American Surrogacy in Ukraine
The past few weeks have been filled with long days of painting, grouting, mudding, drywall repair, restoring the stairway, putting up light fixtures, etc., and I have to say, I love it! I haven’t done such consecutive days of manual labor in a long time, and it feels good. For me, the whole process seems like a distant dream – I have never had my own home before in my lifetime, so the fact that this is our home is still sinking in, but there are certainly times where I feel like I’m on a mission trip to Indiana, and we are doing Habitat for Humanity for ourselves! Even the fact that I now am an Indiana resident has yet to sink in, as we’ve only been here a month, but it sure felt like it was a busy month that passed super quickly. The house is slowly coming along, and next week, we will be getting the hardwood floors refinished, so we have been in kind of a limbo state, since we don’t want to unpack too much, as we have to move everything off the floors before the refinishing crew comes. BUT ANYWAY! On to the good stuff – the house will get done, one way or another, but this morning, we finally got to chat with our surrogate and visit with her! Below is a picture of her on Skype. We learned that she lives in Lysychansk, a small town on the eastern cup of Ukraine, and her trip to Kiev takes 16 hours on the train! She said her first trimester has been incredibly smooth, and completely different from her first pregnancy with her son. For this reason, she thinks the twins are girls, because she didn’t get nauseous at all! We got to take a peek at her growing belly, and were surprised to see how much she was showing, considering that the first trimester had just ended a few days ago. Here is a picture of our surro Yuliya and her belly: And last but not least, here are the photos of the babies! Yuliya said that they are very active and she can feel them moving already. They look like a feisty bunch! They also included a video of the scan, which was amazing! We aren’t going to post a ton of it, but here is a peek: We’re still in shock but so grateful to Yuliya for carrying our babies so peacefully! I told her that now that she is over the first trimester, that we will be emailing her every month to check in. Our next Skype date should be early November, and by then, we will find out the gender, so we’re super excited! Lastly, here are the docs that they also sent over, for those of you who are curious:
It’s been a busy two weeks since our last post, filled with packing, cleaning (yechh), and lots of last meals and goodbyes! Before we knew it, it was the morning of August 29th, and our day had already started with loading up the last batch of our stuff before hitting the road. Moving and tying up some loose ends has served as a wonderful distraction on the surrogacy process, but both K and I were more than aware of that we should be hearing another update from Biotex with the 7-8 week scan. And sure enough, an email awaited us in our inbox with the message that we are having TWINS, as you can see below! If all goes well, they should be arriving around March 18th, 2018! The minute both of us got the news, we immediately started tearing up, because it just seems like it is too good to be true! K is still maintaining a hardcore stance on not getting too hopeful before the first trimester is over, which is a wise way to approach it, although I have completely abandoned that idea, haha! The news also came attached with a report: At first, I had no idea what any of these numbers meant – but Dr. Google was more than happy to explain. The American term for middle inner diameter (MID) is gestational sac diameter (GSD), which is always measured along with the crown rump length (CRL). According to this report and the scans, baby A has about a 9mm headstart when it comes to the gestational sac, but we’ll have to see if this continues on or they even out towards the end! I looked up a chart and it was right on the mark as far as the numbers go – 21 to 32mm GSD, and 14mm CRL, which right around 7 – 8 weeks gestation. We didn’t get to hear heartbeats with this one, but we are more than happy with the news that we did receive! Our next scan will be the 12th week scan – which will be a marker that we’ve never made before in our attempts in the past. In so many ways, we can’t believe that this time will be rolling around at the end of September! K and I couldn’t believe how fast everything was going, because before, reaching the 12 week mark felt like an eternity and a half! I plan to write her a letter soon to check in with her. In the meanwhile, more posts to come, but we’ll be trucking on our way to IN, so this one will have to be short and sweet. Stay tuned :)!
Today was our fourth scan, and man, did it hurt! When she started the ultrasound today, I winced in pain because I could feel that my ovaries were swollen from the follicles that are growing inside. I might’ve also been just hangry because I had to fast this morning so they could run some blood tests and a urine analysis for the anesthesiologist. By the time we got to the clinic by 1030am, I was pretty ravenous and asked Anna if I could get the blood and urine work done pronto so I could eat something, and she helped set it up right away. Then we got called in for the doctor, and K stood by as she started measuring, and the largest one is 15.8mm, which is great! In the past cycles, I would usually trigger around 16 – 18mm, and wondered if this would speed up my egg retrieval, but instead she changed my protocol to decrease Gonal-f to 150, and upped the Merional to 225. She also started to put me on Cetrotide so that I wouldn’t ovulate early, which is what I was concerned about. Next scan is this Saturday, but in the meantime, I’m hoping my ovaries will behave and relax so that the next ultrasound won’t be super painful. I am starting to look like a bloated fish, so I know the time is pretty near. She is still estimating next Tuesday, which seems far and close at the same time, haha. We also asked if they would do ICSI, and they said they would. I also asked how long it would delay the embryo transfer to do PGD on all of the embryos. She recommended that we should do a fresh transfer with the first 3 blasts without PGD first, and if that failed, we could do PGD on the rest of the embryos that they would freeze on day 3. The doctor said that she wants to attempt doing a fresh cycle at least once before moving onto the frozen embryos. In this clinic, they really are big believers in fresh over frozen, and since we’ve never had a fresh embryo transfer because I always had OHSS, we thought this plan was a good idea.