For this Skype session, we were both VERY excited because we would be finding out the genders of the twins! K was very adamant about looking at the possibilities statistically, which meant that since there is a 50% chance of boy/girl (and 25% for boy/boy and 25% for girl/girl), so I, for one, kept thinking that this was what we’d be having. BUT LO AND BEHOLD, we were in for the surprise of our life! Here is an audio clip of the gender reveal:
When you hear me say that I “had a feeling”, I’m referencing the fact that the week before, I was playing with my cats, Bender and Sketch. They are two boys that we adopted during our IVF treatments, and they have really helped me get through some of the lows of the treatments.
As I was loving on them, a thought jumped into my head, about whether I would be having twin boys, since both of my furbabies unintentionally ended up being boys. So when we heard the news, I was in utter shock the entire day! Soon I will be outnumbered by 5 boys! Here is a clip of our latest ultrasound:
Our surro Juliya said that the pregnancy has been really easy and smooth, although the boys are VERY ACTIVE! They are still measuring a week ahead, so they are big for the 4 month mark, which is great. Usually, twins are smaller than a singleton, but apparently, ours are growing like weeds! Here is a picture of her ever-growing belly:
We were so happy to hear that our babies are doing well, and that they are also not at risk for Down Syndrome. Slowly but surely, the reality that we will be having two babies sooner than later is sinking in! The focus for this month will be to get everything straightened out on the first floor, so we can move onto the second floor and start on the nursery, which I’ll document here as well.
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 :)!
This post was written by my husband, as I am in recovery mode and making mostly gibberish and absolutely no sense. He’s quite the poet.
Extract Day: Eggs Galore and Pain in Store
After all of the drugs, extraction day is here,
If we make it through this day, then we’ll be in the clear.
Full of eggs and pain, we stumbled in there,
The clinic was busy, there was barely a chair.
Off to the extraction, with the hope of relief,
But all that we found was striving and grief.
With the extraction complete, the pain soon unfurled,
There wasn’t enough pain meds in all of the world.
Now, what was one day of pain has turned into two,
And just getting by is all we can do.
But the extraction is done and there’s good news in the mix,
We got not one egg or two, but we got twenty six.
This morning was quite a rush! We were told by Yaryna that we would be coming back to the clinic today for our third scan, but we didn’t know which time, and figured that someone would get us when the time came. Unfortunately, this particular morning, we had gotten up a bit late, so much so that Kyle went to grab some breakfast and bring some back to the room for me, as I could not get up for the life of me. As I was munching on the scrambled eggs and veggies, we got a knock on our door, and the receptionist said our driver had been waiting 10 minutes, eeek! I scrambled to put on some clothes and off we went. We basically decided that pretty much anytime we are going back to the clinic, we should be ready to go at 945 – 1015, so we won’t have anymore surprises!
So we went again to meet our doctor, and I got back onto the crazy ultrasound machine that kind of looks like a torture device, which you can see below. It is not like any other ultrasound machines I’ve ever been on – the seat is super high, and what can be uncomfortable is that when you put your feet in the stirrups, you’re basically just sitting there wide open to the world, and they don’t give you a courtesy sheet or anything, which can be awkward! By now, I am used to it, but I remember the first time, I felt really strange. What makes it more uncomfortable is that there is a desk with a computer for one of the nurses right in viewsight, so I thought to myself, please don’t look up! Hahaha I was told that in Europe, a lot of the clinics are not like the ones in the US, where they give you a ton more privacy, so not to be too shocked with being exposed more than usual.
The picture above illustrates what type of image the doctor is looking at – basically each round circle is a follicle, and they measure how big they are. Note that this is not my actual ultrasound picture – they do not distribute them. Usually, they like to see each follicle grow to around 16 – 18mm before they give you an HCG trigger, shot, which ripens the eggs for release. Again, K stood in the background while the doctor was taking a look – and she murmured with approval, and even pointed out to K that the follicles were growing well. She measured some of the larger ones, and it looked like they were at 12mm, which she was satisfied with. The doctor told us that we are going to keep the same protocol, and that we should return on Thursday for our final scan. I am to fast that morning as well, so they can run some blood tests for the anesthesiologist to view for our possible egg retrieval date for next Tuesday.
This is all very exciting, because stim cycles in the past have been soooo long! But the doctor did listen to my request to start with high medications, and I think this why our progress has been pretty good so far. Our next update will be when we go for final scan this Thursday, so stay tuned!
This weekend’s entertainment consisted of going to something we both haven’t been to in a while – the circus! In Kiev, they have a building that houses the National Circus of Ukraine, and we decided to give it a shot, since Ukraine is well known for having great gymnasts, and we both love animals. This particular show was called Sun Magic (or Solar Spell, depending on which translator you are using), and it seemed to have some sort of Alice in Wonderland theme going. I was really pumped because we were able to get front row seats for $20 each, so we got to see the animals really up close! When we got to the actual arena, though, we realized it’s actually not that big, so we could’ve been fine to buy some middle row seats, which would’ve been around $8 bucks a seat – so if anyone decides to go, make sure to keep that in mind! We really didn’t know what to expect, and since a lot of it was in Ukrainian, except some famous American songs like YMCA or Up in here by DMX (go figure?!), so we were cracking up.
Overall, we were very enthralled by the whole show – it was a good 2 and a half hours of a huge variety of animals that we didn’t expect, like lemurs, raccoons, porcupines, and even a cat with its own company of mice?! I don’t think what I can say will do it any justice, so I’ll just post some videos for you to enjoy. Something to note is that we didn’t know you weren’t allowed to take photos or videos, even though everyone and their mom was doing it – but as usual, the photo narc came by to me and told me to stop, so unfortunately, we didn’t get shots of everything, but enough for you to get a good idea. We highly recommend it as a fun way to spend a weekend!
Today we came in for our second scan at the clinic, and I was a bit nervous to see whether my follicles were developing. I have already been feeling the heaviness that comes with the stimulation, but since it had only been 4 days of stimming, it wasn’t too bad. We met with our doctor, and she took a look and told me that she could see a ton of little follicles, but since we’re so early in our cycle, that she wanted to see me again the following Tuesday. Before she took a look, I made sure to have K stand next to the ultrasound machine and look at the screen, because the more information, the better! He said he could see a bunch of them, but they were still tiny. I’m guessing in American standards, they were all less than 10mm.
The doctor decided to up my stims so that I’m now taking 200 Gonal-F and 150 Merional, and since I had already had my shots that day, had me go downstairs in the clinic to get the additional 75 Merional from the nurse. In general, our trip was really quick, although the clinic was very busy, and full of surrogates and clients waiting for appointments. I’m realizing more and more that the long wait in the clinic that I’ve read about from other reviews are solely dependent on which package you choose.
After meeting some other nice folks in our hotel, I’ve also come to realize that there is some confusion about the room size at the Venice hotel. Apparently, on the website, the pictures that they have are of bigger rooms, which is not like the rooms that most of us stay in at the hotel. Also, all the rooms are a little bit different in the fact that the bathroom might have a completely different decorating scheme.
One of my personal goals while being here is to lose the weight that I gained while doing fertility treatments in the past 5 years. I would say that I’ve gained about 40 pounds from start to finish, so I have been focusing on eating low carb and doing some sort of exercise everyday. Ever since the pool opened up, I told myself that I would do 10 laps every day, but on some days, it has been too cold to go in the water, so I try to walk instead. Also, since we’re on the 4th floor and the elevator is currently not working, we get some built-in cardio every time we leave our room to go anywhere :)!