I am not sure why I have not posted...let's see...Where to begin..how about March the 4th..I was on bed rest but was having constant contractions...I got up (for a little sanity ride in the car) and took Hudson to soccer practice. I was supposed to have my niece Aubrey spend the night so I was anxious to get home before she arrived...little did I know what was about to take place...
I stood up to walk around to see Huddy play and they hit me...contractions that is...this was no braxton-hicks but the real deal. I don't say that because they were painful, they weren't and they never got that way, they were just consistent and every 3-5 minutes. I knew then at 34 weeks and 4 days, I was going to have these babies. My mind began to race as did my heart..E & P were not going to be here for the birth of their children..not only that, it would be days until they could get here. At this time it was getting late..I had hoped these contractions would stop but they just weren't so I called my doctor and was told to go in to the ER for monitoring...O one more thing..My doctor, the most beautiful gay doctor in the entire world..WAS OFF THIS WEEKEND!!! I was devastated..was I going to have to explain to some wet behind the ears doctor the ins and outs of surrogacy..i had become SO comfortable with Dr. A and was really looking forward to him delivering these babies..
Well anyway, I went to the hospital and as I suspected I was in fact in labor...I was already a 5 and 95% effaced. I was admitted and quickly texted E to tell her the news..Norway is seven hours ahead of us so it was still the middle of the night there. I hoped she would be ok..I hoped she would know it wasn't my fault..I wanted her to be here..I let her know we were close and that these babies would be here by morning. She took a deep breath, said she was nervous and shocked and told me they would be here Sunday night..It was late Friday.
Because my doctor was off, I worried I would have a terrible experience but that was not the case at all...My nurse practitioner, who had been with me the entire pregnancy, cam and sat by my be for the entire 10 hours I was there. She was in the room and never left my side. She and Shane and I had the most wonderful evening together. So I know..get to the good stuff...Around 7 centimeters my doc broke my water and suggested they place and epidural catheter in place in case I decided to get medicine or need an emergency C-section...It went in but no medicine was administered. I had 0 pain..I mean pressure but no pain. I labored until 9.5 centimeters and decided to get the test dose of pain meds (that is how they test to see if the cath is in correctly)..that took me to a 10 and I was quickly wheeled to the C-section room with about 20 other "Vaginal Spectators" to push these babies into the world...I labored the babies down for another 30 minutes (after unsuccessfully pushing) and then in 2 pushes out came baby A, a girl...she was screaming and had great color. I watched through teary and amazed eyes as they cleaned the little girl who had kept me awake so many nights with her hiccups...I had such a range of emotions but mostly just Wow, she is ok...she is here..E&S have a daughter. She looked wonderful and for being 5 weeks 2 days early she weighed in at a surprising 5lb 3oz. The nurses wrapped her up and handed her to me for a few precious minutes..my work was not done...there was another angel waiting to take his first breath...I gave two or three more good pushes and out he came...I felt everything..the "test dose" was gone..the ring of fire is real ladies..just sayin'. Back to the baby-he was here and he was quiet. He had poor color and was not nearly as lively as his sister..I began to ask "Is he ok???" and the nurses assured me he was, just a little lazy with his breathing. I breathed a great sigh and waited patiently to hold this precious gift...He too was a great size, coming in at 5lb 11oz..Can you imagine 3 more weeks?? I held him quickly and cried thinking, E &S have a son..and a daughter. I was in shock. I knew this day would come but in that moment I felt more joy than I ever expected to feel..I was proud of myself..I was deeply in love with Shane, my faithful husband, and proud surro-dad...I watched Shane literally be the surrogate while I was on the table and E &S were home..I was stunned at his compassion for these two babies.
Sadly, that is not the end of this story...After the delivery (in which I lost quite alot of blood) I was wheeled to my room and told that the babies were in NICU and I would have to wait just a bit before seeing them...I was very emotional because I wasn't sure what emotions to feel...Should I go down there? Should I love and protect them or will it hurt me? Do they need me anymore? Do I need to see them? I went with my heart and decided that until E & S arrived, I would continue being their surrogate..Not their mom, but caregiver..i wanted to see what I had done..to see the faces I had only tried to imagine. I wanted to see what I left my life in Hugoton for...were they worth it? Were they as perfect as I imagined? Yes they were. Both babies were hooked up to feeding tubes and assisted breathing machines. They had IV's in their hands and were not doing as well as I had hoped..They were preemies and I was told it may be a long stay. Fortunately, they both began doing better and were gradually weaned off of everything (after nearly 2 weeks).
E &S arrived on Sunday night, almost two full days after their birth...I was anxious as I had not been face to face with them since we met back in MAY. I walked hand in hand with Shane to greet them. It was weird..how do you say hi to the people that you just had babies for? I said hi. They hugged me and we walked nervously up to the NICU. I told them how to scrub in, how to put on the special outfits and took some "before you saw the babies" shots. They walked in and I balled...I was so excited and had so many expectations for how this was going to be..it was not like that at all...they were quiet and in shock..stunned to see two babies on vents. They were in the room for about 10 minutes and then were ready to go to bed...Did they not like the babies? Were they mad or just stoic? I had no idea but all of the sudden I thought what did I do? I cried all night feeling that I was more excited than they were...that this wasn't as important to them as I thought...did I do this for nothing? Those feelings lasted for a night and then came morning...They were tired..they were shocked..their world had just changed forever...they just needed some sleep. From that day on they were wonderful. They tried to include me as often as I liked. I pumped milk so that allowed me to visit the babies and them in the NICU at least once a day. E & S invited me to coffee and gave me a beautiful heart and diamond necklace from Norway along with chocolate and again thanked me endlessly for the gift I gave. I was astounded. I felt close and closure all at once. The next weeks were the same and then baby girl, Linnea, got to go home...a day later so did baby boy, Marius...for the next two weeks I paraded all of my family in to see these miracles..I cherished each second I held these precious ones as I knew these days would be my last. We took one final trip all together to Houston to sign over legal rights for Norway..We spent the day and night reminiscing and then it was time for bed. The next day was the day..the last day I would hold L & M, the last day I would smell them, talk to them, kiss them and I did all of those things. E even let me change Marius' poopy diaper and he peed on me, awww:) I held them both together as long as I could. We had a final lunch and then went to the room to say goodbye. This was by far the toughest moment in my journey. Now I wasn't just in love with these babies but their mom and dad were now my friends. I would miss our daily visits and the budding friendship..I would miss talking about their babies and being in the loop on every new milestone..my part was over and they were on their own...I felt a deep sense of loss and for the first time I was not afraid to shed tears. I cried as I cradled Linnea..I thought back to her sonogram profile...(I could tell what she would look like even then) , I thought about her hiccups and how she always kicked me the hardest at night. I imagined how brave and tough she would be but the reality set in that I may never know her...I placed her on the bed and took Marius from Shane..At this point E was was in tears and escaped to the bathroom. I continued crying anyway..I let my tears roll down Marius' face and I whispered to him that I loved him..Not the kind of love a mom has for her son but the kind that a human has for anything they value. I am not afraid to say that I love those babies..I do and I always will. Not because they are mine or because I want to raise them but because I gave my life to them, to nurture and love and protect them..This journey is an emotional one. No one can hide from that. I would have to be heartless to care less about those babies. I handed Marius to his mommy and she placed him on their bed. I hugged S and then E and I hugged for a while. I told her what an amazing mother she was...that I was blessed beyond words to be able to carry the most precious children in the world. She assured me she would keep in touch and update me and with that we said goodbye.
I wept aloud as I left..I couldn't believe that was it..no more pumping, no more visits no more anything that I could touch.. Everything now will have to be in pictures. I grieved deeply this past Monday night and then by Tuesday, it was done. Again I was able to focus and remind myself that Linnea and Marius were going to meet their grandparents soon...Today is Friday...I haven't cried since Monday but today as I write it all down i can't help but cry...Do I miss them? Yes. I hope someday I will see them all again. I hope their mommy teaches them English so I can tell them how special they are and how much my kids love them. For now I am just breathing..being a mom and a wife and a nursing student. I know I may have a few more low days but I would never change a thing..This has been the most transformational experience of my life.
E and S-You are so inspirational..The lengths you have gone to to have your dreams come true amazes me. Thank you for trusting me and putting your childrens lives temporarily in my hands.
Linnea and Marius-I will love you forever. You are the most special surrogate babies in all of the world. You have forever changed my life and it was the greatest honor I have ever known to carry you both. I wish you all the happiest lives lived with the most deserving and precious parents...love to you-Melissa