We had our first appointment with the OB on Nov. 24, and we were 12w5d (almost 13 weeks). We had agreed that F could use whatever OB she wanted, and she decided to stay with the OB practice she had seen for her own three kids AND her first surrogacy. I was relieved that they had some experience with surrogacy.
An OB office is a very strange place for an infertile after time spent (served?) in the RE’s (reproductive endocrinologist AKA fertility doctor) office. RE offices are grim places filled with anxious, stressed couples. There is little smiling and often a great deal of physical and emotional pain due to cycling, bloodwork, drugs, ultrasounds and failure. In contrast, the OB’s office is filled with sunshine and happy people. Pregnant women in various stages waddled in. Small children cooed and garbled, receiving none of the glares they would have received in a fertility clinic. In short, J and I felt like we had entered an alien place. It was like that episode of Grey’s Anatomy when Cristina stumbles upon the dermatology floor, and it is so clean and happy compared to her bloody, often-tragic world of surgery. J looked at me and muttered that he wasn’t sure if he could handle all this happiness so early in the morning and almost felt like he needed a drink. So did I.
Our appointment went well. I was a little nervous when the doctor couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler, but she quickly got the ultrasound machine. I had also been reassured by friends that we would have at least one appointment during which they wouldn’t be able to find the heartbeat, so I was prepared. Unfortunately, I had neglected to pass on that wisdom to J.
The u/s quickly confirmed that everything with WB (our nickname for the baby) was fine. We saw it swim from one side of the sac to the other, and I was stunned a little freaked out by how long his legs were and how much longer than the rest of him they seemed. If you’ve ever read Anne Rice’s Mayfair witch books and the Taltos in them, it is exactly what went through my mind!
It was the week of Thanksgiving, and we were very thankful to have yet another ultrasound confirmation that everything with WB was ok. A weird thing happened when we returned to the waiting room: we ran into people we know. There are about a billion OB practices in the area, and it never occurred to me that we might run into people we knew, so I wasn’t prepared for it. We haven’t exactly kept our infertility a secret, but we hadn’t advertised it either, and our recent success hadn’t been broadly advertised yet either. I briefly considered trying to pretend I was there for a routine annual exam (since it’s also a gynecology practice) but since most people don’t bring their spouses to those, I decided to go with the truth.
It was my first experience spilling the beans–including that our pregnancy was a surrogate pregnancy–and the couple, there for the appointment for their second (and third–it’s twins!)–didn’t bat an eye at our news, which I appreciated. You run all these scenarios through your head about what the reactions you receive will be like and they are usually horrid, so it was a nice surprise that this couple said a simple, “that’s wonderful!”