Along for the Ride: Monitoring

Post 10Along for the Ride: A Real Time Surrogacy Experience

Monitoring Appointments

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Part of the pre-transfer protocol includes monitoring appointments. These appointments typically consist of a quick blood pull and a transvaginal ultrasound. The blood draw generally monitors the presence of estrogen in the blood and the ultrasounds monitor the lining of your uterus for thickness and pattern.

Today was my final monitoring appointment before our targeted transfer next week. This time around I have not had monitoring ultrasounds, just bloodwork. The result, for an experienced surrogate, is anxiety. Not knowing what’s going on inside of the uterus had made me nervous that we might just find a lining that was too thin and without time to correct it.

Luckily for me, my first and only scan of my cycle was scheduled for the luckiest day of all; Saint Patrick’s Day.

Apparently I had a trickster leprechaun following me, though. The day went comically wrong at every turn. I had a laugh in spite of it all more than once. First, I missed the exit off of the highway to the doctor’s office. I go to this part of town and this particular building regularly. This mistake made me nearly late, something I really hate.

Then I was called over for my blood pull. I have picture perfect veins. Both arms, my hands, my wrists, everywhere. Phlebotomists love me. I’ve never had an issue with a technician not being able to find a vein. I’m kind of proud of this fact. Today’s tech even noted how perfect my veins were as we prepared for the pull. But then, for the first time in my life, the tech couldn’t get the vein. He said it rolled, and hid. He had to try three times. He wound up with a bruised ego, and I wound up with a bruise.

After the blood pull it was time for my ultrasound. Boy was I nervous. I had no idea what we might find, but this one picture would determine if our cycle went forward to transfer in 7 days, or would be dropped. I get back to the exam room, disrobe, and wait. The ultrasound technician came in, laid me back and… discovered the machine was broken. I then laid there, half nude, for probably 10 minutes while two different people came in and out and played with the machine. Unplugging it, restarting it, pushing buttons… at one point the entire front panel came crashing off and clattered to the floor. You can’t make this stuff up.

Eventually, after I hastily redressed, I was ushered through the clinic to a new exam room where I would again disrobe. This time the machine worked and, moment of truth, revealed a picture perfect lining. Relief. Sweet relief. I got dressed and left with a smile.

About the time I made it to the parking lot it hit me, we’re good to go. This is happening. In a week we’re transferring two perfect little embryos into my body. In about nine months, if we’re lucky, one or maybe even two new lives will be here. I felt like I could fly, and I couldn’t wait to call my intended parents to share the news.



What is a Dropped Cycle?

A Surrogate’s Medical Protocol

Foods for Fertility  

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.