Last week, Cara shared with us that due to sheer will and obsessive fertility tracking, she was able to get pregnant. This week she shares the rest of her triumphant story.
I felt cautiously optimistic when those faint pink lines appeared.
I continued to POAS (pee on a stick) several times a day. I knew from my past experiences that a faint pink line could fade away after two or three days so I watched and waited tentatively to see if the lines would fade or get darker. My excitement grew with each slightly darker line, but I needed to see a doctor ASAP. I am considered high risk because of my miscarriage, chemical pregnancies, and age. My blood ought to be drawn every few days and my hormone levels checked to detect irregularities and nip any problem in the bud.
Since I was new to the area, I had not found an OB/GYN yet. So I began to make calls. Lots of ’em: eight OBs, Planned Parenthood, and an Urgent Care center. The responses I received were extremely discouraging: “Too high risk for us, we won‘t see you.“ “No insurance? You want to pay cash? Sorry, that won‘t work for us.“ “We can see you when you reach 10 weeks, that‘s our protocol.“ As for the OB office whom I tried to convince to squeeze me in by embellishing that I felt terrible cramping, they were not impressed: “We can see you next week,“ they responded.
I was appalled and indignant at my treatment, yet mortified with helplessness. Not one physician would see me! What if my progesterone levels necessitated supplementation? Would I find out tragically late? Morbid thoughts marauded through my head.
Five days after my initial positive home pregnancy test I called another OB and broke down in tears on the line. Thankfully, this receptionist had either a moral conscience or a sense of pity; either way, she found a way to fit me in for blood tests the next morning. To help determine the viability of my pregnancy they measured my HCG levels again two days later to make sure it doubled within 48-72 hours. Mine doubled in 31. I started to breathe, if only a little. And then the eight-week ultrasound arrived.
Doctor J began the ultrasound and right away we could see the gestational sac and a flickering heartbeat. I grimly remembered that at my previous ultrasound over a year earlier we had discovered a blighted ovum instead: a sad and sorry sac. This one was anything but. It was beautiful. And you could hear my husband and I exhale the breath we‘d been holding in for over a month.
And then…what was that? A second sac? But it was empty. She spent a few minutes poking around trying to see if anybody was home. Anyway, the second sac was most likely a vanishing twin and would dissolve into my body over the following weeks. My husband and I didn‘t feel disappointed. We were just grateful to have one.
She asked if I would mind going to the advanced ultrasound machines downstairs for a more accurate due date and measurements. And so, my husband and I walked downstairs holding hands, smiling from ear to ear, basking in the glory that inside of me grew the baby we‘ve been praying for and thought might never be.
Whereas the ultrasound in the doctor‘s office was transvaginal, this one was a much less intrusive abdominal one. The tech dimmed the lights and I looked back at my husband to flash him a reassuring smile. We have one healthy baby growing. Don‘t be sad about the second empty sac, I tried to tell him with my eyes.
The tech put the jelly on my belly and then swiped around looking for the sac. She had been doing this for maybe two seconds when I said loudly, maybe even yelled, “Holy Shit!“ As clear as day, we could see two gestational sacs. And, unlike the ultrasound 30 minutes earlier, there was another baby in the second sac. I saw it. My husband saw it. And then the tech broke the stunned, disbelieving silence: “Yes, there are two of them.”
OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG…OMFG.
Laughing and crying at the same time, my husband and I were breathless. In shock. Tears running down our faces, laughing hysterically and maniacally, we felt a power surge of emotions: surprise, joy, fear, and everything in between. We went from thinking we may never have another baby to having one and then two all in under an hour.
We still feel shocked, stunned, excited, scared, grateful, blessed, and general emotional turmoil. We have NO idea how this is going to work. We will need two of everything, the help and support of family and community, and probably a minivan. Learning to hold two at the same time, nurse two babies simultaneously, I have no idea…I barely seemed to keep it together with one baby, never mind two.
And so, this may be the end of my fertility journey, but it is certainly the beginning of something altogether more dizzying, terrifying, and beautiful.