Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Significance

Baby's first high five
We received the detailed ultrasound early this morning.  "No significance of isolated bilateral CP cyst" Woohoo!!  Everything else came back normal so the cyst is nothing to worry about.

I was surprised how detailed the scan was.  They measured just about everything you can imagine, even the baby's ears.  Since I experienced years of playground ridicule and was nick-named Dumbo in school, I was happy to read that the baby has average sized ears.  Later in life, I embraced my big ears and learned how to wiggle them to impress first-dates.  Brent is such a lucky guy.

The scan came in the early hours of the morning, so I was reading the details with one eye opened and half asleep.  Reading through the scan, I saw something that totally took me by surprise.  "Sex: Female".  I couldn't believe it!   Indian law says that you can't reveal the sex of a baby before it is born, but there it was - we're having a girl!  I laid there in bed for two hours, unable to sleep, thinking of our little girl and the life we're going to have with her.  Of course, we would love the baby just as much if it were a boy, but this news had me so excited!  After a couple of hours of day dreaming, I looked through the scan again and quickly realized that "Sex: Female" was noted about our surrogate - not the baby!  Oops.  :)

Not knowing the gender is kind of hard.  We're both big planners and not knowing if it's a boy or girl is kind of a big variable when it comes to baby clothes and nursery themes. There are only so many yellow & green onesies.   That being said, this baby already has 84 outfits for its first year.  I counted last weekend.  84.  That means it will wear each outfit about three times.  This baby is going to be so spoiled.

Since we've tempted fate and ignored all of the superstitions about buying baby things before the 2nd trimester and have been going all out since even before we signed the surrogacy contract, it makes total sense to put the nursery together 5 months before the baby will ever see it.  We decided on a nursery theme and have already started putting things together. We went with a bold contrast of monochrome & bright red.  A bit unconventional on nursery color, but it's coming together as a fun room, yet relaxing room.

The next scan is in a month, so hopefully it will be a very boring month for us!

Friday, October 12, 2012

18 Week Scan

We received our 18 week scan this morning.

The baby is growing right on track and we got the first 3D image of its little face.  Brent wondered if they accidentally sent us a picture of a baby monkey (he was kidding, I think).  The early 3D scans can be a little creepy.  Even still, I was so excited when I saw it! The 3D scan feels like a pretty big milestone and we're so happy that we've made it this far.  There have been so many bumps in the road, but here we are at 18 weeks.  This image makes it feel so much more real.  S/he looks so comfortable in there.

The only scary news was that the ultrasound revealed that a choroid plexus cyst has developed in its brain.  Parental instinct was to freak the hell out, but, for once, Dr Google actually brought a bit of comfort.  It turns out that, while it is a soft marker for chromosome abnormalities, specifically trisomy 18, studies indicate that there is only a 1/100 chance of it being any issue if there are no other markers (which there aren't).  Some studies even indicate that there is NO correlation between the appearance of this brain cyst and trisomy 18 or any other mental or physical development.  In fact, most of the parents of children that experienced this have indicated that their children are highly athletic and mentally gifted.  Probably coincidence, but we're really hoping this baby turns out to be a concert pianist & metaled olympian.  We want to retire young and the lottery hasn't worked so far.  That being said, and SCI being cautious, Dr. Shivani has decided to do a detailed USG scan of our awesome surrogate and also consult the Fetal Medicine Specialist.  Hopefully, we'll hear something soon.

This baby sure does like to make its parents worry.  I guess it's good preparation for when he or she learns to hang upside down on the park monkey bars or eventually starts dating.  There will always be something to worry about.

SCI scans weekly, then biweekly, then monthly until the delivery.  I wonder how many of these issues exist in other pregnancies, but simply go unnoticed since most pregnancies only have 3-4 ultrasounds within the 8 or so months (we're not even half way through, but have had more than twice as many).  I think the fact that a lot of these issues that end up resolving themselves is the only negative of having so many ultrasounds - unnecessary worry.  The flip-side is that because you're not  able to look down at your stomach or your spouse's and see a growing belly, feel the baby kick, etc. having the frequent scans helps the pregnancy feel real.

I was so happy to see this little one's face this morning.  I am already in love.  Brent, however, runs out of the room screaming when he sees it sitting on my desk.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Baby is Out of the Bag

We revealed the news to all of our friends and family in the past week.   Most of Brent's family already knew and have all been very supportive and excited for us.  Their first grand babies & neice/nephew!  We called or Skyped other friends scattered around the globe from Australia to Finland, again to much fanfare.  I told work with a lot of excitement and then we made it official - posted it to Facebook.  Once it's on the internet, it's true!

I've previously mentioned Brent's geekiness.  Fortunately, I think it's cute :)

I had not told any of my family members until that point because to say that I have a rocky relationship with my family is an understatement and I was incredibly nervous.  They're all very, very religious and they believe that my "choice" of "lifestyle" is a sin.  They also believe that associating with me is to associate with sin and is therefore against their religion to have an active part in my life.  We talk only once a year or so, though there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I could just pick up the phone and call or just drop by to say hi for no good reason.  I wasn't really sure how it'd go.  I guess it went as well as it could have.  They weren't negative and damning, but they weren't happy and excited either.  

Of course, they asked who the father was.  Brent and I decided early on that we weren't going to tell anyone who the genetic father is of either of our kids.  The main reason was because, with our goal to have two kids, one with genetics from each of us, I didn't want my parents to treat our kids differently based on DNA.  Of course, that DNA doesn't really matter to us, but I knew it would matter to them and I wouldn't be able to see them treat one differently than the other.  So we didn't give them the option.

That said, I don't think that they will be a part of our kids lives anyway.  It's sad because, other than their extreme religious beliefs, my family are the most amazing people and I feel like our kids are going to short changed for not having them in their lives.  I know how hard it is to not have them in mine.  Some of my most fond memories were with my grandparents and cousins and they won't have those memories from my side of the family.  The other part of me feels bad for my parents and sisters.  They've chosen to cut out not only their only son or brother, but now an innocent little baby.  Most people can't fathom that. I don't meant to insult anyone's religious beliefs here, but I have to say that since the beginning of man, religion has made some otherwise normal people do some crazy ass things.  It's also helped some people do the right thing.  This just isn't one of them.

Anyway, this wasn't meant to be a pity-post.  It's just part of our journey to becoming a family and it felt dishonest to edit this chapter out.  It's something that I've processed and dealt with and was able to start to come to terms way back when we first decided to start our family.  

We're very lucky to have Brent's family.  We also have amazingly close friends who have become "family" and are going to make great Aunts & Uncles.  These babies are going to be born into a family filled with love and are going to be spoiled rotten! I can't wait to drop them off at grandma's house, while Brent and I vacation in the islands for a week.  Ha! 

All in all, telling the world about this baby has really made it all feel so much more real.  We're so excited!!

Charlie & Brent