Sunday, January 29, 2006

And then

Three days ago I was lying on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep as I listened to C talking to some friends on the phone.

He was telling them that I was finally pregnant! With twins! Joyous shrieking emerged from the phone and C and I smiled at each other and tangled our toes together happily. At the end of the call he looked at me and said: I don’t think we should tell anyone else now. Not until after we really are 12 weeks.

It’s ok, I said. That’s only 6 days away.

Then we decided to watch an episode of The Sopranos and I got up to do a quick wee.

And then.

And then.

You know how this is going to go, don’t you?

For a couple of seconds, as I stared at the blood on the toilet paper, I simply felt confused.

Like Time had suddenly reversed itself and I was right back in that same place, in that same moment every month when I would hope against hope that this time, this month was our time, our month and each time I was disappointed. It was as if I had been tricked. I was wrong. I had never been pregnant at all.

I looked down at the toilet bowl filled with bloody water and I moaned, just slightly, the tiniest of sounds, and C who was in the loungeroom setting up the dvd heard that awful note in my voice and came running.

And when I saw his face my eyes started to scrunch up and I folded into myself and I started to cry.

It was a public holiday and everyone was closed and I had no idea who I could call and what I should do until in the end I rang the House Of Groovy IVF Love. And bless them, the Fertility Sisters were calm and soothing and understanding. They gave me advice and they wished me and C luck and said they were crossing their fingers for us.

C and I got ready to go into Emergency which means I packed a book to read during the inevitable long wait and he ducked down to the shops to buy me some pads.

I was expecting some Super strength, surfboard sized monstrosities but instead C handed over a pack of ultraslim regulars. I started to say that maybe the thicker sort would be better but he stopped me.

No, he said, quietly. I decided not to get those. Because you’re not going to need them. You’re not.

At that point there were more tears at his ever faithful optimism and that’s also how I know that babies have no kneecaps because the sticky strip on the back of the pads is decorated with whacky true facts.

I’m not going to bag on about the dire waiting room at the hospital with its Night Of The Living Dead atmosphere and its non-stop television advertorial for tooth whitening kits (“In just eight days?! I can’t belieeeeeve it!”).

The triage nurse grilled me about blood colour(not bright red) and amount(consistent but not gushing) and pain (no) and clots (no) and finally she suggested that perhaps the blood could be coming from my anus rather than being related to the pregnancy?

No, I said, firmly. It is not. It is related to my pregnancy.
Well, she said, it could be constipation related.
No, I said. I don’t have constipation.

Well, she said, I’m just warning you that the doctor may want to check that so don’t be alarmed.
Really, I wanted to say, I feel more alarmed at your enormously ugly headband, but thanks for the warning.

Two hours, half of The Wierdstone of Brisingamen, and one ultraslim pad later, we were in, sans anal probe, with the doctor who probed at my stomach, indicated that it would be several hours more to wait for an ultrasound (due to the public holiday) and then sent me home.
His diagnosis was that the bleeding could be absolutely fine or it could be the start of a miscarriage and either way there was nothing much that could be done. Did I want a bloodtest? There was still no pain, there were still no clots. I had my first appointment with the Antenatal Clinic the following morning at 8am. I decided to forgo the bloodtest and get some sleep.

Bright and early the next morning, we rocked up to the antenatal clinic, pristine Yellow Card in hand. I was calm and collected. I was also still bleeding. At the desk I managed to give my name in a steady voice. The midwife told me to wait for the clerical nurse.
But here’s the thing I said, and my Steady Voice suddenly went to shit, I’m bleeeeeedddiiing…..

Three minutes later I was across the hall in Ultrasound.

As the wand glided over my lubed up belly, C and I clutched hands and in my mind a little voice suddenly said: Please don’t take them both.

I had already thought about the possibility that we had lost the second twin, the one that was a week behind its sibling at the 7 week scan, but my greater fear was that we had lost them both and that now, my empty abdomen would be revealed in all its pathetic failure. That once again my crappy, infertile body had failed the test, only this time we got a little further in the ride, far enough to start discussing names and thinking about baby rooms.

Far enough for the universe to have a great hearty laugh at our clueless stupidity.

For a moment there was nothing to see but grey fog and amorphous sludge.

And then.

And then.

Suddenly, suddenly, it was as if the fog cleared and there was a baby there, a real baby, a tiny little person with a head and arms and legs and it was dancing and C was making bubbling, delighted sounds.

Oh, I said.

And then I started to cry, big racking sobs and the technician hastily handed me her tissue box.

I can’t see that second bub, she said carefully. And I nod, I know, its gone.

As my playwrighting pal sbs pointed out in the last load of comments, it has been a year since I started blogging about the Great Big Fertility Ride.

When I started I was angry and hurt and I needed to write down my experiences because I felt my life was sliding out from under me. This way, it might still slide but at least I could map out my journey and maybe some day, one day, I could look back and see there was a pattern and realize that it wasn’t just random buckets of shit hurled upon me from on high.

One of my friends is at the same stage of pregnancy as me and we would chat about diet and delivery options and for awhile I almost felt like a normal pregnant woman. Except, I didn’t buy my pregnancy vitamins in bulk. For a few weeks I was beginning to feel that the ride was over. That I had finally arrived. But I see now that for people like me it never really ends until a healthy baby is delivered into your arms. And even that’s just the beginning of a whole new ride.

And for now, I still can't see the pattern.

And those fucking buckets of shit, they still keep falling.

Back at the antenatal clinic, the technician measures the heartbeat of Twin A and types onto the screen.

It looks so cute, says C, so wriggly, and she smiles. They’re quite active at this stage, she says. This little bub looks very healthy.

I’m still crying and snotting into my tissue but I don’t do it in that way you do when you scrunch up your eyes and fold into yourself, instead, this time, I keep my eyes wide open and I stare and cry and cry and stare because I can’t stand to miss one nanosecond of our beautiful dancing baby.


Wavery said...

Oh God. . .

amanda said...

I am so, so sorry. You'll be in my thoughts.

deborah said...

Ah, damn. Thinking of you and your tiny dancer.

Susie said...

I think it never does change for us. I'm being induced on Tuesday night and I'm still terrified when I don't feel the baby move for an hour or so. I lost a twin in this pregnancy too.

I'm so sorry for the one you lost. So glad for the one that's still there. I'm thinking of you.

K&M said...

Oh my gosh...I am so sorry for your loss but so relieved that little wiggly is ok. Hang in there.

persephone said...

Oh, Ovagirl. I'm so sorry and glad all mixed up. I can only imagine how you must feel.

korin said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of one twin... so glad there is a dancing baby in there.
I went through a few bleeding episodes and each time I was sure it was the end. It never gets easier. Ever.
Blessings. K

seepi said...

I needf a gooed lie down after reading that. What a nightmare - aned of course ona public holiday when you have to wait longer.
Thank goodness you and your wriggler are going well.
Take care.
It does get easier wekk by week
(a little bit easier anyway.)

DD said...

I am so happy one dancing heart is there for you.

I am so sorry the other heart was not strong enough.

The way you described it brought back so many mind-numbing fears and memories I can barely type.

wessel said...

Oh dear. What an ordeal. I can't believe you left the hospital -- I would have whipped out a gun at that point and demanded a stat ultrasound exam.

I'm glad that you have one wiggly squiggly baby in there who is doing well but I am sorry for you that you lost his twin. So sorry. I know that has to hurt even as you are relieved that the one is okay.

heleen said...

I sit here with tears on my face... But it's so great number two is hanging in there! You must have been thinking that this could happen. I'm thinking of you...

pm said...

Thinking of you, OG. "So foul and fair a day..."

Mony said...

Oh OG,
What a sad but hopeful turn of events. It's hard to know what to say. I was not expecting to read that news & am really sorry.
In true OG style you remain brave & inspiring & I am thinking of you & C.

baby said...

ova girl,
I am so sorry. sorry you had to go through that and sorry about the twin who won't be.
and happy to know that the baby you have is active and well. I have known a couple of people who have had this happen with twins, and the surviving baby has been just fine. I am thinking of you.

MsPrufrock said...

I'm sorry OvaGirl. With every twinge and each use of toilet paper I am sad that the worry never ends.

I am, however, pleased to hear that you were able to see the baby in its wriggling, dancing glory.

Laura K. said...

awww that sucks! The almost same thing happened to me! I told EVERYONE I was pregnant and literally 20 min later the blood came and I lost my baby. When I found out I was finally pregnant over a year later, I didn't tell people until I was pretty far along.

Lut C. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What an afwul thing to happen, and such bad timing. Of course there never is a good time for something like this.
I'm glad the other baby was showing you he's doing fine in there. Kiddo, keep it up!

Lindy said...

I'm just so sorry OG.

Anonymous said...

Dear OvaGirl,

I did wonder why you'd gone quiet and I was praying that it wasn't because of ... well, what happened. I am so sorry and so glad for you and C - you know.

No, I don't think we ever do relax. At 30 weeks, I am starting to think about what happens when my baby is born (and I really had to make myself write 'when'), and how I will have to be SO strict with myself not to become an overprotective fearful mother. And at the same time it feels both a silly concern and a doom-inviting piece of hubris to even think about it. I dunno....

Take care,


Suz said...

Like so many others, I'm so sorry for the loss of your little one and for everything that you had to go through at the emergency room. I'm so relieved and happy, however, that the other little one dances on.

Calliope said...

My heart hurts for you.

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my son's twin at 10 weeks and it was and still is heartbreaking.

Congratulations on your dancing baby. I hope the next 28 weeks will be much easier on you. You deserve it after all you have been through.

Mellie said...

Oh Ova Girl, I'm devastated and relieved for you all at once. I can only imagine how conflicted you must feel. So glad that C was/IS strong and supportive for you. Wishing you, C and the wriggly one all the best from here on out.

Leggy said...

I'm sorry for your loss and happy that there is still a baby there to rejoice over.

Kris said...

I've been lurking for a while now, but wanted to come out of the closet to tell you both how sorry and how relieved I am for you. I just can't imagine the mixed emotions you must be feeling.

I'm thinking about you and the little guy- I hope things are smooth sailing from here on!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the loss.

and feel so very joyous for your dancer.

Jadesymb said...


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Elton - Tiny Dancer is alive and well!!!!!!!!!

Rod said...

I'm so sorry OG. And relieved. There was really no need for that headband!

pixi said...

Oh, ova girl, how scary and awful that must have been. I'm so sorry about Twin B, just so sorry. I'm thinking of you and praying hard for your beautiful dancing baby.

thalia said...

I'm so very very relieved that your tiny bub is doing well. And so very sad to say goodbye to twin B. I hope you are doing ok with that precise, painful mixture of joy and sadness.

Sheryl said...

Oh OvaGirl, I'm so sorry for the loss of one, but so incredibly happy and thankful for the little dancer that remains


Anonymous said...

I can only echo what others have already said: sadness for twin A and relief for Tiny Dancer.
Best to you & C
Susan in OR

Urban Chick said...

oh god oh god oh god

my heart was in my mouth reading this

i'm so sad to hear you lost one of the twins, but thrilled to hear that the remaining bub is thriving

i'm cursing the buckets of shit too because it's just not f**king fair


Lin said...

Sometimes words fail me and I just wish the miles weren't there and I could just give you a big hug.

Em said...

I'm so glad that they both weren't lost. I can't imagine how you feel at the moment. A mix of emotions. Take care of yourself.

fisher queen said...

Ova Girl I am so sorry. I read that post with my heart in my mouth and tears streaming down my face. I hope this is the last bad thing that happens. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.
And so happy you still have dancing baby.
I will be thinking of you.

misschrisc said...

Oh I can't tell you how much your post reminded me of a time a few short years ago: the complicated IVF, the twin, the ER visit, weeks of nail biting for baby B...all nearly the same. The conclusion was and is this beautiful perfect babe who survived all of it and beat the crap out of all of those silly odds. He's perfect.

I'm so sorry. I know it's very hard. It's as hard as a thing may ever get but believe me that it's totally worth every horrible, frustrating, scary, terrifying second when you've finally waded through all of it and get to experience that one perfect moment. You will get there. I promise.

Anonymous said...

As one who is currently enduring a big bucket of shit attack (finally got pg after many IVF cycles only to discover three days ago that we have a Blighted Ovum and I will miscarry any day now), I send you my wishes for a very boring and uneventful remainder of this pregnancy. Bernie Taupin wrote this for Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" .... "And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand". I'm sorry for your loss Ova Girl and send all three of you love and thoughts to "hold on tight".

Panda said...


I'm crying for you, OG.

You're absolutely right you know; the fear doesnt end until the baby is in your arms, and then I'm guessing a different type of fear will replace it.

I will trade favours with the universe to make sure your little wriggler hangs in there.

Van Dino said...

Along with everyone else, heartfelt sadness at the loss of Twin B and joy that the little wriggler is doing so well. Thinking of all three of you.

k #2 said...

I am agreeing, the stress of IF never leaves even when blessed with a pregnancy. Once the baby is in our arms...then we'll relax.

I am sharing thoughts of sorrow over loss of Baby B and thoughts of extreme happiness over the dancing little one! May this be your last scare, my friend.

Jenn said...

I am so, so sorry. I'm thinking of you, C, and your little ones.

Sophia said...

We rare so sorry to hear about your baby but so happy that its sibling is stilll there with you both. Prayers from NYC

laura said...

God, OG, I am so so sad for you. It really can't ever be easy, can it? Prayers and thoughts for the baby.

mig bardsley said...

I started reading and went all cold and hot and ended up relived but sad and I thought in two minutes I had the whole story. It must have been hell waiting two days.
But oh the beautiful dancing baby.
I'm so sorry about the littler one.

Cass said...

Oh, OG. There are no words for that weird combination of utter joy and sorrow. I am sending hugs and a fresh box of kleenex across the miles.

Sparkle said...

Holy shit, what a shock, I was scared when I started reading this.
Thank goodness for the dancer. it's so horrible that the fear doesn't end. Are you still seeing CFG?

Baby G said...

Barry, dude. So sorry to hear your womb mate didn't make it. It must be lonely in there at the moment for you, but everything will be ok. Hold tight and keep on kicking (and don't go with the flow - this one is not for you). So glad that you are there, as it is very sad to lose one friend, but it would have been unbearable to lose both of you. Love and hugs, Baby G

LabiaLady said...

OG & C,
I am so sorry to read your latest update. I am so sorry that you lost one of your hard fought for, long desired babes. I wish for all the world that the surviving baby continues to grow and thrive. I hope that you manage to get to a point where the pain and fear from this time lessons enough for you to enjoy your pregnancy.

MC said...

I'm so sorry Ova Girl. To have so much happiness and sadness at the same time. I'm at work blinking back the tears.

Mary Scarlet said...

OvaGirl, I'm so sorry about twin B. I also had racing heart while reading your post. I'm thrilled to hear about the wiggly one. So, so sorry. And happy.

Burnt Karma said...

It's so bittersweet. Yes, you have your lovely, wiggly dancing baby, but your loss is also very, very real and totally cruel.


I'm so sorry.


surly girl said...

i literally didn't breathe while reading that. i can't imagine what you're going through, and i'm in awe of your strength.


Yidchick said...

May your baby dance and kick and grow through this pregnancy. May you come to know its cry and its laugh. May it understand how wanted and how loved it is. XX

Sami said...

Ova Girl,

I am so sorry for your loss and so happy that wiggly is in there dancing away... know you guys are in my prayers and I am crying tears of joy as well as sadness...

And not that it hasn't already been said, but this just plain old sucks... and I am so sorry that it happened.

Sunshine said...

Coming out of lurkdom to say I'm so sorry for the anguish, and delighted for the wonderful wiggly that remains.

zhl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Molly said...

Sympathy and relief for you, OG. So sorry you lost one, but it seems that the other has certainly got spirit. I'll be thinking of you.

west coaster said...

You are just the greatest, hubby too. Bless you both (you three) and bless the little one who didn't make it. Please take care.

Juliabohemian said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I pray super health for this other one. He will be JUST fine.

T said...

I'm so sorry honey - so sorry and also so happy. Yes, I don't think it'll get better once they're born either unfortunately, just a whole new set of worries.

Pamplemousse said...

OG, you will never forget the littler one but I am so glad that your tiny dancer is hanging in there.

charlotte said...

This is my 1st time readin your blog. I cried and cried. I feel for you. I am helping a friend through the loss of her baby (22weeks) right now and it is just sad an unfair. My heart goes out to you, your partner and babies (both of them). In a way it does get easier after they are born (I have a son). You are still wearing your heart outside your body, but it is different, less scary.

Felicity said...

Im so sorry, and so sad for you.

Im praying for your little dancer, I agree with Juliabohemian, your dancing baby WILL be fine!


daysgoby said...

Oh, how terrible. I'm so very sorry.

How brave you are! And how lucky this babe is to have you for his mother.

Millie said...

I'm so very very sorry. I'm thinking of you and C and both your little bubs. I know this must be a hard time-relief and sadness all together.

Krissy said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your little baby. And I'm so happy that the second one is staying and dancing for you. What a horrible, mixed-up, terrible, wonderful day.

I'm thinking of you and the little one.

mm said...

I'm so sorry.

WonderMama said...

Oh, Ova Girl, I'm so sorry about the loss of your wee one.
What a horrible day that must have been for you, and how emotionally confusing.
You,C and the tiny dancer are in my thoughtss.

Alexa said...

Happy. Sad. Happy. Sad. Happy.
What a hard thing, sweet OvaGirl. I am thinking of you.

Manuela said...

Oh, my GOD! I feel like such a SHIT that I'm just reading about this now! My heart is beating a good 200bpm and I've never read through to the bottom of a post so quickly in my life... oh, Ova... I was so scared... so scared... I'm just all shaken up. Thank heavens that all is ok with Bub A...

Much affection...

cat said...

This is coming way to late because I was away. I am crying with you and for you all. Mourn and rejoice. At once I am happy for you and so sad for your loss.

Nothing else to say. Wish this hug could be real instead of virtual. **hug**

Bugsy said...

also a post way too late. Tears also falling. I am so sorry hun. I am just so sorry for your loss. Whilst I am so happy that one baby is hanging in there tightly, a loss is still so very hard to take. I hope you are okay. thinking of you.

Vacant Uterus said...

Oh, Ova Girl, I'm so sorry that I'm just catching up with you now...and so sorry to hear all of this. I'm grateful beyond belief that twin A is fine. But so very, very sad that Twin B didn't make it. What a relief and how awfully sad all at once. My heart is with you during all of this.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking, its been awhile since I checked on OG. I'm so very sorry honey. It hurts.
Praying for a continuation of your pregnancy and twin Number 2's happy arrival.

xo Laura (kyahgirl)

you would not believe the word verification! 'fuchwth'

Therefore I shall take it as a sign, shake my fist at the heavens, and say 'don't fuck with ova girl, there is nothing that can stand in her way!'

P'tit Boo said...

I am so sorry.

Every time you post, I just can't believe my eyes. The courage you have. The pain. The journey you've gone and are going through.

Virtual hugs to you , C and the little wiggly one !
We can't pretend to understand what you are going through, but thank you so much for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for 4 or 5 months now, ever since I embarked on the same rollercoaster ride as you, and you have helped me enormously, particularly because I have been less than a week behind you all the way and your feelngs echo mine so closely, and you write so humourously. My IVF was also successful although it was a single pregnancy from the start, and tomorrow morning I am going for my 12-week scan. I have been weeping at the computer reading your latest messages and am so desperately sorry about the loss of your twin. It is evident to anyone who reads your evocative and marvellous writing that you are blessed with great courage, self-knowledge, intelligence and wit, quite apart from a wonderful partner, and I know that all of these will help you get up again and keep going in the right direction. And your "cyber-family" will be right there with you.
With love,
Another Kate
PS. Incidentally, I heartily approve of 'The Wierdstone of Brisingamen' to get you away from the horrors of any waiting room, and hope you have 'The Moon of Gomrath' to continue with afterwards. Alan Garner is fabulous.

Mandy said...

So, so sorry for your loss. Not sure what to say. Peace to you and C.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while and spend many times crying over your pain, because I have been there too and it never really leaves you whole again, even when you have those precious children. I am lucky, so lucky. I know it and am grateful to be. This poem is on an infertility chatroom and has made me sob again!
An Angel Never Dies

Don’t let them say I wasn’t born, that something stopped my heart,
I felt each tender squeeze you gave, I loved you from the start.
Although my body you cannot hold, it doesn’t mean I’m gone,
This world was not worthy of me; God chose that I move on.
I know the pain that drowns your soul, what you are forced to face,
You have my word, I’ll fill your arms, someday we’ll embrace.
You’ll hear that it wasn’t “meant to be, God doesn’t make mistakes”,
But that won’t soften your worst blow, or make your heart not ache.
I’m watching over all you do, another child you’ll bear,
Believe me when I say to you, that I am always there.
There’ll come a time, I promise you, when you will hold my hand,
Stroke my face, and kiss my lips, and then you’ll understand.
Although I’ve never breathed your air, or gazed into your eyes,
That doesn’t mean I never “was”; an angel never dies.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that I was not here sooner to say how sorry I am. What a terrible shock it must have been.

I am so glad that the other baby is Ok and I am so sad that the other one is not. My prayers go out to both babies and to you.