Along for the Ride: Graduation

transfer day

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.

Graduation also marks the cessation of hormone therapies (the pills and shots) for many of us. The lucky ones even get clearance from pelvic rest (self-imposed celibacy) at this point. Beyond these two very motivating factors, there are other reasons that today is such a big one, too.

As surrogates, especially in the early weeks of pregnancy, we worry about everything. What’s that cramp? Am I still pregnant? What’s that tinge? Is it OK that I haven’t thrown up today? It is OK to walk the dog? Can I go swimming?

Something about being released to your own OB… something about the IVF doctor saying, “You’re good enough to take it from here, Ace,” feels empowering. It feels like a million pounds lifted off your shoulders. It feels good.

So, what’s next? Very soon we’ll be talking about first trimester screening tests and preparing to tour the hospital where these babies will be born. Since I’m carrying twins this time, I’m told to expect a million things in addition to what I already know, including a multiples specialty team complete with something every pregnant woman desperately wants; a diet and nutrition plan.

But that’s tomorrow. Today it’s cake and punch and celebration.

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What is Pelvic Rest?

The Jargon of Surrogacy

Bonding With Baby Before Birth

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.