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Home at Last

Sylvia and Carina's first home: the NICU.

Sylvia and Carina’s first home: their room in the NICU.

Last week was my due date. I can’t help but wonder what today would have been like if my babies had stayed where they belonged. I would have been gloriously uncomfortably pregnant leading up to their birth. I would have wistfully said good-bye to pregnancy forever. And I would have been able to hold my babies on their birth day, breathing in their brand-new baby smell, counting their tiny fingers and toes, kissing their round cheeks.

That wasn’t how it happened, but I still feel like the luckiest mother in the world. Sweet little Sylvia and Carina are ten weeks old, born ten weeks early. But they are here, and healthy. And they are finally HOME!

I started writing this post two weeks ago but haven’t had a moment since to finish it. Carina came home on September 29th, quickly acing all her NICU exams and surprising us all by how quickly she was ready to go, especially after her rocky start. The day before, T and I frantically raced around the house getting everything ready and trying to find space in our tiny two bedroom condo for two babies.

At the NICU, the nurses pulled off all Carina’s probes and handed her to us. It felt amazing and strange to hold my daughter for the first time without wires. We packed up her half of the room, and buckled her into her car seat. It all felt very surreal.

Our littlest daughter was sleeping soundly in her industrial NICU bed when we left. I kissed her goodbye and started to cry. It felt wrong to be taking her twin home and leaving her behind, so tiny and lonely in that big cold bed. All the raw emotions from leaving my babies behind in the NICU the first day coming back to the surface.

Once we got home, I felt better. Estella was delighted to have one of her baby sisters at home. She insisted that Carina get bedtime stories with her, and that Carina sleep in her room. And then she said she wanted to go back to the hospital and “bring the other one home too.”

Over the next two and a half weeks, we juggled twins in two places, carting Carina back and forth to the hospital to visit Sylvia and pleading with Sylvia to take her feedings so we could take her home. Carina was not pleased to be back in the hospital; my easy-going baby would cry every time I put her down in the NICU bed. I would kangaroo with them both together as often as possible. Sylvie loved this most of all- reaching her arm over her sister in a hug one day as I held them together.

At home, I would call the NICU night nurse on duty when I was up with Carina in the middle of the night, checking in to see how Sylvie was doing. The hospital had moved Sylvie out of her delux twin room to a smaller single baby room, with a whole new set of nurses. So now when I called to talk to the nurse at night, most of the time I was talking to a stranger, someone I had never met who had the job of taking care of my littlest baby. I’d tell them to be patient with her, that she was a slow eater but that she could finish a bottle if they stuck with her.

I could tell that some of the nurses took my pep talk to heart and did their best to get Sylvie to eat. But others were eager to get me off the phone so they could just turn on the tube feeding instead of bothering with bottle feeding my slow-poke eater.

Until Sylvie could take 75% of her feedings by bottle, she wouldn’t be able to come home. So the days clicked away, and it seemed Sylvie would never be able to come home.

Finally, last Wednesday morning, Sylvia’s NICU doctor called. She’s the one who was there the night the girls were born. The one who saved Carina’s life.

“What do you think about taking home Sylvia today?” she asked. “I know it’s sudden, so if you aren’t ready, no problem. But I think she will do well at home.”

“YES!” Yes, I wanted to take my baby home!

I called T at work to give him the amazing news, and we made arrangements to meet at the hospital at the end of the day so we could all leave the NICU together as a family.

As I drove over the bridge to the hospital one last time (at least until all the follow-up appointments) I exhaled a giant sigh of relief. We had made it through to the other side. After so many months of anxiety and uncertainty, both my babies would be home. They were going to be ok.

We packed up Sylvia’s room and at the urging of our nurse, took a “Victory Parade” around the NICU to say goodbye to everyone. I tearfully hugged my favorite nurses goodbye, overwhelmed with gratitude.

As I stood in the lobby of the hospital, waiting for T to bring the car around, a woman came over, curious about the double stroller and its occupants.

“Oh look at them!” She exclaimed. “Twins?”

I nodded and smiled.

“How old are they?”

The question stumped me for a moment. I didn’t want to explain it all. Everything I’d been through. Everything they had been through. My babies were nine weeks old, but they were also 39 weeks old. Not even to their due date yet.

I gave her the short explanation.

“Oh, so they must have been really tiny when they were born,” she commented. “How much did they weigh?”

Her question, well-meaning if nosey, pierced my heart, as I recalled how small and fragile my two and three-pound newborn babies were. How close I came to loosing them.

I tried to answer her, but started to cry.

“Very, very small.” I managed to say.

T came around with the car and we headed home, stealing glances at our beautiful babies in the back seat, marveling at how lucky we were.

In the days since then, that sense of wonder hasn’t waned. Even with the sleepless nights, waking up to feed two babies every three to four hours, I hold the girls close and whisper to their sweet baby heads how loved they are, how grateful I am that they are with us.

I had left journals in the twins’ room for the nurses to sign, so the girls will have messages from those amazing people who cared for them during their first months of life, and a glimpse into what those days were like. I was touched by their words, and especially the nurses’ observations of me and T:

Sweet Carina,

I had the pleasure of caring for you your first day in the NICU. You came into this world with a bang and gave your mommy and Daddy quite the scare. They were brave and strong and bursting with love for you…

Dear Sylvia,

I never had the pleasure of caring for you, but I got to show your mommy and daddy around the NICU before you were born. I talked with your mommy and daddy a long time about what to expect after you were born. They were so scared, but it was obvious their love for you no matter what happened. I’m sure you will fill their life with joy…

They already have. So grateful.

Home at last.

Home at last.

 

 

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Progress in the NICU

Twin solidarity, taking on the big world together.

Taking on the big world together.

The girls have been proclaimed adorable by their nurses and “boring” by their doctor which is as good as it gets in the NICU. Both girls are off all oxygen and respiratory support systems, and now only have the feeding tube as the last thing to vanquish before they can come home.

Each time a piece of support equipment is removed from the room- oxygen and nitric oxide tanks, the CPAP breathing support with the tanks of bubbling water, the jaundice lights, the IV rack, the high flow canula- I relax a little bit more. The monitoring machines in the room no longer beep angrily and urgently every few minutes. If I dare say so, it’s actually peaceful and calm in their room now.

They had their eye exam last week for ROP (Retinopathy of prematurity) a condition that causes vision problems in preemies. (ROP is the reason Stevie Wonder was blind.) The doctors use a tool like metal pliers  to keep the babies’ eyes open- ugh. Other NICU moms recommended that I leave the room for the exam since it’s so tough to watch. I took their advice, reminding myself that the babies won’t remember these traumatic days but I will- and I should spare myself these bad memories if possible. The nurse came out less than ten minutes later, letting me know the girls were done and had hardly complained. And the good news that the exam came back normal. Another sigh of relief for mama.

The girls are so much happier now. When they were first born, they were so very angry, screaming until their faces turned red and then blue as they tried to pull off their CPAP masks, pulling on the wires. It was scary and heartbreaking to see. Their early arrival to the world had been a cruel one with so many needles and pokes and prods, bright lights and loud alarms. Now they smile in their sleep, only being awakened for their diaper changes and to try and convince them to nurse.

After weeks of sleeping in their separate isolettes, they also get more time together now, taking their first bath together and snuggling together in the same bed occasionally. We put them side by side after their first bath, and they reached up and grabbed hold of each others’ hands. As if to say, it’s a big world out there, but I have my twin and we are in it together. I love seeing them together.

Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I can see them together every day- and not have to drive to the hospital to see them.

It’s been a long road.

 

 

 

Our Preemie Twins’ Birthday

Tuesday, August 12th started like most good boring days of bed rest should. Early morning vitals and monitoring, horrible hospital breakfast, “Non-stress test” for an hour where both babies heartbeats looked perfect, within range and with good accelerations and deceleration. I had my usual bi-weekly ultrasound scheduled for 1pm, and the hospital transport was 40 minutes late coming to pick me up. I hadn’t had time for lunch before I thought they would arrive, so I was grumpy and hungry.

In the ultrasound, the technician looked at Baby A first. Not surprisingly, Baby A’s fluid levels were low. I had been loosing more fluid than bleeding over the past two weeks. The doctors though this was preferable to bleeding, explaining that the babies didn’t need as much fluid later in the pregnancy anyway. So I wasn’t too concerned. Baby A also didn’t do her practice breathing- which I understood was normal not to do it every time. She and Baby B rarely both got scores for breathing on the same day, and I was certain I had felt Baby A hiccuping just before the ultrasound (hiccups also count for the breathing score.) But all this meant that Baby A got a score of 4/8 while her sister was 8/8 for the biophysical.

Transport wheeled me back to my room, and I finally ordered lunch and ate at 4pm. The nurse came in and said the doctors saw Baby A’s scores, and wanted me back on the monitors to do another Non-stress test. I was annoyed. If they were worried about the biophysical ultrasound, it seemed like the doctor on call should at least talk to me about the results.

On the monitor, Baby A’s heartbeat looked high, staying around 170 and up, occasionally dropping down to the high 160’s. The TOCO monitor also showed contractions every four minutes, though I wasn’t feeling anything other than what I thought was indigestion from my late lunch.

I’m now so grateful that the doctor on call thought otherwise. Orders were sent down for me to be transferred to Labor and Delivery. I was upset. None of this seemed cause for alarm- and I knew what the routine would be in Labor and Delivery: Magnesium, hooked to the NST monitoring and an IV all night, lots of people coming in and out of the room, and no sleep.

 

It was 5pm. I told T to come to the hospital.

“Hurry” I added.

T, said later that he knew when I said to hurry, that this was serious.

He left his office and flagged down a cab. Stuck in traffic on the short drive to the hospital, he told the cab driver to do whatever she could to get him to the hospital as fast as possible, explaining our story. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction; the cab driver who picked T up was born prematurely at 30 weeks herself at another hospital in town. With a twin sister who didn’t survive. She refused to take T’s payment for the cab ride, but gave him her card asking T to let her know how things turned out.

When T arrived, I was deep into the magnesium haze, begging for water or ice. I wasn’t allowed anything. The nurses gave me some oxygen to slow my heart-rate, but soon I was vomiting, and then my temperature spiked as I started shivering uncontrollably, my whole body writhing in pain with how cold I felt. I heard the nurses saying the babies’ heartbeats were high. Through my haze, the doctor calmly told me that I had a serious infection from Baby A’s water breaking, and that we needed to have an immediate c-section to the babies out.

I cried, but agreed. I knew I could no longer keep the babies safe inside. I could only hope they were ready.

T called my parents, 3,000 miles away, to let them know what was happening. “Remember to be excited,” my mother said. “This is your babies’ birthday!” Her optimism was just what I needed to hear.

By 7pm, the nurses were wheeling me into the operating room. I clung to T’s hand, pressing it to my face, the only bit of warmth I could feel as my body continued to shudder uncontrollably from severe chills.

It was even colder in the operating room. With all the strength I had left, I willed myself to stop shaking long enough for the anesthesiologist to inject the spinal pain blocker.

I felt the pressure of the incision, and at 7:33 pm, they announced that Baby A was out. My heart fell as I strained to hear her cry. No sound at all. They whisked her into the recovery room and I felt another weight being lifted out of me as her sister was delivered two minutes later at 7:35 pm. Again, no cry and she was whisked away, not even a moment to spare for me to see her. I told T to go with the girls, where he was allowed to watch them in the recovery room.

Meanwhile, I was shivering even more violently as the surgeon was still trying to remove the placentas. The doctor later told me that did his best to stay calm, but he was very worried as my vital signs were failing and my blood pressure was dangerously low. They were placing another IV, trying to stabilize me, promising me a warm blanket as soon as they could get the second IV in. Even with the warm blanket, I was so cold, my body so stiff.

The first placenta came out easily, but I heard the surgeon say that the other placenta wasn’t budging. I assumed this must be the previa placenta, which has a risk of being a placenta accreta. This means it grows into the uterus which was very dangerous and would need an emergency hysterecomy. Another worst case scenario seemed to be coming true. Later I learned it was Baby B’s placenta that was just wedged in at an odd angle, and they got it out.

From here, it was a haze. I don’t remember them stitching me back up, only vaguely remember them rolling me back to my L&D room. The warmth gradually started to return to my body. They wheeled in Baby B so I could see her. She was so tiny and beautiful, and seemed calm despite what she had just been through. They assured me she was doing well. They told me that she was smaller than her sister, just 2 pounds 7.5 ounces while her sister with the compromised placenta and amniotic sack was surprisingly much bigger at 3 pounds 5.6 ounces.

I was afraid to ask where my other baby girl was. T came in from the baby recovery room. Looking at his face I knew it wasn’t good news. He told me she was fighting hard, but she was struggling. He bowed his head so I wouldn’t see how scared he was, but he was crying.

“Go be with them,” I told him. I felt numb. This couldn’t be happening.

I will always be so grateful for my nurses who took things into their own hands and decided I needed to see my baby girl. As soon as they confirmed I was stable, they wheeled my hospital bed down the hall and up to the NICU. It looked like a party in our room- a huge crowd of people and all the lights on. Everyone surrounding the isolette where my daughter was. I overheard the doctor telling my husband that they had tried all the ventilators, that she was refusing them all, that she wasn’t breathing on her own or taking in the oxygen she needed with the support. The last resort was to administer nitrogen oxide, something they didn’t usually use on preemies, due to the risks of bleeding. It was a “Hail Mary” approach at this point. I’ve never seen T look so shaken.

My nurses wheeled my bed in right next to my daughter’s isolette. I expected to see her lying there, limp and motionless. To my surprise, she was kicking her feet and waving her hands around. My husband was right- she might be struggling, but she was fighting hard. The nurses opened the door of her isolette and encouraged me to reach in and touch her, to talk to her.

It hit me that this might be the only time I would see her, the first and last time I might hold her hand. Tears streaming down my face, I reached in and stroked her tiny arm gently, holding her little hand and told her how much her daddy and I loved her. How she had a wonderful big sister who couldn’t wait to meet her. How much her little twin sister needed her. How loved she was. How she had to hang in there, that we all needed her. T came over and we held each other and cried.

“I’m so proud of her- she’s fighting so hard,” he said through his tears.

The nurses took me back down to my room, leaving T behind with our daughters. I was dazed and exhausted. I started to pump milk, getting only a few drops, every few hours, but feeling good that there was still something I could do for them. Each time I dozed off I’d wake with a start when I heard the door open, afraid someone was coming in with the news I feared to hear. T came back to let me know that the doctors were able to place the ventilator. He was going to sleep in the NICU room with the babies, and he’d let me know if anything changed.

When T came in the next morning, I could see the exhaustion in his face, but it was mixed with relief. He brought me across the hall to the NICU to see our tiny babies. Our tough little girl had made it through the night and was holding steady on the ventilator. The NICU doctor was standing by her isolette, explaining that they were already starting to turn down the nitric oxide and supplemental oxygen. That if all continued to go well, our tough baby girl would soon be exubated and moved to the less invasive CPAP instead, which just exerted gentle air pressure to make breathing easier.

Our youngest daughter was continuing to do well, sleeping as peacefully as she had the night before, letting her twin get all the attention she needed.

We began to let ourselves relax a little bit. We marveled over their tiny toes and fingers. Their matching dark hair. Most of all, their incredible determination to be here.

Yesterday we finally decided on names, choosing middle names from each of our families and first names that were all their own.

I’m so grateful to be able to introduce them to you all: Sylvia Grace (Sylvie, meaning from the woods in Latin) and Carina Eleanor (Carina meaning dear little one in Italian.) Grace after my great-grandmother and for all the grace she had coming into the world so early but so calmly, allowing her sister to get all the attention she needed in those critical hours. And Eleanor for T’s grandmother who died when he was very young, who was always said to be his guardian angel.

The nurses in the NICU already have commented what little personalities they are. That Sylvie is the talker and Carina is the active one. We held them today for “Kangaroo” time- the girls were calm and seemed happy snuggling in warm and cozy against us. All the wires seemed to disappear for that moment, and T and I finally were just parents holding our babies. It felt wonderful.

I get to go home today. It seems surreal, that I’ll be home for the first time since July 10th, sleeping in my bed with T, playing with E and walking around without the constant worry of my difficult pregnancy. My bed rest marathon is over, but we are just beginning the NICU marathon. Our girls as well as T and I need to stay tough, and once again, take it just one day at a time.

While I still wish I could have protected them for longer, our little Carina Eleanor knew that she and her sister needed to come out that day. I also wish this was the end of our story; that I could wrap it up here with a happy bow. But as the doctors like to remind us, there are no guarantees in the NICU.

Thanks to you all for your love and support through all these chapters; through the long struggle with infertility to my hospital bed rest pregnancy and now the NICU. I’ll continue to share updates here about Sylvia and Carina. And hopefully one day, the happy ending to our story.

PS: For everyone who is hoping to see a photo- forsome reason, WordPress is not allowing me to post photos. I’ll try and share one later.

 

 

 

 

 

Gender Reveal for Brave New World Babies

Carrot cake to celebrate the two babies on the way.

Carrot cake to celebrate the two babies on the way.

Before I reveal the genders of the two new Brave New World babies, I have to admit that I’ve been reluctant to update here for a while now. It just seems so unfair that I not only have a sweet little two year old from IVF 3.0, but now now I’m pregnant with twins while so many of my dear friends are still waiting for their turn. I feel like I’ve taken more than my share of the pie. I’m so grateful for every slice, but I feel guilty, as if my extra helping could have been someone else’s.

Ironically, exactly three years ago I wrote “Confessions of a Newly Pregnant Infertile” in which confession #6 was survivor’s guilt, and confession #7 was “afraid of being too happy least the gods take it all away.”  I’m still right where I was then.

I’m slowly telling friends and family our news, but I can’t shake the feeling that something terrible will happen if I let myself be too happy, or if I forget for a moment all the pain I went through to get to this point. So I haven’t shared my happy news too widely, and I certainly haven’t posted it to Facebook. (When I show up for my 15 year college reunion next week with an extra 15 pounds that isn’t from the “freshman 15” I’m sure I’ll get some interesting sideways glances.)

So I’ll whisper it here for now- how happy I am. How amazed I am by these two tiny growing babies. Frozen in a dish for four years, and now growing- and kicking. My eyes still fill with tears of gratitude every time I hear their heartbeats (matching heartbeats at 156 bpm last week), and every time I see their little fists and legs dancing on the ultrasound. Mr. T and I look at each other and say ten times a day that we can’t believe it. How lucky we are.

We made the 3,000 mile trek home to see my family this week- my last trip before I can no longer travel. When we arrived, we had a little “reveal” party celebration for the babies. Mr. T and I had found out the genders a few weeks ago during our 15 week ultrasound, but successfully kept the news quiet. We hadn’t found out ahead of time with our daughter, and that moment when she was born and Mr. T. announced, “It’s a girl!” is a memory I will always treasure. However, for a variety of reasons this time we decided to find out ahead of time. But I still wanted it to be a special moment.

I bought a couple balloons and put them into gift bags for E and her cousin to open after dinner. Everyone in the family made their guesses about who the newest family members would be before they opened the bags. I was amazed that not a single person guessed it correctly!

Our two Brave New World Babies are:

It's a girl! And another girl!

It’s a girl! And another girl!

 

Three daughters! I think some people feel badly for us that we won’t have a boy, but honestly, I couldn’t be happier, nor care less about the gender. It’s just fun to celebrate the first clue as to who these little people might become. Now that we know they are both girls, Mr. T is convinced that they are identical (the two that split resulting in three gestational sacks at our 6 week ultrasound.)

The balloons are floating around the house now, making me smile.

We have our big anatomy scan in a couple weeks, after which I’ll exhale a little bit, while I keep praying each day these babies want to stay right where they are until they are fully cooked. Celebrating one day at a time.

 

 

Bleeding, an Ultrasound and Telling our Families

Three more days until I reach 12 weeks. Eight more days of my black & blue bruised butt being poked by that monster PIO needle. And six more months until these babies are due to arrive.

A couple weeks ago I had some massive bleeding. Bright red, soaking through two pads. The bleeding started an hour before my sister was scheduled to arrive from across the country. Mr. T and I had been looking forward to telling her our news in person, and then finally telling our families.

Our families know what we’ve gone through, and like us, didn’t expect we’d have the chance to have another child. So this announcement was going to be a big deal.

I decided not to tell my sister our news that night, hoping the bleeding would stop by the next morning. The next morning, the bleeding was still heavy. I could have gone in for an ultrasound, but I was afraid to confirm it was over before we even had a chance to celebrate these babies with our families. So instead, I put on a big smile, and told my sister the good news. She hugged us and cried- unlike me, she’s not one who is prone to tears- so I knew she knew what this meant for us. And seeing her eyes widen when she heard we had not one but two babies on the way was the best.

We went on the tell our parents and grandparents, despite the continued bleeding that weekend. Loving their responses- my grandfather almost falling off his chair when he heard we were having twins.

The bleeding slowed and stopped by Sunday. Then on Monday, I went in for the ultrasound. My sister came with me. Mr. T was supposed to meet me at the doctor’s office, but got caught in a meeting at work. So as I lay down on the ultrasound table, my sister held my hand instead. I clutched her hand as tightly as I always do Mr. T’s, trying to stay calm, so glad that at least my sister was there.

As soon as the ultrasound flickered to life on the screen, the technician was telling me I could breath- that she could see both babies’ heartbeats. She zoomed in on Baby A first, who was measuring a day ahead of schedule now, with a strong heartbeat of 178. Baby was moving all around, waving tiny hands and kicking tiny feet. My sister and the technician and I all oohed and aahhed over the cuteness.

Then she turned the camera to Baby B. Baby B who had measured almost a week behind during our early ultrasounds. But who had slowly and surely caught up, and was now only one day behind the estimated due date and had a strong heartbeat of over 170. Baby B was just as lively, kicking and bouncing around next to Baby A.

Two babies. Both growing strong. No sign of what was causing the massive bleeding at all.

Just about every day, Mr. T and I look at each other in wonder, amazed this is happening.  While my excitement is still tempered by worry, his joy is infectious. He was a lonely only child growing up, and always wanted three kids himself. But it seemed too much to dream when we thought we might not be able to have children at all.

Amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

The State of the Wait

It’s agony. As you all know. It feels like Friday is further away each day. And I can’t help but replay my past three IVF’s in my mind, even though I know I shouldn’t go there:

IVF 1.0
At 10 days post 6 day transfer Beta was 800. Two days later, it doubled nicely to 1600. At six weeks, three days, we had our first ultrasound and saw a single baby, measuring a few days behind with a faint heartbeat. At 8 weeks, we discovered baby had stopped developing at 6 weeks 3 days. Heartbreaking.

FET 1.0 from IVF 1.0
At 10 days post 6 day transfer, betas was 91. Two days later, beta was 270. At our six week ultrasound, we found that baby stopped developing at 4 or 5 weeks. Numb and heartbroken.

IVF 2.0 (Fresh cycle)
At 10 days post 6 day transfer, beta was 470 and two days later, 840. And nine months later, to my utter amazement and joy, my baby girl was born.

Which brings us to now- FET 2.0 from IVF 1.0. The “bad” batch. Are these the two rock star embryos that were just waiting their turn? Or do they hold the same fate as the rest of their batch?

So far, the slight symptoms come and go- which is simultaneously terrifying and reassuring. I find comfort in reading back my blog posts from 2011 when I thought it was over before my first ultrasound- and was happily shocked to be proven otherwise.

There’s nothing I can do but wait and see. Please, Friday- be good to me.

Beta Day and a Valentine’s Day Miracle

photo (8)

The second test- a positive!

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day- even though I was single for most of them up until I met my husband. Growing up, my parents made a big deal about it- with a special breakfast on valentine’s day morning little thoughtful gifts and homemade cards. I felt very loved- which carried me a long way through the teen years when all the other girls are getting roses delivered in class, and I was the shy quiet girl no one noticed.

With all those cumulative good feelings from Valentine’s day over the year, having my beta test today seemed like a happy thing. Either way, I knew I’d get a little sweet card and gift from my parents (yes, even in my late 30’s.) Mr. T isn’t big on Valentine’s day- but he usually finds a way to be sweet too.

Last night was sad. After the brown spotting and feeling especially “well”- not tired or sick or anything good- I was sure it was over. This morning, without any hope at all- I took a dollar store pregnancy test. I brought it in to show T and he hugged me and said that it looked negative. I saw a ghost line- of the baby I wouldn’t know.

An hour late, I finally dragged myself to clinic for my blood test. I fought back the tears, telling the nurse I had tested that morning and that it didn’t look like it would be a happy Valentine’s Day for me. She tried to be upbeat: “Well, you never know- it could have been a bad test.”

Driving home I couldn’t help but wonder if there was even a tiny chance she might be right. It was after all a dollar store test. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up another test- feeling silly about it, but figured this would be the last chance I’d ever have a reason to buy one anyway.

Again, without much hope, I took the test. And amazingly, the line wasn’t even faint- but a strong positive! Now the question remained- would my beta be strong enough?

The nurse just called. Beta is 440. I still can’t believe it. She emphasized that for 16 days post “ovulation”- (never mind the incredible fact that I “ovulated” 4 years ago for this pregnancy) this was a very good number.

I’m amazed and so grateful. And promise myself to enjoy each minute- hopefully for nine more months. And to never again trust a dollar store test.

Next beta is Tuesday. I’ll keep you all posted. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!