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Welcome to the World

Hunter and Jenna

December 23, 1998

First, I have to say that Hunter and Jenna are my little miracles!!! Mike and I decided to start trying to conceive (TTC) in April 1996. I joyfully stopped taking the pill, thinking that soon I would be pregnant!!!! Well, 8 months went by and no baby! I didn't really even have a true period, just spotting, so off I went to the gynecologist at the military hospital. I was given a 10-day cycle of Provera to induce a period and was told to come back in April when we would have been TTC for 1 year. I waited until January 1997 before going back. I was still spotting constantly and, thanks to the Infertility Board at Parents Place, I found that I may not have been ovulating the whole time! So loaded with BBT charts, I went back to the women's clinic. This time, I got a wonderful doctor who ordered all types of blood tests and who agreed that I wasn't ovulating. He gave me further advice: I needed to add some body fat and cut back on my excercising ( I weighed 110 lb at 5'5" and was jogging 10 mi./day 6 days/week). The bad news was that he was leaving that week and I would see someone new. From February to August I saw at least 5 different doctors and was told 5 different things. I ended up writing a letter to the head of the clinic which resulted in my being assigned to only one doctor. This doctor was wonderful and helped me in ways he will never know.

The first thing that this doctor did was an HSG to determine if my tubes were blocked. The results were that my left tube appeared to be partially blocked while everything else appeared to be normal. I was then given a 5 day cycle of Clomid (to induce ovulation). That month, October, I did ovulate but I didn't get pregnant. We did Clomid again in November which resulted in pregnancy!!! I'll never forget waking up at 3:00 am on December 15 to take a home pregnancy test and I remember how wonderful it felt to see that second line! I felt great, tired, but great. Morning sickness appeared soon after so I assumed all was well. On December 31, I came home from work w/ what I thought were bad gas pains. I was barely able to drive they hurt so badly. I spent the rest of that day and the following day taking it easy and the pain eventually subsided. On January 2, 1998 I woke up w/ horrible cramps and some bleeding. We went to the doc's and he did an ultrasound which revealed that there was nothing in the uterus and there was a mass in my left tube. I was sent home for the weekend since I was in no pain and was told to come back Monday for a shot of Methotrexate which would dissolve the baby. I barely made it home when I was overcome w/ severe abdominal pain. Mike rushed me back to the hospital and I was quickly sent to the OR for surgery--my tube ruptured. They somehow managed to repair the tube but I told them I wish they had taken it out b/c I never wanted to go through this again. I can say for certain that the physical pain of the surgery will never compare w/the emotional pain I felt and still feel today. I remember just wanting to die.

Just as I was starting to feel better, my doc told me that my HCG levels were on the rise! Somewhere, somehow, I was still pregnant. It was quickly determined that I had a persistent or second ectopic. I was given a shot of Methotrexate and was sent home to rest. I remember feeling so sad that a little life was being dissolved inside me. That Monday I went back to work and I started to feel those horrible gas pains again. This time the pain was so bad that I couldn't even talk. A friend rushed me to the hospital where I once again had surgery. This time my tube was removed.

I spent the next 2 months feeling really depressed but slowly working through everything that happened. Mike and I took a trip to New Orleans just to let it all go and have fun. The trip helped alot because I came home finally feeling like myself again. The following week I had my 3 month follow up and it was going to be determined if I wanted to/could TTC once again. On May 11, 1998 I was given the green light to try again. This time I promised myself that we weren't going to try too hard b/c I only had one good side so it may take a while and there was no sense in getting all frustrated so quickly. Two weeks later, I ovulated (May 26). The following week I was feeling really tired and suspected that I may be pregnant. Mike was certain of it. On June 6 at 3:00am (11 days past ovulation) I took a HPT and it was POSITIVE!!!!

I had an ultrasound that week in order to check for another ectopic and there was a tiny spec in the uterus but it was too early to be sure of anything. I went back the following week and not only did we see one sac, we saw TWO! It was twins! I would be due February 14! I was excited and scared all at the same time. I went home and immediately began researching twin pregnancies and the info I saw was so horrible! It talked about death of a twin, prematurity, Twin-to-Twin Transfusion, Vanishing Twin Syndrome, women gaining 70 pounds and on bedrest for months...I no longer was thrilled about having twins. At my 8 week ultrasound, both sacs were still there, one was smaller than the other. There was question as to if the second sac was going to make it. At 10 weeks pregnant I had a dream that I was bleeding and I awoke to find myself full of blood. I went to the doc first thing and I will never forget what I saw! Both babies had arms and legs and they were MOVING!!! (We never really found the cause of the bleeding and it didn't matter.)

The following weeks were so exciting! At 14 weeks I felt both babies move while on the phone w/my mom. I wasn't sure what it was until it kept happening and became stronger. A few weeks later, Mike got to feel it and he fell in love w/my tiny belly. I'll never forget all of the people who said "You can't be preg w/ twins! You're belly is so small!"

Somewhere around 20 weeks it was determined that I was having a boy and a girl and the girl had some problems. She only had one umbilical artery instead of two so off I went to see all kinds of specialists. As it turned out, the little gir's heart and placenta were just fine. At 27 weeks I went into labor which was successfully stopped and was put on bedrest hoping to make it to 34 weeks. I seemed to go into labor every weekend after that. When I hit 31 weeks, I went into labor again but this time the little girl's heart was decelerating w/each contraction. I was sent to a nearbty military hospital that had a NICU because it was possible that I was going to deliver. I was able to hold on until I hit 32 weeks 4 days. On Tuesday, December 22, Jenna wasn't breathing and her fluid was dangerously low (I think my water may have broken the night before). I stayed the night and was contracting alot. I dilated and effaced a bit. I went for another test to check Jenna's levels and there was no fluid around her. I was sent back to my room while the docs prepared to do an emergency C-section. An hour later I had two beautiful babies. Hunter and Jenna were born on December 23 at 12:31 and 12:34 pm respectively. Hunter weighed 4 lb 6 oz and Jenna was a tiny 2 lb 10 oz. They both cried when they were born. I cried when I heard Hunter and I got to kiss him before they took him to the NICU. Jenna took some time to cry but when she did she was loud and clear. I got to see her too. Mike watched the whole thing and cut the umbilical cord of one of them. Hunter's apgars were 7 and 9 and Jenna's were 6 and 8. Both babies were able to breathe on their own at first---Hunter needed ventilation for about an hour because he is a white male and the chest bones don't accomodate the lungs very well when premature. He was on minimal supplemental oxygen later that day but was certainly breathing on his own. Jenna was just fine. She was breathing on her own and taking food from the nipple. It all happened so fast. When I got to see them later, I couldn't believe that they came from me! It was just amazing. I was told by the docs that Jenna was doing amazingly well for her weight and gestational age and Hunter wasn't doing too bad himself.

Jenna quickly "graduated" to the intermediate side of the NICU. Hunter was not too far behind her! Both babies were in the NICU for about 5 weeks and I practically lived there just watching them. Jenna came home first. Hunter had some tummy woes and then became anemic but was fine.

The first few weeks were hard but it has gotten much easier! I love both of my babies with all I have to give and I wouldn't trade them for the world. They were certainly well worth the wait!