Sunday, December 11, 2011

My labor/delivery/recovery

I called Thursday morning to Labor & Delivery to see if they had room for my scheduled induction. They did. I called the parents who had to travel approximately 3-4 hours. They started on their way. Brian (my husband) and I arrived at the hospital at 7 AM. They started Pitocin, I started walking around the halls.

I kept in touch with the parents until they arrived around 10:30-11 AM. Things were progressing nicely. Contractions started getting uncomfortable - I received an epidural sometime in the afternoon when I was dilated to 6.5. The dilation kept increasing nicely.

It was time to push. Mom grabbed my hand, we looked at each other, and both started crying! I pushed through 3 contractions, then was asked to push through 2 more contractions. After the 3rd contraction/pushing, they were having trouble picking up baby's heart rate. The pushing was not moving baby far enough down - she kept slipping back up. They tried to put monitors on the baby's scalp - she had a ton of hair! Every time they did pick up the heart rate, it was very low and had them very worried. They discussed vacuuming, but baby had slipped back enough it was difficult to grab onto anything. I vaguely remember catching a glimpse of momma's worried face in front of me. I felt disoriented, they put an oxygen mask on me to help both me and baby. After 5 hard pushes, they felt an emergency c-section was needed. I shook my head yes, that was fine, but had already turned inward to my own world. I vaguely remember being wheeled away to OR.

It was REALLY weird. I could hear little bits of pieces of everything that was going on, but mostly kept my eyes shut, and remained in my "safe world", so I would not panic/freak out. I could hear them saying I was one of the most calm patients they had ever worked with. I opened my eyes once, could see the real world, the bright lights, the blue cloth in front of me, felt weird, and quickly closed my eyes again. I felt my hair being rubbed and hand being held, most likely all by Brian. They gave me a Benadryl shot in the left arm, but then I felt tingly in my right shoulder. Nobody knew what that was about. I tried to massage it a bit. I could feel the pressure of the cutting, tugging, sewing me back together. Brian was impressed with being able to see my pink eggplant uterus just flopping around outside of me - he has commented about it several times.

Supposedly, it was like the wild west baby draw. They were very impressed with the response time and how quickly they got baby out. I could hear the baby crying, the mom apologizing to me and thanking me for giving her a baby girl, everyone commenting how BIG she was after weighing her in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces! Her APGARS were high - she was very responsive. She was okay! They named her Grace.

I could hear Brian talking to someone on the cell phone filling them in on the events. I then apparently slept for 2 hours in recovery. The nurses were all very nice and praised me for how hard I tried, how calm I was, and what a great gift I gave.

While wheeling me from OR recovery to my extended recovery room, they stopped by the nursery and held up baby Grace. She is BEAUTIFUL - wonderful olive skin and head full of hair! At that time, the daddy was able to get Grace and bring her back to their room for the family to hold for the first time. The hospital was able to set up the family in the room next to mine, so nice! They brought Grace over to meet me later that evening and I held her for the first time. ABSOLUTELY PRECIOUS!

I pushed the morphine button a lot that night and got some good rest. The next day, they took the morphine drip away, started on Narco and Ibuprofen, took the catheter out, and had me walk to the bathroom. SUCK - it hurts! One good thing about c-sections is that they irrigate and suction your uterus out a bit while they are in there, so there is a lot less bleeding afterwards. My vaginal/vulva area is not sore either, so that is nice. The pain in the incision area sucks though!

I stayed for 2 nights in the hospital. The family was able to take Grace home after 24 hours. before they left Friday evening, they brought Thai food to my room and shared dinner with me and presented gifts to my family - super sweet! I also got to feed and hold Grace again.

Many nurses were interested and asked questions about the surrogacy experience. Everyone was really nice and helpful.

I came home Saturday evening. It feels good to be under warm blankets and answering e-mails. My husband is being wonderful and supportive. I feel very loved and cared for. I continue to move around like a 90 year old woman, but feel that the incision area is slowly decreasing in pain. I have LOTS of gas build up from surgery and look forward to all this passing! It helps to get up and walk around and work some of this through. My breast milk has started coming in today - that has been uncomfortable! I have kept a snug bra on and put ice packs on them tonight! I imagine tomorrow will NOT be pleasant!

It makes me smile when I think of Grace with her perfect family. They are all beautiful! I am very proud to have been a part of this journey!

I am surprisingly feeling alright about the c-section. I may have felt differently if this was my first child and having a chance at a vaginal delivery greatly decreased afterwards. I don't like the unexpected change in recovery...I know what to expect with a vaginal delivery and this recovery is keeping me from things I would have otherwise done more quickly. It is all okay though, as I believe I will recover eventually and a beautiful, healthy baby is with a deserving family.

Now, I am off to take more pain pills, go pee, rid some gas, and all that fun stuff! :)


  1. Congrats all around!!! Wonderful story!!! Quick healing vibes coming your way!!! Thanks for sharing your journey!!!

  2. So glad to hear that baby Grace is here and everyone is healthy! I'm sure the cesarean wasn't in the plans but it sounds like you are really taking it in stride. Congratulations!

  3. I'm so glad that baby Grace and you are both healthy and doing well! I know this is a totally different experience and recovery for you. Hang in there. You'll be running around again soon. I'm so impressed by you... so proud of you... you gave the greatest gift in the world to a family in need. They are blessed to have found you. Not many women could do what you've done. (((hugs))) to you. Hoping for quick healing and continued health for baby Grace.
    Congrats to baby Grace's parents!

  4. Let me know if there is anything you need - Maybe Baby I can hang out here for a morning or something while the boys are at school - just a little quiet time for you. Let me know! Grace is such a BIG beauty. Congrats to her family!!! Sounds like they are very caring people.

  5. Cogratulations! She is beautiful!! Hoping for a quick recovery for you :)

  6. Carla you are an amazing woman!! Congrats on baby grace...she is beautiful...I bet her mom and dad are besides themselves with happiness and love. What a gift!! Quick healing to you...and thanks for sharing your journey!!

  7. Congratulations to you, baby grace and her parents!

    I can't tell you how thrilled I am to find your blog. Seriously, there are no words.

    My husband and I have been tripping down the GC path for a while now with lots of false starts. Would so love to talk with you more and get your perspectives once you're feeling rested and well-healed. Could you please email me at when you have some time?

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

    fellow atheist, DD advocate and lover of the simple life. :-)