Our Twins

I have been absent for a while now.  Mostly due to the previous post:)  I've been quite nauseous, and extremely exhausted most days, and lack the energy to do much with the blog.  I haven't gone into detail on here about our journey to becoming pregnant, or our desire to have kids.  It's been a very private matter to me, and hard for me to talk about at times.  But I want to chronicle this time, and to get the full understanding of what this time means, I feel like I need to give some history, plus, it will be cool for the twins to read someday.  So here goes!  (Disclaimer:  this is a long post!)  

5 years ago, at the end of 2007, after discovering that once I was off of birth control, I had constant, debilitating migraines, and no periods, we knew we were going to need help getting pregnant.  We had been married 2 1/2 years when J got back from his first deployment which was 7 months long.  We got a referral to an ob-gyn here in town, and they promptly put me on Clomid (an ovulation inducing drug),  they did a few tests on both of us, and determined what we pretty much knew.  I have PCOS, and don't ovulate on my own, let alone, ever have a period.  We prayed the Clomid would work, and it did.  My levels were showing that I was now ovulating, and I was having 34-36 day cycles for the first time ever without bc pills.  But, the doctors at this particular office didn't take into account that my cycles were longer than a 28 day period, and they just had me on a generic schedule.  Turns out, down the road, after getting in with an infertility specialist, they had us trying at the wrong time of the month, and being new to this whole thing, and not really understanding what my body was doing, I had no idea that we were completely missing our window.  After 6 months, they gave up on me and sent me somewhere else.

This is when we got referred to a specialist a few towns over, this guy was legit, and knew what he was talking about.  He was worth the hour and fifteen minute drive.  After a few month break to give my ovaries a break from the ovulation medicine, and a few more tests, we started with Clomid again.  Only a few months later, we found out J was getting deployed.  Again.  For a year.  Big bump in the road.  We decided that we didn't want him missing everything if I did get pregnant, and stopped the treatments at the end of 2008. He left in January.  Once he got back in December, we waited for awhile.  We enjoyed getting to spend time together, take a few trips, and get reacquainted after living apart for a year.  Plus, J was on a new schedule while he was working as a combat instructor for the Marines.  The schedule was unpredictable, and they told them that our treatments weren't priority and weren't their problem (understanding, aren't they!?) Towards the end of 2010, when he had a year long instructing break where his schedule was a little more flexible, we picked up treatments again.  This time, we were pairing the Clomid with IUI's (Intrauterine Insemination).  I won't go into detail on this, but if you're curious, you can Google it!  It is the procedure before they try IVF.  It's less invasive, and much less expensive.  The procedures were emotional and stressful.  I had a hard time dealing with the fact of what was supposed to be so special between a husband and wife, had become some planned and "clinical".  My reproductive body makeup is all set very high, so the procedures were painful and took much longer for me.  Usually they take about 10 minutes, mine averaged about 30-60 minutes.  I questioned getting help and not letting it happen naturally, but we came to the conclusion that without help, it may certainly never happen (God can do anything, can perform miracles, I truly believe that, but we were worried about my health with the PCOS being out of control, and the migraines not being able to be controlled), and I wasn't ready to accept that.  I also felt that if I didn't try, and we never got pregnant, that I would always wonder "what if" and regret it.  After another 6 month period, and no positive pregnancy tests, we were both emotionally drained again.  We took another break.  So at the first of 2013, we had decided to give it one more go.  This time, our doc wanted to pair the Clomid with hormone shots.  While I was ovulating on Clomid, it wasn't helping me make enough eggs. So, enter Follistim.

Basically, our schedule looked something like this:
Days 3-7:  Take Clomid 
Days 8-??:  Take Follistim shots, going in every 3-5 days for ultrasounds to make sure we weren't getting too many eggs, or that we weren't going to miss ovulation.  When we had a few good eggs, we would schedule an IUI for 2 days later, that night I would take another shot called Ovidrel, that would induce ovulation, and that would make it more precise for doing the IUI on time.

The first month, not knowing how my body would react to Follistim, my eggs got overstimulated.  I had about 20 good ones.  I was instructed not to do ANYTHING, that the risk of 3 or 4 getting fertilized was too great, and that would be threatening to my health.  I was disappointed, but understood.  I tried to just be thankful that the shots were working, and be hopeful that we would get the right dose next time.  The over-stimulation on my ovaries hurt, I could barely bend over without being in pain.  So once I started, they did another ultrasound.  The previous month had caused a lot of cysts.  The second cycle was canceled, and I was put on low dose bc pills.  I felt like we were moving in the wrong direction, and was crushed.  I tried so hard to hold it together until I got out of the office. I called my mom and just cried when I got to the car. And then we waited another month.  Once the next cycle started, I went back in to check on the cysts. They were gone, and they told me we would go ahead with treatment.  Yay!  We finally had a good month.  The dose was right, and we had a couple of eggs that looked good.  We proceeded with an IUI.  And, exactly two weeks after, I started. Another month of no.  I went through the process.  I cried, I wondered why, I prayed, and hoped that everything would be okay to go on with another cycle.  I had one cyst, but they said it was dissolving, and decided to go on with another treatment.  This month was June 2013.  It took longer for the eggs to develop this time, but they watched them closely, and by the time everything was ready, I had 4 large follicles (eggs), and 2 medium ones.  They said that was good, and we scheduled the IUI.  It was Friday, June 21.  It was by far the worst one.  It was painful, and they had to try several techniques to get where they needed to be.  It took a consulting physician to come in and help.  The staff was so professional, and felt so bad, the nurse, Joyce, was by far the best.  She calmed me down, and was so reassuring.  For a little while, we weren't sure they were going to be able to get it, but about an hour and a half later, they did.  I prayed almost the whole time through tears, and questioned that if this month didn't happen, would I be able to do this again.  We prayed daily for the next two weeks, that it wouldn't come to that, and that this time it had worked.  

On July 4, I made an impromptu trip home for a few days b/c J got put on a stupid duty schedule where he would be gone for 3 days, and I didn't want to spend the holiday alone.  All weekend, I was tired, and crampy.  I kept waiting on my period.  I was nauseous, but chalked it up to the hormone treatments, because they sometimes made me nauseous.  Since my periods have always been so unpredictable, I decided to give it a few days, but that following Monday, July 8, I couldn't wait any longer.  I just wanted to know so I could mentally prepare for another month.  Austin had come back with me for the week, and J was home early that morning.  I went to the bathroom without telling anyone what I was doing.  I took the test, set it down, and went to the bedroom and prayed.  I waited the 3 minutes, and took a deep breath before going in to check it.  I could.not.believe.my.eyes.  It was POSITIVE!!  I had never seen one of those!  I got weak in the knees, I burst into tears (happy tears this time!), and I praised God!  I grabbed the test, composed myself, and called J into the bedroom.  He came around the corner, and I was standing there with the test, speechless, just crying and nodding yes. We cried together, we hugged and kissed, we thanked the Lord again.  We calmed ourselves, and knew we had to tell our family.

We told my mom first.  We facetimed her, and while we were talking, I just held up the test.  It was so fun to get to see her reaction. We then three way called my dad.  After that, we called Ashley who was on the way to the doctor for an ear/throat infection.  She still screamed through her scratchy throat:)  Afterwards, we told Austin he was going to be a cousin, and his eyes got as big a golf balls, and about jumped in my lap to hug me.  After that, we called J's parents, and his dad couldn't hear us over Teresa's shrieking. We filled in a few close, trusted friends as well.

Once we got past the first 9 weeks, we decided to announce it publicly.  That was so much fun, and we have been shown so much love and support.  I had originally wanted to wait until week 12, but with there being two, I am showing early, and it was impossible to hide any longer.  I am about 10 1/2 weeks today, and excited about getting close to entering the second trimester!  I see my infertility doctor one last time next week for another ultrasound:)  A few weeks after that, I will see my new ob-gyn for the first time, and we are praying for an excellent experience.  The new doctor is also in the same town as my infertility doctor, which makes me happy, they have a really nice hospital, and really big!  Much better than the rinky-dink one we have in our town (that still has shared rooms..I didn't even know they still did that!?).  So, that's our story on getting to where we are and being so very thankful that God has blessed us with all of this!  I know there are so many women that battle this and struggle with infertility and I grieved many times over, thinking I may never get to experience this miracle.  But maybe my story will give someone else going through this hope, sometimes it takes a long time, but then sometimes, after 5 years, you get a yes!  So, I will take every nauseous, exhausted day in stride, and continue just being happy that I am going through it, knowing that it means that there are TWO precious lives growing inside me.  It's a miracle, and there are still times I am just overcome with emotion at God's grace and His blessings.  Thankful doesn't even begin to cover it.


Karen said...

I knew all of this, and I still had tears in my eyes through it all. :) We're so very proud of you both. I am so grateful that God chose to give you these precious babies. Cannot wait to meet them, and love on them. Love all y'alls!

Ash said...

Oh my goodness, this is such a sweet post. I am so thankful you are getting to experience this, we have prayed for years that you and J would get to be parents, and are so ecstatic that we get snuggle two new little ones. I know it's been a long road for you guys, but you stood strong and stayed faithful in your prayers, and God has blessed you immensely. Love you both tons.. and PB&J :)