Sunday, March 4, 2012

A few details

When people find out we are having quads there are usually quite a few questions that get asked. And, rightfully so! I asked quite a few myself. I thought it might be a good idea to share answers to the questions that I'm asked the most.

"I didn't even know you were trying to get pregnant. Why didn't you blog about it?"

I chose not to blog about our struggle with infertility for several reasons... It was my way of keeping things more private. I was totally open about it with friends or when someone asked when we were going to have kids (by the way, worst question you can ask someone), but I knew it was not productive for me to document everything in such a public place. There were three main reasons for that:

  1. In the grand scheme of life, we only struggled to get pregnant for 15 months. Was it a hard wait? Yes, maybe the most challenging thing I've ever faced. But, at the same time there are so many people who try for YEARS. I wanted to be sensitive to those who have waited and are still waiting.
  2. For me, personally, my fear about infertility and not being able to get pregnant was heightened when I would read about other friends/bloggers struggle to get pregnant. One of my friends blogged a while back about how she felt the same way - scared when she would hear about someone else's journey. She said her mentor reminded her that God writes a unique story for everyone. That statement totally hit home with what I had felt. For that reason I always said I wouldn't share every detail on my blog.
  3. When I say that it was a struggle, I mean it was a struggle in every aspect of my life. I questioned my faith like never before. I worried that if I was documenting every step for everyone to read it would be hard for me to admit, with total honesty, just how much I doubted God at times.
"You did IVF, right?"

Many people who find out that we are pregnant with quads (including our OBGYN) assume that it was through IVF. If I feel like if a lot of people ask us then there must be even more people who assume the same but would never ask. So, I'm going to tell. ;) Reid has male-factor and I have female-factor infertility issues. Because of that our process was drawn out with a lot of waiting. After several months of trying different combinations of medicine we were finally cleared to do our first IUI. Despite very, very, very, very low odds, I conceived the first time. And, aside from even lower odds, I conceived four babies.

"What was it like when you found out you were having quads?"

Two weeks after the IUI, we found out that we were pregnant. Reid was leaving for the airport that day at 5:45 a.m. and we woke up early so I could test while he was home. I took three tests and all were an immediate positive. We were elated. Reid even sent me a text after he left asking if I thought it was a boy or girl. I told him I had no idea and asked if he had a "feeling." He said he thought we were having more than one baby and hoped for one of each.

I went into the doctor that afternoon for a blood test. My HCG was already 572 which is quite high. The nurse called that afternoon to let me know that based on my numbers and what we knew about how I responded to the medicine that we were most likely having twins. We wouldn't know for sure until the sonogram. I asked her if she was sure it was only twins. She said she wasn't. And another two week wait began.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed those first two weeks of being pregnant, but I didn't. I was consumed with worry that we were having triplets. My grandmother had identical triplet brothers and my joke to Reid had always been that we would have them. (A little tidbit we found out from our fertility specialist is that identical multiples are not hereditary.) Reid and my closest friends who knew we were pregnant assured me everyday that there was no way it could be more than two. And, based on everything we knew about my follicles and the other factors that played a part, they were right. The chances of it being more than two were so remote it was not even worth entertaining the thought. I went back the second week to have my HCG levels checked again and they were over 16,000. The nurse knew how worried I was and sweetly told me to just be thankful that my numbers were so strong and that my body was handling a pregnancy so well. I'm sure she thought I was a lunatic! My thoughts were consumed and I honestly think Satan was trying his best to rob me of the joy I should have been feeling. The day of the IUI I had had such a peace. I laid on the table after the doctor and nurse left the room and confessed over and over that God was bigger than infertility and that He would still be good no matter the outcome. It took those two weeks of waiting to bring me back to that place - He would be good no matter the outcome.

The day before our sonogram I had this feeling wash over me that there would be four babies. I can't describe it, but I was driving and all of a sudden I thought, "We are going to have four babies." Reid was in a meeting so I called a close friend who told me that was silly and, once again, reassured me there was NO WAY it could be four. Little did we know...

December 7, 2011 was our first sonogram. Soon after we got started the sonographer got very quiet and said she was going to take a look before she said anything. After what seemed like an eternity she said something like, "I see four." It was like everything moved in slow motion after that. She measured the babies and each baby looked perfect. Sometime in the middle of it all I started crying. We finished the exam and met with our doctor in a conference room. He actually sat in his office and cried for ten minutes before coming in to see us. He has built a reputation of being conservative in his approach. He even sat down with us at the end of September and told us he had no doubt we would get pregnant but that it was going to be a long road because he was going to be as conservative as possible. The chances of getting pregnant at all were so small that this was unheard of. He spent the next thirty minutes explaining that this wasn't going to be an easy road. That one of our babies probably wouldn't make it through the first trimester. That I could lose the entire pregnancy at anytime. That there were a lot of risks associated with higher order multiples. Reid and I sat there absolutely stunned and overwhelmed. And while it was the most shocking news we had ever received, neither one of us ever felt anxious or like someone had made a mistake. We had no doubt it was God's plan all along, it was just very hard to wrap our heads around.

Reid and I both struggled that day with extreme guilt. I was recently telling one of my best friends that I still feel guilty when I think about that day. We were finally pregnant, and hadn't we told God that His plans were better than ours? I cried for about three hours after we left the doctor. It was like I just needed to get it out of my system. I was overwhelmed. Reid remained completely steady. He immediately started thinking of all the positives and still thought it was important that we go pick out our "we're having a baby" gift. It was another big life moment that made me so thankful he is my husband.

That night we took Samson to the park and went to dinner at our favorite restaurant. We just wanted to feel normal. By the time we went to sleep we were starting feel more settled and more excited. I still had some "freak out" moments and grieved the loss of a "normal" pregnancy. I was worried about what people would think - mostly fearful they would say we'd been careless. What would our families say? I was fearful about the health of the babies since they would likely be very premature. I was dreading the huge, ugly stroller that would surely draw all kinds of unwanted attention. And on and on. In that first week I was able to work through those fears with the help of Reid, my counselor, and my amazing friends.

What comforts me most when I think about that day is that though the news was quite a surprise to us, God wasn't phased. He knew how we would react - our struggles, fears, and guilt. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He used our struggle with infertility to prepare our hearts to love and be so incredibly thankful for these four precious little girls. And, once again, we were reminded that He is good.
The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.
(Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

3 comments:

Catie said...

These babies are so lucky to have you and your husband as parents! They will have such fun growing up as sisters. How fun to have sisters the same age to swap clothes and shoes with as teenagers. :-)

Carly Grace said...

I love that you shared this part of your journey. God's so faithful, even when we're faithless. I hope you continue to share. It's so neat to hear your heart. I'm so excited he chose you to carry those 4 angels!

Allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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