Monday, November 8, 2010

Turtle and B

Turtle. That's what we thought she looked like the second time we saw her. This picture was from my nine week ultrasound. I knew the second her little image came up on the screen that it was a girl. There wasn't a single doubt in my mind.

Normally you don't get nine week ultrasounds. We don't like to do things the "normal" way. With both Max and Ellie we had to do invitro fertilization. Its a long, painful, irritating process that you forget about the instant you see your child. I knew with both kids that it would work the first time. I don't remember how many eggs they extracted with Max, but we ended up with only two good embryos and we implanted both. From that we were blessed with Max.
During our round with Ellie, they extracted about 25 eggs (yes, I did feel like some sort of mutant chicken all pumped up on steroids when the nurse told me that...). From that we only got two good embryos and, again, implanted both of them. I knew they would both "take." When the doctor called on May 13th, 2009 (which was strangely the 15th birthday of my cousin Kaelin and the 15th anniversary of my Grandpa's death...) to confirm my pregnancy test, I wasn't surprised- I already knew. I scheduled my ultrasound to confirm pregnancy for two weeks later.
When I arrived at the appointment, I knew they would see two heartbeats. But something told me everything was not ok. The ultrasound tech started the scan while our kind, caring doctor made small talk. I closely watched the screen and saw two amniotic sacs appear. The tech scanned the first baby, did all the measurements, took a deep breath and began scanning Baby B. The doctor continued to make small talk, not mentioning that there were two babies. The ultrasound tech was silent. I watched her measure and remeasure Baby B. I felt the room getting smaller, I could see the bad news written all over their faces.

The tech finished the scan and as I sat up the doctor started. She said, "well there are two babies, we see two heartbeats. But Baby B is much too small, and the heartbeat much too slow. It won't survive. BUT Baby A looks great." She said I had what was referred to as a "vanishing twin." Meaning that one baby simply vanishes. In a vain, yet well meaning, attempt she said its very common- most people just don't know because they don't have ultrasounds at seven weeks. I guess that was supposed to make me feel better. But I had seen BOTH heartbeats on that screen. The ultrasound tech asked if I wanted the ultrasound picture of both babies, or just the one of healthy Baby A. My doctor told me to schedule a follow up appointment with my OB to confirm the "disappearance" of Baby B. 
Besides, being devastated, I was furious. They weren't even giving B a shot. She (I truly believe Baby B was a girl) still had a heartbeat and they were already wanting me to pretend she didn't even exist. I knew that B probably wouldn't survive, but until I had proof that she was gone- I was pregnant with twins. And that's what I believed right up until my nine week ultrasound.
At the nine week ultrasound, the grainy black and white image showed just one small fetus. Our Turtle. The tech looked but found no evidence of Baby B; she had simply vanished. I still find it strange. My heart sunk but then the tech found our little Turtle again. The ultrasound picture was life size. She was only about the size of a lima bean. But there she was bouncing around- we literally watched her bouncing off the sides of her fluid sac. Its like she was in there saying, "I'm here and I'm going to be fine. I am going to make you so happy." Dave and I couldn't help but laugh at the little show she put on for us. Its funny but that's totally Ellie- a ham, wanting to be the center of attention. Like I said, I had no doubt after that day that she was a girl.

When I asked what happened to Baby B, our doctor said it would either come out like a normal miscarriage or it would just stay in there and come out when Ellie was born. I liked the thought of that- still getting to keep B with me for nine months. Baby B never came out- she waited until Ellie was ready. Our doctor said the extra hormones that Baby B caused my body to produce probably helped Ellie thrive. I have always thought of our Baby B as Ellie's special guardian angel.

I don't understand why Ellie had to go through so much to even get here with us, only to be taken away so early. I feel like my intuition was so right on with Ellie. I knew I would get pregnant, I knew it would be twins but something would be wrong, I knew she was going to be a girl. I even felt like there was something wrong with Ellie. I thought her random illnesses were extreme, I felt like there was something more I needed to know about Elle. I don't know why I didn't follow my premonition. I should have done something. I should have known...

It gives me comfort to think that B was there with Ellie the day she got so sick and that she helped Ellie find her way to heaven. I know our two babies are up there. I know they are safe and happy and are waiting for us. But I want them here. With us. There should be five of us- not three. Two just vanished...

Turtle and B
The picture in my hand was taken under the microscope of the two embryos our doctor implanted on April 29, 2009. This picture of Ellie was taken April 29, 2010. Exactly a year later. Truly a miracle.


Anonymous said...

Your little family has been through so much in such a short time. Marriage and parenting is hard enough, but the tough times you've had to endure so early on, I can't imagine. Prayers continue for your family, especially anytime a Rascal Flatts song comes on the radio it immediately reminds me to say a prayer :) Warm thoughts are prayers being sent your way. If you and your family need anything, please post it on your blog, there are so many of us blog strangers out here that would love to do or help your family out with anything.

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