Why Me? Now What? (A Personal Journey Through Infertility)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Fibroids Suck...

I've said it before, and I will say it again... Fibroids Just Plain Suck. I think I'll get a T-Shirt saying so, or start a smear campaign warning others... either way, I want those vascular masses to suffer.

Tuesday's appointment went fine. The babies appeared to be cuter than even just 2 weeks earlier when we did a quick Ultrasound to peak in and check that everything was ok. Yup, Dr. Okeane seemed to be feeling just a little bit more confident about my condition this time, a reaction I welcomed after all the worrying as of late. He scanned over the fibroid next... and his look quickly registered concern at the shear magnitude it had become. It was hard to tell... it's size and positioning, on the small machine in the office, but I was scheduled for a follow up at the Maternal Fetal Centre next week, and would be able to get a better view of what exactly we were dealing with at that time. Again he threatened bed rest... something that I know is an eventuality, but surely he didn't need to start warning me at only just under 16 weeks! So I had mild cramping on and off for the last few days, it certainly wasn't excrutiating, and I had 24 weeks to go!!!

As I walked out, I felt confident that I wouldn't have reason to be back for another checkup until 3 weeks later on October 5th, the day I was asked to come back in...by then I would be nearly 20 weeks and past yet another important mile stone. I was a confident women preparing for a busy week at the office... now that I got the all clear from the Doctor, I really needed to make an effort to prepare for this weeks meetings. I had an important client flying in for meetings on Friday, and needless to say, I had been a bit preoccupied, but I would put my head down and get organized.... starting tomorrow; I was WAY to tired to start today!

When I awoke on Wednesday, I found it more awkward than usual to get out of bed. Each turn or roll seemed to bring on a unique tinge or stab of pain... but eventually I got myself upright and starting my day. I felt stiff... like I had slept on the floor in a cold sleeping bag, the weather HAD turned for the worst, with the rain falling for the first time in weeks... this cold and wet weather must have aggravated the mild case of arthritis I carried with my as a ruminant of my youth. Brought on by competitive sport, I have come to accept the way my joints remind me of a severe weather swing... achy and sore even before I catch a glimpse outside at the day's forecast.

But as the day progressed, so did the discomfort. The mild cramping turned more intense, and the sharp pains I felt when I awoke seemed to follow every time I moved. Thank God I was seeing Leslie later that day, she would work her magic and get me feeling normal again! But by that afternoon, even Leslie's combination of needles and analysis didn't dissipate the uncomfortableness I was feeling. At 7pm... as I rolled around on the floor in agony after discovering that there was no more Tylenol in the house (The only approved pain relief I was granted due to the babies) Mike got up, drove through the rain, and became my Knight in Shining Armor returning with the Econo Bottle with the easy open lid to help ease my pain. After popping 2 of these Extra Strength saviors, I laid back and attempted to fall asleep.

You know it's bad when the next day, you are literally scheduling your next opportunity to pop the little red pills on Microsoft Outlook. The bottle said "1-2 every 4 hours, not to exceed 8 pills a day." Since I had woken in the middle of the night to pop 2 more, I had 4 more pills to last me until 8 pm that night... how would I schedule them to be the most advantageous? It was as though I was solving a mathematical mystery, or at least the Rubic's cube. I studied, compared time tables... and finally settled on a total of 7 pills over the 24 hour period...after all I WAS pregnant, and probably shouldn't take the entire maximum dose right? Only taking 7 made me feel less of a junky.

I made it to 8pm (Hurray for small victories!) and then replotted my strategy for that night's sleep... I really didn't want to take more than necessary, but I was still in SO much pain... but even after taking 2 pills in desperate need for sleep (since the night before was met with a constant shifting and turning in search for a more comfortable position), I discovered that if I thought LAST night was bad, I hadn't seen anything yet. Every movement was excrutiating.... sharp pains were intermingled with pressure that I didn't even know existed. It truly felt as though my innards were being physically pulled down through my cervix every time I stood up. Trying to remain still didn't seem to help much either, since after several moments of relief, my current position would become unbearable and I would search for one that could sustain me a bit longer. By morning I knew I couldn't get through another day with this pain, and realized that amid appointments and Client meetings I would have to arrange to get in to see Dr. Okeane for a suggestion on what was going on, and what I could do to stop it... I just couldn't ignore the pain any longer.

By 9am I was sitting at my desk, calling the doctor... hoping to get an appointment before having to pick up my client (I received a bit of good news on the drive in, when he called to say he had missed his first flight and would be arriving a few hours later...) I now had until just after 1pm to see Dr. Okeane and head back to the other side of town to pick the client up at the airport.

When I was told to get into emergency immediately, I wasn't truly prepared... Emergency? Was it really that bad? Apparently Dr. Okeane was off today, but one of his counterparts was on call for Emergency, and I had been instructed to make my way there... and fast. My world started spinning... I had called Leslie earlier that morning to get her suggestion on what to do, and she had suggested this may be the outcome...so I trusted that it was what was needed. 10 minutes later I was in the car, having arranged for a colleague to pick up my client if I was not able to do so, and had alerted both my husband (who was leaving work immediately and would meet me there) and my inlaws (who I needed to call and alert since we had dinner plans for the following night, that I was now unsure we would be able to keep). Moments after arriving at the hospital and talking to the Triage Nurse in emergency, I was given a flashy plastic bracelet in case I suddenly forgot my name or birth date, and was asked to wait for a bed to come available. I sat to wait, and seconds later Mike walked through the door... looking worried, sorry and frazzled all in one. I think I caught him off guard when I shakily reported to him that I was driving myself to the hospital... memories of the last few months had flooded back, and you could tell he was simply worried that another terrible twist was waiting in the wings. Mike's parents showed up too... unable to just sit at home after my call earlier, they wanted to be there... to do something... and so we sat...made small talk... and waited.

2 hours went by, and I convinced Mike's parents to head out... there was no need for all of us to sit there in the bustle of the Emergency Room Lobby... they had things to do, and we promised to report back as soon as we knew anything. Almost on queue, as they walked out the front doors, my name was called to the nurses station, they had a bed for me and we were moments away from relief!!!

From the moment I was ushered into the back to a private room and asked to change into the blue robe and matching housecoat it was a barrage of tests, questions and consultations. Doctors... Interns...Specialists... Technicians... some nurses with warm blankets (the ones I liked the best) and others carrying specimen cups and needles (ok... they weren't my FAVORITE, but they were very nice too). It was a whirlwind that left both my husband and I in a bit of a daze. They ruled out an ectopic pregnancy (Duhhh), gallstones and liver failure fairly quickly. Then they checked on the babies, and they seemed fine despite all the chaos of the last 72 hours. One tightly wedged in a corner of it's amniotic sac appearing to be sucking his thumb, and the other doing somersaults beside him, they were as content as they had been days earlier in Dr. Okeane's office. So if everything looked fine, what the hell could be causing all the pain and pressure?????

The Fibroid.

It wasn't until being wheeled down to another department for a closer more detailed ultrasound did they spot the concern... the large fibroid we had been alerted to at our 13 week Nuchal earlier last month was sitting proudly now atop my uterus. It had grown some, although exact measurements were not taken.... it was evident that it had literally shoved my uterine cavity to the far left, and was causing the increase in pressure. Not only was this beast wedged against my liver and rib cage, but it had invited a friend to the party. There resting at the middle of my pubic bone, right above the birthing canal, was a newly grown fibroid. Smaller than the other, it's position would explain the intense feeling of pressure and dropping at my cervix... it certainly confirmed the previous decision by doctors that there was no way I was having these babies the old fashioned way. A C-Section was now most definitely in my future.

And so there it was, the explanation for my torturous pain... so once the Gynecology Resident and Intern confirmed that my cervix was tightly closed and high (confirming that despite the pressure, I had not started to dilate-Thank God), they realized 2 things.
  1. This would be a painful and long pregnancy.
  2. That pain management was the only thing they could do for me, since surgical removal of the fibroids was impossible until after delivery.

After 6 hours of tests, getting increasingly hungry, tired and most of all in pain (since I hadn't taken any Tylenol since early that morning), I was told they were preparing to admit me to the Gynecology Ward for observation and pain control management. I was stunned. They wanted to keep me at least the weekend... placing me on and IV of Morphine to see if they could get the pain under control before tapering me off to Tylenol 3's and hopefully sending me home. She jokingly said they hoped not to have me as a guest for the next 25 weeks, and that they would do what they could to have me comfortable enough to go home early the following week being able to manage it with oral medication and the elimination of Morphine.

As she left to start the paperwork to transfer me from my now familiar bed in Emergency to my new home on the 20th floor, and Mike outside making calls to his parents and my colleagues updating them on the news and canceling dinner plans made for both that night and the following evening, I sat in silence wondering how and why this was all happening. I didn't like the idea of adding stronger drugs than necessary to my system, for me or my babies... surely it couldn't be good. I know the Dr. said it was safe, but was it truly necessary? I have a strong pain tolerance, perhaps at times to strong... or stubborn, I'm not sure which... but was this supposed to mean that my babies were to ALSO have this tolerance? Had they suffered enough? Should I let them administer the IV of powerful drugs and let all of us get some rest????

By the time Mike and the doctor returned to my room I had my answer. I would not choose to be admitted. There was no need to take up a hospital bed to be medicated. I didn't want to use the "top down" approach. I wanted to start with less drugs and add more IF necessary. We talked, Mike stood in silence, still scared but knowing that there would be no convincing me otherwise if I had decided it was what was right for me... and the doctor listened and nodded in understanding. She agreed to release me on 1 condition... I would take the Tylenol 3 (2 pills a day, to a maximum of 4 times a day... Ahhhh the familiarity of it all!) but if over the next 48 hours, the pain was not controlled, I was to return to the hospital and immediately admitted for observation... there would be no more day trips to the hospital this week. I had this one chance to get the pain under wraps this weekend, or they would do it for me by Monday. And with that, we gathered my clothing, took the prescription to the pharmacy, stopped by Wendy's for something to eat, and retired to bed at home. By 9pm that night I had taken my second dose of pills, felt woozy and relaxed and for the first time in what seemed like forever, fell asleep in comfort.

This morning I awoke feeling well rested and more confident that the pain was now being controlled by me and not the other way around. I have a follow up appointment with Dr. Okeane on Tuesday...I'm sure he will be surprised to see me, but by then I hope the pain will be gone and I can report that the Tylenol 3's have been placed back in the medicine cabinet...

It's been a crazy road thus far. Last night as we drove home from the Hospital Mike asked me if, looking back I would have moved forward with IVF without removing the fibroids knowing now what I have experienced... my decision was easy. Yes, I would have... every doctor has told me that the babies are likely happy and unaware of the beast growing alongside of them... the pain has been something I have had to deal with, but the babies haven't... and in that sense, I don't regret moving forward. Yes, the pain is more intense and more "everything" than I ever imagined going into this journey, but blessed with carrying identical twin babies makes every ache and pain some how worth it.

24 weeks to go... hopefully more good than bad, less sleepless nights than those of peace, all in preparation for our little miracles to be welcomed into the world. Who WOULDN'T deal with a little pain for the prize at the end of the journey?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So Much Time Has Passed...

Over a month since writing last... so much time, and so many things have transpired over this last few weeks, yet I have found little time to sit down and write about them.

Today, I find that time, settled into our new home, at least as settled as one can be when surrounded by boxes to heavy to lift in my condition. Mike has been working alot, making it difficult to get things unpacked before I find myself begging for sleep at only 8pm. My mother came into town this last weekend, to help with some of the "new house" chores... lining the drawers with that protective bumpy plastic, putting my linens away neatly on the top shelves of the linen closet... all the things I surely would have left for weeks due to the enormity and boringness of the tasks. And so, I sit... surrounded by boxes; contemplating the last weeks while trying to find a comfortable spot on the couch where the babies aren't making it completely unbearable.

The babies... they're doing fine... seem to be growing strong and progressing as expected, right on par with the singleton charts out there. They seem content enough, and at the last few ultrasounds have been busy poking each other in the head vying for attention by the technician when measuring and counting heartbeats... already competing, a sign surely of things to come.

Things haven't been exactly smooth sailing these last 5 weeks though. There was a scare at 10 weeks... out of the blue, in the middle of the night, I awoke to a gushing of blood... so much so that it soaked not only the bed but the towels I used to move myself to the washroom to call the doctor. At 3:00am I am sure he wasn't thrilled to hear from me, but his concern was genuine and he ordered me to either make my way into emergency immediately (however a 4 hour wait in reception may result) or get into a horizontal position, monitor the bleeding and get into his office first thing in the morning. We chose the latter... with the bleeding stopping after about 20 minutes... and when we arrived the next morning to the doctor's office, they discovered.. nothing. The babies heart's were beating away... there was minimal blood pooled in my uterus, that I was warned could cause some cramping, and I was sent home with no real understanding of what could have been the result. It wasn't until my High Risk OBGYN appointment 2 weeks later that they confirmed I wasn't RH negative, potentially causing a risk to the babies if our blood was incompatible... and questioning if this could have been partially explained by the loss weeks earlier, but everything seemed to be progressing, so I was told not to worry.

Not worry... it's funny, how you immediately become protective and worry about your children even before they enter this world. I check on them daily (After ordering a doppler from an online company to help reassure me that they are both still doing fine). The galloping of their little heartbeats have become easy to find... side by side... on either side of my stomach. Sometime last week they both decided to move to the right, perhaps bored with their recent surroundings... but the presence of the massive fibroid made it difficult for them to get comfortable. After hours of sharp shooting pains I can only equate to their little legs kicking this swollen tender mass of tissue, they realized it wasn't worth it, and have moved back to their rightful home just to the left of my belly button.

I have another appointment today, they are watching me closely... something I find reassuring... we'll see today how much weight I have gained.... it was 11 pounds as of 2 weeks ago. Surely I have gained a few more despite my lack of hunger and my inability to eat more than a small portion at each meal before feeling as if I am about to explode.

I'll write more now... now that I am "settled" and the computer is back up and running. I find it therapeutic to re-hash the moments... makes everything seem so much more real; and makes March seem in some strange way, that much closer.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Mother's Instincts

I haven't been feeling well for a few days now... major pressure in my upper stomach cavity has left me with a few sleepless nights, and some painful moments as I tried to carry on as best possible. I was relieved that today I would have the chance to "look around" at the ultrasound and rule out another surprise attack of OHSS.

My morning started off with acupuncture... could there BE a better way to start one's day? Relaxed... feeling like I was doing something truly good for my body... it was nice to spend that hour in utter quiet absorbing my worries and replacing them with love and nourishment for my little babies growing inside me. In mear hours I would be walking out of the office with our first babies pictures!!!! It all seemed so exciting! I was only disappointed that Mike was unable to join me... but bringing home picture would allow him to experience everything I got to see on the screen... so it was ALMOST as good.

As soon as I lay back on that cold table and felt the warm gooiness of the ultrasound gel, a sudden uncomfortableness came over me. I don't know what it was exactly, but I suddenly... for the first time, felt very alone and worried. As I lay there with the technician silently going about her measuring and notations, I began to panic.... I just needed her to say "they look great" and then I could lay back and let her carry on with her duties... but I didn't dare speak up asking her for reassurance, and she never offered it up freely... and so I lay in absolute fear.

It went on for what seemed like hours (But that ended up being just over 60 minutes in the end... still a miserable amount of time to spend in a paper dress with gel on your stomach.) As she methodically went about her business, I began a game of my own... I would breathe deeply, surely masking any chance of hearing the babies 3 tiny heartbeats without requesting me to hold my breath. THAT way I could reassure myself that all was ok. "Hold your breath for me please" she said almost on Queu".... and as I held my breath that first time, I smiled at my masterful plan... I would soon be more relaxed!

5 minutes later she asked again "One more time... hold your breath".... and so I did... which moments later was greeted with a "Great... Thank you!!".... 2 down and one precious heartbeat to go....

And then she stopped. Placing the wand back in it's holster, she said it would be a moment while she consulted the doctor on shift, and she would be right back. I couldn't hold back my fears any longer... I asked urgently for some reassurance, clinging to some small hope that I had been paired with a brilliant technician who was able to measure the heartbeat of the third baby even amidst my deep breathing. "Did you see all three heartbeats??" I said, desperate... Hopeful... angst ridden.... "Well, No" she said quietly.... "I cant really say much before the doctor joins us, but it seems that baby A (previously known as the single fraternal triplet) has lost it's heart beat and is significantly smaller than the other two babies". And with that, she was gone. I was left alone on the cold table with only my thoughts and a stomach covered in goo.

I wanted to cry... in fact I think I allowed a tear or two to trickle out as I lay there in the almost darkness. But I wouldn't... Couldn't...not now, not here. I needed to be strong, or at least appear to be one of those strong women that could take news like this and not let it crumble her entirely. Moments after wiping the residual tears from my cheek the door reopened and along with the technician was a woman who apparently was the doctor on duty that day. She reached for a chair preparing to give me "the news".... I cut her off...not wanting to hear another clinical descpription of my tiny baby's demise. " I know" I said... and she immediately looked relieved. Even in my anguish I managed to make HER feel more comfortable.

As the doctor re-examined things, I was searching for answers...why did this happen? How did it happen? Were the other babies doomed? Almost instinctively, she started sharing what she saw...(Surely recognizing this look on my face having been the bearer of bad news more than her fair share of times I am sure) "The other babies looked fine" she started...with ooohs and ahhhs almost to enthusiastically compensating for my sad news moments earlier, she snapped photos of the little ones for me to take home. Now she moved to the small sac sitting still and quiet. Zooming in, she discovered a snake looking line coming from the side. It was described as a hemorrhage. Apparently something had happened in the last couple of days that forced the placenta to hemorrhage, and thus stopped the heart of that tiny Baby A. So I had my answer... sort of...it was something... but who know's what, that caused the little heart to stop beating. It wasn't natural selection in the most common sort, it was trauma that caused this news. The guilt hit me like a freight train... only to be followed by an intense fear that whatever I had done while being so careful these last weeks could also happen to the other to babies still growing inside me.

Once almost complete, they decided to look and see if they could determine what was causing my recent bouts of intense pain in my upper abdomen. It had been a nuisance since my egg transfer nearly 2 months earlier, but lately the sharp pain and inability to move without stopping to gasp for air had become less of a bother, and more of a real health concern. As she moved the wand up from my belly button, it didn't take long to come across the culprit. There it sat, 14 cms... (which we later measured out on a ruler in amazement)... a fibroid that was barely attached to the upper outer wall of my uterus, that was quite literally taking up my entire cavity. My organs were pressed around it, begging for more room; but there it sat, proud and strong... almost looking like a full moon. Well THIS would explain the pains wouldn't it! Apparently, once it gets to this size, fibroids often lose blood supply adequate enough to sustain it's size. And so, it begins to attack itself in hunger... a very painful experience if I do say so myself!

The rest of the day was a blur. Instead of ooing and awing over the pictures they sent me home with, they remained in the manilla envelope until Mike got home. I feel sad.. unable to fully process the information I had been given today. Maybe I knew deep down inside... or maybe saying that is just my way of coping.... but either way, it hurts...but knowing that I have an angel in heaven protecting myself and the precious babies I am still fighting for.

Friday, July 28, 2006

It's all sinking in

Things have been a bit calmer around here....the reality has settled in, and we have shared the news with our family, friends and colleagues, since it has become increasingly obvious that I was pregnant... it floors me actually, the roundness of my tummy... the way it is stiff and tender, the most basic of tasks like stepping into a pair of pants suddenly becoming an adventure in itself.... the whole thing seeming so foreign yet so comforting at the same time.

My follow up appointment with Dr. O'Keane has come and gone... feeling more assured about the coming months after having a heart to heart. He understood where I was coming from, our decision to not look at selective reduction as an option... he didn't fight it, and actually was quite supportive with this choice. He surprised me with a concern he hadn't brought up in our original conversation, that helped explain his initial concern, and his request to have me in or a repeat ultrasound. Apparently, our initial ultrasound was a bit unclear... they knew that one egg split and that two of our babies were "identical twins" sharing 1 gestational sac. But what he was concerned with, was that he wasn't sure they each had their own amniotic sac within that outer wall. If they in fact shared one amniotic sac, complications could arise with the babies tangling up with one another and potentially killing one another... but if there was 2 amniotic sacs, the babies would be safer in their own private cocoon for the length of the pregnancy.

After the second ultrasound, he still couldn't confirm 100% that there was in fact that magical membrane between the babies, but that this was not uncommon at this early stage of pregnancy. He believed he saw it, but wasn't quite sure... and so I have another ultrasound next week to see if by week 10 the amniotic sacs could be more visible.

So we're breathing a bit easier.... feeling more assured that things will be ok, and despite being sore and uncomfortable from the rush of changes my body is experiencing; I am even more sure that we will be successful in getting through this pregnancy, and being the parents we always dreamed of.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Not Even Chocolate Cupcakes Hold the Answer When Things get Complicated

I recently thought about changing the name of my blog, I mean, after all...hadn't I "conquered" infertility? But who was I kidding there is no such thing as conquering this miserable beast...I had simply stepped around it's sleeping body by some strand of modern medicine and miracles. I was still on this journey, and honestly... the title still rings true.

Why Me? Now What?

I had my first doctor's appointment yesterday since the Ultrasound... they had to call the lab to have the results faxed to them, and midway my appointment the nurse came in and handed the confirmation to my babbling to my doctor. Needless to say, she was shocked. We knew what we would have to do... I would officially be referred to a high risk OBGYN for the balance of this pregnancy. She said things looked good... that at this point, there were no concerns, but that coming back at 12 weeks would help compare the results from Monday and ensure that things were progressing on track... all of it seemed so matter of fact, and I left feeling like things were starting to stop spinning.

I had started to feel better the moment I picked up a book and started to educate myself. I have found knowledge empowering through out this journey... and needless to say I felt powerless when I stepped off the Ultrasound table Monday morning. I quickly used online resources to determine which book would stay clear of scare tactics but give honest, straightforward & accurate information I would need to keep not only myself, but these babies healthy through the coming months. "When you are expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads" by Dr. Barbara Luke & Tamara Eberlein was that such book. Absorbing the informative and detailed plan to a healthy pregnancy of "supertwins" (triplets) was easy... and I knew that with this guidance, my husband's support and the watchful eye of my acupuncturist and doctors...I WOULD be able to get through whatever was thrown at me next.

So yesterday, when I arrived home from my afternoon accupuncture session, I felt good putting back that wonderfully chocolatty "Crave-O-Licious" cupcake with blue buttercream icing... and when the phone rang, I thought nothing of it as I cleared my throat with a large gulp of milk.

It was Dr. O'Keane... the doctor that had become my unsung hero.... with the bedside manner of a bestfriend and the medical skills of a man top in his field. I had requested him as my OBGYN after hearing he was still practicing labor and delivery and hadn't moved entirely to fertility treatments. After all...he HAD been the doctor working the day the little embryos had been placed back inside me over a month ago...wouldn't it be fitting to have him deliver these three tiny bundles of joy?

He congratulated me and said that the ultrasound had just landed on his desk. He wondered how I was feeling, and guessed that this may the reason for my recent bloating this last month, laughing that they hadn't expected THAT to be the issue. But then his tone turned more serious. He talked to me about how complications often arise with Multiples...and that women aren't necessarily built to carry three thriving babies... something we needed to think about. Had we discussed selective reduction? He was asking the question that only hours before had crossed Mike and My's conversation on the cell phone as we were stuck in traffic each driving home from our day's events. I wasn't comfortable with it...and neither was Mike. We knew there could be risks.... and most definitely a change to the way I lived my life if we went forward carrying all three babies... but bed rest, C-Sections and exaggerated monitoring and stress on my body were all scenarios we were at peace with... selective reduction to make things easier was not. We had agreed that should they spot a genetic abnormality in early testing, we would potentially reconsider our position, but to reduce from 3 seemingly healthy babies to a set of twins where risks and preterm labor still exists...just seemed out of our realm of possibility at this point.

"We would wait and see" he said...another Ultrasound was in order... at 10 weeks he felt I should come in and meet with Dr. Greene... to determine what we need to do relative to the babies growing inside. I know he HEARD me say we didn't want to look at reduction, but he seemed to press on with the issue...was Dr. O'keane slowly losing favor on the pedestal on which I had placed him weeks earlier? He reassured me that couples with triplets are split 50/50 with ones that carry on with 3 babies and ones that choose to selectively reduce the numbers growing inside... so it wasn't impossible.... but he kept going back to the risks.

As I hung up the phone, I was more confused than ever. Would I let my doctors guide me to the decision they felt was best? Or would I continue to trust my body and move forward with the best tools and support as I had when I chose to surgo surgery for my fibroids, or dismissed the option to attempt several IUI procedures... we had a LOT to consider. In the meantime, I plan on moving forward as if the decision to carry all three babies had already been solidified...I would have them healthy and strong by that next ultrasound and prove to this team of experts that I COULD do it....but for that, I needed just ONE more cupcake.

Monday, July 17, 2006

How does one feel in control one second & then...

Feel as if the world is spinning out of control the next.

I was so confident, so proud of the woman I had proven to be through the last 6 months of this journey. I had gotten through things I never thought possible, survived needles and hormones that would make normal women crazy... I had proven to myself that I was indeed strong and able; ready to raise a child. I had no doubt I would be a great mom...And Mike? Well he was placed on this earth to be a dad... I am sure of it. He is the most giving and warm man I have ever met, and so I felt excited when we saw that we were finally pregnant, and welcomed the possibilities that accompanied this long awaited news.

So when we walked into the ultrasound this morning, I was excited to get this party started... trying to keep my emotions in check, reminding myself that one precious child would be a blessing and that not seeing a perfect set of twins as a result of the 2 embryos that were transferred back over a month ago, should not be reason for disappointment. Let's keep realistic, the national average for even 1 baby in an IVF cycle is just over 30%, and for two miracles, the success rates are even lower. I would simply be happy to hear that my child was doing well, and leave it at that.

Laying on that table as the technician slathered the ultrasound gel across my belly, the anxiety took better... PLEASE GOD.... let everything be looking ok.

She was quick to offer reassurance, she immediately spotted the dark circle on the screen identified as the sac, with the white globe inside it. There, next to the white "yolk sac" was a small moon shaped form. This was our baby!!!! It's heart was beating fast and strong.... 135 beats per minute...a perfect rate for a baby this small! We were simply in awe as we watched this minute grain of rice flutter at such a beautiful and remarkable pace.

Then she stopped, added more ultrasound gel, and pressed firmly again, over and over she circled the same area...and I began to be concerned. Was there something wrong? Had something happened that had the technician scared of complications or a potential miscarriage of our precious little one? My heart began to quicken, surely the same rate as that little miracle growing inside me.

We should have known something was up the minute she said it... "I have worked here for 15 years" she started "and although I have heard of this happening, your officially my first".... WHAT DID THAT MEAN??? WHAT WAS WRONG???

Then, the news came at us from out of nowhere. Some how, the second embryo that had been placed back in my uterus last month, also stuck... and beating odds of about 1 in 16million, had chosen to divide into two healthy identical twins... I was pregnant with triplets.

Multiples don't run in the family, in fact this is a first for any generation on either side of the family tree. So how was this possible? Our minds began to race.

It's been hours since learning the news. We are still overwhelmed and scared. But honestly, even with all the fear that things wont go right, I feel blessed. Even when we involve medical intervention, the best doctors and seemingly have 100% control of a such a complex process, God reminds us that at the end of the day, he does what he wants anyway.... and for now, he wants us to love and nurture 3 beautiful babies. He brought us to this point, and will surely help us through the next 7 months... all I have to do now is let it sink in...and then start this new chapter with a newly energized focus.

I hope we can do this!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Aches and Pains

It has been over a week now since seeing that undeniably beautiful Big Fat Positive... and 3 blood tests later, all confirming that my hormone levels are where they should be, and that my pregnancy is tracking as expected.... I find myself realizing that all this pregnancy business sure isn't glamorous.

It started almost immediately. The changes to my body I mean... the bloating from the chest down made me feel frumpy from day 1, and at only 5 weeks pregnant I already was having a hard time fitting into my pants. So much so, that a trip to Gap Maternity was in order to purchase a couple pairs of pants that could hide my "state" from my co-workers at the office. This bloating was not only unattractive, but painful, as there was a constant pain shooting at the base of my rib cage from morning 'til night. At first I thought this was what everyone felt when announcing they were officially pregnant, but after some sleepless nights wreathing in pain with every full breathe, I learned from my doctor's nurse that this was in fact a symptom of the Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome I had tried so hard to keep at bay. Thankfully I haven't been forced into bed rest, and there isn't a TON they can do to ease my discomfort... I simply look like a bloated whale. The worst part, is that at just 7 weeks pregnant, it is still to early to share the news of my pregnancy with others, but my odd shape has definitely raised some eyebrows!

So with each toss and turn... we wait.... hoping that Monday, our Wedding Anniversary & the date of our first ultrasound, will bring good news that will allow me to breathe a little easier; at least on the inside.