Ok, let me start at the beginning and see if I can remember all that happened. It went by so fast it's kind of a blur. At my 36 or 37 week appointment I had an ultrasound done to check the size of the baby b/c I was measuring big and he was already measuring 9 lbs! I was shocked, as were the IFs, but I know the ultrasound measurements can be off, especially this late in the pregnancy, so I just kinda blew it off and didn't believe it.
About 2 weeks went by then I had another ultrasound done at 39 weeks to check his size again and this time he was measuring 10 lbs 4 oz! We were all shocked, again. This time it was a bit harder to just blow off but I was still pretty certain that it was at least a pound off and I would be fine to do a vaginal birth (my last baby was 9 lbs 3 oz). Some of the doctors were REALLY pushing for me to have a c-section but I was totally against it. I asked them about inducing early and they absolutely refused which really made me mad. It makes absolutely NO sense why they are ready and willing to cut me open at 39 weeks and take the baby out b/c of his size but refuse to induce me b/c of size. I still don't understand it, especially since I was induced with my last baby b/c of her size (same doctors office and everything).
Anyways, we ended up going back and forth about it between me not wanting to do it to the OB pushing me to do it and scaring the IFs with all the horror stories about what could happen when trying to deliver a big baby then the IFs pushing me to do it and I ended up scheduling the dreaded c-section for the next day when I would be exactly 39 weeks. It wasn't what I wanted but I also know that this isn't my baby and I didn't like the thought of something possibly happening to him during the birth and me being responsible. We've worked too hard and come too far to let something happen to him now and I would never have been able to live with myself if something had happened. Plus I think it was probably for the best, considering how big he ended up being.
So, my IFs were already on their way and decided to go to the pre-op appointment with me. We just signed some paperwork and she let us know what to expect and answered some questions we had then we all (me, "I", "A", I's mom, my MIL and SIL and my 2 girls) went out to eat for dinner. The c-section was scheduled for 10:30 the next morning. We got up and my wonderful hubby took Alyssa to school as usual and brought me back a CFA biscuit for breakfast totally forgetting that I wasn't allowed to eat...LOL. Oh well, it's the thought that counts :) We finished getting ready and took my youngest daughter to my MIL's house then me, hubby and my mom went up to the hospital.
Once we got there and got signed in and everything they took me back to the recovery room to get ready for the surgery. They hooked me up to the monitors and an IV and pumped me full of fluids. Then they put these lovely giant sock things on my legs that went all the way up to my thigh and had the toes cut out. I'm guessing so they could make sure my toes weren't turning blue b/c those things are so tight. We were in there for a while and had to sign more paperwork and do god knows what else. Then we walked down to the OR and I sat up on the table to get my epidural. I love epidurals but I hate having them put in. It's such a scary thing to put so much faith in someone you don't know and hope to god he knows what he's doing. Plus I hate hearing/feeling the epidural needle scrape against my spine. Gives me chills just thinking about it.
Once the epidural was in they had me lay down on the table and things got scary for a minute. My blood pressure dropped to about 50/75 and I almost blacked out but as soon as I told them they started pushing meds into my IV and I started to feel better at least for a second. After I came back from that I started getting really nauseous (which I told them and they quickly started pushing more meds into my IV) and started throwing up. The meds started working pretty quickly and I was feeling better and they brought my husband in who forgot the camera :( Thank god for cell phones! Once they got started they brought "I and A" in. I was shocked they actually let both the guys in the OR. They usually only let once person in the OR with you so they made a major exception for us which I was very thankful for.
Before the c-section I (jokingly) told my husband that if this baby came out weighing less than 10 lbs I was gonna kick "I and A's" butt! Then when I was lying on the table right before the surgery the OB (same OB who told us the day before that this was probably going to be a 10.5 lb baby) was feeling the baby in my abdomen and said, "I don't know, we might have a 9.5 lb baby in here." I was like WHAT?!?! You better be glad I've already had my epidural and can't get up right now lady!
Baby Nathaniel was born on April 13th (yes, Friday the 13th), exactly a week before my due date. He was 11 lbs 4 oz and I think he was 21.5 inches long. BIG baby! As soon as they pulled him out I immediately felt better. It was like a huge weight was lifted and I could breathe again and was more comfortable. After that "I and A" went down to the nursery with the baby while they stitched me up and took me to recovery.
What I wish I'd known about c-sections:
1. That they leave the epidural in for 24 hours. I thought they would take that out after the surgery and I would be up and walking around later that day.
2. How much I would miss that epidural once it wore off b/c the Rx wasn't helping with the pain.
3. How hard it would be to get out of bed for the first time (especially when your legs are still half dead from the epidural)
4. That it's not just the incision that's gonna be sore. My stomach muscles, all the way around the sides too, felt like they had been pulverized.
5. How extremely painful the gas pain is after surgery and that you can have gas pain in your shoulders.
6. That the surgery was going to cause really big numb spots in my lower abdomen.
7. Apron. Need I say more :[
When I was in recovery they let a couple of family members come back and see me a few at a time. My stomach looked and felt really weird. It was completely sunken in like they had taken out a few organs and forgotten to put them back.
I don't remember much else about what happened that day. It's pretty much a blur. They took me down to my room and I know a lot of people were coming in and out and the guys came to visit and brought the baby to me but that's about all I remember. Tommy stayed with me that night and Zoe stayed with his mom and Alyssa stayed with my mom.
The next day, Saturday, Zoe had a soccer "game" so Tommy left early that morning to go watch her play. That afternoon they took the epidural out and I was in a lot of pain. Then I had to get out of bed for the first time and walk to the bathroom and my blood pressure dropped again and I almost passed out. That was pretty much how my whole day went. People came and went and I was very sore and just trying to heal and not pass out when I got up. The first time I got up and walked down the hallway it felt like I had just ran a marathon. I managed to walk halfway down to "I and A's" room that evening and Tommy pushed me the rest of the way so I could go for a visit. "I's" mom was there and "A's" mom and dad were there. They were all very happy to see me and kept thanking me and giving me lots of hugs.
On Sunday the baby and I were allowed to go home. It was a very bittersweet goodbye. I was SOOO ready to go home and get out of the hospital and get back to my own life. "I and A" are great daddies. Very attentive to him and even though they've got this huge baby you would think they had a tiny little preemie the way they acted. Everything the did they did so carefully like they were afraid they were going to break him. It was hilarious! I can't wait to watch him grow and watch them grow into their roles as dads.
Since the birth everyone always wants to know how I'm doing emotionally. A lot of my friends and family told me from the beginning that it was going to be hard to give up the baby. I always told them it wouldn't be b/c I truly don't want any more kids right now. I'm doing this with the sole purpose of helping someone else have a baby and knew going into this that the baby isn't genetically mine or my husbands. Why would I want to keep someone elses baby? If I wanted a baby I would have one of my own, the easy way. In the back of my mind though I was prepared for the worst. I even warned the guys to expect me to be all hormonal and emotional (just in case). I had heard about all the emotions you go through after surrogacy from a lot of other surrogates. Plus I know how crazy your hormones can get after pregnancy.
I know it probably sounds terrible but, I can honestly say I felt no connection to the baby after he was born. It was more like how I feel towards any of my friends kids. I never got upset about any of it and taking care of a baby was the LAST thing I wanted to do after that c-section.
Now, everyone's favorite part. PICTURES!!!
night before the c-section
a very happy family, goal accomplished :D