Family and Friends

Meet Our Mom: Meagan S

Meagan S and her family at Christmas

The following is a first-person account of a real family's labor and delivery experience at AdventHealth for Women.

Hi, I'm Meagan!

I have always had surrogacy in the back of my mind. For the past couple of years I saw our country and even the world moving towards an increasingly negative state to put it generally. I wanted do something to make a positive impact and surrogacy seemed like the perfect way to do just that. I knew I was done growing my family, but I had been blessed with fertility and wanted to share that with someone less fortunate in that regard. I started the initial process to becoming a surrogate in 2017, and after a failed attempt with another family, I had a successful embryo transfer in August 2019 with a family I have grown to love as an extension of my own family and they feel the same way.

I was admitted to L and D on 3/31/2020 and discharged on 4/4/2020, and even all these weeks later am just so thankful for the all the staff I encountered. I was a gestational surrogate who all of a sudden was faced with serious complications that led me to deliver on 4/1/2020 at 35 weeks gestation via emergency C-section. It was the first time in delivery that I faced any serious complications, my first C-section, first surrogacy experience, and first time delivering in a pandemic! It was stressful to say the least, but the incredible staff of nurses and doctors made it much less scary and kept me calm. Because of the virus, I had to have the C-section without my husband, so the nurses and surgeon chatted with me to help keep me distracted. I felt very safe in their capable hands.

During postpartum recovery I was on Magnesium, and combined with the pain medication I was pretty useless. My husband owns a small business and during these uncertain times we felt it best he left and returned to work, so I had to rely on the nurses much more than I had ever done postpartum. They were so considerate and understanding. I never felt like I was bothering them when I asked for help. Because of the virus, the parents (from South America) of the child were also unable to make it and I still have temporary custody through at least May of the child. This was obviously a complicated situation and the social worker provided so much help even during labor of arranging a notary and printing/sending all the necessary paperwork between lawyers, the parents, and myself. I never had to explain my situation even once to any doctor or nurse which is so appreciated!

I was feeling awful and quite out of it between all the medications, so having all medical staff enter my room fully aware of my unique situation was such a relief. I couldn't have imagine having to explain it over and over again. The nurses went out of their way to bring me a few outfits for the baby, as I had completely nothing prepared not expecting to have custody of this child. The parents ordered things from Amazon in advance, but with the shipping delays due to the virus not one thing had even shipped from a warehouse yet! The nurses sent me home with extra diapers, formula, pacifiers, and blankets which I really needed and helped get me through the first two days at home while my husband gathered items from the store. It was every single nurse’s attitude and willingness to help without me ever asking for anything extra that really touched me. It wasn't their problem that I was in this situation, and I assumed I'd be figuring it all out myself, but they intervened and assisted at every opportunity without me ever asking for it.

I remember Michelle, an assistant nurse manager, specifically went out of her way even off the clock. I needed a specific item to take the baby home in which I was trying to work on ordering online through my phone for rush delivery (even though I could barely see!) and I had never even met Michelle, but she must have heard of my situation and came in my room to tell me she had that item that her child outgrew and offered to clean it and bring it to me the next day. Of course, I gladly accepted! This item would have taken at least an hour to clean and prepare which she and her husband did out of their kindness of their heart, totally off the clock of course. The next day she brought it to me as promised, and I'm still using it and think of her kindness every time I do. I plan to pay her kindness forward once I no longer need the item and find another person in need to give it to.

Another nurse that I only had for one day was also very helpful and kind towards me and helped me get the correct tray I ordered after being brought the standard lunch tray. I was honestly getting a bit lonely at that point and mostly off the strong medications, so I was more aware of how alone I was plus all the postpartum hormones. I did not tell her I was feeling that way but just the brief but friendly conversations with her really helped. I don't generally initiate conversations with the nurses because I know they are busy, but she always initiated one with me. That small act made a big difference for me mentally. The other nurses were phenomenal also, and this was my third birth experience at this hospital. I had positive experiences the first two times also, but all the craziness of this third birth really let me appreciate the care I received by the staff. You all are doing amazing - don't change!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!