Thursday, January 28, 2010
A Tale of Two Ovaries....with no Great Expectations
Some people decide they are ready for a baby, get pregnant and have a baby. Others, like us, decide they are ready but don’t get pregnant. We wait and wait and wait and finally decide it’s time to see a doctor. With time, many of us become stirrup queens and sperm palace jesters. (You may have been in our situation if you know where that phrase comes from.) Some of us go through clomid, IUI, follistim, HSG, progesterone, D&C, laparoscopic surgery, acupuncture and Chinese herbs to try to get pregnant. We have to listen to lots of very unhelpful hints from people who have never been in our situation and don’t understand that stress does not cause most infertility. Those of us who only go through that much consider ourselves lucky. Anyone who has not been down the infertility path cannot begin to understand. We live our lives in increments, before and after ovulation. We obtain a whole new vocabulary. We become amazing jugglers as we spend more time at a doctor’s office than at our work desk. Our arms become pin cushions as we are constantly poked and prodded. We find ourselves drinking gallons of green tea and cough syrup, and know when it’s okay to drink them based on our temperature charts. We all temp and it becomes an obsession for each and every one of us. We chart those temps and spend hours looking at the results. It’s amazing how well we get to know our bodies and how little faith some doctors have in that knowledge.
One day, when we were on a break from all the drugs and procedures (except acupuncture), I looked at one of those crazy temping charts and it looked odd. Not bad odd, but amazingly odd. It was doing something it had only done once before, but this time it kept doing it. My charts told me everything I needed to know month after month. This time it was telling me something totally different. I finally broke down the day after Christmas and decided I needed to know if my chart was right. I took a test and it was positive within a second or two. I stared at it in disbelief. I called my doctor’s office as soon as it opened and couldn’t get there fast enough. You get special treatment when you’re a fertility patient and get to have your hormone levels tested and you get early ultrasounds. The hormone levels can tell you a lot about a pregnancy. I had blood drawn and my hcg tested. My beta came back high. I had my hcg tested two other times within the next week. Most healthy pregnancies have hcg levels doubling every 48-72 hours. Mine were doubling every 32 hours. The faster they double the more likely multiples are, but my levels were still well within the normal range for a single pregnancy.
One year ago today we saw two little hearts beating away on our ultrasound. We had seen one baby on our ultrasound two weeks prior. We were beyond excited to finally be blessed with one child and couldn’t believe our fortune when our second miracle revealed herself. Many couples are in shock when they find out they are having twins and the excitement takes a while to sink in. We couldn’t stop grinning from the second the doctor asked “Did we know it was twins?”
Looking back, I wouldn’t change anything about our journey. Through that journey I learned to be my own advocate in health matters and in life in general. I learned so many interesting things about the human body. I learned that infertility should not be taboo to talk about. I was open and willing to talk to anyone about it. In turn, I have met so many wonderful people and been able to help so many others as they begin their (hopefully short) journeys down the infertility path.
Today I post our babies’ first portrait together. I don’t know who is who, but I do know they are ours and we are theirs.