Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our Story

Welcome to TheBennettsBlog!! I'm Amy and this is my hubby, Jay. We have been together for 3 years and have been married 684 days, or 1 years, 10 months and 13 days. But who's counting? It has been the best 684 days of my life!! We both knew that we wanted a family and after what seemed to be an eternity, we are so excited to say that we are expecting twins on August 10, 2011!!!! This is our story....

Like most little girls I knew growing up, I dreamed that one day I would meet my prince charming, getting married on a beautiful island and start a family right away... Well, I got almost all of these (at least the first two), a husband who honestly is the most patient person in the world, the Lord absolutely knew what he was doing when He made him for me; We had the most beautiful wedding on Makena beach in Maui with all of our family and friends, I mean who could ask for more? Well, we did.. we wanted to start a family. Right away. Who knew that when you want to have a baby its just not as easy as it sounds, or at least it wasn't for us. After what seemed like an eternity of disappointment and frustration, I finally started asking my ob about getting a "little help". She said that sometimes a little help is all you need, so she started me on Clomid. Clomid is a medication that gives your body a little extra push to 'get things going'.. well, it also makes your head spin around backwards, foam from the mouth, and throw cupcakes! So after 5 months of this "wonder drug"... no pink lines... NOTHING. Sooo frustrating. My ob recommended that we be a little more aggressive, if we were "ready". Ready? What else is there? You do not take clomid for 5 months and then give up, or at least, we didn't. More aggressive meant: fertility clinic. If you've not ever been faced with these two words, believe me they are very overwhelming  and maybe the some of the scariest I've ever heard. To me this meant a couple of different things, either we show up, run test and we get a baby, OR we show up, run test and still no baby. It's a very difficult thing to even think that the possibility could be No Baby.  We were both "ready" for this, but were we really "ready"? I don't think anyone is ever prepared for fertility treatments. 
For those of you who don't want to know about fertility treatments, stop reading now... I tell our story because infertility seems so scary and it's something that no matter how hard you try, you truly have very little control over the outcome. I felt completely helpless. It helped me so much to hear even just one person's story and their experience that if I can pass along ours and it help just one person, it all seems worth it. 
For those who do continue reading, please know that I try to be as discrete as possible and you who know me and my lack of filter due to either my medical background, or just being me... I did try to spare you some of the mental images! Heehee
On our first visit to the fertility clinic we met the doctor (this was the first and last time I would lay eyes on him.. our nurses would take care of us the rest of our journey). He was a very kind person who sat in a chair across the desk from us for our "interview", or so it felt. He really was only obtaining medical information but it felt much more like an interview/interrogation than anything. Then, it was off for an ultrasound and an exam. After the exam, we went to another room, where the doctor came in with a folder full of paper, a pen and a pad. He gave us our "options". This meant, IUI or IVF, aka intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization. The doctor briefly described each procedure, drew a couple of pictures on his note pad and then handed us a folder with all the information he had just given us (and more), asked us to think about what we wanted and to call back to let the office know when/if we wanted to go forward. This sounds like a simple doctors visit and I should have been excited that there were options, but it was quite the opposite. I felt like someone just puked all over me and gave me single tissue to clean up.  I left there feeling more confused than when I went it. 
Jay took me to lunch at Ted's Montana Grill and I'm not sure I said five words the whole time. You have to also understand that Jay is the eternal optimist and I'm at the complete opposite end of the spectrum (yes, I'm in denial about this, which is why the word pessimist is not used here). Anywho... it was overwhelming, the costs seemed unreal, the hormones/medications that were involved were a horrible thought in itself after clomid, and which treatment do you choose? how do you choose? I couldn't wrap my head around any of this and I cried... I cried all the way to work, again in the bathroom at work, and then on my way home from work. 
Over the next few weeks and after lots of reading, "google-ing", and prayer, we decided to give IUI a shot. It was the less invasive of the two and seemed "easier". We called the doctor (well, the nurse) and with my next cycle, I would start ...CLOMID! What? Had the doctor not heard anything I said about how awful it was? I was about to lose it, when some how a calm, nice voice came out of me and said, "are you sure there is nothing else I could try besides Clomid? I've taken it for months now and it is really difficult on me" She was so sweet and offered another medication called Femara. Femara is a medication that is used in breast-cancer patients, however this was not known to me at the time and I only discovered this as the Pharmacist gave me a funny look when she asked if I had taken the medication before, I explained that no, but that it was for infertility. She quickly explained that she had not heard of this... I read the insert, didn't seem too scary, but it definitely said, 'do not take this medication if you are premenopausal.' Ok.. well this was odd.. obviously, if I'm taking this medication for infertility, I'm premenopausal.. oh well, at this point I was along for the ride. 
I took the 5 days of this medication and felt NO SIDE EFFECTS! Whoo hoo!! It was amazing to take a hormone and not feel like your evil twin would emerge at any second!! This turned out to be my "wonder drug"!! On day 13 of my cycle, I went back to the fertility clinic and had to have an ultrasound to see if I had any follicles (eggs that were ready to be ovulated). The ultrasound tech said I had 4.. F-O-U-R!! Four? Is this good? Is this bad? I wasn't sure how many they wanted me to have, this had not been explained. I met with the nurse after the ultrasound and she explained that they like to see 1-3 follicles, because more follicles mean better chances of pregnancy... and I HAD FOUR!! At the same visit I was given an injection of HCG (this is the same hormone that is detected in an at-home pregnancy test). I was instructed that we were to come back tomorrow for THE TREATMENT and that I couldn't take a pregnancy test for 14 days after that dose of HCG. 14 days?? You mean I have to wait 14 days to know if I could be pregnant??
The next day we went back to the fertility center for the treatment.. it was so easy. It was just like going to the "girly doctor" except much easier... after the treatment, I had to lay there for 15 minutes, during which I played on my phone while my can-find-humor-in-any-situation-hubby takes pics of me on his phone and texts them to our family! Nice, honey, nice. Then home we went... to wait... 14 long days... We had the procedure done on a Wednesday and the next Thursday was Thanksgiving so I knew that at least there would be something to look forward to and distract me. Well... the holiday and time with family did help, but being the most-impatient person in the world, I couldn't wait 14 days. 14 days seemed like 14 years!! SO... I took a pregnancy test on day 10, 11, & 12..... ALL POSITIVE....( I made sure to take the digital tests so there was very little room for user-error)  Jay kept reminding me not to get too excited and just to wait. Wait? Really? This was his suggestion? He knows me, he married me, surely he knew this couldn't be something I was good at, could he? So, on Monday, day 12, I had blood work drawn before work and it was POSITIVE (I told you I was a nurse, right? When it comes to medical things ... I want answers, like, yesterday!) I talked to the nurse at the fertility clinic and told her that I just couldn't wait.. she said, "no one does" I could hear her smile thru the phone! She said that I would need to check a few more labs and the one that would be critical would be 48 hours after the first to make sure that the HCG levels had doubled. 48 hours? Again... I had to wait. I did take pregnancy tests again every morning until I got the news that my HCG had more than doubled!! This was Grrreat!! I asked the nurse what I should tell our family, since I wasn't sure if this really "confirmed" that I was pregnant... and believe me they wanted to know as badly as we did! The nurse said, "you tell them your PREGNANT!" 

December 20th was a BIG day. Our follow-up visit at the fertility clinic. This meant our FIRST ultrasound!! This was a little anxiety inducing...yes, the labs said I was pregnant, but of course, too early to "feel" pregnant, so it was all a little surreal... but this ultrasound was kinda like show and tell, I kept my fingers crossed all weekend that there would actually be "something" in there. 
After checking in, we were called back to the ultrasound room. The same sweet ultrasound tech I'd seen each time was who do the ultrasound this day. She told me she would take a look, so if she didn't say anything for a few seconds, it didn't mean that something was wrong. Well... she was quite for a few seconds and then she said, "There's two! You are having TWINS!" Jay jumped out of the chair to come see the ultrasound screen and I raised my head and said, "your kidding". Obviously that would be a really bad joke for anyone to 'kid' about in a fertility clinic.. but this was amazing, but crazy news!! There they were on that screen, the size of a piece of rice each, but they had a heart beat... 160 bpm to be exact! 
We met with a different doctor after the ultrasound, my doctor wasn't there that day. She confirmed that we were indeed pregnant, with TWINS! (I keep saying this, because it still hasn't quite settled in) She explained that in her 15 years of fertility practice, she had only seen a handful of patients on Femara have multiples. She said that with Clomid the chances were much greater, but not so much with Femara. Saying that meant that it might not have been the medication, but that we could have had twins without the medication. Either way, we felt blessed! 

We are having TWINS!! And, again, I have to wait...  until August 10 to meet our beautiful babies...

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