Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Baby Lucy going home! 
Chase holding Lucy. It was so wonderful sharing this with them. 

Joelie with Lucy. She loved her and still asks to go and see her. 

Pacey and Lucy. She recognized his voice. He was the only one that talked to her while I was pregnant.
His famous line was telling her that she didn't know him, that he wasn't her brother, but he couldn't wait to meet her.
So glad he had the chance! 

Here Comes Baby L...

We started with simple position changes. I sat up a little more and sort of leaned forward. I could tell that it helped move the contractions from my back to the front but that was it. The contractions were not more intense and I didn't feel anything else. 

Around 8:30 Dr. C came in to check on me. I didn't even have to ask, I could tell when she checked me that there wasn't a change. I had officially labored for more than 12 hours and nothing was happening. I felt so defeated. We sat and talked about all of our options from getting an epidural to having a c-section. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I got up and went into the bathroom to clear my head. While sitting there I tried my hardest to focus on the goal at hand. I thought about going ahead with a c-section. I knew I did well handling labor all day but the thought of another 12 hours with no change scared the crap out of me. 

I walked out of the bathroom and asked Dr. C if we could take the wand out and stop the Pit. I asked her if she could just give me a break. Of course she wasn't too keen on the idea and assured me that it would be a step backward. I told her that I needed the wand out. She said she couldn't. I told her that I was pretty sure it was falling out again anyway. We chatted for a few minutes about other options and agreed to try some bigger position changes to get the baby to flip.
I turned and told C and E that I had to kick them out for a little while. I just needed some time to think and focus. I also needed some time to talk to Dr. C alone. 

We discussed my fears and our options. I told her that my biggest regret with the twins birth was giving up and having a c-section instead of trying harder, longer with baby b. I knew that no matter what, I wouldn't give in that easily again. She suggested that I try an epidural before making major decisions.
Before she left the room Dr. C made sure that nurse S was okay with the wand being removed. She was. Funny enough, it was barely hanging in there.
Dr. C left the room and Nurse S didn't waste any time getting me into position.
I stood up pulling my left leg up and onto the bed. With the next three contractions I twisted and tilted toward my leg. I felt nothing, just contractions. I told S that I wanted to go back to the bathroom for a few minutes. We got all the machines moved so that I could reach the toilet while still being connected. I sat down and felt a rush of so many different emotions.

I shut all my thoughts down and focused on each contraction. I thought about moving the baby down and making something happen. I pushed through each contraction with all my might. This was it. I had to make something happen. I couldn't go too much longer, I just didn't have the strength.

Within minutes I was shaking. I couldn't tell if it was from fear or something else. I knew I was exhausted. I knew that I was terrified that things would end with a c-section. I thought my body was responding to all the emotions I felt at that moment. I asked S to go ahead and get an epidural for me.

It wasn't until I got up to return to the bed that I realized that something had changed. I could feel the baby low enough that I had trouble walking. I asked S to call Dr. C back into the room.

When she walked in I laughed and told her that if there wasn't a change this time, I was leaving. She quickly checked me and in an instant I knew that we were on our way. 8cms, just like that! That shaking wasn't fear, it was transition. The contractions were coming back to back and were so much more intense. Dr. C grabbed my phone and I helped her get to the text messages. At 10:10pm she sent a text to E that said...
Come back its Dr.C Things are getting exciting.

I remember telling Dr. C that we didn't need the epidural, that I would be fine. At one point I looked up and there was a bar in front of me. The bottom of the bed was dropped down leaving my legs lower than the rest of my body. I was in a semi upright position. I closed my eyes and grabbed the bars squeezing with all of my might through each contraction.
I heard C and E come back into the room but I didn't open my eyes to greet them. I was in the zone and didn't want to step out of it.

Dr. C had me change positions again. I threw my legs up over the bars and used them to pull and push at the same time. I could feel my body responding rapidly. I focused on pushing through each contraction and sometimes pushed from one contraction to the next without stopping. When I felt my bladder leaking I freaked out just a little bit. I was so afraid she was going to get stuck just like Joelie, like baby A. I shook it off and started chanting in my head, "move her, don't think about your bladder". I heard Dr. C coaching me and I hung on to her every word. She cheered me on and gave me something to cling to. I pushed and pushed until I could feel her head emerge. What an amazing feeling... painful, but at the same time, so much relief. When Dr. C told me not to push I stopped. I could feel her slide her shoulders out and that was it. I made it. I did it!

When I finally opened my eyes the first thing I did was look at the baby. I wanted to make sure she was perfect, and she was. So perfect! I looked up at C and E and fought back the tears. I could see it all over their faces, they were already so in love with her.
Suddenly nothing else mattered. The trials in the beginning of our journey, the morning sickness, the crazy NJ doctors, the uncomfortable pregnancy, the painfully long labor... it was all well worth it.

Baby Lucy was born at 10:51PM weighing in at 7lbs 15oz.
This will go down in the books as LLL.
Longest time being pregnant.
Longest labor.
Largest baby.

Ready. Set. Labor.

Wednesday morning I showed up at Labor and Delivery a little after 7am. I answered a few questions and made sure the front desk knew that C and E would be up eventually.

Once in the delivery room I quickly changed into a gown and got connected to the monitors. I was introduced to three ladies that would end up spending the majority of the day with us. Nurse J, trainee L, and student A. I also answered what seemed like thousands of questions.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Dr. C walk into the room a little before 8am. I really didn't expect to see her with her being out sick the day before. She looked like she felt awful and in the moment I felt so much gratitude for her coming in to help me.

At 8:01, and after a few attempts, Dr. C broke my water. It wasn't a gush, but a slow trickle. Baby girl was still high and I was only sitting at 4.5cms.
Dr. C left saying that she would be back around 11am.
I sent E a text letting her know my water was broken and telling her that it would go slow. She told me they were grabbing a bagel and heading up.

The nurses connected me to a wireless device that monitored the baby so I wasn't confined to the bed. Unfortunately I had to go back to the other monitors when baby girls heart rate started reading crazy. She was fine. The monitor was not. So into bed I went. The contractions were weak and I really didn't feel much other than the occasional fluid trickle.

At 12:25 Dr. C came back to check on me. Sadly, there was little change, 5cms. Pitocin was being started which meant that I would have to labor with an Intrauterine Pressure Catheter, that I dubbed "the wand". A few hours later, while using the bathroom, the wand fell out. The charge nurse attempted to put it back in but felt resistance so she stopped. We had to stop the Pit and wait on Dr. C to come put it back in.
Two things I learned up to this point...
1. When attempting a VBAC you get your own nurse.
2. When attempting a VBAC and using Pitocin, you have to have an IUPC.
Around 2:25 Dr. C put the wand back in and was able to rupture my bag of water again.

By 5pm the Pit was cranked up to 3 and we were contracting every 3 minutes. 
By 7pm the Pit was cranked up to 8 and we were contracting every 3 minutes.

I went into this expecting things to take longer than normal. It was something that I thought a lot about and accepted. As the day went on I would set new goals for myself. 11am. 4pm. 7pm... midnight. I can't say that I didn't give up hope, I did.

By 7pm the ladies that spent the day with us were gone and our new nurse, S arrived. She adjusted the monitors to her liking and asked me about the contractions. When I told her that I still felt them in my back she started checking on the baby and said that she was face up. She suggested we try other positions to help her turn. So it began... 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What Was I Thinking?

If you would have told me that I would make it to 40 weeks of pregnancy, I wouldn't have believed you. I knew without a doubt that this baby would be born before 39 weeks. I mean, why wouldn't she? I never made it that long with the other 6 pregnancies.

On March 16th I counted contractions for over 3 hours. They were every 3-5 minutes apart and lasted about 45 seconds each. In addition to the contractions I felt really sick, like I was going to vomit, and had terrible back pain. I went back and forth on contacting E and letting her know. I didn't feel like I was in active labor but I was concerned enough that I wouldn't make it until the following Thursday when E planned to fly to Austin. I finally broke down and sent her a text.
I didn't plan on going into the hospital that night. I figured I would just let things happen and wait until my doctors appointment on Monday. In the meantime, E booked a flight and flew into Austin.
We went to see midwife L on Monday and found out that we were around 3.5cms dilated. Not in active labor and only a little progress from the week before.

On March 20th I ended up going to Labor and Delivery when my contractions were coming every 7 minutes and lasting about 1 minute. I was concerned because I could feel "leaking" every time I had a contraction and I wanted to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid. Test came back showing that it wasn't amniotic fluid. Dr. C came up to check on me and the exchange between the two of us left me feeling sad and a bit defeated. She asked me if I wanted something to "just stop all of this" and I told her no. She also ask if I wanted to be admitted and get an epidural... to which I replied no. When I asked her why she even asked me that she told me that she was becoming concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle all of this.
I left there questioning what on earth I had done to make her think such a thing. I also left there 4cms dilated.

Every single day for the next week was torture. I felt awful for pulling E away from her home and family. I also couldn't stop thinking about everything Dr. C had said. I analyzed and over thought every word out of her mouth. I felt sad. I felt worried. I thought that maybe she was right, maybe I wouldn't be able to handle this.

Our last appointment was on March 25th, the day before our scheduled induction, where Dr.C planned to insert a Foley balloon. I planned on talking to Dr. C and telling her how I felt. I had rehearsed it 100 times. When I went back it wasn't Dr. C that was there but midwife L. Dr. C was home sick. I did end up talking to L about what happened Thursday and she laughed saying that Dr. C must have been tired or out of it. I thought, you know... that might be true. Last cervix check and we were sitting at 4.5-5 cms, no Foley balloon needed.

C flew into Austin to be with E for the delivery. We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 7am the next morning.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

38 Week Check Up

I had a visit with Dr. O on Monday. She is the newest doctor at Nurture. I must admit that I do like her a lot.! I wouldn't say she is as... crunchy as Dr. C or Liane but she brings a little something extra to the practice. Knowing that she could very well be on call and there to deliver the baby I went over my past pregnancies and deliveries with her.

Baby girl is measuring big (fundal height). Her butt is right up under my right ribs and her head is down very low. Dr. O was the 2nd in the practice to mention that she feels like a large baby. I just laugh it off but I do wonder, could she really be that big?!? My largest babies were both 7lb 14oz. I wouldn't say they were any more difficult to deliver but I question the difficulty of a baby any larger! I guess we shall see!

Dr. O checked my cervix and I'm sitting at 2.5cm's. Of course that doesn't mean much. I think that is the hardest part of all of this. If she were my baby I could wait and wait and wait. I wouldn't have my cervix checked and I would just go with the flow. She isn't my baby and I want to give C and E as much information as I can. I want them to be able to prepare and make plans to be here. It is just next to impossible.

My next appointment is on Monday, March 17th. My last appointment is on Tuesday, March 25. During the last appointment my cervix will be checked again. I think the plan is to see what progress I have made. If I'm 4cm+ I will just head to the hospital in the morning. If not, they will send me home with a Foley Balloon. Of course I'm hoping that over the next 14 days I will progress and labor on my own.

I think E will head down toward the end of next week, just to play it safe. She doesn't want to miss the birth and I really want her to be there. I know I could use the support. If I end up in labor before she gets here, my BFF has agreed to go with me to cheer me on!

I have been thinking about something that I thought I would share with everyone. I'm confident that I will have a successful VBAC. It has only crossed my mind a few times that things may be a little more complicated because of the cesarian, but I have no doubt with Dr. C's help that we can make it happen. If I really think about it I must admit that I'm a little afraid. Let me see if I can put this into words...
When I gave birth to B's girls I felt like I tried my hardest. I felt like I gave it my all. But looking back I also feel like I gave up too quickly on Baby B. Of course everything turned out great and the cesarian section wasn't horrible but so many what ifs play in my head. The feeling now is that IF the c-section makes a vaginal delivery more complicated, can I handle it? Will I give up quicker? I think it's that feeling of calmness that came over me during the cesarian. It wasn't difficult or painful. I drifted off into a place that was warm and comforting and I thought for a while I could just stay there.

I just have to go in there with all the confidence in the world and give it my all. I know that I won't give up without a fight.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

33 Week Check Up

It is much easier to write a blog post when you are surrounded by drama and emotions. This surrogate journey hasn't been without both, but things have settled down quite a bit with our return to Texas. 
Our most recent appointment was February 11th. It was pretty routine. We chatted a bit about the contractions, pressure, and movement. We checked her heart rate and fundal height. She is head down and everything looks great! Our next appointment is February 28th.
This pregnancy has just flown by so quickly. It is easy to feel great and not complain too much after carrying twins. What a difference it makes. I will say that things are getting a little more difficult now. I haven't gained too much weight but the extra 25lbs is felt all over my body. The pressure from her being head down can be pretty intense, especially with Vulvar varicosities. Wait... I'm pretty sure Vulvar varicosities isn't a hot topic amongst pregnant woman. It doesn't really fit into the leaky breast, vaginal discharge, Braxton Hicks, hemorrhoid conversations.
Please, allow me to shed some light on it. Although not really common (10% of pregnant women get it), it does happen. Think hemorrhoid of the vagina. I like to refer to it as, 'an alien monster that is growing inside my vulva desperate to emerge and take over the world'. Other people will tell you that it is simply varicose veins that become swollen with the weight of the uterus applying pressure to veins in the pelvic region. It can also be caused by the increase of estrogen and progesterone AND is more common in women who have labored previously with extended pushing. I'm guessing I'm over qualified for that last one?!?
So, in addition to the baby alien I'm carrying around, I'm starting to get the classic nightly leg cramps, swollen feet, and leaky breasts. Oh the joy!

One of the biggest things helping me get through all of this is knowing that my body is responding like normal. It is something I worried about after having a cesarian. I would really like to have a VBAC. Baby girl being in position, the Braxton Hicks, and that darn Vulvar varicosities all give me hope that with Dr. C's help, we will be successful!

So, guesses? Baby Girl is due 03/23. Do you think we will make it?
My guess is March 18th. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


One of the things I missed most about Texas was the food. We have been back here just shy of 3 weeks and I have caught up on all of our favorite places, except one. I have been saving it for a special day. Today.

E flew in for our 5 month ultrasound appointment and I had her meet me (and Joelie) at Chuy's in Austin. I mean, where else would you take someone visiting Texas?!? I thoroughly enjoyed my chick-a chick-a boom boom but couldn't eat much. It was SPICY. 

We had some time to kill before our appointment so I drove E around north Austin. I showed her the hospital we would deliver at and took her out to my house to meet my amazing husband before heading back.

I don't think I can put into words the feelings that came over me being back in the Nurture office. It felt like... home, like I belonged. I swear I could keep having babies just so I could see everyone there on a daily basis! 
We filled out some standard paperwork and headed back for the ultrasound. E called C so he could hear what was going on. All three of us were chatting about the gender while the sonographer got started. I was mid sentence telling C he was getting a boy when I caught a glimpse of GIRL PARTS! I couldn't believe it! The sonographer confirmed it is indeed a girl! I wish you guys could have heard the excitement in the room. I will never forget the sound of C's voice! Amazing. Sweet. 

The rest of the appointment went great. Baby girl is measuring right on track, 19 weeks-5 days. Everything looks good. We met with Dr. C. ((LOVE HER.)) I think E really liked her as well. She was confident in our ability to have a VBAC! I have no doubt that we can make it happen.
Something really sweet... E and I both ended up with a Dr. Seuss book... one for me to read to the baby and one for E and her son to read together to prepare for the new baby. What a great idea! So fun! 

When we were leaving E pulled out a bag with a Hershey bar and two markers, pink and blue. She said her friend gave it to her and told her to color in a pink SHE or blue HE and post a picture for everyone. I watched as the candy wrapper turned pink. So exciting! I decided we had to try one more Austin staple before E headed home. We headed over to Amy's Ice Cream. Guess what was next door?!? Gymboree! Of course we couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick up a couple of dresses! Purple and Pink of course! :) 
I took the HERSHEY picture for E to send to friends and family and we enjoyed our Mexican Vanilla ice cream with strawberries. YUM!

What an amazing day! I couldn't be more thrilled to be back in Texas and back in the care of Nurture OB/GYN. I'm so excited for E and C and can't wait to meet their baby GIRL!