Saturday, May 11, 2013

Our Birth Story

As I woke up this morning and looked at my phone, I noticed that today is March 11th, baby is one month old today! Well I guess that means we are ready to share our birth story. Right after birth I couldn't bring myself to type this up for everyone. I'm not sure why....probably because I was still in shock over just birthing a baby and I wanted to just spend time with Roberto, Mauro and the new baby! I needed to get through the dreaded emotional roller coaster of birth, leaving baby each day after visiting, and the big one...everyone going home. I have to be honest, the emotional roller coaster has not been as bad as I thought it would be, which is good! So, onto our birth story and pictures!!!

April 10th

As you read in my last post, we had made it to the doctor and we were now at 4cm and 60% effaced. We headed to the hospital and waited to be checked into triage. Of course triage only lets the pregnant one have one person with her, so my husband accompanied me to triage. I felt so bad that Roberto and Mauro had to wait for any little bit of news and couldn't just be in there with us. I wanted, from the very beginning, for all of us to stay together for everything...great first 30 minutes into the hospital and we are separated. As I gown up and the nurse comes in to check me she tells me I am 50% effaced and 3cm...hmmm...ok, well I guess everyone checks differently, but I know I haven't regressed in the last hour. Whatever....she tells us we have to wait an hour and if no progress is made we will be sent home. We were able to then get Roberto and Mauro back to the room to be with us. Throughout this hour I had maybe 7 contractions. We were all sitting and watching the contraction monitor numbers go up...each time laughing and joking around. Waiting for the "big ones" to go past 100. All this time I am barely feeling contractions and able to talk, laugh and enjoy the company of everyone around me. As the hour passes and the nurse comes back she tells us she thinks I am dehydrated and doesn't think my contractions are "real"...then she checks me....HAHAHA nurse, I was at 7cm and very "soft", her words, not mine. She then rushes our paper work through to admitting and moves us to the delivery room.

At this point it is about 7:30pm and we get settled into our room. I am hooked up to everything and honestly I don't remember having any contractions the entire time we are getting settled in and hooked up to the monitors. I must say that it would be great if all nurses were gentle and taught to check for dilation the same....cause the nurse we had was so rough it made me cry. I could feel her knuckles go inside of me...that means half her hand went into me to check me....oh about painful....I couldn't help but think, "well shit, baby is ganna fly right out now cause she just opened me right up." After she was done violating me, the guys went to get our bags and our doctor came in to check on us. I must say, again and again, Dr. Huang is AMAZING! He never pushed us to do anything we didn't want to, he let us go over a week past our due date per our request to let baby come when he wanted to, and in general was so supportive! Every time I got scared at any point from week 12 to past delivery, he would always mention how wonderful this gift I was helping the guys with was and would just be there for me every step of the way. How many doctors do you know of, give their patients their personal cell phone number just in case they need anything? Not many I would guess. Dr Huang wanted us to have the availability to get a hold of him at any point in time no matter what. He always told us that he started our pregnancy with us and would always be the one to follow through with everything (birth/delivery). Such an amazing doctor :) So anyways, he came in and said he wanted to wait an hour and then break my water.

Ten o'clock rolls around and it is time for my epidural before the doctor comes to break my water. The anesthesiologist SUCKED....didn't even tell me when he was starting or going to do anything then yelled at me for moving...WTF! Finally got everything set up and if I never see him again, that would be great! What kept me calm the last time (during the birth of my son), was having my husband holding me while the anesthesiologist did his thing. That was a good anesthesiologist though. And this time my crap nurse wouldn't let him hold me, she made him stand int he corner and she held me...and the whole time he is doing his thing, they are just yapping on about their stupid cars....arrggghhh!!!! Oh well :( Anyways, epi is in and I am very slowly feeling everything get numb. The doctor comes in and breaks my water and holy moly he wasn't joking about me having a lot of fluid. I soaked through 2 bed pads and 6 hospital bath towels....yeah, after he was done I didn't even look pregnant any more even though baby was still moving around inside of me. It was crazy! No wonder I couldn't feel my contractions. I had so much fluid that my body was contracting and preventing me from feeling them. Kinda a good thing, kinda not. I am 100% positive that if I didn't have so much fluid, baby would have come a lot sooner and the contractions we had at 31 weeks would have had to of been stopped by the doctor. So now the fluid is drained and the rest is up to baby! Before the doctor leaves the room he says that within the next 24 hours baby will be here, one way or another!

Time to nap! I figured that we had some time and this would be a good time to rest. I went in and out of sleep for about an hour and a half. Looking back at the pictures, I crack up at the pictures of my husband watching the contraction monitor while I slept. He is a Human Factors Engineer and you can see the concentration on his face while he times and measures each contraction. Then when I woke up he was talking about the inconsistencies and the strength and crap like that...totally his engineer side...lmao!!! As I am waking up I feel tingling in my feet and lady parts....just as I tell my husband this and that I think something is wrong with my epidural, the nurse comes in for another check. At this time I was laying on my left side because that is the only side baby would allow them to monitor him on. Before the nurse checks me I kept telling her that I had a lot of pressure down there. She keeps me on my left side and checks me....I'm still at 7cm....panic time....the doctor walks in and she tells him I'm still a 7 and he starts talking about using the vacuum to help him out if we need to....ummm, okay.....and then says that if no progress is made in the next hour we will have to discuss different options. Before he leaves the room he decides to check me himself. He rolled me onto my right side before checking and not even 2 seconds into him checking me he says it is time, I am at 10 cm and ready to push. They roll me onto my back and cover me up. Everything happened so fast I don't think anyone knew what to do. I grabbed my husbands hand and Roberto's hand and pushed....then I screamed.....oh my, my epidural was late now....I don't know how many times I pushed but the time stamp on the pictures of the nurse checking me and baby being placed on top of me is only a 6 minute difference....fastest birth EVER....OMG....the pain is indescribable. At one point I felt like I couldn't breath from it. I don't think it would have scared me so much if I had expected it...but I didn't because of the epidural. Looking back on it now, I know for future births that I can handle it, even though I will still request the epi. Every moment of pain was totally worth it! Baby Lorenzo was born at 12:51 am! :)

Seeing Roberto and Mauro’s faces when they first saw and heard their son for the first time is something I will hold in my heart forever. Explaining the emotions and joy that I felt at that moment is nearly impossible because I felt so honored to be able to say (and see) that I had just helped create this family. 

After birth we were lucky enough to get a large enough room for all of us to stay together. I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Being able to spend the couple days after birth with them and baby Lorenzo was amazing. I got to watch a family blossom right in front of me. Getting to share those first couple of days with them I will forever be grateful for. 

Our journey has been incredible! I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Seeing Roberto and Mauro with Lorenzo is so amazing, another thing that words can’t even begin to explain. Knowing that every time I look at the three of them, I helped make that possible. There is no better feeling then knowing that you helped a couple start their family. The feelings of joy, accomplishment, happiness and so many other emotions and feelings, is why I am a gestational surrogate. Roberto and Mauro are now able to enjoy every part of being a parent to Lorenzo, just like I have with my husband and son. There is no other way of explaining the love I have for helping them and being able to have an amazing journey! 

May 1st

Time to go home :( I accompanied everyone down to L.A. and we said our good byes at the security check point. I knew I would cry and that I wouldn't want them to leave. But I also knew that the horrible, emotional feeling of fear and sadness would go away. I hated saying good bye :(

I love my three Italian boys so much and can't wait to see them again, hopefully sooner rather than later! Thank you for letting me be a part your life and helping you with the precious, beautiful, amazing baby Lorenzo!  



Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Long Wait!

The last time I posted, we were three weeks out from Roberto and Mauro coming to the states. Since then, we have spent wonderful time together, birthed baby, watched a family blossom, and unfortunately had to say good bye. But lets back up for a minute and start from when they arrived!!!

March 11th

So, for any of you who live in the LA area or have traveled in LA, you know how unpredictable traffic can be. We left 3 hours before their flight was supposed to land, then they have an hour to go through and collect their bags and be passed through. So 4 hours early, it only takes 2 hours to get to LAX from my house on a good day....hmmmm....we arrived after they had landed and then went to the wrong terminal, not my fault, the jet was too big to land in the original terminal so they switched and didn't tell anyone waiting to pick up guests, thanks!!! So once I figured out what had happened, my phone rings...yep they were waiting for us. Darn it! I felt so bad that they had to sit and wait for us to find them after all that travel. Most of the time I would blame situations like this on my prego brain, but not this time!!!

After lots of hiccups in car rentals, traffic and everything else that the universe could have thrown at all of us, they made it to their apartment and got settled in :)

March 14th-37 Weeks

I have mentioned in previous posts that our doctor wasn't expecting us to make it past 38 weeks and that little man would most likely come around 36 let the doctors appointments begin! At my 36 and 37 week check we were dilated to 1cm and 40% effaced. All I kept thinking and telling little man was, 'Please stay in so we can throw your daddies a surprise baby shower...' and if I had known what was ahead of us, there would have been no panicking! The doctor sent us away at that appointment telling us any day now!!! We could try to induce on our own or he would stretch me at our next appointment....hmmmm....stretch me, sounds scary. And reading about what it actually is online, yes, VERY SCARY. The guys and I knew from 31 weeks when we had the scare that we were all willing to wait until little man was ready to come on his own and would not request to be induced until 40 weeks. So a pretty uneventful appointment :)

March 15th-Maternity Pictures!!!

I wanted to get maternity pictures done with the guys so that we would always have beautiful pictures to remember our journey together! I had a session on my own and one with them! I absolutely love these pictures :)

March 16th-Baby Shower Time!

I knew from the moment the stick turned blue that I wanted to do something special for the guys as far as a party was concerned. No better way to celebrate them becoming parents and welcoming a beautiful baby into this world then a baby shower!!! Our closest friends and family came and celebrated with us :) It was so special and the guys didn't even see it coming! I love surprises :D

March 21st

Another appointment came and went! We were 38 weeks at this point and waiting for Easter. I was still at 1cm and 50% effaced. On the bright side, I was able to celebrate Easter with my son. We went to an Easter egg hunt and then had a wonderful dinner with Roberto, Mauro, Roberto's mom and all of us. It was a lovely weekend!

March 28th

39 WEEKS!!!! The doctor said I wouldn't make it this far and look at us go! After walking on egg shells the past 8 weeks hoping little man would stay in, and now he can come at any time! Hahahaha :) Doctor checked me at this appointment and I was still at 1cm and 50% effaced. Oh my, I think it's time to start natural induction methods....So what does that mean, BBQ time! We invited friends over to have a BBQ over the weekend. Maybe if we have a bunch of people over little man will show up....NOT!

April 4th-DUE DATE!!!

I tried every natural induction method I could think of...well minus a couple but only because of the side effects. Nothing was this appointment we had finally made progress and I was 2cm and 50% effaced. Doctor stretched me, and honestly it wasn't as bad as I read about. A little bit of pressure and that was it! Doctor was very confident that we would go into labor that night, but just in case we didn't, come back tomorrow! At least we are heading in the right direction :)

April 5th

Back to the doctors office! No progress so he stretched me again. If nothing happens over the weekend, come back on Monday! Again I tried everything I could think of to get little man to come out!

April 8th

Another check up with the doctor, I had progressed to 2 and a half cm and was still at 50% effaced. Time to give in, when can we induce? So going into this journey I knew that a drug induced labor was not something I wanted. Lucky me, the reason labor hadn't actively started was because I had a lot of fluid, which is good, but the contractions I was having I couldn't feel and they weren't doing as much as they should have because there was too much fluid. Baby's head wasn't able to drop down far enough to trigger strong birthing contractions. He stretched me again and had us call the hospital and we were put on a waiting list, yes I said waiting list, to be admitted and induced. Another day went by and still no word from the hospital.

April 10th

Back to the doctor, nothing was happening and everyone was anxious! At least this time I had made progress!!! 60% effaced and 4cm!!! Time to go straight to the hospital!!!

Up next, our Birth Story!!!