I apologize for the lack of posts, in my head I imagined excess time while I was on maternity leave to blog and clean and cook…none of which occurred! My days were filled with Charlotte snuggles, getting Mason to and from school, taking Charlotte to doctor appointments and tests, volunteering at Mason’s school, and spending wonderful quality family time!
For those who don’t know or haven’t heard here is what happened that led up to Charlotte’s early arrival and her grand arrival!
Two weeks before, Kasey started swelling out of no where. It appeared over the course of of a few hours. Kasey’s mom, Penny, noticed it and from there we all were on “Kasey watch”! With the swelling came rising blood pressure and Penny being a nurse watched her blood pressure closely. We started going to the doctor more frequently for monitoring, they were more laid back about it than we were and at one point I had to have a “come to Jesus” cry session with one of the OB’s. Kasey was getting worse quickly and when Kasey tells someone she feels like a train ran her over, that’s HUGE she never complains! We went in on Tuesday where they found +3 protein in Kasey’s urine sample (it had been +1 the 2 visits the week before), really high blood pressure again, and an incredible about of weight gain due to the massive amount of fluid so we were sent to L&D. Once there, Kasey had bloodwork and tests before it was determined Charlotte was better in rather than out so we were sent home. Kasey was miserable and continued to get worse by the hour. I prayed and prayed for her health, I knew Charlotte was fine but Kasey wasn’t and I was so scared for her! In my heart, I was breaking for Kasey. She is so strong and so positive but to see her in such misery with the pitting edema and having such high pressures I was a mess. We went back for our Friday appointment and it was a repeat of Tuesdays but the protein in her urine was now +4. Charlotte passed her non-stress test and the doctor came in. She wasn’t happy with the protein and after Kasey told her about the ache behind her eye we were sent back to L&D. This time, the wonderful Dr. Walker was on call and after looking over labs and examining Kasey, he decided it was best to go ahead and induce labor.
To induce, Kasey had to have medication to stop the contractions she was having, a pill inserted to ripen her cervix, and then pitocin. Kasey also had to have magnesium sulfate during labor and for 24 hours after for the blood pressure.
While everything was going we watched tv, waited, waited, watched some more tv. At one point during the night, Kasey was asleep and the nurse came in after 2 very very bad blood pressure readings. She decided that she wanted to stay in the room to watch her closer. Magnesium Sulfate is a horrible medication, it does it’s job but it is hell. I had it with Mason and would never wish it on my enemy. Kasey got to experience it with Charlotte and it’s not something she’ll ever forget. The nurse and I sat and watched Kasey for a while until the nurse encouraged me to try to get some rest that she would be right outside the room. I rolled the recliner over to Kasey’s bed and rested for a while but my nerves wouldn’t let me sleep. It was so hard, I can’t even describe how hard it was to watch her go through that and knowing there was nothing I could do. Morning came and they started pitocin and lowered the mag. We waited and waited, watched more tv, joked, hawked the blood pressure machine and at one point made a game out of guessing what the numbers would be. If it was horrible bad it would beep, we quickly learned the silent button!
Dr. Highland was on for the day and came in to break Kasey’s water. From there things moved quicker and the pitcoin was increased. The epidural took 3 attempts to get in, once in and the dosage figured out, all was ok. Kasey was obviously uncomfortable and again I couldn’t help but worry about her and pray for her.. Around 6:30, Kasey was at 7cm and I called Kathryn Cooke the photographer so she could head our way. Things really started moving fast from there. We called both sets of grandparents so they could come on.
The NICU was notified and Charlotte’s room was ready. The NNP and Resp. Therapist were on stand by. The OB came in and said Kasey could either labor down or start pushing. The nurse got the room ready and after a couple of practice pushes, she said we were ready to go! It all happened so fast in my mind and forgive me for not knowing all the the details from this point forward!
Charlotte was born at 9:06 pm, she arrived in 1 push. She was so small and flew into the doctors arms. She didn’t cry the typical newborn cry, we didn’t hear her cry for several days actually. They whisked her to the warmer isolete where they had the NICU staff and nursing staff ready to help her start breathing, get warm, etc. They did so and even let us see her for a little bit before they took her upstairs to the level III NICU.
Biggin and Karen came in the room to be with Kasey while we went to the NICU with Charlotte. I felt much better about leaving Kasey knowing she was in good hands. Kathryn Cooke stayed for a little while to be there for Kasey. Kasey had to stay on magnesium sulfate for an additional 24 hours for her blood pressure and to make sure she didn’t have a stroke because of the blood pressure. She was finally able to go home a few days later.
Charlotte had a short 8 day NICU stay and we were able to bring her home to meet her big brother!
Kasey was amazing during it all. There’s no way to appropriately summarize the birth, it was beautiful and heart wrenching all at the same time. It was the event that brought everything full circle and I’m still in awe of it all. I’m a Mom to now 2 precious blessings. I never in a million years could have imagined it. She made it possible for us, she put her life on the line to bless us, she gave up a year of her life, she put her life on hold many times so that she got Charlotte here healthy and happy. This is a gift that I’ll never be able to repay but I will remind her how much she means to us!! Just amazing, surrogacy is just that..amazing!
Pictures to come!