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.