Sharing Feelings

8 Weeks Babies IVF IVF Success Our Plans Have Changed Blog www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

 

After my 8 week scan I was officially released from my RE’s office.  I wasn’t ready for it.  It was an emotional appointment.  My nurse came and greeted me after my ultrasound and walked me to ‘The Tree of Hope’ where I was able to stamp two sets of footprints, one for each of my babies.  Tears started to well up in my eyes.  I didn’t want to leave this place that had taken such good care of me for the last 6 months.  She hugged me, and I cried.  She told me to come back with a big ol’ belly to visit and to not be shy with pictures once they have arrived.  The hardest part about leaving my RE is that I will go from weekly ultrasounds to practically none at my OB.  I think they do 2 over the course of a pregnancy.  Maybe because I’m high risk from IVF and because of the twins I’ll get more?  It would be nice to see them more often.  I was instructed to stop taking my progesterone because the babies placentas were now big enough to sustain them on their own.  My thoughts were, ‘Um…are you sure?  Just three days ago I took my last progesterone late and had spotting right away.’  I was terrified.  I was to stop back in two days for blood work to make sure my levels were good.  Sure enough, no spotting and my levels didn’t dip at all.  It’s pretty incredible that once the twins hit the 8 week mark, they didn’t need my outside help anymore.  They’re so independent, ha!  My first OB appointment is Monday but I believe I’m just meeting with one of the nurses to get started with basic information and some sort of future plan.  We’ll see how this goes.

We feel extremely grateful that we get to have these two babies be a part of our lives.  It’s exactly what we wished for.  Dreams really do come true.  However, I can say that I feel an overwhelming (at times) sense of guilt.  There is a very large Instagram group of women who are trying to conceive.  We follow each other, send encouraging messages, mourn together and celebrate together.  It isn’t lost on me that many of these women have faced more struggles and loss than I have.  For that, I feel guilty.  Some have been through multiple IUI’s, multiple IVF’s and FET’s and still have not been able to get pregnant or bring home a healthy baby.  Obviously I’m not completely out of the woods yet, and probably won’t ever feel out of the woods until I have my two babies in my arms, but I’ve made it farther than some in our very first fertility cycle.  I truly believe my success is a mix of things.  My wonderful RE did all kinds of tests before just putting me on Clomid, which would normally be step 1 for some.  After determining that I would need IVF, she did more testing to make sure my uterus was in shape enough to accept a pregnancy.  When she discovered polyps she removed them and said it’s likely that a miscarriage would’ve happened if we hadn’t removed them.  In addition, the month leading up to my cycle I drastically changed my diet.  I stopped eating sour patch kids (which was a food group in itself for me), I began eating avocado to increase the amount of good fat in my diet.  I ate that crap every.single.day.  I cut out caffeine other than the small amount naturally found in chocolate.  I also prayed more than I ever have in my life, people prayed for us, people sent their positivity and encouragement.  Our RE’s office is nationally recognized.  They are doing multiple studies at a time to further research and development for ARTs.  Their success rates are some of the highest in the country (68-70%).  All of these things helped us, but there are women who aren’t as lucky and I hate that.

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Filling in the Blanks

It’s been quiet on the blog lately and for that I’m sorry.  We are ready to share what has been happening over the last few weeks.  After my IVF transfer, we had to wait about 10 days for our first hCG test.  In the trying-to-conceive community this is referred to as the TWW or two week wait.  After reading other people’s journeys, I was expecting it to be the toughest, longest ten days of my life.  It wasn’t.  After the transfer, I was in a pretty good place.  I listened to happy music, watched funny movies and tried to laugh as much as possible (some study shows that IVF clowns increase implementation rates – but since I hate clowns, and a lot of people do, they recommend comedies).  The day after the transfer I began to feel my embryos implanting.  I’m sure this is all in my head, but I felt twinges on both sides of my uterus.  I just knew that meant both babies were making their homes.  Over the next few days I felt similar pains, had no signs of an impending period and stayed away from any physical activity.  There was one exception – at work, I was told to inter-office our new class brochures to each department/office that needed them.  When all was said and done it was in two large boxes that were fairly heavy.  I had told my boss via email I would need help getting them down the hall for the mailroom to pick up since I was not supposed to be lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting at all.  She came out and told me to send them and she walked away.  In my anger, I attempted to push the boxes with my feet down the hallway.  It was more of a workout than I had anticipated and my co-workers were mad at me for not just asking them.  I was sure this was going to cause me to miscarry.  I was still days away from my hCG test though so I just had to keep on going.

On Friday, August 22nd, I went into the doctors office first thing in the morning for my first hCG test.  I was a bundle of nerves and my stomach was in knots.  The nurse who took my blood asked me if I had cheated, threatening to rat me out to my regular nurse if I had.  I hadn’t cheated by taking a test at home.  I wasn’t prepared for a negative home pregnancy test so I avoided it.  I didn’t expect to hear from nurse until somewhere between 11:30 and 1 when she usually calls me with blood work results.  So while I was walking Hazel in our development I was surprised to hear my phone ring at 9:30 am.  When I answered, my nurse asked me if I had cheated and I told her no.  The words that followed have changed my life.  She began with, “Then, I don’t know how to tell you this…”  In that instant, my heart sank.  I had been so confident.  And then I heard, “but you’re PREGNANT.”  I broke down in the middle of the parking lot next to my house.  Whatever else she said to me was a blur.  She had told me my hCG level and I don’t remember what she said.  All I remember is we needed a number of about 331 to indicate a normal pregnancy when I returned in two days.  Two days later I received a similar phone call and my levels had increased by more than the projected 66%.  I was scheduled for my first ultrasound on 8/31.

That morning we went in for the first ultrasound and a retest of my hCG and progesterone levels.  They found two sacks.  Baby A was measuring right at 5 weeks while Baby B was one day behind.  At my second ultrasound on 9/10 Baby A was measuring 6 weeks, 4 days and Baby B was now lagging 3 days behind.  We did see two heartbeats.  The doctor was concerned about Baby B and prepared me for the worst.  The following Sunday night I had some spotting after taking my third dose of progesterone late (I typically do it at 9:30 and it was about 11:30).  I panicked and called the answering service and was put through to the doctor on call.  She assured me that this can be completely normal for my stage of pregnancy and it’s especially common for twin pregnancies and just to try and relax until my next ultrasound.  If something was going to go wrong, we wouldn’t be able to stop it.  On 9/16 I went in for my third ultrasound.  I was SO nervous.  They took all the regular measurements and then went on to measure Baby A, who was at 7 weeks, 1 day (10.37mm) and then Baby B and when they said the measurements, I literally jumped out of shock.  10.62mm or 7 weeks, 1 day.  Both heartbeats were strong!  How lucky was I that both babies were still there?

Baby Bump - Our Plans Have Changed Blog www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

I’m currently only 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant but we didn’t want to keep it a secret any longer.  We still have  a long road ahead of us, but we won’t be going through it alone.  My next and final appointment with my RE is tomorrow morning.  The following week I have my first appointment with my OB’s office.  My biggest fear is that once I stop taking progesterone, that I could risk losing the babies.  There will be no way to prevent that.  All I can do is hope and pray.

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