C is for C-Section

29 weeks…

At around 10 weeks pregnant, I was released into the care of my regular, local OBGYN. A first OB appointment as a gestational carrier is not that much different than having one for a pregnancy with your own baby…And because almost all agencies require their GCs to have already had children of their own, the visit should feel pretty textbook and familiar. You will be asked the same questions, fill out the same paperwork, submit the same insurance info (unless the intended parents purchased a separate/additional policy), and do the same tests/labs (which by this point will seem like a cake walk). Because your OB has to initially clear you to carry, he/she should not be overly surprised to see you back for this first pre-natal visit. Seems pretty textbook, right? So…Is anything different with a GC pregnancy?

I may have mentioned this before, but it is important to note again. My OB has delivered all 4 of the children I have given birth to thus far (two of my own and the GC twins, who are now 4). He will deliver this baby girl as well, on February 28th. This stipulation is one of the few I have in my contract. To be honest, he is the only person I trust to take care of me during a pregnancy and delivery. And many in his office know me pretty well after 15 years (Dave the Sonographer, I’m talking about you). But turnover at a doctor’s office happens, so of course there are people there who don’t, or haven’t yet caught on that I am a carrier. Enter unintentional awkward questions. The gal at the front desk took a minute to understand why MY family’s genetic history doesn’t matter for this pregnancy when filling out my forms. There were also more conversations than I would like to have about insurance payments and who is paying for the baby, when, and how (for the record, I pay up front, immediately, as we go using my policy, and the parents reimburse me). With the twins, the intended parents were local, and gay, so I always had two guys accompanying me to my appointments…Most pregnant women don’t travel with an adult entourage. Sometimes conversations about the pregnancy, changes to my body, and its functions, etc could get awkward in front of people (and 2 guys at that) I was not in an intimate relationship with. And let’s not talk about when I had internal exams to see if I was dilated! But, hey! We are all adults here. Just as awkward, or maybe just lonely, is going through the appointments for this pregnancy alone. Listen…I know it is 2018 and plenty of women have babies on their own, or maybe their significant other just can’t make the appointments. But I swear to you that this time around I am seemingly the only one solo, Every. Single. Time. And of course, there is the postpartum follow-up appointment where most new moms take their babies along, but again, I will go solo.

Honestly, guys, this stuff isn’t as bad as it sounds. Some of the conversations at these appointments are a little more thought-provoking and involved, though…And we haven’t even talked about what happens at the hospital yet! One thing my doctor said/asked has stuck with me, but it was actually said prior to me officially signing to carry again (and has been discussed a couple of times since). ‘What if you have to go on bed rest or be hospitalized for someone else’s kid and cannot be home with your kids? What if you cannot exercise or end up sick? Are you prepared for what you might have to give up or lose to help someone else?’ Was I? That discussion haunted me, and for a short time prevented me from signing back on. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t still occasionally cross my mind and come up in appointments… Something that wouldn’t even give you pause if it was your own baby.

Annnnnnnd then there is the subject on how this GC baby will make her appearance. I had an emergency c-section at 39 weeks with my son (6lbs 7oz). A VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) might have been possible with the twins IF they weren’t twins, so c-section number two happened- see photo of recovery- at 38 weeks and 3 days (5lbs 3 oz and 6lbs 12oz). At that first OB appointment with this little one, I asked if a VBAC was even on the table because it was something I was interested in. He got a good laugh out of that and I said I was just kidding. I wasn’t. If this was my baby, I might push the issue, take a bit more of a chance. But since this precious cargo is going home with her family, another c-section it is. With just over 10 weeks to go, I am preparing for another surgery and recovery. Until then, stay tuned while my family grows another



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