"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." ~ Unknown
Christian's journey began on December 15, 2007. This is the day 4 fertilized embryos were "launched" into my uterus. My husband, Ryan, and I have tried unsuccessfully for years to conceive children on our own. So, with the help of a fertility specialist we placed all of our hopes for children on these 4 little embryos.
From the beginning, we knew our chances for children would be slim at best. Our doctor gave us a 30% chance of becoming pregnant. But it was a chance we wanted to take. In fact, we thought with odds that good, we just had to go for it... What IF one of those little guys took!
By Dec. 22nd, I started peeing on a pregnancy stick. I was so nervous and scared... but in a small way, I just KNEW I was pregnant. On the first test, the "pregnant" line was so faint...like maybe my brain was just signaling to my eyes what I wanted so desperately see. Of course, I showed the stick to Ryan and he said, "well, it kind of looks positive"... not so convincingly. It took 2 more days and 3 more test sticks for us to finally believe our dreams for a family might come true. We were so ecstatic! We announced the results to our entire family during our Christmas Eve celebration. We just couldn't wait for the "official" results via blood test from our doctor. Although we knew it was risky to make such an announcement, we also knew everyone would be so happy for us. It would be the best Christmas present ever. I miss the happiness of those first days so much...
By Dec. 26th, we got our official blood test from the doctor and, of course, it confirmed what Ryan and I had already started to tell the world... WE ARE PREGNANT... AT LAST!
Because fertility treatments are so exact with regard to timing, it was nice to be able to get information right away about our pregnancy. At our stage, most people don't even know they are pregnant...and probably wouldn't know for several weeks. But, by the time the New Year rolled around, we were already scheduled for our first ultrasound.
Jan. 7th was the first day we actually got to see our little ones growing. We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw 2 gestational sacs... TWINS! Life was so good and our many, many prayers for a family were being answered. Although, we saw the 2 sacs, we were a little alarmed when 1 of them was considerably smaller than the other... about a quarter of the size in fact. And no heartbeats.. We were told it was too early to see the heartbeat and another ultrasound was scheduled for the following week...5.5 weeks.. hopefully, we'd see these new lives forming...
I think we made at least 20 phone calls between our doctor's office and home that day...just excited about the news that we were having twins. Our faces hurt from all the smiling we did that day. It was just a great day all around.
I was so naive those first weeks...I thought the toughest obstacle we would have to overcome was actually getting pregnant. And since we obviously tackled that with few problems, I believed my pregnancy would be smooth sailing from then on. How I was so wrong.
Ryan's mom, Patti, was also with us during this ultrasound and we were so happy to share the experience. After a couple minutes on the table though, we knew something was wrong. We only had one heartbeat. One of our babies had died. At first, we were all stunned... then sadness started creeping in... we were already a family and had become so attached to our little ones in the 2 weeks since we first learned of our twins.
It's hard to totally describe how I felt that day... On one hand, I was relieved and happy to know that we still had one viable heartbeat but, I just couldn't let myself be happy because one of our babies had died. I felt guilty about being relieved that I still had the one baby. Also, there was the eventual realization that something could go wrong, something HAD gone wrong in my pregnancy... Fear was something I would get used to feeling from that day forward...
After finally embracing the loss of Baby "A", I focused my energy on Baby "B"... Of course, I felt very blessed and thankful that the Lord had given us this child. I knew that whatever God had planned for us, everything was as it should be and Ryan and I would have to hold on tight for the ride of our lives.
Actually, with the exception of losing Baby "A", my first trimester went smoothly. I had no morning sickness, no usual pregnancy trials and tribulations, and I was glad. It was at about this time we learned that Ryan's sister, Holly, was also pregnant as well as very dear friends of ours in Chicago, John and Mylinda. It was such an exciting time for the Paige family. So many people pregnant at the same time... Every time Ryan and I locked eyes no matter where we were or what we were doing, we would just giggle like 2 kids....we were so happy.
On Mar. 25th, I was sent to another group of doctors which handled high risk pregnancies. I'm considered high risk because, at my age (40 yrs old), there is a greater possibility for problems... chromosomal abnormalities and genetic defects, specifically. We met with a genetic counselor who went over the statistics, but, because they were so remote, I truly believed we had nothing to worry about. I had blood drawn earlier in my pregnancy to check for any kind of problems and so far I was in the clear. In fact, I remember the counselor telling me about Trisomy 21 - Down's Syndrome, and then 2 other Trisomy's...18 and 13. She barely touched on the last 2 Trisomy's because they were so rare.. I hardly gave it any notice.
Ryan and Leah Paige
830 93rd Avenue North
Naples, FL 34108