FERTILITY JOUNEYS: HEATHER AND BRANDON’S BBQ ANNOUNCEMENT
This article originally appeared in Fertility Road magazine and online at FertilityRoad.com.
After nearly ten years of trying to build their family, Heather and Brandon are in their second trimester of Heather’s twin pregnancy. Heather has had to endure an extended period of severe morning sickness, but importantly their twins are developing well and their family and friends are overjoyed for them.
I will never forget Monday, March 19th. During our 6 week ultrasound to listen for a fetal heartbeat, we got the news. We are having fraternal twins! We cannot begin to explain what a miracle we are experiencing! ORM has changed our lives and for that, we are extremely thankful!
For this journey, we had partnered with our local fertility clinic for the blood work and check-ups requested by ORM. To ensure I would be able to arrive at work by 8:30 a.m. I visited our local clinic on Monday, March 19th at 7:00 a.m. for my scheduled 6-week ultrasound.
I was fortunate that during my visit the woman conducting my ultrasound has been doing ultrasounds with me for the last four years. She is very personable and always provides encouraging words every time I have the pleasure of working with her.
She left me to get changed and then returned to the room for my ultrasound. Luckily, their petroleum jelly used for ultrasounds is warm so I was able to stay calm and not be jumpy through the process.
I was so worried about the heartbeat. Brandon and I had been told it is critical that the heartbeat is over the 100 rate. We started the ultrasound process and low and behold there were two heartbeats! I cried uncontrollably. The nurse provided me with some tissues and I became completely overwhelmed. What?!?!? Twins?!?!??
After my appointment, I immediately called Brandon who was headed to work after taking care of our dog Duke at home. He was beyond shocked. I then sent an email to Christina our coordinator at ORM and she was ecstatic. We were all some happy campers.
We shared the news with my mom, dad, and mother-in-law and they were all overjoyed! My father said, “I knew it!” when he heard the news. He explained our hGC levels were too high for us not to be having a multiple pregnancy.
On Monday, April 9th, we had our second ultrasound. I was 9 weeks pregnant. Brandon attended and once again we listened. We both heard two heartbeats! I cannot begin to express after such a long journey of hearing ‘No’ how much this news means to us.
We have helped to raise cousins. We have heard some of our closest friends talk about parenthood, the good and the bad, sometimes unintentionally without regard for our journey. Now we knew it was going to be our turn.
We were informed by ORM that as my pregnancy was now established we would soon graduate to the care of a local OB/GYN who would follow my pregnancy till delivery. Our local fertility clinic also informed us that after our 9-week ultrasound they would need to transfer our care to a local OB/GYN who specialized in pregnancy care.
I consulted with my local fertility doctor and was clear about the type of doctor we were looking for. I wanted to be extra cautious. Through the early years of our journey, we feel that we encountered a number of physicians who did correctly diagnose our situation. We wanted to work with someone who would listen to us and empathize with us. In our experience, that has not always been the case.
My local fertility doctor provided me with three physicians who were a good fit based on our criteria. I went through the process of talking to people and reviewing public knowledge and reviews of their bedside manner. We selected a doctor and were thrilled to find out after meeting with her for the first time that she is the mother of three-year-old twins. We could not be more thrilled with our selection!
Unfortunately, morning sickness has been a significant challenge during these last couple of months. I have experienced something more than just morning sickness. I have experienced all day sickness. Luckily, I was prescribed some medication to help with nausea and vomiting.
I cannot attest that this medication had me back to normal but it did allow me to keep fluids and some food down. I was so dehydrated at one point that I was close to being admitted to the hospital.
The major side effect of the medication has been sleepiness. To be honest, I have spent a few months going to work, sleeping as soon as I got home, waking up to eat, and then going back to sleep through the rest of the night.
My best friends became yogurt, fruit, smoothies and french fries. I had trouble keeping a lot of foods down and the lingering aftertaste of some of my favorite foods was a nuisance. We encourage any expecting parent to consider getting some extra help to help with chores and a food delivery service for meals if it is within your budget. Unfortunately, that was not our reality.
On Saturday, May 26th, at 16 weeks pregnant, we shared the news with our extended family! We sent texts to our aunts, uncles, cousins and friends asking them to join us for a barbecue in the backyard as a part of the Memorial holiday weekend. On the menu was a Cleveland specialty which requires minimal effort, the “Polish Boy.” It’s a Cleveland classic.
Brandon took the lead on cutting the grass and barbecuing the beef kielbasa. I managed the condiments and sprucing up our house to accommodate our guests. We wore t-shirts to share our news with our loved ones: “I can’t keep calm I’m having twins” and “I can’t keep calm I’m going to be a daddy.” Once our family members read our t-shirts they were shocked by our announcement and filled with joy and lots and lots of tears.
I know we have expressed this sentiment before but after ten years of trying to conceive, we are experiencing a fantastic and exceptional miracle and we are optimistic.
This journey has been a true testament of faith, persistence and the determination to never give up. For those who are still trying, your miracle is coming too!
Dr. Barbieri comments on Heather and Brandon’s journey
The entire ORM team is truly overjoyed that Heather’s twin pregnancy has continued to progress well and that she has now graduated to the care of her local OB/GYN for the next stage of their journey.
Morning sickness impacts every woman’s pregnancy differently. Heather has certainly had to endure an extra difficult case, but thankfully this has now abated and she is able to enjoy this special time of her pregnancy.
I am delighted that Heather feels confident in her selection of her OB/GYN. It’s reassuring that her OB/GYN is also a mother to twins as she will have first-hand insight into Heather’s experience. A twin pregnancy carries higher risks, so expertise with twin pregnancies and enhanced monitoring is called-for.
We are honoured to have been able to help Heather and Brandon and will be continuing to follow their journey closely in the coming months ahead.