Thursday, June 12, 2014

one week out

It's feels so strange that one week ago I was prepping to deliver two babies!
Emotionally I feel calm  about the experience, a bit sad, amazed, but I'm rocking some awesome postpartum hormones.

These super amazing hormones that help you become hyper-aware and give you superhero hearing powers so that you can hear your baby making the quietest noises in the next room- these still come on when there's no baby for you to take care of.  In my case this translates into feeling anxious and alone, a bit abandoned even though I am not.
 The hyper-awareness also means sleepless nights and vivid, usually scary dreams when I do get sleep. I'm exhausted, and all the hubby wants to do is go, go, go. I have to remind him that I just delivered. A friend told me just to relax and feel what ever I feel, not to fight it. If this post seems a bit out of character- melancholy, I apologize. I truly am happy that I made the decision to carry for another couple. Seeing the family together at the end was nothing short of amazing. BUT man, riding the hormonal roller coaster has been quite the experience.

Also, there's the adjustment to my mental space, as the surrogacy occupied so much of it over the past 13 months. Then in the span the of a few hours, it was over. My job was done. When I'd envisioned the delivery I didn't really think I'd make it until June. I thought the family would be nearby for a bit. While I'm happy as a clam that this was not the case, it made them leaving a bit harder.

After the birth I was insecure over what my "role" was with the parents. What I mean by that is-when someone you're fond of has a baby, you'd show up to their home with a meal, check in to let them know you're there if they want some company, etc.
The new family drove home over the span of a few days. I was torn as whether or not to check in to see how the drive was going- would it be seen as friendly or hovering? How do I show I'm thinking of them but respect their space? Ugh.  Ultimately I reached out. This really shouldn't have felt so strange to do.                               

I've been asked by a few friends if I will carry again. I think that for many it's a way of gauging how I am really feeling about the experience. I don't have a concrete answer yet. If the guys wanted to have a sibling I'd be on board, but to begin again with a new couple is a bit overwhelming to consider at this point. Surrogacy is still in my heart and I'm open to one more pregnancy; maybe in time. It really is an amazing thing- difficult-but mostly amazing.

 I saw my OB this week. I've lost all but 10 of the almost 60 lbs of the baby weight already. Since  I'm pumping for a few weeks, donating to a preemie in my area, the the additional weight should come off in no time. I have a bit of  separation in my stomach muscles. It's not bad enough to need PT but when I'm done pumping I will need to hit the gym to fix it. I asked her about another pregnancy...and let's just say if I decide to do this again (probably not) I will switch OBs. While she would sign off on it, it's fine, but then added her 2 cents, most of which  was....rhymes with itchy. I wanted to kick her square in the shins. I cried instead, because-hormones.

What I would change about the delivery if I could: I'd make sure that the parents were a bit more ready- I think the teary eyes (hormones, totally normal) freaked them out a bit... but they will have a crash course in hormonal women raising two little girls! Haha.

 I'd also make sure my hubby is a bit more prepared and supported at home after delivery. Honestly, I think it may have been better for me if he'd stayed home and I didn't have to worry about our kids and the delivery. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

They're here! Super messy, out of order post.

The induction process officially started at 10:30... meaning that is when I checked in, but nothing really happened until hours later.
 Because of the progress my body had already made the decision was made to just break A's water and wait for my body to respond.
Amazingly an ultrasound showed that B had moved vertex (ish). She is definitely a shoo-in for my favorite baby ever.

First we started the IV meds needed before I could get the epidural. At this point my hubby, sister, and the parents all left for a few hours to run errands, get some lunch while I tried to relax and take a nap (yeah, right). When they returned it was expected that the epidural would have been placed and things would be ready to begin. Instead - waiting. waiting. waiting. It was a popular day to have babies, apparently, and the anesthesiologist was busy attending patients already in labor.
Once he came in the epidural was placed and we waited on the OB for a bit (who was attending patients already in labor). The OB broke A's water around 5pm and the exciting wait began.

The hubby, sister, and parents were relaxing (well, one of the parents was relaxing, the other, not so much), chatting about chicken poop - really, this was the topic of conversation. We're classy folks. It was a pretty relaxed atmosphere and it was entertaining listening to them talk from across the room, all the while feeling the pressure changes as A's station lowered and dilation began.
During this time I received the sweetest email from the girls' grandma. I just about lost it. Dads were so cute waiting anxiously across the room, but I was pretty worried that one dad was going to pass out from nerves.

Having the epidural was actually pretty nice; got to feel the process and pressure but compared to a natural birth very little pain.
After about 2 hours or so I asked the nurse to be checked and I was about 90% effaced and 0 station. An hour later maybe, I was at 7. At this point, I really just wanted to be alone and to have quiet, but....
 Shortly later, maybe 8:15 or so, I told the nurse it was go time, I felt the urge to push, and I was wheeled to the surgery room (delivering in a surgery room is standard with twins).
 Initially, only 1 support person was going to be allowed in the room. We were able to talk the delivery OB and anesthesiologist into allowing 2.
Neither of the dads chose to be in the room for their own reasons, which was absolutely fine. My hubby and sister went back with me.

In the surgery room,  the OB, a million nurses, a baby team, and anesthesia were waiting. The room was bright white and totally sterile looking. My last birth was at we're not only in a hospital but a sterile surgery room. To say that this was intimidating would be an understatement.

The delivery was as close to perfect as it could get.
 A was born after 9 pushes at 8:43, weighing 6 lbs 8 oz and 19.5 inches long. She cried right away, and I was shocked to see how big she was. And how cute!

There was a moment after A was delivered,the exhaustion of it that it dawned on me "oh, I have to do this one more time...crap!"

B's water was broken, and an ultrasound was done. On screen, we saw that B had moved her arms and hands up by her head, as though she was preparing to dive out! Luckily, the OB was able to move her little arms out of the way so that I could deliver her without a C-section.

And my cervix began to close up.... luckily some intentional pushing helped to get it back to where it needed to be.

All along the OB kept saying "if your cervix doesn't open back up/ if we can't get her arms out of the way, we will have to do a C-section".

Shut up dude. Seriously, shut up.

Luckily, pushing while B moved into place opened my cervix back up and she was delivered after 6 deliberate pushes, at was 9:10. She weighed in at  a tiny 5 lbs 5 oz and 18.5 inches.  
Holy exhausting! I was given a shot of pitocin to help contractions after birth, and shorten recovery time.

The babies were taken directly into a room nearby to be evaluated. Both aced their APGARs. The nurses asked if they should stay with me or go out to dads...out to dads for sure! They are the sweetest little babies.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better birth experience, and my amazing sister captured it. I haven't looked the pictures over yet, but I am  glad that the experience is captured for the girls to see when they are older.

For everyone's privacy, I won't be posting pictures or commenting about after the birth. I will say that finally seeing dads with the girls was amazing. They were good to me the entire stay, allowed me to nurse the girls and watch them parent.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tomorrow is the big day!

The girls will be here tomorrow! I'm being induced at 10:30. It is earlier than planned, and while I don't want an induction at all, I want it more than I want to risk delivering on the side of the road. My record of fast delivery, dilation, thinning out should make the process risk vs. reward weigh in on the reward side more so than the risk side. As of this post, I'm at 5 and 75%. The OB plans to break my water and wait for things to progress on their own, so no pitocin or cervadil (which I wouldn't agree to doing in any case, I'd rather wait it out).

Physically I'm more than ready to be done being pregnant. Mentally, I'm there. However, emotionally...not so much.
I don't think that will come until tomorrow when the dads are holding them. When the family is together.

In the mean time, I am trying to keep it together for everyone else, but I'm weepy and anxious. This is not because I want the babies, I don't...they are not mine and never have been. But feeling and watching them grow, the whole surrogacy ... it is hard to process that being over.  I'm worried I've not done enough to ensure they will keep in touch after...
Snuggling with my toddler helped a bit, it reminded me of why I am doing this.

To prepare, I've left a message for the hospital Social Worker. At 28 weeks I contacted her to ensure that as long as there were rooms available, the guys would have their own. I also had to make the hospital aware that I am simply a GC with no genetic ties, so there would be no adoption protocols needed. Additionally, our lawyers are supposed to send a copy of the medical POA for the girls so that the guys are the ones making medical decisions should they need to. The hospital has had some surrogacy cases in the past, so I don't think we will run into any hiccups.

I don't anticipate any sleep tonight. Right now I am trying to put together a mental picture of what tomorrow will bring. I'm wondering what the weeks following the birth will be like. I'm not worried about the birth, I have faith in my body and the professionals attending the birth. I will have my hubby and sister for support. The anticipation is making me crazy. Now I'm waiting to hear what the flight plans are for the guys! I'm so excited they are going to be there! I can't wait to see them holding their girls!!
outie belly button :)

Final belly shots!

Monday, June 2, 2014

38 Weeks. Twins. What?

Dear girls- you apparently missed the memo. You're supposed to be here by now.  Hello? Anyone listening???

Friday, May 30, 2014

OB visit, 37 + 1

Dilated 4-5, whoot!

At this appointment we talked about induction :why it's done so often with multiples, and at what point the benefits outweigh the risks.
 Week 39 is regarded as that point with DI-DI twins. Twins mature faster (because there is only so much room for them to grow) so the placentas starts to function less effectively around the end of week 38. Because of this and due to my cervix obviously being ready we will discuss induction at next weeks appointment - if we are still pregnant!

Right now the OB is content to let my body and the babies set the pace. My BP is lower than last week and I'm dilating on my own, the babies look great. They are dancing as I type!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Less than 21 days left, week 37!

If we make it until Wednesday it will officially be a full term twin pregnancy! I can't believe it :)

OB appointment is Thursday and I am so looking forward to it.

Since the dads drove in last week, they decided to leave their car here in long term parking. This way they can just hop on a plane when the time comes. Cool :) We were able to grab a quick dinner before they left. One dad kept staring at me nervously...waiting for me to pop or something? He was anxious and could not eat his meal. I'm worried that he is going to have an ulcer by the time the girls arrive. And, of course, I had to reassure him again that I'm fine and by no means ready to be finished with the pregnancy. Again.

Cravings- carbs and cold drinks

Symptoms- Swollen, heartburn, headache, still having inconsistent contractions, etc... Typical 3rd trimester stuff with some added weight to make the symptoms a bit harder. Overall, still feeling pretty good!

What's next- OB on Thursday.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Adventures in L&D

Since I have been having infrequent contractions for a few days now, I'm dilated, have a history of short labors..etc my OB wanted me to get checked/monitored yesterday. I called her office yesterday afternoon out of worry, I've never had this much practice labor before and I wanted to make sure that it wasn't causing the babies any stress- I wasn't concerned that I was in labor. But, at her recommendation, the hubs and I went to L&D around 5pm yesterday. We left around midnight.

The parents came into town (not my idea, but I don't blame them! It was sweet) in case this ended up being the real thing. Apparently one has been pacing the house just waiting for "the call", so he already had the car packed and ready (remember they were convinced the girls would be early).
They waited nearby at the hotel in case things started to progress. We text a few times during and I sent them a video of the heart beats.

We were there for 7 hours, basically an extended non-stress test. The hubby kept telling me each and every time the contraction monitor went up, because I clearly wouldn't know when that was happening? ... um...

The babies looked great and are tolerating the mild contractions just fine- no stress or decels were seen. Bottom line, this is what matters the most.

Also, anytime you visit L& D labs are done. Well, are supposed to be done. First thing I did when we arrived at the hospital was leave a urine specimen. This somehow got lost.... no biggie, except that it kept us an extra hour in the hospital waiting for me to have to pee, waiting for the busy nurses to be able to unplug and plug me in, run the test, etc. (Which reminded both me and the hubs why we opted for a midwife/homebirth... these experiences with short staffed busy multiple nurses.. but I digress). At the end of the stay the doctors told me this was normal and unless I notice any cervical changes I can more or less ignore everything. This is what I expected to hear, and if it was my own pregnancy I would have ignored it. But, it's not so I practice more caution.

I'm not anymore dilated than I was on Monday so hopefully the babies will bake for one more week- to week 37. At that point maybe they will be sick of me and decide to vacate the premises...