Amanda’s Surrogate birth story | June 7, 2017 2:12pm

I went to bed around 10:30pm on Saturday night feeling completely fine. I spent the day around the house taking it easy with my son and went to the movies with a family member that evening. After I went to bed I woke up basically every hour to use the restroom. I couldn’t get comfortable. I normally only wake up once a night. Around 4am I decided to get up because I could no longer sleep. About 4:30am I went to the restroom and noticed some bright red spotting. I was havings cramps with it too. I asked some friends what I should do and was suggested to call the on call nurse and get some advice if I needed to be seen. I called the nurse line at the hospital at 5am. They got back with me at 5:30 am and advised I needed to go in to labor and delivery to be checked out. I went ahead and got dressed. My husband and son was still sleeping at this point. I woke my husband up and told him I was going to go into the hospital. I didn’t want to wake my son so he stayed home. At this point I thought they would check me out and send me home shortly, didn’t see any reason to take everyone to the hospital with me.

I drove myself to the hospital, on my 25 minute drive in my cramping turned into contractions. I was watching my clock and saw that they were coming every 2 – 3 minutes. They were not painful yet but I could definitely feel them. I got to the hospital and walked to the labor and delivery floor. At this time it was about 6:15am and they checked me into the triage room. They hooked me up to the monitor to keep an eye on baby heart beat and my contractions. The contractions were coming every 2 – 3 minutes on the monitor. The nurse checked on my at 7am and told me they were going to give me fluids. Most preterm labor starts because of blood pressure and being dehydrated. They didn’t expect I had either one of those issues but they were treating me for them. They gave me a shot in my arm to attempt to slow down my labor and a shot in my butt to help develop baby’s lung just incase he was born early. Right afterwards I texted the intended father and let him know I was being monitored at labor and delivery. I told him they were doing everything they could to stop the contractions and would keep him updated. They kept monitoring me for about 45 minutes to see if the fluids and shot would help calm things down. They checked my dilation at this time and I was 2cm, 90% effaced with a bulging water bag. The shot wasn’t working so triage moved me to a labor and delivery room so they could keep a eye on me longer.

Once they switched me to the labor and delivery room they started me on mag. to try and stop labor with it and it was supposed to be good for the baby too. Mag has some pretty harsh side effects that make you feel like you have the flu. Luckily for me I never felt them. My contractions were still coming every 2-3 minutes and were getting painful. At 10am the nurse checked for dilation again and I was now at 4cm. I texted my husband telling him we may be having a baby that day and asked him to come up. I also texted my doula and asked her to come up too. I actually never had any official in person meetings with my doula yet, they were scheduled for later in the month. During the time of waiting for everyone to arrive my midwife came in and checked on me. She explained that since I was in preterm labor she was unable to be my doctor but she still wanted to come check on me. I was scared about the baby being born early and she just sat and hugged me for a few minutes reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. She offered to have the NICU team to come talk to me but I knew if they came I wouldn’t be able to hold it together and declined. I didn’t want to believe that I was going to have a baby that day. I kept telling everyone that it was to early. My midwife was with me about 20 minutes supporting me through contractions while I waited for my husband and doula to arrive. Around 11 am the doula and my husband arrived.

At this point we still didn’t know if we were having a baby or not. I kept telling the nurses I didn’t want to have a baby that day that he was to early. The nurses wouldn’t allow me to move around or sit up. They wanted me on my back. They were afraid if I was up or moving that we wouldn’t be able to stop the labor. During the next hour and a half my contractions were getting more painful. My doula was trying her best to make me as comfortable as possible doing different pressure points while I had contractions. They were not checking dilation regularly because they didn’t want to break my water since it was bulging. I asked them to do so since I was in a lot of pain. They went ahead and checked and I was at 7cm. No going back now, we were going to have a baby.

The nurses started to get everything ready by calling NICU. They came down to get everything ready for the baby for after he was delivered. The contractions were getting extremely painful at this point. My doula had to keep reminding me to breath through them. I never asked for the epidural. I figured they wouldn’t give me one if I asked because of how far along I was with dilation. Ealier in the day they said I might not even have to get to 10cm because the baby was only 33 weeks and was going to be smaller then a full term baby. He wasn’t going to need much room to get out.

About 12:30 pm things were getting intense for me. I was in a lot of pain and the contractions were right on top of each other. I kept begging the nurses to let me get up out of bed. I hated being on my back. I had the urge to be on all 4’s but they just wouldn’t allow it. I am sure they were getting annoyed by me asking to get up. I was moaning with nearly every contraction that came and grabbing onto the side of the bed rail. At a certain point I kept telling them I couldn’t do it anymore. My doula just kept friendly reminding me that I could and that I was almost done. Sometime around this time they re checked my dilation because they could see how much pain I was in. The nurse was having a hard time finding my cervix but she thought I was at 10cm. She didn’t want to mess around to much in there because my water still hadn’t broken. The nurse called the OB on staff to let them know I was ready.

The OB was in another delivery and was unable to come immediately. They kept asking me if I needed to push and unfortunately I didn’t have the urge to. I kept wishing I did so that I could get it over with. With almost every contraction I was telling then I couldn’t do it anymore. The OB couldn’t show up fast enough. Around 2pm the OB made it into the room. She and all the other nurses immediately got ready for the delivery to happen. Not even 5 minutes of being in the room the OB broke my water. I could feel the pop from the inside. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt, I remember when they ruptured my water with my previous delivery that it was painful. Immediately after breaking my water I got the next contraction. Even though I still didn’t have the urge to push I went for it as much as I could. One long hard push later baby was born! I felt the ring of fire as baby came out and screamed during it. I am sure if their were any laboring women next door that I scared them.

The OB caught baby and held him and did delayed cord clamping so he could get all his blood. Baby had a nice long cord. His Apgar score was 7 and then 9 at the 10 minute mark. Baby came out crying and peeing at the same time. Baby didn’t need any immediate care for being born at 33 weeks. After about 10 -15 minutes they did go ahead and move him into the NICU to start on some breathing treatment but overall he was a healthy little boy just needing some time to grow a little bit more before going home with dad.

Baby weighed in at 5.12 lbs 19.12 inches at 2:12pm Sunday May 7th, 2017.

Beby spent a month in the NICU. He was mainly working on learning to use the bottle. He was discharged at 37 weeks right under 8 lbs. He is currently back home in his home state with his daddy. He couldn’t be move loved.

If you have made it this far, congratulations! I wrote this while I was still in the hospital and everything was fresh in my mind. This birth was not exactly what was planned. We were originally planning a birthing center birth with a midwife. Things changed at 28 weeks when my birthing center closed unexpectedly and I had to find a new care provider. That’s when I found my new midwife Lori at mercy. I am very proud of myself for this birth and how overall I handled everything. I was in denial that I was going to have a baby that day. It wasn’t until about 2 hours before he was born that I accepted he was going to be born if I liked it or not. I still can’t believe that I did it without an epidural. If there are any mom’s out there thinking about your options I highly suggest doing it natural even if everyone says you cant do it. This was a extremely easy recovery for me. Within 20 minutes I was up and walking around and sitting criss-cross in my bed. I didn’t even need Tylenol afterwards. I remember with my first delivery with an epidural my father in law immediately asked me afterwards if I would ever give birth again and I told him absolutely not! This time, I would of said yes. I don’t know if there will ever be a next time but I do know that if there is I am now empowered to know that I can have the birth I want, whatever that may be.

Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.