Warning: some of this post may contain sensitive material!
The day of our ultrasound arrived, and our babysitter, my father-in-law, had his own appointment, so we brought our son with us. My mother-in-law followed us there so she could watch him while we were in, and then she was going to go to work after. Finally they called us in and we had a long wait in the room. While we waited, my husband asked the nurse what she thought of our beta numbers with regards to multiples and her reply was that they were “borderline.” So that kind of deflated my balloon a little bit, but I was still excited to find out! Once the doctor finished up with his emergency, he came in for our scan. It was vaginal, so as soon as he inserted the wand and a picture came up, he said “oh.” And then “wow.” I’m like “ wow what???” thinking the worst. When he said “there’s four” all I could say was “you’re kidding.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both. I just kept saying “holy sh*t” over and over. My husband said he immediately saw three, and was shocked when the doctor found four. We couldn’t believe it. My mind was a haze and I didn’t know what to think or say. I immediately brought up reduction and the doctor said that’s a possibility, but we would talk in our consultation after. He proceeded to show us each baby, A, B, C, D, they call them, and we got to see each flickering heartbeat and hear them loud and clear. I couldn’t be happy like I was with my son. I was too much in shock.
We finished up the ultrasound and moved to the doctor’s office. He said he had never before seen or heard of quads as a result of Clomid and IUI. He was actually excited to get on the internet and research papers about this! I felt a little special and a little like a freak! The doctor was reluctant to give us any information about reduction or proceeding with four, since that’s not his area of specialty, but he did recommend where to go for reduction, and told us we’d have to start seeing a high risk OB. We would have another ultrasound 9 days later, and then would graduate to the OB.
In the meantime, word was spreading around the office, and everyone knew about the quads by the time we came out to schedule our next appointment. As we said goodbye and walked out the door to tell my MIL, all of the ladies were crowding in the window to watch her reaction. My husband just held up four fingers and she just had a look of shock on her face, which probably mirrored our faces! She immediately got on the phone with her husband, who was just as shocked as the rest of us. I checked my phone and had a text from my mom and my best friend asking how our scan went. My reply was just “four”. My mom immediately called me and I talked to her for a minute. By that point, we all realized there were other people in the waiting room, and it’s probably rude to be talking about our quad pregnancy in front of others who are having trouble conceiving, so we packed up and left. My MIL decided there was no way she could go to work so we all headed home (we live next door to eachother) and met my FIL there. We just sat and talked about the shock of it, until we said let’s just go out to lunch. So we headed to Olive Garden, where we talked more about how shocked we all were.
The next few weeks were a blur of negativity for me. I cried often, and cursed my luck for being in this position. I truly felt that it was a terrible situation, with no positive outcomes. On one hand, we could choose to reduce to two and forever live with that guilt. On the other hand, we could choose to do nothing, and just proceed with four babies and hope for the best. Neither sounded good to me. All I wanted was to go back in time, and never try to have a second baby in the first place. Why couldn’t we just have been happy with one??
To choose to reduce would mean choosing two babies to kill. Harsh words, but that’s what would be happening. A friend told me I can’t think of them as babies at this point. She said to consider them embryos, “its”. Easier said than done. I had had a miscarriage previously. We ended up pregnant very early in our relationship, and
it was a rough situation. I had wanted kids for years, and he was not even close to considering it. Eventually after weeks of emotional turmoil, I lost the baby. It was a horrible experience that I would never wish on anyone. To this day, I still have my ultrasound report confirming pregnancy, and I still cry about that loss sometimes.
Every year, around the time that baby was due, I think about how old he or she would be now. In my head it would have been a girl. I know that feeling of loss, and I didn’t know if I could live with being the one to make the choice. I actually hoped that nature would take the decision out of my hands. It seems a terrible thing to say, but like I said, I was in a bad place and just wanted to be out of that situation.
Gradually the sting of shock dulled, and we were left with the daunting question: “What do we do now?”
To be continued – and I promise the next part will be much more upbeat!!