This week has been all about surrogacy and the birth of my final surro-son. I’ve not hardly even mentioned that my twins had a birthday on Mother’s Day or any other cool stuff. But with posting this birth story, I will be done. Retired even. How exciting! Of course, as long as I continue to get updates on my surro-children then I will have updates to post. It’s all really quite bittersweet. I’m so happy to be done, but then last night I was a little sad thinking that I would not ever be pregnant again. It’s the closing of one chapter of my life and the beginning of a new one. That of “just mom.”
My surrogate “journey” has been nothing less than perfect. I could not have asked for better intended parents. I don’t think I’ve ever known more generous, thoughtful and just plain nice people. Their entire family even. They paid attention to every detail and I really think we will remain life long friends. It’s a very special relationship to me. I know in the deepest parts of my heart, that little baby J. is one lucky little dude to be born into this family. He will be so cherished…as it should be.
The one thing I missed out on with my first surrogacy was seeing mommy’s face when she got to meet her children. Their was no point in letting the parents in the operating room since the three babies would be whisked away quickly. It was decided early on that this delivery would be a repeat cesarean section and I knew from the very beginning, that Shannon was the one who was going to be with me at the birth. I told Bob early, too that he would not be in the OR with me and that I wanted that “moment.”
On Monday, we arrived at the hospital at 8:30am to check in for a 10:30am surgery. Shannon could not have stop smiling if she tried.
It wasn’t long after they got me hooked up to the monitors and started prepping that they told us I could have both Mike and Shannon come in with me. We were thrilled! I think Mike was a little scared.
While we were prepping in the labor and delivery room, a party was gathering out in the waiting room. Shannon and Mike’s parents were all arriving, my mom, my husband and their oldest daughter were all on pins and needles. Our anesthesiologist came in to tell us (in a very long winded manner) that he was going to use an epidural on me instead of a spinal. Since I was also having my hernia repaired, he explained that he could make the epidural last longer if he needed to where a spinal only worked for a fixed amount of time. I told him I really didn’t care…as long as I didn’t feel it. 🙂
At approximately 10:45am, they took me into the operating room and put Mike & Shannon in a holding room. They started getting me ready and administered my epidural.
I really don’t like epidurals.
I have a few wonky vertebrates that makes it hard to place the catheter in my spine. It posed a problem during my twins delivery, too and the anesthesia never worked. Ever since, I’m afraid that it won’t work again. But after some “off color” jokes, poking around, and breathing excersises the doctor got it placed. Apparently, an epidural takes longer to take effect, too. So my IP’s nervously waited in their holding room for about 45 minutes (they were told it would be 20).
It was torture for them!
Finally. They brought my IP’s in.
Shannon sat near my head, Mike stood behind her. I reached out for Shannon’s hand. We held hands and she rubbed my arm. Quite nervously I must say. She was rubbing it really fast back and forth. It was kinda funny and I smiled to myself as I watched her. Always asking me if I was okay. Mike stood above us peering over the blue drape. I threatened him that he better photoshop out anything he got on camera. We were all joking and talking while we waited (for what seemed like) an eternity for the doctor to deliver the baby.
Then I heard a very tiny noise that almost sounded like a baby. I looked up at Shannon and asked “did you hear that?”
Her eyes got big as she listened. Suddenly the room burst full of a big healthy baby wail. Shannon jumped up, her eyes big, tears on her face. I started crying. She was jumping up and down as they showed her her beautiful baby boy. Shannon quickly came back to be at my side. Sat next to me and asked if I was okay. I told her I was FINE – go see your baby!!
Shannon never once forgot I was there or forgot to take care of me.
The nurses quickly showed the baby to me as they started to clean him up and check him out. I heard them ask Mike to cut his cord.
My anesthesiologist kept asking me if I was ready to go to sleep. He was going to give me some relaxing/sleepy meds so that I could nap while the next team of doctors repaired my hernia. I kept telling him to wait. I wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet. I was too happy watching my IP’s.
The nurses handed baby J. over to his mommy and she immediately came to show him to me. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. She was so happy. Daddy was so proud. Shannon and Mike had their healthy baby boy in their arms. Finally.
Month’s of being so nervous just erased off their face as they looked at their beautiful baby boy.
Little J. was born at 11:38 am weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces and being 21 inches long.
Shannon has spent the past several months trying to induce lactation so that she can breastfeed baby J. I do believe it’s working! Moments after he was born, he was latched on to his mommy eating his first meal. This to me is just amazing! I had a hard time nursing my own children. I lacked the dedication needed to make it work. But I am in awe of Shannon. It has taken months of discipline and dedication to achieve milk and I just think it’s so special that she will get to have this time with her baby. She is such a wonderful mommy!
The surgeons went on to repair not one, but three very large hernias in my abdomen. I was kind of in and out of sleep but heard them talking about “calcification.” I have no idea what that even means. My surgeon never came to speak with me while I was in the hospital and my OB went out of town the next day. I hope to find out what it all means and what my long term prognosis is on Tuesday when I have my follow up appointment. So I spent just two days in the hospital. My nurses were phenomenal! I had no complications and came home Wednesday evening.
Baby J. was discharged Tuesday afternoon. They brought him to my room several times so my family could say “hello.” They stayed at a nearby hotel until I was discharged and so they headed out of town on Thursday morning. They are staying at the grandparents house until this weekend when they will get to take their baby home to his beautiful fireman nursery.
Surrogacy is amazing. To be able to say that “I did that” is the coolest thing ever.