I woke up at 2 am on 12/2/2010 thinking I had to go to the bathroom. Since I was 1 day shy of 41 weeks pregnant, needing to go to the bathroom was a normal state for me. When I got up, I had a contraction. Hold the phone I thought….that felt real. Hallelujah…I hadn’t had a contraction in weeks.
I stayed in the bathroom for awhile and rode out several contractions that were about ten minutes apart. Finally Joe asked me what I was doing, and I said I was in labor and to go back to sleep. I took a hot bath and rode out contractions for the next four hours. My previous labors had all been very fast so we knew (or thought) I should go to the hospital pretty early.
I left for the hospital around 6 am. My contractions were 3 minutes apart and had been for an hour. The drive to the hospital took about 45 minutes. The plan was for Joe to get the kids off to school and then follow me to the hospital. I checked into triage at 7am and they walked me straight up to OB since I was 41 weeks pregnant and this was baby number 8. Contractions were still 3 minutes apart. They put me on the monitor and checked me. I was dilated to a…….0. Yep that’s right. I could have gone home but I was already scheduled to come in the next day so that they could break my water if possible and do a c-section if not possible.
The docs tried four times to start an IV and finally had to get anesthesiology to get one in. Meanwhile, I was still contracting hard ever 2 to 3 minutes.
At 9 am they checked me….no progress. At 10 am…no progress. The contractions felt wrong and I began to suspect that Aurora was malpositioned and not putting any pressure on the cervix. I had wondered how I had managed to work until 41 weeks, standing all day every day, without dilating at all. And these contractions were all in my back. I finally decided that Aurora must be posterior and it would later turn out that she was posterior and that her head was hyper extended and she had a nuchal cord (cord around the neck).
Anywho, about 10:30 am they checked and still no progress. So I consented to the c-section. By this point I had been riding hard contractions for over 8 hours with absolutely no progress and no pain medication. I asked that the epidural be put in for the section and they informed me that they would be doing a spinal and that I would have to wait until we got into the operating room…..at noon.
Now, to someone not in labor, an hour and a half wait for pain meds might not sound like a lot. Trust me. It was. I rode out the next 90 minutes and finally walked down to the OR. I had four contractions during that walk and three while they gave me the spinal. When the spinal finally took effect, I almost cried in relief. I had warned the docs that I tended to bottom out my blood pressure and get super nauseous during the surgery and they acted very pro-actively so I didn’t actually feel bad at all. They cut Aurora out and took her into the next room. She screamed immediately and it was wonderful to hear. They brought Lennart into the room with her and Joe could see them through the glass. He gave me a play by play and when he said that Lennart was crying, I started crying. Up until that point we did not know that Aurora was a girl and they had both wanted a girl.
Post surgery, I went to recovery for an hour and Lennart came in there with Aurora. I got to snuggle her and we all took some pictures. That night, Aurora stayed in the room with me and I nursed her and snuggled her. The next day I fled the hospital just as the hormones hit.
Ten weeks removed from her birth it all seems like a dream. I had a wonderful pregnancy, a wonderful journey, and a wonderful postpartum. I was hormonal for a brief period of time (two weeks or so) postpartum but that is to be expected.
Surrogacy has been such a huge part of my life and I feel like this is a perfect journey to end my surrogacy career.