21

Today I am 21 weeks with a baby girl. I have no idea how that happened. Yesterday was transfer day, I thought?

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“Gummy Bear”

This has been my hardest pregnancy. Not due to complications, thankfully, and not due to worse than normal morning sickness or hormonal mood changes, but just because I’ve been on guard. The first 4 months it felt like we (my IPs, my husband, and myself) were all holding our breath. Have you ever tried to hold your breath for very long? It’s exhausting.

My IPs were reluctant to get excited and so I followed suit. I can only imagine how hard it is for them to be so far away and not get to see, on a daily basis, how great the pregnancy was going. Their fears of another baby with any kind of complications, whether in utero or discovered after, kept them cautiously optimistic. We had every possible test done from the moment I was confirmed pregnant, and with every test that came back normal we were able to get a little more optimistic. I kept my IM informed of how I was feeling and how great things were going. We stayed busy for the summer, trying to celebrate my husband’s successful surgery and having a good first follow up scan. My parents came to visit and I got to see my grandma for the first time since my wedding almost 11 years ago!

Although I’d known from the beginning that I would need to get an Amniocentesis I was terrified. What if something came back abnormal? What if this baby was found to have the same disorder as their last baby? Would they want to terminate? Would I be able to survive that emotionally? Would my IPs? What would that mean going forward?

I was 16 weeks 5 days pregnant the day of the amnio. I had worked the night before and had not slept well because of all the worst-case scenarios running through my mind. My husband was able to take a long lunch to attend the appointment with me and I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I was to have someone there with me. The ultrasound went well. Baby girl was growing perfectly and SUPER active. All her measurements were right on track and she looked BEAUTIFUL. The actual amnio wasn’t terrible. I mean for a procedure where they stick a giant needle through your uterine wall. They had to take quite a bit more fluid than they did for my last journey because this time my IPs wanted to test specifically for Prader Willi. It felt like a gallon, but it was 4 small tubes and was probably less than 1/4 cup. The worst part is the contraction you have while the needle is in. The whole thing lasted less than 1 minute and then we were on our way with a promise of results within 10-14 days.

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16 Weeks, 5 Days

You’d think I’d be a much more patient person being on my 4th journey, but I assure you, I am not. This was the LONGEST two week wait of my entire surrogacy journey. Can you imagine holding your breath for two weeks? When the phone rang, and I saw it was the doctor with results for my amnio, I was almost too scared to answer, but I was so glad I did. Everything came back normal!!!

The release of tension and the breath I’d been holding for 4 months was profound. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have felt like for my IPs.

Today, I am 21 weeks pregnant and very visibly pregnant. I had morning sickness with lots of puking through the first few weeks of my 2nd trimester and I was exhausted ALL. THE. TIME. The past few weeks I’ve finally started to get my energy back enough to start working out and running again…sort of. No more puking and finally being able to eat more has been wonderful!!

This past Thursday my IM was able to fly out for the hospital tour and anatomy scan. It was so great to be able to spend some time with her. She brought me the most delicious cookies from NYC!!! I got to see her really get excited about having a baby girl! They are planning to tell their oldest son soon and I can’t wait to hear how he reacts to having a baby sister!! My IM got to see how active her little girl is and hear her heartbeat for the first time. Those moments are why I love this. I am so excited to be able to see my IPs holding this little girl for the first time.

Seeing as this is most likely my last pregnancy, and I’m already more than halfway through, I’m really going to try to enjoy these next 19 weeks. I’m very aware of her moving and starting to react to outside noises. She is extremely active and already kicking a bunch, my husband has even started to feel some! So, for now, I’m going to enjoy every kick, hiccup, and startle, every ache and pain, every sleepless night because I’m going to blink and it will be over and I know I will miss it.