We are watching the women's Olympic beach volleyball match and Liam looks up at Kerri Walsh on TV, points and says, "Dere's Mommy!"
I wish Baby, I wish...
My "babies" turn 2 years old tomorrow! In thinking back over the past couple years, I thought I'd write about our struggles with infertility and how our 3 beautiful babies came to be.
I can't belive that time has gone so quickly. I never thought it could be like this. When I think back to when the babies were born or when I was pregnant, it seems like last summer and I have to remember that it was 2 summers ago. If you had told me that by my 5th wedding anniversary (November) I'd have 2-year old triplets, I would have laughed right in your face. Yet, here they are and my life has been changed upside down for the better. What did I do before these babies were here? I must have been bored, but I know that I wasn't. I had an unexplainable longing in my heart for a child and so looked forward to the day that Jack and I would start trying to have a baby. I never thought that infertility would throw a curve ball.
We were married in November 2003 and had talked about having kids since before we were engaged. We knew it was something that both of us desperately wanted, me more than him though. We were both older when we got married (not really, but a little bit in baby-making terms) so on our 1st wedding anniversary, I went off the pill. For some reason I thought that I'd be blessed with two stripes the first month. Nope. Maybe the second? Nope. I allowed myself that 3 month adjustment when you go off the pill after being on it for so long. Still nothing. I began tracking my basal body temps in the morning and noticed after 2 months that it looked like the blade of a saw, not at all what it should look like. I made an appointment with my OB and took her all the evidence. She agreed that I wasn't ovulating and I started on Clomid.
Clomid has a mind of its own. I didn't like that at all. I had severe hot flashes at random times throughout the day and night and I was on edge, emotionally. Hot flashes that would have me violently throwing off the covers in the middle of the night in a sweat or sticking my head in someone else's freezer at a bridal shower because I thought I was going to pass out and because the sweat running down my head was messing up my makeup and getting my clothes wet. Those kind of hot flashes. Jack was doing the laundry one day and instead of being thankful, I cried when he dropped a sock and told him that he just didn't care that much about me if he could drop a sock and not pick it up. Poor guy. He put up with a lot.
Three months of Clomid and a shot to ensure I ovulated did nothing, so my OB handed me a list of names of REs and sent me off. I cried all the way home. How could we have fertility problems? This soooo wasn't in "my plan" and for those of you who know me, I stick to my plans like all Type-A people do. Following testing, we found out that Jack's sperm don't like to swim so we got our heads around the infertility idea and began our journey.
Fortunately (for me) I had a friend who was also going through infertility and I got the name of her RE and we have a family friend who is an OB and she gave me the name of a friend of hers who is an RE. I picked my RE and we met with him in September 2005. He suggested that we start with insemination since it is not as expensive and not as invasive. So, after the battery of tests that I had to go through, I began injections in November 2005 and we had our inseminations in December.
December 2005 was a busy time for us. Jack had decided to take a new job that would move us away from my family and RE in Southern California to Denver, a beautiful city, but a city where we knew no one. We had movers coming December 17th to move all of our things and put it all in an apartment we rented. We were set to go out to Denver in January. I quit my job as a speech therapist in a school and wasn't sure if I'd get a job or not. A lot was depending on the result of our insemination.
On Friday, December 16th, I left my school for the last time and was finishing packing before the movers arrived the next morning. Jack was in Atlanta for a training and the phone rang. "I'm sorry Christie, but the pregnancy test was negative." I was so crushed. My life was packed up in boxes to move to a new state without support, my husband was away and I found out that my newly adjusted infertility plan was squashed. They gave me an appointment for January 5, 2006 to begin IVF. I know that most people try several times with insemination, but with our diagnosis, it would have been a waste of time, so said our RE. It was during all of this that my best friend told me she was pregnant and wouldn't you know it she wasn't even tryign to get pregnant!
After the news, Jack and I decided together that I would stay with my family in SoCal and continue on to IVF and Jack would move to Denver by himself. After spending Christmas with my family, Jack and I drove to Denver and I helped him unpack while he began his job. At that time, we were in a teeny tiny one bedroom apartment. He worked from home and needed an office, so our bed was in what was supposed to be the dining room and his office was in the bedroom where he was able to close a door. Jack drove me to the airport on January 4th.
January 5th, we began the whirlwind of ordering meds and learning how to inject myself. I actually still have all my extra syringes. I'm not sure why I don't throw them out, although it is either because I'm too lazy to find and drive to the disposal area for those kinds of things or because I'm sentimental. Maybe a little of both. I got used to the injections, but definitely had my days where I was ready to inject and just broke down. Why do I have to give myself shots and go through all of this when 15 year olds can get pregnant one time? Why do most of my friends have no problem getting pregnant. When I was going through all of this, one of my friends, who ended up getting pregnant on her honeymoon (accidentally) said that "it (infertility) was better than getting pregnant when your husband looks at you." No, it really isn't. I'd much rather have that "problem." It was a really hard time emotionally.
I had my egg retrieval surgery on January 28th and the transfer on February 1st. The retrieval wasn't as scary or bad as I thought it would be. It was nice to be put to sleep and I didn't have any problems recovering. My RE retrieved 13 eggs and all 13 were fertilized that day. Jack flew in for my surgery but had to go back to work a few days later, so my mom went with me to the transfer. A day or two before the transfer, our RE called me to discuss how many embryos to transfer. He gave me all the stats for my chances of getting pregnant at all, if we put 2 in and if we put 3 in. On a sidenote, I've never won anything, ANYTHING. I just don't have that kind of luck. Oh, I've entered contests and even bought lottery tickets (not that I expected that to go anywhere, but I can hope) and I've never won. So, this track record did have some bearing on my decision regarding the embryos. Anyway, our RE said that I had a 70% chance of pregnant at all, which is good, but not a guarantee by any means. If we put in 2 embryos, I had a 35% chance that both would take. If we put in 3 embryos, I had a 35% chance that we'd get twins and a 5% chance that we'd get triplets. He recommended that we put in 2 or 3. So, rather than go through everything we'd been going through and not get a baby, we decided to put in 3. Our decision was made over the phone. Difficult? Oh yes. I wanted Jack right there so we could talk about it face to face. Instead, we discussed over the phone before the Dr. called back. Three it was.
After the transfer, I just didn't feel that it worked. I laid in bed, like they told me, for 5 days doing nothing. I didn't feel anything. I think I was expecting (hoping) to feel everything the books say you'll feel when you're pregnant, but I felt nothing. About a week after the transfer, I felt a painful pinch in my abdomen area. I chalked it up to left-over cramping from the surgery or transfer or something. Looking back, I think that pinching was one of the embryos latching on, but I don't know for sure.
On February 13, 2006, I had my bloodtest to determine if I was pregnant or not. Jack flew into town to be with me for the test and results. After the test, they told me to go home and not worry. Right. Early that afternoon, I got a call from my favorite nurse and I could tell by her voice that the news was good. She said that I was definitley pregnant and most likely with more than one. Jack and I were thrilled! Then she said my HcG number: 656. I don't totally remember what the "normal" pregnancy number is, I think somewhere around 100. Yes, I was definitely pregnant and would have to wait to find out.
This post is getting really long, but I'm on a roll and the kids are still sleeping. :)
Our first ultrasound revealed 2 well developed fetuses and 1 that was significantly smaller than the other 2. The Dr. said that it looked like that one wasn't going to develop any further and that he didn't expect to see it at the next ultrasound. That was a mixed blessing. Did we want triplets? Not really. Did we want twins? Definitely! But, we were torn...we wanted to root for our little baby but not completely.
The next ultrasound, we saw the first 2 again and then he scanned over to the other side of my uterus. There it was! Bigger than the first 2. Amazing. The room got really quiet and the Dr. and nurse just looked at us. The Dr.'s tone of voice got quieter and he said that in this case he didn't think selective reduction was needed. It wasn't going to be an option, but it was nice to hear a Dr. say that it wasn't needed.
Anyway, this post got a little off track, but thinking that those little fetuses are my healthy beautiful babies who will be 2 years old tomorrow just makes me a little nostalgic.
I'm working on another post to follow this one about their birth and some pictures from their birthday. Also, we flew to CA last night and I have some stories about that flight also. Flying iwth them is definitely getting easier, but it is still A LOT of work.