Today is Monday 14th January 2019, and we’re woken by our alarm at 0430. We had to leave ours by 0510, and on a train from Birmingham New Street to London Euston at 0550. We can’t believe its actually our 6 week scan already.
But before we even get to our appointment, which is at CRGH at 1130 - we’re attending the Press Launch of Fertility Fest 2019, hosted by Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier which is being held at the acclaimed Barbican in central London at 0930.
Fertility Fest is the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility,
reproductive science and modern families. Check it out; www.fertilityfest.com. We’ll write a separate blog item on Fertility Fest as it deserves its own stage (no pun intended), plus there’s a tonne of valuable information we’d like to get to you all, so as its an Arts Festival in its own right, it quite rightly needs a spotlight on it.
Similar to all our other appointments we met our surrogate from her train and we took the short walk to the clinic, taking the opportunity to catch up, check in and see how her family is and generally catch up face to face as we make the 15 minute walk to Great Portland Street from Euston station. What struck us immediately is how great ‘C’ looked, she really did have ‘the glow’ you read about, despite still having to take a load of tablets and daily injections (most until we’re 12 weeks pregnant).
We arrived at the clinic, checked in and sent upstairs to the second floor, we were seem pretty much immediately. That’s the great advantage to CRGH, the appointments run on time and so smoothly and the team made us feel really special and at ease, despite Wes and myself being nervous. C got unchanged behind the curtain and Wes and I waited. The Doctor checked her details and initially Congratulated us on the positive test result, and then proceed to talk to us about the scan and what it usually picks up. He covered all bases, including what to expect if he can’t pick up a heartbeat.
‘C’ was ready, the Doctor began to get the probe ready, as this is an early scan - its an internal ultrasound which enables him to see where the fetus is located and what the ‘sac’ looks like. He’s check to ensure the fetus was located exactly where it needed to be. He began to scan her. What felt like 2 minutes was probably only 10 seconds, he then said the words every parent and intended parent wants to hear... ‘and there it is, Congratulations, there’s just the one!’ (Phew!) He pointed out the sac, the fetus and then totally surprised us by turning on the volume of the equipment and the heart beat boomed out - check out the video to catch our reactions. Wes’ eyes filled up and I my hands were shaking as I was holding my phone filming the scan. That’s our baby’s heartbeat, right there, 188 beats per minute to be precise - spot on for a fetus at 6 weeks and 5 days old. He continued to measure and scan our surrogate, just to check everything else was normal, and thankfully everything was just as it should be. Scan done! Simple as that. Watch the video here;
We all then moved to the waiting room to then wait and see the Nurse, who was equally as pleased for us as we all were, more Congratulations and then C had to have more meds ordered for her as she was running low and only had a few days supply left. She has to continue taking the medication until she’s 12 weeks pregnant, most of the meds fall off around 10 weeks, so there’s still a way to go, but we’re getting there and she’s an absolute selfless trooper - the bruises on her thighs and hips were the size of small oranges from the injections. Surrogates absolutely rock, we salute you and even though we’ve been through this before, we’re still amazed at how strong and focused she is and has been. Her family have been an absolute rock too, sometimes you can overlook the husband or partner of surrogates but they need respecting just as much.
So our next appointment is booked in for the 11th Feb, where we'll 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant, the size of a Fig for those interested or a fortune cookie, depending what ap you have! ;)
We’ve opted for the Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) screening: This cell-free fetal DNA test can be done as early as after 10 weeks of pregnancy. The test uses a blood sample to measure the relative amount of free fetal DNA in a mother's blood. It's thought that the test can detect 99% of all Down syndrome pregnancies. We’ve also opted for the additional gender test. The laboratory analysis looks for Y-chromosomal DNA (only found in males) in the surrogates blood using a specialist technique that can amplify small amounts of DNA to easily detectable levels. Y-chromosome DNA will only be present in the sample if the baby is a boy since the surrogate does not carry the Y-chromosomal DNA herself. If the analysis does not detect any Y chromosomes, then the fetus is female and we will have a baby girl. We will keep you all updated -