Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Godt Nytt År

In two days' time, our countdown will go to double-digits... amazing, isn't it?!

I wish for you both, Tommy and Hanne, a new year filled with many blessings, new beginnings and lots of love. I wish for all of your family and friends, acceptance and heart-warming wishes that they envelop you both as you expand your family in the spring. And I wish for Sanna, a healthy, wonderful start to a beautiful life with her parents in 2009!

!!Love & hugs!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We wish you all a merry merry Christmas!! or God Jul as we say it :) Thanks a lot for the wonderful presents, for both us and the kids! Look at this, its magic!!!! We went to the Cathedral yesterday for the Christmas service. There we did light to candles. One for Julie, our true Angel on Earth that is making our dream come true - and a light for little Sanna, the Miracle created by Team Minnesota. Big pink hugs from our side of the ocean. Have a peaceful holiday and enjoy the good life.

From Hanne & Tommy

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I hope you're asleep... Santa's on your doorstep!

Merry Christmas!

We opened the boys' packages from Norway a little early because Alek left on Monday to spend time with his father. The boys' initial reaction to socks was "eh, socks" but since putting them on, they love them! We may have to peel them off of Henry's feet this morning to wash them as he's worn them two days straight - and even wore them to bed last night. Giggle. They all wish to send you their thanks and blessings for a fabulous holiday with your family & friends!!

We will save the other gifts for tomorrow morning to open when we open all else from underneath the tree.

I hope that you have safe travels, Hanne & Tommy, as you venture out to spend time with your families. What a special holiday this will be for all of you!

God bless.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Belly Comparison

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts her at just over a pound. Since she's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon start to plump up. Her brain is also growing quickly now, and her taste buds are continuing to develop. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

24 weeks

I hear this is a good milestone... surely it must be, as any week we pass from now until 40 weeks will be! Twenty-four is also my favorite number, and with Christmas thrown in this week - it will be a splendid one!

So, what have baby and I been up to lately?

We started out taking the boys sledding...

while they were on the hill, however, I took it easy in the warm car, watching them from a distance, sipping my cocoa - don't want to take any chances ya know - it had nothing to do with the cold weather, honest.

and then baked Christmas cookies (you can see that baby girl got her hands in the flour too!) Notice Vikings game on in background... JP was gracious enough to be my photographer as I tried not to stand in the way of his game!

and finally, finished off singing Christmas songs again at the Joy, Joy, Joy concert.'s the most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The boys...

wanted to know when you're coming back to visit again. I told them that Tommy mentioned he would have played video games with them this past Sunday and they thought that was cool!

The discussion progressed to "When are they coming then?" and when I said April, they thought that was too far away. When Henry told Oliver they lived quite a distance, they guessed it was 1200 miles. I don't have any idea, but they thuoght that was pretty accurate.

Henry also thought that April was a cool name "if it was a girl. Oh wait, it is a girl. But that's not for you to decide, right?"

~ Wednesday morning ramblings from the boys!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just sayin'.....

aren't you glad you're not coming to Minnesota this month?

and I am thankful for my new maternity coat (all wool) which kept me warm on the way into work today!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dancing mangos

Baby is now the size of a mango, or rather is the weight of a mango, at least almost a pound... according to I guess with these universal baby to fruit comparisons, at least we all know what size and weight the baby is at any given stage.

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

So... Hanne & Tommy, what music and loud noises would you like me to sway and dance to in Minnesota? Giggle. I can tell that baby definitely enjoys Sunday morning worship music. She becomes a bit more active (if that's possible) for the hour when we sing in church. Any other special requests?

Happy 23 weeks!!

Lazy Sunday

Oh, the weather outside is frightful... so we're all inside, under the protective roof and comfy blankets!

Chloe must sense the presence of baby girl. She is very snuggly and protective. JP thought it was cute how she snuggled up with me this morning.

She doesn't play favorites, however, and is now snuggled up with Henry!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today's Haiku

I find myself wandering around and making up haiku's during the day now. I love poetry and used to make up poems all the time when I was younger. I just might have to go dig out those notebooks stashed away somewhere in the basement.

My head has been into textbooks far too long and I'm thankful for a few moments of lucidity to create again. I woke with one this morning.

sleep eludes me now
baby belly grows bigger
how many more months?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I won!!!

Serious 2nd prize $25 Sponsored by Robert Terenzio, esq. (
Winner: Julie Foreman
Hope, dream, miracle
Pregnant pause no longer ours
Two lines equal three

More details and winners as posted on Facebook.

I learned earlier this week that I had won, but she asked us to keep it quiet until she posted the results. How cool is that?!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

22 Weeks 2 Days

Well, it took a while to view baby's tummy... it can take anywhere between 20-30 minutes to fill. They insisted that they wait the time to see this as part of what they visually check. Weren't sure what to do if it didn't happen (hadn't had it happen before)... so I asked if this meant baby girl would be a picky eater? :) Everything checked out eventually and your little girl is growing just fine and healthy!

Oh, wait... and could it get any better? I convinced the u/s technician to let me video tape part of the ultrasound!! Yes, indeedy!! So while Miss Kleiven was being stubborn and we were waiting for her tummy to fill, the tech let me tape her just wiggling around... so what you hear is her comments, not to be taken as any type of medical advice (oiy, they're strict!)... just a little disclaimer so that everyone knows this is for pure enjoyment only!

All is well... and baby girl has now taken on the nickname, Thumper!

Packages for Norway

I heard that the box of goodies from Minnesota has arrived in Norway... I am thankful for our postal service today! Yippeee!! Henry and I had a fun time putting things together to send off to Trondheim.

Monday, December 8, 2008

22 Weeks

Oh, I cannot even begin to list how many things I've misplaced, forgotten or lost in the last few weeks. I'm sure JP could, however, as he's found it quite amusing lately. Well, not so much as annoying, maybe. This weekend he took a 90 minute trip out of his way to get my camera that I left behind at a friend's on Saturday. Yea, although he's used to my pregnancy-induced forgetfulness, I'm sure he'd much rather I kept better track of things lately!

Our 22 week update suggests that we take a "babymoon" before baby comes... of course we all know that really pertains to Hanne & Tommy! So you two, you have 18 weeks left to lavish, enjoy what is now "normal" and quiet, spoil one another, visit others during the holiday season, and just plain relax! Don't delay, these weeks will go by quickly.

Babymoons, as some refer to these mid-pregnancy getaways, are so popular that nearly two out of three BabyCenter readers who took our poll said they intend to take one. The top dream destination: anywhere you can kick back and relax.
The kind of trip you decide to take — and whether you go away for a week or a weekend, to the beach or a favorite city — will depend on how much time and money you have. If you don't have the resources for a trip far away, you might want to make a reservation at a nearby hotel or bed and breakfast. Request the honeymoon suite and treat yourselves to a nice dinner out. Order room service and have breakfast in bed. Just being together, out of your regular routine, will make it special.

As it were, we also have a trip planned in early January to get away from the Minnesota winter. My next vacation will be a six or eight week sabbatical beginning in April!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Good Morning Norway!

What a beautiful, new little nephew you have to love on & spoil! I can only imagine how holding him in your arms makes you long for Spring 2009 to come a little sooner. Congratulations again to your sister and her family on this blessing.

From Minnesota to Norway,
Welcome to the world, Little One!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

21 Weeks

A little belly comparison... is it too much turkey & stuffing, or did I really grow that much with baby belly in two weeks?

How your baby's growing:
Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another listen to the sweet sound of baby's heart...
and a quick smile from Dr. E

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Isn't she lovely...

Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love we'd be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely made from love

Isn't she pretty
Truly the angel's best
Boy, I'm so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I can't believe what God has done
Through us he's given life to one
But isn't she lovely made from love

.....-Stevie Wonder

yes... that is her, spread-eagle...
but at least it shows she is not a HE.

Its a girl!

We got the most wonderful phone call tonight from our wonderful Julie; we are expecting a healthy little girl!!!!!!!!!! Love from Tommy and Hanne

Ultrasound today!!

...stay tuned...

by end of day (Minnesota time, roughly 3:30 pm CDT) we will have a gender to reveal!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

19 Weeks

How your baby's growing:
Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Haiku, can you?

I found this on a blog and thought it was interesting as it relates to so many going through infertility. Some are funny, others poignant, and others still painfully honest.

I submitted mine:

Hope, dream, miracle
Pregnant pause no longer ours
Two lines equal three

Of course it seems more like it's coming from a couple who is finally pregnant, but as a surrogate, I feel this just as passionately for anyone who is wanting to have a child of their own. I was in the bathroom this morning and saw the thank you note from Hanne & Tommy after we had the "positive beta" news (it's slipped into my mirror as a constant reminder). It inspired me to create the haiku above. Give it a try!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

150 days?!

How can that be? there's only 150 days remaining of this pregnancy and until the little bouncing baby comes out into its parents waiting arms? Wow! Time sure flies by, doesn't it?

Hanne asked me about a birth plan today. I'm afraid I rambled on for quite some time in a reply email (obviously I've done this before and got carried away). I will share a portion of it with you all as it was quite fun to actually type the sequence of events. Of course I am probably missing a few things, but...

The short of it (as it happened in the past):
  • If in active labor... we get checked into hospital.

  • Go to MAC assessment area (maternal), where they confirm I am in active labor

  • Get admitted.

  • Make sure all paperwork is secured and they know this is a surrogate birth.

  • Everyone comes by and says HI and they're excited to see me/us again. :)

  • Depending on dilation and whether or not my water has broken, we proceed.

  • IV inserted (hoping maybe I can avoid it this time if we are not doing pitocin).

  • Monitor, monitor, check dilation, monitor.

  • Epidural (comes before we get too far along and I cannot get one).

  • Ahhhh, no more pain.

  • Dilation, baby works for us, moving along...

  • Get ready to labor down (push) and the room gets busy.

  • Pushing baby out for me generally takes about 60 minutes (on average).

  • I am oftentimes put on oxygen.

  • Barring any further complications, Baby is born!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

17 Weeks

and for a little fun... we went bowling today for Oliver's birthday and I bowled above my average for all three games!

Click the image below to enlarge and see where baby is in his/her development this week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fess up...

How many times have you clicked PLAY to listen to baby's heartbeat? Isn't it just the sweetest sound?!


How your baby's growing:
Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

  • Morning sickness is gone (she says softly as to not bring it back).

  • No movement to feel yet.

  • Belly still looks a little, um, flabby and not filled in by baby/uterus.

  • No photos of belly until it looks more like baby and not just belly.

  • All around, feeling good now and gliding smoothly through the 2nd trimester!

What are the preparations going on in baby's homeland while Hanne & Tommy prepare for a new member of the family?

Monday, October 13, 2008

14 weeks 1 day

My office visit with Nurse Terri was uneventful... which is very good!

My BP was good (118/74), urine (no protein or sugar), weight (no change). What, you didn't want to know all of that? It's just how mundane these early check-ups can be so I'm sharing with all of our diligent readers! I forgot that I scheduled this one with the nurse so I still didn't see my doctor yet with this pregnancy. Not a big deal. I will definitely see her next month when we go for the 20 week ultrasound (gender reveal). What?! 20 weeks? We will be halfway next month already?!

I got a flu shot while I was there (ouch!) and was sent on my way.

From Minnesota, across the ocean, to baby's parents...

Music to our ears... ahhhhh!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The morning sickness (or for me, any time it feels like hitting me sickness) is slowly subsiding and it's no longer daily! Whoohoo!! However, I still have many aversions and my sense of smell is incredible. I just had to move a tray of leftover donuts from my desk because the smell of the sugar wasn't boding well with my sinuses. It is very strange to change from routine and not really even care. I used to go to Starbuck's frequently (and reveled in my mocha fix!), but now I've gone only once in the past month. I haven't eaten chocolate since... oh, the weekend before transfer maybe? I know this too shall pass and hopefully it will help me maintain the appropriate weight gain that comes with pregnancy. Note to self, no chocolate shakes from McDonald's before the gestational diabetes test this time around!

Anyway, my diet is very healthy and my personal chef knows to steer clear of red sauce for my meals (heartburn). He even offered to cook my pasta for tonight in a white sauce. Isn't he a dear?!

Next Monday at 3:15 pm CDT is my first appointment with my OB. I will post an update sometime that early evening. We will be 14 weeks and 1 day!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Waving Goodbye to the First Trimester

This week, baby is using his/her reflexes to wave goodbye to the first trimester and hello to the second!

From a weekly e-newsletter:

The most dramatic development this week: Reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over two inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

Even though this is my fifth pregnancy, every week brings new things and jogs my memory on how precious this cargo is that I am carrying for Hanne & Tommy! I can only imagine how the little one felt while I suffered through the flu for three days?!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Congratulations Julie!

Big hugs from Hanne and Tommy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You've got mail

I sent an email yesterday to coworkers to spill the beans and the #1 question I am asked today... "Does this mean you get to go to Norway?" Funny. Who would have thought that folks think that, first and foremost. I suppose it goes to reason, but it has caught me off-guard. Yes, I suppose we will eventually visit Trondheim now, more than we would have a year ago, but it has always been in my plans to go back to Norway in the summer. After spending three weeks there in the winter, I would love to see a change in season.

Here is the email I sent:

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

Yes, I'm doing it again! It is with much excitement that I wish to share what a miracle I will be giving back to the world next Spring. Some of you may have wondered if the weight I gained over the summer would ever go away, but in your kindness have opted not to say anything. Others may have already seen the glow in my face and suspected I was up to something.

So to make a long story, short: I am now 11 weeks pregnant. And this life force I am carrying will only be raised by me for the first 9 months of its lifetime. I am a gestational surrogate for a wonderful couple from Norway, Hanne & Tommy. We have spent time over the last year getting to know one another and I cannot express in words how thrilled I am to help them realize their dream of becoming a family!

It is my hope that you will share in this joy with me and support me throughout this journey. As it is a personal decision and there are aspects of this which are not mine to share, please also know that I will respect the privacy of the intended parents by not answering some questions. This was such a fabulous experience the first time, I couldn't help but want to do it again!

With warm regards,


This is very simliar to the one I sent a couple of years ago, with a few tweaks. I am getting supportive congratulations all around!

Monday, September 22, 2008

11 Weeks

Just a little something to update you on baby's progress this week. This comes from one of the many pregnancy websites out there in cyberworld.

Your Baby
All of your baby's vital organs are now formed and functioning, so the risk of defects decreases this week as your baby becomes less susceptible to outside influences. Phew! Other exciting developments include:

Baby's ears are assuming their proper place this week and the fingernail and toenail beds are beginning to form. Your little "pumpkin head" really lives up to his nickname as his head is nearly as big as the rest of his body.

While testes or ovaries are completely formed now, don't start decorating the nursery. You won't be able to see your baby's gender for a few more weeks yet.

Your baby is really on the move now. In an ultrasound you might be able to see your little acrobat flailing his or her arms and legs and doing somersaults worthy of Cirque du Soleil. You still won't be able to feel any movement, so if you feel something "kick" in there, it's probably gas.

In the next nine weeks, your baby will increase 30 times in weight and almost triple in length. You might feel like you're increasing 30 times in weight at this point, too, but we can assure you're not—because, honey, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

Your baby now weighs a third of an ounce, about the same as two small, Starbucks-sized packets of sugar; is about 2 inches long, the length of one of those sugar packets. Isn't that sweet?

Monday, September 15, 2008

10 Weeks Heartbeat & First Prenatal

We heard a heartbeat, which I tried to tape, but it didn't come out very well. It was a good, yet uneventful appointment, all the way around. I made my next few appointments and our 20 week ultrasound falls around Thanksgiving. This will be a gender reveal, but you all only get to know if Hanne & Tommy are sharing! Otherwise, my lips are sealed.

For now, you'll just have to picture me here, with the nurse listening in for baby's heartbeat. Maybe next time we'll have some beautiful audio to share with everyone!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tusen takk

I arrived home after work yesterday to find this lovely gift basket had arrived. What a special treat and the flowering plant is absolutely goregous! Many thanks to you, Hanne & Tommy, for thinking of me yet again. Your thoughtfulness is ever so gracious and heart-warming.

We are having a quick beginning to fall, and the beautiful color in this plant will help us hold onto summer for just a few more weeks until autumn is officially upon us.

Together, we will go through quite a few seasons, and we are blessed by your presence in our lives!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Waiting & Eating & Waiting...

Lots of waiting going on for the next 213 days and maybe some long weeks in between with nothing to post! So I found this cute countdown clock this morning and posted it on the sidebar. If it helps us pass the time ~ great, but if it drives you crazy Hanne & Tommy, let me know and I'll take it down.

It's been a good week, filled with morning sickness and a slowly expanding waistline. Have we talked yet about what types of foods I should be eating to acclimate baby's taste buds? Maybe you need to send some delicious Norwegian recipes that JP can make up? .giggle. Otherwise, I did warn you that I have a craving for Mexican foods while pregnant?! Not the spicy kind (you know me, Miss Minnesota Mild), just the good old fashioned beans, rice & chicken enchiladas and fajitas!


And look at that, it's lunch time!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another hurdle we've completed... Dr. Campbell's office just called and I can stop PIO and Estrace!!

I'm officially released to Dr. Elfstrand's office. Yippeeee!! My first appointment there is this coming Friday.

Correction: There was a new receptionist at OB's office, my first appointment is next Monday, September, 15th.

Click here to see
Me, doing the happy dance!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


JP finally opened the bottle of wine that Tommy & Hanne gave him. We toasted to 9 weeks, new friends and a wonderful journey... him with his wine and me with my water. He said it was a very smooth wine and very good with the pasta dinner we enjoyed. I just watched & drooled in envy. Smile.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


By the end of this month...
I will have been released to and seen my OB for care;
JP will have given me daily PIO injections for 10 weeks;
Baby will have reflexes and sucking movements!
The mid-day sickness will be gone, and I'll not be as tired;
Hanne & Tommy will be thinking of baby names and nursery colors!
We will be heading into the second trimester already!