If you haven’t read Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 of Our Infertility Story…well, you may want to do that before you move on!
All righty. On to Our Pregnancy Story!
In January of 2016, I suddenly realized that I was late.
Well, that was nothing new. I was late pretty often due to the havoc that all the medications had wreaked on my body. I grabbed a box that had one pregnancy test left in it, just to rule out the fact that I was pregnant, so I didn’t do anything stupid, ya know?
It was about 5:15 a.m. on a Thursday morning when I took that test. I left it on the bathroom counter and went and got dressed to take the dog for a walk, and when I came back into the bathroom and grabbed the test…POSITIVE.
Um. WHAT?! No. Positive? Wait. I had to sit down. I grabbed the box to look and make sure what I saw was indeed a positive. I had never seen the positive sign before! It sure was. Wait. How old is this test?! Do these expire? I’m gonna need a brand new one. Maybe several. I can’t tell Jerrod. Oh my gosh. The dog. The dog needs to be walked.
I hid the test deep in one of the bathroom drawers and walked the dog. Then I proceeded on with my day and went to work…yes, without saying a single thing to Jerrod.
On my lunch break, I ran to the store, grabbed two more brand new pregnancy tests, and went back to my office and took them both.
Positive. BOTH of them.
But we gave up!
We TOTALLY gave up! We made these plans! Oh my gosh, we bought that car. A car seat won’t fit in that car…
Later that night, I went home, armed with three positive pregnancy tests. Jerrod had already told me that he wanted to ask me something that night, so I figured there was something he wanted to spend money on, and was going to try to talk me into it. I was right.
After he made his case, I told him just to go ahead and get it. What? That was awfully easy, he said. I told him it was because I needed to talk to him, too. What about, he asked? Hold on, I said, let me get it.
I walked to my purse, grabbed the tests, came back into the living room and handed them to him. He took them, looked at them, and proceeded to spit his dinner out as he asked me, “Are you serious?!”
“Your food! THE DOG!!!” I hollered, as the dog immediately ran to gather what was falling from Jerrod’s mouth. “Your mouth!” I exclaimed.
He shut his mouth, chewed the rest of his food, swallowed and looked back up at me. “Are you really serious?!”
“I guess!” I laughed. “I’ve never gotten a positive before, I guess it’s true!”
He put down his food, took off his glasses and wiped his eyes, then looked back at me and asked again, “Are you SERIOUS?”
We spent much of the evening just staring at each other in disbelief, and laughing at all the plans we had made for the year, knowing we would have to be canceling quite a few things. Oh boy.
I called my doc the next day and asked him to call me in a blood test so I would know for sure. Yep, it was also true according to the bloodwork. Oh boy. So I made my first prenatal appointment.
I sat in the doctor’s office waiting room, with Jerrod next to me, filling out paperwork, and watching all these glowing and growing women come and go. Is this really happening? Could it actually be possible that we were finally going to have a baby? (I had told Jerrod that I would believe it when I saw it on the ultrasound. When I heard the heartbeat. Until then, I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be.)
Within minutes we were taken back and, after a routine examination, the doctor came in to take a look with the ultrasound machine.
And there it was. A tiny little bean-like human being, right in front of my eyes. Moving. Strong heartbeat. We sat in awe of what was happening, still having a hard time believing that it was all actually true.
I’m honestly not sure at what point I quit looking at the monitor and started looking at the doctor. I guess because I wanted to see the look on his face to make sure everything was okay. I still didn’t believe it. And I saw a change flash across his face in that moment. Oh no.
He turned and gave an almost imperceptible nod to the nurse, who nodded back.
“What?” I asked? “WHAT?” They both looked at me. “What is it?” I asked.
“Well,” the doctor said carefully, “There’s two.”
“Two?” I asked, confused.
“Two?” Jerrod questioned. “Two of what?”
“Well, two of them! Two!” the doctor stated, smiling now. The nurse was wiping tears from her eyes.
I looked from the doctor to the nurse to my husband…with my mouth open. “Are you…you mean…TWINS?”
The doctor started laughing. “Yep, twins! TWINS!”
I don’t remember much about the next few minutes, except that when the doctor asked if we needed a minute, Jerrod said yes emphatically, and the nurse and the doctor stepped out.
We just sat there and stared at each other. TWINS. TWINS! What on earth?! What in the world would we do with TWO babies?! TWO at the SAME time!!!
After about 15 minutes of staring at each other and laughing and gasping for air and trying to figure out what we would do, the doctor was back, and moved us to another room with a bigger sonogram machine. Yep, it was true. There were indeed TWO.
It had to be the fertility treatments, I said. But we gave up on that months ago! Could it still be in my system?! No, the doctor said, this was not at all fertility medication. Apparently my egg had split after it was already fertilized. Yep, that’s me with the incredible splitting eggs! The doctor called it “a spontaneous event”. And we laughed and laughed, because, yeah…spontaneous. This was pretty durn spontaneous!
But it wasn’t quite that simple. We found out that day that we had cooking what was called mono mono twins. (Monoamniotic twins are identical twins that share the same amniotic sac within their mother’s uterus. Monoamniotic twins are always identical, always monochorionic and are usually termed Monoamniotic-Monochorionic – “MoMo” – twins. They also share the placenta, but have two separate umbilical cords.)
We found out that we were in for an extremely high-risk pregnancy experience. It was a LOT to process in one day, that’s for sure. But somehow, that was totally okay with us. From that day on, we decided that God was giving us these babies because He had hand-picked US to care for them. No matter the outcome. We rested in that fact, and vowed to simply do what needed to be done.
In the next month, we made all of our initial plans, told just the people closest to us, prayed a LOT, and generally tried to adjust to the idea of what was about to take place.
When we went to the next doctor’s appointment, something had changed.
Instead of mono mono twins, they were actually discovered to be mono di twins. Monochorionic twins generally have two amniotic sacs (called Monochorionic-Diamniotic “MoDi”), but sometimes, in the case of monoamniotic twins (Monochorionic-Monoamniotic “MoMo”), they also share the same amniotic sac.
We learned that, although we were down a level as far as risks were concerned, the major concern for our case was that one twin could take all the nutrients from the other twin. (That was called twin to twin transfusion.) And there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. If that happened, we would be forced to make a choice: we could allow them to deliver both twins, however young they were, and try to give them both a chance at survival, or we could sacrifice the life of one twin to save the other.
For us, it was an immediate no to the abortion option. Our personal convictions would now allow us to even think along those lines. We decided then that if we were placed in that terrible situation, we would simply have to deliver the babies, know that God would be holding them in His hands, and trust in Him and medical science.
But we really tried not to think about it otherwise. It was too heavy of a thought to stay in our minds for very long, that’s for sure.
My doctor said something during this time that really stuck with me. He said, “We do the best we can in the medical community, and then we let God handle the rest.” Yep. That was exactly it for us.
On February 14, we made it “Facebook official”, as they say, and our friends were totally FLOORED. (Like we originally were!)
Not too much later, we found out that we were having TWO GIRLS. My husband was beside himself. That’s exactly what he had wanted. I was excited, but all I could think of was…that’s two weddings we’ll have to pay for! (Funny how the logical side of me comes out in extreme situations!)
I was now full-fledged in to the high-risk pregnancy process. I was seeing two different doctors in two separate counties, once a week. I drove more to and from appointments in those months than I did to and from my full-time job. Constant bloodwork. Constant tests. Constant sonograms. (Which was really neat, because we got to “see” our girls all the time!) Constant recommendations. Constant changes to lifestyle and diet and everything in between.
You may wonder how I was feeling physically during all of this.
Well, morning sickness was a definite issue for me. I was sick every day, pretty much all day, until around 22 weeks. Then it eased up a bit, thank God.
I was flat-out exhausted. I kept waiting for that special pregnancy energy that everyone says kicks in during the second trimester – that never happened for me!
But other than the sickness and exhaustion, I was doing pretty well. Which was a huge thing to be thankful for!
My most favorite thing about being pregnant was feeling the girls move. It was so weird and so amazing, all at the same time. Once they were big enough for me to distinguish each of them, it was really fun to feel “Baby A” and “Baby B” moving separately. Baby A was the mover and shaker, it seemed. She didn’t stop moving all day long, and was also the most out-going twin in all of our sonograms. Baby B was more laid back. Often I would get to the end of the day and suddenly panic, realizing that the only baby I had felt move all day was Baby A. Oh no! Did something happen to Baby B?! I would pour a glass of apple juice, drink it, and wait. In no time at all, BOTH girls would be bouncing around. They loved that apple juice!
I also really loved the 3D ultrasound that we elected to do! SO AMAZING!
And through it all, as we watched the girls, they were literally neck and neck as far as growth. It didn’t seem like there was any transfusion taking place at all – which thrilled my doctor and us, too! It really was a miracle!
At the beginning of my third trimester, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, which was really no big deal for me, at that point. Give me gestational diabetes any day over the prospect of losing one of my babies. The daily finger pricks and diet change was hardly a concern at all. I followed the rules to a T!
Sometime at the beginning of August, I remember telling Jerrod, ” These are gonna be August babies.”
“Oh no, they can’t be! You’re not due until September 27! You need to take it easy!”
“I’ll never make it September 27,” I emphasized. “Get ready. These babies are coming in August!”
The last week of my pregnancy began on August 7, and, I’ll be honest. I was SO DONE.
I had tried so hard not to complain about anything or be a brat during the entire pregnancy, because we had waited for this for SO long! I didn’t want to complain about it! And honestly, there wasn’t much to complain about. But it was August. In Florida. It was hot, I was carrying twins, and I was unbearably uncomfortable. I had started itching due to the Gestational Diabetes medication, I was hot 24/7 and the lovely Restless Leg Syndrome had kicked in big time!
That particular week, I had a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment on Monday, another test scheduled for Tuesday, which led to another appointment on Wednesday. On that Wednesday, the doctor told me, “It’s time to stop working.”
WHAT?! I wasn’t ready for that! “Already?! Woah! Are you sure?” (Yes, I asked him if he was sure, HA!) Of course, he was. He told me it was time to rest. Not BED rest, but he wanted me at home taking it easy.
Anyone who knows me knows that I do NOT do well taking it easy! But I knew I had to for the sake of the babies. So I sucked it up, called my boss to let him know, and had Jerrod take me to my office to gather my things.
The next day I was back at the doctor’s office for some more tests, and that Friday, I was back again for the results of the tests. It was Friday, August 12, I was 33 weeks and 4 days along, and that is where the pregnancy story ends…and the birth story begins!
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!