Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How Are You Feeling??

That's the question of the day, actually every day.  Every day I see someone for the first time since delivering Graham, they always ask, "How are you feeling?".  But, it's usually with a tilted head and half smile as if they're waiting for me to break down in tears.  Sort of that same look of sympathy you get when you've lost a loved one.  Don't get me wrong, I know they're genuinely concerned and I greatly appreciate people checking in on me.  I've felt so much love from so many people since delivering.  I'm sure it's probably hard for some of them to believe me but I'm doing really great.  I'm so full of joy that sadness really hasn't even had much of an opportunity to creep in.       

Don't get me wrong, I did have a little window a couple days ago where sadness hit me out of nowhere (in the middle of Target of all places) and I cut the trip short and went home to sob for a little while.   But you know what, it actually made me feel more normal.  The emotions really hadn't hit me as I was preparing myself for them to.  From what I understand postpartum depression can be an ugly beast and my heart goes out to those that have dealt with it.  The hormones are absolutely out of whack and doing all sorts of unkind things to a woman's body after childbirth.  However, this wasn't that.  I wasn't even sure what the sadness was.  It came and went pretty quickly and it only happened once.  I later confided in the nurse (that calls to check up on you after you return home)  and she reassured me it was completely expected and normal to not know why I was crying.  It was the hormones working themselves out.

Believe it or not, I went back to work yesterday and I've even started hitting the track.  My doctor encouraged the walking and getting exercise to speed up my recovery time.  It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that it was just 6 days ago that I delivered.  My recovery was nothing like this with my boys.  Of course, the deliveries of my boys weren't near as kind to my body as Graham's delivery.  I'm currently down 10 lbs and hoping to be 100%  recovered before too long so I can work on this extra stomach stuff.  They warned me to stay off the scale for a few weeks but I just couldn't help myself.         

What are we up to now?  Well, we're trying to find the norm again.  We're relishing in the photo and text updates of Graham's growth.  He is one ADORABLE little baby!!  Every picture I see of him puts a big smile on my face and melts my heart.  I'm overjoyed by the love being showered on him and his parents.  It absolutely rocks!!        

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Birth Story

So it's 4 am Wednesday Thursday (slowly losing track of days) and the need for more pain meds woke me up.  Apparently my nurse was also waiting for the right opportunity to draw some blood so here I am wide awake.  What better time to write the birth story.  So that's what I shall do, while it's all still pretty fresh in my head....

Tuesday night we arrived around 7:30 pm to begin the induction.  My doctor was not on call at the time but the plan was to start the cytotec the night before to thin the cervix in preparation for a Wednesday morning delivery with my doctor.

We checked in and got settled in our room.  They hooked me up to the monitors in order to keep an eye on baby and myself before they decided exactly how they wanted to begin the meds.  After watching us for a while they decided to proceed with the cytotec.  At this point I was 1 cm dilated and about 60% effaced (or thinned out).

I was told to just rest in preparation for a big morning.  So we did.  Well, we tried.  I think I got around 4 hours of on and off again sleep.  Poor hubs, he attempted to sleep on a pull out chairbed but it definitely wasn't designed for anyone over about 5' tall.  He must've been pretty exhausted though because I did hear a snore or two here and there. 

This is where it gets a little fuzzy on the time.  I recall the on call doctor coming in  very early in the morning and I was, I believe, about 2 cm by this point and somewhere around 90% effaced.  The contractions were getting horribly painful and I was seeking out the epidural but until I started to show progress it wasn't an option.  They were ready to push the Pitocin and I wasn't sure how I could handle the contractions getting worse.  I've never experienced that sort of pain ever in my life.  I recall having painful contractions with my sons' births but nothing on this level.  I was trying everything for relief, walking, rocking, standing, squatting, breathing...absolutely no relief.  At some point the nurse could tell the contractions were getting close so she decided to check me again and I had made it to a 3.  She consulted with the doc and was given the green light to order my epidural.  This was my saving grace.  I knew relief was on the way and all I had to do was get through a few more contractions.  This would be when the puking began.  When my pain level gets to a certain point, I'm a puker. 

Eventually the epidural arrived and within about 10-15 minutes the whole labor experience took a turn for the better.  My pain was gone.  My mood was euphoric.  (God Bless a man named Dr. John Bonica...if you're not sure who that is, google it.  I'm pretty sure he's the greatest inventor of all time).  I was able to relax, get the Pitocin started for better, stronger contractions and enjoy the rest of the experience. 

My doctor ended up arriving Wednesday morning around 7:30ish to check in on me.  He was ready to get things rolling and so were we.  This is when it all started to progress rapidly.  Within a 5 minute period I went from 3 cm to 7 cm and 90% effaced.  They had me flip from side to side to work on thinning out my cervix, and it worked.  In what seemed like a matter of minutes they were prepping the room for delivery.  Lights down, stirrups up, nursery team assembled.  It was go time.  At 9:15 my doctor arrived.  I was fully dilated and ready to go.  It was beyond amazing to me that I was so comfortable.  No pain.  No fears.  The atmosphere in the room was so relaxing and crazy for me to say but fun.  I was actually enjoying labor.  This isn't something I had ever experienced before.  I was able to push and it didn't hurt.  At all.  I was able to look around and take in E's reaction to seeing her son be born.  It was a feeling out of this world.  It, along with all the other encouragement and love surrounding me at that moment motivated me to push with all my might.  Within 30 minutes of pushing out came little Graham.  And I do mean little, he weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz and was absolutely perfect in every way. 

I recall looking at my husband and his eyes spoke everything I was thinking at that very moment.  We had done it.  After 41 weeks of working on getting to this very moment, we had made it.  Our reward was beginning.  We were about to witness Graham be reunited with his mother and father.

I wish I could have bottled up the emotions that were running through us at that very moment.  It's an experience and feeling that he and I will never forget.  It's a feeling that he and I shared that very few others will ever get to feel.  In all the wonderful moments the hubs and I have experienced together, this has ranked itself up towards the top.  It was a feeling of love that we hadn't experienced before.  We were in love with love itself.  We weren't in love with a tangible thing, we were in love with an experience, with a moment.  A moment that we, along with the help of many others, had created.  It was a very humbled sort of pride.  We weren't looking for praise or words of affirmation.  We didn't need it, we were witnessing first hand, with our very own eyes the confirmation as to why we chose to partake in surrogacy.  We were seeing why God chose us, what He wanted us to see, what He wanted us to feel.   


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, Graham!

Happy Birthday sweet little Graham!
March 5, 2014
9:47 am
6 lbs 14 oz

It's late and I'm exhausted but I wanted to share the great news!  Details to follow...tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

41 Weeks

Yep, still here and still pregnant...41 weeks to be exact.

Friday I had a non-stress test that basically just told us Graham is doing well and no need to worry about his late arrival.  He's hanging out and having a good time I guess.

Yesterday I went back for another non-stress test and same story.  Only this time we also visited with my doctor.  My zero dilation had turned to a whopping 1.  Not real great progress but at least something to show the doc I was headed in the right direction.  He asked if I wanted to induce or wait it out.  Of course I chose induction.  I'm ready.  The hubs is ready.  E&G are most definitely ready.  It's time to get this show on the road.  It's time for us to have a birthday celebration!!!   So he made the arrangements for me to arrive at the hospital tonight to insert a pill to soften the cervix.  Then I am to rest until the morning which is when they will start the Pitocin.

Except if you've followed this story thus far you know that Graham doesn't like to go by the play book.  He always likes to mix things up a bit.  Around midnight last night I was starting labor on my own.  The contractions were about every 7 minutes and painful.  Not so much I couldn't breathe through them but they were definitely the "real deal".  So I sent the hubs after his mom to watch our sleeping children.  When they arrived back at the house we packed up and headed to the hospital.  I was checked and still at a 1.  They did several hours of monitoring and my dilation didn't change so around 8 am they sent us back home and said to come back at scheduled induction time tonight.  So that is where we're at.  I'm at home, contracting, uncomfortable at times, but managing to squeeze in sleep, shower and some last minute chores. 

I hope to be posting a birth story next time I log in.  Until then, a big thank you to everyone for all the wonderful wishes and prayers.  God has truly blessed our family to allow us this journey with Graham and all of his family.  We're completely overwhelmed by the kindness they have showered us with and a simple thank you just doesn't quite express our gratitude enough.  You've opened your family and your hearts to us and we are eternally grateful.  We are forever changed. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Obviously plans changed a bit since the last time I posted.  On Tuesday I went in for pre-op bloodwork and a quick visit with my doctor.  He wanted check one last time for position and dilation before we proceeded with the C-section on Wednesday.  To his surprise, and mine, Graham had flipped.  He was now head down so the C-section was cancelled.  However, I was still not dilating so he wouldn't schedule the induction either.  His order was for me to go home and wait.  Great news wrapped in upsetting news. 

Yesterday, I had a non-stress test that went well.  Graham is doing great and just chilling out.  I didn't see my doctor though.  I'm on schedule to return for another non-stress test on Monday morning followed by a visit with my doctor. 

The plus side of all of this...our family is getting to spend some great, quality time with Graham's mom and dad.  We even had the privilege of meeting his grandpa.  Such great people! 

I'm trying my best to remain patient but it's driving my crazy not knowing just when he's going to decide "now is the time".  It's weird knowing it could be minutes from now, hours, or possibly even days.  We're so very close but have a little more waiting.  It's okay though, we know it'll be absolutely worth it!