Author of Once Upon a Surrogate: The Stork’s Helpers, started the phrase “I’m not the mom. I’m just the stork”. Surrogacy has opened many doors for me which led to a happier, more rewarding life. (Inactive as far as the Mormon part, still spiritual, open and respectful) My surrobabies were born in 2006 (girl), 2009 (twin boys) and 2014 (girl). I am a huge surrogacy advocate and creative entrepreneur. Hoping to match for one final journey.
Contractions started around 3:30 Saturday morning. (12/20/14) I hadn't gotten much sleep. For some reason I was tossing and turning before contractions even began. I had also started wiping pink the night before.
I had never gone past 39 weeks before and on Saturday I was 40w3d. I was scheduled to be induced on Monday the 22nd. My Dr. wasn't going to let me go past 41 weeks, which was Christmas Day. I was so happy to be going into labor on my own. (This would be my 3rd spontaneous labor, I was induced with my girls just because my doctor offered at 39 weeks)
I pretty much knew it was time to go to the hospital around 4:30. I texted and called my IPs.
They had also been up tossing and turning all night. Unfortunately, their plane wasn't leaving until noon, which meant they were probably going to miss the birth.
I filled in my doula and my birth photographer/friend.
I showered, shaved my legs, ate and started waking up my husband and kids. This was it! It was baby day.
Everyone was excited.
My 15 year old helped me tie my shoes.
I sat on my birthing ball, waiting for my family to get ready to go. Contractions were getting stronger.
We arrived at the hospital at 7:30. Contractions were pretty intense on the ride to the hospital. (30 minute drive) I was squeezing hubby's hand and the grip bar.
Strangely they weren't so bad when we got to the hospital. I was 4-5 cm when we checked in. I was given a room and told they were keeping me around 8:30.
I kept having contractions, but they weren't that bad. They did start getting intense again towards the end.
At times I was in a good amount of pain, and yet I was laughing through some contractions and explaining the songs on my playlist.
The nurses said my room was the place to hang out with my awesome music.
Baby had some decels and I was given oxygen. They broke my water when I was at an 8.
My daughter and husband were in contact with my IPs while they were on their way.
At one point IM was talking to me on the phone through an intense contraction. I wasn't able to talk, but it was awesome to know she was there for me and to listen to her encouraging words.
Baby was posterior (face up) and turned as I pushed.
I tore because her head was so big.
Catalina Jane (I've called her Baby CiCi this whole time because I only knew her initials) was born at 10:34 AM. She weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 21 inches long. That's the biggest baby I have carried and delivered. I had figured she would be about 9 pounds.
It was quite amazing to physically feel myself pushing her out. I was so in the moment and I didn't feel the ring of fire like I did with my first surrogate baby who was 3 pounds smaller. So crazy!
They put her on my belly and I got to cut the cord. She nursed pretty good right away! She looked all around when she was born and had a good, healthy cry.
My doula, Terra handed her to me.
got to meet her.
My mom, Connie was there when she was born, so we're my girls.
We had plenty of cuddle time with the cute, sweet girl while waiting for her mom and dad to arrive.
My husband didn't want to get "attached", but he couldn't help picking her up and calming her when she cried. He thought she was pretty darn cute and special!
He's an awesome, supportive husband!
At one point, I really don't remember if it was right after she was born, my husband gave me an early Christmas present-
So perfect, because storks are my thing!
I tore and had to get stitches.
The first day I had been bleeding a lot and lots of blood clots. They were concerned and gave me some Pitocin and a shot to help.
Feeing pretty good, but stitches are starting to hurt. Back is getting sure too. So far I'm functioning on 2 hours of sleep and Ibuprofen. (As of 5:30 PM)
Today (Saturday, December 20) is my best friends' birthday. My IM has the exact same birthday as my other best friend. We have lots of birthdays in common between us.
Friends and family came to visit-
This is Mallory, who was also my birth photographer. I'll probably have to have another post just with those pictures when I get them.
This is Veronica who is my friend and co-owns the agency with me. She is pregnant as a 2nd time surrogate.
My dad, Don and step mom, Kathie.
Lovely Rita and Sgt. Pepper arrived around 7:00 PM. It was amazing to introduce them to the cutest baby ever! Lots of good emotions.
My 15 year old daughter made this hat and matching scarf for Lovely Rita and Baby CiCi.
Sgt. Pepper changing a diaper.
Lovely Rita and Lady Madonna (LR's mom) gave me this awesome necklace as a push present. It has charms for all my babies, including my surrobabies.
Not everything went as planned and my Dr was very cautious and particular about how I could VBAC. However, I am happy with how it all went. I got to wear my birthing gown. :-)
My playlist helped. My music puts me in a zone and certain songs played at just the right time and made me laugh or at least smile through the pain. Under Pressure was pretty much dead on. Lol
This baby is so big and strong she is picking her head up already.
I got lots of snuggle time with Catalina. It was super sweet to nurse her. It's amazing what the body knows to do with the whole birth and then contractions stopping after and her knowing how to nurse.
It's also amazing that once that baby's out, the nausea, heartburn, etc. is gone.
It got a little emotional when it was time to say goodbye. (first time that has happened with my surrogacy journeys)
It had been such a wonderful journey and I felt so blessed.
IM was thanking me and I started crying. It was bittersweet.
We all got to hold her one last time. (Hopefully not the last!) This was important to have closure and to say goodbye. (For now)
I'm so grateful for the experience. It really was almost picture perfect. We had a great relationship with IPs and that sweet baby treated me well throughout the pregnancy and even went easy on me with the delivery.
I'm starting to feel a little "now what?"
This has been my life the past 10 months. (13 months really, start to finish)
Looks like I've dropped about 16 pounds already. (Day after)