Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Seeing Double

I decided to make use of this time, since I can't sleep anyway to write down my thoughts on our family's latest news.  I should probably go back to December to start the explanation though.

As I've posted about before, Jon and I had some fertility issues and we sought out the help of a specialist to become pregnant.  We did a round of IVF at the end of September and had two embryos put back, but neither of them implanted.  We were sad, but knew that we needed to try again, just to exhaust all possibilities.  We jumped right back into the game and underwent our second IVF procedure in November.  Again, we had two embryos placed, with high hopes that we would end up with a positive result, and possibly twins.  We found out on December 10th that neither of the embryos had implanted, which was pretty devastating at the time.

Feeling quite discouraged, we decided that we needed a break from all of the treatments.  For Christmas we even bought a copy of the movie UP! and after sobbing through the scene where Carl and Ellie find out that they will not be able to have children, Jon and I talked through our feelings.  We decided that if kids weren't in the cards for us, then we'd just have to have a lot of great adventures.  It wasn't at all a sad moment for us, mostly just a realization that we could be happy where we were at in life.  We planned to look into different treatment options, but wanted to take some time to just enjoy the ride.  I like to explain that at this point, I stopped praying my begging prayers.  We'd been praying to get pregnant for so long, and instead of focusing on that, I prayed that we'd be happy and that we'd find ways to reach out to people around us to invite them into our adventures.  It wasn't giving up on the desire to have children, more a transition to finding happiness in the moment.
So, all of that went down the week of Christmas and New Years.  Rather than bringing the holidays down, it set Jon and I up for an awesome week of birthday celebrations.  It's so fun having our birthdays in the same week.  We got a special treat when Mom and Dad Hamilton flew out to Utah to enjoy some winter fun the days between our birthdays.  Jon and his Dad went skiing, we all went sledding, we enjoyed a dinner out with friends and family.  It was just a blast.  It was so nice to not be thinking about dates and timing, especially since my January cycle came right on time after our failed attempt and cycle in December.  It really seemed like my body was getting back to its normal routine and for that I was grateful.

The rest of January was pretty uneventful.  We kept working and Jon worked hard in his class at Weber State.  Things were great.  I had a fun trip down to Vegas to look forward to in the middle of February, to see my mom and my sister Beth's family.  Jon and I both had a trip to Florida to look forward to at the end of February as well.  Toward the end of January temperatures were really cold, it didn't hit 20*s for a week, and we had not seen the sun because of air pollution for 19 days.  Jon could tell that I was not feeling my happiest, even with the extra vitamin D pills I was taking, and after I broke down crying because I wanted an ice cream cone, he took matters into his hands and drove me to a tanning salon to sign me up for an unlimited month pass.  It would be a great way to get vitamin D to even out my mood, and a great prep for our upcoming trips.

I tanned a few times and ended up with a really bad burn that landed me in instacare the first weekend of February.  It was that same weekend that I had decided to start taking my prenatal vitamins again, and also the weekend Jon was at Flaming Gorge ice fishing.  I had taken prenatals religiously since we got married, but after the second IVF treatment, Jon and I both gave up our daily vitamins, opting only for vitamin D.  I didn't start the vitamins in hopes of becoming pregnant, more in coming to terms with the fact that the prenatals don't cause any harm and getting myself healthy is important.  This is the funny part though, Jon came home from Flaming Gorge to me crying hysterically as I itched the sensitive skin on my stomach and back, telling him I felt crazy and that I wanted to rip my skin off.  It turns out that prenatals are high in niacin, that draws the blood to the surface of the skin... making a sunburn hurt worse than it should.  Jon, being the amazing husband that he is, did not laugh at me, he just got me in the 4runner and drove me to instacare to figure out what was wrong.  The doctor there didn't look too hard, just prescribed an oral hydrocortizone.  It soothed the itching and I was able to function and think like a human again.  That was February 3rd.

On the 5th, my friend Sara text me to find out what the game plan was for more treatment options.  It had been 2 months since we got the news, which was the spacing between our last IVF attempts.  I told her we didn't really have a plan, that we were just enjoying the journey, but mentioned the text conversation to Jon that night.  He agreed with enjoying the journey, but also questioned me about my last cycle.  It seemed like it had been awhile since I'd had one.  We looked at the calendars and realized I was 5 days late, since my cycles are naturally very short.  I chalked it up to side effects from the residual hormones, but Jon pressed further and said it wouldn't hurt to test.  We didn't have any tests on hand, so Wednesday after work I went to Walmart and bought a two pack of clearblue digital tests.  They were on sale.  Come Thursday morning I didn't want to take the test, I knew it would be negative and I didn't want to be sad.  So, I asked Jon if he was sure we should test.  He said he needed to know.

 I went in the bathroom and took care of business.  I left the test on the counter and went to leave the bathroom, Jon came in and started staring at the test.  I told him to leave it alone, that it would take awhile to process.  He told me he'd just watch it for a minute.  It shows an hour glass blinking while it processes.  I went and sat on our bed and he walked in holding the test less than a minute later.  His head was down and he looked really sad.  Even though I was happy with where we were at, testing puts that little twinkle of hope in your heart that maybe it could work.  Since Jon looked so sad, I immediately got defensive.  I said, "You knew it would be negative, you can't be so sad about it now."  He looked up and just smiled at me and said, "read it!"  It said, "PREGNANT!"  I'm pretty sure my eyes were huge and I jumped up to hug Jon, muttering that there was no way.  We had to make sure, so we did the second test and it came back positive just as quickly.  Jon and I were on cloud nine.  He even offered to take the day off of work so we could celebrate.  Instead he went to work, while I had the whole day off.  He text me from work about 30 minutes into his day saying, "you need to buy a different test, I read online that clear blue gives false positives.  Go buy a pink dye test, don't worry about finding one on sale."  So, I did as he asked.  I drove over to Walgreens, got a third test and took it as soon as I got home.  This one was a standard test, so I watched as the positive line showed up dark before the control line was even saturated.  I sent him a picture and then floated for the rest of the day.

At this point, we knew we had to wait to tell family until we'd see them, it was only a couple weeks away.  But the wait was killing both of us.  We went and got blood tests done to make sure the HCG numbers were increasing well, and although they were high, we chalked it up to the fact that we were further along than we originally though.  Our reveals went well when we did see family, but they weren't extra cutesy, so we made plans for an awesome gender reveal.  We also went to our first appointment at the OBs office right after getting back from Florida.  The Nurse Practitioner brought in a hand held ultrasound and after finding the yolk sac, turned the screen to show us our baby's beating heart.  That did us in.  We were both crying, which made her cry, and she requested we come back in two weeks to hear the heartbeat.  Seeing the heartbeat had been amazing, but we were stoked to hear it too.  So... two weeks later we went back and she found a strong heartbeat at 170 bpm right away, she didn't even have to move the Doppler at all.

Then, two weeks after that I got a little scared, I had some spotting and even though the nurse told me not to worry as long as it didn't continue, I was still very concerned.  Lucky for Jon and I, our friends the Farrs have a fetal Doppler.  They were kind enough to let us borrow it, so that we could hear the baby from home.  We found the heartbeat, and although it sounded echo-y, we thought it was just because of the placenta.  A few times as we listened it was weird though, we'd be in one spot measuring the heartbeat at 135 bpm and then it would fade out, so I'd move the Doppler wand and find it again, but this time at 155 bpm.  I figured the baby was just dancing around in there.

I went to my 13 week appointment and the doctor didn't measure or set up an ultrasound, she said we wouldn't schedule that until the week of May 27th, and that I'd just come back April 29th to hear the heartbeat again.  At 13 weeks I had not gained any weight, so she mentioned some dietary things, especially since I had developed a sensitivity to milk and then sent me on my way.  I started getting antsy to know gender at that point.  Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE surprises.  Jon and I decided that we'd like to go to Fetal Fotos to find out the gender, so we called and set up an appointment for April 29th in the evening.  I already had the day off of work to go to my OB appointment, so it just made sense.

Fast forward to earlier this week.  Tuesday I worked in the evening, so in the morning I was sitting on the couch watching Star and Koda as they stared out the windows.  As I sat so still I felt a rolling sensation from my belly button down to my pelvis.  I text Jon to tell him that I thought I felt the baby move and he was very excited.  I figured it was a one time thing, so imagine my surprise when the next evening I was laying on the couch with the cat snuggled on my belly and I felt a pressure type sensation where the cat was laying.  I had Jon come push in the spot where I felt it and he could feel that it was more firm in that spot, but couldn't feel movement.  Then the morning of April 29th finally came.  I was laying in bed and I could feel a firm spot on my left lower abdomen.  Jon woke up to get ready for work and I had him come feel it.  He thought it was really cool, then hopped in the shower.  When he got out of the shower, he came over to feel it again and I showed him that the firm spot wasn't on the left anymore, that it was on the right, so our baby really is active.  He jokingly said, "Or maybe there are two babies in there."  We both laughed and continued with our daily prep.

Finally the time for my appointment came and I made it to the Avenues safe and sound.  (I mention that because at my 10 week appointment I almost got hit by an ambulance that was coming off of a side street very quickly with no lights or siren going.)   I waited for 45 minutes and finally got to see the doctor.  I'd been weighed in, and at 16 weeks, I'm up 4 lbs, but I'm visibly showing.  The doctor said it was pretty normal and not to worry, but to continue taking calcium supplements to ensure that the baby has strong bones.  She then did the Doppler as she continued to tell me about the upcoming appointments and how we'd have an ultrasound on May 28th to determine gender and size.  The Doppler kept making an odd sound and it sounded echo-y again.  The doctor asked if I'd used lotion on my stomach today, because that can cause the sound waves to bounce funny and cause the static and echo.  I said I hadn't, but she still seemed unfazed.  She was unfazed until she told me I wouldn't feel the baby kick or move until 20-25 weeks and I responded that I had already felt the baby move.  She told me I could not have felt the baby yet and that it was probably just gas bubbles causing the pressure... I decided I knew my body better, but not to argue.  I set up all of my appointments from May 28th through September 17th then headed home to wait for Fetal Fotos.

Jon came home from work and we had some dinner, then loaded Koda in the car to come with us to our off the record ultrasound appointment.  We love to bring Koda with us when we have short errands to run because he gets so excited to ride in the car.  We waited for a bit while the previous appointment finished and chatted it up with the couple as they waited for their ultrasound pictures, DVD, and CD to be complete.  Then we headed back.  I climbed up on the table and the tech squirted warm goo all over my abdomen.  She hit record on the DVD, then placed the ultrasound wand on my stomach.  She moved the wand left to right and first there was one little orb skull on the left, then as it faded out, there was a second little orb skull on the right.  I wasn't sure if I had seen correctly and she slowly moved the wand until both little skulls were showing.  She then said, "first off, did you know you are having twins?"  Jon and I looked at each other said, "No.... YES!!!!!!!!!!" The yes a cheer of excitement at the prospect of two little ones joining our family.  I had tears running down my cheeks at this point, but I wasn't sobbing.  I think that we had both been prepared for news like that, even though neither of us knew we were having twins.  We then stared in amazement at the screen as she showed us baby A, head down near my cervix, kicking baby B right in the head, as this baby was further up pushing his/her feet against the highest point in my uterus.  That was all the confirmation I needed to know that I had felt my baby, wait, babies, move on Tuesday.  As the tech moved the wand around we saw baby A's cute legs stretched straight out with the ankles crossed.  I looked at it and said, "I think that one is a girl."  The tech said she agreed 80% and would come back to baby A to verify after checking out baby B.  So baby B decided to sit in the same position, ankles crossed, legs pretty close together, until the tech jabbed where the legs were a few times.  HE gave up the modesty and spread his legs showing off.  Jon and I were so excited.  When we thought there was only one, we thought it was a boy, so to find out there really is a boy was just so fun.  Then, the tech went back to baby A, and jabbed a few times until SHE finally spread her legs a tiny bit to reveal three little lines.  We went in thinking we were having one healthy baby, and found out we are having one of each healthy baby!  We continued the ultrasound session and got a few cute face shots, spine shots, baby B, Owen, waving shots, and baby A, Lindsey, kicking shots.  They were sooo active and squirmy.

I mentioned before that we had a fun gender reveal plan, and we did, but it went out the window when we found out that there was one of each.  We just couldn't hold it in.  So, we called our families and shared the news.  To say that everyone was shocked was an understatement.  To say that we are shocked is also an understatement.  Hence me being awake at 3:30 in the morning because I can't turn my brain off and just need to share our story.  I'm seeing double from my blurry eyes, and double for all of the adventures to come with these 2 little ones joining our family.  It's going to be fun calling my OB this morning to let her know there are really two little ones in there, and that her Doppler isn't broken.  Oh, and since there are a ton of words in this post, here is some cuteness to reward you for making it through this post. 
Lindsey Diane

Owen Jonathan

Lindsey's head is on the left and that's her foot.  Owen's head is at the bottom.  The squiggly white line is the separation in their sacs.

Told you he was showing off.

She was a little more timid, but you can see those splayed legs and the little bubble between them is her umbilical cord.