Sunday, October 23, 2011

Delivery Day!

At 7:39AM, I began our delivery day! I checked into the hospital, got my gown on and we got the show on the road. The nurse hooked me up to all of the devices, got my IV started and around 9AM, we started the Pitocin and a little while later, the doctor broke my water. My IPs were on their way from Austin and we had plenty of time for them to arrive as I was only dilated to 2cms and 50% effaced. Baby was high up and wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere. Around 12, I started to get some strong contractions. My IPs were due to arrive at any moment so my nurse, Cathy, asked if I wanted to go ahead and slip my epidural in before they arrived. I didn't want to be uncomfortable while they were there as I like to chat and visit through my labors, so I quickly agreed. Dr. Miller, my OB, slipped in right before the anesthesiologist arrived and gave me a quick check. 2cms, 50% effaced. Boo! I wasn't too surprised as it usually takes me a little while to get to 5 or 6 but to make no progress was a little anticlimatic. The anesthesiologist gave me that wonderful epidural and then stuck around for a few minutes joking around with me saying things like, "Whew! You're my second patient ever!" and "Okay Cathy, you can close the instruction manual now, I'm done looking at the pictures." :) I love a doctor with a good sense of humor! Ahhh, sweet, sweet epidural and I was in heaven. I visited with my IM a bit, napped and rested the next few hours. Around 3, they checked me again and I was at a 4, 50% effaced and minus 2 position. Yay! Progress, but at that rate, I was gonna be at it all day. I knew I could do a little better. They checked me at 5 o'clock and I was at a 5. The nurse flipped me over to my left side and waited it out. 45 mins later, I was at a 9. Cathy looked at me and I said, "And THAT'S how it's done!" We all had a good laugh at that and as those of you that have been in a delivery room know, things move quickly after that. E told J to get the camera as we were going to be seeing their baby soon!! My husband had the privelege of delivering our last two babies. I had asked our doc if E could do that too and she agreed! E thought and thought about it and she was so courageous and decided to take on the challenge! They found her an extra small outfit and got her suited up! J was on the couch and I think he was a little blown away by how quickly it was going. He went to the bathroom and came out to a transformed room with lights, half the bed moved off and everyone in "go" position! My best friend, J, was there with me and I've been trying to get her to stay for a delivery 3 times now! She decided to stay for this one and E&J were so nice to allow that. They put the oxygen mask on me and it was time to push. Dr. Miller told E to reach down and feel her baby's head. That moment...that glorious moment of seeing her make that first connection was phenomenal. She laughed and cried and swooned over making that connection! 4 pushes later, E held a perfect baby girl in her arms after guiding her into this world. That moment is unlike any other I've ever experienced. Seeing a mother bring her baby into this world is indescribable. Baby L was perfect with sweet cheeks, perfectly puckered lips and long fingers and toes! She headed over to the warmer with mommy and daddy and a family was made. I can't count how many times E&J said thank you that day, but I was the one that felt so thankful to have experienced this. Baby L is such a blessing to so many already. She weighed in at 8 lbs,, 2 oz. (a personal record for my uterus!) and 19.75 inches long. She was born at 6:08PM (See, I'm all business after I reach 5cms). I thank y'all for sharing this journey with us. I hope that it helps guide someone through surrogacy the way other blogs have helped me. It's been so great getting to know some of you through this as well!!

This is the end of our surrogacy pregnancy but just the beginning of our surrogacy journey. October 20th will always be a fun day of memories for me!

Here is a little photo journey of the day for your viewing pleasure!

Arriving at the labor & delivery room!

Last Belly Shot in my oh so fashionable hospital gown!

Sugar-free popsicle, no food allowed after midnight the night before!

Mmmm, ice chips. I'd have a baby all over again just for someone to bring me non-stop ice chips

Trying to get a picture of the contractions but it's blurry

Still smiling even though I'm contracting!

I love to watch "A Baby Story" while laboring!

A beautiful arrangement from fellow blogger and IM to be, A!!! :)

I finally get my rainbow popsicle that I love (even if it's not Blue Bell)

This is what your friends bring you when you are a surrogate!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, baby L!!!! It's your big day! Your parents trusted me to care for you for the last nine months. I've felt you grow within me, getting stronger every day and now you get to fill the arms of the ones whose hearts you have filled since you were a tiny embryo...maybe even before that as your parents have loved you long before you were ever conceived. The path to get here had some bumps, but they persevered and now, we are all waiting to meet you; the dream, the wanted, the so loved little girl that you already are.

So, be sweet to me and let's have a smooth birth little girl. :) I can't wait to see you meet your family!


Almost three years ago, while researching surrogacy and reading on a message board, I came across a picture of an IM seeing her baby for the first time. That picture captured the heart of surrogacy for me and in that moment solidified my decision to pursue surrogacy. Today, I get that moment to experience first hand. It's a beautiful thing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 3 of Bed Rest

So, bed rest is going well. I can't complain, mostly because it's only for a few more days so I know I have an end in sight. I do feel for surros that are on bed rest for weeks, or even months, at a time. I also feel for those that don't have support of family or friends. Even these past few days, I've had an outpouring of food, thoughts and gifts from friends, family, and coworkers. It's really touching to know so many people are there for us and care about my family and me.

Here are some things I've learned while on bed rest:

1. Forks go on the left and spoons and knives go on the right. The way to remember this is "fork" and "left" are 4-letter words and "spoon," "knife," and "right" all have 5 letters. Thank you, "Most Eligible Dallas"

2. My husband is indeed capable of caring for 3 children, the house, his wife and attending work. He is a great nurse.

3. My almost 7 yr old will sleep by my side to take care of me at night and wake me up with, "Well good morning, Cheesepuff!! Did you sleep well??"

4. My almost 5 year old will begrudgingly get me some water or put up my bowl for me.

5. My 20 mth old loves that I cannot run after her and is taking full advantage of that freedom.

6. "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Big Bang Theory" complete me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A little R&R

Today is my first full day of bed rest. Yesterday, I had planned on going to the movies with my friend, Amber. Instead, around 3, I began to feel dizzy, my arms were tingly and the headache that I thought had gone away came back. I'd also been having some bad pain on my right side under my ribs. I figured it was just the way the baby was positioned, as I had experienced that rib pain before with my own kids. This was way more intense though, so who knows. I called the OB office and spoke to the nurse who then consulted with the doc on call as my OB is finishing up a convention in Hawaii. :) The on call doc had me come in so my sweet friend dropped off her boys and drove me to the hospital.

Two hours later, I got sent home on bed rest (after getting permission to stop and pick up some yummy Freebirds). My blood pressure readings were elevated and trace proteins picked up in my urine (look, now we know each other better!) but my blood work was good so I am being allowed to bed rest at home.
I was introduced to this lovely thing called a urine collection container and have to save all my pee for 24 hrs...and I have to refrigerate it. I've never been so glad to have more than one fridge!!
So, Monday, I will check with my doc to see if we need to move up our Tuesday appointment or not. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baby Pool

No, not this kind...

A guessing game! Please join us in the online guessing game for baby L's birth stats! We already know it's a girl and that I'm being induced the morning of the 20th (although, she could still come early!). Guess her weight, length, and time of arrival by clicking the link below. Happy guessing!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Heat Is On

My IM and I have this little joke where she calls me her watched pot. I, in turn, told her that I would text her, "The water's boiling! The water's boiling!" when it was time. So, we're in the final days of this pregnancy and the heat is on...I'll let you know when the water's boiled. :)

We had a great visit with my IPs this past weekend. It was just DH and me and my wonderful mommy watched all three of my kiddos. They love it over there and it was nice to have a mini-vacay. That's really what it felt like since my IPs totally spoiled us while we were there. Yummy food, a movie and a comfy chair to put my feet up added to sleeping in late made for a very chillaxin weekend. When we arrived that Friday night, my feet/ankles were pretty puffy.

Exhibit A

My DH and IM told me to put my feet up and IM got me some water. I proceeded to chug water all weekend. I started getting headaches Saturday and had mentioned the puffiness to a nurse friend/former surro. She advised me to call the doc if I began having headaches. Sure enough, I had been having them off and on, nothing horrible, but I did notice I had them throughout the day Saturday and Sunday. I called my OB while at a surrogate luncheon (about half a dozen of us surros, some of their kids and my poor DH, the token male, and I had lunch on our way out) and I ended up going in to the hospital on our way back home because my blood pressure reading at a CVS showed 153/99. Either the machine was wonky or my BP settled down on the drive back to Houston because my 3 readings were fine at Labor & Delivery. Still, better to be safe than sorry, so I'm glad I got it checked out. I've been trying to keep my feet up and taking it easy this week and trying to stay on top of the water.

With all of the unknown about whether or not I was developing preeclampsia, my IPs had a talk and decided they would like to have a little bit of a game plan in place and opted for a scheduled induction should Baby L not make her arrival by the 20th. So, there ya have it, folks. If this little girl doesn't come on her own, I'll be delivering 2 Thursdays from now.

How do I feel about this? Honestly, I secretly love having an end date. Not because I'm uncomfortable or ready to end it, but I am just such a planner that I feel a peace with knowing I will be able to take my kids Trick-or-Treating in their super cute costumes (A Bride, an Angry Bird and Little Red Riding Hood...we will be quite the entourage) and I have a Halloween party to go to, a wedding, a Fall Festival, a birthday party to you see what I'm getting at? I would never push for an induction and especially not just to suit my schedule, but that's only 6 days early and chances are, she'll come on her own before then. But if I'm being honest, it's kind of nice to have a countdown. I would give up all of those events in a heartbeat if I had to, but it's kind of nice that I don't have to.

Everyone always wonders how my kids will feel and I think this answers it:

Rachel (almost 7): My mom's having a baby but we're not keeping her, we're giving it away! (Ummm...okay, not quite, hunny). When asked if she'd be sad about the fact that baby L does not belong to us or will not be coming home with us, she replied that she would not. She has met E&J and knows that Baby L is their daughter and she said she is so happy that we are growing her for them.

Logan (almost 5): There's a baby in there, I'm serious!! (in reference to seeing baby L move) I asked him if he'd be sad that baby L wouldn't be coming home with us and he promptly replied, "Nope. There's no room for her here." That's it. He knows this is not her home or where she will go. They've always understood where she belonged and that her time with us was temporary.

They still love to feel her kick and like to talk to her and hug my belly. I think that's normal, tender behavior but I do not think this will negatively affect them in any way or I wouldn't have done it.

Here is our latest belly picture. It's not my favorite...I look tired and puffy. I AM tired and puffy, but I really like this shirt so I'm posting it. 14 days and counting!