Archive | 11:05 am


7 Oct

On Thursday I got off the subway in Soho, on my way to work, and happened to pull my phone out of my bag.

I saw that I had three missed calls from Matt and right away my brain went to one thing: bab(ies). Could this be the big news, if we were pregnant or not? We didn’t think we’d know until the weekend. But with three missed calls from Matt, all right in a row, I figured something was up, one way or another. I hoped against hope for good news and called him back.

“Guess what? We’re pregnaaant!

I almost walked into a tree.

“I thought we weren’t supposed to know until at least tomorrow!”

“I did, too,” Matt said. “But then this text came in. And we’re pregnant!”

He read the text message to me. It was such a surreal moment, walking down Prince Street on my way to work, and hearing that, via text message from 7,000 miles away in India, our surrogate had tested positive for pregnancy.

Matt and I traded ridiculous little text messages back and forth during the day.

“You’re gonna be a daddy!”

Needless to say, we were thrilled, especially with one round of surrogacy behind us that hadn’t worked out. I think having gone through that experience made us even more grateful to have a positive pregnancy test confirmed.

The clinic e-mailed us the beta hCG test results shortly after we got the text message. I did a little reading online to find out more about hCG, wanting to understand more about what the results meant.

The hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (better known as hCG) is produced during pregnancy. It is made by cells that form the placenta, which nourishes the egg after it has been fertilized and becomes attached to the uterine wall. Levels can first be detected by a blood test about 11 days after conception. (Read more here)

Our beta hCG results (shown on the right–click to enlarge) show that our surrogate’s levels at 1.7 weeks were at 581.22 mlU/ml.

Below that, there’s a chart showing that 1.3-2.0 weeks in the hCG levels are often in the range of 16-156. (Before we got our results, the clinic told us that they ideally wanted to see a number over 120. Last time, when we had our failed first round of surrogacy, our hCG number was 4.)

As you can see, our number is more than three times higher than the high range listed in the chart. So, what could that mean?

As I learned online: possible multiple pregnancies.

Yes, that was the sound of our jaws hitting the ground.

Indeed, as we called two of our friends who were recently pregnant and told them our hCG results, they both said right away, “Oh wow, sounds like twins.”

Of course, we’re still early in the process. All we know at this point is that we’re in business, and not if we have one baby, or multiple babies. It’s the first trimester, too, and obviously a lot can happen. We learned that 10-15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, so obviously we’re keeping our fingers crossed, and we’re aware that we’re not out of the woods for a little while yet. (After an ultrasound confirms a heartbeat at eight weeks, the risk of miscarriage is only about 3%. The risk falls even lower–1%–after a normal ultrasound at 16 weeks.)

It also helps that our surrogate has had a baby before (all surrogates at our clinic must have at least one child already), and relatively recently at that. (Her son is now two.)

We started making our phone calls, telling our friends and family the good news (with the asterisks, of course, that we were early into the first trimester, but still excited, and sharing because we promised to share, etc.).

Matt’s mom was thrilled. She called back several times during the day to chat more about the news. When I told my grandparents there was so much happy yelling that I had to hold the phone away from my ear for a moment.

“What great news!” My grandpa said. “You brought tears to my eyes!”

It’s been so fun to call and share the news with people. We’re definitely feeling the love from the friends and family in our lives.

So, what’s next? We have our first ultrasound the week of October 22. That’s when we’ll be able to tell if we have a single pregnancy, or multiple pregnancies, and we’ll get a little more news about the health and development of the fetus(es).

Needless to say, that date is circled in bright red in our minds. We’ll try not to chew our nails (too much) before then.