Friday, March 1, 2013

A Photo Finish

If you have not read the birth story yet and would like to, please click here.

Welcome to the world Miss Molly!!

A huge thank you to Terah Pliliey Photography for the amazing images.

Molly is here! Part 3- Delivery!

Part 1

Around 7 Thursday morning, the nurse came in and let us know we could start Pitocin soon. They put it in on a slow drip at 7:30. Katie went to the hotel to take a nap, and we sat and waited for things to get moving. My next exam showed no improvement, and I was still happy and talking. We wanted to increase the Pitocin, so they did, and the contractions finally started coming better. At 9:50, the on call doctor decided to break my water, I was between 5 and 6cm dilated. I had not wanted to break it until further along, but she thought this would be the only way to get things moving without just continuing to increase the Pitocin because she knew I didn’t want an epidural. I was not happy but let her break the water to get things moving. Then she reduced the Pitocin to a 2.

The monitoring really wasn’t going well, my contractions were really hard to pick up on the monitors, so I decided to let them try and place an internal monitor. Yeah, that ended up a bust. Not only did they dig around forever inside to try and place it, it freaking hurt!

My contractions weren’t responding to the low dose of Pitocin, either. So we again asked them to increase it, favoring a “git er done” approach rather than this up and down we were seeing. They increased it two more times, up to a 6, which helped quite a bit. By 12:45 when the doctor came to check on me, I was 7cm dilated and 80% effaced. As soon as she left, I told Maria I was going into transition, I could feel it. I started to focus inward and take myself to a quiet place to work things through.
I didn’t feel comfortable on my back and knew that if I could get the pressure off my back I would be able to get through it better, so I flipped on to all fours on the bed. During the time I was on my knees, I prayed and reminded myself to relax and let my stomach muscles relax and it wouldn’t hurt so bad. When I relaxed my stomach muscles and focused on breathing, it didn’t seem as bad, though I knew they were stronger now than they had been yet.

I guess I had everyone in the room fooled into thinking things were stalling again, though. With all my inward focusing, I was so quiet and still that Maria thought I was getting a little break. I was a little too eager in letting her know there was no such break. Not even a few minutes later, I could feel her head coming and let everyone know she was coming with several grunts. I was ready to push.

The nurses called the on call doctor in to come and catch and when she came in, she was not happy that I was on my hands and knees. But this was how I naturally KNEW it would be ok. Molly’s head was already there. I could have pushed her out before the doctor even got there! Unfortunately, the doctor did not agree with me, and I was flipped unhappily onto my back. At this point, all the progress I felt I had made on my knees stalled out. There was at least a good 5 minutes where nothing happened between flipping over and pushing. It was heart wrenching. But the doctor wasn’t comfortable with me on my hands and knees, so onward we went.

Finally, it was time to push and focus and get Miss Molly out, on my back. Suddenly, I began to fear the crowning “ring of fire,” and cry. Maria helped calm me down and soothed me.  I don’t remember how many pushes there were, but it felt like my pelvis was spreading so far. Something was wrong, her shoulder was stuck for a few seconds. It took a little more effort to get her out, on all our parts. I tore. Finally, at 1:52, she arrived. She was 8lbs 10oz and 20” long. In spite of her shoulder getting stuck for a few seconds, she was perfect and her shoulder had no issues.

While they suctioned her and clamped her cord, I remember just announcing, “I did it, I did it!” and Maria smiling and agreeing with me. As they wiped Molly up, Katie cried and kissed me and thanked me for helping them bring Molly in to the world.

Katie cut the cord and they handed her to me. Before I let her go, I told her it was my pleasure to carry her. Then I got to experience the joy of giving Katie her long awaited princess. What a glorious moment it was. The look on her face will be forever ingrained in my memory like a photo. The moment was frozen in time.

I couldn’t have asked for a better journey. Katie, Kevin and their entire family were amazing. My doctor was amazing. The Labor and Delivery nurses were awesome. This truly has been a dream come true. Watching Katie and Kevin fall in love with her was the biggest reward I will see here on earth for this journey.

My husband- who had gotten there around 10am, unfortunately, was out while all the good stuff happened, but got there less than 2 minutes after Molly arrived. When he got there, he hugged and kissed me and told me how proud he was of me. And then he asked if I wanted to do it again.

Heck YEAH!

Molly is here! Part 2 - More Pre-labor

Continued from Part 1 *Please read this first!*

Wednesday, I sent the boys to school, fully expecting to have to call in help to get them from school. Once they were at school, my friend Natalie came over and we sat and chatted. I had a whole bunch of little contractions but nothing time-worthy or consistent. About 10:45, Natalie started rubbing my ankles with lotion. A few pretty good contractions, but again, nothing time-worthy. It was an early-release day at school for the boys, and Shane was at work. Luckily, his office decided that this week he would be in the Dallas office and not out of town. I picked Brian up from school at 12 and told my friends I’d probably see them next week and drove off to get Micah and relax at home for a couple hours before Micah’s appointment across town. I sat on the ball for a little while during that time and really didn’t feel anything noteworthy. At 3, we got in the car to leave.

Somewhere along the way, I started having some contractions. They didn’t really hurt, but they were noticeable. At one point I remember thinking I was seeing flies in the car. Turns out I was having a contraction and didn’t breathe through it. I was seeing stars. I was talking to my friend Brooke on the phone and told her I was seeing stars and that I think I’d had a few contractions in the 30 minutes I had been driving. I had to take Micah in to his appointment, but I told her I would call her back for the drive home because I wanted to have someone on the phone in case I needed help.  Brian and I went inside to wait for Micah, but Brian started having issues being a polite little boy, so we went out to the car. While we were inside the building, I had a contraction and was pretty uncomfortable. In the car I had several more. Timing them was kind of impossible while trying to negotiate with a tantrumming Brian. I called my mom and we were chatting. She noticed I was having them more than just “every little while,” and I let her know about seeing stars. She and I decided I would stay on the phone with her for the drive home. I went inside and got Micah at 4:30 and called mom back and drove home. My back was hurting during the contractions, so I really couldn’t tell how far apart they were at all. They all felt like one contraction at that point. But with the way I was breathing, mom calculated they were about 6 minutes apart.

Sometime during the time we were at the appointment, I talked to Katie and let her know I thought they should stick around town for the evening (they were planning to go to Fort Worth), and felt bad for asking them to break their plans again… but I really just didn’t want them to miss anything.
When I got home, I was trying to focus and pay attention long enough to time them, but the boys were just extra rowdy and there was no way I could time them. My friend Kristina (also a surrogate and pregnant with twins!) stopped by to give us something, and I asked her to help me time them. She sat with me probably over two hours timing them. When she first got there, they were about 5 and a half minutes apart. At about 5:15, my doctor’s office called to remind me that I had an appointment in the morning. I told them I didn’t think I was going to make it. It took me a few times of saying that for her to “get it” that I was probably going to have the baby or be having the baby by then, but she got it. She asked questions about the contractions and reminded me to call when they got between 3 and 5 minutes apart. I said I’d call back in a little while.

While Kristina was there still helping me time contractions, Shane got home from work and Katie and Kevin arrived with dinner, ready to go to the hospital. I knew I needed to eat, who knew how long I would labor. So I tried to eat my salad, but all I could manage was the chicken and a little of the fruit. At some point during the time I was eating my chicken, Kristina let me know they were four and a half minutes apart. I could no longer breathe through them without tears. It was time to go. The excitement in our tiny apartment was almost overwhelming. I remember thinking, “Am I crying because I hurt or because this is exciting and really happening?”

All through the afternoon, I had been texting with Maria, my doula, and letting her know what was going on. I think I kind of freaked her out at first, not knowing how far apart they were and telling her there was pressure in my lower back/bottom areas. I think I was just so consumed with it happening that I didn’t know what was really going on. At 7:05 I texted her to let her know we were all heading to the hospital. Since Shane had to stay with the boys, I kissed him goodbye, and got in the car with Katie, Kevin and Jack. On the way to the hospital, I remembered I was supposed to call the on call doctor and let them know my contractions were between 3 and 5 minutes apart. I made the call and gave every bit of information to the voicemail during one long breath while having a contraction.

When we got to the hospital, the on call doctor called the nurse’s station just as I was signing myself in. Nice timing. Over the next two hours, through my contractions, things were busy around me. I was run through the admission stuff. Maria, doula, and Terah, photographer, arrived. And contractions continued.  I had to be monitored for quite a while at first.  The monitors were barely catching the contractions at all. At 10, they finally removed the monitors and I was free to labor as I needed to.

Eventually things started settling down around me, one being that Kevin took Jack back to the hotel since nothing was going to happen for a while. We decided to take a few laps around the labor and delivery area. Around 11:30 the nurses checked me again. I wasn’t much further along at all, and contractions were about every 2 to 2 and a half minutes. After the nurses left, I moved to the exercise ball, again to encourage her to move downward. Unfortunately, sitting on the ball was like telling Molly, “Nope, go right back up!!” and contractions stopped dead in their tracks. I got back up in the bed and they returned for a little bit, but then I had a popsicle and I turned on my side during monitoring. Molly didn’t like me being on my side, though so I ended up switching sides and going to sleep around 2am. Contractions had stopped again.

At 3:40, the nurses checked me again and I had made no progress. Still dilated to only between  4 and 5cm, and only 60% effaced still. We decided that if they didn’t come back soon I would consider a slow Pitocin drip. In my head, I thought “One way or another, Molly is coming out. No more starting and stopping.” I had already felt enough of a fool for calling Katie and Kevin as early as I did to come. But looking back, I really did call them right when I was supposed to. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t start Pitocin without a doctor’s orders- and no doctor would have been in their right mind to order Pitocin in the middle of the night, they want their sleep! So I sent Terah home to sleep until we knew what would happen in the morning, and Maria and I got some rest. Katie did too for a while, but then got up and left for a bit to pump and chill out for a while. I think she might have been too pumped to sleep.

Molly is here! Part 1- Pre-Labor

First off, I sincerely apologize for not posting sooner. If you had not figured it out by the lack of posts, Miss Molly is here! She arrived on February 21st at 1:52 pm!

I have been recovering and taking my time writing the birth story, so that's why this has taken so long to post. I will warn you, it is long, and it starts with a lot of the same stuff I posted on the Tuesday I last wrote. But at the end of it will be a beautiful birth slide show as a reward for reading :) I will post in parts. The first part will be Pre-labor days. The second part will begin the day before she was born. And the third will be "birth" day. Please enjoy <3


Friday (February 15th) morning, I started feeling weird. I had a gut feeling in my heart that Katie and Kevin needed to get here as soon as possible. That feeling overwhelmed me. I started having loose stools, started just feeling “off” and super emotional. I debated calling Katie that day and asking her to leave. I decided I would wait the night out and sleep on it, and if I woke in the morning with the same feeling, I would let her know. That night I became so overwhelmed that I just let it spill out in one huge ugly cry.

Saturday Morning I woke up with the same feeling, but was still struggling with telling them to come down. I didn’t want their time here after Molly was born to be cut short, so I didn’t want them to come earlier than necessary. Around noon, we were getting ready to go out for the afternoon as a family. I was sitting on the exercise ball and started noticing a pretty good cramp pattern. I sat for a couple hours and we timed them. They were coming about every 6 minutes. About two and a half hours after they began, I decided we needed to let Katie know they probably needed to head out from Montana now. I let her know I didn’t know if it was time or if it was just my body getting things ready, but it was up to them to leave or not. We had a few errands to run, and decided that since they were staying at 6 minutes apart, we would try to encourage them to change and get closer together or stop if they weren’t real. So off we went to run our errands and have a late lunch. They continued through our late lunch and all the way home. As we neared our apartment complex they started getting pretty intense. I cried through a few of them. So I texted Katie and asked if she maybe would be able to get on a flight at their next major airport because they were getting more intense.

We got home and I sat back on my exercise ball to encourage movement downward. (I had not experienced Miss Molly “dropping” yet, so I was hoping sitting on the ball would help with that.) Unfortunately, just a few minutes after we got home, and probably about the time Katie and Kevin left Montana, the contractions stopped completely. I tried a few things to see if they would come back, but they didn’t. I don’t remember if I texted Katie that they had stopped right away, or if I waited a few hours to see what happened. Either way, I let them know the pressure was off to get here so quickly.

Katie and family arrived late Sunday night, and Monday morning Jack woke up sick. They decided to rest for the day and come over for dinner. Since it was a work holiday, Shane was home and we went to the park in downtown Dallas. Shane parked at the garage he parks at for work, and we walked around down town for a bit and to the park. We didn’t end up actually staying very long at the park, but the walk back was fun… if you like getting lost. At least I was getting my walking in. By the time we got to the car, I guestimated we walked about 3 miles. It was a good walk, just not as productive as I had hoped. My husband dropped me off at the salon for a manicure and pedicure, which felt amazing! After we got home, Katie and family came over for Chinese food. We had a great evening, the boys played great, and it was very relaxing. Just what all of us needed, I think.

Tuesday morning Katie and I headed to my doctor’s appointment. I was 3cm and 25% effaced when my doctor checked me, then she stripped my membranes and said we’d likely have Miss Molly in the next 48 hours. I didn’t doubt her, she really dug in deep to strip them. Unfortunately, she was going out of town and wouldn’t get to be there for it. I was sad about that, but felt I was pretty comfortable with most of the doctors in the practice so it didn’t bother me.
Tuesday night, I started doing some natural labor techniques, like nipple stimulation, sitting on the ball, walking, and threw in a couple funny lookin’ squats for good measure at the end of the night. I checked the weather and seeing that rain and thunder were scripted for Wednesday night, posted to my surrogate group that I bet I was in labor by the time the storm hit Wednesday evening, it was slated for around 7pm.