Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 & 32 weeks

Time keeps marching and I keep growing.  As long as the babies are health and keep growing I'm happy to get as big as I need to.  Here are my latest bi-weekly pictures.

At this point we know that the delivery will be on, or before, December 26.  While we hope to make it that far, which is 38 weeks, we realize that anything is possible so the bags are packed, the rooms are ready and somedays I feel like a ticking time bomb.

Hopefully I can get some pictures of the nursery up sooner than later.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do twins run in your family?

This is a question that I have got a lot over the last 7 months.  It is a typical questions that people with twins are asked and I know it is meant as a harmless question but it is rather loaded.  I actually have two answers to this questions that I willingly share.

First of all, twins do run in my family.  Both of my grandma's are actually twins.  There are not many people that can say that.  But I almost always follow the statement that my grandmothers are twin by saying that we did use treatments to get pregnant.  Depending on the person or situation I may or may not go into more detail.

It would be very easy to say that twins run in my family and leave it at that, but I feel like that would be a disservice to anyone struggling with infertility, a topic that many people try to hide and avoid, especially if there is someone I can help through the tough process.  

I'm not necessarily going to give a long narrative about what Mike and I went through to get pregnant, but I do want to give some of our stats, some advice and open up a place for people who are interested to have their questions answered.

So here is our 2.5 year journey to get pregnant by the numbers.

Number of procedures: 9

  • HSG - A test where they run dye through your uterus and fallopian tubes and then take an x-ray to see if there are abnormalities or blockage. 
  • 4 IUI's  - Intrauterine Insemination is the process of insertion of purified sperm, which has been carefully washed and prepared, directly into the uterus.  
  • 2 IVF's - In Vitro Fertilization is a method of assisted reproduction in which a man's sperm and a women's eggs are combined outside the body in a laboratory dish.  If fertilization occurs, the resulting embryos are transferred to the women's uterus.  
  • 2 FET - Frozen Embryo Transfer is process similar to IVF except the embryos have been frozen from a previous cycle and are then thawed before being transferred to the women's uterus.   

Number of trips to Omaha: 45

Number of internal ultrasounds: 30+

Number of shots I gave myself: 75+

Number of times my blood was drawn: 31

Number of follicles (eggs) stimulated in my ovaries during IVF cycles: 84
  • IVF #1: 54
  • IVF #2: 30 

Number of eggs actually retrieved: 33

  •  IVF #1: 20
  • IVF #2: 13
Number of embryos transferred to my uterus: 11
These are the embryos that resulted in our twins. 

  • IVF #1: 2
  • FET #1: 3
  • FET #2: 3
  • IVF #2:  3

Number of embryos we currently have frozen: 0

Number of drugs I took: 17

  • Clomid
  • Pregnyl
  • HCG
  • Pometrium
  • Baby Asprin
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Femara
  • Follistim
  • Progesterone
  • Menopur
  • Estrace
  • Ganirelex
  • Endometrin
  • Lupron
  • Vivelle Dots
  • Dostinex
  • Vicodin
Amount of Money Spent: I'm not going to go there, but if you are pursuing fertility treatments and want to know the costs let me know and can give you the details.

Advice I have after our experience:

  1. After one year of trying to conceive on your own go to a fertility clinic.  Don't mess around with an OBGYN, holistic medicine or doctor that doesn't specialize in fertility. While this does work for some people you will most likely just waist time and money.  We were very lucky to be referred directly to Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine in Omaha by our local physician first.  
  2. Having a physicians referral will help you get seen sooner at a fertility clinic.  Sometimes the waiting list is 3-6 months out.
  3. Ask lots of questions when you talk to doctors and nurses.  Ask what each medication you are taking is for.  Ask the pros and cons of each treatment option.  Ask if they have free samples or coupons for medications if your insurance doesn't cover any of the cost. Write down questions you have ahead of time so you don't forget to ask.  There truly are no stupid questions.     
  4. Do as much research as you can.  I followed (and still follow) many blogs by women going through the same process we did.  The best site is www.cyclesista.blogspot.com because you can find women going through the exact same procedures you are each month.  
  5. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page because neither of you can do it alone. 
  6. This is dumb, but make sure you wear warm clothes and socks to your egg retrieval because you will be freezing after.  Also drink 2-3 bottles of gatorade the day or two before which will make it easier to put your IV in and keep drinking that much gatorade the week after egg retrieval so you don't bloat as much.  
  7. Don't feel like you need to talk about your treatments all the time because it is good to have a break, but have people that you can go to if you need to talk. 
  8. People will say rude things to you.  They aren't trying to be mean.  They just don't know what it is like to be going through what you are going through and probably won't understand either because everyones experience is different even if they are going through infertility too.  
  9. Don't feel bad about unfriending people on facebook or stop following people on pinterest who are pregnant.  They can't help but post all of their happiness which is great for them, but it may make you feel worse.  You can re-friend and start following them again someday because it is nothing personal, just something you need to do to get by.  

I'm sure I have a lot more advice but I think that is good for now. 
 If you have any questions for me about our fertility details, procedures, our experience, etc. Feel free to leave a comment and I will answer them either in the blog or as a comment.