Thursday, August 7, 2014

Twin Pregnancy: Finding Out

On the morning of June 9th, I went into my fertility clinic to have my blood drawn to find out if our cycle had worked. I didn't really feel one way or the other about the cycle . . . I was really pretty relaxed about the whole thing. The one thing I really wanted was a strong number if it was positive. With both of our miscarriages, our initial Beta was a weak number, and I certainly didn't want to go through that again.

Sometimes it takes my clinic all day to get back to me with my results, but I was pleasantly surprised when Belinda (the nurse) called me after just a few hours and told me that my Beta was 113! And I was THRILLED with that number! At 14 days past IUI, my Beta with Brianna was 112 and was 90 with Brenson, so 113 is right where I wanted to be! Chris and I immediately rejoiced and thanked God for blessing us yet again.

Last summer, I had some testing done to try and figure out a reason for my miscarriages. I tested positive for the MTHFR gene mutation, as well as a blood clotting disorder called Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor (PAI). Because of this, Dr. P has me take high levels of folic acid as well as a daily baby aspirin while trying to conceive. As soon as we got the positive Beta, he also put me on a daily blood thinning injection called Lovenox. I take this every single day and will for the duration of my pregnancy. Our hope and prayer is that these treatments will prevent us from ever having to go through the horrific experience of miscarriage again. The Lovenox injections are painful and they leave pretty bad bruises, but it's so, so worth it to us. I've learned that icing the injection site before and after the injection really helps with the pain (it also burns for about 5 minutes after going in), but I also tell myself that the pain is seriously only a few minutes a day. I can't even express how thankful I am for modern medicine and treatment options!

A week later, on July 10th, I went back in for a second Beta. My doctor (like many) likes to make sure the number is doubling properly. This is the step that tripped us up with our second miscarriage, so I just prayed and prayed for a strong number once again. I wanted to see something around 1800 as this is the range my second Beta with Brianna and Brenson was in. I seriously started crying when Belinda called and said the number 2641! We were so, so happy with that!

Some people have asked us if we thought it would be twins since I had two good eggs and good Beta numbers. The honest answer is that it was certainly on my radar at first, but after our first Beta was so similar to what it was when we conceived Brianna, I pretty much dismissed the possibility. Even with our second Beta being higher, it wasn't that much higher than what my strong ones had been in the past. Part of me didn't want to set my hopes on twins and be disappointed, but I was also trying to look at the numbers logically.

With all of my past pregnancies (remember, this is my 5th pregnancy), I haven't really had any symptoms to speak of until about 7 weeks along. This one was the same. We went on vacation to Colorado (posts to come, eventually) when I was 5 1/2 weeks along, and I pretty much felt normal. I did have a few days that I was really fatigued, but we were also in higher altitudes than what we're used to. I also noticed that if I got the slightest bit hungry, I felt sick. However, eating would immediately perk me up and help me feel better.

After our IUI, I made it my goal to drink a gallon of water every day, and I continued this after we found out I was pregnant. I also made sure to rest a lot. One evening on vacation, I was especially tired and told Chris that I just had to stop for the day and rest. Normally, I would push through it, but I was (am) trying to really listen to my body. After we lost B3, my mind tortured me with questions of "What if?" Our whole family had been very sick right before the miscarriage began, and I knew that I hadn't made rest a priority for me. I also knew that I had been dehydrated. Do I think those things caused the miscarriage? No, I truly do not. However, for my own sanity I needed to not have those questions in my mind this time if things didn't turn out like we hoped they would.

We ended up being in the car driving home on the day that I was 7 weeks and 1 day along. Just like clockwork, I felt so, so sick that day. I seriously felt like I was going to lose my lunch at every turn, but - as crazy as this sounds - I was really encouraged by that! The nausea helped put my mind at ease that things were just as they should be with this pregnancy!

Generally, Dr. P sees his pregnant patients around the time they are 7 weeks along for an ultrasound. However, since we were on vacation during that time, my appointment wasn't scheduled until I was 8 weeks. I'm generally very patient about these sorts of things, but this time my anxiousness got the best of me and I moved my appointment to the day after we got back into town. It was July 3rd, and I was 7 weeks and 3 days along.

We had prayed and prayed and prayed for peace, but I was extremely nervous when I went in for the ultrasound. I was by myself as Chris had stayed home with the kiddos, and literally shaking as I waited for Dr. P. I laid on the bed praying and trying to calm myself down physically as Dr. P began the ultrasound. I had my eyes closed, but the first thing I heard him say was, "Well, there's twink-a-dinks." I opened my eyes, looked at the nurse, and said, "What did he say?" She mouthed, "There's two" and held up two fingers. Of course, my eyes immediately shot over to the ultrasound screen where I saw this:

I know the photo says 7 weeks and 5 days, but the nurse had it in the computer wrong :-). As Dr. P found both heartbeats, I watched in shock and tears flowed down my face. I was so thankful . . . thankful for two . . . thankful for healthy babies . . . thankful for heartbeats. But, I was also stunned a bit speechless. Dr. P thought I was upset and apologized to me several times, but I was never upset. I never thought, "No! I can't do this!" I was grateful and happy (albeit stunned) from the moment we found out.

Baby A was measuring perfectly on track at 7 weeks and 1 day.

And Baby A's heart rate was 147 beats per minutes.

Baby B also measured perfectly at 7 weeks and 3 days along.

And had a heart rate of 150 beats per minute. 

I left the office so happy and just thanked God my whole way home for these babies. When I got home, Chris was outside with the kids. When I walked up, he said, "Well?" to which I responded, "There's two!" with a huge, goofy grin. He thought I was joking :-). My clinic no longer gives actual ultrasound photos, but gives them all to their patients on a jump drive. So, we went inside, plugged the jump drive into the computer, and he saw for himself :-). He was also thrilled from the very beginning, although he did start thinking about logistics like minivans and car seats pretty much immediately. But, we were both just giddy with the news!

We did share the news with just a few family members and close friends, which was fun. But really, we just let it sink in for a few days and tried to imagine our life with FOUR kiddos :-).


Erin and Ryan said...

Ahhh!! How were you so calm?!? I would have been going crazy :) So so exciting!

~Momma to Twin Girls~ said...

I am in tears sitting at my desk reading this. I am so excited for you.

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

Yay for your beautiful twin babies! This makes my heart happy.

Anonymous said...

I'm a mom to twins and it's fun!!

JoJo said...

I'm so glad things are progressing nicely. Twins what a perfect way to complete ur family.

Justin and Marcie said...

I am LOVING reading these posts!!!!