We always thought it would be easy to get pregnant when the time came and never gave it a second thought. As soon as we were married in July 2012, the questions started rolling in about when we would start a family. Little did we know that it would be a long road ahead.
I always had strange cycles and chalked it up to my weight. I was later diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and was told that it would be difficult to get pregnant on our own. After trying to get pregnant for 3 years, we knew that we needed help. My uncle, who is also an OB/GYN, suggested we try Shady Grove Fertility.
Coming to SGF
On President's Day 2015, we walked into the office and met with Dr. Doyle and the SGF staff. They gave us a full breakdown of what would happen and asked if we had questions. We just wanted to jump right in! My husband was checked out first and his results came back normal. My main problem was that my follicles were not maturing enough to initiate a cycle. Dr. Doyle and his team decided the best step would be to start ovulation inducing drugs to facilitate the maturation of an egg and go from there. At first we used Clomid for a couple weeks and eventually had a mature egg. We were so excited and moved on to the next step of an Ovidrel trigger shot followed by timed intercourse.
The 2 week wait afterwards felt like the longest 2 weeks of our lives. Unfortunately, the day before we were supposed to go in for a blood pregnancy test, my period came. I was devastated, but remained hopeful that we would get another mature egg soon. Over the next several months, we tried Clomid and Letrozole but could not get an egg to mature. We were bumped up to Follistim injections for several weeks. It was disheartening to go into the office every 3 days to check on the measurement of an egg, only to have no growth.
The Two Week Wait
There were many days I would cry on the way to work after an appointment. Why was this happening to us? After several injection cycles, one egg finally reached the maturation size that Dr. Doyle was comfortable with. We used the Ovidrel trigger shot and timed intercourse. This time around, I promised I would not stress during the 2 week wait. I tried to keep myself as busy as possible and tried my hardest to stay off the internet searching for pregnancy symptoms. My husband was training for the World Police and Fire games and that became our focus over the next couple weeks. We talked it over and decided that if this treatment did not work, we would move on to in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. We knew people waited longer to get pregnant, but I just couldn't bear going in day after day and not have a mature egg. We even had an appointment scheduled on July 6, 2015, with Dr. Doyle to discuss IVF treatment.
On the day of my husband's competition, July 4, 2015, while getting ready, my husband said we should take a pregnancy test just because. Our blood pregnancy test was scheduled in a couple days, but he figured we should try anyway. I didn't want to ruin his big day. I wanted to stay in my own little world where I was possibly pregnant and it was safe. Taking a test now with a negative result would destroy me. I gave in and took a digital test that would say positive or negative, along with how many weeks. Again, the 5 minute wait felt like a lifetime. After what seemed like forever, he looked on the screen. He kept his face stone cold and said I needed to see it for myself. I was heartbroken. I just knew it was negative. As I looked down and saw the positive result, my heart skipped a beat. Was this really happening? The test also said 2-3 weeks. Could this be true? I didn't believe it, and proceeded to take two more tests. All positive.
Even after all of that, I still didn't want to believe it until the blood test came back. We cancelled our IVF consultation, and took our blood pregnancy test. We were pregnant. We waited a couple days and took another blood test to measure the HCG levels. Steadily increasing. Still pregnant. Still in disbelief. Another test, another positive result. After 6 weeks, we went in for our first ultrasound. A doctor came in with the ultrasound tech and looked on the screen. First words out of her mouth was, "There they are." They? Who was this "they" she was referring to?
Sure enough, there were TWO sacs, one bigger than the other. TWO?! To this day we don't know where that second egg came from. It never showed up on the screen or in any of the scans. The doctor said due to the size of the second egg, there could have been a chance of a vanishing egg. Every appointment after that, the second egg kept persevering. While we were praying for one baby, we were blessed with two.
Our Life Now
At around 20 weeks, we went in for a routine sonogram at the high-risk doctor, which is typical when you are pregnant with multiples. One look from the sonographer and we knew something was wrong. She left us in the room and went to get the doctor. For what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came in and explained that when pressure was placed on my stomach, my cervix would open. We were instructed to go straight to the hospital. Three days later I had surgery where a cerclage was put in to keep my cervix closed. I was placed on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. We just kept counting the days and marking the milestones, praying the twins would stay put for as long as possible. At 28 weeks, the twins had a good shot at being healthy, 32 was better, and 36 was ideal. We kept praying and praying they would stay in as long as they could. We knew we couldn’t have come this far to not make it. The twins were born at 37 weeks, weighing 8lbs, 12oz. and 5lbs. 8oz.
Today, we are the proud parents of two—4 month old twins. Life has been one hectic roller coaster. We have finally hit our stride and are enjoying every minute of our new family. Looking back, it all seems like a blur. We know the journey was long and hard, but it was well worth the wait. We cannot imagine our lives without these two beautiful human beings.
My Advice to Future Patients
The only thing we would tell future patients is to keep faith and hope. Write your thoughts down so you can review later or keep a video journal to remember how far you've come. It is a long process that can have an emotional toll on you, your partner, and your family. Just know that these hard times will pass and SGF has a wonderful support system. There are a lot of blogs and groups that can provide support. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Just know you aren’t alone!