I remember waking up with severe pain in my chest as I was gasping for air. I tried calling out to my husband but wasn’t able to speak. I stumbled into the bathroom as I thought if I could look in the mirror maybe I could figure out what was going on with me. The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the bathroom floor in a pool of sweat with my husband praying over me.
Six months earlier we had received the devastating news that we could not get pregnant. The stabbing pain of those words can never truly be understood until they are being told to you. Every negative pregnancy test brings the pain to the surface. Seeing a baby being pushed in a stroller drives you to tears. You rejoice with each pregnancy announcement, but it is also a reminder of the ache in your heart.
After months of painful testing and waiting, we moved forward with IVF. I remember sitting in our training meeting feeling so nervous and scared as our doctor taught my husband how to mix the meds and administer all of my shots each day. My husband will now admit he felt the exact same way, but in that moment, and in our entire journey through IVF, he was my rock. He always portrayed confidence – in mixing the meds, in giving shots in my stomach, in knowing I would get pregnant – because he knew that’s what I needed right then, in that moment (and for that, I am so thankful).
After the long journey of tests, countless injections, egg retrieval + transfer, we had to wait ten days to see if it worked … but before we could even get to the ten days, I experienced major complications.
My poor husband had no idea what was wrong when he found me on the bathroom floor struggling to breathe. He fortunately had been awakened by the sound of my head hitting the bathroom counter as I passed out. We knew something was very wrong because I went to bed with a flat stomach and now looked 8 months pregnant within a matter of hours.
My doctors had mentioned a rare side affect of IVF (called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) before we started treatment and told us the warning signs. I remember them briefly mentioning a very severe form of OHSS that can be fatal; however, I didn’t think more of it as it was extremely rare.
I was lying in the hospital, seconds away from having a large drain placed in my abdomen when the nurse came running in the room to tell me my fertility doctor had called and my results were positive. I. WAS. PREGNANT. I cried a few good tears (although I’m sure many of them were from the pain I was in and the fear I had for the procedure I was about to have, haha!). Minutes later, the doctor put all his body weight on me to push a drain through my skin and into my abdomen.
After a few days in the hospital, I was sent home with the drain still in my stomach. I will spare you all the gory details, but there were more complications that resulted in me crawling on my hands and knees into my doctors office with a fever through the roof, in severe pain and holding my drain bag, yelling for someone to help me.
OHSS is a tough thing because doctors don’t know what it is or what to do unless they are specifically fertility specialists, so you can’t just go to an emergency room. Looking back, it’s a little funny as it was on a Monday which was my doctor’s meeting days – meaning he meets with all potential clients who are considering IVF. All these poor women were nervously sitting in the waiting room waiting for their appointment to learn about IVF, and here comes a girl looking like she’s straight off the street, holding a bag full of blood coming out of her abdomen, screaming for help. Honestly, I’d be surprised if any of those women ended up going through with IVF after that haha! Long story short, I survived (and will forever be thankful for the wisdom of doctors and nurturing hearts of nurses!)
Several months before we began our IVF journey, my husband was ordering an omelet in the buffet line at his work. The chef cracked open the first egg and two yolks fell on the skillet. He looked at Jason and said very matter-of-factly, ” You’re going to have twins some day, man. I’m never wrong.”
Not long after, Jason’s elderly grandfather had a dream that we had boy/girl twins, having no idea we were even trying to get pregnant or pursuing fertility treatments. Crazy, right? When my doctor looked at the screen during my ultrasound and told me we had twins, I wasn’t even surprised. We just knew it was God’s plan.
We had a lot of scares along the way, and my incredible doctors worked hard to keep our twins in as long as possible after I went into labor at 27 weeks. My journey to get our two miracle babies earth-side wasn’t easy, but every single step was orchestrated by the Lord for a purpose. (If you read my twins’ birth story HERE then you know their birth was just as dramatic as our pregnancy!)
IVF is such a hard journey – physically, mentally, and financially. However, one neat thing is this photo of my babies:
That’s DAY ONE, y’all. That’s my baby boy and baby girl.. God orchestrated that microscopic blob of cells into fingers and toes and bellies and noses. I received so many ultrasounds (4-7 per week!) that I was able to witness every single stage of the formation of my twins inside of me, from this little blob of cells, to tiny tadpoles with heartbeats, to full babies kicking my belly. That’s not something everyone gets to do, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had a front seat to the miracle God was doing inside of me.
This necklace from Tiny Tags carries so much meaning for me, and it is something I will have the rest of my life. On the front it says my twins’ names which represents the beauty that God made from the ashes of our grief of infertility. On the back, it says “only one call away” which is a song my little ones will hear me sing until I leave this earth. It started back when they were my tiny little preemies in the NICU, and I had to leave them each night. Each time I held them, I would sing:
“I’M ONLY ONE CALL AWAY.
I’LL BE THERE TO SAVE THE DAY.
SUPERMAN’S GOT NOTHING ON ME.
I’M ONLY ONE CALL AWAY.”
My twins are now two years old and know this as “mommy’s song”. They ask me to sing it every night and anytime they are scared or hurt. It truly holds special meaning to us.I love this necklace, and it’s one that I will hand down to my girl when I leave this earth.