Senorita’s birth story by me (surrogate mother and birth doula):
It all started Saturday night, November 24th. We hadn’t seen the daddies for a couple days, so I invited them to our house for pizza and homemade doughnuts. After our meal was over, we started talking about how the birth was going to go. They asked me if I had been having any contractions, and I let them know that I was having very mild contractions that whole night, but because I was able to walk and talk through them, they didn’t count. I let them know that it could go on for days like that, but I hoped things would pick up if Irene was serious.
They left, we all went to bed (well, my husband and son did…I just laid there trying) and around midnight I finally fell asleep. I woke up around 2-2:30am and had to go to the bathroom. As I was trying (unsuccessfully) to get back to sleep, I noticed my contractions were pretty evenly spaced apart at around 10 minutes. I had a talk with Irene and told her either to stop so I could go to sleep, or pick things up so I would know it was her birth day.
Sure enough, I started timing my contractions at 3:40am, and they were staying 10 minutes apart. There I was, laying in bed during early labor next to my sleeping husband and son while looking at Pinterest on my phone in between contractions. Let me tell you, that is a fantastic time suck! Next thing I knew it was about 5:30am and my contractions were still 9-10 minutes apart. I texted my doula Cinda to give her a heads up (I know she’s an early riser) and let her know what was going on.
About an hour later I called my friend Catie, our birth photographer and let her know what was going on. She let me know that she woke up at 3:45am and could not go back to sleep, she had a *feeling* something was happening. Birth worker’s intuition! We agreed she and I both would get some breakfast and get in the shower before she headed over.
I woke my husband up to let him know it was time, but that I was getting in the shower so he could go back to sleep. After getting in the shower, the contractions started getting closer together. I swayed and ‘opened’ during those. I got out of the shower to time them, and they were 3-5 minutes apart. I laid down on the couch and relaxed to see if they would space a little further apart, and called the daddies. They also showered and ate before getting ready to head over to my house. Not long after, Catie showed up at 7:47am (thanks to the picture verification!) and Cinda came at 8:19am.
When they got settled, we just hung out in my living room chatting and laughing in between contractions. At this point, it was drinking, eating, and remembering to go pee to keep up my energy and hydration.
The daddies arrived around 9am, very happy, but also shockingly calm! I thought their energy would be bursting through their seams. Brennon woke up, and was very startled to see all these people in his house. Just like his momma, he is NOT a morning person. He calmed down after a few hugs from mommy and daddy, and proceeded to try to get everyone to play with him.
At this point I felt the contractions were getting a little stronger, so Cinda decided a walk was in store for us. (She was afraid my labor would stall with everyone being there and ‘watching’ me, but I didn’t feel that way at all) We walked around my apartment complex for a while, leaning up against trees, stairs, and random things through contractions. I definitely started the low deep moaning during those. I *think* the surges were coming every 3-4 minutes at that point. When I was done with walking, we came back inside and I laid down on the couch to rest. Lots of pillows later, I was settled and able to almost go to sleep in between surges. The daddies decided they wanted to give me some space, and went to go get coffee just up the street. I remember a major change in the surges right around then. They spaced out to 10-12 minutes apart, but they were definitely stronger. I specifically remember feeling Irene move down during one surge, which was one of the strangest but wonderful feelings.
After resting for a while, I had to get up to go to the bathroom, and Brennon had to come with me. He stuck around for 20-30 minutes after, and jumped in to help during surges. He was rubbing my arm, rubbing my belly, all without being told anything. It was so sweet, and so empathetic of him! All he knew was the baby was coming, and soon mommy would go to the hospital to have her. He was calm, because I was calm.
I decided it was time to go to the hospital around 10:30ish. Cinda called the daddies and told them to just meet us up there. We left my house at 10:55am, and I rode up to the hospital with Cinda in her car with Catie following. Marc stayed at home with Brennon.
We got to the hospital about a half hour later, and I was checked at 12:12pm. 5cm, baby was at 0 station, and 100% effaced. I had to get a hep-lock for the antibiotics for my GBS+ and be hooked up to the monitors for a base reading. Daddies and Catie went down to the cafeteria to get some lunch shortly after I was settled.
We could never get a good reading of Irene’s heartbeat, so I had to be on the monitors for longer than the regular 20 minutes. We finally got a reading, and everyone realized her heart rate was drastically slowing during every surge. The nurse and Cinda quickly got me laying down in the bed on my left side. At some point her heart rate got a little better, but it would always come right back up once the surge was over. I told Cinda I had to pee, but after I ‘got through this next surge’. The second the surge was over I let Cinda know as fast as I could that I needed to throw up. While throwing up, my water broke! At first I thought I was peeling myself, but after it kept coming I knew there was no way there had been that much pee in my bladder. After that I was finally able to go pee. How I held it in, I’ll never know. Immediately after going pee I had a very strong surge that without realizing it, I dropped down to a squat/sit position with my heels directly under my hip bones.
I got checked again, it was 2:25pm and 8cm, 100% effaced and baby still a 0 station in the pelvis. I remember telling my doula to check and see if The Purple Line was there. When it was, we were excited, and had the photographer snap this shot. The nurse was SO confused why we were taking pictures of my butt crack!
Daddies came back in, and I remember saying “I’m naked, but I don’t care. Come in if you want to.” I was then leaning up against the bed with my face in the bed. I got super hot (hello beginning of transition) and had to take what little clothes I still had on, off. When a woman wants to get naked, that’s when you know things are serious and baby will be coming soon. With my head in the bed the whole time, I didn’t know who was doing what, but everyone came together beautifully to help me with whatever I needed. Fanning me, cold wet washcloths, you name it, they did it without even asking. My moans were becoming louder and deeper with every surge, and I even started squatting during most of them.
My amazing Dr. Cobb got there, (I only knew it was then because of Catie’s pictures) and observed for a few minutes. With the next few surges I felt like I wanted to push, and I did a couple little ones during those surges. Dr. Cobb wanted to check to make sure I was a full 10 before pushing, so up on the bed I went. Just like the birth of my son, I had a little lip in the way of me being a full 10cm. It was about 3:10pm and Dr. Cobb had to gently try to stretch out that small lip to help me. That was definitely not comfortable, but Cinda and the daddies helped me through it. It worked and I was a full 10cm, ready to go.
This was when the contractions were right on top of each other and I started feeling myself losing control. I felt like I was totally in control up until that point. This point in labor is one of those things that is so indescribable, you can not know what it is like until you have experienced it yourself.
A lot of what happened next is a blur, so I will do my best to describe what happened. Thanks hormones ;0)
I was hands and knees on the bed, but then quickly went to more of leaning against the head of the bed which was raised. I went back down to the end of the bed, and was coming close to being off the end. Later Catie and Cinda told me they thought I was going to just get up and walk out of there if I could have, ha! I started repeatedly saying “I need something, I can’t do this, I promise I can’t do this.” The doula side of me in my brain kept saying “you’re getting SO close, it’s almost over, so lets just shut the hell up, control yourself and DO IT.” Now, I most definitely don’t say it that way to my clients, but that is how I talk to myself to put my big girl panties on and deal with something. My internal cognitive self was having such a battle with my external physical self that I couldn’t tell you what my name was. I finally tried to cry, to just get it out, by I couldn’t even do that.
Dr. Cobb was on my right telling me how strong I am and that I CAN do it. Cinda is literally right in my face telling me I can do it, and “I am RIGHT HERE with you.” Looking back, those words were so powerful, they gave me the will and strength to pull out of my battle with myself. That, and I finally realized they really weren’t going to give me something. Ha!
After a couple ‘coping’ pushes through surges, I was ready to give Irene back to her daddies. Dr. Cobb pried my hand from his only to immediately replace it with the nurse, who was absolutely amazing. Cinda was at my face. The daddies were on my left physically supporting me while I was squatting on the bed, pushing their daughter earth side to meet them. First serious push, I could feel her head moving down the birth canal. I let out a very loud “FUCK” into the room that was the most satisfying F bomb I have ever expressed. Second push, started feeling the ring of fire, which I welcomed with opening cavernous thoughts ;0) Next push, head was fully crowning and popped out. Smaller push, and the rest of her body came out.
Irene was born on November 25th, at 3:35pm weighing 6 pounds 5 ounces, 18 inches long.
After hearing her sweet, sweet cry I laid my head into the head of the bed and said “I DID IT. I fucking did it.”
Welcome to the world little señorita, you have a LOT of people who love you already.
Photography: Vuefinder Photography
Surrogacy Agency: Modern Family Surrogacy Center