December 8, 2010 -- the much anticipated birthday of the Smith twins
Wow, what a big break! I never intended to stop blogging, but my time online has been pretty nonexistent for months now. I wanted to take a few moments to write about the end of this beautiful journey and how much it has meant to me.
Beautiful baby A had been breech for quite some time so a c-section delivery was imminent. I had months to prepare myself and accept this. And I think that is part of why I am not having any post-surrogacy sadness/incompleteness. (More on that a bit later)...
The end of pregnancy discomfort didn't take place up until the last 3-4 weeks which was surprising to me. With twins I expected discomfort to be a part of each day way early on in pregnancy. My feet weren't swollen until 2 weeks prior to birth and the babies (as large as they were) didn't create too much pain until about 3 weeks prior. Mr. Phoenix loved to, or didn't have much room or choice, to push into the left side of my ribcage. It wasn't painful, but just uncomfortable. But that was the worst of the uncomfort. The babies were both very active as they grew and became more confined -- my belly was always moving around like crazy. So funny to watch and to have others see from across the room. :p
The doctor never put me on bed rest and told me many times how perfect this pregnancy has been and how I give him no trouble. With regular check ups and ultrasounds we were able to predict the health and end of the pregnancy. Which was a blessing... The birth was scheduled for Dec. 8th at 12 noon about two weeks before. This gave us all a set date even though with twins it was unlikely to go that far. But my womb is very comfortable to little ones for some reason ... they never like to leave.
December 8th came and I was surrounded by so much love and support, it was truly amazing. I got through the spinal and felt no pain -- the babies were out before I even knew I was cut in half. First was Miss Asha Evelyn weighing in at 6 pounds 14 ounces at 12:57 and then Mr. William Phoenix weighing in at 8 pounds 1 ounce at 12:59. They were, of course, both breathing on their own, crying, and welcomed into this world with so much love. Seeing A with her babies was magical... there are no words to describe the feeling of seeing a mother with her babies in the first few moments of life. So amazing!!
The babies were taken out by the nurse and proud new momma while I laid there to get stitched up. Not being able to feel anything was a strange experience, but it was kind of nice to not have to do any work. With my kids, a normal vaginal delivery was so exhausting. I believe that sort of traumatizing experience made me closer to my babies, created the initial closeness with them. So not having to work hard to deliver the twins made less of a bond. I remember getting into my recovery room and telling everyone how I felt normal and that I didn't just give birth to two babies.
Although it was strange for me at first to not be pregnant anymore, my belly was flatter, I wasn't as uncomfortable (well a different uncomfort now), I was so out of it with all the morphine and oxycodon -- I was so thankful that I didn't have two little ones to care for. Wow, I can't imagine how moms do it after a c-section. I was tired, groggy, and not there enough to care for babes. I was able to rest and relax ... and recover well.
The next few days in the hospital were filled with lots of baby time. It was so wonderful to see the babies. Hold them, feed them, see my family with them, and see the Smith family interact with them. They are the sweetest babies ever... not fussy or anything. They were thriving and so very healthy, so amazing all around.
The amount of love and gratitude shown to me was amazing. I will never forget this experience. I had flowers and goodies from everyone; I didn't expect this sort of appreciation. My room was filled with so much love, support, and beautiful flowers -- all of which helped me tremendously.
I haven't had any depression problems at all. I honestly believe that is due to the lack of a traumatic natural birth. Recovery has gone amazingly well. I was off my oxycodon 10 days after surgery and walking around pretty much back to my normal routine also. My mom has been a blessing to me, cleaning and caring for my family. I definitely couldn't do this without her. I am going in today for a two week check up to make sure the incision is healed up properly. I'm nervous to see the scar, but will be relieved to know everything is okay.
The hardest part of this journey had to be the injections at the start and the IV before birth. I was poked a LOT!! Going into this I was terrified of needles, I still am, but not as much. God was looking out for us... this whole journey, front to back, was perfect. No problems, no worries. And what a wonderful blessing for us all.
The best part of this journey was bonding with A and M through the pregnancy. They were so attentive and caring -- taking good care of me with goody bags full of baked goods, juice, candles, belly butter, and all sorts wonderful things through the pregnancy. When the end came it was wonderful to see them complete. It was wonderful to witness the magic between them all, so much love. The glow in both their faces was priceless. I'm so grateful to them and their extended family... forever!!