Well, we had our 6th ultrasound of the pregnancy and saw one sweet little healthy baby girl in there yesterday. She was measuring perfectly at 13 weeks, 6 days and had a heart rate of 147.
Naturally, my IPs were so excited to hear that their baby looked great and even more thrilled that we are 90% sure it's a girl. (Because there are always those surprise babies!) My OB had indicated that she thought it was a girl a few weeks ago in her office. It's always so neat to find out the gender. A huge package waiting to be unwrapped on Christmas morning! I found out with two of my three babies. The last baby was a surprise as we had one of each already. She was a girl. ;) Apparently girls like it in there as I am 3 for 4! I'm going to start calling it my loverly, frilly uterus. :)
We've reached a milestone! 13 weeks! That's the end of the first trimester. Don't quibble over small details...if you check a dozen books, you'll get a dozen answers as to when the end of the first trimester is, but I say, it's 13 weeks. :)
The baby's major organs are in place, he/she is kicking (and I have been feeling it for the past 2 weeks!) and might even be sucking his/her thumb! Aww, what a cute image. I honestly cannot complain about anything today because it's all going so smoothly. Baby's great, I feel great (if just a little fat, but I'm still blaming it on the fertility meds-carbs?? What, me?? No way!) Our next OB appointment is on the 12th of May. E should be there at that one and I'm so excited. I'll pretty much sit back and let her pepper the OB with questions. I big puffy heart (thanks LOO) my OB!!! She is just the kind of doctor that will grab the phone and give your mom directions around Houston while she checks your progression in labor. She will give her recommendation for the best low-fat crust for making pizza and she stands a little too close to my bubble and I always feel like she's about to hug me. Okay, I don't really love the last part but it does make me want to giggle at the end of every appointment because I keep thinking how inappropriate it would be if she DID hug me! Did I tell y'all the story about the nurse I almost hugged in the ER? When I went in for the bleeding, the triage nurse was trying to comfort me saying if it was a miscarriage, I could try again and all I could do was cry because I was so worried about E&J and their baby/babies and I was a mess. She said, "oh, sweetie, it's going to be alright" and got up out of her chair and came towards me with arms wide open. I really needed that hug so I started to hug her but she was actually reaching for the blood pressure cuff above my head. I think I played it off well, but I'm sure that's not the craziest thing to have happened in the ER.
Anyway, I keep going off on tangents. I'm excited about E&J coming back home. They've had lots of changes in the past couple of months and almost all of them have been great, so I want them to start settling in and getting comfortable in their Texan way of life. It's hard to believe that we're 1/3 of the way to our goal of bringing their baby into the world. Did I mention that my OB will let my IM deliver the baby? How cool is that? She'll be all suited up and will literally bring her child into the world. My husband did this with our last two kiddos and he said it was just beyond words. When we filled out the "delivered by" in their baby books, he put "Daddy." I do believe he was quite proud of that. E was tickled when I told her she'd be able to do it too (barring no complications of course). I respectfully requested that J stay above the border for the birth but I might not care once I get my epidural. Oh sweet, sweet epidural, you will be my labor partner once again and allow me to sleep, chat and eat ice chips in all their glory. Have I told you about my love for ice?
So, other than that, not much is going on. I'm anxiously awaiting a massage as my back has been hurting. It's not from the pregnancy, just poor posture mostly. My drill teach coach would be disappointed...but not surprised. I've always slouched. My middle child does it too. A massage sounds heavenly though and the last time I got one was from my 6 year old walking around on my back. (It's actually a lot more effective than it sounds!)
Here's this week's belly shot. Bear in mind that this is about 3/4 pre-baby bulge, but I love that everyone says, "Awwww, look at that cute belly" instead of "Ewww, pop in an Abs of Steel DVD, lady!" :) Thank you, baby!
We are 12 weeks today! Almost done with the first trimester. I had my first OB visit on Monday and everything's great. The nurse and OB had a hard time finding the heartbeat though. My OB didn't want me to worry so she had me come in the next morning for a quickie ultrasound at her office. It was an antiquated Ultrasound machine, but she just uses it to check position of the baby mainly. It did the trick for us though and we saw a nice, strong heartbeat. Instant relief. It's hard not to worry about something like that. Had it been my own child, I wouldn't have thought much about it (especially because I can feel this little one moving around!) but the added pressure of carrying for someone else makes your mind wander. Don't get me wrong, that is part of what you sign up for in surrogacy, I just want to help potential surrogates know what it's like.
My IPs are out of the country right now so we're corresponding through email. It's odd not to hear E's voice everyday!! She and I usually chat away incessantly. They are having a good time though so I am happy for them. When they get back, they will be here in Texas and we are all super excited for this. It means they will be able to come to the appointments more easily and really be in on everything.
So, now that the baby is growing, moving, thriving, people have started asking me how I feel about it all. It's an odd thing to describe because not everyone can put themselves in the shoes of a surrogate. Not everyone was designed to be one so it can be hard for people to imagine not having that maternal connection to a child you are so intimately aware of. I will say that it is always amazing to see a baby on that screen in the doctor's office. I am and will always be awed by it. This time, as opposed to my three babies, it was as if I was looking at someone else's experience from the outside. True, this baby is in me, nurtured by me, but I don't feel any sense of ownership or mothering towards the baby. Do I want him/her to be healthy? Do I watch what I eat, drink, do, etc.? YES. Probably moreso than with MY children. So, while I care for this baby's well-being in the most extreme way, I do not feel that pull that was there with each of my children. The day is not spent dreaming of names, nurseries, baby clothes. As callous as it sounds, I look at my 3 and think, "I am glad you are not coming home with me little one!" As it should be, he/she will be delivered into his/her parents' loving arms and I will never have an ounce of regret for that. It will be one of my greatest accomplishments in life, besides my own children, of course.
Some women have hard, long, trying pregnancies. One of the unofficial pre-requisites for surrogates is easy pregnancies. There are some of us that are real troopers and fight morning sickness and myriad other symptoms, but for some of us, pregnancy really is a fun, easy time. I am one of those lucky ones and I am so glad to be able to use my forces for good. :) I've had minimal nausea, I'm off of meds now so my hiney's recovering and aside from being cranky, I really have no complaints. :) I do dream of ice chips, but that's at least another several months away! :D
I'm a mom of three who is going through the process to be a Gestational Surrogate for the second time. I love to laugh, sing, read, spend time with my family and friends and talk to anyone who'll listen. Join me as I go through surrogacy's ups and downs, ins and outs and learn all about what it feels like to help create a family for someone else.
Sept. 15-start Estrace-2mg
Sept 10th-u/s-lining check-5.5 cms!
Sept 7th-AF (last one for 9 mths!!!!)
Sept 4th-last BCP
Sept 3rd-start Lupron 10u
Aug 15th-Start BCP
July 28th-start Estrace
July 19th-stop Estrace
July 15th-Start Lupron
July 8th-2nd u/s-lining check-11cms
June 29th-received final contracts and both lawyers approved!
June 25th-Start Estrace! Final drafts of contracts-almost there!!
June 24th-ultrasound-lining check-7cms
June 23th-AF arrived!
June 7th-received contract & sent revisions to IM
June 3rd-Flew to Dallas to meet RE & have hysteroscopy
May 31st-spoke to new IM
2WW: 2-Week Wait
AF: Aunt Flo -Your menstrual period
ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology
BCP: Birth Control Pills
BETA: Blood test for Pregnancy
BFP: Big Fat Positive (a positive pregnancy test)
BFN: Big Fat Negative (a negative pregnancy test)
CVS: Chorionic Villus Sampling
DE: Donor Egg
DH: Dear Husband
DP5DT: Days Post 5-Day Transfer
ED: Egg donor/donation
EDD: Estimated Due Date
ELV: Easy Labor Vibes
FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer
GS: Gestational Surrogate
GTT: Glucose Tolerance Test
hCG, HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
IF: Intended Father
IM: Intended Mother
IP: Intended Parent/Parents
IVF: In Vitro Fertilization
LMP: Last Menstrual Period (start date)
PIO: Progesterone in Oil
RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist
ER: Retrieval (Egg)