I can’t do this again — pregnant with twins
Sometimes I look at my little belly, rub it and say, “As far as you know you’re pregnant?”
I’m grateful to have twins. Beyond grateful really. It’s taken 5+ years to get pregnant this far and the generosity of two strangers donating an embryo. This is the greatest reason I’m thrilled with twins — they will be biological siblings. We have another embryo we hoped to give us another sibling, but there is no guarantee it work again. I’ve worried and prayed and pondered the rightness of using donors and so blessed to know that there will be two little girls or boys (though the leaning is boys right now) who no matter how they entered the world will have a sibling.
I’m terrified. Through all the fertility treatments it felt like a joke, hoping to get a two for one special, but now that we’re here, twins are scary. So grateful for the extra scans and monitoring to come, but they happen because there are more risks.
I’m beyond amazed that the doctors have repeatedly said they believe we have dichorionic diamniotic twins (the safest type) despite only transferring one 5 day embryo. I had to go searching journal articles to find out if that was even possible, maybe 1% chance in my research. Most of the time, a 5 day embryo will result in monochorionic diamniotic twins, and occasionally monochorionic monoamniotic twins, both with much more significant risks. I feel like it’s a miracle and I’m so happy, but I am still scared.
Even safe twins are usually born 4–6 weeks early, possibly sooner. Even safe twins have increased risk of still birth and interuterine growth restriction. We made it past the vanishing twin phase, but what if one faces fetal demise? We get a echocardiogram checked beginning at 24 weeks because IVF babies are at higher risk for heart defects. There are some easy normal twin pregnancy stories online, but even more anxiety provoking ones. Damn Google.
Most of all, I’m afraid I can’t do this again. We can’t just try again if we lose a baby. It took so much to get here and I’m tapped out. I’m ready to be done (I say today). I’m not even sure how long it be before I’d want to try with our other embryo and unfortunately the longer we wait, the more risk for complication and failure. So we’ve pushed through for 2+ years with the treatments trying to get it done before things got worse and so we could have the best chances and move on. I’m terrified of losing the babies, yes, but almost more afraid of the whole process it took to get here.
Since I’ve been pregnant, it has not been easy. God gave me peace early on about the babies. I thought I’d lost them early on and turns out my body just bled a lot; who knows why. I’ve felt sick, enough to make life hard, but not enough to call it severe. It’s still going at 15 weeks. So after months of hormones and drugs (drugs that made me wake up pee way more than pregnancy has) now I feel like there’s vomit in my throat constantly. It’s worse at night, and taking some medication helps, but then I’m drowsy half the day. The moment I start to have less anxiety about the pregnancy, I get cramping and spotting. I’m not loving being pregnant.
I’d read that this happens to people going through fertility treatments; by the time they get pregnant, there too exhausted to celebrate and a new set of anxieties arises to combat. It’s a little bit happier now that the belly is starting to show. Maybe I’ll where tighter clothes and that’ll make me smile. Though part of me wants to keep hiding the pregnancy because I don’t want to engage in conversation about it.
I have to fake the smiles and the cheerful talk of pregnancy when people talk about it. Do I tell people how were pregnant? I don’t really want to have to watch them process it while I’m still processing. What if they think it’s weird. I’m not sure I’m ready to face that. Perhaps when were a bit farther along. I’m still wrestling with the fact that outside of a miracle, we may not have children again, and not biological ones. I’m still working through the last few years of difficulty and I’m not convinced this pregnancy will make it all the way with two healthy babies.
I’m trying to celebrate little milestones: pregnant, 8 weeks, 14 weeks, still alive ultrasound, starting to show. Maybe embracing the pregnancy more would help — making that registry and wearing tighter clothes and telling people. Still, I think it’s ok to take it one moment at a time and when I want to be happy, be happy. Within reason I’ll give myself some time to think about the risks and be prepared. I’ll probably wait to buy anything until we pass the tests in the coming months, but if I see a bargain at Goodwill for a dollar or two, or something that will make my heart happy, perhaps I might buy it.
Please be gracious. Do be happy for us, but try to understand that there is more emotion than excitement here.