This week (17 Weeks 3 Days) we had a special “fun” ultrasound gender scan with our doctor. Daddy was supposed to deploy this Spring with his unit so our doctor told us he’d do a special scan just so that we could find out the sexes before he left. (Did I mention we ADORE our doc??) I haven’t been this anxious since waiting for our first ultrasound to see if we were having twins and praying like crazy that they were both still “sticking” around! Still NOTHING like waiting for the Beta test!!!! It was pretty exciting though knowing that it couldn’t end in bad news. 🙂 Once you’ve struggled with infertility you can’t help but get nervous before appointments and ultrasounds, but now that I have my trusty heart rate monitor and I’m starting to feel the babies throughout the day my worry has GREATLY decreased.
We arrived at the doctor’s office shortly before my 3:30 appt and the office was slammed! The sonographer is only there 1 day a week and they were closed the week of St. Patrick’s Day (love that it’s a holiday). We had to wait until almost 4 for the ultrasound and our nerves were killing us by the time we got called back! Haha Apparently the don’t know that I am the LEAST patient person on the planet and infertility only made it worse not better. After going through the routine and getting everything set up, our sonographer asked if we wanted the sexes listed in an envelope or if we wanted to know. We both were like “HECK NO! The patience is gone!” Haha It’s a good thing too, because our sweet “Baby A”, let us know about two seconds after she put the wand on my belly. No shyness whatsoever (takes after Daddy already)! Haha “Baby B” had to make things a bit more interesting (must take after Mommy) and was being a little shy and stubborn. Baby was hiding behind my belly button and I had to roll over to my side twice before we could get the right look. Definitely made for a fun story for later though!! Also, both babies are still looking great and their heartbeats were both at 156…nice and strong! 🙂 Doc ran the “quad screen” bloodwork to make sure that we’re not at risk for Down’s, etc. We already know that we don’t have to worry about any genetic diseases because we were tested prior to beginning our fertility procedures.
Since our families are so spread out (Maine/NY/NC/Florida) we couldn’t do a gender reveal party and have everyone there, so we decided to skype the grandparents, call everyone else (aunts/uncles/great grandparents) and then post a video to social media. Minus the fact that it took us WAY longer to accomplish this than expected, it worked out great! Our pictures are below.
We were so very excited to find out that Baby A: is a BOY!!!! And Baby B: is a GIRL!!!! We are being blessed with one of each!! 🙂 We couldn’t be more thrilled and it makes it that much more real and exciting to know the genders and put names to our sweet babies. 🙂 We picked out names 4 years ago when we were still engaged and Ryan was downrange on his first 12 month deployment. We went through a book called “1001 Questions to ask before you get married” (which I HIGHLY recommend to dating/engaged couples), and in the section discussing kids we got on the topic and fell in LOVE with these names. It’s still a little strange to be sharing our secret with the world. The names have come to mean SO very much more to us after our journey with infertility though and have truly learned to lean on God’s understanding and not on our own.
- Our “Baby A”: is Logan Connor Grim. It’s a Scottish/Irish name meaning wise. We chose Proverbs 3:5-6 for his verse, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make straight your paths.”
- Our “Baby B”: is Emma Riley Grim. Her name is English & Irish and it means whole and courageous. We chose Psalm 27:14 for her verse, “Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
I’ve struggled for awhile on how to put this all into words. IVF, In-Vitro Fertilization….I keep saying those words and it is still so surreal that this is real life for us. Mayo Clinic defines it as“…a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab.”
It all sounds so very clinical, simple, and unemotional. Well, that first part can be true, but the rest is far from it. This has been the most difficult, emotional, expensive, trying, beautiful, scary, exciting, exhilarating experience of my entire life. The first time we met with our Reproductive Endocrinologist he walked us through the process of diagnostic tests that we would need and gave us our options moving forward. Hearing IVF made my stomach tie up in our knots, but I never truly believed we’d have to go this far. IVF is just something someone else does…lots of people get pregnant from IUI/Superovulation, right? By the time that our 2nd round of SuperO failed and we put down the deposit to reserve our start date of 24 NOV it started to hit me, but it wasn’t until we went to our orientation that everything hit me. Seeing the many, many drugs arrive on top of what we had done, reading through the file of documentation/paperwork/releases and having slips to get tested for all kinds of different diseases so that our embryos wouldn’t possibly be infected or affect others is just so much to take in.
Pretty much everyone I know in real life that has been through infertility did super-ovulation (like we did first) or IUI’s (similar to super-ovulation, only instead of intercourse, the sperm is placed inside the cervix to naturally fertilize any eggs) so I didn’t even have a community of people who understood. Thankfully, I found an online community/support group of AMAZING women who understand and are going through/have gone through the same path that we’re traveling and understand all of the emotions. Infertility, and especially IVF is very isolating. While we had so many distant friends and family that were so supportive, we dealt with so many insensitive comments. A few people even made us feel even worse by invalidating our feelings because it’s not “as bad as cancer or real problems”.
The first part of the process, the “Stimulation Cycle” was pretty close to what we had been through with our 3 superovulation cycles with a few new drugs. However, it was definitely more intense. There was so much riding on each of the appointments and we were much more nervous to make sure that my body was progressing the right way. Plus, I was more sore since we had to have many more eggs than before (in superovulation, you only want one or two eggs to release).
The toughest part came after the retrieval “surgery” when I came off of all of the drugs. My body had NO IDEA what to do going through withdrawals from all of the hormones and the wait to find out if we had embryos/would they make it/would they be healthy/would he have some left to freeze…the whole week was unbearable. I also had some pretty insensitive comments directed toward me, but I guess many people just don’t think and empathize what someone is going through. It was extra hurtful though being that I wasn’t in my right mindset either.
IVF is just so much to wrap your mind around. The idea that your embryos are being created in a lab is a lot to come to terms with and be okay. What I wasn’t expecting was the need I felt to protect them and be close to them. After my surgery I missed my babies that I didn’t even know I had…I just wanted them back! It’s like my maternal instincts kicked in automatically. Poor Ryan had to deal with a few emotional breakdowns that I had that week, but he’s always the best at calming me down and getting me through it. I can’t imagine the gut wrenching pain of losing babies that have been implanted back in you. No matter how early it’s still the same or close to the same pain of having a miscarriage. While many might disagree…our babies were our babies before they were ever put back in me. I can’t explain how thankful we are and how blessed we truly are that they are both still with us!
It’s still hard to think about PCS’ing and having to leave the other babies behind until we can use them again, but i’m still thankful that we have some left for the future. I still feel like it’s all been a dream and I can’t believe it’s finally our turn and it finally worked!!!
~Melissa Grim, IVF Twin Mommy