I just had some time to myself, so I figured I would update everyone on the last week! I had my 16 week checkup last thursday with my OB, and everything checked out and went well. We did a blood test to check for Spina Bifida, and am happy to report that everything came back normal for that! Yay! Did you know they can do surgery while I'm still pregnant on the baby to correct the spina bifida if I did have a problem? I thought that was so cool to learn! The advancements in medicine are fascinating to me sometimes!
It is great getting to experience this again as a surrogate with the intended parents. This is the first time they have gone this route, and they have expressed that they feel good about certain things because I have experienced it before, and can sort of prepare them for what's coming. But still, there are some things that are different, as each journey and pregnancy is different.
Overall, I'm feeling great! Nausea is gone, unless I get really hungry. I am still tired, but not like before with all the injections and medications I was taking! I am enjoying this time, because it gets hard in the next few months with heartburn, and carpal tunnel!
Last friday, the intended mother called me and wanted to know if I would be willing to go have an ultrasound done, only for the sole purpose of checking on the baby. From her perspective, she is far away, has no control over the situation, and is putting all of her trust into somebody that she didn't even know at the beginning of this year. It is also the only visual she has of her baby that will be joining their family soon, and pictures of a sonogram are her way of showing her family and friends. Sometimes, you just need that extra reassurance, even when you're carrying your own baby! I was happy to do it, but told her that we may have some obstacles in the way, with insurance and the willingness of my OB office to do an ultrasound when it hasn't been indicated by the doc to do so. I told her I would call Monday morning and see what they could do. So, I called that morning and spoke to the receptionist and explained the situation: "I'm a surrogate, I don't think there is anything wrong, but the intended mother would just like to see her baby and check up on it and see how things are going! Can you help me out?"
I got the run around. Had to wait for a call back from the clinic manager, who informed me that it would cost a little under $200 for the ultrasound because it would not be covered under my insurance policy, and it would need to be paid in full at the time of the appointment. She also said that since my doctor is not recommending this, therefore they are reluctant to do this. Their typical way of monitoring a baby at this point, is with the heartbeat doppler and that's it. Okay, but still: "Can you help me ease the mind of the parents, and let us do this?" They ended up letting me make an appointment for yesterday, which was Wednesday. I arrive to my appointment, and am told that the monthly budgeted amount for October has not been paid yet (error on the agency's part), and so I cannot be seen unless that is paid in full and well as the cost for the ultrasound. I had the intended mother on the phone and she was happy to pay for it and settle up with the agency afterwards. Great!
I take a seat and wait to be called back. The next thing I know, some lady that I have seen before in the office calls me back and is very rude with no smile on her face, and barely asks me to join her at her desk that is out in the open for everyone in the office to see and hear. I take a seat at one of these two chairs she has set up next to her desk, and she then proceeds to scold me. "I just wanted to be clear and make you aware that we will not be doing another ultrasound like this. This was not ordered by the doctor and she is not understanding of why you are doing this, and we will not be doing this again. Is that clear?" "If you want to have this done again, you can go elsewhere, like a 3D ultrasound place and have this done."
"Okay." I said.
"You can go have a seat back in the waiting room now." She says with the rudest tone that matched everything else she had said in our conversation.
I got up and went back to the waiting room, and started shaking, I was so upset! I know, I know, I didn't stand up for myself, and let her have it, but what am I supposed to say? I felt like I had just been scolded like a little child, and that the situation was not being understood. Why did they let me make an appointment, collect the intended mother's money for the ultrasound, and then take me back and scold me for it? If they didn't want to do it, they should have said so, and not let me make an appointment with the ultrasound tech in the first place. Instead, they made the appointment, collected what they were owed, and then made me feel like absolute crap and not welcome in their clinic.
I sit in the waiting room for 5 more minutes, and the sonographer calls me and is happy to see me. Her room is all the way in the back of the office and so I just hightailed it to her room. We get in the room and she asks how I'm doing, and expresses that she is happy to see me again (she did all the ultrasounds for the last journey, for the couple in France).
I just looked at her and said: "You know what? I'm not doing great right now. I just got scolded for being here and doing this ultrasound from the clinic manager. She was incredibly rude and I am sort of ticked off!!!"
She said: "What happened, I feel like I'm in the middle of something and I don't know what's going on!"
I told her what I was there for and why, that this was not something that my OB was asking for, but that the intended mother wanted it done and for good reason!
She understood completely and said she would do her best! I told her that the intended mother was waiting for my FaceTime call and that she was so excited to see her baby! She then tells me that typically they don't allow any facetime, video, or pictures, but that she would go and check for me. She comes back and says that indeed, no they will not allow me to have a FaceTime call with the mother.
At that point, I asked the sonographer to step out for a sec because I needed to call the intended mother and this was probably not going to go well. She was happy to do it, and told me to just open the door when we were done.
I called the intended mother and filled her in on everything. She was definitely not pleased, for good reason, but agreed to still have the ultrasound done as long as we could get lots of pictures. Alright then! I called the sonographer back in and she was happy to do her job! She got lots of angles, we were able to see feet, hands, face, stomach, bladder, kidneys, and we even saw the baby opening his mouth to drink. She said she could tell that everything was working well since the stomach was filled with liquid, and the bladder was filled which told her that everything was working well! Yay! That was all we wanted! She did great at labeling everything we saw. No complaints with the sonographer at all! She is fabulous and she gets it!
I walked straight out of the office and looked and spoke to no one! I was able to FaceTime the mom when I got to my car and share all the pictures with her! She was thrilled and excited and happy to see her baby!
The couple is coming for the 20 week appointment with my OB, and for the ultrasound that we will have done as well! That should be a fun appointment since we will definitely be talking to my OB about this experience. If I think about it for too long, I get mad, so I'm trying to just tell myself that we will deal with it later. This is a direct reflection on my OB and her practice. If they can't be understanding of the situation and a little sensitive to it, then I will find someone else that is. I certainly hope it doesn't get to that point though!
Thanks for reading my ramblings! :)
Will update in a few weeks after the 20 week appointment!