My [Surrogacy] Birth Story
As September comes to a close, I am reflecting on the intensely wild ride it has been! As of my last OBGYN appointment, prior to the events of September 9, which I will detail below, we had a set date to induce of Thursday, September 19, 2019. All signs pointed to the fact that we would have a baby on that day.
The parents would ask me if I thought that could change. All I would say is, it could, it might not. With birth, one can never be sure!
Thursday, September 5
My OBGYN appointments were always on Thursday’s. That was my “reset” day for each new week in the pregnancy. This appointment progressed like any other. We had an ultrasound. Everything looked good.
Benjamin was still measuring pretty big, but that was not the alarming part. I am nearly 6′ tall, so the size baby I can birth could be much bigger than that of a 5’2″ woman.
After I left the ultrasound tech, I visited with my doctor. One thing I love about my OBGYN is that he always errs on the side of caution, and he shares all stats with me when it comes to every scenario!
At this appointment, he recommended that I visit a high risk doctor, just to be safe. Why? For one, in a previous appointment, my amniotic fluid was measuring higher than normal. That, along with the fact that this was not a baby that was genetically related to me and the fact that he was measuring big. Why not go?
Friday, September 6
I called and left a voicemail for the high risk doctor. I was also a psycho and called back about a dozen times just to see if I could get through. Apparently they were closed on Friday’s, but neither their voicemail or their website showed that they were closed on Friday’s.
Monday, September 9
Again, psycho over here called another half a dozen times.
I finally got a call back confirming that they could squeeze me in at 2:30 p.m. Perfect!
I get to the high risk doctor, who offices out of the hospital that I would be giving birth at. As I was walking into the office, I heard a doctor down the hall in an office say, “Who is this Kara girl?” Then the door closed. I couldn’t help but laugh considering that I had just been given an appointment that day and had never seen him before.
Considering they squeezed me in that day, I anticipated that I would need to wait. Once I was called back, I had an ultrasound done with a higher tech machine than the one my doctor had.
This was a high risk doctor, after all. Everything was going fine with nothing to worry about. Benjamin was still measuring big. In fact, since the ultrasound 4 days earlier, he had grown half a pound or so. Then the doctor told me that Benjamin’s umbilical cord had one vein and one artery.
He explained that all umbilical cords have one vein and two arteries, and that it is rare that there is only one vein and one artery.
HOWEVER, if the umbilical cord started off with one and one, then it would be fine. He said he was going to call my doctor and come back to see me. While I waited, we did a 15 minute stress test on the baby.
The stress test was over and the doctor came back to my room. He confirmed with my doctor that Benjamin’s umbilical cord started with one vein and two arteries, and then became one vein and one artery. While the baby was measuring just fine, it was still concerning.
What made the other artery disappear? Considering the fact that Benjamin gets his nutrition from the umbilical cord, we needed to do what was best for Benjamin. The high risk doctor told me to go to my doctor when I left his office. Before I left, I said, if I was your patient, what would you want me to do?
His response, “You would be walking down to labor and delivery and would check in now.”
I get to my doctor’s office and immediately start crying when the nurse gave me a hug. Of course she knew why I was there, as I’m sure the doctor filled her in. I sat in the waiting room for 45 minutes before Dr. R came to see me. I was in my head a LOT during that time. (Go check out my Surro Part 2 Instagram highlights to see what I mean.)
When my doctor came in, he checked my cervix. That. Was. MISERABLE! lol.
I knew what was coming. He was going to tell me to check in to the hospital. During this entire time, I’m texting my husband and the parents. They were all at work. I did let the parents know that if the high risk doctor was recommending me to check in to the hospital that my doctor most likely would as well. Then, Dr. R confirmed, head to labor and delivery. I asked if I could go home first, and he said, I mean, I won’t stop you. But please go to the hospital. LOL. The hospital was right behind his office.
I left the doctor’s office and group FaceTimed my husband and the parents. I gave them the rundown. My job was to check-in to labor and delivery, the parents job was to find flights from Rhode Island to Texas, and my husband’s job was to get my hospital bag packed.
Did I mention that I hadn’t even begun to pack my hospital bag?? Yeah… Thankfully by this point, my husband was home and I walked him through what to grab. The most important item as the PBO – Pre-Birth Order – that states that this is surrogacy and this is not my baby!
As I walk into the hospital, I realize that my cell phone battery is at 7% and all I have is the power cord and not the piece that plugs into the wall outlet. Before heading up to L&D, I went to the gift shop.
I grab a water, a KitKat and an outlet piece. When the sweet older lady was checking me out, she asked where I was headed. I told her Labor & Delivery. She then asked who I was visiting. I told her I was checking myself in! She was so surprised and said no one had ever stopped by her store before checking themselves in.
I head up to Labor & Delivery and check myself in. I’m assigned room 311, which is fun since I like that band. A few minutes later my husband stops by to drop off my bag and switch cars since we only have one car seat.
I am devastated. I am told I cannot eat my KitKat.
At this point, I have an IV hooked up, a blood pressure arm band and two belly bands keeping track of my contractions and the babies heartbeat.
My doctor administered the cervidil. Up until the doctor came in the room to give me the cervidil, I thought it was an IV. I had NOOOOOOO idea it was a thing he had to insert up into my hoo-haha! It was freaking PAINFUL!!!
The most glorious hour of the night. My KitKat was allowed to be eaten!!!! One of the sweet nurses also set aside a turkey sandwich, a bag of chips and some fruit. So I had more than just a chocolate bar.
Midnight to 7:00 a.m.
I got the worst sleep imaginable. The IV was still hurting my arm. I couldn’t get comfortable. And, every time I had to go to the bathroom, I had to unhook the two belly bands and blood pressure band, and then drag my IV machine to the bathroom with me.
My husband was able to take the day off to be with me! My momma and wifey heart was supper happy! Dustin got to the hospital around 8 a.m. after taking Mark to school and picking up a few things.
The doctor came back to take out the cervidil and that was even WORSE than when he put it in!!!! UGH!!!! Regardless of the pain that I had just endured, the cervidil did what it was meant to do. It softened my cervix. I can’t remember how dilated I was, but I know I was having contractions already.
The parents got in town!!!!!
One word. Epidural! The parents left the room for this one. There can only be one other person in the room, and at this point, I needed support from my husband and not the baby’s parents.
When Mark was born, I don’t remember the epidural being as painful. But, I think I also let myself get pretty far with contractions before requesting one.
This was a very anti-climactic time in room 311. I was contracting. I was dilated. We had hoped Benjamin would come by 5:45 p.m. when my husband needed to leave to go pick up our son.
When that did not happen, we hoped he would come at 19:10 (7:10 p.m.) military time so that we could say he was born on 09/10 at 19:10.
My doctor came to check on me. During this check in, he noticed a few things.
- I was 8 cm dilated, and had been for about 2 hours.
- The baby’s head was not dropping. He was not in a position to come out.
- His face was facing the wrong way.
- Every time I was contracting, the baby’s heartrate and oxygen levels were dropping.
He immediately ordered an emergency C-section.
There was one operating room open, and from what I hear, the doctor ran out of the room to make sure we got the room.
More nurses are storming in our room and two anesthesiologists to administer the hard stuff to numb my entire body. I frantically text a coworker (hey, Emma!) saying, “I have to have a c section. Can you go to my house and watch Mark? He’s already in bed. So we just need someone to sit there.”
I texted her before I even let Dustin know what happened. I then shared Emma’s contact information with Dustin and told him to call her and come to the hospital immediately since I had to have a c section.
Tears upon tears are flowing out of me. This was my one fear. I had never had a c section before. I did not want to have a c section. Here are two soon-to-be parents sitting here, probably in as much shock as me, but not sure how to comfort me.
All I wanted was my husband and it would probably be an hour, at least, before he could make it to the hospital. Suck it up, Kara, it is what it is. I was getting the good numbing meds. Literally, the only thing not numb on my body was my head. HAHA!
Benjamin Antonio was born! He weighed 8 pounds and 11 ounces at 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant. (Can you imagine if we would’ve made it to the day we previously had scheduled to induce? We would’ve had a 10+ pound baby!!!)