1st Trimester

  • Posted on October 11, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Every day that went by, every Sunday that I stood by our dining room wall for a snapshot of my belly, was a step closer to what we wanted so badly:  a family of our own.  Two squirmy, little babies that we would love beyond all measure, dress in ridiculous outfits, and seeing them smile at us for the first time, laugh at their surroundings for the first time, and all the other firsts that come with raising two babies.

Every week, I had to go to the fertility clinic for an ultrasound to see how the embryos were developing.  Right after I arrived for my 6 week ultrasound, I felt I had to go to the bathroom.  I hurried into the bathroom and what I saw made my heart sink.  It felt like the ground dropped from beneath my feet – I was bleeding copious amounts of blood and huge clots.  I thought that there was no way I could still be pregnant and we’d have to start all over.  I kept saying, “no, no, no!” as I passed a few more clots.  I didn’t have any kind of pad or napkins to keep the bleeding at bay, either.  What a mess.  I cleaned myself up as much as I could and went out into the main area of the fertility clinic, telling the nurse in a wobbly voice that I was bleeding large clots.  She told me to wait in the lobby and they’d get me into a room as soon as they could and to try not to worry too much.

My husband was waiting for me when I came back into the lobby and when he saw the look on my face, he knew something was wrong.  I was pale and shaken.  I told him what was happening and we waited together for a room.  It was the longest 20 minutes of my life, it seemed.

When a room was available, we were ushered into the main area and I headed to the bathroom again to try and clean myself up.  Again, I passed some clots and more blood.  I started crying in the bathroom and was terrified to see what was going on inside me.  I didn’t want to know, but I also had to know what was going on in my uterus.  Were the little embryos we saw the week before still there?  Or was there nothing, like I suspected?

I bled on the table while the doctor examined my uterus.  There, on the monitor, were two little embryos, flickering at me.  The doctor said they both had heartbeats.  I had never felt more relief than at that moment.  The bleeding?  The clots?  What of that?  He explained the bleeding and the clots most likely were from my cervix having to compensate for the twin pregnancy – my uterus was already stretching and growing at a faster rate than a singleton pregnancy would.  Most likely, it was a burst blood vessel and it was probably nothing to worry about.  He recommended I stay on bedrest until the bleeding stopped and discontinue the baby aspirin I had been taking.

When I went in for my 8 week ultrasound, the bleeding had gone down to a persistent spotting.  When the doctor examined my uterus, he noted that there was blood in my uterus, which if it didn’t go away on its own, could cause some problems with the pregnancy in the future.  Yet one more thing to worry about.  However, by week 9, the blood clot had thinned out and looked like it was being absorbed by my uterus.

During the entire 9 weeks of monitoring by the fertility clinic, I had to have a Progesterone shot every night.  Because I didn’t produce enough Progesterone on my own, the nightly shot was vital for my pregnancy.  Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to maintain the pregnancy on my own.  I hate my body for that.  If only it would produce enough hormones for me to keep a pregnancy!  Then we wouldn’t have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege of having a family.

Eventually, I was weened off of the Progesterone – by week 9, my placenta would take over and I wouldn’t have to worry about not producing enough hormones to maintain the pregnancy.  I was released to my regular doctor with my fertility doctors’ blessings.  I missed them.  I missed their professionalism, their kindness, and their expertise.  But, most of all, I missed seeing our babies every week.  I was spoiled rotten by that fact.  Most women who have normal pregnancies don’t even get to see their babies on an ultrasound monitor until at least 8 weeks or later.  Our fertility clinic not only did an ultrasound once a week, but we got ultrasound pictures of them, too.

I was told to go ahead and call my regular OB/GYN and schedule a tentative appointment to come in for my first visit, as long as there were no issues by week 9.  Since there wasn’t, I was able to go ahead with my appointment, not scheduled until the end of the 11th week of my pregnancy.  I was crazy with impatience those two weeks.  I was so used to seeing our babies every week, that being expected to wait for over 2 weeks before I could see them again was pure torture.

That first appointment was frustrating, to say the least.  I don’t want to go into it here, but after being coddled by the fertility clinic, I felt almost neglected by my OB/GYN.  She didn’t seem to think my pregnancy should have been deemed high-risk because of my age and the fact that I was carrying twins.  She harped about my weight, which bugged me because I knew I had gained weight due to the hormones I was on for months and months.  While she was doing the ultrasound, she showed me exactly why the image of the babies was so fuzzy by pointing out the layer of fat on my belly that the ultrasound wand had to scan through.  Gee, thanks for that!  I was scheduled to come back in 4 weeks’ time for another ultrasound.  4 WEEKS????  Seriously?  Why so long?  I was told that once-a-month ultrasounds were the norm for pregnancies.  Again, I felt neglected, but there was nothing I could do.

The 4 weeks of waiting was torture, again.  But, I tried not to worry too much about it and kept myself busy with looking at my ultrasound photos from the fertility clinic.  When my appointment finally arrived, I was 15 weeks pregnant and feeling pretty good about myself.  I was feeling more confident that the pregnancy was progressing nicely.  My OB/GYN did another ultrasound to check the babies out and I remember seeing them on the screen, bouncing around.  They moved more than I had ever seen them move before, which made me laugh, which caused the wand to bounce and the image to move.  Then, she made a comment that kind of startled me, but I brushed it off as probably nothing.

“Hmmmm.  Baby B’s amniotic fluid looks a little low.” She didn’t seem to be too concerned about it, so, I decided I didn’t need to be, either.  The fertility clinic ultrasounds didn’t show anything, and how could something as drastic as low amniotic fluid happen so quickly between 11 and 15 weeks?

I was referred to a perinatologist office for my formal ultrasound at 17 weeks, where we’d finally get to find out the gender of our babies.  Waiting those two weeks seemed even more torturous than the 4 weeks I had waited before.  I wanted to know what we were having so I could start the preparations.  You know, buying clothes, deciding on a crib and changing table, room color, decor, etc.

I remember the excitement during that time.  Each week that passed, I felt more and more confident.  I could not WAIT for that appointment on March 23, 2009.

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