Monday, August 2, 2010

Beyond Beta

Saturday morning was accompanied by gloriously boring news - our little embryo's development is right on course, just where one would expect it to be seven weeks into a pregnancy. In little over a week the length has doubled and cardiac activity appears strong and even.  It is not lost on us that this is about the time we'd had to accept the miscarriage of our first attempt, nor will we ever forget. The memory keeps our expectations modest so even small developmental changes leave us feeling like a C student getting A's.

We're also very proud of R who has had to endure separation from her family and multiple pokes and prods for blood tests, ultrasounds and the like. I can tell you that Shannon thinks about this often and wishes desperately for the briefest of opportunities to see R, hold her hand, express our thanks, and do what we can to be supportive. As you may recall, once a pregnancy is in full swing our clinic will relocate our carrier and her family until delivery and complete recovery. This relocation both allows the clinic to ensure a healthy, clean environment for the duration while also enabling our carrier and her family to avoid the questions and stares that come with being pregnant for nine months and then returning home empty handed. Apparently, it is not uncommon for families to come and go; seems their disappearance won't be particularly noted. It is satisfying to know that R is now with her children and husband full time.

Some folks were wondering whether or not we get test results in written form. The Surrogacy India clinic furnished us with our own password-protected Google Site upon which all test results are posted. Originally, this site was the home for our beta tests. We'd get a call from the doctors telling us the count while, concurrently, a report would be uploaded to the site. Thankfully, we're beyond beta tests so no more number counting; now it's about ultrasounds. On the site we find both still images of the ultrasound and, separately, a report written by the sonographer. The write-ups are fairly straightforward; we didn't even bother to speak with the doctors about them. We suspect (we hope!) the next seven months will proceed this smoothly.

With some exceptions, Shannon and I are concerned about an excess of ultrasounds. We want just enough to track development without endangering that development. To this end, what's most important for us are diagnostic ultrasounds used to identify conditions like Down Syndrome. We'll spend more time on this topic (and amniocentesis) in a later post but, needless to say, pre- and post-diagnostic scan conversations will definitely occur.

In the meantime, we're enjoying the jargony news that, according to our ultrasound report, the gestational sac "reveals good choriodecidual reaction with a fetal pole and yolk sac". Which got me thinking - have you ever noticed the complete absence of assisted reproduction greeting cards? For example, now would be a time for something like "Congrats on your good choriodecidual reaction" or "That fetal pole is one in a million!". Or stealing from graduation cards, Bar/Bat Mitzvah cards and the like, once we hit the 11 week mark: "Now you're a fetus"...... Ok, maybe it's pretty obvious why you never see them.


  1. okay, so here is your greeting card
    this is great news! congratulations on having a wonderful yolk and fetal pole. can't wait for the placenta. keep us posted

  2. Really, that Fetal Pole is a One in a Million!

    Congratulation on your creation!

    Happiness abound for you guys!!

  3. Just simply congratulations!We wish you best pregnancy and uneventful next 7.5 months.

  4. Good news.

    I wasnt' aware that SI is now relocating and housing the entire surrogate family from their permanent homes. That seems to be a departure from what the other major clinics are doing, where the conventional wisdom is that surrogate be detached from kids and husband to allow her to relax and focus on the pregnancy and no other concerns or physical labor etc. Do check with your clinic on whether or not this is actually the case and there is no misunderstanding with this issue...

    Good luck

  5. You guys know I am thrilled for you! Jeff...the card business is not normal ... lol :)

  6. Wonderful news, guys! I'm so excited that things are moving along smoothly and can't wait to hear more good news soon!

  7. Thanks for to continual updates! Congrats on you next milestone, just know everything is just perfect! I know with my two, sometimes kall these tests can just tell you way too much. They were concerned about Eric and I went to another ultrasound to find out it was just because he had a full bladder and they saw nothing else! The specialis even told me not to even think about an amnio and just go home and enjoy the moments that you are going to have a baby soon!!!!
    Much love sent to you from here in the west!
    Please let us know if we can help with anything,
    Kristine and Marty

  8. YEAH!!!!!

    I'm sure some people are looking for that card! LOL!!

  9. Hi Shannon and Jeff,

    Quite a road you've been on since we last got together in April. What an emotional roller coaster it must be I cannot imagine.

    This is a high point, and deserves every ounce of elation screaming out of you... We'll keep a quiet 'fingers crossed' until the 12-13 week mark and look for happy updates from you going forward.

    I suppose this is too early to ask but I'll ask anyway - When is the due date?

    Inci (from Seder dinner at J and J's in Salem)