"What did you do when you found out you were having quadruplets?"
We haven't told many people outside our immediate families about the quadruplets, but inevitably the first question is about our initial reaction.
The picture above is from the first ultrasound in June 2015 when we realized we would possibly have quadruplets. A part of me was hoping for at least twins (which if you have paid for IVF in the past or have the dreaded "advanced maternal age" diagnosis but want a big family, you know what I'm talking about...more bang for your buck!)
When this lovely little image popped up on the ultrasound screen, I was thinking maybe that's 2 ovaries and 2 babies? (I've always found myself pretending to agree with what the technicians claim to see on early ultrasounds anyway.)
But at this first scan, the tech and our doctor kept counting, and counting and counting...until they got to 4 babies. I think they were in as much shock as we were, as nobody in the room was aiming for or expecting quadruplets.
The look on Charlie's face was one I'll never forget. For a man not prone to fits of emotion, he managed to get shock, disbelief, excitement and sheer terror all in one jaw-dropping pose.
I'll spare you the gory details, but in case you're interested, here's how we ended up with quads:
- We had done IVF with our first daughter Molly, transferring 2 embryos into what became 1 perfect little girl born in July 2014.
- For what we hoped would be our next baby, about 9 months later, I started on the stimulation medications to produce a bunch of eggs which would hopefully become a few embryos.
- The "bunch" of eggs never materialized, and when our doctor only saw 3 eggs on ultrasound towards the end of the medication regimen, she recommended we abort this particular IVF mission as the likelihood of getting any viable embryos was pretty slim.
- "So what if we just try to get pregnant 'naturally' with those 3 eggs in there?" I asked. "You can," she said, "but with diagnosed infertility, even timed intercourse when you know you're ovulating is pretty unlikely to work."
- Turns out, there were actually 4 eggs (not just the 3 we saw on ultrasound) in there and we were able to get pregnant the old-fashioned way (albeit with the assistance of some pretty impressive stimulation medication).
So we never actually transferred embryos but also didn't technically do intrauterine insemination (IUI). And by some act of God, those 4 little dots in the ultrasound are about to soon be 4 real people!