As mentioned in Hoping for Twins, Jimmy and I decided to keep this cycle to ourselves. The thought of disappointing our family and friends, and having to answer cycle questions was too overwhelming.
Before we could begin IVF #4, I had to have another surgery. HSG, polypectomy, endometrial scratch, and D&C. It was not a fun day. I had planned on having the surgery and then attending a dear friend’s wedding that night, but unfortunately I was kidding myself. Between the blood, the pain, the nausea, and the overall level of crappiness, another wedding was missed due to infertility. We were just hoping this would be the cycle it would all be worth it.
After my recovery from my surgery, I wanted to get started on our cycle right away. Luckily, my doctor agreed; she wanted to proceed before my polyps had time to grow back, and while my endometrium was nice and clear. As soon as I got my period, the scheduling began, and luckily my transfer day was set (without manipulation) when my doctor was in the OR. We also decided that this round we were going to use “embryo glue”. (It’s not really glue; to learn more, click here.) I was feeling more confident than ever that this was it. I was still channeling my power of positivity, and methods from A Nonwestern Approach, to stay calm, cool, and collected. I think the anti-anxiety meds were a big help, too.
On our way to the transfer, I turned off the radio, and spoke to Jimmy about a study I had read about women undergoing IVF in Israel. In the study, after embryos were transferred, a medical clown was sent in to make the couples laugh. In a nutshell, the theory is that the more relaxed and calm a woman is after her transfer, the more the embryo will want to nuzzle in. I told Jimmy I wanted to try our own version of this study, and have YouTube videos prepared that were sure to make us laugh. While I was filling my bladder we chose our videos, and got ready to laugh and relax.
Once I was uncomfortably full, we went into the same room we had been in three other times in hopes of starting our family. I could hear the same drip drop of the leaky faucet; I played with the same light that I pretended was my microphone, every time without fail; I felt the same tattered edges of my mom’s Red Sox sweatshirt I wear to my transfers; I listened to the same spiel from the nurses and ultrasound tech; I waited for the same “READY!” announcement from the embryologist; Jimmy and I watched the same procedure of our little embryos being placed inside their new home; we heard the same “CLEAR!” announcement from the embryologist. While the procedure was the same, and we felt like old pros, our excitement level was at an all time high. We were just SO READY to be parents! As the stream of people were leaving the room, I told my doctor we would like the room for a little while, and sorry for any inconvenience in scheduling that might cause. Jimmy and I watched our YouTube videos, laughed, held each other’s hand, prayed together, snuggled, and laughed some more. It was the most calm we felt leaving that room. This. Was. It.
I stayed calm, collected and at peace throughout the next couple of days. On May 21st, 2016, a mere 3 days after our transfer, Jimmy and I celebrated 10 years together. It was fun reigniting our dating anniversary, and marveling that this may be the last one childless…
That night, after my trusty intramuscular injection of progesterone, I went to sleep and had a VERY VIVID dream. You may remember from previous cycles (such as IVF #2) that usually after transfers I would have nightmares. This dream, however, was beautiful. The whole dream was just thousands of positive pregnancy tests. I’m talking thousands. One after the other, after the other. I’m getting teary and goosebumps just recalling the dream. It was wonderful. I drifted out of sleep with a smile on my face at 5:30am. I felt so peaceful, and so happy. At 9:30 I started nudging Jimmy awake…I knew it was probably too early to pee on a stick, but after a dream like that, how could I possibly hold off? I had one pregnancy test stashed away, in the deep dark corner of a bathroom drawer. As soon as Jimmy left the room, I got to work.
I quietly, but oh so excitedly, tore off the pink wrapper and uncapped the test. There was no doubt in my mind that it would be positive (mind you, I did not trigger this cycle so I knew if it was positive, it was real). I watched as the dye spread. Usually, the dye just goes straight to the control line, and if it is positive, a second line will appear after a few minutes. Not this time. As soon as the dye spread, TWO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL, INCREDIBLE, AMAZING LINES were visible. It was not a squinter; it was a REAL fucking positive test!!! FOUR DAYS after our transfer!! A million thoughts started racing through my mind…but first things first I had to tell Jimmy. I could NOT wait. And, I couldn’t believe that ball was in my court. We weren’t waiting by the phone for a nurse to deliver the news; I could do something special. I could tell him in a way “normal” couples got to share their news. I had a plan.
I got out of the house in record time. When Jimmy asked where I was going I said “you’ll see”. My first stop was to a local golf academy. I got him a gift certificate for a golf lesson he had been asking for. Remember when I said our dating anniversary was the night before? It was the perfect ruse to give him a little gift. Next stop: CVS. I got him a card, and all of the usual gift accoutrement. Oh, and about a hundred something dollars worth of pregnancy tests. All different kinds, as they all measure different levels of the hormone HCG.
On my drive back home, I reflected on the fact that I was the only person who knew I was pregnant. The revelation brought a huge smile to my face. Just you two and me, babes; let’s go tell your daddy I thought happily to myself. I was continually praying to let this be real, and let me carry them to term. As there was no doubt in my mind this morning that my test would be positive, there was also no doubt in my mind that I was carrying twins. I just knew it.
Once I got home, I gathered a few poppy seeds from the kitchen and disappeared to get his gift together. I taped two of the poppy seeds inside a wad of tissue paper, and placed that at the bottom of the bag. Then I lined a wasteful amount of tissue paper inside the bag (sorry mom), and put the card and lesson towards the top. Then, it was time for the presentation. I was excitedly anxious. I couldn’t wait to tell him.
He opened the gift, and thanked me for the lesson. He went to put the bag away, with the real gift still inside, but he could tell by my shit-eating-grin there was more. What? he asked. There’s more! I said excitedly. No there isn’t, he argued. I rolled my eyes and motioned to keep looking. FINALLY (after what seemed like an hour) he got to the seeds. What’s this? You cooking something weird? he asked.
No, I said. That’s the size of our babies.
I waited for an excited reaction, but all I got was “cool” as he put everything back in the bag. He CLEARLY didn’t get it.
Jimmy! I’M PREGNANT!!!!!!
“Let’s hope so” he said. He clearly wasn’t understanding.
No, Jimmy, I am actually pregnant RIGHT NOW!!
He stared at me, dumbfounded. He couldn’t understand how I could know that at that moment. Our blood test wasn’t for nine more days, and he couldn’t comprehend how I could know that right now. I showed him the test. He agreed that he could clearly see the line, but remained cautious. He just couldn’t grasp it. He told me to send it to our doctor and see what she said. When she sent her congratulations, it sunk in a little. Jimmy then started asking rapid fire questions. It had still not sunk in, and he was still not sold. I took another test, darker line, still not sold. I told my doctor I would be coming in the next day for blood work; I needed to know where we stood!
The next morning, boom, darker line! Jimmy was starting to come around to the idea that this might be real. We got our number that afternoon, 54, and then it really started to sink in. WE WERE PREGNANT!
It really REALLY started to sink in as the tests got darker and our numbers continued to rise. They were:
Every day was like living a dream. We went through the motions of life, all the while only really able to focus on the fact that I was growing life inside me.
Then, it started. The blood. If I didn’t know I was pregnant, I would have been pumped. I would have thought it was implantation bleeding for sure. But, since I was already confirmed pregnant, it was absolutely terrifying. I called my doctor and went in for an emergency ultrasound. Fearing the worst, but trying desperately to remain optimistic, I just said a constant string of prayers as the wand went in.
You transferred two? The ultrasound tech asked.
You can SEE THEM?!? I squealed and immediately started hysterically sobbing. Eventually she asked me if these were happy or sad tears, because I couldn’t get it together. She had to wait for me to calm down before she could finish her exam. Everything looked perfect. My babies were measuring wonderfully, and she guessed that the blood was old blood being shed, from either my surgery or implantation. I left with pictures, which just looked like two little empty bubbles, and couldn’t wait to tell Jimmy that I was right: we were pregnant with twins.
After a few more similar scares, we finally saw their heartbeats together. It was the most beautiful sight. Watching their little hearts beat, with tears in our eyes, and the most joy in our hearts. This really was it; this was the real deal. We were pregnant with TWINS.
And that brings us to today. Because as of now, as I write this, I am 13 weeks pregnant with these beautiful miracle babies. Jimmy and I could not express the joy in our hearts if we tried. We know we have a long way to go, but seeing them on ultrasound yesterday squirming and moving around nonstop, and hearing their beautiful little bump bumping heartbeats is just incredible.
Thank you for being on this journey with us. I have a hard time sharing this news not only because I am still scared of the unknown, but also because I know these announcements can be difficult to hear for those who are struggling. I hope that our story brings hope to everyone trying to start their own family.
Below is a little collage of all the fun we’ve had telling people; bumpdates; ultrasounds; and all of the wonderful moments we have waited so long to enjoy. We even had a professional photo shoot with my friend at Sherry Hopper Photography. Love to you all <3