Torment: I’m Pregnant with Twin Boys Whose Fates Are Uncertain

In June 2004, when I went in for my six-week ultrasound, my first-ever pregnancy ultrasound, when I was pregnant with my son, my reproductive endocrinologist told me that my son had implanted in a problematic location, at the far left of my T-shaped uterus, therefore I could miscarry at any time.  Because my uterus is now a bit larger arcuate uterus, thanks to my son, and my uterine lining is thicker than ever before, I was hoping that today, during my six-week ultrasound, my first for this pregnancy, I would have positive news, that either one or both of my husband’s and my embryos had successfully implanted. 

I would prefer twins, but recognize that even one child is miraculous, a blessing, and I had expected, because of my high Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) pregnancy hormone levels, that I would get good news—that at least one of our boys had successfully implanted in my uterus.  But I experienced only a few seconds of joy, learning that the first baby visible on the ultrasound screen looked perfect in his ideal-size gestational sac, then saw the second sac next to it.  Because, while Baby A has implanted properly, Baby B is suffering and could threaten his brother.

Both Babies A and B implanted in ideal locations, next to each other at the top of my uterus, far from my cervix, which is closed, keeping them both in.  I asked if it is a problem that they are side-by-side, and the IVF coordinator said no.

But, Baby A’s gestational sac is larger, the size it should be at its gestational age, and the IVF coordinator showed me the tiny “dot” that is our baby growing inside of it.  Right next door is Baby B, but Baby B’s sac is “considerably smaller,” about half the size of his brother’s, so small that no “dot” is evident, and the sac is separating from my uterine lining. 

The IVF coordinator could only speculate on causes.  She said maybe Baby B isn’t viable, so my body is rejecting him.  [But because of the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) that we invested in, we know that he’s a chromosomally normal, strong embryo, so there is no reason for him not to thrive.]  Maybe Baby B’s sac is smaller because he didn’t fully implant, for implantation problems are my curse.  Maybe he’ll rally, and we’ll have good news at next Wednesday’s ultrasound, but, because he is so far behind in development, that sounds like an unlikely scenario.  But, when I asked, “So, for sure there will only be one?”, the IVF coordinator replied, “There is no ‘for sure’ in this life.” 

She said that I may miscarry Baby B, so I may start spotting or outright bleeding.  Or, she said that my body may simply absorb him, which she said is called “vanishing twin.”

In the case of the former—a miscarriage of Baby B—she said that she was going to have one of the nurses write me a prescription for progesterone oil, which I’d need to immediately start injecting into either one of my thigh muscles or my butt muscle in an attempt to prevent a miscarriage of Baby A also.

So, my ultrasound gave me positive news, that Baby A is a rock star; negative news, that I’ll likely lose Baby B, who isn’t thriving like his brother; and uncertainty about Baby A’s fate also, for the death of Baby B could result in the loss of both of our twins. 

This afternoon, I received a follow-up voicemail message from the IVF coordinator that she had spoken with the reproductive endocrinologist, and, because of “the small area of separation” of Baby B’s gestational sac from my uterine lining, he would like me to start the daily injections of progesterone “regardless of whether I have spotting or not.”  So, I picked up my prescription and did my first injection of 1 ml of progesterone oil into my thigh, with a 1.5-inch-long, super-thick needle.  I honestly didn’t think it could puncture the skin, but it did.  I’m still sore.

She said that I need to continue with my prenatal vitamins, my once-daily baby aspirin and my three-times-daily vaginal suppositories of Edometrin® progesterone.  She continued that we’d do another ultrasound scan in a week, then decide whether to continue with the progesterone oil injections or if the Endometrin suppositories will be enough.

She closed, with, “Fetus A is developing properly.  So, it’s doing good.  I will see you in a week then.  Have a good day.”

As if that’s possible. 

I’m tough.  I will handle whatever outcome I’m handed.  It’s the uncertainty I have trouble coping with, the not knowing how to feel, the not wanting to get my hopes up, the lack of control over the end result. 

I told my friend Cathy this morning that I’m sure all of this builds character, but that I have enough damn character at this point.   I just want to have a peaceful life.

No comments yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.