in a….protective sense. We’ve been charged with the responsibility of delivering a healthy, happy little one to the loving arms of B and M.

And yeah, I feel the responsibility too. It’s not a burden; it’s a duty that Michelle has been chosen to perform. My part in this? I’m called to support her in every way I can.

While this is about the last thing I ever expected to be involved in,  ultimately it doesn’t surprise me that we’re here. Both us are wired in a way that embraces responsibility in everything we do. This is no different.