Along for the Ride: Ultrasound

ulTRASOUND

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?

During the first waiting period, we at least have the option to cheat. To break the rules and take home pregnancy tests to help give us an edge at knowing what outcome to expect. But this time around, there is no way to cheat. No Christmas present under the tree to shake, and no one to play 20 questions with for a hint at the outcome. All we can do is wait with patience of steel.

Except, from experience, I’ve learned that most surrogates really stink at being patient.

So, instead, we over analyze our beta numbers, our doubling rates, and our symptoms to try and get a sneak peak at what’s going on inside of our uterus.

I’m guilty of the above myself. Blame it on my severe type A personality. I actually have a self made excel spreadsheet wherein I chart the betas and doubling rates from every IVF transfer I’ve had… and perhaps the results of a few friends as well. Don’t judge me.

Here’s what my chart tells me. Absolutely nothing. Even when they look good, betas and doubling rates tell us just one thing: there is something inside of the uterus that is growing appropriately. Beyond that, these numbers offer little to no insight as to how many little babies may be growing inside of the uterus.

This reality means that I walked into the doctor’s office today much like a little kid creeps down the stairs on Christmas morning. Anxious. Excited. Nervous. Straight up sick of waiting.

So they called me back, I put on the gown, laid on the table, dialed my intended parents in on a Skype call, and prepared for the big show.

 

In goes the ultrasound wand… and in less than 2 seconds the tech says something I’ve never heard before.

 

“We’ve got two.”

 

That’s right, we’ve got two babies in there. The intended parents, who were live via Skype video call, erupted in a hoot of cheers and celebration. My heart soared! I’ve always wanted to carry twins. We were aiming for twins! This was indeed a glorious moment. SO incredibly excited.

Along with that over the moon excitement though, came the realization that we are no longer day dreaming about carrying twins. We are actually doing it. While it is incredibly exciting, it’s also a little overwhelming. I’m old hat at carrying and delivering one baby at a time, but this will be a completely new experience for me. It’s all new territory, and it’s a lot to take in. It’s probably incredibly normal to have feelings of both excitement and a few nerves.

Mostly though, I’m just thrilled. The nerves will work themselves out.


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Resources:

Surprise! Your Surrogate is Having Multiples!

Managing Multiples

What Are Pregnancy Cravings

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: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel 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.