Saturday, November 15, 2014

THE Ultrasound

Ok, at some point of life I’m going to be more consistent with this blog, but let’s be honest – raising children can be the most wonderful kind of exhausting.  Two years ago today, Brian and I had THE ultrasound with the most beautiful shock of all, and that must be shared…..

October 29, 2012, Brian and I got the call we hoped and prayed for – after a successful round of IVF, we were pregnant!  Since our nurse left a voicemail with the good news, she called later that night to congratulate us.  She mentioned that because my beta number was so high, there was a chance of multiples.  After two more rounds of blood work with an elevated level, we scheduled our first ultrasound for Thursday, November 15.  The two weeks and three days following the news of possible multiples before the ultrasound were so very long.  The excitement of pregnancy, as well as the sickness of pregnancy, preparing for a baby, possibly two……but at no point of those two weeks and three days did the thought of triplets float through my mind.  I focused on and talked about A child.  After trying for so long and what we went through in hopes of a child, there was no room for thoughts of “just one child” after the ultrasound.

November 15, Brian and I had an appointment after work.  We spent the day texting and emailing a countdown to the ultrasound, looking forward to seeing our sweet baby.  We met at the doctor’s office and settled into our room.  While we waited for the doctor, we heard a nurse say outside our door “I think it’s twins” - the same nurse who told me the week before that they were fighting over who would be in the room with us for the ultrasound.  Our doctor came in and got down to business.  During the ultrasound, the monitor was faced towards him.  I was unable to see, but Brian and the nurse were able to.  After a few minutes I heard our doctor say “huh”.  So many questions went through my head!   I immediately looked to Brian.  His face was as red as it could be, mouth dropped, pure joy.  I then looked to my nurse who was taking notes, holding back a smile, and gave me the same comforting wink she had given me so many times over the past few months.  Our doctor then turned the screen around to me.  What happened after this is a haze to me now…..but I do remember him showing us two little people, then scanning around to show us another little person, and spending an embarrassing amount of time calculating 2+1=3.  TRIPLETS.  I’m not going to lie, what followed was an “OH” followed by an expletive, backed by a combination of shock, fear, and utter happiness.  (Give me a break, I just found out we were expecting THREE BABIES).  My mind was filled with thoughts of three babies – THREE BABIES, the risks involved, I will never be able to tell these little people apart, I’m going to have to quit my job and become a stay at home mom, how are we going to afford to take care of three babies, and bouncing back and forth between the fear of three babies and thrilled over three babies. 

When we got it together and left the room, a majority of the staff already heard the news.  After several hugs and congratulations, we were on our way.  I headed home, and bless his heart, Brian went to class – and actually stayed through the entire class.  I wasn’t out of my parking spot before I was on the phone with my sister Allison – my personal life coach, keeper of my most juicy secrets, and speaker of the truth.  As soon as she answered the phone I remember telling her that I needed her to be Polly Positive, because I was freaking out enough for the both of us.  Her first question was “is everything ok”, and I hit her with the news.  She thought it was a joke.  After I finally convinced her that this was not a joke and I actually had an ultrasound showing three little people sitting beside me, we had a rollercoaster conversation that could convince anyone we were absolutely insane.  How hard triplets will be, how much fun triplets will be, how blessed we are, and all the many reasons we should be stressed out right now.  She summed it up perfectly when she said “I am so scared, but grinning ear to ear right now”.  Several times during the conversation and since then, she mentioned that if anyone was capable of raising triplets, it was us.  As soon as I got off the phone with her, I then talked to Brian’s first phone call, Jon, who was more than thrilled.  While talking to Jon, I was at least a mile up the highway before I realized I completely missed the turn for our neighborhood. When I finally made it home, I immediately walked next door to see my friend/neighbor Vedrana, with a stream of ultrasound pictures in my hand.  I showed her the picture of the two babies (who we now know as my boys Jackson and Jonathon).  She was thrilled over twins…and then I showed her the single baby, and she cried.  I also talked to my friend Lauren, who responded with dead silence and a “WHAT?!”  Everyone’s response was similar – shock, excitement, and the reassurance that Brian and I could handle this.

After the initial shock wore off (for the moment), I was a mess of emotions.  Grateful that after what we went through in hopes of one baby, we were blessed with three.  Fear of raising three babies, and how we could afford the mountain of necessities.  Overwhelming joy we would experience.  Anticipation of our trip home to Alabama the following week to tell our family that not only were we expecting, but also what we were expecting.  The stress we would experience raising three babies 8 hours away from our family.  The wonder of the genders, personalities, would Brian get the mini-Maryann he’s always wanted, and would I get the mini-Brian I always wanted.  The high risks surrounding my pregnancy, for me and the babies.  Appreciative for the amount of time we tried, and our experience with IVF, because even though we were facing a high risk pregnancy, and life as we know it had flipped upside down and inside out, I valued and cherished this wonderful, wonderful gift God had given us so much more because of it. 

Even on our worst day, if we were able to go back to the day of transfer and have the doctor tell us that one embryo would give us our Jackson and Jonathon, and the second our sweet lady, I would – without a doubt – choose this wild, but wonderful, life of ours. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

This crazy life

Well it's been a while.  So, I had a draft of a 30 week update to post following my doctor's appointment April 29 with the latest measurements - but then life and 3 babies happened.  6 months later, I finally feel like I can come up for air and summarize the wild ride we have been on.  

Let's go back to April 12....

During a doctor's visit, my blood pressure was much higher than usual.  Throughout my pregnancy, my blood pressure had been perfect, so this was a red flag. Since I had a 45% risk of developing preeclampsia (15% per baby), the doctor had me monitor my blood pressure until my next appointment and collect my urine for 24 hours prior to my appointment to test for protein (a sign of preeclampsia).  Over the next 2 weeks, my blood pressure was normal, at times slightly elevated, but never to the point that I needed to call the doctor, and I never had other symptoms of preeclampsia.  No big deal.

Monday, April 29, Brian and I went in for a routine doctor's visit and ultrasound.  Even though I had a 24 hour collection of urine in my hand, the nurse asked for a fresh sample before seeing the doctor.  When we were settled in our room, the nurse came in to check my blood pressure.  140 something over 90 something.  Too high!  The nurse returned to let us know that there was protein in my urine sample.  That's when the panic started creeping in.  When the doctor came in to see us, we heard the phrase that stopped our world - "we're going to have to admit you" due to mild preeclampsia.  She assured us that this was to monitor as a precaution, and I could possibly be heading home in 24 hours.  No big deal.  Before we headed to the hospital, she wanted me to go for the ultrasound scheduled after the appointment so that they would have current measurements for the babies'.

During the ultrasound, all of the babies looked healthy.  They had perfect heartbeats, were moving, and practicing breathing on their own.  Baby A measured over 3 lbs, Baby C 2 lbs 10 oz, and Baby B, only 1 lb 12 oz.  At 30 weeks, Baby B should have been much bigger.  He had only gained 8 ounces in 4 weeks.  She did a doppler to check the flow from his placenta.  Unfortunately, the flow was interrupted and my little guy wasn't getting an appropriate amount, causing his restricted growth.  Big problem.  After our doctor was updated on the results from the ultrasound, she came in to touch base with us before we left.  To this day, I can't remember what she said, but I do know that the situation was more serious than we originally thought and I wouldn't be heading home in 24 hours.  They grabbed a pack of graham crackers and apple juice for the starving pregnant woman and sent us on our way.

I was a wreck!  I was only 30 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  This was too early.  My babies weren't ready!  I was having the perfect pregnancy.  This couldn't be happening.  The babies' rooms weren't ready.  We still had home renovations to do before the babies came home.  Our family was 8 hours away.  We had no clothes with us.  This was not the plan!  As I drove to the hospital, I took the wrong turn.  I couldn't process.  I talked to my mom and sister, trying to keep my cool while I was freaking out!  As we were walking into the hospital, I soaked up the last bit of fresh air.  It could be days or weeks before I saw something other than the hospital walls.

We checked into the hospital, walked up to labor and delivery, and our nurse helped us get settled and hooked me up to several monitors and IVs.  I was relieved to hear the attending physician for the remainder of the afternoon and the evening physician were two of my favorites.  What a relief!  When we were settled, we were bombarded with questions and information from the anesthesiologist, neonatologist, and others that I honestly don't remember.  Eventually, I just smiled and nodded, pretending like I heard or understood a single word anyone was saying to me.  Due to the placenta issue with Baby B, I had been upgraded to severe preeclampsia.  I was given a steroid shot to speed up the babies' lung development in preparation for a delivery in 24-48 hours.  Brian went home to pack his bag (thank goodness, I felt the urgency to pack my hospital bag the weekend before this fiasco began) and I attempted to get some rest.  When the evening doctor came in to check in with me, she mentioned that our goal was to keep me pregnant through the night.  There went my goal of a 35 week delivery! 

That night was horrible.  Horrible!  Between the blood pressure checks every 15 minutes, continuous sweet, comforting beats of my 3 babies hearts, and a one time massage-like calf cuff to prevent blood clots turned demon cuff to prevent sleep or comfort, I had 10 minutes of somewhat sleep that night.  I spent 7 hours staring at the clock, waiting for midnight so that my babies were officially one more day in the womb, and stalking the blood pressure monitor.

We made it to morning, and we met our goal of keeping me pregnant through the night!  Our plan was to move me from labor and delivery to the antepardom unit to monitor and tentatively plan for a Wednesday delivery.  My parents arrived Tuesday afternoon.  What a relief to have them there!  Since delivery and life in the NICU was a reality, we took a tour of the NICU that afternoon to prepare ourselves.  After seeing the unit, we were more at peace with the road ahead for our sweet babies.  At this point, we were unsure as to when we would deliver.  Wednesday seemed less likely, possibly Thursday.  Wednesday morning, we met with the doctor who decided to repeat the 24 hour urine sample.  The results Thursday morning would be the deciding factor as to whether or not and when we would deliver, or if we continued to monitor.  Either way, hours, days, or weeks away, I wasn't leaving the hospital until I delivered.

Wednesday night, my blood pressure magically returned to better than normal through the night.  Surely, this was a good sign.  Did the preeclampsia magically disappear?!?!  Only the lab results would tell.

Thursday morning, the nurse took the 24 hour urine sample to the lab.  As crazy as it sounds, life revolved around that bucket of urine.  We waited for an hour.  One nerve wracking hour.  I was ready to meet my babies.  I wanted Baby B to be safe.  Even though I wanted to deliver as late as possible, I knew that his needs would be met better on the outside because of his placenta issue.  Because of my background in early childhood special education, I was aware of the issues surrounding premature babies.  I was terrified of the road ahead of us.  I tried to relax during that hour, but it was next to impossible.  I spent the hour trying to remain calm, praying for God's will for my babies, that He would prepare us for the decision and the road ahead.  

After the longest hour of my life, the doctor came in with the test results.  The protein in my urine had doubled since Monday.  He was faced with the decision to deliver now while my blood pressure, liver, and kidney functions were stable, or give the babies a little while longer to bake and deliver under less than desirable circumstances.  After speaking with another doctor, they decided it was in my best interest to deliver that day.  Thursday, May 2, 2013 would be the day we meet out sweet babies, at 30 weeks 4 days.

The fun began!  The "todays the day - get here" phone calls went out to my parents waiting at our house, my sister, brother-in-law, and niece on the road to Charleston, and Brian's parents, sister, and grandmother who were waiting in Alabama.  Text messages and phone calls to our sweet friends who were waiting and praying along with us.  We showered, packed our bags, and moved back to the labor and delivery unit.  I was relieved to see our sweet nurse from Monday waiting for us at our door with a "welcome back".  

The final belly picture

After we were settled, I was hooked up to monitors, IVs, and prepped for my 2:00 C-Section.  Allison, Steven, and Abbie were on the road and set to arrive at the hospital around 1:30.  I had to see Allison before they took me to the operating room for one of her classic pep talks!  Luckily, my C-section was moved to 5:30.  I was able to spend several hours with Brian, Mom, Dad, Allison, Steven, and Abbie.  They were the perfect distraction from the fear of the road ahead.  Before moving to the operating room, we held hands and prayed.  It was one of those perfect moments in life.  Six of the people I love most covering us in prayer and love.  Absolutely beautiful.

Finally, it was time.  I was taken to the delivery room and given the spinal block.  As soon as I was ready for delivery, Brian came in.  

At 6:19 pm on Thursday, May 2, 2013, we heard the most precious sound imaginable - our babies first cry.  Jackson Lee arrived at 2 lb 11 oz.

A few seconds later, we heard the same sweet sound, with a little more spunk than his calm brother.  Jonathon Martin - Baby B, our biggest concern - fighting his way into the world and grabbing the doctors sponges along the way.  1 lb 12 oz.  

At 6:21, our family was complete.  Our beautiful daughter, Caroline Margaret, arrived at 2 lb 10 oz.  

The babies were immediately taken to a team of neonatologists and nurses to be stabilized and evaluated before Brian was able to see them.  A few weeks after delivery, I was told there were 40 people involved in our delivery, 10 per person.  

After delivery, I was taken back to our room to recover.  A nurse practitioner came in to update us on our babies.  3 healthy babies!  Jackson and Jonathon's apgar scores were 8 (2 minutes) and 9 (5 minutes), Caroline 7 and 9.  Prior to delivery, we were told Jonathon would more than likely be intubated, possibly Jackson and Caroline.  They were intubated during stabilization, then extubated!  3 sets of healthy lungs!  Once they were stabilized, they brought Jackson and Jonathon into our room for a visit before moving to the NICU.  Our boys are identical twin boys, so very handsome.  So precious.  Caroline's isolate was equipped with a 30 minute oxygen tank, so she was taken straight to the NICU.  

Shortly after delivery, Brian's parents, sister, and grandmother arrived.  His 91 year old grandmother was more than happy to make the 8 hour ride to meet her newest great grandbabies.  Priceless!  

Because I was on a magnesium drip, I was unable to get out of bed or leave our room.  Until I was off the drip, I couldn't go to the NICU to see Caroline.  Finally, at midnight, the good news came.  Immediately following delivery, my blood pressure returned to normal, and was stable for several hours.  I was taken off the drip and moved to the postpartum unit.  After we were settled in our room, Brian took me up to the NICU to see the babies.

9 hours after delivery, at 4 am, I was able to touch my daughter for the first time.  My beautiful, tiny daughter.  We visited with each baby.  They were perfect, just tiny.  I couldn't believe how healthy they were.  We were blessed beyond belief!

Over the next few days, our new family of 5 was covered in love by family and friends (one who drove from North Carolina just to visit for a few hours).  I have no doubt that their initial and continued health is because of the amount of hands that were on them their first few days.  They were loved on and prayed over by these hands, as well as love and prayers from friends, family, and people we will never know all over the country.  These sweet angels were at the heart of many, many prayers. 

The weeks following delivery, I spent every day at the hospital visiting the babies.  Brian returned to work the next week.  Super Dad worked 8-10 hours a day, then visited the babies afterwards.  Jackson and Caroline moved out of the NICU into a special care nursery at 4 days old.  Jonathon joined them a few days later on their 1 week birthday.  We were shocked our time in the NICU was as short as it was, especially Jonathon's. (Or so we thought...)

On their 5 week birthday, we were able to bring our first baby, Jackson, home.  It was a bittersweet occasion.  We were thrilled to have a baby at home, but 2 remained at the hospital.  Instead of spending all day, every day at the hospital, our time and heart was now divided between home and the hospital.

June 6, 2013

The Tuesday following Jackson's homecoming, Caroline was able to join us.

June 11, 2013

Jonathon, our tough guy, had a few rough weeks.  He came down with the flu in June and was moved back to the NICU.  He spent two weeks in isolation.  Since we had Jackson and Caroline at home and he continued to test positive for the flu, we weren't able to hold him out of fear of bringing the germs home to the babies.  Once he tested negative, we smothered that sweet boy with love!  It took several weeks for him to recover from the flu before he was ready to come home on their 2 month birthday.  The night before he was set to come home, his oxygen levels continued to decrease, and he was sent back to the NICU.  The doctors were unable to find a reason not only for his sudden decline, but his sudden recovery.  We knew exactly why - the prayer of friends and family!  After a few rough weeks, another missed homecoming, and several tests, he regained his strength and maintained his oxygen levels while he remained in the hospital, awaiting a hernia repair surgery date.

July 26, he came through his surgery like the tough guy we know he is.  Sunday, July 28, we got the call we waited so long for.  After spending 87 days in the hospital, Jonathon was ready to come home!  Our family was finally complete!  

July 28, 2013

Today, the babies are 6 months old.  It has been an adventure!  Brian & I couldn't have made it without the grandmothers who were willing to watch the babies at home while Jonathon was in the hospital, love and support from our families and friends, my aunt for spending two weeks with us, and the incredible staff at the hospital.  They took such good care of not only our babies, but us as well.  They are angels!  More than anything, we will always be grateful for the amount of prayers that were spoken over our family.  Prayers were spoken from churches we have never attended and people we may never meet, yet they covered our family in prayers.  There are no words to explain just how much that means to us.  I look forward to the day our children will be able to fully understand how God worked through their premature birth.  

Life with triplets at home is wild.  Absolutely wild.  I can't help but laugh at times that we really do have three babies, like this is a dream.  As wild as it is, life is good.  Three times the good night and good morning kisses.  Three babies to snuggle.  Thirty sweet baby toes.  Three times the love.  Three times the "firsts".  While they do have their "moments" (if you ever call or are at our house at 6:00 pm, expect three crying babies), I never expected three babies to be this easy.  They are sleeping 12 hours at night (the boys need an occasional 4am snack) and their little personalities are really coming out.  Caroline is our sweet, sweet girl.  Jackson is a sweet little guy, but can pitch a fit like a champ.  Jonathon was Mr Serious for so long, but recently decided he would keep us.

Health wise, we have three healthy babies.  Their pediatrician recently told us that he doesn't suggest we take them to a multiples support group, because we would stress out the other families with how well they are doing.  Developmentally, they are consistent with a 4-5 month old, which is where they should be considering they were 2 months premature.  They are on the verge of sitting up on their own, and if he continues at this rate, Jonathon will be walking by Thursday.  He has places to go!

Even on our worst days, there's not a single thing I would change about this new life we have!  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

28 weeks

How far along?
28 weeks and 3 days

Latest appointment?
Last Friday, we had an ultrasound to check their organs and heart beats.  During the ultrasound, we saw the babies practicing breathing.  Such a proud Momma moment to see their sweet little diaphragms moving up and down on their own!  We also saw a little sibling rivalry when Sweet Boy B and Baby Girl kicked each other.  My rowdy babies!  We had the timing discussion with our doctor.  We're shooting for a 35 week delivery if everything continues to go well.  Please pray that our babies will get comfortable and hand around 7 more weeks.

How big are the babies?
We didn't get their measurements Friday, but will again at my next appointment in 2 weeks.  They are getting bigger and running out of room.  During the ultrasounds, they look like a jumble of body parts!  If my belly is indication, they are growing!

How am I feeling?
Exhausted!!  I feel that the glory days of the second trimester energy has come to an end.  I spend most of my days on the couch and nap as much as possible.  Between bathroom breaks and the time spent finding a comfortable position, resting is easier said than done.  No matter how tired or uncomfortable I am, every time I feel a kick of think about our babies, it's absolutely worth it!

Besides the exhaustion, I am sad to report the insatiable appetite is coming to an end.  It was good while it lasted.  I'm also having crazy separation issues from Brian.  This has been going on since early pregnancy, but I think it's getting worse.  I hate when he leaves for work, love nothing more than hearing him walk through the door, and can't get enough of him while he's home.  Please pray he doesn't get sick of me soon!   

What do I miss?
As always, sleeping on my stomach.  Last weekend, I attempted to roll over onto my stomach while I was half asleep in the middle of the night.  The speed bump of a belly quickly reminded me that it's just not happening anytime soon.

It changes everyday.  Im loving Chick-Fil-A's cookies and cream milkshakes right now!

Highlights of the week?
They have been moving so much lately!  They are especially active when Brian talks to them on his way to work in the mornings.  I think it's their "Daddy's up. Mommy, you should be too" sign.  I remind them that they didn't keep Daddy up most of the night and go back to sleep.  They're already Team Daddy.  Not fair!  Also, we found out last week the Sweet Boys are getting a partner in crime!  My sister, Allison, is expecting a boy in September.  Our once female dominate family is being taken over by little boys!   This is going to be fun!    

Belly Watch 
For the record, Allison saw me last night for the first time in a month.  She said the pictures I'm posting are an optical illusion.  Apparently, I'm much bigger in real life.  We're having maternity pictures made this weekend.  Maybe she'll be able to capture the bigness of the belly better than we can


Friday, April 12, 2013

1 Samuel 1:27

Before I begin, I do have to admit that this may be the first time several family members or friends will find out about our struggle to conceive a child.  This was never meant to be a "top secret" situation.  The emotional side of infertility is alot to bare, even more so when it's out in the open.  Brian and I decided to let a small group of people know what was going on when it reached a certain point for emotional support, then eventually share our story, no matter the outcome, with everyone.  Unfortunately, infertility is becoming more common, but rarely discussed.  If we can help just one couple through our experience, then it was worth the heartache.  We will never be able to express our gratitude to our family and friends who shared this journey with us, through emotional support, prayers, and those who love us enough to pray for us through this rough patch without asking for even the smallest details.  We love you all!  Our story is one that can't be summed up in one post.  The process, first ultrasound, lessons learned, and the excitement following deserve it's own post.  Someday, I hope to share this with our children so that they will fully understand just how much they were wanted, not just by us, but also our family and friends .  First, we'll start with a brief overview of a not so brief process.

After several years of trying to conceive, I became concerned that there was an issue, but was too afraid to even discuss the possibilities.  My usual stubborn "if I don't acknowledge it, it isn't a problem" mentality.  My sister, Allison, and Brian both had the "it may be time to talk to the doctor" chat with me within a few weeks of each other.  Since those two can talk sense into me like no one else, I took that as my sign to move forward.  I had "the talk" with my doctor last spring and the process began.

The day before our 4th wedding anniversary last July, we had our first appointment with our fertility specialist.  I would never have guessed 4 years prior that this is how we would be spending the day.  Life is funny like that!  After discovering two road blocks, we were on our way with a few tests scheduled over the next few weeks and an overview of our treatment possibilities.  We left feeling optimistic and grateful to have found such an incredible fertility specialist. 

At our follow-up appointment following the tests, we received not so good news.  My condition was more advanced than we originally thought.  Our tentative treatment, insemination, only had a 10-15% success rate.  Ouch!  Our other option was in vitro fertilization with only a 50% success rate.  That wasn't exactly what we were expecting to hear!  Our doctor left the insemination vs. IVF decision up to us and sent us on our way.

Defeated is the only way I can describe how we felt.  In our previous discussions of treatments, IVF was on the back burner.  The possibility was there, but there were two other treatment options before we even discussed IVF.  Yes, we still had options.  Very expensive options with only a 50% success rate.  What do you do when you feel defeated and absolutely hate your body?  Emotionally eat your way home.  Yes, cheesy bacon fries may not be the best way to handle ugly situations, but we felt better about life while killing a plate.  Don't judge.  After receiving the price estimate and processing our options, Brian said "let's do it".  We decided to move forward with IVF.  Even though we had a financially, emotionally, and physically draining procedure ahead of us, it was worth it to avoid the "what if's" several years down the road.

And so it began.....

This was the day IVF became real for me - medicine delivery day.


One, that's alot of medicine for a little over a month.  Two, red sharps containers belong in doctors' offices, not my house!  The process began with one shot in my belly every morning at 5:30.  I wouldn't say that I'm afraid of needles....when administered by a medical professional.  A needle administered by myself or my husband in my kitchen - now that's a different story.  "It will be worth it" I told myself every day leading up to the first shot.  The day of the first shot will forever go down in my history as one of my most triumphant days.  After a 5:15 am pep talk, I decided to attempt the shot before handing it over to Brian. Success!!  I think it's safe to say that everyone who was aware we were going through this process was just as surprised as I was when they got the "I DID IT" call.  I had some serious anxiety building up to that shot.  The shots continued, then increased to two a day.  To put a positive spin on the situation, Brian and I decided to set aside a dollar for every needle that went into my body.  At the end of the process, we would use that money to either celebrate or drown our sorrows after the results.  After several shots, blood draws, and retrieval, this was the result.  

$46!  46 needles in my body in just over a month.  I don't think I had 46 needles in my body in the 30 years prior to this experience!

Finally, it was retrieval and transfer week.  The day after a successful retrieval, I got the phone call I had been waiting on.  Of the 13 eggs retrieved, 11 inseminated!  The number wasn't as high as I was hoping for, but it was quality over quantity that mattered.  Because our little embryos were doing so well, the clinic bypassed the thought of a day 3 transfer and scheduled us for day 5.  (Day 5 is good!) 

Five days later, transfer day was here.  We met with the doctor prior to the procedure for an update on our embryos.  We had one 4AA embryo to transfer, with two they were watching for the best quality.  Our doctor mentioned that he would be happy if all of his patients had a 4AA embryo.    At this point, he gave us a 60% chance of conceiving one child, 10% chance of twins, and 1% with triplets or more.  Even though the 60% was 10% higher than his original estimate, it burned a little knowing there was still a 40% chance this procedure would end in a negative result.  I shook off the burn and away Brian and I went to change into our ultra fashionable hospital gowns and hats.  Before we left the changing room, we snapped this picture.  We didn't know it at the time, but this picture would be the absolute last picture we have of just the two of us.

Minutes before the procedure began, our doctor updated us on the two embryos they were watching.  One had upgraded to a 4BB and would be transferred along with the 4AA embryo.  Two healthy embryos!  We were thrilled!  Following the transfer, our doctor came back in to speak with us.  The transfer was a success and it was time to let nature take over.  He told us "you've had a good cycle.  Let's see what happens" with a hint of optimism.  For the following 9 days, I held on to that moment as my hope for a positive result.

Day nine was finally here!  October 29, 2012.  Almost 4 years to the day that we decided to stop my birth control pills.  I had my blood drawn at 7:30 for our pregnancy test.  I was expecting a call from our nurse with the results later that morning.  The call came at 11:17 (yes, I still have the voicemail).  Earlier, Brian and I agreed to wait until we both got home from work at 3:30 to listen to the voicemail together.  Of course, my mind started racing.  What if she didn't leave the results and I need to call her back when we get home?!  Brian needs to leave at 4:00 to get to class - what if we can't reach her by then?!  I listened to the first few seconds of the voicemail and heard "I have goo..." and stopped.  I knew she was well on her way to finish "good" before I hung up.  I immediately called Brian and Allison to tell him she had "goo....".  Brian gave me the go ahead to listen to the voicemail.  I made it to "I have good news.  Your pregnancy test came back....." and stopped listening.  At this point, I had a good feeling that I was pregnant.  I was sure she wasn't calling to tell me the good news is the test came back negative and we weren't finished with them yet.  I waited until we were both home to finish the voicemail.  After 4 years of hoping for a positive, I wanted us to react together at home, not separately at work. 

After what seemed like the longest drive, it was 3:30 and we were both home to listen to the voicemail together.  The good news was we were pregnant!!  I could not believe it!!  We hugged, we laughed, we called Allison and Brian's "brother" Jon.  It was an incredible day!  We were finally getting the child we had talked about and dreamed of for years!  After trying for 4 years and so many negative pregnancy tests, I had to see it for myself, so I bought two at home pregnancy tests.  Within a minute, I had a positive result for both.  "Wow, Im REALLY pregnant" I thought.  If only I had known how pregnant I was!  

Later that night, our nurse called from the clinic to congratulate us.  She mentioned that of the 5 pregnancy tests they did that day, we had the highest beta number - 421.  She then went on to say "Maryann, I mean it's really high.  There's a chance you could have multiples".  Ohhh, okay.  Wow.  Well.

We scheduled two more blood draws to ensure my beta numbers were growing.  October 31, two days later, my number increased to 812.  A week later, November 7, 9794!  Woah!  We scheduled our first ultrasound for the following Thursday, November 15.  

And that day, my friends, deserves it's on special blog.......

Thursday, April 4, 2013

26 weeks

How far along?
26 weeks and 4 days

Latest appointment?
We had an ultrasound to measure their growths and heartbeats last Friday.  3 healthy heartbeats and growing babies!

How big are the babies?
Sweet Boy A weighs in at 1 lb 11 oz.  Baby Girl, always right behind her brother, is 1 lb 10 oz.  My little guy, Sweet Boy B, weighed in at 1 lb 4 oz.  She did another doppler to keep an eye on his flow from the placenta.  Our boys are sharing, but squished.

How am I feeling?
Overall, I feel good, but I am getting slower and tire very easily.  Im becoming more and more uncomfortable, especially at night.  My last day of work was this past Friday.  It's a relief now that I have the day to catch up on the sleep I missed the night before, and can work at my own (slow) speed.  I don't know if I could have made it one more week!

The appetite is still in high gear!  I can eat an embarrassing amount of food at one meal, and still need a snack an hour later.  The crazy pregnancy hormones are manageable, but kick in a random times, mostly when I hear certain songs.  Daddy-daughter songs, especially Just Fishin' by Trace Adkins, gets me every single time!  One, because I have the sweetest dad there has ever been, and two, because I know our little girl will love Brian as much as I love my dad.  I just can't wait to see Brian with her!  Last week, I cried like a baby when I heard Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift.  I have a 4 year old niece who is the little love of my life.  She's becoming an independent little lady, and it seems like she was an infant just last week.  It kills me that she has grown up this fast, and I know our babies will do the same.  Im going to quit before the hormones kick in again......       

What do I miss?
Sleeping on my stomach, sleeping through the night (I know, I know, it's never happening again), and having energy to spare.  

Lemonade, milk, milkshakes, buffalo wings, grape juice, oranges (a big thank you to Brian's co worker for Florida oranges straight from the tree!  I can't get enough!)

Highlights of the week?
The babies have been kicking and moving alot more this week, especially Sweet Boy A.  I love when they start moving at the same time.  My belly shakes in the craziest directions.  (They're doing it now!)  My Dad spent the night with us earlier this week.  They put on a show for him!  Our Hood momma and sister will be here for the weekend.  I can't wait for them to see the belly bounce and feel the kicks!  I bought Baby Girl's crib bedding over the weekend (thank you Ross for saving us lots of money!).  The boys on the other hand, I have got to get to work on!     

Belly Watch