Since this week I began sharing stories about my children, I thought today I would share a journey in my life that took four years to complete. It was the road to Darien. When I remarried, I knew it might be difficult to have more children and I was right. After a quick visit to a specialist, we were told that my ovaries were awful and one was pretty much useless. There was so much scarring from surgeries that I had over past years, that the little swimmers would meet certain death at more than one roadblock on the way to making a baby.
Freshly married, this wasn’t the news Jarrod and I wanted. We did what so many couples do in our situation. We sought out a great IVF doctor who took us to the next level. Lets call this the level of no money. Or take all of our money. Or just here, have my checkbook and I will give you anything you want, just make me pregnant.
It took four years, eleven IVF transfers and four frozen cycles to boot. There were shots, medications, moments of total glee when you got positive numbers to complete despair when those numbers didn’t elevate the next week. The hardest possible moment was the morning of a particular implant day. The phone rang. My husband jumped up, grabbed the phone and a short time later came into the room very somber.
He said and I will never forget it, “None of the embryo’s survived the thaw. We have nothing to transfer.”
I immediately thought he was joking, a bad joke at that, until he cried. Everything we just did for three months, AGAIN, was for nothing. $7,000.00 was gone. No baby, nothing to get up for. It was the most horrible day of my life. We had one more try. Four embryo’s left and we asked to have them all implanted at one time. One last hurrah. With two months to recover from these medications, we were ready to go one last time.
Three months in, full of drugs and implantation complete, we were two weeks post IVF and in the doctors office when he told us that it didn’t look hopeful. There was fluid in my uterus and he didnt expect the numbers to be good. We left once again devastated and without any words. Later that afternoon, the doctor himself called again. This was only the second time he had done that and this time, it would be good news. We were pregnant with twins. He didn’t know how, but we were and the numbers looked really good.
I was put to bed, stayed there and every week after that until the 8th week, everything was wonderful. At 8 weeks, one embryo was no longer there. Then there was one. I don’t think I moved for the next six weeks. It wasn’t long before I was switched to a high risk doctor, who took the best care of me for the last half of my final pregnancy. Darien would not come easily. She tried to immerge early, from 25 weeks on and I was sutured closed and felt the warmth of my bed for many many weeks. I love to sleep, but this was taking it pretty far. I lived on taco salads, baked potato’s and frosty’s. A hospital bed was my home, but my husband placed it downstairs by the front window, so I could see outside and be with the family during the daylight hours. That kept me from going insane.
On October 23rd, 34 weeks pregnant, she wasn’t waiting any longer. 5 pounds and 1 ounce. 18 beautiful inches. She tried to scream, but nothing came out. She stayed in NICU for four weeks to complete her growing and there I stayed, reading The Wedding and just watching her.
Most people would think that this story is enough. Darien cost over $62,000 to make and four years of intense trying. But the story, though happy, does not end there. The day that I gave birth to her, my oldest daughter was in recovery from major bladder surgery of her own that happened the day before. She was in a different State, in a different hospital and going through a horrible experience of her own, by herself.
As soon as he could that day, the new daddy shuffled from hospital to hospital, seeing all of his girls, new and old. Eventually, Jordan came home first and even visited Darien at her hospital. There were days that I dont think Jarrod knew which hospital he was in.
There are pictures that hang in Darien’s room that tell the tale of her creation. From the first four embryo’s to her face in the final pre-birth shots. They are a reminder of how hard it is to get great things in your life.
And, she is pretty great. She is a slob, like her dad and Im convinced has ADD. She eats everything you put in front of her and loves carrots, peas and broccoli. She camps and gets really dirty and gets pedicures and dresses in my heels. She loves to snuggle with me and watch movies and fights dirty with her brother. I think they spun the very best sperm and saved the very best eggs I had to make her.
She just can’t go to college. Her middle name is tuition. Just kidding.
- Laughter may increase probability of IVF pregnancy, study finds (guardian.co.uk)
- Study finds 1 embryo ‘better than two in IVF’ (news.bioscholar.com)
- IVF Treatment: Twins boom as 1 in 10 45-plus mothers have multiple births (dailymail.co.uk)