After losing Cade so unexpectedly, Adam and I wanted to get pregnant ASAP. Our hearts were yearning to be parents and bring a baby home. While the grief was overwhelming, I think what kept part of me moving forward was the thought of getting pregnant again. Although the thought of getting pregnant again was also terrifying. There were so many questions and scenarios that would pass through my mind daily. Questions like can we even have a healthy baby? Will I lose another one? etc. went through my mind all day- I literally almost went insane between the heartbreak and the unknown/scary future. I was at our fertility doctor’s office within a week of Cade dying. I am sure she thought I was crazy (I was) but I just HAD to have some questions answered. The uncertainty around our situation was paralyzing.
Thank God for science. The fact that doctors can take my eggs out of my body, combine them with Adam’s sperm in a lab to create our embryos & then freeze them for YEARS is pretty unbelievable. We spent a good portion of 2014 waiting for test results. After Cade passed, we needed to know if Adam and I were carriers of the disease (we are). Once we had this information CCRM could test some of our frozen embryos for the specific gene. Little Berkley was thawed last spring (2014), biopsied, re-frozen and sent off to Chicago for PGD testing. PGD testing is where an embryo is tested for a specific gene abnormality, such as Restrictive Dermopathy. Waiting for these results was HARD as it took about 3-4 weeks. When we got our embryo results back last summer- all biopsied embryos that were sent off to Chicago ended up all being carriers….. just like Adam and I…which were approved for transfer (transfer is the process of implanting an embryo inside of me). This was awesome news. A carrier means that these embryos have 1 healthy gene and 1 mutated gene (1 copy is passed from each parent). The healthy overcompensated for the mutated gene so they can live a normal/healthy life just like Adam and I. In Cade’s condition both Adam and I passed our mutated copy to Cade. Since he didn’t have a healthy copy to overcompensate- he actually had restrictive dermopathy.
We have been asked multiple times if we could have done genetic testing with Cade’s pregnancy. The answer is NO. RD is so rare that none of the testing would have ever caught it, unless the scientists went looking at that specific gene. The genetic testing you can opt for today typically checks for things like chromosomes and a panel of the more common diseases that your race would carry (such as cystic fibrosis for a caucasian). So no matter what this would have gone on undetected whether we did genetic testing or not. So there is the background information on Berkley and a very small glimpse of what we went through last spring/summer. And your mini biology lesson for the day… are you still with me?
We transferred 1 embryo on July 24th, 2014. Given the quick turn-around between pregnancies & the preterm birth I had just experienced, CCRM only allowed me to transfer 1 embryo. Their goal was for me to have a safe, healthy pregnancy. This made sense but made waiting for our pregnancy test even more challenging since we had just 1 little embie in there! I cheated this time and took an at-home pregnancy test before my blood test. I am glad I did because I got two definite positive tests in a row which took the edge off until my actual blood test. Adam and I were ecstatic!
We found out we were having a girl at 6.5 weeks! Through the genetic testing we did, CCRM knew the gender but it is their policy that they won’t tell you this information until your first successful ultrasound. I needed to know what I was having, ESPECIALLY if it was a girl. After planning for a boy & holding a baby boy in my arms there was a piece of me that really longed for a son. I am going to be honest, when we found out we were having a baby girl- I had a few good cries about it. It took me a few days to wrap my head around it but as my pregnancy progressed I became more and more thankful for my baby girl. I think having everything be so different a second time around- with a different gender really was a blessing for me mentally.
Did you know I was pregnant again? We were pretty hush, hush about this pregnancy. First off, we were still heavily grieving Cade but we were also just scared shitless about this pregnancy. We couldn’t imagine making a big “we’re pregnant” announcement only to have something awful happen once again. I think loss does that to you…. the optimistic part of you is taken away for awhile. We felt like we were walking on egg shells the.entire.time. So much so, that once I was out of my first trimester, I was already asking my OBGYN their policy on early induction. I needed my baby girl out and in my arms as soon as the doctors would let me. Did I mention I was crazy?!
Our OBGYN was so amazing and understanding. Both my fertility doctor and my OB literally have cried along side with me at appointments and have gone above and beyond for me. My doctor understood my longing for a baby & the fact that being pregnant again was very trying for me so we set an induction date for April 7, 2015…. which put me at 39w2d.