38w3d - ZERO Days To Go! :)

Miss Samantha arrived on Sunday morning, 11/7/10 at 5:52am weighing 7lbs 5.6 oz and measuring 19 inches long. She had a head full of dark hair, is beautiful and healthy!!

On Saturday (38w2d) Kenneth and I went to Atlanta for his chiro appointment and I walked for about 45 minutes and got a few good contractions, but nothing that continued once I stopped walking. I really didn't have that many contractions most the rest of the day, just a few off and on. When we got home from the chiro appointment Kenneth took a quick nap while I made some pasta salad and then we all loaded up in the car with our Basset Hound, Max, and headed out to the 2010 Basset Bash! (http://www.bhrg.org/bash.htm) It was a beautiful, though chilly, day for it and we had a good time. Ate lots of yummy potluck food, and walked around and saw lots of adorable Basset Hounds. We even saw one of our former fosters, Pebbles, and she recognized Max and was so cute hopping around and being excited to see him! The costume contest was hilarious, there were some very adorably dressed Hound dogs! We stayed a couple hours then headed back home.

We had a pretty quiet evening and went to bed at our usual time. I was feeling somewhat grumpy and a little restless before we went to bed, and didn't know if something was actually different or if it was just the tension of feeling like I'd been in labor since Tuesday with no real end in sight especially after such a "quiet" day in terms of contractions/activity. I had a couple middle of the night contractions, but at 2:00 am when I woke up to a painful contraction I felt moisture between my legs. I got out of the bed and there was a wet spot on the upper and lower sheet as well. I'm still not 100% sure if my water actually leaked, but I am pretty sure that's what it was. I went to the bathroom and cleaned up to see if anymore would leak and didn't have any more liquid, but started getting some painful contractions. They were a little all over, between 3-6 minutes apart but I was pretty sure at that point this was actually labor and now it was a matter of how long to wait before calling my IPs and heading to the hospital. I didn't want to spend hours in a hospital bed and wanted to labor some at home, and make sure it would happen relatively quickly once we did get there, but I knew we had a 20-30 minute drive too and didn't want to put it off too long. I got up and got some last minute things together, put my camera in the hospital bag, sterilized the breast pump parts and then it was close to 3:00am and we needed to go. The contractions were really painful, and staying around 3-5 minutes apart. We got Kent up and called my IPs and we headed out.

The time between getting in the car and my actual delivery is somewhat of a blur. I remember getting there and parking in the 30 minute parking spot and going in, checking in at the front between contractions and then heading up to the 2nd floor for labor. We went into triage, and after using the restroom again they started getting me checked in. I'm guessing it was around 3:30 am at that point. They hooked me up to the contraction and fetal heartrate monitors and did an internal and I was at a 7-8 already. They were all saying it wouldn't be much longer at that point. I started getting really nauseated when the contractions would hit and almost vomitted, but right after that they got my IV going (YAY for a great IV tech who got it in, first try, and really didn't hurt me at all!!) they gave me a dose of nubain/phenegran and I felt a little woozy and then the nausea was gone and I felt a little better between contractions which was nice and I think Kenneth was thrilled I let them give me something - he would have bypassed me and had them do the epidural if he could have - he hated seeing me hurting and I could see how tense he was, but he was there, next to me the whole time and I am SO thankful for that!! While they were finishing up getting me checked in at triage they let us know my IPs had arrived and they'd taken L to the room already. They pushed me to the room soon after the IV was put in and somewhere in there Kenneth got the car moved and then came back to the room. This part is really a blur, lots of contractions, lots of hurting, Kenneth trying to rub my arm and leg and I remember at one point I had to tell him "please don't touch me!!!" I tried to be nice when I said it, hopefully it didn't come out too mean...! :) My IM was there in the room the whole time, and Kent waited out in the waiting room with my IF I believe. Probably around 5:00 am I was checked again and told I was at a 9 and it wouldn't be much longer. The pressure was getting pretty strong at this point and I was already wanting to push some. Kenneth stepped out for about 15 minutes to get some coffee and get a little break and talk to my IF for a few minutes. While he was out I felt Samantha starting to crown and knew it was about time. I told my IM and then paged the nurse to come back. She came in shortly after and checked me and then I heard her say "Get Dr. Chang, she's going to have the baby." I remember them asking if I wanted someone to find Kenneth but I said it was ok, if he came back in time good but I was so out of it at that point it honestly didn't matter to me who was there!! Next thing I knew, the bed was broken down, the doctor was there and they were telling me to hold my leg and then to push, push, push!! Kenneth had come back right on time and came to stand by my head. They got my IM a gown and got her ready for baby to be put in her arms. I gave a few good pushes but it didn't feel right because I wasn't having a contraction to help me and I asked if I could wait for a contraction and took a little breather. When the next contraction hit I bore down and pushed hard but oh my GOOD LORD it hurt when I felt that "ring of fire" and I backed off from pushing. The nurse was saying don't stop keep going and I remember thinking I needed to suck it up and get this part over with, I just had to get through it and then it would be over!! So I did, I grabbed my leg again, tucked my chin and PUSHED and next thing I knew her head was out and they were saying slow down so you don't tear! I stopped and rested a minute while they made sure everything looked ok to keep going and then when they said push again I gave another big push and she was out! I think I said "Oh thank God!!" outloud at that point and felt SUCH a huge relief!! I just sort of melted back on the bed and laid there while my IM got to cut the cord and they took Samantha to the warmer to be cleaned up. Kenneth got some great pictures of her first few minutes for me! After they got her wrapped up, my IM brought her over to me to hold for a minute which was super sweet! I really enjoyed that moment!!

My placenta was being slow to deliver and there was a decent amount of bleeding going on and I could tell the doctor was getting a little nervous. She would tug (gently!!) on the umbilical cord every so often and then wait and watch. Eventually the placenta delivered on its own, thankfully, but they did give me some cytotec to get my uterus to contract down and get the bleeding to stop. That was all they had to do though, after that point everything was fine thankfully! I think pushing lasted maybe 15 minutes and within an hour or so of delivery they got us relocated to our post-partum room on the 4th floor and we all got settled in. I ordered some breakfast and was told I had to pee 3 times before I could get my heplock wrapped and take a shower. I was REALLY thirsty, my throat was sore and my mouth was dry for awhile and I drank a ton of water those first few hours so I had no problem fulfilling the pee requirement not long after getting settled!! I got some food in my stomach (the blueberry muffin I ordered tasted so good !) and got a shower and felt fantastic! I was pretty wiped out, but I really felt good, and it was great to change into my own clothes and get out of the hospital gown too. Kenneth had popped out to take Kent over to his great-grandmother's after we got settled in our post partum room and then he came back for a couple hours before heading home around lunch time, to get Kent and go home to take care of the puppies. I enjoyed a yummy club sandwich and bowl of chicken noodle soup for lunch.

My IPs had some family come by in the early afternoon and their daughter was brought over to meet her baby sister - that was really sweet to get to see; the smile on "A's" face was HUGE when she met Samantha!! It was so cute!!

The day passed pretty quickly and quietly, lots of checking on me and the baby. Samantha was having a little bit of trouble regulating her temperature at first, so they took her to the warmer's for a little while. But we discovered one of the windows in our room wasn't shut and once we got that fixed and turned the heat up a little everyone was more comfortable and Samantha's temp was fine after that which was good.

In the early evening my IF went home and IM and I spent a quiet night with Miss Samantha in our room, getting a little sleep but not too much. Seems like everytime we'd actually fall asleep we'd get woken up for one thing or another. I got up around 6 in the morning after the nurse woke us up for something and went and got some cocoa from the vending machine. It was nice to get up and walk around a little after spending so much time in the bed! After breakfast, I showered and got dressed in my "going home clothes" and got my things together.

They began the long process of getting us checked out and right around noon is when I was discharged, gave hugs and said goodbyes and was wheeled out to get picked up by Kenneth's grandmother who was very sweet to come and give me a ride home (Kenneth was at school).

My cramps were pretty painful on Sunday and uncomfortable yesterday, but by today I am not noticing them very often at all. My upper abdomen is still just a little tender if pushed on, but otherwise physically I feel REALLY good. I am wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans today and really can't complain at all! It feels completely surreal to think I just delivered 2 days ago!

I am so glad everything went well, that Miss S arrived healthy and is now with her parent's where she belongs. I know they are so happy to have her home! I feel so proud, and truly, truly blessed to have been a part of another beautiful miracle baby. Surrogacy is incredible, and I feel really lucky!

I have now had my first full day home and am loving it! I already did some dishes and laundry, went grocery shopping and got my toenails painted, have pumped a few times and got to see Kenneth for 30 minutes when he came home for lunch between classes! We're getting ready for the Marine Corps Ball this weekend and I am SO looking forward to that!! I have a massage scheduled for Friday and I know my time off is going to absolutely fly by, so I'm going to really make a point to try to enjoy each and every day!! :)

Here was my last belly picture, taken 38w2d, Saturday mid-day, about 14 hours before I went into labor!!


  1. Wow, Rebekah! I'm speechless. I am truly in awe of what a selfless gesture surrogacy is. What a priceless gift you have given to that family. Really amazing. Congratulations on a safe and healthy delivery and on enjoying your new freedom! :)

  2. I'm not sure how I don't know what to say, yet have so many thoughts running through my head! You are Super Woman - absolutely amazing. What a beautiful birth story!! Thank you so much for sharing your story; I've really enjoyed following the journey. Congrats to you, your family, and your IPs and their family!

  3. Great Job!!! I'm glad you're feeling good. Make sure to take it easy and not do too much too soon.

    You did a wonderful thing!


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