Think about the kind of woman it takes to become a surrogate. The sacrifice of ones complete self to help another family have a child.
That's the kind of person Cait Olson is. She is a doula and childbirth advocate. Pregnant bellies and laboring women line the walls in her office, where she studies midwifery. She speaks to young women at our high school and contributes to local advocacy and outreach programs to help educate women on birth alternatives and rights. However, her delivery of the twins was incredibly violent and traumatic. Not only was she left to suffer from PTSD from her delivery but she was never able to hold those babies outside of her body and hasn’t seen the parents since she left the hospital. She was also left with some of the bills from her pregnancy. I am hoping to help her pay these off. The only other option she has is to take the matter to court but doing so would only hurt her further.
Cait is always putting others first. If someone needs help or has questions Cait will literally drop everything she has going on in order to help them. It’s time we come together for Cait. You can help by donating, but if you can’t donate you can still help by sharing this page, via Facebook, e-mail, or word of mouth. The more traffic to the page the more blessings made possible. Your time, kindness, and support are incredibly appreciated. You are loved.
Cait had beautiful hope for her journey.
Her story is truly inspirational. It starts at the birth of her first child; an unnecessary induction turned cesarean section. Which lead her to desire a different experience for her second and she began doing her research. She decided the best birth for her would be a doula supported, midwife assisted, home water birth. The experience was everything she dreamed of and left her feeling so empowered she started helping other families as a doula herself.
Not long after her homebirth a close friend suffered a miscarriage and it broke her heart. All of Cait's thoughts turned to other women, other couples, who were unable to have children of their own. That's when she started looking into surrogacy. She loved being pregnant and had an extensive knowledge about it all. She saw the pregnancy as a chance to relate better to women who choose adoption, couples who undergo fertility treatments, and women expecting twins. Plus, with the compensation she planned to start her formal midwifery education.
After Cait made her decision to pursue surrogacy everything took off right away. Within a month of her call to the agency she matched with a couple and they began their journey. Within 6 months they had signed contracts and she started her medications to prepare for the embryo transfer. They chose to implant two embryos and both took on the first try!
The sadness creeps in and things start going wrong.
Right before beginning the fertility treatments Cait discovered her son was being sexually abused by her husbands brother. Deciding to continue with the surrogacy was hard, but she needed something happy to cling to. Then, at the beginning of her pregnancy Cait separated from her husband and became a single mother of two. She had recently quit her well-paying warehouse job and became a school bus driver in order to pursue the surrogacy. It was a huge cut in pay and she was unable to support herself and her boys on it alone. The only choice she had was to use the compensation she planned on attending school with to simply keep afloat.
She had a decent relationship with the parents in the beginning. They lived 6 hours away but were friends on Facebook and would text on occasion. They talked of having her come visit and planned to visit her for a weekend before accompanying her to her 20 week ultrasound and then to her prenatal appointment to meet her OB. That turned into only one of them coming out, with 2 family friends, and spending the whole weekend partying in the city. They showed up 30 minutes late and hung-over to the ultrasound and barely stayed long enough to grab a bagel before taking off. Leaving Cait alone for her appointment, and for the remainder of her pregnancy.
In December, while 28 weeks pregnant, she found out her insurance had been cancelled on the 1st of October. The agency tried to talk Cait into applying for public aid to cover the pregnancy but she found out that it would be fraudulent and could put her in jail, facing huge fines on top of repaying all the bills herself, and forever banning her and her boys from eligibility. It would be illegal. They still claimed Cait was in breach of contract, even though she was unaware there had been a problem and had no control over the situation. During this same time, the agency told Cait that her compensation check would be late because they were out of funds. It was the 4th time a payment was over 2 weeks late.
Cait was able to get a new health insurance plan, beginning Jan 1st. But she had to sacrifice child support so her ex could afford to enroll her. Her compensation check did arrive, but so did threats that they no longer would, and that the parents wouldn't continue to honor the contract at all.
Pair that stress with a bug her son brought home from school, you got a 30 week pregnant woman vomiting and contracting in the hospital. They were able to stop her labor and sent her home to rest. She had a doctor appointment for a few weeks out, on Jan 31st.
Two days before that appontment Cait put the boys to bed and took a bath. With bubbles and scented candles, she relaxed and got lost in one of her birthy books. When she got out of the tub to relieve her ever-full bladder her water broke and her braxton hicks contractions turned into real life labor. She called her doctors office and they told her to go to the hospital so they could give her a steroid shot to help the babies lungs develop. I arrived with another one of her friends and we threw some stuff in a bag and headed to the hospital. On the way she called the parents and they got on the road right away, as well.
Once we got to the hospital she got stuck with the nurse from hell! Cait was assertive, she knew what she was doing and how she wanted to do it. She didn't want to be hooked up to everything; she just wanted to be left alone to labor. She turned down the offered IV and antibiotics, because she showed no signs of infection. The nurse told her they needed 20 minutes of good heart tone readings for the babies on the fetal monitor before she could get up or take a shower. 20 minutes turned into 6 hours. 6 hours with an angry nurse telling her horror stories of other natural minded women with rare emergencies. She told Cait she was foolish for not getting the epidural, because WHEN she'd need a C-section she'd feel everything with only the general anesthesia.
Cait was miserable and not progressing until shift change when she was blessed with an understanding and supportive nurse. She had only progressed from 3 to 5 centimeters the whole night. But with the new nurse she was able to get up and move around and shower. When the Doctor finally came to check on her during his morning rounds, only 2 hours after shift change, she had progressed to 9 centimeters.
They rushed her to the OR, per their policy for twin deliveries. She tried to argue against it her whole pregnancy, but “just in case” something went wrong they insisted upon it. Once there they wouldn’t allow her to stay in her hospital bed, but made her get onto their OR table, which is around 18 inches wide and 4.5 feet off the ground. She was, understandably, uncomfortable and unable to find an “effective” pushing position. Her OB let her know how dissatisfied he was with her pushing, as he forcibly checked her cervix with each contraction. She said over and over “No!” and begged him to stop.
Cait gave up everything she believed in and gave in to their commands to get on her back while they held her knees to her chest and shouted at her to push. Once Baby A was born they cut his cord and walked off with him so fast that Cait didn’t see him at all. Immediately, the OB had the ultrasound on Cait to check on Baby B, who had been breech and transverse most of the pregnancy. Baby B was head down, not yet engaged, and had her hand by her face. Not over or above her head, or around her neck. Simply by her face. He reached into Cait’s body, without her consent, in an attempt to move the baby’s hand. Doing so put the baby into distress, heart rate dropped as low as 48bpm, and Cait’s OB told her she was going to have another cesarean section. He grabbed her legs to pull her down the table so she would be flat, forgetting that the metal, scissor-like, cord clamp was still between her legs.
Under anesthesia she went. The whole time terrified she would feel everything, thanks to her first nurse. The babies were born only 19 minutes apart. Both had excellent APGARS and were well considering they were almost a full 7 weeks early. They had a short stay in the NICU, but exceeded the doctors expectations. Baby A was almost 5lbs and Baby B just under 4lbs, Cait found out from Facebook.
She was taken to recover in the surgical wing of the hospital, surrounded by construction. Her bed was broken and would get stuck in awkward angles and it would take a nurse forever to come in to try and fix it. They usually needed to call in one of their maintenance personnel. She was stuck with that bed her whole stay, trying to recover from major abdominal surgery. When she asked to go home, they included in her discharge paperwork all their typical info for new mothers on how to care for their babies.
The parents never even sent flowers or a simple thank you card.
Empty handed & broken hearted
Cait has had a really hard time dealing with this series of events. She has reached a place in which she is finally comfortable talking about it and dealing with the emotions. But the bills that remain keep coming up and reminding her of her sadness and disappointment. I know if we could get all the negative behind us Cait could truly heal and focus on what her experience taught her and how she can use that experience to better support more woman in her life. Because, in the end, that’s all Cait cares about is helping other people, supporting other women and families.