It's been an awfully long time since I posted. I'm sorry, I know people have been requesting an update. I've been a little busy :) :) :)
The arrival of our beautiful baby girl was one of the most magical days of my life and I will never forget it. Niki was just incredible; even in the throes of labour her concerns were about Adam and I. I was utterly humbled being in the presence of this amazing woman who went through this painful and life-altering process to give us a baby. Steve was calm and reassuring throughout and not only looked after Niki beautifully, but reassured Adam and I continuously.
As Niki said, at 3.30pm everything suddenly sped up dramatically. Niki rang the hospital to update them and we were told we needed to go there now. I panicked and rang Adam telling him to put his foot down and meet us at the hospital. We were kept in the waiting area for some time and Niki's contractions were so strong I was beginning to think that our baby may arrive there and then - a concern Niki later admitted to having too! We were finally shown in and to our joy were able to use the birthing pool room. This was perfect as not only did Niki very much want a water birth (I wanted her to have whatever she wanted but this sounded perfect to me too) but it was actually two rooms - one with a bed - adjoining each other so was just perfect for Cheese Teamcake's needs. At around 5.50, Niki was 5cm dilated. Adam arrived and then shortly after she got into the pool. This was at about 6pm. I clambered nervously into the pool shortly after (the idea was for me to deliver the baby straight onto my chest) and before I knew it, Steve was going to the next room to tell the midwife (who had just sat down to read the file) that he could see the head.
The moment of her arrival was one I'll never forget. It's too magical and special to try and sum up on here but suffice to say I just sat and sobbed and sobbed whilst the midwife lifted baby from the water and placed her in my arms. She looked straight into my eyes and at that moment I knew any concerns I may have had about bonding had been utterly unnecessary.
After Niki had had a nice hot bath the four of us sat chatting and laughing as normal....only now there weren't four, there were five. Our baby was here. My beautiful and precious little girl was in my arms. This is the stuff that dreams are made of, and even now, 8 and a half months on, I cannot believe my luck. I am a mummy, a real mummy. My friend grew a baby for us and now I am a mummy. I know I am biased but I have the most beautiful, happy, chatty, funny baby girl and am beyond blessed.
Yesterday was another big day for Cheese Teamcake; the parental order was granted meaning that Adam and I are now recognised in the eyes of the law as her legal parents. In all reality it's just a piece of paper - I've never not felt like her mummy - but it was a very special day filled with joy, laughter and tears.
Is this the end of Cheese Teamcake? Absolutely not. The bond I have with Niki is eternal. She is without a doubt one of the most loving, generous, kind people I have ever met. She is a friend for life and I don't know what I'd do without her. This is not the end, it is just the beginning, and our beautiful baby girl is so so lucky to have so many people who love and adore her, and who will enrich her life as she grows and learns about her beginnings. Modern medicine allows the miracle that is surrogacy but it is people like Niki and her family that create life, and life is the greatest gift of all.