Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Plan for Babies

October 2, 2014
Every little girl plans out her life exactly as she thinks it should go, and I was no different. I wanted to be a mom. I didn’t know what exactly what else, but I knew I wanted to be a mom. Married by 23, start having babies by 25, and raising my kids by 30. That was MY plan…it sounded practically perfect.

I met my husband in college (go Cyclones). I was 20, he was 18 (ALMOST 19). We started dating and we immediately knew this was it. We were married when I was 23 (he was 22), so far, my plan was working. :) We talked about kids before we got married (he wanted 2 and I wanted 4-5 (3 of “My own” and then adopt 2 later), and I was willing to compromise my plans a little. He wanted to go to law school, and didn’t want to have kids during law school. I was willing to wait to have babies—-I really wanted to stay home with my kids, and that wasn’t an option while he was in law school. I had my “dream” job, teaching preschool special education. It was wonderful, and I felt like all of my students were “my” kids.

After DH finished law school, we bought our first home, and decided it was time to start trying to have a baby. It was great! I was finally going to be a mom! Months passed and I still wasn’t pregnant. I started questioning if this was going to work for us. After about 6 months, I went to an OBGYN and shared my heartache. He was unsympathetic and told me that it hadn’t been very long and to not worry about it. I KNEW there was a problem though. 

I would check Facebook and see tons of my friends sharing their exciting pregnancy news —I would end up screaming and crying at Facebook, jealous of their happiness. I would hear student’s parents share their news about being newly pregnant, and I would judge their parenting ability and question God—-WHY THEM  and not ME?? Other teachers would announce pregnancies, and I would put on my happy face, tell them congratulations, and go home and cry! I spent Sunday afternoons, curling up in my bed, crying, questioning God, and wondering WHY I still wasn’t pregnant. All I wanted was to be a mom, and it wasn’t happening for us!

A little over a year after we started trying, my husband convinced me that we should go to a Fertility Clinic. I resisted….i didn’t want to hear for sure that there was a problem….I didn’t want to hear their solutions….I just wanted God to fix it EASILY! After some convincing, I agreed. Our appointment was on St. Patrick’s Day. We parked, said a prayer and walked into the clinic. I sat down…right across from one of my MK customers. Ugh. That was awkward! You’re not supposed to run into people you KNOW at a FERTILITY clinic!!! We met with the Dr. - he was wonderful! He explained EVERYTHING in basic terms and started testing THAT day! That was overwhelming! In a little over a week, we had our results. We did have fertility issues….and with the issues that were found, our solution was to do IVF. We cried, I begged, I pleaded, and I prayed…harder than I had ever prayed before! I didn’t want to conceive our children using NEEDLES!! I was deathly afraid of needles!! I couldn’t do this….but I did.

We went through one round of IVF, and thanks to God (bc I told God, my husband, and my mom that if this didn’t work, I COULDN’T emotionally, physically, or mentally go through another round), I was pregnant! AND we had 3 extra embryos for possible future siblings!! My numbers were high enough our Dr. told us “There could be a pair in there.” Our 7 week ultrasound showed we were pregnant with fraternal twins!! We were thrilled. Before IVF, I had never wanted twins…I wanted to raise my babies one at a time, but after putting 2 embryos in, I wanted 2 babies!!! Our 9 week ultrasound also showed us 2 healthy babies! We had a “healthy” twin pregnancy…some restricted activity from 21 weeks on (i.e. rolling around my classroom in an office chair) and put on home bed rest at 32 weeks, but our girls were born at 36 weeks and 2 days. After a SHORT (18 hour) NICU visit, they came home with us! They were the reward for all of the pain, and they were my joy! The sleepless nights were tough, trying to convince them to get on the same schedule was tough, but I LOVED being a mom!!!

When the girls were 13 months old, I stopped nursing….all 3 of us were ready, and it was wonderful to be done. The next month, I felt like I was pregnant. My husband kept insisting, “It’s not possible.” After a pregnancy test AND an appointment with my family dr…where I insisted she take my blood to PROVE that I was pregnant (she refused and told me it was for sure), we believed that we were really pregnant. We had already made an appointment to talk to our fertility Dr. about transferring other embryos…and we kept our appointment so we could tell him our news! He was thrilled…and he did take my blood and do an ultrasound to confirm! Our surprise miracle baby was healthy! At 35 weeks, he decided he was ready to be born and broke my water. It was a complete shock to have our singleton born earlier than our twins, but he was fairly healthy. After a weeklong NICU stay, due to some breathing issues, our miracle baby was ready to come home with us.

When my miracle baby was 2 1/2, my husband and I decided it was time to try our other embryos. Truthfully, I wasn’t completely ready. My MK business was doing well, and I wasn’t ready to put my life on hold to have more babies…but I knew there wasn’t a “perfect” time. Neither DH nor I were willing to destroy the embryos and neither one of us could donate them. I am in awe of people that can donate their embryos…it’s a generous and selfless decision, but we could not do it. So, after some convincing, we decided that there would never be a “right” time to add to the craziness of our family, so we should start.

After a long frozen transfer process, I went in for my pregnancy blood test, the nurse called to tell us we were pregnant! We asked her if she could tell from the numbers if it was one or two. She said our numbers were right in the middle, so it could go either way. Although it wasn’t as exciting as 4 1/2 years ago, we were still thrilled and excited! As much as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start all over, I was already protective of this little baby. One night, while we were putting our kids to bed, one of my kids sat on my stomach…pretty hard! I didn’t think too much about it, but I woke up in the middle of the night and the next morning I was having some cramping. I was sure I had lost the baby, and I was devastated! I called the dr, and they said I could come in right away (but I didn’t have a place for my 3 other kids to go), or I could get in the next morning. I hadn’t had any spotting or bleeding, so I waited until the next day. Thursday morning, I went in…feeling much more confidant but just needing to know for sure if my baby was okay. I saw my Dr. from the waiting room and he looked at me and crossed his fingers. We were called back for our ultrasound with a nurse. We heard the beautiful sound of a baby heartbeat. It was strong and healthy. Our baby was okay! :) After that relief, we needed to confirm, “There’s just one in there, right?” She continued to do the scan…showing us empty space, and saying, “Yep it looks like there’s just….” she stopped when she scanned back the other way… “Oh wait, there’s another one hiding in the same sac.” Only one of our embryos had taken, but it had split!!!! WHAT?!?! We were pregnant with IDENTICAL twins!! This was clearly a God thing! We were excited, scared, overwhelmed…..were they both going to be okay? Were they mono-mono twins—DH's step sister had JUST lost one of their mono-mono twins! Our dr came in, and he didn’t have many answers for us yet. He congratulated us, and in his usual cautious optimism, told us not to tell too many people because it was still early. We would have an appointment in 2 weeks and find out more info about our new twins.

As of now, we have 3 pregnancies that have been totally different - none of my children came how I would have planned….but God has plans that have and continue to exceed my own. 6 years ago, I was worried I would never be a mom…now my concerns are how to have enough time/money/energy for all of our children. It’s a problem I didn’t dream I would have, but I’m thrilled to be blessed with more than I know what to do with.

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