March 29, 2014

Alma and Leo

This pregnancy took a surprising twist 1 month ago. The road was full of speed bumps, questions, and decision making. On March 10 we made the decision to move forward with delivery. It was scheduled for 8:00am the following day.

At 6:45am on delivery day, I was escorted to labor and delivery. Guy and Dror by my side. After being in the hospital for 3 weeks, we were a popular trio. While the clock ticked its way to 8:00am, we had a lot of doctors and nurses coming in to greet us.

I was prepped for the OR and wheeled off. I have never had a csection, and surprisingly I wasn't all that nervous. I was in very good hands. The spinal made my blood pressure all wonky which made me feel nauseous. The anesthesiologist did an amazing job getting things under control though. The guys were brought back just as the first cut was made. I have no idea what time it was, I'm guessing it was somewhere around 8:50am. After a few intense minutes, Leo was born at 8:55am and Alma followed just 2 minutes later. The best part... they both came out crying right away. What a beautiful sound!! I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. Leo was taken immediately to the neonatal room just off of the OR and Alma, after a very quick viewing by us, followed her brother. Leo weighed 3.8 lbs and Alma was 5.8 lbs.

We were extremely excited to meet these babies, but we had no idea how they would accept being outside of the womb at just 31 weeks and 4 days. Because of their gestational age we knew without a doubt they would be headed to the NICU. I am happy to report that both Alma and Leo are superbabies. They are doing amazing. I'll write another post about their progress.

As I was getting stitched up, the new dads went off to meet their babies. I wasn't able to witness the moment they first set eyes on Alma and Leo. They stopped back to see me a few times, and gave me updates. The updates I was getting was all positive. I was the first to hear the names chosen for the babies. To see how proud Guy and Dror were of their new daddy status was incredible. These moments are truly indescribable to a surrogate.

We seriously had the best team of MFM doctors. We can not thank them enough for the care and kindness they gave us. A few attended the birth even though it wasn't necessary for them to be there, and they stopped by my postpartum room occasionally just ask how I was doing.

I was moved to a recovery room at some point that morning. This is where I would spend the next 24 hours hooked up to magnesium. I told you about the last time I had magnesium. This stuff is mean and nasty! It's used to reduce the risk of stokes and seizures in women with pre-eclampsia. I'm not being dramatic in saying that I threw up in front of every nurse, doctor and visitor (except one) that entered my room that day. Some of the lucky ones actually witnessed more than one throw up party. It would happen so suddenly I barely had time to react. Thank goodness I received a heavy duty painkiller prior to the csection. I can't imagine how painful that would have been. Another thing was I could not keep my eyes open. Not so much because I was tired, but because they were super sensitive to light, and my lids felt like they weighed about a million pounds. To my visitors that day... I'm sorry. Apparently, I was living on a completely different planet :)

Shortly after getting settled into my recovery room, I had a short visit from the babies before they were transported to the NICU. Unfortunately the visit was cut very short because of how the magnesium was affecting me, but from what I could see they looked perfect.

Healing from a csection is much different then healing from a vaginal delivery. I have never felt so much pain. The first few days were crazy painful even with medication. The best way to describe the incision is a feeling of deep burning from within the belly. It's the nerves fusing back together and it's completely normal. At first I thought I had ripped open part of the incision. Some people elect to have csections. I call these people... insane. Why would anyone put themselves through this pain if it's not necessary.

The thing about pre-eclampsia is that the only cure is delivery. Some women, like myself, are not cured right away. My blood pressure still played games with me. At 2:30am the day I was set to be discharged I was wheeled back to l&d because I needed IV meds to lower my bp. I felt so discouraged and had a mini meltdown. After almost one month in the hospital I was more than ready to go home. I knew this stunt would cause me to stay longer. After getting to l&d and getting hooked up to the IV, it took almost 3 hours to get my bp under control. I stayed in l&d until late afternoon before they allowed me to return to my postpartum room. Finally two days after my initial discharge date I was able to go home.

It's been 2 1/2 weeks since Alma and Leo were born. Life is slowly returning to normal for me. My incision can still be unpleasant at times, I'm still on meds for my bp issues, my body is still adjusting to life after surgery, and I'm doing my best at keeping up with producing breastmilk for the babies.

At the wishes of Guy and Dror, I won't be posting any pictures of Alma and Leo today. Once they are released from the NICU, I hope to post a picture or two. As you can imagine, they are little sweethearts and if given the opportunity, you could totally stare at them for hours.

Welcome to our lives, Alma and Leo!


  1. HI Melissa, I hope everything is going well. Our friend just had twins and was in the same situation as you -- pre-eclampsia...and she is still in the hospital after 6 days after delivery. The twins are ok, from what I can tell, but she had some major problems with BP, liver enzymes, and other complications. She's 47 years old, it took a toll on her body. Thinking good thoughts for you. and congrats!

    1. Oh wow! Yeah, Pre-e is nothing to mess around with. Hope your friend recovers soon!

  2. What a ride. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad everyone is well! C-sections are rough - good job!