After over 4 years TTC we finally got our first BFP on 8-14-09.
It has been a long and very difficult road to having our first child; we are still nervous but extremely happy about this pregnancy.
Me - Stage 4 Endometriosis
DH - Stage 2 Varicocele
We've been through 3 rounds of Clomid, multiple Sperm Analysis, multiple HSGs and Sonohystograms, 2 Laparoscopy surgeries, Many large & painful cysts, Months of Lupron, IVF #1, IVF #2, Colonoscopy, FET #3, Laparotomy, IVF #4.
During our 4th IVF cycle we had many obstacles. Our beloved pet Abbey died suddenly at age 9, my follicles grew at an odd rate, I ovulated before the egg retrieval, did not manage strict bedrest after the Day 6 transfer of 3 embryos, and actually electrocuted myself during strenuous work in the 2ww. Definitely NOT ideal conditions.
Our embryos -
At 16DPO - 10DP6DT my beta came back at 497. I have nausea throughout the day along with fatigue and sore boobs. I have a strong feeling we may have twins, but I have another week or two before our first u/s.
Please send positive thoughts that we will be beginning a new phase in our journey to a family life.
19DPO - 13DP6DT beta results are 1497
23DPO - 17DP6DT beta results are 8816
Luckily my hcg levels are right in line for twins. No matter how much I feel that there are twins its still just an idea until the u/s. Constant nausea and fatigue really are my main symptoms with the occasional headache, dizziness, twinges, food aversions & cravings, and mood swings.
Appointment for Ultrasound #1 on 9/11/09 at REACH - 7w6d
We confirmed my intuition of twins!!! I am so pleased we waited for Dr. Teaff to do the ultrasound instead of another doctor. She was so happy and said we were one of the pregnancies of the year! Guess we've been a tough case for her, lol. Both babies measured exactly where they should 1.2 cm and their heartbeats were 143-149 bpm. She checked each baby twice to verify and so that we could video the monitor. We also made her look for a secret 3rd baby just to make sure!
Everyone has been so happy for us and its starting to feel real. It was such a relief to hear those heartbeats.
I've been coping with a little cold that has kept me coughing a lot, I hope its starting to ease up now we're headed into the 10th week. Sleep has been a must for me and my boobs are just so sore it hurts to move...bloating makes me look huge by the evening but I don't mind. Nausea is still hanging around but has eased up a teeny little bit. I'm weaning off some other meds and hope the withdrawal symptoms will stop soon.
Appointment for Ultrasound #2 on 9/25/09 at REACH - 9w6d
Both babies are still hanging in there and looking beautiful! We are so happy Dr. Teaff let us video the whole thing, its going to be so special to watch those movies over & over again. The twins were both wiggling around and pumping those little hearts! Twin A measured 2.9 cm and Twin B measured 2.7 cm and they both had heart rates between 169-179 since they had been dancing. We saw the umbilical cords too!
Dr Teaff has been amazing through our entire journey and gave us a hug before leaving and insisted we send her updates of belly pics and baby pics! She is genuinely happy for us - again we must have been a memorable & difficult case, lol. I'm certain she has been the 'guru' I have had dreams about for many years. I really will miss her and would recommend her and REACH to anyone with infertility problems. Seeing the twins actually moving this time has been a real eye opener and makes pregnancy actually real. I'm ready to go shopping!
Appointment for Ultrasound #3 on 10/09/09 with MFM - 11w6d
The NT Scan was today at a different specialist clinic in Charlotte. The pictures on the screen were very clear and crisp; even though they wouldn't allow us to video any of it we really enjoyed watching them move around a lot more. And they look like people now, finally!
The NT measurements were perfectly normal and each had heartbeats around 170 and measured at 4.85 cm each. My due date is set for April 24th, but with all of my recent reading about twins I fully expect to have 2 screaming children in our house before the end of March - that is 5 months away!
Both babies -
Twin A -
Twin B -
We also scheduled the anatomy ultrasound in 6 weeks, holy cow! Then we'll really start the shopping spree.
Appointment with Nurse on 10/14/09 - 12w4d
We had an informational appointment where the nurse, Melissa, took down all of my history and gave us details about what to expect at future appointments, etc. She was very chatty & friendly, and thrilled for us given the background of infertility. I got a few prenatal samples and some magazines to keep me busy - yay!
I've been feeling good lately. No morning sickness/nausea anymore and I'm definitely now able to make it a day without a nap. I do get worn down quickly and need breaks if I'm working on something, but other than that I'm great. The other evil meds are finally out of my system so I'm not dealing with the withdrawals anymore but I have been a lot moodier/evil. It could be the pregnancy hormones but I'm not sure. Sorry dear, but you'll just have to be absolutely perfect from now own. My only physical little niggle is that I'm getting heartburn/indigestion quite a lot now, guess I'll need to be a little more careful to what I eat. I'm starting to show!
Appointment with Dr. Goins (OB/Gyn) 10/21/09 - 13w4d
This was the first proper appointment seeing the Dr and getting a baseline for the pregnancy. I had the flu shot, some blood work taken, and a Pap. He used a doppler to listen to both the babies heartbeats (He estimated around 150 bpm) and I got a belly measurement. He didn't give exact details but said I was measuring big. I measured myself at home and I'm a couple weeks ahead - which is fine for twins. I'm definitely showing now and have moved on to maternity pants. My beginning weight on the scales at home was 125 lbs, I'm now at 132 lbs. 7 lbs of baby weight, right on target so far.
He said that with twins he wants me to come in every 4 weeks until 20w, then every 2 weeks until 28w at which point I'll be in there weekly. I'm not to lift anything that forces me to strain and should avoid running but keep walking. I asked every single nurse & Dr that I've been in contact with over the last few months and they all said to get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as its available. Dr Goins said there is no magic date for starting bed rest as long as everything goes smoothly, and the same for travelling - I'm good until 2 months prior to due date.
The general flow of the conversation was that with twins things tend to happen sooner, whether it is complications or delivery, and that they will keep a good eye on me. I'm to call with any bleeding or worrying symptoms. I was also quite happy to hear the practice no longer has the evil NP that told me years ago she wouldn't even discuss endometriosis with me.
Hungry/anxiety mode these weeks. Lots going on with the dogs, Lizzie getting attacked, Eddie being a pest, hormones running wild. I have been eating a lot still. I even had to get up one morning at 4:50 am for a bowl of cereal because I was so hungry I couldn't sleep. I also just *may* have felt some quick little movements of arms/legs at night. I can't be 100% sure but its nice to know it is likely. It felt like little pushes from the inside onto a sore uterus.... I've had growing pains too but these felt different. I'm looking forward to more! I'm also stressing out more about getting the house organized and keeping it clean, maybe its early nesting? I don't know but its intense.
It feels like I'm definitely going through a growth spurt. I need my naps again, my hips ache, and I have some cramping with a lot of pulling/stretching pains! I still haven't felt much, if any, movement and that makes me worry. I know it shouldn't but its been awhile since we saw the babies and I just need the reassurance. I'm really looking forward to the big ultrasound coming up, I'm still predicting boy/girl but who knows. I'll be thrilled with any combination. I can tell my belly is growing since I fit into my maternity pants & tops nicely - they're no longer huge on me. And the scary part is I know I have A LOT of growing left to do...I will need to be rolled around soon. I'm now weighing 136 lbs - that's an extra 11 lbs of babies.
Appointment for the Anatomy Ultrasound #4 on 11/20/09 with MFM - 17w6d
Team PURPLE! Yup, one of each.
I'm so happy and just thrilled even though I knew we would have a boy & girl it was great having it confirmed. Baby Girl / Twin A had a 141 bpm heart beat and was in perfect condition - the u/s tech kept saying 'Beautiful'. Baby Boy / Twin B had a 150 bpm heart beat and was in overall great health, although there were a few slight concerns. His umbilical cord is the 2 vessel rather than normal 3 vessel, the kidneys were slightly enlarged, and an echogenic cardic focus was found. All of these small concerns are seen in normal healthy babies but they are also seen in Down's babies and that was the only reason the Dr. reviewed it with us. Our risk from the previous tests was extremely low and he was confident there would be no problems. We have another u/s scheduled just after 24 weeks to review and confirm any problems or the lack of. I have no doubt in my mind that Baby Boy will be just fine so I will not worry about it at all.
They were both squirming and kicking like little nutjobs! That was probably due to the coffee I had before the scan. Baby Girl's placenta is posterior (on the back) but very low down and quite close to my cervix - which may be placenta previa if it has not moved at the 24 week scan. Baby Boy's placenta is anterior (on the front) so it may explain why I've not really felt movement yet. The u/s tech and Dr both said it would be very soon! Little Girl kicked my bladder during the u/s and even though I couldn't feel it I'm sure she will make herself known soon enough.
After the scan we had a meal at the Big Ben Pub then we bought a nice purple plant and 'Its a Boy!' & 'Its a Girl!' balloons to attach to it. Then we dropped by to see mom at her work - that made her day since she had called earlier and I wouldn't give anything away. It's nice to be able to officially announce the babies & their genders, and to think about all the other things we're going to need!
Twin A / Baby Girl
Twin B / Baby Boy
Appointment with Dr. Locklear (OB/Gyn) 11/23/09 - 18w2d
Measurement of Cervical Length - 5.4 cm. Today's appointment went well, it was the first time we met with Dr. Locklear and we both liked him a lot. He went over the placenta previa issue and will keep an eye on it and said we'd start NST at around 28 weeks in regards to little Boy's issues. He seemed to give the impression that all was OK and the concerns were only small abnormalities. He recommended following the advice from Dr. Shaver @ MFM since they had more expertise. If the quad-screen results come back within normal range then we will not pursue it further; if there is an elevated risk then we'll do an amnio/fluid test.
Little girl's heart rate was 142 bpm and little boy's heart rate was 138 bpm - I didn't have coffee this time! My weight at their office was 138 lbs and I got the H1N1 shot - one less thing to think about. I mentioned my hips/back was aching so badly and its due to my small size and that I'm carrying two babies - there is no getting around the pain. I'm also measuring 22 weeks already.
Sleep is getting more uncomfortable due to the back & hip pain. Indigestion is more of an all day thing now and my belly just keeps on growing! Lots of aches & pains but nothing that has me too concerned yet. If I can handle infertility for 4.5 years I can handle a few months of pain. We both felt the little girl kick & move on Thanksgiving Day - it was so cool to feel a little tap. I can't wait to feel even more. On 12/3/09 I chased up the results for our quad-screen done in Charlotte since we were planning an amnio if it was bad news...luckily its all within Normal range!! YAY! This is such a huge relief for both of us. I knew little boy would be fine but to have it confirmed is awesome. We're so happy!
Week 20 has been the week for feeling real movement from both babies! I am now able to feel the little flutters/bubbles on both sides and can tell when they are awake or sleeping (like Santa). DH's voice really gets their attention - which I just love - but he thinks its weird, in a good way, to feel them. This is just what I'd been waiting for since week 4! With all the flutters I've also been having days of just agonizing back/hip pain and a few crying sessions with the realization that I just cannot do as much work around the house as I'm used to. I'll be able to manage as long as I take things very slowly and gently.
Appointment with Dr. Richardson (OB/Gyn) 12/21/09 - 22w2d
I was hoping for an u/s but this was more of a check-up appointment. I'm at 145 lbs now! 20 lbs total already OMG! I'm a little shocked at how quickly the weight has crept on but no-one else seems to be worried about it so I'm OK. I'm also expecting to grow even more quickly now - I'm aching just thinking about it. Both heartbeats were good and in the normal range. I'm measuring 28 weeks now, which is also more than I expected. The Dr went over our quad results just to verify for us 1/10,000 risk, I can handle those odds. We discussed the cramping issues I had over Thanksgiving and a dizzy/nausea spell I had from overdoing it this week. He said to drink lots of water, which I'll admit hasn't been my strong point lately, and that if I was concerned enough to be calling him then he'd want us to come in for monitoring anyway. From here on out its a visit every 2 weeks unless there are any major issues.
We had a good 5" of snow to play in for early week 22. I think we got a good couple of belly shots too which I'm pleased with. With preparations for Christmas & playing outside I've overdone it a little and suffered the consequences again. Must drink lots more water and take it very slowly. I'm getting very anxious about any pre-term labor or complications; so far there have been no signs of problems but I'm just being paranoid.
We had a calm Christmas this year as its probably going to be the last one that is so quiet. I can't wait to get more into the Christmas Spirit once the babies are here, I'm sure it will be exhausting & a lot of fun. It would appear that I have kickboxing aliens inside of me now, they are both constantly moving and squirming around. I'm very often giggling to myself at how funny it feels. At night the poor little child that is getting squished kicks up a storm until I roll over, then the other babe starts squirming. Add horrible heartburn, insomnia, and I just cannot sleep at all anymore. I know its practice, but its a hard adjustment. It may be time to give up and move to the recliner.
Appointment for the Anatomy Ultrasound #5 follow-up on 01/04/10 with MFM - 24w2d
Good appointment today - minus the hour wait. Little Girl's heart beat was 155 and she is weighing 1 lb 8 oz. Little Boy's heart beat was 145 and he's weighing 1 lb 7 oz. Very close in weight which is extremely good. Little Boy's issues are no longer a worry and the Dr was happy to release us with no major problems as far as the babies are concerned. My cervix is still long and closed, although I didn't ask the measurement. Only concern for us now is that I have a complete placenta previa, so I'm on pelvic rest until delivery and modified exercise (HA HA HA) with no heavy lifting, etc. The babies are head-butting one another in my lower right area with their feet kicking every direction in my upper left section. During the u/s they were in constant contact with each other. So very happy that everything is well with them...now I just have to take it very easy.
Twin A / Baby Girl
Twin B / Baby Boy
Appointment with Dr. Richardson (OB/Gyn) 01/05/10 - 24w3d
Weight has gone up to 148 lbs this appointment. We discussed the complete placenta previa and don't really expect it to move or change so there have been some plans put into place. At the first sign of bleeding or contractions (typically around 30 weeks) I will go to the hospital and be given steroids to help mature the babies' lungs. I will stay for 24 hours and then be sent home if bleeding is controlled. Usually a second bleed will occur, from anytime between that day up to a couple weeks, at which time I'll be hospitalized until delivery. If the second bleeding is not controlled then automatic c-section; if it can be controlled then the third bleeding session will be birth day. If for some miraculous reason there are no problems we have scheduled c-section for April 9th / 38 weeks.
In my opinion there is just no way I can make it that far but you never know!
He also checked their heartbeats and was promptly kicked directly on the hand and again on the doppler. So cute I just can't stand it!
We planned to start Childbirth classes but that hasn't gone so well since we know more than the teacher. I guess that happens when you research every single detail about pregnancy and have dealt with infertility. I will go to a Breastfeeding class though to learn what I can there. I have actually felt OK these two weeks even though they have been extremely busy with scans/appointments/school/vet visits. I was very sad to lose our cat Zorro to kidney failure but there is no changing it now, he was such a sweet kitty. Both babies have been kicking a lot and showing their strength. Its very cute and comforting to know they are still OK in there and can keep me happy. No new complaints, just handling all the old ones - indigestion, backache, and having to move like a snail. I can sense a burst of nesting coming on!
Appointment with Dr. Goins (OB/Gyn) 01/19/10 - 26w3d
We had a very quick appointment, in and out within 45 minutes - a new record! It was a regular appointment checking the belly size, which is now measuring 33 weeks. Weight is 151, so that's 26 lbs of babies. And my blood pressure was 86/44, which is extremely low but apparently no cause of concern to the Dr., although the nurses were a little freaked by it. Boy's HB was 138 and Girl's was 144 bpm. I've really had it quite good since the last appointment, nothing major going on. Again we had a quick discussion about the previa and can expect some bleeding in the 3rd trimester. He mentioned that we'd need to get to the hospital asap with any significant blood loss and may be able to determine a delivery date from that. Otherwise all is going great. The next appointment, in 2 weeks, will be an u/s to check for their growth, the cervix/previa situation, and my glucose test. After that it will be weekly visits. Time sure is flying!
I've been lucky to not have anything major happen so far and that is awesome. I've been extremely paranoid about timing and planning when the babies 'could' be here. My intuition is telling me March 16/17 roughly. We'll see if that works out like my other instincts. Both of them are always on the move and I can't explain how great it is to feel them and know they are OK. I have had some crazy sporadic nesting urges. There I things that I think 'must' be done before the babies get here (like cleaning the siding on the house). I do what I can but still remind myself to go very slowly.
At 26w6d we had a 3D/4D ultrasound to have a look at the little squirmers. In a word - stubborn! They are basically in a transverse yin-yang position with each having the other's butt in their face. Do you think they were going to move? Nope. We got to see the back of their heads though (ok and one average pic of the little boy's face) but not what I was hoping for. His face was mostly hidden by her butt cheeks while her face was hidden by his foot with a lot of knees/arms/elbows thrown in for extra confusion. Little boy is lying on top of the little girl and it seems my idea of how they were positioned was completely wrong....or actually they just moved from the previous ultrasound. I admit to being very disappointed with the whole thing but we are going to try again next week for free and hopefully get some pictures. Since it was also Wesley's birthday we went for a visit & Ethan happened to be there. We got lucky and he was able to feel the babies move! I think he enjoyed it. Later he was taking pictures with a kid's digital camera and wanted one of my belly with the babies in it. I pulled up my shirt, something I've not really done around any of them, and the look of shock on his face was hilarious. I asked and he was so shocked at how big my belly actually was... I think it shocked Mom & Dad too. They couldn't believe it. Very funny for me to see their faces and prove I'm NOT that small for having twins am I? ha ha.
At 27w5d we had our second attempt at the 3D u/s and it went much better although babies are still stubborn. Little boy had moved back around and they were head butting each other again. We managed to get some pictures of them both but the u/s tech still said we could go back for another free try, yay! Both of the babies are so adorable, I may be biased and its still hard to tell for sure but I love them to pieces. The little boy had his cord and arms in his face for the longest time, and the little girl is so low down in my hip she didn't want to look up at all...and you can't do an u/s through hip bone. We were so lucky to get the pics that we did.
This last week has been physically tough on me. I'm feeling absolutely massive and have a hard time catching my breath and moving around. I know they need to stay inside for as long as possible but I'm looking forward to really breathing again.
Appointment for Ultrasound #6 and Glucose testing with Dr. Richardson (OB/Gyn) 02/01/10 - 28w2d
We managed to get to the Dr. appointment after a weekend of 10.5 inches of snow! We had an u/s and both babies are doing really well. They had completely switched positions again. Little Girl has moved to my left side and had a 138 bpm heartbeat. She’s weighing 2lbs 13oz. Little Boy had moved around to my right side, they both have their butts sticking right into my ribs and their feet next to their heads. His heartrate was 140 bpm and weighing in at 2lbs 11oz. The ultrasound pics are getting harder to make out since both babies are getting bigger. I was quite surprised at how much they’ve grown in a month – but so has my belly. The previa is still there but considered ‘marginal’. So, I’m thinking there are some discrepancies between the u/s techs. Either way I’m still to take it easy. The glucose drink was punch flavored and not bad; my only problem was lying down for 40 minutes afterwards for the ultrasound. I got horrible indigestion and then started feeling sick and wobbly near the end of our appointment. I hope we don’t have to do that again. Since everything is still going very well my next appointment is in two weeks instead of one. I’m also measuring 37 weeks!!
I measured 37 weeks at my 28w2d appointment. No wonder I have started to feel miserable and having several crying spells. My latest odd sensation is feeling like I’ve been kicked in the crotch, aka my pubic bone is relaxing & separating for delivery. It was a sudden onset of the pain but it is very common and not much can be done about it. Too bad the babies don’t know they’re not coming out that way! I still love feeling them squirm and move and will surely miss the feeling; but I’m ready to be able to breathe again.
BIRTHDAY STORY! 29w1d
On Sunday Feb 7th, 2010 we started the day prepping the house for our baby shower. It went really well and had quite a few guests who brought a lot of baby stuff! We all had a good time and enjoyed ourselves. I did more than my usual share of bending over to pick things up, moving around, etc. and even though I was really worn out nothing seemed odd.
Once everyone cleared out of the house, Andrew went to the store for some drinks to take over to my parents to watch the Super Bowl. While he was out I went to the bathroom and noticed some spotting. I threw a few things into a bag and called the Doctor that was on call. She had me come in to be checked due to the previa.
We got to the hospital around 7:00 pm. Both of the babies’ heart rates were great and they were moving around kicking the monitors. My spotting stopped by the time we were at the hospital but I was having some pressure and the monitors showed irritability with some contractions. They felt like period cramps. I was given an IV for fluids, a catheter for complete bed rest, had an injection given to me for the babies’ lungs and another to stop the contractions (which made me very shaky). Thinking it was just going to be an overnight stay Andrew went back home to pick up a few things we’d forgotten.
While he was gone the contractions were not as frequent but stronger. The catheter was very uncomfortable to say the least. Andrew got back around 9:30 pm and I was then given Magnesium to help with the contractions as the first shot didn’t work. What another miserable drug – hot flashes and weakness.
The on-call Dr. Bishopric came in to visit and check on us around 10:30 pm. A quick ultrasound showed they were OK, but within a minute of discussing our options I had a gush of blood. They assembled the Operating team very quickly, starting going through the paperwork for admission with several people at once, and put Andrew into scrubs. I was given a 2nd IV to get more fluids through me since I had not been there very long.
I got whisked off to the Operating Room and was prepped. The babies were still doing fine with no indication of problems. I had a spinal epidural that was not fun, but bearable. Andrew came back in to the OR at 11:00 pm. Without him I felt panicked & worried and had my nervous crying “Holy Crap” moment. Everyone in the room was very supportive and kept me informed.
After feeling a lot of pressure on my chest and pulling down below. Baby Boy was born at 11:10 pm 15.25” long and Baby Girl was born at 11:11 pm 15.75” long, both weighed 2 lbs 14 oz and were crying. Andrew cut the cords. I got a quick glimpse of them as they were taken to NICU, they are super tiny but beautiful. I cried as I was able to see both of them. Little Boy didn’t want me to see his face and turned his head but I did get to see the cute little body. Little Girl seemed to look right at us and give us a big wide-eyed glare. Andrew was able to follow along with them to the NICU. The Dr cleaned up some extra endometriosis adhesions and stitched me together. Overall it was an easier surgery and recovery than any of my previous surgeries. We’ve had great nurses all around.
Since they were born at 29 weeks 1 day, there is going to be a lot of NICU time. Little Girl is able to breathe with the help of a CPAP machine and Little Boy has a tube down into his lungs. I’m pumping to get some milk to them once they are ready. Overall it has been such a fast-paced experience with little time to think and take it all in. We’re all doing as can be expected. I will be released on Wednesday and will make trips into NICU as often as possible.
It has taken a lot of debating but we did finally decide on names, Rachel Abbey & David Kent. Different to what we had discussed and agreed on earlier but these were our original choices.