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Air bubble or baby?

a blog by Denise Steele, October 24, 2012

For those of you who are in the darkest of places and are struggling to conceive, I ask that you take a moment to read my story.

I, like you, struggled with infertility. I endured horrific loss and worried (panicked actually) that I would never ever become a mom. When all was said and done, my options were adoption, anonymous egg donor cycle and/or surrogacy. The reality staring me in the face was that no matter how much money my husband and I put towards becoming parents, nobody could guarantee us a return on our investment.

Advertising Sales is my profession; the basic premise in sales is that if you throw enough against the wall, something’s bound to stick. In my experience, I had actually found that parable to be true. So with that in mind, my husband and I decided to double-down and try adoption and an egg donor cycle simultaneously. Given the odds, I was counting on one of the options working and was forecasting a big deal baby in 2 or so years. We made our decision in December of 2007.

The week that my husband and I chose our egg donor, our adoption agency informed us that a birth mother requested to speak to us to determine whether or not we would be the best match for her unborn child. Having been through a lot of heartache in the year prior, I was not that hopeful that we would be chosen as the adoptive parents. To give you a reference point, this all occurred in June of 2008.

Euphorically, we were chosen by the birthmother and our son was born that same October, merely 10 months after we began the adoption process. Once we were chosen to be our son’s adoptive parents, we decided to put the egg donor on hold until after the adoption was completed.

We resumed the anonymous egg donor process when our eldest was 3 months old. Given my history and the losses we had endured, I was not convinced that even if I did manage to become pregnant it would end in a live birth. Our doctor called the day our donor went in for her retrieval and his words over the phone were, “It was a complete failure. She only produced 1 egg. I don’t expect any outcome from this whatsoever…” Believe it or not, I was really ‘ok’ with that since we already had a beautiful baby boy whom we loved more than life itself.

The next day, our doctor’s office rang us and I spoke with a nurse. In short, I was told that the egg did fertilize and I was asked to come in for the transfer. Even at that point, I had not expectations that a baby would come by way of this endeavor. I was so focused on our son, that I was actually somewhat apathetic.

Fast forward to the first ultrasound—IDENTICAL DI-DI TWINS! Our doctor was in just as much shock as were we! He asked me if I knew what the odds of having identical twins were. Surprisingly I did because I am an identical twin myself. I blurted out “That’s not possible, we only had 1 egg.” He said, “Well, you’re an identical twin so you should know that it just means the egg split.” I was so dumbfounded that I told him that what we were seeing were air bubbles. Then I thought to myself, “If these aren’t air bubbles, the screen must be showing me the prior patient’s ultrasound.” You know like the history hadn’t been cleared from the screen.

I traveled to the business conference a few days later and began to bleed. I then came to the realization that I was pregnant but now I was miscarrying. When I returned home and went into the office, the first thing my doctor said was, “Bleeding is very common with twins.” I was a little annoyed because I was thinking, “Why does he keep bringing up this twin thing?” Well, the ultra-sound that he took that day confirmed that there were 2 healthy babies growing inside of me.

Our twins were born 4 days before our eldest son’s first birthday! I went from wishing and hoping to loving my 3 beautiful sons.

I hope my story will offer you some encouragement because my sons are proof that miracles really are possible! I wish you the same success in your journey to build your family.


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