Well, we did it! The ride is over, folks! And two perfect little babies are now in the arms of their adoring parents because of this ride. Here’s a look at our birth story.
We started watching my blood and laboratory panels around 37 weeks as a precaution. We had no reason to do this beyond just standard of care with my OBGYN, but, we found my blood pressure to be higher than it normally is for me and my blood platelets to be slightly lower than they normally are for me. I wasn’t near a pre-eclampsia diagnosis at all, but given the sliding numbers and the fact that we had made it to full term, we decided that it’d be best to induce a labor and have the babies now, as opposed to
giving my body the time and opportunity to allow something to go wrong.
So, we set a date to have some babies.
And, they didn’t really want to listen.
Babies never listen.
Packing for the birth of a surrogate child is vastly different from packing fr the birth of your own child. It’s kind of silly, isn’t it? I mean, not much has changed. You’ll still show up at the hospital in “I don’t care WHAT I forgot to pack” condition, you’ll still have the baby, and you’ll still wind up with something to wear home. Even so, planning for and packing that bag, no matter how many times you’ve done it for the births of your own children, makes most surrogates feel like first timers again.
Here are a few of the differences that stand out to me the most.
Not like the USA Today paper, but like legally binding court documents types of papers. I think with my own girls I showed up for the birth with a paper insurance card (because I think they were paper back then) and maybe a five spot in my wallet.
With each of my surrogate births, Continue reading
Around 26 weeks gestation every single pregnant woman ever to live must submit to the form of torture known as the gestational glucose tolerance testing. This ancient form of torment includes stomaching a 10 ounce bottle of sugary sweet syrup in under 5 minutes (chug, chug, chug!) and then keeping it down for an hour. Then, a quick and simple blood pull tells you whether or not you have come down with gestational diabetes.
Okay. Okay… it’s not torture. At least not for me. I actually kind of like the orange flavored syrup. It reminds me of High C- orange punch from McDonalds when the mix is a bit unbalanced and you get a tad more syrup than water. Yum. I really can’t comprehend why so many pregnant women make such a big deal over it.
The real torture comes later… Continue reading
This pregnancy is just moving right along! We’ve hit week 25, and the official point of viability. It’s kind of a big deal. Viability means that, from this point forward, the twins have a greater chance at survival than non-survival should they be born. Their odds at life improve daily from this point until the day they are actually born. This is a point in the pregnancy where we all breathe our first collective sigh of relief, for the most part. Continue reading
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in the Families Through Surrogacy US Conference!
Scheduled for October 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California, this one day seminar covers pretty much the entire gamut of surrogacy- from legalities and finding an egg donor, to developing a relationship with your surrogate and bringing baby home. With ticket prices starting at just $20, it’s a great (and affordable) way to look into surrogacy.
Learn more about the event, and register to attend, here.
This will be my third appearance with FTS conferences. I’ve previously spoken in Sydney, Australia and San Francisco, CA.
I LOVE participating in these conferences. Officially, I’m in town to speak on a panel, moderated by All Things Surrogacy founder Janae Krell, to speak about my experiences as a surrogate.
I’ll talk about Continue reading
Around the 13 week mark of pregnancy you have the choice to complete some optional screenings. These tests, which typically pair an ultrasound with some blood work, give you a risk assessment for chromosomal concerns like Down syndrome and Trisomy 18. These screenings don’t offer diagnosis, just a risk factor for potential disorders.
These screenings are tests that my husband and I never elected to complete in our own pregnancies.
But when you’re a surrogate, sometimes you have to do things a little differently.
It’s graduation day! It’s such an accomplishment and something to be so proud of reaching. No, I don’t get to wear a cap and gown, and I don’t receive a diploma. Instead, I get something even better; no more daily injections to my backside!
Typically, somewhere between the 10th and 13th week of gestation, the IVF clinic will release a surrogate from their care and “graduate” her to begin seeing her personal OBGYN for the remainder of the pregnancy. I suppose, in words alone, this could feel like a very minor thing in the course of an entire pregnancy.
But, let me assure you, it does not feel very minor at all.
Along for the Ride: A Real Time Surrogacy Experience
Man. This is a big day. If you think the 10-14 days between transfer and beta day were tense, this is even worse. Especially when your numbers are looking really, really strong.
The time between transfer and Beta is rich with anxiety: did it work or didn’t it?
The time between beta and ultrasound is straight anticipation: It worked. So is it one baby… or two? Continue reading
Along for the Ride: A Real Time Surrogacy Experience
In the surrogacy world…. well, heck… in the IVF world in general, blood is not at all uncommon. I’ve read that up to 70% of pregnancies achieved through IVF will have some level of bleeding during the pregnancy. It can be caused by any one of a hundred things. Anything from inconsistent hormone levels, disturbance of the cervix (often from vaginal hormone therapies needed to sustain the early pregnancy), or even an internal- and often harmless- hemorrhage can cause bleeding.
But yes, sometimes bleeding does mean miscarriage.
It’s Beta Day. Again.
It’s the day that I donate a bit more blood to the lab, and the lab tells me if I am or am not pregnant.
Just to catch you up, we had a negative Beta test a couple of months ago following our failed transfer. Here’s the link to that post.
But this is a new day. A new transfer. A new Beta test.