Monday, July 14, 2014

Surro Files - Baby P Is Here !!!!

Baby P is Here!!!!!

What a week this has been.  It started off with a bang and it's been great ever since.  Due to all the events that have occurred, I'm going to forgo my usual blog template and just dive into the story of how this week went down.  When I left you last we were 39 weeks along with a baby the size of a watermelon.  We had just went to our OB appointment on Monday, found out I was 4-5cm dilated, and had decided to set an induction date so that Adam would have plenty of bonding time and they would have time to file legal paperwork before Adam had to leave.  At the same time, I started to freak out about having an induction instead of going naturally, so I was contemplating my last resort to try and get labor started.  Yep, I went to the store and bought castor oil just in case I got desperate enough to get this party started.

And so that brings us to Tuesday.  I woke up hoping to be in labor.  A twinge, a cramp, anything... nothing.  Oh well.  I knew I couldn't stay pregnant forever.  But I was stressed.  I didn't realize how much differently a surrogacy pregnancy would feel.  You not only have to think about your feelings, fears, and excitement, but you also have those of the parents.  Normally I would anxiously await to go into labor, but as a whole not stress about the big day, knowing that it would eventually come.  It was just a matter of time.  This time however, we had a deadline.  The dad, Adam, was going to need to fly home to take care of a family emergency on our due date (5 days from now).  I was stressed.  Of course the mother would still be here, but I really wanted them both to be here for the birth of their child.  That being said, we had requested just the day before at our OB appointment to schedule an induction as soon as possible.  This would allow the father to be there, and enough bonding time before leaving.  Luckily I was already 4-5 cm dilated with a very soft cervix, so my body was a prime candidate for induction.  So this morning I called the OB's office to get an update on the induction.  Did we have a date set?  Yes!  We did.  It would be the morning of the 9th at 6am.  Eeeeeek!  So soon!!!!!  Excited, but stressed.  Oh so stressed...

Heading out to find mommy and daddy after the birth of surro baby
Love those baby cheeks!  Heading out to find mommy and daddy.
I soon realized I didn't really want an induction.  Of course they only planned to break my water which is a very non-invasive procedure, but what if that didn't work?  What if I had to have Pitocin?  I didn't want that.  I didn't even want an IV.  I just wanted to give birth as naturally as possible.  And I was scared this wouldn't happen.  Plus I was looking forward to laboring at home for awhile and just working with my doula while relaxing... as much as one can relax while in labor.  It's just not the same when you're hooked up to monitors in a cold sterile hospital.  It just doesn't feel the same.  I read up on alternatives.  I talked with the mother to be.  I talked with my nurse midwife.  I talked with my doula.  She talked with some other midwives.  The consensus was that it couldn't hurt and it's been noted to work with many other women.  It might not be pleasant, but it would probably do the trick.  Hmmm... lots to think about.

Waiting to deliver the placenta
Waiting to deliver the placenta.
Later that day I met up with Belle and Adam at the hospital.  We had our last NST and ultrasound scheduled to check on the baby and the fluid that surrounded them.  The ultrasound went great.  We didn't actually get to see the baby, but the fluid was right about where it had been before, and actually went down just a bit to 28.  The NST also went well.  Baby was a bit hard to keep on the monitor, but they sounded strong and healthy, so were were able to leave after about 20 minutes on the monitor.  So weird that we would be back here so soon.  They said the hospital was packed, but since we were the first induction scheduled the next day, we shouldn't have a problem getting a room.  On our way out the parents and I talked about the castor oil again.  We all agreed that it wouldn't hurt to try.  Either we went in tonight if it worked, or we went in tomorrow morning if it didn't.  It was worth a shot!  We'd also decided to have a celebratory dinner.  All of us together one last time before their family grew from 2 to 3.  Eeeeek!  Exciting!

So I made a decision.  I was going to try castor oil to get this labor started before the induction.  It actually didn't taste bad at all.  I made a little smoothie out of it with orange juice, yogurt, and berries; and at 2pm I drank it down.  Yum!  Let's hope it works.  Well, it did work... in the evacuation sense, but I didn't feel anything that would tell me that labor was coming.  Boo!  At least I tried.  At 4:30 I informed the doula that it was not going to work and to just proceed with our induction plans.  She had a few meetings planned for that evening, and I didn't want her to worry about me going into labor.  Brian, the kids, and I all got ready for our dinner date with Belle & Adam, and then headed out.  But then things started to change...

Parents of surrogacy pregnancy admiring their baby.
Mommy & Daddy admiring their little girl.
At 5:30, just as we were pulling up to the restaurant, I started getting a dull ache in my back.  Oh no!  I know this dull ache all too well.  I had it with all of my kids when I went into labor.  But maybe I was wrong.  It could just be castor oil after effects.  No need to get all worked up just yet.  So we went in to have dinner.  I did inform the doula and the parents that we might not make it to the induction though.  I wanted us all to be prepared just in case.  We had a nice dinner... still slightly cramping and aching in my back area... plus more evacuation in the restroom (good times), and then we all headed home.  "I'll see you bright and early in the morning" we all said... unless I see you sooner.

All fresh & dressed up for the day
At 7:10 on the car ride home the low back ache continued in a pattern.  I was sure at this point that this was the start of labor and it wasn't going to go away.  So I text the parents and let them know.  I was pretty sure that tonight was going to be the night.  So they said they would get the car seat installed just in case, as soon as they got back to the hotel.  At 7:20 I text again saying that I was still trying to figure out if this was it or not.  At this point I was back on my toilette feeling the effects of the castor oil... and then it happened.  I felt a pop in my stomach and a small gush of fluid.  Did my water just break?  I wasn't sure since I had a VERY high level of amniotic fluid and they warned me it would be a lake, but this was no lake.  Maybe I just pee'd.  But as soon as I stood up, the flow started.  Ok, It definitely broke.  So at 7:25 I text the parents once again to let them know, and they jumped in their car to head to the hospital.  I also informed my doula that my water had broken and we were heading to the hospital.  Now I just needed to figure out how to get off this toilette.

I called out to my husband to help me out and let him know my water had just broken.  Of course he freaked out and instantly wanted to call an ambulance.  "No", I told him.  We can do this.  We just need to get to the hospital which was only 5 minutes down the road.  At this point contractions had come on strong and I didn't know how I would do this, but I worked with my breathing and kept telling myself we could do this.  I just needed to breathe.  At first I tried to use one of my son's diapers to hold the fluid in, but as soon as I stood up it was soaked like I wasn't wearing it at all.  Then my girls brought me a beach towel.  They were very excited that I was in labor.  That is until I had my first contraction in front of them.  My oldest daughter who was keeping me company freaked out and ran to the bathroom that my husband was in telling him he needed to get out here right now.  Haha!  I think I scared her a bit.  But I assured her everything was ok.  My husband loaded up the car, I jumped in (in between contractions), and we sped off to the hospital.  I still hadn't started timing contractions, but I would say they were about 1-2 min apart at this point and very strong.

Yummm!!!  So hungry!!!
We got to the hospital at 8pm and pulled up to the front of the emergency room.  Brian grabbed me a wheelchair and we rolled in to meet up with the parents.  Now I honestly don't know why I even pre-register if they're still going to ask for my ID and ask me to sign papers when I'm sitting there having contractions every minute.  In the end I just couldn't take it anymore and I yelled at them to take me to my room which they finally did.  Of course I had to pass another minor detail though.  They were taking me to triage to make sure I was actually in labor before taking me to a real room.  They asked me to get on a bed and get into a gown, which was easier said than done when I was now having contractions 30 seconds apart.  At that point they asked the parents to leave which we tried to fight, but hospital policy said they couldn't be there till we got to our room.  I was able to get my pants off and lay in the bed, but that's about as far as we got.  I left my tank top on, and just laid the gown over my legs.  They checked my dilation and I was complete.  Then the urge to push came.  As much as they told me to hold it till we got to a room, this baby would not wait.  I yelled for them to get the parents, but they said they couldn't.  I pushed out the baby's head as I slowly guided her out with my hand, and then the nurses all piled on top of me to try and get the shoulders out.  She was a large baby and was not coming out easily, and no doctors were around to assist.  Luckily all went well though.  At 8:15, Baby P was born measuring in at 9lbs 13.6oz and 21 in long.  Wow!  That was a whole lot of baby for me!!!!  Within minutes we were rolling back out of the triage room and down the hall to our room where the parents met up with us and got to meet their baby.  The proud mommy got to do skin to skin time and start breastfeeding the baby right away.  It was an amazing end to an amazing journey.  Well, almost over...

My doula did make it after the baby was born.  I was sad that we didn't get to have the labor that we had planned together, but so happy that she was there for me afterwards.  Because the doctor was not there yet, I had to hold the placenta in for a half hour till she got there.  I wasn't having contractions, but there was a lot of pressure, so the guidance of my doula really helped me to breathe through the pressure.  Finally the doctor arrived and we got all set up, birthed the placenta around 8:45, checked me for tears which I had none, and we were done!  Completely natural without so much as an IV or line put in my arm... just the way I wanted it.  My doula was great and massaged my back to ease the after pains, while my husband took some photos of the happy new parents and then my doula took some photos too.  She was also able to help Belle and Baby P get started with breastfeeding.  It was perfect!  After about an hour, the happy new family moved onto the nursery to continue bonding, while I got started on healing and resting in my room.  It was quite a different experience not having a baby to take care of, but I think I rather liked all the rest and relaxation that I got.

Fresno Surrogate Recovery Room Party
The first hours were a bit uncomfortable though.  The hospital was completely packed with women giving birth, so there were no rooms open for me to move on to recovery.  That meant I got to stay in labor and delivery.  Nice big rooms, but the beds aren't the best for an overnight stay.  That being said, it was a bit of a rocky night with an hour of sleep here and there.  My uterus hurt, my back hurt, and my pelvic bone hurt (same pain from before the birth).  But as the night wore on it seemed to get better and better and by 4am I was knocked out in a pretty good sleep.  Ahhhhhh!  Oh sweet sleep.  The next morning I was able to take a shower, put makeup on, and blow dry my hair all nice and curly.  Wow!  That was a first in all births.  Normally I'm so tired and out of it that I just wait till I get home... or a week after that even.  Haha!  I will say that I flooded out the whole bathroom taking my shower though.  Hmmmm... someone needs to talk to the architect about that one.  I even got to put on that super cute hospital gown I got from Birth Day Suit Maternity.  I may not have been able to wear it for the birth, but at least I looked great for the day after!  Belle and Adam came to visit me in my room a few times that day.  They even brought me a cute little hospital goodie bag full of yummy treats, champagne, and relaxing body products.  Thanks Belle & Adam!  My family and in-laws also came to visit me, as well as another friend, and a group of surrogates that were so sweet to come by and say hi.  My stay wasn't long though.  The hospital needed the bed, so I was released a good 5 hours early.  Yay!  Time to relax at home.

Flower Gifts
Being home has been so nice.  The first few days were a bit achy, but relaxing on my couch and bed was so much better than in a hospital.  I've been enjoying all the well wishes from friends and family, and even got flowers from Brian's boss and from Circle Surrogacy.  Belle, Adam, & Baby P on the other hand, had to stay one more night.  Poor them.  They didn't get a room, so they had to stay in the nursery.  Unfortunately there is no sleeping or eating in the nursery so needless to say, I'm sure they were VERY tired by the time they got to leave, and probably a bit hungry too.  I don't think they left Baby P's side very often.  Finally Thursday evening they too got to head home... or rather back to the hotel.  Oh sweet bed!  I'm sure they crashed pretty darn fast... before Baby P woke them up again.  Haha!  And so it begins.

On Saturday Brian, the kids, and I all went to visit the happy new family at their hotel.  Of course we came bearing food and couldn't wait to see how they were all doing.  Besides being extremely sleep deprived (aren't all new parents), it looked like they were doing great.  The whole room was set up like a home away from home, and Baby P was sleeping so soundly the whole time we were there.  Such a cutie!!!!!  We even got some great group pictures before heading out to let the new family rest some more.  I wish I could post them here for you all to see, but for now, I know that I'll hold them in my heart forever.

Visiting Belle, Adam, & Baby P
Sunday I made another stop by to see Belle, Adam, & Baby P with my mother in-law.  I must have been totally not paying attention when they talked about this week, because I didn't realize that it would be the last day I would see them.  Today they're heading out to San Francisco to finalize some legal work and hop on their flights.  Is it really over?  Has this journey really come and gone?  Oddly enough I'm not a sobbing mess like I thought I would be, but I'm sure when the hormones start kicking in, the realization that it's over will kick in.  I know it's not goodbye forever though.  They've already planned a trip back to California next February to visit us in Fresno, and then make a trip to Disneyland.  Oddly enough, we'd already planned a trip to Disneyland around the same time.  So funny!  I'm sure time will fly by and well see them once again, but till then... It's been a perfect ending with a perfect little family.  Congrats Belle, Adam, and Baby P!!!!!  I love you all!!!!  

I was going to post my belly progression on this post, but YouTube isn't liking my music selection.  I still need to wait for them to approve my using a song that I did not create.  Believe me, you don't want me to sing the song for you.  I guarantee that it won't sound as pretty.  Haha!  I'll post it soon.

Don't forget to check out my "Surrogacy" tab at the top of this page to catch up on any posts you might have missed

*Some of the names in this post have been changed and faces blocked out to protect the identities of those involved in this journey*


  1. Congratulations Chana, to you and the parents :) Great storytelling I was excited to hear fro it.

  2. Congratulations to Adam and Belle and welcome to the world beautiful baby girl! You did an awesome job growing this little girl and keeping her safe and sound until her Mommy and Daddy could take over. Beautiful job all around!!!

  3. Chana,
    What a wonderful, generous woman you are! Belle and Adam are so blessed to have found you. I may have missed something along the way in your journey, so please forgive me for this question if that's the case. In you birthing post, you say that Belle and baby P got started breastfeeding. How? I guess I'm a bit ignorant, because I didn't know a woman could breastfeed without giving birth. Can you please explain how that worked?

    1. Hi Jilly! Sorry for the late response. Belle took hormones to induce lactation. It actually worked extremely well for her and she was able to exclusively breastfeed. There are several ways to induce lactation, some including hormones and some not.


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