Today I discovered that I’ve been off by 1 day when counting the weeks pregnant. Apparently “my day” is Wednesday, not Tuesday. This means the ultrasound is for 6 weeks and 2 days. Everything is still so small that it is difficult to see details. The gestational sac doubled in size since last Friday. And we did get to see a little flutter but the heart rate monitor inside the ultrasound couldn’t record the tiny little heart beat just yet. The doctor said there should be a clearer image next week.
Isn’t it amazing to think that a heart beat can be seen at so early a stage? With my two previous pregnancies the earliest image I had was almost 9 weeks. I’ve never experienced visual and numeric proof so early on. Watching the big amazing changes happen each week are simply awe inspiring.
Food wise, just about anything with curry sounds very appealing. Unfortunately for me the closest good Indian and Thai food is about 30 minutes away. I have considered making the drive for 3 – 4 entrées to go so I can refrigerate them and spread out the delicious enjoyment over a few days. The more I think about, the closer it becomes to being a reality.
Today marks 6 weeks pregnant! There was a lot of resting over this past weekend and I see more in my near future. This morning was also my first bout with nausea. It came and went with such a ferocious nature and with seemingly no particular triggers. But extreme fatigue and nausea are good signs that things are progressing.
Fruit has been added to my list of pleasing foods. It is so amazing how drastically pregnancy changes your body already at such an early stage. I cooked up a Mongolian beef stir fry with mixed grains for dinner the other night, it smelled amazing! But I couldn’t get past the first bite, no thank you.
This morning was another check on P4 levels then the first prenatal ultrasound. I was able to take video of the monitor during the ultrasound and sent it to the IP’s immediately after the appointment. The level excitement and appreciation to be able to experience the ultrasound first hand was so precious. There were a lot of rose, smile face, and heart emoticons.
Below is a picture of the first ultrasound. The black oval in the middle of the uterus is the gestational sac measuring at 7×6 mm. At this stage things are too small to pick up any greater detail until the next weeks.
5 1/2 Weeks Gestational Sac
I will be having weekly appointments of blood draw and ultrasound until I graduate to my OB/GYN around 10 weeks pregnant. Which means every Friday there will be a visual update on the little surro baby.
Today marks 5 weeks gestation or 5 weeks pregnant which is consistent with how I’ve been feeling; dead tired and smells are definitely affecting me. I have been craving a lot of vegetables and eat a farm fresh duck egg with every breakfast.
This morning was a case of standing in front of the open fridge and all I knew was that I didn’t want sweet… I pulled out leftovers of Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga) and a duck egg. Heated the leftovers while cooking up the egg with a soft yolk and married the two. My pregnant taste buds were Most Pleased.
Some amazing photo links of 5 weeks gestation
This morning was my second blood draw for Beta hCG. The results show a strong increase to 273 mIU/ml! That means the hCG levels increased 162 mIU/ml in two days. The IP’s are thrilled and keep reminding me to get plenty of rest. It is so precious to share their excitement with each good update.
Along with my hCG results I also received my treatment plan through 10 weeks gestation. This means I will continue the PIO intramuscular injections along with Endometrin and Estrace on a daily basis until 10 weeks or my doctor says otherwise.
Speaking of visual, I took a First Response hpt today to surprise the IP’s with a clear visual to accompany the numbers.
Those are some solid lines!
The next appointment will be next Friday for my first prenatal ultrasound and a follow-up blood work to check P4 (Progesterone) levels. Hopefully I’ll have a little image to share. The image will mostly likely just show the yolk sac at that stage of development. But how exciting to get the first official visual of their little one growing away in my foster womb.
After a little snafu… the beta hCG results are in! My blood work from yesterday showed my hcg at 111 mIU/ml. My IP’s have an official positive. 😄
More blood work will follow quickly over the next week or two to make sure the hCG levels double. This is to confirm the pregnancy is progressing before the ultrasound can pick up details, such as a beating heart at 6.5 – 7 weeks.
hCG levels in weeks from LMP (gestational age)* :
3 weeks LMP: 5 – 50 mIU/ml
4 weeks LMP: 5 – 426 mIU/ml
5 weeks LMP: 18 – 7,340 mIU/ml
6 weeks LMP: 1,080 – 56,500 mIU/ml
7 – 8 weeks LMP: 7, 650 – 229,000 mIU/ml
9 – 12 weeks LMP: 25,700 – 288,000 mIU/ml
13 – 16 weeks LMP: 13,300 – 254,000 mIU/ml
17 – 24 weeks LMP: 4,060 – 165,400 mIU/ml
25 – 40 weeks LMP: 3,640 – 117,000 mIU/ml
Non-pregnant females: <5.0 mIU/ml
Postmenopausal females: <9.5 mIU/ml
Natural Cycle IVF
Natural Cycle IVF (NC-IVF) is a new option of IVF treatment. Also called drug-free IVF, NC-IVF requires no fertility medication at all and thus avoids the drugs that would otherwise stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles.
During the treatment, we follow the development of a naturally selected follicle and perform egg retrieval prior to its ovulation. It is commonly agreed that a naturally selected egg is of the best quality, and thus has the most potential to become a healthy baby.
Women who choose NC-IVF favor its holistic approach that mirrors that of natural conception. It is ideal for women who live a drug-free lifestyle, but still suitable for women who are less likely to produce multiple eggs even if high doses of fertility medication are used.
The above is from the website for Life IVF Center in Irvine, California where my IVF doctor is and where my transfer took place. Even though that says Natural Cycle IVF (NC-IVF) is a newer IVF treatment option, it is actually how IVF began before the field of fertility medicine began incorporating the use of fertility drugs to promote greater production of eggs during one cycle. The first human to have been born after conception by NC-IVF was Louise Joy Brown (born 25 July 1978). So after all of these year the fertility medical field is starting to come full circle and very slowly embrace NC-IVF again.
There are several doctors and clinics that are not on board with NC-IVF yet because there is only one embryo at a time to work with. It has the potential to significantly slow the process and bring down the success rate if the first transfer is not successful. That also means the mother or egg donor could have to go through multiple egg retrievals, which is an uncomfortable procedure.
My experience as a carrier thus far with a NC-IVF has been a fairly pleasant one because I was able to refrain from injections until the day of transfer. All prescription hormones leading up to that point were oral or vaginal suppository. Granted, the injections I am receiving now are intramuscular but it is a common IVF injection of Progesterone in Oil (PIO).
See below for additional links regarding Natural Cycle IVF:
In the IVF/Surrogacy world, the wait between transfer and the first beta test is hard. You start to read into possible symptoms; I’ve been dead tired, smell aversions, and cravings. The pressure to take every brand of home pregnancy test (HPT) that you can get your paws on at your local Target/Drug Store/Grocery Store is intense. Not only is there pressure from your own curiosity but also from the inquisitive minds of your support system and support group that you may be in. I, on the other hand, am going to “stay the course” and wait for the first beta results. If that is when the IP’s will find out, I think it only fair for me to wait until then to find out as well. After all, this is their child that my womb is *hopefully* going to foster and nourish and grow into a healthy bouncing baby boy. So, until Wednesday, we must all wait.
Hi! If you’ve stumbled across my blog I am in the process of migrating it over from a different platform that was not performing to my standards. This blog follows my surrogacy journey as a Gestational Carrier. Come back soon!