Anatomy ultrasound

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I had gotten this “My brother is a goldendoodle” onesie years ago, but had put it in a drawer and forgotten about it. I recently came across it while cleaning out drawers in preparation for baby. Dudsberry is clearly looking forward to his upcoming role as protective big brother.

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We had the anatomy scan of Baby V and everything was normal and right on target! It amazed me that the ultrasound technician was able to quickly navigate the images on the screen and isolate each and every part of the baby,  from the chambers of the heart to the tiny bones in the fingers.

We already knew the baby’s sex from the PGS testing we had on the embryo, but it was nice to get confirmation that it was accurate. We won’t be revealing what it is until our baby shower in May.

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Surrogacy books, part 2

First, I’d like to yell, Tina can feel the baby moving now!

It’s a bit mind boggling and I can’t wait until I can feel it too. *grin and happy dance*

I finally finished the last two surrogacy books I had checked out from my lovely local library. The impending due date of the books along with the lack of any available renewals may have had something to do with it.

Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies is written by a professor of sociology who interviews surrogates, intended parents, and the professionals that work with surrogacy cases. The book is written like an extended research paper, but with enough personal accounts woven in to make it an interesting read. The author explores the concept of surrogacy as ‘work’ and how the parties involved feel.

The last book I read was also my favorite book about surrogacy.  Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories are short stories told by intended mothers (like me) of their surrogacy journeys from beginning to end. I read this book extremely quick so the stories did start to blend together with one another. It’s probably  best read slower, perhaps one story as day. I enjoyed reading how others like me came to the point of realizing surrogacy was their best option for having a baby, how they matched with a surrogate, and how they felt once the baby was born. The author of the book even had her surrogate journey very local to us!

I recommend both of these books to potential or current surrogates and intended parents.

Surrogacy books

I requested a couple books from the library about surrogacy to see if there was possibly more to learn on the subject. As these types of books are more rare, I had to request them through interlibrary loan from other area libraries. When the first book became available, my husband and I swung by the library. I ran in while he waited in the car to discover that I had to check out the book from a person at the desk instead of the self-serve kiosks that I am accustomed to. The clerk scanned my library card and retrieved the book from the shelf.

I Got Drunk at my Baby Shower  was the title of the book, displayed in large letters. The clerk looked at the book, laughed, and exclaimed,

“Oh that’s funny. I wonder if she didn’t want the baby?”

I was stunned. I considered launching into education mode but remembered that my husband was waiting for me in the car. The clerk then noticed the smaller print of the second half of the book title, ‘Our Successful Surrogacy Story.’

“Oh,” the clerk muttered.

I slowly shook my head and without eye contact took my book and walked briskly out of the library.

FOR SHAME library clerk lady!

This book was a quick and easy read. I can see it being a good memoir for those that know the characters in the book personally, but I do not feel that the book gave me any information that I didn’t already know. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.


I finished reading The Baby Chase: How Surrogacy is Transforming the American FamilyThe couple in the book used a gestational carrier in India for their three children. The book paints gestational surrogacy in a positive light as well as using a gestational surrogate in India with the particular agency they used. I would recommend this book to anyone considering ‘Surrogacy Tourism,’ or hiring a surrogate abroad. It could be a good answer for those who otherwise cannot afford surrogacy.

An open letter to our gestational carrier this Christmas

Tina,

I remember a year and a half ago we were at a work picnic and you were telling a mutual friend of ours that you had talked to your provider about your interest in becoming a surrogate. At that time I thought, “Hey, I know some things about that.” Of course this was a long time before I knew I would be needing a surrogate myself, but I appreciated your interest in wanting to help a couple from the infertility world. Little did I know that friend and I would be expecting our babies 11 weeks apart from each other.

I have been proud to hear you drop infertility acronyms like a champ. I think you truly have an insight into the pain, frustration, and waiting which is infertility. For the past several weeks I wished I could take away the soreness from the PIO shots, itchiness from the estrogen patches, and daily afternoon crippling nausea. “This is all part of the end goal,” you have told me.

It’s not a secret that we were destined to be on this journey together. We are blessed to see each other often and I feel privileged to learn of the joy and impact that Baby V has already had on your girls. They will grow up cultured and selfless from your example.

One of our patients told me the other day while sitting in the hallway, “I just saw your baby!” I thought maybe they had seen an ultrasound picture until I realized you had just walked by a few seconds prior and they “saw” the baby. It’s heartwarming to be able to educate our patients on a topic most know so little about, while at the same time sharing this journey with them.

This Christmas Eve I think back on how the holidays can be a sad time for those struggling with infertility. I owe it to you for not feeling empty this Christmas.

We, with great men at our sides, are an unstoppable team. The world has gained a notable advocate, and most importantly I have gained a friend for life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Kelly

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Last fertility clinic appointment

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Today was a huge milestone in that we had our last visit at the fertility clinic! We got to see Baby V for probably the last time for a while as we have graduated to the ‘regular OB’ office. We will be seeing nurse midwives and I’m excited to meet them and see how their care differs from an OB. Not that I know what a normal visit to the OB is like while pregnant…

Perhaps the best news of all was that Tina was given instruction to stop all hormone medications as the placenta has taken over in producing these hormones. No more estrogen pills and patches, and no more progesterone in oil shots! I am so relieved for her as those shots are no joke!

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Tina’s friend gave her and I one of these uterus pins. The ovaries actually glow in the dark, I love it! Get one here.

Third ultrasound

I did not expect to see my baby essentially doing somersaults on ultrasound, but that is exactly what we saw today. Baby was wriggling around and would not stay still for a picture!

Tina is rooting for a busy-body child for us and she just may get her wish. Meanwhile I’m hoping Baby V doesn’t take after their fur-sister Quoddy.

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I’ll take dis, k bye

Baby V is measuring 3.5cm long and has a heartbeat of 165 BPM, the same rate as two weeks ago. It was so amazing to see hands, feet, and parts of the brain even. It was also a relief to have the nurse tell us that the pregnancy has the same chance of going well as any other pregnancy… and better yet, to believe it.

Coming out at work

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Today I announced at work that our GC is my co-worker, Tina. We had been keeping this a secret for many months until we knew there was a pregnancy that was going well and we notified our human resources department of what was going on.

Back in May when my husband and I knew we would be needing a gestational carrier, a couple mutual co-worker friends of ours helped us to team up in this journey. Tina had already had interest in becoming a surrogate and my husband and I had frozen embryos ready to be transferred to a willing, functioning uterus. It was destiny!

We both were looking forward to the day we could talk freely with our co-workers…

  • There were days we both had to take off work, which probably went unnoticed.
  • There was the many times I walked into work and straight to her office to drop off meds for her that I had just picked up from the pharmacy.
  • There were the times I had to act like our surrogate was some mysterious friend of mine that no one knew.
  • There were the times I thought people would figure it out when they saw us talking together.
  • There were the many times she couldn’t tell other co-workers the real reason she wasn’t feeling well.
  • There was the time we had to sneak out of work separately but at the same time during an all-staff meeting to go to an ultrasound.

We would excitedly talk of how we would let our co-workers find out. It was my idea to make an announcement at an all-staff meeting so we could surprise everyone in the building in person, all at once. Our co-worker who was putting together the meeting added the announcement to the schedule.

While I was so nervous I’m not sure what I actually said, but here is my intention:

I said I had been looking forward to this announcement since May and warned I was about to get a little personal for a minute.

“I’ve appreciated all of you who have followed my infertility journey and with recurrent loss and loss of multiples. Thank you to those of you who held me together in the beginning when I thought I was going to fall apart. But, after I learned I could no longer carry a child after I had tried so hard to… There was already someone in my life who was looking forward to carrying my own child possibly more than I was looking forward to carrying my own child. Without *name of company* this would never have been possible..Because the brave and selfless surrogate that is pregnant with mine and my husband’s baby is a fellow *code name for employee at place of work*. “

I walked over to her, motioned for her to stand up, and we hugged while I said we looked forward to sharing this pregnancy with everyone.

We are blessed to think of our co-workers as a second family and our news was well received.

Tina promptly asked me if she could change her Bitmoji to “pregnant”. Even Snapchat knew what was going on in our life and this became my favorite Bitmoji scene of all time.