I’ve been very silent during this part of the journey which is very unlike me, but something you deal with when going through infertility is living everyday in fear. I’m finally starting to break free from that emotion as the weeks go on, appointments pass, and of course, feeling the sweet flutters of our little one. I’ve had many people ask if we have planned the nursery, etc. and the honest truth is….No. Like I said, part of infertility isn’t just getting pregnant, it’s then making it each week in hopes of no miscarriage, no bleeding, no cramping, or unexpected scares. Anyone who has had a miscarriage I’m sure can relate. It’s very scary, but very real. We have our 20 week ultrasound this Friday and I’m praying following that I’ll be able to comfortably start planning for baby #2. I really am looking forward to decorating the nursery and getting Payton involved in this process. She asks on a daily basis how this little one is going to come out of me, and I have not found the right words yet 😉 Much of this blog is not only for you, but for me as well. Someday I’m sure I’ll look back and read all these posts while holding our baby. So let me take you back to where IVF #2 all started…
Summer ended. I needed to take the summer off from all treatments and heal mentally and physically from our miscarriage in May. A miscarriage doesn’t just involve a quick ER visit and the next week you are good. You’re dealing physically with after effects and emotionally trying to stay positive and get out of bed each day. Our doctor recommended a different protocol this round hoping for stronger embryos. Last round, as you all know, didn’t work. And even worse, I had no eggs left to freeze so we were back at another fresh cycle. All was going perfectly. I went into surgery to remove the eggs and when I woke up I was told I got 5 eggs. 5?? You’ve got to be kidding me. I think I cried all the way home. I listened to people tell me for a week, don’t worry Laura, it only takes 1. Yeah I know that, but that doesn’t make me feel any better. Last round we had 16 eggs. I waited a few days to see how many of the 5 made it and if they would go back in on day 3 or 5. Of course I got the call for day 3 (success rates are lower with day 3 because the embryo is not yet at a blastocyst stage). It’s like all odds were against me. Why? What was I doing wrong? The doctor kept reminding me it’s not about quantity and more about quality. He purposely switched my protocol to get better quality. Ok I was going to be positive, it’s the only thing I could control from here. They successfully put back in two embryos and the other 3 did not make it to freeze. Now we wait – a very long two weeks.
I told myself I was not going to test on my own this time. I’ve wasted too much money on those damn pee sticks and I wasn’t about to do it again. So I waited the full two weeks for “the call”. I took the day off, I didn’t want to be at work in case of bad news. It was a sunny Fall afternoon and as I sat out on the deck, I watched as my phone rang from RMIA. I let it go to vmail. I wanted the message to be left on vmail if it were good and if it not good, I didn’t want that poor nurse to have to tell me live. What a tough job for them. I took a deep breath and knew the minute I heard her voice that it was good. The tests came back positive and my HCG numbers were rising wonderfully. I dropped to the ground shaking in tears. I called the few people I needed to call and update and on we went living another two weeks until we got to have our first ultrasound.
Week 6 came and we got to go see our little one (actually I think just a sac at that time, not much to really see!). Then all of a sudden the nurse looked puzzled and said, well there are two sacs. Wait what?? Of course there is always the chance of having twins when inserting two embryos back in, but things like this don’t happen to us. That would almost be too easy. Baby A was doing great while Baby B was much smaller and heartbeat was definitely behind sitting at 97. She said we won’t know much until the weeks pass to see if Baby B catches up or if it just stops growing. What mixed emotions and what a heartbreaking way to leave the clinic. Here we were pregnant with twins, but not really sure if one was going to make it. We didn’t talk much about it and I just prayed to God. May whatever happen, happen for a good reason. Week 7 came and Payton was admitted to the hospital with what later ended up being Kawasaki Disease. Believe me, watching your child suffer in a hospital is a parents worst nightmare. Having to do it when you are 7 weeks pregnant and sick and tired may just top the cake. I was a complete mess. I’m so thankful for my parents who were with us every waking moment, cooking, supporting, and just being there for us those 8 days. One evening while Payton was in the hospital, I found myself in urgent care with my mom as I think I almost convinced myself I had a sickness. My throat was closing in on me and I thought I had strep perhaps. I think I was so overwhelmed I just couldn’t breathe. Turns out it was nothing.
Week 8 came, my mom and I ran off to my second ultrasound while Joe waited for the doctors to come by and release Payton. I’ll never forget walking into the clinic telling the nurse if both of these babies were alive after the week I’ve had it would be a miracle. Sure enough, baby b’s heartbeat had picked up and was doing good but still measuring a little smaller. Baby A was doing fabulous. At that point, I graduated from RMIA and was sent off to my regular OB. It’s always mixed emotions at RMIA. You never want to have to step foot back in there, but these people are with you every step of your conceiving journey. They see you cry, they see you mad, they just simply understand you.
So here we were, living with an unknown fear of what was going to happen. Time went on and we got back into our routines with Payton being home and us getting back to work. Day 3 of me getting back to work and I knew something wasn’t right. I called the doctor after having some spotting symptoms. She got me in right away the next morning and sure enough Baby B had no heartbeat. I actually had a feeling it was going to happen and the doctors at RMIA did do a good job to their credit of explaining to me what Vanishing Twin Syndrome was. I was able to meet with my OB following the ultrasound where she explained to me everything that should/shouldn’t happen from here. The only positive of it is that you don’t have the same physical effects as if you were to have a singleton miscarriage. I wont’ go in depth this post on VTS, but again it actually happens more often than not. In a way…I’m not going to lie, having twins scared the living daylight out of me. Of course we would have made it work, but you start asking yourself a million questions. How do we afford this, oh no we need new cars. a bigger house, etc. It really did instill more fear than excitement in me and I think this was God’s answer to ease my mind. The baby was not healthy from the start and yeah does it suck losing another baby, of course. But I kept reminding myself how lucky we are to have one healthy baby still with us. Yes, I will always wonder what if, but I know God has a plan and this was all part of it.
So getting to week 12 was clearly not an easy ride for me. Beyond all that was mentioned above, I was dealing with night sickness and horrible indigestion. Pregnancy just does not fit me well 😉 I totally envy those that don’t have any sickness and sail smooth through pregnancy. But, I also wouldn’t change a thing. As I tell people now, I paid a hell of a lot of money to feel this sick, and I was ready to deal with it and not complain…4 months ago I died to be in these shoes.
At 12 weeks I was ready to announce. So many people had been following our journey and I felt terrible leaving them In the dark. My doctor admitted that I can’t continue to leave in fear. If I put our announcement out there, it would just mean more prayers at the end of the day. I fully agreed and was ready to come to terms with sharing our news.
At 14 weeks I found myself back in the doctors office with more spotting. I tried not to get too worked up as I thought maybe it was some side effects of vanishing twin syndrome. Of course it was a Sunday morning so I had to call after hours emergency. She explained to me to just take it easy and get in Monday for an ultrasound. Unfortunately, I know what a miscarriage feels like, and I knew I wasn’t expericing one at that moment. But anytime you have spotting during pregnancy it’s a very scary feeling. I was able to get in right away the next day. I stared up at the ceiling until I could hear the doctor say there’s the baby’s heartbeat. Once I heard that I looked at the screen and saw a heart flicker. Our beautiful baby doing just great with a healthy heartbeat. It came to be that my placenta is covering my cervix a bit which caused some of the spotting more than likely. The professional term for it is Placenta Previa. We will see if it starts pushing up over the next few weeks. If not, they take the baby by C-section a few weeks early so that you don’t go into labor on your own. I was glad it was nothing too serious oviously. I joke that I could become an OB by the end of this pregnancy. I think through our infertility journey, I will have almost experienced everything that there is to experience. It’s pretty incredible what one human being can endure. Just when I thought I couldn’t be any stronger, I continue to find a way to be.
I’m so glad 2016 has come to an end. I feel bad saying that because it did indeed give us this baby inside me right now, but I just don’t know if I could have taken one more heartbreak. It was a long year with so many up’s and down’s. I often think about why God made me go through all of that. I’m not sure I fully understand the why yet, but I do know I’ve learned countless lessons along the way. Every heartbreak led me to another chance, another friendship built, another prayer prayed, a closer relationship to the Lord. I could go on, but somehow I know the positives will outweight the negatives. So as I wrap this up, It is my ask that you keep my family in your prayers. We may have beat infertility, but we are not at the end of the journey yet. As I mentioned, we have our 20 week appt coming up and we pray we are given the news that we have one healthy little baby. Thank you all for your support, I couldn’t do it without all our prayer warriors out there. And for all of those reading this that are where I was 4 months ago without a baby in your womb, just know I’m thinking of you. I know this may be hard to read because you are hurting, because you may be feeling jealous, because you may be wondering when its your turn. Just know that I was there for a very long time. And you have every right to feel those feelings. Because infertility just plain Sucks. It’s not fair. And no you didn’t ask for this. But please remember – you are not alone.