“My Birth Story” by Melissa Dalton

“My Birth Story” by Melissa Dalton

January 5th I had hopes of either going into labor before Wednesday, or AFTER the 12th. We had such a busy weekend and I was going to meet my favorite super trainer(from my home workouts) on the 12th lol. First world problems. ??‍♀️. The anticipated wolf moon was on 1/10 and a winter storm was coming, so I was convinced that Murphy’s law was going be on our side instead ?. I also developed a cold 2 weeks before, that wouldn’t go away. I really wanted to be able the BREATHE during labor ?.

The week went by and I was having contractions every night. Tuesday, 1/6, they were more consistent than ever, but stopped near midnight. Wednesday I figured I should pack my bag and bring it with me to work. I work only about 10min from where we delivered! At this point we we’re talking to the dads nightly through text. Normally we talked weekly and I told them they will get a call when we are in labor or an emergency, so to not freak out when I text ??.
Thursday came and went and I was just hoping we would make it through the weekend. I was working out every morning too, which I will tell you, made SUCH a difference for my swelling! This pregnancy I gained the most and swelled the LEAST! Interesting!

Friday 1/10 came and I was still having contractions, but nothing consistent, so off to work I went! I tried hard to clear out last minute things because I just had a feeling we would meet little babe during the weekend. My plug came out days before that, maybe even a week before. That was new for me! It hasn’t happened with my others.
Friday was also one of the dads birthdays too! If we didn’t have plans or the weather didn’t suck, we were going to go to his surprise party!
We get home from work and quickly get ready for iceless hockey for the 9year old while the teenager was at a cheer teambonding dinner for her busy weekend ahead (2 competitions).
Still contractions, a few different ones here and there, but again, only about 3-5 an hour. It’s quite exhausting to count it all and be so attentive to it when it starts. A week of it I was like… let’s go babe! This was new for me!

While we were driving home around 8:45pm, we were stopping for food and I just didn’t want a thing, so our son got something and we went home. Before we got home, I had a SUPER uncomfortable contraction.
I was like WHOA… Hi! I remember that feeling lol.
While I was having a contraction, I was just texting the dads an update and saying it wasn’t the time ???.
We get home around 9:00pm and I’m getting contractions here and there, but every single night they would come, so I was just like ehhh. Well around 9:45pm I started tracking them.
They were every 2-4min ?. Whoops! This was the first time they were THIS close. So I keep counting and realize after a couple hours I should probably call the doc. It’s the most uncomfortable I’d been. I was positive for Group B Strep, so I needed an antibiotic before my water broke. It’s why I was so anxious to maybe go in. This was so similar to my third pregnancy too. Same time I went into labor and had group B!
After talking to the doc, it was best to come in. With the weather and group B, it wasn’t worth the risk. So, we called my momma! Same timing as my third too lol, it was like dejevu!
Remember, my step dad(her husband) had just passed away 10 days prior. She was amazing for taking this huge stress away and taking care of the kids for us!
Then we called daddies! ??
They picked up the phone so fast! They were kinda confused on why I sounded so calm and wasn’t sure if it was “really” time lol. I said well it is and isn’t lol. The hospital was about the half way point for us(45min), so I told them I would text when we were leaving. I asked my mom to take her time and be careful driving(the weather thankfully wasn’t too bad yet!). I took a shower, got myself feeling good and clean, and off we went!
12:15am on 1/11 when we left, getting us to the hospital around 1:00am. My contractions were still staying consistent with 2-4min. I stopped counting and figured I was in labor at this point lol.
We were in the ER for about 10min.
Now I’m the way to labor and delivery and checked in. I weighed in at 221lbs! I started in March 2019 at 166lbs when we started hormones. My other pregnancies I gained 20-30lbs, so this was new for me. I didn’t care though, a healthy baby is what I wanted to grow and we were both healthy! Probably my healthiest pregnancy of them all!?

1:30am or so, we get into the room, dressed and then dads got there! They were both nice and tired, as were we lol! They were still confused on why I didn’t seem to be in labor, but they saw the contractions on the monitor and it made more sense, they just expected the stereotypical woman in labor lol.
Contractions stayed consistent and we were up talking for an hour or so until all 3 dads(my husband and both baby dads lol), passed out lol.
The first IV went in my right arm but didn’t go in right, so they moved it to the other side. It left a huge bruise for weeks in my right arm. Looked worse than it felt lol.
I couldn’t sleep. ?
At this point, I’m at 3cm.
I even noticed contractions slowing down. 4-5 an hour. This is why I decided to wait on the epidural because I wasn’t sure if my body would decide differently! We talked about giving me pitocin if it slowed, but I asked to wait.

6:30-7am everyone was up. Talking about the last few hours and what’s going on and the game plan.
I was uncomfortable, but I wanted to wait as long as possible for the epidural. Normally when my water breaks, my body knows it’s time!
I was texting the photographer from the night before and her husband ended up driving her up to the hospital to make sure she got there safe! It was quite the blizzard in the morning!

9:00am(I was around 5cm), we decide to do the epidural and then break my water bag! The baby was still very high too.

10:00am. I feel the epidural working nicely! Water is now broke. The dads were amazed watching the contractions, but me not looking uncomfortable lol. I told them with my other labors, after the water breaks, we meet a baby in under 2 hours! I figured we would be meeting baby by lunch time! I told them if not, it’s because babe wasn’t my DNA ?.

11:00am, I’m uncomfortable. I feel most of the pain in my right lower side. Just like my third labor ?. I was hoping to feel nothing like my second labor and be more present for the labor(mentally lol). Nope. The pain started and I was in full on focus mode to manage it. The anesthesiologist said this is normal. I explained, I understood and can handle the pain because I have before, but my second birth I didn’t feel ANYTHING lol. It was bliss lol! I was REALLY hoping for that again darn it ?.
The dads could see I was in real labor now ?. I’m not someone that likes to be held or pampered in labor either. Just leave me alone and let me do this lol. (Until I ask you for something ?). There are pictures to prove this. I’m stubborn ??‍♀️.

11:30am, I was at 6.5-7cm. WTF. How is my body not doing what it’s done?! ? We should be ready! ?

12:00pm I asked the doc to check where we were at. The contractions were constant and very painful at this point. Every time they stopped, they started again every 30 seconds. I was so uncomfortable and getting super hot. Fanning myself with a lunch menu ??.
An 8. SERIOUSLY. Body, what is wrong??‍♀️.  We should of had a baby by now! Docs said it’s moving along great. I begged to differ. My body normally breaks water and pushes out a kid quick ?.

12:15pm?. Only 15 min and about 6 contractions since the last check, but I asked them to check again. I wasn’t crazy. I could feel the pressure and knew we were much closer!
9.5cm!! We’re basically ready, so they get the room all together! It was choas. Dads were in the room, my husband, Melissa, the photographer at my head side lol. Many nurses, the doctor, midwife and doc student(who actually delivered the baby!). Soooo many people, but my eyes were closed. It’s how I channel and get through the pain.

12:30pm. Pushing begins. ??
I was confident in a couple pushes, babe would be out! I was so excited this is it! We are almost done! I can push babies out so fast!
Remember, I have a cold and those deep breaths in, when I could barley breathe was soooooo hard. ?
Now my husband has to fan me at this point because I need me arms to hold on. We have pics of that too ?
Push after push. No baby.
After 20-30min, my husbands arm was half dead from fanning me, but I was soooooo hot!  It’s all I needed him to do and he did great lol.
Melissa, the photographer, my nurse, the dads, the docs, my husband and midwife were so encouraging too! Lots of positive words to get me through! I was throwing out all the positive vibes and don’t remember ever being negative. I dropped a few bombs maybe ?.
I remember hearing the midwife say, “Is she always like this?”.
Positive mind, positive life! ??
I was so confused though ?. Why my body didn’t deliver this baby already ?.
I also remember hearing one doc mumble something and the midwife say, no, she’s gonna do this ?.
She was great!

1:15pm. I’m exhausted. I’ve never labored this long for my own kids. So confused and a little scared on why its taking so long. Like, the baby is still breathing right?! I remember these feelings with my first. I had no epidural with her and was in so much pain. They told me “c section?” and I pushed her out QUICK. I channeled that same moment, but was still struggling. Why is this so much harder! I was so confused.
I was also thinking of my oldest daughter. It was around the time she was competing in her cheer competition. I hate missing stuff, so it was hard for me, but I was praying for her team in that moment(they did amazing btw lol).
Totally my personality. I can’t do one thing at a time ?.

1:25pm-ish. I’m hearing we are really close. One more contraction and we got this. Contraction comes and I feel like this is it. Remember, I can’t breathe. This cold kicked my ass and that third push I was trying so hard but could barely breathe in. I remember getting really frustrated because I just couldn’t breathe!
Next contraction, I said I’m ready, it’s time. Everyone was cheering me on lol! Second push of the contraction was so close, I heard one more good push and baby will be here. I took as good of a breath as I could!!

Happy birthday baby!!???

Nearly an hour of pushing and baby was finally here! ??
We decided to put him on me when he came out right away. Dads were perfectly fine with it!
It’s a BOY ??
1:35pm, 9lbs 5oz 18.5in on 1/11/2020.
We’ve never waited for our own kids to find out the gender until birth, so this moment was amazing. ?
Once I saw him, I knew why it took so long to push. He was HUGE! ??
(My biggest kid was 6lb13oz?)
Pretty sure his length was wrong, because a week later he was 20in ?.
We didn’t decide who would cut the cord though.
Dads were scared to cut it?. I said no way, you have to!! Each of them got to cut it??.
He was perfect.
So healthy.
Nothing wrong.
Just perfect.
Baby boy(no name lol), still was on me for a little bit and then off to get weighed, vitals, etc.
Everything was in the room. It was huge.
I was so relieved.
It’s amazing how you are in sooooo much pain and it ALL goes away in that one moment.
Then I lost it. ?
I could see them, but then Melissa(our photographer) showed me some of the pics. I missed a lot being in pain ?.
Seeing the 3 of them together. ??
This was no doubt one of the most amazing moments of my life.
I’m grateful to have had many, but this. This was up there.
The placenta was nice and healthy too! I have a weird obsession with making sure it looks good! That is like a screen for everything to baby. It was perfect ??‍♀️!
They did skin to skin with him and then after I got to as well. ?
Since our situation was different(not my baby lol), the hospital asked us prior how we wanted to be in recovery. We were each getting our own room, but did we want different floors??
We no doubt wanted to be next to each other. ??

5-6pm, we got wheeled to our rooms. I got to snuggle Ren on the way there and then we were in our own rooms.
This part was a little weird.
Looking at my new body and feeling all the things without him in it anymore.
I enjoyed the pregnancy so much, regardless of many large hills to climb during it.
I had been up nearly 40 hours at this point, so I’m tired lol. My husband was too from alllll that sleep while I was in labor ??‍♀️.

6:30pm, he ate a piece of pizza, passed out and slept until 7am the next morning(his birthday!).

8:00pm, I had to eat…. I was starving! (obviously getting interrupted every 1-2hours lol)
Baby boy(still no name lol) had visitors all that night lol! They didn’t want to disturb me and just let me sleep. A few people wanted to meet me I didn’t get to meet in November.
I told them the next morning, moms don’t get to sleep after birth ?.

It’s Sunday morning, 1/12. We could have gotten discharged in the morning if we would have asked the night before. Our oldest daughter had another cheer competition and I was debating on going lol. I felt fine, but then got anxious. I didn’t want to rush this moment. This is not a moment I’ll ever get back. It was very hard emotions to gather.
My husband and I went over to their room and saw Rens first bath! ?
Yep, he’s named!
Renard William! Baby Ren ?
I also was able to pump a few times and they gave him some colostrum ?.

11:00am, my husband, the birthday boy, left to go to our daughters 2nd cheer competition.
So I headed over to the dads room and chilled with them all afternoon. One of them went to grab some portillos for us all. They had so much family in an out, it was so great to meet so many. I did meet many of them at the shower in November. We then had a few hours just the 4 of us too. We got to talk so much, cuddle and just spend time together.
I’m so grateful. ?
I’ve heard horror stories(which I told them), about how this part goes. It’s a super intimate moment and time, so it can be awkward, but we were all super honest with each other, which made it so wonderful ❤️.
I get a call on my cell phone while in their room. It’s from the hospital.
They are looking for me ??.
Whoops! ??‍♀️
Forgot to tell them I was next door! They were a little freaked out. The baby doesn’t get checked as much as mom does, so they weren’t coming in dads room ?.
Crisis averted, all is good, we’re all fine?.

5:00pm, my husband gets back with our oldest. She got to hold and love on baby. ?(ps, day 2 competition went great too!). We decided not to have the other kids come in case they were carrying other illnesses. Too scary to chance in my opinion.

6:00pm. Its time to go. I was struggling and fighting it. This was the moment I wasn’t sure of.
The moment I’ve been thinking of since deciding to do this in 2017.
Maybe we all need to stay another night? I thought as I was trying to prolong the situation.
Nope, we were all good and ready to leave. I was good, Ren passed everything with flying colors.
It was time.
I didn’t pack up my room yet but held Ren while they did their room. I really didn’t have much!
This was it.
I came to the hospital with a baby in me and was leaving empty handed.
This gave me so much perspective.
For surrogates.
For women who go Preterm and discharge before their babies.
For women who have the most unfortunate happen and have a baby born still.
Loooooots of emotions.
The dads cried.
We all cried.
It was happy tears.
We helped make this happen.
Watching them walk away as a family was something I will always remember.
Alllllll that sacrifice was worth that moment and all the moments we’ve had since!
I then broke down in our room. Were packing everything up and I’m just crying. Telling my daughter and husband I’m fine, and I was. I just needed to cry.
I was so happy.
The sadness was all for my own perspective of how others have had to leave for other reasons. I was very happy I was leaving for the reason I was. I got to choose. Others don’t get to.
I was sad I didn’t have my friend anymore. You never feel alone pregnant. You always have a friend with you. That friend was now gone.
This was way harder than I expected it to be. I didn’t know what to expect. Would I go all crazy surrogate mom and steal the baby(dramatic but my weird brain went there.. thanks lifetime ?). I knew I wouldn’t lol! My brain thought of the very broken people that have though! I promised them I wasn’t crazy ?.
Many are confused on how you can just give up the baby. It’s so far from that(also in Illinois illegal if I didn’t ?). I didn’t get pregnant on accident and decide to give up my DNA. This was very planned. I did a ton of personal development to prepare my brain to be strong. I really didn’t feel that attachment like my own.
We had a goal at the end of this.
Grow these dads their baby.
We did that and it couldn’t have gone any more perfect!
When I’ve talked to other surrogates, they totally understand the feeling!

730pm. We’re home. Relieved my mom(rockstar). It was pure craziness ?.

1/13. My husband stayed home with me the first day. This was good because I literally felt like I got hit by a truck ?. I thankfully had no stitches, but my body was SORE. Our youngest did a great job at mocking a newborn and getting up a couple times ??‍♀️.
I felt back to normal the next day though. It’s amazing how fast I physically recovered because of rest. If you’re reading this and can give a new mom some rest, DO IT ??.
I pumped the entire week and had about 50oz ? to give Ren on Saturday when we all went to see him! It’s rare we all have nothing going on, so it was great!
There is no doubt he recognized my voice too ?.
Ren came to visit us a couple weeks after we got back from vacation too! He was sooooooo big and starting to “talk” ?.

This has been such an amazing ride. A ride that I was very scared to take. So much unknown, but faith is real. I don’t normally do well in these situations, so I’ve learned A LOT. Faith helped carry me through a ton of the hard.

Again, thanks for taking this ride with me. My goal with sharing was to shine light on something that isn’t very common, but there is a high need for! Since sharing, 2 people are helping families!!! How incredible is that?! ??
Sharing also was therapeutic in a way for me. Similar to journaling!

Our relationship is similar to aunt/uncle/cousins! We do text once a week or every other. I know it will distance but we will always be in each other’s lives, which was both of our goals going into it! ♥️

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