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The last 8 months and what happens after you sell all your baby gear.

Where we last left one another: my issues seemed to compound regarding pain, the need for a hysterectomy, and making a final decision on my reproductive years. Somewhere around the holidays, J and I started discussing the situation in a bit more detail. I, of course, had just finished selling all our baby gear, proclaiming that we were “done” and no longer had a use for it. I didn’t sell the clothes because they’re disorganized and just in a bunch of tubs that I really didn’t have time to clean out. Unfortunately, the pain associated with my endometriosis continues to increase, along with the hormone issues which made it necessary to sit down and say: What now?! Doing nothing wasn’t a viable solution. A decision needed to be made.

J said he’d love to try again – as long as it resulted in success (children). A point at which I laughed voraciously at because – doesn’t any infertile wish for that? There’s no guarantee of success; in fact, most of our time has spent getting over – or through – a failure. The final determination was that I couldn’t take it all out without giving it one more shot. This was it though. One more egg retrieval to see if it’s “meant to be” and we could grow our family of four. After that, no more discussing and we would move on. After internally making up our minds, I went to see DRW to tell them the plan. They wanted to do some testing of my AMH, as well as some other hormones to see if they could in good conscience recommend me to continue. That being said, everyone seemed to know that it was going towards retrieval regardless of what the tests said.

The tests came back, more horribly than predicted. Almost comically so, my hormone levels are that of a woman very, very, very close to menopause (.2 – not generally mentioned until you’re over 50) and…. it didn’t change a thing. I felt that I was at my healthiest (except for my age) that I’ve ever been in my adult life, so realistically, my eggs should be solid if we could get any. So, we discussed medicine protocol and made a plan. I’m thankful to have known these people for so long and be comfortable enough with them to be absolutely honest. I expressed that we would need to shoot me up with more hormones than ever and make one final try at it. I also expressed that I wanted a fresh transfer, pretty much regardless of what they thought. All of my frozen transfers have failed and I think that the only way for my body to do it is to trick it into actually going through a cycle. They agreed to all this, so away we went.

It was different this time, but nonetheless taxing on the body. The results were….okay…. at each juncture. Lower than ever, but encouraging enough to keep going. At the end of forever, I had 3-4 follicles and we were proceeding to egg retrieval. Egg retrieval was good; calming, almost. I came out of my “nap” a little more feisty than normal and was giving a lot of opinions to people, so again, I’m thankful to have a decent relationship with everyone in the office. We had 3 eggs retrieved. It’s pretty much what we expected, but at the time, I was hoping for another couple hiding out somewhere. I asked how my lining looked and they said “Eh, it’s fine.” Honesty, but again, we all knew that full steam ahead for the fresh transfer was likely the only thing that was on my mind.

Day 1 report – all three fertilized. Day 3 report is when the drama came. All three of my babes were Grade 1, 8 cell embryos. Perfect as could be – the best report I’ve ever had, even with the limited amount of eggs. I’m unclear if I can actually talk about the drama, so I suppose I’ll avoid it until I can find that out for certain. Day 5 came and J & I went, me with a full bladder, to get our final report and hopefully transfer our babies. All three of my babies were grade 1 blastocysts, which meant there was one, final question. How many were we transferring? We went there thinking we were transferring two, but reconsidered slightly as we sat in the waiting room. No reason for reconsidering other than we were asked. No single transfer had ever worked and only one of our dual transfers had worked, so we ultimately decided to stick with what we planned and to transfer two. The transfer went off without a hitch and it was probably the most pleasant one I’ve had to date.

Around day 4, I knew I was pregnant. I’d felt this way before. Exhausted. Weird. Different. On Day 9, I went in for my beta blood test – I never tested this time, but was expecting positive news. The call I got was thrilling; yes, I was pregnant. Very pregnant. My beta was triple that of the one with Carter & Isabelle. I went back in four or so days after that for a second. Everything was more spread out this time due to increased safety protocols for COVID. The second beta showed what it should and I was set up for an ultrasound a week or so following that.

Due to COVID, J couldn’t go to the US, so I prepared for my friend Wanda alone and got ready to see if my two sweet babes hung on. The image on the screen showed two yolk sacs. I was kind of thinking I would see more, but it was earlier than my first ultrasound on the prior pregnancy. They assured me that they weren’t expecting heartbeats and that everything was what it should be for the time being. Two weeks later, I returned and saw two beautiful little bouncing beans with very strong heartbeats. That solidified it. Oops, we did it again. A second set of twins. It’s still early. I’m 11 weeks today (3/19) and have a while to go, but this time, I’m not going to live in fear. It won’t make it hurt less if anything happens, so I’m celebrating. I’ve been wayyyyy more nauseous than I was with I&C and extremely tired, but things are going well.

Though I “knew” I was pregnant, we were still shocked. Though we knew this could happen, we’re still freaking out a tiny bit. Another pair of newborns, a family of six, will certainly be an undertaking that’s hard to imagine right now, but we’ll get ready. And if we don’t, it will still happen, so we’ll figure it out.

Our third embryo is frozen, waiting for us at some point in the future, maybe. None of the embryos were tested, so we don’t know genetic normality or sex. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

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