Early Arrivals - 31 Weeks 2 Days - 10/29/98
Well, I guess the dr. wasn't kidding at our appt. on Wednesday when he said it could be tomorrow because at 3:00am Thursday morning, my water broke. I woke up to use the restroom and a few moments later, I felt a small gush of fluid. I realized what it was immediately because that is how my labor started with my daughter. I used the bathroom and then went to tell my husband that I thought my water had just broken. As I was telling him, I felt another small gush and told him that I no longer thought it was broken...it definitely was! He shot out of bed and asked me, "Are you sure?"! "Definitely", I said!
I called my mother in law, who lives just up the road from us to come and stay with the kids. Then I called the hospital to let them know we were coming. After that, I called Bev to let her know what had happened. She asked me, "What should I do? Do I need to drive down there?" I told her yes because, even though they may be able to hold labor off for a little while, there was a chance that they would be born that day and she needed to be there. "Ok, we're on our way!", she said. I made two more quick phone calls to Dana and my Mom. Then, Joey and I proceeded to fly around the house like chickens with our heads cut off, trying get dressed and packed. At that point, we didn't know if they would try to stop the contractions or if it would be too late for that by the time we got to the hospital. Remember, I was already dilated to a 3 the day before and the hospital was an hour away. The contractions started within about 30 minutes and for a time, they were coming pretty close together (about 5-7 minutes apart), but, about halfway to the hospital once the mad rush was over, they started to spread out a bit.
We finally arrived at the hospital around 4:30am. They checked my cervix and did a ph test for the fluid. My cervix was 3-4 cm dilated and the amniotic sack was "bulging", but, the ph test came back negative. Ok, now I was really confused. I began to question myself and wonder if what I had felt could have been something other than my water breaking. But, there was just no way! I knew it couldn't have been anything else. Besides, the contractions had been relatively calm for the past 3 weeks and now, all of the sudden, they were coming regularly again. Could that really be just a coincidence? I don't think so. I think I had a slow leak and because I had just used the restroom before they checked me, there was no evidence of it on the ph test.
The dr. would be in by 8am so we were told to just wait for another leak or for the dr. to show up. In the mean time, they gave me brethine to stop the contractions, antibiotics in case of an infection, my first steroid shot to help mature the babies' lungs, and IV fluids. Then we waited.
My mother called my grandfather that morning to tell him what happened. He couldn't go back to sleep, so he came to the hospital and kept us company while we waited. Scott and Bev arrived a little after 7 and we filled them in on what was going on. Grandpa is a very sensitive and caring man, but, I am afraid he has had a difficult time understanding my surrogacy. I have tried my best to explain the logistics to him, as well my feelings and motivations for becoming a surrogate, but, I think being able to meet Scott and Bev at the hospital that morning helped him more than anything else. I am so thankful that he was there and was able to see how much Scott and Bev wanted these children and how loved they would be. Even as he left, he told me that he would still always think of the babies as his great grandchildren, but, he knew now that they were going to have great parents and they would be ok. Needless to say, we were all in tears when he left.
The dr. arrived a short while later and basically said that, if my water was broken, it would continue to leak, but, until that time, they would keep me on the brethine to stop the contractions. If I had another gush or leakage of fluid, they would stop the meds and wait for labor to come. I was given breakfast and shortly thereafter (around 9am), another dose of brethine. Bev's mother and sister arrived and we spent the next couple of hours waiting to see if anything would "happen". Finally, I felt another gush and Bev went to get the nurse. She came and checked me again and this time the test came back positive. The nurse called the dr. and he told them not to give me any more brethine and just wait for labor to start up again. I figured it wouldn't be long, as it only took 3 hours for the brethine to wear off that morning, but, the wait turned out to be quite a while longer, this time. It was pretty funny. Everyone was just sort of standing around the room...watching me...watching the monitor...waiting for something to happen! I told them I had performance anxiety! LOL! Finally, the contractions started coming regularly again at around 3:00pm. The nurse came in, checked the strip and called the dr. We were told that the surgery would be around 4:00pm and everyone was asked to leave so that I could be prepped.
The moment finally arrived. I was wheeled into the OR and given the epidural. It wasn't long before I started feeling pretty ill (nauseous, hot and dizzy) just as I had during our US appts. The anesthesiologist put a wedge under my back to help offset some of the pressure on the main artery that the uterus was pressing on. It didn't help much and she said I was turning really pale and urged the drs and nurses to hurry up. She also gave me some medicine to help relieve the nausea. Scott, Bev and Joey came in just as the dr was making the first incision. I was so thankful that they were all allowed in. Hospital policy usually only permits one other person in the OR. Joey stood by me and stroked my head and kept telling me how much he loved me. Scott and Bev were just behind him holding eachother. It wasn't very long before Dr. H. pulled out Madeline! "There's number one", he said. Tears were already streaming down my face and Bev's. She turned to Scott and they embraced and then she leaned over to me and said, "Thank you so much Jenn. I love you so much!" Oh, if I could only describe the look on her face...but, there are just no words. It is a memory I will hold in my heart forever and ever. I was so choked up, I could hardly speak, but, somehow I managed to say "I love you too, Bev. Congratulations, Mom!"
In the background, I heard Madeline crying. I was so relieved and knew that she would be ok, after that. Now, it was baby Scott's turn. I am told that Scott's delivery was a little more difficult, as his head was tightly wedged under my rib. I was told later that they had to tug and pull quite a bit to get him out and my body was being jerked up and down with each tug. Daddy Scott leaned over to me looking very concerned and said, "Can you feel that?" I told him all I could feel was alot of pressure. Bev told me later that Scott was just amazed that I was sitting there talking through the whole surgery. He also told her that he thought he saw a little more "guts" than he needed to see. LOL! Anyway, Baby Scott finally gave in and decided to come out. They didn't get to see much of the babies in the OR as they were quickly whisked off to the NICU. The rest of the surgery went pretty fast. It was such an incredibly emotional experience...I cried through the whole thing and Bev and I had several "boo hoo sessions" throughout the next couple of days, too! LOL!
As for the stats, Madeline Ruth was born at 4:26pm, weighing 4lbs 3oz. and measuring 16 inches long. Scott Allen, Jr. was born 2 minutes later at 4:28pm, weighing 4lbs 1oz and measuring 16.5 inches long. Both are doing very well for their gestational age. Madeline's lungs were a little more developed than Scott's were. She was only on the ventilator that first night, while Scott was on it for 3 days. She is now feeding on breastmilk and premie formula through a tube and will hopefully start bottle feeding tomorrow. Scott will hopefully start the tube feeding tomorrow and I am told that he already likes his pacifier, so it may not be long before he is ready to bottle feed, too.
As for me, I am recovering well...still quite sore, but, getting a little better each day. I am pumping breastmilk for the twins for the next couple of weeks. I know it sounds silly, but, I sorta feel like my job was not finished....like I wasn't quite done nurturing them yet. And pumping milk for them is my way of making up for that. Plus, I know that it is the best nourishment for them right now, so I feel really good about doing it.
Now that I am an "experienced" surrogate, I will lend my first bit of advice, as such. For those of you who are searching...don't settle for a less than perfect match. The person/couple with whom you enter into your surrogacy relationship with can make or break the whole experience. Find someone who, not only agrees with you on the "issues", but, also someone who you would choose as a friend under ordinary circumstances. I feel so fortunate to know that, even though this chapter of our journey together is over and we are both ready to move on with our own lives, our friendship will last a lifetime. I know that is not the kind of relationship that everyone wants, but...boy do I feel blessed!!!
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