Day 59: Nov. 2, 2013
This last episode of baby making will explore the joys and trials of my first pregnancy. The bummer about IVF is that it does not guarantee anything once you get pregnant. You still have to be pregnant and grow the baby inside of you like normal people. You forget this when you’re doing IVF. You think, once you get pregnant it’s all over. You have arrived and accomplished the impossible, fait accompli, au revoir. But, no, the chance of miscarriage is equal with IVF as with a natural conception, as is the chance of all things dangerous or abnormal in a pregnancy. So, with that being said, I was amazingly optimistic! I was 35 years old (advanced maternal age,) and pretty sure my two babies would make it to the end, (two embryos implanted.)
I was pregnant with twins for twenty weeks. I referred to the babies as my little guys, and I would talk to them incessantly. Once I wiped out and fell hard on my side, and we talked it out and my little guys were fine. They were always with me. My little friends. I found it fun to be pregnant. Especially once the first twelve weeks were up and my energy returned and I could run a little, walk a lot, eat a ton, all the things I love to do.
Then at eighteen weeks, we went to the doctors for old pregnant ladies. The doctors who tell you if your baby will have a debilitating chromosomal disorder or in our case, a hypo-plastic left ventricle. I saw the ultrasound of both hearts, one with four chambers, and the other with three. As the nurse was moving the ultrasound thingy around on my belly, I made an off handed comment about how the hearts looked different, and she just kept smiling. They must train them to keep smiling, because she knew. Just keep smiling, just keep smiling. I get it, she’s the messenger. It’s not her fault that my baby’s heart would not keep my baby alive once it was born.
The next part of the pregnancy was so bizarre. I was simultaneously devastated and miraculously hopeful. We had decided not to allow baby A to come to term. She would have needed many surgeries in her first week, and many more before she was two, and a heart transplant early on, and probably would not have survived even after all of that. And there was baby B. Healthy baby B who is now my daughter, and just thinking about it is making me cry. Between eighteen and twenty weeks, I said goodbye to Baby A and I thanked Baby B for her understanding. Baby B and I discussed the situation over and over. We went through every scenario. What if we had never found out? What if the two of them had been in the same sac? What if she had been healthy but the two of them had been born dangerously early? Every day that baby A was alive after I found out that she would not be born, I held her to my heart. I allowed her to fill it and I allowed myself to weep. And then it was done, and I moved on.
Baby B came two weeks early after a smooth and easy second half of the pregnancy. There were reminders of Baby A, like when the ultrasound tech at my OBGYN’s office expressed confusion in the most indiscreet manner which I would like to write about, but is too gross and offensive. Either she didn't read my chart, or she has a serious tact deficiency. Nevertheless, baby B arrived and we celebrated. We became parents and suddenly everything mattered and nothing mattered. The baby making story became irrelevant in the face of sleepless nights and staying sane (going insane.) But all of it was worth it. Exactly as it happened.
Epilogue: After 15 months of Baby B’s life, we decided we wanted to try for a sibling, made possible by the fact that three embryo’s from Baby B’s petri dish had been frozen in case this very urge came upon us. Because the embryos already existed, the second time around was much easier on my body. The embryos were transferred in the exact manner as the first time around. We waited two weeks, and I was pregnant despite being 100% sure that I was not. (No symptoms whatsoever.) And when #2 was born, his nickname was, by complete coincidence, having to do with his name, “Baby A.”
Coffee: I bought some beans from Starbucks today. (YUM!) Made a cup at home and ate it in the truck while my son slept in the back seat.
Cups and Bags Challenge: Well, what a surprise! Three reports of cup usage on my Yahoo account. Very exciting! Thank you. So that puts us up to $76 today. We're getting there people! If you use a reusable cup, email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!