Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Waiting for the Ultrasound

Normally you wait about two weeks between the first positive (official) blood pregnancy test and the ultrasound. In between, you get one or two more blood tests to make sure your beta hcg levels are rising appropriately. The number should be doubling every 36 to 48 hours or so, and, depending on how quickly the number rises, people start guessing whether it’s twins or a singleton. Again, not a fool-proof method of determining how many embryos stuck around, but still a fun way to pass the time before the ultrasound.

I told myself I wouldn’t obsess about “one or two?” like I had obsessed about whether or not it worked at all. But of course I did. I totally did. One or two? One or two? I couldn’t WAIT for the ultrasound and was so excited.

My couple was planning to fly in for the ultrasound, as well. Of course it’s not necessary, but wouldn’t it be fun to find out together? I was looking forward to introducing them to my kids, and Blaine was looking forward to seeing them again, too. Although I had seen them several times for transfers and meetings, he had not seen them since our initial match meeting, nine months before.

The week before my ultrasound I was feeling so pleased with how well things were going – my blood tests showed my numbers were rising appropriately, so I was able to feel confident and good about the pregnancy. My IP’s were thrilled, every time I talked to them I could hear the excitement in their voices. At long last Labor Day had arrived, which meant my kids and I were finally becoming active in playgroups, and meeting some new people in Alabama. Fifteen long months since I initially applied to be a surrogate, and waiting and waiting to reach this point, I was truly content with where I was.

The Tuesday before my ultrasound was scheduled I took my kids to their twice-weekly Mother’s Day Out program. They were settling in well with their new teachers and friends, and I was looking forward to a relaxing day at home. NOT that I would sit around obsessing about whether I was pregnant with one or two …. Just relaxing.

I don’t watch tv or listen to the radio during the day, so it wasn’t until I got a frantic call from my mother that I heard the news:

The Twin Towers in NYC had been attacked.

My mother, understandably, was worried about what this would mean for Blaine, being an active-duty military member.

All I could think of was my Intended Father, who worked for a finance corporation in downtown NYC --- I wasn’t sure where, and tried hard not to panic myself.


PS. Do not freak out --- he was ok. I am going to be busy the next few days and am not sure when I will be able to post again .... I didn't want anyone using the "cliffhanger" accusation in the comment section, so let me assure you now that he was ok! :)


Pam Doughty said...

What memories that brings back for me, Kristie.. but to think that you were in the middle of what should be such a truly happy and special time makes me sad. But at the same time, I don't want to forget, because forgetting would be obscene. I guess I didn't quite realize the timing of this pregnancy, so now I really AM hanging on to hear how things went... we sure all love to hear GOOD news from those dark days.

Grandma J said...

Thank goodness the Intended Father was ok. My son-in-law was on leave with his family at my place in CA. The not knowing what was happening was the worse. Can't wait for the rest of your journey. You write so well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know that he was okay. My heart sank when I read the part before that. So, I was glad that you let us know he was okay.

Lisa C.


I don't think any of us will forget where we were that dark day or the ones to follow.

I'm really hoping to hear some good news when you are able to post again!


lynne said...

Your post made my heart lurch again, with memories about that day, even though I was in the UK I don't think I have ever been so terrified in my life. My brother in law who is a New Yorker would have been cycling under the towers on his way to Wall Street when the first plane hit. As it turned out he was 10 minutes late for work that day and saw the first plane hit, he directly phoned his brother my husband in the UK, stuttered in shock something about "planes hitting the world trade, accident" before the line went dead. It was 7 hours later before we managed to find out that he was safe after the 2nd hit. We were lucky.

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

As Blondie said- I don't think any of us wil ever forget where we were that day. I also didn't realize the timing of your surrogacy. Thank you for not leaving us hanging about the IF! My heart sank when you said he worked in New York, and I would have worried until your next post!

Eloise said...

I'd gotten so wrapped up in your story that I'd forgotten it was not being told in isolation: the rest of the world was going on as well. Like everyone else, I remember all too well that fateful morning and the feeling of helplessness and vulnerability as time seemed to suspend for a few days.

Stacie from MN said...

Thank goodness he was okay! But you still have that cliffhanger out it one baby or two??

Marisa said...

Thanks again for sharing this with us.

Dianna in Louisiana said...

What a mix of emotions it must have been for you Kristie. Like everyone else, I totally remember everything from that dreadful day. I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been for you, pregnant, wondering what was going to happen with Blaine.

On a brighter note, he's our u/s story:

Prior to having my daughter, I went through long miscarriage trial..... I had a horrible doctor who thought that I should wait until he got back from a month long trip to France to pursue finding out whether or not my pregnancy was viable. I knew from the beginning that something just wasn't right. Luckily, we were able to see another doctor who was proactive in getting hcg tests/ vaginal u/s's, etc. Each u/s was like a punch in the stomach as the doctor told me he could see nothing in my uterus. Sadly, my levels fell, and I was forced to have a d&c.

A few months later, I was pregnant again. Again, the doctor could see nothing on my u/s. At six weeks, though my levels were rising, there was NOTHING (not even a sac or pseudo sac). In the meantime, I went to the er twice as instructed because of bleeding and was told there, after ultrasounds, that I had a miscarriage. One er doctor even wanted to perform a d&c the night that we went there, but I refused.

While my doctor prepared us for the worse, we agreed that it was best to wait it out "just in case" because my numbers were still raising, though slowly. The doctor advised that more than likely, my numbers would start decreasing. We went in at 7 1/2 weeks, fully expecting to schedule another d&c. My heart was broken because I was convinced that this pregnancy was like the last. When my doctor performed the u/s, he had a huge smile on his face and said, "you see that little flicker there? that's your baby's heart beating." Of course, my husband and I both burst out into tears. That little flicker is now my beautiful five-year old daughter who will be graduating from kindergarten in just hours.

My doctor told us that he had seen nothing like my early pregnancy in his 20+ years of being an o.b. Since having my daughter, we have faced more infertility obstacles like miscarriages, ecotopic pregnancies, tubal surgeries, etc., etc. Though, none like the tragedy we faced with the first miscarriage. While I'd love nothing more than to give my daughter the sibling she so desperately wants, I think back to that time before we had her. I remember telling God if we could just have one baby, just one,I'd be happy. And, boy oh' boy is that ever true. I know that I am so, overwhelmingly blessed to have my girl. I can just imagine how appreciative the parents that you acted as surrogate for must be toward you..... really Kristie, what a wonderful, wonderful thing you do giving others the gift of parenthood.

Angie said...

Totally not on subject, but how do you do the different pictures on the top of your blog?

A little on subject (just a few days late)...I saw the movie Baby Mama...I thought it was funny. It was a total FARCE about surrogacy and that fact is obvious by previews. It is very much like your comparison about Kristy Yamaguchi to the movie Blades of Glory. Could it be offensive? Yes, I guess it could -- especially to someone sensitive regarding this matter. However...overall, I don't think it makes surrogates in general out to be uneducated or highlights it negatively at all. It's all in fun. I saw it for what it was...a comedy.

Brandi in NC said...

Aw Im so glad you gave us that last lil tidbit LOL!! I thought "no she cant leave it like that!!" I know, Im impatient :) Great story tho hun!! & I, too, will always remember where I was when I first heard the news of 9/11, nursing my son, who was 1 week old to the day, trying to find "A Baby Story" on TV. Needless to say I didnt watch the show that day.

Amy Fournier said...

Your blog is my daily ritual. You have such a talent for writing and it makes me sad when you get busy with your real family as opposed to us, your virtual family.
I hope you can write again soon.

Donna said...

The stories of that day are amazing even when you lived nowhere near the attacks. My son turned two the day before 9/11, and DH and I had spent a wonderful lazy day with him. We lived way out in the country--no neighbors--and were watching Nick Jr., so obviously no newsflash. DH called from work to tell me. We had playgroup that morning in town and I decided to drive the 25 minutes anyway because I didn't want to be alone. It was surreal watching the coverage on the overhead TV while all these toddlers just did their thing, totally oblivious. I was so scared and I didn't even know many people in New York, I can't imagine how gut wrenching it was for you.

This story is truly an amazing one, can't wait to hear the rest.

Becca said...

As a miscarrier, the wait between the positive test and the ultrasound is a MUCH harder two week wait. I know that feeling well, though I wan't obscessing over one or two, I was obsessing over heartbeat or no heartbeat? Can't wait to hear the next part!

Nellie V said...

Thanks for not leaving us hanging! My husband's office was in one of the towers and he lost several co-workers that day. He was working from home, thank the good Lord.

Three months later, the company looked at the bottom line and decided to lay off some long-time employees so that the annual report wouldn't scare the stockholders. Suddenly, my husband's job of many years was gone.

What could have been a horrible situation in our family was made less significant compared to the terrible tragedy of 9/11. He was alive.

I am glad that your Intended Father was alive, too.