So, some of you may have noticed I've been absent a bit lately. Part of that is due to a changing work schedule. Part of that is due to focusing my free time on creative endeavors. And part of that... well. Let me explain.
Niki, my wife, has congenital heart defects. Basically, there were a multitude of errors during fetal development that have needed various surgical fixes over the years for a grand total of 16 surgeries (17 after today), two of which have been open-heart. To say she shouldn't get pregnant is an understatement. Not because her eggs or uterus are bad, but because the increase in blood volume during pregnancy would likely kill her.
With that in mind, we've been considering surrogacy for quite some time. Several months ago I went to the lab where I was led into a sparse chamber with chair and sink and told to do my part. In the movies, the guy is always given a choice of magazines, videos, or other assistive materials to aid in their donation. Let me tell you right now, movies are liars
. If it wasn't for an active imagination, an iPhone, and several years of practice, our hopes of pregnancy would've been dashed right then and there.
Early last month, after a couple weeks of administering her own injections I had the honor of giving my wife her "trigger shot." I figured if we're gonna get pregnant, I should've "poked her" at least once.
Thirty-six hours later, the doc was driving a needle into her ovaries to harvest as many eggs as possible. Later that day, our genetics met and some of the eggs fertilized. Five days later, we transferred two textbook looking embryos into LD's (our surrogate's) womb.
A week later, the first pee-sticks began to show signs of life. Blood test follow-ups (Beta HcG, IIRC) had numbers through the roof and doubling as they're supposed to. We were pregnant!
Last week, LD started feeling crampy as if something was wrong. She went to the doctor to get things checked out and was greeted by the following:
Now, a smart man would look upon that and see two egg sacs. I looked upon it and realized we're having a robot:
Seriously, look back at the original and tell me he's not there!
The doc told LD everything was going great, and her cramping was just her body getting used to the idea of two embryos deciding to stick around. I told her it was 'cause she wasn't drinking enough motor oil to appease little Wall-E.
Last Friday, November 7th, Niki and I drove to Oklahoma (where LD lives) to see the first "official" ultrasound. Up on a big flat-screen TV, hopes of my very own R2-D2 were dashed as the two eyes had distinctly transformed into two much larger embryonic sacs. Peering into the first, a small blip within an oblong shape flickered binarilly between bright and dark. Niki and I were not looking at a robot. We were beholding the heartbeat of a flesh-and-blood child. Our child. It was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. A beating heart in a tiny us only half a centimeter long. With a matching flicker in the sac next door! We've got two healthy hearts beating within LD's belly!
Wow! We are officially expecting twins!
The doctor labelled our pictures #1 and #2, while saying that they typically call them "Baby A" and "Baby B." We explained that we were fine with that, as we'd already taken to calling them "Thing 1 and Thing 2" anyway. Niki's an elementary school librarian, so she considers the The Cat in the Hat
reference fitting instead of silly. My suggestions of "Gork and Mork" or "Tomax and Xamot" were quickly vetoed. LD wants to call them "Boomer" and "Sooner," but I have promised a swift kick to the shins should that happen.Thing 1
is measuring in at 0.52 cm with a heart rate of 111:Thing 2
is measuring in at a hefty 0.55 cm with a heart rate of 110:
With those numbers, we've determined that babies are healthy and spot-on with where they should be. Well, Thing 2 measures a day older than he actually is, but somebody has to be the overachiever.
Anyway, that's what's up with me. Now, if you'll excuse me I need to get the wife off to another lead revision. *sigh* That's a whole 'nother story...