Julie's Journey - First Ultrasound
Julie S' Surrogacy Journey Vol. 9
Once it was confirmed that the embryo transfer was successful, the reproductive clinic scheduled me for the first ultrasound. On the date of the appointment, I was 5 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Here's an interesting fact most people aren't aware of: on the day of the embryo transfer, I was already considered 2w5d pregnant! The embryo was frozen on the 5th day after it was fertilized. Because conception does not happen naturally, technically we get to skip fast forward from the start of ovulation, to 5 days after fertilization usually occurs. If we had transferred a 6 day embryo, I would've been 2w6d on the day of the embryo transfer, etc. My beta test was at 4w3d so we only had to wait about another week and a half for the ultrasound!
The drive from my house to the reproductive clinic is pretty far (3 hours) but I am more than willing to make that drive to have their doctor perform each ultrasound. Most of the time, a surrogate may not live near the clinic so they will visit their local fertility clinic and have their ultrasounds done there.
When I arrived, my Intended Parents were already there and had signed me in. As soon as they were ready for us, they called me back and all 3 of us headed to the exam room. The nurse came in the room alone with me first to ask me the questions they always ask, "What medication are you currently taking? Any bleeding or spotting or cramping? Any other concerns?"
I appreciate that they respect my privacy and ask this without my IPs in the room, and I share every sign and symptom I have with my IPs so they are not left in the dark about anything. I had in fact had some bleeding just 5 days prior to this ultrasound. First, I informed my case manager. She told me to call the clinic's after hours number and do as the doctor told me. Then she had said I should update my IPs and let them know not to worry. I have had bleeding 3 times during my 4 surrogacy pregnancies. It is extremely common and can be very nerve-wracking. This time around, the reproductive doctor told me to stop baby aspirin and take it easy – usually this means sitting down with your feet up as much as possible. If I wanted to go in earlier for an ultrasound, I could, however I told her I wanted to see how I was doing tomorrow. By the next morning, the bleeding had stopped 100%.
After answering the nurse's questions, she instructed me to undress from the waist down because my ultrasound would be trans vaginal again. My IPs politely waited in the hallway, like they always do. Within a few minutes, the doctor was knocking on the door asking if they could all come in. It was time to confirm the pregnancy was progressing just as it should be!
Success! One gestational sac with one little yolk sac in there. We were so thrilled to see the heartbeat flickering already. Just 21 days after the embryo was thawed and transferred into my uterus, it was already beating! That first visual of life growing in me, for someone else, is so incredibly amazing. I've been so honored that my IPs have been able to join me for this moment. Seeing the look on their face never gets old.
The next week I went back for the "heartbeat ultrasound" which usually takes place after 6 weeks. We just happened to get lucky to see it a day early! At this appointment I had my blood drawn to check my estrogen and progesterone levels as well. I received some the good news that my progesterone levels were so good that I could taper down my progesterone injections from 2cc to 1.5cc. I know .5cc may not seem like much, but it makes a huge difference!
Next week, I will return to the clinic to check the growth of the fetus. If all goes well, the fetus should be measuring around 8w4d in size! Please be sure to check by for my next update!