Sunday, May 18, 2014

Welcome To The World

This post has been 4 years in the making. I can't believe we're finally here. And I have so much to say that it won't all be said at once. It simply can't be. So consider this just the first of many blogs about the birth, the days shortly following, the placenta eating and everything in between.

The first thing I want to do is to thank a lot of people. Mostly importantly:

Chris. Without your support I wouldn't have been allowed to chase this dream. Without your love and endless foot rubs I wouldn't have weathered the storm. Without your frequent trips to Dairy Queen I wouldn't have been quite so impressive as a preggo.

M&T. Where to even begin?? Your dream was my dream. Together we accomplished something so beautiful. What a team we've made ,and what life long friends we have found. Thank you for picking me, for trusting me. Thank you for laughing with me, crying with me and not suing me for kidnapping when my uterus almost refused to give you your daughter. I love you all for always. <3

All of YOU. Wow-oh-wow. The outpouring of love from my friends, family, surro sisters and blog readers. I've felt a bit guilty  for not updating from bedside moments after birth. I think most of you expected it. I feel the love from you all so much, and your role in my journey is something I'll never forget. Thank you for coming along on this ride with me.

Now, for my first of many installments about the birth. Tonight we'll tackle the birth story, from the surrogate's side.

The day she went in, And the day she came out
I held onto hope all night Sunday that my body would go ahead and start labor on her own. After a particularly hard boat ride with the dads and the girls and the family I thought we might just be there! I stayed up most of the night timing contractions and by the time my 6 a.m. call to the hospital came, we were a minute long and 4 minutes apart. They wern't that intense yet, but I was feeling fairly certain that given a few more hours of her own time, we wouldn't need to induce after all. I felt very good about this!

Labor and delivery was very slow so they went ahead and had me come on in at 7 a.m. to start the induction. The very excited dads met us at reception and we started signing forms, taking pictures and updating social media. Worth noting is that the first two babies I had, I showed up at the hospital in active labor and was sent home diagnosed with false labor.... This time I showed up in false labor and was welcomed with open arms and eagerly invited to stay. SO.STRANGE.

They've waited YEARS for this very moment
The truth is, an induction is SO.STRANGE. The end result is the same as a non induction labor but so many things are different along the way. While it wasn't more painful or uncomfortable, there is more stress and different procedures. I would hope to not have to take this road again should I ever find myself pregnant again.

So the first thing we did was break my water. True to form, little joey girl did NOT want to be born. As soon as the needle went in, she swam up into my ribs. They actually had to use external force to push my waters down onto the needle to puncture my bag. Um, ouch. But, the process was done. This was the first time my waters have been broken before 9cm.... and I don't like this method. AT ALL. Evertyime I moved I gushed fluid. I left a trail of amniotic fluid wherever I went and soaked through towel after towel on my labor bed. It made me feel dirty. And, it didn't accomplish a darn thing.

I've waited years for THIS very moment
After an hour or so of hoping my body would labor on her own, we decided to start a "low and slow" dosage of Pitocin. We started at 1 unit per hour, but had to begin upping it fairly quick as we noted no result until 8 units per hour. At that point things hurt, I was breathing harder... and... nothing was happening. Contractions continued to space out. At 14 units per hour we finally started to at least see some more cervical dilation.

But it still wasn't enough. We could not keep the contractions steady and moving. This was one of my largest fears in doing an induction. The fear that forcing my boy into labo it wasn't ready to do on it's own would be pointless. I was starting to get very worried that we would not be able to move my body to labor and we'd have to resort to a C section. At 12 hours in I opted for an epidural. I was worried we'd be at this for a lot longer.

Miss Eleanor
Despite the stress and tension in the air and pain in my uterus the guys and I stayed true to our personalities. The room was frequently filed with sarcasm, jokes and smiles. I remember at one point being the only female in the room and listening to them all talk about how cute and attractive my nurse was. As I finished a contraction I said, "OK, Enough doting on the nurse in front of the big fat laboring whale on the bed here, guys." It led t lots of laughter, which is something this team has always been god for.

Eventually we had to up to Pitocin even more. I am told that usually they max out the dosage at a "20" but that I had to be given special permission to go to 30 units per hour.. just to get this kiddo out. Thank GOD I opted for that epidural after all.

Finally it was time to push. I was really drained. It'd been close to 36 hours since I had eaten anything and I just didn't have much fuel in my tank. I'd been in labor for 20 hours on pitocin. This kid had a reputation of refusing to be born. Things were not looking good.
My Girls Meeting Mommy's Belly Buddy

I felt like such a whiner as I pushed. Luckily for me, I've been told I did not come off as such to others in the room. Then the magic happened.

At 1:18 am on Tuesday, May 13th a beautiful little girl with a full head of hair slid into this world. She was beautiful. I could hear the dad's crying happy tears. The air in the room just changed. A family was made.

They cut the cord and cuddled her. Then I got to hold her. Then I got to look into the eyes of the little belly buddy who I had shared a body with for the past 9 months. It was such an intensely beautiful moment.

In those first moments, I have never felt so proud or accomplished in anything I have ever done. 


  1. What a beautiful post and beautiful photos! Congrats to you all! Xx

  2. You rock Mandy! Sounds like a perfect match of sass and personality with M&T. So pleased for you all xxx

  3. Yay Mandy!!! Im telling ya, something about that Taurus title makes us a little more stubborn ;) congrats to the family! You have been an awesome surro sister to me and im soooo glad to have experienced your journey as well. Im def sharing your post as many of my friends dont really know how someone can be a surro... its for that moment. When dream becomes reality and a family is born... soooo worth it! Hugs to you! And yay for May 13th -my bday as well ;) **Pauline

  4. Congrats everyone! Hopefully your recovery is going well! Take care.