“After getting married in October 2012, we knew we didn’t want to wait to start a family. However, that wait turned out to be much longer than we ever anticipated. After 9 IVF transfers with 15 embryos, 5 egg retrievals, and suffering 6 miscarriages, my best friend offered to be our surrogate. It was the kindest offer we had ever received.
We transferred 2 embryos into Rachel in January and found out we were expecting our rainbow baby girl to be due September 2018. I never could have guessed she’d be born on my late father Scott’s birthday – whom she is named after.
I lost my dad suddenly 3 years ago. I knew then I would name my baby after him. After all our struggles, our sweet Scottie finally arrived – of all the days – on my dad’s birthday. There was not a dry eye in the room.
After Labor Day Weekend, I made the decision to spend my weekends in Wisconsin to be closer to Rachel – in case she went into labor and to be close if she needed help with anything. My husband or I would take long walks with Rachel and her youngest daughter, in hopes of helping the labor progress.
On the morning of Sunday, September 9th, Rachel started having contractions and was timing them. They started at about 10 minutes apart, then 8 minutes apart and they progressively got closer and closer together. Rachel called the hospital, and the midwife asked her to get in the tub to see if contractions would slow down – they didn’t. Around noon that day, I drove Rachel to the hospital with my mom and sister to get checked out at the hospital. At this point, Rachel was 37 weeks pregnant. The midwife checked Rachel and she was 2cm dilated and about 50% effaced. We decided to walk the halls of the hospital for 2 hours to see if she progressed at all. Four hours would go by, with little to no change, so we all headed home. My husband Matt and I decided to stay in town that night at my mom’s on the off chance she would go into labor. And the next morning, we headed home.
I came back to Wisconsin the following Friday (September 14th) to spend the weekend close to Rachel again. In Rachel’s previous pregnancies, her labors lasted around 3-4 hours and we had about a 2 1/2 hour drive so all of us had been anxious we would miss the birth. Nothing happened over the weekend, so we all went to Rachel’s doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, September 18th for her 38-week appointment. She was STILL sitting about 2cm and 50% effaced, so with zero progress, Matt and I decided to head back home to Illinois. We were starting to go a little stir-crazy waiting for our little girl.
Matt and I went back home to Illinois to be with our pups – who were probably so confused we kept coming and going – each time we’d tell them MAYBE we’d come back with their little sister. We went to a movie Tuesday night and Rachel was texting me during the movie about how she was having contractions – although nothing crazy yet.
We went to bed that night and Rachel had told me that in her previous births, she had gone to the hospital around midnight or 2 a.m. with contractions and had her children in the early morning hours. For some reason that night, I woke up both at midnight and again at 2 a.m. and thought, ‘well, we aren’t having a baby today’ — until the phone rang at 3 a.m.! I had Rachel’s ringtone set to a certain one so we would know when it was her and it definitely startled both of us! She was beginning to have more consistent contractions about 11 minutes apart and given her birth history, the hospital wanted her to come in right away. Matt and I got in the shower, loaded up the car, and headed for Wisconsin at 4 a.m. on September 19th.
Rachel and her husband arrived at the hospital around 4 a.m. and when they checked her she was 2.5cm dilated. They began walking the halls to see if she was progressing and she was! They checked her again around 5:15 a.m. and she was 3.5cm and 60% effaced so they went ahead and admitted her to the hospital.
Once I knew they admitted her, and knew this was REAL, tears welled in my eyes. We were about 20 minutes from the hospital at this point and it all just hit me. I called my mom around 5:40 a.m. to let her know this was happening and Rachel was in labor and we both cried. This was the last few moments of just my husband and I being alone. Everything we had been through over the last 6 years – 5 egg retrievals, 9 IVF transfers, 6 miscarriages – and now our journey to 3 was almost over. It just didn’t seem real – heck, it hardly seems real now as Scottie is here next to me.
Rachel continued to progress and was 7cm around 11 a.m. and we walked the halls of the hospital like crazy. She also got in and of the tub as well to help with the labor.
Around noon, the midwife broke Rachel’s water and that’s when it got real, LOL. She was in and out of the tub, pumping to help contractions as well, and we walked a little bit more. Watching Rachel labor was one of the hardest things for me to witness – she handles pain like a champ, but it hurt me like heck knowing she was going through all this pain for US. She’s an incredible person to do this for us.
At 1:52 p.m. on September 19th, our miracle, rainbow baby arrived. There are absolutely NO words that will EVER even come close to describing the emotions I felt when she came out and was handed to me. I was absolutely sobbing – she is so incredibly beautiful and watching Rachel give birth was truly one of the most magical things I’ve ever witnessed in my life.
Scottie was 6 pounds 8.8 ounces and 20″ long.
What makes Scottie’s birthday even more special, is the fact that she shares a birthday with MY DAD, whom she is named after. SHE CAME ON MY DAD’S BIRTHDAY! Talk about life coming full circle.
These past 15 days have been the best days of my life. I literally have no clue how I have lived this long, without her in my life. My heart is just exploding with joy and love for her.
I’ll never be able to put into words what it is like being Scottie’s mom. I will NEVER EVER forget absolutely EVERYTHING we went through to get her here. She was worth absolutely ALL of the heartbreak.
I will never be able to repay Rachel for the greatest gift we will ever receive. We love you so much Rachel, and I can’t wait to share with Scottie her story as she grows up.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Erin Boelhower of Woodstock, Illinois. You can follow their “Journey to Three” on their blog, Instagram and Facebook pages.
Read more of Erin’s surrogacy journey:
‘There is no heartbeat’: After 6 losses, woman’s best friend steps up with ‘the kindest offer we had ever received’
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