Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My doula's version of the birth story

I am not the same person I was when I first wanted to be a surrogate in 2002. I'm not even the same as when I first became a surrogate in 2005. Each journey has been unique and I've learned different things along the way. Even people I've met throughout the surrogacy community have helped shape me and opened me up to new things. 

One of those new things was a doula.  At one point I almost said forget it, do I really need one? Well, I'm glad I decided that whether I "needed" one or not, I certainly wanted one. And just like with surrogacy, I found my match. 

Terra was certainly nice and came across as knowing what she was doing. But as we met more often, I looked forward to our next meeting and I felt a friendship growing. She became a great support and someone I could talk to about personal things with the pregnancy. She helped me prepare for my natural VBAC and helped me achieve it! I can't imagine it any other way.
At one point I told her she was going to have it easy with me.

This is her beautiful version of my birth story. It absolutely moved me to tears. I am so grateful to have found her.

The Story of a Stork

Usually these stories are easy for me to write....they are filled with LONG labors where everything one person can think of was attempted. They are filled with stories of calm before storms and roaring babies earthside. This story is one of complete peace and acceptance...it is quick and beautiful...something I am not as used to seeing.

When I met Jill she was instantly someone I wanted to know more...Her story was AH-mazing! She has 3 beautiful children and has devoted the years after her own children to giving the gift of life to babies that would not have had the chance without her. She has given her time and her body to families all over the country so that they can have the gift of family. How many women are willing to do so much for someone they did not know?

As we got to know each other over the course of what seemed like only a week to me but months to an expanding woman who was so busy growing a baby and running a business while also being a wife and mother to 3 remarkable children I was astounded by the strength Jill had. As labor came and went, so did the temptation to give baby a little push to come. Jill remained calm and strong, she knew what she wanted for this baby and this family that she gracefully continued being pregnant and enjoying the exciting things she was experiencing. 

At her last Doctors appointment her Doctor pretty clearly laid down the law. She needed to have this baby and relatively soon. Jill knew what was best for this child so she set a date for her induction...she did not want it to end that way but again was happy to give this baby the safest and best outcome...no questions asked. Jill had a previous C-section and through lots of research and education she was planning a VBAC. She knew she could do it...she just needed one last piece to the puzzle...LABOR.

Jill went home that day and resigned to the fact that Monday she would help this baby with the final steps and be induced.....but of course there were bigger hands at play and her resignation meant something bigger had to take over. Sure enough at 4:28 AM on Saturday December 20th I got “the text” I just knew...this was it. We talked a little back and forth, I tried for one last cat nap. At 6:30 I was getting dressed and headed out. There was a misunderstanding and I met Jill and her family at the hospital...although I should have met them at a local gas station...I am sure they loved arriving at that gas station in labor...to realize I was 15 miles away sitting in the hospital parking lot. But all the same they made it and we got them upstairs and into triage. Jill seemed to me that she was in early labor but nothing major....I only saw 1 contraction and she curled her toes and said it was strong...but hey....if she could vocalize that....it HAD to be early? The nurse got her all checked in and checked her cervix she had what is called a bulging bag of waters and was a 4 or 5 cm. The nurse was positive...as was everyone else...this was it...so on we moved to a labor room. Jill got to the room just in time and crashed into the bed to have a contraction. As I scoped things out....I realized...there was no tub...Jill wanted a tub...so we waited that contraction out and moved to a HUGE corner room with a beautiful bathroom and a nice big tub! Now this was the place to labor! I asked for a birth ball and sprayed the room with some yummy citrus spray and began my set up for a LONG day of laboring beautifully and peacefully.

Soon enough her doctor came in and explained that he only felt comfortable with things moving rather quickly and that he would like to break Jills water. This was not what we wanted and Jill pleaded to have some time. She explained things were moving quickly and would happen soon....just a little more time. Her doctor reluctantly agreed but explained contractions were far apart so labor was likely to move very slow and an hour would not make a difference....but he would give her some time. So we began hoping things would progress at least a little in that hour. 

Jill was so calm and peaceful during her contractions and they were about every 5 minutes so we all assumed again that things were moving slow and steady and we would have a baby in the afternoon. But about 45 minutes later baby had a very large heart deceleration...all at once, without any indications. Nurses rushed in and paged Dr. Twede...he came in and they decided it was in fact probably a change in her cervix. They checked her and we were left amazed! She was and 8+! It was now 9:00 AM and we knew this was going to happen quickly. Dr. Twede then broke Jills water and told her she could just do what she needs to and he would be back when she felt “pushy”

From here things went quickly. Jill obviously felt things more intensely but continued to stay calm and peaceful. She listened to her playlist and when one of her kids would turn it down of off she immediately noticed and asked to have turned back up. She would smile and laugh as different songs came on. She would explain to us why different songs spoke to her. I would tell the story of Under Pressure...but it has been told a few times...and Jills version is the best...But I will say this. We watched a HUGE contraction build and take over the monitor...we expected Jill to become agitated but she just smiled and laughed as those lyrics were sang.

Shortly after that things felt different to Jill so Dr. Twede came up...it was time. Who knows how Jill did it...but transition: the time commonly depicted as moms screaming and hitting their husbands was so calm with Jill...she never made as much as squeak to let us on to the intensity she was feeling....she just sat and swayed and smiled...what a way to bring a baby into this world!

Pushing was intense and quick but she had her husband by her side and before you know it...a baby was laid on her chest and a pair of scissors was handed to Jill...that is right...she got to cut the cord! How symbolic that moment was....A woman severing the last tie before she places that baby into her parents arms. It was lovely. Jill was able to nurse and pass the baby to her children to say hello. It was amazing to see her strength and willingness. 

The following day was a whirlwind and I was not around to witness much....but I can say it was beautiful. CiCi's parents were amazing and wonderful! Their son was a ROCKSTAR celebrating his birthday via Skype. I doubt any of us will ever forget those moments and the beauty of what Jill has done. It was an honor serving those families:)

With that...I guess that concludes Jills Birth Story...It was amazing....I cant think of a better describing word. Such a wonderful day and moment in history.

Love to the Reeder family!

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