The first week of pregnancy starts the first day of your menstrual cycle when you aren’t actually pregnant. So at the time of the Embryo Transfer, I was about 2 weeks pregnant. At the end of the T.W.W. we were considered 4 weeks pregnant with a 5 day old frozen embryo (5dt – remember this from Part 2?)
We kept the pregnancy a secret from everyone simply because the chances of miscarriage were still rather high. (Although, I think there is such a secrecy stigma around miscarriage that there should not be – but that’s another post for another time). The fertility clinic instructed us to continue injections and return for an ultrasound at 6 weeks. In the time between the blood work and the ultrasound I took several pregnancy tests because I was so paranoid that the embryo had “fallen out.” Even though there was no medical proof or symptoms for that matter.
We officially graduated from our fertility clinic after hearing our sweet baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It became the most amazing sound in the world, one that I would never get tired of hearing throughout my pregnancy. For those of you that are curious most insurance do not cover IVF let alone Reciprocal IVF. Unfortunately for us this was true so this was the point that insurance started footing the bill.
We planned to wait till the end of the first trimester (12 weeks) before telling anyone our news but on our way back from San Antonio we just couldn’t hold it in much longer and began telling our immediate family. We got each individual little gifts to surprise them like t-shirts, key chains, lotto tickets, etc. Etsy really is a beautifully/dangerous place.
Explaining our conception story to our OBGYN at our first appointment was rather interesting and continued to be a point of discovery throughout the pregnancy. For example, we knew very little about the donor’s birth statistics and since Krystal is a twin her statistics would be inaccurate to a singleton. Because of this we had very little information about the expected growth or other complications that might arise. Additionally, the receptionist (rather rudely) required several forms from Krystal and I to give her access to my medical records or billing. We had to fill out these forms each time the office changed systems throughout the pregnancy.
The first trimester brought on exhaustion and morning sickness as well as continued bruises and lumps in my butt because I was still taking daily progesterone injections. At 10 weeks the excitement took over us and we made the big announcement public. At 18 weeks we did our Sneak Peek test and had our Gender Reveal in December. We were expecting a precious, healthy baby girl!
There were also things that were missed in our care specific to lesbian couples. For example, Krystal did not consider breastfeeding Amelia herself until a few weeks before my delivery date. Our doctor regretted not informing us that if Krystal wanted to lactate it was a process that would take several months and one she would have needed to start in the first trimester.
The second and third trimesters went by in a blur of exhaustion, ice cream, nesting, and morning sickness. Around the 7 month mark Krystal and I reached out to an attorney who specializes in LGBTQ family planning. We began the process of adopting our unborn child.
This is another area where Krystal and I fall into a gray area. In the state of Texas I am considered the legal mother of Amelia because I physically gave birth to her, even though the child is biologically Krystal’s. When preparing to do the egg retrieval Krystal and I both had to sign a document stating that although she could be considered an “egg donor” she intended to parent whatever child was the result of her eggs. The document also stated that even though I acted as a surrogate or gestational character I intended to be a parent to any child produced by the transfer.
Krystal and I wanted all legal protection possible so our lawyer recommended that we both legally adopt Amelia when she was born. We began the process at 7 months because there was lots of criminal background checks, child abuse reports, references. marriage certificate, birth certificates and any other form of legal documentations you can think of. However the adoption could not be finalized till Amelia was born and we completed a home visit by a social worker.
I was due on May 12, 2019 and at 38 weeks with stretched membranes my doctor was already concerned about Amelia’s size since she was measuring over 8 pounds. My doctor scheduled an elective induction at 39 weeks. On May 3rd I taught my last day before maternity leave and took a nap only to wake up to my water breaking at 38 weeks and 5 day.