It was April 26th, one year ago today. I was sound asleep which was not too common for me, a 38 week uncomfortable mother of two. It had been weeks of tossing and turning, placing pillows every which way trying to alleviate some of the back and hip pain. This pregnancy began to feel long. Most likely due to the fact that I was growing someone else’s human. Yet, the reward at the end seemed so worth all the pain. Read more HERE about why I decided to become a gestational carrier. The anticipation grew stronger as I had been checked over the last two weeks and to our surprise I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. “It could happen any day” for the last several days. I finally asked to have my membranes stripped in hopes of hurrying along the process. The day followed with cramping and feeling flu like symptoms. Tired. Done. I had mentioned to my husband before we fell asleep that I thought the baby would come that night. It was wishful thinking, yes, but I hoped.
And yet, there I was fast asleep. 3am I am woken by a strong wave of tightness across my stomach and down my back. My eyes opened in hope to feel another. A few short minutes later another. I smiled. Please let this be it. I waited for one more and sure enough, there it was. I reached to my nightstand and grabbed my phone. It was 3:15 and I could feel another. They were about 5-10 minutes apart. I rolled over and softly shook Brett. I think this is it.
I stood up to hopefully keep them coming. And they did just that. I decided I should probably text Anastasia, the “intended Mother” as she is legally called but she had become so much more than that. They live about 45 minutes away from us and the hospital and I wanted them to have enough time to take their daughter to her Mom’s house and get to the hospital. My text read “I’m having contractions every 6 min. Good strong contractions. One just woke me up about 30 min ago. They are coming consistent and hard. I’m going to get up and get a bag packed. I think this might be it.” Even typing that I get all those same butterflies. It was so exciting. I then decided to call my Mom to come over. She didn’t answer so I call my Dad. She was on her way over in no time. Once she got there it was about 4:30 and my contractions were getting closer together and much stronger. My mom encouraged us to get to the hospital. I grabbed a banana and a granola bar so I could have something in my stomach. Contractions just minutes apart, off we went.
It began to rain as we arrived at the hospital around 4:45. They brought us into our room to be checked and monitored. I was at a 4 so things weren’t going as fast as I felt like they were. I explained our situation to our nurse and that the family I was carrying for was on their way. She said she would check me again in an hour to see if I had progressed. Ugh. I prayed they would keep me. All this fuss over nothing? My contractions were not as intense at this point and I didn’t want to lay down. I asked if I could stand to keep them coming. She said absolutely. I was walking in place next to the bed all hooked up on the monitors. An hour passed and Anastasia and Brady were parking. The nurse came back to check me and she sighed. Hmmmm. She said I was almost a 5 but not quite. Ugh. Really? I’m obviously in labor. You’re going to send me home at a 5 with contractions a few minutes apart? I told her the family was just getting here and I woke them up at 3 in the morning. Can you please keep me? She said she would! Hallelujah!
I got comfortable and Anastasia came in and we got so excited! We’re having a baby!! This sweetest little boy would finally be here. The Dr from the practice that was on call was the one doctor we didn’t want to deliver us. Ha, I say us like we were both having a baby but we kind of were. She really rubbed us the wrong way at our first appointment but knew she was a good doctor. Dr Jacob, was the doctor I knew well and he had said if we let him know when it was time, he would try his hardest to come. He was the only doctor in their office that day and he could only come over on his lunch break. That was hours and hours away. It didn’t look like he would be able to come. The anesthesiologist was headed in to do 2 c-sections and the nurse said if I wanted an epidural, it needed to happen now. I wanted to wait a bit longer, until the pain wasn’t bearable but I guess it was now or not at all.
Once the epidural was in place we got nice and cozy. My mom was headed over with my kids and I was SO anxious and excited to see them. I just wanted them with me. There is something really difficult about not having your children there will you. The nurse said it was hospital policy that only children of the baby being born were allowed to come in but she said she would talk to her manager. She came back in and told me that she wouldn’t allow them to come in. Are you kidding me? I immediately asked to speak to the department manager as I felt this huge wave of emotions and anger. The last thing this sensitive situation needed was for me to be upset. The department head came in and sincerely apologized that I was told that! Of course my kids could come in! Grateful and relieved, Brett went and got the kids from the waiting room. All I could feel was peace and calm once they were there. They are all I would have after this and I needed them with me for those moments to help ease my mind.
After they left I just wanted some alone time with Brett. I was at a 7 and my labor was kind of stalling. I hadn’t progressed in a few hours and the nurse wanted me to try to rest. The videographer Courntey and photographer Amanada had arrived as well so the room was pretty full and was starting to feel a bit chaotic so I asked to have some time to ourselves. Once it was just us two I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed and emtional. I’m not sure what it was but I just needed a minute to regroup and calm my nerves. I mean, I had never done this before. I wasn’t worried about being attached to the baby. That was never a concern for me. I was more concerned about how I would feel after having a baby but not having a baby, if that makes any sense. I had postpartum depression after my daughter and I was concerned about the possibility that might return. I had gone through 9 months of pregnancy, my hardest yet, plus months of shots and blood draws. A scary bleed and pelvic rest for months. It’s a lot to go through and sometimes I just needed a minute to be aware of my feelings and embrace them.
Things still weren’t progressing and it had been a couple of hours. Part of me couldn’t help but feel like maybe it was a blessing and that we might get Dr Jacob to deliver us after all. The nurse told us he couldn’t come until 1:30. It was only 11:30 and I didn’t know if it would take that long to get to a 10. They decided to start me on pitocin in hopes of hurrying things along. I really don’t like to be put on pitocin unless I have to be. At this point I had also been told I had pre-eclampsia and that was starting to become a concern. I agreed and they started the meds. I slowly progressed to a 10 and sure enough it was 1:30 and Dr Jacob came in to deliver us! Such a blessing and a little miracle.
After he got everything all set up I began pushing. It only took a few pushes before I could feel him coming down. One last good push and there he was. I could see Anastasia’s face as she saw her son for the first time. It was a beautiful, scared moment in time. She was wearing a hospital gown so she could immediately do skin to skin with him. He was placed on her chest and there he was. Finally where he belonged. Finally where he was supposed to be. It was the most incredible experience and one I will never forget. I had this huge sense of relief! “I did it, I did it” I said over and over again. From the beginning I knew it would be hard. But I knew I could do it and I did. It was the most rewarding feeling knowing that I had given them this gift of life. Life into their hearts and finally in their arms.
I have been very hesitant to share our birth video because this is the internet and things are shared and spread everywhere. I was in a very vulnerable place and in it are some very sensitive personal moments that were captured. I hope to bring awareness to infertility and how many possibilities there are out there. Because of this I ask that it not be shared or reposted without my permission.
I will share more of the after birth process, pumping and healing along with my postpartum experience in a later post. Thank you for all of your love and support. Read more about where we are now with our own infertility journey HERE.