Ashley is local to Colorado Springs. She's a beautiful mother and friend. When I found out she was going to be a surrogate, I wasn't surprised. She's got a huge heart!
Here at cord, we recognize that families are created in many different ways. We're thrilled to be sharing this special story with you today. I cried reading it...and I imagine you might too!
Tuesday May 26, 2015 was my last OB visit. My OB was out of town at a conference, so his PA saw me. She is great. All was well, and when she checked me, I was MAYBE dilated a little bit. Not discouraged, I knew Amelia would make her presence when the time was right for her. However, we were all becoming very anxious to meet her! Her mommy texted me after my appointment telling me to let Amelia know they were ready to meet her and could hardly wait!
On Thursday, May 28, 2015, Lake and I went out on a date. We were talking about when baby Amelia might make her appearance, and while at dinner she was super active. She was having a dance party! We came home and it was a quiet night until about 12:30am. I woke up having to go pee and was feeling some slightly strong surges. Not on a consistent basis, so I really thought nothing of them since I had been teased a few times with strong surges other evenings. I had some restless sleep, waking to pee a few times, feeling asurge each time I woke, but still thought nothing of it.
By 3:30am on Friday, May 29, 2015, I had woken several times and peed a handful of times. I couldn’t get back to sleep and started feeling surges more regularly and stronger. I peacefully worked through them as my family slept peacefully in their beds. I drank some water, and lounged in the living room listening to music to be at peace with the possibility that this could be another tease, or that she could be coming today. Once I realized my surges weren’t going to stop, it was about 4:30am, and I went in and woke Lake to let him know we needed to start packing up the car and getting ready to go.I knew I was in labor.
I called our nanny, Michelle to come to be with the girls since they were still asleep. I then called Kaylee, one of my doulas/photographer/friend, at 4:42am to tell her I was in labor and to meet us at the hospital. I then called Katie, my other doula/hypnobirthing coach/friend, to let her know, and to meet us on the road to follow us to the hospital. At this point my surges started getting very strong, and I felt it best Lake, my husband, call our Intended Mom to tell her we were in labor and to book flights out for them. I knew if I called her, and had a surge, she could panic, and I wanted her to be as calm as could be too, and I needed to stay focused on being peaceful and calm for me and baby.
Michelle arrived minutes later, and I was at peace with my girls being completely cared for while I went and had Amelia. Lake finished packing the car, and I slowly made my way to the car. I reached my front door and saw Katie waiting for me at the bottom of my porch, and was very happy to see her. She and Lake helped me get comfortable on my knees in the back of the van so I could lean and lay against the seat while Lake drove us to the hospital.At 5:32am I sent Kaylee a text letting her know we were on the highway on our way to the hospital. She was already at the hospital, and Katie was still following us, just in case we had a baby in the car.
We arrived at the hospital and pulled up to the emergency room entrance since it was still after hours. The security guard came out with a wheel chair, Lake grabbed our stuff, the guard wheeled me into the door, andKatie took me from there. During the journey from the car to triage, I kept thinking to myself how amazing this was going to be. Staying calm and embracing the love and support I had around me. The surges were coming steady and strong.We make our way upstairs, Kaylee was at the main entrance, and I text her when we made it upstairs. While checking in, Kaylee comes up. We roll into triage, and Katie tells me “it’s a great day!” I knew that meant we had a great nurse! Keilee was our triage nurse, and her and Katie went to high school together, and she was incredibly sensitive to labor. We spent about 20 or so minutes in triage. While there, I was checked by Keilee. She said I was at 8-9cm dilated. She listened to baby. Baby was fine; no distress. I labored while holding my husband’shand, with lots of love around me. Keilee was incredibly gentle and patient while I labored in between checking me and baby.
Around 6:15am I was taken to my labor and delivery room. Hospital policy said I would need an initial 20 minute strip of monitoring, so as they were getting that, I continued to work through my surges with the help of Katie & Lake while waiting for a ball. Kaylee had graciously been taking pictures here and thereto capture some moments of awesome while I labored. They couldn't get a good read with the monitor, so one of our awesome nurses sat on the floor with me on the ball and held the monitor in place to get that 20 minute read. By the end of that 20 minutes, I was ready to have it off of me. I continued to ride my surges out on the ball, rocking forward and backwards, surrounded by the support of Lake, Katie, & Kaylee. After shift change, we were blessed to have another awesome nurse who ended up being an immense source of support for me.
At 6:42am, Lake noticed I had lost more of my mucous plug and my surges were consistently growing in intensity. At 6:51am, unbeknownst to me, my water broke. I wanted to try hands and knees on the bed, so Kaylee, Lake & Katie helped me into position there. I felt the need to change positions because my back labor was becoming very intense during surges. I thought moving positions would help. My nurse came in at the start of the hour and wanted to check me. At 7:03am, I was complete and the urge to push was undeniable! I was given the go to push! Baby was still relatively “up there”, so no rush to get the doctor in. My OB was on vacation, so we had other doctors who could be delivering me. While I was laboring, I was told the doctor on at the time would require me to get on my back to deliver. I said I was not going to do what the doctor said, and would deliver how I pleased. At the time I was in Katie’s arms as she helped support me through my surges, and she told me to not worry, and I continue on how I wanted. “Everything will be just fine”, she said. I continued laboring, and pushing all that behind me knowing I could do this.
I was pushing and pushing, but baby was being stubborn. Silent suspicions began between Katie and Kaylee that baby might just be posterior. The surges were felt intensely in my back, and I was getting very exhausted and frustrated. I started doubting myself. I started thinking I couldn’t do this. I told them I wanted her sucked out, I couldn’t push anymore, I was so exhausted. This was my longest, most intense labor. Lake, and Katie, and Kaylee continued to show immense amounts of support, love, and compassion. They told me I COULD, and WILL do this. Trust in my body. Light touch, counter pressure to help with the back labor pain, and peaceful talk to me about how strong I am, and that this was all going to be perfect, helped me to continue on and have faith again. Baby was too high to try that, and everyone knew it wasn’t part of my plan anyway, so the encouragement continued on in my favor.
I began getting into squat-like positions, so Katie suggested a squat bar, which stuck around almost the rest of the time. I remember looking at the clock, and noticing the time to be 8:10am. WOW! I could not believe how long I had been in active labor with no baby yet! I was feeling defeated. But, I persevered. Pushing and pushing, I was becoming overly exhausted, and not understanding why it was so difficult, and really started doubting myself. Baby was still being stubborn and not progressing down at any rate. The back labor was so intense, and that was making me most exhausted. Without the support of my husband and my two amazing doulas, Katie and Kaylee, I couldn’t have made it through those surges, and that back labor. They put so much into counter pressure, light touch, handholding, water, cold wash clothes, and helping me change positions, I am so grateful for that.
Around 8:30, my nurse offered to try something outside of my original birth plan and do some directed pushing. I, desperate to birth this baby, agreed, and it ended up being just what I needed. By this point I was willing to surrender to some help since it had been so intense and so long. My nurse, Ali was so wonderful. From the time she came on at shift change, until the moment I said goodbye to her,she was fabulous! She was not pushy, she was patient, and calm, and encouraging, and peaceful, and overall the best nurse I could have asked for in that moment.
I continued to push with every bit of strength I had in me, and finally baby was coming down.I was squatting with the squat bar at the end of the bed when she finally started making her way down. I started feeling the ring of fire, and knew it was coming. It was happening, and I did it! I pushed through and I would birth this baby very soon! At 9:15, everyone was getting into position. Baby was going to be here any moment! Once she started crowning I remember telling the doctor, (thankfully there was a shift change and the new doctor was incredibly hands off, and let me do my thing as I pleased), I did not want to rip, and making hand motions for him to massage my skin to help gently open up like a delicate flower. Katie translated to the doctor that my hand motion meant for him to massage the skin to help it all be gentle. I pushed and pushed more than I ever thought I could; more than I ever had before, and finally, here was baby -- greeting us face up and not wanting to miss a beat. Suspicions were brought to light, and sure enough, baby had been posterior, and that caused the terrible back labor and the excessive amount of pushing. It was all worth it when baby Amelia was born healthy, and beautiful at 19 ¾” 6lbs 10oz at 9:25am on May 29, 2015.
The moment she was born and they placed her on my chest, I was over the moon happy! I did it! She was here! Her parents had the one thing they had been dreaming of! She was here to be with us! And, we were able to tell them and send them a picture of her before they got on a plane to head out to CO. They wouldn’t have to worry! They could rest assured that their baby was here, she was healthy, and waiting for them to get to the hospital to hold her for the first time! I was elated and very excited for my IPs to arrive!
They arrived to the hospital around 4:30pm, my Intended Father walked in and had a bouquet of flowers in one hand, and wrapped his other arm around me for a hug. My Intended Mother walked in, put her hands on her face, and started crying as I held up Amelia to them and said, “here are your parents! They’re here! Say hello Amelia, they are ready to love you!” My IM put her purse down and then took Amelia to hold her. They gushed over her, loved on her, snuggled her, all while we chatted about the birth and the first few hours of her life. Seeing my IPs with their first child, their daughter, meant the world to me. We spent hours together, all together, enjoying each other’s company and relishing in the moment that they were finally parents! Their dream of being parents came true, and my dream to help a couple have a child came true, all in an instant! I loved this experience, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team of supporters in my corner! Amelia and I had the best team possible, and I am more than grateful for every single second of support, from beginning to end!