IVF- the good, the bad, the jiggly

IVF was our decision. We didn’t want to take a chance having another baby go through what Weston had to and we didn’t want lily to go through it again either.

What the heck is IVF!? They put a baby in you? Lots of shots? Sounds easy🥴

Knowing we would have to test the embryos the doctors needed DNA from Weston and Nick. Weston was dead, how could I get DNA? I wanted this so bad, I called the hospital. I called the morgue. I called labs where his bloodwork was sent. I finally found DNA and was able to have it sent to the office.

I made these calls while trying to work full time. While trying to pull myself together. While trying to be the most present mom and wife. Never, in a million years did I think I’d have to call the morgue looking for DNA of my dead son.

Shots. After shots. In my belly multiple times a day. In my butt multiple times a day. In my leg a few times. It hurt. It all hurt. Emotionally and physically. Out to dinner and needing to give myself a shot. In the car waiting for lily to be done with dance, giving myself a shot. Hoping no one was looking thinking I was doing some sort of drug.

Bruises everywhere. When I went running my butt cheeks hurt. You know when you run and everything isn’t how it is in the movies and it all just jiggles. I could feel my bruises on my butt jiggling. I don’t know how else to describe it.

I know there are people out there saying it’s just a shot or I did it and it wasn’t bad or I have diabetes shots are nothing. The physical pain was bearable, but every shot I took reminded me again that Weston was dead and we were forced to do IVF if we wanted to have a healthy baby.

We almost missed a friends wedding because how strict of timelines we had with the egg retrieval. It was stressful planning the weekend. Wake up, get eggs taken out, drive 9 hours to Nick’s parents and get ready for a wedding. It all worked out, thankfully. But definitely stressful.

The doctors told us I had lots of eggs and they expected it to be a good retrieval. They took out 28(!!) eggs. All eggs turned into embryos with the help of Nick (thanks, babe) How great. Our chances were going to be really high. Only about 22 made it to day 6 of growing and only 12 were healthy enough to freeze and send for biopsy to make sure they did not have the KCNT1 gene.

We were told the gene was rare. It was mosaic in Nick so doctors didn’t think many embryos would be affected. To our surprise 75% of the embryos were affected. That left us with 3 embryos that we could transfer. Two boys and a girl. The doctors said since I didn’t have trouble getting pregnant we would only transfer ONE embryo. Nick and I totally agreed. We just wanted one baby, we didn’t want to put in two embryos and have twins. Because that would be so crazy! How would we ever manage TWINS! (Stay tuned for that!)

We had talked a lot about wanting a boy. We had all of Weston’s clothes and belongings and just wanted a brother for lily to grow up with. But when the day came to tell the doctor which embryo, I panicked. Part of me wanted a baby girl. How fun to watch lily play dress up and have tea parties with a sister. Share clothes and all the same kind of hobbies.

Deep down though I knew we needed to choose a baby boy. Nick thought for sure something bad would happen because we picked the gender. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Not sure if he thought the baby would end up not liking him or have an extra toe? But we chose anyway.

We chose to transfer ONE boy embryo. Our baby Cooper. The day came, we transferred Cooper into my uterus and we were told to act pregnant until we had definite results. Lily was so excited. She loved cooper already.

In the few weeks leading up to our ultrasound we had lots of bloodwork. All of which said I was pregnant! It worked! We were officially pregnant with Cooper.

Lily, nick and I went in to our 8w ultrasound. I was so nervous about having a miscarriage. I held my breath while the tech did her thing. She said he’s the baby’s heart beat and without skipping a beat said AND HERES THE SECOND ONE.

Hold on a second while I pick my jaw up from the ground because to this day it still is surreal.

I looked at nick who was nervously laughing and smiling. He’s so calm, cool and collected. Both of us looked at the tech in shock. What in the world did you just say!? TWINS!? Are you sure they only put one embryo in!?

We met with the doctor. Sure enough, identical twin boys. Our rainbow babies. Less than 1% chance of this happening. But that didn’t surprise me. Weston’s genetic disorder was also rare. We are just the lucky winners of all the rare things.

The doctor we met with wasn’t our normal doctor. He had terrible bedside manner. He told me that they couldn’t see a membrane between the babies so he thought they may be sharing a sac and a placenta, super high risk twin pregnancy. He told me this entire pregnancy would be a “nail biter.” He told me don’t be surprised if one baby disappears.

DISAPPEARS!? Where does it go!?

I stressed until the next appointment when they finally saw the membrane and we went from super high risk to just regular high risk because the boys shared the same placenta but were in separate sacs.

Nick and I saw something else on the screen and I couldn’t help but think it was another baby. Did the embryo split again!? Can that even happen!? What would we do with triplets?! I only have two arms!? The tech laughed and assured us it would not split anymore and we were only having twins. HA! Only twins.

I continued with shots until I was 10 weeks pregnant. Around 9 weeks I went to visit my Bestfriend in VA. I took lily on an airplane for the first time and was terrified to bring my needles on the plane. I ran a 5k, pregnant with twins, while pushing lily in a stroller at the Dulles Plane Pull. Who am I!?

I had come leaps and bounds from the person I was right after Weston died. I wasn’t cured. I wasn’t back to my normal self. But I was in a better place. I challenged myself and lived everyday for my children. All four of them.

Lily wasn’t fond of having two babies come into her life. She was not happy with the name Wyatt. Whenever we said it she would say “why Wyatt!?” We tried thinking of other names but that is what we wanted. It took months for our stubborn girl to come around to it.

I was so nervous to share on social media that we were pregnant. Would people think I was replacing Weston? Of course they’d say something about twins, we must’ve put two embryos in! How could we be doing this so soon. Were we nervous this baby would die too? I’m sure the questions were endless.

We did it though. We shared our exciting news. I wasn’t moving on, I was simply moving forward. (thanks Liz!)

I HATED when people made comments about having twins. Like we had an option? How are you going to do it? What are you going to do?

Well, we are going to love them. We are going to embrace every second we have with them. I wanted lily to be in the room when I delivered so she would definitely be able to meet them just in case they had to go to the NICU. I had a plan of exactly what I wanted.

I laugh at myself for ever thinking my “plan” would happen. When has anything else in my life gone as planned.

I was just happy to be pregnant. I wanted the boys to be healthy. I wanted lily to still feel loved. And most importantly, I did not want Weston to be forgotten.

We built a house during the pregnancy, we prepped for having two babies, we bought all the diapers and we were in the midst of a pandemic.

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