Their Lovin, My Oven

My Journey as a Gestational Surrogate

Happy Anniversary E&M! January 6, 2013

It’s so hard to believe another year has passed but here we are – The 6th of January 2013. Two years ago today, I met two very special men and the journey of a lifetime began.

 

I know I post and gush over and over about how amazing our journey was but there are few other words for it (besides spectacular, miraculous, wonderful, etc.) The entire journey was such a blessing but I think the biggest blessing of all is that though our journey has now been “over” for more than a year… It’s really still happening each and every day. Not a single day passes that I don’t think about Esteban, Michele, Davide and Gabriel… Not a single week passes that they don’t send me at least a few new photos and not a single month passes that we don’t Skype at least once. I’m so very blessed that in creating their family, I expanded my own. The blessing never ceases to amaze me or fill my heart with so much joy. I will forever and always get to love my 4 Italian boys and know that we are their California family and always will be.

 

Happy Anniversary, Esteban and Michele. Here’s to another year of watching your sweet babies grow and sending you all our love, all the time, all the way from California.

 

-Danielle

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Happy Month-Day!!! May 18, 2012

Another month has passed…. Though I’m not entirely sure how! It doesn’t seem quite possible that my adorable surrotwins are 5 months old but alas, today is May 18th which makes it exactly 5 months ago that I brought those sweet boys into the world and helped make two amazing guys Daddies <3<3<3<3<3

Esteban, Michele and the twins are doing amazing! The twins are both healthy, happy, thriving ADORABLE bundles of joy. We are still getting to Skype with them usually once a week and they are SO full of personality now. Last time we Skyped, they were cooing and babbling and smiling and just all around melting my heart. I swell with pride every time I see my 4 Italian boys and what a beautiful family they are. It still amazes me to this day how lucky I am to have been a part of something SO utterly amazing. Are you ready for the best part of this post? That’s right folks, I’ve got pictures!!! Hang on to your hearts, they’re going to burst with love at  how adorable my surrofamily is ❤

 

Davide

 

Gabriel

 

Esteban holding Davide, Michele holding Gabriel ❤

 

Esteban holding Davide, Michele holding Gabriel 🙂

 

Love them <3<3

 

 

 

Where Were You? April 13, 2012

…One year ago today? At home? Work? Out with friends? Want to know what I was doing one year ago today? I was decked out in green and yellow (as were my husband, Esteban, Michele and a ton of friends and family) and sending up one thousand different prayers. Want to know why? Because one year ago today, April 13th 2011, was the day that we were going to “plant” a baby for Esteban and Michele inside my Bambino Hotel.

I was SO nervous and though everyone kept reminding me to relax, that everything would be fine, I couldn’t help the nervousness. My amazing husband and Elena from Fertility Miracles were there to support me, and Esteban & Michele (and their family and friends) were supporting us from Italy. The transfer itself was pretty easy peasy lemon squeezee. I got to wear a snazzy gown and my super duper lucky socks. *Side Note: when it came time to push on delivery day, I wore the same socks.*

I know you're jealous of the socks, it's okay to admit it 😉

 I got to take a Valium to get nice and relaxed and hold my Hubby’s hand. They showed us a picture of the embryo that they had chosen to transfer and assured us that *he* was just perfect and moving right along wonderfully in development. The doctor came in, explained everything, joked with my husband about letting another man knock me up and then “loaded” the embryo in a teeny tiny catheter. We got to watch the embryo being guided into my uber posh Bambino Hotel accomodations and then the relaxation began. Here is the picture of E & Ms precious embryo snuggling in. Who would have ever thought that something so tiny could become two adorable almost four month old bouncing baby boys ❤

The embryo we transferred which would become Gabriel & Davide ❤ (The bright white spot in the middle of the black circle)

 I would later pee on lots of sticks (no, not random sticks, the pregnancy test kind LOL) and get a positive result. To know that I was carrying such precious cargo for such amazing people was one of the best experiences of my life. Esteban and Michele – We’ve come so far since this day! You are two of the best parents I know and I love you and those little boys to pieces. My four Italian boys are always in my thoughts and there is a permanent place for each of you in my heart. I love you all!! I’ll leave all of you faithful readers with something I know you’ve been waiting for a while for – Here is an amazingly beautiful picture of Esteban, Michele, Davide and Gabriel!!!!!!!

Michele holding Gabriel and Esteban holding Davide. These four boys mean the world to me!!! <3

Michele holding Gabriel and Esteban holding Davide. These four boys mean the world to me!!! ❤

  

I know, I know – Esteban & Michele are SO good looking and my surrotwins are SOOOOOO stinking adorable!!!!!! Don’t you just want to eat up those chubby cheeks?! ❤ I am the luckiest SurroMama on the planet!!

Happy Transfer-versary Esteban & Michele ❤

 

The Real Deal.. February 24, 2012

I know it’s taken quite some time to get this “emotions” blog up and I apologize. I needed time to get back into a normal, day to day routine that didn’t directly involve my surrogacy journey, and time to compose my thoughts…. Some of these thoughts I’ve kept completely to myself but those private thoughts are also an important part of my journey so I’m choosing to not hold anything back. This is probably going to be a very long post, but complete honesty has always been a huge part of this blog so here goes…

 

This surrogacy journey was by far one of the most amazing things I have EVER done in my life. I always wondered what drove surrogates to go through multiple journeys and now I understand it without a doubt. One of my surrosisters on a private forum said it best – She can tell I’m not a “One and Done” kind of surrogate. I’ve been asked probably one hundred times if I will be a surrogate again. I was asked a lot before I gave birth to the twins, but it wasn’t until after that when my hormones settled down that I knew for sure. Though I had heard plenty about people’s struggles to have children, being a surrogate opened my eyes in a way that nothing else can to the number of people experiencing these struggles. So, what’s my answer? Yes. I would love to be a surrogate again. A sibling project might be something Esteban & Michele want to do in the future so I won’t pursue another surrogacy journey until I’m sure they are done with their family. It’s important to me to help them with bringing another angel into this world if they want to and though complications of a pregnancy resulting in an inability to carry again are rare, they do happen and that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I did another journey with someone else and something happened that made it impossible for me to carry for Esteban & Michele again. I know that if I wanted to do another journey, I would have their blessing, but this is my choice. Their family is also part of my family and I want to make sure they are finished building that family before I move on. I don’t know for sure what the future holds in regards to a sibling project, nor am I rushing Esteban & Michele to make any decisions right now. They are focused on their sweet baby boys and that’s exactly what they need to do for right now. If in 2-3 years they decide they don’t want to do a sibling project after all, I’m completely okay with that and won’t have any reservations about having waited for them to make that decision. Some people might think I’m crazy to “save myself” but I don’t see it that way and that’s all that matters.

I also get asked how I’m feeling. I know the majority of people don’t necessarily want to know how I am feeling physically. People want to know how I handled everything emotionally. This surrogacy was emotionally charged, that’s for sure.

Working with IFs was probably completely different than working with a “traditional” couple. Though I obviously don’t know that for sure, here’s where I’m coming from. Our journey didn’t begin with Esteban & Michele considering surrogacy as a last resort or their last chance at having children. Being a same sex couple and the laws in Italy regarding adoption (not legal for same sex couples or a single male) meant that they really had no other options for building their family except surrogacy. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t choose surrogacy lightly. They did TONS of research (I’m pretty sure Esteban has read thousands of books) and TONS of thinking before making the decision, but the decision wasn’t based off prior struggles with infertility or prior heart ache from failed adoptions, etc. Our journey began with the excitement of them seeing their dreams of parenthood begin and my dreams of helping someone create their family beginning. We got to experience joy and excitement from the very beginning and that excitement and joy rarely went away.

 

The most trying time for me (and for the guys) was finding out about Davide’s heart condition. The pediatric cardiologist was trying to prepare everyone for worst case scenario, but in doing so he spoke about things that probably weren’t anything but a remote possibility and caused many painful thoughts and discussions. The possibility of Davide having DiGeorge syndrome was devastating to Esteban & Michele. The doctors mentioned termination and it wasn’t something anybody ever wants to think about but Esteban & Michele had to. While I haven’t been in their shoes before, they have always been open and honest with me and I know that was one of the most difficult times they have ever gone through. I can’t imagine the anguish they went through. It wasn’t easy on me as their surrogate either. Since they weren’t at the appointment, that phone call was one of the hardest I have ever had to make. How do you tell someone that their child has the remote possibility of a syndrome that could severely affect their quality of life? How do you hold it together when all you want to do is fall apart because you know it’s 1000 times harder for them than it is for you? When we had first matched, we agreed that termination would be their choice unless it was a situation that threatened my life. This is a choice I made as a surrogate – The child(ren) I would carry wouldn’t be my own and therefore I felt like any choices for termination, etc needed to be that of the intended parents. Everyone hopes that such a decision never needs to be made, but going through this journey really drove home how important it is for each surrogate to make a decision regarding their feelings of termination and know that no matter what, they will be able to stick to that decision. I don’t regret my decision at all, and will stand by it for any future journeys but that is one piece of advice I will always give to someone considering surrogacy – Know where you stand and be absolutely sure you are comfortable with that stance just in case. Esteban, Michele and I had several heart to heart conversations and somehow, I just knew that Davide didn’t have DiGeorge syndrome. To this day, I can’t explain how I knew but something was telling me that while he may have to have surgery to repair the holes in his heart and the issue with his aortic arch, he would be just fine afterwards. I am so thankful that Esteban & Michele took that to heart and stayed strong. I know it wasn’t easy for them, and it wasn’t easy for me, but it brought us that much closer together.

 

It’s impossible to predict how you will feel after delivery and my journey was no exception. I thought I knew how it would feel to deliver the twins and hand them off to their Daddies, but what I thought didn’t hold a candle to what it actually felt like. Did I feel like I was giving the boys away? Did I want to keep them? No and No. I didn’t give the boys away – I gave them BACK to their Dads. And that moment is one that I will never forget. Handing Gabriel to Esteban & Michele was one of the most amazing things I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. To see them hold their son for the first time… to know that all the struggles during the pregnancy, all the sleepless nights, aches & pains and the difficulty of delivery resulted in this beautiful family and that I got to be a part of that, was nothing short of a miracle. I relive that moment over and over in my mind every time someone asks me about it and it’s just as vivid as it was that day. I always knew that they would be great parents – And I could always tell how much love they had for their children even before the twins were born. Seeing the love on their faces though… Seeing the look in their eyes as they stared at their newborn son… Seeing them stare at each other and realize that their lives were forever changed… I don’t even think there are words in the English language to describe how amazing it felt to be a part of that moment. I always tear up when I tell that part of my birth story and I think I always will. That day, not only did Esteban & Michele’s lives change, mine did to.

 

Once the twins were born, I knew my relationship with Esteban & Michele would change. I have to admit that I was afraid things would be drastically different once I wasn’t pregnant anymore. If I wasn’t carrying their children, would they still talk to me every day? Would they still check on me to make sure I was doing okay? Or would they be so busy as new parents that I would slowly become less and less important? Don’t get me wrong – The guys never, ever gave me any reason to believe that our relationship would end once the twins were born. My fear wasn’t realistic but it was real. I had read blogs of surrogates that had these amazing pregnancies and relationships with their IPs only to be cut off completely once the babies were born. Though things were different, I was never left out or cast aside. Esteban & Michele were so amazing once the twins were born. They allowed not only me but my family and friends to spend as much time with them and the boys as we wanted. They let me visit Davide in the hospital and let me help watch Gabriel so they could be with Davide. We were always welcome at their apartment day or night and would stay for hours on end just talking, holding the boys, helping with diaper changes, baths, etc.

I love Gabriel & Davide with all of my heart. I would do anything for them, just as I would for my own children. I am so blessed that Esteban & Michele understand the love I have for their sons and know that it isn’t a love driven by a desire to be the boys’ mom, but rather a love for their new FAMILY. I don’t just love Esteban & Michele and I don’t just love the twins – I love the four of them. I love the family I helped create. I love watching Esteban & Michele interact with their sons. I kid you not, I could sit at their apartment just watching them hold the twins for hours and never get bored. To see their family “in action” and to see first hand what truly amazing parents they are was a wonderful experience.

 

To this day Esteban & Michele have allowed me to keep my role as “SurroMama.” They refer to me as SurroMama when we Skype with the boys and always promise to give them lots of hugs and kisses from me. It’s amazing to me that as busy as I know they are with newborn twins, they still take the time to think about me. I want to cry writing out how much that means to me. I wish that I could tell them but there just aren’t enough words. Getting pictures throughout my day, or hearing about tiny details of their day like how many ounces the boys ate, means so much. They don’t have to send me pictures. They don’t have to ask how I’m doing or how my girls are doing. They don’t have to Skype weekly with us. They don’t have to talk to the boys about how much their “California Family” loves them. But they do. Esteban & Michele – I hope you know how much all these things mean. Seeing you with your children never ceases to make my heart skip a beat. It’s just SO amazing, SO wonderful, SO heartwarming, SO miraculous.

 

Never once have I regretted my decision to be a surrogate or wished that our journey had been different. If I had dreamed up the perfect surrogacy journey and written it down on paper, it wouldn’t even come remotely close to how truly perfect this journey was. It exceeded even my wildest expectations and I have a grin that stretches from ear to ear anytime I talk about it. Our journey has expanded my heart so much with love for “my 4 Italian boys.”

Thank you to all of you that followed along with our journey. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, tears and smiles along the road. Thank you for reading my posts whether they were short, long or excruciatingly long like this one LOL. I definitely plan to continue this blog. I’ll keep updating you on the two amazing little boys that resulted from this journey as well as where the future leads me in regards to another journey.

Until Next Time,

❤ Danielle

 

Our Journey – On Film February 21, 2012

When Esteban & Michele first embarked on their journey to parenthood via gestational surrogacy, our agency Fertility Miracles asked them to be a part of a video that they would show to other international couples thinking of using the agency to facilitate their journey with a surrogate. Once we were matched and our journey began, I was asked if they could film parts of our journey to incorporate. I of course agreed and they got to work. They filmed interviews with my IFs, some footage of the day we had our PBO (pre-birth order) hearing, our 3D/4D ultrasound, the baby shower I organized for them and finally some footage once the twins were born.

 

The video is finally complete and is one of the most beautiful videos I have ever seen. It is the perfect portrayal of how amazing Esteban & Michele are, how much they love their sons and how wonderful our journey was. Grab a box of tissues (you’ll need it, I promise) and enjoy! ❤

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4iAkzBuC2A

 

P.S. Esteban and Michele’s sweet angels are growing and thriving and their Daddies are actually getting in 4-6 hours of sleep at a time! The twins had their 2 month check up last week and Gabriel weighs 11lbs, 1oz and Davide is right behind him at 10lbs, 1oz. They have the most adorable chubby cheeks and gorgeous big eyes and I am so thankful I get pictures almost every day, and Skype visits weekly. I have the most amazing IFs and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for bringing us together on this amazing journey.

 

Lots of Love,

Danielle

 

Two More Angels on Earth January 6, 2012

January 6, 2011. Exactly one year ago. That day was filled with so many emotions which I remember with vivid clarity. I was anxious, nervous, scared, excited, unsure. What would they be like? What would we talk about? Would it be awkward? Would they like me? Would we like them? Sounds like a first date, right? Exactly one year ago today, my husband and I traveled to my agency, Fertility Miracles to meet Esteban and Michele. I left that meeting so very sure of two things – That these 2 men would be amazing parents and that I would be truly devastated if they didn’t “choose me” to be their surrogate. As you all know, they did choose me (and my family) and our amazing journey began. Happy “Anniversary” guys, I love you!

 

I apologize that it has been almost 3 weeks since the twins birth and since my last post. I kept meaning to write my birth story but time has flown since the 18th. My days have been spent getting back to being a full time Mommy, pumping breastmilk for my sweet surrotwins every 3-4 hours, spending time with Esteban & Michele and Esteban’s parents and enjoying every single snuggle I get with Davide & Gabriel. I don’t even want to think about what it’s going to be like when they leave to go back to Italy. My heart breaks already knowing how far away they will all be. Let’s not focus on that – Grab the popcorn and a glass of wine (one for you, and have one for me too!) Here is the amazing story of how two more angels entered this world on December 18, 2011. (At 38 weeks, 2 days pregnant.)

 

When I was about 28 weeks pregnant, at a routine OB appointment, it was discovered that Davide had what was believed to be a small hole in his heart (a VSD.) I was sent for a follow up appointment with a pediatric cardiologist who performed his own ultrasound to try and obtain more information about the severity of the hole to see what our course of action needed to be. The ultrasound revealed that there was a medium-large size VSD, a second smaller VSD and some concerns with the formation of Davide’s aortic arch. The true severity of the problems could not be determined until birth since fetal ultrasound does not allow for certain viewing angles to be achieved. The cardiologist believed from what limited images he could get that surgery within the first 7-10 days of Davide’s life would more likely than not be necessary. Kaiser Sunset LA specializes in high risk OB cases and so it was decided that for the health and safety of Davide, I needed to deliver there where the pediatric cardiologists were located rather than at our smaller local hospital.

I was scheduled for induction on Monday 12/19 and had every reason to believe that the twins were comfortable in my Bambino Hotel and had no plans to vacate until that date. On Friday 12/16 at around 6pm I started having some regular contractions. I stayed home and timed them until around 8pm to make sure that they were staying regular and consistent. At 8:15pm we decided to get our daughters to my Mom’s house (she planned to babysit) and head to the hospital since it is a little over an hour drive from our house. I called Esteban & Michele and let them know that I was pretty sure it was time and we would meet them at Labor & Delivery. At 10:20pm we were checked into triage and hooked up to the monitors. We spoke with the doctor on call and discussed our situation and my previous labor history – My contractions were still about 6-8 minutes apart and I was still 3cm dilated. With my own two deliveries of our daughters, I stalled out at 3cm and had to have Pitocin in order to progress further so we were all in agreement that this time probably wouldn’t be any different. Even though I was still in early labor, they decided at midnight to go ahead and admit me to avoid the risk of me going home and then delivering on one of the 4 freeways between my house and the hospital. The middle of the night on a Friday was not the most ideal time to deliver since Davide needed to be seen by the pediatric cardiologist shortly after birth to determine the next course of action in regards to his heart. The doctor in triage let me know that though I was being admitted, the plan was to keep monitoring the babies and though they would not stop my labor, they would not help it along until Monday as planned. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the thought of being stuck in the hospital and confined to a bed being monitored for two days, but if that was what was going to keep the twins healthy, that is what I was going to do. They were my primary concern. We all settled in to our L&D room and tried to get some rest. I was SO unbelievably HOT. It felt like it was 1,000 degrees in my room. My Hubby kept turning the thermostat down for me and the guys all kept bundling up more and more. The nurses grabbed their jackets before coming in to the room because it was freezing in there to everyone except me. Though I felt bad that everyone was bundled up with sweaters and the extra blankets the nurse had been kind enough to bring them, I wasn’t about to let them turn on the heater LOL.

At 9:30am on 12/17 the new shift doctors came in to see me. Dr Patel and Dr. Bakhta informed me that even though it was the weekend, they were reaching out to the cardiac team to see if they would be on board with starting Pitocin to help my labor along. As soon as the cardiac team was on board, they would let me know. If the cardiac team said “no” we would be waiting until Monday afternoon. At 11:30am I was checked and was still 3cm dilated, 50% effaced and a -2 station. Despite the obvious invitations to come meet their Daddies, the boys were still mighty comfy and tracing beautifully on the monitors. At 1:15pm we got the great news I had been hoping to hear – The cardiac team was on board and they started Pitocin! In the past, once I started getting Pitocin, it was only about 5-6 hours before I was ready to push. We all hoped things would continue being very similar to my previous labors and by the end of the night, we would be welcoming Esteban & Michele’s angels into the world. Unfortunately things didn’t move quite as quickly as we all hoped. At 4:15pm I was only 4.5cm, 80% effaced and a -1 station. It was progress, but not much. At 5:15pm I went ahead and got my epidural. I definitely could have waited BUT I knew I was going to need to get it sooner rather than later so that I could be prepared should an emergency c-section become necessary. Since I had ZERO plans to deliver without an epidural, there was no harm in getting it. By 7:30pm I hadn’t made any more progress so the doctor broke Gabriel’s bag of water. We saw nice clear fluid which was a relief. 20 minutes later I was 5cm, 80% effaced, 0 station. Everyone hoped that between the bag of water being broken, the Pitocin and the epidural allowing me to relax and rest, I would be complete and ready to push in no time. Once again, the boys showed everyone that they were in complete control of what was happening. At 9:00pm they increased my Pitocin drip for the second time. Esteban, Michele, my Hubby and one of my best friends were amazing throughout the entire day. They kept me company and kept me in good spirits. I am so thankful that they were all there to support me. I LOVE that Esteban & Michele fought me about even leaving to go to their apartment that was 5 minutes away to take showers. (I won, btw, they went home and took showers and quick naps LOL.) We continued trying to get rest, watching movies, talking about everything under the sun and just waiting for the boys to be ready to make their grand entrance.

At 12:15am on 12/18 the doctor came in to check me again since it had been several hours since she checked me last. She was very quiet and I was afraid she was going to say I was still 5cm. At this point I was beyond exhausted from lack of sleep and was beginning to be worried that I wouldn’t have the energy to deliver the boys vaginally. You can’t even imagine my relief when she said I was FINALLY complete and ready to push. Dr Bakhta asked me to give her one push with a contraction to see if we should move into the OR quickly or if we had some time to spare. With both of my girls the “pushing part” of my labor was VERY quick. With our oldest I pushed for about 20 minutes for a total of 7-8 pushes. With our youngest my body definitely stepped it up and she was delivered with only 3 pushes. I was going to mention that to the Dr but figured that nothing else that day had gone “my way” so I would just keep my mouth shut and see how it went LOL. I felt a contraction coming on so I let her know I was ready – I gave one push and went from a 0 station to a +2 station. I will never forget the look on the Dr’s face as she practically screamed “Stop pushing!!! Don’t push again!!! We need to get you to the OR!” Apparently that would be the ONE thing that went my way – One push and Gabriel was crowning. Things moved into high speed to get me moved in to the OR. Our plan was to attempt a vaginal delivery since the baby presenting first, Gabriel, was head down. Davide at that point was still transverse, but the hope was that once his brother was born he would slide into a head down position. I put on my lucky rainbow knee high socks that I had worn for our IVF transfer, Hubby got suited up and we moved to the OR. Esteban & Michele headed to the recovery room which was right across the hall. The windows on the OR & Recovery Room doors lined up perfectly so my Hubby would be able to communicate with the guys what was happening.

At 12:50am I was wheeled in to the OR and transferred to the “c-section table” just in case things didn’t go as planned and I needed to have an emergency c-section. Let me tell you – this is the most uncomfortable table EVER. It isn’t designed for a vaginal birth (obviously) and therefore lacks any sort of support for your head/neck/back or for you to brace yourself while pushing. I hoped to not be on that table very long so we got down to business. They got my feet up in the stirrups and about 1:03am I started pushing. Gabriel was born at 1:07am and came into this world showing just how strong he is. He screamed right away and grabbed on to the Dr’s mask and wouldn’t let go! The nurse had to pry his fingers off of the mask to get him over to the warmer. I instantly burst into tears hearing and seeing Esteban & Michele’s angel. At that point, Davide did exactly what we had hoped and moved into a head down position. Unfortunately, he did some other moving as well. He began to enjoy his newly spacious womb and “swam” all the way to the top of my uterus. At the same time, my epidural began to wear off. I pushed and pushed and pushed for what felt like hours but Davide just wasn’t moving down. The nurse attempted to give me another dose of the epidural medicine but it wasn’t working. I had stopped contracting regularly and Davide was just sort of hanging out. His heart rate was perfect so the nurses suggested that I nurse Gabriel to stimulate some more contractions to help move him down the birth canal. The nursing definitely worked and I was feeling the contractions a lot more than I wanted to. Gabriel went and hung out with the nurses and once I had breathed through a few more contractions to try and let them “do their job” I started pushing again. I can’t (and won’t) lie. It was seriously painful. There was a moment when I cried to my Hubby and the nurses that I just didn’t think I could do it. I was so exhausted and in so much pain. Women that give birth without an epidural are truly my heroes. Hubby leaned down next to me and told me to take a deep breath and push, that he knew that I could do it. Davide was welcomed into this world at 2:09am and weighed 5lbs, 10oz. He gave a loud scream just like his brother and was doing amazing. Once both boys were born and the doctor got the placenta out, I started bleeding very heavily. I could literally feel blood pouring out of my body. Everyone was rushing around and nurses and doctors were shouting to get this medication and that medication and do this and do that, etc. I became very faint and finally the nurse gave me a shot in my arm (which hurt like hell) to try and get the bleeding slowed down. Once I had that shot, the bleeding was finally under control and I started feeling better. The Dr said that though I had lost a significant amount of blood, it wasn’t enough to need an immediate transfusion so I was okay. I was so relieved that both boys were finally here to meet their Daddies and we were all healthy and strong.

 

While they were trying to get my bleeding stopped, Davide was taken to the NICU to be evaluated. He was so strong from the very beginning. He didn’t need any help breathing at all and was doing so great. His Daddies went and spent some time with him while they were getting my bleeding under control. The nurses offered to take Gabriel to them but it was so important to me that myself or my Hubby be the ones to hand them their son. The nurses were more than happy to oblige so Gabriel stayed in the OR until we were both ready to leave. They handed him to me and wheeled us across the hall – The nurses handed Gabriel to my husband while they got me moved to a different bed and then pulled back the curtain for Esteban, Michele and Esteban’s parents Jorge & Giselle. My husband then handed Gabriel to Esteban & Michele for the first time. I’m crying as I write this remembering how wonderful that moment was. I will never forget the looks of pure love and joy on their faces. All the waiting was over – They were a family. Every single moment of our journey came together in this beautiful instant. I balled my eyes out. I was and still am so honored to have been a part of creating this amazingly beautiful family. The English language does not have enough words to accurately describe what it felt like to see them together – To see the two men that I had come to love and adore so much holding the precious angel that I had nurtured for the past 9 months. I have vivid photographs etched in my heart that I will always hold onto so dearly.

After about two hours we were moved to the postpartum wing and got settled in to our new room. Gabriel was completely 100% healthy so he was able to come along with us. The 5 of us (Myself, Hubby, Esteban, Michele & Gabriel) made ourselves at home and tried to get some sleep. Esteban, Michele & I had agreed a few weeks earlier that I would nurse the boys while in the hospital to aid in my milk coming in and to give them the precious “liquid gold” colostrum that I would have. Gabriel took to nursing like a champ! I was also able to pump some colostrum to take to the NICU for Davide since he couldn’t nurse yet. Esteban & Michele jumped right in to being Dads and handled it beautifully, just like I knew they would. Sitting and watching them snuggle their son was so special to me. They are simply amazing parents and the boys are so lucky! On Monday 12/19, Gabriel and I were discharged and allowed to go home.

 

At 4 days old, Davide was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles where his surgery would be performed. The staff there was absolutely amazing! At 5 days old on 12/23 Davide’s surgery was performed. He pulled through beautifully! They were able to repair the two VSDs as well as the problem with his aortic arch. A pacemaker was “installed” to give his heart some time to recover from the surgery. The pediatric cardiologist who performed the surgery said if after 7 days his heart hadn’t started to work on it’s own, Davide would need to keep the pacemaker. On the 4th day before I went to sleep, I said an extra prayer to my Papa in heaven. I told him that Davide had been so strong but that I thought maybe he could use a little extra help to get his heart working again. On the 5th day I woke up to a message from Esteban & Michele that while Davide’s nurse was on a break, his heart started working again and shut the pacemaker off all on it’s own!!!! That was such a beautiful day!!! A few days later they were able to start feeding him the colostrum I had pumped through a tube. I was SO happy that he would get the benefits of the colostrum even though he hadn’t been able to eat right away. The next day he started getting milk and the day after that he started doing bottle feeds with his Dads. Each time they guys sent me an update of how well he was doing I was SO happy for them! Their little angel is such a fighter and I am so proud of him. Once he was handling his bottle feeds, they removed the feeding tube. He passed all the tests showing readiness to go home and yesterday 1/5/2012 he was discharged from the hospital.

 

Esteban & Michele’s family is now complete with both of their sweet angels home and in their arms forever. I cannot say enough how honored I am to have been a part of helping them create their family.

 

Esteban & Michele – I love you both so much and you will always have a place in my heart. Thank you so much for “choosing me” and for trusting me to take care of the twins for you until they were ready to meet you. This journey has been truly amazing and I will never forget a single moment. I know our journey together is not over and I am so thankful that you have allowed me to spend so much time with you and your sweet babies. You have no idea how much it means to me. Seeing you with your sons warms my heart. I can’t think of two people more deserving of a family and I am so happy that you have those precious baby boys to love and adore for the rest of your lives. You are amazing parents and the boys are so lucky!

Davide & Gabriel – I am the world’s luckiest SurroMama to have such sweet surrotwins. I love and adore you both. I can’t wait to watch you grow up with your Papa’s and the amazing friends and family waiting for you in Italy. You will always have a place in my heart. You and your Papa’s will also always have a guest room at our house so please don’t hesitate to use it! 😉

 

I have so many emotions and thoughts about my journey and the past three weeks but I’ll save those for another post. Thanks again to all my friends, family and surrosisters for your constant support – I love and appreciate each and every one of you.

 

Welcome to the world Davide & Gabriel!!! ❤

Until next time, lots of love from ME 🙂

 

Unforgettable December 20, 2011

Esteban & Michele’s sweet baby boys were welcomed into this world on Sunday December 18th, 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gabriel was born at 1:07am and weighed 5lbs, 14oz. Davide was born at 2:09am and weighed 5lbs, 10oz. I was able to deliver both twins vaginally like we all hoped ❤

They are the most adorable little boys EVER. Seeing Esteban & Michele holding their children for the first time was….. Completely unforgettable to say the least. I am so in love with my amazing surrofamily.

I promise to post a birth story soon.

Until next time, (just) Danielle 🙂