Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Houston, We Have a Heartbeat(s)

Actually, we have two heartbeats. Two perfect little flickering heartbeats. Two thriving embryos inside of me. It was like seeing a miracle.

Here’s how it happened. I was flat on my back on the table waiting for the doctor. Nervous doesn’t begin to describe how I was feeling. Even with the calming, steady presence of Nicole, I was close to losing it. The doctor swoops in at 7:30, looks over my chart, and after some pleasantries and an overly exuberant hello to Nicole, he comes out with the “you’re going to feel me touching you” prelude to the sonogram insertion. (Why they need to narrate these things I’ll never know.) I think my heart stopped. I know I stopped breathing. And I didn’t know what I was supposed to look for, despite my best googling efforts. I was in the dark and scared out of my mind. All I saw was fuzz. Lots and lots of fuzz. And then a sac. After maybe 5 seconds the doctor points to a corner of the one of the sacs showed us the flickering. That, he says, is a heartbeat. He wiggled the wand around to find the second embryo who was, according to the doctor, tucked away in a corner (my uterus has corners?) and points out another flickering heart.

I don’t remember what happened immediately next but I know I felt such relief and gratitude. And that lasted all of a minute.

As the doctor was leaving, I panicked and tried to spurt out as many questions as I could muster under distress. Were they flickering enough? Were they flickering in the right place? Do they look normal? What about the yolk sacs? Do we need to worry about those? What about the size of the embryos? Did he even measure then to see if they were perfect 6w1d? Rapid fire questions of which none he really answered except to say that he was pleased with how everything was progressing and we’ll see you next week. Underlying context: Relax, silly girl. He quotes my chances of a negative outcome (I can’t write out that word) as between 5 and 8 percent. That’s 92 to 95 percent chance of everything turning out ok. Yet I am not comforted at all. I can find pessimism in optimism. It’s a gift.

So it’s another week of fretting, googling, stressing, distressing, and general all-around freaking out for me. Nothing like a few failed pregnancies to ensure that you don’t take anything too lightly. It’s Wednesday now and I realize that there is no way I can make it all the way till next Monday before I see what it going on in there. Next step: Making sure the sacs are growing at the rate they are suppose to and monitoring the heartbeats in terms of beats per minute.

We’ve become attached already. I want these babies; both of them. We’ve picked out names and designed how we are going to build the babies’ bedroom. We’ve picked out the crib (Stokke) and the stroller (the new double-decker Phil and Ted) and wardrobe (they will dress like Casual Weekend Nicole regardless of sex, so that means khaki pants or critter pants and Ralph Lauren button downs).

We tried for so long and suffered so much and endured so much pain and loss and put our relationship through the wringer and spent so much money…we are ready for this to work. I pray this is going to work. Yet I am looking over my shoulder every second of the day, questioning every twinge, waiting for something bad to happen. What a way to live.

I read a quote the other day and it has become my new mantra: It will all be ok in the end. And if it isn’t ok, it isn’t the end.

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