Sally's Surrogacy Journal
Born December 16th, 2000 @ 3:50am & 3:52am
7lbs 8oz & 7lbs 7oz
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
September 16th, 1999
After seven months of searching for IP's (intended parents) I received an email from Heather in Maryland. I had posted an ad on online and had received over 200 emails from couples in need! I had already been through two IP's that had fallen through and was afraid to get my hopes up again. Heather and her husband Sergey needed a gestational carrier to help them with their family. A year earlier Heather had been in a car accident when she was 8 months pregnant with twins and tragically lost the babies and needed a hysterectomy. I felt greatly for Heather and wanted to help her. We continued our emails getting to know each other and before I knew it we were doing bloodwork, physical exams and legal contracts. I was so happy to be doing this.
March 12th, 2000
After months of painful injections Heather has her egg retrieval. She goes to the Cooper Clinic for IVF in New Jersey and has six eggs retrieved. Four fertilize and are frozen for the transfer!
March 31st, 2000
My husband, myself, and our son Tristan pack the car for the trip to New Jersey. I have to be at the fertility clinic the next morning for bloodwork and ultrasounds. We leave our home at 8:30pm in Ontario and arrive by 8:30am. We are sooooo tired from the long drive. It is the first time we meet Heather and Sergey. All the tests go perfectly and I am started on an oral medication called estrace.
April 2nd, 2000
We sign the contracts with Heather and Sergey at the hotel we are staying in. They take us for a tour of Washington D.C which we absolutely loved. Tristan also enjoyed the trip! We left for Ontario the next day.
April 13th, 2000
My flight leaves Toronto for Baltimore at 6:30pm. I arrive in Baltimore at 9pm. I am so nervous on the flight, thinking about everything that is going to happen. Will the IVF transfer be painful? Will I have to have the daily injections? I miss my family, I can't imagine being away from them for ten days!
April 18th, 2000
I am staying with Heather and Sergey in Maryland at their home. I miss my family terribly. I am now on estrace, progesterone suppositories, medrol and doxycycline. The IVF nurse calls me the day before to tell me to start my progesterone injections. After she gives me the instructions I cry for about an hour terrified about the needles. They are almost two inches long (20gauge needle) and have to go in the upper outer quadrant of my buttock. I have to start with 1/2 cc before noon and 1cc each day after. It is a horrible way to wake up every morning knowing you have to have a needle! After much whining and complaing Heather finally injects me for the first time. To my surprise it never hurt at all but it was a bit sore afterwards.
Sally and Heather :: April 21st, 2000
April 21st, 2000
After having my fourth needle we all get ready for the four hour drive to New Jersey for the transfer. I am not nervous at all as I hear it feels like nothing more than a pap smear. Heather and Sergey are a nervous wreck. The embryo's survived the thaw and are now a 9cell, two 4cell and one little 2cell. The 9 cell had the most promise for becoming a baby. We discussed the procedure with the doctor when we arrived and I had to drink a lot of water. I was taken back to where I had to undress and put on a paper gown. I was starting to get very anxious. I was lead into the room by a nurse with Heather at my side. I was given a valium and was giggling within minutes. Unfortunately, the happy feeling only lasted a few minutes. We got to see the photos of the four embryo's. Once the doctor came in the lights were turned off and I was laid down and a speculum was inserted. The doctor asked the nurse if she could see the transfer catheter on the ultrasound screen. I did not even feel it go through my cervix because it was so small. The whole procedure lasted less than three minutes. Heather said she could see the four embryo's float off. When it was all done I had to lay flat for half an hour. I called my husband and it was nice to hear his voice. I felt so far away from him and wished he was at my side also. On the drive home I felt a little cramping which is normal. It felt really weird all of the sudden now that everything was done. We had been waiting so long to get to this point. Once we got back to Maryland I had to stay on bedrest for two days. I mostly watched tv and read books. One book in particular that was excellent was "Conceiving Luc" it was written by a surrogate and her intended mother. It was a beautiful book. Two days after the transfer I flew back home to Ontario to be back with my husband and son. Tristan looked so different! He is only 16 months old and growing like a weed.
April 24th, 2000
My aunt (who is an RN) teaches my husband how to give the injections. He is a little apprehensive but confident that he can do it. The following day he gives me the injection but is somewhat forceful causing me to curse. After a few days of mistakes, such as injecting twice because of a missed air bubble, injecting too hard, and forgetting to apply pressure after, I consider my husband an expert! My injection sites bleed a lot now because we are now going over old bruises. The fluid is more painful going in as time goes by but my husband's encouraging words keep my optimism with this surrogacy up.
April 30th, 2000
After many days of bloodwork (for estradiol & progesterone levels) and pregnancy testing (that all showed negative) I ask Andre to go to the grocery store to get more pregnancy tests. I am 9 days post transfer and know it's probably way too early to test but the first test showed two very faint lines. I asked Andre what he thought and he said he wasn't sure. So, I did the second test that came in the kit and both lines showed up very strong. We couldn't believe it! I called Heather to tell her the happy news.
May 1st, 2000
My pregnancy test is confirmed through blood with a beta HCG count of 92 only ten days post transfer. An ultrasound is made for May 17th and a prenatal for May 30th.
May 3rd, 2000
My beta HCG count is 403 twelve days post transfer.
May 7th, 2000 5weeks 2days
The progesterone suppositories that I have twice a day are seriously irritating me. I begin bleeding and develop a yeast infection. The hormone feels like it is burning holes into me. I am advised to stop taking them and increase my injections to twice daily. So, now I am on 2cc of progesterone and estrace pills daily. I'm in so much pain vaginally that I'd rather have the needles than those suppositories! My hips are very sore from the needles though and it hurts to turn in bed.
May 11th, 2000 5weeks 6days
I am instructed by the clinic to reduce my estrace pills to three a day instead of four. My hips look like a dartboard with over a hundred little red dots all over it. We now do the shots in the tub where it is more comfortable. I don't regret doing this at all, it is so worth it.
May 16th, 2000 6weeks 4days
I spent the night in the hospital with severe dehydration. I have been so ill with morning sickness (and food poisoning) that I have been bedridden and unable to keep anything down. After a bolis of IV meds and liquid gravol I feel much better. I am sent home with a prescription for diclectin (an anti-nauseant medication for pregnant women.) I can now stop taking all my IVF medications, yeah!
May 17th, 2000 6weeks 5days
I am now feeling much better and today we had our first ultrasound! We learned that I am carrying two little babies, Heather and Sergey are expecting twins! Both had beating hearts and were nestled beside each other. I am so happy it is twins, since this was my IP's only chance at IVF, these babies will always have each other and not be an only child.
May 31st, 2000 8weeks 5days
The nausea is starting to go away but I am really turned off from food and I'm nibbling on little things all day. I am at the stage I hate, too early to look pregnant but big enough to look fat. In the morning I wake up feeling like I've run an marathon. These babies are taking all my energy. By 11am I am usually feeling pretty energetic, but by 4pm I need to take a nap for a couple hours. I can't wait to get to the second trimester. My next prenatal is booked for June 8th with Dr.Langford.
June 8th, 2000 9weeks 6days
I had my prenatal today and Dr.Langford says I am in good health and 10 weeks pregnant. The twins are due January 4th, 2001.
July 6th, 2000 13weeks 6days
I had my 14 week prenatal today with Dr.Langford. I have been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions (which I had with Tristan's pregnancy). She told me not to worry about them unless there is bleeding and/or they are painful and frequent. My blood pressure was fine and my weight has stayed pre-pregancy at 184lbs. (Probably from the morning sickness made me lose a lot of weight). I will be having a maternal serum screening (blood test for genetic problems) at 17 weeks and an ultrasound sometime in August. I have been wearing maternity clothes for a week now.
July 8th, 2000 14weeks 1day
The braxton hicks have stopped, and I am much more comfortable. I felt the babies kick for the first time today! Three times on my left side and twice on my right. I've been feeling little flutters for a while and was really surprised how strong these kicks were. My uterus is measuring normal for twins and my waistline is a whopping 120cm (45inches)!!!
July 21st, 2000 16weeks
My waistline measures 48inches now, I'm averaging an inch a week. My lawyer Sherry Levitan (Toronto) sent me the contract addendum which I received today. Andre and I must sign the corrections made to our original contract. I must have monthly pregnancy tests and dr's comments sent to my IP's lawyer. Haven't felt any movement from the babies in about a week. Still pretty early for them to be active daily.
July 29th, 2000 17weeks
Today I had my blood drawn for my maternal serum screening test.
August 4th, 2000 18weeks
I had my 18 week prenatal yesterday with Dr.Langford. My blood pressure was normal (114/60) and my uterus is measuring average for twins. I got to listen to the babies heartbeats by fetal stethoscope. There is one on each side of my uterus. Dr.Langford said they are probably both sitting in there facing each other. How cute! The maternal serum screen was abnormal and indicated spina bifida. Normal chances of risk are 1 out of 1000, my test showed chances of 1 out of 117. My doctor has advised amnio but my IP's don't feel it is necessary so we won't be getting it done. My next ultrasound has been set for September 6th (23weeks) and I have been referred to obstetrician Dr.Shannon.
August 9th, 2000 18weeks 6days
Finally bought myself a body pillow! A really big thick one because I am so uncomfortable at night. My belly is really big and it is uncomfortable on my back and hips at night, so the pillow really helped me sleep last night.
Sally :: August 20th, 2000
August 20th, 2000 20weeks 2days
I now feel the babies everyday, especially in the afternoon/evening. They always kick after I eat something or lay down. I am eating like a horse now and going to the bathroom every 40 minutes. I feel really good and the only complaint I have is fatigue that comes in waves in the afternoon. Since my uterus is growing I have a lot of pressure on my diaphragm and lately it has felt as though I have a tight belt around my lungs. I know this pressure will go away soon as I had it with my son for a couple weeks. My belly is getting big and my waistline is now 49inches!! I am getting really excited about the upcoming ultrasound and I can't wait for the parents to be able to see their babies! Things I am craving are...pizza, chocolate chip cookies, big veggie salads with french dressing, bluberry frozen yogurt in waffle cones, all kinds of sandwiches, apple juice, peanut butter, and lately a huge desire for a thanksgiving dinner, you know the turkey, mashed potatoes, turnip and stuffing. Sheesh!
Ultrasound :: September 6th, 2000
August 31st, 2000 21weeks 6days
I had my first obstetrician appointment today with Dr.Shannon. My uterus measured 31 centimetres, and my blood pressure was normal (110/60). We listened to both of the babies heartbeats, they are doing great. I really like Dr.Shannon, he took time to listen to me and and explain things patiently. I really feel comfortable with him and I hope he is able to be there for the delivery. My biggest pregnancy complaint is that I am now up 2-3times a night going to the bathroom.
September 6th, 2000 22weeks 5days
Today we had our second ultrasound. It's a boy and a girl!!! The parents have named them Victoria and Peter. They each weigh 1 lb 8oz and look perfect. Baby (A), Victoria is laying transverse along the bottom of my uterus and Baby (B), Peter is laying transverse along the upper part of my uterus. There is a placenta at the front and back so my cervix is clear for a vaginal delivery. Their heartbeats were 136bpm and 150bpm. The parents made it for the ultrasound and we all received sets of photos.
September 21st, 2000 25weeks
Today I saw Dr.Shannon, my obstetrician. I am 25weeks, everything is measuring perfect. Last night I went up to labour and delievery because I had been having two days of intense braxton hicks contractions. I went to make sure I was not dilating and I had not which was great. My cervix is long and closed and Dr.Shannon has advised me not to worry about braxton hicks unless they get painful. I have no complaints, I feel really good but I am getting big! The next ultrasound is set up for October 6th.
Sally :: 27 weeks ultrasound
October 8th, 2000 27weeks 3days
Wow! I am 27 weeks! I had my 3rd ultrasound on the 6th and everything went great. Twin A, Victoria, is head down, 3lbs 2oz and her brother Twin B, Peter, is transverse 3lbs 3oz. Their weights are great and if born now would aide them tremendously. They gained 2lbs each in only four weeks. I eat all day and all night now, I guess that's why they've gained so much. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so we will finally fix that turkey craving. I have a lot of pressure as baby A has dropped and it's getting hard to walk. It is very uncomfortable and has been getting progressively worse for the last week. My uterus has dropped so I no longer have problems breathing!!! I now have my own little breakfast table to set my bowl on! Looking forward to getting these two out, running out of clothes and can't wait to be able to sleep normal again.
October 10th, 2000 27weeks 5days
Lots of pressure now and it's getting very difficult. I can hardly walk and had a little bit of bleeding in the morning that stopped. I think a blood vessel broke in my cervix from all the strain. I see Dr.Shannon on Thursday, hopefully I won't start any bleeding again. The twins are moving a lot, I'm getting kicked and prodded all over the place.
Sally :: 28 weeks
October 12th, 2000 28weeks
I saw my obstetrician, Dr.Shannon today. Everything is perfect. My blood pressure is 110/60 and uterus is measuring at 37cm (same height as someone full term). Both babies are active and had heart rates of 147bpm and 138bpm. Dr.Shannon was more doubtful of their weights, as ultrasounds are not very accurate and he also doesn't think we should get too excited about the sexes either (they are often wrong!) I also had my cervix checked and it's still long and closed. I still have lots of pressure and the bleeding the other day was more than likely just a blood vessel. So no concerns, I can keep doing whatever I want to do. I have been started on 300mg of Iron now (since the babies are making blood) added to my daily prenatal vitamins. Dr.Shannon advised I buy some All Bran (Buds) cereal, I think it may come in handy with all that iron ~ yikes. Tomorrow I am going to the MDS lab to have that wonderful orange drink to test for gestational diabetes and have my blood drawn (can't wait!) Next OB appointment is Oct.26th and next ultrasound is Nov.3rd.
October 19th, 2000 28weeks 6days
I passed the my GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test), that orange drink tastes so much better when they make it cold. With Tristan it was room temperature and I wanted to throw up! Turning in bed is becoming difficult but I have to keep turning or my hips go numb.
October 27th, 2000 30weeks
I saw Dr.Shannon yesterday for my 30week check up and everything is perfect! My blood pressure was 120/70, fundal height 40cm (full term singleton uterus) and I have had no cramping, dilating, effacing, swelling, or other problems. My blood tests from 2 weeks ago looked really good and I passed my glucose tolerance test with a 4.8! My hemoglobin counts were low though but because he started me on 300mg of iron a day two weeks ago my energy has really picked up! I had an internal and my cervix is still long and hard and baby A is head down. So all is clear for a vaginal delivery right now. The babies heart beats were 147/141, and they are both thriving. Dr.Shannon said I'll probably go around 34weeks and that only about 1 out of 10 women need inducing at 38weeks. I can't believe how wonderful everything is going, I feel so blessed. I don't get any braxton hicks anymore but I'm still nesting like a crazy woman. I have to go for my DNA testing on Nov.1st, I will have blood drawn, my photo taken, fingerprints and all that fun stuff. DNA kits are also coming for me to keep for when I go into labour. When the babies are born the OB that delivers will use the kits to take the blood from the babies umbilical cords and then send it off to the DNA labs so that all the proper paperwork can be taken care of. Everything is falling into place now, I can't believe it's almost over!! The next ultrasound is November 3rd, I shall post those photos too!
November 1st, 2000 30weeks 5days
The DNA tests for the babies arrived earlier this week. They contain the vials for the doctor (to take blood from the umbilical cords) and TONS of forms for the me to fill out at birth. I went into the lab today to have my DNA test performed. They took a vial of blood, took my photo, filled out some forms, and fingerprinted me. My IP's will be having their DNA tests on the 3rd (day of my 31week ultrasound). This is all done to prove the babies are the genetic children of my IP's and not my husband and I. It is also done so that the parents names can be put on the birth certificates.
Sally :: 31 weeks
November 3rd, 2000 31weeks
We had another ultrasound today. Since the babies are so big it's hard to see much on the screen. We did manage to get a picture of their heads together. The babies are now transverse facing each other with both heads on my right side. I am incredibly uncomfortable, it's starting to hurt when I walk and to compound that I have the flu. Twin A weighs 5lbs 5oz and her heartrate was 130bpm and Twin B weighs 5lbs 2oz and his heartrate was 136bpm. All in all I'm feeling really miserable (from the flu) and not to happy about them being transverse.
November 6th, 2000 31weeks 3days
I am absolutely miserable. I have a horrible cold and what makes it even worse is I can't take anything to make myself comfortable. Tylenol only takes the edge off for so long. Night time has been a real nightmare. I have to sleep sitting up or I get really congested. I'm drinking a lot of apple juice, can't get enough of it!! My husband now has to do the "bear hug" technique to help me out of bed since I'm just too heavy to lift myself. I can't sit on normal chairs either as my feet go numb! Things wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't sick. Tristan has been sick with me and we lie in bed together and watch cartoons and eat lots of soup and toast. We still have our appetites which is good!!
November 10th, 2000 32weeks
I had my 32 week ob appointment yesterday. Everything is still going great! Babies heartbeats were 144bpm and 141bpm. One of them has gone head down (not sure, some major moving around in there lately). I am really happy that the head is presenting the right way, just hope it stays that way. My blood pressure was 115/70, fundal height 42cm and my cervix is still long and closed. Dr.Shannon said this pregnancy is being a perfect text book one which is really great!! I have packed my hospital bag finally!
November 20th, 2000 33weeks 3days
The pregnancy is becoming really hard :( I have insomnia, indigestion, heartburn and pain in the pelvic area. A few days ago the heartburn was so bad that I wasn't keeping things down. I was throwing up a lot because my stomach is so compressed. I spent all last week with cramping and contractions that would go on for hours and then stop. It's beginning to get very frustrating for me now. The babies are very active and one of them is always getting hiccups that I can feel for hours. I can't imagine 4 more weeks of this (which is all I have before I'm induced). Today we are going to the maternity ward at Stratford General to register and go over our "birth plan". I don't really have a "birth plan" especially with twins!
Sally :: 34 weeks
November 23rd, 2000 34weeks
I just had my 34 week ob visit. My blood pressure has decided to go up to 130/70 :( Edema has set in unfortunately and it looks awful. My legs, hands and the area above my bladder are swollen with fluid. I can't wear my wedding ring anymore but Dr.Shannon said the edema will disappear at birth. My fundal height is 45cm, babies are still (A) head down (B) transverse (which is great) and their heart rates were 153bpm and 141bpm. All those cramps and contractions actually did something because I am now 2cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby A is at -2 station. Dr.Shannon told me that one of his patients who is also pregnant with twins and with the same due date as me delivered last night. Both babies were born vaginally over 4 1/2lbs each and doing great on their own. That's good to hear!! I get to see Dr.Shannon again on the 29th of November.
November 27th, 2000 34weeks 4days
Last night I went up to labour & delivery because the cramping was just so bad! The babies are doing fine, my blood pressure has stayed the same and I'm now dilated to 3cm. Some progress. The doctors said I should keep off my feet some more and that I could still easily go full term even though dilated. I'm just letting nature take its course at this point.
November 29th, 2000 35weeks
Saw Dr.Shannon today and my blood pressure is 130/70, so it's holding steady. I'm 3cm, 60% effaced. Feet and hands are swelling bad and I'm officially miserable!
Sally :: 36 weeks
December 7th, 2000 36weeks
I saw my ob today and I tested positive for Group B Strep. My ob was not concerned at all, said it's very common and it's nothing to worry about. I have to have antibiotics via iv during delivery, must be administered 4hours before birth. Other than that everything is good. He wouldn't do an internal, said he knows I'm definately still dilated and he doesn't want to irritate my cervix.
December 14th, 2000 36weeks 6days
It's been a rough week. Very very sore and in a lot of pain. Ankles are swollen as well as fingers, toes, calves and the area above my bladder. It's very difficult at night to sleep and my hearing is muffled also from the edema (it has affected my ears). I'm nauseous all the time and my appetite has slowed. Weight gain has also slowed significantly!! Dr.Shannon stripped my membranes today and I'm still dilated 3cm. Baby A may be presenting a butt instead of a head so I have to go to the maternity ward tomorrow for an ultrasound to be sure. If head first, induction will be next week, if butt first a caesarean will be scheduled next week. Either way, I won't be pregnant a week from now. Words cannot describe how happy I am to have this done!
Sally :: Ultrasound 37 weeks
December 15th, 2000 37weeks
I arrive for the ultrasound at the hospital at 9pm. By 10:30pm, Dr.Shannon is able to see us. I am taken to a birthing suite and we start the ultrasound. Dr.Shannon sighs and tells us both babies are breech. I feel so disappointed :( Dr.Shannon says we can attempt a vaginal delivery and that he's willing to induce me! We can't believe it! He checks me and I'm 5cm. He does a stretch and sweep on my cervix and I go to 6cm. My husband runs to call the Heather and Sergey, the lawyers, and some family members. By 11pm my blood is taken and an IV line is started. I am started on antibiotics for group b strep and syntocin is started to induce labour.
Birthday :: December 16th, 2000
December 16th, 2000 (Happy Birthday!!)
An epidural is started. My husband had left to get my things and buy some film for the camera so I only had my nurses hand to get me through the process. My anesthesiologist was wonderful, he explained everything he was doing. The local injection stung a bit and I jumped a little and then the epidural catheter was done. Overall, it was not near as bad as I thought it would be. After 5 minutes, I am in complete and utter bliss.
Dr.Shannon checks me and I am 7cm dilated!
Dr.Shannon breaks my water and I am 8 cm dilated! An internel fetal heart monitor is attached to Twin A.
Twin A's foot descends into my vagina and Dr.Shannon tries to moves it back up but I then get cord prolaspe. A vaginal birth is too risky now and the decision for caesarean is made :(
I am packed up and moved to the operating room. My epidural is wearing off and I am so scared.
Once in the operating room the nurses help me to move off my bed onto the surgical table. I am very scared and I don't know what will happen. I'm trying to hold back all the tears. I lay down and automatically they begin to strap down my arms and legs. I am shaking all over and am so cold. My husband is outside getting on scrubs and I keep asking for him... they tell me he will be in soon. I'm not really coherant as my epidural is upped and is making me feel woozy. The nurse comes over and begins to swab my belly with antiseptic. I can feel her do it and suddenly I begin to panic! I exclaim I can still feel things and they tell me not to worry. There are so many people in the room, I am so nervous and feel like I'm in a dream. Dr.Shannon comes in periodically to see what's going on and I start to feel tears on the sides of my cheeks as I know there is nothing I can do to stop this. The anesthesiologist comes in and gets upset with the nurses for prepping me. He exclaims that I'm still able to feel things, that he will have to fix my epidural and that the nurses will have to reprep me. The nurses crab among each other and I feel so bad! The anesthesiologist runs an ice cube along certain areas of my stomach and sometimes I feel it! So, the nurses and the anesthesiologist ask me to turn over on to my left so they can check my epidural. I keep exclaiming that I can't. I am strapped down but cannot manage to tell them since I'm so woozy. (They didn't know I was strapped, another nurse had put on warm blankets). I finally exclaim "arms, are strapped" and they laugh and undo them. They then all try to push me over and I keep telling them "you can't!" My legs were strapped down!! They are all pushing and heaving, thinking my legs are just numb from the epidural. I exclaim again "you can't, legs are strapped". Boy, it took a lot to say that. The anesthesiologist gets annoyed and exclaims "her legs are strapped down?? Come on, let's get this done!" So they unstrap my legs and I give it my all to turn over. I then get another 30cc into my epidural, but nothing happens. He then says he will have to do a spinal. The nurses get me to sit up on the surgical table. I can't believe how woozy I am! He begins my spinal and suddenly I feel like I'm falling asleep. I hear them calling my name but I can't respond. It's like I'm trapped inside my body, I can hear them, but I can't answer them. Someone pinches me in the stomach and I moan out! They say they are pinching me somewhere else but I don't feel it. I know a spinal is being done but I can't feel it and then I passed out. I guess I was overloaded with aneasthetic, I don't know? I keep coming too and going and I start to lose all feeling in my body and get tense and scared. I feel like I can't breathe, I can't swallow! I get restless and call out to everyone that I can't breathe. Everyone keeps reasurring me that I can breathe just fine. Then I hear the screaming of a baby!! I open my eyes, I want to see her, but I can't. I feel a nurse nudge me and I look up and there is Victoria swaddled in front of me. She has white vernix on her face but is soooo beautiful. I close my eyes again and then I hear the second baby cry out and it's so beautiful to hear. Victoria Elizabeth was delivered at 3:50am tipping the scales at 7lbs 8oz and measuring 19inches long. Her brother Peter Alexander came quickly after at 3:52am tipping the scales at 7lbs 7oz and was 18inches long. Both are healthy newborns with no problems! They are taken to the nursery and afterwards the nurses move me onto my bed again and I'm wheeled back to the birthing room. I drift off to sleep :)
Twins :: December 16th, 2000
I open my eyes and I'm still shaking feel nauseaous. They are monitoring my blood pressure a nurse is sitting next to me. Across the room I see Dr.Shannon and my husband (both dressed in scrubs) working on the cord blood for the DNA kits. The next few hours are just shaking and waiting for feeling to come back to my body. The babies are brought in and their bassinets are at the end of my bed. They are so beautiful and I wish their parents were here with them. Around 8am some of my family members come to visit and oh and awe over the babies. We feed them and change them and admire their little fingers and toes.
Twins :: December 16th, 2000
The nurse awakes me and tells me the parents of the babies have arrived and asks what she should do. I tell her to let them come in and to bring the babies (they are in the nursery). Heather walks in and I cry and reach out my arms to her. Her husband is behind her and it feels so good to have her there. I tell her everything that has happened and that they have beautiful perfect twin babies and that everything is wonderful! She is crying and we both try to say so much. We talk about the last month and all the difficulties we were having. They all seem so insignificant now, the babies are here! The nurses bring in the babies and Heather grasps her face in disbelief and Sergey reacts the same. The babies are at the end of the bed and we are all alone. I keep telling them to pick them up but they are so overwhelmed they can't. I reach over and pick up one of the twins and hand Heather her baby. She sits down and cries!! It was so beautiful, even in my drugged induced haze, I remember it so vividly. I guess they just couldn't believe and accept that their dreams had come true and that little Victoria and Peter were finally here and theirs. We all talk and admire the twins. I feel so happy that everything is working out and I am not sad at all! Heather keeps exclaiming "thank you Sally!" It was one of the most beautiful times in my life.
Twins :: December 16th, 2000
Sergey comes into my room and hands me beautiful yellow long stemmed roses and my husband also arrives with red ones. I cut them and put them in a vase. The nurses come in and tell me that I have to be moved to a private room, that the birthing suite needs to be open for another woman. It's way too early for me to be moved as I was not supposed to be moved until after dinner. I cringe in fear as I know how painful it's going to be. Everyone starts to move my things and the parents go out into the hall holding Victoria and Peter. This was definately a moment in my life that was excruciatingly painful. With my husband behind pushing and three nurses lifting they all try to get me off the bed into a wheelchair. I am crying and and telling them I can't, it hurts! The incision site burns and I feel ripping pain with every tug and push. They manage to move me (I was totally uncooperative because of the intense pain). I scream out in pain horribly and at one moment it's so unbearable that a breath nor tear was able to happen. They sit me down and I cry so hard. It was the worst part of my time in the hospital. Everyone exclaimes how great I did but I can't open my eyes. As I'm pushed out of the birthing suite I open my eyes and everyone is standing in the hall watching. Heather is holding Victoria and has a horrified look on her face, I wish she didn't have to see me in such pain, I know it was killing her. I am moved to my new room and again, the pain of being put back into a bed. It's a much higher bed and I exclaim there is "no way I can get into that bed!!" The nurses once again lift me, I cry out and it's finally over!! It is not something I care to remember! Recovering from a caesarean is so painful. Heather and Sergey are given a courtesy room to stay in so that they can take care of their babies and bond. Lots of people come to visit me and my husband never leaves my side.
December 17th, 2000:: The day after
December 17th, 2000
My catheter and iv's are removed. It's so nice to be able to walk and do things for myself. I was getting sponge baths in bed and it felt nice to finally shower. The incision only hurts when I try to get out of bed and on and off the toilet. Bending over to get something is NOT possible. I visit Heather and Sergey and the twins. They are all doing so good! Our city paper comes in to do a follow up story on all of us.
December 18th, 2000:: Holding the babies
December 18th, 2000
I'm still in a lot of pain. I walk the halls a lot and visit the babies. The more I move the better it is to cope with the pain. It's wonderful watching Heather and Sergey bonding with their new babies :) It turns out that Victoria had velamentous insertion of the umbilical cord and a very severe case of it. The prolapse cord was actually this and her entire amniotic sac was covered in vessels. Dr.Shannon said we were very lucky that she was born alive and healthy and that he couldn't believe it was missed as it has a high fetal mortality rate.
December 19th, 2000
Tired of the hospital Dr.Shannon says it's okay to go home. I am now on Tylenol 2's and Toradol for pain. We all go to our place and meet our lawyer. My husband and I and the parents sign the necessary documents releasing our responsibility to the babies. Now, the parents must wait for a judge to write up an order so that they can get over the border (judge is in Maryland). We spend the afternoon with Heather, Sergey and the babies. We order pizza and talk about how precious Victoria and Peter are. Afterwards they go to a hotel uptown to wait for the paperwork.
December 20th, 2000
Today is a rough day for me. It's my first day alone at home. My husband takes Tristan out to let me rest for the afternoon. I end up spending most of it crying my eyes out. Talk about hormones ~ it's awful! Being alone was not doing me any good, as I ended up thinking about how it was all over, and terrified something bad would happen to the babies. I felt guilty that something would happen to them. My husband came home and helped me through it, I wasn't wanting to keep the babies, nor did I feel a void, I just was afraid of someone hurting them. It's hard to explain. I guess, because I had carried them for 9months and and took care of them and now no longer was. I was so happy for Heather and Sergey and knew they would always take care of their children, but hormones can make you feel weird things. Of course that maternal urge was kicking in, that urge to protect them and care for them.
December 21st, 2000
I'm still in a fair bit of pain. When rising, turning and walking. The incision is healing beautifully though and is just a small line. But, it feels like a lot of tugging when I walk and stabs like a knife when I get up. We all go to the my famiy doctor today to have a check up. The babies are doing great, birth weights have dropped and they are now 7.7lbs and 7.3lbs. Perfectly normal. They are both eating really well and are so happy and quiet when held. I was 244lbs when I went into labour, I am now 229lbs. How frustrating!! My doctor tells me it's from all the swelling I have.
December 22nd, 2000
Today we go out to do some shopping. Really behind on the Christmas thing! It's so bitterly cold, the temp has been sitting at around -23C. I'm having a hard time dealing with the cold... I think the babies used to give me so many hot flashes and I was always cooking, now that they are gone I feel chilled to the bone!
December 23rd, 2000 (1week post partum)
Heather and Sergey get the proper papers to go home! Yeah! They are so thrilled to finally be able to take their babies home. They both come in to say goodbye, Heather gives me a big kiss and hug and then they leave. I did not see the babies as I had visited with them earlier at their hotel and it was probably for the best. It would just be so hard to say goodbye to them again. I'm feeling really good about everything and I'm so happy for Heather and Sergey. I had a little cry because it's all over and I will miss Heather and Sergey and their new family. I understand that once your surro babies are born it is a loss just like any other and surrogates do their own type of "grieving". Overall, physically I am amazed at how blessed I was to have a safe pregnancy and delivery.
December 30th, 2000 (2weeks post partum)
I can't believe it's already been two weeks! I heard from Heather today, they got the results from the DNA tests. The tests revealed that the babies are 99.7% genetically related to them. Now Heather & Sergey can have their names put on the babies birth certificates. I feel really great, my incision area doesn't hurt at all, but I still feel a little tugging. My weight loss has slowed somewhat but I am down to 205lbs. Can't do much about it right now since I'm not allowed to exercise. I can't believe I've lost over 40lbs in just 2weeks. My body feels so much better! :)
January 8th, 2001 (3.3weeks post partum)
I received health cards for the twins, don't think they'll be needing them though. I also got my own results from the DNA lab that showed I am NOT the mother of the twins. It stated ...."The mother is excluded as the biological mother of the children based on the allele sizes" and that probability of parentage (for the intended father) is 99.7%. That's courtesy of the DNA Diagnostics Center in Fairfield, Ohio.
January 10th, 2001 (3.5weeks post partum)
The babies now weigh 9lbs (Victoria) and 10lbs (Peter). Both are doing really well, keeping their parents busy and tired! Victoria still beats up Peter, kicking and pushing him; just like in utero!
January 21st, 2001 (5.1weeks post partum)
The end of my stitches came out yesterday. I am happy that it is healing nicely and quickly. I will be seeing my OB soon for my last visit. The twins are now 11lbs and 13lbs, Heather will be sending pictures of them soon and I will post them soon.
The Birth ~ Written by Heather....
At 11:30pm we received a call from Micheal Grant telling us Sally was at the hospital and she was going to have a c-section because the babies were breech. When the phone rang we had the feeling it was it!!! We were so excited and nervous! We had packed our bags several days before so we left 15 minutes after this call. The day before was unusually cold for Maryland temperatures and there was still ice on the roads so we had to be careful driving. But we were so excited, anxious and happy, we wanted to arrive in Stratford as soon as possible. We arrived at 11:05am at the hospital. On the way we were worried about Sally, we knew she much preferred a natural delivery and a c-section was not on her wish list, but we knew she was in good hands beause we were told long before that the Stratford hospital has excellent staff and Sally's ob is real good so this made the worries a little less.
When we arrived we asked where the maternity ward was and a nurse told us the 2nd floor, so we rushed through the door and to the elevator and then we pressed the intercom button. The person on the other end asked us who we were and we explained. So, we got in and a nurse named Pat received us. She is a very nice nurse and she directed us to Sally's room. Despite the operation Sally looked beautiful and she was awake. We hugged her and she told us we had beautiful babies, feelings were overwhelming and words cound not be put together for such a moment, Sally told us about the operation and we felt bad we could not be with her at those moments, but the c-section was unexpected. I told Sally she will always be my heroine. She made this miracle possible, a double miracle and for the rest of my life everytime we see our babies she will be in our thoughts. When we first saw our babies, tears were hard to contain; my heart was beating so fast and the floor felt like it was moving. Still now, it is like I'm part of this beautiful dream and I'm afraid to wake up! We look forward to the future and to raise our babies with all this love we saved all these years. It feels like our life has just began and we are loving it!