I feel like I have been putting off writing my birth story, even though it's only been 5 days since I delivered. I figured I would have it done while I was still in the hospital, but it's been harder than I thought. Some of the details are a little fuzzy, but here goes:
We had made it to our due date, so my Dr. ordered a NST to make sure baby was doing ok. I was determined to not have to be induced, even though physically I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore. I got to the hospital, and they got me hooked up to the monitors. By then I was getting unsure about my decision not to induce, I started to doubt myself. So by the time we were done, I said that's it, and I headed over to my OB's office to talk to him. When I got into his office I sat down and he said "Ok, Judith, we gotta make it quick because I need to be somewhere." I said, "OK, I'm ready." He laughed at me and said ok, we can get you in in the morning. He made a quick call to L&D and told me to be there at 7:00am.
When I left I called my IM to let her know what was up and she said they would probably be there around 9:00. They were just in shock that they were going to meet their baby girl the next day.
So my husband and I went to get something to eat because I knew that would probably be the last good meal I would have for a day or two. Then I went home and started calling to make arrangements for my kids and got everything ready to take with me to the hospital. I was working on a pink owl hat for the little girl so I finished that up and got all of the gifts wrapped and ready to go. I didn't get to sleep until around 3am because there was so much on my mind. Then I got back up at 5:00. I took
a shower, got ready and dropped the kids off and headed to the hospital. We went and registered and got to L&D. They had me wait because they were cleaning my room so I sat in the triage room outside the nurses desk. I heard the nurse on the phone calling registration to complain that they hadn't had me sign the consent forms for the baby to be treated and I went and explained to her that I wasn't the baby's mother so I had no say over what type of treatment the baby recieved. She argued
with me for a bit saying that technically I am the mother until the baby is discharged, and I just let it go. I figured that if my IPs wanted anything changed, they could just resign the papers.
About 30 minutes later, she comes back in saying that I was right and they had to trash the forms that I had signed and wait for my IPs. She said once the baby is born they are the parents and I have no rights to the baby (which was what I was trying to tell her all along).
Once they got the room cleaned I got into the lovely hospital gown and got hooked up to the monitors. My nurse came in and asked me a million questions, and in the meantime my hubby had already fallen asleep in the recliner. They monitored me for a little while and I was having contractions every 10 minutes or so. Around 10:00 the nurse came in to give me my wonderful (not) enema. Once that was over she checked me and gave me my first dose of Cytotec at around 10:30. I was around 2-3 cm before the dose (which was good, because I had only been a fingertip a couple days before). I was monitored for another hour, and then got up to walk the halls. While I was walking I noticed my contractions starting to pick up and get stronger.
I was getting worried because my IPs had not made it yet and I hadn't heard from them. I decided to check my email just incase and my IM said they had left their hotel around 9:30 (it was about an hour and a half to 2 hour drive) and said they were going to stop and look at a waterfall on the way. What??? LOL The nurses kept asking me when they would be there because they couldn't treat the baby without their consent, and they kept telling me they needed to hurry. So I called IM and said they
probably wanted to skip the waterfall. She said ok and then they rushed there. I'm not sure the exact time they got there, but I think it was around 12. They got everything worked out in registration and came to my room to hang out. I gave IM the gifts I had made and there was instant waterworks.
This is where it gets a little fuzzy, as I was really starting to feel the contractions by this time. I was still able to breath through them, but I wasn't paying much attention to the time and what was happening. I think they gave me my second dose of Cytotec around 3 and said she would check me again around 6:00. My husband went to get my kids from the babysitter so that my sister in law could meet us at the hospital and get them for the night. He came back in with some beautiful flowers for me
because (I forgot to mention) it was our 5 year wedding anniversary! I labored for a couple more hours and the nurse came in to see how I was doing and I told her that we might want to start getting ready for the epidural. She fixed my IV up and got me ready and everyone was asked to leave. I felt almost immediate relief after the epi was placed and was told to lay flat on my back for a while. Right after, my doctor came in and broke my water and they started Pitocin. I think I was about 4 cm now.
The nurse came in and said I needed some oxygen because the baby was having some decels. They also decided to reposition me and it was hard to find a position that the baby was ok with, but I eventually got settled. A while later they came back in and said we needed to place an internal monitor because they were having a hard time getting a good reading on the baby. This was around 7-7:30 and when she checked I was around 6cm. The doctor came in to make sure everything was alright, and I remember him joking with my husband and IPs, making bets on when the baby would arrive. I made mine at 8:30, my IPs said 9 and my doctor said midnight.
The new shift came in and I started to notice that I was feeling contractions again. I told the new nurse and she said everything was ok. She decided to put me in a sitting position to help the baby move down. After a while the contractions got as strong as they were before my epidural, so she decided to check me, and I was at 9cm. My husband had stepped out of the room and I was so nervous that he wasn't going to make it. Things went extremely fast after that and my nurse kept telling me "It's ok, we have time." Then she starts to panic and I hear her saying she is going to go find my husband. As soon as she got out the door he walked in. She told him he needed to get his butt in there!
Before, my IPs were unsure of whether they wanted to be in the delivery room, so this is why it was so important for my husband to be there with me. In the end my IF was by my side, and my husband was almost behind me holding both of my hands. IM was in the back of the room. I started to feel
the baby's head and I remember my doctor saying "I tend to trust a woman giving birth for the 3rd time", and he told me to push when I felt the need. With the next contraction I started to push, and can I say this was definitely the worst pain I had ever been in. I had epidurals with both of my children and felt almost nothing but pressure, but this time I was able to move my legs
freely and felt like I could feel everything. I pushed 3 times and baby was out. I hear my husband say "N, it's a boy!!" and in my mind I was like "Really? this is no time to joke". Then after having my eyes clamped shut due to being in so much pain I opened my eyes and looked down, and saw boy parts! I was so shocked! He was born at 8:42pm on July 27th.
The next moments were indescribable. I felt so much joy watching my IPs become parents again. Almost as soon as baby came out he was placed in his mothers arms to breast feed. The doctor delivered the placenta and placed a few stitches. I was already on my iPad posting updates! The baby stayed in the delivery room for a good 30 minutes before they had to take him to be weighed.
Once he left the room everyone followed and the nurse came to get me to take me to my room. She let me know that he weighed 8lbs 12oz and he was 23 inches long. I sent my hubby to get food because I was so hungry and the cafeteria wasn't open. I got settled in my room and when he got back I had him wheel me to the nursery to see the baby because I hadn't been able to see him yet. IF was also waiting to see him because he hadn't had the chance to hold him. So I told my IPs I was going to get some rest so
that they could have the time with their son, and I would see him in the morning.
I woke up the next morning in some pain and when the nurse came to check my uterus she noticed that I was still bleeding heavily so they decided to give me some Methergine which made the pain 10 times worse. So I decided to rest a bit. My IM said she came to my room several times to bring the baby over, but I was sleeping so she didn't bother me. When I finally got to see the baby it was
such a strange feeling, because I felt no connection to him. It was just like I was visiting a friends child in the hospital but I was still on cloud nine. It was so amazing to see them as a family. My children got to come and meet him, as well as my mom. My IM was wonderful and didn't make me feel unimportant at all.
The next morning was a bit rough for me as we got ready to leave the hospital. My hormones were starting to kick in and I felt myself starting to tear up a bit. When we said goodbye I cried, it was such an emotional moment. It really hit me when I got to the car, because I had this "Now, what?" feeling. I spent all of this time consumed with surrogacy and now it was over. I felt lost. Five days later I am still having a rough time, but I have been told that it gets much better. My husband kept asking me if it was because of the baby, but it has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with the fact that things have changed so abrubtly. I look at my belly sometimes and get teary eyed because I already miss being pregnant.
I have to say that this has been one of the best experiences. I am so happy that I was able to help complete a family and I didn't realize how rewarding it would be. I am already thinking about journey number 2!