Friday, December 17, 2010

The Birth Story

From my absence the last couple of days I'm sure you've all guessed that the stork made it's visit. :-)

I saw Dr. Biter Tuesday morning to confirm my water had ruptured. (Do they really think I could pee myself every hour without knowing I was peeing on myself? LOL. Seriously.) So, they confirmed the rupture and agreed that this was a small tear in the sac as opposed to a huge gaping hole with no water left for the baby. The problem came when ultrasound showed Baby A was presenting footling breech. :-( My doctor is very pro-natural birth but has to draw the line somewhere... twins with Baby A in footling position and broken water is over his line.

The dangerous possibility is cord prolapse, when the umbilical cord is born before the baby and then blood/oxygen supply is cut off from the baby by the pressure of passage through the birth canal. After a good long consultation and a couple of ultrasounds I had to resign myself to the reality of a c-section. This wasn't the birth I had envisioned but it was our new reality.

I talked to the Parents and they booked the first available flight from Germany to L.A. which had them arriving Thursday night. They would miss the birth of their babies so this was not the birth that they had envisioned either.

I arrived at Sharp Mary Birch around noon and was admitted. The pre-birth legal paperwork had already been filed by our agency, but the hospital couldn't find it. My doctor's office had sent over my medical information, but I still had to answer question after question to first one nurse, then another from a different department, then insurance questions, and it seemed to take forever to get set up in the system. I'm so thankful that I was not having contractions during all that time (at Dr. Biter's office they found me to be 5cm dilated!).

Suddenly we were given 15 minutes to be ready for the O.R. The dreaded c-section was imminent! I decided to embrace this turn of events and asked if I could hold a mirror up to watch the operation. They thought I was nuts, but someone found a mirror for me and I watched the whole thing! Quite an experience to watch your belly be cut open (with no pain) and watch them pulling and tugging to open up the hole (with no pain) and then see a baby pulled out!

Both babies came out crying and breathing on their own. Clara was 5 pounds and born at 2:35pm, David was 5.5 pounds and born just one minute later. 35 weeks is right on the cusp of too early (needing help breathing) and term. I was relieved that neither one would need to spend time in the NICU.

After the births I continued to watch my surgery with the hand-held mirror and asked Dr. Cobb (Dr. Biter's new and handsome associate) what it was that he was stitching up. My uterus! Right there sitting on top of my belly was my uterus! And he put in a nice sturdy double layer of stitches to ensure the safety of any future pregnancies. :-) My uterus was pushed back into it's place and then my incision was stitched. Dr. Cobb stitched the subcutaneous layer of the skin so that the opening is closed from the inside which makes for a cleaner wound which heals more quickly and with less discomfort than staples.

The babies and I were moved to a small but private room and I babysat little Clara and David for their first few days. This was an unusual blessing for a surrogate and I enjoyed that time with them. I was quite ready, however, to hand them over to Mom and Dad and come home today.

A common question for every surrogate: Are you sure you're going to be able to "give them up"? Even after breastfeeding, diapering, and 3 nights of very little sleep, I never felt like I was more than a babysitter (the very best babysitter!) to those precious and absolutely beautiful babies. They are so cute!

I'll try to get pictures posted soon.

Thank you for all the well wishes!

P.S. The new family will be staying just a few miles away (at a very posh resort) until January 10th, and I'll be providing as much milk as I can supply before they return home to Germany.


  1. Congratulations!!!! Isn't it just amazing?? That is so great that you got to have a few days of bonding time with them before their parents came. Hope you have a great recovery and I can't wait to see some pics!!

  2. What an amazing birth story. I am so glad everything turned out ok. Congrats to you all!

  3. Wow!!! Not many surro's get to spend that much close time with their surro babies. What a neat experience you got there!! I'm so glad to hear that everyone is well and I can't wait to see pictures!!!

  4. What a wonderful gift you have given. I am so glad that you all are doing well. Hope to see you all again soon.

  5. I had my parents with me, but those days of nursing and cuddling in the hospital are amazing! Congrats on the birth of the twins!!!!


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