We had our 9-week checkup on September 13th. I know, that was over a month ago. Historically, I post about once a month. I’m not trying to make excuses, but I do work full-time, T has been working 7 days a week, and almost all the housework, shopping, and other errands fall on me. So, I apologize for the delay in updates. (Not that anyone cares. Only two people liked my last post. I don’t know who I’m kidding.) Anyway, I am 13 weeks today and our next ultrasound is Monday, but several changes have occurred so I figure it’s time for an update…Since our fertility clinic usually graduates patients between 9-10 weeks and I was very close to nine weeks on September 13th, I made sure our appointment was scheduled with our main doctor, Dr. Peter Ahlering. If we were going to discuss graduating from the fertility clinic we wanted to discuss it with him directly, not the partner RE or NP. Of course, just as with every previous appointment, we started right off with a trans-vaginal ultrasound. Dr. A came in with his signature tap on my knee and a “Hey guys!” He is always so excited to see each patient, and laid back. It’s like hanging out with a friend, except that friend is poking around in your lady parts.
I was really nervous, but of course Dr. A chatted to keep me calm. Two little sacs popped up on the screen. Twin A was doing “her” little dance, just as before, but something wasn’t right with B. It looked like the sac had moved and it hadn’t grown since the last ultrasound. A’s heartbeat was great, over 150. When we searched for B’s it just wasn’t there. B was gone. We were prepared for it, or we thought we were. I mean, we didn’t get into this for twins, and we were honestly a little scared about the idea, but once we “had” them, and saw their little hearts beating…. Well, it was kind of hard to say goodbye. Dr. A was comforting and visibly disappointed for us, but he said we knew this could happen, and we had to think about Twin A. He was right, of course. He checked me out and all results came back with flying colors. Twin A was looking strong. He would have loved to see us one or two more weeks, but since we live two hours away he recommended we be released to our local OB. He said he would let us talk to our nurse coordinator and decide if we wanted to set up anymore future appointments with MCRM. It was all very emotional for me. In just the matter of an hour we found out one baby was doing amazing but the other had passed, and I was very healthy and safe to graduate from the clinic but that meant leaving Dr. A and his amazing staff.
We tracked down our coordinator. She was sad to see us leave. She reiterated her wish that we lived closer. She asked if we wanted to come back for one more week, just for our own comfort, but when we looked at our schedules and budget it seemed like just an added expense. I cried (again) because Dr. A and the MCRM staff are like family to us. They gave us a little MCRM onesie – our first baby gift. It says “I survived the ice age as a frozen embryo”. This is not really accurate since we did a fresh transfer, but 90% of the people we know have no idea it doesn’t apply to us. I did suggest, however, that they should change the saying to something more universal like, “Made with a lot of love and a little science.” Leaving MCRM was so bittersweet. I cried all the way to the car, and part of the way home. I think it was just all the feelings welling up – losing B and knowing I’ll still see his little bubble on my ultrasounds for a while, leaving the clinic, seeing how great little A is doing, and knowing we made it far enough to graduate from the clinic. I was completely overwhelmed. It took me a few days to adjust.
Transitioning back to my OB’s office has not been without its frustrations. That heifer of a receptionist has continued to be a thorn in my side. (I call her a heifer because she is stubborn and rude, not because she’s fat or anything like that. She’s just hateful.) I complained to both my midwife and the nurse. The nurse’s response was, “Yeah, we’ve been really busy lately”. She may well be very busy but I can’t stand the way she speaks to me and treats concerns I consider important like minor, insignificant irritations. To me, that’s just an excuse to allow the person answering the phone to make your patients feel unimportant.
Other than the issue with the receptionist everything is going pretty well. I had some spotting for two weeks after we tried to have sex for the first time since July. That was scary, but the baby is doing great. (And I’m refraining from sex until further notice!) We’ve taken to calling the baby “A” or “Baby A” because we can’t bear to say “it” when describing our baby. I now have a love-hate relationship with ultrasounds. They’re just regular external scans now. (NO MORE trans-V ultrasounds!!! – THANK GOD!!!) That definitely helps, but I hate that we can still see B’s sac. Remember how I said my midwife doesn’t do the scans herself at the OB’s office? Well, the ultrasound tech wasn’t informed that we had lost a twin so she kind of freaked out for a split second at our first scan, until I told her what happened. This is the kind of thing that would never happen at MCRM. Communication is key, and they get that. My midwife is amazing, and the head doctor who founded our OB clinic is a great doctor, but his staff is not as phenomenal as MCRM’s. I don’t know that there is any other staff like theirs. I guess they set the bar and I will just have to deal with being disappointed from now on. In the meantime, the midwife can’t really tell us how long we should expect to see B’s sac. She said when this happens the second sac usually “resorbs” and eventually just stops being visible, but sometimes it stays the whole pregnancy. Other times it passes at some point during pregnancy. We thought that might be happening when I had the post-sex spotting but I never passed anything other than some brown blood. The only real “complication” we have had since losing B is that I am having a LOT of hip and lower back pain. I had connective tissue problems in my hips before getting pregnant so this is not a surprise, but my chiropractor won’t let me do anything about it until around 14 weeks. I got a note from the midwife and go for a massage and adjustment on Monday! (I can NOT freaking wait!)
I have this thing with the number 13. A lot of people do, I know, but it just keeps popping up. I lost my grandma in 2013, on January 13th. My first pregnancy to make it past three weeks would have been due in 2013. By the time A gets here I will have been trying for a baby for 13 years. We had our first specialist appointment last year on April 13th. We had our LAST appointment with MCRM on September 13th. That day, when we were driving home my grandma’s favorite song came on, “Home” by Phillip Phillips. It played at her funeral. All these little things just keep happening that tell me everything will be okay. Now, on the first day of our 13th week I feel like I can FINALLY breathe.
I’m increasingly optimistic. I am [this] close to my second trimester, AND I have not thrown up even ONCE since transfer!!! (I can’t believe it!) The powers that be were watching over me these last three months because I am DEATHLY afraid of vomiting. I have no idea why I’m so afraid of it, but I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be puke-free and entering my second trimester! Oh! And no more Progesterone! Whooohooo! I am SO SO blessed, and I can’t wait to make our official pregnancy announcement. In fact, I need to buy a pumpkin and carving kit today because I want to do a Halloween announcement and that’s only two weeks away! (EEK!). I feel like I am FINALLY allowed to be excited.