It's a miracle! That often overused expression is the only way I can describe what I felt when I saw the ultrasound of our baby. I know he/she doesn't look like much right now but that little being is growing, even as we speak, into his/her own and that's truly amazing to me. The miracle of creating life has always been a powerful reminder to me of just how fragile we all are and of what a blessing children are. I am truly amazed by this process!
We have been in the process of creating our family for quite a while now and getting to this point (as you know) has been a challenge. Now that we are here, there are all sorts of things to consider (and no, I'm not talking about decorating a nursery or picking out cute little baby clothes). As we approached the 6-week mark, we were all extremely nervous about what the ultrasound would show. We hoped for and were blessed to see our baby growing (on schedule) and were able to see and hear his/her little heartbeat. Let me tell you, I've never heard a more beautiful sound! At this point in a pregnancy, things are still fairly precarious and there are many things that can go wrong. I mean, a whole human being is being created and we are complicated creatures and lots and lots of things must go RIGHT for a pregnancy to be viable. At 6-weeks, you can GENERALLY see the heart beat but sometimes you can't. Sometimes you can hear the heart beat but sometimes you can't. Sometimes you can see a sac but have no baby. The list goes on and on and all these things run through your head as you approach the ultrasound appt. We were blessed to have a great result.
The other question on our mind was, how many babies we would see. IVF (invitro-fertilization) increases the chance that you'll have a multiple pregnancy. We had transferred 2 embryos, so if both had taken we could see twins or even triplets or quadruplets if the embryos split. We had had 3 beta tests (beta tests measure the level of HCG, or pregnancy hormone) and our numbers were on the high side so we didn't really know what to expect?
A pregnancy with multiples posed a couple of concerns for us. We were all (me, Chris and Kira) fairly comfortable with a twin pregnancy but what happened if there were more than 2? We had initially agreed that if there were more than 2 babies, we would selectively reduce. That sounded good in theory but as we got closer to the ultrasound date, Chris and I started to have serious doubts about making that type of decision. Kira had agreed to carry up to triplets so we had some flexibility BUT carrying that many babies is a risky proposition of several levels: risky for Kira; risky for the babies; and risky from an insurance/financial standpoint.
We worried about what impact carrying triplets would have on Kira's health. Would there be complications? Would she need to be on bed rest? How would she and her husband care for their son (3 year old Liam) and daughter (1 year old Ellie) with the added strain of a triplet pregnancy?
What about the babies? Would all 3 be healthy? Would they develop normally? Would there be problems that caused them to deliver earlier than they should and how would that affect them long-term?
Insurance! We had to purchase a special insurance policy to cover the pregnancy BUT if we proceeded with a triplet pregnancy, the policy would void. That's right, that would mean, if we opted to continue a triplet pregnancy, we would have to pay for all pre-natal expenses out-of-pocket. Wham! We had no idea what our potential financial exposure was?
So, going into that ultrasound last Monday, we were a little anxious! As it turns out, we saw one healthy, developing baby and that's perfect! We would have been happy no matter what we had seen and know that we would not have been blessed with anything we couldn't handle but we still felt a big sense of relief after the appointment.
Now, we were very quickly reminded by good friends that they had twins and one of the twins didn't show up on ultrasound until the 8-week check so there could still be a surprise ahead for us. We will wait and see but for now, we are happy with what we saw and feel immensely grateful to be on this beautiful journey together and with such a wonderful surrogate (THANKS KIRA!).