Mary's Gift

I met Mary through a past client ( who is now also a doula. She lives quite far and wanted to partner with a surrogate mom in my area. Of course I was excited! I loved attending her surrogate birth. It is such an amazing gift to someone. Anyway, Mary just had such a huge heart for carrying a baby for someone that couldn't carry her own. I loved our conversations. Unfortunately, we assumed Alicia was going to be the one attending her birth as I was supposed to be on call for just a few days and if Mary's water broke, I would get there sooner. However due to unforeseen circumstances, I was on-call the first week and luckily for me, Mary went into labor. 

It started slowly with contractions often, but not often enough on Friday, April 18th. Instead of getting closer together, they spaced out. Again all weekend, it went like this until, Monday night / Tuesday morning. About 2 am Tuesday morning, we received a text that Mary had been having contractions about 5 minutes apart. She was ready for some help. When I arrived, her contractions were about 7 minutes. The IM was also going to join us for labor. I waited a bit to see what was going on, we took a walk around the neighborhood and it just seemed like she was in early labor. I told Mary to get some rest, she didn't quite need me yet and that I would go home and rest also. I told her to call me if there was any change. That was about 5:30 am. 

At 6:30 I received a text from Mary saying she was going to head to the hospital to ask them to break her water. (With her previous labors, once her water broke, the labor dramatically sped up.) I decided to go ahead and meet her at the hospital. The doctor came in to check her and she was 4 cm. She did not want to break her water because she was a VBAC (last pregnancy was a surrogate with twins by c-section). Also, the doctor looked at the monitor and she had had 2 contractions in 4 minutes, so she thought she was contracting regularly. In actuality, Mary was contracting every 10 minutes while lying down and 5 minutes while walking. We spend as much of the day walking as we could between getting monitored. Finally, at around 3 the doctor came into see her and she was only 5 cm. The doctor thought that Mary's contractions had slowed down and told her she could go home or have her bag of water broken. Mary decided to have it broken after wanting that originally and being tired from laboring 1/2 the night and all day. With in 1/2 an hour, contractions picked up to about 2-4 minutes apart.

Around 4:30 Mary decided on an epidural so she could get some rest. Unfortunately, the epidural didn't work at all. This is a very difficult thing. Mary had 2 previous natural delivery's in the past, but once you have decided on an epidural are expecting relief, when it doesn't work, it is worse then if you never tried the epidural. The other difficult part was because she had an epidural, she was not allowed off the bed or even on her hands and knees.
We had to deal with the pain she was having with very limited positions. We basically spent the next 2.5 hours with me squeezing her hips while laying on her side and sometimes sitting in bed. This was the only relief she got. Multiple times the anesthesiologist came in to up the medication. When she was about 9 cm, he gave her the c-section dose to see if the epidural was in the right position. It made a little bit of a difference, but not much. But finally, she was able to push which only took 11 minutes and the relief was finally there! Mary gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl at 7:15, April 22. She was 8 lbs, 14 oz.