How We Got Here


                             


                                                               Natalie's Birth Story

We were so blessed to conceive within the first month of trying, we were overjoyed. We took 3 pregnancy tests "just to make sure!" I had a great non complicated pregnancy. My official due date was October 17, as the day came as passed we grew anxious and even considered all the "labor inducing" tricks. I did not give in and went in for induction at 5:00am on October 29th. It was a loooong painful process. Finally at 11:30 pm I had dilated to a 9.5. I was so excited, yet couldn't get my nerves to settle and the bad feeling out of the pit of my stomach. They told me to take a quick nap until they got everything prepped. I woke up about and hour later. I began pushing at 2:00am and 45 minutes later, our beautiful son was born. James and I couldn't be more excited, tears of joy were pouring out. He was the perfect mix of both of us, those huge eyes melted my heart. They placed him on my chest and a few minutes later they took him to clean him up and take all the usual measurements.

I was getting ready for the after birth, nothing to be concerned about. Everything was going well. The doctor started to stitch me up, thankfully just one...except she noticed I was bleeding on the inside so slowly she was stitching me on the inside what she thought were tears from the baby's head. An hour later and 3 packs of thread, she was starting to get concerned. During this process she began pushing on my uterus in order to make it contract. I was starting to blackout at this point, from the pain of her pushing on my uterus and the loss of blood. The anesthesiologist had come in shortly afterwards to check on my meds. He ran out of the room and ordered the nurses to grab all the bags of blood they could carry. The anesthesiologist ran back into the room with blood in both hands and in each pocket. They couldn't get the blood to stop and told my family they would need to take me into surgery immediately. I was rushed to the OR, thankfully I was the only person in labor that night they used all 14 nurses on staff. I lay on the bed as the prepped the room and me for surgery. I prayed for two things before they began, I prayed that I would make it through safely for my husband and my son and that they would put me under because the pain was so horrible I didn't think I could handle any more. They did a c-section cut and took out my uterus and injected it with steroids and massaged it to try and get it to contract. It seemed to be helping so the Dr. put it back inside and stitched me up. Unfortunately it did not.

They ended up having to go back in and take it back out. My blood pressure plummeted to 30/12 and I had lost 11 pints of blood. They went into the waiting room and told James that they were unable to save my uterus if they did not take it I would not have made it. Once I made it out of the OR they had to warn my family that the way I would look might shock them.They took me into ICU, my family said they couldn't recognize me as I was so swollen, from the blood transfusions to all the fluids they gave me, I was beyond recognition. I was supposed to be in ICU under sedation for at least 48 hours with a breathing tube to assist my breathing. At that point I was still critical due to all the fluid in my lungs and the stress on my kidney. The nurses told my family they would have to leave the room. I had become agitated and restless. I was kicking a throwing my arms every time they would come in. 4 hours later......I opened my eyes finally my mom came in and showed me pictures of Hunter assuring me that he was safe and nothing was wrong. I began to settle down. The last thing I remembered before I went under sedation was them taking my son into the OR with me and subconsciously I must have been worried there was something wrong they weren't telling me.

remember opening my eyes seeing my amazing husband and my father by my side, I was still unable to talk because I still had a breathing tube. I motioned for a piece of paper the first question I wrote, to my husband was "were you scared? and did they take my uterus?" The next thing I remember was my gorgeous sister in law by my side, I was so thirsty and they wouldn't let me drink anything because of the concern that I might choke on the water. Tiffany was feeding me ice cubes with a spoon for at least an hour. She might have even snuck a couple sips of water :) All I wanted at this point was to see my son. Since I was in ICU they were worried about bringing a newborn in with all of the germs. They also had a security bracelet on Hunter so they had to figure out how to rig the system to get him out of the nursery to the ICU. 7 hours later I was able to meet my son again. I never imagined the love I could feel so quickly. He was so beautiful and such a blessing. I thank God that my uterus did its job to deliver my healthy son. I did not want to let him go.

I was transferred to the mother unit with my son the next day it felt like a year since I had seen him. Once I had him in my arms I was so afraid to let him go. He didn't leave my arms for 2 weeks. The nurses couldn't believe I had come out over everything so quickly. The doctors came in to check on me and they were all in tears. Seeing me alive holding my son, none had seen such a scary situation come out with such a happy ending. I thank my son, Hunter for giving me the strength and the drive to make it so quickly. I look back now and cannot believe what I went through in such a short amount of time. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing son and such an amazing support system with my family. I felt love that I could never explain in a lifetime.

A week later the reality started to sink in. I would no longer be able to have the big family I have always dreamed about.....Tiffany came over one afternoon to take Hunters newborn pictures. We were sitting on the couch after we were done talking about everything, loss, miracle of life, when Tiffany blurts out "Can I be your surrogate??" We both began balling. I feel so blessed to have come out of this situation. All the doctors were so amazing, I feel God was truly looking out for me that day. It has been a really rough road, I feel like I have lost part of mywomanhood. I have had to go through the same greiving process as I would have if I lost a loved one. This is going to be a long scary process but I truly believe there is a plan for us. We are so lucky to have Tiffany in our lives....

~ Natalie
  






                 


The Other Side to Natalie's Birth Story


When James and Natalie told me they were expecting a baby, I could not have been more happy for them and of course, myself!  They were going to be parents and I was going to be an Aunt!  They found out it was a boy and I was even happier. Holland and Blake would have a boy cousin!  Summers of camping, bug hunting, peeing on things they shouldn't be peeing on. James and Natalie were starting their journey into parenthood and growing their family. Life was perfect and bliss and full of excitement! 

The week before Hunter was born, I must have called every day to see if he was close to coming out.  I danced around the house like a banchy (Sean hates when I say banchy, so I have to start throwing it out at random points).   He didn't come.  11 days past his due date, Hunter decided it was time.   James called me and told me they were on their way to the hospital, we knew he would be born in the middle of the night maybe later. Our plan was to go to sleep, then wake up the next morning hoping to have a nephew and head down (We live 2 hours from each other).  

I woke up the next morning to 7 missed phone calls on my cell phone. My heart sank, the worst had happened - why would I have so many missed calls?  James, my brother Jonathan, and my mom had all tried several times. No one in my family calls that much unless the worst had happened.  They were all very early phone calls.  5am, 6am 7 am etc etc.  I called James first, it rang twice - but it could have been ringing for hours, it really felt as if it was ringing forever... I was crying before he even answered.   It was around 7:30am, he answered and said something had happened.  He paused, he swallowed, he said, "Can mom tell you?" and handed the phone to my mom. I remember being so scared, I am crying as I write this because it was a very scary moment.  My mom took the phone, and she told me there were complications, and that Hunter had a fever and was being taken care of and was fine, but Natalie... Natalie was not doing so well.  She had lost an extreme amount of blood, an extreme amount.  She said she was finishing surgery and we should drive down soon.

Between the time of the phone call, and when we arrived at the hospital, Natalie had made it through the surgery.  She had lost too much blood after birth.  It turned serious so quickly, she was rushed into surgery.  I was told that as she was being wheeled away, she was crying and telling them not to give her a hysterectomy. The surgeon came out in the middle of the surgery and told my brother, she was dying.  Her blood pressure was 30/12, they had put in 11 pints of blood into her body  .... they had tried everything and they needed to completely remove the uterus to see if she could make it.   Of course James said yes, do it.  She was dying.  It took a lot for us to admit it, but she was dying. 

The doctors said she would not wake up for 3 or 4 days.   I walked into the ICU and she was unrecognizable.  She was swollen beyond belief and everywhere you could have a tube coming out, she had one.  And what was so heartbreaking, as a mother, was to see this young mother, struggling to survive and having just given birth and no baby with her. 

My brother refused to leave her side. He was there holding her hand, saying over and over, "I love you, you look so beautiful, you are so strong. Hunter and I love you so much. You look so beautiful."   I am again, crying as I write this.  I always knew James and Natalie had a strong love.  It's what you hope for with your siblings, with people you love - that they find someone to build their lives with, to make them happy, to truly love with.  I have never seen a love like this.  He would not leave her.  He hadn't slept in who knows how long - and stood by her, repeating positive affirmations to her, genuinely, lovingly, adoringly. I finally convinced him to sleep on the long chair in the same room.  He would only do this is I took his place holding her hand.  Of course I would.  I held her hand and my heart broke for their family.  I just wanted her to be with her baby and not in this physical, emotional pain.   Three or more day till she wakes up? What will the baby eat?  Good think I brought down some organic Earth's Best formula just in case!  But still, how could this be happening?

And then, her eyes opened.  Was I seeing things? I just got here, it hadn't been 4 days yet!   She was waking up!   She was so strong.  She was so strong.  Later, the nurses figured out how to bring Hunter to her, since she was in ICU and they said they don't bring newborns there.  She was able to be with Hunter again, and to nurse and bond. James, Natalie and Hunter, their new family.  The surgeon who saved Natalie's life came in at that moment, and he started to cry. He said how amazing it was to see her here, alive with her baby when she was so close to death.   I am so happy to hear that, because I often think surgeons are desensitized.  For him to say that, feel that... it sort of set in too how close we were to really losing her. 

A week later, I came to take Hunter's newborn photos.  After, Natalie and I were sitting and talking about her loss.  I had never experienced anything like this and so desperately wanted to be there for her and my brother.  She talked about how happy they were to have Hunter, but how she was conflicted now with feeling a loss for the children she will never have.  She mentioned how she still had eggs of her own and that her and James were considering surrogacy.  Honestly, I was pissed!  What if the surrogate drank, or smoked, or threw herself down the stairs! How do you trust someone like that with your baby!  No way, no WAY!  Then suddenly, it came out, it was as if I couldn't stop it, "I'll do it!"  I immediately covered my mouth and said, "Oh my God! That was so inappropriate! I am so sorry!"   She looked at me and said, "I thought you didn't want any more children, you were done being pregnant?"  I said, "Yes, we don't want any more natural children of our own, we will adopt, but I have this perfectly good uterus!"    We cried, we hugged, we cracked some inappropriate "carrying my brother's baby" jokes and we took a huge step towards this brand new journey together. 

I could not be more honored or more excited to be able to carry their child.  Life is full of wonder and this is one of them. I am blessed to be part of such a wonderful family. I am in awe every day of Natalie's strength, and the love her and my brother have for each other.  I have also found new strength and support from my amazing husband, Sean.  I know I could not do this without him.  My love for him grows more and more each day.  

I cannot wait to see what's next!

Tiffany

29 comments:

  1. Oh Mt gosh, what a wonderful story. I am going to follow your journey! Best wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So amazing I can't wait to hear the whole journey!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love it so far can't wait glad I had spare time to catch up on this blog!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is such an amazing story and will be an even more amazing journey! Truely inspiring. I'm wishing you all the best!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow what an incredible story!! Your two beautiful ladies and ur families are! Wishing you the best in your journey ! Looking forward to following your story !! So amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. SO amazing!!! Crying as I read every line! Natalie & Tiffany, you are both absolutely amazing women!!! I am looking forward to following this amazing story! <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have sat here and cried my eyes out reading this! What an amazing story,I cannot wait to follow the whole thing :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. First off, that photo of Hunter in the truck is SO adorable! I am also sitting here in tears right now. I guess just thinking about something like this happening to my sister or sister in law, and the amazing gift that you'll be able to give them now. How wonderful for them to be able to have another child, and to trust that the person carrying it will be responsible and invested. I don't know that I'm strong enough to be a surrogate, I can't wait to follow your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! I am so happy I came across your blog.. what an amazing story! I am excited to continue to follow it. I just delivered completed my first (and only) surrogacy journey 4 days ago, and boy was it a journey but with the happiest of endings. I am excited for all of you involved. Best wishes with everything!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. WOW I can't stop crying. I also had a scary birth and lost a lot of blood with my oldest daughter obviously not nearly as scary as this. You are all so amazing. May god bless you and thank you for sharing your journey with the world.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What an amazing and blessed family you have, on all fronts. I stumbled upon your blog when I was reading about Katie Kirkpatrick, and just couldn't stop reading. Wishing you and Natalie all the best in the coming months. Can't wait to check back in and read about the miracle to come. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. May the world feel your story and know that God blesses those who truly love unconditionally!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This story brought tears to my eyes! God really does use every tragedy to show us something beautiful we may not have even dreamed of yet. Thank you for sharing your story with us all - it's an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is such a beautiful story and journey... Thank God Hunter and mommy Natalie pulled through, and I share your pain at the loss of a part of your womanhood Natalie... I have an unstable/degenerative Neurological disease that prevents me from having a family of my own, so this is a road I too have explored at 28 years old- ever since I was 22 I have researched this option. I however decided with my health being what it is it is best for me, personally, to be the BEST Aunt possible to my sister's children- 6 yo nephew and a second little one due this November! If healthier- I would do what you are doing in a heartbeat. I would wish for a Tiffany of my own should I have chosen surrogacy. She is a VERY special kind of woman. You you are all SO blessed with love that goes above and beyond the norm. I look forward to following the progress! <3 Bless you all!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow I'm sitting here 8 months pregnant and bawling my eyes out. So many emotions. Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Having just come from my ultrasound appointment to see my own twins, I stumbled upon this amazing story. How many times can I stop and start crying from reading just one blog? :) I am touched and inspired to see real, true love for the people in your life. After experiencing infertility for over a year myself, I know what incredible gifts you are giving to your sister-in-law and brother. There's a special place in heaven for women like you, Tiffany.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow what a heart wrenching story i am so happy to hear that natalie wa ok and was able to hold her baby. I had a baby 6 mos ago and she had to spend a week amd a half in the nicu. It was heartbreaking to leave the hospital without her. I couldnt imagine what you went through but am so glad it has a happy ending. Congrats to u all.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh my gosh, what a strong family. I cried for good and bad. I can't even imagine. So much to go through. You are truly an angel Tiffany!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your story has really touched me... It made me cry! I am so happy for you all, though! The new babies are so special and SO loved! Natalie and Tiffany, you are both amazingly strong women!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am a 28 year old female who has struggled with not being healthy enough to endure a pregnancy due to a degenerative brain and spinal cord disease called Chiari malformation and Syringomyleia. I would risk a major decline of health and partial or full paralysis by carrying, and am unable to go off my medications. I cannot drive, or work, and have gone through 2 brain surgeries in 10 years to remain walking and functioning. In my early 20's, I was coming to terms with WANTING a baby. Surrogacy was my first choice, but the money involved was an issue, as was the genetic possibility I can pass this painful/incurable disease on to my baby. I happily would have adopted as well... But as my life has progressed, I am not in a position where motherhood suits my financial and health limitations. I have fully accepted that, and become the most grateful Aunt to my nephew, who is being raised by my parents in our family home. My sister is a single young mother, with problems she is sorting out. My need to mother has been fulfilled by tending to this sweet boy I have watched grow up in the past 6 years. Tiffany, you are truly selfless and amazing, and give me hope that there are good people in this world! Natalie, my heart goes out to you for all you endured to birth your baby boy. Both you two are AMAZING women and this blog is a constant reminder of the miracle of life and to appreciate it! Thank you for sharing such a special story with the world, you both are incredibly brave!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I feel positively silly! I posted already this spring and forgot telling you the exact same thing! (Did I mention memory issues are a symptom too!) Feel free to delete this, I feel absolutely idiotic for posting 4 months apart the same thing reworded! At least the sentiment of my posts wasn't lost in the re-posting! ;)

      Delete
  21. Tiffany, you are amazing!! Natalie, I'd like to believe I would have the same strength as you if that happened to me, its inspiring!! I'm not able to carry children of my own, however through the wonderful world of adoption I am the proud mother of a 1 year old boy who is the light of my life. We brought him home 2 days after he was born and we just celebrated his 1st birthday this past weekend. I hope someday to either adopt again or have a surrogate, one that will use her own eggs as I fear passing on any medical issues I have. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world and giving hope to those who may not have any or need a little more. May God bless you all and I'll pray for a safe and healthy delivery. Much love to you all!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What an amazing story! My sis-in-law and her husband lost their baby girl at birth in March and she cannot carry another baby. I have two healthy kids and I too had the same thought as Tiffany. I would love to carry a baby for them. this is encouraging for me, thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. While I love the fact that you are there for your brother and his wife...I really wonder why or how come you think a surrogate is going to do bad things like you listed here.
    I have been a surrogate twice, and looking into the possibility of doing it again...who knows.
    But just as an FYI we go through extensive medical and psychological examinations - NO ONE would ever agree to implant their embryo if the blood work of an intended surrogate says they do drugs, smoke or alcohol!
    Good luck with your delivery!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm so happy you are sharing your journey with the world. I am currently trying to get pregnant to carry a baby for my niece and nephew (similar story to Natalie's). Our first attempt was unsuccessful, and we were sad and discouraged. I'm glad to hear it worked for you on the second try. And congratulations on the birth!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I sat and cried as I read over this. I found you as a link on Pinterest. I searched "surrogacy" because I am preparing to carry a baby/babies for a "friend of a friend".
    There is so much I want to tell you/ask you/discuss with you. My brother and sister-in-law have attempted IVF four times with no success. I have offered and offered AND OFFERED to carry a child for them, but they have no interest in using a surrogate, saying that they would prefer to adopt if she can't carry the baby.
    A trusted childhood friend approached me about carrying a child for her friend and after much soul-searching, consulting family and prayer...I said "yes".
    I am just starting my journey...so I am devouring your blog. At the suggestion of friends & family I am preparing to start a blog of my own and am just feeling out the whole process. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing so honestly! You are helping me navigate these new waters. I think that, in the end, the whole purpose for these blogs is to help create a "map" or provide a compass to women who are new to this "uncharted territory".
    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  26. This story has brought tears to my eyes, and it hits really close to home, I had one of those moments of "I'll do it" for my brother. This probably won't happen very soon, but I already feel like it is time to get my body back in shape after just giving birth to my 2nd son, 4 months ago. We are in the stage of just talking about it. She is looking into the viability of her eggs now.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This story has brought tears to my eyes, and it hits really close to home, I had one of those moments of "I'll do it" for my brother. This probably won't happen very soon, but I already feel like it is time to get my body back in shape after just giving birth to my 2nd son, 4 months ago. We are in the stage of just talking about it. She is looking into the viability of her eggs now.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This story has brought tears to my eyes, and it hits really close to home, I had one of those moments of "I'll do it" for my brother. This probably won't happen very soon, but I already feel like it is time to get my body back in shape after just giving birth to my 2nd son, 4 months ago. We are in the stage of just talking about it. She is looking into the viability of her eggs now.

    ReplyDelete

We would love to hear from you! Questions, comments, stories. All welcome.