Here We Go Again

Can’t say I am looking forward to yet another Hysteroscopy later this week.  This will make Hysteroscopy number 3, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  In the future, should we choose to transfer one of our frosties, we will undergo another before our cycle begins.  

No more SIS’s for me like a typical IVF patient.  The Hysteroscopy shouldn’t miss a uterine mass, and it appears in our case, one of our SIS’s most likely did.  The Hysteroscopy is capable of doing everything the SIS should, plus more.  The main difference between the two is the Hysteroscopy is guided by a small camera placed inside the uterine cavity, whereas the SIS is guided by ultrasound only. This being said, the Hysteroscopy will pick up on even the smallest abnormality in the cavity that an ultrasound might miss.

I am hoping to wake up from the anesthesia and receive some positive news. The images my RE gives us after will hopefully provide that reassurance & we can compare them to the images from Hysteroscopy 1 & 2 for progress.  Positive news at this point would mean 3 things:

  1. No masses found
  2. No placental tissue found
  3. No scar tissue has formed

It’s now been 4 months since our 3rd loss.  However, we have been dealing with procedures surrounding pregnancy #3 since October; for a total of 8 months now.  In October we got our pre-IVF SIS, in November we started our meds, in December we transferred & got our BFP, in February we miscarried & had a D & C, we had Beta’s every week from February until April (8 weeks to drop from over 100,000 to 0), Hysteroscopy #1 in April, Hysteroscopy #2 in May, & now, (we pray the last), Hysteroscopy #3 in June.

This is not to mention that during these 8 months we have passed up Baby 1’s due date on December 24th, and Baby 2’s due date most recently on May 3rd.  So, as you can see, the road has been long and quite hard at times.  We are praying it is time for a new chapter now ūüôŹ

 

In Loving Memory of Isaiah William Fish 

Now that we know the gender of one of our lost twins, it only felt right for us to name him like you would any child. We hope you understand our thought process about this. Your support means alot to us. 

His name is Isaiah William Fish. Isaiah was originally on our list of boy names. Isaiah was a prophet from the Old Testament of The Bible. The name means, “the salvation of the Lord.” William was always a middle name choice after Shane’s paternal grandfather.  

This post is in loving memory of Isaiah William Fish, and your angel baby brother or sister. 

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Forever in our hearts ūüíôūüíó

 

It was a Boy

Laying in bed last night, out of nowhere something told me to get up & go look at the chromosomal report from our last d & c, our 3rd miscarriage. 

I have looked at this report many times. I picked up the report, and right there on the front page, clear as day, it read: NORMAL male genotype. 46XY.

 

How was it possible we have never noticed this? Did God shield us from it until now? Was it just too much to take at the time? 

I dont know. But I do know my heart still broke when I read it. Tears gushed as Shane held me.  Im not going to even sugarcoat it, this hurts. Suddenly, all of the boy names we had picked out came rushing back into my mind. Images of his face. And his laugh and so much more. 

No, it wouldnt have been easier if we just found out it was a girl. Yes, we know it had to be one of the two genders. No, I dont know if both babies were boys, or if the DNA was only for one of the twins since the other vanished a week prior to the miscarriage.  

None of that matters. What matters is we know have full clarification that we should be having a son. The son Shane secretly hoped for.  I wish I could have our baby boy back for just one minute. Just to see him and hold him once.  I know he is in heaven with our other babies, but that doesnt change what we feel right now.  I feel so very angry. 

The day before we stumbled across these results, Shane & I had this conversation below…

 

I hope he is right. Prayers are welcomed. 

We Earned the Title

After the genetic testing came back normal, we decided we would move forward with a hysteroscopy, or HS of my uterus. ¬†In the past, we had done diagnostic tests on my uterus, such as the HSG, and SIS, all of which came back normal. ¬†A hysteroscopy is done between days 6-9 of your cycle, and sees things that these other two tests can’t pick up on.

There are 2 types of hysteroscopy-diagnostic and operative. ¬†You¬†are probably wondering why we waited this long to do the hysteroscopy, right? Well, doctors do not like to do this test until you are classified as a, “habitual aborter,” or “recurrent miscarrier.” ¬†And after 3 losses, we had officially earned the title.

We will be starting with the diagnostic in-office hysteroscopy. ¬†For this, I will receive a “twilight” anesthesia. From what we have been told, the doctor inserts a tiny camera into the uterus. ¬†The camera sees things like uterine abnormalities, scar tissue, polyps, fibroids, etc. ¬†My doctor also recommended we do a biopsy of my uterus to test for any (undetectable by pap and/or blood) low-grade infections that could be causing me to miscarry.

If she was to see a major problem during the diagnostic hysteroscopy, she will not remove or fix it then since I would only be in a twilight state.  Instead, we will schedule the operative hysteroscopy for the following month, where I will undergo general anesthesia at the hospital (aka place of death).

We were ready to do this procedure weeks ago, but we couldn’t until my beta reached 0, or I got my first period. ¬†Just another waiting game in the lives of an infertile couple. ¬†I hadn’t had a period since November. ¬†In fact, in the past year, I had only had 6 periods due to my on and off again pregnant state of living.

I got my beta drawn every week after the d & c, for 8 weeks.  Here is the timeline of how it dropped:

  • Day of miscarriage-over 100,000
  • 1 week post- 33,500
  • 2 weeks post- 3,000
  • 3 weeks post-300
  • 4 weeks post-36
  • 5 weeks post-15
  • 6 weeks post-7 (weird brownish spotting this week, thought it was my period, but it wasn’t)
  • 7 weeks post-4
  • 8 weeks post-0!

So here we are. ¬†This brings us to the month of March, the present time. ¬†It has now been 8 weeks since we lost our little angels. Aunt Flow finally came just 2 days ago, bringing her vengeance. ¬†I don’t know how I feel about my level being back to 0, or the fact that my period finally came. ¬†Yes, many people say it’s good, and I get that. ¬†Obviously, it’s over and things must go back to normal. ¬†But, at the same time it is all more confirmation of what was lost.

This being said, getting my period was an extremely rough day. ¬†This wasn’t part of the plan a few months ago. ¬†I knew if we were still pregnant, we would be getting our anatomy scan done this very week, confirming if we were having a little girl or boy. ¬†The scan was going to be followed by a small gender reveal celebration with our family, who will be arriving in town this week. ¬†Instead, this week we will be getting a hysteroscopy done to find out what is wrong with me. ¬†Or so we hope.

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Baby Steps

I bled for 2 weeks following the d & c, and the torture of the beta testing began just a week after. ¬†When we found out we lost the pregnancy, my beta came back over 100,000. ¬†Unfortunately, at around 10 weeks, the HCG levels are at their peak. Since we lost the pregnancy at this “peak” time, the doctor told us it could take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks for my levels to reach 0 again, or a non-pregnant state. ¬†What that equated to was at least 8 betas. Fantastic.

It was now mid-February, also known as “crunch time” in the world of teaching. ¬†We had our state writing exam coming up in within days, with reading and math not far behind. ¬†Both physically and mentally, I was spent to say the least. ¬†I had been pumping my body full of hormones for 10 long months. ¬†We had been pregnant 3 times in just 9 months. ¬†In total, we had been pregnant for 21 weeks with only broken hearts to show for it.

My doctor recommended I take a medical leave from work.  With the help of my mom, I started investigating what the process would entail. I met with my principal and assistant principal who supported me 100% throughout this whole process.  They secured a long-term sub for my class, and helped me get all of the tedious paperwork started.

Even though almost everyone I knew (my husband, my mom, our doctor, close friends, and co-workers) all thought I should take the time off, I was still hesitant deep down inside. ¬†Taking a leave from work was a huge deal to me. ¬†People who know me well know that I am an overachiever, and at times, a workhorse. ¬†Over the years, I hated getting subs probably just as much as my students hated having one. ¬†My class ran smoothly, and the thought of handing it over to someone else frightened me. ¬†I had worked so hard to get it the way it was. ¬†But at the same time,¬†I knew there was no way possible I could give 100% to my students through this loss like I did the other 2. ¬†I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t think straight. ¬†I was a total mess.

So in the end, I took the advice, and put in for a month’s leave. ¬†Soon after my leave started, I went to a grief counselor. ¬†I learned that what I was feeling was normal, anger included. ¬†Slowly, I began to open up about what we had been going through the past several years. ¬†We couldn’t keep it a secret anymore, nor did we want to. ¬†When we started sharing our pain, an enormous weight was lifted off our shoulders. ¬†And I started talking to God again. ¬†I knew he knew my heart, even though I wasn’t able to pray to him like I had been before.

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When I was pregnant, I was scared to death to do anything. ¬†I decided it was time I started doing things for myself again that I hadn’t done in months. ¬†This was not an easy decision by any means. Most days, I didn’t want to get out of bed at all. ¬†And for a few weeks, I didn’t. ¬†When the time was right, I got myself up and ready and out of the house. ¬†I got a manicure and a pedicure. I bought a tanning package. I cut my hair, and got bangs. ¬†I got back into yoga. ¬†I did some retail therapy. ¬†I cleaned my house, and walked my dogs everyday. ¬†I had a glass of wine and ate sushi. ¬†I took hot showers and bubble baths that I hadn’t been allowed to take. ¬†I even carried in the grocery bags after I went grocery shopping!

While I was off, my husband & I did little things to honor the babies we had lost the past year. ¬†I got a Pandora bracelet, and we picked out all of their beautiful birthstones as charms, one for December, May, & September. ¬†I soon decided that it was time to have a scar on the outside like the one we were carrying around silently in our hearts. ¬†I searched for a few weeks, and finally found the perfect design for a tattoo… the pregnancy loss awareness ribbon shaped into a heart.

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We were starting to heal little by little, day by day.  But no matter how hard I tried not to dwell on things, my mind continually went back to getting the results from the d & c.  We wanted some type of closure, and prayed it might provide us with it. Finally, a little over 2 weeks later, the doctor called with the results. The tests showed that our baby had no genetic anomalies.  In other words, our baby was genetically healthy.  I was speechless.  This was a huge blow.  Everyone, especially the doctors, believed that the loss would be due to genetics. According to statistics (HA!), over 60% of early miscarriages are caused from genetics.  We were actually at the point where we chuckled at these ridiculous statistics comments.  What a joke they are.

We had a really hard time swallowing the results. ¬†In our eyes, it meant that¬†my body just terminated the pregnancy for no apparent reason. ¬†I was devastated even more than before, if that was even possible. My hubs tried to focus on the silver lining, pointing out that at least we knew we had the ability to produce a healthy child. ¬†After the 3rd loss, we started thinking that maybe all of our embryos were just plain bad or something. These results proved that wasn’t the case, which gave us a tiny flicker of hope when we thought about our 3 remaining embryos. ¬†Now, we just had to figure out what was wrong with me.

The Aftermath

My mom drove me home from the ultrasound appointment as she tried to hold herself together. ¬†I told her to text the news to friends or family members we had excitedly told about our pregnancy. ¬†I couldn’t believe I was telling her to do this. Instead of our pregnancy going public in 2 short weeks, we would be suffering yet another loss. ¬†Celebrated by serial beta testing. ¬†I hated the world. ¬†And I despised my body for failing again.

When I got home, I started throwing things away immediately. ¬†This was not like the last loss when I asked my husband to put all of the “stuff” away nicely for me. ¬†I started pitching medications, cards, maternity clothes, positive tests, books…basically anything I could get my hands on. GARBAGE.

When my husband arrived home that night, we both just laid in bed and cried. ¬†There was NOTHING to say. ¬†We stared blankly at the ceiling, just as I did at the doctor’s office earlier that morning. ¬†I didn’t sleep that night, I sobbed. ¬†And from time to time, I shoved my face deep into my pillow and flung my fists. ¬†My entire face was pretty much swollen red for days.

The d & c¬†was set for 1 p.m. that Friday afternoon, just 2 days after the ultrasound that changed our lives. ¬†Like any other surgery,¬†I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight Thursday night. ¬†The eating part I was just fine with. ¬†In fact, I had barely taken a bite out of anything since we found out we lost the pregnancy. ¬†I went from literally eating non stop, to not eating at all. ¬†It was the not drinking part that was a problem for me. ¬†Mostly because I had come down with a terrible sore throat and headache Thursday. ¬†My throat was as dry as a bone and my head was throbbing.

I stayed up all night, tossing and turning, in true despair and pain, starting to feel like I was being punished. ¬†Or tortured for that matter. ¬†I had a lifeless child inside of me. ¬†I couldn’t have water, and I couldn’t take anything for my headache. ¬†I guess the truth of the matter is, that many people, even children, all around the world, experience this torture everyday. ¬†No water or medicine to help them feel better. ¬†For some reason, in my darkest moment, my heart actually ached for them and not for us.

We made it through that night, and the next day arrived.  That day was the day of the d & c, the day I should have been 10 weeks along.  Part of me wanted to get it all over with right away, but another part of me wanted to hold on to what was left. The doctor thought it would be in my best interest to undergo general anesthesia, so I had no recollection of the event.  But general anesthesia or not, the day of the d & c was plain awful. And when I say awful, I am not by any means exaggerating.

We got to the hospital at 11 a.m. thirsty.¬† After checking in, we went into the waiting room. ¬†Of course, there were babies everywhere and wouldn’t you know it, a very pregnant woman directly in front of the empty chairs we had to sit in as we waited. ¬†They took me back, and as usual, got more blood (honestly surprised I have any left). ¬†I undressed, put my belongings into a bag, and slipped on the gown. Next, the nurse stuck the IV into my hand (worst place ever to get an IV). ¬†I had bruised, greenish-yellow, swollen hands 3 days later. This nurse was not my doctor’s nurse, and not very gentle to say the least.

She asked me to confirm why I was there, and I (literally) choked on my tears. ¬†I mumbled the answer. ¬†She simply looked at me and said, “OK” in a perky voice and she walked away. ¬†Not, “I’m sorry to hear that,” or “that’s very sad,” or anything. ¬†I was simply another patient in this place of death. ¬†No longer was this hospital looked at as a place of life. ¬†I guess it can be viewed either way depending on who you ask. ¬†If you asked me a week earlier, I would have told you I was excited to take a tour where we would have our baby. ¬†Now, I loathed the place with everything in me.

Around noon, my mom requested the anesthesiologist give me something so I would calm down. ¬†He did, even though I still continued to cry long after it was supposed to have “kicked in.” ¬†My doctor came in a little after 1 pm and talked with us. ¬†She informed us that the POC (products of conception) would be sent out immediately to the lab. ¬†At the lab, the POC (real nice name for a life that was lost) would undergo genetic micro-array testing. The results would let us know us if the baby had a genetic anomaly, such as Trisomy 18 or 21, that caused it to just stop growing. ¬†The results would take up to 2 weeks. Another 2WW. ¬†FML.

My doctor gave me a hug, and a kiss on the forehead, and said she would take care of me like I was her own daughter. Then she said she would see me when I woke up to let me know how it went. ¬†The nurses rolled me off to the operating room. Unfortunately, I still remember the room they took me in. ¬†So large, bright and white, with metal instruments surrounding me. They rolled me onto a different bed than the one I was on. ¬†Above me, I saw what looked like the small lamp a dentist uses at an exam, but instead the lamps were super sized and everywhere. ¬†Creepy. ¬†They strapped my arms down, and put the oxygen mask on my face. ¬†The anesthesiologist popped in, and said it would be only a few seconds and I’d be out. ¬†He was right.

Phoneixville_Hospital_-_Operating_Room

I woke up as they were rolling me into the recovery room. ¬†My first memory is throwing up all over myself. ¬†After that, opening my eyes and starting to cry within seconds. ¬†The little old lady attendant who was waiting to check me into recovery said, “Oh no! Please don’t cry!” ¬†I was completely groggy, but still in a lot of pain. ¬†The cramps were BAD. ¬†My new recovery room nurse gave me Vicodin through my IV right away. ¬†About 10 minutes later, the cramping started to subside. ¬†As I tried to get comfortable, I felt gushes of blood. ¬†I was disgusted in my half alive state. ¬†Utterly disgusted. ¬†This was not supposed to be happening.

I ended up staying in recovery for a few hours because I kept needing Vicodin. In turn, the Vicodin would make me sick, and I would need Zofran, which would knock me out.  It was a vicious cycle- Vicodin, puke, Zofran, sleep, repeat.  My doctor came  to check on me and tell us how it went.

She said she was able to clearly take our little angel out.¬†That’s all I really heard her say. ¬†At that moment, I wondered what he or she would have looked like, and what it would have been like to hold them.

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Miscarriage #3

So, by now you may have already guessed what happened at our 9 and 1/2 week appointment.

I woke up early that morning as I usually did to make it to the 7:30 a.m. scheduled ultrasound.  This was the 1st ultrasound appointment I would be going to alone.  My hubs was super busy at work, and he had already missed so much.  At this point, we really needed all the money we could get, so there was no need for him to take off.  And there was no point in my mom taking me to the appointment either, since I planned to go straight to work afterwards.

When I woke up that morning, it was the 3rd day in a row that I had 0 pregnancy symptoms.  I felt like everything had been stolen from me, yet I still tried to keep my faith.  I got in my car and turned on the radio.  Immediately the song, Oceans, Where Feet May Fail by Hillsong United came on.  https://youtu.be/dy9nwe9_xzw

I started bawling my eyes out. ¬†If you haven’t heard this song, it’s a Christian song about keeping the faith and trusting God through the hardest times of your life. ¬†Ironically, I had heard this song the exact day we had our 2nd miscarriage. ¬†And here it was, playing again as I drove to my appointment. ¬†I knew right at that moment, without doubt, that this pregnancy was over. ¬†I just didn’t understand why. ¬†My heart ached.

Within minutes of arriving, I got my vitals taken and was in the ultrasound room. ¬†I briefly informed the nurse of how I had been feeling the past 3 days. ¬†She started the scan, I took a deep breath, and as always, I looked the other direction. ¬†I couldn’t even stand the thought of seeing her face when she told me. ¬†Seconds of silence turned into minutes of silence. More confirmation that it was over. ¬†When nothing is wrong, it only takes seconds to locate the heartbeat and turn that screen to the proud parents. ¬†Not today.

Everything I prayed so hard against was coming true.  Again.  Every time I told myself to fight off those negative thoughts. Every time I believed people telling me this was the time, this was our year.  Every time I thought we would defy the odds. Every time, I was wrong.  And my heart ached.

Finally, the nurse who had been by our side for over a year now, pulled out the wand without saying a word. ¬†I turned and looked at her. ¬†She was crying. ¬†I blurted out “WHAT?” rudely. ¬†She whispered, “I’m so sorry. ¬†There was no heartbeat today.” I immediately demanded she show me. ¬†Let me see it with my own eyes! I thought. ¬†And so she did. ¬†I saw our sweet little angel, who was now in heaven. ¬†The heartbeat was gone, along with any flow of blood through the tiny body that had so wonderfully formed.

I sat up. ¬†She hugged me. ¬†Then she angrily said, “Why does this keep happening?!” I hadn’t shed a tear yet or spoken a word other than my nasty “what?” a few minutes earlier. ¬†I just stared blankly. ¬†I couldn’t speak because I felt like someone had ripped out everything inside of me. ¬†She asked me to please wait for the doctor to come in at 9 to confirm. ¬†It was only 7:45. ¬†I said OK. Then she told me to just stay in the room and wait. ¬†This was not the norm, as the practice is very busy, and they only have 2 exam rooms… hence, rooms are golden. ¬†Not today. ¬†Today I sat in the same room for over an hour without moving. ¬†Everyone else would just have to wait. ¬†I didn’t care, and surprisingly the staff didn’t either.

Another nurse came in to take my blood. ¬†The anger had turned to despair and I was now sobbing uncontrollably. ¬†She told me I had to call my husband. ¬†I didn’t want to. ¬†I refused to tell my husband that we lost another child. ¬†This has to be a nightmare right? I was going to wake up any moment! ¬†The doctor came in next. ¬†She performed another ultrasound. I heard her and the nurse speaking as they were pointing, but it was all a blur. ¬†I looked at the screen one last time because I knew that would be it; ¬†my good-bye. ¬†The doctor confirmed we had lost the baby. ¬†She diagnosed it a missed miscarriage. ¬†No bleeding. ¬†No cramping. ¬†No shortened cervix. ¬†No nothing. ¬†The life inside of me had just stopped living.

She gave me our options next. ¬†1.) Miscarry naturally. ¬†This could take weeks, or even longer since I was only a few days short of 10 weeks. ¬†2.) ¬†Take Misoprostol orally and miscarry at home. ¬†She recommended against this, again since I was further along it would be “very uncomfortable,” or 3.) Have a d & c in two days at the hospital under general anesthesia. ¬†I scheduled the d & c.

I called my mom & asked her to come get me. ¬†I couldn’t drive. The doctor and nurse walked me out. They hugged me, and kindly told me to stop taking all my medications right away, especially the blood thinner, since I would now be undergoing surgery in 2 days.

I stumbled out to my car and dialed my husband as I waited for my mom to arrive. ¬†All I heard him saying was, “NO, NO, NO,” over and over again.

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Finally! A Bump!

By our 8 1/2 week appointment, Baby B had vanished, and so had the subchorionic bleed. ¬†I couldn’t believe the bleed was gone. ¬†We were thrilled! We still had a lot of mixed emotions about Baby B, but all we wanted was a healthy pregnancy and child in the end. I knew if it wasn’t part of God’s plan for twins, then that was the best plan. ¬†But, don’t get me wrong, we still grieved this loss. ¬†We had already been looking at cute twinsy names in our baby name book and so forth. ¬†I tried my best to spend little time focusing on it because I did not want the stress to affect Baby A.

Baby A looked like a real baby this week! We could see its little head curled, its tiny feet, and mini earbuds! We were in complete awe at the transformation that had taken place over the past 3 weeks. ¬†I thanked God for allowing us to get to see the changes taking place each week. ¬†Most people don’t even get an ultrasound until they are 8 weeks along. ¬†We, on the other hand, had watched this baby grow from the time it was just an egg, to an embryo, to now, this amazing life.

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By the minute, we were growing even closer and more in love with our baby who measured exactly as it should, at 8 weeks and 4 days. ¬†The heartbeat was also a perfect 169 bpm. ¬†When they weighed me in at our appointment, I had gained 5 pounds! I am sure some of it was water weight, or from the hormones even, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. ¬†What could I do anyways? I was literally ravished 24/7 and we took at as a good sign that our little one was growing as it should.

The doctor once again told us how minimal our chances of miscarriage now were, less than 5% by weeks 9 & 10. ¬†Woohoo! Another reason to go look at adorable baby stuff. One of the things we had been waiting years upon years to do together. So the day I turned 9 weeks, we decided to do just that. ¬†We didn’t buy anything for the baby, just browsed. ¬†My hubs saw one of those mini-basketball hoops and said, “I just can’t wait to do this with our kid.” ¬†I knew he was going to be such a great dad. We started talking about how we would arrange the nursery, in fact we even had a few floor plans picked out. ¬†We discussed colors and themes, and furniture, and so much more. ¬†We were absolutely elated at the thought of finally having our family.

The next day, my mom and I went out and bought some maternity clothes because none of my normal pants fit anymore. In the dressing room, my mom pointed out that I was now showing. ¬†In just a matter of days it happened. ¬†At 8 weeks, there was barely a bump & by 9, there it was! People at work were starting to see it too, even though I hadn’t spilled the beans yet. Part of me was a little nervous how big I would get since it was so early on, but the doctor reassured me I was doing just fine the way I was.

Then something odd happened; when I woke up one morning, I felt off. ¬†When I say off, I mean I felt normal. ¬†Being pregnant, you don’t feel your normal self and I was feeling like my normal self that day. ¬†I didn’t feel pregnant anymore. ¬†I told my husband & my mom, and a close friend, all who said not to worry, that everything would be fine. ¬†I tried to ignore it that day, but I noticed I never had to put on my sea bands or even have a gingerale. ¬†I was in the peak of the 1st trimester…why would my symptoms just disappear like that? ¬†It’s not like I was out of the 1st trimester when most women’s symptoms fade.

I figured I would be back to feeling pregnant tomorrow, or at least that’s what I desperately prayed. ¬†But when tomorrow rolled around, I still felt normal. ¬†And the worst part, I wasn’t very hungry. ¬†My 9 1/2 week appointment was the following day. ¬†I guess until then we would have to wait it out.

Baby A, Baby B, & a Bleed

After my first ultrasound, I was eager to buy something baby related. ¬†Especially since the doctor had informed me that once a healthy heartbeat is established, the chance of miscarriage dropped to under 10% for Baby A. Don’t ask me why, but I clung to that number, even though I should have learned my lesson about percentages way before. Anyways, we took a trip to Babies R Us, and¬†bought the infamous weekly bump stickers, a baby name book, and a pregnancy journal so I could record how I was feeling every day.

Speaking of how I was feeling, well of course I was extremely tired and hungry, but things could have been a lot worse (like not pregnant at all worse!). I was in bed by 8 every night, and I was eating every few hours, because if I didn’t, I didn’t feel well. ¬†I got nauseous mostly in the afternoons, so I bought a pair of sea bands and kept them on my wrists. Those, with saltines and ginger-ale did the trick for me. ¬†At night, when I slept, I was having crazy vivid dreams, but I didn’t mind. ¬†I was feeling pregnant and I loved it; even the twinges I felt as my uterus was growing made me smile.

When we arrived at our 7 week 3 day appointment, I got more blood work done which determined I was Rh+ (hooray!). ¬†I got my progesterone checked again, but only because I requested to. ¬†I wanted to make sure it wasn’t dropping, because that can cause a bleed, or even worse a loss. ¬†As usual, my progesterone level came back high as it always had. ¬†I was still taking both the Crinone 2x daily, and Prometrium 3x daily for progesterone, along with the estrogen patches and pills. ¬†Let me tell you, I couldn’t wait to stop taking these at 11 weeks. ¬†My blood thinner injections would unfortunately need to continue throughout the duration of my pregnancy. These burned like hell! My stomach was so bruised and yellow from them, that I began to wonder how it would survive 7 more months of it. ¬†But hey, whatever it took, we were willing.

The nurse took us back into the room for our ultrasound. ¬†The doctor came in with more congratulations, and some small talk about how I was feeling. ¬†Before she started the scan, she informed us that she wanted to see a heartrate of > or equal to 120 bpm. As she began, I took a deep breath, held Shane’s hand, and looked his way instead of hers. I feared that if I looked at her, I might see disappointment or sadness, and that it would all be over again.¬†¬†She quickly turned the screen for us to see that Baby A was still measuring perfectly, with a heartbeat of 136! We got to hear the heartbeat together for the first time. What an amazing experience. There is nothing like that sound. You can’t forget it.

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7 weeks, 3 days

Baby B was still measuring behind, but hanging on with a slow heartrate. ¬†She informed us that by next week, she believed Baby B would vanish, and that we would go on to have a healthy singleton pregnancy. We asked some questions about this “vanishing twin,” making sure that it would not affect Baby A in a negative way. We learned that a vanishing twin is actually quite common, and that Baby A would receive all the nutrients from the loss of Baby B. ¬†Seeing Baby A healthy and Baby B hanging on that day was a bittersweet experience for us. ¬†We were absolutely thrilled for what God was doing with Baby A. ¬†But, at the same time we hurt for Baby B. ¬†We began to pray for God to take Baby B soon if that was his plan. Neither one of us wanted to see it struggling again the following week. Really though, in my heart, I hoped that Baby B would make it.

And then came the not so good news. The doctor found what appeared to be a 3rd sac. ¬†Strangely, the sac was empty. After some more investigating, it was determined to be a subchorionic bleed. ¬†Sounds scary, right? Like they couldn’t have given it a friendlier name. ¬†It’s basically a pocket of blood in the uterus. ¬†About 50% (here we go again with the statistics) of pregnant women get them, and surely I had to be in that group.

She explained that there are several possible scenarios of what can happen with a subchorionic bleed. ¬†My husband spoke up and demanded right away, “Give us the worst case.” ¬†The worst case scenario was that I could bleed it out, and in turn, it could flush out the pregnancy with it. ¬†She said chances are very slim this would happen. ¬†Ummm, very slim??? Not good enough. The second scenario was the bleed just dissipates on its own with no bleeding, almost like it is absorbed by the body. ¬†Or, third, it sticks around the whole pregnancy and causes no harm. ¬†I did not want this thing sticking around at all. And I definitely did not want to start bleeding again. ¬†She told me to stay off of my feet as much as I could. ¬†Real easy when you are a teacher!

Finally, she said she would like to continue to see me for serial ultrasounds (instead of betas!) at 8 1/2 weeks, 9 1/2 weeks, 10 1/2 weeks, and then, FINALLY, I could be released to my regular OB-GYN.  So, we set up the remaining appointments and were on our way.  On our way home, we stopped and sat under the bridge at the inter-coastal waterway.  I still recall how beautiful the water was that day.  Our feelings were all over the place between Baby A, Baby B, and the bleed.  All I know is that we thanked God for the life growing, and prayed for everything else to fall into place.

For the next week, we were literally living one day at a time.  When I returned to work, I told my administrators that they may see me sitting down more often and why.  I told my students I needed to be off my feet too.  As a teacher, I was always up and moving around my classroom, so this was going to be a challenge.  But, my students helped me tremendously, and we made it to week 8.

Twinkies

After the joy of the positive HPT’s (notice I said plural because of course we finished off the box to make sure every one came back a little darker), I got my first beta done 4 days later. The nice part about these 3 back to back betas was the fact that I was off work. ¬†So in the mornings, I didn’t have to get up at the *** crack of dawn to get them done, I didn’t have to worry about trying to answer the phone with a classroom of 23 students eavesdropping in, and if I got bad news from one of the betas, I could easily sulk at home, no questions asked. ¬†This was all part of our reasoning for doing a December transfer.

The first beta came back at 335, with a progesterone level of 150, when I was just 4 weeks 1 day. ¬†The second beta, 772 when I was 4 weeks 3 days. And the final came back at 2,620 when I was 4 weeks 5 days on what just happened to be New Years Eve. ¬†What a perfect way to bring in the new year. ¬†And boy, did we welcome 2015! ¬†Everyone told us it would be “our year.” ¬†And so far, we had no reason to believe different; we made it through the betas with each one way more than doubling. ¬†2014 was a terrible year for us and we were ready to put it behind us. ¬†But, in the back of my mind, I was still extremely anxious. ¬†You have to remember that our last loss we made it through those 3 betas too, only to miscarry days later. Needless to say, the days following the 3rd beta were pretty intense for us. ¬†I kept replaying over & over the exact date & time I miscarried the last pregnancy. ¬†Surprisingly, that day came & went, and I was still pregnant.

We scheduled our first ultrasound to see the heartbeat for 7 weeks 3 days. ¬†I could have set it up for a little earlier but I wanted to make sure we saw that heartbeat. ¬†I went back to work and resumed life as normal, still taking it easier than I usually would. The week after the betas was difficult. ¬†For one, we had never made it this far. ¬†And two, there was no more blood or ultrasound appointments. ¬†I keep thinking I wasn’t pregnant anymore. ¬†I called the doctor and actually requested to have a beta done! It came back at 23,000 when I was 5 weeks 5 days. ¬†Another sigh of relief.

One afternoon not long after, while the kids were watching a presentation at school, I started to feel crampy. ¬†I asked another teacher to watch my class and I went to the bathroom. I have to tell you that every time I peed from the moment I found out I was I pregnant, and didn’t see blood, I spoke out loud, “Thank you, God.” ¬†I kid you not…every single time I peed.¬†¬†Today, I was bleeding. ¬†Not spotting, bleeding. ¬†I almost passed out right then and there. ¬†I stayed in the bathroom for about 5 minutes, shaking. Suddenly, I found myself thanking God. ¬†I started crying out to him and I remember saying, “Okay, God, if this is what you want, it’s OK.” ¬†I repeated it over and over again, until I was calm. I didn’t tell anyone, I just went back into my classroom and started teaching again.

At the end of the day, I emailed the doctor and told her what happened. ¬†She said she wanted me to come in first thing the next morning to do an ultrasound and to get a progesterone level. ¬†I was now 6 weeks 3 days. I knew that if the bleeding and cramping continued through the night, it was without a doubt over. ¬†Even if it didn’t continue, I knew there was still a chance it was over, or would be soon. ¬†I didn’t understand how I could be miscarrying again-my lining was thick, and I was on a blood thinner this time around. ¬†I just kept praying I wasn’t.

I slept through the night with no bleeding or cramping. ¬†My hubs couldn’t get off that day (but he kept assuring me that nothing was going to be wrong anyways) so my mom went with me instead. The nurse took my mom and I into the room that we had sat in so many times before over the past year. ¬†Before she began the scan, she explained that it could be possible to not see a heartbeat today because it was too early on, and that everything could still be just fine. ¬†Basically, don’t freak out was what she was telling me. ¬†However, what she did need to see was a yolk sac and a gestational sac, which I knew from her and from my own research.

I laid back and held my breath. ¬†And then, I heard the words that I had been waiting so very long to hear, that I’ll never ever forget… “There’s Baby A, with a strong heartbeat already!” She rotated the screen and we could see it fluttering. Then she turned on the doppler so we could hear it. ¬†It was already beating over 100 bpm; 106 to be exact. ¬†Both my mom and I were crying. ¬†My heart was so full. ¬†Once we calmed down, she said, “You can see Baby B’s heartbeat is flickering, but it’s not picking up yet, it’s probably just a little too early.”

TWINS!!!

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Baby A measuring exactly 6 weeks, 3 days, and Baby B measuring just a little behind.

My progesterone level came back perfect that day, and my cervix measured nice and long as it should.  The doctor reassured me (again), that sometimes women bleed and everything is perfectly fine with the pregnancy.  I prayed I would not be one of these women and bleed; I was too scarred from the other bleeds and how they turned out.  God answered my prayer, and I never bled again during the pregnancy.

We were still on for our appointment the following week, when I would be 7 weeks, 3 days.  I was over the moon that my hubs would get to see and hear his babies heartbeats in less than a week!! Finally!!