Merry Christmas, Darlings

This will be the last blog post from the first trimester of our pregnancy!  Even though radio stations are starting to use Christmas music to usher in Halloween nowadays (hark, the herald jack-o-lantern sings…), I’ve got at least two good reasons to be especially in the Christmas mood this year – abandoning my beloved NPR to listen to holiday music practically nonstop.  (OK, I’ll admit that part of the reason that my radio dial is in another place is that I’m also totally sick of politics.)

Anyway, the song “Merry Christmas, Darling” has always struck me as a pleasant, but not necessarily great song – even though Karen Carpenter had a voice like butter, and until this year the song brought to mind our troops separated from their families over the holidays.  (If you’re in the military, thank you for your service!)  But this year, I can’t help but think of our twins when I hear Karen’s inimitably dulcet tones crooning,

“Merry Christmas, darling

We’re apart, that’s true

But I can dream

And in my dreams

I’m Christmasing with you”

It’s stupid to miss someone that I haven’t even met yet, I realize, but the primary focus of my life and my husband’s life has been on our children for the past three months.  (Don’t tell our bosses.)  I don’t mean in an overly-indulgent or helicopter parenting kind of way – or at least I hope I don’t, despite what our pediatrician might think.

My husband and I went to a group prenatal consultation that our pediatrician holds every other month for expectant parents.  It’s a great way to meet and get to know the doctor who will have your children’s lives in her/his hand.  And I certainly got to know the other parents in the room as well, at least from my snarky and occasionally judgmental point of view.  There was a couple, for example, that asked several questions about the necessity of vaccinations.  (Apparently Internet access and Google qualified them to debate some points.)  Another woman tried to get more definitive guidance on what constituted an emergency since, in her mind as a first-time parent, everything was likely to be an emergency.  #overprotective #neurotic  As I sat there thinking bitchy thoughts about the other parents, the doctor asked me to go through my questions: “You’re the only one with your iPad out, so I know you must have a list of things to go through.”  So maybe I was being a little hypocritically judgmental.  My husband, who knows me far better than I’m comfortable with, only smirked knowingly beside me.  Did I mention that everyone else’s babies were due in February, and that ours aren’t due until June?

Since I try to include some objective information in each blog post, here’s a brief update.  We’re at 12w1d based on our obstetrician’s ultrasounds (9w5d post frozen embryo transfer).  Our gestational surrogate is completely off her progesterone injections (hallelujah, for her sake!), and we’re in the process of getting first trimester screening done.  That screening process can potentially detect major birth defects like Trisomy-18  and Trisomy-21 (Down’s Syndrome), and involves three separate tests (two chronologically separated lab draws and one ultrasound) that apparently take a number of weeks to complete and interpret.  All tests are non-invasive to the embryos, and therefore perfectly safe.  With a young egg donor, we’re hopefully at low risk for any indications – fingers crossed.

I’d post a picture of our Christmas tree, but I’d be a little embarrassed because my husband and I aren’t designer gays and our surrogate’s tree is exquisitely perfect (i.e., Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store window worthy).  So I’ll wrap by simply saying that I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too, my darling children.  I’ve just one wish on this Christmas Eve: I wish I were with you.  We’ll be together next year!


  1. There’s so many emotions aren’t there? Something to think about with these types of (invasive) prenatal testing before you do it (while it sounds obvious, many don’t think about it) are, what would you do if the results are positive? It’s important to remember the tests don’t diagnose Down’s Syndrome, but rather calculate risk level – and many women even with positive tests go on to deliver perfectly healthy babies. So the question is, would you terminate the pregnancy one of these came out positive? Just some food for thought as there are a lot of hospital-mandated tests out there that women are being pushed to do even though they ultimately don’t affect the outcome the majority of the time. I wrote a bit about it here while I was pregnant this summer: Again, just food for thought, as I know sometimes it’s hard when you have so much information thrown at you and so many people around you telling you what should or shouldn’t be done. Many will try to make you afraid in these situations, I saw it myself, but go with your gut and ultimately you’ll be good.

    1. I’m truly amazed at how presciently you read between the lines of one of the fastest posts I’ve knocked out. My husband and I actually discussed this at length when we first started this journey, before we even had an egg donor. And we decided that, unless there was an especially grim prognosis (potentially like Trisomy 18), we would take whatever God (or Fate, as my father-in-law would say) grants us. I have to confess, especially now that we’re potentially on the brink of facing this kind of decision, I am afraid that I may not have the courage of my convictions (if that makes any sense). Thank you for such a thoughtful response – and Happy Holidays to you!

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