* Author Topic: ICSI 1, BFN with 1 frostie. ICSI 2, BFN. FET, BFN. ICSI 3 - BFP! Twins!  (Read 31437 times)

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Offline Cowshedbythesea

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Anomaly scan day. To say Iím terrified is an understatement.

Please babies, be healthy and happy in there.


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    Offline Cowshedbythesea

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    20 week scan was an incredible experience. The sonographer, midwives and consultants were all absolutely lovely. They were so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable- I felt really well taken care of and everything was so positive.

    So the big news is we are having TWO GIRLS!!

    We are both so, so happy. Though I genuinely didnít have any gender preferences I am super excited to have daughters. Iíd put a ban on buying anything for the babies until after the 20 week scan, so after the scan me and my husband went and bought some clothes and ordered the cribs, some accessories and the pram. Itís all gotten very real!

    Offline Cowshedbythesea

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    21 weeks

    We have had my twin nieces staying with us for the past week, I was frightened that after a week I'd be a wreck, but they were absolutely amazing. Funny, pretty, clever and really entertaining.

    I asked them for a list of everything I needed to buy and OH MY GOD. It's the longest list in the world! Resolved to going on eBay in the middle of the night and bidding for some secondhand electronic stuff to try and save some money. Our house is such a huge renovation project, I feel like everyone else is looking at onesies and I'm trying to get my leaky roof fixed, my bathroom installed and my heating functional for the winter.

    I'm feeling so good compared to my first trimester, babies are moving a lot now which I absolutely love. I'm getting a few niggles (swollen ankles, short of breath, coldsores & heartburn) but I think I'm getting off lightly compared to some other women so I'm not complaining! I also recognise how fortunate I am to be able to work from home, which is an amazing help.

    Offline Cowshedbythesea

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    I had the most horrible dream last night about the babies, wonít go into specifics here as itís too upsetting. I woke up sobbing and couldnít stop for over half an hour, havenít been able to shake this dream all day. My husband was so good with me, just cuddled me and stroked my hair till I calmed down.

    Iím sure this type of anxiety dream is normal, it just felt so real.

    Offline Cowshedbythesea

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    27+1 (UK measure) 26 (French measure)

    Had an Ďinterestingí few days, hinted at by my time update!

    Had my first appointment on Tuesday with the French hospital (had a place in France for 2 years but decided to make it permanent before the babies are born as the standard of healthcare is so much higher here, plus if the babies are going to grow up in France, I want them to be born in France!).

    A few interesting things I learned in my first appointment before I launch into my story.

    1) They measure progress differently in France, so there is an 8 day discrepancy between UK dates and French dates.

    2) Full term in the UK = 40 weeks
    Full term in France = 41 weeks

    3) In France, they screen every month for toxmipaslos and routinely test for Strep B.

    4) I need two midwives. One in the large, all singing, all dancing hospital which is about an hour from my house, and one local to me who will come to my house in every a month and check on me!

    Not relevant, but interesting all the same. I always assumed it would be universal!

    So, on Tuesday i has my first appointment with a very lovely consultant in the hospital. I was in the appointment for 3 hours! During which time she checked me over, scanned me internally and externally and asked a million questions. All was fine until the internal scan, when she called a colleague in for a second opinion as I was contracting and my cervix wasnít short.

    They then took me upstairs to a monitoring ward, put me in a bed, got me and the babies on monitors and confirmed that I was having contractions. I had to take bright pink tablets every 15 minutes for an hour to see if that stopped them. It didnít, so they hooked me up to a drip of the same stuff, gave me a really slow injection that made me boiling hot and nauseous and kept monitoring the contractions. They seemed to work, and though they didnít stop they got less severe and less frequent.

    I should add that I couldnít feel these contractions at all, if the monitor hadnít showed them, Iíd never have known they were happening!

    At that point they gave me a steroid injection to mature the babies lungs, then brought in an anesthetitist to do a consultation about an epidural and admitted me. They told me that they needed to keep me at least 48 hours for monitoring.

    All has been calm since, Iím hooked up to a drip, one with fluids and the other with the slow drip to stop contractions. I had the final steroid injection last night, and today is the end of my 48 hour period. Praying that when they put me on the monitor later and check my cervical length again, theyíll say I can go home.

    Iíve had a private room, private bathroom and meals brought to me 3 times a day. Canít complain about a thing!!

    Iím surprisingly calm, I really donít think thereís anything to be worried about and that they are just being cautious. Babies need to cook for at least another 8-10 weeks!

    Offline Cowshedbythesea

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    Iíve reverted to the French way of tracking pregnancy dates as trying to keep track of the two was getting confusing.

    Back in hospital again, this time for 10 days monitoring. I was having 15-20 contractions an hour at home, so I rang the hospital who told me to come in and get checked. Lots of contractions on the monitor, 1cm dilated and my cervix had shortened from 22mm to 13mm. They admitted me straight away, and said they couldnít let me go home until I was at least 30 weeks pregnant - and then only if everything had calmed down.

    Been mostly uneventful in hospital, with the exception of a few runs of contractions which have been controlled my meds very quickly.

    The only thing thatís bothering me is that after 6 years of ttc and heartbreak, Iíd really hoped to enjoy my pregnancy. But between the morning sickness of the first trimester and now the bed rest and hospitalisation of the third trimester, itís been much harder than I thought!

    Anyway, enough of that. Iím still rediculously excited to meet my girls - just need them to stay put a little longer and get a bit stronger.


    Offline Cowshedbythesea

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    Babies are still staying put, itís hard to believe that premature labour has loomed twice at 27 & 30 weeks. The goal was always 34 weeks, but the new goal is 36 weeks. I have a few contractions every hour, but as long as I donít overdo it then they can be managed. The worst thing that triggers them is the car, so on the rare occasion I do go out in the car Iíve learned to take my tablets before I get in and not wait for the contractions to start.

    Both babies dropped at 31 weeks and are both head down so they are in the perfect position for a vaginal birth. Iíve got an appointment next Tuesday with the consultant so hopefully theyíll have a plan for the birth.

    Stay where you are babies for a few more weeks.


    Offline Cowshedbythesea

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    I canít believe itís taken me so long to write this post. Iím so pleased to say that my beautiful baby girls arrived safely and are just about to turn 9 months old. Through all my previous posts, I never thought Iíd be lucky enough to be able to say that.

    I loved reading other peopleís birth stories, and always promised myself Iíd write my own.

    I was hospitalised three times in total during my pregnancy due to a shortening cervix, being dilated at 1cm for months and very regular contractions. I cannot fault the level of care I received from the French health system and I genuinely believe that if I hadnít switched from the UK to France when I did, Iím not sure my tale would have such a happy ending - something I choose not to think about, as itís too upsetting.

    When I wasnít in hospital I was on bed rest, something which sounds wonderful but was soul destroying. I did it, and tried not to grumble too much but what it was a challenge for someone who is used to being independent. Towards the end my husband got me in and out of bed, put my shoes and socks on and even shaved my legs for me. There is nothing sexy about twin pregnancy!

    A midwife came to my house twice a week and checked the babies heart rates, my contractions and measured my bump. I got to 36+2 and on one of her regular visits she noticed that my blood pressure was suddenly very high. She rang the hospital, who told me to come straight in. We drove to the hospital, my urine was tested and found to have abnormally high levels of protein - that combined with my blood pressure was a clear indication of pre-eclampsia. They admitted me, and said theyíd test my protein levels again in 24 hours, if the protein levels hadnít gone back to normal, they would induce. Things didnít improve and I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. My feet, hands and face were so swollen I looked like the Michelin man!

    They also found amniotic fluid in my urine, the doctor explained that even without the pre-eclampsia that meant Iíd need to deliver soon as there was a risk of infection. I was induced at 36+4 at 6am, but ironically after being in labour for months - my body wasnít having any of it. No contractions and at 6pm I hadnít dilated at all. I went to sleep, and had a good, contraction free night. The nurse checked me at 7am the next morning, and surprise, surprise - I was 3cm dilated! I hadnít had any contractions, so was very surprised (and happy!). I was taken straight to delivery, put onto a drip to help encourage my contractions and progressed slowly over the next few hours.

    Things are different in France to the UK, epidurals are considered standard and they give you the epidural before you are full blown labour so that they can limit the amount of pain you experience. I had an epidural an hour after I was induced and it was the best decision I made. I didnít feel any pain until the last 15 minutes! The epidural itself was absolutely fine, I was really nervous - especially as my husband wasnít allowed to be with me during it. But the needle went in, and it was no different to getting a normal injection - not what I was expecting at all and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

    I spent the next few hours napping and watching old episodes of Friends. Not what I expected from watching endless episodes of One Born Every Minute! Nothing moved particularly quickly, and it took about 10.5 hours to go from 3cm to 10cm. It was only then that I felt some pressure in my bum, I told the midwife who got very excited and after some practice pushes I was finally moved into theatre. It was decided at a previous appointment that I would deliver in a theatre, just in case I needed assistance or we had to convert to a c-section.

    There were 25 people in the theatre, a lot of them students who had never seen a twin birth before. Luckily the midwife had prepped me for the difference in environments. Iíd gone from a private, dimly lit room with my husband. to this enormous, very bright theatre that was packed. The anaesthetist spoke perfect English (I speak enough French to get by but am far from fluent!). He plonked himself the opposite side of me to my husband and self-appointed himself as translator - which was wonderful.

    I started to push, and was being told that everything was progressing nicely. I think I pushed for about 20 minutes, but thatís a guess as it was hard to keep track of time. Pushing was a weird sensation, very hard to explain and nothing like I imagined! All the hypnobirthing books Iíd read went out of the window as I was being coached by the midwives to Ďhold my breath and push like hell.í

    Suddenly, the urgency completely changed in the room, (I later found out that her heart rate had dropped). I was given an episiotomy and forceps inserted. The translator said Ďwe need to use some instruments to help you get the baby out quicklyí - but in the time it had taken him to translate, the midwife had already started with the forceps! It was only at this point I can say that I experienced pain and this was the first time I used the button to Ďtop upí my epidural.

    Baby A was delivered crying and seeing her was incredible. I burst into tears, as did my husband and I very briefly held her face against mine before she was whisked away to be checked. There was no time for anything else as Baby B, who had been head down and perfectly positioned for months, flipped. This is really common with the second twin, as they suddenly have loads of room! They tried manipulating my bump to turn her, but her heart rate dropped and I was told they needed to get her out quickly.

    My translator didnít explain specifically what was about to happen, instead he said ďIím going to give you something extra for the pain.Ē At this point the midwife reached in, grabbed her by her feet and pulled her out! Iíll admit, that hurt like hell. Whatís strange is that in my mind I was screaming and yelling, but afterwards my husband told me I was completely silent.

    Baby B was born crying 6 minutes after her sister. Seeing her was incredible, and such a shock as it was all so fast. Again after a brief cheek touch, she was whisked away. I later found out that she had a little trouble breathing, but it was all rectified very quickly.

    I didnít get to have skin to skin, or even hold my girls until 5 hours after they were born. I made peace with that very quickly, I loved them from the first moment I laid eyes on them and all I cared about was that they were safe. They were in an incubator next to me, and I was happy that they put them in together (in fact, the hospital had them sharing a crib for the first two days!). When I was finally able to hold them, I put them both on my chest and we stayed there for an hour. I cried, kissed them and got to know their little faces. Baby Aís face was all swollen from being stuck in the birth canal for so long and she had marks from the forceps on her head. Baby Bís feet were black where they were so badly bruised from where sheíd been dragged out.

    We were all in hospital for 3 days, and it was wonderful. We got to learn how to take care of them and bond in the little bubble of our room. My husband only left my side for 30 minutes each night to go get some dinner, apart from that he was there night and day. It was wonderful.

    When we finally got to take our babies home, I was so emotional. The nurses kept offering me painkillers as I couldnít stop crying, but I was so happy that all the heartache weíd been through over the 6 years previous had led to this moment. I kept thinking of all the failed ICSI attempts, BFNís and the times me and my husband had cried and wondered why we were being punished. But if any of those had worked, I wouldnít be standing here with these babies, my babies.

    So here were are, nearly 9 months later. My girls are stubborn, independent and absolutely hilarious. They make us laugh every day and though itís harder than I could have imagined, itís also so much better than I could have imagined.

    This will be my last post here for a while. Iíve used this diary as a way of recording my journey with infertility, and I feel that now (at least temporarily) my journey has come to an end. Thereís one last frozen embryo that Iíll be going back for when Iím ready, but for now, thank you for reading, for the messages of support and for being an incredible community. Baby dust to you all ❤️