June 5, 2012

keeping a secret...

we started on a journey almost 2 years ago, one that we happily shared with the world (read here & also this one) but things didn't quite work out the way we planned. i should have known, things do not always work out for us the first time around, ever. so, when we tried again a second time, we kept everything to ourselves. and for good reason, the second time around was a complete disaster. we thought we would give it one last try (honestly it was getting ridiculously expensive). again, we decided to keep it to ourselves. why burden anyone else with yet another disappointment. we figured if we eventually got great news, then that's when we would tell everyone. 

it was almost like deja vu, we started the same process in March, just like we did last year. after weeks of multiple injections a day, we hoped for the best. on April 17 we went in for "the harvest". i knew that by the third time around i wouldn't have much of a reserve left. surprisingly we still ended up with 15 eggs. out of those 15, 10 became embryos, but by day 5 we only had 4 healthy ones left. two of the four were not the best looking embryos, but there were two that looked absolutely fabulous! and guess what? those two just happened to be girls! so, on April 22, we took our last shot at having some equality in our house. it's hard to tell by the picture below, but that little hatching blastocyst is in excellent condition.
of course, then comes the dreaded two week wait. that time from transfer day until the day you go back for your first blood draw (aka beta hCG). it has got to be the most nerve wracking 10 days, and you can't even calm your nerves with a glass bottle of wine! after doing this 3 times, i just couldn't take it anymore. i kind of cheated (it was only 8 days past my transfer). i was standing in line at the Wally World and there it was staring me in the face...a little box containing a pregnancy test (and it was less than a dollar!). i was almost embarrassed to buy it. i don't know why, i'm a grown ass woman, but i felt strange buying a pregnancy test from the check out lane next to the gum and reader's digest. i raced home and threw it in the closet, again, i don't know why i do these things. no one was even home to hide it from. the box stayed in the closet for a couple hours before i worked up the courage to open it. i circled the bathroom a few times before i finally sat down to pee on that little stick. of course, then you have to wait again (they recommend a couple minutes, what?!). i placed that little stick on the counter and paced the bathroom again. forget waiting two minutes, in less than 20 seconds i had my answer...

i was contemplating on how long to keep this a secret, but i immediately texted The Husband. i would have called, but i knew he was at a pretty big lunch meeting and wouldn't answer anyway. i knew that picture would get a response. he said it took all he had to not scream in the middle of the restaurant. other than that, i kept my mouth shut. two days later we went in for our blood draw, and guess what? they make you wait a couple hours before calling you. so, to try and ease my mind, i ate...a lot.
right on schedule, somewhere around 1:30pm, we got the call, and once again we were in the car. this time was different, mostly because i cheated with my little Wally World purchase a few days earlier, but i was still extremely nervous. i'm not allowed to answer calls from the doctor (my husband knows all too well how much of a nervous wreck i am) so, he cheerfully answered and listened to what the doctor had to say. i knew it had to be good news, but i just didn't know how good. on a numbers scale, your beta hCG needs to be anything greater than zero. most over the counter pregnancy tests won't even detect hCG levels less than 40-50. well, my first beta was 275! of course i had to get on all the message boards to see what that meant. most of the other responses to positive betas were all less than 100, so i was pretty sure that my 275 was pretty damn high. like most tests you have to repeat them to make sure they are accurate and that the numbers are improving. two days later we tested again, and by this time they expect your hCG level to have doubled from your last test. oh, it more than doubled...797! it was this call that made us nervous. not only was the doctor super thrilled to give us this news, but he thought he would throw in that high numbers usually means twins. WHAT?! we knew going into this that having twins would always be a good possibility, but when you actually hear it...speechless. 

at this point keeping this a secret was really hard (damn near impossible), so, we caved and told the family. we had to tell someone! but just getting a positive pregnancy test isn't quite enough. it was now on to weeks of ultrasounds to make sure we actually had a growing baby. from past experience we know that just getting two pink lines doesn't always mean the kick start of a healthy pregnancy. so, for the next few weeks, we went in for multiple ultrasounds. i didn't bother posting those, because you really can't see anything other than a black circle (or in our case 2 circles). did i forget to mention that i'm still giving myself injections every night? happy happy joy joy! at 6 weeks i was finally released to my OB, where i started yet more ultrasounds. at 7 weeks we were told that one of the babies (even though it had a heartbeat) was not looking so fabulous anymore. her sister was more than twice her size and growing steadily, but Lil' Bit just wasn't keeping up. we knew from the beginning that one was smaller and in an awkward location, but we had our hopes that things would turn around and she would catch up. when we went in for our last ultrasound, (i was technically 8w6d) baby A, aka Big Momma, measured at 9w3d with a heart rate of 163! unfortunately Lil' Bit only measured at 7w3d and we could no longer find a heartbeat. as upsetting as it should have been, it was just as joyous to know that we had a very strong healthy little girl in there. we took the boys with us this time, so they could actually see what all the fuss was about. according to P-Donculous, mommy is growing a little shrimp in her belly...

introducing Little Girl McCool
aka Big Momma

*even after writing this i was still a little hesitant about posting it. i know that at this point we should be out of the woods and close to the safe zone (i don't think i could keep it a secret for 3 more weeks) as far as "announcing" our news, but it's almost like it's too good to be true. i've been sitting at my computer for an hour (not including the 3 hours i spent yesterday actually writing this) with the nervous jitters avoiding that little orange publish button at the top of the page. maybe it has something to do with the 2 cups of coffee i just finished while sitting here (don't judge, it's half-caff) but i just can't bring myself to share the news yet. well, since i only have a handful of people who actually read this, then maybe it's safe, and we'll keep a Facebook announcement for another day (or week)...

11 comments:

Hockeymandad said...

WOW!!! CONGRATS!!!

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

OH
MY
GOD

I am sosososososososossssoooooo happy for you guys! Like, tears coming to my eyes happy.

In case you didn't know before this, and I guess it's too late now, you do realize baby girls grow up to be teenage girls, right? Just making sure.

MommaCakes said...

yes, we're hoping that having 3 teenage brothers keeps her in line...

Lori said...

EEK!!! I'm literally crying over here because I'm so excited for you! I know how bad you've wanted this. I'm praying for your daughter!

Krishna said...

Tears!! My heart is flying! I love you and your beautiful family. We are so thankful to call you friends! Go Big Momma!

Stacie said...

I am so incredibly happy for you, ashley!!! love you and will keep baby girl in my prayers. YAY!!! xo

Lucia said...

So so happy for you Ashley and Chris!! Much love to both of you. This has been a long time coming for sure.

Amanda said...

Chris has been giving me little updates, but to read this made me a teary. I am so happy for you (& Fam) and baby GIRL McCool!!!
WHOA-a-GIRL!!!

She is going to RULE your world and home for sure!!! Can't wait to meet your princess!

#teambigmama :)

Robyn said...

Yay yay yay! I knew it was just a matter if time until a "she" would be joining your family. So excited for all of you!

SmartBear said...

Congrats! Found your lovely little space through Angie's blog. Adorable fam and what exciting news!
Best,
Tina

Nartaya said...

Congrats! I just happen to wonder what was going on with the McCools and came at a great news time. Yay! Enjoy your pregnancy and your Big Momma!