Sunday, July 26

Our Story: Update

In December of 2006 my husband and I decided to try to start a family. We knew I'd have issues getting pregnant, but our naivety made us think that we would be pregnant by September of 2007. We figured a little time, a little time... we were in.

Things didn't work that way. We tried on our own until September 2007 and then began receiving help at a local Fertility Clinic. Cycles started in January of 2008. February 2008 yielded a chemical pregnancy and a small glimmer of help. Failures of Timed Intercourse and Clomid/IUI followed until October of 2008 when two wonderful lines appeared on the test. Our happiness was short lived when a repeat Beta showed that my levels were not increasing as they should. On November 1, 2008 I miscarried our first child.

After a small break, we continued with Injectable IUI's, received more failures and then, after a heightened response in January 2009, our IUI was converted to an IVF. 8 eggs were retrieved, 6 were mature, 3 fertilized, and 2 cleaved. On January 27th, 2009 2 beautiful embryos were transfered. On February 7th the beautiful double lines appeared again and on March 3rd two beautiful beating hearts appeared on the ultrasound machine.

My blissful pregnancy progressed. I feel in love with my belly and my two growing boys.

Time stopped on June 22nd when I visited my High Risk OB and it was discovered that my cervix was dangerously short. I was in danger of having my beautiful boys at only 23 weeks 2 days and was immediately put on strict hospital bed rest at home, with the intent of entering the hospital at 23 weeks 6 days.

I spent the next 4 weeks in the hospital and remained perfectly boring. Ultrasounds came back wonderful, monitoring revealed amazing babies, and I remained stable. On Friday, July 17th at 26 weeks 6 days my cervix was checked and I was discovered to be only 1 cm dilated, long, and semi-closed. The results were so encouraging that I was going to be released to home bed rest at 28 weeks.

However, the world crashed when, on Sunday, July 19th, at 27 weeks 1 day, I woke up to intense pain. Only after trying to ease the pain in the shower did I realize that I was contracting. Nurses and doctors were called, I was hooked up to machines, and after learning I was dilated to 6cm it was determined that labor could not be halted and that my precious boys would be born that morning. I was terrified and prayed that my boys would be delivered safely.

The morning was a blur, and before I knew it, I was in the OR and my two boys were delivered via emergency C-section. Connor graced the world with his presence at 11:56am at 2lbs 9oz. His baby brother Colby followed 2 minutes later at 11:58am at 2lbs 3oz.

Both boys thrived that first day. They were beautiful. I was in a daze, but they were perfect. We had a long hard road ahead of us, but we were ready to take it on together.

Monday, July 20th we visited with the boys, enjoyed their lives, and prayed that little Connor's body would heal. He was fighting an infection, high blood pressure, a PDA, breathing issues, and potential bleeding on the brain. The problems were under control and the head ultrasound was scheduled for the next morning.

He would never get to it.

On Tuesday, July 21st we were awoken at 4am by my favorite nurse with the news that Connor was not doing well. We were rushed to Connor's side in the NICU where he was fighting for his life. His ventilator was no longer sufficient, a nurse was bagging him, and his heart rate and oxygen saturation were dipping dangerously low. Over and over and over again.

Finally, after 3 transfusions, a few attempts back on the ventilator, tears, and heartache we made the difficult decision to let Connor pass in our arms. At 7:08am, after only 43 hours, we said goodbye to our first born son.

It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through.

We said goodbye to Connor 4 days later in a small ceremony attended by friends and family Connor's ashes sit in a small heart box on our bureau.

Colby continued to grow in the NICU. After a few trips back and forth to the ventilator, CPAP, and nasal cannula, Colby was finally oxygen free 3 months after birth. Apnea spells kept him in the hospital until he finally proved that he could maintain breathing and his heartrate on his own. At 109 days old we were finally able to take our baby home.

Since being home, Colby has thrived. He is active, happy, and surprisingly meeting every milestone and challenge before him. He has never shown any problems with his lungs, breathing, eyesight, or hearing- all common preemie issues.

Shortly after the boys were born we decided to give the baby-making another go. After the okay at my 6 week checkup, we decided to see what would happen. Every month I was cautiously optimistic, but negatives followed. In May 2010 we went back to RSC to set up our next IVF cycle. Testing, waiting, and paperwork took up the summer and in September 2010 we began the meds for IVF #2.

On October 11th 8 of 22 possible follicles were retrieved. 5 fertilized and 3 cleaved. We transferred 2 embryos-- one 4 cell and one 5 cell-- on October 14th. Then we crossed our fingers and prayed! October 23rd- 12 days post retrieval revealed 2 pink lines- which only got darker as the days went by!

October 25th confirmed the pregnancy with a beta of 730. Repeat betas rose and on November 5th we once again saw 2 beating hearts on the screen. Once again the pregnancy started out uncomplicated.  As a precaution my doctor decided to place a precautionary cerclage at 14 weeks.  The stitch went on great and I continued regular monitoring.

At 24 weeks an ultrasound showed a slightly shortened cervix so I was taken out of work and placed on modified bedrest/restricted activity.  Three weeks later, at just over 27 weeks, on April 8th, an ultrasound showed that my cervix had shortened considerably.  I was immediately admitted into the hospital and given betamethazone for the babies lungs.  I remained on strict hospital bedrest for 3 weeks and was released on April 28th to home bedrest.

I continued regular monitoring- the babies still looked great- until my water broke at 34weeks 1day just after 2am on May 25th.  We immediately headed to the hospital and at 6:20am and 6:21am Sydney Hope and Zoe Elizabeth entered the world.  Sydney weighed 4lbs 10oz and Zoe weighed 4lbs 10.8oz Despite their 6 week-early arrival both girls were born incredibly healthy.

A few days after their birth I developed another infection and remained on antibiotics for over 3 days.  A CAT Scan revealed a large blood clot on a vein leading from my right ovary.  I was placed on a regimen of twice daily lovenox injections to break up the clot.  I was released from the hospital one week after the girls birth on June 1st.

 Zoe remained in the NICU for 11 days perfecting her eating and Sydney remained in the NICU for 13 days- only held back by a pesky apnea spell 5 days previously.

Now both girls are home, happy, healthy and incredibly cute.  I am so grateful for the amazing doctors that helped to make them a reality.  

1 comment:

Catherine W said...

Your sons are so gorgeous. I'm so very, very sorry that your sweet Connor didn't make it home to you with his twin brother xo