On our 9th attempt at fertility treatment, we were super excited when the doctor called us 10 days after the transfer to tell us that we were pregnant. It had worked. We had done the blood test that morning and then gone for ice cream. We had just left the coffee shop and were in the street on a busy road about to cross when he rang. I asked him if he was sure and he said "yes, very sure, High levels meaning it's a healthy pregnancy". My husband cried; I was still in disbelief. We went to the department store and walked through the children's floor but then felt we were tempting fate and decided to turn back. It was still way too early, and anything could go wrong.
Traveling and Running
I had a scan programmed on my 7th week, after my week of traveling and speaking at conferences. I was advised to hydrate well on the long flights and to take my medication at the correct time, considering time zone differences. I had to take injections which helped with possible blood clotting so this now had to be taken at 1pm rather than 10pm. That was a bit inconvenient, but my husband sent me reminders and I managed to find a quiet place each day where I could take the injection while in the middle of a conference.
While at both conferences I felt great. I was out running almost every day but I was monitoring my heart rate, which was super high, so I slowed down the runs and kept them short. I was constantly hungry but did manage to make sure I had enough protein bars with me. I was so super busy that I managed to not have any problems with tiredness. I got through the day but by 9:30 every night I was in bed and fast asleep till 7am. As for symptoms, I only really had my chest which had grown and was super sensitive and hurt while running but I just got used to it and after a few minutes it was fine. Hugs were the worst. Big bear hugs were so soar. But other than that, I felt great.
On the way home at the airport, I had my first bout of nausea. I was sitting in the airport lounge after the long flight. Breakfast was terrible on the plane, so I didn't eat it. I had some beans on gluten free bread in the lounge and felt quite full. I then sat down and watched some YouTube videos of trail running but then I started to feel real nauseous. I couldn't look at the tablet and so I put on some relaxing music and tried to just breathe. But then I knew what was coming and had to run as fast as I could and luckily managed to get to the bathroom on time. Was this morning sickness and was this going to be my new normal? No idea but oh boy it is not fun when you are traveling.
I arrived home on Saturday night and spent Sunday relaxing and catching up on sleep. However on Sunday I had no morning sickness and started to think maybe there is something wrong. I had my first scan scheduled for Monday morning but worry and doubt ran though my mind and I started googling like hell for all the things that could be going wrong. I didn't sleep at all on the Sunday night and I was super nervous that something wasn't right.
When we arrived at the clinic I told them how worried I was but they told me it was normal to feel this way. They asked about symptoms and said it all sounded good. Then came the ultrasound. The great thing about this clinic is that as you lie on the bed the doctor has a small computer screen to see everything but you have a big projected image of what he sees and its kinda like your insides are being shown on a big cinema screen but it means its really easy to see things both for me and my husband.
As he did the scan I saw two circles and just thought, "oh gosh". The doctor started explaining things and said so here we see two sacs. He even started doubting himself and asked me to confirm that we only transferred 1 embryo. Transferring more than one is considered unsafe and not recommended so they hardly ever do it. But we only had one transferred. Yet right there on the screen there were two. So he said this is very unexpected but you have two babies. He said if we look at the scan this way you can only see one but if I turn it round you can clearly see two. He measured both and they were both the same size. He said they are identical twins and therefore of same sex. The embryo had split into two after implantation so they have their own sac but share the same placenta. He said the odds of identical twins were 1 in 250, so not too common.
I did not know what to think except for worry, was it safe and how was I going to get two babies out of me, it was hard enough thinking of getting one out. My husband on the other hand was ecstatic and was even taking videos of the heartbeats. I was too much in shock to even take it all in and was so not prepared for this news but then again neither was the doctor. He did say that it explained why the blood test results were so high but it's never a sure sign of a twin pregnancy.
The doctor told me I couldn't run anymore and had to remove all high impact activities. This was not fun to hear as I love my runs and playing padel and on a singleton pregnancy it would have been fine to keep running but with twins I need to be more careful with everything which was really annoying to hear. Although they did tell me that I still should do sport and stay as active as possible but just low impact sports only so walking, swimming, yoga, weights or cycling on a stationary bike.
The nurses were all super excited and in the hallway came running up to me to congratulate me, double congratulations they kept saying. I was still trying to take it all in and really didn't know how I felt or how I should be feeling. We were told that as of today both babies are healthy and everything looks great but it was still very early days and we still had a long way to go before we could share our news with the world.
Taking it all in
We took some time to just go for ice cream and chat about it. My husband thought it was the best news ever but I had so many things going on in my head. How could I get on a plane with 2 babies? Was I now dependent on another adult for the rest of my life? It seems stupid now but it's a massive life change and something you are just unprepared for so there are so many questions left unanswered. We then went for a walk though the childrens floor of the department store and just realized how little focus there is on twins. For example so many buggies but only 1 that could work for twins. We suddenly realised we need two of everything from car seats to cots. And it was all very overwhelming indeed.
I went home and spent the day on Google just googling anything and everything as my head tried to take in the news of how my life would change and how worrying it was be be having twins, delivering early, possibilities of premature babies, twin to twin transfusion and so many causes for concern. It is so not healthy to google everything but I managed to find a good book and podcast which helped a lot at first but then just scared me more hearing all the horror stories. It took about 10 hours before I felt I could call someone to tell them the news and actually say it out load although I still wasn't a hundred percent convinced this was happening and perhaps it had all been a dream.
The news got easier to deal with by the next day and a call with an online fertility nurse really helped. When it is so early on in the pregnancy you can't go to that many people for advise cause you shouldn't really tell anyone so you keep everything to yourself and that's a lot of doubts and emotions. Having people on your side who know what you are going through is really helpful at this stage so then when people ask you the questions you are asking yourself you will be able to give them answers and will feel more in control of the situation.
Deep down it is of course great news. Not 1 but 2 babies is more than we could have hoped for and it means our children will have someone to play with, someone to bond with and it really will be a unique experience for us and for the family. Our quiet house will be filled with laughter and it will be crazy busy but crazy fun. I don't know how I am going to fit things in the suitcase when I visit family at Christmas times but I guess if I can focus only on worrying about silly things like that then I can get through this and hopefully everything will work out with no problems. So many things out of our control. So many things we just have to let go and have faith that things will be ok and if not we just have to deal with them if and when they arise. Wish me luck, I think I'm gonna need it.