"God's voice is glorious in the thunder. We can't even imagine the greatness of His power." Job 37:5
So far this pregnancy has been rather uneventful... as far as bad news is concerned at least. But today... today is bittersweet. Today is difficult and happy all at the same time... let me explain.
We had our first trimester ultrasound with our reproductive specialist today, we hoped to see everything beautiful and perfect and be released to an obstetrician. But as you and I both know, in the infertility world, things rarely go perfectly.
We went for our ultrasound before seeing the doctor... we saw two perfect gestational sacs... then on baby A... we did not see the baby... we instead saw an oversized yolk sac and some debris within the sac... and no heartbeat. Baby A has gone to Heaven to be with his or her big brother.
On to baby B... although measuring slightly smaller than our dates (baby is measuring 6 weeks and 5 days and we are technically 7 weeks and 4 days) baby B looks perfect. Little forming parts... heart beating STRONG, 126 beats per minute... sac is growing... yolk sac is perfect.
And then, while evaluating the rest of my uterus and my ovaries... there is a hemorrhage (a bleed in the endometrium) in the left side of my uterus, a small one. The location is a little bit of a relief because it is not near Baby B's gestational sac. The doctor seems optimistic that this bleed will heal itself over time, and does not put Baby B at any greater risk of miscarrying... and the co-twin demise (as he called it) also does not put Baby B at any great risk of miscarrying as well.
So now you see... bittersweet. We are overjoyed for Baby B... that baby is more of a blessing that we deserve, but we are also sad for Baby A. Sad for us, because this baby being born to heaven, really there is no better life than that.
Whether you want to call it a co-twin fetal demise or vanishing twin syndrome (sometimes these terms are used interchangeably), our doctor said it is actually rather common with IVF patients... one embryo (baby) just stops developing at some point... there is no reasoning behind it. The egg was good... the sperm was good... We are not speculating the reason either, I had enough of people doing that with our first loss. Baby A's sac will likely stick around until it becomes compressed by growing Baby B. We do know that losing this baby in the first trimester is actually a better way for this to happen. I use the word better loosely because we never want anything to happen to any of our babies, but like the doctor says, with it happening in the first trimester it doesn't put the surviving twin at any greater risk, but in the second and third trimester it does put the other baby at a great risk for several different complications. Many people that have this happen (without fertility treatments) never even realize that they have miscarried one twin, because there are not the usual signs of miscarriage. No bleeding, very little cramping and most times the sac is not passed. In many cases they go in for their first ultrasound, see twins and when they go back... one twin is just gone... hence the term vanishing twin. Our doctor also gently said that he is more comfortable with me having a singleton pregnancy, for MY health... and I understand that too.
Now for the hemorrhage, these are so very common... I know that... the rational part of my brain knows that when I worked in the hospital, half of the people with first trimester bleeding that I scanned had a subchorionic hemorrhage or hematoma. The not so rational part of my brain is paranoid knowing that this also happened with our first pregnancy. The difference is that this hemorrhage (at least so far) does not affect or touch the sac of Baby B. So I can breathe a little sigh of relief. In most circumstances these places resolve on their own. Statistically 25% of pregnancies have a hemorrhage, many don't even realize it. So far I have had zero bleeding or spotting. Although, the doctor basically told me not to freak out if I did have some... as long as it was dark and only a small amount. Anything greater and I am supposed to call them immediately. The larger the hematoma, the greater risk of miscarriage. For now, our doctor is not too concerned about the hemorrhage. I know to stay hydrated and to kind of take it easy... but for now do not have to be on bed rest.
Here is our beautiful healthy little butter bean...
And we know... we have two little angels waiting for us when we get to Heaven.
Otherwise the doctor is happy with how things look overall. He offered nausea medicine but I'd rather not take it unless I absolutely have to. Now that I know more about what foods this baby likes for me to have and what this baby hates... things have gotten easier. I have a ton of nausea but am not vomiting as much. The doctor suggested that I eat a snack every 30 minutes or so... guess I should just strap a feed bag to my face, I thought that eating every couple of hours was a lot, ha ha. He also recommended taking Dramamine before bed to alleviate evening nausea... I think I will actually try that because I often feel very sick when I lay down. Otherwise I am told to drink lots of water, no problem there as long as it is full of ice, that is my #1 pregnancy crave. : ) I have some mild cramping but nothing crazy, not as severe as period cramps... but my uterus is twice the size as it was 7 weeks ago so a little discomfort is to be expected with things growing! We will be rechecked next Wednesday afternoon to be sure Baby B still looks good and to check the bleed. We aren't sure at this point when we will be released to our OBGYN but I'm grateful to be watched so closely. We will continue on our current medications for now.
To go on and answer your first question.... we are ok. We are obviously sad for the loss of baby A but feel beyond blessed to still have one healthy growing heart pounding little baby still in there. We pray constantly for this sweet little lovie to keep thriving.
Mourning this loss is rather bizarre... it's bizarre to be so happy for one baby and so sad for the other at the same time. We still feel so very thankful for this blessing. But... I do know that mourning is necessary. This morning I broke into tears telling my parents, but as it sinks in more and more I really am ok. I am very optimistic for our growing butter bean. We cherish any prayers you want to send our way. I still have more tears for Baby A... and I will let those out, but I think it is important for everyone to know that in everything we give thanks to our Creator... our Lord. God does not make mistakes, and whatever the reason for this loss, we know the outcome will be God's plan... and we are more than okay with that. We know that God is with us every single step of the way... he never leaves us... and he never leads us in the wrong direction.
We love you both so very much. It is important to us that you both know that.
Baby A- we are so sad... not for you, but for us... we wished to kiss those toes and tell you all about our journey... but now you know. You are in Heaven and by now have met your big brother. I'm happy for you two to have each other. We feel so blessed to have had you with us for a little while, for us it wasn't quite long enough. We know that you are happy and healthy and perfect hanging out with our Lord and Savior. We don't know why you had to go so soon but we know that God has a bigger plan, and we will forever trust in Him. We will love you forever... and one day, we will all be together... one BIG happy perfect family. We will never forget you my darling child.
Baby B- I cannot tell you the joy it brought us today to see your little heart beating so strongly. We know you miss your little sibling but we need you to keep growing and hold tight my love! Mommy and daddy are worried for your health, not that there is anything wrong with you, but we just want you to stick around so badly!! I can already see your little head with your beautiful brain forming... you look so amazing. You already have many people praying for you and loving you so much. Mommy will do her best to take care of you, but it is ultimately in God's hands... we trust Him completely with your life! We love you so much... and we will love you forever... so will your three puppies that are desperate to meet you and play with you too!
All mommy and daddy can say is that we love you both beyond measure... and God loves you even more than that!
Mommy and Daddy