She's HERE!!

I posted a long entry on SMO, and I am cheating by copying and pasting the majority of that here to give you all the details of the birth!!

Fast forward to my OB appointment on Thursday, July 19th 2007. I had been experiencing pre-labor signs and symptoms for about a week, wimpy irregular contractions, nesting, back aches... At my 38 week appointment I was dilated to a 2 and still not effaced, so I was anxious to see what our 39 week appointment would reveal. The midwife checked me and said I was at a 3.5 and about 50% effaced! Yay for progress! She went ahead and swept my membranes during the exam since everything was looking good.

My IPs had been in town since early Tuesday morning and we were all wondering about scheduling an induction in the next couple days; but the Hospital will not allow it without being medically neccessary until 41 weeks! We were told if I showed up on a slow day with contractions, being dilated to a 3.5 they would probably admit me and get things going though, so we left planning to go to L&D the next day.

IPs and I went for a nice early dinner at an Italian restaurant and I enjoyed my spaghetti and meatballs, wondering if labor would start soon after the membrane sweeping, and knowing we'd probably be going to the hospital tomorrow one way or another! I was not, however, expecting to be woken up around 11:00pm with some fairly painful contractions... I dozed between them at first, they were about 15 minutes apart, rapidly shortening to 8, then 5-6 minutes... by 12:30 they were solid at 3 minutes apart and I started thinking this wasn't a false alarm and I needed to call my IPs. They came and picked me up at about 1:00am, and we were off to the hospital. My son got towed along as I didn't feel comfortable calling family in the middle of the night, and I kept worrying that this was a false alarm - plus his labor was 26 hours, so I thought someone could come get him in the morning before I actually delivered... HA!

We got checked in by about 1:30am, I was dilated to a 5 by then and the contractions were pretty painful, but not lasting too terribly long yet. I told the nurse I didn't want an epidural, but signed all the paperwork JUST IN CASE!! By the time they moved me to the laboring room, I pretty much went into work mode, shut everything else out, curled into the fetal position on the bed and just labored. I soon asked for some IV meds, as I was having a hard time resting between contractions - I'm not sure what I got but it really helped me make the most of the time between contractions and I was able to just shut everything out and relax. My mouth got really dry, but I was so focused on working through the contractions and then totally relaxing between that I probably only had about 3 or 4 sips of water... my IPs watched anxiously, and my son was hanging out in the chair next to me playing his GameBoy pretty much oblivious to what was going on. He'd come over and ask if I was ok when I would moan occassionally.

It was an intense labor, I experienced so many feelings and emotions throughout the contractions. I questioned my ability to do it SO many times, but I had a FANTASTIC supportive nurse who kept telling me how great I was breathing through the contractions, and that I could do it. She really helped me stop second guessing myself and just DO it! I didn't loose it until the VERY end, I'm guessing about that last half hour. They hadn't checked me in awhile... I was still a 5 the first time she checked me, and I think the next time she checked me I was complete and I heard her on the phone trying to find the OB. I NEEDED to push by then, it was really intense, it hurt to NOT push and I wanted to push dang it! She kept telling me NOT to push, just to breathe through it and I remember saying "I CAN'T"!! I remember hearing her say something to another nurse about this must be it, because I was so out of it and prior to that point had really great control between contractions.

I pushed anyway, even though they said not to - I didn't care if she caught the baby or the OB did!!! I felt this INCREDIBLE sensation of something passing, and said I think my water broke or her sac came out... It was her sac, completely in tact - a lot of it apparently because at that point they really got frantic about finding the OB!!! They were still hollering at me not to push, and I wasn't listening, I think right then is when Dr. Lee came in and got into position and very thoughtfully said I could push when I was ready. Well, just then I got about a 60 second or so break from the contractions so I just rested for a minute, and then when the next one hit I pushed and I felt her head slide right on out still in her sac!!! They were yelling to stop again!! I could've pushed her the rest of the way out then, but I made myself slow down... I could see that the OB had scissors in his hands and remember looking at him and very sternly saying "Don't cut me." He said it was for the umbilical cord and then the next contraction hit, I pushed again and felt her body slip out... wow... what a beautiful sensation... I remember right then and there looking up at my IPs who were standing next to me, watching their daughter enter the world, and take her first breath, wanting to memorize the look in their eyes, as their faces lit...

The OB was all smiles as he brought Fiona to my stomach, she was gray and slimy and gorgeous!!! He flipped her onto her back and let Dad proudly cut the cord!! Then they moved her off to be cleaned up and weighed under the warmers... She was born at 5:54 am on 7/20/07, 39w2d, weighing in at 6lbs 12oz and measuring 19" long.

I told my son to grab my camera and I started snapping pictures of my IPs watching their daughter, and the little princess in her first minutes of life as the OB delivered my placenta just 6 minutes after Fiona's grand entrance.

I felt SO amazing!! I was filled with this huge happiness, I just can't tell you how wonderful I felt watching them all together, listening to her cries... I am all smiles now as I sit here typing the words reliving the moment... She was really finally HERE!! They finally could see and touch their baby girl!!!

I felt really great immediately, was ready to get up and move around, was STARVING for breakfast and very happy that I was able to get something to eat within about 3 hours of delivery. Fiona very kindly didn't even interrupt a single meal! I think part of feeling great is that I didn't have pain meds so I wasn't loopy after (which I had been with my son's delivery), and I also didn't have an episiotomy and no tearing, so no stitches!

I think around lunch time or shortly after I had showered and put my own clothes on, and had made most of my phonecalls and was just enjoying watching my IPs and their baby girl. We roomed together, and by evening my IF left to try to get some sleep at the hotel while IM spent the night there at the hospital caring for her daughter. How precious it was to be able to witness so many beautiful firsts between mother and daughter - picking Fiona up, holding her, feeding her, burping her, changing her, putting her first outfit on... it just touched my heart to be able to see those moments in person, to witness first hand what I have been dreaming for them for so many months, since I first began my surrogacy journey... seeing how nervous they were with her, and remembering those same feelings when I looked down on my son for the first time! I felt so proud, I FEEL so proud, and just SO happy for them!!

I can't say enough about the hospital staff as well - they were all fantastic. Maybe 1 or 2 people we interracted with weren't aware of the surrogacy, but most everyone was informed and really considerate and kind and happy for everyone!

Every single thing about the delivery experience exceeded my hopes and expectations. I was discharged around 10:30 am today - Saturday, and am home and enjoying a quiet afternoon with my son and my puppies and am thankful for this time to reflect on the journey, thankful to SMO for allowing me to share my journey with so many who have come before and are in the midst of their own journeys... what a fantastic community. This experience wouldn't be the same without all of you here; I feel a part of something so much bigger than myself, and connected to you all through it.

Congratulations to my wonderful IPs, Happy Birthday beautiful little Fiona Margaret... and thank you surrogacy... for touching my heart, and my life in such a unique and profound way. I will forever be grateful for this adventure.

Me and Kent in the hospital bed!


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