Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Part 1 — Happy Birthday, Girls!

Happy Belated Birthday to my two girls! Can my excuse for being nearly a week late be that they were three months early?

Yep, three months and one day to be exact. They were due March 4, 1994, and were born on December 3, 1993. They were born on the exact day I turned 27 weeks pregnant. It was a Friday, one week and one day after Thanksgiving.

So now I'll backtrack and fill you in on all the details. This will definitely be my most personal post I've done to date.

When Hubby and I were dinks (double income, no kids), we always said that if we had kids, we wanted twin girls and then we'd be done. Well, little did we know how prophetic that would end up being — at least for the first half of our family!

And no, twins do not run in the family. I took Clomid. At the time I had the girls, the only ones I know of were my grandpa's brother's non-identical twin girls (my mom's cousins).

My cycles had always been irregular, and it appeared to the doctor that I wasn't actually ovulating. The Clomid was to make my cycles regular and to make me ovulate properly. I actually had someone very close to me tell me at the time that children were a blessing from God...basically that I wasn't supposed to have them since I wasn't on my own and that I shouldn't be taking this medication. This was very difficult for me to deal with on top of having to deal with all the feelings of infertility, and unless you've experienced this personally, it's very difficult to understand or explain so that someone can comprehend the complex and varying emotions.

Well, the Clomid worked the first month that I took it. I went to the doctor a couple of days after I missed my period and took the pregnancy test. He told me not to get my hopes up because it looked like there already might be a problem. The little blue dot wasn't very dark, and it registers at a minimal hormone level, so being a few days late it should have been plenty dark. They drew blood, called on the phone a day or so later and called Hubby and I in for a meeting with the doctor. Like we really needed to go at that point because you know it's bad news. Kind of like getting called to the Principal's office. He told us that the pregnancy wasn't going to be viable and I would miscarry, and that if I hadn't been on Clomid and trying to have a baby, I probably would have just thought I was a few days late.

So then I start taking the Clomid again. This time it worked the second month I took it, and this pregnancy lasted about eight weeks before I miscarried. I had no warning this time. It was devastating.

The doctor referred us to a fertility specialist in St. Louis for special testing and further treatment. I had an HSG test done, which stands for hysterosalpingogram, and it was not much fun. They shoot dye into your uterus and fallopian tubes to check for blockage. I didn't have any. When they say, "This might make you cramp a little," that was just a little teeny understatement. I thought I was going to throw up the nausea was so bad from the cramping. They put a tube through your cervix without giving you anything anywhere. Your body wasn't made for that, and it cramps.

So this doctor (whose name was Dr. Pineda and we just loved) doubled my Clomid dose and had me take it on different days. I took it for three months before it worked. Hubby and I had decided that it would probably be the last month even if it didn't work, because around the time I would ovulate it actually hurt to walk. Every step I took caused a dull throb because my ovaries would 'bang' against the side of whatever is in there. I guess the uterus is closest. Made getting pregnant a little difficult too.

So when we knew my period was late, like I wasn't taking my basal body temperature like some freak of nature and thought I was anyway, the doctor had me come to St. Louis for blood testing to check my hormones and then back again two days later to see if the levels doubled. Well, they more than doubled, so they told me they suspected twins. When we went for the ultrasound at just prior to six weeks, they found a third sac that didn't develop. They also found the girls' heartbeats.

At about seven and a half weeks I started spotting. We were terrified. An ultrasound showed that everything appeared to be normal, so I had to lay on my back with my hips elevated for three days. I spotted again a few weeks later, so they put me on progesterone for a few weeks. After that, everything was fine...for a few more weeks anyway.

Around fourteen weeks (maybe a little sooner) I would have tightening in my lower abdomen. Never having been pregnant, I didn't really know what this was. The nurse at my general practitioner's office said that she'd had three babies and it was nothing. Nothing turned out to be contractions that were softening and thinning my cervix. By sixteen and a half weeks, my cervix was completely softened, and depending on which doctor you talked to I was somewhere between 50 percent and 100 percent effaced.

We were about a week from the end of September, and a little over two weeks away from moving to Virginia for Hubby to attend a school for several months. Guess what? I was put on bed rest and told I couldn't go. It was too far away. So Hubby put me in the back seat of our vehicle and drove me three hours south to North Arkansas. I stayed at my grandparents' house since they were home all day. I was put on a home uterine monitor and had to check myself twice a day, then transmit it over the phone once a day. I was able to get up to eat three meals at the table, go to the bathroom, and shower twice a week. Other than that, I was in bed on my right hip or my left hip. They were bruised within about 36 hours of being put on bed rest.

it's too long, so continued tomorrow...


Mari said...

Happy belated birthday to the girls! I didn't know what you went through to have kids. I'm anxious to hear the rest of the story.

Lora said...

This is quite a story, Kayren! I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of it. Having some major female organ issues and having been through a struggle with infertility and also having a preemie, I can really relate to this even though it's not all exactly the same.

Demara said...

Wow! This is so good to hear, since I too have been feeling anxious while trying to remain patient waiting for kids. This is a secret but we've trying for a couple months. I had a laparoscopy in the Summer, to see if I had Endo. Because I have severe cramping during my irregular period. But they said everything "looked" pristine. So I thought everything was fine, and that it would be easy for me to get prego (once we stopped using condoms-that's all we've used for contraception), but so far, no such luck! And I'm sad. Jeff says it's all in God's time. So I wait. Thinking we're too old, and maybe to fat. (wondering if age and weight can affect fertility?)

How did they know you didn't ovulate? I often wonder if I do. Or if age and weight affect the man like it does the woman? :(
Please pray for us, thanks!

Happy belated Birthday to your adorable girls! God has blessed you richly!!! :)

Betsy said...

Wow...what a story! I was on 2 months of bedrest with the triplets and did the home uterine monitor thing. We conceived them naturally and were shocked!

What a time you had! It makes the babies all the more precious! I'm anxious to hear the rest!

Ronnica said...

What a tease! Of course, I know how it turns out, but still. Happy birthday to them!

Improvedliving said...

Happy belated birthday to you.

doctor excuse

The Stylish House said...

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story, it’s very uplifting. I’m in total amazement at you and your husband’s strong commitment and fortitude. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to get to know you through your writing.

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