Monday, September 8, 2008

2-4 Babies? The story of JBSugar

I was diagnosed at an early age with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Armed with this information, I knew that my husband and I had the potential for problems and spoke to my OB/GYN within 4 months of not having my menstrual cycle after stopping birth control pills so that we could try to conceive. After running lots of tests, I was placed on Metformin to help with the PCOS and was told to watch my diet. The OB also had us try the drug Clomid. After no success with 50mg of Clomid, than 100mg and 150mg, my OB decided to send me to a specialist. My first meeting with the reproductive endocrinologist (RE) left me feeling confident for the future. He recommended that I increase my dosage of the Metformin and begin walking for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. For my next cycle we decided to try Femara in place of the Clomid. When that alone did not produce results we had a sperm analysis done on my husband. His results were wonderful and the RE said we would be good candidates for intrauterine insemination (IUI). The next cycle, in addition to taking Femara, I gave myself injections of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and a trigger shot of Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) when my follicles were ready. The RE informed me that I was what he would call a “worst case responder” to our regimen. Rather than having one follicle that took all of the FSH and grew larger, all of my follicles were sharing it equally. On the day of my last ultrasound my largest follicle was 18mm followed by a 15mm and some 12mms. I was a little concerned because 18mm is the minimum needed in order to trigger but I trusted my doctor so I triggered and went in the next day for my IUI procedure. The procedure took less than five minutes and was a little uncomfortable and left me with some cramping. Now, all we could do was wait. I was told that I could test 2 weeks after the procedure to see if I was pregnant. 10 days later I couldn't resist so I pulled a test from my supply of Dollar Tree tests and tested in the afternoon while my husband was at work. When the second line appeared, I could not hide my elation! I made plans so that I could tell my husband when he got home. I used a digital test so that I could take a picture of the word “pregnant”. Then, my heart fell into my stomach as I realized that the results of the test could have been a false positive due to the hCG trigger shot. I was devastated so I kept the news to myself and decided to test again the next day in secret. The original test was taken on a Tuesday. I tested again Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Friday I called the RE and they arranged for me to have blood work done on Monday. Now I just had to make it through the weekend. My plan was to tell my husband on Sunday. I tested again Saturday and when it was still positive, I couldn't wait any longer so I told my husband by presenting him with a onesie with the name of his company printed on it. I still did not believe that we were pregnant until I had the results from the blood work Monday when the nurse called and said congratulations. The “beta” number that they test to see if you are pregnant needs to double every 48-72 hours so I had more blood work done 2 days later. The number did not double and the nurse mentioned a potential loss. I was so upset I cried for 2 days until I went back for more blood work. This time the beta number had more than doubled so we scheduled our first ultrasound to see the baby and the heartbeat. We had to wait about 2 weeks for our appointment but the day finally arrived and we went to see our baby for the first time. I was lying on the table, and my husband was in the chair beside me. The doctor said that he saw 2 heartbeats. Shocked, I turned to look at my husband, and his face was white with shock. I asked if he was ok and he nodded. The doctor than said, “I probably shouldn't say what I was about to say.” My husband and I looked at each other, we looked at the doctor and said “tell us.” The doctor had seen 4 embryo sacs. Only 2 had heartbeats but the possibility for 4 babies was still there. We scheduled an additional ultrasound 2 weeks later. The doctor does not think the 2 babies with no heartbeats will make it. When we had our second ultrasound the doctor confirmed that we would be having twins. The other 2 babies did not make it. One of the sacs was about 5mm and appeared empty. The other was about 13mm and you could see the remnants of the baby. This was bittersweet for us. We were elated to have 2 wonderful healthy babies but also saddened by the loss of the other two! Of the two remaining babies, the one on the right measured approximately 18mm and had a good steady heartbeat. We could see the head clearly and some of the other features starting to form. The baby on the left measured approximately 15mm and also had a good steady heartbeat, etc. For the most part my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I did not suffer morning sickness as many women do. My husband and I continued to walk regularly in the early stages and the pregnancy progressed with no complications. Nearing about 28 or 30 weeks I began to notice that sitting at my desk at work for extended periods of time was extremely uncomfortable and put a great deal of strain on my body. The OB put me on modified bedrest where I was allowed to work half days and then go home and relax for the rest of the day. At about 32 weeks we noticed that my blood pressure was rising and I was experiencing swelling. I did not have pre-eclampsia but the OB did not want me going into the office to work anymore so I began working from home and was on modified bedrest where I could still get up but was supposed to relax as much as possible. At 35 weeks, 4 days I noticed that my back was hurting. I figured it was from sleeping in the recliner for the last 4-6 weeks and sitting on the couch all day. The following day when the pain became progressively worse we went to Labor and Delivery at the hospital to be checked out. I was not in labor but they kept me overnight for observation and to make sure the pain went away. Just as they were about to release me the next day I lost my mucus plug. The nurses suggested we wait a little longer to see if anything happened. I went to the bathroom about 1-2 hours after losing my plug and felt a huge gush. I figured it was my water breaking but it was a gush of bright red blood. I was in tremendous pain and could barely make it back to the bed by myself. It turns out that the placenta of Baby A had become detached from the uterine wall and now delivery was imminent. After laboring for about 5 hours they took me to the operating room to deliver. I pushed for about 50 minutes and Baby A was born. He was white as a sheet and did not make any noises. They rushed him into the other room where the doctors were waiting. He needed a blood transfusion and would have to spend time in the NICU. (I also had to receive a blood transfusion before leaving the hospital because when his placenta abrupted I lost a lot of blood too!) Baby A fortunately does not appear to have any long term problems do to his loss of blood. Less than 5 minutes later Baby B was born and she let out a good healthy yell. They took her to the transitional nursery for observation. Fortunately now both babies are fine and we all left the hospital together.
Annabelle and Parker were born March 13, 2009 weighing 4lbs., 7oz. and 5lbs., 6oz.