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Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the waiting game begins. While watching your surrogate's baby bump grow is exciting, nothing compares to seeing the sonogram pictures from ultrasounds. Whether attending the appointments in person, participating via facetime, or gazing at emailed pictures later that day, ultrasounds offer the intended parents a sneak peek at their unborn baby.

What Are They?

The ultrasounds produce sonograms, or images, from the ultrasonic waves. The OB-GYN will use the information collected during each ultrasound to determine how the baby is developing and may potentially identify any health risks or concerns.

At the ultrasound, the gestational carrier will lay back on a table while a technician squirts warm gel all over her belly and runs a wand over the gel. Images will be displayed on a monitor for everyone to see and enjoy.

When Are They Scheduled?

There are generally three ultrasounds scheduled throughout the pregnancy. Once a home test or bloodwork yields positive for pregnancy, an initial ultrasound will be scheduled. This typically occurs anywhere from six to eight weeks into the pregnancy.

Interestingly, it may be important for the surrogate to arrive to this ultrasound with a full bladder. The ultrasonic waves travel better through fluids. Since the fetus is still very small, there are not yet enough amniotic fluids to help the process.

The first trimester ultrasound is generally scheduled anywhere between ten to fourteen weeks into the pregnancy. Results from this ultrasound will help your OB-GYN better determine the due date and whether your surrogate is pregnant with a single or multiples. This ultrasound also confirms that the fetus is developing inside the uterus and that it is not an ectopic pregnancy, with the fetus developing inside of the fallopian tubes.

Somewhere around twenty weeks or mid-pregnancy, the second trimester ultrasound will be scheduled. Many expecting parents are most excited about this visit. In addition to the wonderful, detailed images of baby's fingers, toes, and little face, this is when the baby's gender may be revealed. Not all intended parents want to know the gender before birth, and it is important to note that sometimes mistakes are made and the wrong gender is identified.

However, typically the gender reveal is accurate and can help the intended parents prepare for a child with gender specific input. At this ultrasound, the doctor will also check the development of baby's internal organs and examine for any birth defects.

Occasionally, an ultrasound is scheduled during the third trimester; however, this is not common for all pregnancies. Ultrasounds at this stage are usually scheduled to monitor babies who have gone past their due date, or because the doctor has a specific reason for wanting to monitor the baby's growth and development.

Just because third trimester ultrasounds are not common, does not mean you should worry if the doctor schedules your surrogate for one. Intended parents will be informed if there is truly something to worry about. Otherwise, each ultrasound produces sonograms to bring home and cherish while you eagerly await the arrival of your little love.

*Please note: This is a general synopsis. You should speak with your healthcare provider for more information and details about your individual process. 


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