It took me a little longer than expected to write the second half of the triplets’ birth story because frankly getting things back to normal around here has been trying at times. Here I am recovering from major surgery to remove three babies from inside me; my husband only had a few days time to take off and even then took off a few unpaid days. Once he went back to work it was just me and my four children. I had no help, and I had four children depending on me to feed them, change them, bathe them, and provide meals and snacks. Unbearably sore at times with emotional highs and lows trying to regulate my hormones, a few days I was an absolute mess. But more on that later… back to where I left off, in recovery after the c-section…
I stayed in the recovery room for a good hour or so after the c-section. My lovely nurse gave me a shot of pain medication as I was starting to hurt a bit. Things went fuzzy quickly after that. I had been trying to update family and friends and respond to the many messages my phone was blowing up with but I couldn’t even see the buttons anymore. My head was swimming, my speech slurred, I felt drunk. David did his best to get me to relax and try to sleep it off but that was nearly impossible. A million thoughts were running through my mind, I wasn’t coherent enough to process them and the emptiness was still present (where I left off in part one).
A new nurse came in to take me into my post partum room on the second floor. Still drugged up and unable to move from the waist down I had no idea how the two tiny nurses expected me to get from the gurney onto the bed even with it propped to the same level. They used a roller thing after surgery, but didn’t have one of those on this floor. Taking charge as always, David reached across the bed and lifted me into place on the hospital bed. Problem solved. All I wanted to do was sleep at this point. It had been a busy morning with no sleep the night before. He mentioned the IPs and their families wanted to come and see me. Aren’t they with the babies? Turns out the babies had to be evaluated for awhile and no one was allowed to be with them at the moment. I still felt like a sloppy drunk and couldn’t imagine trying to form proper sentences in front of anyone, so asked him to wait on that.
An hour later, still slightly intoxicated, I had a room full of the IPs and both their families and a few of their close friends. Smiles stretched across all their faces, you could see the happiness radiating off each one of them. Everyone thanked me again for the gift I had given their family, and again I was at a loss for words. I was so touched by their words and their gratitude I could hardly keep myself from crying. They didn’t stay long, wanting to let me get some rest. David had to return home and take care of a few things with the kids, so once again I was alone.
The feeling of being alone is a deep dark place for me, I hate being alone. Having four kids, alone time is rare; the house is always bustling with noise whether it is squeals of laughter or them shouting at each other. Here the silence was deafening, the emptiness taking over. Each time I was left there alone in the two days of the hospital stay I could feel depression and sadness taking over. Aside from David and my IPs, I had one friend visit. One person cared enough about me to see how I was doing, to show her love and support for me. My heart ached. Adding that to the feelings that were taking over, I knew I needed to go home, get out of this dark place consuming me.
The next morning it was time to get out of bed for the first time. I was nervous and scared to move my stomach muscles. Just slightly adjusting my position in bed had proven to bring pain, so walking for the first time would surely be difficult. David came in just as my nurse said it was time to get up. Using my arms to brace the majority of my weight I got to the edge of the bed. Sitting there I pushed the pain from my mind, holding onto David for dear life, I was up on my feet. My legs felt weak and like they were going to collapse at any moment, my incision burned, my insides pulled. One baby step at a time I walked across the room into the private bathroom with David assisting my every move. He backed out and let the nurse come in. When she was done with all she wanted me to do, it was time to get up again. Bracing the bar with the nurse trying to help I stood up again. Suddenly everything went fuzzy and black. David rushed to get me to the shower seat. My blood pressure had dropped really low. My first trip out of bed and I black out, how embarrassing!! The nurse refused to let me up again, calling for a wheelchair to get me back into bed.
I got to see the babies once before I left the hospital, unable to touch them because of everything they were hooked up to and their need for oxygen. I felt guilty for them being in that condition. Even though I did everything the doctor instructed and had two rounds of steroids I felt it was my fault they were there. In my right mind I know that isn’t true because you can’t control your water breaking, but there is that little voice always causing trouble and planting doubt. Still, I had to be proud. There were three little people alive because of me; I had given the IPs their dream of a family.
There is a scar that will never fade, never go away, stretched across my lower stomach. To me this scar represents many things. For one, it shows courage to follow my gut when I felt surrogacy was something I was supposed to do. It represents life and the fact that I had given life to three babies at once and that my body was able to take on that task. I can take pride in my scar because while I do not have the babies to raise, the scar will forever be a part of me as they once were and always will be. At 29 years old I have birthed seven children, four of my own and three for my IPs. Simply amazing.