Today, I came in for my fourth post-transfer appointment at the clinic. This time, Chris came with me because the nurse let me know that at this stage, it’s possible that we could see a heartbeat.
After having the usual bloodwork to check my HCG and progesterone levels, I was called into the exam room. Mina, my sonographer, came in and greeted us. She started the exam, and before I could even see anything on the screen, she gasped, “Ohmigod!”
Well, when you’re at a doctor’s appointment to monitor your pregnancy progression, “ohmigod!” coming out of your sonographer’s mouth can either be a really good thing… or a really, really bad thing.
“Mina!” I exclaimed. “Is that a good ‘ohmigod’ or a bad ‘ohmigod’?!”
She broke out into a huge smile. “Yvonne, you’re having twins! CONGRATULATIONS!”
Chris went completely silent. All I could say was, “OHMIGOD!” My mind went a little numb; we’re having twins???? OUR LITTLE EMBRYO THAT COULD…. SPLIT! It was a complete marvel to see so clearly on the screen. Mina didn’t even need to zoom in on the uterus for us to see it: two distinct gestational sacs with two distinct yolk sacs, each with their own fetal pole, which is where you can see the first little flickers of a heartbeat. And both little fetal poles were flickering; it was loud and clear.
I was in total awe. I just couldn’t believe it. Back in January, I was devastated at the end of our IVF cycle when the embryology lab informed us that we only had one embryo survive to the blastocyst stage to go on for PGT-A genetic screening; I wasn’t even sure if the evaluation would come back normal. And when the test did come back normal, I wondered if this little blastocyst would survive and result in our first and only baby. Was this our only shot? Was this a sign? I thought then.
Mina told us that the development of both looked really good and both heartbeats were very clear, and she’d see us back here in a week.
Walking back together, I was still in disbelief. I could not believe we could see two little heartbeats. Last week, we could see a semblance of two gestational sacs, with only one having a tiny developing yolk sac; the second one didn’t even have a yolk sac yet, which is why the sonographer wasn’t sure if it was even a gestational sac or not. Somehow, that second gestational sac has managed to catch up to the first one in just seven days, and both were so clear. At every stage of this process, I just cannot get over the wonders of the female human body. How does this even happen? A single embryo splitting is still a total mystery in the medical and reproductive communities. We still don’t understand fully how or why this happens.
“Well, at least the ROI on this is good,” Chris said, still in complete shock that this happened. “We get two for the price of one!!”
For the HCG level stats we’re tracking to ensure the pregnancy is going well:
9 Days Post Transfer: 45.91
11 Days Post Transfer: 127
16 Days Post Transfer: 1,695
23 Days Post Transfer: 16,059
The nurse called early in the afternoon to let me know that since the HCG levels have consistently looked good, this would be my last blood test, and moving forward until I “graduate” from the clinic, I would come in weekly just for the ultrasound for monitoring and no more bloodwork. This was also a relief to hear… especially since both of my arms are looking quite bruised from all the endless blood draws I’ve been required to get. She also congratulated me on twins: “They’re going to be identical because they split from one embryo! After you left, Mina came into the office and showed everyone your ultrasound picture, and it was endless squeals! We don’t see too many single embryos split!”
At home this evening, I kept staring at the picture of the embryos that Mina printed for us: TWIN A, TWIN B, both labeled on the sonogram. Are these going to be my miracle babies? Am I going to be able to get them to survive through the next 34 weeks? I need all the good wishes and prayers and hopes in the world now. I need to have my little babies survive. This feels like a sign to me that this was meant to happen, and I have to do everything in my power to do right by them.