A little over a week ago I had a life-changing experience through surrogacy. I’ve been a surrogate before (delivering surprise splitter triplets), so surrogacy is nothing new in my world. This event however, took my breath away.
Carrie is a fellow SurroSister of mine, who I simply adore. So one day I had an idea to see if Carrie would allow me to be at the birth of her recent SurroTwins. I had her run everything by her Intended Fathers (the dads-to-be), and her family… and they all said yes! My plan was to be there as a surrogacy advocate/support person for both Carrie and her IFs, should they need it. On top of that I offered to photograph the twin birth.
This was Carrie’s 5th pregnancy, 2nd surrogacy, and 3rd time carrying twins (she has her own naturally conceived twin girls)! However, it was her first c-section due to the positioning of the boys. I remember being in her position a few years ago, as I had my first c-section with the SurroTriplets. I missed out on so much having the curtain in the way, and well, being stuck on a table as the babies are meeting their parents. Such a different world than a vaginal birth.
As we all arrived at Kaiser of Modesto, our group easily filled half the waiting room. Carrie was taken back to start the check-in process alone as the Dads were given the fun stacks of paperwork to complete. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the nurses led the guys and I back to see Carrie. Immediately I started snapping away with my camera, hoping to capture anything and everything from that day.
Kevin and Tim were visibly nervous, as any father is before the birth of their children. They listened intently as the nurses went about their monitoring and prepping Carrie for her surgery, giving instructions where needed, asking questions as required. I have to say this hospital is AMAZING when it comes to accommodating surrogacy and surrogate deliveries (I have had no other experience with this hospital). The nurses were familiar with and educated on surrogacy, know many surrogates themselves, and were very welcoming. Not all hospitals are like this, so I give many kudos to this hospital and the nurses that cared for our group.
As surgery time approached, Kevin, Tim, Carrie’s husband John, and I donned our lovely hospital scrubs, hair nets, and held onto our masks. I was told at this point I could stand in the hallway to the operating room and photograph the c-section through the small windows in the doors. Honestly, until this point we were unsure if Carrie’s husband and both dads would be allowed in the operating room, much less adding me in there anywhere, so I was beyond excited to be given even that much opportunity!
This is where I lose it a little bit. This is where the day exceeds ALL of my expectations. This is where I witness two baby boys take their first breath earthside, and two men become fathers. Carrie rocked her c-section, and I snapped happily away from my little window until the boys were both in their bassinets. Then, the head nurse pulled me quietly into the room. My heart leapt into my chest as I continued to snap away with the camera, while also trying to stay out of everyone’s way.
There was this incredible, indescribable vibe happening in that room, as the nurses weighed, measured, and attended to the newborn twin boys. Kevin and Tim were visibly on cloud nine as they stepped into their role as New Fathers, and Carrie was smiling from ear to ear.
I followed the nurses, new dads, and twin boys across the hall into the recovery room to continue capturing moments and let Carrie have some peace as her surgery continued with her husband John by her side.
In recovery I was able to capture a moment that made my heart skip a beat: the very minute both new dads were able to hold their sons for the first time. Their first family photo.
While Carrie was still in surgery I was also able to capture the babies’ first baths, diapering, and skin-to-skin with dads. These guys were naturals! Their love for their sons and each other was such an amazing thing to witness.
Their love and gratitude towards Carrie filled the room as she came into Recovery. They quickly brought the boys over for a better look, a longer hello, and a moment of thanks.
I am so very thankful to Carrie, the guys, her family, and the nursing staff at the hospital for allowing me to be a part of such an amazing day. It was such a high to witness this twin birth, watch these two men become dads, and watch Carrie give so selflessly. As a former surrogate myself, I am no stranger to surrogacy. But this day, getting to watch it from the outside was intensely amazing. This birth is one I will not soon forget. Surrogacy is amazing.