Friday was very emotional. There were a lot of good things, but some hard parts as well.
I chose Dr. M to be my OB because a friend recommended him, and happened to mention he had gone through infertility. Once I heard that, I was SOLD! I wanted a doctor who was empathetic to pregnancy after infertility, which I am learning is much different than a regular pregnancy.
Ryan didn't come with me to this appointment. He had worked the night before and, since there was no ultrasound planned and I wouldn't even meet the doctor this time, I told him to stay home and sleep.
I showed up at Dr. M's office and filled out all the preliminary paperwork. My first appointment at that office was mostly a consultation with his nurse practitioner, Nurse G. She was very nice... calm, laid back, motherly. After several minutes of chatting, she asked to confirm I was a twin pregnancy. I told her I wasn't sure; I didn't know. Last I had seen, Beanie looked great, but Andie was too small.
Nurse G immediately said she'd find a room and we'd do an ultrasound. She said there was no way she would let me wait another two weeks (when I was supposed to have my next appointment) to know what's going on. She tried to use the abdominal ultrasound, but couldn't see clearly enough. She mentioned we would have to do a vaginal ultrasound instead and left the room so I could get undressed.
When she came back, Dr M was with her. He sat down in the chair, looked me in the eyes and said,
"In January, my wife and I had a baby. This baby was the result of IVF with Dr. S (my RE). When my wife first got pregnant, we had an ultrasound and saw 2 babies. At first I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh, we're going to have twins!' and I freaked out a little. Then, over the next couple weeks, I fell in love with both babies and became very excited. At our next ultrasound, we saw that one of the twins had left us. So please believe me when I say I *know* how rough it is to lose a twin. I *know* the strange mix of emotions and everything that accompanies it. (His eyes misted up.)Having said all that, let's take a look."
I laid back and we began the ultrasound. We saw Beanie with a beautiful strong heartbeat. Pretty quickly after that we saw what was left of Andie... smaller sack, tiny embryo, no heartbeat. Dr. M confirmed that this twin was gone. Tears began rolling down my cheeks and immediately Nurse G was there by my side, blotting my tears and handing me a tissue.
I sat up and Dr. M began to describe what happens now... He said I need to recognize the loss. It's okay to cry and be sad; that doesn't mean I'm not grateful for the other thriving baby. He said I may cramp and spot. He said my chance of total miscarriage does increase slightly and asked what I would do if I lost both babies, because it's always good to have a Plan B, just in case (I think I'd try again, BTW). He said that, although the chance of miscarriage goes up, it is much more likely Beanie will be born healthy and just fine, so I need to rely on that for comfort.
Dr. M said Andie wouldn't have felt any pain. Her heart just slowed down, and eventually stopped. She wouldn't have felt fear or anything like that. Even though I knew these things, they were comforting to hear.
I asked if Beanie looked good, to which Dr. M replied, "Yep! But let's look again!" I laid back down and he focused in on Beanie this time. Beanie had grown so much, even in just a few days. He or she even has a little 'baby' profile now, which was so wonderful to see.
I am still considered "high risk", which means extra screening and ultrasounds. This coming week, I'll have a more in-depth ultrasound at an imaging center. Next week, we'll meet with Dr. M again and go over those in-depth ultrasound results.
When Dr. M left the room, he told me to take my time... I was welcome to stay there as long as I wanted, or to call my husband from there in the office if I wished. He also offered to get me a glass of water or anything I needed. He then said if I told anyone he got teary eyed when he was talking to me, he'd deny it. He has a reputation to keep! ;)
It all seems touch-and-go right now, but I try to have faith. We have had 3 ultrasounds and in all of them Beanie has been growing and thriving. I have to believe that will continue. To lose one twin is heartbreaking, to lose both would be devastating.
I am SO very grateful I found Dr. M. In the limited amount of time I spent with him (and Nurse G), I felt heard. He validated every one of my feelings and concerns. If I had to go through that experience, I am glad it was with a doctor who was so empathetic and caring.