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Happy Endings
By: Paula D.


Well, It all started on Thursday, May 11th. I had my OB appointment and my DR thought that Madeleine may be getting to big so he ordered an U/S the next day to have a peek. I was measuring about 43 weeks PG and felt pretty full so was more than ready. We did the U/S and I got to see her cute little face. My OB called back later that day and told me to be at the hospital by 9am to start an induction. So I packed my stuff and went to stay at my In laws house for the night so the kids would not have to rush the next morning. I did not tell my IPs yet as we have had so many "false alarms" that I wanted to wait till I knew for sure what was going to take place. I could not sleep a wink. I just laid there wondering what was to come? Would my experience have a happy ending? Would my labor be quick?? How would I feel when I saw Madeleine for the first time?? How would my IPs feel or act?? You know all those things we like to worry about. I was up early and showered. I just felt like I was in a fog. Knowing what was to come, but also not knowing. Its an exciting but strange place to be. I arrived in time and actually met Tracy (my Doula) in the hallway.

So they got me all ready and actually its a good thing they were inducing as my brain was showing signs of irritability. As well as protein, the ugly signs of pre-eclampsia. They started Magnesium Sulfate, and I got a good dose of it before the pitocen was added. I just have to say... THANK GOD I did not have to have that stuff before, or for a long period as almost immediately I started feeling terrible, hot, nauseous and my arm hurt like crazy. My body felt poisoned. My vision was starting to blur, when they finally decided that I was fine and turned it down and then eventually off. Then the pitocen started to kick in as think having me on both like they did was counter productive.

By this time we had called my IPs as we knew that it was going to happen. They were excited and were going to arrive in Sacramento at around 6pm. It was around 11am when the pit was started and my IPs were on a plane by 1pm. My IPs were there for quite a bit of my hard labor, and my IM was very emotional. Near the end when I was having terrible back pain and when I was pushing, she was crying right along with me. She told me after that she had never expected anything like that, and it was so hard to see someone going through so much pain for her. I don't think until that moment she realized what I was doing for them. I don't think most IPs do until this point. I think at that point I also said a few times "what was I thinking"?? And the famous "I am NEVER going to do this again"!!!

Things were going well and as labor progressed it got more painful. I was not able to walk around due to the Mag and Pit. But the nurse was kind enough to let me sit in a rocking chair. I did a lot of my laboring there. As well as taking extra time to go to the bathroom. Soon I decided to have the Fentonal (sp) its rather like an epidural however it just takes the edge off the pain so you can still walk around and feel pain but just not as bad. That worked great and I was able to keep control.... till the itching started!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was almost going mad by the time it wore off! Tracy, my IM and my Sister were scratching me and my intended father and husband were getting wash clothes wet to help also. It was, I am sure a rather funny looking bunch. I would be in the middle of a contraction and still trying to itch! So that finally subsided but with it the medication. BUMMER! I was not sure about an epidural due to my last experience ... but I was entering transition. I felt like a trooper and decided to wait a bit longer. And I also did not want to itch again! I was sitting in my chair rocking when suddenly the back labor started. I called for the anesthesiologist!! I had the most horrible back labor. I was transitioning so fast that the medication was not working. After each contraction I thought to myself "oh good" now the epi will work ... but then the next would start and I would cry. I had a great support team however and was able to get through the pain.

By this time my DH had become my primary support person and was able to keep me in control. As well as Tracy who would help give him some practical ways to help ease the pain. I was checked and was found to be complete. So it was time to push.......... and that is when the epi decided to start working!!! I was so exhausted and did not have the urge at all. But with the great coaching and urging of everyone I gave it my best. It was so frustrating as I could not seem to make much progress and I was giving it all I had! I have never had such a time pushing. Even delivering the breech twin! Suddenly her heart rate declined and they told me I HAD to have her out in 2 min or else. They had the vacuum ready... I pushed with all my might and after an hour of pushing, Madeleine Grace was born at 2:14 am on Mother's Day. She weighed in a whopping 9 lbs 2 oz and was 21 inches long. They put her up on my stomach and we all waited to hear her cry. We waited and waited..... and I started rubbing her and getting panic stricken when I realized she was just laying there looking at me. Just fine. She just did not feel like crying. She was looking right into my eyes. It will be a moment I remember forever. After some time they took her over to the table to take all her vitals and weigh her. Then they brought her back over to me to hold. I looked at her and checked out everything on her as my IM and IF were right there with me looking at her and getting to know this new little person. Once I felt I had sufficiently checked her out I looked over to my IM and as I handed her her daughter I told her "Happy Mother's Day."

I was so distracted by everything and watching my IPs with Madeleine that I did not realize that I was bleeding very heavy. My placenta was huge, and caused for a great amount of blood loss. I was feeling a bit dizzy but figured it was due to the mag, and being so tired from trying to push. They finally got it stopped and we spent some time with Madeleine and my sister and husband all held her. They took her to the nursery to do the newborn check and the mother and I went to our private room. Its amazing how after a baby is born you're suddenly STARVING! I ate a sandwich and we just waited for them to bring Madeleine back to us. Mother's Day was spent for me in the hospital but my kids were able to come to visit. So things turned out well. They got to hold Madeleine for the first time. Our hospital stay was wonderful and I got to take care of Madeleine all night on Sunday as the mom was exhausted from the time change and all the excitement. I of course was used to not sleeping so did not mind at all. Besides the nurses always come in to pester you in some way or other during the night. I fed her changed her and did all those fun things. Well, they're fun when you know you don't HAVE to do it!

My IM and Madeleine stayed all day Monday and then were discharged late Monday night. They came back here to my house and took care of my kids as well as letting them each spend some time feeding and caring for Madeleine.

My husband came and stayed with me, as I was not real thrilled with being alone in the hospital. They would not let me go home as my hemoglobin was very low due to the bleeding after her birth, as well as I was having some very heavy bleeding still. They gave me some metrogen and it did the trick but they wanted an extra day from me. I left the hospital on Tuesday and came home to find the new mother in the kitchen doing dishes and the new father feeding "the piglet" . I was tired and feeling a bit emotional as my milk was making its debut. But my IPs wanted to go out for a bit so asked if I could care for Madeleine. Of course I said yes. So I got to care for her again for a few hours on Tuesday. I was not expecting this, and was very thrilled to have some time with her. husband went and got the kids from school and we took some wonderful photos. My IPs came home and made us dinner. We had a lovely time. After dinner we exchanged gifts. The kids had gotten her a few toys and a pair of pink booties. Then they pulled out a small little box. "Good things come in small boxes"...I opened it and inside was a silver heart necklace with a small diamond in its center Inside the heart were 3 pearls. It came with a very touching card. Of course I started crying. I will cherish the locket forever and what it represents. Its a very personal gift and means so much to me.

The new family went home on my due date, May 17th. I got to get Madeleine dressed and ready to go, washed her little face and then held her for my husband and children to kiss. I gave her a good-bye kiss and put here into her car seat. I felt little sadness to see them go. I was more than ready to say good-bye. At this point, the mom broke into tears. I was moved to tears also by her show of emotion. I felt very complete in what I had set out to accomplish when starting this surrogacy. It had some bumps along the way as most situations do. But in the end things went just beautifully. I feel blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful event.


2007 OPTS - The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy