Friday, July 11, 2014

1 Week Later..

The first week was harder than I expected.. From what I remember after my 2 kids I bounced back pretty quickly.. With Brett I had a harder time because he caused some bruising and swelling that made it painful for me to sit, laugh, sneeze, move, etc. But he was also my first. With Brynna I felt amazing after delivery. But this time around was totally different. I was really sore in my stomach area from them pressing down on it trying to get all the blood and clots out. I also hated that I had to go home and pretty much do nothing.. Thankfully I didn't have an infant I was bringing home because how can they send you home with an infant and tell you to relax and do nothing? It's pretty impossible after you have a baby to do nothing. haha. But since I was a surrogate and baby didn't come home with me it was a little easier..

The first few days were the hardest. I was EXHAUSTED but I wanted to go and do things. So we tried... On the 4th since it was only 24 hours after I had been released from the hospital we stayed home and watched the fireworks. We wanted to go watch the fireworks and to a concert but I knew my body wasn't up for it so we bought the kids a few small fireworks that they could do in the back yard and they had a blast. Saturday we ended up taking the kids to chuck e cheese.. About half way through I was pretty much having to hold my head up and force my eyes to stay open I was so exhausted. But the kids had a blast :) That evening we did another fire and just relaxed outside and finished off the s'mores we had left. Sunday I think we relaxed at home but honestly I have no idea haha.

Monday it was time to get back to reality. Adam is in the military and the people he works with knew I was pregnant and most of them knew I was a surrogate so when I went into labor Tuesday night he just gave them a heads up that I had the baby and that he wouldn't be at work on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday they were off but Monday he went back to work. So Monday morning he goes in for PT and they didn't know why he was at work they expected him to be home with me and told him if he wanted to that he could fill out the paperwork and go on paternity leave. Have I ever told y'all how much I really like the people he works with?? If not, let me tell you they are amazing! They have been so supportive and took me being a surrogate WAY better than I expected. AND he never once brought up maternity leave. I know a few surros in the military whose husbands requested maternity leave after their wife delivered a surrobaby and it was denied because it wasn't their baby.. We decided before hand to not even try for paternity leave because he doesn't really work now anyways. He is out processing and is just getting forms signed. He's constantly in and out of the house printing out paperwork, dropping off paperwork, and things like that. Even if he was on paternity leave he'd still have to out process so we could get everything done for us to leave in time. Plus again its not like I have a baby I need help with. Yes with my low blood count and iron I could pass out or hemorrhage again BUT I did good over the weekend and wasn't too worried plus if I noticed I was getting a little tired I'd just sit down and relax for a bit. And if I thought I was hemorrhaging again I'd call him immediately to take me back to the ER. So he was back at work.

Tuesday was a GREAT DAY!!! We finally got answers from the movers.. For those of yall that don't know we are moving soon.. VERY SOON. July 18th is the last day we have in this house.. Well the transportation office and port call have been making this move EXTREMELY stressful. I finally just gave up and was just done with everything and told myself that this was just going to be a horrible PCS and that they were going to make everything as difficult as possible. Which they did. Transportation scheduled the movers for August 5th(YES AUGUST 5th not August 1st) and we have to be out of housing by July 18th.... AWESOME. AND my husband has to be at Fort Sill, OK no later than July 24th.. Well Tuesday we got a call from the movers and they were able to fit us in to pack up our house on the 17th and pick everything up on the 18th!! YAY!! Then we had to schedule our move out inspection and pre inspection. The pre inspection was the following day and thankfully everything went well on that.

Wednesday I had a chiropractor appointment and boy did that feel great. I think its been about 3 weeks since I last saw the chiropractor and I was in a lot of pain. I felt like such a little kid because before I scheduled my appointment I had to call Adam and see what his schedule was like and make sure he could drive me to my doctors appointment. Wednesday was also 1 week from delivery.. WOW... A week. Surrobaby was officially 1 week old. I couldn't believe 1 week passed by so quickly. How does it do that. Before we know it she will be walking and talking haha. J&J said she is doing great. She had her first doctors appointment and is healthy :)

Emotionally I feel great.. Physically and sometimes mentally I'm exhausted. I don't even want to go back and read my previous blog post because I have a feeling I had a lot of typos in it and probably some bad ones haha. Adam and the kids have been doing great helping me relax and just lay around. I'm up moving more than I was in the beginning but its more my choice and I know not to push myself too hard and to just take it easy. Pumping is going great. I can tell it is also helping my uterus contract and go back down to normal. But I also know that it'll take time for that to go back to normal too. I gave in and bought a belly bandit.. I like it and wished I would have started using it sooner haha.
My last baby bump photo. This was a few days before delivery..

My one week post partum picture.. On the left I'm not
wearing the belly bandit. On the right I am wearing the
belly bandit. Everything is still wiggly but not too bad.
Questions I've been asked lately..

Was it weird to leave the hospital without a baby?
A little bit. I had a few tears(I didn't cry I held them in haha) as I was being wheeled out but it wasn't sad tears it was more wow it's over...

Were you sad?
Not at all.. I was happy for J&J, their daughter, myself, and my family. I was also very proud of myself. I had just given J&J the best gift they could ever receive. And I knew she would be loved by both of them.

How did the kids do and did they get to meet her?
They did great. They got to meet surrobaby and see her with J&J and they knew she was going home with them and not us. And they were perfectly fine with that.

Will you do another surrogacy?
This is one of the hardest question for me to answer I honestly have no idea.. I would love to be medically cleared in 6 weeks and start the matching process all over again but I wont. My body needs time to heal and I want to focus on getting back in shape. I'd love to start running again and doing some fun runs with the family. Plus we're in the process of moving... We are actually moving in just a few days!! AHHH!! And then we will be moving again in 10 weeks.. So I want to focus on that. AND I want to spend time with my family not pregnant. Yea we had fun while I was pregnant but their was some stuff I wanted to do and being pregnant made it a little more complicated haha. I'd like to sit out back and have a few drinks with my husband while the kids are asleep or go ride fun rides at 6 flags with my son, and jump on a trampoline with my kids. Well that's still a little complicated after you have kids haha.. So honestly I have no idea ask me again in about a year or five haha..

Will you continue blogging?
Yes I will. I will continue blogging. I really enjoyed blogging. It wont be as often because things slow down a lot once you deliver but surrogacy will always be a part of my life. BUT I will also blog about our moves, living in Alaska, and if/when I do another journey I will start blogging about that process.. BUT I may just create another blog for our life in Alaska :)

Those of yall that want to read the delivery story its in the previous blog post :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

38 Weeks.. Our Birth Story

My very last bump photo.. At 37 weeks and 5 days
38 weeks.. I actually made it to 38 weeks! Even though I am pretty sure if I would have gone in sooner they would have admitted me an induced me(I'll explain why in just a bit). I PROBABLY should wait to do this blog post but I am bored, relaxing, and TRYING to stay awake for at least another hour.. So IF I start to ramble or get confusing. Forgive me. I did just give birth haha.

So you remember last week when I said I was a pro at having babies... Well let me correct myself. I am a pro at having babies when I have an epidural... I am NOT a pro at having babies the natural way.. Okay now where to begin.

So last week I had my OB appointment and was 37 weeks and 3-4cm dilated. No biggy I could be 3-4cm dilated for a month and still end up needing to be induced. BUT all week I was having contractions. Thursday I almost went in to labor and delivery because I was having contractions for 2 hours but they finally started to slow down so I decided to stay home. The rest of the week I continued having contractions here and there but nothing that made me want to go to labor and delivery. The weekend came and we celebrated Adams 25th birthday.. Nothing big just us as a family. The kids and I also surprised him with a cake. We also set up for the garage sale we were going to have Tuesday and Wednesday. I know normal people don't have garage sales on the weekdays BUT whenever your in the military and live on a military base you learn a few things. Pay day was Monday and we wanted to do it before the holiday weekend because everyone would probably spend all their money so we had the garage sale on Tuesday...

Tuesday I had contractions on and off all day.. They were some what uncomfortable but I kept telling myself they would end up going away. And I think they did.. Or I just ignored them? I'm honestly not really sure. I did the garage sale and around noon we put everything up. Then Brett had a friend to come over and play for a bit and the contractions kept coming. Some were painful some weren't. But I kept thinking they were going to just stop. They always stop. Plus I was barely going to be 38 weeks and as much as I wanted her to come a few weeks early I didn't think she'd listen to me.

Tuesday evening at 7pm Brett and Brynna went over to Kelly's for a bit while Adam and I went to meet with someone and around 8pm we went to pick them back up. The contractions were STILL coming and they were getting uncomfortable. Adam kept asking me if I needed to go to the hospital and I kept saying no. We got to Kelly's and she pretty much forced me to leave the kids there and go to the hospital haha. So we went home really quick, called J&J, got our bags, and dropped the kids bags off at Kelly's(she lives on the same street as me just a few houses down). Finally around 9pm we headed to the hospital. Even though the contractions were uncomfortable they weren't painful. I could still walk. I could still laugh, talk, and it just wasn't what I expected it to be when I'm in labor. We get to labor and delivery and OH MY GOSH! Thank goodness I was not in full blow labor I probably would have delivered the baby during admission! I pre-registered during the hospital tour so I was told it would be quick at admission.. Ummm... NO admission took longer than my delivery! The lady had no idea what she was doing and the guy next to her was not helping at all.. Thankfully I wasn't in full blown labor yet and I was still just having the uncomfortable contractions. I get taken to triage and wait. I still didn't think I was in labor and we explained to J&J that their was a chance I could get to labor and delivery and be sent home so they decided to wait until I was checked and if the doctor decided to keep me they'd be on their way. It was only an 8 hour drive and again the contractions weren't that strong. Plus I was barely about to be 38 weeks. They had everything ready and in the car so if I was in labor all they'd have to do was leave. The nurse came in to check me and I was 5cm dilated and contracting.. They still weren't for sure if they were going to keep me but said to tell the parents it'd probably be best if they headed this way. The doctor decided since this was my 3rd he was not going to send me home at 5cm dilated and contracting(even though the contractions weren't that strong). Since my iron was so low during my pregnancy they wanted to check my iron just in case I had complications during delivery. I was put into a delivery room and the nurse gave me some IV pain meds. She told me I could have them every hour if I wanted but once I got to 7cm dilated they weren't allowed to give them anymore. I decided to get the IV pain meds around 11pm so that I could take a nap before J&J got there. I was exhausted but the contractions were a little painful for me to sleep through BUT I did not feel like they were epidural painful.. Adam and I took a little nap and I woke up around 1am. The nurse checked me again because I was about to ask for an epidural and I was about 5-6cm dilated but the baby was SUPER high still, and needed to drop. Apparently whenever I get pregnant the babies don't like to drop, because I also had this issue with Brett.. The nurse also told me that my iron levels were 8.6 which is still really low but a little better than the 7.4 that it previously was. She left the room and about 5 minutes later that's when it happened. The PAIN. The horrible, stabbing, EXTREMELY painful, I'm going to DIE CONTRACTIONS!! These were the contractions I have been waiting for all day. Well not these but some thing like this. SWEET JESUS OH MY GOD THEY WERE PAINFUL! Why was I in this much pain when I was only 5-6cm dilated!! OH MY GOD I NEED TO PUSH! Adam jumps out of bed(he slept on a little couch bed in the room) and comes beside me. The nurse walks in because I am seriously screaming in pain. Asking WHY I'm in so much pain. She checks me again and I am seriously PUSHING but baby is not ready. I am trying to crawl up my bed because of how much pain I am in.. I have NEVER EVER EVER in my entire life been in THIS much pain. I swear I could have probably been in the exorcism moving. That movie they are probably video taping people in labor with no pain meds! When the contractions stop the pain somewhat stops. The nurse tells me I can't push yet because the doctor isn't there. The doctor walks in checks me and sure enough baby is coming. And I am being told it is too late for and epidural... TOO LATE??? It's NEVER too late. I WANT AN EPIDURAL! I start to panic and then have to calm down and realize that this baby is coming with or without an epidural.. People have babies all the time without epidurals. It can't be that bad some people have numerous babies without epidurals. So I sucked it up and tried to give myself a little pep talk before another contraction came.. Well that pep talk didn't last long and it didn't work either once the pain started.. HOLY CRAP CONTRACTIONS ARE PAINFUL! I thought I was dying. Seriously DYING! The doctor wanted to change his shoes because he seriously just got there and the nurse said that he had time because I wasn't pushing yet. Well that didn't last long because I WAS PUSHING NOW!!!! The doctor explains to me that I need to push the baby down and THEN out.. Well I was in so much pain I didn't realize what he was talking about all I knew was I needed to push and all I could think about was how much freaking pain these stupid contractions were. And why in the world people would have an all natural delivery when they had the option to get an epidural. I was trying to push and all their telling me is I'm doing it wrong and then I need to push like I'm trying to poop.. I thought I was but apparently I wasn't and the pushes I was doing were not working so baby wasn't coming down.. Finally through out all the pain I figured out how to push and out she came........ I thought. There was no crying, no baby, no pain, nothing. AND THEN PAIN!!!!!!!! This pain was worse than the previous pain. WAY WORSE! Doctor starts to put on his delivery gown thing, pulls a light down, a drawer out, the things your legs go in, and who knows what else. I am being told to PUSH! Baby needs to come now! PUSH! I have a contraction and start to push and I'm asking I THOUGHT THE BABY WAS OUT!!! NOPE baby wasn't out. What I just did. All that pain I JUST went through did nothing but make the baby finally DROP into place. WHAT? NO BABY! I was really wishing I had an epidural now.. So on the next contraction I PUSH! And again I'm not pushing right. But finally I figured it out and out comes baby.. I thought baby came out right away but Adam said at first just her head was stuck and THEN I pushed her out. It was the most painful experience I have EVER in my life experienced. I seriously may have PTSD. Not really but yes it was TERRIFYING and painful and scary. But that wasn't it.

This was seriously seconds after I delivered. Right after this
picture is when the hemorrhaging started..
Since J&J didn't make it in time for delivery they gave surrobaby to me to do skin to skin because it helps to regulated the baby's body temperature. I have no energy what so ever. Delivery felt like it was HOURS long when really it was only about 30 minutes from the very first PAINFUL contraction to delivery. Seriously that was only 30 minutes? I felt like HOURS!!! PAINFUL PAINFUL HOURS! Just when I thought it was all over and we'd get to take some delivery pictures of sweet surrobaby and just relax for a few minutes. All hell breaks loose and it gets BAD. Worse than before. The pain keep getting WORSE not better.. I had a plan. I have delivered 2 babies before. Remember I'm a pro at this. Right??? WRONG! Completely and totally WRONG! I still have surrobaby and I have to give her to Adam or the nurses.. Honestly I'm not really sure at this point what is going on. I can barely keep my eyes open. I can barely stay awake. All I want to do is just pass out. And I keep hearing the doctor talking with the nurse and Adam wont leave my side. Even though all I want is for him to get some good pictures of Julia since J&J missed the delivery. All I wanted was for them to have good pictures of her delivery. Adam did end up getting some but at this point he wanted to make sure I was okay.. I hemorrhaged. Bad.. I had no idea at the time what was going on but I knew it wasn't good. I had hands going in places I didn't know hands could fit. Tongs with gauze going who knows where. Nurses pushing on my stomach, doctors pushing on my stomach. And all I could tell myself was to stay awake and not fall asleep.. I knew if I fell asleep it probably wasn't a good thing.. The doctor kept telling me is this is going to hurt, or you are bleeding and we need to get it under control, and that he couldn't find the bleeding. He also said if I didn't stop hemorrhaging that he'd have to give me a blood transfusion. The nurse came in with pills for me to take and shots. She told me what they were and what they were for and all I know is it was supposed to hopefully stop the bleeding. The nurse continued pushing on my stomach to get the blood and clots out and the doctor walks out because it was now time for a transfusion.. And I was terrified.. I also felt horrible because my amazing husband who has supported me through this whole thing who has seen me give birth 2 times before is now seeing me give birth for a 3rd time and having to witness all of this. Who knows what was going through his mind. The doctor comes back in and the blood is on its way. That's when the nurse says the bleeding may be slowing down. PLEASE DEAR LORD MAKE IT STOP! NO MORE BLOOD!! I lost a TON of blood.. Way more than I should have but thankfully it finally slowed down. The doctor kept the blood ready but decided for now to hold off on it. He didn't want to give me a blood transfusion unless I REALLY needed it. Because a transfusion can bring on other complications... I was physically drained. DONE. I have no idea how with all of that pain and blood loss I did not pass out. But I kept telling myself over and over again I had to stay awake. I did not want to pass out. I NEEDED to stay awake for my husband and my kids I had to stay awake..

During the pregnancy any time I got an ultrasound she
always had her hand up beside her head and this is how
she likes to lay and be held now that she is out of the womb.
I'm not 100% sure what happened after the bleeding stopped. I remember talking with Adam and he stayed with me the whole time. They also took the baby to the nursery to do her cleaning and stuff. I was also told that my water never broke and that my fluid was low in the sac so they were pretty sure my water had been leaking. They just weren't sure when it started. It had to have started after 37 weeks but we have no idea when. I never had a big gush of water so it never BROKE but they are pretty sure I had a little tear and just had a small leak. We get moved to a post partum room and about 30 minutes before J&J get to the hospital they bring Julia to our room and we waited.. She was so precious and so sweet.. It was just amazing. I decided not to hold her and let her wait for her parents to come. I wanted the first thing for them to see when they walked in the room to be their daughter. They finally got to our room and it was so amazing witnessing them see their daughter for the very first time. They were so excited but also so nervous.. But within a few hours they were pros! They were so in love with her and it was just amazing! I helped create that. I helped give them the best gift you could ever receive and she was perfect. For the first few hours we were all in the room. I ended up telling Adam to go home because he was exhausted and about to pass out on my hospital bed haha. And when Julia had to be taken to the nursery for some testing J&J decided to go to the hotel(the hotel was directly across the street from the hospital and was MAYBE a 5 minute walk) to get a quick nap in too.. Adam had been up since 4am the morning before with a few naps through out the night. J&J had been up since the morning before also and we called them around 9pm and they drove from NY to NC all night and got to NC around 6am so they also go little to no sleep. We ALL needed to nap. It felt amazing to get some sleep finally but sure enough I was still bleeding like crazy so the nurses were constantly coming in and changing my bedding, padding, and cleaning me up. I also had a catheter because they didn't want my bladder getting full just yet. Due to all the blood loss I also wasn't allowed to get out of bed without assistance and all I wanted to do was shower. I felt disgusting! J&J came back and we all hung out in the room. Around 3pm Adam and the kids came to the hospital and got to see baby Julia with J&J. It was amazing how much they understood and knew that baby Julia was not coming home with us. They knew that J&J were taking Julia home and they were perfectly okay with that. Adam and the kids left and then Kelly came and brought me chipotle for dinner!! It was delicious! And my nurses were so jealous haha. The hospital food was okay at times but then at times I felt like I was eating worse than what people in prison are fed :-\ so it was nice that I didn't have to eat the hospital food much haha. That night J&J let Julia stay in the nursery and they stayed at the hotel. Which was best for all of us.. I'd get a full nights sleep and they'd get to catch up on sleep too. When they left the nurse came in checked me and gave me my meds.. I was having to take prenatals, 2 iron pills, a stool softener, and my Tylenol #3(Tylenol with codeine). My stomach and uterus still felt like they were stepped on by a herd of elephants and really bruised due to all the pushing they were doing because of the hemorrhaging but during the day I didn't take the pain meds, I just requested them at night so I could sleep comfortably. So I got my pain meds once before bed and then in the middle of the night I woke up in a lot of pain so I got one more then..

The next morning my darn alarm wakes me up. I apparently forgot to turn my alarms off :( but the nurses were about to come in anyways so it worked out. Then the doctor came in and guess what! He told the nurses they could take my catheter out! YAY!!!! He also told me my iron levels and blood count were still extremely low and he wanted to keep me one more day. I was sad and asked if there was any way I could be sent home tonight? So he told me that once I got my catheter out if I could get moving around and not get dizzy or light headed then he'd send me home tonight. Well I felt amazing so I don't see why I'd get dizzy.. I didn't realize the reason I felt so amazing was because I had only been awake for MAYBE 2 hours and I was in a bed.. Not up moving around haha. I took a shower and boy did it feel great. But then my energy was gone. I never got dizzy or light headed I was just exhausted! Adam brought the kids to see me again and he brought my bag so I could change and stuff.. It felt so good to be back in my clothes and clean! They left and I got to take a nap while J&J were gone for a bit. That evening I asked my nurse if I was being discharged.. Well apparently I had no discharge orders.. WHAT? I didn't pass out so I want to go home.. She told me she'd call the doctor and see what he said... Well before they called the doctor another nurse had to come in and speak to me. She told me if I wouldn't have hemorrhaged and if my blood count wasn't so low they would be perfectly fine with sending me home but with my blood count being so low it was a extremely serious and that I needed to understand my risk. She explained all my restrictions, what I can do, what I cant do, what to look for, etc. She did not want me to go home but I was more than ready. I knew I couldn't do much but I wanted to sleep in my bed. I wanted to relax in my home with my husband and kids.. Adam took the kids to Kelly's while he picked me up because we had to wait for the papers and who knew how long that'd take lol. We ended up taking a few photos of all of us before I was discharged and then it was time to go! I could not believe it had only been a total of 2 days. TWO DAYS from admission to discharge! I got to labor and delivery at 9pm on the 1st, delivered at 2:03am on the 2nd, and was leaving at 9pm on the 3nd... Some women are in labor longer than that. But surrobaby was eager to get out! They sent me home with the Tylenol #3 to help with the pain and I can take it every 4 hours but I only take it at night to help with the pain so I can sleep through the night.

Leaving was easy at first.. We said our goodbyes and I got in the wheelchair and then it hit me.. I just delivered a baby and was going home without a baby.. I was not sad I was going home without Julia it was just different. I was sad that this part was over. I have fulfilled my duties to J&J. What would happen next? It was different for both Adam and I. It's something you just cannot explain. When we got in the car we talked about it and both agreed that it didn't make us want to have another baby or even that baby. We are both so happy and excited for J&J. We cannot wait to see where Julia is in a year, 5 years, 20 years, etc. I don't expect them to update me with every little detail. I just hope we all stay in touch over the years and they remember me on some things. Who knows maybe one day in a few years Adam and I will finally get to take a trip to NY and we can see them again in person instead of just pictures :) The experience was AMAZING! The Journey was life changing. And I am so thankful I was able to give them such a precious gift. Julia will always hold a special place in my heart and so will J&J.

Last night I got home and it felt great. I got to sit on my couch and watch the rest of a movie with Adam. I got to kiss my kids goodnight and sleep in my big bed next to my husband. And this morning I felt GREAT! The stairs are probably the hardest part of being home.. I thought walking up the stairs 37 weeks pregnant was hard.. Nope. Walking up the stairs when you have lost so much blood is even harder haha. So I try to avoid going upstairs unless I have to. Adam wont let me lift much.. My options are the remote, food, or a drink.. Other than that he takes it away from me and says its too heavy haha. Now that I am home the kids forget they have a daddy to help them do stuff so they come straight to me.. Adam keeps reminding them to get him not me. This morning we woke up and headed to the hospital to go see J&J and Julia before they headed back home. I felt great the first 2 hours and by hour 3 I wanted to crash.. So I'm about to go take a nap to get some more energy for the night. I am hoping to stay awake and get to see some fireworks. But we will see..

I hope everyone has an amazing 4th of July. I probably left out a ton of my birth story but if I don't write it now I'll forget even more.. I will end up doing another blog post and answering a lot of the questions people have asked me about delivery. If you have a question don't hesitate to ask. I don't mind answering..