Birth/Rebirth: My Birth, Their Baby
Guest Post by Jen
Jen previously posted about why she became a gestational surrogate here. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children and is currently on her second journey as a Gestational Surrogate.
Being pregnant with another woman’s baby has many blessings. For me, I love being pregnant. I love feeling the baby kick. I love having others ask me about my pregnancy. I don’t always feel so cute, but when I see other pregnant women, I always think they look so beautiful, so I try to remember that maybe I look the same to others and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. The heartbreaking part about carrying another woman’s baby is that this baby’s mother is not feeling the baby kick. Strangers are not looking at them and wondering questions like “when is she due?” and “is she having a boy or a girl?”
With my first journey as a surrogate, I would always ask the Intended mother if she was ok with me carrying for her. I always worried that it was hard for her to watch me go through what she wants to go through. I would think about the things that would break my heart if I were not able to carry my own child. She was always so positive about it and said, “I am ok. We knew and were prepared.” To this day, I wonder if she was just trying to be strong for me and for her baby boy.
I recently asked my current Intended Mother what was hardest for her. Her response was, “It’s hard to say goodbye to my baby as I watch her leave with another woman.” I can’t imagine the pain some must endure. Therefore I would dream about how I could involve my Intended Mother as much as possible. I would dream about the birth and how I could make her experience unforgettable. I wanted her to be the first one to touch and hold her baby.
The day approached and I asked my doctor if she, the Intended Mother, could deliver her own baby boy. My doctor thought it was a great idea. When I told my Intended Mother- she had a huge smile, and said, “really?!?”
Of course, my doctor told me he would be out of town one weekend. He told me to not go into labor until he got home. I told him he was going to miss it. I knew he would. Ten days before my due date and the weekend my doctor was gone, I went into labor. About 9:00OPM on a Saturday night, the contractions were a little more painful than Braxton Hicks, and came on while I was visiting my Mom at her work.
My Mom is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital where I was going to deliver. I was not ready to stay there, so I asked my mother to go to dinner. While we were at dinner, the contractions were getting stronger. They were very uncomfortable at that point. I told my Mom to go home to wait for me to call her because I needed to go home and shower. (I didn’t want to clear the room with my stink, especially having the baby’s parents in the room.)
When I got home, I told my husband to call my aunt to come and stay with my kids and to call the Intended Parents. And tell them I was in labor. My aunt got to our house, and as soon as she saw, me she told my husband, “You need to call the Intended Parent back and tell them to leave—this is it.” I guess I was not clear when I told him to call them, because he told them to wait until we knew for sure I was in labor. I was. I took the phone and called my Intended Parents myself. My Intended Mother answered and I told her that they needed to leave now; I was in labor with their baby.
What felt like hours but was really only 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital, my Intended Parents showed up. My Intended mother said that when I had called, she could hear I was in labor and knew they had to leave right then.
After receiving an epidural, I was able to enjoy my surroundings. I had my Mom as my labor and delivery nurse. My husband by my side, and a close friend as the photographer, and two anxious and very excited parents ready to meet their son.
When it was time to push, I watched as my Intended mother got on her scrubs and gloves ready to catch him. She had the biggest smile on her face. I hope I never lose that image in my head. Thank goodness for the photographs that captured those moments; I will forever cherish them.
The Intended father was acting nervous and would stand by my head, but my Mom told him to go and grab my leg. At that point, all modesty was thrown out the window. I didn’t care who was down there watching—thank goodness I got to shower and felt clean! Still, my Intended father would not look down. He kept looking above my head! Then after I pushed once, the doctor (not my doctor) said, “The head is out.” Instantly, the Intended father looked down, and said, “He looks like his Mommy.”
I was supposed to be concentrating on pushing, but I wanted to concentrate on the Intended mother and the Intended Father. I wanted to soak in every moment, every smile, every tear. I did just that. Then, my Intended Mother delivered her baby boy. It was 4:33 AM.
She was the first one to touch him and hold him. The look on her face was priceless. She got to experience delivering her own son! Not many mothers get to experience that moment. The Intended father then got to cut the cord. Every pregnancy and labor, every stretch mark, every piece of food that didn’t settle and came back up, every sleepless night, every single worry was worth every second—just for the moment to witness them meet their son for the first time. I could see how much they loved him in their faces. It was priceless!
As I was stuck in the bed getting fixed up, I would stare at my Intended Parents soaking in their baby boy’s toes, fingers, belly, and all of his hair 9he had a ton!), his nose, his lips, everything about him was so perfect to them.
I could not have asked for a better birth story. It was so magical. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to witness his birth and I look forward to the birth of this second baby I am carrying for new Intended parents. I hope it is just as perfect, or even better.