Our Story, Part 1

So I thought I’d go ahead and give a little history as to our story.

It all began when we decided that we wanted to have another child. After a couple years of trying (unsuccessfully), we started working with an OB to see if we could figure out why. Well, after several attempts, we transferred to the Reproductive Endocrinology (REI) department at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC). Luckily, since it was a Military Treatment Facility (MTF), we didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket for the testing or the basic starting steps (medicine, ultrasounds, etc). Through them, IVF would have been at a significantly reduced cost, had we needed to go that route, and other procedures which wouldn’t be covered by Tricare were free or reduced cost as well. We were sold. It was an hour drive each way, but totally worth it to be able to figure out what we needed to do to make this thing happen.

Fast forward to October 2010. We were getting orders overseas to Japan, and the hubby was getting deployed in a few short weeks for his last patrol on the submarine. We had one last chance, and we’d accepted that fact and decided to make the best of it. Should we not get pregnant, we would have the adventure of a lifetime in Asia. Should we get pregnant, we would still have an adventure, though maybe on a less grandiose scale. Little did we know….

So November 1st we started our last round of medicine/treatment before we’d stop “trying” for a while. We were using Clomid, and as that hadn’t worked for the last 6 months we also decided to try Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) as a last step before considering IVF. The only part of it that Tricare didn’t cover was the IUI itself, which was only $250. Quite amazing considering the thousands that some people have to pay on civilian insurance.

November 14th rolled around. Hubby had duty (overnight shift on the submarine) the night before, so we were slightly stressed that we would miss the crucial timing window. I had to inject myself with HCG 36 hours before the procedure to spur ovulation, so at 1 am on the 13th I had the alarm set, went downstairs, imagined a giant smiley face on my stomach, and injected. Not quite as scary as I thought it would be! The 14th I was a bit stressed. Hubby was at work, and we had to be over to the Seattle side of the water by 11am to start the process. This meant we needed to catch the 10am ferry. He walked in the door at 915am (30 minute ride minimum to the ferry, in perfect traffic). We rolled on to the ferry right as they were shutting the doors. PHEW. Once on the other side, we got there, and everything worked out well from there. Caught the ferry home. And then we waited.

Those were the longest 11 days of my life.

Now, with using the HCG injection, a home pregnancy test would have been positive until the shot was out of my system. Theoretically, that would happen somewhere around 10 days after the shot. Then I would likely get a negative test for a day or two until a baby implanted, and then I would hopefully get a positive again. Some people I know would test the injection out of their system (they’d test every day until they got a negative, so they would know that any positive after that would be real). I just couldn’t take seeing that negative again, though, so I didn’t. We waited. Finally at 11 days after (the night before Thanksgiving), I just couldn’t take it anymore. I tested. And it was positive. But we tried not to get too excited – it could possibly be the injection still if it hadn’t metabolized completely.

Thanksgiving morning, 2010, I took another test. And another. And they were all still positive. We couldn’t believe it. We had so much to be thankful for. We were having dinner with our neighborhood friends and didn’t want to tell anyone yet, but I couldn’t contain myself and let it slip to a couple of my closest friends. And then we zipped our lips as we knew so much could still go wrong.

For the next couple weeks, we sat anxiously hoping. You see, we had orders to Japan. And hubby was deploying. So the REI clinic wouldn’t do my first ultrasound (US) yet, because before 6 weeks a heartbeat wouldn’t show and they didn’t want me to be nervous while I was away for the holidays. Since we had orders to Japan, I was making a cross country road trip with 3 year old and hubby’s mom in tow  to take the two dogs and one of our cars to my dad so that we wouldn’t have to sell it before being transferred overseas. Quickly I was tired. Oh so very tired. Like, going to bed at 9:00pm tired. And New Years? I went to bed at 12:05. And my pants started getting tight. I didn’t bring any maternity clothes because, really, who needs maternity clothes before 9 weeks, and I’d be home by then! Yeah. I did. Hubby’s mom insisted that it was because it was my second pregnancy. I thought it was just from travelling.

Let me take a step back, here, and tell you about our inside jokes. See, when we had our US before the IUI, we saw two mature eggs. That meant there was a possibility of twins. Still a slim possibility, but enough that we had to consent that we were okay with it should we get that lucky. So ever since November 14th, hubby kept joking with me about “the twins.” Thanksgiving, when I asked for seconds, he joked “Well, you are eating for three after all…” Yes, he was smacked for that one.

So here I am, in Florida, with family, and no idea if the baby is doing okay, and getting fat. And tired. And fat. I had to go out and buy a pair of maternity pants because mine wouldn’t zip anymore. I had a couple days where I cramped so bad I almost went to the ER. But then I was reminded if something was going to go wrong, there really was no way to stop it anyways, so I might as well relax.

And then I flew home. Little did we know what the ultrasound on January 9th would show…

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