Ola! We’re in sunny Cancun Mexico this week. I am 15 weeks 4 days today and I surprise myself each morning when I look in the mirror at my growing bump! I am doing two separate rounds of breakfast and two rounds of lunch. Nothing out of the ordinary really. As of today at 15 weeks, I have gained 15 pounds.
Now that I’ve graduated from the fertility clinic, our next big milestone is to see our OB for the first time next week.
For now, I’ll be soaking up the sun and enjoying some “exercise”…which will be walking back and forth from the beach to the buffet.
Since I started weekly ultrasounds at 6 weeks pregnant, my life existed in 7 day increments which was the time between my next ultrasound. During the week leading up to each Friday, I wondered whether each precious baby would still have a heartbeat, so when lying on the ultrasound table, I would study the technician’s face to get a read on any signs of concern. Whenever she confirmed those heartbeats, I let out an inappropriately loud sigh of relief.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt pure joy, you know the kind of joy that’s unadulterated by anxiety or hesitation. I would have thought I would have had that moment:
After getting a strong positive beta, but I was too concerned at the time that I would miscarry again, or I was convinced the nurse mixed up my results with another patient’s because I had no symptoms of such a high HCG (I seriously believed that because I just couldn’t believe my beta!)
Or after seeing three heartbeats on our 6 week ultrasound (it was my first time EVER seeing a heartbeat even after 4 pregnancies), but in truth, that moment was joy, relief and fear given the risks and decisions we’d have to make all at the same time.
I finally had that feeling of pure joy on the last day of our first trimester. In my mind, my short-term goals were to get past each ultrasound, but then my bigger goal was to get through to 12 weeks and see a normal NT scan.
Since we still don’t know what caused my history of chemical pregnancies (was caused by chromosomal abnormal embyros?), getting a normal NT scan was a really big deal. An NT scan is where they can assess the risk of chromosomal abnormalities which could cause things like Downs Syndrome. They measure the thickness of the neck and anything under 3 is normal.
Based on the measurements taken at the 12 week scan, Baby A was 1.7 and Baby B was 1.8. The RE said that this was fantastic and there would be absolutely nothing to worry about.
I walked out of the clinic that day with my husband with a huge smile. We had made it. Pure joy.
I wish that feeling of pure joy lasted, because at 12 weeks 4 days I was at work when I went to the washroom and peed bright red blood with clots. This was of course on April Fool’s Day, but this was NOT funny at all. All the colour drained from my face and I was in panic. I was actively bleeding for about 5 minutes, my coworker drove me home immediately and I paged my doctor who put me on immediate bed rest. I have had two sub-chorionic hemorrhages (blood clots) during this pregnancy, one on each twin at separate times. I’ve learned that while it’s not normal, it is quite common in pregnancy and can cause bleeding and even miscarriage. Both blood clots resolved themselves within a week after bed rest, so I wasn’t expecting any further bleeding since my last blood clot resolved at my 10 week ultrasound. For whatever reason, maybe it’s because I wasn’t having any contractions or cramping, or maybe it was because I hadn’t bled all that much, the doctor reassured me that it was likely the triplet who was now being pushed out due to the cramped space in my uterus. On my next ultrasound, there was no sign of any reason for the bleeding, no visible blood clots whatsoever, babies were doing great. Thank Heavens, another inappropriately loud sigh of relief!!
If I learned anything from this that I can share with you, is to ask your RE what the protocol is if you should have bleeding.
GRADUATION DAY AND FINAL REFLECTIONS
I graduated from the fertility clinic this past Friday at 14 weeks. This was the first week where I walked into the clinic without any fear that the babies were both healthy and growing. See, a lot of my anxiety in the past weeks was because I had no outwardly signs or symptoms that I was truly pregnant. It was all very hard to get my mind wrapped around this foreign concept. The babies are each the size of peaches right now! My belly is growing each day and it brings me such peace and happiness.
I bumped into the lovely lady who runs the infertility support group in the city at the clinic on graduation day. The last time I saw her was on the day of transfer, so it was her first time seeing that I was pregnant. She told me she was happy that I wouldn’t need the support group anymore, but I told her that I would always be there every third Thursday of the month in spirit. While the Fragmin bruises have faded, the welts from progesterone in oil shots have disappeared, and all the tears caused by the struggle have dried, I never want to forget the long hard fought 4 year journey, the emotional toils or the physical heartache. Infertility has changed me in ways that I am still learning about, and while it doesn’t define me, it is certainly a part of who I am now.
It was a surreal moment to be leaving the clinic for the very last time. It’s been a second home and a place of hope, I’ve grown close to the staff who are the heart and soul of the clinic. Before leaving, I took photos with the RE, the staff and ultrasound technicians while intentionally holding my big-ass blue folder. My patient folder is visibly thicker than most, with what I would guess would be 200+ pages of data chronicling my blood (cycle monitoring junkie), sweat (hello night sweats!), and tears (no explanation needed) over the past few years.
On my graduation day, I was proud to hold that folder, I earned every page.