Home Multiple Births The Birth of my Surrogate Twins By Sally Elizabeth Rhoads
The Birth of my Surrogate Twins By Sally Elizabeth Rhoads PDF Print E-mail
Birth Stories - Multiple Births Stories
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 09:38
I keep a journal of the experience with photos of the twins birth/growing up on my homepage at http://therhoadsfamily.homestead.com/Home.html

Attached is my journal and birthstories by my husband and the mother of the babies. I was a gestational surrogate for an infertile US couple. The babies were born Dec.16th, 2000 via caesarean section. There are photos on my homepage.


September 16th, 1999
After seven months of searching for IP's (intended parents) I received an email from Heather in MD. I had posted an ad on Surrogate Mothers Online and had received over 200 emails! I had already been through two IP's that had fallen through and was afraid to get my hopes up again. H eather and her husband Sergey needed a gestational carrier to help them with their family. A year earlier Heather had been in a car accident when she was 8 months pregnant with twins and tragically lost the babies and needed a hysterectomy. I felt greatly for Heather and wanted to help her. We continued our emails getting to know each other and before I knew it we were doing bloodwork, physical exams and legal contracts. I was so happy to be doing this.

March 12th, 2000
After months of painful injections Heather has her egg retrieval. She goes to the clinic in NJ and has six eggs removed. Four fertilize and are frozen for the transfer.

March 31st, 2000
My husband Andre, I, and our son Tristan pack the car for the trip to NJ. I have to be at the fertility clinic the next morning for bloodwork and ultrasounds. We leave our home at 8:30pm in Ontario and arrive in NJ at 8:30am. We are sooooo tired from the long drive. It is the first time we meet Heather and Sergey. All the tests go perfectly and I am started on an oral medication called Estrace.

April 2nd, 2000
Andre and I sign the contracts with Heather and Sergey at the hotel we are staying in. They take us for a tour of Washington D.C which we absolutely loved. Tristan also enjoyed the trip! We left for Ontario the next day.

April 13th, 2000
My flight leaves Toronto for Baltimore at 6:30pm. I arrive in Baltimore at 9pm. I am so nervous on the flight, thinking about everything that is going to happen. Will the IVF be painful? Will I have to have the daily injections? I miss Andre and Tristan so much, I can't imagine being away from them for ten days.

April 18th, 2000
I am staying with Heather and Sergey in Maryland at their home. I miss Andre and the baby terribly. I am now on Estrace, progesterone suppositories, medrol (which leaves a horrible taste in the mouth) and doxycycline. The IVF nurse calls me the day before to tell me to start my progesterone injections. After she gives me the instructions I cry for about an hour terrified about the needles. They are almost two inches long (20gauge needle) and have to go in the upper outer quadrant of my buttock. I have to start with 1/2 cc before noon and 1cc each day after. It is a horrible way to wake up every morning knowing you have to have a needle! After much whining and complaing Heather finally injects me for the first time. To my surprise it never hurt at all!! I never lost the weight on my buttocks from when I had Tristan so the injection went right into fat! After the needle I exclaimed "thank God for fat!!!" I was glad I didn't have a tight firm butt because then it would have hurt like something else.

April 21st, 2000
After having my fourth needle we all get ready for the four hour drive to New Jersey for the transfer. I am not nervous at all as I hear it feels like nothing more than a pap smear. Heather and Sergey are a nervous wreck. The embryo's survived the thaw and are now a 9cell, two 4cell and one little 2cell. The 9 cell had the most promise for becoming a baby. We discussed the procedure with the doctor when we arrived and I had to drink a lot of water. I was taken back to where I had to undress and put on a paper gown. I thought about how Tristan was fun to make and that this was a crazy way to make a baby. No fun in it at all! I was starting to get very anxious. I was lead into the room by a nurse with Heather at my side. I was given a valium and giggling within minutes. Unfortunately, the happy feeling only lasted a few minutes. We got to see the photos of the four embryo's. Once the doctor came in the lights were turned off and I was laid down and a speculum was inserted. The doctor asked the nurse if she could see the transfer catheter on the ultrasound screen. I did not even feel it go through my cervix because it was so small. The whole procedure lasted less than three minutes. H said she could see the four embryo's float off. When it was all done I had to lay flat for half an hour. I called Andre and it was nice to hear his voice. I felt so far away from him and wished he was at my side also. On the drive home I felt a little cramping which is normal. It felt really weird all of the sudden now that everything was done. We had been waiting so long to get to this point. Once we got back to Maryland I had to stay on bedrest for two days. I mostly watched tv and read books. One book in particular that was excellent was "Conceiving Luc" it was written by a surrogate and her intended mother. It was a beautiful book. Two days after the transfer I flew back home to Ontario to be back with my husband and son. Tristan looked so different! He is only 16 months and growing like a weed. Andre was ecstatic to see me also, the distance apart made us appreciate each other more. The drive home was filled with us both trying to say so much.

April 24th, 2000
My aunt Sandra (who is an RN and 8 months pregnant with her first) teaches Andre how to give the injections. He is a little apprehensive but confident that he can do it. The following day he gives me the injection but is somewhat forceful causing me to curse. After a few days of mistakes, such as injecting twice because of a missed air bubble, injecting too hard, and forgetting to apply pressure after, I consider my husband an expert! My injection sites bleed a lot now because we are now going over old bruises. The fluid is more painful going in as time goes by. Andre feels bad seeing in me in pain but his encouraging words keep my optimism with surrogacy up.

April 30th, 2000
After many days of bloodwork and pregnancy testing (that all showed negative) I ask Andre to go to the grocery store to get a home pregnancy test. I was 9 days post transfer and knew it was probably way too early to test. The first test showed two very faint lines. I asked Andre what he thought and he said he wasn't sure. So, I did the second test that came in the kit and both lines showed up very strong. We couldn't believe it! I called Heather to tell her the happy news.

May 1st, 2000
My pregnancy test is confirmed through blood with a beta of 92 only 10 days after the transfer. An ultrasound is made for May 17th and a prenatal for May 30th.

May 3rd, 2000
My beta HCG count is 403 twelve days after transfer.

May 7th, 2000 (5 weeks 2 days)
The progesterone suppositories that I have twice a day are seriously irritating me. I begin bleeding and develop a yeast infection. The hormone feels like it is burning holes into me. I am advised to stop taking them and increase my injections to twice daily. So, now I am on 2cc of progesterone and estrace pills daily. I'm in so much pain that I'd rather have the needles than those suppositories! My hips are very sore from the needles, it hurts to turn in bed.

May 11th, 2000 (5 weeks 6 days)
I am instructed to reduce my estrace pills to three a day instead of four. My butt looks like a dartboard with over a hundred little red dots all over it. We now do the shots in the tub where it is more comfortable. I don't regret doing this at all, it is so worth it.

May 16th, 2000 (6 weeks 4 days)
I spend the night in the hospital with severe dehydration. I have been so sick that I have been bedridden and unable to keep anything down. After a bolis of IV meds and liquid gravol I feel much better. I am sent home with a prescription for diclectin (an anti-nauseant medication for pregnant women.) I now stop taking all my medications.

May 17th, 2000 (6 weeks 5 days)
I am now feeling much better entering my sixth week. During the ultrasound the technician reveals two little babies with beating hearts. They are nestled beside each other, it is too early to tell if they are identical or not. I am glad it is twins, that way they will always have each other and not be an only child.

May 31st, 2000 (8 weeks 5 days)
The nausea is starting to go away. I am really turned off from food and I'm nibbling on little things all day. I am at the stage I hate, too early to look pregnant but big enough to look fat. In the morning I wake up feeling like I've run an marathon. These babies are taking all my energy. By 11am I am usually feeling pretty energetic, but by 4pm I need to take a nap for a couple hours. I can't wait to get to the second trimester. My next prenatal is booked for June 8th with Dr.Langford.

June 8th, 2000 (9 weeks 6 days)
I had my prenatal today and Dr.Langford says I am in good health and 10 weeks pregnant. The twins are due January 4th, 2001.

July 2nd, 2000 (13 weeks 2 days)
Yesterday was Canada Day and Andre and I took Tristan to the parade. I am now having a lot of heart palpitations that are driving me nuts. I can really feel the blood pumping in my body lately. The flutters in my chest are so annoying, I plan on taking them up with my dr. I've heard it's common in a multiple pregnancy. My IP's have now chosen names for the babies. Boys names are Peter and Dennis and girls names are Victoria and Anna. My intended mother has had dreams of the babies being girls. I think they are girls also because lately they are stealing my looks. My nails keep breaking and my hair doesn't want to cooperate. They say with boys you keep your looks, with Tristan I never had any problems like I am with this pregnancy. I am soooooo happy the morning sickness is gone.

July 6th, 2000 (13 weeks 6 days)
I had my 14 week prenatal today with Dr.Langford. I have been having horrible braxton hicks contractions (which I had with Tristan's pregnancy). She told me not to worry about them unless there is bleeding and/or they are painful and frequent. My blood pressure was fine and my weight has stayed pre-pregancy at 184lbs. (Probably from the morning sickness made me lose a lot of weight). I will be having a maternal serum screening (blood test for genetic problems) at 17 weeks and an ultrasound sometime in August. I have been wearing maternity clothes for a week now.

July 8th, 2000 (14 weeks 1 day)
My aunt Sandra gives birth to a baby boy a week after her due date. The braxton hicks have stopped, and I am much more comfortable. I felt the babies kick for the first time today. Three times on my left side and twice on my right. I've been feeling little flutters for a while and was really surprised how strong these kicks were. My uterus is measuring normal for twins and my waistline is a whopping 120cm (45inches)!!!

July 21st, 2000 (16 weeks)

My waistline measures 48inches now, I'm averaging an inch a week. My lawyer Sherry Levitan (Toronto) sent me the contract addendum which I received today. Andre and I must sign the corrections made to our original contract. I must have monthly pregnancy tests and dr's comments sent to my IP's lawyer. Haven't felt any movement from the babies in about a week. Still pretty early for them to be active daily.

July 29th, 2000 (17 weeks)
Today I had my blood drawn for my maternal serum screening test.

August 4th, 2000 (18 weeks)
I had my 18 week prenatal yesterday with Dr.Langford. My blood pressure was normal (114/60) and my uterus is measuring average for twins. My weight was 186lbs which means I've only gained a pound or two. I got to listen to the babies heartbeats by fetal stethoscope. There is one on each side of my uterus. Dr.Langford said they are probably both sitting in there facing each other. How cute! The maternal serum screen was abnormal and indicated spina bifida. Normal chances of risk are 1 out of 1000, my test showed chances of 1 out of 117. My doctor has advised amnio but we won't be getting it done. My next ultrasound has been set for September 6th (23weeks) and I have been referred to obstetrician Dr.Shannon.

August 9th, 2000 (18 weeks 6 days)
Finally bought myself a body pillow!!! A really big thick one because I am so uncomfortable at night. I had been using Andre as my human body pillow but he started complaining of back pain!!! My belly is really big and it is uncomfortable on my back and hips at night, so the pillow really helped me sleep last night. I'm sure my husband had a better night's sleep also. Today I went to the grocery store at 7 am and bought three pounds of shrimp. Don't know where that craving came from but I devoured them and Tristan helped! (I can't believe my 19 month old loved shrimp but hates just about every other food!!).

August 15th, 2000 (19 weeks 4 days)
Last night a reporter from the Beacon Herald came to us to do a story on our surrogacy journey. We spent a couple hours together talking about everything we have been through.

August 20th, 2000 (20 weeks 2 days)
I now feel the babies everyday, especially in the afternoon/evening. They always kick after I eat something or lay down. I am eating like a horse now and going to the bathroom every 40 minutes. I feel really good and the only complaint I have is fatigue that comes in waves in the afternoon. Since my uterus is growing I have a lot of pressure on my diaphragm and lately it has felt as though I have a tight belt around my lungs. I know this pressure will go away soon as I had it with my son for a couple weeks. My belly is getting big and my waistline is now 49inches!! I am getting really excited about the upcoming ultrasound and I can't wait for the parents to be able to see their babies! Things I am craving are...pizza, chocolate chip cookies, big veggie salads with french dressing, bluberry frozen yogurt in waffle cones, all kinds of sandwiches, apple juice, peanut butter, and lately a huge desire for a thanksgiving dinner, you know the turkey, mashed potatoes, turnip and stuffing. Yummy!! Maybe I'll have to cook it up this week.

August 31st, 2000 (21 weeks 6 days)
I had my first obstetrician appointment today with Dr.Shannon. My uterus measured 31 centimetres, my blood pressure was normal (110/60) and my weight was 195lbs. Listened to both of the babies heartbeats, they are doing good. I really like Dr.Shannon, he took time to listen to me and and explain things patiently. I really feel comfortable with him and I hope he is able to be there for the delivery. My biggest pregnancy complaint is that I am now up 2-3times a night going to the bathroom. The Beacon Herald also published our story in the paper today.

September 6th, 2000 (22 weeks 5 days)
Today we had our second ultrasound. It's a boy and a girl!!! The parents have named them Victoria and Peter. They each weigh 1 lb 8oz and look perfect. Baby (A), Victoria is laying transverse along the bottom of my uterus and Baby (B), Peter is laying transverse along the upper part of my uterus. There is a placenta at the front and back so my cervix is clear for a vaginal delivery. Their heartbeats were 136bpm and 150bpm. Let's just hope Victoria goes head down and everything keeps sailing as smoothly as it has. The parents made it for the ultrasound and we all received sets of photos.

September 21st, 2000 (25 weeks)
Today I saw Dr.Shannon, my obstetrician. I am 25weeks, weigh 201lbs and everything is measuring perfect. Last night I went up to labour and delievery because I had been having two days of intense braxton hicks contractions. I went to make sure I was not dilating and I had not which was great. My cervix is long and closed and Dr.Shannon has advised me not to worry about braxton hicks unless they get painful. I have no complaints, I feel really good but I am getting big! The next ultrasound is set up for October 6th.

October 8th, 2000 (27 weeks 3 days)
Wow! I am 27 weeks! I had my 3rd ultrasound on the 6th and everything went great. Twin A, Victoria, is head down, 3lbs 2oz and her brother Twin B, Peter, is transverse 3lbs 3oz. Their weights are great and if born now would aide them tremendously. They gained 2lbs each in only four weeks. I eat all day and all night now, I guess that's why they've gained so much. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so we will finally fix that turkey craving. I have a lot of pressure as baby A has dropped and it's getting hard to walk. It is very uncomfortable and has been getting progressively worse for the last week. My uterus has dropped so I no longer have problems breathing!!! I now have my own little breakfast table to set my bowl on! Looking forward to getting these two out, running out of clothes and can't wait to be able to sleep normal again.

October 10th, 2000 (27 weeks 5 days)
Tons and tons of pressure now and it's driving me nuts. I can hardly walk and had a little bit of bleeding in the morning that stopped. I think a blood vessel broke in my cervix from all the strain. I see Dr.Shannon on Thursday, hopefully I won't start any bleeding again. The twins are moving a lot, I'm getting kicked and prodded all over the place.

October 12th, 2000 (28 weeks)
I saw my obstetrician, Dr.Shannon today. Everything is perfect. My weight is 210, blood pressure 110/60 and uterus is measuring 37cm (same height as someone full term). Both babies are active and had heart rates of 147bpm and 138bpm. Dr.Shannon was more doubtful of their weights, as ultrasounds are not very accurate and he also doesn't think we should get too excited about the sexes either (they are often wrong!!) I think I will take his advice! Andre and I are making the long drive up to North Bay this weekend and Dr.Shannon says travel is fine which is great. I also had my cervix checked and it's still long and closed. I still have lots of pressure and the bleeding the other day was more than likely just a blood vessel. So no concerns, I can keep doing whatever I want to do. I have been started on 300mg of Iron now (since the babies are making blood) added to my daily prenatal vitamins. Dr.Shannon advised I buy some All Bran (Buds) cereal, I think it may come in handy with all that iron ~ yikes. Andre and I will also be going to a highschool tomorrow in Ingersoll to talk to students about surrogacy/infertility. I'm not looking forward to getting up in front of people but if it means showing the good of surrogacy than I am all for it. Tomorrow I am going to the MDS lab to have that wonderful orange drink to test for gestational diabetes and have my blood drawn (can't wait!) Next ob appointment is Oct.26th and next ultrasound is Nov.3rd.

October 19th, 2000 (28 weeks 6 days)
I passed the my GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test), that orange drink tastes so much better when they make it cold. With Tristan it was room temperature and I wanted to throw up! I'm eating and drinking so much now that I just slugged it back I don't really care at all what anything tastes like! The lab technician made a mistake with my order though and forgot to do all the other blood work so I got poked twice !! Thanks to Emla cream I didn't feel it! Twice in the same vein in 5mins was interesting. So much for my once held needle fear. The iron sure has picked me up, I'm not feeling as tired since I started it. The other morning I awoke on my back and my tailbone cracked in four places when I went to sit up. I never knew your tailbone could crack, it felt good!! My spine gets really stiff in bed so any cracks are real relief. Babies are absolutely crazy now, kicking and shoving so much that my shirts pop out. Turning in bed is becoming impossible, Andre has to help me now, I have to keep turning or my hips go numb. I went to the grocery store last night at 3am and actually found pre- made fettucine alfredo sauce!!! Classico Pasta Lines put out new sauces so now I don't have to keep getting it from the US!!!!!! Now I can eat fettucine alfredo all day everyday and keep those cravings under control!

October 27th, 2000 (30 weeks)
I saw Dr.Shannon yesterday for my 30week check up and everything is perfect! My blood pressure was 120/70, weight 216, fundal height 40cm (full term singleton uterus) and I have had no cramping, dilating, effacing, swelling, or other problems. My blood tests from 2 weeks ago looked really good and I passed my glucose tolerance test with a 4.8! My hemoglobin counts were low though but because he started me on 300mg of iron a day two weeks ago my energy has really picked up! I had an internal and my cervix is still long and hard and baby A is head down. So all is clear for a vaginal delivery right now. The babies heart beats were 147/141, and they are both thriving. Dr.Shannon said I'll probably go around 34weeks and that only about 1 out of 10 women need inducing at 38weeks. I can't believe how wonderful everything is going, I feel so blessed. I don't get any braxton hicks anymore but I'm still nesting like a crazy woman. I keep a bottle of Mr.Clean in the shower so I can clean the tub while showering! I've been in really good spirits about having my energy back and the baby being head down. I can't ask for more than that. Maternity clothes are tight again and I have to get some more. I have to go for my DNA testing on Nov.1st, I will have blood drawn, my photo taken, fingerprints and all that fun stuff. DNA kits are also coming for me to keep for when I go into labour. When the babies are born the OB that delivers will use the kits to take the blood from the babies umbilical cords and then send it off to the DNA labs so that all the proper paperwork can be taken care of. Everything is falling into place so neatly now, I can't believe it's almost over!! The next ultrasound is November 3rd, I shall post those photos too!

November 1st, 2000 (30 weeks 5 days)
The DNA tests for the babies arrived earlier this week. They contain the vials for the doctor (to take blood from the umbilical cords) and TONS of forms for the me to fill out at birth. I went into the lab today to have my DNA test performed. They took a vial of blood, took my photo, filled out some forms, and fingerprinted me. My IP's will be having their DNA tests on the 3rd (day of my 31week ultrasound). This is all done to prove the babies are the genetic children of my IP's and not my husband and I. It is also done so that the parents names can be put on the birth certificates.

November 3rd, 2000 (31 weeks)
We had another ultrasound today. Since the babies are so big it's hard to see much on the screen. We did manage to get a picture of their heads together. The babies are now transverse facing each other with both heads on my right side. I am incredibly uncomfortable, it's starting to hurt when I walk and to compound that I have the flu. Twin A weighs 5lbs 5oz and her heartrate was 130bpm and Twin B weighs 5lbs 2oz and his heartrate was 136bpm. All in all I'm feeling really miserable (from the flu) and not to happy about them being transverse.

November 6th, 2000 (31 weeks 3 days)
I am absolutely miserable. I have a horrible cold. Sore throat, coughing (right in the lungs), migraines, nausea, runny nose and eyes. What makes it even worse is I can take nothing to make myself comfortable. Tylenol only takes the edge off for so long. Night time has been a real nightmare. I have to sleep sitting up or I get really congested. I'm drinking a lot of apple juice, can't get enough of it!! Andre now has to do the "bear hug" technique to help me out of bed since I'm just too heavy to lift myself. I can't sit on normal chairs either as my feet go numb! Things wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't sick. Tristan has been sick with me and we lie in bed together and watch cartoons and eat lots of soup and toast. We still have our appetites!!

November 10th, 2000 (32 weeks)
I had my 32 week ob appointment yesterday. Everything is still going great! Babies heartbeats were 144bpm and 141bpm. One of them has gone head down (not sure, some major moving around in there lately). I am really happy that the head is presenting the right way, just hope it stays that way. My blood pressure was 115/70, weight 220lbs, fundal height 42cm and my cervix is still long and closed. Dr.Shannon said this pregnancy is being a perfect text book one which is really great!! I have packed my hospital bag finally!

I have finally kicked my awful cold bug but less than 10minutes after I left Dr.Shannon's office I injured my leg very badly! I went to drop off a flashlight to Andre because he needed it at his work. (He works at a car garage doing oil changes). I walked into the garage and before I knew what had happened, I was falling. The floor was so slick (it was pouring rain outside) and I had nothing to brace my fall, plus I was carrying a heavy mag light. So, down I went, all 220lbs, with my left knee conneting with a metal grate on the floor. OWWWWWWWW. All these lube technicians running to help and asking if I was okay. My pride was so hurt! I kept saying I was okay and then andre came running up from below and he saw me shaking my head and he knew I wasn't okay. The tears just started flowing right there in front of everyone. I must have been a sight since i can't even get myself up and was lying on a dirty garage floor, 32 weeks pregnant and crying! The took me in the office and his boss came down and thought I was in labour! They lifted up my pant leg and what I saw I will never forget. I have never seen such swelling in all my life ~ it was terrifying! Just below my left kneecap (besides all the bloody scrapes/cuts) was a swelling as big as a tennis ball and it stuck out just like one. The pain was horrendous and my leg went numb from the kneecap down. (Now I know now what pain Nancy Kerrigan must have felt when she was attacked with a metal bar on the leg!!!) Andre took me to the hospital and they said they doubted anything was broken. Thank God!! (Can't do an x-ray with me being pregnant). I got it checked just to be sure. Of course, we walk into the emergency room and the nurse says "is it time?!". Everyone thought I was in labour cause I'm limping and crying! So, then when we are leaving, Andre realizes he locked the stupid keys in the car and we had to call a cab and so forth and do some running around to get keys. What a morning! You never know how your day will turn out!

November 20th, 2000 (33 weeks 3 days)
My knee has been healing very slowly but steadily. From the shin down it's still black and blue and only hurts if someone hits it or touches it. I can bare weight with no difficulty and I'm really thankful for that! The pregnancy is becoming very rough now. I have severe insomnia, indigestion, heartburn and pain in the pelvic area. A few days ago the heartburn was so bad that I wasn't keeping things down. I was throwing up a lot because my stomach is so compressed. I spent all last week with cramping and contractions that would go on for hours and then stop. It's beginning to get very frustrating for me now. The babies are very active and one of them is always getting hiccups that I can feel for hours. They are incredibly heavy, my spine cracks from the weight in the morning when I get up and turning is IMPOSSIBLE!!! I can't imagine 4 more weeks of this (which is all I have before I'm induced). I don't care if anyone thinks I'm whining too much, this is my time to whine and complain. When you are as crippled as I am right now you'd be complaining too! I can proudly say I had my first official breakdown yesterday and was resorted to a crying mess for about two hours yesterday. I was trying (with much difficulty) to get dressed and Andre pointed out how bad my stretch marks were getting. Some of them are so big that they are starting to puff out. I also have them going horizontally across my stomach now because my stomach is stretching beyond it's normal elasticity. Well, that did it for me, combined with all the other aches and pains I ended up spending the afternoon in bed completely miserable. It took about three chocolate bars, a coke, and a bath to change my mood. I'm at the "I'm never getting pregnant again" stage. I can't stand chocolate milk now or cheese and lettuce sandwiches, my tastes have changed again. Ironically I have been craving those really big pickles you see in jars. I hate pickles and haven't bought any yet. I'm drinking over 3 litres of apple juice a week and that's on top of milk and water and everything else. All I think is juice lately and fatigue is setting in again. These babies are getting too big for me to feed I think, as I'm eating non-stop and I'm still hungry. I don't eat as much fettucine alfredo anymore, I want french fries all the time and have been eating a lot of salads and tomato soup. The snow has finally come to Stratford and it's so beautiful. At night you can watch the wind whip snow under the street lights. Everyone has their Christmas lights and decorations up. These babies will be here very soon. Today Andre and I have to go to the Maternity Ward at Stratford General to register and go over our "birth plan". I don't really have a "birth plan" especially with twins! I'm not expecting anything anymore since that just sets you up for disappointment. My only stipulations are No episiotomies and I want general anesthetic if I have a caesarean section ~ that is not something I want to experience awake. My ob is fine with this.

November 23rd, 2000 (34 weeks)
I just had my 34 week ob visit. My blood pressure has decided to go up to 130/70 and I now weigh 230lbs!!!! Edema has set in unfortunately and it looks awful. My legs, hands and the area above my bladder are swollen with fluid. I was wondering what that big mushy pockety thing was where my bladder is, it just sits there. I can't wear my wedding ring anymore, my ob said the edema will disappear at birth. My fundal height is 45cm, babies are still (A) head down (B) transverse (which is great) and their heart rates were 153bpm and 141bpm. All those cramps and contractions actually did something because I am now 2cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby A is at -2 station. (0 being engaged at cervix, 4 being crowning). Dr.Shannon told me that one of his patients also pregnant with twins and with the same due date as me delivered last night. Both babies were born vaginally over 4 1/2lbs each and doing great on their own. That's good to hear!! Walking is excruciating and I want this over now! I have to see Dr.Shannon again on the 29th of November, I have to see him every week now.

November 27th, 2000 (34 weeks 4 days)
Last night I went up to L&D because the cramping was just so bad! The babies are doing fine, my blood pressure has stayed the same and I'm now dilated to 3cm. Some progress. The dr's said I should keep off my feet some more and that I could still easily go full term even though dilated. I'm just letting nature take its course at this point.

November 29th, 2000 (35 weeks)
Saw Dr.Shannon today. I am now 236lbs (from all the apple juice and edema I guess). Blood pressure 130/70, so it's holding steady. I'm 3cm, 60% effaced. Feet and hands are swelling bad and I'm officially miserable and bitchy. I can't even describe the tortuous ordeal of walking and getting up.

December 7th, 2000 (36 weeks)
I saw my ob today and I tested positive for Group B Strep. My ob was not concerned at all, said it's very common and it's nothing to worry about. I guess I'm just kinda shocked, because I never had it with my son and never test positive for things!! (unless pg). 1-2% of babies born to moms with GBS die from complications, so I guess the chances are very low and the dr's will be watching the babies really good. I have to have antibiotics via iv during delivery, must be administered 4hours before birth. Other than that everything is good. He wouldn't do an internal, said he knows I'm definately still dilated and he doesn't want to irritate my cervix.

December 14th, 2000 (36.6 weeks)
It's been a rough week. Very very sore and in a lot of pain. Ankles are severely swollen as well as fingers, toes, calves and the area above my bladder. Very difficult at night to sleep. My hearing is muffled also from the edema, it has affected my ears. I'm nauseous all the time and my appetite has slowed. Weight gain has slowed significantly!! Dr.Shannon stripped my membranes today and I'm still dilated 3cm. Baby A may be presenting a butt instead of a head so I have to go to the maternity ward tomorrow for an ultrasound to be sure. If head first, induction will be next week, if butt first a caesarean will be scheduled next week. Either way, I won't be pregnant a week from now. Words cannot describe how happy I am to have this done.

December 15th, 2000 (37 weeks)
Andre and I arrive for our ultrasound at the hospital at 9pm. By 10:30pm our ob is able to see us. I am taken to a birthing suite and we start the ultrasound. My ob exclaims "shit", and tells us both babies are breech. I feel so disappointed and Andre takes my hand in comfort. My ob says we can attempt a vaginal delivery and that he's willing to induce me! We can't believe it! He chekcs me and I'm 5cm. He does a stretch and sweep on my cervix and I go to 6cm. Andre runs to call the lawyers, my ip's and some family members.

My blood is taken and an iv line started. I am started on antibiotics for group b strep and syntocin is started to induce labour.

December 16th, 2000

Epidural is started. Andre had left to get my things and buy some film for the camera so I only had my nurses hand to get me through the process. My anesthesiologist was wonderful, he explained everything he was doing. The local injection stung a bit and I jumped a little and then the epidural catheter was done. Overall, it was not near as bad as I thought it would be. Within 5 minutes my feet and legs became heavy and tingly. I started shaking from the chest up and felt so nauseous (nervous about the birth). A catheter is placed.

Ob checks me, I am 7cm dilated.

My ob breaks my water, I am 8 cm dilated! An internel fetal heart monitor is attached to Twin A's bum!

Twin A's foot descends into my vagina, ob moves it back up. I then get cord prolaspe. (Twins A's umbilical cord descends into my vagina). Birth is now risky for Twin A's survival.

I am packed up and moved to the operating room. My epidural is wearing off, I watch the ceiling tiles as my bed is moved.

Once in the operating room the nurses help me to move off my bed onto the surgical table. I am very scared and I don't know what will happen. I'm trying to hold back all the tears. I lay down and automatically they begin to strap down my arms and legs. I am shaking all over, I am so cold. Andre is outside getting on scrubs, I keep asking for him, they tell me he will be in soon. I'm not really coherant, the epidural is making me feel woozy. The nurse comes over and begins to swab my belly with antiseptic. I can't feel her do it! Suddenly I begin to panic, I can feel them working on me in certain areas. I exclaim I can still feel things and they tell me not to worry. There are so many people in the room, I am so nervous and feel like I'm in a dream. My ob comes in periodically to see what's going on. I start to feel tears on the sides of my cheeks and know there is nothing I can do to stop this. I keep shaking. The anesthesiologist comes in and gets upset with the nurses for prepping me. He exclaims that I'm still able to feel things, that he will have to fix my epidural and that the nurses will have to reprep me. The nurses crab among each other. I feel bad! The gown they have thrown over my chest reveals my left breast. I don't care, but I notice my ob come over and gently put my gown over my breast to give me some decency. I've thought a lot about how respectful that was of him. The anesthesiologist runs an ice cube along certain areas of my stomach, sometimes I feel it! So, the nurses and the anesthesiologist ask me to turn over on to my left so they can check my epidural. I keep exclaiming that I can't. I am strapped down but cannot manage to tell them since I'm so woozy. (They didn't know I was strapped, another nurse had put on warm blankets). I finally exclaim "arms, are strapped" and they laugh and undo them. They then all try to push me over and I keep telling them "I can't!" My legs were strapped down!!!!!!!!! They are all pushing and heaving, thinking my legs are just numb from the epidural. I am exclaim again "legs! strapped". Boy, it took a lot to say that. The anesthesiologist gets annoyed and exclaims "her legs are strapped down?? Come on, let's get this done!" So they unstrap my legs and I give it my all to turn over. The dr. then puts in another 30cc into my epidural, but nothing happens. He then says to he will have to do a spinal. Four nurses get me to sit up on the surgical table. I am so woozy and ready to pass out. He begins my spinal, suddenly I feel the epidural work and I loose all control of my body and fall into the nurses. I hear them calling my name but I can't respond. It's like I'm trapped inside my body, I can hear them, but I can't answer them. Someone pinches me in the stomach and I scream out! They pinch me somewhere else but I don't feel it. I know a spinal is being done but I can't feel it. Suddenly I pass out. I guess I was overloaded with meds, I don't know!! I keep coming too and going, I see the blind put up in front of me, I fall asleep, I see Andre come to my side, I fall asleep. I start to lose all feeling in my body, I tense and get scared. I feel like I can't breathe, I can't swallow! I get restless and shout it out! Everyone keeps reasurring me that I can breathe just fine, I feel annoyed. Andre keeps saying "you are doing great! How are you feeling? Sally??" His voice is irritaing and I want him to be quiet. My body feels weird and it feels like he's shouting at me. He keeps asking me and I keeps saying "be quiet", I'm moaning and crying out. Accoring to Andre I then started saying obscenities. Sorry for the language, but apparently I began telling Andre to f**k off! He told me the surgeons chuckled a bit. How embarassing. I don't remember. I drift off again. I then hear the screaming of a baby!! I open my eyes, I want to see her, but I can't. I feel a nurse nudge me, I look up and there is Victoria swaddled in front of me. She has white vernix on her face but is soooo beautiful. I close my eyes again. I hear the second baby cry out and it's beautiful to hear. Victoria Elizabeth was pulled from my body at 3:50am tipping the scales at 7lbs 8oz and measuring 19inches long. Her brother Peter Alexander was born at 3:52am tipping the scales at 7lbs 7oz and was 18inches long. Both are healthy newborns with no problems. They are taken to the nursery and Andre then leaves the operating room. I exclaim I'm going to throw up, I being to dry heave and bring up a little bit of saliva. Feels so much better! The nurses move me onto my bed again and I'm wheeled back to the birthing room. I drift off to sleep.

I open my eyes. I'm still shaking. I still feel like I will be sick. They are monitoring my blood pressure and someone is sitting next to me. Across the room I see my ob and Andre (both dressed in scrubs) working on the cord blood for the dna kits. The next few hours are just shaking and waiting for feeling to come back to my body. The babies are brought in and their bassinets are at the end of my bed. They are so beautiful.

Some of my family members come to visit and oh and awe over the babies. We feed them and change them and admire their little fingers and toes.

The nurse awakes me and tells me the parents of the babies have arrived and what she should do. I tell her to let them come in and to bring the babies (they are in the nursery). Heather walks in and I cry and reach out my arms to her. Her husband is behind her and it feels so good to have her there. I tell her everything that has happened and that they have beautiful perfect twin babies and that everything is wondeful! She is crying and we both try to say so much. We talk about the last month and all the difficulties we were having. They all seem so insignificant now, the babies are here! The nurses bring in the babies. Heather grasps her face in disbelief and Sergey reacts the same. The babies are at the end of the bed and we are all alone. I keep telling them to pick them up but they are so overwhelmed they can't. I reach over and pick up one of the twins and hand Heather her baby. She sits down and cries!! It was so beautiful, even in my drugged induced haze, I remember it so vividly. The parents talk and admire their babies. I feel so happy that everything is working out. I am not sad at all! Heather keeps exclaiming "thank you sally!" It was one of the most beautiful times in my life.

Sergey comes into my room and hands me beautiful long stemmed roses and Andre also arrives with red ones. I cut them and put them in a vase. The nurses come in and tell me that I have to be moved to a private room, that the birthing suite needs to be open for a new woman. It's way too early for me to be moved, I was not supposed to be moved till after dinner. I cringe in fear, I know how painful it's going to be. Everyone starts to move my stuff and the parents go out into the hall holding Victoria and Peter. This was definately a moment in my life that was excruciatingly painful. With Andre behind pushing and three nurses lifting they all try to get me off the bed into a wheelchair. I am crying and and telling them I can't, it hurts!!!! The incision site burns and I feel ripping pain with every tug and push. They manage to move me (I was totally uncooperative because of the intense pain). I scream out in pain horribly and at one moment it's so unbearable that a breathe nor tear was able to happen. They sit me down and I cry so hard. It was the worst part of the birth. Everyone exclaimes how great I did but I can't open my eyes. As I'm pushed out of the birthing suite I open my eyes and everyone is standing in the hall watching. Heather is holding Victoria and has a horrified look on her face, I wish she didn't have to see me in such pain, I know it was killing her. I am moved to my new room and again, the pain of being put back into a bed. It's a much higher bed and I exclaim there is "no way I can get into that bed!!" The nurses once again lift me, I cry out and it's finally over!! It is not something I care to remember!

My Ip's are given a courtesy room to stay in so that they can take care of their babies and bond. Lots of people come to visit me and Andre never leaves my side. My catheter and iv's are still in place, will stay in till Sunday. I am on Morphine for pain, the same size needles as those progesterone shots! It hurts to cough or laugh and turning is incredibly painful, I sleep on my back which is most comfortable. My stomach is incredibly nauseated, I'm so hungry but everything I eat I bring back up, especially when I drink juice. I'm drinking lots of ice water having shots of gravol to help. All my organs have fallen back down now that the babies are gone. It's probably what is making me feel so sick.

December 17th, 2000
My catheter and iv's are removed. It's so nice to be able to walk and do things for myself. I was getting sponge baths in bed and it felt nice to finally shower. The incision only hurts when I try to get out of bed and on and off the toilet. Bending over to get something is NOT possible. I visit Heather and Sergey and the twins. They are all doing so good! Our city paper comes in to do a story on all of us.

December 18th, 2000
Still in a lot of pain. I walk the halls a lot and visit the babies. The more I move the better it is to cope with the pain. Andre gets lots of gifts for the babies to give to Heather and Sergey. It's so fun buying baby clothes, I had been planning to do some shopping for the babies on the weekend but didn't expect to be induced!

December 19th, 2000
Tired of the hospital my ob says it's okay to go home. I am now on Tylenol 2's and Toradol for pain. We all go to our place and meet our lawyer. Andre and I and the parents sign the necessary documents releasing our responsibility to the babies. Now, the parents must wait for a judge to write up an order so that they can get over the border (judge is in Maryland). Andre and I spend the afternoon with Heather and Sergey and the babies. We order pizza and talk about the babies. Afterwards they go to a hotel uptown to wait for the paperwork.

December 20th, 2000
Today is a rough day for me. It's my first day alone at home. Andre takes Tristan out to let me rest for the afternoon. I end up spending most of it crying my eyes out. Talk about hormones ~ it's awful! Being alone was not doing me any good, as I ended up thinking about how it was all over, and terrified something bad would happen to the babies. I felt guilty that something would happen to them. Andre came home and helped me through it, I wasn't wanting to keep the babies, nor did I feel a void, I just was afraid of someone hurting them. It's hard to explain. I guess, because I had carried them for 9months and was their protector and now no longer was. I was so happy for Heather and Sergey and knew they would always take care of the twins, but hormones can make you feel weird things. Of course that maternal urge was kicking in, that urge to protect them and care for them.

December 21st, 2000
Still in a fair bit of pain. When rising, turning and walking. The incision is healing beautifully, it's a small line. But, it feels like a lot of tugging when I walk and stabs like a knife when I get up. I have severe edema in my hands and feet, I miss wearing my wedding ring. We all go to the Dr's today to have a check up. The babies are doing great, birth weights have dropped and they are now 7.7lbs and 7.3lbs. Perfectly normal. They are both eating really well and are so happy and quiet when held. I was 244lbs when I went into labour, I am now 229lbs. How frustrating!! My dr. tells me it's from all the swelling I have.

December 22nd, 2000
Andre and I go out shopping. Really behind on the Christmas thing! It's so bitterly cold, the temp has been sitting at around -23C. I'm having a hard time dealing with the cold, going out I feel like I will die. The babies used to give me so many hot flashes and I was always cooking, now that they are gone I feel chilled to the bone!

December 23rd, 2000 (1week post partum)
Heather and Sergey get the proper papers to go home!!!! Yeah! They must be so thrilled to finally be able to take their babies home. They both come in to say goodbye, Heather gives me a big kiss and hug and then they leave. I did not see the babies, it was probably for the best, it would be sad to say goodbye to them. I'm feeling really good about everything and I'm so happy for the parents. I had a little cry because it's all over and I will miss everything. Once the surro babies are born it is a loss just like any other. Surrogates do need to grieve. Overall, physically I am amazed at how blessed I was to have had such an easy birth and recovery. Never had one afterpain or cramp and I don't even have post partum bleeding anymore. That is strange but I'm not going to complain! I had my first bath last night, it felt so nice to relax and not have all the weight like before. My knees are still sore when I lift myself but I'm sure they will strengthen again. The edema is starting to fall and my weight has gone down to 220lbs. (10lbs in 2days) I can't believe the babies are a week old already!!!

December 25th, 2000 (9days post partum)
My weight has dropped to 210lbs, really falling off steadily, still averaging 5lbs a day. Looking forward to getting under the 200 mark ~ it's not something I'm happy about. I know it's only been 9 days since I had my surrogate twins and that all these hormones are normal but I've been really upset. I find myself crying at the drop of a hat. I feel like I'm stuck and don't know what to "do next". For weeks you have all that excitement about having the babies, I had a great birth, a pleasant recovery and spent lots of time with the parents and the twins. I guess it's just that now it's over I feel so sad. I don't miss the babies, I am so happy for the parents but I guess I just feel kinda empty. I also fell pretty hard for my ob (don't laugh!!!!), we had a great relationship ~ a very caring and giving man. I feel guilty because I love my husband so much yet feel so much for my dr. at the same time. I'm such a loyal and commited person that it kills me to have these feelings for a man, especially one that has a family of his own. I'm sure it will pass with the hormones. I've also been home with my son for the last year and now I have to go back to work. I don't want to go find a job, I just don't want to do anything. Waiting out the "six week ob visit" isn't helping I guess because I can't go do the things I love like hiking and horse jumping. This Christmas is not a happy one for me since I'm spending it at home recovering with dh and ds. A lot of my family members were not there for me because of my surrogacy and some new little "fights" errupted at the birth ~ not getting into it. I feel soooo horribly sad to not have Christmas like before, with my whole family, all laughing and having a good time, now it seems like everyone is fighting and no one sees what I did for this couple, nor cares. Heather called me on Sunday, they are back home in the US, safe and sound with the twins. I am soo happy, she said this would be her best Christmas ever. They deserve it though, no one should have to suffer Christmas without a child. I've spent the entire day in bed crying and feeling sorry for myself. And, I honestly can't say why!! My husband is here for me and being really supportive to help me get over this "hump". I know it's an adjustment/recovery/grieving proccess I'm just going to have to get through! I can't believe how well I feel physically though, I'm not in any pain at all from the section!! Feel like myself again. Only complaints I have is my back kills from the weight of my breasts and having to keep them binded!! I am not even bleeding anymore and hubby and I even have our sex life back. (sorry, but hey, it's my journal). I never imagined a csection recovery to be so easy. Maybe I should stop crabbing and count my blessings, as there are many. But we are all entitled to getting down now and then right?


The Birth ~ Written by my husband Andre....

Well ladies and gentlemen. The last 24 hours for myself has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my entire life! I could not believe how things went last night! Sally and I went to the hospital for an ultra sound and we ended up having some babies! WOW!!!! What a crazy rush!! I think, I will finish the night by telling how the evening went. Then, man! I'm goin' to bed!!!!

We went to the hospital at around 9:30pm. You know, just walked on in like we were gonna go right home. Heh, heh. Well, guess what our lovely OB wanted to do? He looked at Sally and I and tolded us that they were both breach. Both heads up! Oh boy! He was pretty cool about it and Sally and I trusted him totally! The Thursday prior, he was going to give the option to Sally when the children would come after he viewed them on the ultra sound which was last evening. Holy cow! Here I am thinkin' to myself that this was happening tonight! I was sooooooo excited !! It was really happening!!! This was great! Our OB looked at the clock and said he would be back later to rupture the membranes. Probably around 11:30 pm!! Sally was then all hooked up to everything and the induction began. Wow! Holy shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was amazing!! These babies were coming into the world and it was wonderful!! I had a little over an hour to run home and get everything together! Cool, eh?!

So, I burned home and grabbed all of Sally's belongings and checked on Tristan who was resting peacefully. Ahhh! I remembered what it was like when Tristan came into the world. Such a fantastic moment to live! So, I kiss my son good night and run over to the grocery store to get some film and flowers for Sally. Well, I get back to the delivery room and I'm thinkin' how cool it will be to see an Epidural done. I come through the door and immediately someone I don't recognize asks whom it is! I identify myself and I begin to walk past the curtain. All I hear is, "ANDRE!! You're a dead man!!" YOW!! Uh oh! I did somethin' bad! I walk past the curtain, (of coarse before an nurse hands me a mask) and there Sally is, getting an epidural. Aww, man! I thought I was a dead man! What can I say, eh? I didn't think it would move that quickly! I come in and Sally is sitting on the bed with a tube in her back. She said it was not that bad! Coooooollll!!!!!! I watched him put it in and then feed the tube to her spine! Yeah! I could not believe what I was seeing! I watched the rest of the procedure while Sally asked questions and it was a really neat experience. I felt the Dr. performing the task knew what he was doing and he did it very well. We rested assured that everything was going fine. By a little after midnight or so, Sally was paralyzed and felt nothing! The other drugs were put in and she started laboring. Not feeling a thing!!! Wow! This was great! Our OB walked in with a big smile on his face and asked how we were doin' and especially Sally. Sally had a beautiful smile on her face and was doing very well. He went up there and checked her cervix and estimated at about 4 or 5 cm. Surges were regular and things were progressing awesome! Everyone had smiles on their faces! He said he would come back later and rupture the membranes and deliver these babies! It was a happy moment. Everyone understood what was involved and these were going to be born breach. Sally and I completely trusted our OB and what he was capable of. He has delivered A LOT of children and knew what he was doing. He was going to do everything in his power to make this a wonderful labor and delivery! We were so happy! I kept Sally's spirits up by being a clown and snooping around everything. It was neat being around soooooo much tech. We sat around a couple of hours and chilled out with each other. We laughed and shot the shit about everything! It was a great time to be alive! Our OB walked in about two hours later, bouncing in his stride and being all chipper! Askin' how things were going and if Sally was comfortable. Sally smiled back and with her dopey look and said, "Oh, yeah! Man.."LOL So, he slapped on a glove and went on up there to get things moving. Sally was 8 cm and was progressing very well. He broke her water and it all gushed out! Wow! I didn't think that much would come out! There we go! Thing's were rollin' now! He left again and we sat around and waited for him to come back and deliver these children. Sally and I got pretty giddy and were amazed that our journey was almost over. All the lawyers were contacted as well as the IP's. Everything was going to be ready for the morning. The OB came back a little while later and started to get things on the way. Sally was almost completely dilated and the babies were coming down. He started movin' them around tryin' to get what I think was baby A to come on down! I could tell from the look on his face things were not goin' well all of a sudden. I was really disturbed but I had to be strong for Sally! I kept on smiling and jokin' around about stuff. Sally's Aunt Sandra showed up and chilled with us for a while. Our Ob was still trying to get baby a to come down. I looked at his face again and he said. "SHIT!" I knew what was comin' next! I knew Sally was getting a C-Section! I knew it before it was said! The OB took his hand out and told us that the baby and the cord was comin' down. There was nothing else that could be done! C-Section it was! I could tell from the look on his face he was upset about it! He then barked out a bunch of things to the nurses and their aids and Sally was being packed up to go to the OR. I looked at her face and the smile was gone... My heart broke in two at that moment and I never felt that much hurt ever. At the time, Sally felt that she had failed and was not going to get to deliver vaginally. They wheeled her away and I was left in the hall with Sally's Aunt ready to break down. It was an overwhelming feeling knowing your loved one was going to be cut open. Sally's Aunt looked at me and said she wished that she did not see me like that. I apologized. I had to be strong! I was going to be strong! And I was! She had to leave because she had a new member in her family that was keeping her up and she really needed some sleep. I told her it was ok and we would call her later. I went back to the delivery room where I was given some scrubs and told to wait. I waited. And waited, and waited. Those moments seemed like an eternity. I thought of the worst possible scenarios. Which is the way I am! I can't help it! I try to prepare myself for anything bad. 3:45am, I walk in to the OR and there Sally is! Surrounded by about 12 people helping these babies come into the world. I believe there were two nurses per baby, one Dr handling the anesttic(I can't spell it, sorry!), our Ob and an assistant to him, a nurse on each Dr and OB, Sally had ,I think a nurse or two on her too. The pediatrician was there also. Here I am standing there, going, "HOLY @#%$", in my head! I looked around and sat down beside Sally's head. She was out of it!! Not coherent at all! I looked over and there Sally was! Split open right in front of me!!! I don't really believe in god, but I said, "Oh my God!" The people operating were talking and were very calm about everything. It was amazing to see Sally from the inside. Literally!!! Usually, when Sally watches her medical shows, I get all grossed out! Every time without fail. I used to bitch and complain to turn the bloody channel! Not this time! Can't turn this channel! We were locked, cocked, and ready to rock! This was great! Sally had no idea what was really happening till the babies came out and she heard them scream. Her eyes shot open right away! A calm peace came over her face and she rested.

Even though it went the way it did, it was a wonderful birth and the babies are healthy and beautiful. I'm pretty sure you all know how much of a hard time Sally had with this journey. With the difficulties Sally and I endured through the last 9 months, we can honestly say it was worth it! The Ip's are here with their babies and they are in LA LA Land! Sally had her doubts about how it was going to end, but I knew it was all going to be all good. I am soooooooo proud of Sally and I AM THE LUCKIEST MAN to be with such a strong and vibrant individual. We hope in the future we can help another couple achieve their dream of having a family. Right now Sally is recovering well at the hospital and Tristan and I are going there tomorrow to visit the new arrivals!

Andre Rene Rhoads
December 16th, 2000


The Birth ~ Written by the Mother of the Babies....

At 11:30pm we received a call from Micheal Grant telling us Sally was at the hospital and she was going to have a c-section because the babies were breach. When the phone rang we had the feeling it was it!!! We were so excited and nervous! We had packed our bags several days before so we left 15 minutes after this call. The day before was usually cold for Maryland temperatures and there was still ice on the roads so we had to be careful driving. But we were so excited, anxious and happy, we wanted to arrive in Stratford as soon as possible. We arrived at 11:05am at the hospital. On the way we were worried about Sally, we knew she much preferred a natural delivery and a c-section was not on her wish list, but we knew she was in good hands beause we were told long before that the Stratford hospital has excellent staff and Sally's ob is real good so this made the worries a little less.

When we arrived we asked where the maternity ward was and a nurse told us the 2nd floor, so we rushed through the door and to the elevator and then we pressed the intercom button. The person on the other end asked us who we were and we explained. So, we got in and a nurse named Pat received us. She is a very nice nurse and she directed us to Sally's room. Despite the operation Sally looked beautiful and she was awake. We hugged her and she told us we had beautiful babies, feelings were overwhelming and words cound not be put together for such a moment, Sally told us about the operation and we felt bad we could not be with her at those moments, but the c-section was unexpected. I told Sally she will always be my heroine. She made this miracle possible, a double miracle and for the rest of my life everytime we see our babies she will be in our thoughts. When we first saw our babies, tears were hard to contain; my heart was beating so fast and the floor felt like it was moving. Still now, it is like I'm part of this beautiful dream and I'm afraid to wake up! We look forward to the future and to raise our babies with all this love we saved all these years. It feels like our life just began and we are loving it!

December 16th, 2000