This birth, for Dana, was as much about the process to become pregnant and the relationship with the father as the birth itself. Dana and Chad met their freshman year of high school, when Chad asked Dana to go to the Fall Formal dance. They quickly became best friends, and have remained so ever since. And 20 years after they met in high school, Dana gave birth to a girl for Chad and his husband Jim.
Being a surrogate came with different legal, psychological, and emotional ramifications for Dana than her other births. And the birth itself ended up having some complications.
Going from a perfect check up on a Wednesday to developing severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome by Saturday, Dana had to be induced at 35 weeks. But she still thinks of it all as one of the most magical experiences she has gone through, and has an even more special bond with the father that she could have ever imagined.
Nicole’s first birth was a positive, peaceful experience. She gave birth in a hospital with an OB she trusted, and felt that having an epidural helped her to relax and be present as she brought her daughter into the world.
Nicole’s second birth was only 16 months after the first. Her plan going into the birth was to do things about the same as the first time... which ended up with a-less-than-magical birth experience. Nicole was in love with her son, but also knew that she hoped she could get a chance to have a different kind of birth experience.
Nicole decided to be a gestational surrogate, and carried twins for two international dads. She was able advocate for herself and to have the unmedicated twin birth she hoped for at the hospital where she works, and had a great birth and surrogacy experience.
When surrogate, Ashley, measured large at her 38 week check, the decision was made to induce her at 39 weeks. Intended parents Nancy and Justin flew from Chicago to Utah, where their surrogate Ashley was set to deliver. Only three days later, they were all together in a labor and delivery room as Ashley was induced with a drip of Pitocin. While labor progressed uneventfully in the beginning, pushing lasted hours as baby Audrey’s head was very large and stuck. Following nearly four hours of pushing, and close to being prepared for a c-section, baby Audrey was born on a strong push at 10:21 pm. Nancy, her intended mother, cut Audrey’s cord and immediately took her into her arms for skin-to-skin bonding as feelings of gratefulness and awe washed over her.
Today's birth story podcast episode features Sarah Tuttle and her gestational carrier, turned great friend, Kara Ford. I had the chance to interview both of them and hear the story of how they found one another, how they made the decision to have Kara carry Sarah's babies and the births of Sarah and her husband, Chris' sweet twin girls.