I can't believe it, but our little Babybug (double points to anyone who gets the allusion) is one month old today. She is the sweetest joy I could imagine. Her disposition is easygoing and she loves to snuggle and fall asleep in our arms. The only time she really cries is when she's hungry -- and then it's as if a switch went off: one moment calm and peaceful, the next moment "FEED ME!" She's already left newborn clothes behind and is making her way into the 3-6month.
Which means, I've some catching up to do for the blogosphere! Let us rewind to 24 January. Okay, actually 23 January. Husband, Mama, Daddy, and I flew to California. Our flights landed on time and our surrogate and her husband met us at the hotel where we would be staying. We visited with them and my parents got to meet them for the first time. I think Surrogate was glad the first time she was meeting them wasn't in a hospital gown with her legs spread open! Then we went to bed. I wasn't sure I'd be able to sleep but I slept…like a baby. (Yes, I know, bad pun intended.) I was tired as I had been too excited the night before the flight. But that night I slept well, and the hotel bed was quite comfortable - more than my own bed.
The original plan was to start the induction around 0600 on the 24, but Surrogate's hospital was full with five women delivering at once. So instead we went back to bed (which I definitely needed) and had a leisurely breakfast before making it to the hospital around 11:00. Surrogate had her pitocin infusion started but things were just at the beginning. She, her husband, and her friend and we chatted and passed the time. It was a slow day with a lot of waiting. In the evening Surrogate got her epidural, with some post-procedural hypotension which resolved with a bolus of normal saline. By 10:30 or 11:00 Surrogate was only at 4cm dilated, and everyone was tired. Surrogate had been made to position herself on her hands and knees to try to speed the process, but it hadn't done much. Finally we all dozed off. Surrogate had an epidural by now so don't worry -- she was quite comfortable. She had actually been a trooper, barely even moaning during contractions before she got the epidural.
There are other snapshots I remember. The First Wives Club was on television. My parents brought us Chinese food for dinner. The nurses were all incredibly nice.
At 11:55pm, the lactation consultant came in to speak to Surrogate about her pumping as she planned to donate her milk. Surrogate woke up and at first, thought her epidural needed adjustment as she could "feel something" -- but no, then she realized "I've gotta push!"
The could barely page the OB and break the bed down in time.
And then, with a single push, at 11:59, out came our perfect miracle.
I didn't cry. My hand didn't even shake as I cut the umbilical cord. (Granted, I'd done so several times during my third-year OB-GYN clerkship.) I don't know what anyone else was doing at this point as I was following my baby, my daughter, my little love of my life over the the incubator. After what seemed an eternity of Apgar scores, measurements, footprints, etc I was finally handed my baby. They had me change into a hospital gown so I could slip her underneath for skin-to-skin bonding. And then she was mine. Ours. I couldn't believe it.
I still can't believe it.
Soon afterward my parents arrived at the hospital to meet their granddaughter. My Mama cried. We called my grandparents and siblings and my best friend, who is so amazing she wanted to be called at 0300 even though she had a big exam (ABSITE - the surgical residency in-training exam) the next morning. I spent the hospital stay in the room with the Surrogate and Babybug as there wasn't a room for Husband and me to take together. Of course I tried to let Surrogate rest while I took care of my new charge. But she woke to pump colostrum anyway, which I was able to feed Babybug along with Enfamil newborn formula. Yes, I got no sleep, between feeding and diapering and holding our Babybug. But I loved it -- just me taking care of my baby, this new little person totally dependent on me, and it being all my responsibility without any help from my husband or my parents at this point. I did go to the hotel to shower and nap briefly so I'd be able to make it through the night, and of course I got some pointers on interpreting baby cues from Surrogate. But I loved having that time with Babybug. I spent so much time just holding her and kissing her and staring at her. I didn't want to sleep because I would miss it! But yes, I did fall asleep from about 0300 to 0700 each day, I think. It was a blur. I was tallying meconium diapers and wet diapers and bottles…and loving every minute.
Right now, my little wiggly (as my sister calls her) is waking up and is going to want a bottle, so I'm going to post this and more updates later.
Thank you all for your support on this journey and much love.