I can't even begin to explain everything as it happened after my last post. The babies were born on December 15th after almost 24 hours of labor. The IPs had been in town for a week by the time they welcomed their precious son and daughter into the world. My cervix had been dilated to three the Tuesday before, and I am known for relatively fast births, so they opted to come sooner. What none of us could have known was that the twins had stretched out my uterus so far that it was rendered useless.
Sunday the 14th, I experienced plenty of contractions, but they weren't awful. I got to have lunch with the IPs that day, then my family had a church Christmas play to attend. Two of my three girls were in the play, so I hoped I could make it through. My contractions were regularly spaced at 6 to 7 minutes apart at that time, so I made arrangements for my girls to be away that night.
We then went home and I took a hot shower, trying to relieve some pain until the contractions would be close enough to go to the hospital. They never got closer than six minutes, but by my second shower of the night, at around eleven, the pain got to be a little bit too much to handle. Allow me to be frank. I have never been in labor before outside of a hospital. I knew I could kind of handle the contractions I was feeling then, but they got worse each time. I realized I would need to go to the hospital soon because I am a huge baby who is afraid of being in pain.
We went and I was, thank goodness, 6 cm dilated. They checked me every hour, but there was no change, so they decided to wait until morning to give me some pitocin to move the pregnancy along. I felt awful because my IPs and my husband were all in really uncomfortable chairs trying to get some sleep. I could not sleep very well, but at least I had a bed. I had an epidural at that time, so I was not in pain. Long story short, after almost 24 hours of non progressing labor, my doctor told me it was time to change the plan to c-section.
I won't say I wasn't disappointed. I did not want a c-section. While I have always been open minded about it, I still viewed it as a failure. My uterus and cervix were just not cooperating. The only bright side was that the hospital allowed both of the IPs to be in the room.
I am going to gloss over this next part. Friends and family have had access to my facebook note about what happened. The babies came out just fine, but because of my super stretched uterus and low iron, I bled. A lot. I bled so much that the doctor accidentally cut a uterine artery- which bled more. I lost quite a bit of blood and had to have a transfusion. At the time I thought it was odd how tired I was. I couldn't stay awake at all. A friend later told me that that wasn't being tired, it was passing out from blood loss. Oops.
I do have a couple of memories from this time though. The first was the sound of two babies crying in perfect sync. The second was feeling pain in my abdomen that woke me up. I could tell something was wrong, but moreso I knew that the pain of being cut was not one I wanted to feel right then. I managed to kick my legs up and I heard someone say that I was bucking. My doctor- bless him- said "that means she can feel everything I'm doing," and he called the anesthesiologist back. I believe he put me in a twilight sleep at that time. I just remember having a mask over my face and breathing in very deeply so I could follow my mom's advice and "just sleep through them stitching you up"
In the end, I had a wonderful team on my case because I woke up, had a doctor explain to me very simply what happened, and they wheeled me into recovery.
My mom told me that the babies got wheeled into the labor and delivery room. The IF asked if I had gotten to see them, to which the nurse responded no. He asked no questions and took that bassinet with two babies swaddled in it. He pushed them all the way around the labor and delivery ward to my recovery room to make sure that I got to see the babies as soon as possible. I was so thankful to have such amazing and thoughtful IPs that they were concerned with me getting to see the babies. I know those first moments are so important, so that they wanted me to see them as soon as I could was just incredibly touching.
I immediately began pumping milk for the little ones. I am still pumping, though I do not make very much milk. The baby girl had some tummy issues and breast milk is easier on her, so we are continuing until the end of May. In August, we have plans to visit the parents (no longer intended) and the twins. I feel very fortunate on that end too. I know many surrogates who do not get this opportunity to maintain a relationship with their surrogate families. I don't know what I did to deserve such a wonderful match with these parents, but I am going to embrace it and be forever thankful.
As for another journey, I specifically told my mother in the recovery room to tell me to shut up if I ever considered doing another surrogacy. As I get further away from that experience and I get to see the change I was part of, I know I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is not recommended that I carry twins again because my OB says that my uterus would probably play the same dirty trick on me again, but I could safely carry one baby to full term. I am going to wait until my six month check up to ask them to check everything and let me know for sure if it is a good idea. If so, I would begin looking for matches. I would love to be a part of one more journey.
Also, I am kind of proud of my c-section scar. It's like a badge of a battle won.