Heart Stopped: A Change in the Game

August 26, 2013

I was able to get the ultrasound today at 1:00.  I invited my mom cause Darren had to work.  I debated it because mom has never got to see one of my ultrasounds and I would HATE for her to have to be there if a baby/babies died.  I figured that I had made her part of this journey and that I would risk letting her step in my crazy infertile world. 

I wasn't too nervous but I'll get straight to the punch:  Baby B died today.  Yes, today it measured 9 weeks.  I am exactly 9 weeks today and the other TWO, yes TWO (this is NOT how I intended to announce that I was pregnant with TRIPLETS) were still strong.  This is one of the most bittersweet things I have ever experienced. 

Before, I have heard of the "vanishing twin" syndrome and although all THREE of my precious babies had strong heartbeats at 6.5 weeks and 7.5 weeks, something happened to baby B.  I've been guarded because I knew miscarriage rates are higher with triplets but honestly, I have also accepted and dreamed about my family of 5.

Pregnancy does that to you-it's like being engaged-You are NOT married yet but you naturally start to plan the wedding and dream of the years to come.  Although my husband was originally ready to puke when he realized we were having triplets, he has become so excited.  Our family can't contain the "craziness" of three.  I was mentally prepared.  I'm 29.  I'm super tall.  I'm a good candidate.  I was 100% ready to go on bed rest and eat a ton of great food to try to get my little angels to at least 33 weeks. 

Bittersweet.  For the first time in my life, I saw the live ones move.  I saw the flicker and I saw them moving around.  But then that moment, baby B on the screen and no movement.  No flicker.  The tech shoved the wand a bit higher up-she was really trying.  My mom stared at the screen and asks "is the baby at a bad angle?"  I could answer-"mom they are inside me, if they can't see it it's not there."  Then the tech tries to measure the fetal pole.  Nothing.  I'm experiencing a miscarriage.  The death of a baby whose heartbeat I have seen twice.  It's in the middle of two alive babies.

I've met several women in blog land who have lost 1 or 2 along the way and went on to deliver perfect baby and I never fully got their sorrow.  I was in the trenches and thought ya, that's sad but at least they have a baby.  I even went as far as to somewhat "eye roll" a mom I read about who lost 2 triplets had to deliver them all and had 1 live baby.  She talked about the horrible clash or deep sorrow and pure joy.  I didn't get it.  At least she had a kid.

Today I get it.  After 11 treatments and years of failed attempt, something clicks in your brain when you see the hearts.  Usually I would be thrilled with twins (and still am) but the fact that today another child of mine has gone to heaven moves me in a very very sad and real way.  I know what to say and I get it "it's better/safer for the other two," "it will be easier financially"  "something was probably abnormal with B and it self aborted."  I was fine on the way home.  But when the RE office called and the nurse said I am so sorry I quickly said "ya but I'm grateful for the two" she responded but one of your babies did die and that doesn't change it.  I lost it.

Tears and snot and sobs and hiccups lost it.  Another loss.  I struggle so much with fear and anxiety as it is about miscarrying that the fact I'm currently having one amongst the living messes with me.  Scares me. Horrifies me.  My faith is being tested as I have to chose to trust Him or be mad and freaked. 

I know I sound greedy.  Heck we would all do anything for a baby.  2 months ago I was cool with a surrogate.  I roll my eyes at new moms that panic about "having" to have a C section or who get so upset because their milk doesn't come in.  YOU HAVE a CHILD!  DO YOU REALIZE HOW MANY WOMEN WOULD KILL FOR THAT??  Now, you may think, this girl is sad, depressed, complaining (I'm not complaining I'm mourning) but she still has two babies???  I was there too, not getting it when other women told their stories of sorrow when one or two were still good and I hope and pray you never have to lose any baby.  But I'm not out of the woods . Nine days ago all three were perfectly fine.  I have to wait 9 more days until the next ultrasound and God knows how fragile these little lives are.  Nothing is guaranteed.  I'm in shock because after the 2 heartbeats I thought we were safe.  Today I'm mourning our future that Darren and I dreamed up with triplets but I'm grateful that baby B wasn't a singleton.  It could be shock but I also have peace.

Last thought.  I visited my parents church yesterday and the pastor was talking about Gideon and a point where he was frustrated with God and questioned God.  The pastor pointed out that in the scriptures, God never "answered" or responded to Gideon's questions.  He went on to say that God didn't answer him because Gideon wouldn't have understood it anyway.  His thoughts are higher than our thoughts his ways are higher than our ways.  I know that at the point I could never understand why I had a miscarriage 9 months ago.  I don't "get" why God even allowed Baby B to implant if it was going to lose it's heart rate at 9 weeks.  Even if He tried to explain the reason, I wouldn't get it.  I just have to trust there is a bigger picture and pray my heart out that the other two grow strong. 

Baby B is joined with Jaden in heaven today :(  This song helps remind me that we will all be together someday in a place where tears are no more.

The 3 Hour Moment

August 26, 2013

Moments.  I cannot grasp the concept that sometimes (during really fun stuff like our cruise) a moment lasts a split second. Then, there are moments that seem to drag on for at least 3 hours each.  I'm experiencing those.

So far things have been going smoothly, but I'm not out of the "safe zone yet."  I literally day dream about September 16 if/when I hit that 12 week number to be able to be happy, excited, and announce my news to the world that perhaps this dream is coming to reality.  I know I know, nothing is guaranteed, not even after the babies are born, but 12 weeks is such a beautiful milestone.

I am a worrier and anything can set me into panic mood.  Last week after CAREFUL examination of toilet paper I swear there were 2 or 3 pin drops of red blood.  I called asking for an ultrasound.  My doctor convinced me it was probably nothing to worry about but said I could have another if any more bleeding continued.  It didn't.  Not another sign of those horrid red dots. 

I've also had a perfect amount of morning sickness: not enough to make me puke but enough to let me know something is going down.  A few days it got bad so I took Zofran (this anti nausea pill that is safe).  I wasn't forewarned that Zofran basically is the complete opposite of exlax.  Do you catch my drift?  I haven't really gone to the bathroom in like SIX days.  This isn't a complaint, its a fear.  I've taken a ton of stuff and nothing.  I don't feel stomach pain but whatever.

So Friday I take Zofran and actually do stuff the whole day, get ready to host my SIL's baby shower, go grocery shopping, pick up the last (praise the Lord) of my PIO injections, clean, etc.  Saturday I don't take anything and feel 100% I run the shower no problem, clean the house, eat GASP donut holes...and what do I do?  Freak out.  Loss of symptoms!  Loss of symptoms!!  This could be bad! I've felt dead and tired and miserable the last 2 weeks and today I randomly feel perfect. 

I ask Darren to pray my morning sickness will come back. He stares at me in disbelief closes his eyes and asks the big man upstairs that tomorrow Holly will feel "better slash worse."  It was funny but I was serious.

Yesterday I did feel worse and I was happy although I decided NOT to take Zofran unless I'm desperate.  Dar and I stayed up late discussing an article we had read dissing some Christian leaders I like.  At midnight I went to the bathroom and of course couldn't go #2 GRRRRRRRRRRRRR.  But then I noticed PINK on the toilet paper.  Not a pin drop.  Pink spotting.  Again.  Three times.  I hate these moments.  My heart starts racing and I feel numb. 

It only happened then.  No more through the night no more this morning, but I've been on the phone demanding they hook me up.  I know I can't control it, but I want to know what's going on.  In my heart and after some googling I think the spotting could have been from all the pain of trying to go to the freaking bathroom (I read lots of women who had this) but then you find those articles saying "my miscarriage starting with pink..."I hate it.  I know I have to reach a point of I'm not in control at all, God is.  He will do what is best for all of us and He has a plan for each life inside but holy mother, enough scares!

Now as I wait for the call, and HOPEFULLY the ultrasound today, each moment feels like 3 hours.

Ultrasound #2, 7 weeks 4 days

August 16, 2013

Today we got to go back and make sure the hearts were still a-beating.  I am so thankful that I get these extra "peeks" into the womb but I would be lying if I said that I'm 100% confident all is well each time.  For people that have been following our story, they know by now that I struggle with fear and worry.  I felt really really nervous.

The ultrasound tech started on the abdominal and could instantly verify the heartbeats were still beating.  She gave me the option of vaginal and I took it-it would give more info.  She said the heartbeats at this point should be between 120-180.  Considering last week they were around 130, this time the lowest was 154 and the highest was 177.  We still haven't got to hear it yet but seeing it does wonders for my worrying mind.

I had my first pre-natal visit on Wednesday (I was with the OBGYN for 1.5 hours).  She would not drop the idea of selective reduction.  She went on to say not to do it till 10 weeks because lots of times multiples miscarry on their own (this doesn't help my anxiety).  I know selective reduction is a personal choice but for us, it's against our own values.  We were lucky enough to choose to "risk" having more than 1 knowing the extra risks that come.  Honestly, I did think I would get more than 1 considering 4 perfect embryos before didn't stick, but as a strong believer, I also knew God had the final say in how many implanted.  I know many women struggle with this because they think "it has taken me forever to get pregnant, I just want ONE" they want (and deserve) a smooth pregnancy since the road was so bumpy.  I have peace about where we are at and like I said I get that the have to talk about SR to me, but I'm done with it.  She told me the specialists will talk to me too (and I've gotten the speech from the RE). 

I read a story of a couple that got pregnant w/ triplets and the wife insisted on selective reduction-the husband was against it.  She said she would terminate all 3 if he didn't let her terminate 2.  He explained watching it and actually said you could see the little babies "swimming away" from the needle.  The husband was really sad about the whole process.  It was heartbreaking.  From a medical view I get it, though as mentioned I personally don't agree.  Having twins or triplets can put the others in danger and they almost look at it as saving a life/lives to eliminate 1 and give the other 1 or two a better chance.  But SR can also cause miscarriage to the other.  Heck to the no.

Thankfully we live in a time where the NICUs are stronger than ever.  My husband was born at 29 weeks in 1982...things are much more advanced.  Although I feel guilty that my babies (God willing they all make it) will be premature, I am grateful that there is great technology and support.  Since I'm considered high risk I'm getting referred to a hospital across the bridge in Portland and their NICU is the 3rd largest in the West.

As mentioned, one of the "blessings" of high risk is that I get to be monitored way more often.  I'm hardly 8 weeks and have got to see the heartbeats twice.  I get to go back the first day of school (I'll be 10.5 weeks) to see how things are progressing. 

I've trained my brain to pray the same thing each day I wake up.  I have several fears in several categories:

1.  1st trimester: what if I miscarry one?
2.  1st trimester: the OBGYN said +1 can mean X2 symptoms.  I'm so worried about how I'm going to teach with the way I feel (dead tired and nauseous).  Spanish is a bit trickier because we have a big program and if I'm out a lot, it can mess stuff up for other teachers. 
3. premature-early labor-with multiples sometimes women go into labor like at 22 weeks.  That is a death sentence.

As I give God each fear, I constantly acknowledge that I have NO control over any of these outcomes.  It is His choice to give or take away.  Same with the premature thing.  Yes, I can go on bed rest, and not have sex, and not exercise, and eat healthy, but HE is the one who has already chosen the minute.  I have to daily remind myself of these things. 

Big Mouths and Heartbeats

August 13, 2013

I cannot stop listening to "Lord I need You" by Matt Maher.  One of my favorite lines is "teach my soul to rise to you, when temptation comes my way."  I feel like since I'm still smack dab in the middle of the first trimester, my greatest temptation is allowing my mind to go down and down and down the "what if" and "worse casenario" track.  I hate it so bad.  I feel so guilty for it.  After nearly 3 years I finally have my prayers of answered of being pregnant, but all I can think of is watching the clock to make it to 12 weeks.  I know that 12 weeks doesn't guarantee a single thing but sheesh!  I have to teach my soul to rise to Him instead of just being so worrisome. 

When we saw the heartbeats and were told they were strong, it was to hard not to tell more people outside immediate family.  I had to tell some of my best friends who knew we were cycling.  I gave my mom and MIL permission to tell close friends. 

I did IVF alone.  It was less stressful for me to just cope with it on my own and not tell family/friends.  I'm kind of private (would you have guessed that considering I bare my soul online? ;).  It was so nice telling them it worked instead of having to mass text the entire world that it failed.  But I'm only 7 weeks and 1 day.  I so long for the 12.  My mother in law works at a big company connected to my parents church.  The whole company knows now.  We weren't going to tell my husbands cousins till 10 weeks but they got a phone call too.  I'm not mad, I know people are excited and its hard to keep quiet.  But I am a bit stressed just since I'm not in the kind of "safe zone" yet.  I'm even guilty of telling random people at work in the district that I rarely see (ie I ran into my high school basketball coach and just let it out when she asked if we had kids). 

Big mouths.  Me included.  I feel stressed more people "know" than planned, but it is what it is and I'm trying NOT to think about it.  If I tell anyone I basically am very cautious and say "it's still early"  "miscarriage rates for multiples is higher in the first tri so one day at a time" "we are happy, but we are waiting."  It annoyed my husband at first.  He was like "stop doing disclaimers.  You are pregnant, accept it."  But then I think he got it once I explained the stats.  The RE did say that I'm in a great position since the beats were strong and that I'm a great candidate for multiples since I'm in my twenties (cough cough for like 2 more months) and tall (5'9'').  I of course ask everyone to pray.  Pray for their safety.  My sanity.  To guard and protect those sweet little miracles as they grow. 

In the other update world since I do currently have +1 in the belly I immediately have to see a specialist called a perinatologist because I'm considered high risk.  However, there is silver lining to this.  Since I'm "high risk" they do way more scans/checkups/check-ins and I get to do another ultrasound this Friday at 7.5 weeks.  I think throughout the pregnancy they do way more ultrasounds which is a blessing to my crazed brain.  I'm so nervous because I want them all.  After seeing the heartbeats they feel so real.  I never got to see this in our first pregnancy.  I cry at the thought of where I currently am and know that I don't deserve a thing.  I cannot stop thanking Jesus for the miracle He is allowing to happen and begging Him to let them ALL stay safe and sound.  I keep apologizing for my doubt and fear.  God, teach my soul to rise to you!!

Thanks for all the prayers from you guys too!! There are days I feel crazy peace and I know its from the believers lifting us up.  I pray for so many of you by name that God will move and answer your prayers too as we all fight this beast.

I don't like plastering positive tests all over the place but I took this one just because it represents the fight a bit. 

"Like a Drum, Baby Don't Stop Beating..."

August 9, 2013

Today we got to see the fetal pole.  Last night I couldn't sleep.  I felt really queasy.  Dreams of blood.  Dreams of twins.  Flashbacks of last time. 

This morning went smooth.  There was a beat or two....I'll keep you posted later.  The beat was strong but we got a ways to go. 132 ish.

Week of Gestation Percentage Likelihood
of Miscarriage
1-2 (You do not know you are pregnant)75% (this includes eggs that never grow past fertilization, and it would have been impossible to know you were pregnant; after implantation, which occurs 7-10 days after ovulation, the odds go down to 31%)2
3-610% (after home urine test is positive at 14 days post ovulation when hCG levels reach 50-80)2
6-12 5% (or less if heartbeat heard)

Beta #3, Brazilian Wax,Brown Spotting

August 3, 2013

So on Wednesday I went in for a 3rd beta (18dp5dt) and it was 15,431 which is a doubling time of 41 hours!  I was starting to have doubts so it was so nice to get me that breath of fresh air.  I figured it would get me through 1 more week to the fetal pole check.

On Friday I went in for a Brazilian Wax.  Two words to that : HOly $%^@%$#%^ .  My best friend a long time ago convinced me to try it and I bought a groupon.  I kept putting it off out of fear and out of not wanting to do it during IVF cycle but I realized it expired July 31.  I thought I had a high pain tolerance but wow.  Wow wow wow.  The only reasons I share this are as follows:  #1.  Because it started with a "B" and fit in nicely with my title.  #2. To warn all the sistas out there that it's not worth it.  #3.  To remind myself I'm an idiot for adding "something new" to cause me worry about spotting or pain down south.  AHHH. 

It was kind of ridiculous timing since I have my poor husband on no sex till heart beat diet.  Its been almost a month.  I've been playing things sooooo safe that I wasn't about to cave in, but he convinced me it was "safe."  I said "but if it makes me spot I'll freak out" and he reminded me that if I randomly started spotting the day after we would know it was just related to not having sex in 80 years.  I was hesitant (sorry for the tmi but it's part of the life of infertile people).  I basically let him pop in and no moving, nothing.  It hurt pretty bad and I cancelled the action.  I went to the bathroom and was fine.  This morning when I woke up there is was on the toilet paper. Light  brown blood.  Panic.  Horror.  Fear.  I instantly go to Dr. Google where most women surprisingly said brown blood is just old blood and nothing to worry about.  I called the RE.

She wasn't alarmed at all, said it was because of the sex probably hitting the very sensitive cervix.  She said my Beta was so strong she had 0 concern but if it continues to go to ultrasound a couple days early.  She said that if we hadn't had sex (well fake sex) that it probably wouldn't have even spotted.  But then random articles online said 50% of women that spot end up having a miscarriage.  The article did go on to say that sex or internal exams can cause it too.  The spotting got lighter and lighter and was gone by like the 3rd time I went to the bathroom (never enough to show up on a pad).  I've been fine the rest of the day but Holy Mother talk about anxiety I DO NOT want to have right now.  I really regret my "moment of weakness" just because I want to everything I can to keep my peace of mind.  And my poor husband has to convince me that I'm ok every 10 minutes.  Friday is the ultimate day of truth so please pray for peace and hope for that ultrasound.  I'm starting to fear it the way I fear reading pregnancy tests.  Last time I was there it was so sad seeing the empty sac and hearing "I cannot confirm a pregnancy." I'm going to the exact same place.  Breathe in breathe out.  Darren keeps reminding me the 3rd Beta is dead on and that the Dr. wasn't worried at all.  Come on Friday!!

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: