Surrogacy: Guardedly Optimistic

By: Kerrie Olejarz

Within minutes our blog was alive.  We received over 500 hits, 26 unique blog comments, and 30 emails.  The support from around the world was amazingly overwhelming.

A couple hours later we received all the blood test paperwork from Dr Shivani. We were immediately saddened for Sunita who got a negative test result.  We had so hoped both girls would get a positive.  Sumita’s beta was 150.13, a good solid beta!  When thinking about working with a surrogate, we all typically go for the younger surrogates in their early 20’s.   Sumita was 35 and we were hesitant when signing up with her based on age.  We knew Dr Shivani would not do our transfer if our surrogate was not medically fit and did not respond well to the uterine priming, so we really had nothing to worry about, plus, it was my old eggs going into her, so age really shouldn’t matter.  Getting a positive just proved to us that the surrogate’s age is really not a strong point to weigh in favour of.  A good doctor will only do a transfer into a medically fit uterus, end of story. We are probably one of the only couples around the world to have worked with a more mature surrogate and we take great pride in this.  We also now share this info with all the newbies who ask us about choosing a surrogate.

So here we were, finally pregnant and in total shock.  We waited for a couple hours to share the news with others, including family.  Overall excitement was in the air, even though we were in the very early stages.  Our first scan was scheduled for January 3, 2011.   That was a long seven days away –how would we survive?  The scan would confirm placement of embryo and show us our fetal sac.  We spent the next week in an excited daze.   Finally, January 3rd arrived and we opened our email early in the morning to see a report from the ultrasound technician and a page of beautiful ultrasound pictures.   There it was: 7.7mm of sac.   A well defined gestational scan containing a yolk sac, corresponding to 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant!  The email also said our next scan would be on January 10th,  so we had another seven days of waiting.  We shouldn’t complain as a “normal” pregnancy gets only two or three scans throughout. But, this was far from normal, and every scan is beyond important, and critical for our sanity.

January 10th we opened our email again to find a full report and scan pics.  This time it all became very real as the ultrasound report noted “a single live embryo is seen with a heart rate of 109 Bpm”.  We were also given the CRL length which corresponded to 5 weeks and 6 days.  HOLY SMOKES, a heart beat!!!  We all prayed for this and here it was, we could almost hear it in Canada, thump thump thump thump.  It was more than overwhelming and the anxiety was incredible.

Now, if, God forbid, something were to happen, we have so much to lose. We prayed our surrogate was feeling well.  Morning sickness is a real bitch, and as we all know, it is not just in the morning.   We would sit and wonder if Sumita was ok, feeling well and as shocked as we were?  We imagined she was nervous and excited and that, like us, her time had finally come. With such a huge distance between us we would never really know how she was doing, but the clinic in India told us she was well and happy.  We trusted our clinic immensely and know they would tell us if anything was wrong, so for now all we could do was count down until February 8th for our next update.

In the meantime, people around us asked the normal questions like “what color will you paint the baby’s room?”  For us, these questions were too scary to answer.  We needed to hit 30 weeks pregnant in our minds before we would be at ease.  At this point, anything could happen and we were not signing up for planning our future with a child, not yet.   Things in life continued as normal, work-eat-sleep.  We were pregnant in our minds only.  I was not pregnant and did not have the growing belly and slight green undertone of the first trimester to let the world know.  It was our secret, and our workplaces did not know what we were doing in our life, on our personal time.

The days went by and finally Feb. 8th came with another report and ultrasound pictures.  The report mentioned our 10 week 1 day dating with a heartbeat of 158 beats per minute.  The scan pics showed our baby.  Finally our little sac had grown into something more recognizable, a baby.  We saw a profile of a tiny tiny baby, just 31mm long.  A frontal shot of the head showed deep dark eye sockets. We were over the moon!  I instantly updated our blog posting the stats and the profile pic from our ultrasound collection.  Finally, we had a baby growing and it was very obvious in the picture I posted on the blog.  We were one quarter of the way through our pregnancy and although things were going very well, we were still guardedly optimistic.

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