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I had a scheduled c-section, so it’s not an exciting story with any lead up! But, it’s my surrogate baby birth story (and the parents, but I’m sure their perspective is quite different!), and I want to tell it!
We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am. We had met with the head of labor and delivery, the social worker, and the head nurse twice and everything was in place for my intended parents to be as involved as possible. When we got there on the birth morning the nurse who was working was clueless and basically overrode everything we had previously been told would be okay. My intended father finally just said to send the head nurse (who would be there at 7 and it was about 6:15 by then) in when she got there and he’d figure it all out with her (things worked out perfectly). I was very impressed with how calm they stayed because it was tense.
It’s GO (aka C-Section) Time
I got all hooked up to monitors and everything looked great with the baby. The worst part was getting my IV because they use an 18 gauge needle in your hand. I had a natural childbirth with #2 and I would do that again 50 times before I’d like to live through that needle again!
They brought my intended parents back (my hubby was with me the whole time) about 15 minutes before go time and we all hung out, laughing and joking to ease the tension. They rolled me back for the c-section. My intended parents were waving from a window right outside of the operating room doors as they prepped me for procedure. I got my spinal block and felt that kick in pretty quickly. Then the shakes hit. I was worried they were going to have to knock me out because I was shaking so badly, but they assured me just the top part of my body was shaking.
And, Here Comes, Baby!
Things went quickly from there. I felt some pulling and then she was out and screaming. They opened the door for my intended parents to stick their heads in and I saw my intended mother’s face when she saw the baby for the first time. It was priceless and it gives me chills now just thinking about it. That was the moment I was waiting for. It would have been worth it without that moment, but I really felt like I needed to see her when she saw her baby and it was everything (and more) that I thought it would be.
They took the baby over to weigh her (a whopping 8 lbs 4 oz!) and clean her up (her Intended Parents met her during the weigh-in). About 5 minutes later, they asked if I wanted to see her. I said yes and when I saw her, she was beautiful and perfect and THEIRS!
The Emotions of Birthing a Surrogate Baby
I almost felt guilty for not feeling more, but I was just so happy for them and so happy she’d made it safely and perfectly into the world. I felt zero attachment (I never thought I would, but everyone else worried so much about that so I thought maybe I was wrong for not feeling it).
I’ve felt accomplishment in my life multiple times – graduating from high school with honors, graduating from college with high honors, marrying a wonderful man, having 4 beautiful children, and even every day through the smiles and laughter of my children. But, this feeling was different. Accomplishment doesn’t seem adequate. I felt utterly happy and, in many ways, complete. Like surrogacy was a mission I had to complete in life and my intended parents’ faces when she was born gave me such contentment. Despite being on an operating table with the shakes, I can’t think of a more perfect moment.
Meeting Baby L
I “let” my intended parents spend day one with their baby without “bothering” them to hold the baby. I knew I needed to hold her to end the surrogate baby journey the way I had envisioned it. On day two, I went over to their room to visit them and meet this little girl who I’d grown and kept safe for 9 months. I did hold her, and it felt great to hold a little baby (it always does!), but I definitely got more joy from seeing her mama hold her and seeing how much she looks like her daddy. It wasn’t long, but it was a special visit.
Since then, everything has gone well. I had a recovery blip where I sort of freaked myself into a stint of high blood pressure (as soon as I calmed down, it came right down too). But, other than that, my recovery has been wonderful. I’m pumping for Baby L and while I’m not getting copious amounts like some people do, I’m getting 30-35 ounces a day. This makes me feel good that I can continue to provide for her in some way.
Overall, surrogacy has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I would do it again tomorrow if I could. When people tell me what a wonderful thing I did, all I can think of is, selfishly, how wonderful it was for me too. What a blessing it was for me to be able to help, in such a huge way, create a family!!!