Friday, January 20, 2012

Our birth story

One month ago today I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and handed her back to her loving and amazing parents. April 10th was the day they handed over their daughters for me to carry, nourish and protect and although it wasn't in God's plans for me to carry them both, December 20th was the day their dreams came true as they held Kamryn Sofia for the very first time. Watching them hold their daughter I could see the trials and heartache of the last 4 years slip away. She was here and we could all feel what we had been holding in for so long..relief and joy over this miracle.

Our birth story started when they got into town Saturday evening. They came over for dinner and I didn't mess it up this time. We had decided they would come into town a little early in case Kamryn wanted to come before Tuesday. After dinner they went back to their hotel to rest and get ready for the days ahead. Sunday morning we all went to the zoo and spent a nice morning together. T actually has family in Clovis (which is the town right next to mine) and they were having a get together Sunday night. Travis, the boys and I all went over to their get together and were able to meet some of his family. That was so nice to be able to meet them. All Saturday and Sunday I was having contractions here and there but never anything consistent. We wanted so badly to have her over the weekend but she just didn't want to come. Monday morning we went to Kaiser and met with the social worker and some of the staff that would be there the next day for our delivery. We worked out all of the details and felt very confident about the plans for the delivery. Monday night we all went to my parent's house (including T's parents who had come for the birth) to spend a little more time together.

Tuesday morning came and we were ready. I was up at 4:30 am packing the rest of my things and doing my hair and makeup. I know, it sounds crazy, but I said that since we scheduled this birth I was going to try to look my best for pictures. We got to the hospital by 5:30 am and they started my IV and getting all of the paperwork signed and ready. Unfortunately, the staff that we had talked to the day before had not passed along all of the information about our unique situation to the next shift so there were a few things that needed to be re-clarified when the new staff came on at 7:00 am. Luckily, we got everything worked out before I actually went in.
T and F got to the hospital about 7:00 am along with my parents and T's parents. The excitement kept building as we anxiously awaited our turn for the operating room. I belive it was about 7:45 am when they took me in. As they prepared me in the operating room, F was getting ready as well to come in. Per Kaiser policy we were only allowed one person in the operating room so we all decided it should be F. We were of course a little disappointed we couldn't have T and Travis in the room as well but there wasn't much we could do about that.

We were finally ready to go and they brought F into the room. As soon as F came into the room she said she was feeling a little lightheaded. With all of the emotions and excitement building inside her she needed to sit and breathe for a few minutes. The anesthesiologist gave her some oxygen and that helped a lot. I was grateful at that moment that I had 2 c-sections before so I could help her relax and enjoy what was about to happen. They pulled Kamryn out and we heard the most joyous noise...her cry. As tears streamed down my face I couldn't even look at F, all I could do was listen to her cry and hear the nurses say she was perfect. At 8:27 am weighing 7 lbs 13 oz and 21 inches long we welcomed Kamryn Sofia into the world.

The nurse brought Kamryn over so we could see her. She was so beautiful with dark hair and light skin. She was perfect. I could finally release all of my anxiety I had been holding on to. There is such a huge responsibility carrying another person's child and I needed to know she was okay and I had done what I had promised to do, keep her safe and healthy.

F left to tell T about their daughter and show him pictures that the anesthesiologist so graciously took for F. The doctors finished the surgery and sent me off to recovery to join Travis, T, F and Kamryn. As soon as I got in there I was able to hold her skin to skin against my body and allow her to nurse. I'm sure many people would worry about that being too much of a bonding experience and making it harder for me when Kamryn left to go home. It wasn't like that for me. This whole journey my head and heart have known that everything I am doing for this little girl is to help her to be as healthy as I can. Which is why I nursed her and I continue to pump and send her milk.
We spent the next day (Wednesday) recoving and enjoying our time together. Then Thursday they released all of us. Travis and I drove back to our house and back to our family as T, F and Kamryn drove home to begin their lives as a family of three.

People always ask me if it was hard "giving her up" and I tell them that I didn't give her up, she was never mine to give up, I gave her back. It is a completely different mind set going into a surrogacy knowing from the beginning that she is not mine. I do love her and I always will but it is a different kind of love than a mother and child. She will always have a piece of my heart and I am grateful for the opportunity to remain a part of their family and for them to remain a part of mine.

Since the birth I have gone back and read the comments that everyone had posted and I just want to say thank you. Your encouragement and support lifted me up and gave me strength. It is amazing how God works through the words of caring friends and family. I just can't emphasize enough what it meant to me to read them all. What an amazing journey we took this past year and so blessed to have been able to share it with all of you. I can't wait to see what is in store for 2012!

I am not done blogging, it will just now be more of my family and random thoughts from my head. Thank you for following!

Happy Birthday Kamryn!
1 month old