Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Name is Ashley and I Delivered Twins as a Surrogate Mother.

My name is Ashley and I delivered twins as a Surrogate Mother.

Six weeks ago two precious little children were welcomed into this world to the most wonderful, loving, earthly parents - Merav & Moshe. I had the honor and blessing of carrying their twins and nurishing them to a healthy full term pregnancy - 37 weeks and 3 days!

It doesn't feel long ago that this time last year, the intended father, Moshe flew from Israel to Oregon to deliver their embryo's and begin our families journey together. A few short months later, after many weeks of IVF injections and medications, their two little embryo's were transferred and began to grow within me! Read more of the beginning of our journey here.

Merav and her family had planned to arrive the first week of October, waiting the arrival of their twins. At my 34 week appointment, just over a week before they were arriving, things were starting to progress. After I shared that news with the family, Merav called me and said she was coming to be with me right away! I was THRILLED! Of course she didn't want to miss the birth of her children and neither did I! We had a week and a half of quality time together. From manicures and lunch in the park to Merav feeling her babies kick for the first time! The time was priceless and memories were made that will last a lifetime!

The rest of the family arrived and we continued to spend almost every single day together. Our families came together so naturally! It was so beautiful to watch our two youngest daughters, close in age, play so well with each other. Although her girls do not speak english yet, it was amazing to see how children dont need to speak the same language in order to play with one another. 

They laughed. 

They ran. 

They used gestures.

They made precious memories! 

The innocence of children is so pure, tender and full of love!

Finally the big day arrived! 

October 20, 2015

-The Twins Birth Story-

It was a beautiful, yet rainy October morning! We arrived at the hospital at 8am to begin our induction. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. Both babies had both been head down until my appointment the week prior. Baby B (Boy) had flipped. My Dr was very confident and comfortable with delivering him breech but he wasnt on schedule the day of delivery! Just about every Dr that was… well wasn't going to deliver a breech baby. I was very emotional and scared. The Dr there listed all the many risks that come with delivering a 7lb breech, second twin can have. I shared my fear of having both a vaginal and a c-section recovery. With Merav delivering all three of her children via c-section, she gave me comfort in knowing that everything would be just fine. She would be by my side and we were doing this together! But most importantly she wanted me to listen to my body. She never once asked me to move forward with a c-section in order to avoid any risks to her precious babies. She knew how important it was for me to deliver vaginally and never once did she ever try to persuade me one way or another. 

We spent almost 6 hours waiting for an answer as to wether we would be able to move forward with a vaginal delivery or if we would schedule for a c-section. Finally a high risk Dr came in and told me she would absolutely deliver these babies vaginally… except one thing - She was off at 5pm! Just when I felt like there was hope, I only had a few hours to deliver the twins! I was getting very discouraged and worried. Just then my phone rang and it was MY doctor! He told me he would be there at 5pm and would deliver these babies! I was so grateful that he cared about my birth plan just as much as I did! 

Finally - It was time to get things started!

It was just after 1pm when I was given an IV and an epidural. They began pitocin and things started moving right along. About an hour later the doctor came in to break my water. I immediately began to get the "labor shakes" and knew this was it. I looked up at my husband and broke down into tears. My husband grabbed my hand and kissed my forehead. He told me he loved me and knew that I could do this. I told him I loved him, smiled and tried to get it together. The doctor checked me and ran to the phone calling everyone to the operating room. 

I couldnt stop shaking as I transfered to the delivery table, preparing myself for the many possible outcomes of this delivery. The room was white, cold and full of many nurses and doctors ready to go. I hit the epidural button, grabbed my cup of ice and took some deep breathes. Before we knew it, it was time to push. Merav stood by my side brushing the hair out of my eyes and holding me up with every contraction. Within minutes her baby girl arrived and her cry brought the happiest of tears to both our eyes. I laid back as they cleaned her up. I watched as Merav looked into her little girls eyes with tears streaming down her cheeks and the sweetest smile on her face. My heart was so full!

Baby Girl born at 4:07pm 6lbs 11oz and 20in

The doctors then told me to relax as much as possible as they monitored baby boy on the ultrasound.  They turned the pitocin up 3x the amount it was at to keep my cervix open and ready for another delivery. I wasn't able to hit the epidrual button so things began to get intense. Very Fast! Baby boy began to drop down. I stared at the white ceiling waiting to hear the words of wether it was his feet or head that would come down. As both doctors watched on the ultrasound his position, I heard one say something about his bottom… I looked up and probably with the biggest eyes asked what was going on. The high risk doctor assured me that everything was going to be ok. She told me how great I was going and that I was a strong woman. They knew how important this vaginal delivery was to me and how much I wanted to avoid double recovery. They were determined just as much as I was! 

Finally the high risk doctor came to my side and told me to continue to be strong and that I was going to deliver this baby boy breech. Yes! He was tucked in and his bottom was coming first! I got myself mentally prepared and told myself over and over "I got this - I got this!" I began to feel more and more pressure and with basically no epidural I began to push. And push. And push. About 40 minutes went by and I was starting to feel weak. I looked over at the doctors and asked how things were looking. They reassureed me that everything was looking great and I was doing amazing. I had never been so exhausted in my life and felt like giving up. I looked at the clock and it was just past 5pm. Over an hour in labor and I knew my time was up with the high risk doctor. I thought to myself I have done the best I could and that was all I could do ask for. I gave myself the excuse that her shift was over and I could just give up. I was ready to ask for them to just take him via c-section at this point. At that moment the doors swung open and my doctor walked in dressed for delivery. I felt like I was in a movie and my hero just walked in to save the day! I felt a boost of energy and was ready to deliver with my doctor! He moved everyone aside and told me we were almost done. He said just a few more pushes, give me all you got. Sure enough, a few more pushes and all the stregthen in my very being, baby boy arrived! He began to cry a sweet little cry. I layed back covering my face in tears of joy. There are no words to describe that moment. I was completely speechless and overwhelmed with so much love as I watched Merav embrace her little boy. Her only son!

Baby boy born 5:19pm 7lbs 3oz and 20.5in

Shortly later we were off to recovery where we were given our own separate rooms. The next couple of days were nothing short of amazing! Merav and Moshe naturally held and cared for their babies and I never felt like anything was missing. Everything was whole, absolutely complete just like we all knew it would be!

Meet the beautiful twins - 
Alona & Daniel

I am so grateful Merav and her family had the next three weeks with us before going home to Israel. We spent many days with family and friends, exploring all that Oregon has to offer! 

My two little girls loved being big helpers with holding and feeding the twins. It was quite the opportunity as parents to teach our children the act of service and what it means to be selfless. They understood completely that these babies were not ours and that they had a huge part in making sure the babies grew healthy and strong. Every night while I pregnant, we would sing songs and say our prayers. They prayed for the babies and that Merav and her family would love them. What a gift they gave to their family! They were able to see how their prayers were answered! Nothing more a parent could ask for!

The night before their family left we took our girls over to say their goodbyes. Saying goodbye is never easy. One thing that this journey taught me was an increase of my love for my own children. I did not think that was even possible! As I watched Merav as a mother, she was always very affectionate with her kids. I am not the most affectionate person, as I am still learning the Israeli hug and kiss greeting! But I realized how important it really is and I wanted to show my children how much I loved them through more hugs, more kisses and more praise. Merav may never know how grateful I am for the mother that she is and what she taught me through her example!

October 20, 2015 our lives were forever changed! I witnessed many miracles that I will never forget. My life has truly been blessed! I never would have imagined how incredible this journey would be for my family. There are no words to express the many feelings of my heart! The love and support is one of a kind and I cannot thank everyone enough!  

At 4am my husband and I drove to the airport to say our final good byes with the family. It was very emotional! Our love for this family is more than I can begin to put into words. We will miss them dearly but may it only temporary as my husband and I will celebrate their first birthday in Israel next October together! 

This chapter may be complete but the book has no ending. Our families are now joined together forever

*Please remember the purpose of the "My Name is" series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow.  Ashley will be reading the comments and I know she'd love to hear from you :)

Read more stories of inspiring women in the "My Name is" series, HERE

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