Thursday, April 23, 2009

The fertility post

After trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully for two years, my husband and I went down the IVF route and got pregnant on our first try with the twins. Yes, I have gone down that dark, dark road where no one wants to wander where I wonder if I was ever meant to be pregnant. I have wondered if "forcing" it with IVF and subsequently having twins and my body not being able to hold the pregnancy past 30 weeks somehow makes me responsible for Drake's brain injury from being born 10 weeks too early. But I haven't had enough wine to really go there tonight, so I will move on...

We were able to freeze two embryos when we did IVF, and there they have sat, frozen in a lab in San Ramon, CA. I just got the "rent" letter for the embryo storage and my husband and I have decided it's time to donate them to research. In the back of my mind, since learning about Drake, I have sort of held on to the thought that we could keep them for 10 - 15 years and use their stem cells to help Drake, once stem cell research has become more researched and accepted. But the place will only keep them for 5 years and the stem cells aren't Drake's, they are some unborn sibling and I don't think that they will be able to help him. I think in the long run, they will help Drake, and countless other people, if we donate them to research now. But even though I know I will never go through IVF again (meaning using them for future children), it's hard to let them go.

That brings me to the other thought of the night. More kids. My doctors could never find out why we couldn't get pregnant naturally. So after the two years of trying like bunnies to no avail, and the IVF and the twins, BANG, I got pregnant naturally when they were 7 months old. Go figure. I subsequently lost that pregnancy to a miscarriage and was secretly relieved, as I was in no place to have a third child when my twins (one of whom had been diagnosed with PVL and his outcome so unknown) were little infants.

But now that they are 17 months and we have a better idea about where Drake is headed developmentally, the question of three has come up again. As I mentioned, I would never do IVF again, but if it were to happen naturally, and the pregnancy stuck, I think I would welcome it now.

I don't know about you other twin mama's, but do you ever feel that having twins is like a 1.5 in terms of pregnancy and not a 2? I feel like my babies are growing up so fast and I'll never get these baby moments again like I would if I was able to have a second child a couple years after the first. I feel like I'd be so relaxed with the next kid, having it not be my first. I feel like I'd definitely have a singleton, so that would be great, too. Maybe I could make it past 30 weeks! But I am also terrified of the dark thoughts I alluded to earlier. I don't want another pre-term baby.

Of course all this is completely hypothetical, as I don't know if we can have a successful pregnancy naturally. But the letter about the embryos and my best friend being pregnant naturally after 6 years of trying and two unsuccessful IVFs, makes me have baby on the brain.


Hopeful Mother said...

I relate to a lot of what you say in this post.

We did 3 IVFs (you can read more detail on my blog) and had several embryos in storage after the last successful cycle. After Al.ex's challenges presented themselves, I thought about the potential with stem cells too - but like you - donated them to research after we realized that it was a remote possiblity since the cells are not Al.ex's. (I do regret not having banked his cord blood - they have done some amazing treatments for CP with cord blood at Duke.)

I also have felt guilt that I was "selfish" in doing IVF and actually wanting twins, and if the fact that Al.ex is a twin is the "cause" for his delays. I, too, try just not to go there because it is not productive or positive. But the thought lingers occasionally.

And, yes, I feel like the twin preg. was a 1.5 and having twins now is sometimes 1/1.5/2 times the work and fun depending on the day. And I wonder sometimes if I'm missing out on each one's individual accomplishments sometimes because I'm so busy focusing on them as a whole.

I def. think I would be more relaxed with a 3rd child, but prob. just because it would be the 2nd time going through the experience of pg and infancy, as well as less worries about developmental stuff with a singleton, especially if he/she was full-term. (even though our twins were full-term.)

But we decided we were "done" for various reasons - and we know we won't get pg naturally so we had to be really really sure we were done before we donated them.

Cary said...

Kelly - I started typing out a whole long comment in response to this post but then deleted it. I was trying to "relate" to your feelings of guilt about doing IVF. But I can't relate, so I won't try. So all I will say, is that I hope you can figure out how to put these feelings away and find some peace. Drake and Lulu are so lucky to have you as their mom! And absolutely nothing that YOU did caused Drake's PVL. NOTHING!

CP and Me said...

Hey Kelly,

I was looking for a place on your blog to say THANK YOU! for the generous donation to the March of Dimes walk we did on Saturday when I found this post. I think I could have written it myself and as you know, here I am now, pregnant again naturally after years of trying with no success and wondering what life will be like once this bean comes into our lives.

I have to be honest when I say that my reasons for wanting to get pregnant again were more than just to have another baby. I wanted, in some ways, a "do-over" after the experience we had with the girls. A chance to have a "normal" pregnancy, which occurred the "normal" way, and which resulted in a "normal" birth-of course normal is a pretty elusive term but you know what I mean.

I think if I had gotten pregnant much sooner than when I did, I would have freaked out as it sounds like you did when you got pregnant again, although it's never easy to have a miscarriage. I'm hopeful that this will end up being a full term pregnancy with no complications and the fact that the girls will be just about to turn 4 when the baby is due will make it much easier.

I'm also hopeful that bringing home a full term infant will feel like a walk in the park compared to what we endured when the girls were born at 27 weeks.

But even so, I'm still scared sh*tless about how I'm going to manage it all, especially with Hannah's challenges. I guess I never knew how I'd manage twins or manage a child with a disability and now I do, so I'm hoping this too will sort itself out. Crossing fingers!!!

Anyway, this was really meant to just be a thank you-and also a shoutout to a fellow Vermonter:)-but ended up being my two cents on the whole "having another baby" thing...but thanks again and I'm so glad to see how well Drake is doing!