After I finished writing this post, I realized it was quite lengthy, so I'm sharing part of it today and the rest tomorrow. Today is mostly about how we found out and how we reacted. Tomorrow is more of the logistics of it all.
I’m not sure what direction this blog will take now that there’s children (PLURAL) in the picture. It may become your typical “mom blog” and if so, that’s ok, because that’s our life. Every post won’t be ALL babies but for this week, it is because well, I’ve kept my mouth shut on here for over two months…so I’m letting it out all this week!
We’ve been asked a list of questions from family and friends over the past couple of months and most questions have been the same from each person. Today, I’m taking time to answer those questions on here for me to look back on one day and remember how it all came about and how we were feeling during those first few weeks.
How far along am I?
I am almost 15 weeks.
When’s my due date?
November 12 is the official 40 week due date. However, we already know that the babies will be here between 35-38 weeks; our doctor doesn’t let multiples go that long. That being said, we’re looking at anywhere from October 8 – 29. So…mid-October is what we’re saying.
When / How did I find out? (this is the long one…get cozy)
Early last Fall, we decided we would give ourselves until the end of the year to see if we got pregnant again, if we didn’t, I would start Clomid in January. Obviously, I didn’t get pregnant by end of the year and with the holidays and end of the year at work, I never did any research much on Clomid. I knew you only took it for a few days, but I didn’t know all the specifics. I called my OB’s nurse to tell her we were ready to start (My OB was ready to start me in September, she was just waiting for us to make our decision of when to start.) We chatted about my cycle and quickly determined I needed to start the med in two days. This was on a Friday. Everybody knows how doctors’ offices work on Fridays, everybody’s rushed, half of the people leave early, some close at noon. I needed the Clomid for Sunday, the nurse was going to call it in to our pharmacy. I went by the Pharmacy late that afternoon, they had nothing for me. Stephen went again that night, still nothing and had nothing on their orders for me. Saturday comes and I’m flipping out because I NEED this medicine tomorrow. I pulled my “our doctor is also a good family friend” card and called my OB on her cell and told her what had happened. She called the Pharmacy herself and the prescription was ready for pickup just a few minutes later. We’re still not sure what happened, because we know the order was sent from the office’s end, it just never made it through to the Pharmacy’s end. Crisis adverted.
I’m not sure if this is common practice with Clomid for all OB’s, but a “Day 14” ultrasound was optional with my doctor. (A Day 14 U/S looks at how many follicles have been produced and their sizes. Follicles produce and release eggs. Clomid is supposed to increase follicle production, therefore, increasing your chance of egg release, increasing your chance for conception.) Because everything for January started so quick and not well planned out by yours truly, I opted not to have the ultrasound in January + this was all right before the blizzard!
When I didn’t get pregnant in January and called in for my next round of Clomid, we scheduled a Day 14 U/S. On February 19th, I had the u/s and was told the Clomid was working but it wasn’t doing all it could. I had 9 measured follicles but “only one favorable follicle” that measured 1.55cm. The nurse told me she was going to call in my March round to the Pharmacy and was doubling my dosage. So immediately, I’m thinking, well, they don’t think I’m going to get pregnant this month, because they’re already calling in my medicine for next month and I’ve still got 15-16 days left in this cycle. Later that day, I told my cousin who is a Women’s Health Nurse Practioner what they said and she agreed, that yes it was working, but it could do more. They like for follicles to be close to 2cm to be “of good size”. Again, my hopes of getting pregnant in February were slim to none. To many known facts that were against us.
March 10, I was one day late. When you go through fertility issues / problems / etc, you just get to the point where you KNOW your body. Even ONE day was a red flag to me. I took a pregnancy test on a whim that morning, NEVER expecting it to be positive, I really just thought my body was off because of the medicine or something. I took a shower, got ready for work, and then looked over at the test to see the normal pink control line and a faint 2nd line. I must've stared at that little strip for 10 minutes trying to decide if the 2nd line was really there or not. Finally, I convinced myself it was there because HOW MANY negative tests have I taken…they did NOT look like this. So, it must be a real 2nd line. For whatever reason, I threw the test in my bag along with another test and went on to work.
A few hours later, I took the other test. Why? I don’t know. Curiosity I guess. There was a 2nd line on that one too, but this time it was brighter and not as faint as the one earlier in the morning. I called my OB’s office (because you’re supposed to let them know as soon as you take a positive test after a pregnancy loss, so they can begin you a medicine that’s basically a steroid that helps strengthen everything down there during the first trimester), she sent me an order to go get my blood drawn to confirm. I had that done, my hcG level was at 612 which means YES INDEED those little 2nd lines were accurate, and she called me in the new medicine, Prometrium to start taking that night. ALL of this happened before lunchtime on THURSDAY March 10. (Thursday is important later on.) And Stephen had no clue any of this was going on. In fact, he sent a text message at some point that morning, telling me how bad his day had been so far. He had been having problems at every stop on his route and traffic had been crazy; he was just having a bad day. All I could text back was, “well, maybe it’ll get better”. WHAT DO I SAY?!? “It’s ok, turns out I’m pregnant so that should make your day better?!” Telling him that was not an option.
Here’s a little back story for the next part, my family has been talking about going a cruise together for the last year or so. We had decided that we’d try to go this year in October during our nephews and my sister’s Fall Break from school. However with it being very well known we were trying to get pregnant again, we didn’t want to book until as late as we could in case I did get pregnant and couldn’t go. We learned from the travel agent my dad dealt with that we could wait as late as August to book, which would be great. Even if we found out around August that I was expecting, I could still go and have a good time. (They won’t let you cruise after 24 weeks.) SO..that was THE PLAN.
That same THURSDAY afternoon, my dad walked in my office at work and said, “Well, I booked our cruise today!” I just froze and stared at him. In my head I’m thinking, I can’t tell my dad before I tell my husband! I said, “Ooooook….so, what happened to our plan of waiting until August to book?” He explained that the deposit he placed for all of us wouldn’t process until the next morning, and we could cancel after that time but it would only go towards the booking of a different cruise date, he would not get a refund. At that point, I know I’ve got to get home and tell Stephen so we can tell my parents that night at our weekly Thursday night Family dinner night because who knows when we’ll be ready to take a baby on a cruise! I wanted him to get that refund by the 10am cut off the next morning.
OH…and I also got a call for an interview that day from a job that I had applied for MONTHS before and hadn’t heard anything from. So much time had passed, I had forgotten about it! ALL of this happened on THURSDAY before I ever made it back home. Such a HUGE day!
When I got home, I told Stephen about what all had happened during my day. It took a few minutes to absorb it all. We were excited, but we were cautious more than anything, as anyone after a loss would be. We decided to tell my parents, sister and BIL that night at dinner just because of the new developments that day with the cruise plans. At dinner, my dad told everyone else, “Hey, I booked the cruise today!”
Remember that scene from Father of the Bride II where the family’s arguing about the name of Annie and Brian’s baby so to change the subject, George just jumps in and says, “Hey guess what, I sold the house today!” and everyone fell silent?? Yeah, it was just like that moment.
So then, the comments came from my mom and sister about, what happened to waiting to August, we don’t know what Erica’s situation will be…etc. My dad says, “Well, they’ll let her cruise up to 24 weeks, so…” I cut him off and just said, “Well…..we won’t be able to go because I’m pregnant already.” My mom and sister screamed and cried. My dad just sat there and looked defeated in his master plans he had taken care of that day. It was a table of mixed facial expressions.
Update – my dad got his money back the next morning and no one is cruising this year since the babies could be here as early as October 8. I ruined everyone’s Fall Break plans for 2016. Ask me at this point if I really care.
When did you find out it was twins?
We were scheduled for our first appointment and ultrasound at 8 weeks. They do them a little earlier with pregnancies after a loss just to see if everything is going ok and if anything could be caught early on that might be a problem.
I should also add that I had an additional blood draw over the weekend after our big Thursday to make sure my hcG level was increasing. They want it to at least double in 2-3 days. Remember it was 612 on Thursday, on Sunday it was 3026!! I knew it was a big increase and one friend even immediately joked it was twins because of it more than quadrupling. I assured her it was just going to be one, and that I just had an amazingly strong pregnancy this time. She laughed at me and said she’d be interested to see how our first u/s turned out.
Tuesday, April 5, we had our first u/s. By this time, I was a pro at ultrasounds since I had had more than I can remember in the past year and a half. So I’m calmly lying there praying, please let this baby be ok and have a strong heartbeat. The lady says, “ok, you ready to take a look?” The monitor is hung high on the wall in front of me, and I was all like, “Yeah, sure!” She said, “Here’s Baby #1…….” I felt my eyes get so big they could pop and I looked at her with this, “you better not say what I think you’re about to say” look. “And here’s Baby #...” Me interrupting her… “Shut up! Shut up right now!” “#2!” Stephen instantly jumped out of his chair was right up against the wall the monitor was on and was just dying laughing. I’m lying there thinking, “what if it’s two girls…that’s 2 weddings close together! They’ll both need cars at the same time! OUR CAR INSURANCE!?!!!!” Yes, these are the instant thoughts I had. I laid there the rest of the time covering my face in disbelief and I must've repeated at least a dozen times, "but there was only one favorable follicle...", and then I apologized to the u/s tech for telling her to shut up. She assured me she had been told far worse.
She kept looking for a third, which I informed her “was certainly not there.” What did I know?
After our ultrasound, we had to go back to the waiting room, because all of the exam rooms were full at the time. Once we got called back, we found out our doctor had to go across the street to the hospital for an emergency surgery, and another doctor would meet with us. So, we’re sitting in this exam room pretty much in silence staring at each other when the nurse or assistant or whatever her title is came in to get all the info from us, take blood pressure, etc. Those people. She asked us if we were ok, and my answer to her was, “we’re fine…still in shock, but we’re ok.” She snipped back and said, “Well, you took Clomid, you should’ve known your chances were increased.” Fortunately she had her back to us when she said this because I couldn’t contain my reaction to her. “Yes, well, the chances are slim now aren’t they? And you’d be shocked just a bit too if you just found out.” UGH.
THEN….she started asking what surgeries I had in the past and I told her just my gallbladder. She flips through my papers and said, “No, there’s something else in here I saw.” I informed her, “No…just the gallbladder..nothing else. I just filled those papers out an hour ago.” She INSISTED, “No. There’s something else you had that I saw.” At this point, I gave up, because apparently, I don’t even know what surgeries I’ve had myself. Y’all…the lady said this….”I swear I saw something in here about a craniotomy or something.” I looked at Stephen who was doubled over in his chair barely holding it together and I mouthed the words, “WHO IS SHE?!?!” to him. You’d think I’d remember something like…oh…..HAVING PART OF MY SKULL AND BRAIN REMOVED!!!
Finally the doctor came in and was super nice to us and understanding. He answered questions that we should’ve had but were too shocked to think of and informed us that given our Day 14 ultrasound and other circumstances, we were looking at a LESS THAN 4% chance of this having happened. We should’ve bought lottery tickets on our way home that day.
Part 2 coming tomorrow...