Third stretch...literally.

I made it. I’m happily in my third trimester. I have little feet in my ribcage, arms punching me in the bladder and a head putting a lot of pressure on parts you don’t want to hear about. I need to keep him in another 6.5 weeks for him to be full term. Every Braxton Hicks brings on a little anxiety that he is coming early.

Today is a very special day of celebration in our home. Three years ago today, when he was only 34 weeks gestated, the first surrogacy baby I carried was born. Happy Birthday Finn! This is why I am a little nervous about this baby coming early. Thankfully the first surro-babe was perfectly healthy and didn’t require any more care than a full term baby but it still made us all a bit stressed.

Since I have a history a pre-term labor, we are all being extra cautious. I have been on a daily progesterone suppository since I was 20 weeks. At every midwife appointment I get a blood draw to test my progesterone levels and adjust my progesterone accordingly. Starting at my next appointment in 2 days, my midwife will do a swab test on my cervix to collect cells. This test can tell them if I will go into labor within a week. I’ll continue to get that test every 2 weeks until I am in the safe zone at 36.5 weeks. If that test shows signs of me going into labor soon, I’ll get a prednisone shot to help make the baby’s lungs stronger. Once I hit 36.5 weeks, he will be considered full-term and I will be allowed to give birth at the Bozeman Birth Center. Before that, I will be considered “high risk” and will have to give birth at a hospital.

I made my birth plan recently and plan to start packing my birth bag soon. I want to be prepared, unlike the last time! Birth plans are a lot different when it’s a surrogacy birth vs. the birth of your own child. My birth plan for my surrogacy births are 100% focused on the labor and birth, unlike my own kid’s births where it was half about labor and half about the baby. Once that baby comes out, he goes straight to his parents and they make all of the decisions for him. A lot of people are very negative about birth plans but I am very pro-birth plans. Actually, my birth plans for my own 2 children went pretty much exactly as planned. My midwives followed them exactly and everything went smoothly. This doesn’t always happen but I like to say that birth plans are just as much about educating yourself on your options as they are about following a specific plan because birth isn’t predictable. Because of the research I did while making my first birth plan over 10 years ago, I learned a lot about what I should advocate for and against throughout the process.

If everything goes well during the birth, I plan to check in “live” on Montana Surrogacy’s facebook page throughout labor and after the birth. I would love to livestream the entire thing but I have to play it by ear. No promises! It all depends on when I go into labor and how things are going. It will also depend on if all of my birth support can make it because some of them might be at work or if the weather is bad, they might literally not be able to make it there. So, go follow our page to stay in the loop! I will for sure write up a birth story with professional photos by Mikaela Diberardinis after the birth, so be on the lookout! Please send me some positive vibes to keep this baby in until April 4th or after!

Amber Campanelli ~ The Honest Surrogate