Tag Archives: Water Birth

Until Next June…

“Sometimes when making something so precious, beautiful, and unique’ it takes an extra helping heart”

As a surrogate you wait months (sometimes years) for one moment. The moment when you hand a baby to their parents. You imagine and dream of that moment, that one moment when a parent who was told “no” for so long, finally hears “yes”. The moment they see their baby. The moment they fall in love.

Brooke has known most of her life that she wouldn’t be able to carry a child. But about 6 years ago her and Joe decided it was time to find a way to make their dreams of a family come true. She talked to Doctors who told her she may be able to carry, and then said no, she couldn’t. They faced many set backs. When they finally turned to surrogacy, they found a surrogate, who ended up not being able to carry for one reason or another. So they found another surrogate, same situation. Finally they found me.

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Photo by: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

At 6:55am I was in the tub, feeling the waves, riding the waves, knowing each one brought June just a little closer to shore. I reached down and felt her head. Carla was behind me with a mirror and told Brooke to look. I heard her gasp. “Oh June”! I pushed and I heard her cry and gasp again. Each sound she made gave me more strength. I don’t even remember taking breaks between pushes. Just a nice deep breath.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

At 7:06am I reached down and pulled June from the water. I put her on my chest and layed back.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

It became a little chaotic. I could still hear Brooke saying Junes name. I started stimulating Junes back so we could hear that first cry. I felt weak so Carla helped. She let out that beautiful cry and I looked to Brooke who just looked,.. in love.

I looked at June and told her hello. She looked so perfect.

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Brooke reached in and touched her daughter for the first time. I wanted to hand June to her, but I knew we needed to wait for the cord to stop pulsing. Brooke was so patient, knowing it meant a lot for her baby to get that blood.

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Photo by: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

She put her forehead on mine and thanked me. From there the emotion flowed, and there are no words, in any language that can describe the feeling I had.

I held her up for a minute so Brooke could get a good look at her, and so June could really see her mama.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

After about 8 minutes on my chest there was still blood in the cord, but Carla said we needed to cut it.I looked into the pool and saw that I had started bleeding, heavily. Brooke cut the cord herself and I handed June to her mama.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

The look on her face! It was magic! They moved Brooke and the baby to a corner with her mother and sister for skin to skin and bonding. I got up out of the tub and hung onto the side to deliver my placenta. Curtis on one side, Dana on the other and Carla behind me.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

I delivered the placenta within a couple short minutes, as well as a lot of blood. Way more than you’re supposed to. They rushed me to the bed. I was exhausted, at this point I had only a short hour nap in over a 24 hour period, drank castor oil, had two membrane sweeps and gone through a 7 hour labor, and now I had lost a lot of blood.

I was given a pitocin shot in my shoulder and Carla was checking out my lady parts to see if there was any tearing (there wasn’t), and did a fundal massage (where they push around on your uterus to decrease bleeding).

After a minute I am able to get comfy on the bed and just relax. Dana brought me some snacks and orange juice and I chat with Stephanie (my best friend who showed up while I was in the bath the first time), Curtis and Dana. I watch Brooke and Alex and Cindi coo over the beautiful baby.

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Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree
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Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

Curtis decided that everyone needed caffeine and I finally get to say the words “GET ME A REDBULL!!!!” It tasted better than I remembered.

At 8:15 Brooke moves over to the bed so that Carla can do the newborn exam. Brooke is an active part (add this to the list of things I love about birthing centers). First, they measured.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

A perfect and exact 21 inches.

Then Brooke weighed her.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

A perfect 8 Pounds exactly.

I was pretty happy, I had promised Brooke a big baby, and June cooked a little longer to make sure I wasn’t a liar.

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

13 3/4″ head, 140 Heart Rate, 14″ chest. 8/9 Apgar. She’s perfect. Carla swaddles her up good, and then I get to hold her. I can’t believe that this little person has been living in me! She is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen (other than my own of course).

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Photo By: Stephanie Wright

I snuggled her and kissed her and just loved on her. I noticed something kind of strange while snuggling up with her. My own kids, I remember smelling their heads and just getting a huge rush of oxytocin, just falling in love harder. I smelled June out of habit and you know something, she didn’t smell like my babies! Not that she smelled bad of course, but isn’t science and nature amazing?! Though she came from my womb, my hormones (and/or hers) knew that she wasn’t my baby. No bonding, in love feelings. Oh I adore her so much and I can’t wait to see her again, but truly no feelings of loss.

I gave her back to her mama so that I could take an herbal bath (a wonderful thing that helps with healing and is so relaxing! Plus it felt nice to wash up a little bit!). I had a nice soak and then was ready to get out and eat something. I stood up and took Curtis and Danas hands. Right away I knew that something was wrong. At first I thought maybe I just stood up too quickly. I felt dizzy and weak. I slowly felt my energy drain, tunnel vision, tunnel hearing. I reached both hands for Curtis. He told me to squeeze his arm, I did the best I could. I heard him talking to the midwives saying that my grip was loosening but I was still trying. I half stepped, half Curtis lifting me out of the tub and was laid on the ground. Someone was holding my legs straight in the air, and Curtis was by my side holding my hand, talking to me. I have really no memory of the conversation going on around me. I heard their voices but not the words. I opened my eyes and Carla is the first face I remember seeing. For some reason my first thought was “Oh no I don’t want to go to the hospital”. Slowly my tunnel vision and tunnel hearing faded. Dana brought me orange juice that I sipped on and seemed to help along with a honey stick.

Finally they got me sitting up and on a stool that they wheeled over to the bed. An IV was placed (I don’t even know where it came from! I love that birthing centers have everything for an emergency, HIDDEN somewhere. No scary medical equipment unless it’s needed). Lissa (another midwife) brought in pancakes and bacon and I sat and ate and drank more orange juice.

Everyone gathered on the bed to take group pictures (I don’t have those yet) and I held June again. Curtis went to go pick up our kids so that they could meet June Bug and Joe had finally landed and was on his way to the Birthing Center. Joe got there first and I got to experience that moment all over again when he got to meet his daughter for the first time.

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Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

Magic all over again. It was beautiful to see them together.

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Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

My kids arrived and got to meet my belly buddy who they have watched grow over the past 9 months. It was adorable. Emma was the most excited, the boys were just kinda like “yeah, she’s cute but whatever”.

We all hung out at the birthing center for another hour or two. Just kinda enjoying each other, planning what to do from there. Brooke invited me to go to the hotel with them, as tempting as it was to spend more time with them I decided that a nap was what I wanted most.

I left the Birthing Center and went home with my beautiful family. Stephanie came over after my short nap and her and Curtis took good care of me. Later on Brooke and her sister came over, saying they had a gift for me.

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This picture really does the basket no justice!

They brought me this HUGE basket! Full of wine, snacks, things to help my recovery (like a rice heating wrap, no more milk tea, and peri spray), and things from my favorite shop in Austin (The Herb Bar). A ton of lavender things (which Brooke and I both kind of flocked to this pregnancy), a gift card from Brookes mom to a local restaurant for Curtis and I, and more wine! It was beautiful and so thoughtful!

They went back to their hotel and Stephanie went home. Laney called me and said she would be coming home that night and asked if I wanted her to stop in. We decided it would be nice for her to stay here. She got in late and we stayed up for awhile, me telling her all about my eventful labor and birth. When we turned everything off and went to sleep I passed out, HARD! It had been so long since I had been able to sleep soundly. Laney woke up every couple hours to see if I needed anything, but I slept the whole night.

The next day was my beautiful daughters 9th birthday, and also the day that Brooke, Joe, June, Alex and Cindi were leaving to go back down to Austin. Laney left around 8:30 and Stephanie arrived shortly after that. Cleaning up my house and helping to take care of the kids for me. She was awesome.

The whole crew showed up just after noon to say good-bye. Each of the kids got to hold June for a minute and say good-bye. Stephanie got in some baby snuggles. We laughed and talked about the baby and their first night together. I snuggled her and fed her a bottle and said my good-byes. To be honest it was harder saying good-bye to Brooke than the baby. Though I wish I had been able to get in some more baby snuggles before they left (who doesn’t love baby snuggles!?).

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So that’s it… for now. I have a trip planned to NY in June and will be spending a night in NYC with them. I’m excited to see them in their own element, go out with Brooke and Joe and get me some more baby snuggles! She’ll be two months old then! Crazy thought!

So until next June…

A little Caterpillar of green: One, two, THREE! (Part 2)

So now you know how I got here. I’m in Fort Mitchell Alabama, pregnant with my third child, a perfect 4 year old daughter, a perfect 2 year old son. I’m determined to have the birth I want, and I’m determined to go into labor on my own…

My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.
My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.

I woke up on Sunday, October 16th (2011), with so much energy I knew I had to do something with it. I made a plan to spend time with the kids doing fall things We made homemade cookies, carved pumpkins, and I even ran to the store (twice, because of course I always forget things). We had a wonderful afternoon together. Around 4pm Curtis suggested that I drink the Castor oil that he had picked up while grocery shopping the day before. I poured about 2oz in with some V8 splash and drank it as fast as I could. You know what? It’s not even half as bad as everyone said it was going to be. If you haven’t done this before, there is no taste, at all. The hard part about castor oil, is the texture, its literally oil and can be hard to tolerate. Anyways, because of all the horror stories, Curtis and Mike (my brother-in-law who was living with us at the time) didn’t want me to leave the house, even though I wanted to walk, in fear that I would go right into labor or possibly not make it to the bathroom in time (for those of you who don’t know, castor oil is a very strong laxative and is thought to send you into labor because it irritates your bowels and makes you contract). After a few hours of nothing, no contracting, no running to the bathroom, no changes at all I decided to try one more time. Around 7pm I drank another 2oz of castor oil with V8, but this time I insisted on walking, so Curtis and I walked around the neighborhood for about an hour, talking and looking at the stars. We came home and I finally had a BM, but still felt no contractions. Around 11pm I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes with some minor cramping but I was sure that labor was just not going to happen. Curtis and I went to to bed at midnight and I tossed and turned as normal for a few minutes before I was back in the bathroom. I would sit down for a few minutes, then stand up and rock back and forth because I could feel real contractions coming on, then sit again. It was a terrible hour. Finally I sat down again and *GUSH* my water broke over the toilet.

October 14th, three days before Lex was born.
October 14th, three days before Lex was born.

My jaw kinda dropped, and I just sat there for a minute, trying to take in that my son was coming, that I had gone into labor without being medically induced, and not only that, but I was finally, actually going to get my ‘It’s time’ moment! I yelled for Curtis… and again,.. and again, but he sleeps like a rock. I got up and went to the bedroom and called him name again and he shot up with owl eyes! “Don’t freak out! But my water just broke. ” his response? “That’s it?”.. I guess he was dreaming about Iraq and thought a bomb went off. So I had to say it a few times before he realized what was going on and he said “I can handle that”… I got my things together and called my sister and mother-in-law to let them know Lex was on his way. Then we hopped in the car and were off for Martin Army Community Hospital.. an hour away.

On our way to the hospital I called labor and delivery to let them know we were on our way, and I talked to Tabbatha (my sister-in-law) for awhile. When we got there is was about 1;30am. We went to L&D where they hooked me up to the machines and checked for amniotic fluid. My contractions were 4 minutes apart and strong, about a 7 on the pain scale. When they checked me I was 50% effaced and 2cm, and they couldn’t find any fluid, but I knew that my water had broke, that it wasn’t all in my head. So my Dr had me put on a giant pad and told me to walk for an hour in hopes that more fluid would leak. So Curtis and I went down to the parking lot to walk, and talk, and even dance together a little (it was a magical,¬†intimate moment I will remember forever). When we got back to L&D it was about 3am. I was now 75% effaced and 3cm. I knew it was going to a long night. Still no fluid though, so the Dr. (who I had never met and seemed very young and inexperienced) gave me a sonogram to measure fluid. There wasn’t a lot, but there were pockets here and there. They admitted me and sent me to the room they were expecting me to deliver in. After being asked 500 questions, I told the nurse that her and the Dr needed to know what I wanted now. I gave them the rundown and my hopes were crushed. The Dr would not do a water birth, and my midwife MIGHT be in sometime after 8am. If I wanted my water birth, I had to hope and pray she was going to be in, and that I was still in labor at that time.

From 4am to 9am I labored uncomfortably, without sleep. I walked, I sat on the birthing ball, and I tried to stay out of the bed knowing its the worst place to labor, as my pain steady got worse and my contractions became 2 minutes apart. At 9AM my favorite Dr, and my midwife came into my room and I sighed a great sigh of relief, and she saw it. Right away she started filling up the tub as my Dr checked to see how I had progressed, and it became apparent why after 8 hours of labor I was only 4cm and 90% effaced, The other pockets of water needed to be popped. At 10am they broke the rest of my water and put me in the tub.

The bathtub felt amazing, it took so much pressure of my hips and back. It was soothing, it was quiet. But my contractions went from a 7, to a nine instantly. But I’ve been here before, I knew what I had to do, and I knew it would be over soon. After just half an hour they checked me, and I was 7cm. Suddenly the long hard labors I was used to, were flying by! But I had the feeling like I needed to push! I knew it was too soon to push, but my body was getting ready to have the baby so fast, I tried with all I had NOT to push. There was talk in between contractions of how the hospital was going to get rid of the midwives, and that I was the 11th person in 10 months to deliver in the tub. I was shocked. How has America become SO lazy that they get to the hospital, ask for a giant needle and sleep through labor laying in a bed, or ask for their baby to be c-section simply because they don’t want to deal with the pain. The pain in a natural part of life! A few Drs had never seen a water birth, and I approved for them to be in the room. If I could spread how simple this is, how much better it is, maybe other Drs would start doing it, and more women would have the beautiful experience I did.

At 11am, about 10 hours after my water broke, I couldn’t resist the need to push. My midwife checked me, and I got terrible news. A lip of skin was stuck over the babys face. This is not the first time that I’ve had this news. While in labor with Collin, this happened, and I pushed for 4 hours to get the lip over him. I almost lost it. But my midwife re-assured me, and told me that during my next contraction she was going to try to remove the lip. I crossed my fingers and suffered through another contraction, and I could feel the same terrible pain I felt with Collin, and then relief. She had been able to move the lip, and now, I could push.

Ten minutes. I pushed in the big bathtub for just 10 minutes. No pushing on my belly, no one holding my legs, no one pulling my sons head. I did it. I finally got the birth I’ve been dreaming of. Where my body did it, no medication, just me.

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Alexander Michelangelo Kimball was born at 11;35AM on October 17th 2011. He was 8lbs 11oz and 22inches long. He was placed directly on his mothers chest where he sat for 5 minutes before his father cut his umbilical cord. He was never taken from me without my permission, he wasn’t given certain unnecessary medications, he roomed in, and he was released early.

Lex is three now! He has a huge personality. He’s bossy and sassy. He’s a “boy’s boy”. He likes to fight, and play sports and run (because he’s the flash)! He loves Dinos and the ninja turtles. He is tough as nails and with a name like his, why wouldn’t he be? He’s his sisters twin, and a daddies boy. And I love him.

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