Saturday, December 02, 2006

Signs of Life

If the truth be told ... I am in complete disbelief that we are expecting a baby.

After all that we've been through, the fact that I am pregnant - without even trying, or realizing it for several days, seems impossible to me. And I'm not the only one.

When I called Charlie on October 27th to tell him that I was late, he was completely befuddled. "Late for what?" After I told him that I had a strange suspicion and I needed for him to pick up a pregnancy test, he challenged "Jen, that's impossible. We haven't even done anything."

To which I replied, "Oh yeah? What about your back?"

Since the time that I received a positive result on an expired test ... and the read-out "pregnant" result on the new fancy version test ... I have remained wary of my diagnosis. Of course, my apprehension that we will truly be growing by another two feet in less than a year, has not curbed my excitement and enthusiasm for telling anyone and everyone that we meet.

What I find to be humorous is the response that we receive when we inform people (mostly fellow passengers that we met during our recent travels or anyone who is standing near me in the grocery line) that we have another child on the way. Three years ago, we were about to attempt, and subsequently fail, at our second IVF cycle. I was at the lowest point of our infertility struggles, convinced that we would never become parents.

Three years later, we are the parents of two-year old triplets and I am spontaneously pregnant.

Never in a million years did I believe that this would ever happen.

When I tell people "It was a shock, definitely not something we had planned!" They will initially roll their eyes and give me a look like I am an irresponsible "breeder", a person who is popping out more children than they know what to do with - or could ever possibly care for.

Then, I'll tell them our story about ten years of marriage and monthly heartbreak.

On Thursday morning, the day after we returned from South Carolina, I had the first visit with my OB/GYN. Because I've been a patient at this practice for a long time - and have been their only triplet pregnancy in recent years - every single medical personnel in the doctor's office knew who I was and why I was there, the moment I walked in the door. They all gave me big smiles and asked how many beans I thought were in the oven this time. I told them that if it was any more than one ... they'd hear me screaming from the back.

The potential of four children in less than three years is crazy enough.

I was quickly ushered to an examination room where my doctor asked a series of questions and performed an ultrasound. While I lay on the table, I was voicing my doubt. "This can't be real. Really, there has to be a mistake. Perhaps it's early menopause?"

My doctor smiled and said "Doubtful. The high levels of HCG that you have are indicative of one thing ... and one thing only." Just then, I saw on the ultrasound monitor a little sack. Moments later, our baby came in to view. With it's little heartbeat flashing like a strobe light and a clearly visible head and limbs moving around, I incredulously asked if this was a video - or live footage.

Surely it couldn't be real.

When my doctor confirmed that this was live footage of the occupant within my uterus at that very moment in time ... I stuttered, "I don't understand. We weren't even trying. I didn't have a single shot of Gonal-F. I haven't done a single suppository of progesterone. I wasn't charting the dates or creating spreadsheets in Excel of my basal body temperature. For heaven's sake, I drank WINE up until the day I took my first pregnancy test. I honestly don't understand how this could have happened!"

My doctor sat up and with a very serious expression said "Well ... Jennifer .... when a boy and a girl fall in love..."

Yeah, yeah. He's a real funny guy.

Still, I'm in disbelief. But mostly, I'm in awe.

When you consider all the things that have to go "right" for conception to occur, it's mind-boggling. During the height of our struggles, I memorized Dr. Lennart Nilsson's book "A Child Is Born." I would study the pictures of the egg being released to the fallopian tube ... the sperm migrating to the egg and penetrating the zona pellucida.

Fertilization.

Cell division.

Hatching.

Implantation.

Development of the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, bones, limbs ... tiny fingers and tiny toes.

Umbilical cord, blood, amniotic fluid.

Hair and skin.

Labor, delivery, birth.

When I would read the text and look at all the pictures in Dr. Nilsson's book of conception and childbirth, it was difficult to get my mind around how life exists at all. There is no doubt ... life is nothing short of God's greatest miracle. There are so many things that have to happen, at the right time and under the right conditions.

I proudly present the first picture of our fourth miracle baby, due to arrive on July 4, 2007. Let Freedom Ring!

If the truth be told ... we couldn't be happier or feel more blessed.

28 comments:

  1. That's so cool!!!

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  2. Well, once again you made me cry.
    Jen, I am so very happy for you!! You are one lucky family! And that is one lucky baby!

    Cloe (Carolyn's bbs)

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  3. Welcome back. I've missed you. It looks like you guys had a wonderful trip.
    I am so excited about your pregnancy! Congratulations again and again!

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  4. Crying, too. So happy for you!!!

    I'm working on catching up to you - one child at a time:) - we're having our third in early June.

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  5. (Oh, but I haven't posted about it yet...oops! better get on that.)

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  6. Congratulations to you and your family!

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  7. Wow, that's great! Congratulations!!!! (notice 4 exclamation points) :)

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  8. Congratulations! I read your story in the San Diego Union Tribune yesterday and had to look you up!

    I have twins and we're always asked if we'd want another. Still not sure on that one.

    I'm so happy to find your site. I've been blogging for a couple of years now about our pregnancy/twins and I'm really enjoying finding others like you to keep me going in the insane times! Best of luck on your fourth!

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  9. Congratulations. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. We went the ICS route also and have an angel too. Stop by sometime..and your trips are sooo adorable!!

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  10. Congratulations. It's pretty neat that your due date is the 4th of July. Pregnant woman's due dates usually only fall on the actually due date around 10% of the time though.

    Oh well, guess we all will see! Congratulations again! Take care!

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  11. Congratulations to you and your family.

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  12. It is a WILD ride for all of us, but perhaps wildest for you and Charlie, no? I think fireworks will fittingly describe your family life - both the good, bad... all of it.

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  13. That's so awesome. I'm so happy for you guys. I bet this pregnancy is going to be a piece of cake for you.

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  14. I've just got one thing to say... OY-VEY!

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  15. 'Irresponsible Breeder'...Classic.

    We get the same kind of feeling with people after telling them how old our babies are now and we are expecting again. Our babies were born last January and now we have another one due in May.

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  16. what a tear jerker! wow, you got me AGAIN! I am soooo happy for ya'll! It's truly an amazing miracle you're right. God has given you four amazing miracles! Thanks be to HIM!!!!

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  17. Why you gotta make a girl cry. So happy for your new baby coming. It's amazing what God gives you when you least expect it!

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  18. It's SO unbelievable and yet SO exciting to see that first ultrasound. You've been given 4 little miracles. I'm so happy for you!

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  19. For most people it is just an "Oh my God' but for you it is truly a miracle.
    Mom

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  20. that is one fab looking ultrasound pic! I am so excited!

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  21. what an amazing blessing!
    I am teary just reading your post!!!
    CONGRATS! I will be praying you have a healthy and wonderful pregnancy!

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  22. Congratulations from a fellow irresponsible breeder - we have eight!

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  23. Shirley Wixson12/5/06, 12:18 AM

    Congratulations to all 5, I mean 6 of you. You guys are great parents and this new baby will be a real blessing to all of you. Take good care of yourself Jenna.
    Love to all of you,
    Shirley
    AKA Darin, Kirk, and Vance's Grandma

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  24. So good to have you back safely! I love the ultrasound picture. I think he looks just like you! LOL! As you know, I completely understand your disbelief and what a miracle this baby is. Now, you have started looking for help, right? Get on it! You have just enough time to get them properly trained before this baby gets here. And whatever you do, don't tell whoever you hire that you have a blog, or else you can't complain about them.

    Welcome home!

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  25. I am SO happy for you! Miracles are very real. (And I have to admit to wondering if there was more than one again, myself.)

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  26. Hi Jenna -

    Your post has brought tears to my eyes. I have thought about you and Charlie so much since you shared your big news with MTM. What a miracle. What a special child this baby must be - bound for great things to be born against such probability. Looking forward to catching up - hope to see you soon!

    Jessica
    Your fellow mom in tripletness . . . and 4 in 2.5 years!

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  27. Wow! I have been following your blog on and off for the last year as my own little one has been growing up (He just turned one last week). I also just accidentally became pregnant with our next one....due July 1st 2007. I have found your blog a big help..anything you can get through with three, I can certainly get through with one. Just know that your tenacity will be reminding me over the next six months as I gripe and complain about be pregnant with a toddler that I could have my hands a lot more full. As for the "irresponsible breeder," I felt that way at first and, again, this will only be baby #2, not #4. At least we aren't like Brittany Spears with babies less than one year apart and a divorce on the way.

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  28. Jenna,
    It's Mary Drury and I have not read your blog in such a long time. It is great - made me laugh, almost cry - so many times! I am not familiar with these blogs. Is it possible to read the ones you've previously written?
    Also, it's great to see the pics of you all AND you're pregnant...Wow! Congratulations! You certainly have all the equipment and VAST KNOWLEDGE!!!

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