Saturday, August 23, 2008

Starting 2008 off with a bang

I met my husband in June, 2000. After our 1st date (and getting violently ill from lingering food poisioning) I turned to my roomate at the time and told her I'd just met the man I was going to marry. After many ups and downs, break-ups and make-ups, we got married on August 7, 2005. I was 28, Matt was 33. We decided to wait a year to start trying for kids - we wanted to travel, spend time together, and just enjoy being married to each other. About 8 months later I was ready - I didn't want to wait the year and Matt agreed. I went off birth control and we started trying. Every month I would get my hopes up, and then nothing. A few months later I heard about charting. I started trying that - nothing. I started using Ovulation Predictor Kits - nothing. We tried that way for a year. Every month getting excited, every month having my hopes dashed. After a year I went back to my OB/GYN. He was suprised that it hadn't "happened" for me yet and referred me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

We met with our RE in November 2006. The first few months were filled with tests - bloodwork, sperm analysis, ultrasounds. The whole time the RE kept telling us we see some issues, but nothing to make us think this will be impossible. We tried 3 cycles of Interuterine Insemination (IUI). Each time we got our hopes up again, each time they were systematically dashed. By the end, I was starting to feel as if someone, somewhere was telling me I was not meant to be a mom.

After 3 failed IUIs we met again with the RE. He suggested we go straight to was the best option with the highest success rate he reasoned. We were lucky. My insurance covered it. We went to IVF.

I was so scared. I hated needles. I couldn't imagine having to inject myself up to three times a day. And, not to mention the Progesterone shots that would have to continue for at least 8 weeks if this worked. I didn't know if I could handle it. However, I got through it with the help of Matt (who was excellent at giving shots!). On the day of my Egg Removal we got 34 eggs!!! My RE couldn't believe it. And, they were good eggs - 29 of them fertilized. We ended up with a 5 day transfer of two blastocysts, and we still had 7 embryos thriving that were able to be frozen.

On the day of my transfer Matt looked at me. "It's going to work" he said. "It's going to work. We're going to have twins and we're going to have a boy and a girl." I laughed at him. "Yeah right," I responded. "We couldn't be that lucky." Well, for once we were that lucky. We found out a couple of weeks later it was twins and at our level II ultrasound we found out that Matt was right - we were having a boy and a girl.
My pregnancy was really easy until week 14 - Matt was away in Minnesota on work and it was the day before I had to go back to teaching. I went to get ready for bed and noticed I was bleeding. I called my OB and he said come to the hospital. Hysterically crying, I drove myself. This scene repeated itself weekly for the next 4 weeks. I was taken out of work, put on bedrest, and finally found out it was a subchorionic bleed. Finally my doctor cleared me to go back to work around week 18. I was hoping to stay working until the middle of January. My babies had another idea all together.
On Dec. 12 I went for a routine visit to my OB. There I was told my cervix had shortened, I was dialating and becoming effaced. I was done working. I was allowed to go in the next day to get things together in my classroom, but other than that I was on bedrest. They still thought I could carry these babies for a while, but we needed to take precautions. I started bedrest on the 13th. It seemed to be working, the babies were still "cooking".

Then in the early hours of New Years Eve '08 ( I was 31weeks, 1 day) I kept waking up. I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. At 3:15 AM I once again made the trek from my bed to the neighboring bathroom. Just as I was finishing up I felt a large warm gush down my leg. At first I thought I had just peed in my pants but then I realized my water had broken. I hollered for Matt, called the OB and rushed around to get ready to go to the hospital. We left the house so quickly we forgot our camera - I didn't even have a bag packed! We got to the hospital. They checked me and confirmed that my water had broken. My contractions were coming hard and they told me that they had no other option but to deliver these babies now. I HATED my delivery. I cried through the whole thing. Still to this day I can't watch a "normal" delivery without tearing up. I didn't want these babies now, they had to stay in longer.

At 6:53 AM Abigail Rose was born weighing 3lb 1oz, one minute later Benjamin Harris was born weighing 3lb 13oz. They were both rushed to NICU. Ben was having difficulties breathing and Abby was so small.

Abby at 12 hours old Ben at 12 hours old

Ben had to stay in NICU for 6 weeks and Abby for 7 1/2 weeks. Finally, on February 22, 2008 they were both home and my life was finally able to begin.

They are now almost 8 months old. The past 8 months have not been the glamour and glitz that you see on TV. I had a very hard time bonding with them, dealt with bad post-partum depression, and contantly felt overwhelmed. It was having a group such as the Multiples Group on the Nest that got me through it. The ladies here know what I have been through, and have gone through it themselves. My friends have all had singletons, and while they're great resources for some things, raising twins is a completely different world. I love my babies...I wouldn't trade them for the world, but it's been a tough year!!! But, this is my life now...they are my life now and these two little faces smiling up at me when I get them out of bed in the morning makes it all worthwhile.

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