Congratulations, You’ve Graduated

Following our 8-week ultrasound last week, Elle and I received phone calls from our fertility nurse saying…

We’ve officially graduated from the care of the fertility clinic.

I have listened to the voicemail several times, but it still seems too good to be true. Of course, we aren’t out of the woods yet, but we have now been transferred to a regular obstetrician and will be monitored like a normal pregnancy. I am no longer a current patient of our fertility clinic.

As someone who has lived with chronic illness since I was little more than a child, I have never really been able to “graduate” from any doctor’s care. This is new territory for me! And in all honesty, it feels a little strange, like we are stepping out into the unknown. I feel completely out of my depth leaving the infertility world I know so well and heading into the pregnancy world where I don’t feel like I belong. There is also a large part of me that feels like a fraud here– maybe because I had stopped believing this would ever happen or maybe just because I am not physically carrying the baby.

Yesterday we had our first appointment at the new office. Since we were only scheduled for a preliminary meeting with the nurse practitioner and there were no plans for another ultrasound, Elle and I planned to conduct it over the phone. For the most part it went well, both of us asked and answered questions, and we were able to begin mapping out some of the upcoming appointments. Toward the end, Elle asked if we could hear the heartbeat and without any warning she was even given an unofficial peek at Sweet Pea! She snapped a couple quick pictures for us, and I am amazed that we have already seen the baby four times now (including as an embryo) when many have not yet seen their little ones at this stage. We will get another opportunity next week at our first “normal” ultrasound.

Now that we’ve had our first appointment, Elle was able to sign some paperwork that will allow us to speak to the doctor directly. This is something that our surrogate agency had recommended last year, so we had been hoping it would be possible. It was also important to Elle since it will give us the ability to deal with any questions or concerns we have over the baby without being required to go through her and therefore allows us to be more involved in the pregnancy. I’m not sure that we will ever need to contact the doctor ourselves, but it is nice to have this piece in place as well as to be recognized as an integral part of this process.

When prenatal testing was brought up at our ultrasound last week I realized that I can’t continue to take the pregnancy one day at a time, which I had been doing in an effort to protect myself from potential loss. Not only do I want to be prepared going into each phase of the pregnancy, but because of our situation, it is so important for everyone to be on the same page concerning each new step. Back in November, prior to signing our surrogacy agreement, we talked about many issues regarding a hypothetical pregnancy and beyond. Kyle and I had long ago decided to forego any invasive prenatal testing, but I wanted to be clear on our reasoning so Elle is able to communicate our wishes if we are unable to be present. We are very thankful that Elle has graciously stepped aside in order for us to make these important decisions on the baby’s health, but as it is still her body, we also want to be respectful of that.

Tomorrow is our 10-week milestone. Had we kept our journey and treatment private, we would still not have announced our pregnancy to our friends and family at this point. I am both a little surprised and very relieved to have almost reached double-digits, but I have found that much of the past pain has remained. Even though I never expected that we would receive a positive test only to walk off into the sunset without a care in the world, the extent of the ripple effect of damage that infertility has caused in our lives has caught me off guard. I am hoping that these feelings will start to ease up soon.

To see the unofficial 9-week ultrasound photos of Sweet Pea, click here: https://inpursuitofafamily.wordpress.com/ultrasound-photos/

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16 thoughts on “Congratulations, You’ve Graduated

  1. Ashley, “DO NOT FEEL LIKE A FRAUD SWEETIE” although it is a new experience to you it goes on all the time and remember your seeds are in Elie and only her body is carrying them for you! It is terrific we have woman in the world that will do this for couples who want to have a baby as you and Kyle. Now that you have graduated, the reality will set in with all the ultra-sounds and happiness will set in and before you know it you will be choosing a baby name and decorating the room and before you know it baby will be here and it will be the best day ever! Love you guys, good luck always, Aunt Diane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Aunt Diane. I agree, women who are willing to carry children for couples who need the extra help are truly incredible, and we are SO lucky to have Elle in our lives. She has given us the most amazing gift already just by agreeing to walk this difficult path with us, and now we have are doubly blessed! Love you too 🙂

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  2. What a great post. Happy graduation 🙂 Not too long now and you’ll breeze right into the second trimester. Elle sounds really terrific, I hope she’s having an easy pregnancy so far. Love the picture… Like a little baby gummy bear. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As in this entire journey you once again have articulated your feelings beautifully. You have passed another huge milestone and I know everything will fall into place and with it your confidence. Love you! Gram XOXO

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