Hello folks, here’s a quick update on what’s we’ve been up to! We have been busy getting the house ready (the nursery is STILL in progress, haha), and preparing for our trip, which is only about a week away! One of the more important tasks for preparation is to make sure you have all of your documents ready, so that the US Citizenship process is smooth and quick. Everyone will tell you that US folks are lucky, because our process is very quick, compared to our European counterparts. Most Euro folks need to stay about 3 – 4 months with court proceedings to get your country to accept your baby for citizenship, so we are thankful that our trip will hopefully be only around 4 – 6 weeks. However, because we are having twins and we don’t really know when they come, we are prepared and ready to go at any time!
This is the checklist that Biotexcom will provide you to collect before you head over. The passports and marriage certificate is easy – we had all of those already. However, the apostilization can be tricky. When I got married to K, I changed my name, but the marriage certificate doesn’t indicate the name change. So we had to get a letter written by an attorney stating how my name had changed, and then get it notarized. We were so fortunate to have one of K’s old high school students (who is now a practicing lawyer) hook us up with the letter and notarization – we were so grateful! Then K took the document to Indianapolis to get it apostilled (sp?) by the Secretary of State. Apostilization is basically just getting something notarized on an international level, so that other governments (in our case, Ukraine) will accept legal documents that you present. K was able to finish all of this in a day, so it wasn’t a huge ordeal, although I’m not quite sure how much prep-work was involved in doing this.
The only concern that we have is that since I was naturalized in the US in my 20’s, that Ukraine officials might request my birth certificate from Korea, which I don’t have. We sent off everything to Biotexcom, and are now awaiting confirmation of whether this is satisfactory, or whether we need to have my naturalization certificate apostilled, but since it’s at the federal level, we’re hoping this is okay, as it is pretty US official. We’ll keep you posted on what happens!
On another note, is anyone interested in having a webinar where I can answer your questions that you might have? If so, please leave a comment or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – and hopefully we can get something set up in the next two weeks!
Hello lovely folks!
Can you believe we’re already in February?! Months ago, I would have thought February is ages away – turns out, it goes faster than you think! This time, we skyped with Yuliya and her growing belly.is.HUGE. All I could think was, I hope that she doesn’t get too many battle scars! She seemed very happy and healthy, and told us the boys have been keeping her up at night, where sometimes, she wakes up because they kick her! I smirked to myself when I heard that, because both K and I are total night owls – so not surprised that the boys get their main source of energy around dawn!
One thing that was a big surprise to us was that Yuliya had actually been staying in Kiev already since Christmas, the day we missed Skyping with her. We had not been informed that she had already moved to the maternity house, but were glad to hear it, just so she can be well monitored and taken care of. We asked if it was too hard because of her 5 year-old son, who lives 16 hours away. She told us that they had already been there to visit, so that made me feel better. I made a mental note to definitely buy gifts for Yuliya, her son, and her mother, who has been watching over Yuliya throughout this whole process. I’m not sure what I will get them right now, but I’ll keep you posted! If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment on this post.
Another funny bit is that when I turned on my Skype on my laptop to get ready, once logged in, I saw three messages from Yaryna on Christmas, saying that Yuliya had to leave her meeting early and that Skyping was not possible for this reason. I was irked because I don’t really use Skype on my phone, so I never got those messages, and wish that Biotexcom could have made it a point to at least let me know through email that Yuliya had been moved there, and that there were some scheduling difficulties. The main issue that we’ve had with Biotexcom is communication, and I realize more and more that cultural differences play into it quite a bit. I also wondered that if she had been there since Christmas, we could have Skyped with her as much as we’d like, no? But at this point, we’re just focused on our mission to get the babies here ASAP.
Soooooo right after getting off the phone with Yuliya, we went right onto our laptops and bought our tickets to Kiev! Since the boys are still measuring a week ahead, and Yuliya herself said she feels like she will have them in 3 – 4 weeks, I’m just nervous about not getting there in time! We are flying out March 1st, and our estimated twins due date puts us around 3/14, even though the official due date is 4/14, since twins tend to come in a month early. We asked Anna for advice on when to buy, and she seemed to think that our plan was fine, and told us they would give us updates right away if anything changes. We were able to get round trip tickets for around $800 round trip, which was way better than our original trip, so that’s been great! Do keep in mind that we are flying out of Chicago instead of Indianapolis, because there were cheaper and less layovers when we chose major airports. We chose with our budget in mind, but also with flight time, as I wanted to get the shortest trip span available, since being on a plane with babies can be scary. According to our tickets, our trips back and forth are around 12 hours, which is much better than the 15 hours that is the norm. However, since we’re flying into Chicago, and have a 3 hour car ride home, I’m not sure what our plan is there – perhaps we should spend the night at a hotel and drive down tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted either way!
Here are the reports, videos, and heartbeat scans (no audio – sorry!). You’ll be seeing a lot more posts from me, since now we’re much closer to leaving. Thank you so much for your continued support – and remember, if you have any questions, you can always comment on the post or send me a message :)!
For this Skype session, we were both VERY excited because we would be finding out the genders of the twins! K was very adamant about looking at the possibilities statistically, which meant that since there is a 50% chance of boy/girl (and 25% for boy/boy and 25% for girl/girl), so I, for one, kept thinking that this was what we’d be having. BUT LO AND BEHOLD, we were in for the surprise of our life! Here is an audio clip of the gender reveal:
When you hear me say that I “had a feeling”, I’m referencing the fact that the week before, I was playing with my cats, Bender and Sketch. They are two boys that we adopted during our IVF treatments, and they have really helped me get through some of the lows of the treatments.
As I was loving on them, a thought jumped into my head, about whether I would be having twin boys, since both of my furbabies unintentionally ended up being boys. So when we heard the news, I was in utter shock the entire day! Soon I will be outnumbered by 5 boys! Here is a clip of our latest ultrasound:
Our surro Juliya said that the pregnancy has been really easy and smooth, although the boys are VERY ACTIVE! They are still measuring a week ahead, so they are big for the 4 month mark, which is great. Usually, twins are smaller than a singleton, but apparently, ours are growing like weeds! Here is a picture of her ever-growing belly:
We were so happy to hear that our babies are doing well, and that they are also not at risk for Down Syndrome. Slowly but surely, the reality that we will be having two babies sooner than later is sinking in! The focus for this month will be to get everything straightened out on the first floor, so we can move onto the second floor and start on the nursery, which I’ll document here as well.
The past few weeks have been filled with long days of painting, grouting, mudding, drywall repair, restoring the stairway, putting up light fixtures, etc., and I have to say, I love it! I haven’t done such consecutive days of manual labor in a long time, and it feels good. For me, the whole process seems like a distant dream – I have never had my own home before in my lifetime, so the fact that this is our home is still sinking in, but there are certainly times where I feel like I’m on a mission trip to Indiana, and we are doing Habitat for Humanity for ourselves! Even the fact that I now am an Indiana resident has yet to sink in, as we’ve only been here a month, but it sure felt like it was a busy month that passed super quickly. The house is slowly coming along, and next week, we will be getting the hardwood floors refinished, so we have been in kind of a limbo state, since we don’t want to unpack too much, as we have to move everything off the floors before the refinishing crew comes.
BUT ANYWAY! On to the good stuff – the house will get done, one way or another, but this morning, we finally got to chat with our surrogate and visit with her! Below is a picture of her on Skype. We learned that she lives in Lysychansk, a small town on the eastern cup of Ukraine, and her trip to Kiev takes 16 hours on the train! She said her first trimester has been incredibly smooth, and completely different from her first pregnancy with her son. For this reason, she thinks the twins are girls, because she didn’t get nauseous at all! We got to take a peek at her growing belly, and were surprised to see how much she was showing, considering that the first trimester had just ended a few days ago. Here is a picture of our surro Yuliya and her belly:
And last but not least, here are the photos of the babies! Yuliya said that they are very active and she can feel them moving already. They look like a feisty bunch!
They also included a video of the scan, which was amazing! We aren’t going to post a ton of it, but here is a peek:
We’re still in shock but so grateful to Yuliya for carrying our babies so peacefully! I told her that now that she is over the first trimester, that we will be emailing her every month to check in. Our next Skype date should be early November, and by then, we will find out the gender, so we’re super excited! Lastly, here are the docs that they also sent over, for those of you who are curious:
Hello everyone! We just received the 9-10 week update, and the salient bits are that the babies seem to be catching up to each other! Before, there was a bit of a size difference, but now they are pretty even. Here are the stats below:
And, of course, the latest photo update – please excuse the blurriness!
It’s been a busy two weeks since our last post, filled with packing, cleaning (yechh), and lots of last meals and goodbyes! Before we knew it, it was the morning of August 29th, and our day had already started with loading up the last batch of our stuff before hitting the road. Moving and tying up some loose ends has served as a wonderful distraction on the surrogacy process, but both K and I were more than aware of that we should be hearing another update from Biotex with the 7-8 week scan. And sure enough, an email awaited us in our inbox with the message that we are having TWINS, as you can see below!
If all goes well, they should be arriving around March 18th, 2018! The minute both of us got the news, we immediately started tearing up, because it just seems like it is too good to be true! K is still maintaining a hardcore stance on not getting too hopeful before the first trimester is over, which is a wise way to approach it, although I have completely abandoned that idea, haha! The news also came attached with a report:
At first, I had no idea what any of these numbers meant – but Dr. Google was more than happy to explain. The American term for middle inner diameter (MID) is gestational sac diameter (GSD), which is always measured along with the crown rump length (CRL). According to this report and the scans, baby A has about a 9mm headstart when it comes to the gestational sac, but we’ll have to see if this continues on or they even out towards the end! I looked up a chart and it was right on the mark as far as the numbers go – 21 to 32mm GSD, and 14mm CRL, which right around 7 – 8 weeks gestation. We didn’t get to hear heartbeats with this one, but we are more than happy with the news that we did receive!
Our next scan will be the 12th week scan – which will be a marker that we’ve never made before in our attempts in the past. In so many ways, we can’t believe that this time will be rolling around at the end of September! K and I couldn’t believe how fast everything was going, because before, reaching the 12 week mark felt like an eternity and a half! I plan to write her a letter soon to check in with her. In the meanwhile, more posts to come, but we’ll be trucking on our way to IN, so this one will have to be short and sweet. Stay tuned :)!