Seven weeks into my first pregnancy as a Surrogate (and 5th total), it was time for the first OB appointment. Having four children myself, this was a pretty standard first meeting appointment, I knew. However, I was going to a brand new doctor that I let the Intended Parents pick out and had to get used to their office, staff, and ways of doing things. From beginning to end this pregnancy was going to be an adventure I knew. I wasn’t prepared in the least for what I would find out in the doctor’s office that day.
Comparing this pregnancy to my own was like night and day. I had never been so sick in all my life! I guess I was one of the “lucky ones” with minimal to no morning sickness with pregnancy… until now that is. From the moment I would wake in the morning until the moment I went back to bed in the evening I was green with nausea. I did my best to keep still during the rough moments, as movement only made it worse. My husband tried helping anyway he could, taking care of the kids, buying me ginger ale and crackers, even getting me some preggo pops that were said to help nausea. Nothing worked. I was miserable. Thankfully at that first OB appointment I was given medication for the extreme nausea with the downside that it made me fall asleep. I took that medication nightly for weeks, it was a lifesaver.
Nausea aside, there was the issue of weight gain. It baffled me with how little I was able to eat or keep down that my jeans were snug at seven weeks. Of course I had gained a good bit of weight being on the fertility medications before I ever got pregnant, but I didn’t think it was that noticeable. My outfit of choice (and as a stay at home mom I was lucky enough to get away with it) was comfy lounge pants and an oversized t-shirt. Dressing this way was comfortable, but that paired with the nausea had me feeling like a slob. I detest that feeling, and even as a stay at home mom would take pride in looking nice for my husband. But, to my surprise he said he loved the sweats and hair in a ponytail look and wished I was more comfortable wearing it. He always finds ways to make me feel beautiful!
The OB appointment went smoothly, lots of talking, lots of questions and explanations as to our situation. It’s not every day you run into a surrogate and Intended Parents. After our meeting with the doctor she wanted to send us over to ultrasound and take a look to see how the baby was doing and if my transfer doctor was right in his suspicion of twins. Back to the waiting room for at least twenty minutes (this was the busiest OB office I have ever been to) all while I am trying to entertain my two youngest children and feeling like I am going to lose what little was in my stomach.
My name is called; we are ushered back to one of the ultrasound rooms and are crammed in to every corner. Trying to keep my girls far from being able to touch anything was a chore, at 1 and 3 years old, they are curious and bored. As I lay there on the table letting the ultrasound tech take a look around, I am doing my best to keep the two girls out of trouble. At one point my 1year old had managed to stand on her tiptoes (while being buckled in her stroller) and get into the ultrasound tech’s iPhone. Sorry lady, I was doing my best, but they were much more into her “toys” on the desk than the ones I brought for them.
After getting her initial look around the ultrasound tech turned on the large TV screen on the back wall so everyone could get a good view. Right away we saw two sacs and two teeny tiny little babies in each of them; the Intended Parents were on cloud 9! They were staring at the images of their babies, just little blobs right then, but with beating hearts and life in them. According to the ultrasound technician they looked great and measured right on time, with a due date of August 2nd, 2010.
Being closest to the tech, I was the only one to hear a little gasp. My heart jumped. Please don’t let anything be wrong! We had been through too much for anything to go wrong. I looked over at the Intended Parents who had tears in their eyes just staring at the black and white images on the screen. The ultrasound technician looked at me and mouthed “three”. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?! My eyes darted to the big screen, same two sacs were still there only now that she moved the wand over my belly a slightly different direction there were now 3 little blobs. TRIPLETS! With a press of a button she paged my OB back into the room who immediately said “Well now we know why you feel so sick!”
Dr. S explained to us that I was now considered high risk with the triplets, mostly because the identical twins can pose many risks. Wow, we came in expecting one or two babies and find three! Everything changed with that appointment. The ultrasound tech explained that they were tiny, but that she needed to be able to see a dividing membrane between the identicals by week twelve. My heart was racing, what did this all mean? I had only ever carried single babies, and now was pregnant with three at once. The words high risk scared me, I wanted everything to be easy and perfect, and being high risk made that seem nearly impossible.
I left the OB office that day and called my husband to tell him the news. He was as shocked as I was, but supportive that I was fully capable of getting safely through a triplet pregnancy. Letting the mornings events sink in, the girls and I sat in the van for a few minutes before being able to drive away. In that moment, the view inside my belly was dramatically changing the lives of not only the Intended Parents, but my family’s as well.