Monday, December 05, 2005

So...when are you going to have a baby?

This is what 'they' call "One from the Drawer". This is an article I wrote over 2 years ago for a local newsletter about our journey towards parenthood. I was reminded of it when Danigirl made an honourable mention to IVF parents.

You know how it goes…you meet someone, start dating and the questions start “When you are going to get engaged?” promptly followed by the marriage, house, baby questions (not necessarily in that order). Our journey to parenthood had a few hiccups as we were diagnosed with infertility. We pursued treatments which eventually led to the birth of our twin sons. We were living in Ottawa at the time. Here is our story.

DH & I started dating June 1998, were married June 1999. We started trying to conceive May of 1999 (oops!) cause we both knew we wanted a family and figured it would likely take a few months anyway. HA!! Think of the fortune we could've saved on birth control.

When things weren’t working, after a number of cycle on clomaphine (clomid) my GP referred us to the Parkdale clinic and we met with a Reproductive Endocrinologist in the spring of 2000. We had the battery of tests, blood tests, sperm analysis, ultrasounds, and I had a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG), two laproscopies, and two hysteroscopies. My tubes were clear, but the doctor suspected I had a bit of endometriosis, which he confirmed when he found some during the ‘laps’ and took out as much as he could. There were also a high number of polyps in my uterus, which he also removed. This remains in question whether or not they may have been a deterrent to us getting pregnant or not. My FSH was a bit on the 'high' side but nothing that needed to be addressed too aggressively. At this point we were planning to pursue Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) until it was soon discovered that although the sperm count was actually very acceptable but they were just really bad swimmers. It was then discussed and agreed we go directly to the In-vitrofertilization (IVF) route.

We agreed amongst ourselves to commit to 3 fresh cycles, and if no success, we would re-address and likely pursue adoption or fostering. We just so badly wanted to be parents in some way/shape or form. Our first cycle in June 2001, we get 6 eggs, 5 mature, 4 fertilized, we transfer 2 three day old embryos, freeze 2, negative. We ask to start again a.s.a.p. We start cycling Labour Day weekend (my first self-injection was in a not so clean seedy motel room in Lake Placid!). At the risk of being cancelled in the middle of our cycle due to my estrogen levels becoming extremely high, they decide to complete the cycle. We get 21 eggs, 20 mature, 18 fertilized, on October 2, 2001 we transfer 2 five day old embryos, freeze 1, and now we wait. On Thanksgiving Monday (Oct 8) I am hospitalized with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (this is OHSS and is a known risk with IVF, but the severity of my case only occurs in less than 10% of those who experience any level of OHSS. This only occurs in IVF women, and not those who become pregnant naturally). I remain in hospital for almost three weeks. Wait, the story get better.

DH had been called to go to Portugal for business. He had left on Thanksgiving Sunday, and being admitted to the hospital on Monday, he is still in a plane somewhere. I called my sister-in-law and ask her to please track him down for me and tell him the news. She does and the conversation was as follows:
SIL – your wife in the hospital with hyperstim
DH – No way
SIL - No really!
DH – No Way
SIL - Um, this is really long distance buddy
DH - having just landed in Portgual - "I'm on my way"

Tuesday morning the doctor comes to see me, among other things he tells me they are going to put a tube in my stomach to drain the fluid (which stayed there for the entire 18 days), and then puts on this great big smile and says “Oh, and congratulations, you're pregnant." I didn't believe him and started to BAWL. Then I ask how he knows? Well, they 'snuck' in a beta (pregnancy blood test) without telling me when they did all my b/w the day prior. DH is again, on a plane, on his way back. He literally went to Portugal for supper and came back. Well, I just couldn't wait, so I called my mom who had been in close contact every minute about everything since I had been admitted...and still crying, again, now BAWLING, I try to tell her. In her very reassuring motherlike voice "It’s OK dear, calm down, tell me what has happened now, what did the doctors say..." and I couldn't get it out!! I kept blubbering and every time I tried to tell her I would cry harder. I was sucking in & out like a little kid - you know - the semi-hyperventilating cry when being forced on to Santa’s lap. Well, I finally managed to spit it out and then we are both crying. I manage to keep it to myself until DH shows up around 7 PM, a little bedraggled (is that a real word?) looking. I start to cry, he hugs me and again I am trying to tell him the good news and again I can't!! He likely thinks I am so scared, sore, in pain, sad, and maybe thinks we had another negative cycle, etc....well I finally get it out and there we go again. You'd think with all the tears I lost that day I would've been cured!! When I get to go home, I am ‘officially’ 5 weeks, 2 days pregnant. Two weeks later, I start to bleed. They bring me in for an ultrasound – all looks fine, they cannot explain the bleeding, but that are able to tell us at that early stage of 7w2d that there are in fact TWO heartbeats in there. The bleeding comes and goes fairly regular until I am 15 weeks. I was a frequent flyer at the ER and the doctor’s ultrasound clinic. Once things settled down, I was permitted to go back to work halftime. (the other half I was instructed to rest, rest, rest). I had a couple of pre-term labour scares, with a serious one at 28 weeks. After a five day stay in the hospital (and yes, all the nurses remembered me) I was on strict bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I did just as I was told, and it was worth it

My 'Troops' arrived May 28, 2002 at 36w5d. I was induced, and had a vaginal delivery. Baby A was born at 6lbs 14 oz and 27 minutes later Baby B arrived at 7 lbs 5 oz. We all came home 2 days later and have been living happily ever after since.

We do often get the remarks from many commenting about our “Double Trouble”. Here is a poem I have which shares our sentiments about being blessed with our boys. (Sorry I don’t know where I got it, and I can’t take the credit since I did not write it)

Double Trouble, Double Toys
Double Mess and Double Noise.
Double Tears and Double Spills,
And Double on the Doctor's Bills.
Sometimes it seems we'll never win
The constant challenge of raising twins.
Yet there is not a day goes by
That I don't look up to the sky,
And Thank the Lord in Heaven Above
For Blessing me with "Double Love"


Blogger BeachMama said...

Thanks for sharing your story Nancy. I knew most of it, but not all for sure :) You are so blessed with your two Troops, it seems so unreal that you had to jump through such hoops to have them here with you now.


7:03 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's lovely, Nancy. Thanks for sharing it.

It reminds me of a friend of mine who tried for years and years, and saved up for IVF, and then finally tried it, and took the drugs, and went in for the ultrasound/whatever to do the retrivals--and found out she was pg!

I'm so glad you got your happy ending.

7:17 AM EST  
Blogger nancy said...

Andrea - It seems to happen like that quite often, which is a complete thrill for IFers like me.

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

Okay, I know this story so well I could practically tell it myself, and I still have chills reading it.

Thanks for the memories. (sung in bad, off-key warble)

Hmmm, maybe I'll haul my story out of the drawer one of these days, too...

8:53 AM EST  
Blogger Silver Creek Mom said...

Great reading that story Nancy. YEs I love the poem although I don't have twins There is not a day goes by that I don't smile and thank GOD for him. Whatever would I do without something to clean up?

9:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nancy, you got me blubbering at work! Good thing everyone else leaves before me. :~/ Total flashback to my u/s this pg, where they had to switch from regular to vaginal because of my tilted uterus. I was bawling in the bathroom so hard I could barely go, assuming the embryo was too small and I was on my way to a third m/c. A few minutes later when the tech said "measuring right on" for dates, it took a minute to sink in, then I yelled "What did you say?!" and started bawling again.

I've been really enjoying your suggestions, especially the white gift idea. We don't have that at church, but have families at work to support - what a great idea to involve the kids (I need to stop thinking dd's too young).

5:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what to and downs and many near misses but BINGO!!! You are so lucky. And I realize once again how lucky I have been and to never take it for granted!
I love the poem..I have triple trouble (not triplets just 3 girls!)

5:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finally get a few minutes alone to read (catch up on) the blogs and you have me blubbering like a child who has just lost her puppy! Wonderful story.
Off for a mommy day!

8:54 AM EST  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

That is a gorgeous story!

11:13 PM EST  
Anonymous Zeenat said...

Nacy Thank you soooo much for sharing your great story with us. You really inspired we a lot. IVF Thailand

2:03 AM EDT  

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