Miscarriage is a sad reality for many surrogates. The March of Dimes estimates that as many as 50% of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage. That statistic may be a bit misleading, as it assumes total number of all pregnancies, detected or not. Generally only 10-20% of pregnancies confirmed by either blood test or ultrasound are statistically likely to end in miscarriage. If an embryo transfer results in a miscarriage the first thing you should understand is that this is not your fault. Nothing that you did, didn’t do, or could have done differently is likely to have resulted in a different outcome. We understand this is an emotionally challenging time, but try not to blame yourself. Continue reading
Part of the pre-transfer protocol includes scheduling and keeping appointments known as ‘monitoring’ appointments. These appointments, which are often completed at a reproductive health or IVF clinic in your hometown, allow your IVF doctor to monitor your body’s reaction to the pre-transfer hormone therapy.
Typically, these appointments consist of a quick blood draw and a transvaginal ultrasound. The blood draw monitors the presence of certain hormones in your blood, namely estrogen and progesterone. Your blood estrogen levels will play a direct role in the thickness of your uterine lining, while progesterone allows an embryo to remain lodged in your lining. Continue reading
Choosing to become a surrogate can seem overwhelming and at times a bit lonely. While surrogates are not as rare as you might think, it is true that you’re unlikely to ever meet another surrogate in your everyday life without seeking out the shared connection. Growing Generations’ surrogates share a deep bond. Many of them meet through a private Facebook group where they can offer support and share their experiences with one another. We recently asked this group of ladies, “What advice would you give to a new surrogate?” Here is a compilation of the wisdom they’d share with a brand new “surro-sister.”
I got pregnant with my first son Liem when I was 20. I didn’t expect to start a family so early but the day he was born I knew that my life was changed. I consider my life split into 2 different parts; before Liem and after Liem. After he was born I knew I wanted to be able to give this gift to another family. I started researching surrogacy right away in 2008. Living in NY at the time, the first thing I learned was that I’d have to move to become a surrogate. After I had my second child it happened that we moved to Nashville, and I applied with Growing Generations right away. I was done building my family and I wanted to start helping another family right away.
My first surrogacy was with a VIP couple. It went quickly and, for the most part, smoothly. I felt so proud of myself at the close of it, but I knew I wanted to help another couple, too. I wanted to find a match where I could have a closer relationship with the family I was helping. I really wanted parents who would be involved in the pregnancy.
In the event of a miscarriage or otherwise abnormal pregnancy, you may elect to undergo a dilation & curettage (D&C) procedure. A D&C can be a first line treatment option for clearing the uterus, or in cases where body does not expel all tissue from the on its own. In this case, a D&C is necessary in order to stop bleeding and prevent hemorrhage.
During a D&C procedure, a woman is sedated and her cervix is dilated in order to allow a scalpel or vacuum into the uterus to remove tissue associated with pregnancy. This outpatient procedure is generally very routine and free of complications. There can be associated risks, however. Continue reading
As surrogacy becomes less and less taboo, your chances of encountering and speaking with a surrogate in your everyday life continues to increase. With more than 1,400 babies born through Growing Generations’ surrogates alone (as of 2016), surrogates are no longer the rarity they once were. These women are real, and they’re likely a part of your life.
Many of these women understand that they are pioneering the future of family building, and are quite used to being asked awkward questions. They often wear a smile and are more than happy to speak with you about their experiences. Even so, there are a few topics or statements that you may want to avoid, should you find yourself talking with a woman who would so generously help create a family for others who cannot do it on their own. Continue reading
Managing the finances of surrogacy can be an overwhelming undertaking. The Growing Generations finance team is made up of highly organized people whose goal is to make the process as streamlined and simple as it can be. One of the questions we hear most often from our surrogates is, “Why do some checks come on their own, while others require action from me?”
The time following a miscarriage or dilation and curettage (D&C) can be both physically and emotionally challenging. It is crucial that you are attuned to your body’s health and response over the next several weeks as it outlines how you are recovering and what your next steps in surrogacy will be.
In general, doctors will monitor your blood hormone levels to ensure that your HCG levels return to zero on their own. Your body will typically experience a slow bleed for up to a week following the miscarriage or procedure. The cessation of the bleed is generally an indication that the HCG levels have returned to zero. Continue reading
The return of your period following the birth of a child is an event that is unique to each delivery. What you may have experienced with your own children could differ completely from your experience as a surrogate. It is unlikely that you will be able to predict when your body ovulates or when your period will return. While many factors can impact the length of time between birth and the return of the first period, most periods return by 12 weeks post-partum unless the surrogate is pumping breastmilk.
Post Natal Bleed vs. First Period
Every woman will experience a postnatal bleed, called lochia. Some women confuse this bleed with their period, especially when the lochia stretches over an extended period of time. While both bleeds will come from the vagina, they are caused by different reasons and denote different conditions. The postnatal bleed is the result of broken blood vessels that once held the placenta to the uterine wall. Continue reading
Embryos are tiny, delicate things. The transfer process is often treated with great caution and preparation. These two things, when considered together, often cause surrogates to be quite concerned about how to best protect the embryo they’ve just been entrusted with carrying. Many surrogates, and occasionally their intended parents, raise the question of how secure the embryo is once placed in the uterus, and if it’s possible that the embryo could, “fall out.”